Splendid China

2020-SG02: 11 Days Small Group Tour to Beijing Xian Chongqing Yangtze River Cruise Yichang Shanghai
Departure dates and prices upon requestFree Inquiry
Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Our group at the Forbidden City
Photo by our client Ms. Susan Harris Buchanan
The pick-up service is scheduled properly according to your flight arrival time. Following the stream to the baggage claim area for your luggage and then getting to the exit of Beijing Capital Airport, you will see our guide waiting for you with friendly smile. During the private transfer to the hotel, you can get some basic information of the capital city from the guide and also enjoy the city view outside the window along the way. Check in the 4-star Best Western Premier Royal Phoenix Hotel (Add: No. 17 Qian Liang Hutong, Dong Si Bei Avenue). The rest time of the day is at your own disposal. A good rest in the hotel or a leisure walk around is wise choice.
Day 2 Beijing
Cheers for the Great Wall
This morning, you will be gathered and introduced to other group members. Today's sightseeing spots are grouped in the heartland of the city. The Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are always great places to start. Having witnessed the fall of the feudal dynasty and the rise of the new China for centuries, the venerable Tiananmen Square is a very sacred place for Chinese people. Around it, there are also some other magnificent buildings preferred by visitors. Lying north of the square is the Forbidden City, where Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties once lived from 1420 to 1912. The groups of ancient architecture, legendary stories and rare relics will bring you back to the long past ages. Here you will also have the chance to visit the Treasure Gallery, which priceless articles for exclusive use of the royal family are on display. Next you visit the more than 1000 years old Beihai Park, which is one of the longest-living and best conserved royal gardens. The day is rounded off with a series of Chinese traditional music shows at the antique Laoshe Tea House. (B+L)
Day 3 Beijing
Fresh vegetables in the morning market
A good breakfast ahead will fortify you for the day's activity. The majestic Great Wall at the Mutianyu section awaits your sightseeing in the morning. Built in the Ming Dynasty, it made a feature of combining the peculiar fortification, densely placed watchtowers, difficult passes and leafy woodland scenery. Zigzagging on the back of the steep mountain ridges and crossing the deep valley, the imposing Mutianyu Great Wall almost retains its own original color. Lunch is served at a superb local restaurant for your group. Thereafter, we will take you to the South Gong and Drum Lane (Nanluogu Xiang), which is the best place to experience the rich flavor of the Old Beijing. This lane, built in 1267 together with the capital of Yuan Dynasty, is 786 meters long and 8 meters wide. It is China's only complete preservation of traditional courtyard in chessboard shape. On both east and west side of the South Gong and Drum Lane, there are respectively eight Hutong alleys laid out neatly. You will have a fair afternoon to trace the Hutong culture richness, folk arts, the old lifestyle and also some fancy small shops. (B+L)
Day 4 Beijing - Xian
Terracotta soldiers
This morning you will have a visit to the Old Summer Palace, namely the ruins of the Yuanmingyuan, which once was famous for its large-scale coverage, excellent architecture complex and plenty of culture collections. It not only inherited conventional gardening techniques by extracting the full essence of the grandness of court buildings, the charm of south classical gardens, but also imbibed the form of European landscape architecture. Although the Old Summer Palace was unfortunately looted and burned in 1860 by invaders, its splendor is still visible from the ruins. After having lunch, you will be guided to the Imperial Academy, constituted in 1306 as the highest educational administration and feudal institution for the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty. Fly to your onward destination - Xian in the afternoon. Likewise, professional local guide and driver will greet you at the airport and transfer you to the 4-star Tang Dynasty Art Garden Hotel (Addr: No. 6-1 Fu Rong Dong Road) for agreeable stay. (B+L)
Day 5 Xian
Our guests visiting a local family home
Let's spend the morning visiting the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. In addition to admiring the excavated bronze chariot and horses and weapons, you are also able to get close to the three exposed pits. Being affiliated to the Mausoleum of the First Emperor Qin Shihuang that is about 1.5 kilometers away, the three pits with arrays of troops always bring visitors fresh visual impact. You can fuel up on tasty a la carte at a decent restaurant. Then you will proceed to the Banpo Museum, which is China's first museum that built on the site of prehistoric tribe. Its historical relics vividly show the organization, production, living, marriage, custom, culture and art, etc of a typical Neolithic maternal community 6000 years ago. Afterwards, visit the Tang Paradise. As the first cultural theme park of Royal Garden, the sights in Tang Paradise have reproduced the brilliant civilization of the prosperous Tang Dynasty by covering all-round aspects like religion, economy, culture, technology, entertainment and so on. There are also various wonderful performances to enjoy in the park. (B+L)
