What does China have? You will know the answer from the 21 days magnificent China tour. You can see all the essences of China. This itinerary includes classic city tours to Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin, and Shanghai as well as a Yangtze River Cruise tour, and a Chengdu Tibet in-depth tour. In Beijing, you will not miss the must-sees, the epic Forbidden City and the magnificent Great Wall. In Xi’an, you will explore the mysterious and spectacular Terracotta Army. From Xi’an to Tibet, you will appreciate the diverse natural view in different altitudes. In Tibet, you will learn about the unique Tibetan culture and enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery during your vacation in Tibet. In Chengdu, you will have an opportunity to make cakes for giant pandas and feed them. The distance between you and the giant pandas may be zero. In Guilin, you will immerse yourself in picturesque landscapes with strange karst mountains standing along the water. And in the Yangtze River Cruise, the whole journey will offer you a peaceful and relaxing time on this long trip. At last, you will end your long-lasting China tour in Shanghai, the biggest and most developed city in China. The vast mountains and rivers, thousands of years of history, and the dynamic city life are bursting with the most diverse vitality of China. If you have enough time and budget, this itinerary will be your best choice.
Ni Hao! Welcome to China! With a sunny smile, our guide will meet and welcome you at the arrival hall with your nameplate. On the way to your hotel, you could have a rest or the guide would like to tell you some interesting stories about the city to relieve your fatigue. The tour guide will help you to check-in and the rest of the day is free on your own. If you need any suggestions for restaurants or shopping malls, the guide is more than happy to help.
As one of the world’s famous historical and cultural cities, Beijing has a history of more than 3,000 years. And it was once the capital of five dynasties in ancient China. Beijing is an ancient as well as modern city. The ruins of gardens, ancient temples, and emperors’ mausoleums leave a large number of historical heritages to the city. In the meantime, the pedestrian streets, nightclubs, art zones, and commercial districts have added a new vitality to the city.
This morning we will first visit Tian’anmen Square. Tian’anmen Square is one of the symbols of modern China. It is the largest downtown square in the world. Tian’anmen Square is one of the most visited places in Beijing. On 1st October 1949, the founding ceremony of the People’s Republic of China was held here. Standing on the Tian’anmen Gate Tower, Chairman Mao waved his hand to 300,000 people and said that “The People's Republic of China and the People's Central Government of are established today!” The first flag-raising and the first military parade of the new China were held here.
And then, walking through the Tian’anmen Gate and the Meridian Gate (Wu Men), we will enter the Forbidden City(closed each Monday). The Forbidden City was built between 1406 and 1420 by the Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty. Approximately one million people were involved in the construction work, including servants, artisans, and architects. The Forbidden City occupies a total area of 720,000 square meters, with more than 70 palaces and 9000 rooms. Here, you will visit the three main halls on the axis, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the place where big ceremonies were held in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Whenever there was a ceremony, the emperor would dress in the Hall of Preserving Harmony, then went to the Hall of Central Harmony to hear the ministers report on the details of the ceremony, and finally, went to the Hall of Supreme Harmony to attend the ceremony. This huge and majestic palace complex was surrounded by a wall and a moat. This moat is 52 meters wide and 6 meters deep and the wall is about 8 meters high. The moat and the wall were to protect the Forbidden City.
After lunch, we will visit the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace is the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. The palace was burned down during the Second Opium War in 1860 but was restored in 1888 on the 60th birthday of Empress Dowager Cixi. Its original name was Qingyi Garden and was renamed the Summer Palace by the Empress Dowager Cixi. The Summer Palace is now a beautiful garden covering an area of 2.9 square kilometers, three-quarters of which is occupied by Kunming Lake. Kunming Lake is the largest lake among all the lakes in the royal gardens of the Qing Dynasty. There are three islands in Kunming Lake, namely Penglai, Fangzhang and Yingzhou, symbolizing the three sacred mountains of the East China Sea in ancient Chinese legends. There is also a long causeway on Kunming Lake called the West Causeway, which is modeled after the Su Causeway in West Lake in Hangzhou.
Dinner Option: If you would like to taste Peking Roast Duck, but have no idea which restaurant is the best, then just let your guide know. Your guide will arrange an authentic roast duck dinner for you.
