10 Days Xian, Zhangjiajie Avatar Tour with Yangtze Cruise
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR
- Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site Terracotta Warriors, depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in China;
- Enjoy a leisure stroll or biking on the Ancient City Wall and then wander leisurely on the lively Muslim Quarter to hunt for snacks;
- Enjoy a classic visit of Wulingyuan, a favored World Natural Heritage by UNESCO to admire the universally rare wonder of dense forests of Karst stone mountain pillars;
- Make the must-do visit to Yuanjiajie to admire the globally famous real “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in the first 3D movie towering from the deep valley truly in front of you;
- Relax yourselves with endless scenic sightseeing along the beautiful Three Gorges and take shore excursions to explore the cultural and natural sites along the way;
- Take a walk to witness the Three Gorges Dam and marvel at the world famous project which generates the biggest amount of hydroelectric power.
Sampling Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1 Xian ArrivalPick you up at the airport / railway station and escort you to the hotel
Ni Hao! Welcome to Xian, the ancient capital of China for 13 dynasties! Upon arrival, you will met by our local guide at the arrival hall of Xian Xianyang Airport / train station and escorted to your hotel. The rest of today is free on your own to explore the city with more than 3,000 years.
Arrival Ideas: There are more than 130 international and domestic cities well linking with Xian by air. Also, travelers can take high speed trains to Xian from Beijing (about 4.5~6hrs), Shanghai (about 6~7.5hrs), Luoyang (about 1.5hrs), Zhengzhou (about 2.5hrs), etc.
Day 2 Xian (B, L)Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter
In this morning, drive about 40km to the Eighth Wonder of the World - Terracotta Warriors and Horses which was founded in 1974 by local farmers and later listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Get into the living historical classroom to witness one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world. Visit the three pits containing more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses and know the history of Qin Dynasty (221-207BC), the emperors and the funerary art.
Next, drive back to Xian downtown for some leisure time on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved existing ancient city wall in China. This rectangular city wall is 13.75km in length, 12m in height and 15-18m in width which takes about 4 hours’ walking for the circuit. Standing on the ancient wall, you can enjoy panoramic view of Xian City. Then, you’ll be followed a trip to Muslim Quarter where you can taste different local food and snacks and explore Muslim culture.
Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing cycling trip on the Ancient City Wall (about 2 hours); 2) Enjoy a brilliant Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 20:00 to 21:00) after a hearty dumpling dinner.
Enjoy Leisure Cycling on Xian Ancient City Wall
Walk along Muslim Quarter to Taste Some Snacks
Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the Eighth Wonder of the World
Day 3 Xian & Flight to Zhangjiajie (B, L)Da Cien Temple, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Hanyangling
After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda) After (or before) visiting the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, you will be provided a free experience of trying on the Hanfu which is the solemn costume of the emperors and their families, the ministers and the noble in the ancient dynasties of China. Seize this rare opportunity to take some photos to record this unique memory!
Following is an educational visiting to Shaanxi History Museum. Ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate relics, such as porcelains, paintings, currencies from Zhou to the Tang periods (1100 BC to 907 AD). (Note: Shaanxi History Museum may be replaced with other activity or attraction because of crowding tourists during July ~ early September and China’s National Day during Oct.1-Oct.7. You may check details with your travel consultant.)
Next, drive to Hanyangling. Compared with the Terracotta Warriors, Hanyangling is much less crowded so that you can enjoy a quiet lesson in archaeology. Here you can find many mini terracotta figures of not only warrior and horses, but also maidens and other animals. You actually walk on glass over top of the archaeological site, which gives an intriguing perspective.
After the tour, you are free to explore this ancient city until be escorted to Xian Xianyang Airport for your flight to Zhangjiajie (about 1.5hrs). Zhangjiajie is an awesome place that features the unique Karst mountains and picturesque forests, bringing you to the most surreal world - AWATAR world. After arriving in Zhangjiajie, the local guide will pick you up at Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport and transfer to your hotel in Zhangjiajie downtown area.
The thousand-year-old Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
Shaanxi History Museum
Day 4 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park & Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge (B, L)Huangshi Village, Golden Whip Stream, Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
Today, after breakfast, you will be met by our guide and driver and then driven to start your exciting visit to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. You will first take the cable car up to Huangshi Village to appreciate the wide forest park on its peaks. The village site has an altitude of 1080 meters, which is praised for its similar charm of pillar forest of Colorado in the USA. Enjoying the flat the wide visual environment, it is so far the largest natural viewing deck for visitors for a perfect admiration of its various rising stones and hills. Enjoy your fresh walk to visit the top famous sights including Star Picking Stand, Five Finger Peak, and so on, and find those looking like bridge piers, etc. from a distance. Take cable car to get down.
