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15 Days China Splendors Tour with Avatar Zhangjiajie

Both Natural and Cultural Splendors

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From Shanghai, one of the top gateways of China, we are taking you to the top destinations to fully explore the splendors of China, like Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yangtze River, Terracotta Warriors, Forbidden City and Great Wall and more. Many awesome activities and experience is covered in this tour. Just come with us to see all the splendors of China!

Highlights of this tour:

  • Visit the most classic destinations by exploring golden triangle cities - Beijing, Xian and Shanghai to get a glimpse of China’s past, present and future;
  • Stand on a big sightseeing platform to view the spectacular scenery of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and explore the four wonders in Tianzi Mountain;
  • Relax yourself with a 5-day upstream Yangtze River cruise with interesting shore excursions and colorful activities onboard.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Shanghai / Zhangjiajie / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise / Chongqing / Xian / Beijing
Travel Length:
15 Days & 14 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-CTSH-15
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~3 Arrival & Shanghai Tour & Flight to Zhangjiajie

Experience the great contrast of Shanghai by visiting the traditional Yu Garden and Jade Buddha Temple, modern and prosperous Jinmao Tower, Nanjing Road and the Bund, etc.

Day 4~6 Zhangjiajie Tour & Train to Yichang

Two full day to explore the incredible Zhangjiajie National Park, including many famous attractions, such as Yuangjiajie and Tianzi Mountain, Huangshizhai, etc. Then you will take a train to Yichang for a Yangtze River cruise.

Day 7~10 Yangtze River Cruise & Flight to Xian from Chongqing

Explore the stunning scenery along Yangtze River, such as Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam and interesting excurtions to Shibaozhai, Shennongxi Stream, etc. Also relax yourself with rich activities on board. After disembarking in Chongqing, visit Three Gorges Museum and Ciqikou Ancient Town.

Day 11~12 Xian Tour & High Speed Train to Beijing

One full day to visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, leisurely walk on the Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter. Before leaving for Beijing, explore the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaan’xi History Museum.

Day 13~15 Beijing Tour & Departure

Two full days and a half day sightseeing covering the grand Tiananmen Square, historical Forbidden City, spectacular Temple of Heaven, manmade wonder Great Wall of China, royal park Summer Palace, traditional Hutong, etc.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Shanghai Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Shanghai, the biggest metropolis of China!

Upon arrival, you will be met by local tour guide at the arrival hall of the airport and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.

Optional activity: Attend an entertaining Acrobatic Show, including and breathtaking “balls of death” acts, chair balancing, hula hoops, juggling of benches, walking in the air, and other breathtaking performances (usually performed during 19:30~21:00).

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Day 2 Shanghai (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel to start your Shanghai exploration. The first stop is to visit Shanghai Museum, one of the Best Four Museums in China. This modern museum, with a round top and a square base which symbolizing the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth", has collected many international-standard exhibits of bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, jade from more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing dynasty. It is an ideal place to learn about the profound Chinese history and culture.

Then, take an interesting visit to Yu Garden, a shining star among all the ancient Chinese gardens in Jiangnan. This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works.

After lunch, drive a few kilometers to Lujiazui Area of Pudong New District to visit “the eye of Shanghai” - Shanghai World Financial Center where you can have a panoramic view of the whole Shanghai and Huangpu River area. Ascend yourselves to 474 meters on the 100th floor to experience sky walk on the transparent glass-walled walkway and feel Shanghai lying under your feet and blue sky hanging above your head.

You will then be transferred to another popular landmark of Shanghai, Nanjing Road, a shopping paradise as well as a great place to take a wonderful walk to experience the modern atmosphere of the City. Lastly, you will stop at the Bund, originally a simple towpath for transporting goods but now transformed into a feverish trading district. You will stroll along the Bund, seeing and feeling the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time taking in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes!

Optional Evening Activity: Take a relaxing Huangpu River night cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets sparkling under the atmospheric cover of darkness (about 50 minutes).

  • Shanghai Museum Shanghai Museum - One of the Best Four Museums in China
  • Beautiful The Bund Beautiful International Buildings at The Bund
  • Classical Yu Garden in Shanghai The Tranquil Yu Garden with Classical Chinese Style to Relax

Day 3 Shanghai & Flight to Zhangjiajie (B, L)

Have you wondered why Shanghai developed into a modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan city from what was originally a shabby fishing village? This morning’s tour to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center will answer that question fully while also giving you an overview of the City’s ambitious plans for future. The Center is a fashionably designed modern museum, themed with “City, Citizens, Environment and Development”. Different usages of photography, models and interactive multimedia displays make your visit enjoyable and entertaining. The best features are the old rare photos of landmarks, such as the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden, during the international settlement, and the large scale model showing the detailed layout of Shanghai.

