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Home > China Tours > 12-Day Beijing Xian Shanghai with Yangtze Cruise

12-Day Beijing Xian Shanghai with Yangtze Cruise

beijing map, shanghai map, xian map
Tour Code: CFT-1001
Tour Name: 12-Day Beijing Xian Shanghai with Yangtze Cruise
Note: B—Breakfast, L—Lunch, D—Dinner

Destination: Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yichang, Shanghai

Departs: Anytime

Tour Highlights

>>Forbidden City
>>Mutianyu Great Wall
>>Terra Cotta Warriors
>>Yuyuan Garden
>>Yangtze Cruise
>>Yu Garden
>>Zhujiajiao Water Town

Tour Overview
Best China tour combined highlights of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and enjoy relaxing Yangtze River Cruise. Wonderful experience for 1st timers to China and families with child.

Yangtze Cruise

Day 1 Arrival in Beijing (no meal)

Meet your guide at the Beijing Airport and then transfer to the hotel. Time at leisure to get acquainted with your new surroundings. 

Day 2 Beijing (B, L)
Highlights today: Tiananmen Square,the Forbidden City, Summer Palace

Full day trip to the Tiananmen Square first. It is the largest city square in the world, where solemn ceremonies of raising/lowering the national flag in every morning or sunset time are held here. Then go to the Forbidden City. Standing in the center of Beijing, it is protected by high walls and a moat on all four sides and consists of dozens of halls and courtyards. Admire one of world's most legenary ancient royal palaces and the treasures kept on display. At last, pay a visit to the Summer Palace, Qing’s Imperial rulers’ favorite summer residence. UNESCO inscribed Summer Palace a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1998. A dragon boat cruie is recommended if the weather is good. 

Optional night show: 

Beijing Kung Fu Show: A rare chance to watch the real Shaolin Kung Fu. The performers are the best and have mastered the difficult moves.

Day 3 Beijing (B, L, D)
Highlights today: Mutianyu Great Wall, Dingling Tomb, Sacred Road, Olympic Green, Roast Peking Duck dinner

Today's excursion takes you to the Mutianyu Great Wall, a less busy part of the Great Wall than Badaling & Juyonguan. Take carble car to the tower and then spend around 2hrs to explore the steps and towers. Take toboggan slider down the hill with great fun. After lunch in local restaurant, go to visit the Dingling Tomb, one of 13 Ming Tombs and one of the 2 escavated tombs. This tomb has an underground palace. You will also take a walk at the Sacred Road , which is a road with stone statues of various animals and leads to the tomb complex. Transfer back to hotel and take a photo stop at Olympic Green, in which "Bird Nest" and "Water Cubic" were served as stadiums during Peking Olympic Games. Enjoy tasty Roast Peking Duck for dinner, which used to be a royal court dish with a history of around 1500 years.

 Day 4 Beijing → Xian by train (B, L)
Highlights today: Temple of Heaven, Beijing Hutongs

Temple of Heaven

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel, then drive to visit Temple of Heaven, a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design where the ancient emperors used to pray for the God's bless of the whole nation. Today, there are many public activities and performances are held in the park. Afterwards, meander down to the nearby hutongs. Beijing Hutongs are unique street design in Beijing and regarded as a window into Beijing folk life. Take afternoon high speed train from Beijing to Xi'an. Arrive at Xian. Be met & transferred to your hotel.

Day 5 Xian (B, L)
Highlights today: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, Wlid Goose Pagoda, Tang Dynasty Singing and Dancing Show

Visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum in the morning, which is one of the most important archaeological finds in the 20th century, and a UNESCO World Heritage. Drive back to downtown area and visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, it was first built in Tang Dynasty for the storage of Buddhist scriptures taken from India by Monk Xuanzang and now becomes the city emblem. Then have a visit for the exterior of Bell Tower and Drum Tower, the symbol of Xi'an and of significant importance in Xian history. In the evening, enjoy the wonderful Tang Dynasty Singing and Dancing Show- A wonderful performance of the ancient music and dance.

Day 6 Xian → Chongqing by flight (B, L, D)
Highlights today: Ancient City Wall, Muslim Street, Great Mosque, hotpot dinner

After breakfast, visit the Ancient City Wall of Xian, the best-kept and biggest city walls in China. Then go to the Muslim Street, get close to Muslim people and their life. Besides, on this popular food street, you’ll find traditional dishes and special snacks. And the visit the Great Mosque, built in a Chinese architectural style and most of the grounds are taken up with gardens.

After sightseeing, fly to Chongqing and enjoy hotpot dinner before boardding your Yangtze cruise ship. The ship departs at around 9.30pm.

Day 7 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
Hightlights today: Fengdu or Shibaozhai

On board, shore excursion to "the Ghost City" Fengdu or Shibaozhai depending on the schedule of the cruise companies. Since 2010, some cruise companies offer optional shore excursions during your cruise, please kindly check with your travel consultant for more information.

