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China Explorer

15 days with Wendy Wu Tours  Rating: First Class

River Cruise Itinerary
Days 1-2 Fly to Beijing
Fly overnight to Beijing, China's historical capital. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 3 Forbidden City and Summer Palace Walk
Stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Walking through this ornately designed complex offers an unsurpassed insight into China's colourful past. Continue to the idyllic Summer Palace and explore the magnificent grounds, before taking a short hike up Longevity Hill to enjoy panoramic views. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Beijing's Hutongs
Arrive early for a visit to the Temple of Heaven and mingle with the locals as they start their day with tai chi, dancing and card playing in a flurry of sociable activity you would never see in a park at home. Next explore the Hutongs, visiting Yandaixiejie Hutong where you will have lunch with a local family. Drive to Gubei Watertown and ascend Simatai Great Wall by cable car for spectacular views. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Hike the Great Wall
Rise early to transfer to the Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall. Much less frequented by tourists than other parts of the Wall, the walk over Jinshanling winds over dramatic hills. The stark, yet magnificent surroundings allow you to put yourself in the shoes of those who walked this incredible edifice hundreds of years ago. This challenging trek will take you through dramatic landscapes and rugged terrain. Later, head back to Beijing, where you’ll have free time in the evening. Buzzing Sanlitun or lakeside Houhai are a great choice for the evening. (B,L)
Day 6 Cycling in Xian
Fly to Xian. The ancient former capital surrounded by an impsoing and enourmously wide wall, which is used as a city thoroughfare. YOu'll enjoy a gentle cycle ride that will take you the nine miles around the wall and past many smiling locals, giving you a unique perspective of Chinese urban life. Take in an optional fountain and light show and be dazzled by the city at night. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Terracotta Warriors and Muslim Quarter walking tour
Housed in three immense hangars, the ranks of the Terracotta Army stand sentinel in their subterranean necropolis, constructed to protect China's first Emperor in the afterlife. Gaze over the ranks of warriors and horses, each one unique, whilst your guide introduces you to these life-like soldiers' fascinating story. Visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition then take a walking tour of the narrow and twisting streets of the Muslim Quarter. Sample the delicious, freshly cooked snacks and gain an insight into the city's fascinating culture and significance as the start of the Silk Road. (B,L)
Day 8 Pingle Ancient Town
Fly to Chengdu and drive to Pingle Ancient Town. Dating back to the Han Dynasty, Pingle was a stopping point on the Tea Horse Road. Take a walk across the magnificent Jinji rope Bridge for vistas of the bamboo forest below before returning to Chengdu for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Dujiangyan Pandas
Located in the forested Sichuanese countryside north of Chengdu, Dujiangyan offers refuge to Giant Pandas with the ultimate aim to reintroduce them into the wild. The panda centre's rural location offers one of the most authentic, spacious and natural settings in the country. Later, explore the slopes of Mt Qingcheng, one of China’s holy Taoist Mountains. Take the cable car to the higher slopes, and take a boat ride on Yuecheng Lake. Drive back to Chengdu for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Day 10 Ancient Ciqikou
Jump on the bullet train to Chongqing. Visit the charming old town of Ciqikou - there's time to wander the cobbled alleyways and learn about its colourful history., Later board your Yangtze Cruise vessel, home for the next three nights. (B,D)
Day 11 - 12 Yangtze River Cruise
During your Yangtze cruise, nature takes over, revealing some of the world's most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next two days prepare for one breathtaking panorama after another. Take fascinating side trips to Shibaozhai or the Ghost City of Goddess or Shennong Stream. This is a chance to absorb extraordinary countryside and get a glimpse of life on the river banks. (B,L,D)
Day 13 Three Gorges Dam
Visit the Three Gorges Dam, then fly to Shanghai. On arrival the evening is at leisure to begin exploring this neon wonder. (B,L)
Day 14: Shanghainese Shanghai
Wake up to the buzz of Shanghai, and take a breakfast walking tour between coruscating skyscrapers and traditional streets. Walk through the city's most fascinating districts, marvelling at monuments and rickety buildings before enjoying breakfast as the locals do - sample pancakes, fried bread sticks and tofu. Visit the Yu Yuan Gardens, the Old Town and the Silk Museum before taking an evening stroll along the Bund and a farewell dinner of authentic Shanghainese cuisine. Your final farewell to China will be a cruise down the huangpu River, serenaded by the neon lights of Pudong. (B,L,D)
Day 15: Depart Shanghai
Fly home arriving there the same or following day. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Climb up Longevity Hill in the Summer Palace for stunning vistas over Kunming Lake
  • Hike the winding Great Wall fortifications of Jinshanling
  • Discover quaint charm in Pingle Ancient Town
  • Come face to face with the lovable Giant Panda at Bifengxia
  • Cruise the mighty Yangtze River
  • Do as the Shanghai locals with a taste tour of the city's best breakfast cuisine
All This Included
Pairing the classical sights with a Yangtze cruise, visits to the atmospheric ancient towns and a hike on the Great Wall as it weaves on undulating alien landscapes; this itinerary will bring you closer to the authentic charm of China.
  • Domestic transportation
  • Accommodation & meals as stated
  • Touring with guides and entrance fees
  • Visa fees for US & Canadian passport holders
Accommodations on this Tour
Beijing: Super House International Hotel
Xian: Golden Flower Hotel
Chengdu: Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel
Shanghai: Greenland Jiulong Hotel
  • Order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.
  • Yangtze River Cruise itineraries, sightseeing and excursions are subject to change due to water levels, river conditions and cruise line. Alternate excursions may be substituted at the discretion of the cruise company and cannot be guaranteed.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.

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