giant pandas

China Essence with Yangtze Cruise

408: 16 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Xian - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin - Chengdu - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned vehicle
Meals: 15 western buffet breakfasts, 6 lunches with some being a la carte style, 2 dinners

Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas
  • Enjoy the breathtaking landscape along Li River & escape from the bustling city life
  • Unwind with a Yangtze River cruise tour & see the Three Gorges
  • Walk into a local family, learn to cook Chinese food & dine with the hosts in their home
From $3129 per person Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport, our guide will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the hotel for check-in. There is no arranged activity for the rest of the day. You may have a good rest at the hotel and get ready for the coming private Beijing tour.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Day 2 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall
This morning, you will be guided to the Tiananmen Square first to take good pictures of Tiananmen Tower, Monument to People's Heroes, and Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao on the square. Behind the Tiananmen Tower is the grand Forbidden City, the royal palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 - 1911). Wandering among these crimson halls, you can easily imagine the luxury life of the royal family with the explanation of our guide.

At noon, we will arrange an a la carte lunch at an elegant restaurant. It is valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price. After that, continue our tour to the Temple of Heaven, which was the place for emperors to offer sacrifices to the heaven.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 3 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall with a round-trip cable car, Olympic Bird's Nest. (B)
Our clients taking rickshaw during Hutong tour
Our guide and driver will come and get you after breakfast, and then escort you to Mutianyu Great Wall, which is famous for dense watchtowers along the ramparts. We will arrange the cable car ride for you for both ways. The most unique sight here is the Zhengguan Terrace where three towers stand closely to each other. At noon, you will have lunch at a nearby restaurant on your own. You can ask for some recommended restaurants from our guide.

During the return trip back to downtown, we will make a stopover at the Bird's Nest to let you take pictures of its unique appearance, and then take you to a bustling market for visit.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing - Xian
Summer Palace, Hutong visit, A high speed train to Xian. Railway station pick-up. (B)
Having spent a challenging day, we will arrange a leisure tour to the Summer Palace this morning. It used to be the summer resort of imperial family during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), mainly consisting of Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill. After that, you will be guided to take a walk along old hutong alleys to have a glimpse of authentic Beijingers' life.

Your private Beijing tour will end at this point. Our guide and driver will escort you to Beijing West Railway Station to take a high speed train to Xian. You will meet our Xian guide when you get out of the train station and then be transferred to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 5 Xian
Terracotta Warriors, Provincial History Museum, City Wall. (B)
Terracotta Warriors
This morning, our guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel and escort you to the Terracotta Army Museum. It is the funeral object of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259 - 210 BC) including more than 8,000 life-sized pottery soldiers and over 100 chariots. You will definitely feel stunned because the facial shape, expression, and posture of these figures are diverse from each other.

At noon, have a lunch at a restaurant outside the museum on your own, and then you will be transferred to Shaanxi History Museum. Over 370,000 rare relics dated from the Prehistoric Times 1.7 million years ago to 1840 are displayed in the three main exhibition halls. The next destination of today's Xian tour is the City Wall, which is the best-preserved ancient wall of China with a history of over 600 years.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 6 Xian - Guilin
Xian Museum and Small Wild Goose Pagoda, A local family visit and home-cooked lunch, Great Mosque, Free time at the Muslim Bazzar. Fly to Guilin. Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
Bicycle riding on Xian City Wall
This morning, you will be arranged to visit Xian Museum and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda first, both located in the Jianfu Temple. Xian Museum is the best place for you to know the over 1,000 years' capital history of Xian. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) for storing Buddhist sutra. Although its roof was destroyed during several earthquakes, there is an open-air viewing platform at the top to let visitors have a full view of the surroundings.

At noon, you will be served an a la carte home-cooked lunch at a local family. After that, follow our guide to the Great Mosque, the only mosque in the world that is in traditional Chinese architectural style. Then you will have some free time to explore snack workshops and souvenir stores at Muslim Quarter.

Arrive at the meeting place at the appointed time and then you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Guilin. Our local guide will meet you outside the exit. After a warm greeting, you will be escorted to the hotel to check in.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch
Day 7 Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin
Li River cruise to Yangshuo, Countryside trip. Yangshuo-Guilin transfer. (B+L)
Li River Cruise
Li River is the soul of Guilin City and our private Guilin tour will start with the Li River cruise to Yangshuo. Our guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel early in the morning and drive you to the dock to board the ship. Along the way, the picturesque scenery of green hills and clear water will make you feel like being inside a landscape scroll. You will also encounter famous spots including Ox Gorge, Mural Hill, and Yellow Cloth Shoal. Lunch will be served onboard, but it is still suggested you pack some snacks in case the food is not to your taste.

