Classic China Escorted Tour

11 Days Beijing-Xi’an-Chongqing-Yangtze River-Shanghai

If you are keen to visit China but get tired of planning the trips, why not choose our 11 days best escorted tours to China? We will arrange the entire trip for you, from choosing attractions to booking hotels, restaurants, and flights. Everything that you care about is what we care most. All you need to do is enjoy these escorted tours to China. This journey will begin from escorted tour from Beijing. Besides Beijing, we select three cities for you, namely Xi’an, Chongqing, and Shanghai. In these cities, you can enjoy the breathtaking landscape, witness centuries-old relics, and learn more about Chinese culture. In addition, we also arrange a three-day Yangtze River Cruise where you can appreciate the magnificent Three Gorges and Three Gorges Dam, and have wonderful shore excursions. What are you waiting for? Come to join our 11 days best escorted tours to China!

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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 Beijing! Your escorted tours in China start here! The guide holding your name sign will wait for you at the arrival hall. And then, you will be transferred to the hotel by car. During your Chinese escorted tour, the guide will answer all your questions patiently and we will try our best to meet your needs.

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

This morning, you will visit Tian’anmen Square. The square is located at the central axis of Beijing with an area of 440,000 square meters. During the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1636-1912) dynasties, some significant ceremonies were held at the Tian’anmen Square. The most important one was the “Imperial Edict Issued by Golden Phoenix.” At that time, an official tied the imperial edict on a cloud-shaped golden plate, to the mouth of a wood-carved golden phoenix with a yellow silk line. The phoenix holding the imperial edict flew to other officials who can disseminate the message contained in the edict to all places. Nowadays, it is still a place for celebrations during important festivals.

Then, the guide will take you to the Forbidden City (closed each Monday), an imperial complex of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is not only the best-preserved imperial palace in China but the largest one in the world. There used to be 24 emperors lived in the Forbidden City and the last one is Puyi. It is said that Puyi was the first emperor to learn English and wear suits. His English name was Henry chosen by his English teacher, Scotsman Reginald Johnston. The teacher not only taught him English but math, geography, and world history. The knowledge enlightened him and he began to wear suits, and cut his queue (a hairstyle for males in ancient China that the front and sides are shaved, and the rest hair is plaited into a long braid hanging on one’s back). Such a behavior for an emperor in the Forbidden City is of great historical meaning.

After lunch, you will visit the Temple of Heaven where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped the God of Heaven and prayed for a good harvest. On the axis of the Temple, there are Clothes-changing Platform, Circular Mound Altar, Echo Wall, Imperial Vault of Heaven, Danbi Bridge(Vermilion Steps Bridge), the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest from south to north. The Clothes-changing Platform is located near the South Gate. When the ceremony of winter solstice on the northern hemisphere was held each year, a temporary tent was set up at the Clothes-changing Platform. The emperor put on the sky-blue sacrificial dress here before the ceremony. The sky is blue, so wearing the sky-blue clothes showed the emperor’s respect for the God of Heaven in Chinese tradition.      

The last attraction of today is the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal park in China. It was built in 1750 and had served as the summer retreat for royalty for many years. The Summer Palace is mainly composed of two areas, namely Kunming Lake Area and Longevity Hill Area. One important attraction of the Kunming Lake Area is the Seventeenth-Arch Bridge. Constructed in 1750, it was the longest bridge in the Chinese imperial garden with a length of 150 meters. As its name implied, the bridge has 17 arches. Besides, there are 544 stone lions in different poses on the columns of the marble bridge railings. You may find one lion beating its chest, admiring the scenery or stepping on a ball.  

Tian’anmen Square
Summer Palace
Day 3 Beijing
Chang Tomb, Mutianyu Great Wall

This morning, we will drive northwest for about an hour to the Chang Tomb, 50 kilometers away from the center of Beijing. It is the tomb of the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Di, and his wife Empress Xu. Among the 16 emperors of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Di made the greatest contribution and had the most profound significance in history. The Chang Tomb is the largest and best-preserved tomb. Its main building is the Ling’en Palace, which is the largest existent Nanmu-structured palace (Nanmu is a precious wood that is unique to China and South Asia). And there are 60 huge pillars made of golden Nanmu, among which thirty-two are 12.58 meters high and the thickest one is 1.124 meters in bottom diameter.

