18 Days Grand China Tour with Yangtze Cruise
- Tour Code:YCT11
- Tour Duration: 18 Days
- Destination:Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guilin, Hong Kong, Lhasa, Xi'an, Yangshuo, Yichang
- Tour overview:Beijing, Xian, Yichang, Yangtze River Cruise, Chongqing, Lhasa, Chengdu, Guilin, Yangshuo, Hong Kong This tour is truly grand! It features all of the best China has to offer, from incredible natural beauty, to its colorful cultures and traditions. This is the tour of a lifetime. You will explore the Imperial history of Beijing, the ancient past of Xian, capital to over 10 Chinese dynasties. You will travel down the Yangtze River, past the Three Gorges, and visit Lhasa, in Tibet. You will travel to Guilin and Yangshuo, home to some of the most breathtaking scenery on Earth, and into Hong Kong, one of the most beautiful cities on Earth.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival Beijing
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
Upon your arrival you will be greeted by our local guide and then transferred to your hotel by a private air-conditioned car. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time.
Day 2 Beijing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City
This morning our tour will begin with a visit of the Temple of Heaven, which was completed in 1420, and expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. It was the place where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing.
After lunch, we will go on our city tour to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.
From here we will walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and experience the ancient Emperor's daily life. For 5 centuries Chinese emperors carried out their administration here. With almost 10,000 rooms, it was the centre of the Ming and Qing dynasties, a massive complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens where 24 emperors used to live. Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and in the past it was indeed a forbidden place for commoners. Your tour here will include private access to the Emperor's palace.
Day 3 Beijing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way
After experiencing the royal lifestyle, today we will be transferred to the surrounding countryside of Beijing and visit the Badaling Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon described it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk one of the best preserved sections of the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views. Bring a jacket and layer- although it is breezy, the climbing is tough. So be in a good shape!
In the afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, which are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, Changping, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13 Ming emperors buried there, this place was called the 13 Ming Tombs. You will walk along the Sacred Way, a road guarded by stone statues on both sides, as the ancient emperors did to hold a memorial ceremony for their ancestors. In addition, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors.
Day 4 Beijing / Xi'an (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Hutongs, Summer Palace
We will experience a unique Hutong tour by taking a rickshaw this morning. Hutongs are a kind of ancient city alley or lane and are very typical for Beijing. Most of them can be found close to the Forbidden City, and many were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today, the Hutong is a living museum of Beijing history showing the traditional lifestyle of Beijing people.
We will continue by visiting the Summer Palace. Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called 'Yiheyuan' (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. Until nowadays, it is the best preserved and the largest imperial garden in China. You will regret it if you leave Beijing without having visited this grand imperial garden.
This afternoon, you will be transferred to airport to take flight and fly to Xi'an. Upon arrival, you will be met by your Xi'an local guide and then be transferred to your hotel. '
Day 5 Xi'an (B, L)
Sightseeing: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower
Today you will experience the highlights of Xi'an. After breakfast, you will depart you're your hotel. You will visit the amazing 2000-year-old Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World, the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, ordered the construction of a vast army of Terra-cotta warriors in search of immortality. After his early death they were buried with him to protect his empire.
Another highlight today is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated in the south of Xi'an city, it is one of the main constructions in the famous Buddhist temple - Da-Ci-En Temple. There, the well-known Buddhist Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his collection of classic Buddhist artifacts brought from India in Tang Dynasty. Now it is the Landmark of Xi'an.
Then we will go on to visit the Bell Tower, which is the best-preserved and best-known one among many. The Bell Tower was built in 1384. In early mornings of ancient times it had the mission of ringing the bell and giving the correct time to the whole city, hence called "The Bell Tower". With magnificent carved beams and painted rafters, this classical building is truly elegant.
Day 6 Xi'an / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight – on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Ancient City Wall, Shaanxi Provincial Museum
After breakfast, you will visit the Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. It is the largest and best preserved present city wall in ancient China and is probably the best military battlement in the world. If you want to, you can rent a bicycle for a ride on top of the spectacular city wall. The wall was built in the Tang Dynasty (618 -907) and enlarged in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
Then we will move on to visit the Shaanxi History Museum. It is a magnificent architectural complex in the Tang Dynasty style. The Museum possesses a treasure of 113,000 historic and cultural artifacts unearthed in Shaanxi, and it covers an area of 1,100 square meters for exhibition
Then you will be transferred to airport to take flight to Yichang. Arrive in Yichang, your local guide will met and transfer you to the dock by a private air-conditioned car to board the ship from 17:00 to 22:00 and departs Yichang at 24:00.
