Our China Tours including Yangtze River Cruise will start from Shanghai. In the tour, we have arranged everything including the most comfortable hotel for you. In the first four days of the tour, we will visit many interesting attractions in Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. Then, we will spend three days on the ship during the Chongqing Yangtze River Cruise. Except for the interesting activities on the ship, like the Captain’s Welcome Reception, you will also see many beautiful landscapes along the Yangtze River. You will be surprised by the Three Gorges Dam Site, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. And you will be shocked by the narrowest and most breathtaking Qutang Gorge. After getting off the cruise ship, we will fly to Yunnan Province in southern China. There are still many beautiful attractions waiting for you to explore. So, join the best China Tour with Yangtze River Cruise and you will not regret.
Welcome to Shanghai, our guide will be waiting for you at the airport. After arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel. To have a comfortable Yangtze River Cruise in China, please feel free to ask our guide anything you want to know about this tour. After checking in, you can walk around or have a rest.
This morning, we will visit the Jing’an Temple. It is the oldest Buddhist temple in Shanghai with a history of more than 700 years. One of the biggest differences between the Jing’an Temple and other temples is their surroundings. In China, most temples are built close to the mountains or even at the top of it, while Jing’an Temple is surrounded by busy malls and many skyscrapers. However, once passing through the gate of Jing’an Temple, you are in a different world. Instead of loudly talking, people are religiously focusing on making an offering of incense and praying. Without the noisy horns from cars, just the occasional bell echo around in the temple.
Then, we will go to Yu Garden (closed each Monday), the must-see attraction in Shanghai. Yu Garden can date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and used to be a private garden of a government officer. The size of it is not very large, but there are many pavilions, rockeries, halls, ponds, and so on in the garden. It is enviable that the owner at that time could read and live in such a quiet environment with singing birds and fragrant flowers. And the essence of the Yu Garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock, with more than 3 meters high. It is covered by holes in different shapes and sizes, which are not carved artificially. It is said that if you put an incense burner under the rock, the smoke will come out from each hole.
After lunch, we will visit the Shanghai Tower. It is the tallest building in China with 632 meters high, and there are 119 floors above the ground. You can first visit the exhibition hall on the ground floor, there are some details about the construction of the Shanghai Tower. Then you can take the elevator to the 118th floor within just one minute. The 118th floor is occupied by an indoor sightseeing deck. It provides a 360-degree view of Shanghai. You can look through the large floor-to-ceiling window and enjoy a panoramic view of the Bund, the Huangpu River, and some skyscrapers. This is the most amazing part of the visit to Shanghai Tower.
Then, we will take a walk on the Bund with 1.5 kilometers long. On the one side of the Bund is the Huangpu River, and on the other side were many quaint European-style architectures, which show a striking contrast with the opposite modern magnificent buildings like the Shanghai Tower we just visited.
Optional activity: Huangpu River Cruise at Night
If you want to explore more in Shanghai, you are highly recommended to have a Huangpu River Cruise at night. Except for the attractions you have seen in the daytime, you can also feast your eyes on the dazzling lights during this cruise. As night falls, the colorful lights of all buildings on either side of the Huangpu River are turned on. Sometimes the lights go out at the same time, and the next moment, the buildings are lit up one by one, which is cool like a dreamy world.
After that, we will have a stroll on Nanjing Road, the busiest and earliest shopping area. There are not only famous international brands such as Tiffany, Omega, and Dunhill but also many Chinese time-honored shops. Take the Shanghai First Food Hall for example, it has all kinds of local special snacks. And Shen Da Cheng, a store with a history of over 140 years, is mainly famous for making cakes and other refreshments. One of the most popular snacks of Shen Da Cheng is Qingtuan. It is made of glutinous rice mixed with Chinese mugwort, then usually filled with sweet bean paste. It has a chewy texture and tastes really good!
Today, we will drive west to Suzhou. It will take about 1.9 hours(100 KM) to get there. After arrival, we will first visit Tiger Hill with over 34 meters high. Tiger Hill is covered by many ancient trees with a tower standing on the top of it. And there is a very famous stone on Tiger Hill. The name of the stone is Sword Testing Stone and there is a legend about it. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC), the king of the Wu state had a hunger to defeat other states. So, he gathered the two most famous swordsmiths at that time to cast the sharpest sword. After a serious and consistent endeavor, they finally finished this project on time and handed the sword to the king. To give the sword a test to see if it is really sharp, the king found a stone and then rapidly swung the sword in his hands against it. Witnessed by his subordinates, the stone was cleaved into two pieces in just one second!