Next is a wonderful visit to Jade Buddha Temple, the site of the largest jade Buddha in the world and numerous religious artifacts, ancient statues and Buddhist scriptures. This peaceful kingdom of Buddhism hidden among modern blocks and dominating mansions is a great place for a nice break in this very busy city.

After the tour, your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to Zhangjiajie (about 2hrs and 35mins). You will be welcomed by local tour guide at Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport, then be escorted to your hotel in Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan.

  • Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with Visitors Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with Visitors
  • Jade Buddha Temple Jade Buddha Temple

Day 4 Zhangjiajie (B)

After breakfast, you’ll visit the most beautiful scenic spots in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. First, you’ll take the cable car to Huangshi Village which is 1080m above the sea level. It is the biggest sightseeing platform to view the spectacular scenery in the national park. A saying goes “He who does not reach Huangshi Village does not pay a true visit to Zhangjiajie.” Later, explore the famous Golden Whip Brook which covers a distance of 7.5 km, winding across mountains and valleys. It is famous for its pristine water, its verdant mountains, its steep cliffs and its serene valley. As a veritable "paradise" for plants, its pathways are adorned by an abundance of flowers, trees, and grasses.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Located 32 kilometers from Zhangjiajie city, it is the first state-level forest park in China. The worlds such as majestic, eccentric, tranquil, delicate and wild could hard to describe it. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is known for its exquisite forests, odd-shaped peaks and rocks, the beautiful canyons, the limestone caves, and the breath-taking panoramic views.

  • Huangshi Village Huangshi Village
  • Golden Whip Brook Golden Whip Brook

Day 5 Zhangjiajie (B)

On this day, you’ll first take Bailong elevator up to Yuanjiajie, which is situated in the north of Zhangjiajie National Park. This scenic area is world famous as the mountains here inspired the floating mountains in the Hollywood movie Avatar. The peaks in Yuanjiajie are nearly at the same height, which makes it a mountain platform great for enjoying sweeping vistas.

Next, take a sightseeing bus to Tianzi Mountain, where you can have a stunning view of the peaks rising one after another. Atop of the mountain offers a full extent of the whole scenic area, which is magnificent and spectacular. There are four wonders in Tianzi Mountain: the Sea of Clouds, the Radiance of the Moonlight, Rays of Sunshine and the Snow in winter.

After the exciting tour, you'll be escorted back to your hotel.

  • Tianzi Mountain Tianzi Mountain
  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Day 6 Train to Yichang from Zhangjiajie (B)

In this morning, you will be escorted to Zhangjiajie Railway Station for your train to Yichang (about 5hrs and 15mins). Upon arrival, be welcomed by local tour guide at Yichang East Railway Station, then be escorted to visit Yichang Museum with a collection of more than 30,000 pieces cultural relics of Yangtze region.

Next stop is a leisure visit to Yiling Square with friendly atmosphere where you’ll appreciate music fountain, watch pigeons flying over the square, enjoy dances and performances by all ages and styles on the huge square, and others.

After the tour, you’ll be escorted to Yichang Port (New Century Port or Taohuacun Port) to board your cruise ship between 18:00-24:00. Your once-in-a-lifetime cruise sails! (Please note: the boarding time and departure piers change based on the ship line, water level, season, weather, and other factors. Your travel consultants will ensure you have the actual departure time and boarding pier before your boarding.)

  • Yichang Museum Yichang Museum

Day 7 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

In the morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil and beautiful Yangtze River. It will be colorful and interesting whether you decide to stay onboard or go ashore at river stops.

Onboard you will enjoy different kinds of activities, like practicing Tai Chi on the boat’s sundeck, drinking a relaxing morning coffee, attending a Yangtze River history and culture lecture, or taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party and evening shows.

Today’s highlight is an afternoon excursion to Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, located at the middle of Xiling Gorge near Yichang. You will marvel at this gigantic dam from different angles, learn more of the background history of the Three Gorges Dam Project and enjoy the surrounding beautiful landscape and scenery.

After this excursion, it is back to your ship to continue your cruise to Chongqing. Then about 17:00 o’clock in the evening, watch the fascinating process of passing the ship through the Three Gorges Dam Five-stage Ship Locks.

  • Three Gorges Dam The Magnificent Giant Three Gorges Dam
  • Yangtze River Cruise Yangtze River Cruise
  • Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise A Lifetime Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise

Day 8 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

Today you will sail through the spectacular Three Gorges! You will relax on the sun deck and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge respectively.

