17-day the Best of China & Yangtze River Cruise
Visit: Beijing-Xi'an-Guilin/Yangshuo-Chongqing-Yangtze Cruise/Three Gorges-Yichang-Suzhou-Hangzhou-Shanghai
Day 1: Depart Canada
Take transpacific flight to Beijing.
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-Guilin-Yangshuo (BLD)
Our morning city tour in Xi’an includes visiting the Ancient City Wall and Old Street. Take an afternoon flight to Guilin, whose name means ‘forest of sweet osmanthus trees’. Transfer to Yangshuo upon arrival.
Accommodation: Yangshuo Jasper International Hotel * * * * * (or similar)
Day 8: Yangshuo (BL)
Today’s sightseeing begins with an hour and half cruise on the Lijiang River to enjoy the best scenic section of the River. Then proceed to visit the Silver Cave where the limestone karsts formations are one of the finest examples of its kind. Enjoy your free time in the evening and explore your dining options at the famous Xijie Street (West End Street).
Day 9: Yangshuo-Guilin-Chongqing-Yangtze River Cruise (BLD)
We drive to Guilin and visit scenic Elephant Trunk Hill in the morning. Take an afternoon flight to Chongqing - the most populous city in China – known as a mountain city first built three thousand years ago. Upon arrival, we proceed to visit the Chongqing Zoo to see Giant Panda; then board for our 3-nights downstream Yangtze River Cruise in the evening.
Accommodation: MS Yangtze No. 2 * * * * * (the newest and largest cruise ship with private balcony)
Day 10: Yangtze River 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 11: Yangtze River 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 12: Yichang-Shanghai-Suzhou (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. Make immediate transfer to Suzhou upon arrival.
Accommodation: Youlian Suzhou Holiday inn * * * * * (or similar)
Day 13: Suzhou (BLD)
This 25th-century-old city is best known for its traditional Chinese gardens, silk industry and well-preserved Grand Canal. Our schedule today includes the Master of the Nets Garden, and a silk spinning mill. In the afternoon we drive to visit a famous water town, Tongli.
Day 14: Suzhou-Hangzhou-Shanghai (BLD)
We have a one-day excursion to the Heaven City, Hangzhou. Today’s schedule includes a boat tour on West Lake, Qinghefang Street, Leifeng Temple, Liuhe Temple and Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea Tasting House. Drive back to Shanghai in the evening.
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 (B)
Today is yours to spend at leisure — exploring China's most dynamic city on your own is easy and enjoyable. Our recommended to-do list includes a visit to glitzy Pudong New District, a ride aboard the Maglev train, and the popular evening cruise on Huangpu River to enjoy the city's spectacular neon-lit skyline.
Day 17: 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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