10-Day China Tour with River Cruise
Beijing – Chengdu – Chonqing – Yangtze River Cruise – Yichang – Shanghai
Travel to some of China’s most popular destinations for a full immersion into the Chinese culture, including Yangtze River Cruise.
Big cities, river cruise, pandas and ancient sites.
Your 10-day China Highlights tour begins in the Chinese capital, Beijing. Explore famous sites such as Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City, before embarking on a wildlife adventure at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
In Chongqing, board your Yangtze River Cruise to explore towering clifftops, gorges and other natural wonders. Depart for Shanghai and discover a garden from 1559, set among the modern skyscrapers that dominate the skyline.
- Economy class flights Beijing to Chengdu and Tichang to Shanghai
- Second Class train tickets between Chengdu East to Chongqing North
- Accommodation listed in the itinerary (or equivalent 4-Star property)
- 9 Breakfast (B), 4 Lunch (L) 4 Dinner (D)
- Victoria Lianna is a 4-Star river vessel and rooms are in a Superior Cabin double occupancy, located on the main deck, with daily shore excursion included and three meals daily (service charge of CNY150.00 pp, approximately $30AUD, payable to the cruise company on day of embarkation)
- Tour and transfers as per itinerary to train station, hotels and sightseeing spots
- One private English-speaking local guide and one private driver will accompany you on the guided sightseeing tours in each city
- Entrance fees for mentioned sights
- Some tours may be part of a larger tour group on the day.
WHY TRAVEL WITH US?
- SMALL GROUP travel – no giant tourist buses
- MAXIMUM 16 passengers
- NO forced stopping at souvenir factories
- EXCLUSIVE experiences you won’t find elsewhere
- INCLUDED English speaking tour guide/concierge throughout
- PRIVATE transportation and transfers
- FREE TIME to explore on your own.
CHINA HIGHLIGHTS – FULL ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrival in Beijing
Upon landing, your guide will join you to ensure a comfortable transfer from the airport to your hotel in Beijing.
Hotel: Novotel Beijing Xinqiao – 4 Stars
Day 2: Beijing City Highlights
Your day starts with a tour to Tiananmen Square is one of the oldest and largest city squares in the world, first built in 1651, and large enough to fit 500,000 people into its 100 acres of open space.
Adjacent to the square is the world famous Forbidden City (Closed on Monday, copy of passport required to make reservation), is superbly elegant and in close to pristine condition.
UNESCO declared the Forbidden City as the largest collection of ancient wooden structures in the world. Go on a journey back in time as you walk down its red-walled alleys, through its magnificent courtyards and intricate interiors, and along the serene moat that rings the city with green.
The dirt dug out to build the moat was turned into an artificial hill, called Jingshan Park. The top of the park provides stunning views over the Forbidden City and Beijing, but also a great look into the lives of locals who go to the park every day to socialise.
In the afternoon, we will take you to the spectacular Summer Palace, which sprouts above the lush forest canopy and sits along the serene Kunming Lake. The colourful palace holds China’s largest royal garden, a beautiful promenade along the lake’s shores, and dragon boats you can rent for a leisurely cruise.
We finish the day with a welcome dinner.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Hotel: Novotel Beijing Xinqiao
Day 3: Beijing to Chengdu
We start our day at the Temple of Heaven – a former place of worship for emperors gone by. We then head to the Hutongs – the famous back-streets of Beijing.
After lunch in an authentic Hutong family home, we travel via rickshaw to Houhai Lake. This leads us to the nearby Drum Tower, with its beating tones still heard hundreds of years on.
In the afternoon, we take the flight to Chengdu (included) and transfer to your hotel.
In the evening, experience the best local food in Chengdu with an exclusive tour. We travel by Tuk-Tuk and enjoy traditional dumplings, noodles, Sichuan dishes, and a few more surprises that sum up this delicious off-the-beaten-path experience. This great meal out includes unlimited beers and soft drink.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Hotel: Xin Liang Hotel – 4 Stars
Day 4: Chengdu Panda Power
In Chengdu, we visit the region’s most famous inhabitants at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. This non-profit organisation is a world leader in the research, breeding and conservation of endangered pandas.
