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Pandas & Yangtze Cruise

SG04: 16 Days Small Group Tour of Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Chengdu - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai
Tour Type: Small Group of 2-18 travelers, guaranteed departures
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 12 nights at nice 5-star & 4-star hotels, 3 nights on Yangtze River cruise
Meals: 15 western buffet breakfasts, 8 lunches with some being a la carte style, 3 dinners
Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas
  • Fantastic cruise tour on the Li River from Guilin to rural Yangshuo
  • Have a once in a life chance to get close to the incredibly cute treasure -Pandas
  • Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund
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From US$2629 per person
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Arrive at any time, Airport pick-up & airport-hotel transfer.
Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, please clear yourself through customs. Our English-speaking guide will meet you at the arrival hall, after which we will drive you to the hotel. Have a good rest to restore yourself for the following 16 days China tour. Or, you can take a short walk around on your own. 
Accommodation: The Great Wall Hotel Beijing - the former Sheraton
Day 2 Beijing
A tour briefing, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, A la carte welcome lunch with Peking Duck, Temple of Heaven, Chinese Kung Fu Show. (B+L)
After breakfast, your guide will host a group meeting at the hotel lobby, which will not take you much time, about 30 minutes, but is important for a group travel. Some travel guidelines and tips will be shared so that everyone in the group can make good preparations for the trip.

Then, start your morning excursions to the famous Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. As an imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Forbidden City has a mysterious aura. An a la carte welcome lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a nicely decorated and noted local restaurant will follow allowing you to taste diversified Chinese food and Peking Roast Duck.

In the afternoon we will visit the Temple of Heaven, a delicate ancient architectural complex where emperors once offered sacrifices to the God of Heaven. Later, we'll lighten up the evening with an exciting Chinese Kung Fu Show at the Red Theatre.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte welcome lunch
Day 3 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall with a round-trip cable car, A toast with red wine on the wall, Olympic Bird's Nest. (B)
Unique rickshaw riding in old Hutongs
No Beijing tour is complete without visiting the Great Wall. This morning, we will set off to the suburban Mutianyu Great Wall. The cable car will take you up and down since it is an energy-consuming climb. The most important thing for you is to enjoy walking on the wall and appreciate the amazing wonder.

The restaurants nearby offer poor meals that do not meet our service standard. We therefore suggest you have a sufficient breakfast at the hotel and have some fast food for lunch by yourself.

Get back to Beijing in the afternoon and have a photo stop in the Olympic sports venue, the National Stadium (also the Bird's Nest). The remaining time of the day will be arranged for you to explore a traditional local market. After that we will drive you back to the hotel.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing - Xi'an
Summer Palace, Hutong Rickshaw Tour, Experience Chinese Paper Cutting, A la carte lunch, Fly to Xi'an, Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
Chinese traditional needlework in a free market
For first-time visitors, the Summer Palace, a former imperial summer resort, is one venue you should not miss. It is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden as well as a world-famous tourist resort. The next stop is the Hutongs. It is fantastic to experience the area by rickshaw and get an insight into the old Beijing culture. You will also have a chance to try your hand at Chinese Paper Cutting.

A la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) will be scheduled at an elegant local restaurant.

After lunch, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. Our professional guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area of the airport and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel
Day 5 Xi'an
Terracotta Army, A local family visit and an authentic home-cooked lunch, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Dynasty Show with dumpling dinner. (B+L+D)
Terracotta soldiers, Xi'an
We will visit the amazing Terracotta Army this morning to appreciate the undeniable excellent ancient craft works of the Qin dynasty. The site mostly has cheap tourist restaurants nearby, so we would like to drive you back to the city center to have a real home-cooked a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at a local family home. 

After lunch, a visit to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda & Xi'an Museum is scheduled. Also a delicious dumpling dinner will be served tonight along with the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch, Dumpling dinner
 Friendly Tips

Clients visiting in Jan, Feb, Mar and Dec need to arrange the dinner and evening activity on their own for this day, since the theater is usually not open at that time.
Day 6 Xi'an
Observe local life in the park, Tai Chi practice, Xi'an City Wall, A la carte lunch, Provincial History Museum, Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter. (B+L)
Our group at the South Gate of City Wall
Photo by our client Ms. Cornelia Nicoleta Popa
The City Wall Park is a good place to experience more of the local Xi'an lives, so today your first stop will be spending some leisure time in the park. We also have a special arrangement for you here. That is learning to practice Tai Chi with a master. Then ascend the ancient City Wall and have a panoramic view of the city while strolling on it. The brick road on top of the wall is broad and you can rent and ride bicycles for fun if you like.

