China is a nation of people and their stories. Of joy and struggle, tradition, and innovation. Of mighty rivers, vast wilderness, and sprawling megacities. It’s a tale 5,000 years in the making, and we’re just getting to the most exciting chapter.

Journey with us to uncover beautiful, exquisite and authentic China in this signature tour that brings you from Beijing to Xi'an and to the quiet mountain city of Lijang.

In this unbelievable 9 day/ 8-night tour, you'll experience old-world China, while also relishing in the joys of our hand-picked boutique properties.

Learn tai chi on the Great Wall of China, take a calligraphy class, come face-to-face with 8,000 uncovered Terracotta Warriors, and hear how history has been passed down through generations from a village shaman. This tour aims to showcase the most special parts of China, while also allowing you the space to have a vacation like no other. If you've never considered China before — let this special adventure be your foray into one of the world's oldest societies.

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April 13-21, 2025

Per person based on double occupancy. Solo Rooms available.

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Picture Yourself

  • Learning tai chi in a private lesson on the Great Wall of China
  • Coming face to face with 8,000 terracotta soldiers
  • Practicing calligraphy with a local master
  • Meeting a village shaman who welcomes you to his village and shares his perspective on local life
  • Watching the countryside while on a high-speed bullet train

Day by Day

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9

Day 1: Welcome to Beijing

Welcome to Beijing! Serving as China’s capital since the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368 AD), Beijing’s past, present, and future are forced together in the crowded neighborhoods and streets of the city.

Upon touchdown, a VIP Service Ambassador will greet you as you exit your flight gate and guide you through the express immigrations and customs service, as well as assist you in claiming your luggage. Transfer to hotel for downtime before dinner tonight as a group.

Meals: D
Hotel: The Peninsula Beijing

Day 2: Beijing

After breakfast at the hotel, we'll meet our local guide at 9:00 am in the lobby and head out for a day of exploring! Our first stop is a special one...

Private Tai Chi Class on the Great Wall

Rising from the sea in the east before extending 5,000 miles to the deserts of China’s far west, this is arguably the greatest man-made wonder on earth: The Great Wall. WildChina bypasses the more touristy sections, taking you straight to the stunning Ming Dynasty ruins outside Beijing from which lonely guards far from home once kept a weary watch over the barbarian lands beyond.

Your guide will return you to your hotel at the end of the day (around 5:00 pm).

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: The Peninsula Beijing

Day 3: Forbidden City

The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

Step inside the Forbidden City, a massive imperial palace once home to China’s emperors and the geographic center of Beijing. The gates were shut to all but the royal household and their entourage of eunuchs and concubines for 600 years until, in 1924, a powerful warlord gave the last emperor just three hours to leave. Beyond the imposing red walls to the south lies Tiananmen Square, where, Chairman Mao, China’s most powerful ruler lies embalmed in a glass coffin within his own giant mausoleum.

Into the Hutongs: Home-visits and Cricket Prowess

Ask the residents of Beijing’s hutong alleyways, the crisscrossing mazes of courtyards and alleyways which make up the heart of the city, and they’ll tell you that anyone who lives further out isn’t really a Beijinger. You’ll see elders whiling away the night with a game of Chinese chess or mahjong, shopkeepers selling traditional snacks like jianbing (pancakes) and baozi (steamed buns), and hear calls announcing the arrival of the knife sharpener or cardboard collector. It is in these ancient neighborhoods where the capital’s distinct culture was generated and where it continues to thrive today.

Walking through the lanes, you’ll spend the afternoon stopping by the homes of some of the city’s more traditional residents, including the courtyard abode of a man who has won fame and fortune through the legendary prowess of his fighting crickets.

Rest assured that these crickets are treated with the utmost respect and care, more than any other insect we've ever encountered. They have their own special brushes, ginger-infused water in specially carved bowls, and even hand-widdled coffins for the very end. To say the cricket fighting culture is lesser-known would be an understatement, as only the most native of Beijingers have even heard of this underground culture.

Private Dinnertime Cooking Experience at Black Sesame Kitchen

Chinese cuisine is as much focused on techniques as it is on ingredients. Before you dive into a spread of Black Sesame Kitchen's staple dishes, you’ll learn the ins and outs of noodle pulling and dumpling folding. Then, enjoy the fruits (and dumplings) of your labor as you eat your dinner in the fresh air of the hutong courtyard.