The base currently houses more than 80 residents, and one of their panda keepers will teach you all about panda health, behaviour, and the breeding program at the centre.
After a dose of cuteness overload, you’re free to enjoy lunch (at your own expense), visit People’s Park, a traditional tea house, and then stroll through Jinli Street to see local food, musicians and crafts.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: For a unique and quintessentially Chinese experience, you have the option of attending dinner while enjoying an evening of traditional Sichuan opera at a Jingli Face Changing performance.
Meals: (B, L)
Hotel: Xin Liang Hotel – 4 Stars
Day 5: Chengdu – Chongqing – Yangtze River Cruise
Today is a free morning to explore Chengdu on your own.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY 1: In the morning, visit Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage, a park and museum that honours the Tang Dynasty Poet Du Fu, who died in the year 770.
During his life, he was known as the “poet saint” who wrote emotional yet political poems that commented on the times and the state of the nation. He built the original thatched hut in 759 and wrote 240 poems while he lived there.
Now, it’s a peaceful cottage in the woods, surrounded by gardens, chirping birds, and gurgling brooks.
Take a walking tour of Kuanzhaixiangzi Alley, the last remaining part of Shaocheng City before it was absorbed into Chengdu.
Kuanzhaixiangzi Alley dates back to the Qing Dynasty, when it was used to quarter troops. Now, it’s a cultural hub that reminds visitors of Chengdu’s long past.
Have some free time for lunch and shopping before heading to the train station for your fast train to Chongqing.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY 2: Take your morning to the next level with a Bamboo Bike tour through Chengdu, cruising through the city gardens, Da Fu’s cottage, local markets and Kuanzhaixiangzi Alley.
Enjoy lunch (at own expense) before heading to the train station for a fast train to Chongqing.
The above two tour options are an additional cost and need to be reserved at the time of booking the tour.
After arriving in Chongqing, board Victoria Cruise and begin your journey down the epic Yangtze River. Dinner will be a la carte (at own expense for tonight only) after check-in on the cruise boat. Your cruise departs at 9 pm.
Hotel: Victoria Cruise
Day 6: Pearl of the Yangtze River Cruise
Take a shore excursion to Shibaozhai, a hill that juts out from the river bank, with an impressive wooden pagoda, appropriately named “The Pearl of the Yangtze”.
Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion can be made to Fengdu (subject to availability, and surcharges apply), the new village built for families who have moved as a result of the Yangtze’s rising waters brought about by the Three Gorges Dam.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Day 7: Yangtze River Cruise
The Three Gorges are one of nature’s most extraordinary natural sculptures. Today you will pass through the first two—Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge.
Qutang Gorge is the shortest (5 miles), narrowest (500 feet), and most dramatic. The 25-mile long Wu Gorge is known for its quiet beauty, forest-covered mountains, and cliffs so sheer that the sun barely penetrates the precipices.
Enter Xiling Gorge, the longest (41 miles/66 kilometres), and the deepest of the Three Gorges.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Day 8: Fly to Shanghai
In the late morning, you will disembark from the cruise. After a late lunch, you will be transferred to Yichang Airport for your flight to Shanghai (included).
Upon arrival in Shanghai, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Meals: (B, L)
Day 9: Shanghai
In the morning, walk along the Bund to Yu Garden and the Old Town area around it. Yu Garden, dating back to 1559, is one of the restored features of Shanghai’s Old Town.
The Garden, heavily influenced by classical Suzhou garden design, holds more than 40 traditional halls, towers, pagodas, and pavilions. Many are surrounded by jade ponds and lush trees, all connected by stone walkways that stray through rock gardens and rise above koi ponds.
Afterwards, enjoy free time for the rest of the day. Take a walk through the cobblestone alleys of Xintiandi, where the old architecture and culture from Shanghai’s past meets modern, fashionable lifestyle trends and taste.
In the evening, you can enjoy the wonder of the Shanghai Circus, a spectacular show of acrobatics that will amaze you. The bus will return you to your hotel after the show.