Day 7 Yangtze Cruise (B, L, D)
Sightseeing: Three Gorges Dam
(09:00-11:30) Shore excursion to Three Gorges Dam Site.
(12:45) Passing through Xiling Gorge.
Three Gorges Dam, the largest water conservancy project undertaken by man. The construction of the dam formally began in 1994. The body of the dam was completed in 2003, and the whole construction will be competed in 2009. It will be 2,335 meters long, 185 meters high, 18 meters wide on the top and 130 meters wide at the bottom. Tourists can get access to the top of the dam.
Day 8 Yangtze Cruise (B, L, D)
Sightseeing: Shennong Stream (08:00-12:00)
Boat excursion to Shennong Stream. (13:00-15:30)
Wu Gorge (17:30-18:00) Qutang Gorge
Shennong Stream is another tributary of the Yangtze River, and its fast-flowing, crystal clear water runs southwards through deep gorges. The stream races past large and small Karst caves, flocks of swallows, sheer cliffs, deep gorges, waterfalls, three-colored springs, rapids, the ancient plank path, a suspended coffin in the cliff, groups of ancient tombs and marvelous Karst formations.
Day 9 Yangtze Cruise (B, L, D)
Transport via: Yangtze Cruise ship arranged by us
Sightseeing: Fengdu Ghost City, Wanxian or Shibaozhai
(8:30-10:30) Shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City, Wanxian, or Shibaozhai (depending on river conditions).
Fengdu, with fantastic temples of underworld demons and gods, is constructed on the Mingshan Hill by the river band. It is known as the "Ghost City" and is a place for punishing the devil and awarding the good.
Wanxian: One of the most important and largest ports on the Yangtze. It is widely known for its variety and hustling markets. Fifty percent of the city will be resettled after the Three Gorges Dam Project is completed.
Shibaozhai represents the first gem of Chinese architecture to be encountered on the downstream journey. From afar, the protruding 220-metre (720-foot) hill on the north bank can appear to resemble a jade seal, and is so named.
Day 10 Yangtze River Cruise / Chongqing / Lhasa (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
(09:00) Disembark at Chongqing
Arriving in Chongqing, you will be met and transferred to airport to take flight to Lhasa. After your arrival in Lhasa you will be met by your local guide and then be transferred to the hotel. Take the rest of the day for free, to adapt yourself to the high altitude or have a first look around the town.
Day 11 Lhasa (B, L)
Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhore Street
We will go on a full day visit of Potala Palace. It is the greatest monumental structure all over Tibet. This ancient architectural complex is considered as a model of Tibetan architecture. Located on the Red Hill in Lhasa, it is 3,700 meters above sea level and covers an area of over 360,000 square meters. The palace has 13 stories, and is 117 meters high. In 641, Songtsan Gambo, ruler of the Tubo Kingdom, built the Potala Palace for Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, whom he was soon to marry.
Then we'll visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The sacred image of Jowo Sakyamuni is the most venerated and beautiful image all over Tibet
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit Barkhor Street, which is the oldest street in Lhasa as well as the center of old Lhasa which remains very traditional. Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple. Tibetan people are very proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, this street is also a must-see place.
Day 12 Lhasa (B, L)
Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Drepung Monstery
In the morning we will visit the Sera Monastery, around 5 km north of central Lhasa, which was, along with Drepung, one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries. Its once huge monastic population of about 5000 monks has now been reduced to several hundred.
Then we will visit Norbulingka Park; Norbulingka meaning "Jeweled Garden", the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. The gardens are poorly tended and the palaces themselves are something of an anticlimax, especially as most rooms are currently closed to the public.
Our next stop will be Drepung Monastery. It is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered as one of the'Three Great Monasteries' (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery
At last we will arrive at a local Tibetan Family. Common Tibetan people will welcome you to their homes; greet you in their traditional way and you will taste their typical food. You can feel Tibetan culture and religion vividly.