Your guide will return you to your hotel at the end of the day (around 8:00 pm).

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: Peninsula Beijing

Day 4: Beijing to Xi’an

This morning after breakfast, we'll take a high-speed train to Xi'an, the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army.

Upon arriving in Xi'an, your local guide will meet you in the arrival hall with your private vehicle on standby to take you to your hotel.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Standing proudly beyond the city walls (and next to its smaller, younger 'sister', the Small Wild Goose Pagoda) is the handsome Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Reportedly modeled on the pagodas of India as seen by an 8th-century itinerant monk and created to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from the monk's travels, this huge structure is not only among the oldest in Xi’an but is an important symbol of a city whose architecture is heavily influenced by styles from as far afield as Beijing and Iran.

The Great Mosque

Islam first entered China more than a thousand years ago via the Silk Road, flourishing around the Great Mosque in the heart of the Xi’an’s thriving Muslim Quarter. Entering the elegant grounds at sunset, you might mistake the undulating roofs and colonnaded halls for a Chinese temple until the evening call to prayer confirms that this is instead a potent fusion of Chinese and Islamic culture.

The Muslim Quarter

As Islam flowed along the Silk Road into China 1,300 years ago, its faithful followers, both locals and foreigners alike, settled in a busy commercial area of the capital, Chang’an. After centuries of prosperity, the very same Muslim Quarter is still one of the most bustling areas of modern-day Xi’an, and a sensory feast of neon signs, exotic spices, and mouthwatering barbecued fare.

Art You Can Eat: Dumpling Dinner

Xi’an claims to be the birthplace of Chinese dumplings. Whether or not that’s true, local chefs have elevated the humble staple to the most sophisticated culinary heights. Head to Xi’an’s most popular dumpling joint, where these little bundles of joy filled with ground meat and vegetables are crafted into hand-pinched dough parcels of all shapes and sizes, from walnuts to roses.

Your guide will return you to your hotel at the end of the day (around 8:00 pm).

Meals: B, D
Hotel: Sofitel Legend People's Grand Hotel Xi'an

Day 5: The Terracotta Warriors

In 1974, while digging a well in the vast countryside outside of Xi’an, a group of farmers made a legendary discovery. They struck a chamber containing 8,000 soldiers belonging to China’s fearsome first emperor, a terracotta army buried beneath the earth to guard his tomb for eternity. Less than an hour outside the city, you’ll spend two hours coming face-to-face with row upon row of these ancient guardians, an experience no trip to China is complete without.

A Calligraphy Class at the Stele Forest

The delicate flicks and strokes of Chinese characters make up the oldest continuously used written language in the world. The Stele Forest in Xi’an is a serene museum named for its large collection of standing stone tablets, inscribed with everything from classical literature to imperial decrees and whose carvings visually portray the evolving story of Chinese writing. After exploring the Stele Forest, test out your own calligraphy skills in a one-hour class with a local master.

Traverse Xi’an’s Ancient City Wall

Ascending to an imperious height of 12 meters, the only way in or out of downtown Xi’an is to pass through cavernous openings in the oldest, largest, and best-preserved city wall in China. Without a doubt, the best way to experience the fortifications is by walking on top of them. Keep your head on a swivel while making the circuit, taking full advantage of the commanding views of the ancient city within and the modern metropolis outside.

Your guide will return you to your hotel at the end of the day (around 5:00 pm).

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: Sofitel Legend People's Grand Hotel Xi'an

Day 6: Xi’an to Lijiang

This morning, we'll fly to Lijiang, a mountain village seemingly frozen in time.

Your guide and private chauffeur will escort you to the airport and help you check in to your flight. Upon arriving in Lijiang, your local guide will meet you in the arrival hall with your private vehicle on standby to take you to your hotel.

Next Stop: Lijiang

The city of Lijiang lies in the shadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and has entranced visitors for centuries with its singular architecture, quaint bridges, and narrow canals. Although Lijiang has transformed from its quaint roots into a tourist hub, there are still quieter side lanes to explore that hold encounters with Lijiang’s Naxi residents, who, like their ancestors, depend on the mountain water that flows through the town’s canals. Classified as a World Heritage Site in 1997, Lijiang is a charming home base for accessing Yunnan’s authentic and lesser-known communities.

