26 days Grand China tour with Yangtze cruise
This 1 month voyage includes the kitchen think around China. Start at Beijing for its Forbidden City and Great Wall. Followed by a remarkable visit to the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, and a soul-stirring exploration in Lhasa, including experience the Tibetan-sect Buddhism and enjoy the imposing scenery of Tibet. Travel through two famous and magnificent mountains in China, Mount Emei and Huangshan, and take a wonderful cruise along Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. Your China await.
Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China and the first city of more than 10 cities as you prepare to traverse vast China. This 4 week journey is designed to offer any traveler a wide sense to discover China. Anything in this tour can be easily adjusted to suite your personal travel needs.
As you settle into ancient Beijing on the first day take time to rest or just walk around the city. Your local guide will be glad to offer some suggestions on where to go the first night in Beijing.
Have an excursion to three remarkable attractions in Beijing, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven today. After breakfast, drive to Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing city. The square is the largest public square in world, have a glimpse of the Monument to the People's Heroes in the middle, China National Museum on the east side, and the Gate of Heavenly Peace at the north end of the square. Deep behind the gate lies the magnificent Forbidden City, an imperial palace complex for 24 emperors to live during Ming and Qing Dynasty. Forbidden City is one of the earliest attractions which declared as World Heritage Sites in China, and UNESCO acclaimed it as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
In the afternoon, head to the Temple of Heaven, a religious place for the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties to pray to God of Heaven for good harvest. the temple is famous for it's unique triple-gabled circular architectures. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Kong Fu Show and return to your hotel for retire.
Morning drive 2.5 hours to get to the Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the best sections to enjoy the majestic and picturesque sight of Great Wall. Have 2 to 3 hours to explore the Great Wall by walking or taking cable cars. As a Chinese saying goes, He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man, during your visit, you will definitely be astonished by this masterpiece of Chinese ancient people.
After lunch, drive back to Beijing city and enjoy a Hutong tour in Beiluoguoxiang. While visiting, learn about some culture, history, folktales and layout of ancient Hutong in Beijing from your local guide, and experience the real local life of Beijing citizens. In the evening, say farewell to your local guide as you take the overnight train to Xi'an, the train will take about 11 hours.
Arrive Xi'an in the morning, and check into your hotel with the assistance of the local guide. The morning is left free to allow time to wash up from the train ride.
After lunch take a half day sightseeing of the city by visiting Shaanxi History Museum, one of the largest state museums in China. Take note of the unique appearance of the museum, which recalls the Tang Dynasty architectural style before enter the museum. Then discover the ancient Chinese history through more than 300,000 exhibitions on display in the museum.
Afterwards, head the Xi'an City Wall, one of the oldest and best preserved city wall across China. The walls form a rectangle with a perimeter of 14 km. (8 mi.). The last sightseeing today will be Shuyuanmen, a cultural street lined with restored ancient architectures of Ming and Qing Dynasties. The street is jammed with numerous stores selling antiques, four treasures of study (writing bush, ink stick, ink slab and paper) and artworks.
Start today with a mandatory visit to Terracotta Warriors and Horses, one of the several must-see history relics in China. After breakfast, take a short 30 minutes drive into the Xi'an country side to arrival at the Terracotta Warriors. The site is one part of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor's mausoleum, which was used to help the emperor rule in his afterlife. Because of the massive lively clay warriors, horses and chariots which regarded as an incredible project in ancient time, the site is also called as the eighth wonder in world.
After lunch, drive back to Xi'an city and and have a glimpse of Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a major landmark of Xi'an. The pagoda is well preserved as a holy place to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from India. Now it's 64.5 m. (211.6 ft.) high, from the top it offers views over the current city of Xi'an.
Late afternoon, explore the Chinese Muslim culture with a visit to Xi'an Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque. Take in the unique local feeling and observe as evening prayers approach. Dumpling banquet will be offered in the evening, along with a traditional Tang Dynasty Dinner Show.
Morning drive to the airport and say farewell to your local guide and Xi'an. Take the flight to Lhasa, the capital city, as well as the sacred city and spiritual center of Tibet. The rest of today is left free for you to acclimatize the high altitude. Your journey in Tibet will start tomorrow.
Start today's tour with a visit to Potala Palace, a famous landmark of Lhasa in the morning. As it rises 13 stories from the Marpo Ri and contains more than a thousand rooms, the palace, which used to be the chief residence of the Dalai Lama, is an architectural wonder even by modern standards, local people call it the one touching the sky. Afterwards, visit the Jokhang Temple, a 1,300 year-old temple which is considered to be the spiritual center of Tibet. The name Jokhang means the "House of the Buddha" in Tibetan. Then walk along the popular pilgrim circuit - Barkhor that proceeds clockwise around the periphery of the Jokhang Temple. At last, end today's tour by visiting Sera Monastery, one of the "great three" Gelukpa monasteries in Lhasa area. Enjoy a famous Buddhism Scriptures Debating during your visit here.
