19 Days Memorable China City Tour with Yangtze River Feeling
- Tour Code:CWHT04
- Tour Duration: 19 Days
- Destination:Beijing, Chongqing, Lhasa, Nagqu, Shanghai, Xi'an, Yichang
- Tour overview:This 19 day World Heritage tour highlights the history, art, culture, and people of China. It is a truly wonderful way to see this ancient country. You will visit Beijing, China’s capital for over 500 years, Xian, home to the Terracotta Warriors, Chongqing, home to the giant panda and fiery Szechwan cuisine, Shanghai, the modern metropolis, Lhasa, home to Tibet’s mysterious culture, and you will cruise the Yangtze River, and experience the Three Gorges from a luxurious cruise ship.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing Arrival
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, Summer Palace
World Heritages Sites included Today: Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Summer Palace
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.
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.
Day 3 Beijing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way,the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) National Swimming Centre (The Water Cube)
World Heritages Sites included Today: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs
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.
On the way back to hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium), National Swimming Centre(The Water Cube),feel free to take some photos of the stadiums.
Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
We will experience a unique Hutong tour in 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.
Later that day you will take the flight to Xi'an. After your arrival there, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by our local guide.
Day 5 Xi'an (B, L)
Sightseeing: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Huaqing Hot Springs
World Heritages Sites included Today: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses
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 Xian 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 visit Huaqing Hot Springs. The Tang Emperor Xuanzong used to spend his wintertime in company of his favorite concubine Yang Guifei here. Entering the West Gate of Huaqing Hot Springs, you will see the delightful gardens of Nine-Dragon Pool, the Lotus Flower Pool and the Frost Drifting Hall with Tang style.
Day 6 Xi'an (B, L)
Sightseeing: Bell Tower, Great Mosque, Ancient City Wall, Shaanxi History Museum
In the morning we will go on to visit 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.
Then we will visit The Great Mosque. The Mosque is located at the Huajue Lane in the center of the city, is the largest and one of the most important Islamic mosques in China. It will be interesting to see symbols of Islamic belief in this ancient city.
Our next stop will be 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
Day 7 Xi'an to Lhasa (B)
Transfer via: Flight arranged by us
In the morning, you will be transferred to airport for flight to Lhasa. After your arrival there, you will be met and transferred to hotel by our local guide, adapting to the high altitude at the rest of the day.
Day 8 Lhasa (B, L)
Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhore Street
World Heritages Sites included Today:Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple
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 9 Lhasa (B, L)
Sightseeing: Yambajan, Lake Namtso (Lake Namco)
In the morning we will visit the Yambajan, famous for its hot spring and is a nice choice for those who want to get a close look at the Tibetan herders (drokpa) and their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Covering an area of about 150,000 square meters.
Later we will drive to visit the Lake Namtso, Lake Namtso means “holy lake” in Tibetan language. With over 30 kilometers from north to south and over 70 kilometers from east to west, Lake Namtso covers a total area of more than 1,900 square kilometers, being the second largest salt lake in China. With the lake surface assuming sky blue, the lake and the sky seem to be one and undivided, which may make visitors feel themselves in a fairy land if they have a stroll by the lake. After the tour you will be transferred back to Lhasa.
Day 10 Lhasa (B, L)
Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Drepung Monstery
World Heritages Sites included Today: Norbulingka
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 11 Lhasa to Chongqing (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
In the morning, you will be transferred to airport for flight to Chongqing. After your arrival there, you will be met and transferred to hotel by our local guide, free for the rest of the day.
Day 12 Chongqing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Dazu Rock Carvings
World Heritages Sites included Today: Dazu Rock Carvings
You will have a full day visit to the Dazu Rock Carvings. It is as famous as the Mogao Cave in Dunhuang. The rock carvings in these places are very distinguished both at home and abroad. Among the rock carvings, there are more than 5,000 statues and over 100,000 Chinese characters of inscriptions and epigraphs. The Buddhist statues dominate in this rock carving group, and the Taoist and the Confucian stone figures can also be seen.
Day 13 Chongqing (B, L)
Sightseeing: Goose Neck Park, Ciqikou Ancient Town, Panda Room
We will visit Goose Neck Park. This park has a good view of the city and the roiling Yangtze River. A great mural of the Yangtze River shows the pre-dam water levels and elevation marks signifying the displacement of the local population, as well as the land area that has been and will be covered when the dam is completed.
You will have a walk around the Ciqikou Ancient Town. Dated back to the late Ming Dynasty, The buildings have been restored and well preserved. Along the streets, restaurants, souvenirs shops and local snacks are located. There are several tea houses that feature daily performances of traditional Chinese music.
Later you will visit Panda Room in Chongqing Zoo to meet the lovely pandas. Then you will be transferred to airport and you will take the flight to your next destination.
In the evening, you will be greeted by our local guide and then transferred to the dock by a private air-conditioned car to pre-board the ship. Then your guide will leave the boat and your cruise will start at about 10pm.
Day 14 Yangtze Cruise (B, L, D)
Transport via: Yangtze Cruise ship arranged by us
Sightseeing: Fengdu Ghost City or Wanxian
8:00-10:00: You will have a shore excursion to either Fengdu Ghost City, Wanxian, or Shibaozhai (depending on river conditions) .Then you will return to the ship and sail towards the magnificent Three Gorges
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 is 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 was resettled after the Three Gorges Dam Project had been completed.
Day 15 Yangtze Cruise (B, L, D)
Sightseeing: Shennong Stream
08:00-13:00: Passing through Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge.
13:00-16:30: Boat excursion to Shennong Stream.
17:30: Passing through Xiling Gorge.
Shennong Stream is another tributary of the Yangtze River, and its fast-flowing, 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 karts' formations.
Day 16 Yangtze Cruise to Yichang to Shanghai (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight arranged by us
Sightseeing: Three Gorges Dam
08:00-10:00: Shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam Site.
13:00: Disembark at Yichang
Three Gorges Dam is the largest water conservancy project undertaken by man. Formally, the construction of the dam began in 1994. The body of the dam was completed in 2003, and the whole construction will be completed 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.
After you disembarked from the ship, you will be met and transferred to the airport to take your flight to Shanghai. Our local guide will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
Day 17 Shanghai (B, L)
Sightseeing: Nanjing Road, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple
In the morning you will take a walk to the famous Nanjing Road and the Bund. They are among the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai and therefore a must-see when visiting Shanghai.
Then we will take a relaxing walk to the lovely Yuyuan Garden, a beautiful garden in the south of the Yangtze River. Wandering through it, you will find pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many other natural features.
Finally we head to the Jade Buddha Temple. The old-time and classical architectural style makes the temple unique and inimitable in this modern city. Both, the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha are carved with whole white jade. If you're lucky, you can watch the monks serving a ceremony in a side room.
Day 18 Shanghai (B, L)
Sightseeing: Shanghai Museum, Oriental Pearl Tower,Former French Concession
Today you will visit Shanghai Museum which is the biggest museum of China. It incorporates a collection of over 120,000 pieces of Chinese art & cultural relics and is especially famous for its treasures of bronzes, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy.
After lunch, we will visit the Oriental Pearl Tower, the highest TV Tower in Asia, which creates a picture of 'twin dragons playing with pearls'. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors all year-round.
Visit the Former Shanghai French Concession, characterized by beautiful,tree-lined streets and weathered European architecture.
Day 19 Shanghai Departure (B)
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
Today will be free for your own purposes, until our guide will escort you to the airport for your next destination.