Golden Triangle & Yangtze

E-401: 12 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Xian - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Partially-guided Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide & experienced driver for specified guided tours
Accommodation: 3-star decent hotels, also be open to your own choice
Tour Features:
    With essential parts like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army with a guide plus some open free days for easy sightseeing in downtown, our itinerary is particularly designed for clients who are on a limited budget and enjoy a measure of independent travel with our professional suggestions.
From $1399 per person Free Inquiry
Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Our guide will meet you outside customs at Beijing Airport. After you retrieve your luggage and clear customs, we will then transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for individual activities.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Accommodation: Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel
Day 2 Beijing
Our clients on the Great Wall
Photo by our client Mr. Nygllhuw Morris
This morning, you will be guided to visit the world's largest city square, Tiananmen Square. It also serves as the entrance to the Forbidden City, your next stop. Regarded as one of the World's Top Five Palaces, the Forbidden City is the largest and most complete ancient architectural complex in the world. It is a good place to learn about the imperial lives from more than 500 years ago. Since there are almost no good restaurants nearby, we suggest you take some simple food with you, or buy fast food served inside the Forbidden City. 

In the afternoon, you will visit the Summer Palace, which was a water and mountain garden used as a summer resort by the imperial family in the late Qing Dynasty. With delicate buildings, stone bridge, shy willows and elegant hills reflected in the water, the garden has become a picturesque wonderland.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 3 Beijing
Tiananmen Square
Photo by our client Ms. Dawn Anitas Stewart
Today we arrange a visit to one of the world's greatest manmade projects, the Great Wall. Measuring about 5,500 miles long, it is hard to see the entire site. The section you will visit is the Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the best-preserved and best-known sections. The round-trip cable car will be arranged. Lunch is not provided. Since there are no decent restaurants, we kindly suggest you have some fast food around the site. 

Afterwards, your visit continues to the Temple of Heaven, a place where ancient Chinese emperors held ceremonies to worship heaven. Besides the main buildings: the Circular Mound Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, the Three Echo Stones and Echo Wall are also very interesting. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing - Xian
Chinese people in the countryside
All activities today will be on your own. If you want to do some shopping or taste the local food, the famous Wangfujing area near your hotel would be a great choice. The check out time of the hotel is 12:00. You can store your luggage at the hotel reception during your exploration and retrieve it before heading to the railway station. From the entrance of the hotel, please turn left to reach the Nanheyan Street. Then walk north down the street about 50 meters and there is the bus station. Take bus No. 82 for 2 stops,  get off at Qianmen Station, and you will find bus No. 301 or 67 which are just a few steps away. After 6 stops, either of these buses will take you to the Beijing West Railway Station which is just across street from the bus station. The whole journey may take about an hour if the traffic is light. Before getting on the train, we suggest you have dinner elsewhere or take some food with you as the food served at the railway station or on the train is not very appetizing. The train tickets will be given to you by your local guide the day before. If you have any concerns, please ask your guide in advance. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight soft sleeper train
Day 5 Xian
Figure of the terracotta warriors
Our local guide will meet you at Xian railway station and transfer you to the hotel. Since there are many nice eateries around your hotel, we leave breakfast to you. It is also a great chance for you to dine with the local people and see what they eat in the morning. You will start the private tour at the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, which is said to be the Eighth Wonder of the world. By visiting these life-size terra cotta soldiers and horses, ancient weapons and chariots, you will learn more about military affairs in ancient times. Since lunch is not included, you can ask your guide for suggestions. 

The afternoon sightseeing will be extended to the Shaanxi History Museum. This museum collects various exhibitions concerning almost every stage of human beings from primitive times to 1840. The last stop for today is the Xian Museum and the exquisite and graceful Small Wild Goose Pagoda which is located in Jianfu Temple. It was listed as the national major cultural relic preservation site by State Council in 1961. 

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: Days Inn City Centre Xi'an
Day 6 Xian - Chongqing
City Wall
Photo by our client Ms. Vivian Rich
No guided tour is arranged today. As your hotel is located in the city center, it is very easy for you to wander around by yourself. For your information, there are many scenic spots near your hotel, such as the City Wall, the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, the Great Mosque and the Muslim street, the Shuyuanmen Antique Culture Street and the Forest of Stone Steles Museum. The bazaar is a great place to have your lunch. Bus No. 603 will take you directly to Xian Railway Station in about 45 minutes. The bus station is on the east side of the South Street and the bus is always crowded. As it is not so easy to catch a taxi in Xi'an, bus sometimes seems to be the only way. After getting off the bus at the terminal station, you will see the railway station on the other side of the North City Wall. Also, the train tickets will be given to you by your local guide in advance.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight soft sleeper train
Day 7 Chongqing
Three Gorges Sightseeing
The train will arrive in Chongqing in the morning. Your professional Chongqing tour guide will meet you with comfortable transfer service. There will be a brief city tour to the Panda House in Chongqing Zoo, General Joseph W. Stilwell Museum, and Ciqikou Village. Chongqing is famous for hot pot which is loved by almost everyone. If you are not used to spicy food, you can ask for the plain soup hot pot for lunch. Your memorable Yangtze River tour begins at 22:00 as you board the luxurious cruise ship. 