Day 6 Xian - Chongqing
Yangtze River Cruise
Our guide will show you the Great Mosque, the Drum and Bell Tower before leaving for Chongqing. In early Tang Dynasty, Islam was brought to Chang'an - the current Xian, by Arabia merchants via the Silk Road. Later they resided in the ancient capital, so the Great Mosque emerged in 742 as the Mecca of their spiritual belief. The tight layout, fine buildings, tranquil ambience make the Great Mosque a favorite place of visitors. Very near to the Great Mosque, you can see the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower well echo each other at short walking distance, creating a unique landscape, which is peculiar to Xian. After finishing the visit, fly to Chongqing and our guide and driver in Chongqing will take you to the pier and help you board the 5-star Century Star cruise ship. The pleasurable Yangtze River cruise starts at 22:00 as your ship sets sail. (B)
Day 7 Shibaozhai
Take time to relax yourself this morning. There are Reading Room, Massage Room, Café, Beauty Salon and Gymnasium for your recreation. Soon after lunch, you will have a shore excursion to Shibaozhai. Famous as a "bright pearl in the Yangtze River", Shibaozhai, an isolated peak rising sheer from the river bed, has a twelve-tier wood pavilion built against the rock. The pavilion is the only column-and-tie wooden construction of China's few extant tall timberwork buildings. It is a feast for the eyes as you standing on the top of the pavilion and overlooking the river. Tonight the captain will greet all guests by a welcome dinner. Then an elaborate performance is offered by crews. (B+L+D)
Day 8 Badong - Xiling Gorge - Sandouping
Pea-boat rowing along Shennong Stream
Today the cruise ship will sail through the most preferable part of the Yangtze River. After having breakfast, you can get to the Sun Deck to enjoy the unobstructed grandiose scenery of the Qutang Gorge, which extends to 8 kilometers. Thereafter, the Wu Gorge carries its enchanting landscape coming into your view. For thousands of years, this section has attracted and inspired numerous poets and scholars who left immortal literary works and paintings. An exciting scenic boat excursion takes you to Shennong Stream in the afternoon. The rare beauty of clear water, verdant mountains, mysterious cliff coffin, primitive pea boats, and ethnic customs of Tujia people all fill the trip with uncommon delight. A farewell dinner will be ready soon after your return. From 17:30 to 19:00, the ship will sail through the western section of Xiling Gorge. (B+L+D)
Day 9 Yichang - Shanghai
Tai-Chi playing on the Shanghai Bund
A morning excursion to the Three Gorges Dam is scheduled for you. Since its starting from 1994, the Three Gorges Dam Project has become a focus of global attention. Now the ambitious blueprint has been carried out, undoubtedly it is a magnet for tourists. You will have the chance to reach the Tanzilin platform, which permits a panoramic view of the majestic Dam and the two-way 5 level ship lock. It takes one hour for the ship sail through the eastern section of Xiling Gorge to arrive at Yichang port. The local guide will get aboard to meet you. Visit the Chinese Sturgeon Museum. The Chinese sturgeon, a living fossil contemporaneous with dinosaurs, has been listed as the first nationally protected animals. Travel to Shanghai by flight and check in the 4-star Ramada Plaza Peace Hotel. Its address is No.688 Xie Tu Road. (B+L)
Day 10 Shanghai
Huangpu River Cruise
Typical for Shanghai are the prosperous and bustling business districts and the newly developed modern urban landscapes. Today our guide will show you this international metropolis by starting with the Nanjing Road and the Bund. For more than one hundred years of its developing, modern and traditional marvels blend well with each other, adding much vitality to Nanjing Road. With a length of 1.5 kilometers, the Bund is indeed cultural loaded. Walking along the Bund northwards, you will see the Garden Bridge - a landmark of old Shanghai. After lunch, you will move to the venue of Shanghai Expo to appreciate some of the pavilions that still open to tourist. Our guide and driver will then send you back to the hotel and bid you farewell. (B+L)
Day 11 Departure from Shanghai
Enjoy your breakfast today at leisure as the hotel check-out time is 12:00. If your onward flight leaves late today, you can store your luggage in the hotel and make full use of the spare time to further explore the city on your own. We also have a list of selectable city package tour options for those who want to find out more about China. (B)
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