Great Wall

Golden Triangle & Yangtze

L-401: 12 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Xi'an - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Tour, any part of the itinerary can be customized, except for Yangtze cruise tour
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned vehicle
Meals: 11 breakfasts, 5 lunches with some being a la carte style, 2 dinners

Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army Museum
  • Visit a local family home, learn to cook Chinese food & dine with the hosts in their home
  • Savor the majestic beauty of the Yangtze Three Gorges & see the amazing Dam Project
  • View the soaring city skylines and feel the pulse of modern Shanghai
From $2569 per person Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Welcome to Beijing today! Our guide will greet you warmly outside Customs of the airport after you retrieve your luggage and clear Customs, and then transfer you to the hotel in a comfortable and air-conditioned vehicle. The remaining time of the day is free for your individual activities.

Our guide will be happy to give suggestions on good restaurants nearby and places to explore in the evening. If you have questions such as money issues, transportations, safety concerns or anything you want to know, just ask the expert guide who is ready to provide all information you need.
Day 2 Beijing
Temple of Heaven
As our guide picks you up in the hotel lobby, your 12 days guided tour of China starts. In the morning, after a leisurely stroll on the world's largest city square, the Tiananmen Square, you will visit the famous Forbidden City, namely the Palace Museum, where you will be fascinated by the gorgeous imperial architecture and cultural relics of more than 600 years ago.

To ensure that you can taste authentic and diversified Chinese food, we will serve you an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a famous local restaurant, quite a different experience than having lunch at the cheap tourist eateries as most agencies are doing now.

In the afternoon, continue your private tour to the Temple of Heaven, the altar where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped the God of Heaven for good harvests. Then you will have a Hutong tour to experience the original Beijing culture by taking a special rickshaw ride through the traditional alleyways and to know about old local customs. It's also a good idea to try local snacks in Hutongs.

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 at the Mutianyu Great Wall
Today you will visit one of the greatest world heritage sites - the Mutianyu Great Wall. As one of the best-preserved sections of the China Great Wall, Mutianyu gained its fame for its solidity and strategic importance. When walking on the Great Wall, you will be impressed by the winding but majestic views. A round-way cable car has been included, or you can take a chairlift up and a toboggan down instead. Today's lunch on your own. It is very convenient to have a simple meal at the foot of the mountain and our guide is glad to offer suggestions.

On the way back to downtown Beijing, you will see the full view of the Bird's Nest (the Olympic National Stadium), which was the major venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. Today's visit will be concluded after you spend some free time at a featured local market.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an by Flight
Summer Palace, Yonghe Temple. Fly to Xi'an. Airport-hotel transfer. (B)
This morning, we visit the Summer Palace first. In this 800-year-old but well-preserved imperial garden, you will be fascinated by the examples of the ancient art, graceful landscapes and magnificent constructions. Next, we will head to visit the Yonghe Temple, also known as the Lama Temple. It is the most revered Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. Lunch is by your own arrangement on the advice of the tour guide.

In the afternoon, we will drive you to the airport for your onward flight to Xi'an. Upon your arrival, our local guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the reserved hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 5 Xi'an
Terracotta Army Museum, A local family visit and an authentic home-cooked lunch, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Great Mosque, Muslim Bazaar. (B+L)
Terracotta Army Museum
In the morning, you will explore the World's Eighth Wonder, the Terracotta Army Museum. You will be deeply impressed when you find out that all the figures and horses have distinct facial expressions and positions.

After that, we will drive you back to downtown Xi'an. You will have a local family visit and an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) in the home of the family that you visit, to taste authentic home cooked dishes. If interested, you may join our Chinese food cooking class and learn to cook one or two dishes with the host for free.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, which is a famous well-preserved Buddhist pagoda of the Tang Dynasty. The extant pagoda has thirteen stories and it still keeps the primitive features. Next, you will continue to visit the Great Mosque, which perfectly compromises the merits of Chinese and Islamic cultures and is said to be the only Islamic mosque in Chinese style in the world. Take a stroll on the lively Muslim street to savor for some local snacks before we drive you back to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch
Day 6 Xi'an to Chongqing by Flight
City Wall Park, City Wall. Fly to Chongqing, Ciqikou Village. Board a Yangtze River cruise ship for a 3-night stay. (B)
Local people playing Tai-chi in the City Wall Park
On your last day in Xi'an, we will visit the City Wall area. First, we come to the City Wall Park, where many locals are doing morning exercises like sword dancing, practising Tai Chi, playing musical instruments, and playing table tennis. Then we ascend the well-preserved ancient City Wall. You can either walk or rent a bicycle to ride around on the wall, discovering the history of this ancient capital of 13 dynasties from every brick and tile.

