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Beijing, Yangtze River Cruise & Shanghai

(9 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Beijing, Great Wall, Yangtze River Cruise, Shanghai

 

Voyage in style with this private guided journey fit for ancient emperors. Experience the exotic beauty of China while exploring some of its famed monuments and locations including cornerstone cities Beijing and Shanghai, as well as a luxury cruise along the Three Gorges region of the Yangtze River. The Forbidden City is the heart and soul of China's politics and society. Discover Beijing's glorious, notorious past through its Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and Summer Palace with an expert private guide. Board the luxurious Victoria Cruise for a four day cruise down the emerald waters of the Yangtze River, with fascinating shore excursions along the way. Enjoy morning Tai Chi, make dumplings with a Chinese chef and visit the complex of shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife at Fengdu Ghost City. Enjoy a private guided tour of Shanghai where you'll wander among the world’s tallest skyscrapers as well as quiet, tree-lined streets.

 

 

Day 1: Welcome to Beijing

Fly to Beijing, CHINA

 

Welcome to China. Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, obtain your Chinese visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Beijing, the capital of China, lies just south of the rim of the Central Asian Steppes and is separated from the Gobi Desert by a green chain of mountains, over which The Great Wall runs. Modern Beijing lies on the site of countless human settlements that date back half a million years. Homo erectus Pekinensis, better known as Peking man was discovered just outside the city in 1929. It is China’s second largest city in terms of population and the largest in administrative territory.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Beijing

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Park Plaza Wangfujing, Double Happiness Beijing, Red Wall Garden

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Fairmont Beijing, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, Peninsula Beijing

 

Day 2: Beijing

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning guided tour of Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City: This morning you will be picked up from the hotel and taken for a tour of Tiananmen Square where you will visit the mausoleum of Chairman Mao. Afterwards you will enter the Forbidden City which is the largest and most complete group of ancient buildings in China. Built in the 15th Century, the Imperial Palace was a forbidden area for 500 years before the revolution of 1911. It was home to two royal dynasties, the Ming and Qing emperors and it is from this palace that the emperors governed China, stepping out of its confines extremely rarely. Afterwards you will visit Jingshan Park where you can get a great view over the Imperial city and the rest of Beijing and then you will have lunch in a local restaurant.

 

Afternoon guided tour of the Summer Palace: This afternoon travel to the outskirts of Beijing to the Imperial Summer Palace. The original Summer Palace was laid out in the 12th Century and over the centuries was used by the emperors as their summer escape from the humidity of Beijing and the Forbidden City. The Palace is set in huge gardens on the large Kunming Lake. You will be taken around the palaces of the complex, including Empress Dowager's retreat, gardens and enjoy a boat ride on Kunming Lake.

 

Day 3: Beijing – Great Wall – Beijing

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Full day tour to The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu: Today is a full day tour to the Great Wall (Mutianyu) everybody who visits Peking wants to see the Great Wall and for good reason: it is one of the wonders of the world. As you stand on the top tower and look at the wall snaking its way across the tops of the mountains, close your eyes for a moment and see in your mind's eye the ancient armies locked in combat, and hear the whistle of arrows and the clang of striking swords. Explore this section of the Wall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

 

After lunch at the architecturally interesting Commune by the Wall you will visit the magnificent Ming Tombs and the Sacred Way before returning to the city. Later enjoy a performance of the Peking Opera.

 

Day 4: Beijing – Chongqing

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

This morning we visit the Temple of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven is enclosed with a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected an ancient Chinese thought of "The heaven is round and the earth is square". The temple and its surrounding altars, gates and park are a meeting place for the people of Beijing and it is possible to see the locals enjoying a game of chess or practicing the ancient art of Tai-Chi. Later return to downtown Beijing take a ‘cyclo' tour of the fascinating Hutongs, the small alleys and former courtyard houses of an Old Beijing. The Hutongs were mostly built during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, and are the narrow network of lanes created by closely built quadrangular homes. Adjoining the Hutongs is Prince Gong Palace. Within the confines of the palace walls are beautifully ornate and colorful buildings, ponds straddled by arched bridges and dotted with pagodas.

 

Later this afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Chongqing.

 

Fly Beijing to Chongqing on Air China CA3259, departing 15:25, arriving 18:20

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Chongqing. Upon arrival at Chongqing Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to local Restaurant. Dinner will be at a local restaurant specializing in Chinese 'hot pot' dishes. After dinner, you will be taken to Chongqing port.

 

Board the Victoria Cruise ship for a 3 night cruise to Yichang.

 

Overnight onboard the Victoria Cruise (Executive Superior Cabin) – Yangtze River

 

Day 5: Yangtze River Cruise

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

This morning there will be a safety briefing as you sail down the Yangtze River.


Depending on river conditions you will be taken on either of the following excursions:


Shore excursion to Shibaozhai.

Shibaozhai is known for its impressive wooden pagoda, which was built without any nails, and is appropriately named "The Pearl of the Yangtze." It is considered one of the gems of Chinese architecture.


Shore excursion to Fengdu.

River conditions permitting, an additional optional shore excursion will also be available today, to visit Fengdu's 'Ghost City', known for its statues of ghosts and devils on Mingshan Hill. During the Tang Dynasty, two princely families the Yin (Hell) and Wang (King) were joined in marriage. They became the Yinwang (King of Hell) and since that time the residents of Fengdu have believed that the town is populated by ghosts. The plethora of demon-decorated temples, buildings and statues in the river town attest to their beliefs and has earned it the nickname 'City of Devils'.

