China's Cities, pandas and the Yangtze River
Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Yangtze River Cruise, Shanghai
14 days / 13 nights
Day 1 Arrive Beijing, China’s capital city formerly known as Peking.
Day 2 In the heart of the city is Tian An Men Square, walk to the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City, home to China’s emperors for more than 500 years. Explore Beijing’s Old Living Quarter, the Hutongs, climb up the old Drum Tower for a bird-eye view of Old Beijing followed by an evening of traditional Peking opera.
Day 3 The Great Wall of China was built over more than two thousand years, like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 5,500 miles from east to west of China.
Day 4 Visit the Temple of Heaven built for the worship of heaven and the Summer Palace with its exquisite gardens and perfect views.
Day 5 Fly to Xi’an, a former ancient capital of China, surrounded by old city walls once used to protect the area. The Terra Cotta Warriors are Xian’s greatest and most important attraction. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty ordered the making of the warriors. The estimated 8,000 terra cotta soldiers are a testament to his power and megalomania. After a dumpling dinner stroll around the Muslim Quarter.
Day 6 Visit Shaanxi History Museum which houses a collection of over 300,000 precious artifacts showing the development of civilization in this region, and the Stele Forest, the richest collection of ancient stone tablets in China. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and explore Xian City Wall. Fly to Chengdu.
Day 7 Today enjoy visiting China’s most adorable animal, the Panda. Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center duplicates the pandas' natural habitat. The Center also cares for other rare and endangered wild animals.
Day 8 Train to Chongqing to board a Yangtze River cruise.
Day 9 Disembark for an excursion to Fengdu Ghost City or Shibaozhai, or Snowy Jade Cave according to the river condition or different cruises.
Day 10 Sailing through the Qutang Gorge and later the Wu Gorgewith an excursion to the Small Gorges, or take a shore excursion to Badong in a small wooden boat trip to enjoy the natural beauty of Shennong Stream.
Day 11 Visit the grandest hydroelectric project in the world. The Three Gorges Dam. Disembark in Yichang. Fly to Shanghai.
Day 12 Shanghai Museum is a large museum of ancient Chinese art. A good place for lunch is in Xin Tian Di, a neighborhood of old Shikumen (a type of tenement found only in Shanghai. The Old Town Bazaar, the busiest shopping area in Shanghai. Continue to the Bund, the famous waterfront and a symbol of Shanghai.
Day 13 By train to Suzhou to visit the Humble Administrator’s Garden, amongst the best of Suzhou’s classic gardens. A boat ride on the small canals. The Garden of the Master of Nets is the smallest among the four most famous classic gardens in Suzhou, yet the finest. Return to Shanghai.