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Budget China Tours

We designed 2021 cheap China tours for travelers who are on a limited budget so they may enjoy the fun of a hassle-free trip that is affordable. In our budget friendly tours, we offer guided tour services to some must-see sights that are not easily accessible in each city, and arrange some free days for you to explore the urban scenic spots at your own pace. Our well-located hotels provide great convenience.

Cheap China Tours for Budget Travelers

China In-depth Budget Tours

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    Budget Group Day Trips

    Independent Travelers

    With practical advice on places to go and the appropriate means of transport, our China backpacking routes tell you how to take cheap local bus, taxi, subway and even a certain exit of a metro. We are also ready to support you with our service for flight/ train bookings!

    Independent Train Travel

    Traveling in China by train can be the cheapest and the best way to experience the real China with a lower budget.

    More Cheap China City Tours

    FAQs on Independent Travel

    Is it possible to travel in China without a guide, especially for first-time visitors? Is it safe?

    An independent tour to China is totally workable. With our comprehensive information, hundreds of thousands of independent travelers have successfully taken budget tours to China from US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, German and many others. You can arrange the itinerary based on your own preferences and the convenient public transport can make your trip easy and efficient. China is one of the safest countries in the world, but you still need to avoid taking private cars or going to undeveloped sites.

    Can you recommend top 3 independent tour itineraries?

    B-101: Beijing - Xian - Shanghai
    B-103: Beijing - Shanghai - Xian - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guangzhou - Hong Kong
    B-106: Beijing - Xian - Lijiang - Kunming - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin

    Are the above routes all self-guided? Can you help me book train tickets or flights?

    You can travel on your own following any of our independent cheap tours to China, and we can book train tickets or flights, and do airport and train station pick-up for you with minimum service fee. If you want guided day trips, you can also feel free to contact us.

    Which is more convenient for intercity travel, train or flight?

    It is suggested you take a high speed train if the travel time is less than 5 or 6 hours, as the trains between major cities are frequently scheduled and the railway stations are usually in the downtown area with easy access. However, for a longer journey, a flight is more convenient to save you from the long-time fatigue you may experience on a train.

    How far in advance should I book the tickets for trains, flights, or buses?

    For train tickets, the answer is 'as early as possible', for there is usually a ticket shortage especially during holidays. If you book with an agency like us, you can submit the reservation once your travel date is decided; even if it is months or a year later. If you want to buy the tickets on your own, note that sales on the official website starts 30 days before the train's departure date, and at the railway stations 28 days before.
    It is suggested that flight tickets are bought one month before when there is usually a discount. Generally, bus tickets are easy to buy at the bus station, so a reservation is not necessary.

    How about the urban public transport? Which is better, subway or bus? Are taxis convenient and affordable?

    Public bus is a common vehicle reaching every corner of the city. In big cities, subway is more convenient to avoid traffic jams and save time. Sometimes when there is no direct bus or subway to your destination, taxi is a wise and affordable choice – CNY8-15 for the first 2 or 3 kilometers and about CNY2 for each extra kilometer.

    Is it easy to find a hotel or should I book in advance?

    It is quite easy to find star-rated hotels, chain hotels, hostels, and inns in most cities. Even in some rural areas, you can find family hostels to spend the night. A reservation is not a must on ordinary days, but you can book one week in advance to ensure a room with satisfactory conditions. An early reservation is terribly necessary during holidays, especially the National Day Holiday from Oct. 1 to 7.

    I cannot speak Chinese. Is it ok? Do Chinese people understand simple English?

    It is ok for non-Chinese speakers. You can see English instructions at airports, train stations, subway stations, road signs, and scenic areas. Most young people in China can speak simple English. You can ask them for help if needed. Some translation apps can also be helpful.

    How much does it cost to travel in China? Where can I exchange money? Is it common to pay by cash or credit card?

