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17 Day China Tour: Shanghai Yangtze Yunnan Xian Beijing Tour
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17 Days China Best with Yangtze Cruise & Yunnan Tour

Shanghai / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise / Chongqing / Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming / Xian / Beijing

Tour Code:
Tour Style:
Private Tour (personal guide, driver, private car/van and more service)
Group size:
You, your family, friends or group
You Choose!
Architecture Culture Photograph ship
Yunnan is home to 52 ethnic minorities out of China's 56 ethnic groups. Come to the colorful world (Lijiang, Shangri-La and Kunming) where you will visit villages and old towns, explore the hidden gems and encounter various minority people. Meanwhile, the must-do Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Yangtze River cruise are covered in this tour.

Price fromrequest

1. This price is based on a group (2 to 5 travelers) accommodated in 3-star hotel in lower seasons.

2. This price is subject to change according your group members and traveling time. Usually more travelers, lower the price; higher price in high seasons, lower in low seasons.

3. This price is valid until February 28th, 2018.

Places Visited

Shanghai (2 nights), Yichang, Yangtze Cruise (4 nights), Chongqing, Lijiang (2 nights), Shangri-La (2 nights), Kunming (1 night), Xian (2 nights), Beijing (3 nights)

Highlights of the Trip

  • Explore Yunnan minority culture in Lijiang, Shang-La and Kunming
  • Relax on a luxury Yangtze cruise and enjoy breathtaking Three Gorges scenery
  • Deep into golden triangle cities of China: Beijing, Xian, Shanghai

Trip Summary

Day 1-2: Fly to Shanghai & Shanghai

Your lifetime Yangtze Cruise tour begins with welcome from your local guide at the Shanghai airport. In the metropolis Shanghai, you'll visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Yu Garden and more sites.

Day 3: Shanghai & Fly to Yichang to board Yangtze River cruise

Have a leisure exploration in Shanghai to stroll along Nanjing Road and The Bund; fly to Yichang city and transfer to the cruise port to board your 5-day upstream Yangtze River cruise.

Day 4-6: Yangtze River Cruise

Enjoy the relaxing leisure life on Yangtze cruise, take shore excursions to the world famous Three Gorges Dam Site, Shibaozhai Pagoda, Shennv Stream, appreciate breathtaking scenery along Three Gorges - Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge.

Day 7: Disembark in Chongqing & Fly to Lijiang

In the morning, you'll disembark at Chongqing Chaotianmen Cruise Port. Have a leisure walk in Ciqikou Ancient Town before take a flight to Lijiang.

Day 8-9: Lijiang & Transfer to Shangri-La

Have in-depth exploration in the minority kingdom. Visit Yuhu Village, Former Residence of Joseph Rock, Baisha Mural Paintings, Shuhe Ancient Town, Black Dragon Pool Park and Naxi Dongba Culture Museum. See the First Bend of the Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Gorge. Transfer to Shangri-La by car.

Day 10: Shangri-La

Have a full day in the on-earth paradise by visiting Songzanlin Monastery, Bitahai and Shudu Lakes. Get the rare chance to visit a local Tibetan family and experience hospitality of Tibetan people.

Day 11-12: Shangri-La & Kunming & Fly to Xian

Take a flight to Kunming from Shangri-La and visit Stone Forest, minority village, West Hill and Dragon Gate. After Kunming trip, fly to the ancient capital - Xian.

Day 13-14: Xian & Fly to Beijing

Explore the incredible Terracotta Warriors, stroll or ride a bike along Ancient City Wall, visit Bell Tower, Great Mosque, Muslim Community and Big Wild Goose Pagoda. After Xian tour, fly to the capital of China - Beijing.

Day 15-17: Beijing & Beijing Departure

In Beijing, visit the must-see sites like Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall of China, Ding Tomb, Summer Palace etc. Get back home after this amazing Beijing trip.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Shanghai Arrival

Welcome to Shanghai, the Oriental Paris in China! Upon arrival, your guide will meet you at the airport/train station or cruise port. A comfortable vehicle (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. The guide will help you check in. The rest of today is on your own to explore the west-meet-east city.

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Day 2 Shanghai (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up at your hotel. First, get to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center which displays Shanghai’s urban planning and development. Here, you’ll have vivid ideas about how Shanghai became a cosmopolitan from a shabby fishing village.

Later, head to the 400-year-old Yu Garden, a famous classical garden in south China. Out from Yuyuan Garden, move to Yuyuan Bazaar to explore how elaborate and cute the traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works are, and savor some local flavor snacks. Drive to the highest tower in Aria - Oriental Pearl TV Tower and have a bird view of the Bund and Huangpu River.