Meals: No meals
Cruises: President No.7/No.8 with balcony
Day 8 Yangtze River Cruise
Today you will have a shore excursion to Mount Shuanggui, also called Mount Luming. It has been a famous place of interest since Song Dynasty and attracted a great number of writers and poets to be here. Here you can also see old pavilions and temples built in memory of the important historical moments and some great people who had visited the place. After the sightseeing, you will board the ship and the cruise continues. Please enjoy yourself at the Captain's Welcome Party tonight.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 Yangtze River Cruise
The essential part of your river journey is coming today. You will appreciate the unique scenic splendor of the three gorges. First, the ship will sail through Qutang Gorge, the grandest and most dangerous section. Standing on the deck, you will see the steep precipices on both banks of this narrow stretch of water. After that, you will enter Wu Gorge which is famous for lofty peaks and mountains, especially the twelve charming and lively peaks standing in different postures and manners. The ship will then take you to Xiling Gorge, the longest but gentlest one among the three. Between Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge, you will take an interesting junk adventure for about three hours to Shennong Stream. While drifting through this zigzagging watercourse on a small boat, you can feast your eyes on the beautiful landscape.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 Yichang - Shanghai
The final onshore excursion is a visit to the Three Gorges Dam, a project which brings in great benefits in flood control and power generation. There is a viewing platform on Tanzi Mountain where you can overlook the entire Three Gorges Dam. After that, the cruise ship company will transfer you the Three Gorges Tourist Center in Yichang city, where our local guide will meet you and send you to the railway station to catch the bullet train from Yichang to Shanghai. We suggest you have a big breakfast on the cruise and take some food with you for you may not have time for lunch. 

The train ride takes about 7.5 hours. Upon arrival in Shanghai, please go to the hotel we have booked for you on your own. If you arrive at the Hongqiao Railway Station, you can take subway line 10 (Xin Jiang Wan Cheng Direction) to South Shaanxi Rd. Station and then change to subway line 12(Jinhai Rd. Direction). The second stop on the subway is the Hanzhong Road, from where your hotel is about 500 meters away on the west side of the Hengfeng Road. Alternatively, you may take a taxi (CNY70) to the hotel directly. If you arrive at Shanghai Railway Station, we suggest you take subway line 1 (Xinzhuang Direction) and get off at Hanzhong Rd. Station, exit from Exit No. 4 and walk to the hotel. Or you may hail a taxi to the hotel directly with a cost of about CNY20.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Golden River-view Hotel
Day 11 Shanghai
Yuyuan Garden
Photo by our client Mr. Bilal Abdelkader Fayed
For the free day today, we suggest you take a taxi between the scenic spots. This is very economical and convenient (CNY14 - CNY21 per way). The first spot we recommend is the Shanghai Museum which is located near the Renming Square (People's Square). The museum houses a large number of historical art works like bronze, sculpture, jade, porcelain and ceramic wares. We suggest you rent an audio guide for CNY40 to make sure the major collections are not missed. The next stop is Yuyuan Garden. With halls, pavilions, bridges, pools and corridors carefully laid-out, it is like a work of nature, not a manmade garden. The surrounding area is the Shanghai Old Town, and you can easily find a nice restaurant to have lunch. 

In the afternoon, take a taxi to the Bund area along the Huangpu River. Having the reputation as the mother river of the city, Huangpu River is packed with sightseeing, shipping, irrigation, fishery and climatic regulation. The Bund is located on its west bank where a cluster of western-style buildings form the 'Museum of International Architecture'. Looking across the river to its east bank, you will see modern skyscrapers one by one.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 12 Shanghai Exit
You will travel to the airport to board your homeward flight on your own. We suggest you reach the airport at least 2 hours before the departure time of your flight. The transfer costs around CNY170 by taxi from Golden River-view Hotel to the Pudong Airport (PVG). As an alternative, you can choose to walk to the Hanzhong Road and take subway Line 1 to the People's Square stop and transfer to Line 2 to reach Pudong Airport.

If you go to the Hongqiao Airport, taxi is the most preferred choice. Subway is also very convenient. Please take subway Line 1 and get off at People's Square and find Line 2 to Hongqiao Airport. Please ensure the train is going the correct direction.  Hope you have a smooth trip back home.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Tour Prices
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • Any parts of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Train fares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • Private guides and drivers on guided tours
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites on guided tours
  • Yangtze River cruise with full board
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Transfers and entrance fees for free days
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Why Travel With Us
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