26 days Grand China tour with Yangtze cruise

⇀ Xi'an
⇀ Lhasa
⇀ Gyantse
⇀ Shigatse
⇀ Chengdu
⇀ Mount Emei
⇀ Chongqing
⇀ Yangtze Cruise
⇀ Hangzhou
⇀ Mount Huangshan
⇀ Shanghai
⇀ Guilin
⇀ Hong Kong
This China tour package provides in-depth insights into China's rich heritage, covering everything from Beijing's historic landmarks & Tibet's unique culture to the breathtaking gorges of Yangtze River and the stunning scenery of Mt. Huangshan.
26 days
1st Time travel to China, Culture and Heritage, Natural scenery, Train travel, Yangtze cruise
Trip code
From CN¥ 30,140 per person
CN¥ 27,400
you save CN¥ 2,740 (10%)
This nearly one-month Grand China tour includes an extensive exploration of China. Begin in Beijing with visits to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, followed by a remarkable visit to the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, and a soul-stirring exploration in Lhasa, including experiencing Tibetan Buddhism and enjoying the imposing scenery of Tibet. Travel through two famous and magnificent mountains in China, Mount Emei and Huangshan, and enjoy wonderful river cruises along the Yangtze River and the Li River to experience the beautiful Chinese river and mountain landscapes. Your China adventure awaits.
Day 01 :
Arrive Beijing

Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China and the first of more than 10 cities you will explore as you prepare to traverse vast China. This 4-week journey is designed to give any traveler a broad opportunity to discover China. Every aspect of this tour can be easily adjusted to suit your personal travel needs.

As you settle into ancient Beijing on the first day, take time to rest or simply walk around the city. Your local guide will be happy to offer some suggestions for places to visit on your first night in Beijing.

Day 02 :
Beijing City Tour (B)

Have an excursion to three remarkable attractions in Beijing, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace today.

Tiananmen Square is the largest public square in the 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. 
After lunch, head to the UNESCO World Heritage Summer Palace, a royal garden. This beautiful garden is covered with spectacular scenery a manmade lake named Kunming that is best overlooked from Longevity Hill (Wanshou  Shan), a place once reserved for the imperial court only. Enjoy the beautiful scene and see the ancient palaces, temples and gardens dating back to the Qing dynasty. The Summer Palace is also well known as one of the four classic gardens in China.
In the evening, you may enjoy a good Roasted Duck dinner at one of the fine restaurants in Beijing or take a Kongfu show (fee is on your own).

Day 03 :
Beijing Mutianyu Great Wall Tour (B)

Morning head to the Temple of Heaven, a religious place for the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties to pray to God of Heaven for a good harvest, the temple is famous for its unique triple-gabled circular architectures.

Then drives 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. Return to Beijing for overnight. 

Day 04 :
Beijing Half Day Tour, then Take High Speed Train to Xi'an (B)

Afterwards enjoy a cultural experience - 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 afternoon, take the high-speed train to Xi'an (about 5 hours). Upon arrival in Xián, to be picked up and transferred to hotel.

Day 05 :
Xi'an City Tour (B)

Morning head to visit Terracotta Warriors and Horses, one of the several must-see history relics in China. It's 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 the world. 

Afternoon, return to Xi'an downtown and visit 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.). Then proceed to 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 brush, ink stick, ink slab, and paper) and artworks. We believe you can always find one piece to bring home for your family.
Today's last stop is Chinese Muslim culture center in Xi'an - Xi'an Muslim Quarter. Take in the unique local feeling and observe as evening prayers approach. It is also a great place to try the local streets snacks

Day 06 :
Fly to Lhasa (3,650m), Rest and Acclimatize (B)

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.

Day 07 :
Lhasa Monasteries Tour - Visit Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery (B)

Today is your first sightseeing day in Lhasa, you will be arranged to visit two renowned monasteries: Drepung Monastery in the morning and Sera Monastery in the afternoon.

Drepung Monastery was once the world's largest and the governmental seat before the Potala Palace, historically housed up to 10,000 monks. It's renowned for its significant role in Tibetan culture, religion, and education.

