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Walking at Houhai lakeWalking at Houhai lake in Beijing Price: Duration: Dates: Tour code: Overview: Ask for a free quotation 18 Days As you request TCG-1504 More than two weeks of exploring hidden gems in China may seem to good to be true, but we at the China Guide are used to bringing these dreams to life!

This tour is designed for those seeking an in-depth cultural experience. While we will cover some major sights together, we also aim to provide you with time to relax along the way, and get to know the real China.

Activities are geared towards experiential immersion and allowing quality time with travel partners and new local friends.

On your whirlwind tour we will take you all kind of destinations, rural and urban, to make sure you get a real taste of life in the Middle Kingdom.

Please note: Tibet is closed to foreign visitors for two months every spring. Please check with your travel agent for this year's closure dates.
Itinerary
day 1
  • Pick up from the Beijing airport
Pick up from the Beijing airport
Pick up from the Beijing airport
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
day 2
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City
Hutong Tour with local family visit
Hutong Tour with local family visit
Walking at Houhai lake
Walking at Houhai lake
Nanluoguxiang Street
Nanluoguxiang Street
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
day 3
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Hike the Great Wall from Jinshanling to Jinshanling East
Hike the Great Wall from Jinshanling to Jinshanling East
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
day 4
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
798 Arts District
798 Arts District
The Silk Market (Xiushui)
The Silk Market (Xiushui)
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
day 5
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Panjiayuan Weekend Market
Panjiayuan Weekend Market
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing
day 6
  • Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
  • Take the train to Luoyang 1st class seat
  • Pick up from the Luoyang train station
  • Check into your hotel
  • Meals: breakfast
Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
Christian's Hotel
Christian's Hotel
day 7
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
One Hour Kung Fu Class Experience
One Hour Kung Fu Class Experience
Kungfu Show at the Shaolin Temple
Kungfu Show at the Shaolin Temple
Shaolin Temple
Shaolin Temple
Zhongyue Temple
Zhongyue Temple
Christian's Hotel
Christian's Hotel
day 8
  • Longmen Grottoes Read more about Longmen Grottoes an amazing sight
  • Lunch Read more about lunch on a tour Chinese Style Standard
  • Drop-off at the Luoyang train station
  • Take the train to Xi'an 1st class seat
  • Pick up from the Xi'an Train Station
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Longmen Grottoes
Longmen Grottoes
Pick up from the Xi'an Train Station
Pick up from the Xi'an Train Station
Grand New World Hotel
Grand New World Hotel
day 9
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors
Bike or walk atop Xian's old city wall
Bike or walk atop Xian's old city wall
Great Mosque of Xian
Great Mosque of Xian
Muslim Street
Muslim Street
Tang Dynasty Show and Dumpling Dinner
Tang Dynasty Show and Dumpling Dinner
Grand New World Hotel
Grand New World Hotel
day 10
  • Meals: breakfast
Han Yangling Tomb - with airport transfer
Han Yangling Tomb - with airport transfer
Drop-off at the Xi'an Airport
Drop-off at the Xi'an Airport
Pick up from the Airport
Pick up from the Airport
day 11
  • Meals: lunch
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple
Barkhor Circuit
Barkhor Circuit
day 12
  • Meals: lunch
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Sera Monastery
Sera Monastery
day 13
  • Meals: dinner
Drop-off at the Airport
Drop-off at the Airport
Visit local market/ supermarket
Visit local market/ supermarket
day 14
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Taichi Class
Taichi Class
Shibao Pagoda
Shibao Pagoda
Watch scenery from your balcony
Watch scenery from your balcony
Captain's welcome party
Captain's welcome party
Crew talent show
Crew talent show
day 15
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Taichi Class
Taichi Class
Watch scenery from your balcony
Watch scenery from your balcony
Shennong Stream
Shennong Stream
Mask ball/ Free karaoke time
Mask ball/ Free karaoke time
Sail through the ship locks
Sail through the ship locks
day 16
  • Accommodation:
  • ★★★★ Marvel Hotel Read more about Marvel Hotel
    Superior deluxe twin/double bedroom
  • Meals: breakfast
Three Gorges Dam Site
Three Gorges Dam Site
Watch scenery from your balcony
Watch scenery from your balcony
Pick up from the Shanghai Hongqiao airport
Pick up from the Shanghai Hongqiao airport
Marvel Hotel
Marvel Hotel
day 17
  • Accommodation:
  • ★★★★ Marvel Hotel Read more about Marvel Hotel
    Superior deluxe twin/double bedroom
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch
The Bund
The Bund
Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden
Tianzifang / Old French Concession
Tianzifang / Old French Concession
People's Square
People's Square
The Shanghai Museum (at People's Square)
The Shanghai Museum (at People's Square)
Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road
Views from the Grand Hyatt's 88th floor
Views from the Grand Hyatt's 88th floor
Marvel Hotel
Marvel Hotel
day 18
  • Meals: breakfast
Maglev train ride to the airport
Maglev train ride to the airport
Drop-off at the Maglev train station
Drop-off at the Maglev train station
  • Tour price
  • Get a free quote
  • Our advantages
  • Included / not included
Tour price
Guests Cost per guest
Ask for a free quotation
Tour code: TCG-1504
  • » Your tour day starts and ends at a hotel in the city, which may or may not be included. If a hotel is included it is listed by name on the itinerary for each night.