Then we will drive you to the airport to take a flight to Chongqing. Upon your arrival, our local guide will meet you with a comfortable transfer service. Visit the Ciqikou Village, where many of the houses date from the Ming and Qing dynasties. As dinner is not provided on the cruise ship today, we recommend you try the local food for dinner before we transfer you to board the cruise ship. When the ship departs from Chongqing at about 21:30, your relaxing Yangtze River cruise tour begins.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 7 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)
Captain's welcome party
During the Yangtze River Cruise tour, you will be provided with a detailed daily schedule every day, so you know when to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, and what are the activities and arrangements each day. The river guide will give you a brief introduction of the cruise and explain the schedule for you. Should you have any questions, you may feel free to ask the river guide or the reception.

Today you will disembark and visit the Ghost City of Fengdu. It is believed that every soul is judged in the Ghost City after death, you can learn a lot about the culture of ghost in China here. For travelers who take President Cruises, you will visit the Shuangguishan National Forest Park instead, which is a great place to enjoy a leisurely walk and melt into nature.

In addition to the scheduled onshore excursions, you are free to enjoy yourself on the cruise ship, relax completely on the sundeck or join various cultural programs onboard.

This evening, the Captain's Welcome Party will be held, and it will be a great fun for guests to join in.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Three Gorges, An exciting excursion to Shennong Stream or Shennv Stream. (B+L+D)
Shennong Stream
The highlight part of your cruise tour is coming today. You will appreciate the unique scenery of the Three Gorges. After admiring the majestic Qutang Gorge and the Wu Gorge this morning, you will disembark and take an interesting adventure by motorized ferry along Shennong Stream or Shennv Stream. Sitting on the ferry, you will travel along the zigzagging watercourses and enjoy the grotesque rocks and picturesque scenery along the banks, accompanied by the folk songs from the trackers. It will last about 3 to 4 hours. Then the ship sails into the Xiling Gorge, which is the longest gorge among the three and renowned for the numerous shoals, swift currents and grotesque peaks.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 Yichang to Shanghai by High Speed Train
Disembark the cruise ship, Three Gorges Dam, A 7.5-hour high speed train to Shanghai, Train station to hotel transfer. (B)
Your amazing Yangtze cruise journey will end with a visit to the Three Gorges Dam, which is the major construction of the Three Gorges Project, the world largest irrigation project. Before disembarking, you should pack your luggage and check out from the ship. After the visit, the cruise company will transfer you to the Three Gorges Tourist Center in Yichang city, where our local guide will meet you and take you to the Yichang East Railway Station to catch a 7.5-hour high speed train to Shanghai. Upon your arrival, our guide and driver in Shanghai will greet you at the train station and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 10 Shanghai
Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, A la carte lunch, Huangpu River cruise, Tianzifang Cultural Street. (B+L)
The Bund
Your private Shanghai trip starts from the Shanghai Museum, which houses large collections of historical items. Then you will visit one of the most famous gardens in the southern part of the country, the Yu Garden, which is well known for delicate architecture, exquisite layout and beautiful landscapes.

After that you will enjoy an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) of authentic Shanghai and Cantonese cuisines at a fancy and famous local restaurant.

In the afternoon, you will take a one-hour cruise on the Huangpu River. The huge mansions on the east bank of the river and the old western buildings on the west bank will show you the history and the modernness of the city simultaneously. Afterwards, you will visit the Tianzifang Art Street.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 11 Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai
Drive to Suzhou, Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou Museum, Tongli Water Town, Drive back to Shanghai. (B)
Today you will take a day trip to Suzhou from Shanghai. Driving for about 2 hours we will reach our first stop, the Humble Administrator's Garden, also one of the four most famous gardens in China. Different from the Summer Palace in Beijing which is a royal garden, this one is a private mansion built by Wang Xianchen, the censor of the Ming Dynasty. With the central pond as the focus, this garden is really a masterpiece and you will be attracted by its wonderful construction of pavilions, towers, chambers and terraces. Its neighbor is the Suzhou Museum, a treasure house which also deserves your exploration.

