Giant pandas

China Essence with Yangtze

L04: 17 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Xian - 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
Accommodation: 5-star Luxury Hotels and Super Deluxe Hotels for your choice
Meals: 16 breakfasts, 11 lunches with some being a la carte style, 4 dinners
Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights in China - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas
  • Attend Tai Chi Class & walk into a local Chinese family for interacting and dining
  • Enjoy the breathtaking landscape along Li River & escape from the bustling city life
  • Soften and scent your body from head to toe on Yangtze River cruise
From $4999 per person Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
This 17 days China tour itinerary will start at the moment you touch down at Beijing Capital International Airport. Our warm guide and driver will meet you at the Arrival Hall, and then transfer you to check in at the hotel. After that, you will be accompanied to have a rickshaw tour around the Hutong alleys to explore traditional Beijingers' lifestyle.

When the visit is over, you may have dinner at your own expense. Our guide is willing to give you some suggestions.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Day 2 Beijing
Our clients at the Forbidden City
After a hearty breakfast, our guide will escort you to the Tiananmen Square. Then we will walk through the Tiananmen Tower to enter the Forbidden City from the Meridian Gate. While there, you can not only appreciate grandiose palaces, but also have a look at precious exhibits at the Treasure Galley and Clock & Watch Hall.

At around noon, you will enjoy an a la carte lunch at a good local restaurant. After a lunch break, we will head for the Summer Palace, the resort for royal family of the Qing Dynasty, to admire imperial halls, Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. If the weather is clear, you may enjoy a relaxing painted pleasure boat trip on the lake.

After a self-paid dinner, you will be accompanied to enjoy the fantastic Chinese Kung Fu Show. We reserve good seats for you to have a better viewing experience.

Meals: American breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 3 Beijing
Badaling Great Wall, Sacred Way, Peking Duck Dinner. (B+D)
We suggest that you have a big breakfast at the hotel. Then we will set out for a hiking tour to the Badaling Great Wall. Being the first section of the great wall open to tourists, Badaling earned its good reputation in the world. It now has become one of the must-see places during your visit in Beijing. After that, you are free to select a restaurant for lunch on your own.

In the afternoon, we will visit the Sacred Way before getting back to the hotel. Tonight, we specially arrange for the famous Beijing Roast Duck at Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant. 

Meals: American breakfast, Roast Duck Dinner
Day 4 Beijing - Xian
Temple of Heaven with one-hour Tai Chi class, Lama Temple, A la carte lunch, Fly to Xian. Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
Temple of Heaven, Beijing
We will start off today's luxury China tour to the Temple of Heaven, the site for holding national sacrificial rituals in old times. Before that, you will attend a one-hour Tai Chi class at the nearby park. After finishing, our guide will show you the temple and explain how the worship ceremony went in past times while wandering around. Next we will come to the Yonghe Temple, which is the largest and best preserved Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Yellow Hat Lamaism in Beijing.

An a la carte lunch will be served at a local famous restaurant. After that, you will be transferred to the airport for a flight to Xian. Upon landing, please meet our Xian tour guide and driver outside the luggage-claiming area. Then a comfortable ride will take you to the hotel. You may have dinner at the hotel or a nearby restaurant at your own expense.

Meals: American breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 5 Xian
Terracotta Army Museum, A la carte lunch, the City Wall and the Muslim Quarter, Tang Dynasty Dinner Show. (B+L+D)
Terracotta Warriors Museum, Xian
When speaking of Xian, one has to mention the Terracotta Army Museum. After breakfast, we will set out for a morning excursion to this large-scale underground military museum, which houses thousands of pottery warriors, chariots, and weapons. It is also one of the highlights of your China vacation package. During the return trip to the city proper, we will stop at Huaqing Aegean International Hot Spring Resort to have an a la carte lunch.

The afternoon journey will continue to the City Wall and the bustling Muslim Quarter. The City Wall was built since early Ming Dynasty on the basis of the Tang imperial city and it has guarded the old city of Xian for more than 600 years. Besides walking, you can also have a cycling tour on the wall or sight-see by electric car. The splendid Tang Dynasty Dinner Show awaits you at night. You will enjoy gourmet imperial cuisines while watching the singing and dancing performance.