Sera Monastery is another the great Gelug university monasteries of Tibet. Renowned for its lively monk debates between 3 pm to 5 pm (daily except on Sunday) on Buddhist philosophy, the monastery is an important center for learning and culture.Your guide will provide a detailed explanation of how Tibetan monks participate in debates to acquire knowledge and progress in their academic studies.

The rest of the day is yours to explore freely on your own.

Day 09 :
Another Lhasa City Tour - Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street (B)

In the morning start your Lhasa city highlight tour to visit Potala Palace. It is most renowned as the residence of the lineage of Dalai Lamas (Avalokiteshvara), though the massive structure contains a small world within itself. It was first built by 33rd ruler of his dynasty, King Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century, but still is in surprisingly good repair because of continual rejuvenation projects.

Then proceed to visit Jokhang temple, it is the most scared building in Tibetan Buddhism, located in the heart of Lhasa old town. It is the most sought after pilgrimage destination for all Tibetans.
The Barkhor Street, a renowned Kora (holy walking path) encircling the Jokhang Temple, is constantly bustling with Tibetan faithful. Visitors will discover the unique experience of mingling with local pilgrims along Barkhor Street. It also serves as a vibrant shopping district, offering the perfect opportunity to purchase gifts for your loved ones.

Following your sightseeing adventures, join your guide at one of Lhasa's most vibrant Tibetan sweet tea houses. Here, you can enjoy sipping traditional Tibetan sweet tea while sitting among local Tibetans. Your guide will provide valuable insights into Tibetan social dynamics and daily life, offering a deeper understanding of the culture.

Day 09 :
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse (3,840m), 360KM, 6-7 hours drive (B)

Morning head to Chushul from where climb up Kamala to Turquoise lake Yamdrok Tso. Yamdrok Tso is one of the three sacred 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 to 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, you will visit the famous Kumbum Stupa here, 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 drives about 1.5 hours to Shigatse for overnight.

Day 10 :
Shigatse - Lhasa airport, 240Km, 4-5 hours drive, Fly to Chengdu (B)

Shigatse is the second-largest city in Tibet, and one of the city's highlights is the Tashilhunpo Monastery, which serves as the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader in Tibet. Walking along the monastery's kora, you will have a stunning view of the entire Shigatse city. The Shigatse lively local market should also not be missed today.

Afterwards, drive to Lhasa airport along the Yarlung Tsangpo River for about a 4-hour journey. You will catch the late afternoon flight to Chengdu, with a 2-hour flight journey over the vast, snow-capped mountain ranges of the Tibetan Kham high plateaus.
Upon arrival, you will be greeted and assisted to your hotel by your local guide. Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere. Here, you can visit the Panda Breeding and Research Center to see Giant Pandas and enjoy delicious local food.

Day 11 :
Chengdu - Mount Emei (Golden Summit) (B)

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), afterward, 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 Golden Summit Hotel. 

Day 12 :
Mount Emei - Leshan Grand Buddha - Chengdu (B)

Early Morning watches the sunrise at Golden Summit, in a clear day you will also see the Mount Gongga which is the highest peak in Sichuan. Afterward 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.

Day 13 :
Chengdu Panda Base - High speed Train to Chongqing - Board the Yangtze Cruise (B)

Today you will get close with the pandas by visiting Chengdu Panda Base. Depart 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 hours). Board the Yangtze River cruise in the late afternoon, the cruise starts sailing around 9 pm. 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. 

Day 14 :
Yangtze River Cruise with Shore Excursions to Mountain Shuanggui or Shibaozhai Wooden Pagoda (B, L, D)

Taking a Yangtze River Cruise might be the best way to explore the breathtaking natural landscapes and cultural heritage along the Yangtze River.

Morning take a shore excursion to Mountain Shuanggui near Fengdu. Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion may be substituted to Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda. Continue the cruise on Yangtze River. Dinner and Supper are offered on board. 

Optional shore excursions today (fee on your own): 
Depending on the river conditions, there is an optional shore excursion to Fengdu ghost city, Fengdu is an ancient town where you can experience the world of the afterlife in Chinese ghost folktales. Wreathed with numerous statues and interspersed by temples, the whole scenic area is a treasure house of art that combines the culture of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. 

