13 days China highlights tour with Yangtze River cruise

⇀ Xi'an
⇀ Chengdu
⇀ Chongqing
⇀ Yangtze Cruise
⇀ Shanghai
Discover China's 5,000 years history by visiting the most top cities in China - imperial palaces, hutongs and Terracotta Warriors. After enjoy the natural beauty on the splendid Yangtze Three Gorges Cruise, tours ends at Shanghai.
13 days
1st Time travel to China, Culture and Heritage
Trip code
From CN¥ 11,400 per person
CN¥ 11,400
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This tour balances a historical & cultural exploration in the top cities of China and a memorable Yangtze river cruise. Start in Beijing, explore the cultural heritages including the Great Wall and Forbidden City, then head to Xi'an for the 8th wonder of the world - Terracotta & Warriors, afterwards head to pay a visit to the most adorable animal in the world - Giant pandas in Chengdu. Followed by the most dramatic natural landscapes when you sail through the Three Gorges on Yangtze River. Tour ends when you get to Shanghai, one of the major cities in China. More awaits in this journey!

Day 01 :
Arrive Beijing

Upon arrive at the Beijing 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.

Day 02 :
Beijing City Highlights - Forbidden City & Summer Palace

Be arranged to visit Tiananmen Square at the center of Beijing city - regarded as the largest in the world, is an important place for Chinese people to hold a celebration or other big occasions. Then head to Forbidden City - an ancient palace complex where 24 emperors had lived and worked during both the Ming and Qing Dynasties. 

After lunch, drive to visit Summer Palace, a royal garden that surrounding Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill more traditionally known as Wanshou Shan. It is one of the four classic gardens of China. This palace was built by the emperors during Qing dynasty as a summertime retreat. You will easily see many spectacular gardens, palaces and temples throughout. 

Day 03 :
Beijing sightseeing - Temple of Heaven & Mutianyu Great Wall

After breakfast, drive to visit the Temple of Heaven in south Beijing. It is a holy imperial temple where emperors once prayed for a good harvest and offered sacrifices to the God of Heaven during every winter solstice. You will have a glimpse of this masterpiece of architecture and landscape design.

Afterward, drive to Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the best section to explore the Great Wall of China. It will take about 2.5 hours to get there by private car. Upon arrival enjoy 2 to 3 hours of walking along with this ancient defense and have a glimpse of the magnificent scenery as the wall winds its way across the mountains. If you don't feel like walking up, you can also choose to ascend and descend via a cable car or slide your way down in a toboggan. 

On the way back to your hotel, you may have a quick stop at the Olympic Green to overlook at Bird's Nest and The Cube. Then drop you off at your hotel, rest on your own for the rest of the day.

Day 04 :
Beijing Hutong Tour - High Speed train to Xi'an

After breakfast, drive to visit the Lama Temple, which also known as the Yonghegong Temple. It is a temple and monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. It contains the largest wooden Buddha in the world. (Optional: if you are more interested in the local people’s life, You can visit Beihai Park instead).

Afterward, you will have 1-2 hours to feel the traditional Hutong culture by visiting the Shichahai in west Beijing. Traveling by rickshaw through century-old Hutongs in Shichahai before their demolition. Walk along the old Yandai Xiejie which has an 800-year history surrounding Beijing's  Drum Tower. Plenty of time for you to explore on your own to nearby Nanluoguoxiang for tasting some local snacks or buying some souvenirs from the many antique shows for your family and friends.

In the afternoon, take the high-speed train to Xi'an (about 5-6 hours). Upon arrival in Xián, to be picked up and transferred to the hotel.

Day 05 :
Xi'an City Tour

The first spot of your tour today is one of the must-see attractions in China, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, recognized as the 8th wonder of the world. 'Discovered by chance' by some local farmers in 1974, thousands of life-sized Terracotta Warriors, horses, and chariots were unearthed, those crafted figures date from 210 BC and were meant to guard the first emperor of China. Each year it attracts millions of tourists from all over the world.

Then head back to downtown and visit Xi'an City Wall, one of the oldest and best-preserved city walls across China, you can choose to take a walk along the city wall or rent a bicycle. Afterward, pay a visit to Shuyuan Men ancient cultural street, where you can find some traditional Chinese arts and crafts, a good spot for souvenirs. Finally, move to visit the Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque to feel the unique ethnic culture of Hui and try the local snacks. 

Day 06 :
high speed train to Leshan - visit Leshan Grand Buddha - High speed train to Chengdu

Take an early morning train to Leshan from Xi'an (D4109, 07:56 - 13:07), Leshan train station pick up and transfer to visit Leshan Grand Buddha. The grand Buddha was completed in 803 of Tang Dynasty after 90 years' 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). Leshan is quite famous for its tasty food, you may take lunch on one of the food streets before you start the tour to the big Buddha.

When the visit ends, take the high-speed train to Chengdu (about 1 hour) for the overnight.

Day 07 :
Chengdu Panda center - high speed train to Chongqing - Embark Yangtze Cruise

After breakfast, head to the Chengdu Panda Base to see the adorable pandas. Morning is considered as the best time to visit Panda center as you will catch the feeding time and the pandas are at their most active. Walk through the forested landscape, watch as giant pandas play, nap, and munch bamboo; visit the panda nursery, subadult enclosure, and adult compound; and watch informational videos on panda behavior and the challenges of working with and breeding captive pandas. If time is allowed, pay a visit to People's Park, a great place to get insight the daily life of locals who come here relax, exercise, play games like Mah-jongg and chess, sing and dance, or find love matches for their loved ones. You will be arranged to have a cup of tea like locals in the open-air Heming Tea House, a great place to slow down and rest your legs.

