China is a vast and fascinating destination where ancient history and ultra-modernity live in harmony. With high speed trains and domestic flights included, this 14 day itinerary allows you to experience the very best of this land in a relaxed way which encompasses the very best that China has to offer.
· Experience the grandeur and beauty of the Three Gorges area in the comfort of a river cruise.
· Discover the fascinating history of the terracotta warriors the Great Wall and many more sites.
· Explore the stunning karst landscape of the Li River and surrounds
· Find a bargain on the bustling Nanjing Road shopping district of Shanghai
Day 1: Beijing
On arrival at Beijing you will be met and transferred to your hotel - home for 3 nights. Remainder of the day free to relax and unwind.
Day 2: Beijing (B L)
Start your exploration of this amazing city with a private escorted tour to the Temple of Heaven. Part of the compound of buildings built for the Ming & Qing emperors, this temple has the largest sacrificial compound in Beijing along with imperial alters to Heaven, Earth, Sun, and Moon. Later visit Tiananmen Square, arguably the largest public square in the world and famed in the west for the student uprising of 1989. Continue to the Forbidden City - made up of over 9000 rooms spanning 250 acres. Built between 1406 and 1420 this temple complex was home to emperors and their households for over 500 years and was the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.
Optional Peking Duck Dinner: Tonight you have an option to try a mouth-watering Peking Duck dinner - crispy lean duck with plum or garlic sauce scallions and pancakes. Famous around the world this meal is something to remember! Supplement applies.
Day 3: Beijing (BL)
Explore the wonders of the Great Wall of China on a privately escorted tour by return cable car to Mutianya Great Wall. This is a well preserved section of the Great Wall, connecting Jiankou in the west and Lianhuachi and Jinshanling in the east. After climbing the wall return to the city and take a pedicab tour to Hutong to see Beijing's traditional alleyways. These alleys have a special place in the rich history and culture of Beijing. The name of a Hutong represents its origin, location or history. It is in these long, grey-tiled lanes that families play, shop, gossip and live.
Day 4: Beijing – Xi’an (B L)
This morning explore the incredible richness of the Summer Palace. Located northwest of Beijing this iconic Palace is famous for its well preserved imperial garden - the largest of its kind still in existence in China today. It is only a short 15km drive from central Beijing but you are transported into another world. Boating on the Kunming Lake will allow you a vivid glimpse of the palace while being lulled by gentle breezes. After a short rest transfer to the rail station for your high speed train to historic Xi'an.
Day 5: Xi’an (B L)
This morning fall under the charm of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum - one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Return to downtown Xi'an and visit the Wild Goose Pagoda built during the Tang Dynasty and used as storage of Buddhist scriptures from India. Continue with a viewing of the exterior of the Bell and Drum Towers symbols of Xi'an - both playing important roles in the city's history.
Day 6: Xi’an – Guilin (B L)
Set off this morning to visit the ancient City Walls of Xi'an - a well maintained example of Chinese city walls. You may like to undertake a bike trip on the walls (optional – supplement applies) and experience the old and modern Xi'an. Later stroll Muslim Street, featuring many cultural sites different architectural styles and historic mosques. Muslim Street is also famous for its food options and local snacks such as Rou Jia Mo, Yang Rho, Pao Mo, and Liang Pi. Transfer to the station for your 2nd class train from Xi'an to Chengdu.
Day 7: Guilin – Yangshuo (B L)
Commence your day with a leisurely cruise on the Li River, disembarking in Yangshuo - a beautiful town known for its karst landscape. You will have a free afternoon to explore local attractions such as Moon Hill and Big Banyan. In the evening we recommend a visit to West Street which hosts lively nightlife in both Chinese and Western Style.
Day 8: Yangshuo (B L D)
Today you have the choice of biking with a private guide or taking a private vehicle into the countryside to view the stunning scenery rice paddies and water buffalo. This rural excursion gives a great insight into the local farmers’ lives. You then have the option to spend 1 hour bamboo rafting down the Yulong River. After lunch at a local restaurant take part in an afternoon cooking class.
Day 9 Yangshuo – Guilin – Chongqing (B)
This morning drive back to Guilin and visit the amazing limestone Reed Flute Cave - a fascinating gallery of natural sculpture, followed by a walk around the cities central lakes.
After your refreshing walk, continue to the rail station for your high speed train (2nd class seat) to Chongqing - a 4 hour journey. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your Yangtze Cruise boat.
Day 10: Three Gorges’ Cruise (B L D)
Today you will visit Shibaozhai with its impressive wooden pagoda appropriately named 'The Pearl of the Yangtze'. If weather does not allow this you will instead visit Fengdu, a village that has been relocated as a result of the Yangtze's rising waters brought about by the impressive construction of the Three Gorges Dam.
Optional Shore Excursion (weather permitting): Fengdu's Ghost City - known for its statues of ghosts and devils on Mingshan Hill.
Day 11: Three Gorges’ Cruise (B L D)
Today you will enter the Three Gorges, sculpted by nature, passing through the first two - Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Qutang is the shortest and narrowest and also the most dramatic of the Gorges. Wu Gorge is known for its quiet beauty, forest covered mountains, and sheer cliffs. Transfer to another vessel for a relaxing excursion through the attractive gorges of Goddess Stream. Depending on the river conditions an alternate excursion may be substituted to the gorges of Shennong Stream. Later enter Xiling Gorge - the longest and deepest of the Three Gorges.
Optional Shore Excursion (weather permitting): White Emperor City - an ancient city overlooking the western end of Qutang Gorge.
Day 12: Yichang – Shanghai (B)
Disembark this morning and take a specially-designed sightseeing boat through the recently-completed unique ship lock with a ship lift, the world's largest. The lock will be transited in about 40 minutes to an hour. Then visit the Three Gorges Dam which spans the Yangtze River at Sandouping. The world's largest power station, 510000 tonnes of steel were used in its construction – enough to build the Eiffel Tower 60 times! After the tour in late morning, Victoria Cruises will provide a motor coach to nearby Yichang.
Your guide will meet you off the coach in Yichang and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival in Shanghai you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 13: Shanghai (B L)
Today explore the wonders of Shanghai starting with the Yu Garden featuring traditional architecture from the Yangtze Delta, dating back more than 400 years. After exploring the garden and adjoining market, transfer to the Xintiandi area to visit the Shikumen Open House Museum and The Propaganda Poster Art Centre. Continue to The Bund and Nanjing Road. Here on the waterfront you can view modern skyscrapers side by side with colonial area buildings. Nanjing Road is one of this city’s busiest shopping streets.
Day 14: Shanghai (B)
Pick up at the hotel and transfer to airport.
- Return private airport transfers
- Private tour escorted by an English speaking guide and private car
- Accommodation: above mentioned hotels or similar with daily breakfast
- Meals are included as specified (B=breakfast L=lunch D=dinner)
- Domestic flights (economy class): Xi'an / Guilin and Yichang / Shanghai
- Domestic train (2nd class): Beijing / Xi'an and Guilin / Chongqing
- First entrance fees
- Travel Tour Notes as provided by Innovative Travel
- International flights
- Visa arrangement
- Excess baggage charge
- Optional tours
- Extra hotel charges
- Personal expenses
- Meals not specified
- Tips/Gratuities to guides and drivers: RMB150 (or US$25) for local guides per day per group and RMB75 (or US$12) for drivers per day per group as a guideline depending on service quality.
- Medical insurance and emergency evacuation insurance
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.