If you want to see beautiful China in a very leisurely way, you can choose our 12-day China tour with Yangtze River cruise. After taking the needs of our customers into consideration, we have arranged the Yangtze River cruise in the middle of this tour. You will have unique experience on this Yangtze River cruise from Shanghai. The ship is equipped with various kinds of facilities, so you can not only admire the breathtaking landscapes of the Three Gorges but also can enjoy a good time during your free time with your friends or family members. Besides, we have also elaborately arranged four metropolises for you during this China Tour with Yangtze River Cruise, including Shanghai, Chongqing, Xi’an, and Beijing. All of them have different cultures and attractions, which are waiting for you to explore. What are you waiting for! Booking us right now!
After your flight arrived in the Shanghai airport, you will see your guide waiting for you, holding your name sign when you walk into the arrival hall. Then, the guide will take you to the hotel and help you check in. You can choose to have a rest or walk around freely. Shanghai, a famous and prosperous international metropolis, serves as the center of economics, international trade, and culture. Although it is not the largest city, it has the largest number of population. Here, you can witness the harmonious coexistence of the modern and the traditional, as well as the western and the oriental. The advanced skyscrapers, antique Stone Gate, and classical western architectures together draw the skyline of the city. The city has a mild climate with a minimal seasonal contrast and its average annual temperature is about 16℃(60.8℉), making it a tourist-friendly city. During this itinerary with Yangtze River Cruise, you can witness the charm of Shanghai with your own eyes.
In the morning, you will first enjoy a breakfast at the hotel, and then you will go to visit Yu Garden (closed on Mondays). It is first built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), with a long history of over 400 years. At the very beginning, it was a private garden of the Pan family in the Ming Dynasty. In 1961, it opened to the public as an attraction. Yu Garden is famous for its delicate design and exquisite layout where you can appreciate the quaint halls, elaborate pavilions, impressive rockeries, exquisite sculptures and carvings. Among them, a over-400-year-old Huge Rockery is the essence of the scenery in Yu Garden. The rockery is the oldest, the largest, and the most exquisite yellow stone rockery in southern China. Huge Rockery has a total height of 12 meters and is made of 2,000 tons of yellow stones. One of the major characteristics of it is that no soil can be seen on the rockery. And the adhesive of the rockery is made of lime, glutinous rice juice, etc.
Then, you will head to Shanghai Old Street. It is an 825-meter-long street integrating shopping, entertainment, history, and culture. Half of the Shanghai Old Street’s buildings are in the style of the buildings in the period of the Republic of China and the other half of them are modeled on the building style of Ming and Qing Dynasties(1368-1912). You can see black tiles, white walls, latticed windows, delicate Ma Tau Wall, and beautifully decorated overhanging eaves. These buildings are used for restaurants, snack shops, teahouses, specialty shops, etc. Wandering around Shanghai Old Street, you will be attracted by a variety of delicious snacks, such as sesame round dumplings and Shanghai pear syrup candy. Sesame round dumplings are made of glutinous flour with sesame fillings. This kind of snack tastes sweet. After eating a small bowl of sesame round dumplings, you will feel energetic again. Shanghai pear syrup candy is made of sugar, and 14 kinds of good medicinal materials, including almond, scallop, and poria cocos. It tastes sweet, aromatic, crispy but not sticky.
After lunch, you will have a visit to Tianzifang Market. You will see many well-preserved ancient buildings here. Some buildings are castles of French, Spanish or British styles and some are Shikumen buildings. Shikumen building refers to the building with a stone gate and it is a traditional classic residential building in Shanghai. They are designed with wooden doors and stone door frames on which there are exquisite engravings. Tianzifang Market is filled with art studios, crafts shops, galleries, antique shops, cafés, tea houses, and restaurants. Restaurants here are small but offer many delicious foods and snacks. Let’s take soup dumplings as an example. Soup dumplings are round and made of wheat wrapper. Its fillings are crab meat, shrimp, along with green onions, ginger, and other seasonings. When you take a bite, the fresh soup will spill out. It is highly recommended to taste this delicious food.
