Travel | China Highlights

Itinerary, Inclusions and Costs

China Highlights

September 23 – October 7, 2006    (15 days) 

Beijing - Xian - Chengdu - Yangtze River Cruise - Guilin - Hong Kong

This carefully designed itinerary showcases China's major cities and best known sights, highlighted by a cruise on the Yangtze River. There are over 23 included attractions, from a Peking Opera performance to a Tang Dynasty Dance & Music Show. Shopping in Hong Kong will make this tour an unforgettable experience.

Day 1 - Flight from the United States to Beijing, China
Our trans-Pacific flight takes off for Beijing, China's almighty capital, where the cogs and wheels of the Chinese universe move or slow down, a city full of history and impressive monuments.   
(In-flight meals)

Day 2 - Beijing
Late this evening we arrive in Beijing where our local guides will meet us. We check into our hotel and have time to get acquainted with our fellow travelers.   (In-flight meals)
Accommodation: New World Courtyard

Day 3 – Beijing
Today's sightseeing starts at the Great Wall. A stirring sight as it winds like a dragon into the hills, we walk along its famous path. After lunch, we will explore the magnificent tombs of 13 of the Ming Emperors. We pass through the famous "Spirit Way", lined with stele of stone animals, to visit the only open tomb, that of Emperor Shen Zong and his two empresses, with displays of the emperor's crown and robe. Tonight we enjoy a spectacular performance of the Peking Opera.   
Accommodation: New World Courtyard    (B-L-D)

Day 4 – Beijing
We continue our sightseeing in Beijing with a tour of the Forbidden City. Through the Meridian Gate, we enter a world of incredible extravagance and intrigue as we stroll the walled city. Later, we visit the Tian'anmen Square with Mao's Tomb. This afternoon we go out to the Summer Palace, which is followed by a spectacular Peking Duck dinner. 
Accommodation:  New World Courtyard    (B-L-D)

Day 5 – Beijing - Xian
A morning flight, via Beijing, brings us to Xian, for eleven dynasties the capital of ancient China. It was the starting point for the famous Silk Routes on which the precious material was carried all the way to ancient Rome (the Romans however never knew from where exactly it came from). Xian is one of China's major attractions, due to its unique 2000 years history, testimony of which can be found throughout the area. Afternoon sightseeing includes a visit to the Shaanxi Provincial Museum and the well preserved city walls. After dinner we attend a special Tang Dynasty Music and Dance show.  
Accommodation: Lee Garden Hotel    (B-L-D)

Day 6 - Xian
One of the absolute highlights of any visit to China is the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China. An extraordinary army of over 6,000 terra cotta warriors (no two alike!) with their horses and chariots have protected the dead Emperor for over 2,000 years. Next we tour the Banpo Neolithic Village with the first traces of the Yangshao culture, dating to 4,500 B.C.  The striking Ming Dynasty Bell Tower and Drum Tower further underline Xian's historical significance.
Accommodation: Lee Garden Hotel    (B-L-D)

 Day 7 - Xian - Chongqing - Embarkation
This morning is free to explore the many exotic and interesting markets in Xian. An afternoon flight brings us to Chongqing, China's former wartime capital. Afternoon sightseeing includes Luohan Temple and Red Cliff Village. We embark in the evening to start our Yangtze River Cruise. 
Accommodation: Yangtze River Cruiser – East King    (B-L-D)

Day 8 - Yangtze River Cruise
The highlight of today's programs will be the excursion to Shibaozhai, one of the Yangtze's most spectacular sites. It consists of a huge rectangular rock standing on the riverside, backed by sheer cliffs. Perched on top is a temple with a truly magnificent 12 story wooden pagoda built against the side of the rock wall. It is amazing that no nails were used in construction. It is over 400 years old, and has appropriately been named the "Pearl of the Yangtze". The small isolated village with narrow cobblestone streets has no vehicular traffic, a rarity even in rural China   
Accommodation:  Yangtze River Cruiser – East King    (B-L-D)

