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17 Days China Paradise Tour with Tibet Discovery & Yangtze Cruise from $3,499

Encompassed China Highlights

1
If you have enough travel time in the budget, this 17-day tour is definitely a great way to travel and see China. The tour covers all the highlights of China while letting you discover the splendid Chinese history in the world heritage sites like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the home of the Terracotta Warriors. You will see and even hug the lovely Giant Pandas in Chengdu, relax on a Yangtze River cruise ship while enjoying the River’s fascinating views, and ease your spirit and curiosity at the holy Potala Palace in Lhasa and at various Buddhist ceremonies and festivals in Lhasa exhibiting the sacred Buddhist culture.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Visit the essential Chinese cultural and historical sites, learn about China on the way;
  • Join the faithful Tibetans in discovering Lhasa, the holy land on the high plateau;
  • Relax with the beautiful scenery and leisure activities on the Yangtze River cruises.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $3,499
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Beijing / Xian / Lhasa / Chengdu / Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Shanghai
Travel Length:
17 Days and 16 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-BTS-17
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want
Make an Inquiry

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~4 Arrival & Beijing Tour

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

Day 5~7 Xian Tour & Flight to Lhasa

Two full day to visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, leisurely walk on the Ancient City Wall, Bell & Drum Tower Square, Great Mosque and Muslim Quarter, explore the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Xian Museum.

Day 8~10 Lhasa Tour & Flight to Chengdu

Two full days to explore the holy Lhasa, covering the grandiose Potala Palace, sacred Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, delicate Norbulingka Park, and two major temples in Tibet – Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery.

Day 11~12 Chengdu Tour & High Speed Train to Chongqing

One full day in Chengdu to meet the cute Giant Panda, then enjoy leisure time in Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park and Jinli Old Street. Next morning, take high speed train to Chongqing, make a visit to Ciqikou Ancient Town and Three Gorges Museum. Then, be transferred to the Cruise pier, and board the ship in the late afternoon.

Day 12~15 Yangtze River Cruise & High Speed Train to Shanghai

Board your ship in Chongqing, and the jolly Yangtze River cruise starts. Explore the stunning scenery along the Yangtze River, including the Three Gorges and Three Gorges Dam, and enjoy interesting cultural and natural excursions in Fengdu, Zhongxian, Fengjie, Wu County, etc. Meanwhile, feel free to unwind with engaging activities on board.

Day 16~17 Shanghai Tour & Departure

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.

Full Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Ni Hao! welcome to Beijing, the iconic city and capital of China! You will be met by our local tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Airport and escorted to your downtown hotel by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of the day is your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby areas, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.

Arrival Ideals: At present, there are many international and domestic flights to Beijing. Besides, you can take a high speed train to this capital city from Shanghai (5-6 hrs), Xian (5.5 hrs), Guangzhou (8-9.5 hrs), etc.

Day 2 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel. Then, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square which is now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern square was the site where the Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s 5 most important palaces – Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties used to live in. Pass through various doorways to admire the magnificent and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow glazed tile roof, white marble base and splendid colorful paintings. After Forbidden City exploration, take a short visit to Jingshan Park where you can get a nice shot of one watchtower of Forbidden City and take a panoramic view of Forbidden City.

In the afternoon, drive about 40 minutes to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors. Feast your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colored paintings in Long Corridor.

Recommended optional activities: 1) watch a delightful Kung Fu show to trace the history of Chinese Kung Fu between 19:15~20:15; 2) enjoy a breathtaking acrobatic show between 19:15~20:15.

  • Forbidden City Photographed by Our Customer Forbidden City Photographed by Our Customer
  • Woo's group visited Tiananmen Square Woo's group visited Tiananmen Square
  • Summer Palace Shot by Our Guest Nguyen Summer Palace Shot by Our Guest Nguyen

Day 3 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! This great wall, linking Gubeikou in the east and Juyongguan in the west, was served as the vital military strategic point in the ancient time. Moreover, Mutianyu section is the “longest great wall in China” so far and since protection work is well done here, tourists can now see its original appearance and enjoy the real ancient culture of great wall. Also, spectacular natural scenery in Mutianyu Great Wall always impresses visitors here for its abundant vegetation. You’ll take a cable car to ascend the Great Wall, then hike the most beautiful and interesting part of Mutianyu. It's a wonderful experience to climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views and take brag-worthy photos of the wall wriggling along mountain ridges. After the exciting time, descend Mutianyu Great Wall by cable car. (Note: If energy permits, you can hike up or down which takes about 40 minutes to climb steps. Please tell your likes to your travel consultant.)