Free time idea: If you want to stroll around by yourself, then the Wangfujing Pedestrian Street is a good choice. And go to the Wangfujing Snack Street inside the Pedestrian Street to taste Beijing traditional snacks, like Tanghulu (sugar-coated haws on a stick) and pea cake.
In the morning, we will first drive for about 1.5 hours (50KM) to the Sacred Way. The Sacred Way is the first attraction of the Ming Tombs and consists of a stone archway, red gate, stone animals and statues, and the dragon and phoenix gate. At the beginning of the Sacred Way, you will see four pillars carved with cloud patterns. Sort of like lighthouses pointing the way, they serve to guide the souls of the deceased persons to heaven. The Sacred Way was the main road leading to the Ming Tombs. The Sacred Way was the main road leading to the Ming 13 Tombs. This is the only section that Royal funerary procession had to walk through it to pay respects to their ancestor instead of riding horses.
Then we will visit the Ding Tomb. It is one of the three largest tombs among the 13 tombs of the Ming Tombs. It was built for the 13th emperor Zhuyijun in the year of 1584. The general layout of the ground floor of the Ding Tomb is round in front and square at the back, which is symbolic of the ancient Chinese philosophical concept of “heaven is round and earth is square”. The construction of the Ding Tomb took six years to complete. Ding Tomb is the only tomb that has been excavated, so you can visit the underground palace. You need to go down 27 meters to enter the underground palace, and this depth is equivalent to 6 floors high.
After lunch, we will drive for about one hour (40KM) to visit Mutianyu Great Wall which has been a military stronghold defending the capital since ancient times. The Mutianyu Great Wall is still intact and has been showing the charm of the ancient Great Wall for hundreds of years. For ascending the Great Wall, I will recommend that you could take a cable chair which I like very much. When you are on the cable chair, you will admire the amazing natural scenery of the surrounding mountains. For descending the Great Wall, I will suggest that you could take a toboggan or cable chair. If you would like to experience something unique, you can slide down the great wall by toboggan, which is safe and exciting.
In the morning, let’s visit the Temple of Heaven first. After it was completed in 1420, all emperors have prayed at the Temple of Heaven in the Ming and Qing dynasties. In ancient China, the emperor was considered the “son of heaven”. Therefore, twice a year, the emperor dressed in special clothes and went from the Forbidden City to the Temple of Heaven and worshiped the god of heaven. Civilians were not allowed to participate in the ceremonies. The emperor himself prayed to heaven for a good harvest. Now many local people would like to do morning exercise, including Tai Chi, in the park. You could learn some moves of Tai Chi from locals if you can make friends with them. Chinese people are very friendly, and most of them would love to make friends with you.
After that, we will visit the Old Beijing Hutong. Hutong is important part of Beijing old town and all the streets are too narrow to drive a car. The most popular transportation tool is the man-power rickshaw for the foreigners. You will have a chance to experience the rickshaw here. In addition, we will arrange a local family visit in a quadrangle courtyard to touch Beijinger’s local life. The house owner will tell you the story of their family, their daily life, and how they celebrate traditional festivals. You will have an in-depth understanding of Beijinger’s daily life after the visit.
After lunch, we will drive to the train station and take the estimated train G87 14:00/18:19 to Xi’an. After arrival in Xi’an, the guide will take you to the hotel and help you to check-in.
Xi'an was named Chang'an in ancient times. Chang'an was the capital of 13 dynasties in ancient China. In the Sui and Tang dynasties, Chang'an was the largest and most prosperous city in the world. When you visit this ancient city, you will have a sight of the prosperity of a thousand years ago.
After breakfast, we will visit the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. It will take about 1 hour (40KM) to the museum. This place is actually a part of the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in ancient China, and was built between 246BC and 208 BC. It was the first well-preserved emperor tomb in China. The place where the coffins and burial artifacts were located was the core of the mausoleum, and has not yet been excavated. Today you will visit the Terracotta Amy, including warriors, horses and chariots. All of these were made according to the real persons, horses and chariots, and the terra cotta figurines you will see are all life-size. There are no two same faces among all the thousands of warriors. Even their clothes and hair decorations are different. You may also see some pictures of colorful terra cotta warriors on the inner wall. The terra cotta warriors were colorful before the excavation and became clay color after they were exposed to the air.