  • » Discounts for children in China are based on height. Let us know your child's age and height and we can calculate accordingly.

  • Get a free quote
  •  
  • Let us modify the tour's itinerary for free and with no-obligation to suit your needs. We can change the activities, add or change hotel rooms, flights or trains as you wish.

  • Why book a tour with The China Guide?
  • » Zero shopping stops at overpriced commission factories. Your time and money is better spent.
  • » Flexible time schedule to suit your pace. No rush and can cater to children's needs.
  • » Guides selected and trained by American management. Excellent English, accommodating, family friendly.
  • » Meals are in quality local restaurants. We order according to your tastes and diet.
  • » Western style service. Our agents and guides are there to make you happy.
  • » We have traveled in China with our own children. The American owners have four young children.

  • Read more about why choose The China Guide as your travel agency and meet our travel agents.
  • Included in the tour price
  • » Private English speaking guide (selected/trained by our western staff), experienced Chinese speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle
  • » Admission tickets to all sights listed on the itinerary - no hidden costs
  • » Free bottled water supplied in your vehicle
  • » Meals as specified in quality local restaurants with unlimited standard drinks (Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Chinese tea)
  • » Accommodation as specified - our American staff selects the hotels we use
  • » Domestic flights, economy class as listed in the itinerary
  • » Train tickets as specified (soft sleeper: locking 4 berth cabin)
  • » Yangtze River Cruise with meals as listed, private 2 person cabin.


  • Not included in the tour price
  • » Tips to your guide and driver
  • » International travel insurance (you should purchase your own policy in your home country)
  • » Shuttle between Pagoda Forest and entrance


  • For tour booking terms & conditions, please review our company policies.

Tiananmen Square   天安门广场

Most people visit Tiananmen Square on their way to the Forbidden City, both can be done together in a morning or afternoon. Chinese citizens from around the country descend on Tiananmen to take their photos in front of the portrait of Chairman Mao. When there is a breeze you can buy a kite and fly it on the square.

Tiananmen Square is the largest public square in the world. It is a tourist site everyone tends to visit on their trip to Beijing. A vast desert of paving stones, the square can hold over one million people. It lies on the historical central axis going through the Forbidden City.

Expect to go through airport level security when going onto the square, with metal detectors and x-ray machines. There is also a high level of police presence. Nonetheless people are very friendly and its on most Beijing itineraries.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
5:00am - 10:00pm

The Forbidden City   故宫

The Forbidden City was the former imperial palace which was the home to twenty-four Chinese emperors over 491 years between 1420 and 1911. The Forbidden City is now known as the Palace Museum and is open to Beijing's visitors.

Wear comfortable walking shoes as the palace is 960 metres long and 750 metres wide. It has 9,999 rooms - a room being the space between four pillars.

The well guarded palace is surrounded by a moat 3,800 metres long and 52 metres wide. Intruders were discouraged by guards in watchtowers with bow and arrows.

There are five entrances to the gate - the central one reserved for the emperor. The empress was allowed through it only once - on her wedding day.

As well as walking through the wide open courtyards along its central axis, the sides offer some museum exhibits and small courtyards worth exploring.

An excellent view of the Forbidden...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Hutong Tour with local family visit   胡同游

Hutongs are the old traditional alleyways and courtyard homes which once covered all Beijing. Many still survive today and are pleasant to walk or bike through. Not much has changed and you can see how people lived in the past.

The China Guide's Hutong Tour starts with a cycle rickshaw ride through the hutongs. Cycle rickshaws are a traditional means of transportation in the old narrow streets.

We take you into a traditional family courtyard home. The family will greet you, serve tea and show you through their home. Your guide will explain the cultural and historic significance of various aspects. For instance, the layout of the courtyard, who lived where and how to tell the importance of the people living in a home.

Nanluoguxiang is a trendy hutong area with fun restaurants and cafes, nice to visit during the day for a coffee or lunch, or return in the evening for dinner.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Walking at Houhai lake   后海

Houhai is a lake north of the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing. It is surrounded by hutongs (alleyways) and old Chinese style courtyard houses. It's within walking distance from the subway and the Drum and Bell Towers.