Continue your trip to Sacred Way, a 7-kilometer-long passage leading to the Imperial Tombs of 13 Emperors of Ming Dynasty. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also would return to Heaven through this road. Take a walk through the largest archway in China and Great Palace Gate and you’ll see the magnificent stone guard of 12 sets of mythical animals and 12 officials. 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.

  • Kim - Mutianyu Great Wall Mutianyu Great Wall Shot by Our Customer Kim
  • Our customers visited Bird's Nest in 2019 Our customers visited Bird's Nest in 2019
  • Our Guest at the Sacred Way Our Guest at the Sacred Way

Day 4 Beijing & High Speed Train to Xian (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 lifestyle, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing, also pay a visit to a local family's home in the traditional Hutongs.

Your Beijing tour is now about to end. Your tour guide will see you off at the Beijing West Railway Station for a high speed train trip to Xian (about 5 hours). You will be picked up by your tour guide at Xian North Railway Station and escorted to your hotel in Xian. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.

  • The majestic Temple of Heaven in Beijing - Jessica from USA Temple of Heaven Photographed by Our Guest Jessica in September 2023
  • Caro's group visited Beijing Hutong with China Discovery Caro's group visited Beijing Hutong with China Discovery

Day 5 Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 40 km 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. (Before the Terracotta Warriors Museum visit, you will have a rare opportunity to make a miniature Terracotta Warrior on your own under the instruction of a local potter.)

After lunch, return to Xian to visit Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Giant 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). After (or before) visiting the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, you will be provided a free experience of& trying on the Hanfu which is the solemn costume of the emperors and their families, the ministers and the noble in the ancient dynasties of China. Seize this rare opportunity to take some photos to record this unique memory!

This evening you will be offered an interesting visit to Grand Tang Dynasty Ever Bright City which is a great place to walk, enjoy amazing nightscape and recall the prosperity and glory of the mighty Tang Dynasty most importantly. Seeing this area at night is totally different than during the day as the lighting is marvelous yet tastefully done.

Optional activity: Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after (or without) a hearty dumpling dinner.

  • Our guests get viewed by the countless Terracotta Warriors Our guests get viewed by the countless Terracotta Warriors
  • Terracotta Warriors-202310-Victoria from South Africa-CD-HA-107570 Victoria from South Africa visited Terracotta Warriors in 2023
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda - Our Customer Myra Our Customers visited Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Dazzling Grand Tang Dynasty Ever Bright City lovely night views Dazzling Grand Tang Dynasty Ever Bright City lovely night views

Day 6 Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, start today's tour with an educational visit to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi’an Museum to learn a lot about the history and culture about the ancient city of Xi’an. They are together located in a clean and beautiful park. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is rather smaller and 55 years younger than its “sister” - the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Built during 707 to 709 AD, the pagoda is 43.4 meters tall with 13 tiers (originally 15 tiers), looking like a very tall rectangular pyramid. An interesting fact about the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is that the pagoda has survived nearly 70 earthquakes, and now still standing firm and sturdy. You can walk around to appreciate the beautiful design and take photos of the pagoda. Then you will go to visit Xi’an Museum which is only several minutes’ walking from the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. This museum has more than 130,000 pieces of jade relics, seals, paintings, porcelains, Buddhist statues, stone carvin

After lunch, return to Xian to spend a leisure time on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Just like the merchants and envoys on the Silk Road thousands of years ago, you will enter the interior of the city walls through the Hanguang Gate. There you will visit a mini museum to see the real Tang Dynasty city wall ruins from over 1400 years ago, including gateways, cross-sections of the wall, and the remains of water channels. After the museum visit, get up to the city wall to enjoy a leisure stroll and pleasant panoramic views of Xian city. Rent a bike (extra cost: 45RMB) to enjoy a relaxing cycling on the Wall is strongly recommended. The cycling routes and duration are flexible. Feel free to discuss with your tour guide. Leave the City Wall, then go to wander leisurely around the bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture. Don't miss the Great Mosque of Xian which is a fusion of Chinese culture and Islamic culture, a sacred religious site with huge ancient architectural complex, also a surprisingly quiet land away from the bustling Muslim streets.