Then take the high-speed train to Chongqing (about 2 hours), upon arrival, you will be ready to get on the luxury cruise at Chongqing Pier. At 21:30 your memorable Yangtze River begins.

Day 08 :
Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)

This morning the ship will stop at Fengdu (It is an optional tour), 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 have an excursion to Shibaozhai with its impressive wooden pagoda. 

P.S. Depending on river conditions and the cruise you choose, the excursion site today could be different.

Day 09 :
Three Gorges - Excursion to Goddess Stream (B, L, D)

Today you will enter Three Gorges, the highlights of your Yangtze River Cruise. Morning you will pass through the first two Gorges —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. Back to the cruise to continue your cruise to Xiling Gorge, the longest (41 miles), and deepest of the Three Gorges.

P.S.: Additional optional shore excursion (available in the morning, river conditions permitting) to White Emperor City, an ancient city overlooking the western end of Qutang Gorge. 

Day 10 :
​​​​​​​Three Gorges Dam - Disembark - Flight to Shanghai

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.

Day 11 :
Shanghai City highlights tour

Morning visit Yu Garden, a beautiful garden built by a government official during the Ming Dynasty, and it's well known for its Exquisite Jade Rock. Afterwards, walk through Shanghai Old Street and have an understanding of the history of Shanghai.

Then head to Xintiandi in the French Concession. It was the location of the first congress of China's Communist Party, however today it is a hip cultural center of Shanghai. There are many cafes, bars, bookstores and boutiques.

After lunch, visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, which documents the changing face of Shanghai and is an essential visiting point for those interested in the evolution of the city. A perfect scale model of the entire city on the 6th floor shows planned and recent developments of Shanghai.  

Finally, cross the Huangpu River and visit the Shanghai Tower at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong District. By the side of Huangpu River, opposite The Bund, makes the Oriental Pearl TV Tower a distinct landmark in the area.  At last walk along Shanghai Bund and Nanjing road, getting close to the local modern life.

Day 12 :
One Day Excursion to Tongli Water Town

In the morning drive to visit Tongli water town in Suzhou, an ancient town which has over 1,000 years' history. The town is famous for a system of canals and featured by water, bridges and ancient architectures.  You will be arranged to have a boat tour on the canals for witnessing the breathtaking scenery of Tongli town. Walking on the small alleys to discover this ancient town. Drive back to Shanghai in the afternoon, freely explore Shanghai on your own.

Day 13 :
Departure from Shanghai

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight to the next destination.

Notes: Shanghai has two airports - Hongqiao Airport and Pudong Airport. Please make sure you go to the right one for the departure.

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.
Yangtze river cruise class is a Standard cabin located on the main deck.
All entrance tickets as noted in the tour's itinerary.
Yangtze river cruise services include all onboard meals and shore excursions to the Little Three Gorges, Shennong Stream and others.
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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Serena Colleo
Serena Colleo
Sat, 12/28/2019

siamo una coppia italiana e siamo interessata ai vostri tour ma non parliamo molto bene inglese...come possiamo fare?

Replied by
Hi, I'm Zoe,your trip advisor
Zoe Yu
Mon, 12/30/2019

In reply to by Serena Colleo (not verified)

Cara Serena,

Grazie per la vostra richiesta. Questa è Zoe di WindhorseTour.

Ti ho appena inviato un'e-mail con maggiori dettagli, ti preghiamo gentilmente di esaminarlo e di farmi sapere se hai ulteriori domande o commenti su di esso.

Non vedo l'ora di avere presto tue notizie.

I migliori saluti,

walter Ferri
walter Ferri
Tue, 04/18/2017

We are looking at this tour in beginning of July 2018 1st 0r 2nd july.There would be 4 couples 8 people in total.
Just a few questions
Does cost include any meals
Can we have a rickshaw tour included.
Apart from our own airfare to and from china are all other transport cost included.
Are any shows included ,Dynasty,kung fu,Acrobats.
Also maybe Shanghi Dysneyland on day 13 and we leave day 14.
Please provide price for tour.and price for extra day and Disneyland.
Thank you

Replied by
personal picture
Anita Fan
Tue, 04/18/2017

In reply to by walter Ferri (not verified)

Dear Walter,

Thanks for your inquiry. This is Anita from WindhorseTour.
We generally don't include meals and any shows in out tour package, as we always encourage our clients to discover the local specialty & authentic food, choose to enjoy the shows or not upon arrival, under the local guides' assistance and just pay them locally.
We are happy to include the rickshaw tour in Beijing, and all domestic flight / trains / transportation.
I just sent you an email with more details, please kindly go through it and let me know if you have any further questions or comments on it.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Best Regards,

Sun, 11/01/2015

Hello, we are interested in this tour, could you please tell me the price for that? We are two adults.
Do you have an offer for a tour through: Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Yunnan (Lijiang, ...)? For make around 14 days?
Thank you and kind regards, Iva

Replied by
Tagong grassland by July Yuki
Yuki Yi
Mon, 11/02/2015

In reply to by Iva (not verified)

Hello Iva,
Thanks for your comments. We can certainly provide you the quotation based on your requirements. There is no problem to organize a 14 days trip to visit Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu and Yunnan. I have just sent you the detailed email at your requests, please go through the email and kindly let me know for any further questions on it.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Best Regards,