Next we will drive one hour to the Tongli Water Town, an over-1000-year-old ancient town with many folk houses and buildings of the Ming and Qing dynasties. One of the great characteristics of this ancient town is that there are many bridges and lots of water. Fifteen rivers have divided the town into seven islets, and nearly fifty looks of bridges have perfectly connected the separated town. After the visit, we will drive you back to your hotel in Shanghai.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 12 Departure from Shanghai
Bid farewell at the airport. Thank you for travelling with us. (B)
Today you will prepare for your homebound flight. Our guide and driver will meet you in the hotel at the appointed time and see you off at the airport. If you wish to extend your 12 days China tour package, please contact your travel consultants to further discuss. We wish you a pleasant journey home!

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
DestinationsLuxury HotelsStandard Hotels
BeijingHotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong Pentahotel Beijing
XianCrowne Plaza Xi'an Holiday Inn Xian Big Goose Pagoda
Yangtze RiverNew Century Cruises with balconyPresident No.7/No.8 with balcony
ShanghaiRenaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel Ocean Hotel Shanghai
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
$3069 $2762$2819 $2537$2529 $2276
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2819 $2537$2569 $2312$2279 $2051
  • 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 fare
  • 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
Why Travel With Us
  • Customer Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
    4.849 Reviews
    Bernard’s family
    United States
    Posted on March 10, 2020
    We are finally back in New York after our tour and also after spending about a week in Shanghai & Suzhou. Our experience on the tour was very positive overall and we are very impressed with Travel China Guide. We will not hesitate to recommend this company to other people in the future. In fact we have already recommended TCG to many of our friends in Beijing and when I was posted to Beijing with UNDP we have used this company many times for our guests. Highly recommended!
    Josette Bosqued
    Posted on March 02, 2020
    During our trip we have been very surprised by the low number of french tourists visiting China, and especially of individual tourists. All our guides noticed that and were very worried about this situation. Also, as we would be very glad to share our experience with anyone (french-speaking) who wants to visit China through the TCG help!

    Back to France after our 2-week wonderful tour in this marvelous country, we would like to thank you for your excellent and really professional organization and services. We are really glad you arranged so perfectly our individual tour, directly in China. Our first and most sincere acknowledgments are for Ms. Wendy Lee (TCG staff in XiAn) who organized so friendly and perfectly our tour. We would like also to transmit our best regards to the TCG staff members who received us (on Sunday!) in their office during our visit in XiAn.

    All of our guides were French-speaking guides and we would like to thank TCG for providing so thoughtful attention to us, French tourists. We add all of them were perfect and so kind, very fluent in French, really efficient and we learned a lot of interesting information or anecdotal insights about dynasties paving the complex imperial China history. We are grateful to them, Ms. FanFan in Beijing, Mrs. Zhang in XiAn, Brigitte in Shanghai, and Mr. Qu on the cruise. We thank Mr. Hu in Chongqing and Mrs. Qu in Yichang for their ability to manage short transfers and changes in the program induced by delayed flights (or boat) in Chonqing and Yichang. We add a special mention for Zhang in XiAn: we really appreciated her comments during the Terracotta Warriors, Forest of Stone Steles, Great Mosque and museum visits. She enlivened our car transfers with anecdotes about the life of Empress Wu ZeTian. Our guides have done a wonderful job, they love France and French culture, and we hope more French tourists will visit China and highlight their competence.

    All the cars (or minivans) were in perfect state, and all our drivers were perfectly courteous and professional and, in spite of a charged traffic, everywhere skillfully drove us in secure conditions.

    Our Yangtze River cruise on the very comfortable New Century boat was outstanding and will remain an unforgettable souvenir. We were the unique French among 14 individual foreign travelers (on a total of 50 non-Chinese passengers), but we received all during the cruise a personal, courteous and delightful attention from all the ship staff. Excursions, specially the Shennong Stream cruise and the visit to the Pharaonic 3-Gorge dam, were very enjoyable.

    We make some minor comments concerning the detailed organization. The chosen hotelswere all very comfortable and breakfast buffets were great. We especially enjoyed two evening events, the performance of Kungfu in Beijing and Acrobatic Show in Shanghai, but less the too tourist Dynasty show in XiAn, except the great Pans pipes player. We also enjoyed most of the restaurants, even if most of the lunch meals were served in "tourist" restaurants, fortunately not overcrowded at that time.

