China Yangtze Explorer: A China Highlights Tour

A 16 day trip to China 
4.25 out of 5 stars
4 reviews

This trip introduces you to all the highlights of a first trip to China and can also be a wonderful honeymoon. See the Great Wall, Tianenman Square, Forbidden City, Terra Cotta warriors; sail on the Yangzte River; sail through the new Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River, explore Shanghai; view the famous limestone outcroppings and beauty of Guilin.

Customize This Trip For Me
Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

• 3 nights Beijing • 1 night Xi’an • 2 nights Guilin, including Li River cruise • 4 nights Yangtze River Cruise, with balcony • 1 night Wuhan • 3 nights Shanghai • Yangtze River Three Gorges • All shore excursions on the river • Yangtze Three Gorges Dam • Three Lesser Gorges or Shennong Stream • Fengdu or Wanxian • Suzhou, with Grand Canal cruise

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1

Day 1: SFO / BEIJING Board Air China 986 at 2:50 pm for Beijing. Cross the International Date Line and lose a day.

Day 2

Day 2: ARRIVE BEIJING Upon your arrival at 7:00 pm, meet your guide and transfer to the 5* Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian or similar.

Day 3

Day 3: BEIJING (AB, L, D) After breakfast, visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City (the residence of emperors for more than 500 years) and The Summer Palace (a summer resort for Empress Dowage Ci Xi). Visit the pearl factory before dinner.

Day 4

Day 4: BEIJING (AB, L, D/SE) Visit the jade factory before the full day excursion to the spectacular Great Wall & Beijing Olympic National Stadium. Including the Bird’s Nest. Return to the city for the Beijing Duck Banquet.

Day 5

Day 5: BEIJING / XI’AN (AB, L, D/SE) Take morning flight to Xi’an. Visit the burial site of an incredible army of 8,000 lifelike terra-cotta warriors. Top off the day with a Dumpling Dinner followed by the Tang Dynasty Culture Show! Check into the 5* Grand New World Hotel or similar.

Day 6

Day 6: XI’AN / GUILIN (AB, L, D) Visit the ancient City Wall and the majestic Wild Goose Pagoda along with an aft/handicraft factory. Take evening flight to Guilin and check into the 5* Lijiang Waterfall Hotel or similar.

Day 7

Day 7: GUILIN (AB, L, D) Spend the day aboard a scenic and romantic Li River cruise, passing through picturesque farms and fishing villages. With its thousands of limestone outcroppings, Guilin has been an inspiration for generations of silk scroll painters.

Day 8

Day 8: GUILIN /CHONGQING (AB, L, D) City tour features the Reed Flute Caves and Elephant Trunk Hill. Visit the tea factory. Take afternoon flight to Chongqing and board the 5* Yangtze No. 1 river Cruiser which is approved by the National Tourism Administration of China. Balcony cabin.

Day 9

Day 9: YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE (B, L, D) Cruise down the river. Today is a shore excursion to the ancient city of Fengdu or to Wanxian, which contains a residential area for immigrants, a local market and kindergarten. Enjoy a welcome cocktail party hosted by the captain.

Day 10

Day 10: YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE (B, L, D) Today you pass through Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge (two of the Three Gorges). You will enjoy a shore excursion to Shennong Stream or Three Lesser Gorges. In the afternoon, pass through the new Three Gorges ship-locks.

Day 11

Day 11: YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE (B, L, D) Today you have a shore excursion to the famous new five-stage Three Gorges Dam Site. Then, the boat passes through Xiling Gorge (the last one of the Three Gorges). Enjoy a farewell banquet in the evening.

Day 12

Day 12: JINGZHOU/WUHAN (B, L, D) Your cruise concludes as you disembark in Jingzhou. Drive to Wuhan and arrive about noon. Visit the Yellow Crane Pavilion in the afternoon. Check into 4* Riverside Holiday Inn Hotel or similar.

Day 13

Day 13: WUHAN/SHANGHAI (AB, L, D/SE) After breakfast, take a flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival visit the famous Bund and Panda Zoo. Check into 5* Four Points Sheraton, Daning location or similar. Enjoy Acrobatic Show at night.

Day 14

Day 14: SHANGHAI (AB, L, D) After breakfast, take morning coach to Suzhou. Tour includes: Master of the Nets Garden, Silk Factory or Embroidery Institute and cruise on the Grand Canal. Afternon coach back to Shanghai.

Day 15

Day 15: SUZHOU/SHANGHAI (AB, L) Today's sightseeing introduces the major attractions of the city, including Yuyuan Garden and the carpet factory. After lunch you’ll be dropped off at the famous Nanjing Road to enjoy your free half-day activities.

Day 16

Day 16: SHANGHAI / SFO (AB) After breakfast, transfer to the airport and take Air China 985 to San Francisco. Depart 10:40 am and arrive 12:30 pm. (For those going to Hong Kong, you’ll take a different flight.)


Starting Price 

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.