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13 Days China Cruise Tour with Yangtze & Li River from $2,659

China at Glance

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Start your China tour with the convenient international hub, also the Pearl of Orient – Hong Kong. This 13 days tour gives you the best cruise experiences in China: comfortable and relaxing cruises on Li River and Yangtze River to set your heart free to embrace the pure beauty of China landscapes. Tour to Beijing, Xian and Shanghai give you the chance to see large scale of historical and cultural sites, taste the charming history of China and experience the prosperous scene of today.

Highlights of this tour:

  • All essentials of China are included, like Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors…
  • Enjoy a relaxation time on Li River and Yangtze River cruises.
  • Witness the prosperous and development of China, and enjoy the vast and miraculous skyline in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Hong Kong / Guilin / Yangshuo / Longsheng / Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Yichang / Xian / Beijing
Travel Length:
13 Days and 12 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-CYRC-13
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureEcologicalPhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~2 Arrival & Hong Kong Tour

A half day to appreciate the magnificent skyline of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak, spend some casual time in Repulse Bay and Stanley Market. Then take a flight to Guilin.

Day 3~5 Guilin Tour & Flight to Chongqing

Take a relaxing Li River cruise from Guilin city to Yangshuo old town, then explore the amazing countryside landscape around Yangshuo. Before departing to Chongqing, go to see the beautiful Longji Rice Terrace.

Day 6~8 Yangtze River Cruise & Flight to Xian

Explore the stunning scenery along Yangtze River, such as Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam and interesting excurtions to Shibaozhai, Shennongxi Streem, etc. Also relax yourself with rich activities on board. Lastly take a flight to Xian.

Day 9~10 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 11~13 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 Hong Kong Arrival

Ni Hao, welcome to Hong Kong, Pearl of the Orient! Your local guide is ready to pick you up at the arrival hall of the airport, and transfer you to hotel. The rest of today is to recover from long flight, or explore this vibrant and bustling metropolis on your own.

Free Time ideas: It is one of the most popular things to do in Hong Kong to spend ten minutes riding the humble Star Ferry which sails between Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island( daily 6:30am-11:30pm). From the ferry, you can enjoy the breathtaking skyline of Hong Kong especially in the evening when the Symphony of Lights begins. You can also go to take an enjoyable walk on the Avenue of Stars to watch the fabulous night views of Hong Kong. 

  • Victoria Harbor Take Star Ferry Cruise Through Victoria Harbor

Day 2 Hong Kong – Guilin (B,L)

After breakfast, start today’s tour with a visiting to Hong Kong’s symbol - Victoria Peak. An exciting tram will take you to this highest peak in Hong Kong (552m). Walk through the verdant woods to explore hidden old buildings left by the old Hong Kong. Also ascend to the observation deck to sweep the magnificent Hong Kong skyline and tranquil harbor views.

Continue to take a trip to Repulse Bay. Known as the Hawaii of Orient, the Repulse Bay is the most beautiful sand beach with long coastline, soft sand, clean water and appropriate temperature. After the leisure break in Repulse Bay, proceed to the Stanley Market. Browse fancy petty commodities in various little stores, or just order a cup of coffee or beer at the seaside café or pub, a great way to spend time away from the maddening crowds.

In the afternoon, your tour guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to Guilin (about 1.5 hours). Be pick up at the airport by your tour guide, then transferred to check in your hotel in downtown.

Optional Train Transfer: You can also make transfer at Shenzhen North Railway Station or Guangzhou South Railway Station where you can take fast high speed bullet trains to Guilin(about 2.5~3 hours).

  • Victoria Peak Tram Peak Tram from the top of Victoria Peak
  • View from the top of victoria peak Enjoy the Perfect View from the Top of Victoria Peak

Day 3 Guilin (B,L)

As the declaration in Chinese textbook” Guilin’s landscape is the best under heaven”, today you will explore this best landscape starting with a relaxing sightseeing cruise along the Li River to the beautiful Yangshuo Town. Along the 84-kilometer cruise, dazzling scenery will overwhelm your eyes like a vast endless Chinese painting of winding river, green limestone karst mountains, fascinating countryside views.

After about 4 hours’ cruise, disembark in Yangshuo Town, and check in your hotel. Take a short break, immerse yourself into the stunning countryside views and relaxed atmosphere and be enthralled by the patches of paddy fields nestling under green hills and near the mirror-like river, with farmers cultivating the soil with their water buffalos.