After that, we will drive for about 55 minutes(45KM) to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. With a history of more than 1300 years, it was built in the Tang Dynasty. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a Buddhist shrine and has a close relationship with Master Xuanzang. It is the place where the scriptures and statues brought from Tianzhu (ancient India) by Master Xuanzang being stored. And Xuanzang translated the scriptures from Sanskrit to Chinese here. The pagoda was named after a story. The story says a monk would rather starve than eat a wild goose that had fallen to the ground. Master Xuanzang was moved and would like to promote the spirit of this monk, so he named the pagoda the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
Our last stop today is the 600 years old City Wall. Located in the heart of Xi’an, the City Wall was built in the early Ming Dynasty on the foundation of the imperial city of Chang’an (ancient Xi’an) in the Tang Dynasty. The city wall is surrounded by a moat, and the famous Xi’an Bell Tower and Drum Tower can be seen on the wall. You can choose to walk on the wall or ride a bicycle. The roads are uneven, so be careful on your bike.
Night Option: Chang'an (ancient Xi’an) became the most prosperous in the Tang Dynasty, so the Tang culture is the most representative in Xi’an ancient culture. Watching a Tang Dynasty dancing and singing show will be your best choice to taste the Tang culture. If you are interested, please let the guide know in advance, he or she will book tickets to the Tang Palace Dancing and Singing Show(20:30-21:40). This show will follow a dumpling dinner, so you don’t need to worry about the dinner.
We will visit the Shaanxi History Museum(closed each Monday) this morning. The Shaanxi History Museum is located on the northwest side of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and is one of the top attractions in Xi’an. The museum contains a large number of treasures, including bronze artifacts from the Shang and Zhou dynasties (1600 BC-256 BC), terracotta figurines, as well as some tomb murals from the Tang dynasty(618AD-907AD). Xi’an is the most historical city in China, and the Shaanxi History Museum is the best place to appreciate the history of China. Besides, the building style of the museum is attractive. It is built in a Chinese traditional style which is different from all other museums in China.
Afterward, you will visit a local family in Xi’an. Xi’an is very famous for its cooked wheaten food such as dumplings, noodles and Rougamo (marinated meat in a baked bun). You will have the opportunity to learn how to make dumplings with the local people and experience their daily life.
Then you will visit the Great Mosque and the Muslim’s Quarter. The Great Mosque is the largest among the mosques in the north area of the city, with a total area of 13,000 square meters. So the locals call it the Great Mosque. The biggest hall inside the mosque is 1300 square meters, which can accommodate more than 1000 people to worship here at the same time. It is an ancient building complex with a long history and a large scale. According to the existing inscriptions in the mosque, it was founded in the first year of Emperor Xuanzong in the Tang Dynasty(712AD), and has a history of more than 1,300 years. Coming out from the Great Mosque, it is the Muslim’s Quarter. Muslim’s Quarter is an old Muslim neighborhood. Here you can sample almost all kinds of authentic Xi’an snacks. You can also buy some snacks with local flavors such as cakes, dried fruits, and candied fruit to take home to your friends and family as souvenirs.
Free time suggestion: In the evening, it is an option for you to visit Great Tang All Day Mall. It is a 1,500-meter sculptural landscape pedestrian street. There are nine themed groups of sculptures on the street, including great ancient emperors, famous historical figures, heroic stories, and so on. There are also various performances, such as playing Chinese Zheng (a Chinese traditional instrument) and modern band show. Walking down this street, you will feel as if you have traveled back in time to the Tang Dynasty and seen the beauty of the prosperous Tang Dynasty.
This morning you will take the estimated flight MU2335 11:40/15:20 to Lhasa. Upon your arrival at the airport, the local guide will welcome you with your nameplate. On the way to your hotel, you may have an opportunity to see the Yarlong Tsangpo River, the longest river in Tibet. After checking in at the hotel, you can make your own time. We recommend that you take a short break before exploring Tibet. If you have any physical discomfort due to altitude sickness, please tell the tour guide. Your guide will be helpful all the time.
