Mount Wutai scene- Main gate of Buddha top(Pusa Ding) temple in China
Credit: iStockphoto/Getty Images

Stan Godwyn is a member of Travel + Leisure’s A-List, a collection of the top travel advisors in the world, and can help plan your perfect getaway. Below is an example of the type of itineraries he creates. To work with Jonathan, you can contact him directly at

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

Upon arrival, transfer to hotel via private car.

Stay: Cours Et Pavillons

Day 2: Mutianyu and Ming Tombs

Visit the Great Wall, parts of which date back to the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC. The portion near Beijing was mostly built in the Ming Dynasty, roughly 600 years ago. Mutianyu is much less crowded than Badaling, and more spectacular. In the afternoon, visit the Ming Tombs.

Stay: Cours Et Pavillons

Days 3-5: Beijing

Spend three days exploring beijing with private tours. First, see the highlights of Imperial Beijing, visiting Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace. The next day, explore some of the less frequently visited parts of Beijing: begin the day with a visit to Yonghegong, also known as the Llama Temple, followed byPrince Gong's Mansion, Mei Lanfang's house, and Beihai Park. On your last day in Beijing, visit the Temple of Heaven, the official symbol of Beijing. Afterwards, head to the 798 Arts District, also known as Dashanzi, is a cluster of former military factories now housing hip creative spaces and outdoor cafes.

Stay: Cours Et Pavillons

Days 6-7: Pingyao

Transfer via train to Shanxi Province

Stay: Jing's Residence

Days 8-9: Xinzhou

Stay: Wutai Mountain Marriott Hotel

Day 10: Taiyuan

Stay: Kempinski Hotel Taiyuan

Days 11-13: Xi'an

Stay: Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel Xian

Day 14: Chengdu

Stay: Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu

Day 15: Dujiangyan Panda Base

Dujiangyan is the smaller of the Panda centers in Chengdu, but it is also much less crowded, with much more access to the Pandas. After lunch and perhaps some volunteer work preparing panda food, visit the Chengdu Shu Brocade and Embroidery Museum, the only place in China to show all the processes of the famous Shu brocade hand-weaving. Tonight, enjoy a performance of traditional Sichuan Tea House entertainment.

​​​​Stay: Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu

Day 16: Dazu

Spend the day on a full-day privately escorted tour. Dazu is one of the four most sacred Buddhist Grottoes in China; the carving at Dazu was not completed, as it was interrupted by the Mongol invasions, but is still spectacular.

​​​​Stay: Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu

Day 17: Leshan

Take a full-day excursion to Leshan, where there stands a Giant Buddha — the largest surviving Buddha in the world. It dates back to the Tang Dynasty, over 1300 years ago.

Stay: Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu

Days 18-20: Guizhou

Fly from Chengdu to Guiyang, where you will check into the Sofitel Guiyang Hunter. The next day, spend a full-day excursion exploring Guizhou, visiting two rather spectacular sites: Huanguoshu Waterfall, the largest waterfall in China, and the Dragon Palace Cave, including a boat tour of the caves. Later, visit Yunfeng Village, one of the most well preserved ancient villages in South West China. The next morning, visit the Guiyang Museum of Ethnic Costumes. Afterwards, drive to the city of Kaili; spend the afternoon visiting the Miao Village of Langde.

Stay: Sofitel Guiyang Hunter

Day 21: Congjiang

​​​​​​​Spend a full day touring Huanggang and Zhaoxing Dong villages, with lunch included. The next morning, visit Rongjiang County and the minority villages of Biji Miao and Dali Dong.

Stay: Congjiang Ba Sha Hotel

Day 22: Shanghai

Fly into Shanghai. Check into Capella Shanghai Jian Ye Li and be transported to the glamorous Shanghai of the past. Centrally located within the cultural preservation zone of Xuhui District, the Jian Ye Li estate was originally built by French real estate company Foncière et Immobilière de Chine in the 1930s

Stay: Capella Shanghai Jian Ye Li

Day 23: Shanghai

Take a full-day privately-escorted tour of Shanghai, including the Bund, the Old Temple Bazaar, and the Shanghai Museum.

Stay: Shanghai Jianyeli Capella Hotel

Day 24: Suzhou

Full-day excursion to Suzhou, a much older city than Shanghai that was a center of trade on the Grand Canal; the wealthy merchants built intricately designed private gardens, which are now open for visiting. SYour tour will include the Humble Administrator's Garden, the Silk Embroidery Research Institute, the Suzhou Museum, and a boat ride on one of the city's many canals.

Stay: Shanghai Jianyeli Capella Hotel

Days 25-26: Shanghai

Take an arts tour, visiting the M50 art district, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Shanghai Museum of Fabric and Costume Design. In the afternoon, we have arranged a tour of the architecture of the French Concession. The next day, spend a free day in Shanghai, taking advantage of its excellent shopping.

Stay: Shanghai Jianyeli Capella Hotel

Day 27: Hangzhou

Transfer to the train station and take the high speed train for a full-day privately-escorted tour of Hangzhou, visiting West Lake, Lingying Temple, and the city's silk shopping street.

Stay: Shanghai Jianyeli Capella Hotel

Day 28: Depart from Shanghai

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.