Day 1: Arrive Beijing, China
Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital and cultural hub, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.
Days 2-3: Beijing | The Great Wall
This morning, start the day with a tai chi class at the iconic Temple of Heaven. Explore Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The next morning, walk or ride a cable car to the top of the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall for sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. Ride a pedicab through a hutong, a neighborhood of small winding alleyways. (B L)
Days 4-5: Xian | The Eternal City
Fly to Xian. Once a vital stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian is a melting pot of Asian and Middle Eastern influences. After lunch, see the Great Mosque during a visit to the Muslim Quarter. The following day, view the Terra Cotta Warriors, storied funerary pieces. Among the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, there are more than 8,000 soldiers spread throughout three dig pits, each revealing a unique face, testifying to the remarkable craftsmanship that went into making them. Later, enter the Ancient Gate of Xian’s City Wall and cycle along its ramparts. (B L)
Days 6-7: Chengdu | Up Close to Pandas
Fly to Chengdu and visit the People’s Park, the city’s largest public park, where you enjoy a tea demonstration at a local teahouse. The next morning, visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center and observe giant pandas roaming freely in their natural habitat. (B L)
Days 8-10: Lhasa, Tibet | Gateway to Tibet
Fly to Lhasa, a soaring city at 12,000 feet, where you relax and acclimatize. The next day, visit the Ani Tsangkung Nunnery and Jokhang, a 1,300-year-old temple housing Tibet’s most revered golden Buddha. Wander Lhasa’s Barkhor Bazaar; visit Sera Monastery; and see the Dalai Lama’s former summer residence at Norbulingka. On your last day, visit Sanggye Dhunghor and Potala Palace, the Dalai Lama’s former winter residence. (B (Day 8); B L (Days 9 & 10))
Day 11: Chongqing | Board ‘Yangzi Explorer’
Fly to Chongqing, and visit Huguang Guild Hall and the Chinese Stilwell Museum. Then, board your boutique river cruiser for a three-night journey through the Three Gorges region. Tonight, enjoy an embarkation dinner in your vessel’s Dynasty Palace restaurant. (B D)
Day 12: Cruising the Yangtze | Nature's Beauty
Begin the day with a tai chi class, and take a shore excursion to a remote village. Back on board, receive a lesson in Mandarin or Chinese brush painting and calligraphy. Attend the Captain’s Reception, followed by dinner and entertainment. (B L D)
Day 13: The Three Gorges | China’s Ultimate Scenery
Early this morning, cruise the Qutang and Wu Gorges. Anchor at Badong, where you board a ferry and travel up the Shennong Stream. Disembark to board local “pea pod” boats poled by skilled Tujia boatmen. Later, sail the Xiling Gorge and enjoy a “Taste of China” dinner. (B L D)
Day 14: Yichang to Shanghai | Disembark ‘Yangzi Explorer’
Arrive at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site and Exhibition Center for a tour. Continue sailing to Yichang. Disembark and fly to Shanghai, where you transfer to your elegant hotel, located on the city’s historic Bund. (B L)
Days 15-16: Shanghai | Exhilarating Metropolis
Visit Zhujiajiao, a water village. Stroll its narrow lanes and board a sampan (wooden boat). Tonight, attend a Shanghai Acrobatic performance. The next day, stroll the Bund, Shanghai’s iconic promenade. Wander through the streets of Old Town; visit Yu Garden; and explore the M-50 Contemporary Art District. (B (Day 15); B L (Day 16))
Day 17: Depart Shanghai
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart. (B)
Explore remarkable cultures with an intriguing independent journey through Asia, travelling from China's Beijing and Chengdu to Lhasa, in the heart of Tibet, where you visit Potala Palace, before cruising through the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River.
Meals as specified.
Arrival and departure transers.
Fully-guided sightseeing as noted in the itinerary.
Bottled water supplied during Sightseeing.
Handling of two pieces of baggage per person for international fights.
Beijing: Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
Xian: Shangri-La Hotel, Xian
Chengdu: Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu
Lhasa: Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa
Yangtze River: Cabin onboard Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'
Shanghai: The Peninsula Shanghai
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.