Yangtze River Cruise & Classic China Tour

Hong KongGuilinLi River CruiseYangshuoChongqingYangtze River CruisesYichangShanghaiBeijing
Biking in the CountrysideBiking in the Countryside in Yangshuo Price: Duration: Dates: Tour code: Overview: Ask for a quotation 14 Days As you request TCG-229 This tour will take you to some of China's most iconic urban and rural destinations, as well as a voyage on the Yangtze River Cruise.

Your adventure begins in Hong Kong, where you will hop on the historic Victoria tram and be hoisted up to the Peak. The view from the top is utterly breathtaking.

Gulin is your next stop. After your arrival, you’ll head to Elephant Trunk Hill, to check out, you guessed it, a hill that looks like an elephant! The following day you will board a cruise along the Li River, to take in some fantastically inspiring scenery.

Then it’s on to Yangshuo, for cave exploration and bike rides through the countryside!

In Chongqing, you will climb aboard a 5-star ship for a half-week voyage. We feel the Century cruise line offers great value for money, but as always, every aspect of your itinerary is customizable, so let us know if you have a preference.

Your brief stay in Shanghai will be jam-packed with activities, from strolling along the world-famous Bund, to taking in 360-degree views from the Jinmao Tower.

Before you head home, you will stop in Beijing to tick a view more must-see sights off your bucket list! As well as the compulsory trips to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, you’ll also swing around the city’s backstreets on the back of a cycle rickshaw for an insight into how ‘Beijingers’ live.

What makes this tour special:

This tour includes everything you would want from an adventure in the Middle Kingdom; it is all about variety as well as ticking off must-see sights from your Chinese bucket list!
day 1
  • Pick up from the Hong Kong airport
day 2
  • Meals: lunch
Victoria Tram & Peak
Victoria Tram & Peak
Man Mo Temple
Man Mo Temple
Aberdeen harbor Sanpan boat tour
Aberdeen harbor Sanpan boat tour
Repulse Bay beach / swim option
Repulse Bay beach / swim option
day 3
  • Drop-off at the Hong Kong airport
  • Fly to Guilin
  • Pick up from the Guilin airport
  • Elephant Trunk Hill Read more about Elephant Trunk Hill the symbol of the city of Guilin, it looks like an elephant drinking water
Elephant Trunk Hill
Elephant Trunk Hill
Pick up from the Guilin airport
Pick up from the Guilin airport
day 4
  • Meals: lunch
West Street in Yangshuo Village
West Street in Yangshuo Village
day 5
  • Biking in the Countryside Read more about Biking in the Countryside bike among the rice terraces, follow the meandering river
  • Silver Cave Read more about Silver Cave Explore undiscovered corners of the countryside on two wheels
  • Lunch Read more about lunch on a tour Chinese Style Standard
  • Drop-off at the Guilin airport
  • Fly to Chongqing
  • Pick up from the Chongqing airport
  • Meals: lunch
Biking in the Countryside
Biking in the Countryside
Silver Cave
Silver Cave
Drop-off at the Guilin airport
Drop-off at the Guilin airport
day 6
  • Meals: lunch, dinner
Dazu Grottoes
Dazu Grottoes
Ciqikou
Ciqikou
Visit local market/ supermarket
Visit local market/ supermarket
day 7
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Taichi Class
Taichi Class
Shibao Pagoda
Shibao Pagoda
Captain's welcome party
Captain's welcome party
Crew talent show
Crew talent show
day 8
  • 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 9
  • 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 Pudong airport
Pick up from the Shanghai Pudong airport
day 10
  • Meals: lunch
The Bund
The Bund
Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden
Shanghai Old Street
Shanghai Old Street
The Shanghai Museum (at People's Square)
The Shanghai Museum (at People's Square)
Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road
Jinmao Tower Viewing Deck
Jinmao Tower Viewing Deck
day 11
  • Drop-off at the Shanghai train station
  • Take the train to Beijing 2nd class seat
  • Lunch Read more about lunch on a tour Chinese Style Standard
  • Summer Palace Read more about Summer Palace resort for Chinese emperors
  • Meals: lunch
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
day 12
  • Meals: lunch
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City
Jingshan Park
Jingshan Park
Hutong Rickshaw Tour with local family visit
Hutong Rickshaw Tour with local family visit
Walking at Houhai lake
Walking at Houhai lake
day 13
  • Meals: lunch
Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car
Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Hongqiao Pearl Market
Hongqiao Pearl Market
day 14
  • Drop-off at the Beijing airport
Drop-off at the Beijing airport
Drop-off at the Beijing airport
  • Get a free quote
  • Tour price
  • Our advantages
  • Included
  • 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.