Houhai is always bustling with Chinese people and foreigners alike. It is a great place to walk around during the day and go out at night. The area around the lake is chock full of places to eat and shop. There are many tea shops where they will let you try the tea before you buy and of course many other souvenir shops. All along the lakeside there are bars and cafes from which you can choose from to have lunch or dinner. Make sure whichever one you end up choosing has a rooftop bar so you can get a good view of the Drum and Bell Tower.

Please note the cost of boating is not included in the price as you will be charged by hour and needs to pay deposit.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 12:00am

Nanluoguxiang Street   南锣鼓巷

An old lane with many funky shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. It is a nice place where you can stroll in the afternoon or evening. Popular with locals and tourists, you can do a bit of shopping and perhaps relax in a cafe.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5

Hike the Great Wall from Jinshanling to Jinshanling East  

This hike is about 4 miles (6km) along the Great Wall. The hike goes along restored and unrestored sections of the Great Wall, allowing you to get a complete picture of what it looks like. There are many ups and downs as well as some loose rock, so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for hike of medium difficulty. Ok for children but they need to be prepared to walk. Bring along some snacks, sunscreen and sunglasses.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
4

Summer Palace   颐和园

Time allowing, the Summer Palace is well worth a visit for its historical significance and to enjoy strolling its spacious grounds. You may take a boat ride across the lake if you prefer not to walk. Located 15 km northwest from the central city and occupying an area of about 300 hectares, the Summer Palace is associated with the Qing dynasty's dowager empress Cixi, but has a history of more than 800 years as an imperial garden dating back to the 1150s.

The name in Chinese, Yiheyuan, means "garden of restful peace." It served as a suburban pleasance for emperors, a place in the countryside yet near the capital.

The Yiheyuan in its present form dates from Manchu rule over China, 1644-1911. In the 1750s the emperor Qianlong commanded the creation of the lake and redesigned the temple atop Longevity Hill. Severely damaged during the punitive Anglo-French expedition of 1860 the Empress Dowager ordered...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
7:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

798 Arts District   798艺术区

A visit to the 798 community is recommended for travelers with an interest in modern art. This district has become a trendy area for local artists and contains numerous galleries, shops and cafes making for a pleasant stroll. Travelers looking to see the modern culture of Beijing should spend an afternoon browsing through the 798 art district's warehouses and alleyways. Whether you want to buy art or just look and enjoy a coffee along the way, the 798 art district is really a window into modern China and how it is embracing yet another aspect of western culture with its own Chinese twist.

This artistic community is located in the Dashanzi district and gets its name from the Soviet-style factories that used to operate there. Artists and gallery owners work in redesigned factory buildings which provide an industrial backdrop that enhances the atmosphere of the area. The abandoned factory district originally brought local...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
10:00am - 5:00pm

The Silk Market (Xiushui)   秀水

Once a real outdoor silk market, the modernized Xiushui "silk market" is a popular destination for tourists. It has a huge array of goods over 5 floors including silk goods, souviniers, luggage, name brand goods and clothes. The vendors are a bit on the pushy side and they try to charge as much as they can get away with, so you need to be tough, bargain hard and shop in a few stalls since most goods are repeated. One advantage of this market is most of the vendors speak some English and a lot of the goods are aimed at the taste of western tourists. This is not a commissions shopping market. Surrounding the market you can find coffee, sandwiches and western fast food in case you want a snack or dinner.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:30am - 9:00pm

Panjiayuan Weekend Market   潘家园

The Panjiayuan Market is a super shopping market for all Chinese arts and crafts. It is made up of over three thousand individual stalls covering 48,500 square metres. There really is something for everyone here. Even Hillary Clinton has shopped at Panjiayuan.

There is a little overlap between stalls so you can compare and bargain but the range of goods is excellent. Stall owners come from twenty-four provinces around China to sell their wares.

Panjiayuan Market is at its best on weekends. The Antique Zone is open every day and the Arts and Crafts Warehouse Zone is open on Saturday and Sunday only.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm

Jiuhua Hot Spring Spa   九华山庄温泉会馆

Jiuhua Hot Spring Spa is a great place to spend a half day outside the city. There is a wide variety of different types of hot spring pools available. The massive complex even has its own tram running between buildings.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3
Opening hours:
9:00am - 1:00am

One Hour Kung Fu Class Experience   学习武术

Almost every young boy in China dreams of one day becoming a martial arts expert, and no martial art is more famous in China than Shaolin Kungfu. The famous Shaolin Monks are known across the world for their total devotion to the study of Shaolin Kungfu, and Chinese international superstars Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li are also trained in this special type of kungfu. Join The China Guide for an exhilarating lesson in the basic movements and principles of Shaolin Kungfu alongside the Shaolin Monks inside their beautiful mountainside monastery.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
10:30am - 4:30pm

