China Essential Tour with Panda Visit

10 Days Beijing-Chengdu-Shanghai

If you are planning an escorted tour to China, I would like to recommend the essential escorted tour with panda visit, which is one of the best escorted tours to China provided by China Tour Star. During the tour, we will visit three cities. They are Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai. Beijing is the capital of China. It attracts many people from all over the world. When we take the escorted tour to Beijing, we will visit the famous Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and so on. Those places all have a very long history, which will make you feel the profundity of the culture of Beijing. In Chengdu, we will first spend some time in the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Maybe you will see the panda keepers preparing food for the baby pandas, which is very interesting. During the escorted tour to shanghai, you can explore the fastest elevator in the world which is in the Shanghai Tower. So do not hesitate and join us!

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing Arrival
You will arrive in Beijing and we will take you to the hotel for a good rest

Welcome to the Beijing escorted tour! Our friendly guide will meet you at the airport and then escort you to the hotel. I hope you can have a nice rest after a long flight. If you have any questions, our guide will always be here for you.

Day 2 Beijing
Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace

Today, we will first visit Tian’anmen Square. It is located in the center of Beijing. With a width of 500 meters and a length of 880 meters, it has been an important place to hold major ceremonies and receive foreign guests since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). But at that time, the square was T-shaped and not as big as it is now. There are many famous buildings on the Tian’anmen Square, such as the Tian’anmen Gate Tower, the Great Hall of the People, and the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao. The Great Hall of the People sits on the western part of the square and was built in 1959. It is roughly divided into three parts, the office building, the great hall, and the state dining room. It is the highest building on the square, and more importantly, it only took ten months from the design to the completion of this building. It is like a miracle!

Then, we will visit the Forbidden City (closed each Monday). It was the imperial palace during the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty (1636-1912). This construction started in 1406 and lasted for 14 years. It covers an area of 720,000 square meters and is surrounded by a wall about ten meters high. And outside of the Forbidden City, there is a moat about 52 meters wide, which played an important role in putting out the fire in ancient times. Historically, the Forbidden City was rebuilt many times due to the fire and other reasons, but the overall layout of it has not been changed. It mainly consists of two parts, the Outer Court and the Inner Court. The Outer Court was used for national affairs and holding great ceremonies, and the Inner Court was where the emperors and their concubines lived.

After lunch, we will take a stroll inside the Temple of Heaven, which covers an area of 2.73 square kilometers. It was built in 1420 and listed in the World Cultural Heritage in 1998. The Temple of Heaven is mainly composed of the Circular Mound Altar and Imperial Vault of Heaven. Ancient Chinese people thought that the heaven created everything in nature, like the air and water. And people must appreciate it and keep a harmonious relationship between humans and nature. Therefore, in the past, the emperors would hold great ceremonies in the Temple of Heaven each year to show their respect to heaven, and pray for a good harvest as well as less disease.

After that, we will go to the Summer Palace. There are more than 3,000 buildings inside the Summer Palace. As an imperial garden of ancient China, the Summer Palace is located in the western suburb of Beijing. It mainly consists of Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill. On Kunming Lake, there is a popular spot, Seventeen-Arch Bridge. It is the largest bridge among the thirty bridges in the Summer Palace, which is about 8 meters wide and 150 meters long. It connects Nanhu Island and the eastern shore of Kunming Lake. On the body of the bridge, there are seventeen holes in the shape of arches in different sizes. And when the sunlight shines through the seventeen holes, it forms a beautiful scene. Many tourists and photographers would come and capture this scene.

The Forbidden City
Tiananmen Square
Day 3 Beijing
Hutong, Mutianyu Great Wall

This morning, we will visit Hutong by rickshaw, which is a very popular way to take a Beijing Hutong tour. Hutong is a kind of narrow lane and its width is normally no more than nine meters. There are thousands of Hutongs in Beijing, and most of them were formed in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Although those Hutongs look similar, you can still find their own characteristics as long as you are willing to get a close contact with them. More importantly, during this tour, we will offer you such an opportunity to know the lifestyle in Hutong by visiting local a family in Hutong. And if interested, you can ask them about some local anecdotes and learn some authentic Beijing dialects from them.

After lunch, we will drive northeast to the Mutianyu Great Wall, which is about 70 kilometers away from Beijing city center. It will take us about 2 hours. Mutianyu Great Wall has a length of 5,400 meters and was built in 1368 during the Ming Dynasty. There are comfortable and safe cable cars as well as cable chairs that you can choose when going up to the top of Mutianyu Great Wall. You can also experience the exciting toboggan when you come down from the Great Wall. It is a fun activity for both adults and children, which will add more fun to your trip.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Day 4 BeijingChengdu
From Beijing to Chengdu by flight

Today, we will drive you to the airport and you will take the estimated flight CZ6183 12:00/15:05 to Chengdu. The Chengdu escorted tour will be a very relaxing tour, because Chengdu is most known for its leisure lifestyle. When you arrive in Chengdu, the local guide will pick you up at the airport, then he or she will drive you to the hotel. After check-in, you can have a nice rest in the hotel or take a walk in the city.

