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China tours from Toronto with best china tour company in Canada recommended by Frommer's
Photograph: Great Wall Hiking Jinshanling to Gubeikou
Laurus Travel Inc.
China Tours from Toronto

Laurus Travel is a Canadian China tour operator having been offering premium small group tours to China since 1998. Over the past 15 years, thousands of travellers from Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario have travelled to China with us. From Victoria in British Columbia to St. John's in Newfoundland, from Whitehorse in Yukon to Windsor in Ontario, we have many satisfied customers ready to vouch for our stellar reputation. If you are ready to sign up with us, we'd be glad to find some former customers in you area to talk to you.

Laurus Travel is the only Canadian China tour operator recommended by Frommer's - you can find us in every edition of Frommer's China guidebooks (Frommer's China, Frommer's Beijing, Frommer's Shanghai, Frommer's Hong Kong). Our China tours feature small group size, personalized service, premium accommodations, and the best tour guides you can find in our trade. Unlike other China tour companies, we do not march our tour participants through tourist stores. Nor do we feed our guests with cheap meals at tourist restaurants. In many of the high-end restaurants we patronize, we often are the only non-Chinese customers. We encourage you to visit to learn more about us.

Here is one of our most popular China tours departing from Toronto and Vancouver.

15-day Best of China

Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Shanghaiall inclusive china tours from toronto on air canada

This is one of our most popular vacation packages, a perfect choice for the time-pressed looking for a well-rounded introduction to both the old and modern China.

The itinerary covers all the highlights in each city and yet still leaves you time to explore on your own.

Trip highlights include the Great Wall at Mutianyu, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Terracotta Army, Han Yang Ling, a day cruise on picturesque Li River and exciting evening shows.

Meal Code:

B = buffet breakfast at hotel
L = Chinese lunch
D = Chinese dinner

Important Features

  • Group size limited to 18.
  • No shopping stops.
  • Quality meals at high-end, non-tourist restaurants.
  • Unlimited supply of bottled water.
  • Travel from Beijing to Xian by new bullet train.
  • Special cultural activities (calligraphy lesson etc).
  • Peking roast duck at a top rated restaurant.
  • Evening show in Xian at the best theatre, Tang Yue Hong, out of 4 such theatres.
  • Visits to chambers in Forbidden City that most tour groups don't go to.
  • Overnight by the Great Wall, subject to availability.
  • Lunch with a hutong family in Beijing.
  • Great Wall visit at Mutianyu with cable car.
  • Visit to Han Yang Ling.

Day 1/Thu: Departing Toronto
The journey begins with your transpacific flight departing from Toronto. You'll lose a day upon crossing the
International Date Line.

Day 2/Fri: Arrival in Beijing
Welcome to Beijing! Meet your guide on arrival in late afternoon and transfer to the hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure.

Where to Eat
There is a variety of restaurants below the hotel offering Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Western cuisines. We recommend the popular hot pot eatery where you can have a good meal with beer for less than $10.

Currency Exchange
This service is available at the front desk of the hotel. There is no need to shop around because the exchange rate is very much the same anywhere in China. Guests arriving ahead of schedule who have to get to the hotel by taxi can get Chinese currency at the airport on arrival.toronto china tour operators companies

Getting to the Hotel by Taxi
If you arrive one day or two ahead of tour schedule, you will need to make your way to the hotel on your own. Getting a taxi at the airport is easy. Before proceeding to the taxi stand, be sure to have some Chinese money on you as cab drivers don't accept foreign currencies. Based on our first-hand experience, cab fare to the hotel should be between 85 and 100 Yuan or $14 to $17. Avoid touts in arrival hall. These guys who operate against the law often charge 5 times of the regular price.

Exploring Beijing by Subway
Guests arriving early and wishing to explore the ancient capital on their own should consider moving around by subway because it is faster and cheaper than taxi. Subway Line 2 and Line 6 are only a short walk from our hotel. We recommend the National Museum, Lama Temple, Beihai Park, National Gallery of Fine Art, the Military Museum, and the Ancient Observatory - all of which can be easily reached by subway. Ask hotel concierge for a map.

Day 3/Sat: Beijing
Capital of China, Beijing is a world-class cultural and educational centre with a population of 21 million (2013), ranking it China's second largest city behind Shanghai. Beijing is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates, treasures that make it the most popular tourist city in China.

best china tours from torontoBeijing was already a strategically important city in northern China for centuries when Kublai Khan decided to move his capital here from Karakorum in Mongolia. With the collapse of the vast Mongol empire in 1368 AD, Beijing, known as Da Du or Grand Capital at the time, lost its status as the country's capital but soon regained it when the imperial court of the successive Ming Dynasty moved here from Nanjing. Beijing continued to serve as China's capital after Manchu tribes dethroned the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty in 1644 and established the Great Qing Empire (Qing Dynasty), which lasted till 1911.

Get introduced during the orientation following breakfast. We then set out for the Forbidden City. Also known as Palace Museum or Gu Gong in Chinese, the Forbidden City was the place where the emperors of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties lived and carried out their administration.