Then, you will go to the Shanghai Tower. It has a total height of 632 meters, making it the tallest building in China and the second tallest building in the world. Shanghai Tower boasts the fastest elevator and the highest observation deck in the world. In addition, the tower is in a shape of a spiral Chinese dragon symbolizing dynamic modern China. The designer of this tower is the famous Gensler from America. The twisting form is designed not only for uniqueness and beauty but for reducing wind load, which is important for buildings in Shanghai where typhoons occur frequently. This tower is famous worldwide for its super-advanced techniques and design. Inside the tower, visitors can take the fastest elevator to the 118th floor (546 meters) where you can admire many other renowned skyscrapers below your feet through the 360-degree glass windows, such as the Jinmao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, and the Oriental Pearl Tower. After visiting the Shanghai Tower, we will take you back to the hotel.
After having breakfast at the hotel, you will be escorted to the train station to take the estimated train D956 09:30/15:53 to Yichang. On the way to the station, you will be provided with a lunch box, which contains simple meals such as fruits, milk, soft drinks, sandwiches, and cupcakes. When you arrive at Yichang, the local guide will pick you up and then escort you to the Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal where you will take a bus to the wharf and then embark the ship. Your Yangtze River cruise tour will begin here!
In the morning, you will have a buffet breakfast and then be taken to the Three Gorges Dam Site. The magnificent Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric project which is used to control floods and generate power. It has a total length of approximately 3,335 meters and an elevation of 185 meters. The dam project was officially started in 1994 and completed in 2006. The whole project costs 95.46 billion RMB. In addition, the Three Gorges Dam consists of five park zones: Tanzi Ling Park, 185 Park Zone, Interception Memorial Garden, the Three Gorges Exhibition Hall, and Dam Crest Scenic Area. Interception Memorial Garden is located on the left side of the dam. There are a performance square, display halls, and other scenic sites. Interception Memorial Garden faces the dam with mountains behind it, so it is the best place to take photos with the Three Gorges Dam. You can post the photos on your Instagram, and they will earn you lots of likes and comments.
An additional activity will be arranged for you, that is board sightseeing-ferry sailing through TGP ship’s elevator (which needs extra charge). Three Gorges Dam Ship Elevator is located near the 185 park zone. You can board the ship elevator after viewing the 185 park zone. The ship elevator is the most important and complicated navigation facility of the Three Gorges Project. It takes only about 40 minutes to pass the dam via the ship elevator, which saves more than 3 hours than the common way of passing the dam.
In the morning, you can do Tai Chi on the deck with other people before a buffet breakfast. Tai Chi is one of the most effective exercises for body and mental health. Although Tai Chi is an art requiring knowledge and skill, it is easy to learn. While doing Tai Chi, you need to control your movements and breathing as well as adjusting your mind to your body. Playing Tai Chi can bring health benefit and tranquility to you. Besides, it can wake your body up and make you think more clearly.
Today, our ship will pass by Three Gorges. The first gorge you will see is Xiling Gorge, the longest one of the Three Gorges. It has a length of about 66 kilometers. Xiling Gorge is named after Mt. Xiling, a mountain at the eastern end of the gorge. It is famous for its shoals and rapid currents. There are three most famous shoals in Xiling Gorge, namely Xietan, Qingtan, and Konglingtan, which are known as the Three Shoals of Xiling Gorge. In the past time, the three shoals were the most dangerous shoals, many boats and ships went aground and some even were destroyed. So Xiling Gorge was dubbed as a “Death Passage”. Since the Three Gorges Dam and the Gezhou Dam were constructed at Sandouping in the middle of Xiling Gorge, the depth of water was raised from 3 meters to more than 100 meters. Now, the currents here flow gently and this gorge becomes one important section of Yangtze River Cruise.
