This tour is designed to give you a sample of China’s ancient history, rich culture, delicate cuisine, thriving industries, and modern architecture. Walk along the Great Wall and unfold the mystery of the Forbidden City in China’s capital Beijing, discover the exquisite cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou both on par with heaven for their natural beauty according to a Chinese saying, and immerse yourself in the dynamic cosmopolitan city Shanghai.
Afterwards relax as you cruise along the majestic Yangtze River on board a five-star vessel – Yangtze Gold Cruise or similar and discover the dramatic gorges, mountain villages and breathtaking scenery.
A Yangtze River cruise is the thrill of a lifetime. You will enjoy the stunning picturesque scenery and amazing natural beauty of the famed Three Gorges: Qutang, Wu, and Xiling, while exploring the historic relics and ancient cultural sites along the mighty river.
Enjoy shore excursions to explore the fascinating history and tranquil landscapes including the spectacle of Fengdu Ghost City, a peculiar site that contains statues of demons and ghosts that roam the after-world; the fun of drifting through Shennong Stream, which offers clear running waters, picturesque rock formations, and monkeys and goats along its banks; and the wonder of the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest.
A Yangtze River cruise is a visual delight, full of pleasant surprises and many treasures waiting to be discovered. The images will stay with you long after you have returned home.
Get to know China better with our list of in-depth excursions recommended to add another dimension to your total experience! They can be prepaid in Australia more than 30 days prior to departure at the discounted AUD prices below, or paid directly in the local currency to your tour guide upon arrival in China. Prepay for all optional programs to receive a $15 discount off the total price. English speaking guide, admissions and round trip transfers are included in the prices.
|Beijing||The Golden Mask Dynasty||$75|
|Beijing||Hutong Life Tour||$70|
|Beijing||Chinese Kung Fu Show||$75|
|Suzhou||Grand Canal Cruise||$35|
|Hangzhou||Impression West Lake or similar||$80|
|Shanghai||Chinese Acrobatic Show||$75|
|Shanghai||Huangpu River Cruise||$40|
Fly to Beijing, the capital city of China, via a connecting city. Upon arrival, you will be warmly greeted at the airport by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel.
Please note: Some flights may depart the night before.
Beijing has served as the capital of five dynasties over a period of 800 years. Today, visit Tiananmen Square, the second largest public square in the world, and the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty. Your welcome banquet includes the local delicacy, Peking Roast Duck.
Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall at Juyong Pass, the most famous image of China, and a chance to climb a portion of this 3,700-mile marvel. You will also visit one of the largest jade exhibitions in Asia en-route. After lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a cloisonné factory. Tonight, you can choose to attend an optional large scale dramatic musical, The Golden Mask Dynasty (at your own expense).
Today tour the exquisite Summer Palace, the largest preserved ancient garden in China and a former summer resort for emperors, followed by the Panda House at Beijing Zoo to see China’s adorable national treasure – the Giant Panda. Then visit a Chinese herbal institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine which has existed for thousands of years, as you enjoy a rejuvenating foot massage. Later, you can join an optional Hutong Life Tour (at your own expense), a special journey which explores Beijing’s ancient residential alleyways or ‘hutongs’ by pedicab, or take a stroll in Wangfujing, one of the Chinese capital’s most famous shopping streets. Cap off the day by attending a thrilling Chinese Kung Fu Show (at your own expense).
Take a high speed train to Wuxi, an ancient city richly endowed by nature due to its pleasantly warm and moist climate – it boasts a reputation of being the ‘Land of Fish and Rice’. Enjoy the scenery as we pass by Lake Tai, the third-largest freshwater lake in China. This evening, we have the option of visiting Nanchang Street and take a cruise along the Grand Canal to view life along what was known as China’s golden waterway in its heyday, then stroll along the trendy pedestrian street composed of both ancient and modern architecture (at your own expense).
This morning visit one of the largest fresh water pearl exhibitions in the country. After lunch, travel by coach to Suzhou, an extraordinarily elegant city with its canals, stone bridges and meticulously designed gardens which has often been referred to as ‘Paradise on Earth’ by Chinese poets and writers since ancient times. As a large area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is also known as ‘Venice of the East’. It is also known as the ‘Garden City’ due to its many classical gardens, renowned for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. Visit the Lingering Garden which is among the finest gardens in China.
This morning visit a silk spinning mill, and learn how silk is created from mulberry-munching silkworms to produce the finest thread and cloth. After lunch, travel by coach to Hangzhou, described by Marco Polo as ‘the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world’. Upon arrival, take a boat ride on the serene West Lake, the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, noted for its scenic beauty which blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites. This evening, you can enjoy an optional open-air performance, Impression West Lake, a masterpiece created by Zhang Yimou, the director of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Games opening ceremony (at your own expense).
Experience a tea tasting at the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. Then travel by coach to Shanghai, the vibrant metropolis and commercial centre of China. Upon arrival, walk along the famous Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Lined with colonial architecture of European design, it is the best place to capture the Western influences of the old days. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure strolling along the bustling shopping district, Nanjing Road. Tonight you can watch a superb and thrilling Chinese Acrobatic Show (at your own expense).
After breakfast, visit Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck (88th floor) for a panoramic view of Huangpu River and the Bund. After lunch, head to the Old Street in the City God Temple area, symbolic of the large temple complex and surrounding traditional district of commerce in the city. Afterwards, you can cap off the celebrations by joining an optional Huangpu River Cruise for a glimpse of a charming view of Shanghai (at your own expense).
This morning fly to the port city of Yichang, the starting point of our Yangtze River Cruise for the next four nights. After dinner, we board the cruise and receive an introduction to cruise events and onboard activities.
Today, your cruise enters the Xiling Gorge. Named for Mount Xiling, this is the longest of the Three Gorges. In fact, Xiling Gorge comprises four smaller gorges with rather poetic names; Precious Sword, Horse Lung & Ox Liver, Soundless Bell, and Shadow Play.
Populated since at least the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), this once-wild tributary to the Yangtze has calmed since the construction of the Tree Gorges Dam. This charming gorge and the surrounding forest park are named for Shen Nong, the mythical ‘Divine Farmer’, who is said to have taught the ancient Chinese the secrets of agriculture, herbal medicine, the solar calendar, and brewing tea.
We disembark from our cruise in the port city of Chongqing at 9am this morning. Transfer to the airport for your connecting flight via an intermediate city to Australia.
Arrive home this morning.