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TTCS: 13 Days Classic China Tour with Yangtze Cruise
Tour Type: Private Tour,your family, friends or group
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
Tour Highlights:
    • Cover the best highlights of China in a pleasant and smooth itinerary full of diversities;
    • Immerse in the splendid history and culture of ancient China’s relic sites;
    • Please your eyes and mood with the peaceful scenery landscape in Guilin;
    • Enjoy a leisure onboard living on luxurious cruise on the beautiful Yangtze River cruise.
From $2250 per person Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Beijing Arrival Airport or Railway Station Pick Up
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Welcome to Beijing, the iconic city as well as the capital of China!

You will be met by your local tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Capital Airport, or railway station, then be escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.

Arrival Ideas: At present, there are many international and domestic flights to Beijing. Besides, you can take a high speed train to this capital city from Shanghai (5-6 hrs), Xi'an (5.5 hrs), Guangzhou (8-9.5 hrs), etc.

Day 2 Beijing (B, L) Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace
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After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China.

Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world's five most important palaces - Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well-preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings. After Forbidden City exploration, take a short visit to Jingshan Park where you can get a nice shot of one watchtower of Forbidden City and take a panoramic view of Forbidden City.

After lunch, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor.

Optional activities: 1. You can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2. Enjoy the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater during 19:30-21:00.

Beijing Fobidden City
Summer Palace
Day 3 Beijing (B, L) Mutianyu Great Wall, Sacred Way, Bird’s Nest and Water Cube
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After breakfast, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! This great wall, linking Gubeikou in the east and Juyongguan in the west, was served as the vital military strategic point in the ancient time. Moreover, Mutianyu section is the longest great wall in China so far and since protection work is well done here, tourists can now see its original appearance and enjoy the real ancient culture of great wall. Also, spectacular natural scenery in Mutianyu Great Wall always impresses visitors here for its abundant vegetation. You will take a cable car to ascend the Great Wall, then hike the most beautiful and interesting part of Mutianyu. It's a wonderful experience to climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views and take brag-worthy photos of the wall wriggling along mountain ridges. After the exciting time, descend Mutianyu Great Wall by cable car. (Note: If energy permits, you can hike up or down which takes about 40 minutes to climb steps. Please tell your likes to your travel consultant.)

Continue your trip to Sacred Way, a 7-kilometer-long passage leading to the Imperial Tombs of 13 Emperors of Ming Dynasty. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also would return to Heaven through this road. Take a walk through the largest archway in China and Great Palace Gate and you’ll see the magnificent stone guard of 12 sets of mythical animals and 12 officials. Then drive back to Beijing city and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Optional activity: 1. Enjoy an exciting and safe toboggan ride (about 2~3mins) down Mutianyu Great Wall; 2. After the whole day's tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck.

Great Wall
Bird's Nest Panorama
Day 4 Beijing & High Speed Train to Xian (B, L) Temple of Heaven, Hutongs
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After breakfast, drive to the imperial site of the Temple of Heaven. Originally a site used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for good harvests, it is now a bustling place where locals take part in traditional activities such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, and others.

Then get back to the central city to hop on a rickshaw to experience the Beijing Hutongs - small alleys made by neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing lifestyle, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing, also pay a visit to a local family's home in the traditional Hutongs.

Your Beijing tour is now about to end. Your tour guide will see you off at the Beijing West Railway Station for a high speed train trip to Xian (about 5 hours). You will be picked up by your tour guide at Xian North Railway Station and escorted to your hotel in Xian. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.

Temple of Heaven
Beijing Hutongs
Day 5 Xian (B, L) Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Bell Tower, Muslim Quarter
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After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world - the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor of China Qin Shihuang to protect him in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits for more than 2,000 years until uncovered by a local farmer in 1974, form an ancient military army with complete battle units of infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Emperor Qin Shihuang but also by the fabulous artistic skills of ancient Chinese artisans.

After lunch, return back to Xian take a wonderful stroll on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Enjoy panoramic views of modern Xian while you leisurely examine this well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circuit of nearly 14 kilometers. This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.

Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2) Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

Terracotta Warriors
Ancient City Wall
Day 6 Xian & Flight to Guilin (B,L) Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum
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After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda)

Next is an educational visit to the Shaanxi History Museum where you can ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate historic relics such as porcelains, paintings, and currencies dating from the Zhou to the Tang dynastic periods (1100BC to 907 AD). (Note: Shaanxi History Museum may be replaced with other activity or attraction because of crowding tourists during July ~ early September and China’s National Day during Oct.1-Oct.7. You may check details with your travel consultant.)

The rest of today is free for you until get escorted to catch flight to Guilin (about 2hrs), the darling of tourists. You will be welcomed by local tour guide at airport, then be escorted to your hotel in Guilin City. The rest of today is at your leisure to have fun.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Bronze carriage in Shaanxi History Museum
Day 7 Guilin - Li River Cruise to Yangshuo (B, L) Li River Cruise - Yangshuo Countryside View - West Street
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As the declaration in Chinese textbook” Guilin’s landscape is the best under heaven”, today you will explore this best landscape starting with a relaxing sightseeing cruise along the Li River from Mopanshan Pier to Yangshuo Town. Along the 84-kilometer cruise, dazzling scenery will overwhelm your eyes like a vast endless Chinese painting of winding river, green limestone karst mountains, fascinating countryside views, amazing scene of A Painting of Nine Horses, and notable view printed on the back of the 20 RMB note. (Please note: Lunch is served by the cruise with simple local Chinese cuisine. And you can take some snacks when getting on board.)

After about 4 hours’ cruise, disembark in Yangshuo Town, and check in your hotel. After a short break, you will start your exploration of the ideal countryside view by taking the Ten-mile Gallery sightseeing bus from Fengming Tourists Service Center via Gongnong Bridge, Big Banyan Tree, to the Moon Hill for 1.5-2 hours. Throw yourself into the stunning countryside views and relaxed atmosphere. Be enthralled by the patches of paddy fields nestling under green Karst hills, with farmers cultivating the soil. Record the peculiar hole of Moon Hill at Li Village with your simple shutter with a simple wander. Also, if time and your physical condition permit, climb up that hill (needs about 30-50 minutes up with thousands of steps) to appreciate the larger moon hole closer and have a broader panorama of the Karst wonders of Yangshuo Town. Then, take the sightseeing bus back to Fengming, and our driver will send you back to have a leisure walk on the ancient West Street to experience how the western culture and Chinese culture perfectly and peacefully coexist here. Whether you want to enjoy a cup of drink in bar, taste some local food, or just experience the relaxing atmosphere, you get it here.

Optional evening activity:

Watch the splendid evening performance of Impression Liu Sanjie with the Li River itself as the stage, which was directed by famous director - Zhang Yimou (usually performs for an hour between around 19:45 and 22:20).

Yangshuo in Guilin
Yangshuo West Street at Night
Day 8 Yangshuo to Guilin & Bullet Train to Chongqing (B, L) Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave
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After breakfast, transfer back to Guilin in a comfortable vehicle (1.5~2hrs). Then make a visit to the symbol of Guilin landscape - Elephant Trunk Hill. A giant rock hill vividly shapes like an elephant which is drinking water. Besides, there are many historical sites here for you to explore, such as stone carving, Buddhist temple, relic exhibition, etc. Then, drive about 7 kilometers to next attraction - Reed Flute Cave, a majestic underground palace with sparkling different colors. The magical Mother Nature condenses millions years of natural efforts to form the incredible stalactite, stalagmite, stone shield and stone waterfall of different sizes and shapes.

Lastly, your tour guide will take you to train station in Guilin to catch your bullet train to Chongqing (about 5hrs). After arrival at railway station, you will be escorted to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to board your Yangtze cruise ship during 18:00-20:00. Your lifetime Yangtze River cruise sails at 21:00! (Please note: the boarding time and pier change based on Yangtze cruise ships, water level, season and weather, etc. Your travel consultants will tell you the detailed time and pier before your boarding.)

Elephant Trunk Hill
Reed Flute Cave Crystal Palace
Day 9 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D) Shibaozhai Pagoda
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In the morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil and beautiful Yangtze River. It will be colorful and interesting whether you decide to stay onboard or go ashore at river stops. 