Baisha Village

Located just north of Lijiang, Baisha is a Naxi village built of stone and wood at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Fewer travelers opt to stop in on their way to the mountain or on their cycle tour of the countryside, and so the village remains much as it was a century ago. Wares are sold from wooden carts along narrow streets and foot traffic makes way for cows being driven up the road.

Yuhu Village

A 30-minute drive from the center of Lijiang, Yuhu Village is a small community at the base of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. There, we’ll visit the home of Joseph Rock, famed Austrian-American botanist, explorer, and chronicler of the Naxi people. Yuhu’s stone buildings represent a unique architectural style, their windows overlooking pristine alpine meadows, summits rising in the distance.

Your guide will return you to your hotel at the end of the day (around 5:00 pm).

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: LUX Lijiang

Day 7: Lijang

Your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel at 9:00 am to start the day.

Hike Through Wenhai Valley

A visit to Yuhu Village will bring you right up to the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, its stone buildings seemingly tucked into the mountainside. Explore the streets for an hour before hiking out. Three hours of climbing later, look back over Wenhai Valley, framed by mountains with flowers in bloom, Lijiang far in the distance.

Discussion With a Yi Village Shaman

Though rapid economic development, as well as the spread of mass media can be a positive change for some, it also puts the traditions and languages of China’s ethnic minority cultures at risk for extinction. As the elders pass away, so do the traditions. Therefore, visiting this delightful village in the Jade Snow Mountain Range whose families preserve the ways of their forebears, grants a fleeting encounter with not only the culture but the living history of the Yi people.

The village Shaman, or Bimo, will welcome us to his village and share his perspective on local life, the challenges posed by development and his animist faith, a religion that predates the arrival of Buddhism in China. The Bimo is a sacred hereditary office held by one family over centuries. The incumbent is a well-respected scholar who mediates tribal disputes and presides over Yi ceremonies.

Your guide will return you to your hotel at the end of the day (around 5:00 pm).

Meals: B, L, D
Hotel: LUX Lijiang

Day 8: Lijang to Beijing

This morning after breakfast, your guide and private chauffeur will escort you to the airport and help you check in to your flight. Upon arriving in Beijing, your local guide will meet you in the arrival hall with your private vehicle on standby to take you to your hotel.

Afternoon at Leisure

It's been a big trip - so use this afternoon to relax! Go shopping, get a massage, today is yours to do with as you please.

Meals: B
Hotel: Rosewood Beijing

Day 9: Departures

It's departure day, and we're bummed. But we've had such an amazing time exploring beautiful and diverse corners of China, and we know you're leaving with memories to last a lifetime.

After breakfast, your guide will escort you to the airport and help you check in for your flight home.

Meals: B
Hotel: --

  • Trip Length

    9 days / 8 nights

  • Activity Level


  • Perfect For

    Cultural Enthusiasts + Foodies

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Regular price $7,499.00 USD
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Spaces on tours are sold per person. Deposits are non-refundable. Ensure your payment option is as desired before checkout. If paying deposit only, remaining payments can be made via client portal until 60 days before departure. See our cancellation policy for details.

Love this tour but can’t make the dates? Click here to make this tour private.


  • VIP meet and greet service for international arrival flight in Beijing
  • Accommodation (shared or solo, in a variety of luxury properties)
  • All activities mentioned
  • Local guide and driver
  • All on-ground transfers with in-transport refreshments (one 17-seats Yutong van in Beijing; one 17-seats Coaster van in Xi'an; one 17-seats Little Jinlong van in Lijiang)
  • Meals in local restaurants during the trip
  • Private dinner cooking experience in Beijing
  • All internal flights throughout China
  • Gratuity for Damesly trip leader


  • International flights to/from Beijing
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals + alcohol not listed
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Expenses of a personal nature (e.g. mini bar, personal telecommunications, laundry, etc.)
  • Gratuity for local guides and drivers

Meet Your Trip Leader

Kelly Lewis

Kelly Lewis is a women's travel industry maven, author, speaker, business coach and the founder and CEO of Damesly. Raised in Hawaii, she's been to all 7 continents and over 85 countries. She is also the author of the best-selling title "Tell Her She Can't."