Morning head to Chushul from where climb up Kamala to Turquiose lake Yamdrok tso. Yamdrok tso is the one of the three scared lakes in Tibet, appears like jasper in a dark blue color. It takes about half an hour driving along the lake shore to the nearest town where you will have an early lunch. Afternoon further follow the southern Friendship highway along the sprawling lakes and bloom glaciers to Gyantse. Gyantse is a small town in Tibet, this typical Tibetan town still keeps its own feature, and it’s a worth for a stop at a trip to Mt. Everest Base Camp. In Gyantse, you will visit the famous Kumbum Stupa, it is about 35m high containing countless Buddha images, it is truly awe-inspiring and one of the most spectacular monuments in Tibet. Afterwards have a look at Phelkor Monastery with its fine paintings and statues, wander through some narrow lanes of old Gyantse town. Late afternoon drive about 1.5 hours to Shigatse. Overnight at Shigatse.
Shigatse is the 2nd largest city in Tibet, one of the highlights in this city is Tashilhunpo monastery which is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the 2nd most important spiritual leader of Tibet. Walk along the monastery kora where you will have the stunning view of the whole Shigatse city. The living local market should also not be missed in Shigatse. In the afternoon, drive back to Lhasa along the Yarlung Tsapong River (about 5 hours), check into your hotel and have a good rest. Overnight at Lhasa.
Morning free explore Lhasa on your own, then Lhasa airport see off and take a flight to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, the flight journey will take about 2 hours over the vast snow capped mountain ranges in the Tibetan Kham high plateaus. Upon arrival, be greeted and assisted to the hotel by your local guide. Chengdu is a famous casual city in China, the rest of today you will explore this city on your own.
Today drive about 2 hours to Mount Emei. The mountain is well-known for its lush mountain scenery and Buddhist relics. Along with Putuoshan, Wutai Shan and Jiuhua Shan, Mount Emei is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China. Upon arrival at Emeishan, you will be arranged to visit Baoguo Temple. After that, take the local sightseeing bus to Leidongping(Lunch will be arranged at Leidongping), afterwards walk about 15 minutes to Jieyin Hall, where you will take the cable car to Golden summit(or you can choose to hike up - around 2 hours). Visit the Huazang temple, Golden summit Buddha Statue. If you are lucky enough, you may see the clouds sea and Buddhist Halo in the late afternoon. Overnight at Jinding Grand Hotel.
Early Morning watch the sunrise at Golden Summit, in a clear day you will also see the Mount Gongga which is the highest peak in Sichuan. Afterwards take the cable car and sightseeing bus down to Baoguo Si bus park, where you will meet your driver and drive to Leshan. In Leshan visit the biggest sitting Buddha sculpture in the Lingyun Temple. The grand Buddha was completed in 803 of Tang Dynasty after 90 year's construction and enjoys the fame of the biggest sitting stone sculpture in the world with a 71-meter height. Carved on the cliff face, the sculpture is well designed with perfect balance and effective water drainage system. You can also choose to have a boat tour to see Leshan Grand Buddha(fee is on your own). Late afternoon transfer back to Chengdu, check into your hotel and rest.
Today you will get up close with the pandas by visiting Chengdu Panda Base. Depart for the panda base in the early morning so that you can observe the morning feeding of adorable pandas. Then spend some time to learn about this rare animal through the Panda Story Cinema. Stroll around the panda center and see other precious animals such as the Red pandas, wild goose, etc. In the afternoon, see off at Chengdu Eastern Train station and take the bullet train to Chongqing (about 2.5 hours). Board the Yangtze River cruise in the late afternoon, cruise starts sailing around 9pm. Yangtze River is China's mightiest and the world's third-longest river. The next three days, enjoy a wonderful cruise along the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Yichang, and have a glimpse of the breathtaking panoramas.
This morning the ship will stop at Fengdu, where you will visit the Ghost City, which is famous for its temple dedicated to the King of the Underworld, an association dating back to the Han Dynasty. Afternoon the cruise will sail through Qutang Gorge.
Morning sail through Wu Gorge, stop at Badong, where you will take a small junk for a close-up view of the breath-taking natural splendors along the Shennong Stream. we are sure you will impressed by the dexterity the team of trackers as they push and haul the wooden sampans over the rapids. Back to the cruise to continue your cruise into the western section of the Xiling Gorge and pass through the five-step ship lock.
Visit the site of Three Gorges Dam Project in the morning, then sail the eastern part of Xiling Gorge, disembark at Yichang around 12:00. To be met at Yichang pier and drive you to Yichang for the flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival at Shanghai airport, to be met and transferred to hotel. Overnight at Shanghai.
Today you will have a full day sightseeing in Shanghai. After breakfast, drive to visit Yu Garden, an iconic sight which is located in the old town of Shanghai city. The garden is famous for it's 500-year history and picturesque landscape. Next to Yu Garden is a market where you can see many shops for selling antiques and souvenirs. Afterwards head to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, where you can learn some scale plans of future shanghai, you will also witness many photographs to show an old Shanghai. Then continue to Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the tallest buildings in world, stroll along the Bund and shopping at the Nanjing road. In the evening, take a cruise along Huangpu River to see the beautiful night scene of Shanghai.
