Day 1: Departure for Beijing.
Day 2: Beijing. Arrive Beijing in the late afternoon or evening. Meet and transfer to hotel.
Day 3: Beijing. Begin the day with a visit to Tienanmen Square, the world largest. Then move on to the Imperial Palace, also known as the "Forbidden City" that symbolizes the imperial and traditional China. After lunch, visit the enchanting Summer Palace, one of China's largest and best-preserved imperial gardens. A Peking Duck banquet concludes your first full day activities in China. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Beijing. Today's highlight is your visit to the Great Wall, symbol of Chinese civilization. On your way back, stop at a mountain village and meet local residents. A short drive away is the statue-lined Shenlu (Sacred Road) leading to the Ming Tombs. Return to the city and the rest of the afternoon is free for your own exploration. Go to Beihai Park this evening to sample the imperial cuisine at Fangshan Restaurant. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Beijing. Visit the Temple of Heaven, the place where the emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped heaven and prayed for peace and harvest. Check out the nearby Liulichang, a traditional street lined with art & crafts shops and antique stores. Explore some of Beijing's old "hutongs", traditional courtyard residences cut into blocks by narrow alleyways. You will have chance to visit some families who have lived there for generations. Fly to Xi'an, the most famous ancient capital of China. Check in your hotel. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Xi'an. Begin the day with a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of the extraordinary 2,200 years old terracotta warriors of China's first Emperor, Qin Shihuang. Three exhibition halls house the continuing excavation of an army of 7,000 terracotta soldiers and horses that guard the tomb of China's first emperor. On the way back, stop by a local village to see farmers' houses. Upon return to the city, visit the Shaanxi History Museum, one of the best in China. Enjoy a characteristic dumpling dinner in the evening. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Xi'an - Dazu. Fly to Chongqing and transfer by motor coach to the small county town of Dazu. Here you will explore the fascinating Buddhist carvings from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) on the hilltops of North Hill and Baoding Hill. Enjoy the small town ambiance of Dazu in the evening hours. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Dazu - Chongqing. Continue your visit in Dazu in the morning. Return to Chongqing by road in the afternoon and visit the Zoo for a close look at the Giant Pandas here. Enjoy a typical Sichuan cuisine dinner in a local restaurant. Pre-board the American managed deluxe Victoria Cruise ship. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Yangzi River Cruise. Today's excursion is to visit the city of Fengdu, popularly known as the "city of ghost", on the south bank of the river. Visit Ming Hill's unique temples with statues of ghosts and devils. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Yangzi River Cruise. The highlight of today's cruise is to be thrilled at one of China's greatest natural wonders - the extraordinary Three Gorges of Yangzi River, featuring towering peaks and sheer cliffs. The gorges began to form 70 million years ago when two mountain ranges collided and the river began to erode the gorges to their present state. Today you will pass the Qutang and Wu Gorges. You will also take an exciting side trip on a wooden sampan through the small gorges of Daning River, a tributary of Yangzi River. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Yangzi River Cruise. Cruise through Xiling Gorge today. Late in the morning the cruise will dock at Sanduoping for an excursion to Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric project and the newest attraction on the Yangzi cruise line. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Wuhan - Suzhou. Cruise ends in Wuhan. Upon disembarking, visit Hubei Provincial Museum. Fly to Shanghai and transfer by motor vehicle to Suzhou. Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou is known as the "Venice of the East". The town was built around a network of canals and 300 criss-crossing bridges that fanned out from the Grand Canal. Check in your hotel. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 13: Suzhou - Shanghai. Visit Canglang Pavilion, approached through a grand stone bridge and ceremonial marble archway. The highlight of today's activities is a visit to one of Suzhou's beautiful gardens - Zhuozheng Yuan. Visit Suzhou Silk Museum. A boat ride on the Grand Canal reveals the traditional way of life for the people who have lived here for generations. A late afternoon train takes you to the largest city of China - Shanghai. Acrobatic show. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Shanghai. Visit the Bund, this splendid row of early 20th century European buildings remains the quintessential Shanghai sight. Visit Yuyuan Garden, a well-restored Suzhou-style garden created in 1559. Visit the marvelous Shanghai Museum, whose galleries contain world-class collections of ancient arts and artifacts. Move on to wander around the former French Concession, represented by the leafy Fuxing Park and the architecture in the area. You will have some free time in the afternoon to explore the city. Enjoy a farewell dinner at the classic Jinjiang Hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 15: Departure. Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia China History Whiz Archeology/History Boating and Sailing
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