Next, the ship will pass by Wu Gorge, the second gorge of the Three Gorges. With a total length of 45 kilometers, Wu Gorge is famous for its depth and unique scenery, such as grotesque peaks, strange rocks and mysterious mists inside the gorge. In addition, it is famous for the Twelve Peaks on each bank along the Wu Gorge. Among them, the highest and the most notable is the Goddess Peak whose shape resembles an elegant girl. There is a legend about it. It is said that Yaoji (the eldest daughter of the Queen Mother of the West, the ruler of all female deities in Chinese mythology ) and other Goddesses paid a visit to the East China Sea. When passing by Wu Gorge, they saw the flood submerging this place. So Yaoji led the other Goddesses to help people control the flood by dredging the blocked channels. After the flood was under control, Yaoji was still worried about the second attack of the flood. So she decided to stay here forever to protect this place. Later, Yaoji became a peak in this place and people called this peak Goddess Peak.
Then, you will take a smaller boat to visit the Goddess Stream, which is near the Goddess Peak and is named after the peak. The Goddess Stream is 15 kilometers long in total. Floating on the river by a smaller boat, you can have a closer look at the grotesque peaks, emerald water, and painting-like natural scenery while listening to the sounds of lovely wild animals. On the west of Goddess stream, there is a Feifeng Peak (one of the Twelve Peaks in Wu Gorge) ranging from west to east. Feifeng peak (Feifeng means flying phoenix in Chinese) looks like a phoenix drinking water by the Goddess Stream, hence the name. It is said that the Feifeng Peak was transformed from a real golden phoenix, whose owner was a goddess. The goddess left the phoenix here to protect Wu Gorge and the local people.
Then, you will see the last gorge of the Three Gorges, Qutang Gorge. It is 8 kilometers long, making it the shortest gorge among the Three Gorges. The width of the river here is 100 to 200 meters, and the narrowest part is only a few dozens of meters wide. However, the flow of the river is up to over 50,000 cubic meters per second and the peaks on the banks along the Qutang Gorge are as high as 1,000 to 1,500 meters. On the southwest of Qutang Gorge, there is the Kui Gate, which is formed by Baiyan Mountain on the south and Chijia Mountain on the north. In the Baiyan Mountain, there is a wall called the Chalk Wall because it is white and is brushed with lime powder in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The Chalk Wall has a width of several hundred meters and a height of several dozens of meters. On the walls, there are tablets in various fonts, including seal characters, official script, regular script, and running hand.
After viewing the Qutang Gorge, an additional shore excursion will be arranged for you to the White Emperor City. It is located on the White Emperor Mountain at the west mouth of Qutang Gorge. Here, you can know about the famous historical events of Liu Bei (the first Emperor of Shu Kingdom), appreciate excellent paintings and calligraphies, as well as hear the folk customs and interesting things that happened in the past dynasties. In addition, this place provides you the best view to witness the magnificence of Kui Gate which is printed on the back of the 10-yuan banknote. Besides, Tuogu Hall (Tuogu means entrusting orphan in Chinese) is the most popular attraction at the White Emperor City. History has it that Liu Bei was defeated by the Wu Kingdom and retreated to the White Emperor City. But then he became ill severely and his son (Liu Chan) was still very young. So Liu Bei entrusted his son and the whole country to his prime minister Zhu Geliang. Then, Zhu Geliang helped Liu Chan sincerely manage the country. In this hall, you can witness this touching and vivid imitating scene. When you finish the viewing, you will go back to the ship and have a delicious buffet dinner.
In the morning, enjoy a buffet breakfast. Before breakfast, you can do Tai Chi on the deck. Today, an additional shore excursion will also be arranged for you to Shibaozhai Pagoda. Shibaozhai is a rocky and craggy hill along which there is a wooden pagoda called Shibaozhai Pagoda. The pagoda was originally built in the Ming Dynasty and overhauled twice in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). It originally had only nine floors which symbolize the nine levels of Heaven. In 1956, three floors were added to it, making it a 12-floor pagoda with a height of 56 meters. Shibaozhai Pagoda is acclaimed as one of the eight world’s most oddity-designed structures for its extraordinary design. Climbing up to the top of Shibaozhai, you will see an ancient temple called Ganyu Palace. In the Rear Hall, there is the Rice Flowing Hole where you can see a statue of a monk digging a stone hole. According to the legend, rice flowed out from the hole, and the total amount of rice can just meet the need of all monks living there. A greedy monk wanted more rice and he secretly dug the hole. Since then, there was no rice flowing out anymore.