After about four hours' cruise, you will disembark in Yangshuo and start the appreciation tour of its rural landscape with the company of our guide. You will be provided a chance to drop by a local family and communicate with the host to know their daily life. When the whole day's tour is over, you will be transferred back to the hotel in Guilin.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 Guilin
Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park, Elephant Trunk Hill. (B)
After breakfast, you will be guided to Reed Flute Cave and the Seven Stars Park first. Both are famous for karst caves where you can admire oddly-shaped stalactites in colorful lights. After that, we will make a stopover at the Elephant Trunk Hill, the landmark of Guilin City, and take some good pictures. The last destination of today's private Guilin tour is the Wave-Subduing Hill, from where you can have a bird's-eye-view of the whole city and surrounding hills.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 9 Guilin - Chengdu
Fly to Chengdu. Airport-hotel transfer. (B)
Yangshuo rural scenery
Today, you will head for the next city of this 16-day private China tour, Chengdu. After breakfast, our guide and driver will transfer you to the airport and help you board the plane. After landing, you will be greeted at the airport and then be escorted to the hotel.

The rest of the day is free for your own arrangement. You may have a lunch at a nearby restaurant and then take a taxi to the People's Park to immerse in locals' life.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 10 Chengdu
Giant Panda Breeding Base, Broad and Narrow Alleys, Jinsha Site Museum. (B)
A journey to Chengdu is not complete without seeing the lovely giant pandas, so a visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is arranged at the beginning of this Chengdu guided tour. After having a close contact with these adorable animals, you will be taken to the Wide and Narrow Alley to experience traditional Chengdu lifestyle. There are brimmed with distinctive restaurants and you can feast your stomach with authentic local cuisines there. Our guide can give you some recommendations if needed.

In the afternoon, you will pay a visit to the Jinsha Site Museum with the company of our guide. The museum was built on the ruins of the capital city of the Kingdom Shu back in the 12th century BC. A large number of ivories, gold articles, and jade wares were unearthed there, including the most prominent Gold Foil of the Sun God Bird.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 11 Chengdu - Chongqing
Free time in the morning, A 2-hour bullet train to Chongqing, Railway station pick-up, Board a Yangtze River cruise ship for a 3-night stay. (B)
Giant pandas
There is no arranged activity this morning. You can have a good rest at the hotel or explore the city a bit more on your own. In the afternoon, our guide will escort you to the railway station for your onward train to Chongqing. Upon arrival, our local guide will pick you up at the railway station and transfer you to the port. Board the five-star cruise ship there to start the following Yangtze River cruise.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 12 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Cruise orientation, An onshore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City or Shuangguishan National Forest Park, Captain's Welcome Party. (B+L+D)
The cruise guide will brief you on the cruise itinerary this morning or the night before. Today, you will disembark and be led to visit the Fengdu Ghost City. If you take President Cruises, you will visit the Shuangguishan National Forest Park. After getting back to the ship, you can stand on the deck and look around the rolling steep cliffs while drifting through deep gorges. At night, there will be a welcome party onboard and the staff will put on fantastic performances.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Three Gorges, An exciting excursion to Shennong Stream or Shennv Stream. (B+L+D)
Shennong Stream excursion
Today's Yangtze River cruise will be highlighted by the superb view of the Three Gorges which consists of Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge. You will change to a smaller motorized ferry on the border of Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge and take a 3-4 hours' cruise to Shennong Stream or Shennv Stream. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14 Yichang - Shanghai
Disembark the cruise ship, Three Gorges Dam, A 7.5-hour bullet train to Shanghai, Train station to hotel transfer. (B)
The ship will arrive at the Three Gorges Dam in the morning and you will disembark to view this great water conservancy project in different angles. Before disembarking, you should take your luggage and check out the ship. After the excursion, the cruise ship company will drive you to the Three Gorges Tourist Center in Yichang city. Our local guide will meet you there and take you to the railway station for a bullet train to Shanghai. The train ride takes around 7.5 hours. Upon arrival, you will meet our guide at the train station and be transferred to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 15 Shanghai
Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden, A la carte lunch, Huangpu River cruise, the Bund and a cultural street. (B+L)
Shanghai Bund area
Your private Shanghai tour will start with Shanghai Museum, where you can admire over 120,000 precious items and the most prominent ones are bronze wares. Then you will be guided to the Yuyuan Garden to appreciate traditional exquisite pavilions, bridges, corridors and rooms inside.

After having an a la carte lunch at a famous restaurant, we will arrange you a Huangpu River cruise. After disembarking, you will have some free time to explore the Bund where 52 western-style buildings during the 19th century line up along the bank. At the same time, you can also take good shots of modern skyscrapers on the opposite bank. Then we will head for a cultural block in Shanghai to get relaxed before going back to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 16 Departure from Shanghai
Hotel-airport transfer & see you off. A nice journey home! (B)
This 16-day China tour package will round off at this point. Our guide and driver will come and get you at the appointed time, and then transfer you to the airport. Bon voyage!

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings
10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$3879 $3491$3579 $3221$3189 $2870
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$3419 $3077$3129 $2816$2739 $2465
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • The prices in red reflect 10% discount.
  • Any part of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares & train fares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • A la carte lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Private English-speaking guides
  • Private drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
  • Yangtze River cruise with full board
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
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