Day 9 - Yangtze River Cruise
Sheer cliffs and gushing rapids set the tone for today's journey into the fabled Three gorges and the most spectacular stretch of river scenery in the world. The gorge's towering cliffs and fascinating rock formations are each enshrouded in legend, which our cruise director will narrate as we travel in their midst. The first gorge entered is Qutang Gorge, considered the most beautiful with its gentle bluff banks and ancient plank pathways. The second gorge is Wu Gorge, famous for her deep zigzagging valley and forested mountains. In addition to the magnificent gorges, we'll enjoy charming villages, lush terraced hillsides, and historic landmarks dotting the countryside we cruise by. The last gorge is Xiling Gorge, a shallower section of weathered shoals and turbulent rapids.
Apart from enjoying the Three Gorges, today we'll also have a chance to "drift" Shennong Stream, which is comprised of Parrot Gorge and Dragon Boat Gorge with breathtaking scenery. Sailing through the treacherous gorges with lush pine and translucent water, visitors can see spectacular sights like ancient plank roads, ancient cave coffins, aqueous caves, rainbow fountains and animals like Macaques and Mandarin Ducks.   
Accommodation: Yangtze River Cruiser – East King    (B-L-D)

Day 10 - Yichang - Wuhan - Guilin
This morning at 8:00am you will tour the monumental Three Gorges Dam Project before disembarking in Yichang at 11:30am. An afternoon flight brings you to Guilin. 
Accommodation: Guishan Hotel    (B-L-D)

Day 11 - Guilin
You'll feel as though you've stepped back into one of those ancient scroll paintings during our full day cruise of the Li River as we float past lush green valleys, bamboo groves and such striking land formations as Elephant Trunk Hill, Old Man Mountain and Nine Horse Hill.  Afternoon is free in Yangshuo. 
Accommodation: Guishan Hotel    (B-L-D)

Day 12 – Guilin – Hong Kong
Morning sightseeing in Guilin includes visits to Reed Flute Cave and Fubu Hill. After lunch we will board a flight to Hong Kong, China's most cosmopolitan city. 
Accommodation: Newton    (B-L)

Day 13 – Hong Kong
This morning's sightseeing begins with a drive to Victoria Peak for a panoramic view of the city. Continue to Repulse Bay and Stanley Market, famous for shopping local arts and crafts. Then we will enjoy an Aberdeen Harbour cruise where we can look out onto the high rises of Hong Kong that tower over Chinese junks before settling down for a sumptuous Dim Sum lunch on a floating restaurant.
Accommodation: Newton    (B-L)

Day 14 – Hong Kong
A free day to explore Hong Kong. You may join a local tour to see the giant Buddha on the island of Lantau, or take a swift Hover Craft ride to Macau to try your luck at this "Las Vegas" of the East, or just spent your time shopping at one of the many open markets, malls and shops. If you enjoy electronics take the ferry or subway across to Kowloon.
Accommodation: Newton    (B)

Day 15 – Flight from Hong Kong to the United States
Today we bid farewell to Hong Kong and China when we transfer to the new International airport to board our flight back home. 
(B-in flight meals)

Included in the Tour
•  Round-trip air fare from Los Angeles (add on fares from all US cities available)
•  Fully escorted throughout entire program
•  Comprehensive sightseeing with qualified local guides 
•  First Class hotel accommodation as listed or similar. 
•  Daily American Breakfast, Chinese Lunch & Dinner as indicated

Special Highlights
•  Peking Roast Duck Welcome Banquet
•  Peking Opera performance
•  Great Wall and  Ming Tombs
•  Forbidden City
•  Tiananmen Square
•  Temple of Heaven
•  Imperial Summer Palace 
•  Tang Dynasty Music and Dance performance
•  Special Xian Dumpling dinner
•  Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Terra Cotta Army
•  Shaanxi Provincial Museum
•  Neolithic Banpo Village Museum
•  Xian Bell Tower, Wild Goose Pagoda & City Walls
•  Tomb of Wang Jiang with famous assembly of statues of  Tang musicians
•  Chonqing city tour
•  Yangtze River cruise
•  Reed Flute Cave 
•  Fubu Hill
•  Li River cruise
•  Picturesque Yanshuo
•  Hong Kong city tour with Victoria Peak
•  Aberdeen Harbour cruise
•  Special Dim Sum lunch

Not Included
•  Gratuities for drivers, bellboys and tour guides (approximately $
•  US Departure Tax & Customs Fee  (approximately $ 68)
•  Airport Construction Fee & Departure Tax in China  (approximately $ 35)
•  Personal nature items 
•  Optional travel insurance
•  Chinese Visa Application Fee ($ 65)

Departure Date & Tour Price
September 23 – October 7, 2006             $ 3,795  (LAX) 
ask about prices from other cities
Single Supplement                                      $ 1,195           

Hotels
Beijing – New World Courtyard
Xian – Lee Garden Hotel
Yangtze Cruise – East King
Guilin – Guishan Hotel
Hong Kong – Newton

Last updated Sunday November 26, 2006