13 days China highlights tour with Yangtze River cruise
This tour balances a historical experience in two ancient cities of China and a memorable Yangtze Three Gorges cruise. Start in Beijing, explore the cultural heritages including the Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors. Followed by seeing the endless natural scenery as you sail through the Three Gorges on Yangtze River. End this amazing cruise with a visit to the world's largest dam, Three Gorges Dam. More awaits in this journey!
Upon arrive at the Beijing Capital Airport or Railway Station, be met and assisted to your hotel by the Beijing tour guide and driver. Rest of the day is on your own to explore this capital city.
Be arranged to visit Tiananmen Square - the largest public square in the world and Forbidden City - magnificent imperial Palaces of Ming and Qing dynasties for almost 500 years. Afterwards head to the Temple of Heaven, a place where the Emperors prayed for peace and harvest.
After lunch, drive to visit Summer Palace, originally a royal garden and a temporary dwelling palace for emperors of Qing dynasty. On the way back, go to the Fresh-water pearl market for a good bargain. In the evening enjoy the Kong Fu show after dinner. Overnight at Beijing.
Morning excursion to the most beautiful section of the Great Wall - the Mutianyu Great Wall. The hike takes about 2 to 3 hours. After lunch drive to visit Changling, one of the 13 Ming Tombs of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Drive back to your hotel, rest on your own.
After breakfast, drive to Shichahai Area - the old part of Beijing, first you will have one hour tour of a 300 years old courtyard. With the help of your English speaking tour guide, the housekeeper of the yard will give you a detailed explanation of the old courtyard (Siheyuan) - its history, its layout, its Fengshui, and its traditional Chinese culture involved. Then have about 1.5 hour the richshaw tour driving through the narrow alleys (Hutong) to experience the real life of local Beijing residents.Two people share one rickshaw. Drop off at the Silver Ingot Bridge (Yinding Bridge) and walk along the 800-year old Yandai Xiejie (Tobacco Pipe Lean Street) to the Drum Tower. Visit the big drum tower and have a great view of the surrounding hutongs and traditional courtyards.
Afterwards, head to the Olympic Green to have an outside look at the Bird's Nest and Water Cube. After lunch, transfer to Beijing airport for the flight to Xi'an. Upon arrival at Xi'an, to be met and transferred to your hotel.
Today make an excursion to see the extraordinary 2,200 years old Terracotta Warriors of China's first Emperor- Qin Shihuang, discovered in 1974 by farmers while digging a well. This archeological excavation site is a stunning exhibit of more than 7,000 ancient life-size terracotta statues of soldiers, officers, horses, chariots, and other artifacts.
After lunch, drive back to the city, visit the Great Mosque and have some free time to explore for some souvenirs or antiques in the Bazaar near the Mosque. In the evening after the local specialty - Dumpling Banquet as dinner, enjoy the splendid Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show.
Morning half day tour is arranged to visit Shaanxi Historic Museum, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and Xi'an City Wall (the best preserved in the world), afterwards have a wander on the famous Shuyuan Men Culture Street to appreciate the delicate traditional art crafts. After lunch, transfer to Xi'an airport for the flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival at Chengdu airport, to be met and transferred to your hotel.
After breakfast, head to the Chengdu Panda Base to see the adorable pandas. You can catch the feeding time and spend some time to get close with these pandas. As you may know, panda is one of the rarest animals which can be seen only in Sichuan Province mountain ranges in central China and cultivation centers like the Chengdu Panda Base.
Afternoon take the bullet train to Chongqing, upon arrival, you will be ready to get on the luxury cruise at Chongqing Pier. At 22:00 your memorable Yangtze River begins.
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 breathtaking 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 the 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 picking up and transfer to your hotel.
Today you will be arranged to visit Shanghai Museum, the first museum in China that meets international exhibition standard. It is in the possession of a collection of 123,000 cultural artifacts in 21 categories, mainly the exhibitions of painting, bronze, sculpture, ceramics, calligraphy, jade, Ming and Qing Dynasty furniture, coins, seals, and ethnic artwork. The bronze collection is said to be the best in world.
Afterwards, head to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower which is standing by the Huangpu River with a height of 468 meters, it is the highest TV Tower in Asia (up to the last floor to see Shanghai scenery), a new landmark of Shanghai in 21st century; Afterwards drive to visit Yu Garden at the Old Quarter. It was built by the Pan family in the Ming Dynasty. Now it has been restored and become one of the most popular tourist sights in Shanghai. In the evening arrange you to stroll along the Nanjing Road to reach the famous Bund area along the Huangpu River. Overnight at Shanghai.
Today is free to explore Shanghai on your own. You may spend the day shopping or just walking around to get a better understanding of Shanghai.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight to the next destination.
Notice that Shanghai has two airports: Hongqiao Airport and Pudong Airport. Please make sure you go to the right one for departure.