You will be hard pushed to find a more exciting and rewarding tour of the country's many highlights than this fantastic 15 day Wonders of China tour. Beginning in the capital city Beijing, where you spend three days, you travel to Xian to see the famous Terracotta Warriors, to Guilin where you take a trip up the stunning Li River to Yangshou and to the Yangtse River where you enjoy a four day cruise through the stunning Three Gorges. This wonderful tour ends in the buzzing city of Shanghai where you spend another two action packed days.
On arrrival in Beijing you will be met at the airport by one of our tour representatives and driven to your hotel in the city. Relax after the flight then go out and explore on your own. Tonight you and the rest of your group will be met at the hotel by your tour leader for a special welcome dinner and a briefing about all the exciting things that you will be seeing and doing over the next 15 days.
This morning begin your walking tour of this impressive capital city. Beijing, which means Northern Capital, is one of the great cities of the world. From 1,000 years of dramatic history to a dynamic modern metropolis, it offers a magnificent insight into China’s past and future. Walk through Tiananmen Square and through the beautiful Gate of Heavenly Peace and under the portrait of Chairman Mao to enter the Forbidden City, the ancient city that was the sacred heart of the empire for more than 500 years. Then later visit the Temple of Heaven.
An early start today to begin the two hour drive northwest of the city to the Juyongguan Pass section of the Great Wall. The aim of this is to avoid the crowds of tourists who will arrive later in the morning, and the heat of the day. After you have been given an introduction to the Great Wall’s unique history you will have free time to explore and walk the wall at your own pace. After lunch drive back to the Summer Palace in the north of the city. The palace is set over an extensive park and man-made lake complex.
Beijing to Xian
Today you are taken to the airport for your morning flight to Xian where you will be driven to your hotel, stopping on the way to visit the Shaanxi Privincial Museum. Xian is close to the banks of the Yellow River and has a history dating back to 1,000BC. The city served as the capital for China’s greatest emperor and was also the starting point for the world’s most famous trade route - the Silk Road. This evening you have an opportunity to sample Xian’s famous dumplings at a local restaurant.
A highlight of the entire tour today when you go to visit the famous Terracotta Warriors. The Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses is an hour's drive from Xian and once there you will see the three different ‘pits’, which are active archaeological digs. The site is large and you will have plenty of time to walk around. In the afternoon you return to the city and take a walk or bicycle ride around Xian's impressive City Wall.
Xian to Wuhan, Yangtze River
You leave Xian today and take a short morning flight to Wuhan. Then you have a long but fascinating drive through the countryside from the airport to the docks near Yichang, located downstream from the Three Gorges Dam, where you board your ship for the first of four nights on a wonderful Yangtze River Cruise. Enjoy dinner on board tonight and get to know your fellow travellers.
Yangtze River Cruise
Today enjoy a shore excursion at the site of the Three Gorges Dam. Leave the ship and drive to the huge dam where you are dropped off at the viewing area above the ship locks. There is a small museum and a lookout where the views are spectacular. Later cruise through the Xiling Gorge and for your second night on board there is a captain’s welcome dinner.
Yangtze River Cruise
Another great day on the mighty Yangtze River today when you cruise through the Wu Gorge. The scenery is spectacular and later you get off the ship again for an excursion to the Shennong Stream, which is also known as the Goddess Stream. Later cruise through one on the most beautiful and narrow gorges and see some of the wildlife, including monkeys, mountain goats, deer and wild boar that make this area their home.
Yangtze River Cruise
Cruise through the Qutang Gorge today and visit either Shibaozhai Temple on the south bank or Fengdu on the north bank. Shibaozhai Temple temple was built at the top of a nine-storey pavilion clinging to the sheer bank near Qutang Gorge and Fengdu ‘Ghost City’ was relocated during the Three Gorges Dam Project and the city temple lies on the steep hill above the demolished town. Back on board tonight there is the captain’s farewell dinner to enjoy.
Chongqing to Guilin
Today you say farewell to your ship's crew when you dock at Chongqing early in the morning and go ashore for the final time. Firt visit Chongqing Zoo’s new Panda House and see the cuddly animals feeding and at play then you are driven to the airport for your one hour flight to Guilin where you are met and taken to your hotel in the city.
Guilin to Yangshuo
Today you take a leisurely three hour cruise from Guilin to the small town of Yangshuo. Lunch is served on board as you sail past spectacular limestone karst mountains and there is a viewing deck on board the boat. Pass unspoilt countryside and see fisherman using cormorants to catch the fish. On arrival at Yangshuo you will be met and taken to your hotel which is a short walk from the river.
After breakfast you spend the morning touring around Yangshuo's beautiful countryside. The afternoon is free for you to explore the town on your own seeing the sights and shopping for souvenirs. If you are feeling energetic there are many options available, including cycling, white water rafting and hiking. In the evening watch the cormorant fisherman in action with their lamps.
Guilin – Shanghai
Spend more time in Guilin today visiting the nearby Reed Flute Caves which you can explore on a guided tour. Then you are taken to the airport for your final flight of the tour to Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport where you will be met and driven to your hotel in the city. Shanghai today has emerged as one of Asia's most important cities and tonight you will have magnificent views of the neon lit city by night from your cruise boat on the Huangpu river.
Today enjoy a city tour which will take you to the historical riverfrond area known as the Bund. This area is home to an impressive collection of 1920s neo classical buildings. From the Bund head to the Old Chinese Quarter and take a relaxing walk through the peaceful Yu Garden and for lunch try the famous local dumplings. Visit the Shanghai Museum and find about the city's incredible development and then enjoy a final night of the tour in this amazing metropolis.
Today your incredible Wonders of China tour comes to an end. Say farewell to new found friends and make sure you visit more of the city sights and catch up on some last minute souvenir shopping before heading to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home having see the highlights of this fascinating country.