Tour price
Guests Cost per guest
Ask for a free quotation
Tour code: TCG-229
  • » 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.

  • Why book a tour with The China Guide?
  • » Flexible schedules and itineraries. Our tour itineraries are just suggestions. Our agents will help you design the perfect trip.
  • » Handpicked guides. Our experienced guides do more than just recite the guidebook.
  • » Meals in quality local restaurants. The best way to experience the local culture is often through the food.
  • » Passion for China, Western-style travel sense. Our multilingual team of native speakers is available 24/7.
  • » Experience working with families. Pick a dedicated family tour or customize an itinerary with family-friendly activities.

  • Read more about why choose The China Guide as your travel agency and meet our travel agents.
  • Included in the tour price
  • » Domestic flights, economy class as listed in the itinerary
  • » Admission tickets to all sights listed on the itinerary - no hidden costs
  • » Meals as specified in quality local restaurants with unlimited standard drinks (Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Chinese tea)
  • » Free bottled water supplied in your vehicle
  • » Private English speaking guide (selected/trained by our western staff), experienced Chinese speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle


  • Not included in the tour price
  • » Hotel (we can add on request)
  • » Tips to your guide and driver
  • » We do not provide international travel insurance, however, we are happy to offer advice on where and what kind of travel insurance to purchase. We highly recommend our trusted partner Compass Benefits; read more about their plans here: http://www.compassbenefits.com/client/thechinaguide


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

Victoria Tram & Peak   太平山頂

The Peak Tramway is a funicular railway in Hong Kong, and is popular with both tourists and residents to reach the upper levels of Hong Kong Island. Running from Central Hong Kong to Victoria Peak via the Mid-Levels, it provides the most direct route and offers good views over the harbor and Hong Kong's skyscrapers.

When first opened in 1888 after 3 years of contruction it was a revolutionary mode of transport for Asia. In the 1908-1949 period, first row seats were reserved for the Governor of Hong Kong. Its completion accelerated the residential development of Victoria Peak and the Mid Levels.

The system was completely rebuilt in 1989 by a Swiss company with new track, a computerized control system and new trams.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
10:00am - 11:00pm

Man Mo Temple   文武廟

Manmo Temple is a small Buddhist temple in the heart of Hong Kong's Sheung Wan section on Hollywood road. It welcomes visitors and you can see people praying and lighting incense for good fortune. Many coils of incense burn giving the temple an aroma of Asia. It does not look like much from the outside but once inside you will see the beauty of this little gem.

It was built in 1847, part of Manmo Temple was traditionally an assembly hall where community affairs and disputes were settled. The temple is managed by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. It was ranked as a Grade I historic building in 1993 and it is now a declared monument.

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

Aberdeen harbor Sanpan boat tour   香港仔

Aberdeen is Hong Kong's best natural port and is home to a huge fishing fleet as well as recreational boats. It is located on the back side of Hong Kong island and is easily visited together with Stanley and Repulse Bay.