Then we will go to Shantang Street, nearby the Shantang River. In 825, during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Bai Juyi, a famous poet and politician in ancient China, directed the construction of a canal and a dam in Suzhou, which later were called Shantang River and Shantang Street. Afterwards, the unique location and water transportation in Shantang Street massively promoted local economic development and cultural communication. At present, Shantang Street is still very busy and attracts many visitors. There are many shops selling local snacks, clothes and other things. Except for shopping, you may see some special scenes reflecting the local people’s traditional lifestyle. For example, you may see some old men sitting on a wooden chair and watching the old-fashioned television; you may see some women doing laundry by the river; you may see some kids catching fish. The better living condition does not completely change the way they live.
After lunch, we will take a walk in the Lingering Garden. As one of the four most famous gardens in China, it covers an area of 23,300 square meters. Lingering Garden is divided into four sections, so you can enjoy four different kinds of scenery. In the middle of the garden is the waterscape, which is the essence of the garden. In the east, there are many well-designed buildings. And you will admire the beautiful countryside scenery in the north of the garden, besides, there are also many bonsai. The west is famous for its rockery, which matches its surroundings well. Although the four different kinds of scenery are separated by walls, we can still enjoy many landscapes at the same time through windows.
Then, we will go to Humble Administrator’s Garden, first built in 1509 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It has many former owners. The first owner is Wang Xiancheng, an Imperial Envoy of the Ming Dynasty. In 1509, his official life was not going well. So, on the occasion of his father’s death, he decided to go back to his hometown, Suzhou. With nothing important to do, he wanted to build a garden. So, he asked his best friend for help. Later, they created a garden on a site of a dilapidated temple and named it Humble Administrator’s Garden. Besides, they planted various trees as well as flowers in the garden. It is said that it took them 16 years to complete the garden. Tonight, we will stay in Suzhou, the oldest city in existence in China with a history of near 2,500 years.
After breakfast, we will drive about 2.5 hours (about 150 kilometers) towards the southwest to Hangzhou. After arrival, we will have lunch first.
In the afternoon, we will go sightseeing in West Lake, the main freshwater lake in China. Many visitors are attracted by its Ten Scenes, like the Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge in Winter, which means after snow, the bridge looks as if it were broken with the melted snow in the middle and the lingering snow at ends. There are many legends about West Lake. One is the love story about White Snake and Xuxian, a kind man. According to the folk myth, during the Chinese Tomb Sweeping day, a white snake transforms itself into a beautiful young woman called Bai Suzhen. She meets Xu Xian at the Broken Bridge, and this is their first meet. When they are ready to go home, it starts raining, and there is only one boat. They have to take the boat together. On the boat, they have a pleasant conversation. After this conversation, they have a good impression on each other. Later, they have met with each other for many times in the West Lake area and fall in love with each other. Although their love is opposed by many people for their different identities(a snake and a human being), their persistence in love touched the people. Finally they get married and live together happily.
Then, we will explore the Lingyin Temple, adjacent to West Lake. It is the earliest Buddhist temple in China. In the Lingyin temple, there are many Buddhist buildings. The Hall of the Heavenly Kings is one of the main buildings in Lingyin Temple. Entering the hall, you will see the statue of Maitreya Buddha in the middle. On both sides of it, you will see the colorful statues of Four Heavenly Kings, which are very imposing. After visiting the Lingyin Temple, we will directly drive northeast to Shanghai. It is about 3 hours (200 kilometers) from here.
Today, we will transfer you to the train station and take the estimated train D956 09:30/15:53 to Yichang. When you arrive in Yichang, our local guide will pick you up at the train station and take you to the Maoping port by the designated bus, then you will start your exciting cruise on the Yangtze River.
Yichang city is located in the Hubei Province. It is the boundary between the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River. Yichang covers an area of over 21,000 square kilometers with more than 4 million people. The west area of Yichang is mountain terrain which accounts for nearly 69% of the total area. The middle of Yichang is a hilly area, while the east is plain with a maximum altitude of 100 meters.
In the morning, you can take part in the Tai Chi exercise by following the Tai Chi master. Besides, there will be an additional shore excursion-Board sightseeing-ferry sailing through TGP Ship’s elevator, which is an important navigation facility and can carry a 3,000-ton load. And its construction lasts for 6 years. Within several minutes, it can elevate or drop 113 meters, about 40 stories high, carrying a 15,500-ton load. Therefore, when you are in this special “elevator”, it is like entering a science fiction movie. This “elevator” goes up and down in a steel-reinforced concrete-structure building under the control of a certain program. It is very startling. If you are interested in this, you can just pay for it on site.
