15 days Essence of China with Yangtze River cruise tour
Travel from Beijing to Shanghai, stopping in 5 cities to visit their famous attractions along the way. This tour includes a Yangtze River Cruise tour experience. Be impressed by the unique and splendid scenery while sailing through the Three Gorges. More awaits as you disembark at Fengdu to learn about the unique ghost culture and visit the world's largest dam. Top services on board are provided to make your journey memorable.
Your Yangtze Cruise tour starts in Beijing, the capital of China. It is a historical city where you can see the majestic Great Wall and explore the real traditional culture of China. Upon arrival, Be greeted by your local guide and driver as they will drive you to the downtown hotel. The rest of the day is open and flexible for your to walk around for the first impression of this city.
Spend the whole day to visit three highlights in Beijing city: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven. As the first sight in the morning, Tiananmen Square is almost synonymous with Beijing. Located in the heart of Beijing city, the square is worth a visit not just for its historical significance, but also for its size of being the largest public square in the world, which can accommodate up to a million people to hold ceremonies. Spend some time to walk around the square before you head to the north end and see the entrance of the Forbidden City.
Forbidden City once was the center of the imperial power and national politics during Ming and Qing dynasties. The majestic stone walkways and complex wooden structures reveal a power of both imperial and divine. According to the historical records, most parts of this imperial palace have been rebuilt several times because of the fire, so you can see lots of urns in all parts of the Forbidden City. They were kept filled with water in case of fire.
After lunch, drive to the Temple of Heave, a religious place for the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties to pray to God of Heaven for good harvest. According to the traditional culture, the unique triple-gabled circular architectures in the garden symbolize the heaven in ancient China. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Kong Fu Show and return to your hotel for retire.
Make a day excursion to Mutianyu, one of the best sections to see the magnificent Great Wall. The drive takes about 2.5 hours. Once get there, spend 2 to 3 hours to hike along the Great Wall and view the breathtaking scenery. Being one of the notable masterpieces of Chinese ancient architectures, Great Wall served as a northern barrier to defend the capital and Chinese imperial tombs for thousands of years. While standing atop of the watchtowers and seeing the wall winding its way across endless mountains, you still can feel its historical mission today. During your visit, cable car is also available for those who require assistance in reaching the summit of the wall or just do not feel like walking up.
Drive back to Beijing city after you have lunch, stop at Changling for a couple hours' visit. Changling is the largest and best preserved one among the 13 Ming Tombs. It is the resting place for the third emperor of Ming dynasty. Afterwards, drive back to the hotel and prepare for the next day of your tour in Beijing.
Start today with a visit to the Summer Palace, which is an imperial garden built during Qing dynasty. During the visit, immerse yourself in the spectacular landscape design and architectures, which combines the natural scenery of rolling hills and open waterways with many elegant pavilions, temples and bridges.
Next up, explore the ancient Hutong culture by heading to the Shichahai Area. Here you can see a 300 years old courtyard and learn about its history and layout with the help of your English speaking tour guide. Afterwards, experience the local life by taking the rickshaw through Hutongs. In the late afternoon, say farewell to your Beijing local guide as you drive to the airport for the Flight to Xi'an. Your historical tour in Xi'an will start tomorrow.
After breakfast, drive to the Terracotta Warriors which is located in the northeast countryside of Xi'an. Regarded as the Eighth Wonder of World, Terracotta Warriors has attracted millions of travelers every year since it was first excavated by a local farmer in 1974. It is a magical experience to see thousands of subterranean life-size army standing guard over the soul of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang for over 2,000 years.
In the afternoon, drive back to Xi'an city for a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is a preserved ancient building to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from India. See a spectacular fountain show and take some photos as you walk by the square to the pagoda. The last part of the tour today is to explore the Muslim culture in Xi'an. Learn about the Islam with a visit to the Great Mosque, one of the largest mosque in China and experience the local life of Hui (Chinese Muslim) people by walking around the Muslim Quarters.
In the evening, end the trip today by enjoying a Tang Dynasty Dinner Show along with the Dumpling Dinner.
Continue your journey in Xi'an today by heading to the Shaanxi History Museum, which is one of the largest modern national museum to house the best heritage of Shaanxi Province. Learn about the systematic development process of Chinese civilization from your guide while seeing these exhibitions in the museum. As you leave the museum for the next sight, notice that the entire building complex of the museum assumes the architectural features of the Tang Dynasty.
Afterwards, take a walk along the Xi'an City Wall, one of the oldest and best preserved city wall in China. Followed by a visit to Shuyuan Men, a place that jammed with many shops for selling delicate traditional art crafts. After lunch, you will be driven to the airport for the flight to Guilin, a famous city with beautiful landscapes.
