14 Day Best of the Yangtze
China Tour and Vacation Packages
Every Wednesday. Minimum of 2 people.
April 1, 2016 - November 2, 2016
Experience the best of the Yangtze, the river central to Chinese history, culture and commerce, on this full China tour. You’ll have a chance to see natural wonders like the awesome Three Gorges, as well as man-made wonders both ancient and modern. You’ll get to see haunting sites like the Fengdu Ghost City and the hanging coffins at Shennong Stream. Before your China river cruise, you’ll visit Beijing and Xian to see the Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Warriors. After, you’ll have a chance to explore Shanghai, the most populous city proper in the world, and experience a second China cruise on the Grand Canal from Suzhou.
For anyone interested in a tour of one of the most visually stunning and culturally important rivers in the world, this Yangtze tour can’t be missed. You’ll stay in good hotels and on comfortable cruise ships, and have the attention of professional, English-speaking tour guides for the duration of the trip.
Day 1 Arrive Beijing
Upon arrival, meet your China tour guide and transfer to the 5-star Beijing International Hotel.
Day 2 Beijing (B/L)
You’ll begin your Yangtze Tour in Beijing with some sightseeing. Tiananmen Square is the largest city square in the world, and it is near two ancient monuments: Tiananmen to the north (and the entrance to the Forbidden City) and Zhengyangmen to the south.
For centuries, the Forbidden City served as the home to Chinese emperors and their families. Since 1925, however, it has been a palace museum filled with various beautiful treasures. The Forbidden City remains the world’s largest surviving palace complex and is truly a breathtaking sight.
Next on your China tour is a visit to the Summer Palace, a stunning imperial estate with verdant gardens and classical-style buildings on the man-made Kunming Lake.
In the evening, we recommend attending an optional Legend of Kung Fu Show with Penking Duck dinner. The show transports you back thousands of years ago, to the mystical Middle Kingdom. It tells the story of kung fu through the eyes of a young monk. This professional performance promises to amaze and delight you with creative sets and real kung fu action.
The show costs CAD 45-85 per person with return hotel transfers. Price difference depends on season and preference of seats.
Day 3 Beijing (B/L)
The third day of your Yangtze Tour kicks off with a visit to the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. This fully restored section of the original 8,850-kilometre World Wonder is the most popular among tourists. You’ll be treated to a two-hour tour here. En route, you’ll visit a jade stone carving workshop.
After seeing the Great Wall, you’ll stop for a photo at Beijing’s Olympic landmarks: the National Stadium and the National Aquatics Center (or Water Cube). After seeing the ancient grandeur of the Great Wall of China, you have a chance to look on the spectacular feats of modern Chinese architecture. The stadium is built with intertwined supports that make it look like a giant bird’s nest (it’s also called Bird’s Nest Stadium), and the Water Cube, an immense square structure with a surface made to resemble soap bubbles. After the 2008 Olympics, the Water Cube was renovated into the world’s largest water park.
Day 4 Beijing (B/L)
The fourth day of your China tour takes you to China’s most famous temple. The Temple of Heaven stands within the 667-acre Tiantan Park. A wall encloses the whole area. The round northern section of the wall is symbolic of heaven, and the half-square southern section, earth. Inside the walls of the temple, the principle buildings stand at either end: the Qiniandian (Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests) and the Huangqiongyu (Imperial Vault of Heaven). Inside the Imperial Vault of Heaven, you can see the famous Echo Wall and Triple Sound Stones.
After the Temple of Heaven, you’ll have an opportunity to visit a pearl factory.
Next, you’ll get to see a Beijing hutong. Hutongs are neighbourhoods of twisted streets and tightly-packed homes around courtyards, or siheyuans. The tour involves a ride in a traditional Chinese pedicab and a visit with a local family. These are the traditional residential neighbourhoods in northern Chinese cities.
Day 5 Beijing – Xian (B/L)
After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the airport and fly to Xian. After being met by your guide, you’ll visit the Provincial Museum. This modern museum includes a 110,000-piece collection of historic relics.
The Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 648, is considered the symbol of Xian. Once used by the Tang monk Xuan Zang to translate Buddhist scriptures, it stands a towering 73 metres high, and the top offers some of the best views of the city.
You’ll spend the night at the Jian Guo Hotel Xian.
Day 6 Xian (B/L/D)
On the sixth day of your Best of Yangtze tour, you’ll experience a full-day excursion to the Terra Cotta Warriors. Discovered by farmers in 1974, the 6000 clay figures occupy one pit of four in the tomb of 3rd century emperor Qin Shi Huang. Each seems to have been crafted individually. No two soldiers are the same.
Since the very beginning of Chinese civilization, Xian people were known as the masters of clay. After seeing the 3rd century masterpieces of Xian potters, you’ll have a chance to see modern day artisans at work in a ceramic and pottery workshop.
In the evening, the Yangtze Tour includes a dumpling dinner and Tang Dynasty Show. The show presents some music and dance from the most prosperous era in Chinese history.
Day 7 Xian – Chongqing (B/L/D)
In the morning, you’ll have breakfast and fly to Chongqing, a sprawling city of over 30 million people.
Your first stop in Chongqing is the Chongqing Panda Zoo. Located in downtown Chongqing, it features many rare species including Giant Pandas, rare South China Tigers and African Elephants. From the zoo, you’ll get your first glimpse of the Yangtze and a view of the Three Gorges. It is best to go in the morning so you can see the Pandas actively eating
After your traditional hot pot dinner, your Yangtze River tour begins in earnest. You’ll board the 5-star MV President Prime Cruise.