This morning, we will first visit the Potala Palace. To marry Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, Songtsen Gampo, the 33rd king of the Tubo Kingdom built the Potala Palace in the year of 641. Located on the Red Mountain (also known as the Maburi Mountain), is 3,700 meters above sea level. The Potala Palace has been the winter residence of the Dalai Lama since the 17th century. The palace consists of the White Palace and the Red Palace and their ancillary buildings. The White Palace was the place where the Dalai Lamas live. The Red Palace was the place to enshrine the Buddha statues and sutras. The Potala Palace is the essence of ancient Tibetan architectural art, and also known as a highland shrine.
And then, we will visit Jokhang Temple which is also built in the 7th century. It is a distinctive architectural group of Buddhist buildings. And it is also the earliest building with adobe and wood in Tibet. The Jokhang Temple was built by Songtsen Gampo to commemorate Princess Wencheng’s arrival in Tibet. It has become a huge architectural complex after successive renovations and additions. The Jokhang Temple has the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty and also absorbed the architectural art characteristics of Nepal and India. Now, it is still the most popular and busiest temple in Lhasa.
After visiting the temple, you could go for a stroll on Barkhor Street, which is outside the Jokhang Temple. Barkhor Street is called the “Holy Road” by the Tibetans. It appeared after the Jokhang Temple was built and has a history of more than 1300 years. It is a commercial center of Lhasa, preserving the traditional appearance and living style of the old city. You could sample some authentic Tibetan food here. But I suggest that, don’t buy too much before you have a taste, because Tibetan food is unacceptable for some people sometimes. You could also buy some hats, aprons, gold and silver handicrafts in Tibetan style as souvenirs. Tibet is also famous for its herbal medicine, and Ganoderma, Saffron, Cordyceps, Tibetan antelope horn, and snow lotus are all worth buying. At the end of today’s tour, your guide will transfer you to your hotel.
This morning, we will first visit the Norbulingka which was built in the 18th century and was once the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Now it becomes a park. It is a masterpiece of Tibetan art. In summer, it is brightly colored and the whole garden is decorated with flowers and greenery. There are more than 100 species of plants in the garden, including the local flowers and trees in Lhasa as well as the rare flowers and plants transplanted from the southern and northern foot of the Himalayas. Therefore, it was also called a plateau botanical garden. There are not only tourists but also a great number of citizens relaxing and having leisure time in the Norbulingka. Also, there are also lots of relics that can be seen, such as Thangka (colorful Tibetan religious paintings), Buddhist murals, and rewards from the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties.
Then we will visit Drepung Monastery. Drepung Monastery is one of the six major monasteries of the Yellow Sec which is one sect of the Tibetan Buddhism. With a history of 600 years, it is also the largest monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. The most crowded day of the Drepung Monastery is the first day of the Sho Dun Festival. Sho Dun festival is a traditional festival of Tibetans, and is celebrated from June 29 to July 1 of the Tibetan calendar( around mid-August). In Tibetan, “Sho” means yogurt and “Dun” means eating. So the representative food of this festival is yogurt. During the Sho Dun Festival, there are groups of believers to go up to the mountain behind the Drepung Monastery to see the Thangka. This Thangka is a portrayal of Buddha. The activity usually starts at 8:00 am and finishes at 5:00 pm. If you are a believer in Buddhism, you can put money in a Hada(a long silk scarf used to show respect) like other devotees and throw it to the Buddha to pray for happiness.
After that, we will visit Sera Monastery. Sera Monastery was built in the Ming Dynasty. In its heyday, there were more than 8,000 lamas in the temple, slightly second in scale to Drepung Monastery. Sera Monastery preserves tens of thousands of Vajra statues, most of which are made locally in Tibet. There are also many bronze Buddha statues brought from China inland or India. The most attractive activity in the Sera monastery is the debate about the Buddhist scripture every Wednesday afternoon. The debate of Buddhist scripture is a discussion of Buddhist knowledge, and it can also be described as a form of learning for the lamas. It usually starts at 3 pm and lasts two or three hours.
Today you will take the estimated flight CA4402 10:55/12:50 to Chengdu. Your Chengdu tour guide will be waiting for you at the arrival hall with your nameplate. The guide and driver will take you to your hotel and the guide will help you to check-in. You could explore the city by yourself later.