Lunch is at a family restaurant in a hutong neighbourhood. Hutong refers to an ancient alleyway with siheyuan or ''4-sided courtyard house" on both sides.

Afternoon sightseeing at the Summer Palace, a well preserved UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The imperial resort was first named Garden of Clear Ripples, which was burnt down by the allied forces of Great Britain and France in 1860 during the Second Opium War (referred to as Arrow War by the British). Reconstruction started 25 years later and was completed in 1895 when the name was changed to Yi He Yuan (Garden of Good Health and Harmony). The design gives prominence to Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, south of the hill. The sprawling complex covers an area of 290 hectares and the buildings inside consist of over 3,000 china tours from toronto

Today we enjoy a delicious welcome dinner at one of the top rated Beijing roast duck restaurants. (B/L/D)

Day 4/Sun: Beijing
After a stop at Tiananmen Square, we proceed to the
Temple of Heaven. Situated in southeastern Beijing the Temple of Heaven is China's largest extant sacrificial temple where, during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the emperors conducted the elaborate and most exalted sacrifices addressed to "the Supreme Ruler of the Universe."
Construction of the temple started in 1406, during the reign of the Ming Emperor Yongle, and took 14 years to complete. The temple was expanded under the Qing emperors Qianlong (1736-1796) and Jiaqing (1796-1820). Occupying 2,668 hectares (6,670 acres), the area of the Temple of Heaven is more than twice that of the Forbidden City.

Afternoon sightseeing takes us to historic Jingshan Park for a panoramic view of the Forbidden City from above. The park to the north of the Forbidden City was part of the imperial palace in the old days, serving the royal families as a convenient site for farming, recreation and ancestor worshipping. The man-made hill (46 meters above ground, 89 meters above sea level) overlooks the Forbidden City and provides a great spot for bird's-eye view of the surrounding area.

We then return to the hotel by subway. The 10-minute, 3-stop ride is a great way to experience Beijing. Beijing's subway is the oldest metro system in mainland China and the second longest subway system in the world with the third largest annual ridership globally with 2.46 billion trips delivered in 2012. (B/L)

Day 5/Mon: Beijingluxury China travel from toronto to great wall, terracotta army yangtze cruise
Today we embark on a full-day excursion to the legendary Great Wall at Mutianyu, 75km northeast of the city. On the way over, we stop by the Sacred Pathway at Ming Tombs to marvel at the ancient stone sculptures of animals and imperial court officials. The short stroll is our warm-up for the climb on the Great Wall.

Zigzagging over 6,000 kilometres from east to west along the undulating mountains, the Great Wall was built to hold off tribal invaders from the north. Construction of the earliest sections of the Wall started in the 7th century B.C. A major renovation started with the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 1368 and took 200 years to complete. The wall we see today in Beijing is almost exactly the result of this effort.

If possible, we'll stay the night at a simple but clean guesthouse near the Great Wall, a feature that was first introduced in 2005 but suspended in 2007 due to logistical challenge. At the time, the feature was widely praised by our guests.  (B/L/D)

Day 6/Tue: Beijing - Xian china tours by high speed train from toronto, canada
Free morning to relax or explore on your own. We board the new high-speed train for Xi'an following a light lunch. The four-hour-forty-minute rail journey cuts through fertile farmland dotted with villages, providing the visitor an excellent way to enjoy the beautiful landscape. The track we travel on is part of the new 2,298 km high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Guangzhou, the longest high-speed rail line in the world. The Chinese for the past 20 years have been on a building spree expanding the country's rail network and upgrading existing railways. This new rail service rivals France's GTV and Japan's "shinkansen" in terms of speed, comfort, cleanliness and onboard facilities. (B/L/D)

Day 7/Wed: Xi'an
Eastern terminus of the fabled Silk Road and one of the ancient capitals of China, Xi'an is home to the world famous
Terracotta Army.
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Morning visit to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Built on the excavation site, the museum is located 30km east of the city. Designed to follow the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) into eternity, the Terra Cotta Army represents one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th Century.

After lunch at a restaurant near the museum, we proceed to a village to visit some old cave dwellings called yao dong in Chinese. This is a particular form of earth shelter dwelling common in the Loess Plateau in China's north. They are generally carved out of a hillside or excavated horizontally from a central sunken courtyard.

We return to the city for a stroll (or bicycle ride if you are up to the challenge) on the ancient city wall. The wall, declared national treasure by the State Council in 1961 under the premiership of Zhou Enlai, was started in 1370 during the Ming Dynasty, encircling an area of 14 square kilometres. The wall runs 13.7 kilometres long and measures 12 metres in height and 15 to 18 metres in thickness at the base.

Tonight we enjoy a spectacular music and dance show reminiscent of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), a period generally considered a golden era of the Chinese civilization. Depending on the season, the theatre could substitute the show with one re-enacting the life of Emperor Qin Shi Huang - the first emperor who unified China. (B/L/D)

Day 8/Thu: Xi'an
Morning sightseeing begins with
Shaanxi Provincial Museum.
The modern, well-organized museum was completed in 1992 and traces the history of Xi'an from prehistory to Qing dynasty (1644-1911). small group tours to china from canada, torontoThe extensive galleries and exhibitions offer the visitor an excellent introduction to the area that greatly improves understanding of the numerous historical sites in and around the city.

