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China: The Big One

28 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 Hutongs
Stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Take a walk in Jingshan Park. Next visit Yandaixiejie Hutong for lunch with a local family; these narrow alleys offer a glimpse of old Beijing. Later, there's free time to explore. (B,L)
Day 4 Huanghuacheng Great Wall and Wangfujing
This particularly scenic section of the wall is reached by boat, and boasts spectacular views from the top. Spend the evening at leisure exploring colourful Wangfujing night market, or take an optional (at your own expense) Peking Duck dinner. (B,L)
Day 5 Imperial Summer Palace
Take a relaxed day exploring the beautifully designed grounds of the Summer Palace including the Long Walk and the Marble Boat. Spend time strolling around pretty Kunming Lake and walk up wooded Longevity Hill. (B,L)
Day 6 Temple of Heaven
Visit the Temple of Heaven and mingle with the locals as they start their day with tai chi, dancing and cards in a flurry of sociable activity. Take the overnight train to Xian. (B)
Day 7 Terracotta Warriors
Housed in three immense hangars, the ranks of the Terracotta Army stand sentinel in their subterranean necropolis, constructed to protect China’s First Emperor. Gaze over the ranks of warriors and horses, while you are introduced to these lifelike soldiers’ fascinating story. Visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition. Take a walking tour of the Muslim Quarter and sample freshly cooked snacks. With the evening free, why not enjoy a cold beer in Defu Lane. (B,L)
Day 8 Cycling in Xian
Start your day with a gentle cycle ride that will take you the nine miles around the wall and past many smiling locals. This afternoon visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and Xian Museum (B,L)
Day 9 Beautiful Guilin
Fly to Guilin and enjoy a leisurely walk around Ronghu and Shanhu Lakes. Take an optional visit to the Sun & Moon Pagodas for spectacular views over downtown Guilin. Enjoy some free time to wander around Zhengyang pedestrian street (B)
Day 10 Hiking in Longji
Take an optional 4 hour hike in the stunning rice terraces of Longji. Walk past small hamlets and picture-postcard views of the terraces which cover the landscape in intricate patterns. Otherwise, spend more time in Guilin. (B)
Day 11 Yangshuo Countryside
Cruise downstream on the languid Li River, passing striking karst mountain scenery and lush, green fields. Look out for the cormorant fishermen, gently cruising along the waters in search of fish. This afternoon explore the countryside around this picturesque town of Yangshuo and take a saunter through the colourful streets. There is an option this late afternoon to walk up Moon Hill for spectacular views over Yangshuo. (B,L)
Day 12 Yangshuo Tai Chi
This morning take part in a traditional tai chi class at your hotel. Learn the skills behind this ancient and spiritual exercise. This afternoon explore independently or take part in optional activities of cycling or river rafting. (B)
Day 13 Kunming at leisure
Transfer back to Guilin stopping at the South China Pearl Museum and the colourful Reed Flute Caves along the way. Fly to Kunming, China’s ‘Spring City’. (B)
Day 14 Stone Forest
Meander through the formations of the UNESCO-listed Stone Forest, where towering limestone pillars stand treelike in a fascinating illusion of woodland. Return to Kunming to wander around Green Lake Park, this evening explore the Wenhua Alley district. (B,L)
Day 15 Dali's Ancient Town
Drive to Dali and visit the Three Pagodas. Spend the rest of the day immersed in the atmosphere of the fascinating old quarter and lively market. Stroll along Foreigners’ Street and explore the many dining options here. (B,L)
Day 16 Erhai Lake Cruise
Relax with a day at leisure or take an optional visit to Weibaoshan to join in some meditation with a Taoist Master (B)
Day 17 Shaxi Ancient Town
Drive to Shaxi Ancient Town, nestled deep in the Himalayan foothills. Learn about the fascinating minority peoples that reside in the area and enjoy a local lunch. In the afternoon, continue to Lijiang and spend the evening wandering the Old Town. (B,L)
Day 18 Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
A magnificent mountain massif, Jade Dragon incorporates several peaks, the tallest of which soars to 5,500 metres. Take a chairlift to one of the gorgeous high meadows and enjoy amazing vistas. Visit the minority Baisha Naxi Village and admire the fascinating Baisha Frescoes. (B,L)
Day 19 Tiger Leaping Gorge
Today’s optional mini-trek to Tiger Leaping Gorge takes you through dramatic cliffs and down into the gorge itself. If you don’t join the trek, the day is at leisure in Lijiang. (B)
Day 20 Chengdu like a local
Fly to Chengdu and walk around People’s Park. See beautiful golden koi, locals dancing and practicing tai chi, and Matchmaker’s Corner. Take an optional visit to a local teahouse. Wander the Wide and Narrow Alleys. (B,L)
Day 21 Giant Pandas
Visit Chengdu’s renowned panda base and see these charming creatures up close. Visit the Shu Brocade Museum enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Tonight there is an optional hot pot dinner and face changing show. (B,L)
Day 22 Ancient Ciqikou
Take bullet train to Chongqing. Enjoy free time in the old town of Ciqikou then board your Yangtze Cruise vessel, home for the next three nights. (B,D)
Day 23-24 Yangtze River Cruise
A cruise down the Yangtze reveals some of the world’s most dramatic scenery. (B,L,D)
Day 25 Three Gorges Dam
A cruise down the Yangtze reveals some of the world’s most dramatic scenery. (B,L,D)
Day 26 Shanghainese Shanghai
This morning take an exciting breakfast tour around some of Shanghai’s most exciting districts, tasting local delicacies, including pancakes and fried bread sticks. Wander the pleasant Yu Gardens and bustling Old Town before visiting the informative Silk Museum. This evening view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise (B,L)
Day 27 Suzhou and Huangpu
There is an optional tour to Suzhou, the neighbouring Garden City. Otherwise, enjoy some free exploration of Shanghai. Tonight there will be a farewell Shanghainese meal. (B,D)
Day 28 Depart Shanghai
Fly home, arriving there the same or following day. (B)

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Visit the imperial treasures of Beijing
  • Come face to face with the enigmatic Terracotta Warriors
  • Cruise the languid Li River
  • Climb the heights of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
  • Get lost in the mysterious Stone Forest
  • Sample delicious Shanghai breakfast snacks
All This Included
The complete Chinese adventure - this itinerary takes more time to explore the highlights of this beautiful and eclectic country, from busy cities, rural utopias and quirky ancient towns where you are free to absorb the relaxed atmosphere.            
  • Domestic transportation
  • Accommodation and 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: Yulong International Hotel
Guilin: Jin-Tone Hotel
Yangshuo: Jasper International Hotel
Kunming: Jin Jiang Hotel
Dali: Asia Hotel 
Lijiang: Adange Hotel 
Chengdu: Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel
Shanghai: Holiday Inn Shanghai Downtown
  • Order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.
  • Tipping paid locally US$155. 
  • 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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