After breakfast, we will first visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The Giant Panda is a rare and endangered wild animal in China and the world. With origins dating back 8 million years, the giant panda is one of the oldest species of living creatures in existence. Don't be fooled by its cute appearance, the adorable giant pandas we see now were once very fierce animals. They can peel a bamboo in a few seconds, which shows how sharp their claws are. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a well-known research institution for the protection and breeding of Giant Panda. There are more than 150 giant pandas and other rare and endangered animals such as red pandas, black-necked cranes, and white cranes in the base. The base has natural mountain scenery as well as a stunning artificial landscape. It creates an ecological environment that is suitable for giant pandas and a variety of rare wild animals to thrive.
Then we will visit Du Fu Thatched Cottage which is located on the banks of the Wanhua River. It was the former residence of Du Fu(712-770). Du Fu is a realist poet in the Tang Dynasty and lived here for nearly four years, and is known as the “Saint of Poetry” in China. He composed more than 240 poems here. There are many poems of Du Fu included in the textbooks of modern Chinese students. The architecture style of Du Fu Thatched Cottage is super elegant, which inspired Du Fu to compose poems. Due to Du Fu's high status in the history of Chinese literature, this place was also a holy place for scholars of later dynasties.
The last stop of today’s tour is People’s Park. People in Chengdu love to go to the People’s Park for a leisurely cup of tea. People’s Park is a place for people to enjoy their leisure time, for example, they can enjoy a cup of tea here. Heming Tea House is a very famous site in the park. There are special bamboo chairs and tables, and exquisite tea cup and teapot. It has a history of more than a hundred years. The most popular tea in Heming Tea House is scented tea. In summer, the fragrant breeze will hit your nose as you walk along the road. Chengdu People’s Park is the perfect place to experience the leisurely lifestyle of the locals.
This morning, you will take the estimated flight SC4764 11:45/13:30 to Guilin. Upon your arrival, the guide will take you to the hotel and help you to check-in. This afternoon is free for you.
This morning we will drive about 70 minutes and 80KM from Guilin to Longsheng to visit the Longji Rice Terrace. You could take some snacks with you in case you don’t eat enough for breakfast. After arriving at Longji Rice Terraces, we will transfer to an ecological sightseeing bus to the rice terraces. Longji Terraces refers to the terrace on Longji Mountain in Ping’an Village, Longsheng County. The terrace you will see is distributed between 300 meters to 1100 meters above sea level. The maximum slope is 50 degrees. The best times to see the Longji Terraces are in mid-May or from September to October. In mid-May, the locals will irrigate the terraces. In September, the rice will turn golden, which is the most picturesque scenery in China. And the rice is usually harvested after mid-October. Rice Terraces in Southern China, including Longji Terrace, received the official award of Globally Important Agricultural Cultural Heritage in 2018.
After lunch, we will continue to explore the terraced fields. The No.2 observation deck is closer for tourists to see the magnificent terrace scenery. Here you can see the most famous site “Seven Stars around the Moon” which is the essence of the Longji Terrace. It consists of seven small hilltop terraces and one large hilltop terrace. Another famed spot is “Nine Dragons Five Tigers”. “Nine Dragons” refers to the spine of nine mountains that will be seen on the terraces. They are like nine dragons leaning down from the sky to drink from the Xunjiang River. Next to the mountains, there are five hilltops which are like five tigers guarding the water. After the Longji Terrace tour, we will transfer back to Guilin.
This morning we will take the Li River Cruise to Yangshuo. Li River is like a green silk belt, coiled among thousands of peaks. When it comes to the Li River, most people will choose to cruise to appreciate the landscapes of the Li River. We will drive for about one hour to get to the pier. After boarding the boat, you can spend the next 4 hours immersing yourself in the charming scenery of the Li River. The cruise allows you to enjoy the river without worrying about the weather or rising water. On a sunny day, you may see local herdsmen grazing their cattle by the river or fishing in the river in small boats. There are many high and vertical limestone peaks standing on both sides of the river. When the cruise going near the peaks, you will have an illusion that they are falling down, and you may want to run away. During the cruise, you will see the Nine-horse Painted Mountain, which is one of the famous landscapes of the Li River in Guilin. When the cruise ship sails by, you can observe that there are 9 horses on the cliff wall either with their heads up and neighing, or with their heads down and drinking water from the Li River. On a cliff at the foot of the mountain, there are two Chinese characters of “Hua Shan”, which means “Painting Mountain”, left 455 years ago. We will have lunch on board.
