Wonders of China & the Yangtze River

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Day 1: Beijing, China- Set out on a journey that takes you to Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Shanghai. Your adventure also includes a 4-night cruise on the captivating Yangtze River. Arrive in the ancient capital of China. As the political centre of China for the past 800 years, and the world’s second most populous city, Beijing is rich in history with both modern and traditional architecture.

Day 2: Beijing - We begin our day with a stroll through iconic Tiananmen Square. Afterwards, set out to discover the Forbidden City, an awe-inspiring 15th-century complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens that were once the home of the Ming and Qing emperors. The remainder of your day is at leisure. Tonight, join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Beijing- Today’s destination is the Great Wall of China, one of the world’s most incredible wonders. Learn about the wall’s history before taking a memorable walk on the Juyongguan section, one of the most famous passes along this epic structure. After this bucket list event, visit a jade museum to learn about the jade-making process. Finally, return to the city, driving past the Olympic Village.

Day 4: Beijing - Your day begins at the spiritual Temple of Heaven (a UNESCO World Heritage site), a complex of buildings that symbolizes the connection between the earth and heaven. Afterwards, take a rickshaw ride through the hutongs, the traditional alleys of Beijing. Meet a local family and enjoy a dumpling-making class before a traditional calligraphy lesson. Then, share a simple lunch with them. Later, take part in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Tonight, dine on delicious Peking Duck, a favourite of the emperors.

Day 5: Beijing – Xian- Fly to the ancient city of Xian where the legendary Silk Road comes to an end. This evening, dine on delicious Shui Jiao dumplings.

Day 6: Xian- Today, explore the incredible excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors. This vast clay army of 8,000 soldiers was created to guard China’s first emperor in the afterlife. You'll be amazed at the detail – each statue has a different face. Next, visit the Xian Arts and Ceramic exhibition centre to see life-sized models of the warriors being made. At lunch enjoy a Xian speciality – hand-pulled noodles – with a demonstration on how they are made. Later, enjoy a walk on the Ancient City Wall of Xian.

Day 7: Xian - Yichang- Board Cruise Ship - After a short flight to Yichang, board your ship for a 4-night cruise up the Yangtze River. Relax as this exciting leg of your journey gets underway.

Day 8: Cruising - Three Gorges Dam - Xiling Gorge- Begin your day with a tai chi lesson on the sundeck as we sail towards the dramatic Xiling Gorge, the longest section of the Three Gorges. Discover the state-of-the-art site, Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s welcome dinner and show.

Day 9: Cruising - Shennv Stream - Wu Gorge - Qutang Gorge- Take in the tranquil surroundings on a ride up the remote Shennv Stream in traditional pea boats. Upon returning to the ship, enjoy the majestic vistas as we sail through Wu Gorge, known for its 12 forest-covered peaks. This afternoon, continue on past the dramatic cliffs that surround the Qutang Gorge.

Day 10: Cruising – Shibaozhai- Arrive at Shibaozhai (Precious Stone Fortress). This imposing hill along the banks of the river is adorned with a 9-story red pagoda. You may climb the stairs to the top for a picture perfect view of the river and surrounding countryside.

Day 11: Chongqing - Disembark Cruise Ship – Chengdu- We disembark this morning in the mountain city of Chongqing and travel to Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province. Spend time on your own strolling through its ancient streets. Come to know the leisurely lifestyle and teahouse culture that make this city so captivating. Tonight, sample the fresh, bold flavours of the local Sichuan cuisine.

Day 12: Chengdu- Your morning begins with a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. Learn how China’s national treasure is being brought back from the edge of extinction. Your guided tour allows you the rare opportunity to see the Giant Panda in its natural environment. The sanctuary is also home to the rare Red Panda. Enjoy an afternoon visit to the Du Fu Thatched Cottage, the former home to the poet known as the "Shakespeare of China." End your day by exploring Jinli Ancient Street with its traditional-style buildings.

Day 13: Chengdu – Shanghai- Board a flight to Shanghai, the economic capital of the People’s Republic of China. This bustling city’s futuristic skyline will leave you speechless. Experience the modern side of China as you take the super-fast Maglev train into central Shanghai. Later this evening prepare to be amazed at a Chinese acrobatics show.

Day 14: Shanghai - Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Shanghai. Famous for its impressive colonial buildings, you’ll feel as though you have returned to 19th century Europe. Explore Old Town’s narrow streets and relax in the tranquil Yuyuan Garden before discovering ancient Chinese art and historical treasures during a visit to the Shanghai Museum. Set out for the waterfront district, known as the Bund, which runs along the Huangpu River. Enjoy lunch at a celebrated local restaurant known for its xiao long bao soup dumplings. Then explore the past as we visit a silk museum. Later, celebrate your adventure with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 15: Shanghai- Tour Ends

All Long Haul destination tours are operated by The Big Journey Company a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and ATOL number T7282. Financial Protection: The flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please request this and check to ensure that everything you have booked (flights, hotels and other services) are detailed. Please see The Big Journey Company  booking conditions for further information or go to WWW.ATOL.ORG.UK for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate.