Welcome to choose our travel agency, dear clients. We have arranged a wonderful 16 days Yangtze River tour. Setting off from Beijing, you will go southward towards Shanghai, the last destination of this China river cruise tour. In Beijing, you can visit the stately imperial palace – the Forbidden City. Then you can feel the ancient charm of the capital of 13 dynasties in Xi’an, visiting the vivid terracotta warriors and horses. In Chengdu, you will see the lovely giant pandas in the research and breeding base. In addition, you also have the opportunity to taste the spicy hotpot in Chengdu. Then we will leave for Chongqing to start the essence of this tour on the Yangtze River Cruise. On the cruise, you will see the great Three Gorges and the Three Gorges Dam Site. The tour ends in Shanghai. Through this tour, you can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of China. We will try our best to arrange for you a best Yangtze cruise tour.
Dear clients, you are welcome to join this Yangtze River Cruise Tour. Your private guide will wait for you at the airport, holding a flag and your name sign in hand. Then you will be transferred to the hotel downtown. After checking in with the help of your guide, you can enjoy your free time. Beijing covers an area of 16,410 square kilometers and has a population of more than 21 million. In the next few days, we will go to appreciate the charm of this city.
This morning, we will go to the first stop in Beijing, a must-visit attraction, that is, Tian’anmen Square. Located in the central part of Beijing, the square has a coverage of 440,000 square meters. Tian’anmen Square is a large place for Chinese people to hold major celebrations, such as the founding ceremony of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. In addition, every morning, soldiers will come to the square to hold the national flag-raising ceremony with the rising sun. The national flag is raised with a height of 28.3 meters. The number here is of great significance. The Communist Party of China was founded in July 1921, and the People’s Republic of China was founded in October 1949, which is 28 years and 3 months in between. So the height symbolizes the tough period of time that the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese people have experienced. Besides, in the bottom part of the flagpole are 56 metal posts that are connected together with chains. It means that the 56 ethnic groups in China will be always united together to safeguard and develop the country.
Next, we will go to the Forbidden City (closed each Monday). It is the largest and the best-preserved wooden building complex in the world, built in 1420 and inhabited by 24 emperors from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to the Qing Dynasty (1646-1912). Among the 24 emperors who lived in the Forbidden City, Emperor Puyi was the last one. Puyi became the emperor of the Qing Dynasty in 1909 when he was only 3 years old. On February 12, 1912, Emperor Puyi was forced to abdicate after his three years’ reign during the Revolution of 1911. In 1934, a puppet government was set up in the northwestern part of China and Puyi became a puppet emperor controlled by the Japanese government. He became a war criminal after 1945 when Japan surrendered to the People’s Republic of China until he was granted a special pardon in 1959. Puyi lived a turbulent life and he was trapped in political struggles in his entire life.
After lunch, we will visit the Temple of Heaven. It was built in 1420 for the emperors to worship heaven and pray for bumper harvests. Today, let us talk about the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. It used to be a square hall until it was rebuilt into a round one in 1545. In 1751, Emperor Qianlong changed its name to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests which was specially used to pray for a good harvest in spring. The most attractive point of this hall is its unique structure. The tip part in golden yellow symbolizes the supreme authority of the imperial family. The three-layer roof covered with blue glazed tiles is the symbol of heaven. There are 28 pillars in three circles in the hall. The four huge pillars forming the innermost circle symbolize the four seasons in a year. At the middle circle stands 12 pillars, which are symbols of the 12 months in a year, and another 12 pillars of the outermost circle represent the 12 hours in a day (One hour in ancient China is equal to two hours at present.).
The last stop for our first day in Beijing is the Summer Palace. Located in the western part of Beijing, it is 15 kilometers away from the center of Beijing. It used to be a royal garden in the Qing Dynasty. When building the Summer Palace, Empress Dowager Cixi wanted to build it into a heavenly beautiful one so that she could live here as the Queen Mother (the supreme goddess in the heaven in Chinese mythology) on the earth. The Kunming Lake in the garden is the symbol of the Milky Way and the Bronze Ox at the eastern end of the Seventeen-Arch Bridge on the eastern bank of Kunming Lake symbolizes the Cowherd, one of the mythological figures of “the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”. There is an interesting story about this Bronze Ox. On July 7th of the lunar calendar, after the Bronze Ox was placed at the bank of Kunming Lake, the Bronze Ox suddenly became alive, rushing into the lake and disappearing. Therefore, Cixi ordered to put another one here. Surprisingly, it became alive again on July 7th of the lunar calendar in the next year. To avoid it rushing into the lake again, people tried their best to pull at its tail. Finally, the tail of the ox was broken. Looking carefully, you will find that the tail of the Bronze Ox was welded together by people.
After breakfast today, we will go to Chang Tomb. It is about 50 KM northwest of downtown Beijing. It takes us about 1.5 hours to get there by car. It was the most attractive one among the 13 tombs of the emperors in the Ming Dynasty. Chang Tomb is the tomb of Emperor Zhu Di and his empress. Let me tell you something about him. In 1370, he was awarded the title of “Prince of Yan”. Then, he was increasingly respected by his soldiers and people, and then gained a higher reputation especially after he summoned a great general of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) to surrender. In 1399, Zhu Di started the Jingnan Campaign to fight against Emperor Jianwen for his measures to weaken Zhu Di’s power. Finally, Zhu Di occupied ancient Nanjing (the then capital of the Ming Dynasty), becoming the new emperor. Later, he chose Beijing as the new capital.
After that, we will drive eastwards for about 1 hour to visit Mutianyu Great Wall, 40 kilometers away from the Chang Tomb. Mutianyu Great Wall was built in 1368 and was always a military base that was of vital importance for safeguarding Beijing in ancient China. There are densely distributed beacon towers and watchtowers. There are 4 watchtowers from Big Corner Tower to Mutianyu Pass, shorter than 500 meters in between, which is very rare in China. There are 3 ways for you to choose to climb the wall. The first one is the closed cable car, more suitable for the elderly. The second one is the open-air chairlift. What’s more, you can take the chairlift upwards and take the toboggan downwards, which I think will be more interesting.
After breakfast, you will leave the capital Beijing and go to Xi’an to explore the second city of your Yangtze River Cruise Tour. After checking out, you will be transferred to the train station to take the estimated train G571 09:22/15:06 to Xi’an. It is a city with the longest history as the capital city of ancient China. It covers 10,108 square kilometers and has a population of about 13 million. After arrival, your private guide will take you to the hotel downtown, and then you can have a good rest.
The first attraction we will visit is the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, 45KM east of the downtown. We will drive for about 45 minutes to get here. Among the different warriors in the museum, the squatting warriors are the best-preserved. I would like to describe one of them for you. He wears a suit of armor with one leg kneeling on the ground and the other leg squatting. In addition, his hands are put on the right side of his body like holding a crossbow in his hand. Looking at his expression, you can feel the tension of the war through his alert eyes. Do you want to know why this kind of warrior can be preserved so well? The reason is that they are in a lower position when squatting. Besides, with one leg kneeling on the ground, they are more stable to keep themselves from collapsing.
After lunch, we will go to Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It is a pagoda used to preserve the Buddhist scriptures and statues brought by Master Xuanzang in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It was rebuilt five times. Firstly, it was a five-story Indian-style pagoda when firstly constructed in 652. Years later, it was rebuilt into a nine-story Tang-style building by Emperor Li Zhi because he thought it was incompatible with the overall architectural style of Chang’an, the capital of the Tang Dynasty. Later, Empress Wu Zetian changed it to a building of ten floors. Until 931, the pagoda became a seven-story building and it was destroyed after several earthquakes. It was not rebuilt until 1604 during the Ming Dynasty. After being largely renovated, it become a 64.5-meter-high pagoda. That is what we see today.
City Wall is our last destination today. It is also known as the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty. Don’t you think it is amazing that the City Wall can stand there without being destroyed for more than 700 years? There are several reasons. The first one is that its width (12-14 meters at the top and 15-18 meters at the bottom) is bigger than its height (12 meters), so it can stand stably. The second one is that its base is made of special construction materials that include loess, lime, and sticky rice juice, which make the base of the City Wall more solid.
Today our Yangtze River Cruise Tour will continue in Guilin. This morning, you will be transferred to the airport to take the estimated flight 9H8349 13:05/15:15 to Guilin. It is famous around the world for its attractive natural landscapes which are characterized by lush mountains and lucid water. It covers 27,800 square kilometers and has a population of more than 4.9 million. As a famous national historical and cultural city and a world-famous tourism destination, it enjoys good weather that is suitable for you to play outside. When you arrive, your private driver will take you to Longsheng first, which is about 70 KM north of the airport. It takes us about 1.5 hours to get there. After checking in, you can enjoy your free time.
After breakfast today, we will go to the Longji Rice Terrace, which is used to cultivate rice. In Ping’an Village, there is an amazing rice terrace attraction—Nine Dragons and Five Tigers. The nine dragons refer to the nine ridges of a mountain that you can see in the distance, which look like nine dragons wriggling down from the heaven; the five tigers here are the five small hilltops next to the nine ridges, like five tigers sitting next to the nine dragons and protecting the lands. There is a viewing platform for you to catch the most beautiful view of this attraction and it is also the best place to take some photos. At noon, you will have lunch in a Yao family, and you can appreciate the distinctive culture of this ethnic minority. In the afternoon, you will continue your Longji Rice Terrace sightseeing tour. After that, you will be transferred to a downtown hotel in Guilin and have a good rest.
Today we will take the Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. It is about 64 KM from Guilin to Yangshuo. The Li River Cruise takes you about 3-4 hours. When you finish your breakfast, your driver will take you to the wharf. It is about 20 KM southeast of Guilin downtown, and we will drive for about 40 minutes to get there. After your guide helps you with the Li River Cruise check-in, you will start your cruise to explore the beauty of the Li River. The most popular scenery along the river is the Yellow Cloth Shoal, which has been printed on the back of Chinese one-yuan banknotes. It can be recognized as the essence of the Li River scenery. In addition, maybe you can see buffalo doing plowing work in the fields.
In the afternoon, you will arrive in Yangshuo. After disembarking, we will visit West Street, an 800-meter long commercial pedestrian street in Yangshuo. On the street, there is a “Donald Duck”. Exactly, this “Donald Duck” is a German who is very famous on the street. He is a permanent delegate of a foreign travel agency. When he came to China for the first time in 1990, he wanted to have a Chinese name so that people could remember him easily. At that time, the cartoon Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck was popular in China, so he chose Donald Duck as his Chinese name. Since 1990, he has been always staying in China and traveling around the country. He likes Yangshuo so much that he even brought his girlfriend here to live in Yangshuo together. He knows very well about this city. He introduces Yangshuo to his friends and advocates local people and tourists to protect the natural environment here. He is a true friend of the local people. After your visit to West Street, you will be taken to the hotel in Guilin.
Beginning from today, you will experience your China Yangtze River Cruise Tour in Chengdu for the next several days. This morning, you will take the estimated flight CA4324 11:50/13:35 to Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. With a history of 3,000 years, it is one of the ten ancient capitals in China’s history and the birthplace of the ancient Sichuan civilization. At present, as one of the major large cities in China, it has an area of 14,335 square kilometers and a population of more than 20 million. Nowadays, it is famous around the world because of its distinctive hotpot and the lovely pandas.
In the afternoon, we will go to the People’s Park. Built in 1911, it is a comprehensive park with functions of cultural display and entertainment. Here I want to recommend to you the Heming Tea House in the People’s Park, which is the most bustling place in the park. Sitting at a table and leaning against the bamboo chair, you can enjoy the covered-bowl tea and talk with the local people to experience authentic Chengdu life.
After that, we will go to Jinli Street. It is one of the oldest streets in the history of Sichuan with a profound commercial atmosphere. Featured by the retro buildings with the Ming and Qing architectural styles, it is the Chengdu folk culture displayed in the street that attracts people the most. Walking along the street, you will see many craftsmen are making different traditional folk crafts. Making dough figurines is simple but artistic folk art. Some dough balls in different colors will be turned into a vivid figure or animal by the craftsman miraculously. You will be amazed at the craftsman’s exquisite skills.
After breakfast today, we will appreciate Leshan Giant Buddha, more than 150 KM south of the downtown of Chengdu. After about two hours’ drive, you will get to the Leshan Giant Buddha. It is a sitting stone statue of Maitreya. The statute has a height of 71 meters, which makes it the largest stone statue built on a cliff in China. It was constructed by a monk named Haitong. There was an interesting episode about its construction. At the time when local people heard that Haitong wanted to build a Buddha statue, they generously donated their money, hoping to do something for the construction project. However, when a government officer knew that, he believed that the monk Haitong was collecting money from the public for his own use. So Haitong was brought in the government office for questioning. After knowing the truth, the government officer released Haitong and also donated a large sum of money for the construction of the giant Buddha statue.
After visiting Leshan Giant Buddha, we will go to Huanglongxi Ancient Town on our way back to downtown Chengdu. It is famous for its ancient elements: ancient streets, old trees, ancient temples, ancient buildings, and the traditional folk culture. Because of that, it is a place where more than 100 TV series have been filmed. In 2017, it was recognized as a quality leisure base in China, attracting many people around the country and the world. There are seven well-preserved ancient streets, which have a history of more than 1,700 years. You can walk along the streets to appreciate the old buildings on both sides and feel the tranquility of the ancient town.
Today we will visit the lovely giant panda in Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Built in 1987, the base is the world’s largest research base for giant pandas. It was built at the foot of a mountain and it combined nature with artificial landscapes. In the morning, the giant panda will be more active. You will see them in the enclosures, eating or playing. We can see that the giant panda is white and black. Do you know why? There is a story about that. It is said that the giant pandas were all white before. One day, a girl died when she tried her best to save a giant panda caught by a lion. The giant pandas were very sad and they cried for several days. Their tears were mixed with the black soil on the ground. Finally, their bodies were dyed by the black soil that couldn’t be washed away.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the train station to take the estimated train G2887 15:07/16:32 to Chongqing to continue your remaining tour. In the next few days, you will experience the essence of your Yangtze River Cruise Tour. Chongqing is one of the four municipalities directly under the central government of China. Known as the “city of mountains”, Chongqing has a rugged terrain. It covers 82,402 square kilometers and has a population of more than 32 million. It also plays an important role in promoting the economic and cultural exchanges of the cities in the western part of China.
After arrival, your private guide and driver will take you to Chaotianmen Wharf to take the Yangtze River Cruise. The wharf is 20 KM east of the train station. It takes us about 30 minutes to drive here. To help you take the cruise smoothly, your private guide will help you go through the formalities. After that, you can take the cruise and your guide will wait for you at the terminal of the Yangtze River Cruise. There is a notice you need to pay attention is that all the visitors need to get on the cruise ship half an hour earlier before it sets off. So you need to board the cruise ship earlier than 20:30 so that you can catch up with it when it sets off at 21:00.
This morning, you can enjoy a good sleep without being disturbed. The only thing that can wake you up may be your hunger! So you can go to enjoy the buffet breakfast on the cruise ship after getting up. If you want to get relaxed, you can join the people who do Tai Chi on the deck. Tai Chi is a traditional martial art in China, and long-term practice can strengthen your body. If you want to enjoy some quiet time, you can sit on the deck to read a book while drinking some coffee. On the deck, whether sitting or doing sports, you will breathe in the fresh air in the morning to refresh your mind.
Today, there is a shore excursion at Shibaozhai Pagoda. It was constructed in the Ming Dynasty and repaired in the Qing Dynasty, becoming what we see today. It is commonly known as one of the best places to overlook the Yangtze River. Climbing up the pagoda, you will come to the Emperor Palace. It is a place for worshipping the Four Heavenly Kings and the Jade Emperor, as well as Guan Yu, a great general in the Three Kingdoms (220-280).
There is an optional shore excursion at Fengdu “Ghost City”. If you want to visit this attraction, you can pay an extra fee to the shipping company directly. The most distinctive feature of Fengdu “Ghost City” is the buildings that represent the netherworld in Chinese concept. In addition to that, it is also a treasure house of Chinese folk culture and art that integrates Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. It is one of the most famous cultural landscapes on the Yangtze River Cruise. One thing that deserves your attention is that the payment for the visit to this attraction is not included in the cruise. You need to pay additional money to the shipping company. The lunch today will be a buffet lunch. At night, there will be a welcoming cocktail party held by the captain and the staff. Just enjoy it.
This morning, you will begin with a delicious buffet breakfast. After that, you can practice Tai Chi for a while on the deck to stretch yourself. Today your cruise ship will pass through the Three Gorges, which is Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge in detail. You will drift through the Three Gorges respectively. According to the itinerary, you will stop at the Wu Gorge and take a small boat to visit Goddess Stream. There is a tale about the Wu Gorge. Once upon a time, there was a flood raging in the Wu Gorge and submerging the low-lying areas where many people lived and planted crops. At that time, Goddess Yao Ji, the little daughter of the Queen Mother of the West, saw what was happening when she passed by, so she tried her best to curb the flood and save the people’s lives. To better guarantee their safety, Yao Ji stood on the mountain at Wu Gorge every day to protect the people. Finally, the goddess turned into a stone peak. People called it Goddess Peak. When you cruise on the Goddess Stream, you will see it.
There is another additional shore excursion – White Emperor City at Qutang Gorge, which needs additional payment. It used to be an important military city in the history of ancient China. There is a White Emperor Temple in the city, displaying the cultural relics unearthed here as well as paintings and calligraphy works of famous artists. Famous poets such as Li Bai, Du Fu, Liu Yuxi, and Su Shi also came here and left a large number of poems about this place. Therefore, the White Emperor City got the reputation of “Poetry City”.
At noon, you can enjoy the buffet as your lunch. Don’t forget to join the farewell party the capital holds for you in the evening. In addition, the staff will perform a dancing show for you. Hope you enjoy the last night on the cruise ship.
After a buffet breakfast, we will go to visit the Three Gorges Dam Site. With a length of 3,335 meters and a height of 185 meters, the Three Gorges Dam cost more than 95 billion yuan (about 15 billion US dollars) when it was constructed from 1994 to 2006. In 2018, the generated energy of the dam was 100 billion kilowatt-hours, which created a new world record for the largest generated energy in a year by one single power station.
You can also have an optional experience to board a sightseeing ferry and sail through the Three Gorges Project Ship Elevator. With the world’s largest lifting weight and the largest lifting altitude, it can help the ships across the dam within 40 minutes. If you want to get this unique experience, you need to pay additional money to the shipping company. After finishing the tour today, you will be transferred to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal.
After that, you will be transferred to the train station to take the estimated train D354 14:46/22:21 to Shanghai. As an important center of China’s economy, finance, trade, education, scientific and technological innovation, Shanghai plays an important role in promoting China’s development. There are more than 24 million people on this relatively small land that covers 6,340.5 square kilometers. After arrival, your guide will wait for you at the train station and take you to the hotel downtown to check in at first.
Our first stop in Shanghai is Yu Garden (closed each Monday). It was a classic private garden constructed by Pan Yunduan in the Ming Dynasty. When he started to build the garden, Pan wanted to show his filial piety to his father and hoped that his father could live a happy life in the garden. Therefore, he named it “Yu Garden” because “Yu” means happiness in Chinese. However, mournfully, his father died before the garden was completed. When strolling around the garden, you will see two iron lions sitting in the garden, which were cast in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) with a history of more than 700 years. The left one is a male lion with his left leg on a ball, which is a symbol of power. The right one is a female lion with her lion cub, which represents a wish for more children in ancient China.
Then let us go to Shanghai Old Street, a pedestrian street stretching over 800 meters. It used to be a center of foreign trade and small-commodity trade. In other words, the street can be regarded as the witness of Shanghai’s economic development. Walking on the street, you will feel yourself entering a bustling bazaar 100 years ago. The old street is famous for its traditional elements. There are many jewelry stores, gift stores, and tea houses featured by their traditional elements, providing a good place for people to go sightseeing and shopping. In addition to the traditional stores, you can also find some snack stores and restaurants to enjoy delicious local food here. For example, there are steamed buns, soup dumplings, and sweet green rice balls. Come to have a try. I believe you will like them.
After lunch, we will continue our tour to Shanghai Tower. It is a tall building standing in Shanghai and the landmark of this city. With a total height of 632 meters, it is even taller than the Shanghai World Financial Center standing nearby. It is a 127-floor building on the ground with five floors underground. The underground part is a large-scale parking lot and it can accommodate about 2,000 cars. The most attractive thing must be the high-speed elevator in Shanghai Tower. As a comparison, the speed of the ordinary elevator is about 30 KM per hour. The Shanghai Tower elevator is designed to have a speed of 64 KM per hour, which is the fastest elevator in the world. Taking the high-speed elevator, you can go to the sightseeing hall on the 118th floor within one minute. Then you can overlook the whole city.
The next stop is Nanjing Road. It is a long commercial road that has a length of 5,500 meters, covering from Huangpu District to Jing’an District. The whole Nanjing Road has two parts: the West Nanjing Road and the East Nanjing Road. The west part is famous for its luxury stores with the highest rent in China. The east part is full of commodities at a relatively fair price. Here you can find many things with Chinese elements and characteristics. I believe it’s a good place for you to buy something for your family or friends.
The last stop today is the Bund. It is a waterfront zone with a length of 1,500 meters along the Huangpu River. It used to be the gathering place of banks, trading companies, and newspaper offices in Shanghai. Through its rapid development, it became the economic center of China and even the Far East (the far eastern part of Asia). There are 33 classic buildings on the Bund. Today I will introduce the Asia Building. It is a seven-story building that was constructed in 1913. At that time, it was the tallest building in Shanghai. Its construction style is also distinctive. The upper part and the bottom of this building are in the Baroque style, and the middle part is in the modern style. At present, it is the location of the headquarters of China’s Pacific Insurance Agency.
Today marks the end of your whole China Yangtze River Cruise Tour. After breakfast, your guide will take you to the airport according to your flight schedule. Wish you a happy journey home.
Author: Liu Jingjing
Proofreader: Vivian Zhou
|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|
|Guilin||Lijiang Waterfall Hotel||Guilin Bravo Hotel|
|Longsheng||Longji Holiday Hotel||Baike Boutique Hotel|
|Chengdu||Sofitel Chengdu Taihe||Holiday Inn Express Chengdu Jinniu|
|Yangtze River Cruise||Victoria Anna||Victoria Anna|
|Shanghai||Ocean Hotel Shanghai||Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Central|
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.