Around noon, enjoy an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at a famous local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we continue to visit Shaanxi History Museum and the Great Mosque. On the Muslim Street where the mosque is located you will also find delicious Muslim food and interesting souvenirs.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 7 Xi'an - Guilin
Fly to Guilin, Airport-hotel transfer, Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill. (B)
Countryside scenery in Yangshuo
Catch a morning flight to Guilin. Upon your arrival, our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area. Your Guilin sightseeing starts with the famous Reed Flute Cave, which is a 240 meter karst cave that has various shapes of stalactites and stalagmites. Then we head to the Elephant Trunk Hill. The shape of the hill is just like a giant elephant boozing water from the river with its long trunk, hence got the name. After that, we will transfer you to the hotel.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel
Day 8 Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin
Li River cruise to Yangshuo, West Street, Countryside tour, Drive back to Guilin. (B+L)
Li River Cruise
Li River Cruise
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to the pier to appreciate the picturesque scenery of Li River by cruising down from Guilin to Yangshuo. As the lunch on the ship is the basic Chinese box lunch, it cannot be up to your taste, we suggest you have a big breakfast at the hotel this morning. 

Disembark at Yangshuo in about 4 hours, you will take a stroll on the famous West Street. Then we transfer you to enjoy the countryside scenes of rural Yangshuo. On the way, you also have a chance to visit a local peasant home and get a close touch with the country life. Finally, we drive you back to Guilin. 

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 Guilin - Chengdu
Fly to Chengdu, Airport-hotel transfer, Relax during the rest of the day. (B)
After breakfast, catch a morning flight to Chengdu. Upon your arrival, our guide will be waiting for you outside the baggage claim area and transfer you to the hotel. We will leave you free time for lunch and rest for the remaining time of the day, and our guide is glad to offer advices of nice restaurants.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Chengdu Oriental Plaza
Day 10 Chengdu
Giant Panda Base, Broad and Narrow Alleys, Jinsha Site Museum, Leisure time at Renmin Park. (B)
Lovely pandas
Today we will have a pleasant date with China's national treasure giant pandas at the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The pandas are very active in the morning. You will sure be entertained when you see the cute and chubby panda bears eating bamboo shoots or playing with each other. Then, continue to the Broad and Narrow Alleys where old houses and alleys of the Qing Dynasty have been turned to tea houses, restaurants, shops and bars. Lunch is arranged on your own. You might try some local snacks in the alley or choose a courtyard restaurant to enjoy your lunch.

In the afternoon, visit Jinsha Site Museum, a significant relic of the ancient Shu civilization discovered in 2001. The Gold Sun God Bird unearthed from the site has been selected as the logo of China Cultural Heritages. After the museum, you will come to the most popular Renmin Park. Have a pot of tea there and live like a local.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Day 11 Chengdu - Chongqing
A 2-hour bullet train to Chongqing, Jiefangbei CBD, Ci Qi Kou Ancient Village, Board a Yangtze River cruise ship for a 3-night stay. (B)
Our Travel Consultant Ruby with her clients
We remain the whole morning free for you. You can take time to explore this pleasant city further and have lunch by yourself. 

In the afternoon, our guide will drop you off at the railway station and help you board a bullet train to Chongqing. It is a two hours trip. Upon your arrival, our guide in Chongqing will meet you at the station. Explore Jiefangbei CBD and Ci Qi Kou Ancient Village, where you may have dinner by yourself. Tonight, you will board a 5-star Yangtze cruise ship, which sets sail at 21:30.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Cruises: Century Diamond with balcony
Day 12 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Cruise orientation, An onshore excursion to Shibaozhai, Captain's Welcome Party. (B+L+D)
The ship arrives at Zhongxian at about 14:00. We will disembark and visit the Shibaozhai. The onshore visit will enable you to witness the majestic and delicate wooden tower along with the giant rock. The unique tower, first built in Wanli reign of Ming Dynasty, is regarded as a fairy land in Yangtze River. Re-embark and continue the cruise. This evening, you will be invited to join in the Captain's Welcome Party. Have fun!