You can walk along the pier and view the boats, and then we take a 30 minute Sanpan boat ride through the harbor. You can get a close look at the various boats and get a different view of the landscape.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Repulse Bay beach / swim option   淺水灣

Repulse Bay is a high end residential and beach area located on the back side of Hong Kong island. You pass through it on your way to Stanley Market and its not too far from Aberdeen harbour. You can reach it via bus or minibus, they run frequently. If you want to enjoy some time on the beach and have a swim in the ocean, then Repulse Bay is the place to visit.

There are public changing rooms and showers at the beach, so if you bring your suit and a towel you will have everything you need. Its a popular beach with the residents who live in the surrounding buildings, both expat and Hong Kong Chinese. You can see Ocean Park up on the hill to the right, including the cable car which connects the amusement park to the entrance area.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 6:00pm

Elephant Trunk Hill   象鼻山

Elephant Trunk Hill, located at located at the intersection of the Taohua River and the Lijiang River, is the symbol of the city of Guilin. If you are in Guilin it is one of the places you "must" see. However if you are not a fan of Chinese cultural history, you may not find it all that exciting. If you are there, by all means visit it for 20 minutes, its right in the city center, but if you are bypassing Guilin and going straight to Yangshuo, you will see much more dramatic scenery there.

It is called Elephant Trunk Hill because it looks like an elephant drinking water. The gap that is under the elephant’s trunk is called the Water-Moon Cave because at night the reflection of the moon can be seen through the arch. It is said to look like it is under the water and floating on the surface of the water at the same time.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:30am - 4:30pm

Embark on the Li River Cruise and enjoy the Li River scenery  

As you cruise down the Li River you can photograph the scenes which have inspired Chinese painters for centuries. Traditional fishing methods can be seen in some areas.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
4

West Street in Yangshuo Village   西街

West Street in Yangshuo village is a pedestrian area full of shops, restaurants, bars and tourists. The shopping and eating options are pretty endless. Its easy to find good Chinese food and even pizza or a sandwich. Even McDonald's has made its way here. As a tourist its an easy place to navigate, shop, eat and explore.

If you are staying at a hotel outside the village its easy to get dropped off here and call to be picked up again later or arrange a pickup time.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 10:00pm

Biking in the Countryside   自行车

Yangshuo is a lovely place to bike among the rice fields, follow the meandering river and even stop for a cool swim. You will see lots of traditional agriculture and livestock including sedate water buffalos.

We can arrange for you to bike 1 hour up river and then take a bamboo raft ride back down the river for about 2 hours as part of your tour.

The children need to be above 7 years old.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm

Silver Cave   银子岩

From the outside, the Silver Cave looks like any other normal mossy karst peak in Guilin. However, take one step inside this spectacular network of underground caves and crystal formations and it is clear that this place is truly something special. Cascading stalactites pour like liquid silver from the roofs of these impressive caves, and the milky crystal deposits that cling to protruding rocks are a miraculous feat of nature.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 4:30pm

Dazu Grottoes   大足石刻

One of China's four Buddhist cave sites, the Dazu grottoes are similar to those of Luoyang and Datong, however many believe these to be more beautiful. The thousands of carvings and statues here dispersed over 40 different sites have been collectively named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
9:30am - 4:00pm with last admission at 3:30pm

Ciqikou   磁器口

Travelers to Chongqing and locals alike throng to Ciqikou's steep and narrow pedestrian streets. Shops sell porcelain, other handicrafts, and gifts, while restaurants and tea shops give visitors a look at what many areas of Chongqing were like before the metropolis became the vast urban agglomeration it is today. A 1,500-year-old Buddhist temple straddles the mountain in the middle of the old town. Ciqikou is the source of Baci Culture.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 6:00pm

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

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

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

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

Shanghai Old Street  

Shanghai "Old" Street is actually a completely new reproduction and contains many tourist shops full of souvenirs and little dumpling shops. Not great and not bad, its easy to see on your way to Yuyuan Garden since its right next to it.

