Beijing (3 nights)- Chengdu (2 nights) - Chongqing (3 nights) - Yichang -Zhangjiajie (3 nights)- Shanghai (2 nights)
Beijing (3 nights)- Chengdu (2 nights) - Chongqing (3 nights) - Yichang -Zhangjiajie (3 nights)- Shanghai (2 nights)
- Encounter the best historical sights of China in Beijing - climbing the Great Wall, appreciating the Forbidden City, etc.;
- Visit the most adorable animal in the world Giant Panda in Chengdu, also experience local leisure living style;
- Enjoy entertaining activities on the luxury Yangtze River Cruise ship as well as the beautiful scenery along the Yangtze River;
- Step into the real Avatar World - Zhangjiajie National Forest Park;
- Get amazed by the incredible contrast of Shanghai’s past and present and witness the fast development of China in recent years.
Day by Day Itinerary
Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China! You will be met by our local tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Airport and escorted to your downtown hotel by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of the day is your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby areas, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.
After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s five most important palaces – the Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings.
After lunch, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor.
Optional activities: Kungfu Show in the Red Theater or the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater.
Day 3 Beijing ( B, L )
After breakfast, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! You can take a cable car or an enjoyable 40 minute walk to set your feet on the historic Great Wall. Then climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views of the wall as it wriggles along mountain ridges and you take brag-worthy photos.
Continue your trip to Ding Tomb, the mausoleum of a 13th century emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Follow your tour guide to observe its geomantic arrangement as well as visit the underground palace for a closer observation. Then drive back to Beijing City and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.
Optional activity: Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.
Day 4 Beijing - Chengdu ( B, L )
After breakfast, drive to the imperial site of the Temple of Heaven. Originally a site used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for good harvests, it is now a bustling place where locals take part in traditional activities such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, and others.
Then get back to the central city to hop on a rickshaw to experience the Beijing Hutongs - small alleys made by neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing life style, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing. This morning’s last trip will be a visit to a local family living in Siheyuan (quadrangle dwellings) in the Hutongs, which provides a unique experience to take lunch at the local family or you can learn to cook some Chinese dumplings for your lunch if you like.
Your Beijing tour is now about to end. Your tour guide will see you off at the Beijing Airport for your flight to Chengdu. You will be picked up by your tour guide at Chengdu Airport and escorted to your hotel in Chengdu. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.
Day 5 Chengdu ( B, L )
This morning you will make a memorable visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. This facility is not only the most important panda scientific research center in the world, but also the home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. You will walk at leisure through the bamboo-framed paths and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, and climbing trees. Be sure to not miss the chance to watch female pandas nursing their cubs in the nursery rooms! There is also a very informative Panda Museum where you can learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas. Following the visit to this Panda base, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in hustling downtown Chengdu, Wenshu Temple, where you will marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the temple’s peaceful paths.
Chengdu is famous throughout China for its relaxing and leisurely pace and lifestyle, which will be demonstrated by a visit to the City’s Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, have a casual chat with your friends and watch locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment – napping, playing mahjong, disco dancing, and giving neck massages! Next will be an impressive visit to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time will steal away as you quietly walk on the lively streets full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, and other activities.
Optional activity: Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment
This morning, you will be transferred to Chengdu Eastern Railway Station to take the high speed train to Chongqing (about 2hrs). Upon arrival at Chongqing Northern Railway Station, you will be met by our tour guide and then go to visit Ciqikou Ancient Town - Chongqing's old harbor and once the site of the residential houses of many of Chongqing's richest merchants. Here you can still see exquisite Ming and Qing dynasty architecture, visit local shops and tea houses, watch local Sichuan street performances and undertake other interesting activities. After this you will be taken to the next highlight site, Three Gorges Museum, a large monographic museum presenting the history and culture of the Three Gorges Dam Project and its place in Chinese history.
After the tour, you’ll be transferred to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to board your cruise ship between 18:00-20:00 that evening. Your once-in-a-lifetime Yangtze River cruise sails at 21:00! (Please note: the boarding time and departure piers change based on the ship line, water level, season, weather, and other factors. Your travel consultants will ensure you have the actual departure time and boarding pier before your boarding.)
In the morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil and beautiful Yangtze River. It will be colorful and interesting whether you decide to stay onboard or go ashore at river stops.
Onboard you will enjoy different kinds of activities, like practicing Tai Chi on the boat’s sundeck, drinking a relaxing morning coffee, attending a Yangtze River history and culture lecture, or taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party and evening shows.
Next follow a local guide and make a shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda, one of the “Pearls” of the Yangtze River. A gem of Chinese architecture, this 12-story, 18th century red wooden temple on the northern bank of Yangtze River is an architectural delight full of legends and beautiful stories. (Note: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be lots of stairs to climb up!)
Optional excursion: Take a shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City for an extra fee. (Note: Once again, the visit to Fengdu Ghost City requires much walking and comfortable shoes are again highly recommended!)
Today you will sail through the spectacular Three Gorges while relaxing on the sun deck and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge respectively.