Day 15 :
Yangtze River Cruise - Enter the Three Gorges with Small Gorges of Goddess Stream (B,L,D)

Enjoy the endless scenery of the Three Gorges today!

Enter the Three Gorges/“Small Gorges” – Enter the Three Gorges, one of nature’s most extraordinary sculptures. Today you will pass through the first two—Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Qutang Gorge is the shortest (5 miles), narrowest (500 feet), and most dramatic. The 25-mile long Wu Gorge is known for its quiet beauty, forest-covered mountains, and cliffs so sheer that the sun barely penetrates the precipices. Transfer to another vessel for a relaxing excursion through the attractive gorges of Goddess Stream. Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion may be substituted to the gorges of Shennong Stream. Enter Xiling Gorge, the longest (41 miles), and deepest of the Three Gorges.

Optional shore excursions today (fee on your own): 
 (Available in the morning, river conditions permitting) to White Emperor City an ancient city overlooking the western end of Qutang Gorge.

Day 16 :
Yangtze River Cruise - Visit Three Gorges Dam - Fly to Hangzhou (B)

Disembark this morning and take a tour of the Three Gorges Dam, the grandest hydroelectric project in the world, which spans the Yangtze River at Sandouping in Xiling Gorge. The dam is designed to provide a huge source of hydropower for China and control the flood. After morning sightseeing, You will be provided a motor coach transfer to nearby Yichang by Cruise company. Upon arrival at Yichang, to be met and drove to Yichang airport for the flight to Hangzhou. Upon arrival at Hangzhou, you will be picked up and transferred to hotel. Overnight at Hangzhou. 

Optional shore excursions today (fee on your own): 

An additional optional shore excursion is also available (preceding the Three Gorges Dam tour) through the recently- completed unique ship lock with a ship lift, the world’s largest.

Day 17 :
Hangzhou City Tour - Train to Mount Huangshan (B)

This morning, you will enjoy a boat ride on West Lake, a fantastic sight that has influenced poets and painters throughout the ages for its natural beauty and historical relics, and has inspired many Chinese garden designers with its unique landscape layout. Then, head to Lingyin Temple, a renowned monastery in the Jiangnan region, founded 1,700 years ago.

In the afternoon, visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda, located at the foot of Yuelun Hill and facing the Qiantang River. The tower was used to calm the tidal bore of the Qiantang River. Behind the pagoda, you will enjoy a charming walk through terraces dotted with sculptures, bells, shrines, and inscriptions.

In the late afternoon or evening, drive to the train station for your high-speed train journey to Tunxi (about 1.5 hours train journey). Upon arrival, you will be met and assisted to your hotel in Tunxi, an old town located 20 km southeast of Huangshan. After settling down, explore the old streets of Tunxi on your own.

Day 18 :
Day tour to Mount Huangshan (B)

Mount 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 its four wonders: the wind-carved pines, spectacular granite peaks, the sea of clouds and hot springs. 

Morning drive about 1 hour to the 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 Xihai Hotel.

Day 19 :
Mount Huangshan - Train to Shanghai (B)

Watch the sunrise at Mount Huangshan 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. Return to Tunxi (downtown) in the afternoon where you will catch the high-speed train to your next travel city - Shanghai (about 2.5-3 hours train ride). Overnight at Shanghai.

Day 20 :
Shanghai City Tour (B)

Explore Shanghai's vibrant essence that starts at Shanghai Tower, the city's tallest building offering breathtaking panoramic views of Shanghai's skyline, you will also visit Duo Yun Bookstore, on the 52nd floor. After that, move to the tranquil Yuyuan Garden, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and offers a glimpse into classical Chinese garden design. Follow this with a visit to the bustling Yuyan Bazaar, where you can see many shops for selling antiques and souvenirs. Then move onto Xintiandi in the French Concession, where old meets new. Then experience the historical elegance of the Bund along the Huangpu River, and your tour will ends at Nanjing Road, where offers a lively shopping experience. In the evening you might consider to enjoy a spectacular Chinese Acrobatics show (available only on weekends) or take an evening cruise along the Huangpu River to enjoy the night view of the Bund (additional fee). Overnight stay in Shanghai.