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

Jinmao Tower Viewing Deck   金茂大厦88观光层

Until 2007, the Jin Mao tower was the tallest building in Shanghai. While it no longer has that claim to fame, it is still a sight to behold. However, far more attractive than the sight of the tower is the view from the building’s 88th floor. And it’s not just Shanghai’s panoramic cityscape that attracts guests to Jin Mao tower; some people visit for the elevator ride! It takes only 45 seconds to climb from the basement to the 88th floor – that’s 9.1m/s!

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:30am - 9:00pm with last admission at 8:30pm

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

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

Jingshan Park   景山公园

Jingshan Park was a part of the Forbidden City until the early 1900's when the walls were pulled down and a road cut through it destroying several gates and buildings between the park and the rear entrance of the palace. The hill in Jingshan Park was made with the earth removed to create the palace moat. It is well worth the climb on a clear day for spectacular views of the Forbidden City and Beijing.

The best view of Beijing is from the Pavilion of Everlasting Spring (Wanchun-ting) perched on top of the middle peak, which used to be the highest point in the city. Northwards, one can see the Drum and Bell Towers, a traditional feature of old Chinese cities. To the northwest, the two slabs of water of the Shichahai and Beihai Lake are intersected by Di’anmen Dajie. To the south, the golden roofs of the Imperial Palace can be seen stretching into the distance.

Just north of the Imperial Palace, the...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
6:30am - 8:00pm with last admission at 7:30pm

Hutong Rickshaw 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

Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car   慕田峪长城

For those who want to see a restored section of the wall which is more fun and less touristy than Badaling and not as far as Simatai or Jinshanling, then Mutianyu is a good choice. Just over an hour from Beijing in normal traffic, it is possible to see in a morning or afternoon and combines well with the Ming Tombs.

Mutianyu has some good options. You can take the cable car up, have a little stroll on the wall then come back down the cable car. Or you can take the cable car up and walk for about 45 minutes on the wall, down hill mostly, to the toboggan sled. Its pretty long run on the toboggan track down the hill from the wall. There are double cars for parents with kids as well as the usual single cars. Fun and safe, everyone seems to enjoy this.

In Mutianyu village there are fish farms and restaurants, so you can fish out your own trout from the pond and have it cooked up for your lunch.
Read more

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

Temple of Heaven   天坛公园

The Temple of Heaven is the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for a good harvest.

The grounds are part of a huge parkland and in the morning you can see the locals practicing martial arts and other exercises. Located nearby is the Hongqiao Market and Toy Market as well as the Legend of Kungfu show in the Red Theater.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
6:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Hongqiao Pearl Market   红桥市场

The Hongqiao Market is famous for its pearls but also offers a wide range of souvenirs and also has a huge toy market adjacent.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:30am - 7:00pm

Hong Kong 香港

For many years Hong Kong was the gateway to China and it is still a great place to start or end your trip to the Middle Kingdom. A British colony until 1997, it has a distinct culture that combines both Cantonese and British heritages. This British involvement also makes it easy to get around as an independent traveler, as many people speak English and public transport links are well developed.

Guilin 桂林

Guilin is famous for its beautiful mountain scenery and has been an inspiration for many Chinese artists over the past thousands of years. Guilin is the capital of Guangxi province and makes a great base for visiting the more attractive travel destinations in the surrounding area, such as the Longsheng Rice Terraces and Yangshuo.

Guilin city itself has a few sites, such as Reed Flute Cave, Fubo Mountain (a steep hill with a good view of the city) and Elephant Trunk Hill, a natural rock formation that is said to look like an elephant dipping its trunk into the water to take a drink. However, in order to fully appreciate the Li River and the unusual karst mountain formations along it, travellers should take a five-hour river cruise south to Yangshuo. Dramatic atmospheres are created on days when fog and mist rises from the river and up to the peaks of the karst mountains. It is on this river too, where local fisherman...   Read more

Li River Cruise 船游漓江

Yangshuo 阳朔

Down the river from Guilin, Yangshuo is a highlight of any China tour. It is a small, lively town, mostly pedestrianized, with a wealth of activities to get stuck into. Activities include: river rafting, hiking, cycling around the countryside, caving, and mud wrestling. As a result of this laid-back lifestyle, Yangshuo has a large expat community. Many have opened restaurants, pubs and rooftop bars. One exceptional place to eat is an Indian restaurant with all ingredients imported from Northern India.