Kungfu Show at the Shaolin Temple  

The kungfu demonstration show at the Shaolin Temple takes about 30 minutes and runs at regular times during the day.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
10:30am - 4:30pm

Shaolin Temple   少林寺

For centuries, orange-robe-clad Buddhist monks have trained day and night to study kungfu inside the ancient walls of the Shaolin Temple. Nestled in the lush Song Mountains, the Shaolin Temple was founded in the fifth century as a shrine for Mahayana Buddhists. Amongst the leafy courtyards and colorful prayer halls you will discover the secrets of the Shaolin Monks such as the ‘finger punching tree’, where one tree’s trunk is peppered with small holes from monks practicing “one finger punches”. A trip to this temple is not complete without a stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage Pagoda Forest, an open courtyard blanketed by hundreds of stone pagodas.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Zhongyue Temple   中岳庙

The Zhongyue Taoist temple is a UNESCO world heritage site and is not so commonly visited by tourists. Compared to the White Horse Temple it gets a lot less traffic and is in some ways more spectacular. You can feel the history in the expansive grounds. When we were there we found monks chanting in the furthest hall. They were not doing it as a show for tourists. The grounds are spread out and its a nice place to find peace and quiet. if you can fit the Zhongyue temple into your itinerary we think you will enjoy it.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Longmen Grottoes   龙门石窟

The Longmen Grottoes are an amazing sight, with many surviving pieces of unrivaled beauty stretching from the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD) into the Tang period (618-907 AD). Over the centuries, many of the statues were seriously damaged in anti-Buddhism campaigns. In modern times (1907 to 1938), the caves suffered another wave of destruction together with massive looting by Chinese and foreigners alike. Many pieces are still at museums in Germany, France, England, America, and Japan. The Chinese government continues to petition these nations and their museums for the return of these artifacts, but to no avail.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Terracotta Warriors   兵马俑

The buried army of Qin Shihuangdi is one of the largest and most stunning archaeological finds of the 20th century. Discovered in 1974 at Lintong, 35 kilometres east of Xi'an, the warriors and horses have deservedly become known as a Wonder of the World. Now exhibited in situ, the life-size terracotta figures so far excavated testify to the power of the man for whom they were moulded to protect in afterlife.

This site is an archaeological find on a monumental scale. Literally an army of sculptured warriors, it is a stunning display that every visitor to China should see.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Bike or walk atop Xian's old city wall   城墙

The old city wall is high and wide which leaves a road on the top which is empty. A peaceful retreat from the billions for strolling or getting on a bike. We organize as part of our tours a bike trip on the city wall. You can bike the entire circuit in 1-2 hours or just cruise along part of it then return. You can stop at various viewpoints and look down at the scene below. Nice for photographers. Great fun and a chance to work off some of those delicious Chinese meals we serve you!

Xi'an's 14th-century wall still stands, although today it is intersected by a few modern roads. It is one of the most important city walls in China and certainly one of the best examples from the Ming. Construction began during the reign of Hongwu, the first Ming emperor, on the remains of the Sui and Tang wall and took eight years to complete. Repairs and renovation have now been carried out by the local government to restore the wall...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm with last admission at 5:30pm

Great Mosque of Xian   西安大清真寺

The Great Mosque of Xian is located down an alley off of Muslim Street. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xi'an is completely Chinese architectural style, having neither neither domes nor traditional-style minarets.

The Great Mosque of Xian is the largest and best preserved of the early mosques of China. Built primarily in the Ming Dynasty when Chinese architectural elements were synthesized into mosque architecture, the mosque resembles a fifteenth century Buddhist temple with its single axis lined with courtyards and pavilions.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm

Muslim Street   穆斯林街

Muslim Street while touristy, is genuinely local too. A great place to stroll and see traditional Muslim culture alive and well in China. Worth visiting by day or night, the food is authentic and is a great place to have a Muslim style meal. There are a variety of shops selling different souvenirs and the area should be the itinerary for photographers. Not to be missed, Muslim Street is one of Xian's major attractions.

The early Muslims in China came from what was known at Xiyu, or 'the west', areas usually identified as Arabia or Persia. These people were much different from the Chinese in terms of their language, culture and physical appearance. Like other foreigners in China, they were labeled 'foreign sojourners'. Islam was first introduced by Arab merchants during the Tang dynasty, and flourished during the Yuan (1279-1368). The Muslims gradually became concentrated in the northwestern part of the walled city,...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 8:00pm with last admission at 7:00pm

Tang Dynasty Show and Dumpling Dinner   唐歌舞饺子宴

The Tang Dynasty Dinner Show is a combination of Chinese traditional dumpling banquet and the fabulous Tang Dynasty dance and music. Tang Dynasty (618 - 907AD) was the most prosperous dynasty in Chinese history and also the climax of China’s development in music and dance.