Onboard you will enjoy different kinds of activities, like practicing Tai Chi on the boat’s sundeck, drinking a relaxing morning coffee, attending a Yangtze River history and culture lecture, or taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party and evening shows. 

Next follow a local guide and make a shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda, one of the “Pearls” of the Yangtze River. A gem of Chinese architecture, this 12-story, 18th century red wooden temple on the northern bank of Yangtze River is an architectural delight full of legends and beautiful stories. (Note: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be lots of stairs to climb up!)

Optional Excursion: Take a shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City for an extra fee. Called the “City of Ghosts”, it is endowed with mysterious stories about underworld and cruel tortures and different kinds of devils and Chinese demons. Entering this ghost city, you will find many statues of demons and vivid scenes of their perfidious activities. (Note: Once again, the visit to Fengdu Ghost City requires much walking and comfortable shoes are again highly recommended!)

Enjoy a Yangtze Three Gorges Cruise
Shibaozhai Pagoda
Day 10 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D) Three Gorges - Shennv Stream - Captain’s Farewell Party
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Today you will sail through the spectacular Three Gorges while relaxing on the sun deck and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge respectively. 

In Wu Gorge you will take an enjoyable adventure to primitive Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream). Switch to a smaller boat to sail down this beautiful stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of high mountain peaks and hanging coffins on the steep cliff faces. After watching an entertaining music and dance show of local Tujia ethnic minority, sail back to your ship.

In the evening, you will firstly enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates onboard, and then watch the fascinating process of passing the ship through the Three Gorges Dam Five-stage Ship Locks at 23:00 PM.

Optional Excursion: Take a shore excursion to White Emperor City for an extra fee. Located at the entrance of Qutang Gorge, this excursion offers the best viewing spot to appreciate the magnificent Kuimen Gate.

Enjoy the scenery of the Three Gorges on the deck of cruise
Shennv Stream on Three Gorges
Day 11 Yichang & High Speed to Shanghai from Yichang ( B ) Three Gorges Dam
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After breakfast, you’ll begin to check out and disembark at Maoping Port. Today’s highlight is a morning excursion to Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, located at the middle of Xiling Gorge near Yichang. You will marvel at this gigantic dam from different angles, learn more of the background history of the Three Gorges Dam Project and enjoy the surrounding beautiful landscape and scenery. If you like, you can take an optional experience to sail through Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift, the largest and the most sophisticated ship lift in the world, which takes only 40 minutes with fresh insight into the dam project.

After the dam visiting, you’ll take the bus arranged by the cruise company heading to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal for leave. Here you will be pick up by our local guide be transferred to Yichang East Railway Station for a high speed train to Shanghai.

After arrival in Shanghai, our local tour guide will pick you up at the train station, and escort you to your hotel for check in. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this cosmopolitan and lively city.

Disembarkation Tips: No matter you take Ship Lift or not, you’ll check out and take your luggage away in this early morning. (1) Only dam visiting: you’ll take bus from Maoping Port to Three Gorges Dam for sightseeing, and then arrive at Yichang downtown around 12:30. (2) Dam & Ship Lift Experience: travelers who are interested in Ship Lift will first switch to a sightseeing boat to sail through the Ship Lift and then visit Three Gorges Dam Site. You’ll arrive at Yichang downtown around 13:30.

World-famous Three Gorge Dam
Three Gorge Dam
Day 12 Shanghai City Highlights (B, L) Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, Shanghai World Financial Center, Nanjing Road, The Bund
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After breakfast, you will visit Shanghai Museum, one of the best museums in China. Conveniently located near the People’s Square, this large museum is designed and built with a round top and a square base which symbolize the ancient Chinese perception of the world as “round sky, square earth”, and mainly focus on Chinese ancient history and art. Over one billion cultural relics are exhibited inside, including precious bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, jade, sculptures, traditional furniture, seals and old coins from more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing Dynasty. Da Ke Ding(bronze food vessel in over 3000 years ago), Bianzhong of Marquis Su of Jin (ancient musical instruments) are top treasures to visit. An Audio Explanation Device will help you better learn the facts and knowledge of the exhibitions.