For those looking for a quieter experience with the same scenery, there are small towns just around the river bend that are more like Yangshuo from over a decade ago. One such town is Xingping. Here the local specialty is duck or fish that has been slow cooked in the province’s beer, Liquan. There is also a steep (slippery and dangerous) mountain to climb that gives a great view over the Li River and its Karst Mountains....   Read more

Chongqing 重庆

Many tourists pass through Chongqing at the start of their Yangtze River cruise, but it would be a shame to miss out on spending some time visiting Chongqing too. This bustling municipality was the Chinese capital from 1937-1945 and is now home to over 28 million people.

If you are about to embark on a Yangtze River cruise, the Chongqing Three Gorges Museum is an excellent introduction to the route you will take. As well as describing Chongqing’s war time history, this museum details cultural, ecological and historical information about the region.

Just over 160 kilometers from Chongqing, the Dazu Rock Carvings 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 is a 1000-year-old town that became a protected historical site in 1998. Set on the lower reaches of the Jialing River,...   Read more

Yangtze River Cruises 长江游轮

Yangtze River Cruises are a gentle and relaxing way to see the sites and sights along Asia’s longest river. Leaving from Chongqing or Shanghai, guests can choose where they would like to disembark in between these two cities. There are also many options to cover different budgets depending on company and liner.

Depending on the length of the cruise, sites include the wooden, no-nails, 12-story Shibao Pagoda and the Shennong Stream, a tributary and ancestral home of the Tujia ethnicity, who suspend their deceased in hanging coffins over the cliff edge. Fengdu Ghost City is an atmospheric stop, with its ancient temple dedicated to the afterlife. It is best to visit at night, when the intimidating Buddhist statues and displays of figurines representing the trials and horrors of hell tower over tourists.

Further down the river from these sites is the colossal Three Gorges Dam and beyond that the...   Read more

Yichang 宜昌

Shanghai 上海

Shanghai, China’s largest city, visually and culturally represents the relationship between China and the West. Although that history may be tainted with war and oppression, the results of this arrangement can be seen in the architecture and local culture of this city. An example of this is the qipao (cheongsam), the tight-fitting Chinese dress we are all familiar with. Its modern form was born in Shanghai, influenced by Western styles, and it exhibited a new fashionable style of clothing for local Chinese. Many Chinese today still view Shanghaies as displaying more cultural openness and as having experienced globalization on a greater scale.

Architecturally, The Bund is a visually impressive example of the aforementioned West’s interaction with China. On one side of the Huangpu River are old and beautiful colonial buildings, including great consulates and exquisite hotels. At night, gazing across the river to the...   Read more

Beijing 北京

Beijing is an enormous municipality abundant in culture, history, beautiful landscapes, and fine cuisine.

The first sight is one of a sprawling city, dotted with towering buildings with only the giant, red Chinese characters atop to show visitors they have arrived in China. This is when it becomes important to look a little closer in order to find out what Beijing has to offer. The real gems in this city are the low-rise, narrow alleyways known as hutongs, which give you an exciting glimpse into the local culture and history. Strolling into a hutong, with its grey brick walls and upturned ‘artichoke-leaf’ roofs, you disappear into the Beijing of old. The noisy city melts away and is replaced by sleepy seniors sitting and watching the world go by, people going about their daily business, and the curious and delicious smells of truly authentic restaurants. It is a view of old Beijing before modernization, and represents...   Read more

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.

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