You begin with a dumpling banquet before the show. Dumplings come in various artistic shapes and sizes, all handmade, and filled with different combinations of meat and vegetables. If you've ever experienced dimsum in the west then you might want to give this variation a try.

After dinner sit back, digest and watch a show fit for an emperor!

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
7:30pm - 9:30pm

Han Yangling Tomb - with airport transfer   汉阳陵

The Han Yang Ling tomb was the final resting place for Emperor Liu Qi and his wife Empress Wang. The tomb was stuffed with unique pottery figurines depicting weapons, animals, naked human figurines and chariots, and visitors to the tomb are granted unrivalled access to the precious relics, with only a thin sheet of separation glass to the right, left or underfoot. Rows of armed warriors, dancing ladies, pigs, dogs and goats are buried in the haunting human sacrifice chamber, faithfully following their beloved emperor into the next life.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2

Potala Palace   布达拉宫

The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, in 1959. Tour groups (that means everyone) must make a reservation to visit the Potala Palace and often are not assigned their time slot until the day before. There are quotas for the number of visitors to avoid overcrowding. So you need to realize that your Potala Palace visit may be shifted to the time or day assigned by the government. You cannot take photos inside but you may outside. You must exit the Potala Palace by your assigned time or the tour guide and company will be punished.

Built at an altitude of 3,700 m (12,100 ft), on the side of Marpo Ri ('Red Mountain') in the center of Lhasa Valley, the Potala Palace, with its vast inward-sloping walls broken only in the upper parts by straight rows of many windows, and its flat roofs at various levels, is not unlike a fortress in appearance. At the...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 4:00pm with last admission at 3:30pm

Jokhang Temple   大昭寺

Located at the very heart of Lhasa, the Jokhang Temple is a splendid Buddhist temple and an important pilgrimage site for all Tibetans. The temple has four floors, a gilded roof and is made entirely of wood, and traditional vihara layout reflects both Indian and Nepalese architectural influences. The candlelit maze-like corridors inside the temple connect tiny chapels swathed in prayer scarves that are dedicated to various gods and bodhisattvas.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Barkhor Circuit   བར་སྐོར་, 八廓街

Legend has it that when the Jokhang Temple was first built by the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 647, the Barkhor street was created by thousands of pilgrims wearing down the surrounding earth by circumnambulating the shrine. Today this atmospheric 1km circuit is the heart and soul of Lhasa, with locals and pilgrims alike continuously completing the holy circuit from dawn until dusk, swirling prayer wheels and even rhythmically prostrating their bodies along the ground to express their total religious devotion. Colorful shopping stalls set up along the Barkhor circuit sell prayer flags, Tibetan jewelry, yak butter lamps and other religious handicrafts.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2

Drepung Monastery   哲蚌寺

The Drepung Monastery is one of the three great university monasteries and is also the largest monastery in Tibet. Flowery murals and richly colored drapes adorn every wall of the countless halls and chambers scattered around this impressive lamasery that was once home to around 8,000 monks. Experience the electric atmosphere in the stunning Great Assembly hall, where the sun’s rays filter down from ornate window frames and through dramatic multi-colored banners, onto rows upon rows of softly chanting monks.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 3:00pm

Sera Monastery   色拉寺

Built as one of the great three university monasteries in Tibet, the Sera monastery is home to hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns as well as precious Buddhist texts. Built on a hill that was once blanketed by roses, the monastery gets its name from the Tibetan word sera, meaning rose. Revolution saw total desecration of most of the monastery and the death of countless monks, yet today it has been restored to its former glory and spiritual significance. Visitors in the early afternoon will be treated to an authentic display of monks vigorously debating Buddhist doctrines.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3
Opening hours:
9:00am - 6:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Visit local market/ supermarket   逛市场

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 6:00pm

Taichi Class   太极拳课

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art but is more about stretching and slow movement than fighting. In China's parks you will see many elderly people practicing taichi in the morning. On board the Century Cruise line's ships you can practice taichi in the morning before breakfast. Taichi may not be offered on all our Yangtze river cruises, please check with our agent to confirm.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5

Shibao Pagoda   石宝寨

Its red wooden 12 story pagoda rises stunningly against a 30 meter (100 foot) high rock outcropping (see photo) along the banks of the Yangtze River.

The tall pagoda is the most interesting part of the Shibaozhai Temple. It consists of two sections: The lower one is a nine story edifice that abuts the rock outcropping. The upper section sits on top of the outcropping (where the temple buildings reside).