Optional activity: Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after (or without) a hearty dumpling dinner.

  • Riding on Ancient City Wall - Our Guests from USA Our guests enjoyed riding on the Ancient City Wall, Xian
  • Visit bustly Muslim Quarter in day time Visit bustly Muslim Quarter in day time
  • Great Mosque-20230811-Armando from Italy-CD-Wi-107319 Armando from Italy visited Great Mosque in 2017
  • Xian Museum and Small Wild Goose Pagoda Xian Museum and Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Day 7 Xian & Flight to Lhasa(B)

Today is free until your guide escorts you to catch your flight to Lhasa (about 3hrs). Upon arrival, a tour guide will pick you up at the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel in downtown Lhasa while you enjoy the stunning views along the Yarlong Tsangpo River.

After check in, the rest of the day is for you to acclimate to the high altitude and weather of Lhasa. You should avoid strenuous physical activities during this period since this may cause high altitude sickness. 

Day 8 Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, start an incredible day of exploration in Lhasa city. The grandiose Potala Palace will be the first site to discover. After more than 1300 years of historical changes, this colossal Palace still dominates the skyline of Lhasa city. The Palace is the political and religious center of Tibet and has served as the governance and preaching site for the Dalai Lama. Climbing up the sacred steps to the Red Palace and White Palace you will explore their marvelous interiors full of exquisite Thangkas, numerous Buddha statues, vivid wall paintings, and other works of Buddhist art.

In the afternoon, first visit the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet, Jokhang Temple, where the 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue is consecrated. With a history stretching over 1,300 years, this temple combines the architecture styles of Tibet, China, Nepal and India. As a spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple attracts hundreds of devoted pilgrims to worship there every day. Outside the door of Jokhang Temple is the famous pilgrimage circle, Barkhor Street, where you can join faithful Tibetans in colorful attires walking the circle around Jokhang Temple.

  • Tibet Potala Palace Visit Potala Palace
  • Jokhang Temple Jokhang Temple
  • Meet with Tibet locals at Barkhor Street Meet with Tibet locals at Barkhor Street

Day 9 Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, we start our day with a visit to the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas and also the largest Tibetan garden – Norbulingka Park. The luxuriant trees and flowers, cool ponds and comfortable palaces make Norbulingka the best place for a summer retreat. Then drive about 5km westward to Drepung Monastery. This monastery used to play a crucial role in Tibet Buddhism as the school of the Dalai Lamas. As you walk along, immense temples and chapels leap to your eyes one after another. In its heyday, more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Various Buddhist rituals are performed in the monastery during festivals, most famous being the ceremony of Buddha Display in the annual Shoton Festival. 

We will then visit the featured six hundred year-old Sera Monastery, famous for its grand ceremony of Buddhist debating and its beautiful temples with sensational icons, murals and history.

  • Norbulingka Park - A Beautiful Tibetan Style Garden Norbulingka Park - A Beautiful Tibetan Style Garden
  • Monks Debating at Sera Monastery Monks Debating at Sera Monastery
  • Drepung Monastery Entrance Drepung Monastery Entrance

Day 10 Lhasa & Flight to Chengdu (B)

Today is free for you to explore Lhasa city until your tour guide transfers you to the airport for your flight to Chengdu. 

Welcome to Chengdu, hometown of the Giant Panda! You will be met by our local tour guide at the arrival hall of Shuangliu International Airport and escorted to your downtown hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of the day is on your own to relax.