This evening is for you to walk leisurely on the ancient West Street to experience how the western culture and Chinese culture perfectly and peacefully coexist here. Whether you want to enjoy a cup of drink in bar, taste some local food, or just experience the relaxing atmosphere, you get it here.

Optional activity: watch the splendid evening performance of Impression Liu Sanjie with the Li River itself as the stage, which was directed by famous director – Zhang Yimou (usually performs for an hour between around 19:45 and 22:20).

  • Li River Sunset Scene Picturesque Li River in Guilin
  • Unbelievable Yangshuo Unbelievably Beautiful Yangshuo
  • Beautiful West Street Amazing West Street

Day 4 Yangshuo to Longsheng (B, L)

In the morning, you’ll drive about 150 km (about 4 hours) to witness one of the most beautiful terraces in China - Longji Terraces in Longsheng County. There are several featured ethnic villages located along the road of which most famous is the Huanglong Village whose women often wash their long hairs (over 1.5 meters) in the river.

You will arrive at Pingan Village and check in. After some rest, start to explore the breathtaking views of terraces. From Pingan, you can hike on the cobbled paths built among terraces to catch the best landscape. Climb up to the great lookouts at Seven Stars with Moon and Nine Dragons and Five Tigers from which you can get superlative views of terraces and villages. Hike half day around, then back to Pingan for dinner and accommodation. 

  • Golden Rice Terrace Fields  (Late September ~ Early November) Golden Rice Terrace Fields (Late September ~ Early November)

Day 5 Guilin – Chongqing (B,L)

Wake up in the fresh air of peaceful morning, you may forget where you are. Enjoy the magnificent sunrise which is quite amazing. The rest time is on your own to have fun around - you can take some leisure walking around, or go to communicate with local people and experience ethnic culture in the villages. If you are a shutterbug, of course it is the wonderful time in this perfect place to take some beautiful photos. 

Lastly, your tour guide will take you to airport to catch a flight to Chongqing (about 1.5 hrs). Be met at the airport and transferred to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to board your ship during 18:00-20:00. Your lifetime Yangtze River cruise sails at 21:00! (Please note: the boarding time and pier change based on Yangtze cruise ships, water level, season and weather, etc. Your travel consultants will tell you the detailed time and pier before your boarding.)

  • Green Longji Rice Terrace (June ~ August) Green Longji Rice Terrace (June ~ August)

Day 6 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. 

Next 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!)

  • Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise A Lifetime Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise
  • Shibaozhai Pagoda Shibaozhai Pagoda

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

Today you will sail through the spectacular Three Gorges while relaxing 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 your ship.

In the evening, you will firstly enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates onboard, and then watch the fascinating process of passing the ship through the Three Gorges Dam Five-stage Ship Locks at 23:00 PM.

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. 

  • Yangtze River Cruise Yangtze River Cruise
  • Shennv Stream Shennv Stream

Day 8 Yichang - Xian (B, L)

Today’s highlight is a morning 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 Yichang. Your ship will arrive at Yichang Port around 12:30 where you will go through a check-out procedure and disembark. You will be picked up by our local tour guide at the port and escorted to visit the Yichang Museum.

The rest of today is free for you to take a flight to Xian, the ancient capital city. After arrival at the Xian Xianyang International Airport, our local tour guide will pick you up, and escort you to your downtown hotel.

  • Three Gorges Dam The Magnificent Giant Three Gorges Dam

Day 9 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 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 while you leisurely examine this well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circuit 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 Terracotta Warriors
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall
  • Muslim Snack Street Muslim Community

Day 10 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 until you get escorted to take a high speed train to Beijing (about 4.5hrs), the capital city of China. You will be welcomed by local tour guide at airport, then be escorted to check in your downtown hotel.

  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Xian Shaanxi History Museum To Explore the Spectacular Heritages of Ancient China

Day 11 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
  • Tiananmen Square Family Tour Tiananmen Square Family Tour
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 12 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 you 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 the whole day’s tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.

  • Mutianyu great wall The Magnificent Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Ding Tomb Ding Tomb
  • Bird's Nest Bird's Nest

Day 13 Beijing Departure (B, L)

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.

Your China tour is now about to end. Drive to the airport to catch your flight to your next destination or back home.

  • Temple of Heaven in Beijing Temple of Heaven
  • Hutong Hutong
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13 Days China Cruise Tour with Yangtze & Li River

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