Day 21 :
One Day Excruision to Tongli Water Town near Shanghai, Fly to Guilin (B)

In the morning, you will be driven to Tongli Water Town near Suzhou, an ancient town with over 1,000 years of history, the town boasts picturesque waterways, bridges, classical gardens and ancient architecture. Enjoy exploring the town by walking along its narrow alleys. An optional tour by boat can be arranged along its tranquil canals to enjoy the town's peaceful ambiance (additional fee is required). Afterwards head to Shanghai airport for the flight to Guilin. Guilin airport pick up and transfer to hotel. Overnight at Guilin.

Day 22 :
Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, Yangshuo countryside tour (B/L)

Spend morning comfortably cruising along the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. The Li River is one of the most beautiful rivers in China, offering scenic views of beautiful waters and majestic mountains along the way to Yangshuo. The cruise journey takes around 4 hours, with lunch served on board.

Upon arriving in Yangshuo, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you can choose to enjoy the beautiful countryside views along the Yulong River by riding a bicycle or bamboo rafting (please note that the bamboo rafting fee is not included). You will also have the opportunity to experience rural life in China and visit a local family during the tour. Overnight at Yangshuo.

Day 23 :
Yangshuo - Longsheng Rice Terraces (B)

Morning hotel pick up and drive about 40 minutes to visit Xianggong hill (Husband Mountain), it takes about 15 minutes to the top of the hill where you will be amazed by the breathtaking view of Li River and the surrounded Karst mountain peaks. Then head to Longji Rice Terraces for the splendid rice terraces and local ethnic minority villages, the drive takes roughly 3 hours, on the way enjoy the nice mountain range views. Spend whole afternoon to hike around at the Ping’an village to enjoy the rice terraces views and visit local minority villages. There are several hiking trails that you can choose depending on your physical condition, it could last from 1 hour up to 3 hours. So just tell your guide what you want, then he can recommend you the options. Overnight at Ping’an village.

Day 24 :
Return to Guilin, High speed Train to Hong Kong (B)

Morning spend more time to explore Longji Rice Terraces, then drive back to Guilin train station and take the afternoon high speed train station to Hong Kong (about 3.5 hours train ride). 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. 

Day 25 :
Half Day Guided Hong Kong Tour

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 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 waterway at Kowloon Island and more.

Afterward, 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. 

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.

Day 26 :
Depart from Hong Kong

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.

Tour notes:

Please note prices are based in CNY.

General inclusions:

2 bottles of mineral water provided daily.
All required government taxes and fees.
Your selection of 3, 4 or 5 Stars hotel (shared twin room, private bathroom and daily breakfast)
The hotel accommodation is based on two persons sharing one standard twin room with private facilities in all relevant locations. If a single client requests a twin room alone, the single room supplement will be charged.
All entrance tickets as noted in the tour's itinerary.
Guide fluent in English, Chinese or Japanese that is certified by the state tourism build and from the local community. (If your native language is not listed please let us know, we are certain we can assist your needs.)
Airport and/or train station pick-up and drop-off.
All domestic flight and train tickets. Economy-class for flights and soft sleeper / seat for train tickets.
Transportation will we be provided via a comfortable and clean car, minivan or tourist bus depending upon the groups size.
Meals as remarked in the itinerary. (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

General exclusions:

Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, internet access, fax, telephone calls etc.
Tips for your guide and driver.
Optional Attractions that are not specified in the itinerary.
Flight and/or railway ticket(s) to the first city of the tour and departure from the last city of the tour.
Meals not specified in the itinerary.

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rudi tettke
rudi tettke
Tue, 11/18/2014

Good afternon, I am planning a trip like this one with my wife. I am 66 years old, fit and healthy and so is my wife she is 51 years old. Important for us is clear weather for photography. When is the best time of the year to do this tour then in 2015?? Perhaps two seasons would be recommendable to us. Please advise price. Do you handle all visas and permits for the entire tour. We can obtain visa for china here in australia. How big is the group??? Do we visit the base camp of Mt. Everest and stay there overnight??? Thank you for your reply. Regards Rudi