Evening Ideas: In this evening, enjoy the stunning acrobatic show with a lot of exciting programs. It is one of the oldest performing arts in China which will make you astonished and amazed.

Yu Garden in Shanghai

Day 3 Shanghai & Flight to Yichang from Shanghai (B)

After breakfast, have a walk along the Bund to witness Shanghai Pudong skyline and appreciate many beautiful old buildings from the colonial era. Stroll along China’s No.1 shopping street - Nanjing Road to see the middle-end and high-end brands and do some shopping here if you like. Then, you will be escorted to the airport and take the flight to Yichang.

After Yichang arrival, our guide will take you to visit Yichang Museum if time permits. And then be transferred to the cruise pier, and board your ship in the late afternoon. Your lifetime Yangtze cruise starts! (Note: the boarding time changes based on the cruise ships, seasons, water level, weather, etc.)

The Bund of Shanghai

Day 4 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

Today's onboard activities include: Taichi exercise in the morning; shore excursion to Three Gorges Dam Site, the world-famous project; Captain's Welcome Banquet at 18:00; Evening entertainment at 20:00 to enjoy the Chinese folk dancing and music performance.

Three Gorges Dam Site on the Yangtze has been a dream for generations and is one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken by mankind. This great dam, the biggest hydropower project in the world, provides China with tremendous power generation and flood control service.

World-famous Three Gorges Dam

Day 5 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

Shore excursion to Shennv Stream by smaller vessels. Shennv Stream, called Goddess Stream, is reputed as the Original Virgin Valley of Yangtze where you could see extraordinary view.

Note: Some cruise ships make the shore excursion to the Shennong Stream. You have the final say on which excursion to make, as we can book any of the cruise ships at great rates!

Wu Gorge

Day 6 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

Take shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda. Shibaozhai, like a pearl on Yangtze River, is 278 kilometers away from Chongqing. As the gem of Chinese Architecture, the 12-story, 18th Century red wooden temple is an architectural delight full of Legends and beautiful stories.

Please Note: Some cruise ships make the shore excursion to the Fengdu Ghost City. Reach the top of Ming Mountain to check why it has been regarded as the "City of Ghosts". It is where the devil lives according to Chinese legend. The temples shows punish instruments and demon paintings, depicting the Chinese people’s imagination of hell. You have the final say on which excursion to make, as we can book any of the cruise ships at great rates!

Shibaozhai Pagoda

Day 7 Flight to Lijiang from Chongqing (B, L)

You will disembark in Chongqing at around 9:00am. Your guide will pick you up at Chongqing Chaotianmen Cruise Port and transfer to see Ciqikou Ancient Town which was a Chongqing's old harbor and was once the home of many of Chongqing's rich merchants.

After the leisure trip, transfer to Chongqing Jiangbei Airport and take a flight to Lijiang. The rest of today is free to explore Lijiang Ancient Town.

Ciqikou Old Town

Day 8 Lijiang (B, L)

Today, your guide and driver will escort you Yuhu Village which is located in the south of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. When walk around this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone house, naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, a wooden fish is hunging in the middle of the roof, the kids playing…Then you get to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who is an Austrian-American Botanist came in Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years.

After that, visit the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings at Baisha Village. Painted over 1000 years ago, the murals combine the cultures of Han, Tibetan and Naxi people displaying the life stories of the Tibet Buddhism, Confucian and Taoism. Then, followed a trip to Shuhe Ancient Town - a component of Lijiang Old Town listed as UNESCO World Heritage in 1997.

Later, head for Black Dragon Pool Park and the Naxi Dongba Culture Museum where you can learn Naxi pictograph character and explore the rich Naxi minority culture in the museum.

Lijiang Black Dragon Pool

Day 9 Lijiang & Transfer to Shangri-La (B, L)

Today you’ll be driven to the old town of Shigu (Stone Drum) to see the Iron Chain Bridge which the Red Army used to cross the river during the Long March in 1930s. Then head to marvel at the stunning First Bend of the Yangtze River and have a little challenging trek to the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Later, you’ll drive to Shangri La, about 100km. You’ll enjoy the enchanting natural scenes on the way.

First Bend of the Yangtze River

Day 10 Shangri-La (B, L)

Today is a full day to explore the on-earth paradise described in the famous novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton.

You’ll visit the Songzanlin Lamasery to be touched about how the simple Tibetan keeps their pure and religious belief in this temporal world. Later take a leisurely walk beside the beautiful Bitahai and Shudu Lakes, feel marvel for the nature’s masterpiece.

After that, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people.

Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La

Day 11 Shangri-La & Flight to Kunming (B, L)

Free until being escorted to the airport for your flight to Kunming. After arriving in Kunming, transfer to visit the renowned Stone Forest, the “First Wonder of the World”. You’ll marvel at its natural stone masterpieces and be bewitched by the intricate formations. You feel like come into a “stone world’.

Afterwards, visit a minority village of Sani People, to admire their colorful minority costumes and exotic tradition cultures. You’ll have a nice chance to listen to the touching love story of Ashima told by local old people.

After the tour, transfer back to Kunming downtown.

Kunming Stone Forest

Day 12 Kunming & Flight to Xian (B)

In the morning, pick you up at your hotel. First, head to the Flower Market, Kunming is a city of “flower”.

Then go to visit the West Hill, looking like a beautiful young lady lying beside Dianchi Lake. Stop by to see the magic Dragon Gate.

After the tour, be transferred to the airport and take a flight to Xian, the Ancient Capital of China. Upon arrival, be met at the airport and transfer to your hotel in Xian. The rest of today is on your own to explore the ancient city.

Dragon Gate on West Hill

Day 13 Xian (B, L)

Today your first stop is to join the ranks of the incredible Terracotta Warriors, the forbidding sentinels of a death defying emperor, starting out through the silent millennia of history.

In the afternoon, visit the Ancient City Walls, the largest and best-kept city walls on earth. Strolling on the Walls is quite an enjoyable experience. Today’s tour ends to visit the Bell Tower, a famous landmark of Xian ancient city.

Recommended Activities (Optional): You can rent a bike and cycle on the wall or have a local dumpling dinner and enjoy the famous Tang Dynasty Show.

Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the Eighth Wonder of the World

Day 14 Xian & Flight to Beijing (B, L)

Today after breakfast, you’ll visit the Great Mosque, a tranquil and historic mosque that has served Xian’s Muslim community for more than a millennium. By the way, you’ll stop by the Muslim Community.

Then head to the age-old Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the symbol of the old-line Xian, a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists.

After the tour, be transferred to the airport and take a flight to Beijing, the capital city of China. Be met and transferred to your hotel by the local guide and the rest of today is free at your leisure.

the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian

Day 15 Beijing (B, L)

Today's tour begins to visit the Tiananmen Square, the world's largest plaza. Walking through Tiananmen Gate, you'll enter the splendid Forbidden City, China's No.1 palace complex adorned with imperial treasures.

In the afternoon, you'll marvel at the Temple of Heaven where the emperors worshipped heaven and prayed for peace and harvest.

After the tour, get back to your hotel.

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests of Temple of Heaven

Day 16 Beijing (B, L)

This morning tour will take you to size up the world-famous Great Wall (Mutianyu section), the key symbol of China. Flexible visiting time allows you to enjoy a lifetime trekking trip (1-2 hours' hiking), or witness the breathtaking views of this man-made wonder by taking a cable car.

After the Wall visit, you'll explore the Ding Tomb of Ming Imperial Tombs. On the way back to the city, you can make a stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to take some pictures of the world-famed "Bird’s Nest" and the "Water Cube" from the outside.

Evening Ideas: try the flavorful dish of Peking Roast Duck Dinner in this evening. (Optional)

Autumn Scenery of Mutianyu Great Wall

Day 17 Beijing Departure (B)

Today after breakfast, you’ll visit the fabulous Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China, the next ‘must see’ site after the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

Then you will be escorted to the airport for a flight to your next destination or back to your home.

Longevity Hill & Kunming Lake of Summer Palace

Recommended Add-on Options

+ 3 more days to immerse in the World Spiritual land of Tibet

Tibet is the highest region on earth, widely referred to as the Roof of the World. It is home to Tibetan people and the Tibetan Buddhism. In Tibet, you can enjoy the snow-capped mountain ranges and vast grassland, and immerse yourself into the Tibetan Buddhism and all its mysteries.

Lhasa Sera Monastery

+ 2 more days to visit the city with best scenery under heaven - Guilin

Surrounded by karst peaks, Yangshuo is situated on the bank of Li River in Guilin. Yangshuo has long been renowned as a popular place for foreign tourists. It is said “guilin landscape tops those elsewhere, and yangshuo landscape tops that of Guilin”. Outdoor options are plenty here and West Street is a good place to explore.

The Famous Elephant Trunk Hill

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17 Days China Tour with Yangtze Cruise & Yunnan

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What travelers said about Yangtze cruise tour

-March 17, 2017

Hi Wendy,
We had a great time and your organization and your suggestions were perfect. Your guides were all excellent. Thank you for adapting to our needs through the journey....

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