Then, you can pay an extra charge to visit the Fengdu Ghost City. It is famous for its afterlife-world-related buildings and has a history of nearly 2,000 years. The most popular attractions here are three trials for ghosts who want to enter the netherworld, namely Nothing-to-be-done Bridge, Ghost Torturing Pass, and Tianzi Palace. Besides, there are other attractions that you should not miss, including the Last-Glance at Home Tower and The River of Blood. Last-Glance at Home Tower was built in 1985 and it was built for the spirits who can have a last look at their family members before they go to the netherworld. It is worth mentioning that the itineraries and shore excursions listed above are subject to change based on different ships, and you can know the exact itinerary at the time of booking.
In the evening, there will be the Captain’s Farewell Party. It is a good chance to make new friends and talk with the crew members even the captain. Dinner and drink will be provided during the party, and you can have fun and enjoy yourself. In addition, the crew members will perform folk dances, sing with emotion and play traditional instruments for you. You can sing and dance with them together! At the end of the party, you can take photos with the caption and crew members, which will leave you a special memory.
After breakfast, you can be ready to get off the ship. The ship will arrive at Chongqing at about 8:30, so you can check out the ship at that time. China river boat cruise provides you a good chance to slow down for a few days between this long and tiring 12-days Yangtze River cruise tour. On the ship, you can stay away from the hustle of cities, soak in the spectacular scenery, and relax. After recharging your batteries, you can get ready for the remaining days of this tour.
Upon your arrival in Chongqing, the local guide will pick you up, and take you to a restaurant to have lunch. Then, you will head to Ciqikou Ancient Town. The town is surrounded by mountains on three sides and run through by one river and two streams. In ancient times, Ciqikou Ancient Town was a famous business port, and nowadays, it is a very popular place to relax for the tourists and the locals. The basic structures of most buildings were built with wood and bamboo. These buildings are characterized by white-painted walls and gray-tile-covered roofs. If you step into one of the buildings, you may find wooden pillars with dragon or phoenix carvings. Besides, you can see a kind of special building here—the stilted building. Stilted building features a wooden or bamboo structure and suspends above the ground with the support of timber stilts. It usually consists of two floors, with the first floor used for raising livestock and storage and the second floor for living. After viewing Ciqikou Ancient Town, you will go back to the hotel and have a nice rest.
After enjoying the breakfast, you will be taken to the airport to take the estimated flight 9H8334 09:30/11:05 to Xi’an. The local guide will pick you up and take you to have lunch at a local restaurant. Xi’an served as the capital of 13 dynasties from Western Zhou (1046 BC-771 BC) to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization and also the starting point of the ancient Silk Road. The city covers a total area of about 10,000 square kilometers with a population of approximately 13 million. Besides, it has a warm temperate semi-humid continental monsoon climate with four distinct seasons. Xi’an will provide you with a different experience during this Yangtze river tour.
In the afternoon, we will have a visit to Xi’an Old City Wall, the most complete city wall surviving today in China. It was completed in 1370, with a total length of 13.7 kilometers. The city wall has three levels of defense. The first one was the moat with a drawbridge over it. Once the drawbridge was pulled up, the connection between the inside and outside city was cut off. So the gate that can control the drawbridge was the second defense. The last defense was the combination of the gate and the arrow tower behind the gate. When the enemy broke in, soldiers on the arrow tower would wipe them out. When you come here, you can have a closer look at these arrangements.
Then, you will go to the nearby Muslim Quarter. As the name implies, the Muslim Quarter is the hub of the Muslim community in Xi’an. There are over 20,000 Muslim residents. It is said that in ancient times, foreign diplomatic envoys and merchants lived here and gradually settled. The number of immigrants has risen since these people got married and gave birth to their children in this area. These immigrants account for most of the inhabitants. Besides, there are about 10 mosques, and the most popular one is the Great Mosque, one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China. The mosque has a history of several hundred years and boasts a particular design of mixed architecture: traditional Muslim and Chinese styles. Another feature of the Muslim Quarter is the numerous delicious foods. You will be satisfied with the snacks of Xi’an. Then, the guide will send you back to the hotel.
In the morning, we will drive northeastward for about an hour to the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, about 50 kilometers away from the center of Xi’an. It is praised as the 8th Wonder of the World. At the very beginning, the design of Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses was an ancient funerary project for Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Now, they are displayed in a museum built on the original site of these relics. Here, you can witness the life-sized warriors with different features, facial expressions, weapons, and dresses. If you take a closer look at them, you would find that many of them do not have helmets and have beer bellies. Why? This image is directly related to the reward system. In the past, the more enemies you killed, the more rewards you would have. The rewards were plenty of Chinese liquor and foods. So the soldiers became crazy about killing the enemy once they arrived at the battlefield. They took off clothes and helmets which would limit their movements. Besides, they drank a little of Chinese liquor to get their courage up before going to the battlefield every time. After achieving victory, they would get big rewards. It is the rewards of plenty of Chinese liquor and foods that made them have beer bellies.
After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, you will be driven southwestward for about an hour to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda (Closed on Tuesdays), approximately 50 kilometers away from the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. The Small Goose Pagoda is one of the two famous Buddhist pagodas in Xi’an and the other one is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. These two pagodas were built in the Tang Dynasty to store the sutras that were brought from other countries by monks. It is located on the central axis of Jianfu Temple. The temple was originally built in 684 for Emperor Gaozong of Tang, the third emperor of the Tang Dynasty to pray for. In 706, the temple was transformed into a Translation Institute of Buddhist Scriptures, attracting numerous eminent monks to translate scriptures here. Among them, Yi Jing was the most excellent one who translated 108 volumes of Buddhist scriptures from 706 to 713, making Jianfu Temple one of the three biggest translation institutes of Buddhist scriptures in China.
Then, you will go to visit the Shaanxi History Museum (Closed on Mondays). The museum was the first modern national museum. It was first built in 1983 and opened to the public in 1991 with an area of 65,000 square meters. The exhibition area consist of four parts: the Preface Hall, the permanent exhibition halls, the temporary exhibition halls, and an exhibition hall for Tang Mural Paintings. Stepping into the Preface Hall, you can see a stone lion as well as a huge picture of oess plateau and the Yellow River. Behind this picture, you can visit permanent exhibition halls. There are three exhibition halls, chronologically providing you an overview of the thousands of years of Chinese history and splendid ancient cultures in old days. After visiting the museum, the guide will take you back to the hotel.
In the morning, the guide will help you check out and escort you to the airport to take the estimated flight CZ8822 09:15/11:30 to Beijing. Beijing is the last city during this Yangtze cruise tour, and you can have a nice rest on the airplane to get ready for the remaining days of the trip. The local guide will pick you up and take you to have a nice lunch.
In the afternoon, you will go to the Temple of Heaven. It is a place for the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to worship the God of Heaven and pray for a good harvest. It is considered the supreme achievement of traditional Chinese architecture. The temple has a similar size to Central Park in New York or is two times the size of Hyde Park. The design of its layout focuses on the combination of circles and squares, symbolizing a Chinese traditional belief that heaven is round and earth is square. There are three main buildings: the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, and the Circular Mound Altar. In all three buildings, you can find the elements of circle and square.
Then, you will head to Qianmen Street located near the Temple of Heaven and on the axis of Beijing. It is a very popular pedestrian street for shopping and sightseeing. The street stretches from the Archery Tower of Qianmen to the Temple of Heaven, with 845 meters in length and 20 meters in width. During the Qing Dynasty, on either side of the street stood lots of specialty stores selling meat, cloth, jewelry, etc. Nowadays, it is transformed into a welcoming nightlife place for local people. Here, you can taste a variety of authentic local foods. Let’s take Quanjude Roast Duck as an example. Quanjude is founded in 1862 and is almost the synonym of Beijing Roast Duck. The restaurant features crispy, fresh, and tasty roast duck, and it also has more than 400 specialties. Beijing roast duck is the food that you cannot miss when you come to Beijing! You will love it after just one bite!
This morning, we will visit the magnificent Tian’anmen Square. Located in the center of Beijing, the square covers a total area of 440, 000 square meters with 880 meters long and 500 meters wide, which can accommodate one million people for a grand gathering. Every early morning, there will be a grand flag-raising ceremony. For many Chinese people, it is a lifetime event to visit Tian’anmen Square and watch the flag-raising ceremony. On these days, there will be 96 flag guards and 30 military servicemen to accomplish the ceremony. Among them, three flag guards belong to the flag group, which is responsible for raising the national flag. The flag raiser makes the flag fly and the other two flag guards salute with their guns. The national anthem will be played three times and the flag-raising time based on the specific sunrise time, usually between 5:00 and 7:00.
Then, you will pay a visit to the Forbidden City (Closed on Mondays), China’s best-preserved imperial palace and the world’s largest ancient palatial structure. It is also one of the five most important palaces in the world, together with the Potala Palace, Alhambra Palace, Buckingham, and Chateau de Chambord. Besides, it took 14 years to build under the efforts of over one million industrious workers. The palace served as the home of 24 emperors, including 14 of the Ming Dynasty and 10 of the Qing Dynasty. In ancient times, the emperors had many wives which could be divided into three ranks: the empress, consorts, and concubine. The emperor only had one empress but could have lots of consorts and concubines. During the Ming Dynasty, there was even an official system for selecting concubines who all were aged from 14 to 16.
After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, you will be driven northwestward for about one and half an hour to the Badaling Great Wall, approximately 70 kilometers away from the Forbidden City. The Great Wall is a military defense project in ancient times. and the Badaling Great Wall is the first section opened to the public (in 1957). Among all sections, this section is the most popular because it is close to Beijing city and remains the originality of the Great Wall. At the entrance of the Badaling pass, five ancient iron cannons are exhibited. That was the advanced weapons in the past time. The largest cannon has a 2.85-meter long barrel, with a caliber of 105 mm and a firing range of over 1,000 meters. The other four smaller canons were unearthed in 1957 when the Great Wall was renovated. At the same time, hundreds of cannonballs were also unearthed. All of these canons and cannonballs were made in the Ming Dynasty. After viewing the Badaling Great Wall, you will go back to the hotel.
Today, your Yangtze River cruise tour will come to an end. After breakfast, the guide will help you check out and escort you to the airport based on your flight. We hope you like the arrangement of this tour and the service of our guide! If you are satisfied with this tour, you can choose us again! We also have other fabulous itineraries with different themes.
Author: Yibo Zhang
Proofreader: Yan Liu
|City||Five Star hotel list||Four Star hotel list|
|Shanghai||Ocean Hotel Shanghai||Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central|
|Yangtze River Cruise||Victoria Anna||Victoria Anna|
|Xi'an||Tianyu Gloria Grand Hotel Xi'an||Sunworld Dynasty Hotel|
|Beijing||Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing||Sunworld Hotel Wangfujing|
About your child or infant, please contact us for a discounted price.
We started with a few days in Beijing & ended in Shanghai, from where we visited the Forbidden City and Great Wall. In between we visited Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, Panda Base, Shanghai Disneyland.
We had a wonderful holiday in China which will remain long in the memory. China is a breathtakingly beautiful country full of splendid temples and palaces, mountains and rivers, peaceful rural scenes and bustling shopping streets.