In Wu Gorge you will take an enjoyable adventure to primitive Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream). Switch to a smaller boat to sail down this beautiful stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of high mountain peaks and hanging coffins on the steep cliff faces. After watching an entertaining music and dance show of local Tujia ethnic minority, sail back to ship.

Optional excursion: Take a shore excursion to White Emperor City for an extra fee. Located at the entrance of Qutang Gorge, this excursion offers the best viewing spot to appreciate the magnificent Kuimen Gate.

  • Gorgeous Three Gorges Scenery Gorgeous Scenery of Three Gorges
  • Shennv Stream Shennv Stream

Day 9 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

In this morning, you will follow a local guide and make a shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda, one of the “Pearls” of the Yangtze River. A gem of Chinese  architecture, this 12-story, 18th century red wooden temple on the northern bank of Yangtze River is an architectural delight full of legends and beautiful stories. (Note: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be lots of stairs to climb up!)

Optional excursion: Take a shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City for an extra fee. Called the “City of Ghosts”, it is endowed with mysterious stories about underworld and cruel tortures and different kinds of devils and Chinese demons. Entering this ghost city, you will find many statues of demons and vivid scenes of their perfidious activities. (Note: Once again, the visit to Fengdu Ghost City requires much walking and comfortable shoes are again highly recommended!)

  • Shibaozhai Pagoda Shibaozhai Pagoda

Day 10 Chongqing Disembarkation & Flight to Xian (B, L)

In the morning, your ship will arrive at Chongqing Chaotianmen Port around 09:00 where you will go through a check-out procedure and disembark. Upon arrival, be met by our tour guide and then go to visit Ciqikou Ancient Town - Chongqing's old harbor and once the site of the residential houses of many of Chongqing's richest merchants. Here you can still see exquisite Ming and Qing dynasty architecture, visit local shops and tea houses, watch local Sichuan street performances and undertake other interesting activities.

After the tour, your guide and driver will escort you to Chongqing Jiangbei Airport for your flight to Xian (about 1hr and 25mins). You will be picked up by your tour guide at Xian Xianyang Airport and escorted to your hotel in Xian. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.

  • Ciqikou Old Town Ciqikou Old Town

Day 11 Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world - the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor of China Qin Shihuang to protect him in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits for more than 2,000 years until uncovered by a local farmer in 1974, form an ancient military army with complete battle units of infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Emperor Qin Shihuang but also by the fabulous artistic skills of ancient Chinese artisans.

After lunch, return back to Xian to take a wonderful stroll on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Enjoy panoramic views of modern Xian and walk leisurely on the well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circle of nearly 14 kilometers. This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.

Optional activities: 1). Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2). Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Terra-Cotta Warriors Amazing Terracotta Warriors with 2000 Years History
  • Visitor Riding on Ancient City Wall Visitor Riding on Ancient City Wall

Day 12 Xian & High Speed Train to Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.)

Next is an educational visit to the Shaanxi History Museum where you can ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate historic relics such as porcelains, paintings, and currencies dating from the Zhou to the Tang dynastic periods (1100BC to 907 AD).

The rest of today is free for you until get escorted to catch a high speed train to Beijing (about 5hrs), the iconic city and capital of China! You will be met by local tour guide at the Beijing West Railway Station and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax.

  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi History Museum

Day 13 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s five most important palaces - the Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings.

After lunch, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor.

Optional activities: 1) You can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2) Enjoy the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater between 19:30-21:00.

  • Beijing Fobidden City Forbidden City
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 14 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations. You can take a cable car or an enjoyable 40 minute walk to set your feet on the historic Great Wall. Then climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views of the wall as it wriggles along mountain ridges and take brag-worthy photos.

Continue your trip to Ding Tomb, the mausoleum of a 13th century emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Follow your tour guide to observe its geomantic arrangement as well as visit the underground palace for a closer observation. Then drive back to Beijing City and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Optional activity: After this whole day tour, treat yourself to a great dinner to taste famous Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.

  • Mutianyu Great Wall Green Mutianyu Great Wall during Summer Days

Day 15 Beijing & Beijing Departure (B)

After breakfast, drive to the imperial site of the Temple of Heaven. Originally a site used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for good harvests, it is now a bustling place where locals take part in traditional activities such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, and others.

Then get back to the central city to hop on a rickshaw to experience the Beijing Hutongs - small alleys made by neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing life style, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing.

After the tour, your Beijing tour is now about to end. Your tour guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to your next destination or home.

  • Temple of Heaven Tour Temple of Heaven
  • Hutong Family Hutong
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14 Days China Splendors Tour from Shanghai

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