Meals: American breakfast, A la carte lunch, Tang Dynasty dinner show
Day 6 Xian - Guilin
Provincial History Museum, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, A local family visit and home-cooked lunch. Fly to Guilin. Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
Cycling on the City Wall of Xian
Today's China tour package will start with the Shaanxi Provincial Museum where you are able to appreciate a large collection of exhibits from the prehistoric period to 1840. After that, continue the journey to the 1,200-year-old Small Wild Goose Pagoda.

At around noon, our guide will accompany you to visit a local family. Not only can you learn to cook Chinese cuisines, and also taste delicious home-made food.

After the lunch break, you will be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to Guilin. Upon arrival, our Guilin guide will pick you up at the airport and escort you to check in the well-selected hotel. You may have dinner either at the hotel or a nearby restaurant at your own expense.

Meals: American breakfast, Home-cooked lunch
Day 7 Guilin - Longsheng - Guilin
Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces. (B)
After breakfast, our guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and then drive for about 2.5 hours to arrive at Longsheng to visit the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces. Situated some 30 kilometers away from the town seat of Longsheng, the rice terraces consist of Ping'an Zhuang Terrace and Jinkeng Yao Terrace, symbolizing the authentic Zhuang and Yao ethnic farming culture. As a famous tourist brand of Guilin Longsheng, the terrace is just like a pastoral poet, representing the most grand and spectacular rice terraces in the world. In the villages around, you can experience the best preserved ethnic customs. Lush terraces in June and golden rice in September are the most beautiful scenes. The lunch today is on your own arrangement. As the local amenities of the mountain area are quite limited, you may choose a proper restaurant with our guide's help. After the whole day trip, we will transfer you back to the hotel.

Meals: American breakfast
Day 8 Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin
Li River cruise to Yangshuo, Countryside trip in Yangshuo. Yangshuo-Guilin transfer.  (B+L)
Li River cruise
Today we will set out for a cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo. We will reserve the upper deck seats on a four-star ship for you. Along the way, you will have a visual feast of rolling green hills and verdant water. Our guide will point out famous sites like Mural Hills, Yellow Cloth Shoal, Pen Holder Hill, and Snail Hill. A buffet lunch will be served onboard. After disembarking, we will head for the countryside of Yangshuo directly to take in the peaceful rural landscape. At the end of the day, we will escort you back to Guilin and check in at the hotel.

Meals: American breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 Guilin - Chengdu
Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, Seven Star Park. Fly to Chengdu. Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
After breakfast, we will take a city tour to visit the Reed Flute Cave. Stalactites and stalagmites there are in various shapes, including pagodas, trees, and lanterns, turning the karst cave into a crystal palace. The next destination is the Elephant Trunk Hill. As its name indicates, it looks exactly like a giant elephant standing by the river.

At noon, you will enjoy lunch at White House Hotel Guilin, the former residence of General Bai Chongxi (1893 - 1966). After that comes a visit to the Seven Stars Park, famous for Camel Hill and Seven Stars Karst Cave. In the afternoon, our guide will transfer you to Guilin Airport and extend this China holiday package to Chengdu by air. Upon landing, you will be greeted at the airport and escorted to the hotel. 

Meals: American breakfast, Lunch
Day 10 Chengdu
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, lunch at Da Miao Hotpot Restaurant, Wide and Narrow Alley, Jinsha Site Museum, Sichuan opera show at Shu Feng Ya Yun Opera House. (B+L)
Giant pandas
We will start off the day to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to see the adorable pandas at a close distance. After that, you will have a chance to taste hotpot, the most characteristic Chengdu cuisine, at Da Miao Hotpot Restaurant. It is one of the most renowned hotpot restaurants in Chengdu, having hosted the former First Lady Michelle Obama in 2014. Alternatively, we can arrange lunch according to your preference.

After lunch, our guide will accompany you on a leisure walking tour around the historical block, Wide and Narrow Alley. Then, continue the trip to the Jinsha Site Museum to explore the civilization of the ancient Shu State over 3,000 years ago.

You may have some Chengdu snacks as dinner by yourself, and then be accompanied to enjoy the splendid Sichuan opera show at Shu Feng Ya Yun Opera House. You will also visit the backstage and even try on costumes and learn to paint operatic faces.

Meals: American Breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 11 Chengdu - Chongqing
Sichuan Cuisine Museum. A 2-hour bullet train to Chongqing. Railway station pick-up. Board a Yangtze River cruise ship for a 3-night stay. (B+L)
Today you will be guided to the Sichuan Cuisine Museum to not only learn the development history of this kind of dishes, but also cook some specialties by yourself under the guidance of professional chefs. Lunch will be served at the museum.