    For a budget independent traveler, a daily cost of USD120-150 is needed to cover the expense of sightseeing, dining, transportation, and accommodation. It is suggested you exchange for CNY at Bank of China or airports as attractions, hotels, and restaurants in China don't accept foreign currency. You can withdraw cash either at the bank counters or ATM machines which have the same symbols as your card. Union Pay credit cards are widely used in China. In some large shopping malls in major cities, credit cards of Visa and MasterCard are acceptable.

    Where are the best shopping places, for clothes, electronic devices, and specialties like silk?

    Beside branded products in big department stores, it is also a good choice to go to shopping streets, such as Wangfujing Street in Beijing, and Nanjing Road in Shanghai. Guangzhou is a famous wholesale center for clothes, shoes, and bags; Yiwu has China's largest small commodity market; Shenzhen and Hong Kong are best places to buy electronic products; Hangzhou abounds with traditional Chinese silk products.
    • Customer Reviews
    • Questions & Answers
      4.6115 Reviews
      Jan Van
      Posted on August 09, 2020
      I booked the budget China tour via the internet in a hurry. But the TravelChinaGuide was so professional. It was very pleasant to obtain an answer so fast to every question. They gave us very good information and advice. Great thanks!
      New Zealand
      Posted on July 28, 2020
      Our budget China tour was far beyond expectations! I would like to recommend my friends to choose this tour for its good itinerary. We were guided to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Army. This time we had a chance to know more about China. The guides’ introductions were thorough and profound! We liked it very much. We also had time to explore by ourselves. The kind guides gave us much advice. Cool!!!
      Posted on July 12, 2020
      We met a group of excellent guides on our 12 days private China tour! We had a lot of fun on our budget tour. We had a nice itinerary and perfectly missed the rush hour!! Giving the praises to them! The hotels we stayed in had good service. But one hotel did disappoint me: it was in Xi'an. I had no hot water in my shower. The A/C didn't work properly. Although it was settled, at last, it affected my good mood…In short, my trip was great!
      Posted on June 28, 2020
      With a full itinerary arranged, our tour guides led us to visit classic Chinese historical sites in Beijing and Xi’an, such as Forbidden City, Mutianyu Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors. It was worthwhile to visit so many spots with focused introductions at a reasonable price. We had a nice travel experience on this budget China tour. Very recommended!
      Posted on June 16, 2020
      I was very happy to have responsible and experienced guides for leading my budget China tour. I traveled to Beijing with my friends last November. We were a little worried about the quality of this budget tour but it turned out that TCG did an excellent job of arranging for us a wonderful itinerary and a valuable experience. It was truly an unforgettable trip to China and it took us a couple of weeks after we returned home to admire all we had seen.
      Posted on May 31, 2020
      Our 4 days small group tour to Beijing was a great success!!!
      Posted on May 17, 2020
      Sara was an experienced and dedicated guide showing us the enchantment of Beijing. The trip was very cost-effective. All we visited were classic scenic spots. The hotels were 4-star, very comfortable. The budget China tour was really worthy of a try!
      United Kingdom
      Posted on May 05, 2020
      It was a delightful China trip - thank you all very much!
      United States
      Posted on April 20, 2020
      The whole booking procedure was super advanced and convenient. Our travel consultant Emily’s response was fast and it was easy to get necessary information via emails. I also received timely care during the trip and we had pleasing communications.

      Our budget China tour brought us a fun and memorable experience. We spent a really great time with Linda in Beijing. She was very funny with good English skills. With great positiveness, she gave us a lot of information both about the trip and China’s culture. Overall, we were taken care of perfectly and the team made this trip very efficient. ... More
      Felix Preston
      Posted on April 07, 2020
      It was really a unique tour experience without a guide! We ordered a 12-day budget China tour on TCG and they made a detailed plan for us. We were given plenty of descriptions about how to get to our hotels and what famous scenic spots we should visit... The whole trip was very exciting because we had enough free time to sightseeing at our own pace. Sometimes we couldn’t find our destination without a guide, but fortunately, our trip was very smooth with the help of the warm Chinese people. All in all, we got an unforgettable trip to China! ... More
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