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Three Gorges, An exciting excursion to Shennv Stream. (B+L+D)
Our clients on the Yangtze River cruise
In the morning, the ship will reach Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. The cruise guide on-board is expected to make a formal presentation. Get your camera ready! After lunch, we will disembark to experience an interesting excursion to the Shennv Stream by boat which will add much joy to the marvelous day. It lasts 3 to 4 hours. Back to the ship and cruise down the western section of Xiling Gorge

Meals included: 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 Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydro-electric project is your last excursion stop on Yangtze. Pack your belongings for disembarking before the visit. Afterwards, the cruise ship company will drive you to the Three Gorges Tourist Center and our local guide will meet you there. Then you will be taking a bullet train to your last scheduled destination, Shanghai. It is a 7.5 hours trip. On arriving at Shanghai railway station, you will be met by the guide and transferred to the hotel.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Parkline Century Park Hotel Shanghai - the former Crowne Plaza
Day 15 Shanghai
Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden and its traditional bazaar, A la carte farewell lunch, Former French Concession, the Bund and Huangpu River cruise. (B+L)
Shanghai Bund area
After breakfast, you will start your trip from Shanghai Museum, one of the top four museums in China. Then head to the ancient Yu Garden, where you can see traditional Chinese architecture, beautiful artificial hills and ponds. We will leave you some free time there to explore the surrounding Yu Bazaar. 

Around noon, you will enjoy an a la carte farewell lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at a popular local restaurant. 

Your afternoon trip will begin with a walk in the Former French Concession. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the city's landmark site, the Bund, and take a one-hour cruise tour along the Huangpu River - the mother river of Shanghai. As the symbol and a microcosm of the city, the river has witnessed the glory, humiliation, despair and prosperity of Shanghai. After the whole day of sightseeing, our guide will transfer you back to the hotel and bid farewell to you.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte farewell lunch
Day 16 Departure from Shanghai
Please check out before 12:00. We recommend the most efficient and money-saving way - taking a taxi by yourself from hotel to the airport, A pleasant trip home! (B)
Today you will check out of your hotel after breakfast, and find your own way to the airport according to your flight schedule. We will be of your assistance at any time you need. Wish you a nice journey home!

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
Prices are per person in US Dollars; departures are guaranteed even with two persons!
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings
10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before
Arrival DateDeparture DateDouble OccupancySingle Room Supplement 
Oct 24(Thu) Nov 08(Fri) $2829$1119
Oct 31(Thu) Nov 15(Fri) $2689$1109
Nov 07(Thu) Nov 22(Fri) $2689$1109

Remark: The prices in red reflect the current discount.

Prices are per person in US Dollars; departures are guaranteed even with two persons!
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings
12% off - book by Dec 31, 2019, 10% off - book by Jan 31, 2020
Arrival DateDeparture DateDouble OccupancySingle Room Supplement 
Apr 02(Thu) Apr 17(Fri) $2779 $2445$929
Apr 09(Thu) Apr 24(Fri) $2779 $2445$929
Apr 16(Thu) May 01(Fri) $2779 $2445$929
Apr 23(Thu) May 08(Fri) $2799 $2463$949
May 07(Thu) May 22(Fri) $2799 $2463$949
May 14(Thu) May 29(Fri) $2799 $2463$949
May 21(Thu) Jun 05(Fri) $2799 $2463$949
May 28(Thu) Jun 12(Fri) $2759 $2427$949
Jun 04(Thu) Jun 19(Fri) $2749 $2419$899
Jun 11(Thu) Jun 26(Fri) $2749 $2419$899
Jun 18(Thu) Jul 03(Fri) $2749 $2419$899
Jun 25(Thu) Jul 10(Fri) $2749 $2419$899
Jul 02(Thu) Jul 17(Fri) $2789 $2454$899
Jul 09(Thu) Jul 24(Fri) $2789 $2454$899
Jul 16(Thu) Jul 31(Fri) $2789 $2454$899
Jul 23(Thu) Aug 07(Fri) $2789 $2454$899
Jul 30(Thu) Aug 14(Fri) $2789 $2454$899
Aug 06(Thu) Aug 21(Fri) $2789 $2454$899
Aug 13(Thu) Aug 28(Fri) $2789 $2454$899
Aug 20(Thu) Sep 04(Fri) $2789 $2454$899
Aug 27(Thu) Sep 11(Fri) $2829 $2489$939
Sep 03(Thu) Sep 18(Fri) $2829 $2489$969
Sep 10(Thu) Sep 25(Fri) $2829 $2489$969
Sep 17(Thu) Oct 02(Fri) $2829 $2489$969
Sep 24(Thu) Oct 09(Fri) $2829 $2489$969
Oct 08(Thu) Oct 23(Fri) $2829 $2489$969
Oct 15(Thu) Oct 30(Fri) $2829 $2489$969
Oct 22(Thu) Nov 06(Fri) $2789 $2454$969
Oct 29(Thu) Nov 13(Fri) $2649 $2331$939
Nov 05(Thu) Nov 20(Fri) $2649 $2331$939
Nov 12(Thu) Nov 27(Fri) $2629 $2313$909