After breakfast, be picked up at your hotel for the drive to Longshen. The drive takes about 2.5 hours, upon arrival, head to the Dazhai Jinkeng Rice Terraces, which is the home of Yao minority in Guangxi province. The magnificent terraces are everywhere covering an area of 22 sq. km. (25 sq. mi.) and climb from the lowest at 300 m. (980 ft.) up to 1,100 m (6,600 ft.) above sea level. As the seasons change, the terraces take on a shifting colorful aspect, from the silver of spring, to a golden color in the fall.
Visit a Yao village, and a village of the Zhuang ethnic minority as you immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes. Explore the culture and life of the friendly villagers and enjoy their beautiful songs, costumes, and delicious food. You can find the people are the same natural with the unspoiled landscapes here. Late in the afternoon, drive back to Guilin and prepare for the next day.
Drive to the dock of Guilin for the cruise on the Li River to Yangshuo. Li River is regarded as one of the most beautiful rivers in China due to the pure water, picturesque mountains, and simple folkways. This cruise takes 3 to 4 hours, dinner is offered on board.
After arriving in Yangshuo in the afternoon, have a two to three hours bicycle ride into the countryside of Yangshuo, and experience the real local life of Chinese peasants. If you prefer not to ride a bicycle, just let us know and we will prepare an alternative for you.
Head to the airport of Guilin as you take the flight to Chongqing. Upon arrival, spend this afternoon to explore Chongqing on your own. You can easily ask your guide for some suggestions on where to go. In the evening, ready to board the Yangzte River Cruise.
Today is the first day cruising on the Yangtze River, the mightiest and longest river of China. As one of China's mother rivers and an important cradle for Chinese civilization, Yangtze River holds numerous cultural heritages and spectacular landscapes.
Fengdu Ghost City is the first heritage during your cruise. The town is located 170 km. (110 mi.) from Chongqing, forming a unique culture of ghost and afterlife. Learn about the interesting folktales of Chinese ancient ghost culture from your guide during your visit.
Cruising through the Three Gorges is the highlight of today. Start the passage with Qutang Gorge, the shortest but the grandest among three gorges. The majestic peaks and strange shaped rocks can be seen everywhere along the two banks of Yangtze River. Then pass the Wu Gorge, considered to be the most beautiful one where you will have a graceful view of the lofty and misty peaks.
During your visit through Wu Gorge, have a short cruise on Little Three Gorges or take a pea-boat floating along the verdant Shennong Stream (based on the seasons). Then continue sailing into Xiling Gorges, the last section of Three Gorges of the downstream cruise. Xiling gorges is considered to be the most exciting part among three gorges due to the countless reefs, riffles and rocks along with the river.
This morning, stop at the Three Gorges Dam to visit this largest and most magnificent hydroelectric project in world. Then check out from the ship in Yichang at noon. Once you disembark, be greeted and assisted to the airport by our guide for the flight to Shanghai. Get settled into the downtown hotel after your arrival in Shanghai. The rest of today is on your own.
Start today with a visit to Yu Garden in the old town of Shanghai. Compared with the imperial Summer Palace that you visit in Beijing, Yu Garden is an ancient folk garden that presents the architectural features the Southeast region of China. Next to the garden is a market that jammed with many small shops for selling Chinese ancient arts and crafts, walk around here for some good bargains.
Next up with a visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. Learn about the development of modern Shanghai before you head to the Shanghai World Financial Center. Afterwards, come to the Nanjing Road for a walk along the road. See the breathtaking scenery of the Bund or do some shopping. In the evening, experience a short cruise journey on Huangpu River to appreciate different scenes along both sides of the river.
Morning drive to Suzhou, a famous garden city in southeast region of China. The first stop is the Humble Administrator's Garden, a natural and elegant garden that has almost 500 years history. The main feature of Suzhou's gardens is that the landscapes are meticulously designed to make sure the visitors always gain surprises. During your visit, you will have no idea what the surprise you will see next while walking in the garden. Afterwards, have a cruise on the Grand Canal, the longest canal or artificial river in the world.
In the afternoon, take a visit to the Lingering Garden, another ancient garden in Suzhou. Be rewarded with scenes more splendid than the one you were just in while visiting in the garden. After you take a visit to the Silk Factory to learn about the long history of Suzhou's silk industry, drive back to the hotel in Shanghai for relax.
Your fantastic tour will come to an end today. Drive to the airport and railway station and say farewell to your local guide. Wish you have a pleasant journey home.