Day 10: Depart Shanghai
Enjoy a free day for last minute shopping and departure preparation, or choose one of the following optional activities that can be booked before your departure.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY 1: China Art Palace
Explore the China Art Palace, a unique structure built for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, now repurposed as an art museum. The inverted pyramid structure houses more than 1,400 art works, including the show piece of the expo – an electronic rendering of the Qingming Scroll.
The Qingming Scroll is a stunningly detailed panoramic painting that captures the daily lives of hundreds of people living in an old imperial city. The scroll dates back to 1085, so it is quite delicate, but his digital rendition at the China Palace of Art allows you to step in for a close look at a moment in the life of someone living about a thousand years ago.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY 2: French Concession Cycling Tour
The French Concession is a historical, trendy, and cultural neighbourhood. Its easygoing streets are lined with trees imported from France 100 years ago and dotted with boutique shops, gourmet restaurants, historic European villas and art deco buildings from Shanghai’s jazz age.
Old China still resides in the neighbourhood’s classic lane houses, like Tianzifang, a cluster of lane houses which have been restored and turned into an arts and culture hub. The best way to see it all is from the seat of a bike. (Tour is approximately 3.5 hours)
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY 3: Wet Market Tours & La Mian Cooking Class
Meet with a local chef for a tour through one of Shanghai’s quintessentially Chinese wet markets. After, the chef will lead a cooking class on how to prepare a staple: hand-pulled noodles.
As the chef leads you through the market, they will introduce you to all the trademark ingredients and flavours of Chinese cuisine, show you how to pick out the spices and produce you need, and then teach you to combine them with the traditional technique of hand-pulling noodles. (Tour is approximately 2.5 hours)
The above optional activities need to be booked before your departure.
HOTELS ON THIS TOUR
Novotel Beijing Xinqiao (4-Stars)
Novotel Beijing Xinqiao is a 5-minute walk from Beijing Train Station and a 10-minute walk from New World Shopping Mall.There are a variety of amenities at Novotel Beijing Xinqiao including free Wi-Fi and a spa and wellness centre. The air-conditioned rooms at the hotel are modern and each have a mini bar and bath robes.
Xin Liang Hotel
All of the hotel’s 274 guest rooms and suites feature international and domestic direct-dial telephone, individual climate-control systems, satellite television, mini-bar and 24-hour room service. The hotel boasts two Chinese restaurants, including the enormous Flowers Banquet Hall, that serve Sichuan and Cantonese dishes. There is also a lobby bar and tea house.
Victoria Lianna – River Cruise Chongqing to Yichang
Formally known as the Victoria Queen, the newly rebuilt Victoria Lianna offers graceful public areas, with high ceilings carved with delicate craft and detail. Well-appointed, cozy standard cabins and beautifully furnished suites boast authentic Shanghainese cotton bed spreads and pillow cases, and private balconies for viewing the scenery of the gorges. The elegant ambiance and signature Victoria hospitality aboard the Victoria Lianna is Yangtze River cruising at its finest.
SSAW Boutique hotel Shanghai Bund
Rooms at SSAW Boutique Hotel Shanghai Bund come with modern interiors and a seating area by the large window. Each is equipped with a minibar with free drinks and private bathroom with shower facilities. A 24-hour front desk with laundry and ironing services are also available upon request. There is a fridge in the lobby where guests can enjoy free mineral water and soft drinks.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
If you cancel some or all portions of your booking, cancellation fees apply. For a cancellation notice to be effective it must be received in writing. Unless otherwise indicated to you by your respective travel consultant, after confirmation, if you cancel a portion or all of your travel, the terms and conditions in the confirmation documents will apply. Some general aspects that apply to all confirmed bookings include if you leave a trip for any reason after it has commenced, the supplier is not obliged to make any refunds for unused services. If you fail to join a tour, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund i part or whole can be made. We strongly recommend that you take out appropriate travel insurances at the time of booking. The cancellation fees, in addition to any supplier fees, may also be levied by accommodation providers, or third party tour, transport operator fees or other service providers. Your consultant will confirm the terms at time of booking.