After lunch (buffet), we will take a shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam Site, the world’s largest hydro-power station, about 2,300 meters long and 185 meters high. The construction of the Three Gorges Dam creates many benefits, such as flood control, power generation. The dam will generate electricity equal to about 40 million tons of coal, but reducing air pollution in a big degree. It is a good way for us to understand the culture of the Three Gorges Dam by visiting it in person.
At night, you will have fun at the Captain’s Welcome Reception. Each visitor is welcome to join in. The atmosphere at the party is very relaxing, so it is fine for you to dress comfortably. There will be some shows and you will also have a chance to dance. I believe that you will experience an unforgettable evening. Then, you can have a delicious buffet dinner. This is your first night on the ship during the Yangtze cruise tour, and we hope you can enjoy it.
After getting up, you can still take the Tai Chi exercise. It can help you feel more energetic. This morning, we will drift along the Shennong Stream, a tributary of the Yangtze River, by a small boat. It flows through some gorges with different charming scenery. For example, the Mianzhu Gorge is famous for its danger. While in the Parrot Gorge, you will see many grotesque peaks like tiger, monkey, dragons, etc. Along the Shennong Stream, you just need to enjoy the ever-changing natural scenery. After that, we will go back to the cruise ship and have a buffet lunch.
In the afternoon, our cruise ship will first pass the Wu Gorge. Sometimes people also call it the Great Gorge. The most famous attraction along Wu Gorge is the Twelve Peaks. There is a story about the Twelve Peaks. A long time ago, there were twelve dragons living in the Wu Gorge. They usually used their power to capture people’s property and destroy their boats. One day, a fairy named Yaoji was passing by and saw the dragons doing evil. She was very angry, so she asked her eleven sisters to help tame those dragons. They fought for 3 days. Finally, those dragons were suppressed under the river. But the twelve fairies worried that the dragons would come out again after they leave. Therefore, the fairies made a unanimous decision that they would stay here and protect the passing boats. Afterwards, they became twelve peaks standing on each bank of the Wu Gorge.
Then, we will pass through the Qutang Gorge. Qutang Gorge is only 8 kilometers long, and it is the narrowest one of the Three Gorges. The widest point is only dozens of meters wide. There are many interesting attractions, and the most popular is Rhinoceros Looking at the Moon. It is a unique stone in the shape of rhinoceros lying at the top of a hill. Legend says that the rhinoceros used to be a general in the Heaven. One day, he was designated by the Jade Emperor(the ruler of the Heaven) to visit the earth and tell people pay more attention to the dining manner. However, the rhinoceros was obsessed with the human world and made a serious mistake. He told people to emphasize dining rather than the dining manner, which drove the Jade Emperor into a rage. He was punished and forbidden to go back to the Heaven forever. When he missed the life of the Heaven, he could only look at the moon at night.
After doing the Tai Chi exercise, you can enjoy your free time and there is no schedule this morning.
After buffet lunch, we will have a shore excursion to Fengdu “Jade Emperor”, located in Fengdu county. Built along the mountain, this scenic area focuses on the culture of Taoism. There are many halls, such as the Great Buddhist Hall, Wealth Hall and Jade Emperor Hall, etc. In the Jade Emperor Hall are worshiped the statues of supreme gods in Chinese ancient mythology. When you climb to the top of the mountain, you will have a close-up view of the Jade Emperor statue.
Then we will have an additional shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City. It is one of the most famous attractions along the Yangtze River with a history of nearly 2,000 years. It is said that this place is the home of people’s souls after death, so the Ghost City is characterized by the buildings related to the concept of hell in Chinese culture. But in fact, there are no ghosts at all. Visiting this place is a great chance to know the culture of the nether world in Chinese legend.
At night, the Captain’s Farewell Banquet is waiting for you to participate. How time flies! We have spent a very pleasant three-day cruise. To impress you with the great memories, all the crew will be in attendance. If you are lucky, you may receive a hidden surprise prepared by the crew. Enjoy the last night on the ship!
This morning, our guide will meet you at the Chongqing Chaotianmen Port. And then you will be transferred to the airport to take the estimated flight 8L9818 10:05/11:45 to Lijiang. After arrival, you will be picked up at the airport by the local guide.