We then visit the ancient grand mosque in the old town centre and the adjacent Muslim bazaar.

We spend the afternoon learning Chinese calligraphy and watercolor painting with a local master. If you are more interested in Chinese cooking, we can arrange a class for you at cost. (B/L)

Day 9/Fri: Xi'an - Guilin luxury china tours
Free morning to explore on your own. We recommend Bell Tower and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. You can reach both by Subway Line 2, which has a stop right next door to our hotel. Bell Tower is 3 stops away (8 minutes). The pagoda is 7 stops away plus a short taxi ride at the other end which costs about 15 Yuan (less than $3).

After a light lunch featuring authentic local cuisine, we drive one hour to the city of Xianyang, where the airport is located, to visit one of the highlights of the trip - Han Yang Ling Mausoleum. This is the site of the joint tomb of Emperor Jingdi (188 BC - 141 BC), the fourth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty, and his Empress Wang. Objects unearthed from the 200 odd burial pits are on display and they include armored warrior figures with weapons, elegant palace maids with Han costumes, and countless animals with vivid expressions. The Han Yang Ling Mausoleum, which shows no sign of ever being robbed, serves as tangible evidence in the research of burial customs and civilization of the Han Dynasty.

Late afternoon flight to Guilin. A small city by Chinese standard, Guilin has long been renowned for its unique scenery. The name Guilin literally means "forest of sweet osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant sweet osmanthus trees in the city. (B/L)

Day 10/Sat: Guilin (Li River cruise) Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo
We begin today with a five-hour cruise down the Li River. The 83km stretch of the river between Guilin and Yangshuo affords breathtaking scenery as the river snakes through tall karst mountains, gigantic bamboo sprays, and picturesque villages -- sights that have inspired countless poets and painters for generations.
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We disembark in Yangshuo after lunch and drive back to Guilin. We stop by a village en route. (B/L)

Day 11/Sun: Guilin
Morning at leisure. A walk along the Li River in front of the hotel is a wonderful way to soak in the beauty and tranquility of this lovely city.

We gather in the lobby in mid-afternoon to set out for the Reed Flute Cave. Created by an underground river more than half a million years ago, Reed Flute Cave, which served as an air raid shelter during World War II, is a karst cavern of stalactites and stalagmites. Resembling the set of a science fiction movie, the cave is bathed in artificial purple-blue light.

On the way back to the hotel we'll climb the scenic Fubo Hill (63 metres). Those not interested can be driven back to the hotel, which is only 2 kilometres away. (B/D)

Optional Longji Excursion
You may forgo all of the above activities and choose this physically challenging excursion instead. Located about 80km (2 hours drive) from Guilin, Longji is famous for its terraced rice fields. Built by the local farmers of different ethnic groups from Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) to Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the fields spread 500 meters from the foot of Mount Longji to the mountaintop covering an area of 66 square kilometres. escorted china tours from toronto, ottawa

The scenery is at its best in early May (planting) and late September (prior to harvesting). There's not much to look at between mid-October and late April. During the summer, the hike up the hill in high heat and humidity can be too much to bear for many.

Price will be confirmed once we find out how many would be interested. The cost including lunch can be anywhere between $55 and $120 per person depending on the number of participants.  At Laurus Travel's discretion, the excursion may not be offered. The tour price does not include this because the excursion is too seasonal and it's not suitable for all travellers.

Day 12/Mon: Guilin - Shanghai luxury china tours
Morning flight to Shanghai. Before 1949, Shanghai was widely known in the West as a city of quick riches and paradise of the adventurers. After four decades of anemic growth in a state planned economy, Shanghai is roaring back to recapture its position on the world stage. With a population of 23 million and rapid economic expansion in the last 20 years, Shanghai has again become a leading global city with significant influence in commerce, culture, finance, media, fashion, technology and transport.

Our sightseeing this afternoon begins with a visit to Jade Buddha Temple, followed by a walk on the Bund - a waterfront promenade famous for its landmark neoclassical buildings of European style. (B/L/D)

Day 13/Tue:  Shanghaichina travel tours from canada for canadians
Today's schedule takes in Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden in the old town centre, and a walking tour of French Concession (extra-jurisdictional territory from 1849 to 1946). Evening entertainment is a dazzling acrobatic show. (B/L/D)

Day 14/Wed: Shanghai
Today is a free day to explore on your own. Our recommendations include Jinmao Tower and the popular evening cruise on Huangpu River to enjoy the city's spectacular neon-lit skyline. The new bullet train system has made it possible to explore a number of popular tourist destinations near Shanghai, such as Hangzhou and Nanjing, without overnight stay. If you need assistance on this, please ask your guide. (B)

Day 15/Thu: Shanghai - Return to Toronto
Spend the morning packing and relaxing. Transfer to the airport by Maglev train to board return flight departing in the afternoon. Re-cross the International Date Line and arrive home the same day. (B)

Now that you have read through the itinerary, please follow the link below for current departures and prices. We are ready to make you a special offer with air from Toronto.

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