18 Day Classic China with Yangtze Cruise and Chongqing

A 18 day trip to China 
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If you are looking for an exciting and comprehensive tour of China and would like to see many things not included on many standard tours then this tour is for you. The Classic China Tour includes an overnight on the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Soldiers, the majestic Yangtze river cruise, the less traveled ancient city of Chongqing, and the east meets west city of Shanghai. Join us and see some of the Wonders of China!

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1 Leave on an international flight for Beijing 
Leave on an international flight for Beijing The adventure begins! (Other departure cities are also available)

Day 2 Beijing
You will arrive in Beijing in the early evening; you will be transferred to your hotel. Meals on the plane

Day 3 Beijing 
The day begins with a tour of a Chinese Hutong. This begins with a rickshaw ride through the old neighborhood, then a short walking tour into the narrow streets of the Hutong. You will be able to visit the home of a family who lives there; feel free to ask any questions. This is the traditional housing in old Beijing that was generally four small houses surrounding a court area. If we have a group of 10 or more on this trip, we can possibly have lunch at the Hutong, with a home-cooked meal from the hostess of the Hutong home. The Hutong has been home to both the poor and the rich. These quaint dwellings are disappearing in the continual modernization of China. After lunch you will visit the 2nd Hand Street Market. This is where Beijingers shop, and is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. Here hundreds of small merchants sell a wide variety of products, many of which are hand-made. If you know how to bargain, you can get excellent prices on many things

Day 4 Beijing
The day begins with a tour of the Yong He Gong Lamasery. This is the only Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Beijing. After you are done there, we will take you to a special part of the Great Wall at Jinshanling, where you can stay overnight in a guard tower! This portion of the Wall is not offered to the tourist on most general tours, we are offering this site to those who want an adventurous Great Wall experience, which includes going to site where you will see few or no other Westerners on the wall and you can enjoy a home-cooked dinner by your Chinese hosts! You drive three hours outside of Beijing, passing out of the metropolitan area, past smaller villages, interesting farmland and animals and then into the mountainous area. Then you come to the small set of buildings below the Great Wall at Jinshangling. There you will meet your hosts. They will take you to the Great Wall and show you the options of where you will sleep. You can then explore the wall and walk along. Some of our clients have experienced being the only ones on the wall for hours (or you will see very few others). You should be able to take some particularly striking photos of this intriguing portion of the wall without hundreds of people on it. Later you hosts will cook for you a home-cooked meals with you can eat either on the Great Wall or down below in their home. Your hosts will then set you up with sleeping bags, This requires a little more effort then some portions but we believe you will find it rewarding. Then we will take you to where you will be able to have an overnight stay on the Great Wall-Jinshanling. You will be able to enjoy sunset and sunrise on the Great Wall. This experience is a little more expensive, but is a unique experience that you remember for the rest of your life.

Day 5 Beijing
Today you will wake up on the Great Wall of China. If the weather permits, you may be able to get some spectacular sunrise photos of this area. You will have a simple noodles and coffee breakfast and then can walk around the wall until you are ready to leave. Then you will be driven back to your hotel.

Day 6 Xian
You will experience the Temple of Heaven, which is the site where the Emperor would go to pray and commune with the gods. This is a magnificent temple that is surrounded by beautiful gardens. After lunch you will go to TianAnmen Square and then to the Forbidden City. In addition to seeing the buildings and grounds of the Emperor's palace, you will also see the Emperor's clock collection and the Qing Dynasty Jewelry, Robes and Relics collection (which Westerners rarely see) Then we will take you to the train station for the 17-hour train ride to Xi'an. You will be able to sit in your comfortable Soft Sleeper Deluxe rooms (2 berths to a room, or if you want the more economical Soft Sleeper Regular, 4 berths to a room). If you enjoy trains, you may well enjoy this option quite a bit. The train ride will grant you an excellent opportunity to see the interesting Chinese rural countryside. B, L