In the afternoon, the cruise will stop at the pier of Yangshuo that is one of the most beautiful places in China. Then you will go to visit Yangshuo West Street. Yangshuo West Street is a must-see place in Yangshuo. The one-thousand-year history of Yangshuo and its tolerance have given the place the most brilliant cultural heritage. And the essence is reflected in West Street. Yangshuo West Street is a pedestrian street in the west of Yangshuo County. According to the Yangshuo County Records, the construction of the street could date back to the tenth year of Emperor Wen's reign(590) in the Sui Dynasty. In the beginning, it was only about 200 meters long. With the development, today's West Street has been expanded into a commercial street of nearly 800 meters long. Strolling along West Street, the road is lined with ancient buildings in the style of northern Guilin. The Western-style restaurants, personalized handicraft stores, literary cafes, and postcard stations that appeared in many movies and photos can be seen everywhere in the street. These small stores are in a wide variety of styles, not being bound by the ancient or modern style, nor sticking to Chinese or exotic elements, but being casual. This is West Street style, which is compatible and unrestrained. The merging of Chinese and Western architectural styles is only an appearance of West Street. The deeper integration can be seen in daily life. When you walk along the street, you will hear local dialects as well as foreign languages from all over the world.
In the evening, you will enjoy the famous show Impression Sanjie Liu which is the world’s largest live-action performance. With twelve mountain peaks as the background, it presents the scenery of Li River in Guilin in the form of national folk songs and dances. You will see the real life scene of the locals. The costumes of the Zhuang, Yao, and Miao ethnic minorities are used in the performance according to the different scenes. The whole performance lasts about 60 minutes.
This morning, we will first drive about 70 minutes and 85KM to Guilin airport. Then you will take the estimated train D1864 10:52/15:49 to Chongqing. Your Chongqing guide will meet you at the train station and then take you to the pier for the Yangtze River Cruise. You will board your cruise between 18:00 and 21:00.
This morning, you can sleep in until you wake up naturally but don’t miss the breakfast. You could have breakfast while enjoying the view of the Yangtze River. After breakfast, you can relax with a cup of coffee or practice Tai Chi on the deck with a Tai Chi master. Onboard, you will enjoy a variety of cultural and recreational activities. You can make new friends at the welcome banquet tonight and watch the dancing and singing performance.
Besides, you will have the opportunity to have a shore excursion and visit the Shibaozhai Pagoda. The whole building is 12-storey, 56-meter high, all wooden structure. It was built in the reign of the Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty(1573-1620) and was repaired during the period of Emperor Kangxi and Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. Shibaozhai Pagoda is also known as one of the “world’s eight strange buildings”. We highly recommend you to wear comfortable shoes today as there are a lot of steps to climb up the pagoda.
There is another shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City with extra cost today. Fengdu Ghost City has always been regarded as a place for the souls of the dead. It has been a famous cultural city since ancient times in China. With a history of nearly 2,000 years, Fengdu Ghost City is famous for its rich ghost culture and various netherworld buildings, which are very realistic. According to the Chinese traditional legends, the netherworld is the place that the soul being judged and reincarnated.
You will have lunch and dinner on board today.
Today you will take a boat tour deep into the spectacular Three Gorges and experience the breathtaking scenery of the gorges. Besides, you can take a delightful shore excursion to the Goddess Stream, also known as the “Beauty Stream” by the locals. It is 15 kilometers long, of which 10 kilometers is a primitive valley that is rarely visited by human beings. Those who visit the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River will have regrets if they do not enter the Goddess Stream. The amazing scenery and the original ecological inhabitants here have become the new highlight of the Three Gorges Tour.
A shore excursion to White Emperor City is additional for your choice, and it needs extra cost. If you have some knowledge of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, you will love this place more. In the Three Kingdoms Period, Liu Bei was the first emperor of the Han Dynasty, and Zhuge Liang was a very wise and knowledgeable prime minister then. When Liu Bei was dying, he asked Zhuge Liang sincerely to assist his mediocre son with governing the country at White Emperor City. This story was recorded and became famous.
Tonight, an elaborate Captain’s farewell party will be prepared for you, and you will enjoy a pleasant dinner with all your friends on board.