Day 11 Chengdu (B, L)

This morning you will make a memorable visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.  This facility is not only the most important panda scientific research center in the world, but also the home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. You will walk at leisure through the bamboo-framed paths and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, and climbing trees. Be sure to not miss the chance to watch female pandas nursing their cubs in the nursery rooms! There is also a very informative Panda Museum where you can learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas. Following the visit to this Panda base, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in hustling downtown Chengdu, Wenshu Temple, where you will marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the temple’s peaceful paths. 

Chengdu is famous throughout China for its relaxing and leisurely pace and lifestyle, which will be demonstrated by a visit to the City’s Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, have a casual chat with your friends and watch locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment – napping, playing mahjong, disco dancing, and giving neck massages! Next will be an impressive visit to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time will steal away as you quietly walk on the lively streets full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, and other activities.

Optional activity: In the evening, watch a wonderful performance at the Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment. (usually starts at 8pm and last 1.5 hours)

  • Beautiful Jinli Old Street Shot by Our Customer Rick Beautiful Jinli Old Street Shot by Our Customer Rick
  • Lovely Pandas in Chengdu Panda Base - Photographed by Our Guest Chona Lovely Pandas in Chengdu Panda Base - Photographed by Our Guest Chona
  • Wenshu Temple Shot by Our Guest Marcin in 2017 Wenshu Temple Shot by Our Guest Marcin in 2017

Day 12 High Speed Train to Chongqing & Board Your Ship (B, L)

This morning, you will be transferred to Chengdu East Railway Station to take the high speed train to Chongqing (about 1-2hrs). Upon arrival at Chongqing North Railway Station/Shapingba Railway Station, you will be met by our tour guide and then go to visit Three Gorges Museum (三峡博物馆) at the city downtown. The vast collection of more than 280 thousand pieces of precious historical relics will let you have an amazing understanding of the great Yangtze River and formation of the magnificent Three Gorges, and also tell you the gradual thriving of Chongqing from 3,000 years ago, to its war defense in 20s century, and developmental path to be one of the 4 prosperous municipalities in China. Stepping out from the museum, have a nice look at the People’s Assembly Hall (重庆人民大礼堂) that is popular with fancy classical exterior design and was listed into the History of Architecture compiled in London in 1987.

Later, be transferred to take Chonqing Rail Transit Line 2 (重庆轻轨二号线) from Huanghuayuan Metro Station to Liziba Metro Station (李子坝) to look at the city’s prototype from a different angle. Then, get off to have the never-seen magic of the train going through 11-storey block of flats, existing only in the fantastically structured Chongqing built against mountains.

After that, travel to Hongya Cave (洪崖洞), the must-see highlight to appreciate the layers of featured Ba and Shu regional wooden tilted houses overlapped leaning the mountain up to 11 storeys, which looks quite glittery lit.

After the tour, you will be escorted to Chaotianmen Dock (朝天门码头) to board the Yangtze cruise ship between 18:00-20:00. Your memorable Yangtze River cruise will sail around 21:00!

More notes and tips regarding the Yangtze River Cruise’s embarkation:

  • 1. There are 13 sub-piers of Chaotianmen Dock and different ships will dock at different piers. Please check the info with your travel consultant and know where to board your ship at least one day beforehand.
  • 2. The boarding time and departure piers change based on the cruise line, water level, season, weather and other factors. Your travel consultant will ensure you have the departure time and boarding pier before boarding.
  • 3. Some cruises do not include dinner on the embarkation night, you can have dinner or buy some snacks at Chaotianmen Square before embarkation.
  • 4. Chaotianmen Dock is currently under refurbishment and does not have escalators, only wooden stairs. When embarking or disembarking at Chaotianmen, you may need to carry your luggage up or down the stairs. If you have difficulty with this due to physical constraints, please inform your travel consultant in advance. They can arrange for a luggage porter to assist you for a fee of 20-30 RMB per package.
  • Chongqing Chaotianmen Dock Chongqing Chaotianmen Dock
  • Hongya Cave Daytime-2018-Leow's Group from Singapore Leow's Group from Singapore visited Hongya Cave in 2018.
  • Chongqing Light Rail Going Through a Building at Liziba Metro Station Chongqing Light Rail Going Through a Building at Liziba Metro Station

Day 13 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 in Fengdu County. Fengdu County (丰都), a vital part of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region, boosts unique natural and cultural landscape, including Fengdu Ghost City (丰都鬼城), Mount Shuanggui (双桂山), Snow Jade Cave (雪玉洞), Jade Emperor Scenic Area (玉皇圣地), Xiaoguanshan Folk Residences (小官山民俗村), etc.