Day 7 Xian
You will arrive in Xi'an in the morning, where your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. OR you are already there, due to having flown the evening before. The day will begin with a tour of the city, including the old city wall (which 4 chariots could ride abreast) and the Wild Goose Pagoda, with its Drum Tower and Bell Tower. After lunch you will be taken to the The Great Mosque. This is an interesting Mosque, in which the building feature a combination of Chinese characteristics as well as traditional Muslim characteristics. Then we will take you through the Muslim Quarter. There are several streets which have various shops, restaurants, street food stands, etc. There are many bargains to be obtained in this area. We will take you to a special restaurant for a delightful Dim Sum dinner. B, L, D

Day 8 Xian
Today you will visit what has been called the 8th Wonder of the World the Terra Cotta Soldiers Museum. Oftentimes, one of the farmers who discovered the site is actually there. After lunch you will go to the Hua Qing Hot Springs. This ancient bathhouse is very interesting and lovely.

Day 9 Xian
The morning is free. The day will begin with a visit to the world-class Shaanxi Provincial Museum. This world-class museum features the Chinese dynasties in order, from the brasswork, ceramics, art, metalwork and other cultural relics. Then you will be transferred to the airport for the late afternoon flight to Chongqing. There your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

Day 10 Chongqing
The day will begin early to drive on a day tour to Dazu, You will pass some Chinese countryside, view the Buddha caves. Then you will be returned your hotel in Chongqing.

Day 11 Yangtze River
The morning is free. After lunch you will be picked up for a half-day Chongqing city tour, including the new Three Gorges River Cruise Museum. Then after a delicious (early) Sichuan dinner you will be transferred to the 5-star Katarina Victory Cruise Ship. This is one the newest, largest and best of the Victoria fleet. The ship leaves the harbor around 21:00pm. However, there is an orientation meeting around 18:00pm. We are planning on having you onboard before this meeting. B, D

Day 12 Yangtze River
The Yangtze River Cruise continues (The Ghost Temple, Shendong stream, beautiful scenery, The Three Gorges and the Chinese Dam.B, L, D

Day 13 Yangtze River
The Yangtze River Cruise continues (The Ghost Temple, Shendong stream, beautiful scenery, The Three Gorges and the Chinese Dam.B, L, D

Day 14 Shanghai
The cruise ship arrives at Yichang around mid-day. Then you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Shanghai. In the evening, you will be taken to the Bund; after dinner we will transfer you to your hotel. B, L, D

Day 15 Shanghai
The day begins with a tour of the classic Yu Yuan Gardens. This beautiful garden area is a picture of Chinese serenity. As you exit the Gardens area, you will be in one of the main shopping centers of Shanghai. Shanghai is so westernized that this section is called, "Chinatown." We will give you some time to browse and look at the many types of shops that are there. You will meet at a designated spot to have lunch in the area. Then you will visit the world-class Shanghai Art Museum. This museum features many fine exhibits including the ancient coin collection, the Chinese furniture, art and especially the Ethnic Minorities exhibit. If you like, you could then be taken to a private Lotus Shoe Museum, which features hundreds of pairs of the tiny 3-5 inch shoes with amazing embroidery work. B, L

Day 16 Shanghai
The morning is free. After lunch, we will give you a tour of the Jewish Quarter in Shanghai. This is an interesting area with a very interesting history. Shanghai was an open International port in the 1930s-1940s. As such it became a safe haven from the Nazis preceeding and during WW II. The main sites that remain is a small park with a plaque commemorating the events, some apartments with European-styles fronts and a small synagogue/museum. Then we will drive you to Suzhou and check you into your hotel.

Day 17 Suzhou
Today you will visit the Humble Administrator's Garden which is one of the most beautiful gardens. If you want, you can also visit the smaller and unique Master of the Net Garden. After lunch you will visit the Silk Factory and the Embroidery Institute (where the Chinese Masters do with thread what our Western Masters did with paint). If there is time you can visit the Pearl Factory. B, L

Day 18 Shanghai
You will be driven back to the Shanghai airport for your international flight back home with a lifetime of wonderful memories. B (meals on the flight.

Single Supplement:

This price of the tour may vary depending on the cost of the international airfare

Price

Starting Price 

$4,045
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

What's Not Included 

international airfare, airport taxes, tips and visa fees

Note: We can obtain international air and Business Class Upgrades

We also can provide Travel Insurance

We can provide visa service for China