After breakfast, you will check out and disembark at Maoping Port. Then we will go on a shore excursion to visit the world-famous Three Gorges Dam. The Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydroelectric station in the world. You can choose to see the Three Gorges Dam up close via the world’s largest boat lift-the Three Gorges Dam Boat Lift, which is a new and exciting experience for visitors. This needs extra cost. Or you can choose the free shore excursion only. After visiting the dam, you will be transferred to the Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal by a coach. Your Yichang guide will meet you there. Then you will take the estimated train D354 14:46/22:19 to Shanghai. After you arrive in Shanghai, your Shanghai tour guide will take you to the hotel. We hope you could have a good rest tonight.
Today you will first visit the Yu Garden(closed each Monday). It was a private garden built in the Ming Dynasty, with a history of over 400 years. There is a huge stone named Yulinglong, which is the treasure of the Yu Garden. Yulinglong is a Taihu Lake stone, 3 meters high, 1.5 meters wide and about 80 cm thick. The ancient Chinese liked to decorate their gardens with strange stones, which they considered to be very poetic. Yulinglong resembles a long, thin beehive with holes all over its body. It has not only a strange shape, but also a very long history. It was originally found by Emperor Huizong(1100-1126) of the Song Dynasty to decorate the garden for himself. But the stone was lost in the war. In the Ming Dynasty, it was sought by the owner of Yu Garden. Yulinglong is located in the east of the Deyue Building and faces the Yuhua Hall. Take a picture of it, and appreciate its beauty like ancients.
After lunch, we will see the Shanghai Tower. It is the tallest building in China. You can take the world’s fastest elevator up to the 546-meter super-high observation deck for a 360-degree view of the city of Shanghai and enjoy the unique experience of being on top of Shanghai!
Then you will visit the busiest pedestrian street in Shanghai-Nanjing Road. Nanjing Road is 1,033 meters long and is one of the most famous commercial streets in China, as prosperous as the Ginza in Tokyo and the Champs Elysees in Paris. Both sides of the street are lined with traditional specialty shops as well as world-class international brand stores. So you can not only taste the authentic Shanghai dim sums but also buy articles of luxury. All of these make it a shopping paradise in Shanghai.
Then you will have a leisurely walk on the Bund. The Bund, like Beijing’s Tian’anmen Square, is a symbolic site of Shanghai. The 23 unique and diverse buildings on the Bund, known as the “Exposition of World Architecture”, are the epitome of Shanghai’s century-long modern history. There are two things not to be missed on the Bund: get to know each building’s history and story and look out over the financial heart of Shanghai, Lujiazui Financial Center, from the Bund.
Optional Activity: In the evening, you could take a Huangpu River Night Cruise. The river cruise is one of the best ways to enjoy the bustling city of Shanghai. When night falls, the two sides of the river are lit up, and you can't help but raise your camera and take photos of the glamorous scenery. The duration of the cruise is 60 minutes.
This morning we need a two-hour drive(100KM) to Suzhou that is known as the “Venice of the East”. We will first visit Tiger Hill. This place is a scenic area that integrates pavilions, temples, mountains, and pagodas. It is said that the King of Wu was buried here after his death in the Spring and Autumn Period(770 BC to 476 BC). The Tiger Hill Scenic Spot is a must-see attraction when visiting Suzhou.
Then you will go to the Master of the Nets Garden that was built in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 AD). There are three parts of the garden: the residence, the garden, and the inner garden. The main hall in the eastern part of the garden was where the master dealt with business. The garden area is the heart of Master of the Nets Garden. The inner garden area is more private for the family. The ownership of the garden changed several times from the Southern Song Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, but most of the owners were literati, so the scenery in the garden is very elegant.
Next, you will see another garden, Lingering Garden, which was built in the Ming Dynasty. The Lingering Garden is a large classical private garden in Southern China, covering an area of 23,300 square meters. All the halls in the garden are connected with long corridors. The Guanyun Peak in the East Garden is a giant stone, and one of the four famous strange stones in Southern China. In 1997, Lingering Garden was inscribed on the World Heritage List with the approval of UNESCO. After the visit, we will transfer back to Shanghai.
Your China tour is coming to an end today. This 21-day China trip must have left you with good memories. Your guide will send you to the airport according to your flight schedule and help you to check-in. We look forward to serving you again.
Editor: Summer Hou
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