 

Overnight onboard the Victoria Cruise (Executive Superior Cabin) – Yangtze River

 

Day 6: Yangtze River Cruise

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

This morning the ship will navigate the waters of the first two of the Three Gorges. The first, Qutang Gorge is the smallest gorge at 5 miles long where the water flows most rapidly. The second, Wu Gorge is 25 miles long and is flanked by cliffs of up to 295 feet and is known for its 12 peaks, although these are often enveloped in eerie mist as the sun rarely penetrates the sheer cliffs of the gorge.


Depending on river conditions you will be taken on one of the following excursions:


Excursion: Goddess Stream.

Known as "Shennv Xi" in Chinese, Goddess Stream flows from the southern bank of the Yangtze opposite Goddess Peak. Board a smaller craft for a ride of about 9 miles each way to view the beauty of its narrow gorges. Enjoy local folk songs and dances along the way. Once just a brook, the Three Gorges Dam raised the water level to 230 - 295 feet in depth, depending on the season. Surrounded by beautiful peaks, many protected species live here, including monkeys, mountain goats, deer and boar, as well as varieties of Chinese medicinal herbs. The area is also famous for its tea, named Longevity Tea or Mountain Tea.


Excursion: Shennong stream.

Only canoes and sampans can ply the limpid waters of the Shennong Xi. Powered by the sheer strength of local trackers, the vessels travel up the shallow rapids of this tributary to the Yangtze. This wild preserve is home to more than a thousand types of tree and is named for the mythical founder of Chinese medicine, Shennong, who hiked the cliffs and collected herbs here.

 

Return to the boat for lunch.


In the evening, sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship locks.

 

Overnight onboard the Victoria Cruise (Executive Superior Cabin) – Yangtze River

 

Day 7: Yichang – Shanghai

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After breakfast you will be taken by bus to the Three Gorges Dam site.

 

Dr. Sun Yat-sen originally proposed a dam along the Yangtze in his ambitious 1919 blueprint for the future of China. The feasibility of the project has been studied and debated ever since and American engineers selected the current site in 1930, the project was started in 1994 and all components became fully operational in 2012. The dam is almost 1.2 miles long, 607 feet high and cost 60 billion dollars to complete. Creating the world's largest reservoir at 360 miles long, over 1.5 million people were relocated The controversial dam is intended to bring the benefits of flood control, drought control and hydroelectric power for the large cities in the Yangtze Basin. You will be taken to see the immense construction and to a viewpoint above the dam to see the scale of the project.

 

You will be met on arrival in Yichang and transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Shanghai.

 

Fly Yichang to Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines MU9366, departing 18:00, arriving 20:00

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Shanghai. Upon arrival at Shanghai Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Shanghai, Hu for short, is situated on the estuary of Yangtze River of China. It is the largest industrial city in China. Covering an area of 5,800 square kilometers (2,239 square miles), Shanghai has a population of 18.7 million, including 2 million floating population. Originally, Shanghai was a seaside fishing village and in time its gradual development led to it being granted County status on August 19th, 1291 during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Hence this day became the anniversary of the founding of Shanghai. Today’s Shanghai is a multi-cultural metropolis with both modern and traditional Chinese features. Bubbling Shanghai shows off every aspect of her unique glamour. Serving as the largest base of Chinese industrial technology, the important seaport and China’s largest commercial and financial center, shanghai draws the attention of the whole world.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 night in Shanghai 

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Les Suites Orient, Yangtze Boutique Hotel, Shanghai Marriot Hotel City Centre

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Fairmont Peace, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, Peninsula Shanghai

 

Day 8: Shanghai

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today you’ll explore Shanghai’s most famous waterfront Bund, lined with fine colonial buildings from its 1930s heyday when the city was occupied by European, American, and Japanese banks, trading houses, clubs consulates and hotels. These buildings have been restored as a showcase of the city. Next, continue to visit the historic and harmonious Yu Yuan Garden. Within the past turbulent century much of Shanghai's old quarters were destroyed; however what remains gives an interesting insight into Shanghai's past. For the Chinese, gardens were a microcosm in which the skillful gardener who had to combine the qualities of a painter, poet, architect and landscape gardener could construct his own world using minerals, plants and animals in a limited space. Although the Yu Yuan occupies less than two hectares it seems far larger and ingeniously mingles pavilions and corridors, small hills, lotus ponds teeming with goldfish, bridges, winding paths, trees and shrubs. Yu Yuan Garden date from the 16th century, after looking around the garden you will have time to visit the adjoining market or sip tea in the tea pavilion. Continue to the Jade Buddha Temple. Comparatively new (built in 1911), this temple, with its multiple courtyards and levels, is still in active use with dozens of monks in attendance. It is named after its two exquisite milk-white jade Buddhas brought back from Burma in the 19th century.

 

This afternoon, your China tour continues when you get a good introduction to Shanghai at the Shanghai Urban Planning Center showcasing the city's future urban development through detailed models and multimedia displays. Explore the center's exhibits on this historic port city's past, present and future, including a mock-up of 1930s Shanghai; a huge model of what the city might look like in 2020; a 360-degree, 3-D film and more. Then tour the Shanghai Museum, displaying 120,000 works of art and artifacts.

 

This evening enjoy a performance of Chinese Acrobatics show. The impressive acrobatic feats are hardly credible and are a result of early professional training, starting as young as six or seven. Most performers have a minimum of twenty years experience.

 

Day 9: Depart China

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today enjoy time at leisure until you are transferred to the Shanghai airport in time for your flight to your next destination. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.

 

 

Price guideline:

 

The above tour costs from $985*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.

 

*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.

 

Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges.

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary.

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner.

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.

 

The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff

 

 

All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: info@globaltravel-asia.com