Shanxi Panorama & Culture Discovery 9-Day Tour

This tour highlights the rich culture and profound history of Shanxi Province in China. In 9 days, you will admire the Yungang Grottoes in Datong, religious Mount Wutai and its surrounding temples, Ancient City of Pingyao and majestic Wang Family Compound. This tour will let you experience the traditions and folk customs in Shanxi. You will marvel at the Hukou Waterfall, the largest waterfall on the Yellow River, and walk into the Pit Kiln Houses, also called the underground quadrangle courtyard in North China.



*Whole view of Shanxi Province, with starting and ending point in Xi'an, easier connection of flights/trains choice

*A memorable journey filled with China's long history, Buddhism culture, Jin (Shanxi) Merchants' spirit


- Tour code: CPT-ST-01

- Price: from $763 p/p

- Tour type: private tour

- Departure date: flexible

- Travel route: Xi'an - Sanmenxia - Linfen -                                        Hukou - Pingyao - Taiyuan -                                        Mt.Wutai - Yingxian - Mt.Heng -                                Datong - Taiyuan - Xi'an

- Trip length: 9 Days 8 nights

 Detailed itinerary:


Be greeted by the local tour guide and driver at Xi'an airport/railway station/hotel, and then transfer to Sanmenxia, Henan Province. Make a visit to the Pit Kiln Houses, which is also called the "underground quadrangle courtyard" in North China, with a history of about 2,000 years. As a common cave dwelling in ancient times, these villages are well preserved at the juncture of Shaanxi, Shanxi and Henan provinces. You will see no houses or people in the village that they are all underground. 


Afterwards, drive to Linfen, Shanxi Province. You have crossed three provinces in one day! Check into hotel for rest. 

Xi'an - 250 km - Sanmenxia- 267 km - Linfen


Linfen - Hukou - 280 km - Pingyao


In the morning, pay a visit to the Hukou Waterfall. The Hukou Waterfall is the only magnificent yellow waterfall in the world and the second biggest waterfall in China after the Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou Province. The waterfall offers visitors to the Yellow River Basin many natural pleasures. The Yellow River, the second-largest river in China, surges from Qinghai province to the borders of Shanxi and Shaanxi, where the waters pass through a narrow valley blocked by mountains on both sides.


In the afternoon drive to Lingshi County. The Wang Family Compound is a witness to the past glory of Wang Family, a well-known Shanxi businessman in the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The complex boasts remarkable architecture and artworks of brick and stone sculptures. Transfer to Pingyao Old Town in the late afternoon. 

Check into hotel. In the evening you are free on own to explore Pingyao Ancient City.


The Ancient City of Pingyao (UNESCO), a well-preserved ancient Chinese city of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, is an must-see attraction for you. Today you will have an in-depth sightseeing in this 2,700-year-old historic and cultural town for a whole day. You will admire the Ancient City Wall built with bricks and stones. You can also find that there are more than 100 streets still looking exactly as they were hundreds of years ago in this old city. Approach to Rishengchang Bank - the first bank of China, and get impressed by the Old Government Buildings. In 19th century, Pingyao was the most financially flourishing place, most notably being the founding of the exchange shop named Rishengchang, a milestone in China’s history of finance business. The courtyard houses, narrow streets and small shops in the city provide a complete picture of China’s cultural and social lifestyle during that period of time.

Pingyao Ancient City


After breakfast, transfer to the capital city of Shanxi Province, Taiyuan City. En route, pay a visit to Chang’s Mansion. As many people know, there was a famous tea road in ancient China, because it was another international trade road after the silk road. However, most people do not know that the pioneers of the tea road from Fujian Province to the heart of Europe are the mainstay of Jin merchants -- Chang's family from Yuci, Shanxi. Chang's Mansion is different from other Jin merchants' courtyards with its transcendent realm of garden - Jingyuan, which is the largest private garden in the north of China. 

Arrive Taiyuan at noon time.


In the afternoon, visit Jinci Temple. Featuring unique cultural relics, the Jinci Temple is a place where almost all the forms of ancient Chinese architectures could be found.

Pingyao Ancient City - 130 km - Taiyuan


Drive to Mt.Wutai from Taiyuan City in about 3.5 hours in the morning. Today you will enjoy an exploration to Mount Wutai (UNESCO), one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains in China. It is home to 47 China's most important monasteries, among which the Xiantong Temple and the Tayuan Temple are the most famous ones. 


In the afternoon you will visit temples in Taihuai Town, including Xiantong Temple (Monk Temple), Pogoda Temple (the symbol of Mt.Wutai), Pusa Top(Lama Temple), Wuye Temple(the most holy temple in Mt.Wutai).

Taste the vegetarian food in Wutai Mountain for dinner. Stay overnight in Taihuai Town, feel the peace of this small town.

Taiyuan - 240 km - Mt.Wutai


Transfer to Datong after breakfast. En route, visit Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, the tallest and oldest wooden pogoda in the world.


Later visit Hanging temple, which was built in the Northern Wei Dynasty, with a history of more than 1,500 years. The Hanging Temple is characterized by its special location on the sheer cliff of Mt.Heng and its combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Take the cable car to have a great view of Heng Mountain. 

Arrive in Datong in the late afternoon. Check into hotel for rest.

Mt.Wutai - 220 km - Datong


Today you will have a full day in Datong to see its treasure - the Yungang Grottoes. It is the oldest one of the Three Major Buddhist Grottoes of China. With their 252 caves and 51,000 statues, Yungang Grottoes represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries. The Five Caves created by Tan Yao, with their strict unity of layout and design, constitute a classical masterpiece of the first peak of Chinese Buddhist art. Absorbing Indian Gandhara Buddhist art, Yungang Grottoes melds traditional Chinese art and social features of that time, which make it a masterpiece of early Chinese cave art and Buddhist culture.

Have lunch and short rest in a local restaurant. 


In the afternoon you will have a look at the Nine-Dragon-Wall ,the largest dragon wall in China. And then visit upper and down Huayan Temple, which was built in Liao Dynasty and famous for its ancient wooden structure.



After breakfast, go sightseeing at the Yanmenguan Pass, which is also called Yanmensai or Xijing Pass, is located at the Ridge of Gouzhu Mountain, south out of Datong City. Yanmenguan Pass is the first of the Outer Three Passes (the rest two are Ningwuguan Pass and Pianguan Pass) through the inner line of the Great Wall in Shanxi. Now it is well preserved as a precious ancient military relic.


Continue driving to Taiyuan City, en route pay a visit to the Ice Hole. This cave was formed in Cenozoic Quaternary ice age, about 3 million years ago, so it is known as "the thousands of years ice cave". Upon arrival in Taiyuan, make a visit to Shanxi Museum. In the evening you are free on own to explore Taiyuan City.

Note: Ice Hole would be closed at times according to the weather condition. A new policy launched in 2018 was that elders over 65 years old and infants are not allowed to enter the hole. The new rules are about to confirm when Luya Mountain reopens in April.

Datong - 300 km - Taiyuan


In the morning, bid farewell to Shanxi! You will be picked up at the hotel lobby, and then sent to railway station to experience China's high-speed train from Taiyuan to Xi'an. In about  3.5  hours, you will arrive in Xi'an again. Be greeted by the local tour guide and driver there, transfer to airport/hotel in Xi'an for your next destination.

Taiyuan - Xi'an


 China Panda Tour's experienced travel consultant 1 on 1 service 24hours/7days from inquiry to back home;

  Entrance tickets to listed viewpoints in the itinerary & necessary shuttle bus/cable car/sightseeing bus tickets;  

√  Escorted by experienced English-speaking tour guide;

  Meals mentioned in the itinerary;

  Private transfers with professional driver between hotel/attraction/airport/railway station/restaurant as listed in the itinerary;

√  Booking of flight/train/cruise tickets per your preferences;

  Accommodation in each city, hotel level/feature is decided by your choice;

√  Traveler's accidental insurance.



-- This itinerary can be flexibly adjusted according  to your requests. You can change the order, or extend the tour with more cities or days, or even shorten it with deleting any cities or days. Our professional travel consultant will help you revise the itinerary until suiting your schedule.

-- China Panda Tour also provides French/German/Spanish/Russian/Cantonese/Mandarin-speaking tour guide service.

-- If you only want to rent a car for your trip, please kindly inform us. China Panda Tour's professional drivers would provide you with satisfying service.


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