Then, transfer to Shanghai old town to visit Yu Garden (Yuyuan), a famous Southern China classical garden which was originally built about 450 years ago. Walk around to view the ancient pavilions, halls, towers with jagged carved cornices and decorations, grotesque rockeries, glittering ponds filled with swimming kois and many old plants. These buildings, laid out in an asymmetry, fully embody impressive Chinese architectural style, art and skills, from which you can imagine an ancient living scene and find a magic harmony between human and nature. Yuyuan Bazaar outside the garden is an interesting place for shopping traditional Chinese handicrafts and artworks and tasting a variety of local snacks.

Next, visit the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC), “the Eye of Shanghai”, one of the most incredible skyscrapers in Lujiazui. With a height of 492 meters (1,614 ft), the tower is the second tallest building after the nearby Shanghai Tower (632 meter/2,073 ft). Ascend up to the 474 meter-high 100th floor observation deck, try a thrilling skywalk on the transparent glass walkway and enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the entire city, including the Bund, neighboring Shanghai Tower, Jinmao Tower and many surrounding attractions. Feel Shanghai lying under your feet and blue sky hanging above your head.

Later, get to Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s earliest commercial street and one of the most popular current landmarks. Lots of big name brands, restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops and towering buildings can be seen when you stroll around this busy pedestrian mall. Continue your walk to the Bund, the most iconic place of Shanghai. Stretching along the west bank of the Huangpu River, this 1.5km-long road was a simple towpath for transporting good but developed to the early “East Wall Street” in late 19th century. Most known as a perfect blend of the East meeting the West, the Bund mainly features 52 various European-style architectures praised to the Exhibition of World’s Architecture. Make a pleasant walk to see those western classical and modern style buildings and amazing skyscrapers of Lujiazui across the river.

After the tour, drive back to your hotel. (If you want to spend free time at the Bund, Nanjing Road or take a relaxing Huangpu River cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets ablaze with colorful lights (about 50 minutes), or explore somewhere else, please let your tour guide know.)

Yu Garden - A Chinese Classical Garden
The Bund Night Views
Day 13 Shanghai Tour & Shanghai Departure(B) Jade Buddha Temple, Tianzifang
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After breakfast, your tour guide and driver will pick you up in your hotel, and take you to Jade Buddha Temple, one of the top three sacred Buddhist temples in Shanghai which famed for precious jade Buddhist statues. The temple was built by a Buddhist monk from Mount Wutai to enshrine two jade Buddhas invited from Burma in Qing Dynasty (1882 AD). Now it has been renovated to a Song Dynasty style temple worshiping a sitting Buddha (1.95 meters tall) originally imported from Burma, a reclining Buddha (4.05 meters, 6 tons) donated from Singapore and two smaller reclining Buddhas, Giant Golden Buddha statues, massive valuable Buddhist scriptures and ancient Buddhist sculptures. It’s a wonderful spiritual visit to see real monks chanting and endless pilgrims praying with serene and pure ambience hidden among modern blocks and bustling metropolis.

Finally, drive to Tianzifang, a unique popular tourist enclave remolded from a traditional residential block in the French Concession area of Shanghai. Intertwined narrow alleys are filled with small creative shops selling lovely souvenirs and plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants. It’s great fun to ramble through the maze-like area to appreciate the well-preserved traditional Shanghainese Shikumen (Stone Warehouse Gate) houses, see interesting novel art and handicrafts, savor a lazy open-air coffee time and try some local street food and feel the original Shanghai life vibe.

In the afternoon, your guide and driver take you to the airport/train station/cruise port for your next destination or home. Tour ends.

Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai
Spend Leisure Time at the Mazy Lanes of Tianzifang
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner

The quotation for this trip is from Request P/P

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.

2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.

Price Includes.

    Professional licensed English-speaking guide;

    Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;

    Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);

    A standard cabin (double occupancy) with private balcony on a 5 star Yangtze River Cruise Ship;

    Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;

    Domestic flights (economy class) or high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;

    Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;

    Cable cars to ride up and down Mutianyu Great Wall;

    Audio explanation device in Shanghai Museum;

    Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;

    All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);

    Accident insurance;

    Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Price Excludes.

    China visa;

    Personal expenses;

    Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;

    Single Room Supplement;

    Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;

    Recommended optional activities;

    Beijing arrival flight or train on the first day;

    Shanghai departure flight or train on the last day;

    Excess Baggage Charges;

    Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

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