After lunch, we will visit the Lijiang Ancient Town. Surrounded by fields, mountains, and rivers, the Lijiang Ancient Town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Culture Site in 1997. The Square Street is the center of the town. From the Ming Dynasty, businessmen from across the country gathered here and traded with each other on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Naturally, different cultures met and integrated with each other in this place. At present, the Square Street also becomes a snack street. There are dozens of restaurants on both sides of the street and each restaurant offers Mixian, a type of rice noodle. It is the specialty of Yunnan and is served in different flavors. If you don’t know what to eat for supper, Mixian can be a good choice.
After breakfast, we will drive about 2.6 hours (about 174KM) towards the northwest to Shangri-La. We will first visit the First Bend of the Yangtze River on the way. The color of the river varies from season to season. Sometimes it is lucid, while in the rainy season, it is muddy. The Yangtze River runs down the Tibetan Plateau towards the south. When it flows into Yunnan Province, it is parallel to two rivers, Lancang River and Nujiang River. But in this place, influenced by the terrain change, the Yangtze River has to make a sharp bend and goes to the northeast. In this area, you can admire green mountains, neatly arranged farmlands and charming river scenery.
Then along the way, we will pass Tiger Leaping Gorge, a scenic canyon on the Yangtze River. It is famous for its precipitousness and is divided into three sections. And the first section is the narrowest. The Haba Snow Mountain and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain stand on both sides of the river, which forms a 4,000-meter-deep and 12-kilometer-long huge gorge,. There are 7 waterfalls and 18 shoals along the gorge. You can hear the roaring sound of the water, which is very striking. Then, we will continue to drive. After arriving in Shangri-La, we will directly check-in at the hotel.
This morning, we will visit the Songzanlin Monastery, which is built in the 17th century. Songzanlin Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province. It is built near the mountain, facing the north. The shape of the monastery is like an old castle. There are two main halls, Zhacang and Jikang, located at the highest place and the center of the monastery. And each main hall has a gilded copper roof. The two main halls can accommodate about 1,600 monks. And they usually recite the Buddhist scriptures here.
After lunch, we will stroll around the Pudacuo National Park, with an area of 1,313 square kilometers. Between 3,500 meters and 4,159 meters above the sea level, it consists of three main parts, Shudu lake, Bita Lake, and Militang Alpine Pasture. So, in Pudacuo National Park, you will see the mirror-like lake, rich grassland, and flowering wetland. Besides, there are many different animals. It is said that there is a kind of old rare fish living in the lake here. Generally, this fish swim deep in the lake. But sometimes it may also swim in the shallow water area. It is said that people who encounter this kind of fish will have a good luck.
Today we will transfer you to the airport and you will take the estimated flight MU5932 08:50/10:05 to Kunming. Then, our local guide will be waiting for you at the airport in Kunming. As the capital city in Yunnan Province, Kunming has a population of over 6 million people. It covers an area of 21,473 square kilometers. The temperature difference is subtle throughout the year. The city’s average temperature is about 15℃（59℉）, so the plants are evergreen.
After arrival, we will have lunch first. And then drive southeast for about one hour (about 75KM) to the Stone Forest. It is one of the most popular attractions in Kunming. The Stone Forest consists of various-shaped stones. The tall stones seem to fall to the ground. It is said that about 0.3 billion years ago, the site, where the Stone Forest is located was a sea. Later, after the geological evolution, this place was replaced by splendid karst landform. It is the masterpiece of nature.
Today, we will drive you to the airport and you will take the estimated flight MU2182 11:20/13:30 to Xi’an. Our local guide will be waiting for you at the airport in Xi’an. As the capital of Shannxi Province, Xi’an is one of the oldest cities in China. It covers an area of 10,752 square kilometers with a population of over 10 million. In Xi’an, the four seasons are distinctive, for example, in the summer, it is hot and rainy. While in winter, it is very cold and dry.
Free time suggestion: You can visit the Great Tang All Day Mall, which is a China-known pedestrian street. It is the best place for visitors to experience the culture of the Tang Dynasty in Xi’an. There are many exquisite sculptures, performances (solo concert, behavioral art, drama), Tang-style buildings, Xi’an snacks, etc. on this pedestrian street. There is also an interesting Piano Path. When you step on the “piano keys”, the path will present colorful lights and beautiful melodies.
After breakfast, we will drive about 50 minutes (about 43 kilometers) towards the northeast to Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. It is one of the greatest discoveries in the history of global archeology. It has attracted over 200 state leaders from all over the world coming here. The terra cotta warriors and horses are life-sized, made by more than 1,000 excellent craftsmen in Qin Dynasty(221BC-207BC). They made the heads, arms, legs, and torsos of these warriors separately and then assembled them. Their faces were depicted with lifelike expressions. There are thousands of terra cotta warriors, whose gestures and facial expressions are different from each other. When you come here, you will be impressed by these exquisite terra cotta warriors and horses.