    We would certainly recommend tcg's reputed services to anyone wishing to visit this beautiful country.
    ... More
    John T Kearns & Ms. Jane G Kearns
    Posted on January 04, 2020
    We were quite satisfied with our China tour from Travel China Guide. At the beginning of the tour in Chongqing, our guide, whose name we have forgotten, met us at the airport, and did a very nice job of showing us around to Ciqikou. He even accommodated our request by taking us to the zoo on the monorail. Chongqing is an impressive city, and the pandas in the zoo are also wonderful.
    On our boat, our accommodations were comfortable, and the staff worked hard to make our trip a success. Meals on the boat seemed carefully planned. We had many dishes to choose from, and all of them were appetizing and tasty. Each buffet was beautifully decorated by a wonderfully talented chef; a treat to see as well as to eat. We were delighted to have so much opportunity to perfect our skills at using chopsticks. We also liked the entertainment provided by the talented young people working on the boat. And we enjoyed the demonstrations and displays of arts and crafts. The guide on the boat, Helen, who addressed the English-speaking passengers, does a really terrific job. She is knowledgeable about the sights to be seen from the boat, and about the history and customs of people living along the river. Helen is energetic, well organized, and extremely cheerful. She seems to enjoy her job, and she makes her audience enjoy their tour. Her contribution to everyone's enjoyment of the trip down the Yangtze is enormous.
    The excursions to Shibaozhai and to take the pea pod boats on the Shennong Stream added a lot to our trip. Our guides for these trips were quite good, but the sights that we saw were so impressive that they overshadowed what the guides could tell us.
    In Yichang, we enjoyed our guide Steven (we think that was his name). He was cheerful and funny, and kept us entertained. We very much appreciated Steven's help in getting us checked in at the airport. He went out of his way to be helpful. This website will be helpful if you look for a China tour.
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    Linda Hall
    Posted on December 21, 2019
    I wish to thank you for the wonderful excursion I had. I wish to say it was very comforting to know that someone was waiting for me at the airport to take care of my transportation to the boat, and also to take me to the airport after the 4 day cruise. The total experience was really great. At the end of the trip, I found out that my prearranged ticket I purchased to fly to Shanghai from Yichang had been postponed. The tour guide who was with me at the airport, was wonderful. She assisted me in obtaining another airflight. It turned out to be a perfect flight because I arrived 3 hours earlier to my destination than my original plan. The guide was very dilligent and worked very hard to help me in this predicament. Thanks to her. ... More
    Judy Florence
    United States
    Posted on December 18, 2019
    All in all we had a good time. Came home with 748 pictures.
    The guides: All the guides were competent, some had excellent English, some less so, but all more than adequate. We had a chance to meet quite a number of people this way, that certainly added to the enjoyment of the trip. The best ones were good companions as well, not just guides. The outstanding ones were: Lee in Guilin and Roger in Xian. We were impressed that we were met everywhere right on schedule.
    The negative side: occasionally the itinerary was arranged at the guides convenience rather than ours. Going through the program without a stop, but leaving us at the hotel in the early afternoon. Could one have a short rest in between? In some places that was offered and found it very nice.
    Transportation: They were all fine. Our guides joked about China Air not being on time, but we experienced only one slight delay.
    Hotels: Our hotels were outstanding, mostly well chosen for location and quality. We appreciated the one in Shanghai for its ambiance.
    Food: We had many good meals, a number of them chosen by our guides with care. In that respect the girl guides were better than the men, may be a coincidence. We did not like the tourist restaurants catering to the large crowds with bland tastes. The worst of these was the first day in Shanghai. We begged our guides to avoid these places, but sometimes they did not find any alternative. In Xian at least our guide took us to the Chinese part of the same restaurant instead of the western buffet. We enjoyed the company of the guides who ate with us. Sharing food is a great way to make friends and part of the cultural experience. All of the guides had to be invited, which is considerate. Some refused, quoting "regulations". We had a suspicion that they were getting real Chinese food instead of the tourist fare. In their place I would not have touched the tourist food either. But of course they were individuals, we could not force our company on them.
    Having a choice of breakfast at the hotels was great. Having only lunch (no dinner mostly) was also a good arrangement, we could not eat another big meal every day. We had snacks instead.
    While I will be organizing another trip to China, I will be taking the journey again with TCG.
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    Lin Shuzhen
    Posted on December 10, 2019