After that, you will be transferred to the railway station for a high speed train to Chongqing. The Chongqing guide will meet you at the train station and escort you to board a deluxe cruise ship. The ship will set sail at 21:30.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch
Day 12 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Cruise orientation, An onshore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City, Captain's Welcome Party. (B+L+D)
Enjoy the stunning sceneries at Three Gorges
The river guide will give you a brief introduction of the cruise ship and the daily schedule on cruise the night before. After enjoying a western buffet breakfast on board, you will go ashore to visit the Ghost City of Fengdu. Having nearly 2,000 years of history, Fengdu features unique culture of ghost and the afterlife, and combines traditional cultures of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

After returning to the ship, you will have leisure time on your own to appreciate the stunning Three Gorges scenery or attend the lectures and activities organized by the cruise company.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Three Gorges, An exciting excursion to Shennv Stream. (B+L+D)
In the morning, the ship will cruise through the steep Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Then you will disembark to go sightseeing at the Shennv Stream Scenic Area. While there, you can not only take a motorized ferry through the gorge to enjoy the elegant natural sceneries, but also listen to the beautiful folk songs from boat trackers.

After that, reverse the trip back to the ship. Later, you will enjoy the perilous cliffs of Xiling Gorge onboard and can relax for the remainder of the day.

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 Bund, Shanghai
Please start to pack your luggage after breakfast. When arriving at the Three Gorge Dam, you will disembark and be led ashore to have a close look at this great project. Afterwards, you will be transferred to Yichang Three Gorges Tourist Center. Our local guide will meet you there and escort you to Yichang East Railway Station with a private transfer. Then you will leave for Shanghai by a 7.5-hour bullet train. Please meet our Shanghai tour guide at the train station and then take a comfortable ride to the hotel. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 15 Shanghai
Shanghai World Financial Center, Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, A la carte lunch, Yuyuan Garden, the Bund, Huangpu River cruise, Era Acrobatic Show. (B+L)
Firstly, we will head for Lujiazui District to take pictures of the World Financial Center as well as Shanghai Tower, Jinmao Tower, and Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Then, our guide will escort you to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall to learn the past, present and future of the city.

An a la carte lunch will be served at Xian Qiang Fang Restaurant. Then we will proceed to the exquisite Yuyuan Garden and hang out in the nearby bustling bazaar. This is followed by a leisure walk around the Bund Area and a cruise tour on Huangpu River to admire the featured buildings with different architectural styles along the bank. This night, you will have fun enjoying the Era Acrobatic Show.

Meals: American breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 16 Shanghai
Zhujiajiao Water Town, Free afternoon. (B)
Zhujiajiao Water Town
After breakfast, we will set out for a morning excursion to Zhujiajiao Water Town. Accompanied by our guide, you can see elegant traditional mansions, including Zhuxi Garden, Kezhi Garden, Fangsheng Bridge, Qing Dynasty Post Office and City God Temple, which line up along the gurgling water lanes. Walking through the narrow lanes and sitting by the riverside can be an unforgettable visiting experience of the town.

Zhujiajiao Water Town is brimming with restaurants offering local snacks. You will have the chance to select a preferred restaurant for lunch. Our guide is willing to provide you with some recommendations.

When the visit is over, a comfortable ride will transfer you back to Shanghai. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore the city in the company of our guide.

Meals: American breakfast
Day 17 Departure from Shanghai
Hotel-airport transfer & see you off. A nice journey home! (B)
This 17 days luxury China tour will end today. Please take your entire belongings to check out the hotel. Our guide and driver will transfer you to the airport and help you check in for your leaving flight. Bon voyage!

Meals: American breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
DestinationsSuper Deluxe HotelsLuxury Hotels
BeijingThe Peninsula Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong
XianSofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel Xian Wyndham Grand Xian South
GuilinShangri-La Hotel - river view roomShangri-La Hotel
ChengduThe Temple House Grand Hyatt Chengdu
Yangtze RiverNew Century Cruises - deluxe business cabin with balconyNew Century Cruises - with balcony
ShanghaiThe Peninsula Hotel Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings
10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before
Tour Prices with Super Deluxe Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$8209 $7388$7779 $7001$6789 $6110
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$5419 $4877$4999 $4499$4469 $4022
  • 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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