After lunch, we will visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi’an. Originally, there were five stories for this pagoda. Now, it is a seven-story building with a height of 64 meters. In 652 during the Tang Dynasty, the pagoda was built to shrine the Buddhist statues and scriptures brought back from India by Xuanzang, a famous Chinese Buddhist monk. The wall of the pagoda is several meters thick, which makes its inside warm in winter and cool in summer. In the due south of the pagoda is the statute of Xuanzang. You will see it when you visit this pagoda.
Then we will visit the Xi’an Old City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient wall in existence in China. The contour of the city wall is a closed rectangle, about 13.7 kilometers in circumference. You can have a walk or ride a bike on the city wall. It, surrounded by a moat, was built during the Ming Dynasty. After Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder and the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, conquered Huizhou, a recluse named Zhu Sheng told him that this is the best time for him to be an emperor. And he also highly recommended building a large scale wall to protect the city from being attacked. Emperor Zhu agreed and then he ordered to build the city wall.
Today, we will escort you to the airport and you will take the estimated flight HU7138 10:30/12:45 to Beijing. After arriving in Beijing, our local guide will meet you at the airport. As the capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing is one of the most popular cities around the world. With a population of over 20 million, Beijing covers an area of about 16,410 square kilometers. It has a monsoon-influenced climate, characterized by high humidity in the summer as well as coldness, dryness and windiness in the winter. Besides, the spring and autumn are short.
After lunch, we will go to Summer Palace, a huge imperial garden in ancient China. The Summer Palace was built on the basis of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. Besides, inside the Summer Palace, there are many ancient buildings, which were built harmoniously with the surrounding scenery. In the center of it is the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity. Hundreds of years ago, Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu often handled national affairs and met foreign guests in this hall. In front of the hall, there are evergreen cypresses and exquisite rockeries.
In the morning, we will have a stroll on Tian’anmen Square, located at the center of Beijing, 880 meters long and 500 meters wide. It can accommodate more than one million people with an area of over 440,000 square meters. You will see many buildings when you visit the square, such as Tian’anmen Gatetower, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, Monument to the People’s Heroes and so on. The Tian’anmen Gatetower, built during the Ming Dynasty, is located at the central axis of Beijing. It is composed of a 13-meter gatetower base and a 21.7-meter tower. There are five archways for the Tian’anmen Gatetower. The large portrait of Chairman Mao is hanging right above the middle biggest archway. And huge national flags are set on each side of the portrait.
Then, we will go to the Forbidden City (closed each Monday), located in the center of Beijing. It was the imperial palace in ancient times. It is said during the reign(1403-1424) of the Emperor Zhudi, the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, the Forbidden City was built. He ordered to start the construction of this imperial palace after moved his capital from Nanjing to Beijing. The whole construction had lasted 14 years from 1406 to 1420. Although he built such a magnificent palace, he was not addicted to an extravagant life. During his reign, the whole country was at its heyday.
After lunch, we will drive about 1.5 hours (about 70 kilometers) towards the northwest to Badaling Great Wall. It was a great defense system in ancient China. It attracts many national leaders from all over the world to witness its magnificence. On February 24, 1972, the President Nixon visited the Badaling Great Wall. It is said that it snowed heavily in Beijing on the day before his visit to Badaling Great Wall. The slippery and snow-covered roads caused great difficulties. That night, thousands of people volunteered to clear the snow on the road that the President Nixon and his team would pass the next day. Finally, the President Nixon successfully visited the Badaling Great Wall. When he stood on the Great Wall, he was very excited and said that he would remember this moment for the rest of his life.
Your wonderful Yangtze River cruise tour will come to an end today. Our guide will escort you to the airport according to your flight schedule. Look forward to your next China tour with us.
Editor: Yalin Zhao
Proofreader: Yan Liu
|City||Five Star hotel list||Four Star hotel list|
|Shanghai||Ocean Hotel Shanghai||Ambassador Hotel|
|Yangtze River Cruise||Victoria Anna||Victoria Anna|
|Lijiang||Wonderport International Hotel||Lijiang Wangfu Hotel|
|Shangri-La||Paradise Hotel||Ri Yue Xing Cheng Hotel|
|Kunming||Grand Park Kunming||UChoice Hotel|
|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.