Remark: The prices in red reflect the current discount.

Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares & train fares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • A la carte lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Professional English-speaking guides
  • Drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
  • Yangtze River cruise with full board
  • Tips or gratuities for hotel porters
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
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    4.838 Reviews
    Posted on October 17, 2019
    Great experience, excellent guides. Not enough time in Xi'an to really enjoy the dumpling dinner but other than that no complaints. Chengdu Hot Pot lunch and the Face Changing show were both amazing, rock star guide. The hotel in Guilin was in a lovely area full of walking streets with shops and restaurants. Just across from the river. Great value for money.
    Posted on October 12, 2019
    We would like to compliment Travel China Guide for a well arranged holiday that overall went very smoothly from the pick-up at the airport on arrival in Beijing to our departure in Shanghai. The Hotels chosen were excellent and in central locations within walking distance to amenities. All the meals were very very good and the amount of food more than enough. We thoroughly enjoyed the "Tang Dynasty Music & Dance Show" and the "Red Theatre Kung Fu Show" was breathtaking. Thanking you for a fabulous holiday! ... More
    Robert and Marc Cavigli
    Posted on October 08, 2019
    We'd be happy to take some time and write our tour review. To begin with, the MEALS were truly one of our favorite parts about the trip! The food we ate was delicious and always filling. In fact, it was so good that often times we would over eat even when we weren't hungry! The environment and service of the restaurants were excellent. The guides were exceptional. We want to acknowledge them by western name: Candy in Beijing, Tracy in Xi'an, Linda in Guilin; Sally in Yichang, Ryan in Shanghai. They were the friendliest, most knowledgeable people we met in China. The trip hinges upon who helps you at the airport, hotels, transfers, meals, and the many excursions and sites we visited were chosen well. I would urge those that follow us to be assigned to the ones listed. Every guide was extremely friendly while maintaining their professionalism. What a pleasure to be in their company! Each one always provided us with the perfect amount of information about the sites we saw without getting in the way of our time to absorb what we were seeing. You employ exceptional people. The drivers were great. Very friendly and professional. They all kept their cars very clean and it was a pleasure to be their passengers. Best of all is we felt safe the entire time we were with them. Not once did we doubt the driver's abilities or experience. The hotels we stayed in were all good. No complaints. Good selections. Again we'd like to point out the exceptional guides. These people really made the trip more enjoyable and we feel like they were not only our guides, but our friends. They are wonderful people and we're grateful to have met them. Thank you for our memorable trip. We will be certain to recommend your company to any who plan a trip to China. ... More
    Rene J. Sanchez & Minerva Villafane
    Posted on October 01, 2019
    We are glad we took a tour of China before we got too old! We walked a lot. I wonder if we could have saved time and effort if we had arrangements made to take us by motorized vehicles to some of the attractions, like the Panda Preserve.

    The tour of the Yangtze was longer than necessary, the boat needed update and the rugs in the cabin were very dirty. However, the crew was very friendly and attentive, making sure we were safe when we disembarked and came back. They celebrated the birthday passengers and the entertainment was very good. The food was diversified and had typical Chinese options.

    We took a seven hour trip in a bullet train to Shanghai which took us there very late at night. I’m sure there is a good reason for this arrangement but still think that shortening the tour through the river and other means of transportation would have given us more time in Shanghai.

    The trips to see the villages and Hutton were very interesting and gave us an idea of how much China has progressed.