    The cruise was great. I look forward to joining more of your tours in the future. Maybe one to Jiuzhaigou. It's been a pleasure dealing with you.
    David and Paddy Vincent
    Posted on December 06, 2019
    All your arrangements worked well. We really enjoyed all that we did. Everything worked well, the flight to Chongqing was good. We were met at Chongqing and taken to the Yangtze cruise ship by your local guide. The cruise was good, and very interesting. The food and service on the ship were of high quality, and it was well worth doing. The visit to Chongqing was also very interesting. The guide (Coffee) was an amusing and helpful person, who took a great pride in her city. The meal we had in Chongqing was very good indeed, we wish we had a restaurant like that near to our home! The flight to Shanghai was fine, and the guide who looked after us there was very efficient. The hotel was a good place to stay. We would recommend it. All the drivers and their vehicles were good and as they should be, and all the guides, although only with us for a short time, were of a high quality. We would recommend your service to anyone, indeed we have done so several times. Thank you very much for all you did for us. ... More
    Dave Broughton
    Posted on December 02, 2019
    Thanks for a great vacation. We embarked on our journey on time and were very pleasantly surprised by the nice room on board our ship. The flowers in the cabin were especially nice, they lasted all week long 4 days! The on board food was excellent and a great variety to choose from. Entertainment by the ship's crew was awesome, what a talented bunch of young folks. We enjoyed the quiet times on the deck with the sun shining down as the river and shoreline past by us on each side. The river traffic was amazing to see and every turn of the river brought new and different looks to record. We shot over 250 pictures with many shots bringing back good memories after viewing them again and again. The view of the Yangtze Three Gorge Dam was incredible. The day was fairly clear and warm, with visibilty good. We had a great time with staff and passengers, getting to know 2 great couples from the United States. Certainly an adventure to remember and one we will treasure in our photo albums. All the arrangements on board were top notch and no problems at all were encountered. we had 4 delivered each morning to us. Quite a nice touch. I unfortunately developed a cold on the last 2 days of the cruise, but the medical staff were excellent with their diagnosis and presciption of good medications. I was able to enjoy the last 2 days very comfortably. Great service. ... More
    Barbara Nash
    Posted on November 28, 2019
    I returned from my trip. I thoroughly enjoyed this China travel, and that all the arrangements worked out perfectly. All the guides and staff who helped me were completely professional, courteous and well-informed. The cruise was excellent . . . they had enough excursions and activities to keep things interesting, but also allowed us "down time" to simply sit on deck, watch the scenery and relax. The kids who work on the boat are amazing & talented. Cici is not only beautiful, but also works very hard and is a very bright young woman. A young woman named Vicky served our table in the dining room, and she was just delightful. I most want to compliment Ruan (Oscar) who was my guide in Yichang. Oscar was a fantastic & knowledgeable guide. I am a person who asks many questions, and he had answers for all of them. We visited the museum in the midst of a crowd of 10-year old school children, and he was as good with the children (and helping to introduce me to them). I very much enjoyed my time in Yichang. Thank you for a trip well done! ... More
    Linda Hauck
    Posted on November 24, 2019
    Our tour in China was a wonderful success! We have already told many friends of our good experience with your company.
    -We found the accommodations very comfortable.
    -The pace of the tours was exactly right for us and we particularly appreciated the free time we had in Shanghai and Beijing.
    -Most of our guides were quite good. Jennifer (Shanghai) was very well informed and an absolute delight with her cheery, friendly demeanor! JoAnn in Chongqing knew quite a lot about the area and the city; it is too bad we had so little time to spend with her. Our guide in Yichang was adequate, but seemed quite bored. Rita, in Xian, was excellent! She was so well informed and taught us so much of the history and culture of China. She did not limit herself to Xian, but brought all of China to life for us. Rita was definitely our favorite guide. Lina in Beijing showed us all the important sites and was very hospitable. I think she was new to the job, as she did not know the answers to many of our questions and was not familiar with the international airport procedures.
    -The vans provided were roomy and the air conditioning was very welcome. Flying from city to city afforded us extra rest and time to enjoy more of the wonderful places offered.
    -The cruise aboard the Century Legend was excellent. The ships staff were courteous and knowledgeable. The accommodations were clean and comfortable. The layout of the ship was excellent, offering us many different vantage points along the Yangtze River. Thank you so much for suggesting we upgrade to this 5 star cruise.
    ... More
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