After having lunch, we will drive northeast for about an hour to the Mutianyu Great Wall, approximately 40 kilometers away from the Chang Tomb. This section of Great Wall was first built in Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557). It was rebuilt and strengthened many times. Mutianyu Great Wall is the longest best-preserved section, with 2.5 kilometers in length. Over ninety percent of the surrounding area is covered by various trees, which looks beautiful and magnificent all the year round. In addition, it is very easy to visit because there are cable cars up and down. The fully enclosed cable car is safe and steady, suitable for all ages. You can overlook the wonderful landscape of the Great Wall from the cable car window.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall
Day 4 BeijingXian
From Beijing to Xian by train

This morning, you will take the estimated train G429 10:45/16:21 to Xi’an. The local guide will pick you up at the train station and transfer you to the hotel. The enthusiastic guide will answer all your questions, and your Xi’an escorted tours will begin.  

Day 5 Xi’an
Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an Old City Wall

After having breakfast at the hotel, we will drive east for about an hour to visit the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, 40 kilometers away from downtown Xi’an. Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is the Eighth Wonder of the World. It is a grand subordinate tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. It is divided into different large-scale pits, where over 8,000 terra cotta warriors and horses have been excavated. It is said that , Qin Shi Huang ordered to build his tomb and this grand subordinate tomb when he ascended the throne at the age of 13. For this huge project, it had taken nearly 720,000 workers and 38 years. In 1984, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited the museum and touched one of the terra cotta horses. While he was carefully touching the horse’s back, Reagan asked the entourage jokingly, “It’s not going to kick me, is it?” From the president’s words, we can know how lifelike the horse is.

After lunch, you will go to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a holy place for Buddhists and a well-preserved ancient building. In 2014, it was included in the World Heritage Sites List. The pagoda was originally built in 652, which was used to preserve Buddhist statues and scriptures taken from India by Monk Xuanzang. During the past 1,300 years, the pagoda had suffered from several earthquakes, but it is still as stable as the beginning.

Then, you will visit the Xi’an Old City Wall, the best-preserved city wall in China. The wall encircled by a deep moat, which is 13.7 kilometers in length. In the past, above the moat, there was a huge drawbridge. If the drawbridge was lifted, the enemy could not get close to the city. On the wall, there are 98 ramparts, which were built every 120 meters. In the past, they were built to prevent the enemy from climbing up the wall. You can leisurely stroll on the wall and have a closer look at the wall. 

City Wall
Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum
Day 6 Xi’anChongqing
From Xi’an to Chongqing by flight, Ciqikou Ancient Town, Yangtze River Cruise

This morning, you will be escorted to the airport to take the estimated flight MU2261 08:00/09:30 to Chongqing. It is one of four municipalities in China, together with Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. Chongqing surrounded by green hills is located on the edge of the Yungui Plateau. In addition, the local people love hot and spicy food. During your escorted tour in Chongqing, you can appreciate the natural scenery and taste delicious spicy foods.

After leaving the airport, we will head to the Ciqikou Ancient Town. These years, Chongqing has undergone significant changes, and the Ciqikou Ancient Town became a protected cultural site in 1998. There are 12 streets in total, and most of the buildings on the streets can date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. You will see many two or three-story buildings made of bamboo and timber in this town. Roofs covered with dark-gray tiles and white walls are the main features of the buildings here. Besides, there are many specialty stores, snack stores, and tea houses. The Ciqikou Ancient Town is especially famous for its tea houses. Local people like drinking a cup of tea while watching the “Face Changing” performance, one kind of Sichuan Opera performance.  

Then, we will go to the Chaotianmen Port for the Yangtze River Cruise. The ship will depart at 9:00 pm and you need to board the ship before 8:30 pm. There are different types of rooms you can choose. You can choose a room with a private balcony to appreciate the landscape. In addition, all meals on the ship are of buffet style and you can enjoy both the delicious Chinese cuisine and western food. The ship is equipped with high-definition three-dimensional cinema, hi-technological AI system, self-service laundry, bar, KTV and fitness center. With all these, you will have a satisfying and comfortable cruise tour.  