Day 13 Lhasa / Chengdu (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight -on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Wuhou Memorial Temple, Jinli Street
This morning you will be transferred to airport to take morning flight to Chengdu. Upon your arrival in Chengdu you will be met by your local guide and then be transferred to your hotel.
And then you will visit the Wuhou Memorial Temple. The Temple is dedicated to Zhuge Liang, the Martial Marquis of Shu in the Three Kingdoms. His outstanding intelligence place Zhuge Liang above all emperors, generals, and ministers in history.
Afterwards you will take a walk along Jinli Street which is particularly representative for this city. It is recorded that as already during Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), Jinli Street was the most famous place for baldachin - a rich, ornate cloth. During Shu Kingdom (221-263) it was one of the busiest commercial streets. Hence, it is known as 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'. In order to reclaim the street's prosperity of former days, it was restored with contributions from the Wuhou Memorial Temple and was opened to public in October of 2004.
Day 14 Chengdu / Guilin (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight -on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Thatched Cottage of Dufu, Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base, Wangjianglou Park
This morning we will first visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base, which was built to imitate the wild ecological environment of pandas. It covers a space of 92 acres, with a green coverage of 96 percent. The base created a perfect ecological environment for the living and breeding of pandas and other precious and rare wild animals. It breeds over 20 pandas and lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white cranes and others.
Then we move to the Thatched Cottage of Dufu, located by the side of the Huanhua Stream in Chengdu's western suburb, will be our first stop today. It was the residence of Dufu, the great poet of the Tang Dynasty when he took refuge in Chengdu. Du Fu (712-70 AD),one of China's most famous poets, left home at the tender age of 20, becoming a court official at the former capital in Chang'an (near Xi'an). Du Fu's civil service duties did not last long however, and he was captured by rebels and forced to flee the city for Chengdu after only a few years. It was in Chengdu, at this small and simple house, that Du Fu was inspired to write more than 200 poems which are regarded today as masterpieces of realist poetry.
Finally we will take a walk around Wangjianglou Park, and enjoy the beautiful nature there.
After the tours, you will be transferred to airport to take flight to Guilin. After your arrival in Guilin, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by our local guide. Feel free at leisure for the rest of the day.
Day 15 Guilin / Yangshuo (B, L)
Transfer via: Private vehicle arranged by us
Sightseeing: Li River Cruise, West Street
Guilin is famous for its picturesque scenery, and the best way to see it is from the deck of Li River Cruise ships. In the morning you will depart from your hotel and be transferred to the Zhujiang Pier (about 1 hour drive) for a 4.5 hours wonderful cruise. You will enjoy the unique mountains, peaceful green fields, farms and villages with water buffalos, cows wondering around on both sides of the river bank.
In the afternoon you will disembark at the old town Yangshuo. Having a history of more than 1,400 years, West Street is the oldest street in Yangshuo. You will stay a hotel in this lovely town tonight.
Day 16 Guilin / Hong Kong (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave,
In the morning you will visit Elephant Trunk Hill. Located at the conjunction of the Li River & the Peach Blossom River, the whole hill looks very much like a giant elephant with a long trunk drinking out of the river; it is the symbol of Guilin city.
Then you will head to Reed Flute Cave, which is a vast and very impressive cave system, and one of the most important sights of Guilin. Known as "the Palace of Natural Arts", you can see beautiful stalactites & stalagmites and learn how they are formed.
Afterwards you will be transferred to airport to take afternoon flight to Hong Kong. Arrive in Hong Kong, be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 17 Hong Kong (B)
Sightseeing: Aberdeen, Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay
Today we will start to explore Victoria Peak first. The Peak is Hong Kong's number one tourist destination. It features the city's oldest mode transport, the 112-year old Peak Tram and Hong Kong's most unusual building and icon, The Peak Tower where you will find shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
Then you will visit lovely Repulse Bay: Primarily an exclusive residential area, Repulse Bay has a relaxed, resort-like atmosphere. You will find statues of Kwun Yum and Tin Hau, both protectors of fishermen.
The tour will continue with a visit to Aberdeen fishing village where you will enjoy a Sampan Ride on the harbor to get a close-up look at this unusual way of life.
For the rest of the day you will have leisure time to explore Hong Kong on your own.
Day 18 Hong Kong Departure (B)
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
You will have the last hours in Hong Kong for yourself until our guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to your next destination.