The nine story section is not a free-standing building. Its architects designed it to lean against the rock outcropping for its support. Without it, the section would topple over.

The Shibaozhai pagoda structure was built without nails.

During the early years of the Shibaozhai Temple, the lower pagoda section did not exist. Visitors were hoisted to the hilltop via a cumbersome chain apparatus.

Legend tells us that the higher you climb up the Shibaozhai pagoda...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2

Watch scenery from your balcony   阳台观景

A large part of the Yangtze River cruise is watching the scene unfold before you. Other large ships go past, villages, cities, fisherman, bridges, industry and nature. That is the great thing about taking a Yangtze river cruise - you don't have to go anywhere, it all comes to you!

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2

Captain's welcome party   船长欢迎酒会

Its a chance to meet the captain, crew and other guests on board your floating home. Have a drink, relax and get ready for an epic Yangtze River cruising experience on a beautiful ship.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Crew talent show   船员迎宾文艺表演

A cabaret of dancing, singing and various other talents put on by your ships crew. It is surprising to see the talents hidden by them.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5

Shennong Stream   神农溪

A famous point of interest on the Yangtze River Cruise, the area around the Shennong Stream (神农溪 shennong xi) has been inhabited since the Han Dynasty (206 BC).

Formerly a 60 km stretch of rapids flowing between near vertical limestone cliffs, since the completion of the 3 Gorges Dam project, the depth at the mouth of the Shennong Stream has increased from its natural depth of 30 centimeters to over 150 meters. The stream returns to its natural depth 15km upstream. The limestone cliffs flanking the river are famous for their hanging coffins. These coffins, carved from tree trunks are wedged into crevices in the cliff faces, hanging between 20 and 70 meters above the surface of the water. Many of these coffins have been lost or submerged, but some have been removed and preserved for archeological study.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
4

Mask ball/ Free karaoke time   自由舞会/卡拉ok自由唱

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2

Sail through the ship locks   游船经过三峡大坝五级船闸

There are two ship locks built near the Three Gorges dam site. Each lock is made up of five sections and the total time to get through them is about four hours. This may happen during the day or at night. The schedule will depend on the government operators of the Three Gorges who book which ships can go through the lock at what time.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2

Three Gorges Dam Site   长江三峡大坝

The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric river dam that spans the Yangtze River. It is the largest hydroelectric power station in the world. With a long history of planning and more than a decade of construction, the dam body was finished in 2006. When the whole project is completed, it will contain 32 main generators, each with a capacity of 700 MW. Except for a planned ship lift, all of the originally planned components were completed on October 30, 2008, when the 26th commercial generator was brought into operation. The eject produces clean electricity, prevents floods and enhances navigation.

For your tour you will disembark the cruise ship and ride on a bus past the locks and then go through an airport style security check. You can then visit the dam's museum and overlook it from viewpoints.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2.5

The Bund   外滩

A must see on every tour itinerary to Shanghai, the Bund is the historic row of banks built before World War II by the major foreign powers at the time. Situated on the banks of the Huangpu River the Bund has a long pedestrian riverside promenade which both Chinese and foreign tourists like to stroll for the panoramic view and people watching. Most of the buildings still stand in their original style and some are even used as banks again, others trendy shops, restaurants and offices.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Yuyuan Garden   豫园

Yuyuan Garden gives visitors a preview of what they will see if they visit the historic gardens of Suzhou. Finely cultivated with an eye for style and detail rarely seen in modern gardens, Yuyuan Garden is a peaceful retreat from the crowded city streets. It can get a bit crowded inside the garden lanes itself when tour groups go through, but there are lots of little areas where you can retreat to a corner if you want.

Outside the garden itself are hundreds of shops and stalls selling tourist souveniers. The area also hosts quite a few restaurants where you can find a decent lunch, and even a Starbucks and a Häagen-Dazs if you need some western comfort food or drinks.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:30pm

Tianzifang / Old French Concession   田子坊

Tianzifang is a historical area of traditional alleys and shikumen homes with over 200 diverse small businesses including cafes, restaurants, art galleries, craft stores and studios.