Read More

Additional Information

Flights: You'll fly in and out of Beijing (PEK). Arrive anytime on Day 1 arrival day, and depart anytime on the final day.

Want us to advise on flights? Email us at

Weather: April is a lovely time in China, albeit slightly cooler with days in the high 60s and nights in the 40s. In the mountains, the weather will be even cooler, so be sure to dress warmly.

Packing: Sun protection (hat/sunscreen/sunglasses), close-toed, comfortable walking shoes, jackets, sweaters and loose/comfortable clothing are a must for this trip. Additionally you’ll want a small backpack for personal items and a scarf for warmth and modesty.

For entry into China, visitors from the US will need:

  • US Passport (valid for 6+ months)
  • Visa*
  • Travel Insurance (required for all international departures)

*Nearly all foreign visitors to Mainland China will require a visa. WildChina, our partner on this tour, will provide an invitation letter for your visa application, but we are not able to obtain a visa on your behalf. It is your responsibility to obtain a valid visa and any other required documentation for your journey. We recommend applying for a tourist visa approximately 60 days prior to your scheduled departure date.

If you would like more advice on Chinese visas at this stage, please consult China Visa Solution (, our preferred agent for U.S. residents.

At Damesly, our goal is to connect women through beautifully curated travel experiences. 

Our trips feature a high level of customer support and a focus on cultural interaction and experiences. We’re dames who work hard, and travel often. So when you use your coveted PTO days, we want you to have the best trip possible! To do this, we hand-select boutique hotels based on location and service. We look for unique properties that we think of as hidden gems, which may or may not be 5-stars. Our itineraries offer a mix of adventure and relaxation. We’re not afraid to get a little dirty to have the most fun experiences, but if there’s an infinity pool or a great spa afterwards — we’ll meet you there!

Traveling the world comes with rewards and challenges. Our traveler is someone who is easy-going and open minded to new experiences and cultures, ready to get out of their comfort zone and understands that travel leads to personal growth, even on its toughest days. Join us if you’re adventurous, kind, open-minded and ready for the trip of a lifetime. 

On this tour to China, you can expect luxury and a focus on authentic cultural immersion. Guides, hotels, transport, food, everything is top-notch and has been carefully curated. We're seeing the highlights (Great Wall & Terracotta Army) but we're also getting off the beaten path to experience life in small villages. Still, traveling in China comfortably takes an open mind and an acceptance that things are just done differently than what you're used to. That's part of what makes travel so great! On this tour we will be flying internally and using a high-speed bullet train. A local guide, as well as your Damesly leader, will be with the group throughout the trip.

Will you match me?
Of course! If you choose a space in a shared room but you're traveling solo, we will do our best to pair you with a roommate. Roommates are matched based on arrival time and perceived compatibility. Sharing a room is a great way to save costs, and make a new friend! However, we ask you to approach the situation with an open mind, some grace, and maybe a little humor.

While 99% our travelers are amazing, we can't guarantee that you'll hit it off with your roommate, or that your sleeping styles will be compatible.

Is sharing right for you?
If you are a light sleeper, get easily irritated or just know that you need your own space, sharing a room might not be for you. Likewise, if you know that you snore, sleep with a CPAP machine or have other health conditions, sharing a room might not be the best fit.

What if I don't get along with my roommate?
If you've tried but you absolutely can't get along with your roommate and need to separate, your trip leader will either swap things around, or, attempt to get you your own room. If the latter, additional charges will incur.

What if I book a double room, and you can't match me?
We book a certain amount of hotel rooms before any tour, and are bound by their rules. In the event that we cannot find a roommate for you before the tour, and your room converts to a single room, there may be additional charges.

Small group trips require at least 4 people to run. We will confirm as soon as possible when the trip has met its minimum; up to 60 days before departure. For this reason, we recommend waiting until after a trip has been confirmed to purchase airfare. Any tour can be converted to a private departure when a trip does not meet its minimum. Additional costs may incur. Alternatively, apply your credit to any small-group tour departing within 12 months. 

When you book a tour with us, our team will create a customer portal for you, where you can make payments towards this tour at your leisure. 

If you’d prefer, we can create a payment schedule for you, just let our accounting team know ( Tours must be paid in full 60 days before departure. 

This tour to China must be paid in full by February 12, 2025. See our cancellation policy here.

Still have questions? See our FAQ or Contact Us.

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