16-day the Best of China, Tibet Adventure & Yangtze River Cruise
Visit: Beijing-Xi'an-Lhasa-Shigatse-Gyantse-Chongqing-Yangtze Cruise/Three Gorges-Yichang-Shanghai
Day 1: Depart Canada
Your journey begins with an overnight transpacific flight as you cross the International Date Line.
Day 2: Arrive Beijing
Upon arrival in late afternoon, you will meet our professional English-speaking tour guide and transfer to the hotel by a private air conditioned tour bus. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore this city once known as Peking to Westerns.
Accommodation: Chang An Grand Hotel * * * * * (or similar)
Day 3: Beijing (BLD)
Today, we start our sightseeing with a visit to the Tiananmen Square—the largest public city square in the world. From there you enter The Forbidden City to observe the 250-acre complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens. After lunch, we visit the Summer Palace, a royal resort during the Qing Dynasty. A Peking duck dinner is prearranged to conclude your first day of sightseeing.
Day 4: Beijing (BLD)
We drive 70km northwest from the city of Beijing for a full-day excursion to the Great Wall — the world's longest man-made structure, stretching over 6,352 km (3,948 miles) from Shanhai Pass in the east to Lop Nur in the west—along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. Then, we will visit the Ming Tombs. On the way back we have an opportunity to stop for picture-taking at the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube where the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were hosted. Kung Fu show in the evening.
Day 5: Beijing-Xi'an (BLD).
In the morning, we visit the Temple of Heaven and join local residents in practicing Tai Chi and morning exercises in the park. After lunch we will take a Hutong tour by rickshaw ride to look around Beijing’s traditional old alleys and visit local residential courtyards. Take a late afternoon flight to Xi’an – an ancient Chinese capital city for 13 dynasties and the home of the incredible Terracotta Army. Transfer to hotel upon arrival.
Accommodation: Empark International Hotel Xi’an * * * * * (or similar)
Day 6: Xi'an (BLD)
Today, we drive 30km east of the city to visit the excavation site of the Terracotta Army, followed by visiting the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, Acrobatic Figures and Stone Loricae. Enjoy the Dumpling Banquet dinner and entertainment with the splendid Tang Dynasty Style Music and Dance Show tonight.
Day 7: Xi'an-Lhasa (BL)
Fly to Lhasa in the morning and transfer to hotel upon arrival. We spend the rest of the day relaxing in the hotel to get acclimatized to the high altitude of Lhasa at 3,650m (12,000 feet) - one of the highest cities in the world. Lhasa is the capital of the Tibet autonomous region in China, located on the northern slopes of the Himalayas.
Accommodation: Xinding Hotel * * * * * (or similar)
Day 8: Lhasa (BL)
We start our sightseeing by visiting the Potala Palace, named after Mount Potala, which was the main residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. In the afternoon we visit the Jokhang Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist buildings in Tibet and a remarkable combination of Tibetan, Indian, Nepalese and Han Chinese architectural styles. No visit to Jokhang Temple is complete without checking out the Barkor Street bazaar outside the temple.
Day 9: Lhasa (BL)
A visit to the Dalai Lama's summer residence Norbulinka is followed by visiting the grand Sera Monastery where lively debates held Monday to Saturday from 3-5 pm between resident monks often draw a large audience.
Day 10: Lhasa-Chongqing (B)
Fly to Chongqing, transfer to hotel and relax.
Accommodation: Hilton Chongqing * * * * * (or similar)
Day 11: Chongqing-Yangtze Cruise (BLD)
Today’s city tour includes the Chongqing Zoo to see the Giant Panda, the Painters' Village in Ci Qi Kou Old Street and Eling Park to get a bird's-eye view of Chongqing and the Three Gorges Museum. We board our 3-night downstream Yangtze River Cruise in the evening.
Accommodation: MS Yangtze No. 2 * * * * * (the newest and largest cruise ship with private balcony)
Day 12: Yangtze Cruise (BLD)
At 6,380km, the Yangtze is the longest river in China and the third longest in the world after the Nile and the Amazon. The most impressive section of the Yangtze is the Three Gorges. Today's shore excursion features Shibaozhai (Stone Treasure Fortress), an ancient wooden pagoda built against rock cliffs facing the Yangtze.
Day 13: Yangtze Cruise (BLD)
Admire nature’s grandeur while sailing through spectacular Qutang Gorge (8km) and Wu Gorge (44km) today. In late morning we navigate Shennong Stream on a small vessel. Originating in the southern slopes of Shennongxia Nature Reserve, the crystal clear river twists and turns 60km through forested mountains before emptying into the mighty Yangtze.
Day 14: Yangtze Cruise, Yichang-Shanghai (BLD)
The ship enters the eastern section of Xiling Gorge (66km) in the morning. We tour the site of the Three Gorges Dam — the largest hydroelectric dam in the world with a reservoir stretching hundreds of kilometres upstream. Construction of the dam began in 1992 and was completed in 2009. We disembark at Yichang around noon. Fly from Yichang or Wuhan to Shanghai — a world-class modern metropolitan, regarded as one of the most important commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers of China. Transfer to your hotel upon arrival.
Accommodation: Wyndham Bund East Shanghai * * * * * (or similar)
Day 15: Shanghai (BLD)
Today's sightseeing includes visiting the Yuyuan Garden, Town-God Temple bazaar, Shanghai Museum and The Bund — a waterfront promenade famous for its landmark neoclassical buildings of European style. A local hot pot dinner is served before the evening entertainment — the dazzling Acrobatic Show.
Day 16: Shanghai-Home (B)
Bid farewell as we transfer to the airport for a return flight home.
(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner, SD=Special Dinner)
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