As the capital city of Sichuan Province, Chengdu is located on the western edge of the Sichuan Basin. It is between 1,000 meters to 3,000 meters above sea level. There are abundant wild animals and plants. With a population of over 20 million, Chengdu covers an area of 14,335 kilometers. It has a monsoon-influenced climate with muggy summer and wet winter. The average yearly temperature is 16 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit).

Day 5 Chengdu
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Du Fu Thatched Cottage, Chengdu Wuhou Shrine Museum, Jinli Street

After breakfast, we will go to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. As a World Heritage Site, it was built in 1987 and covers an area of over 300 thousand square meters. It is the largest research base of giant panda breeding and there are more than 100 giant pandas. The research base simulates the living environment of giant pandas in the wild and contains the streams, bamboo forests, and grass fields. Except for the giant pandas, you can also see peacocks, egrets, and other animals. When the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder came to Chengdu, his first stop was the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. He took nice photos with pandas and he said those photos would be the best gifts for his daughter.

Then, we will visit the Du Fu Thatched Cottage, one of the most popular places in Chengdu. Du Fu was a great poet in Chinese history and was born in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In the winter of 759, Du Fu gave up being an official and traveled to Chengdu. He found that Chengdu was a beautiful place without war, so he decided to live here. Then, he built the thatched cottage and planted many flowers and trees around it. Although he has lived a peaceful life, he cared about the future of ordinary people and this country. He expressed his concerns and exposed social issues in his poems. He lived here for four years and wrote more than 240 poems during that time. In his whole life, he wrote thousands of poems, and some of them find their way into textbooks now.

After lunch, we will take you to the Chengdu Wuhou Shrine Museum. It covers an area of 150,000 square meters and was built in 221 during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280). In fact, Wuhou Shrine Museum is a place for people to commemorate Zhuge Liang, an outstanding politician and militarist of the Kingdom of Shu in the Three Kingdoms Period. Speaking of Zhuge Liang, there is a famous story that can embody his wisdom.

One day, Zhuge Liang was asked to get 100,000 arrows in ten days. Usually, people would consider it as an impossible task. However, “No problem,” said Zhuge Liang at once, “I can bring you 100,000 arrows within three days.” Can you believe that? He ordered the soldiers to put many straw men on 20 giant boats. Then, the soldiers of Zhuge Liang sailed those boats towards the camps of their enemy on a foggy morning. When the enemy saw those boats, they thought that they would be attacked, because they could not see clearly through the thick fog. The enemy soldiers then shot arrows towards the boats. Soon, Zhuge Liang’s boats were full of arrows. Then, the soldiers of Zhuge Liang shouted “Thank you for your arrows” and turned back. This was how Zhuge Liang completed the task and borrowed 100,000 arrows.

Then, we will explore Jinli Street. It is a part of the Wuhou Shrine Museum scenic area. The street is not very long and the total length of it is 550 meters, but it was one of the busiest and most famous streets in Chengdu throughout the history. When people come to Jinli Street, they believe that it will be the biggest regret if they do not eat the street food. Jinli Street gathers all snacks in Sichuan and there are over one hundred kinds of snacks on the street.

One of the most popular snacks on the Jinli Street is San Da Pao. It is made from glutinous rice and brown sugar. All vendors will make it on site, so you can see how it is made. For many visitors, the whole making process is very interesting, like a performance. Normally, they knead the steamed glutinous rice until it becomes a round dough, then the dough will be thrown on a copper board, and it will bounce into a basket which is full of yellow bean powder. After being fully covered with the powder, the vendors would pour some brown sugar on the dough. Then, this food is ready to be served.

Optional Dinner:

Hot Pot is a traditional Sichuan Cuisine. You can boil many different ingredients in the Hot Pot, and there are multiple flavored soups you can order based on your taste, such as spicy soup and light soup.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Chengdu Wuhou Shrine Museum
Day 6 Chengdu
Leshan Giant Buddha, Huanglongxi Town

In the morning, we will drive about 149 kilometers to Leshan Giant Buddha. Heading southwest, it will take us about 1.8 hours to get there. Leshan Giant Buddha is 71 meters high and is the largest Buddhist statue. It is located at the confluence of three rivers. In ancient times, floods are common and severe in this place. Tragedies of sinking ships and drowning people always happened. Master Haitong, an eminent monk in the Tang Dynasty, was very sad when he saw such scenes. So he decided to raise money and gather the people to build a giant Buddha to control the flood. The construction started in the year 731, but when the Buddha was only half-completed, Master Haitong passed away, and the construction stopped. Many years later, the apprentice of Haitong continued to do this work.The construction lasted for 90 years and finished in the year 803 through the work of generations.