Ciqikou Ancient Town
Ciqikou Ancient Town
Day 7 Yangtze River Cruise
Shibaozhai Pagoda

You will have all your meals onboard. After the buffet-style breakfast, you can walk freely on the ship or you can just read a book on the deck while having a cup of coffee. If the weather is good, you may see people practicing Tai Chi on the deck. If you are interested in it, you can join them to learn some easy motions, which can help you relax your body.   

Then, you will have a shore excursion, visiting the Shibaozhai Pagoda. Shibaozhai literally means Stone Treasure Fortress, and it is a rocky and craggy hill on the north bank of the Yangtze River. There is a Shibaozhai Pagoda built along the cliff of the hill. The pagoda is made of wood. And it was first built in the Qing Dynasty. There are 12 floors for this pagoda, with a height of 56 meters. This wooden pagoda is free of any single nail. You can climb on the 12-story pagoda to enjoy the striking view of the Yangtze River from the top. Please be careful when you climb up the steps because the wooden steps are a little bit steep.  

After visiting the Shibaozhai pagoda, you will go back to the ship and have a buffet lunch. Then, you can have a nice rest or have fun with your friends on the ship. In the evening, there is a Captain’s Welcome Reception on the deck. At the welcome party, dinner and drinks will be provided. You can appreciate traditional music and folk dances performed by crew members. You can take some photos and then post them on your social media to share it with your friends.

Day 8 Yangtze River Cruise
Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, Goddess Stream, Xiling Gorge

Today, your Yangtze River Cruise tour will continue, and you will see two gorges of the famous Three Gorges.  The first Gorge you will pass by is the Qutang Gorge. It is the most spectacular and the shortest among the Three Gorges. Peaks on both banks are 1,000 to 1,500 meters high while the watercourses here are only 100 to 200 meters wide. The narrowest part is just 50 meters in width. Once you enter the Qutang Gorge, you will see two peaks on either side. The two peaks together resemble a gate, so it is called Kui Gate. Kui Gate is a landmark of the Yangtze River. For the Kui Gate, Qutang Gorge is also called Kui Gorge. If you have the ten-yuan banknote, you will find that the image on the back of it is same with the scenery of Kui Gate.

Then, you will see the Wu Gorge with a total length of 46 kilometers. The Wu Gorge is deep with towering and protruding peaks. The daylight hours here are short and the moisture as well as mists cannot be dispelled. Therefore, there are often various shapes of clouds and mists in this gorge, which seems like a fairyland. Besides, the most spectacular attraction here is the Twelve Peaks, which refers to the twelve peaks on both banks of the Yangtze River. Among the twelve peaks, the poetic Goddess Peak is the best-known and the highest. Its shape resembles a beautiful girl looking down at the ships on the river. And it is the first peak to welcome the morning glow of the sun and the last peak to say goodbye to the evening glow, so it is also called Wangxia Peak (Wangxia means viewing the morning and evening glow).

During the period of sailing through Wu Gorge, you will board a smaller boat to view the Goddess Stream. It was once just a brook. Since the Three Gorges Dam raised the water level, the Goddess Stream has become a 15-kilometer-long stream. The mountains on both sides of the stream are home to many protected animals, such as deer, boar, mountain goats, and monkeys. On the boat, you can appreciate the landscape here from another angle.

Then, you will return to the ship to see the last Gorge, Xiling Gorge. Spanning 76 kilometers, it covers over half the length of the entire Three Gorges. It is made up of four smaller gorges. Xiling Gorge is famous for the winding waterways where the water currents are turbulent. Besides, there are dangerous hidden reefs and shoals. For such special features, Xiling Gorge has been called “Death Passage”. But don’t worry, it is a piece of cake for our experienced captain. When the ship passes through this gorge, you will feel as steady as walking on a flat road. Furthermore, after the completion of the Three Gorges Dam, the water level has been increased to over 100 meters, so the cruise here became absolutely safe and steady.

In the evening, the crew on the ship will hold a Farewell Performance for the visitors. There will be singing and dancing performances. You can take a sip of cocktail and have dinner while appreciating the fabulous performance. Hope you enjoy the whole Yangtze River Cruise.