Out of all these sites, Fengdu Ghost City (丰都鬼城) is the most famous and attractive one. It is filled with mysterious tales of the underworld, brutal tortures, and various types of demons and Chinese devils. Entering this ghost city, you will find many statues of demons and vivid scenes of their perfidious activities. Some cruise companies arrange the site visit as an included, and others classify it as optional, which requires extra payment; you may check with your travel consultant while booking.

An Optional Excursion: Leaving Fengdu County, your cruise will reach and dock at Zhongxian County in the late afternoon, where a marvelous large-scale real landscape show is coming. The Feng Yan San Guo Show (烽烟三国) brings a cultural feast for Yangtze River cruise visitors to know the brilliant historical culture of the Three Kingdoms Period and the spirit of loyalty of great military officer Guan Yu (关羽). With amazing effects of lights, sounds, and special effects during the show, historical scenes seem to return vividly in front of you.

More notes and tips regarding today’s itinerary:

  • 1. Even sailing the same route through the Three Gorges, different cruises would have different shore excursion arrangements. The sites abovementioned refer to common and most frequent situations. The specific itinerary of the day depends on the ship you booked.
  • 2. Physical demands and dressing tips: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be a long distance walking at Fengdu Ghost City and many stairs to climb up at Shibaozhai Pagoda!
  • Peter's Family - Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise Peter's Family enjoyed a leisure break on Yangtze River Cruises
  • Fengdu Ghost City - Tianzi Hall Fengdu Ghost City - Tianzi Hall
  • Feng Yan San Guo Show Feng Yan San Guo Show

Day 14 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

Today, you will sail through the essential section of the Yangtze River - Three Gorges (三峡)! You shall relax on the sun deck and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Qutang Gorge (瞿塘峡) and Wu Gorge (巫峡). While the ship cruises toward the mouth of the Gorges, especially at Kui Gate (夔门), you’ll hear the wind whistling fiercely and witness the rolling hills stretching towards the skyline, leaving you marvelling at nature’s ingenious workmanship.

Today’s shore excursions would mainly be arranged at counties along the Three Gorges, in Fengjie (奉节), Wuxian (巫县) or Badong (巴东). Different cruise companies draw up different itineraries. But in general, most luxury Yangtze River cruise companies, such as Century Cruises, Victoria Cruises and Yangtze Gold Cruises, etc., would port in Fengjie in the morning and offer an optional shore excursion (required extra payment) to the White Emperor City (白帝城). This famous ancient “Poem City” is mentioned in about 1,400 Chinese poems. A tour through the scenic area tells a touching story of Liu Bei (刘备) entrusting his son to his prime minister, Zhuge Liang (诸葛亮). What’s more, the Viewing Platform in the scenic area is the best place to take a photo of the top representative landscape of the Qutang Gorge, Kui Gate, the same scenery on the background of the CNY 10 Note.

Cruise journey continues. In the afternoon, your cruise will stop at Wu Gorge. You will take a shore excursion here by switching to a smaller boat to sail down a 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. Shennv Stream (神女溪), Shennong Stream (神农溪) and the Lesser Three Gorges (小三峡) are the frequently-chosen ones.

This evening, you’ll enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates and appreciate or join the fascinating dance show to spend a wonderful night.