After lunch, we will drive northeast about 153 kilometers to Huanglongxi Town, and it will take us about two hours. Huanglongxi Town has a history of more than 1,700 years. In recent years, it has become a popular place to film because there are beautiful scenery. The streets are paved with stone slabs and the average width of the streets is about 3 meters. The ancient buildings in the town are a sharp contrast to the skyscrapers in the modern city. At present, there are three well-preserved ancient temples. People come to the temples every day to burn incense and pray. You can also see many old banyan trees beside the temples, and some of the banyan trees are over 600 years old. After visiting Huanglongxi Town, we will escort you back to the hotel.

Leshan Giant Buddha
 Huanglongxi Ancient Town
Day 7 ChengduShanghai
From Chengdu to Shanghai by flight

Today, we will transfer you to the airport and then you will take the estimated flight CZ9577 10:55/13:55 to Shanghai. Our local guide will pick you up at Shanghai airport. Shanghai is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city that attracts many visitors from all over the world each year. So I hope you can fall in love with it and enjoy the Shanghai escorted tour.

Day 8 Shanghai
Yu Garden, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Tower, the Bund, Nanjing Road

Today, we will first visit the Yu Garden (closed each Monday). It was a private garden and was built in the Ming Dynasty. The owner of the garden was an official named Pan Yunduan. In 1559, he began to build the garden in the fields beside his residence. At first, he wanted to take the garden as a place where his father can live out his old age. So he focused on this work with all his heart. He participated in the design of every scene in the garden. When everything about the garden was done in a methodical way, and everyone was looking forward to the day of its completion, something bad happened. The father of Pan Yunduan passed away before the garden was finished, which was the most regrettable thing of Pan Yunduan. Many years later, the garden was completed. Pan named it Yu Garden (Yu means safety) which expressed his thoughts about his father.

Then, we will go to the Shanghai Museum (closed each Monday). It was built in 1952. Holding almost one million objects, it has a display area of 12,000 square meters. Shanghai Museum has four principal kinds of exhibits. They are bronze ware, porcelain, calligraphy, and painting. Chinese calligraphy is also known as brush calligraphy. It has a history of thousands of years and is mainly popular in Asia. If you are interested in Chinese calligraphy, you can stay longer on the third floor of the Shanghai Museum, because there is a calligraphy exhibition hall, and you can enjoy many excellent works of famous calligraphers in ancient China.

After lunch, we will visit the Shanghai Tower. Located in Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai Tower is the highest building in China with a total height of 632 meters. In 2017, the observation deck on the 118th floor began to open to the public. On the indoor observation deck, you can get a panoramic view and enjoy the nice scenery of the Huangpu River and the bund. More importantly, there are three ultra-high-speed elevators. And the ascending speeding of the elevator is 18 meters per second, which means you can take the elevator and get to the 118th floor within just one minute.

After that, we will take a walk on the Bund, which is sitting by the Huangpu River. The length of the Bund is 1.5 kilometers. On the Bund, there are many famous spots, such as the Lover’s Wall and the Huangpu Park. Huangpu Park is the earliest European-style park in Shanghai and was built in 1868. The main building in the park is a 60-meter high tower. It is located at the junction of Huangpu River and Suzhou River. People built the tower to honor the memory of heroes who sacrificed their lives for the peace of China.   

Then, we will get to Nanjing Road, which is connected with the Bund. Nanjing Road is about 5.5 kilometers long and over 18 meters wide. It is the busiest street in Shanghai. There are many time-honored shops and stores, such as the Lao Feng Xiang Jewelry and Yong'an Department Store. Lao Feng Xiang Jewelry is a famous jewelry store in China. It was found in 1848 and get a good reputation because of its exquisite techniques and innovative design. At present, there are thousands of chain stores of Lao Feng Xiang Jewelry.

The bund
Nanjing Road
Day 9 Shanghai
Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town, Jade Buddha Temple

After breakfast, we will drive southwest for about 1 hour to the Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town. It is 48 kilometers away from Shanghai city. With a long history, Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town was built along the Caogang River. Therefore, it is also known as the Venice in Shanghai. Local people have lived here for generations and stay away from the noise of city. We can also explore the town on a boat. Except for the lucid water, you will see thousands of houses standing by the river. When you watch the smoke rising from the chimneys of people’s houses, you will envy the people there and their comfortable lives. Drift along the river, you will also hear the shouting of vendors, which inject energy into the town.   

In the afternoon, we will go to the Jade Buddha Temple. Located in the Putuo District, Jade Buddha Temple is very famous in China and the world. It can date back to the Qing Dynasty. Covering an area of more than 7,700 square meters, the Jade Buddha Temple contains many buildings. It mainly consists of the Mahavira Hall, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, and the Jade Buddha Tower. The three buildings are on the central axis of the temple. The Jade Buddha Tower is dedicated to the Sitting Buddha. And there is another Jade Buddha, the Recumbent Buddha. It was enshrined in the Recumbent Buddha Hall, which is also a place you can not miss in the temple.

Zhujiajiao Water Town
Zhujiajiao Water Town
Day 10 Departure
you will be transferred to the airport and fly back to your sweet home

Today, we will escort you to the airport according to your schedule. Thank you for trusting us and we are looking forward to seeing you again in China.

Author: Zhao Yalin

This tour ends here
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