Even with all the businesses selling souvenirs, the area does not have the look of having been overly developed. It is distinctly different from Xintiandi, another redevelopment in the vicinity, in that it has managed to preserve its residential feel, adding to its appeal.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.6

People's Square   人民广场

People’s Square is situated in the bustling heart of Shanghai and is the largest open public space in Shanghai. The square was once a horse racing course owned by the Shanghai Race Club, however after the establishment of the Republic of China in 1949, gambling was banned and the area was transformed into a hub of cultural activity. The square is now home to the Shanghai Museum, the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall and the Shanghai Grand Theatre.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5

The Shanghai Museum (at People's Square)   上海博物馆

One of China's best museums, this one is popular with tourists. Five floors of artifacts are labeled in English and its possible to get a guided audio tour in various languages.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Nanjing Road   南京路

Starting at the Bund and going to People's Square, Nanjing Road is Shanghai's most famous shopping street. Much of it is a wide pedestrian street where you can stroll, shop or dine. Colorful by day or night, its popular with tourists for a stroll.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Views from the Grand Hyatt's 88th floor   在金茂大厦楼顶88层观赏城市景观

The Jinmao tower is home to the Grand Hyatt hotel, and the Cloud 9 bar occupies the 87th floor of the hotel. Rather than go onto a crowded viewing deck to see the city below, we take you for a standard drink in the cocktail lounge where you can relax in a five star setting, sip your drink and take in the view.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
5:00pm - 10:00am

Maglev train ride to the airport   磁悬浮

The Shanghai Maglev Train is a magnetic levitation train that and is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world. The train line connects Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the Shanghai city center.

It was constructed between 2001 and 2004. The top operational speed is 431 km/h (268 mph), making it the world's fastest train in regular commercial services. It is faster than TGV in France and also faster than the latest CRH conventional wheel train in China at 350 km/h (217 mph). During a non-commercial test run on 12 November 2003, the maglev train achieved a Chinese record speed of 501 km/h (311 mph). The top operational speed of 431 km/h (268 mph) is faster than the top speed of any Formula One car and MotoGp prototype.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
6:45am - 9:40pm

Beijing 北京

Beijing offers much for visitors to do. It is the gateway to the Great Wall, which is 1 - 2 hours drive from the city depending on which part you visit. Within the city, the major sights include The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Hutong tours and cycle rickshaw rides.

Aside from the sights Beijing is a fabulous place to dine. Arguably, it has some of the best Chinese food in the world with lots of regional variations. Western food in Beijing is also excellent due to the abundance of foreigners and embassies.

Beijing also boasts some fantastic parks, with boating, amusements for children, Chinese martial arts and good people watching in a quiet green atmosphere.

The pollution in Beijing comes and goes, blown away by a good wind. Sometimes it builds into a haze, but visitors planning a short trip should not put off. It's just another aspect to life in a city of...   Read more

Luoyang 洛阳

Luoyang is located along the high speed rail line between Beijing and Xi'an. It takes about 4 hours by fast train from Beijing to reach it, or about 1 hour from Xi'an.

Luoyang is famous for the Shaolin Temple, home of the Kungfu practicing monks. Luoyang is also well known for the Longmen Grottos, larger than life sculptures carved into a mountainside.

For most visitors, one or two nights along the way will give enough time to see these major sights. The Luoyang Museum has some excellent displays of relics from the area. Also popular is the White...   Read more

Xi'an 西安

Xi'an is considered one of China's must see destinations, the home to the Terracotta Warriors. People usually visit Xi'an for 1 or 2 nights and is a good part of a loop between Beijing and Shanghai or other destinations. You can get there by plane or the overnight train is also convenient from Beijing.

Xi'an is one of the few ancient Chinese cities with its old city wall still intact. You can walk on it or even ride a bike. The Muslim area is colorful and authentic, worth a walk around and also not a bad place to have dinner and do a bit of shopping.

The Terracotta Warriors are about 1 hour outside the city, look on the map below for details. Nearby the warriors are the Huaqing Hotsprings, which is more of a nice park with an historic spring, but no swimming.

Tibet / Lhasa 西藏

Tibet is one of the world's mystical destinations, and rightfully so. It has a rich cultural heritage and a proud ethnic people. While Tibet has gone through major changes in the past 50 years, the people and landscapes which make it such a fascinating place are easily visited.

Because of the political climate in Tibet there are a number of rules in place concerning group size and itinerary which need to be followed when planning a trip. Also be aware that sometimes the region will close to foreign tourists without notice.

Chongqing 重庆

Many tourists pass through Chongqing 重庆 at the starting point of their Yangtze River cruise, yet it is worth spending some time visiting Chongqing too. This municipality was the Chinese capital between 1937- 1945 and is now home to over 28 million people.

For those embarking upon the Yangtze river cruise, the Chongqing Three Gorges Museum is an excellent introduction to the route they will take. As well as describing Chongqing’s war time history, this museum details cultural, ecological and historical information about the region.

Just over 160km from Chongqing, the Dazu Rock Carvings(大足石 Dàzú Shíkè) are a UNESCO world heritage site. Spread over 40 separate sites these exquisitely painted sculptures are over 1,200 years old.