More notes and tips regarding today’s itinerary:

  • 1. Besides the shore excursions mentioned above, two newly pop-up sites selected by cruise companies have gained high recognition from guests: Three Gorges Summit (三峡之巅) and Goddess Sky Road (神女天路). Both are constructed on mountaintops for customers to enjoy the panoramic view of the natural splendor!
  • 2. Different cruises have different shore excursion arrangements. The specific itinerary of the day depends on the cruise you booked.
  • Our Guest Lone with a Yangtze River Cruise Our customer Lone took a photo with a Yangtze River Cruise
  • Carolyn from America - Goddess Sky Road Carolyn took a shore excursion to Goddess Sky Road with Yangtze 3
  • Shennv Stream Shennv Stream

Day 15 Yichang & High Speed Train to Shanghai from Yichang (B)

After breakfast, you’ll begin to check out and disembark at Maoping Port. Today’s highlight is a morning excursion to Three Gorges Dam (三峡大坝), the world’s largest hydropower project, located in the middle of Xiling Gorge near Yichang. You will marvel at this gigantic dam from different angles, learn more about the background history of the Three Gorges Dam Project and enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape and scenery. If you like, you can take an optional experience to sail through the Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift (三峡大坝升船机), the largest and the most sophisticated ship lift in the world, which takes only 40 minutes with fresh insight into the dam project.

After the dam visit (around noon), you’ll take the bus arranged by the cruise company heading to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal (宜昌三峡游客中心) for leave. Here you will be pick up by our local guide be transferred to Yichang East Railway Station for a high speed train to Shanghai.

After arrival in Shanghai, our local tour guide will pick you up at the train station, and escort you to your hotel for check in. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this cosmopolitan and lively city.

Disembarkation Tips: No matter you take Ship Lift or not, you’ll check out and take your luggage away in this early morning. (1) Only Dam Visiting: you’ll take bus from Maoping Port to Three Gorges Dam for sightseeing, and then arrive at Yichang downtown around 12:30. (2) Dam & Ship Lift Experience: travelers who are interested in Ship Lift will first switch to a sightseeing boat to sail through the Ship Lift and then visit Three Gorges Dam Site. You’ll arrive at Yichang downtown around 13:30. (3) Ship Lift Note: During the peak season, the ship lift operation is in full swing. In some instances, you may not be able to find a seat and may have to stand. If you are worried about how the crowds might affect your experience, it is advisable to think carefully before joining the program.

  • Three Gorges Dam The Magnificent Three Gorges Dam
  • Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift
  • Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal

Day 16 Shanghai (B, L)

You will take a full day of sightseeing to explore both the past and present of Shanghai. Your first stop is 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. To help you learn about the history and facts about the relics in the museum easily, an Audio Explanation Device will be prepared for you.

Then you will 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. Next, you will drive several kilometers to enjoy a panoramic view of the modern face of Shanghai from the 100th floor (474m) of “the Eye of Shanghai” Shanghai World Financial Center

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 activities: 1) Attend an entertaining Acrobatic Show, including 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); 2) 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).

  • The View of Lujiazui from the Bund -  Our Guest Laszlo The View of Lujiazui from the Bund, Shot by Our Guest Laszlo
  • Ox-shaped Zun  (Over 2,500 Years) in Shanghai Museum Da Ke Ding in Shanghai Museum
  • Yuyuan Bazaar Shot by Our Customer Paul Yuyuan Bazaar Shot by Our Customer Paul

Day 17 Shanghai Tour & Shanghai Departure (B)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you will pay 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.

Next, you will be transferred to Tianzifang which is touristic arts and crafts enclave that has developed from a renovated traditional residential area. It is the typical tourist attraction to appreciate the preservation of local Shikumen architecture. In this place full of rich flavor of life, you can leisurely stroll along the clean old alleys to watch the daily life of local Shanghai people, savor a cup of drink at the open-air café, and find some interesting things in the novel shops to feel the international feature mixed with real Shanghai culture.

In the afternoon, your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to next destination or home.

  • Woo's group visited Jade Buddha Temple Woo's group visited Jade Buddha Temple with China Discovery
  • The Reclining Jade Buddha in Jade Buddha Temple The Reclining Jade Buddha in Jade Buddha Temple
  • Spend  Leisure Time at the Mazy Lanes of Tianzifang Spend Leisure Time at the Mazy Lanes of Tianzifang
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