You will have the whole morning to explore Shanghai on your own. Take afternoon flight to Huangshang. Upon arrival, be greeted and assisted to your hotel in Tunxi, an old town located 70km. (43 mi.) southeast of Huangshan. In Tunxi you will be arranged to visit the Tunxi old streets and the Ink Factory.
Huangshan, literally means Yellow Mountain in Chinese, is named after Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor who is considered the progenitor of the Chinese people. According to legend, he once lived on the mountain in search of enlightenment and immortality. Huangshan is famous for four itsfour wonders: the wind-carved pines, spectacular granite peaks, sea of clouds and hot springs. Morning drive about 1 hour to foot of the mountain where you will take the Yuping Cable-car up the Mountain from the western side. A three-and-half-hour hike will take you to sight-see the fantastic and unforgettable views, including the Jade Screen Peak, Welcoming-guest Pine Tree, Lotus Peak, Turtle Peak, Heavenly Sea Pavilion, Bright Top Peak, the Flying-over Rock, the Cloud-dispelling Pavilion and Grand Canyon of the West Sea. Overnight up mountain Baihai Hotel.
Watch the sunrise in the early morning. Sightseeing the Lion's Peak where the "Stone Monkey" is just perched on a peak. You will also visit the Beginning-to-believe Peak before descending the Mountain by Yungu Cable-car on the eastern steps. A short drive to Yixian County - a place praised as the Eden's Garden on earth. You will visit two fantastic villages of Hongcun and Xidi there. They are regarded by many western scholars and experts as a living museum of Chinese traditional residential houses. The Oscar-awarded movie "Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon" was just filmed in Hongcun Village. Back to Tunxi (downtown) in the afternoon where you will catch the express bus to your next travel city - Hangzhou (For bigger groups, we suggest to have a private drive). Overnight at Hangzhou.
Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, is also a famous ancient city in China. This morning, you will take a boat ride in the West Lake, a fantastic sight which has influneced poets and painters throughout the ages for its natural beauty and historical relics, and inspired many Chinese garden designers for its unique layout of the landscape. Afterwards, head to Lingyin Temple, a famous monastery in the Jiangnan region which was founded 1,700 years ago. In the afternoon, take a visit to Six Harmonies Pagoda, which is located at the foot of Yuelun Hill, facing the Qiantang River. The tower was used to calm the tidal bore of Qiantang River. Behind the pagoda you will take a charming walk, through terraces dotted with sculptures, bells, shrines and inscriptions. Your last sightseeing today will be the Meijiawu Tea Plantation and Tea Shop, to explore the ancient tea culture in Hangzhou. In the late afternoon or evening, drive to the airport and say farewell to your local guide, take the flight to Guilin. Guilin airport pick up and check into hotel.
After breakfast in the morning, drive to Zhujiang pier and take a cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo. The cruise journey lasts for 4 hours, which will give you an opportunity to see the most beautiful landscape in China, have lunch on board. Afternoon in Yangshuo, you may choose to have a short bicycle trip to the countryside of Yangshuo ( having a battry cart ride is also an option if you do not like riding bicycle). While in the countrysie, pay a visit to a local farmer's house to feel the real local life of Chinese peasants.
Morning free explore Yangshuo on your own. Early afternoon drive back to Guilin and have a half day tour in Guilin City. First, head to Reed Flute Cave, a natural limestone cave which is already 180 million years old. Have a glimpse of the large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in their weird and wonderful shapes, uniquely presented with multicolored lighting in the cave. Afterwards, take a visit to Elephant Trunk Hill, regarded as the famous landmark of Guilin. The hill got its name as it looks like an elephant drinking from the water. Then head to Pearl Culture Shop. Guilin is an important place to grow and sell pearls. In fact, it's a processing place for all the pearls which are cultivated and transferred in the clean waters of the South China Sea off the coast of Guangxi province. Here you will learn about how to tell the difference between real and fake pearls.
Morning drive to the airport and take the flight to Hong Kong. Upon arrival, Check into your hotel with the help of your local guide. then spend the rest of today to explore and go shopping on your own.
Today you will have a half day tour to see the highlights of Hongkong. First head to the Victoria Peak located in the western half of Hong Kong island. Atop of the mountain you will witness a spectacular view of the city and its harbors. Then take a visit to Repulse Bay in the south of Hong Kong island to look across this busy water way at Kowloon Island and more. Afterwards, you will go to Stanley Market, an open-air market in Hong Kong which already has a long history, here you will see many shops for selling souvenirs. Then drive across to Deep Water Bay to visit the Aberdeen Area. This place is famous to tourists for its fish village, which is located within the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelters. We can help find a perfect restaurant to enjoy a fresh catch of the delicious local seafood here. The afternoon is open and flexible for you to explore Hong Kong on your own. As a shopping Mecca where you can find just about anything your heart desires, so go shopping if you dare, or wander along the narrow neon lit streets in Central all within Hong Kong island.
As your Hong Kong guide says farewell in the morning you will be driven to the airport for your departure. Hong Kong airport is an important place for international flights, Wish you have a pleasant journey home.