In the west of Chongqing, Ciqikou (磁器口Cíqìkǒu) is a 1000-year-old town that became a protected historical site in 1998. Set on the lower...   Read more

Yangtze River Cruises 长江游轮

Cruising on the Yangtze River is one of the epic China river journeys made by many travelers. When added to a long China itinerary it is like a vacation in your trip. You get to nest in a nice room in a comfortable ship, walk to all your meals and watch the scenery go by as your ship cruises along. Our advice would be to choose the best ship you can afford, because much of the enjoyment comes just from being on a nice ship. As you travel along you will be shuttled ashore on various excursions, most of which are included in the price of your tour. Meals aside from the first night are also included.

We suggest bring drinks and snacks to enjoy in your room. Its nice to pour yourself a cocktail or crack open a beer. Most rooms will include a small refrigerator. Its also nice to bring your own fruit to enjoy. But don't worry, if you don't there is plenty to eat and drinks to buy onboard. You normally receive one...   Read more

Yichang 宜昌

Shanghai 上海

Shanghai is the largest city in China, and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 20 million people. Shanghai is a modern city with a past linked to foreign occupation through World War II. The row of historic bank buildings on the Bund shows the architecture brought by foreigners when Shanghai was the banking capital of Asia. Now modern development in Pudong has changed the face of the city into a modern metropolis. Shanghai maintains some of its 1930's feel to it. Chinese people in Shanghai are more liberal and modern, being farther from Beijing. Foreigners living in Shanghai are there for business reasons, and thus Shanghai has more of a "New York" feel to it.

Bamboo Garden Hotel Beijing   北京竹园宾馆
★ ★ ★ ★

At the northern end of Beijing's historical Central Axis, the Bamboo Garden Hotel is ideally located for tourists. This is a late Qing dynasty courtyard residence close to Houhai Lake and the Drum and Bell Towers nestled in a quiet local hutong. Surrounding the traditional Chinese courtyard gardens the hotel offers a full range of room types. Facilities include a spa, business and conference facilities, a cafe/tea house and a classical Chinese restaurant serving Chinese cuisine. Reception staff speak some English.

Christian's Hotel   克丽司汀酒店
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Christian's hotel is impressive. The style and standard of the themed rooms do justify the price. If you are looking for an oasis of comfort then this hotel is a good choice.

Grand New World Hotel   古都新世界大酒店
★ ★ ★ ★

This hotel is a good value in Xian. It has a swimming pool and its nine pairs of connecting rooms are convenient for families.

Marvel Hotel   商悦青年会大酒店
★ ★ ★ ★

The Marvel Hotel in the past was the historic YMCA. The hotel was renovated and the classic style has been preserved. Within walking distance of the Huaihai road shopping street, People's Square and Nanjing road, this hotel is a good central choice.

The rooms are well appointed and the hotel even has a self service laundry room for its guests.

Breakfast

Most hotels come with breakfast, or if not it can be added at a cost. Four and five star hotels will generally offer a good western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Three star hotels may only have a Chinese breakfast, or a Chinese interpretation of a western breakfast. Anyway a Chinese breakfast is not bad - rice porridge, eggs, Chinese style breads and vegetables.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Lunch on Tour

We consider experiencing good Chinese cuisine to be an important part of the tour experience. When on a tour, lunch is generally Chinese style and normally included in the price. Our guides will help you order according to your taste. Mild, spicy, meat, vegetables, rice and/or noodles. Dishes are served family style and shared by the guests. The driver may eat on his own but the guide will join you if you like.

Food in Beijing is quite good quality and we take our guests to genuine local restaurants, not tourist traps. We consider it distasteful to ask you for small amounts of money during the tour, so we offer unlimited standard drinks including Coke, Sprite, local bottled water and Chinese tea. You also won't leave the table hungry, if you need more to eat just let your guide know.

We don't have fixed restaurants we must use, it depends on where you are at the time you are hungry. When traveling around China we normally have the same arrangements outside Beijing but this may vary depending on your exact itinerary.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Dinner on Tour

Unless there is a special activity planned or you prefer to have all your meals catered, guests often prefer to relax after a day tour and arrange their own dinner. This gives you flexibility in time and cuisine. Having all your meals catered every day can be tiresome. Handling your own dinner allows you to have some control and also strike out on you own. Your guide can give you restaurant suggestions and in big cities you can find lots of options for fine dining, fast food, both western or Chinese. Hotel staff can often make restaurant recommendations within walking distance.

If you get the taste for a burger or pizza after a lot of Chinese food, this is easily found in Beijing, Shanghai and many other cities around China. Many hotel restaurants offer nice food. China also has its share of McDonald's, KFC and Subway sandwich chains if you need a fix.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.


Destinations

Categories
Tour length
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