Day 8 Yangtze River
On day eight, you’ll set sail for a voyage of 700 kilometres, through the great gorges and deep mountain valleys of the Yangtze River.
The first stop on your China river cruise is a visit to Fengdu. Fengdu the Ghost City is the mytholgical cave residence of the King of Hades. It is said that people who die must come here to register. Good people will be rewarded and evil people are cruelly tortured for their wrong doing by devils in hell. The site has reflected "ghost" culture in China since ancient times. It is a unique and culturally important tourist spot with a backdrop of beautiful scenery.
Day 9 Yangtze River (B/L/D)
Qutang Gorge extends from Baidicheng (White Emperor Town) to Daxi Township in Wushan County extending about 8 kilometres. Here, watch high cliffs and steep, sharp precipices rise one after another on either side of the narrow gorge. In the words of poet Bai Juyi, "The shore looks like two screens. The sky has been cut out." Within the gorge, you’ll see the ancient city of Baidicheng, an old plank road built on the cliff sides, and the sites of ancient Daxi settlements.
Wu Gorge extends from the western tip of Wushan County at the mouth of Daning River to Badong County, a distance of 40 kilometres to the east. The western section is called the Gold Helmet and Silver Armor Gorge while the eastern section is called the Iron Coffin Gorge. Peaks and green vegetation appear on either side. The gorge zigzags, giving the waterway no more than 100 metres in width. On the sides, you’ll see three platforms: Chopping Off Dragon Platform, Chuyang Platform and Book Presenting Platform.
The next excursion on your Yangtze River Tour is to Shennong Stream. This natural area in the north of Badong County is 3,000 metres above sea level. A drive by car from the county will take visitors to the head of the Badong Scenic Extension area, known as a “Green Treasury” and Shennongjia. This mysterious area is vibrant with natural foliage, golden hair monkeys, mandarin ducks and hanging coffins. Enjoy the serene experience of a sampan ride surrounded by nature.
Xiling Gorge starts at the western tip of Xiangxi Stream in Zigui and extends to the Nanjin pass in the east, about 75 kilometres. Miaonankuangu is in the middle. This is the site of the Three Gorges Dam. At the western section we find the Military Book and Treasury Sword Gorge, and the Ox Liver and Horse Lung Gorge. In the east are Light Shadow Gorge and the Yellow Ox Gorge. Xiling Gorge is known as a place of strategic importance—and dangerous shoals.
Day 10 Yichang – Shanghai (B/L)
Your tenth day on the Yangtze River cruise tour includes an excursion to the Three Gorges Dam Site. The Three Gorges Key Water Conservancy Project on the Yangtze River (the Three Gorges Project) includes a concrete gravity dam, a sluice gate, a hydropower station, a permanent navigation ship lock and a ship lift. The dam is 9,957 feet long, and 607 feet high. It has a total of 26 generators, each with an installed capacity of 700,000kw, totalling 18.2 million kw. The navigation structures stand on the left bank and include the five-stair ship lock and the single-line first-class ship lift.
Disembark and drive to the airport. From there, you’ll fly to Shanghai. You’ll meet your guide and transfer to the 5-star Ocean Hotel Shanghai. The rest of the day, you’re free to explore the city on your own.
Day 11 Shanghai (B/L/D)
After a relaxing evening, the Shanghai portion of your China tour begins with a visit to Yu Yuan Garden in the City God Temple. This 16th century garden features beautiful pavilions, foliage, sculptures, and a very famous zigzag bridge.
The Shanghai Museum is a museum of ancient Chinese art, situated on the People's Square in the Huangpu District. Featuring a collection of over 120,000 pieces, it’s sure to appeal to anyone interested in Chinese art and culture.
You’ll also visit the Bund, China’s most famous waterfront. Stretching about a 1.6 km along the Huangpu River, the Bund is lined with grandiose 1930s-era buildings. One of the most elegant and famous of these is the Peace Hotel, recently remodelled, which towers over the harbour and offers wonderful views.
Next stop on your China tour is Xintiandi and Pudong New Development Zone, a great place to shop, dine or for nightlife. Historically, it was the site of the first congress of the Communist Party of China, now preserved at the Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
In the evening, we invite you to enjoy an acrobatic show and dinner.
The 12th day of your China tour includes a daytrip to Suzhou.
Day 12 Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai
Master of Nets Garden is the smallest residential garden in Suzhou; however, it is world famous for demonstrating many aspects of a classical Chinese garden.
You’ll have an opportunity to visit a silk factory. See the worms munching on mulberry leaves and spinning their cocoons, and learn how those cocoons are turned into beautiful fabric.
Your China river tour features a second cruise, this time of the Grand Canal. With a history going back over 2,400 years, this canal is the longest artificial waterway in the world. Dotting the way are little houses, red lanterns, local people using water taxis as public transport and cargo boats, truly painting a vivid picture of daily Suzhou life.
Later, visit Pingjiang Street in the northeastern part of old Suzhou. One of China's "famous history and culture streets", this 800 year old street features elegant bridges, flowing waters and unique architecture.
Day 13 Shanghai (B)
Day 13 of your China tour is a free day. You’re at leisure to explore the city, shop or relax in your hotel.
Day 14 Depart Shanghai (B)
After breakfast, your Yangtze River Tour is over. Bid Shanghai farewell as you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.