    The restaurants and the hotels were great! The tour guides spoke English with different degrees of proficiency and, at times, were hard to understand, leading to misunderstandings. The tour guides were very pleasant and helpful. Carol, our guide in Xi’an, helped my husband get medication in a pharmacy and appropriately recommended that my husband hire a wheelchair to see the Terra-cotta Warriors since he was sick. They also helped us understand how to negotiate better with vendors.

    We have good memories of the trip and will enjoy the gifts the tour guides gave us (pictures and moon cakes).
    ... More
    Gerry & Song
    Posted on September 24, 2019
    My wife and I just completed our tour of China with Travel China Guide and the service provided was excellent. Starting with our Travel Consultant Lexi right through the entire trip we could not have asked for anything more. Our Tour Guides - Carol in Xi'an and Jin Jin in Shanghai in particular were outstanding. Their knowledge of the area was excellent and their presentations were informative and easy to understand. Their English language skills were also very good. All three of these representatives treated us with kindness and courtesy - very professional. When we next visit China, we plan to use China Travel Guide again. ... More
    Posted on September 22, 2019
    Thank you for all your help with our vacation - everything went so well and we have only good memories of TCG!
    Michael and Jasmine
    Posted on September 19, 2019
    1. All our guides (especially David and John) were great and their grasp of English and knowledge of the attractions was fantastic. David was very bubbly, fun and an absolute delight! John was friendly, very professional and extremely interesting (that history degree was certainly worth it)! There was nothing about their service that disappointed us.
    2. All the meals were delicious, in particular the Peking duck and the fried beef with sesame seeds. All the restaurants had exceptional ambience and settings (there were even photos of the celebrities and prime ministers who had visited on the walls of one - which goes to prove that they were very highly acclaimed). The ambience and settings were wonderful for all the restaurants -some had beautiful ponds and fountains, others had live traditional music.
    3. Our drivers were excellent and their cars were perfectly clean and well kept and we felt very safe and comfortable in them. They were polite and smiley. I'm very impressed with how our Xi'an driver navigated to the airport in big traffic jam; it truly is a credit to his driving and navigation ability. I loved how our Beijing driver rushed to open the door every time we got in and out of the car.
    4. Our hotels were wonderfully extravagant (particularly in Beijing) and the buffet breakfasts were delicious. We enjoyed being serenaded at the Xi'an Sheraton Hotel also. We were very happy with the hotels.
    ... More
    Stavroula G
    Posted on September 13, 2019
    -All the guides (in Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Chengdu and Shanghai) were exceptionally good, informative, efficient and passionate.
    -The meals were all a good sample of various Chinese cuisines. All the restaurants had a unique environment and service was excellent (with help of guide to pick through such a big menu variety). All the meals we had, were freshly prepared, hard to pick the best, all were excellent.
    -Drivers were excellent and very polite, always with the smile.
    -Hotel service was excellent and outstanding with exceptional breakfast (big variety of international food and lots of fresh food).
    ... More
    Posted on September 03, 2019
    I wanted to write to express how impressed I am with TravelChinaGuide in general. I want to thank you Wendy for the incredibly quick, professional and accurate service you offered to us. We had nothing but good things to say about our holiday; in fact, it was the best trip we had been on since our journey began last December. Your additional help in arranging the flights and airport transfers for our extension were invaluable. I wish I could have booked a stay in Yunnan but there just was not enough time in our schedule. Maybe next time! ... More
    Nicola Grobler
    South Africa
    Posted on August 29, 2019
    We had a wonderful time on your tour. With pleasure will I write this review. I think the amount of time spent at each place was correct. The only places I would maybe change would be less time at the Forbidden City. It felt like we spent ages there but this could be because we got hungry and after the Forbidden City we had lunch so that worked out well. The meals were fantastic and our guides were very helpful in recommending dishes and talking with the restaurant staff. I would recommend the Peking duck restaurant in Beijing. Their food was fantastic. The drivers had a really positive attitude and was always friendly. The buses were always clean. The hotels were really amazing. Everyday we had an delicious breakfast, the rooms were cleaned everyday, we got free water regularly, the staff had excellent English and was always willing to help us with directions and getting taxis and suggestions on what to see and do on our free days from the tour. The only complaint would be that the hotel in Beijing is a bit removed from the rest and that walking to a subway station took really long. But on the days of the travel when we had our own transportation this was not a problem in the slightest. We had a really fantastic time in China thanks to TravelChinaGuide. We will definitely use you again when we visit China again. ... More
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