Day 8 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
Hightlights today: Lesser Three Gorges or Goddest Stream

Today you'll get a close look of the enchanting landscape as you board a small boat and cruise along a tributary to the Yangtze to explore the exceptionally beautiful Lesser Three Gorges or Goddess Stream depending on the arrangement of the cruise company.

Day 9 Yichang → Shanghai by flight (B)
Highlights today: Three Gorge Dam

Shore excursion to the amazing Three Gorge Dam: it is the world's largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22,500 MW). Later, disembark at Yichang. After lunch, transfer to airport and fly to vibrant Shanghai.

Day 10 Shanghai (B, L)
Highlights today: Yu Garden, Chenghuangmiao, Shanghai Museum, Nanjing Road, the Bund

Full-day tour to explore Shanghai city, an international cosmopolis mix with both traditional Chinese and western cultures. Tour starts from Yu Garden, one of the most famous classic gardens in south China. Chenghuangmiao, also called Yu Market, is adjacent to the garden and popular for free shopping and bargain. Enjoy dim sum meal for lunch, and then visit Shanghai Museum at Renmin Square. The Museum is one of the best one in China and is mainly for ancient arts. Take a walk at Nanjing Road and go to the Bund by Huangpu River. The Bund once was the financial center of the Far East and is considered as the city's symbol since the 1920s. It is often referred to as "the museum of buildings", as many different old colonial-era buildings can be found here. 


Day 11 Shanghai (B, L)
Highlights today: Zhujiajiao Water Town, Xintiandi

Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town this morning. Water towns are dotted in Yantze delta and Zhujiajiao is one of the well preserved ones. It is about 50 kilometers away in the western outskirts from the city centre and features beautiful waterways, arched stone bridges, ancient streets paved with stone, you will take a gondola style boat cruise along its water lanes. Transfer back to down town in the afternoon and take a walk at Xintiandi area, a district composed of an area of reconstituted traditional mid-19th century shikumen ("stone gate") houses on narrow alleys. 

Optional night activity:

The ERA Acrobatic Show is a fascinating show that tells a story from ancient times till present day. This show includes surprising feats, live music, complete plots and other spectacular features.

Day 12 Shanghai departure (B)

Free at leisure, transfer to the airport for the flight home or to your next destination. Welcome back to China next time! 

Service Ends 

Dear Vivian:

My husband and I were VERY pleased with our tour of China. Some of the highlights and my observations:


We were met at the airport by May Zhou, who was absolutely delightful in every way. We appreciated the fact that she introduced us to our driver, Mr. Chang. She went into the hotel with us and made sure we were settled before leaving us that first afternoon, which was very helpful. She laid out the plans for the upcoming time in Beijing and also made sure we knew what our options were for dinner that first evening. The itinerary was terrific. Since we were struggling a bit with jet lag, it was great that we spent the first full day in town seeing Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, saving the more strenuous stuff for the next day. We were very glad the Mutianyu Gate was the one selected for our visit--everything I've read says it is the "better" entrance to visit, even though it is further away from Beijing.

The hotel, Citytel, was comfortable and well located. We even had a view of the rooftops of the Forbidden City! All of the meals were good and May made sure we had an opportunity to try a variety of different dishes. Our visit to the hutong was quite charming and Andy, our hutong guide, was very sweet. We also enjoyed our brief visit with a resident of the hutong. It was really eye-opening.

All our tour guides were great, but May was something extra special. She was professional, friendly and very knowledgeable. Not only did she provide us with the facts and figures, but she also filled us with interesting side notes about the things we were seeing and doing. She was simply top notch and we enjoyed her immensely.


Lily met us at Xi'an and also took us into the hotel to make sure we were settled in easily. Our son arrived late that evening, as expected. Lily and the driver picked us up Saturday morning and we headed out to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. She was also very knowledgeable about the history of the site.

Lily suggested a fabulous dumpling restaurant in the heart of Xi'an. My husband and I agree that this dinner was absolutely the very best of our entire time in China -- and we enjoyed all our meals! We were all very glad she had recommended it to us.


I highly recommend that everyone coming into Shanghai for the first time, arrive at night, like we did. The Shanghai city lights were absolutely breathtaking!

We really enjoyed Jimmy's enthusiasm for his lovely city. He seemed proud to show us the sights. Our visit to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower was especially memorable, with its glass viewing floor. We also enjoyed the time we spent in Zhujiajiao and were glad it had been included in the itinerary.

The Jinjiang Inns in both Xi'an and Shanghai were clean, comfortable and conveniently located.

My husband and I were very impressed with all of the arrangements made on our behalf and will be very pleased to recommend you and your travel services to anyone planning a trip to China. We could not have been more pleased and we wish to thank you sincerely for making our first trip to China so memorable.

Thank you again,

Nancy *

Client's Information:
Name: Nancy *
Nationality: USA
Tour Starting Date: early May, 2017

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