Qutang Gorge
Goddess Stream
Day 9 Yangtze River CruiseShanghai
Three Gorges Dam, from Yichang to Shanghai by train

After having a buffet breakfast, you will disembark at Maoping Dock. Then, you will have an excursion to visit the Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydropower station in the world. You can admire this splendid dam from different angles and I am sure you will be marveled at this world-famous project. Besides, the landscape here is also fabulous. Take some pictures with the Three Gorges Dam and its surrounding scenery, which is sure to get lots of likes if you post them to your Facebook.

Then, you will be taken to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal. Our guide and driver will escort you to the Yichang Train Station to take the estimated train D954 14:06/20:21 to Shanghai. Upon arrival, the local guide will pick you up and take you to the hotel. Shanghai is an international metropolis and an essential port city of China. During your escorted tour in Shanghai, you will feel a harmoniously mixed culture of the modern and the traditional as well as the western and the eastern.  

The Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam
Day 10 Shanghai
Yu Garden, Shanghai Old Street, Shanghai Tower, Nanjing Road, the Bund

Today, the first attraction is Yu Garden (closed each Monday). It was a private garden owned by a government official called Pan Yunduan in the Ming Dynasty. Yu means wealth and health in Chinese. Pan built the garden for his parents, and he hoped that his parents could enjoy their later years. However, it’s a pity that his parents passed away before the completion of Yu Garden. Yu Garden was the most prestigious and largest private garden in ancient Shanghai. And nowadays, it opens to the public as a tourist attraction. Here, you can see Chinese-style halls, glittering pools, exquisite pavilions, impressive rockeries, beautiful sculptures, and precious carvings.

Then, you will head to Shanghai Old Street, adjacent to Yu Garden. It is a hub of shopping, entertainment, food, and cultural exhibition. The street has a length of 825 meters. On both ends of it are decorative archways. You can view a bustling market full of the features of old Shanghai. The Shanghai Old Street consists of the east section and the west section. The buildings on the east section have the dwelling features of the late Qing Dynasty and the early years of the Republic of China (1912-1949), which feature lattice windows, dark-gray roofs, and upturned eaves. The buildings on the west section feature red columns, white walls, and upward eaves.

After having lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit the Shanghai Tower, the second-highest building (632 meters) in the world. It is located in the Finance and Trade Zone of Pudong District, with Jin Mao Tower to the North and Shanghai World Financial Center to the east. There are 127 floors above the ground and 5 floors underground. The Shanghai Tower was built at a river delta and its foundation is 88 meters in depth with 980 foundation piles. The tower can resist strong typhoon and 8-magnitude earthquakes. You will take a fast elevator to the world’s highest observation deck on 118th to overlook the Huangpu River, the Bund, and other skyscrapers in Shanghai.

Then, you will go to visit Nanjing Road, a century-old shopping street. The street has a total length of 5.5 kilometers. There are shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, and cinemas on both sides of this road. Here, you can easily find traditional food stores with a history of more than 100 years. You can check out Lao Da Fang (selling smoked fish and pork moon cakes), Shen Da Cheng (selling authentic desserts and local snacks), and Shao Wan Sheng (selling liquor-preserved crabs and winkles). You can taste some authentic food and buy some for your family members and friends.

The last attraction of today is the Bund, located on the west bank of the Huangpu River. There stand 52 buildings with a variety of styles, including Gothic, Baroque, Neo-classicism style, French style, East Indian style, etc. So the Bund is described as the “museum of buildings”. Let’s take the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank in the Neo-classicism style as an example. It has the widest shop front and covers the largest area among these buildings here. There are a pair of bronze lions standing by the main door. The roaring lion with an open mouth is called Stephen, and the quiet lion lost in meditation is called Stitt. The two lions represent the two famous bankers Alexander Gordon Stephen and Gordon Holmes Stitt respectively.   

the Bund
Nanjing road
Day 11 Departure
You will be transferred to the airport and fly back to your sweet home

Today, your Chinese escorted tour will come to an end. The guide will help you check out, and then escort you to the airport according to your flight schedule. Hope you enjoy this trip and come to China again!

Author: Yibo Zhang

Proofreader: Yan Liu

This tour ends here
Tour Map
City Five Star hotel list Four Star hotel list
Beijing Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Wangfujing
Xi'an Tianyu Gloria Grand Hotel Xi'an Sunworld Dynasty Hotel
Yangtze River Cruise Victoria Anna Victoria Anna
Shanghai Ocean Hotel Shanghai Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central
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