In Wu Gorge you will take an enjoyable adventure to primitive Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream). Switch to a smaller boat to sail down this beautiful stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of high mountain peaks and hanging coffins on the steep cliff faces. After watching an entertaining music and dance show of local Tujia ethnic minority, sail back to your ship.
In the evening, you will firstly enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates onboard, and then watch the fascinating process of passing the ship through the Three Gorges Dam Five-stage Ship Locks at 23:00 PM.
Optional excursion: Take a shore excursion to White Emperor City for an extra fee.
Today’s highlight is a morning excursion to Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, located at the middle of Xiling Gorge near Yichang. You will marvel at this gigantic dam from different angles, learn more of the background history of the Three Gorges Dam Project and enjoy the surrounding beautiful landscape and scenery.
After visiting the Three Gorges Dam, your tour guide will pick you up at Three Gorges Dam Site or Dock in Yichang (depending on your train time to Zhangjiajie). Then drive to the Yichang train station and take a train to Zhangjiajie (about 5hrs). Zhangjiajie is an awesome place that features the unique Karst mountains and picturesque forests, bringing you to the most surreal world - AWATAR world.
After arriving in Zhangjiajie, the local guide will pick you up at Zhangjiajie Railway Station and transfer you to your hotel in Wulingyuan.
Day 10 Zhangjiajie (B, L)
This morning, you will visit the highest mountain in Zhangjiajie, Tianmen Mountain, which is praised to be the soul of Zhangjiajie. It is also known as Heaven Gate Mountain due to a large natural ark and many Chinese people believe that Tianmen Mountain is the “Closest Landmark to God” from earth. You will take the cable car to the mountain top and explore the best scenic spots (Glass Skywalk, Guigu Plank Road, and Tianmen Temple), and then take the bus down on 99-bend road.
Optional activity: Tianmen Fox Fairy Musical Show
Day 11 Zhangjiajie (B, L)
On this day, you’ll first take Bailong elevator up to Yuanjiajie, which is situated in the north of Zhangjiajie National Park. This scenic area is world famous as the mountains here inspired the floating mountains in the Hollywood movie Avatar. The peaks in Yuanjiajie are nearly at the same height, which makes it a mountain platform great for enjoying sweeping vistas.
Next, take a sightseeing bus to Tianzi Mountain, where you can have a stunning view of the peaks rising one after another. Atop of the mountain offers a full extent of the whole scenic area, which is magnificent and spectacular. There are four wonders in Tianzi Mountain: the Sea of Clouds, the Radiance of the Moonlight, Rays of Sunshine and the Snow in winter.
After breakfast, you’ll visit the most beautiful scenic spots in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. First, you’ll take the cable car to Huangshi Village which is 1080m above the sea level. It is the biggest sightseeing platform to view the spectacular scenery in the national park. A saying goes “He who does not reach Huangshi Village does not pay a true visit to Zhangjiajie.” Later, explore the famous Golden Whip Brook which covers a distance of 7.5 km, winding across mountains and valleys. It is famous for its pristine water, its verdant mountains, its steep cliffs and its serene valley. As a veritable "paradise" for plants, its pathways are adorned by an abundance of flowers, trees, and grasses.
After the exciting tour, you'll be transferred back to Zhangjiajie City to catch your flight to Shanghai (about 2hrs), the most flourishing metropolis in China. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be escorted by local tour guide to check in your downtown hotel. The rest of today is free for you to explore this cosmopolitan.
You will take a full day of sightseeing to explore both the past and present of Shanghai. Your first stop is Shanghai Museum, one of the Best Four Museums in China. This modern museum, with a round top and a square base which symbolizing the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth", has collected many international-standard exhibits of bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, jade from more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing dynasty. Then you will take an interesting visit to Yu Garden, a shining star among all the ancient Chinese gardens in Jiangnan. This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works. Next, you will drive several kilometers to enjoy a panoramic view of the modern face of Shanghai from the 100th floor (474m) of “the Eye of Shanghai” - Shanghai World Financial Center.
You will then be transferred to another popular landmark of Shanghai, Nanjing Road, a shopping paradise as well as a great place to take a wonderful walk to experience the modern atmosphere of the City. Lastly, you will stop at the Bund, originally a simple towpath for transporting goods but now transformed into a feverish trading district. You will stroll along the Bund, seeing and feeling the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time taking in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes!
Optional activities: 1) Acrobatic Show, including breathtaking “balls of death” acts, chair balancing, hula hoops, juggling of benches, walking in the air, and other breathtaking performances 2) Huangpu River night cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets sparkling under the atmospheric cover of darkness (about 50 minutes).
Your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to next destination or home.
Hotels (we reserve the right to change the hotels to similar rating ones)
13 nights DELUXE accommodations
Beijing 3 nights - Crown Plaza Hotel, Beijing ★★★★★
Chengdu 2 nights - Minyoun Royal Hotel ★★★★★
Zhangjiajie 3 nights - Pullman Hotel, Zhangjiajie ★★★★★
Shanghai 2 nights - The Bund Hotel, Shanghai ★★★★★