Later, change your angle to explore the famous Golden Whip Stream deep in the valley. This totally 7.5 kilometers long brook is one of the most beautiful places in the whole forest park area. Take an inspiring roam along the whispering pristine water on the paved path to immerse into tranquil wonderland with fresh air, colorful blooming flowers in different seasons, lush vegetation, etc. and be prepared to encounter with some wild monkeys.
After that, take a sightseeing bus to exit the park and be driven to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon for about 40 minutes. Now, its your bold moment to take the challenge and walk on the transparent Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge to feel like walking on the clouds, which is the world longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge so far in the whole universe, with total length of 430 meters and height of 400 meters above the deep valley.
After the visiting, be driven for another 40 minutes back to your hotel in Wulingyuan. Have a good sleep!
World's Highest & Longest Glass Bridge in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
Pristine Water & Serene Valley of Golden Whip Stream
Day 5 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park - Train to Yichang (B, L)Yuanjiajie, Tianzi Mountain
You must know the movie AVATAR, the Pandora World in the movie is so amazing that everyone wants to see it in real world. On this day, you’ll get into the real Pandora world by visiting Yuanjiajie, a naturally formed platform mountain situated in the north of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Take Bailong elevator up to Yuanjiajie and visit the foremost attractions in this area including the First Bridge under the Sun, Hallelujah Mountain, Back Garden, etc. After the visiting you’ll find some of these peaks have nothing that can be compared with, taking on every conceivable shape!
Next, take a sightseeing bus to Tianzi Mountain which boasts rocky peaks in grotesque shapes and shrouded in drifting mist. There are four highlights for the breathtaking sceneries: peak forest, cloud sea, sunrise and winter snow. A visit to Tianzi Mountain, you won’t miss the stone forests and peculiar peaks and the main tourist attractions including Arranging Battles Platform, Imperial Writing Brush Peak, Warriors Taming Horse, Fairy Maid Scattering Flowers, etc.
After the tour, make a transfer by train from Zhangjiajie to Yichang (about 6 hours). Upon arrival in Yichang, be escorted to your hotel in Yichang downtown area.
Yuanjiajie, a naturally formed platform mountain
Zhangjiajie Tianzi Mountain
Day 6 Yichang & Board your Ship (B, L)Yichang Museum, Yiling Square; take shuttle bus at Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal to the port
After breakfast your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel, airport or railway station. First, you’ll take a delightful visit to Yiling Square with friendly atmosphere to enjoy the music fountain, watch pigeons flying over the square, enjoy dances and performances by all ages and styles on the huge square...
Then, head to Yichang Museum with a collection of more than 30,000 pieces cultural relics. Built in 1990, Yichang Museum is three-story building in the style of ancients. Here, you could have in-depth understanding of Yangtze local culture like Changyang People’s fossils, Chengbeixi Culture, Daxi Culture etc. Later, you’ll be transferred to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal for a bus arranged by the cruise company heading to Maoping Port for embarkation. Your lifetime Yangtze River cruise starts!
Tips for boarding: (1) All the cruise companies will arrange free transfer service at Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal or Yichang East Railway Station during 16:00~21:00. You could choose either one to take the tourist bus to Maoping Port. If you take a train arriving at Yichang East Railway Station, you can take the bus at the exit directly. (2) Please call the ship one day ahead or at least in the morning on the boarding day to have clear idea about which pier you are going to use; (3) The boarding time and departure piers may change based on the ship line, water level, season, weather and other factors. Please pay attention to the important info your travel consultants sent to you before your boarding.
Yichang Maoping Port for Embarkation & Disembarkation
Panoramic View of Yichang City
Day 7 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)Three Gorges Dam, Captain’s Welcome Party
In this morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil Yangtze River. You can either follow the Taichi master to play Taichi on the sundeck or enjoy a cup of coffee to stretch your mood to start your beautiful day. It will be colorful and interesting no matter you stay onboard or go shore excursions at river stops.
Onboard you will enjoy different kinds of cultural activities and entertainment, like attending a Yangtze River History and Culture Lecture to know deeply about the third longest river in the world, taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party to make new friends, or having great fun at the wonderful evening shows with sing, dance and music.
Also, you will follow a local English-speaking tour guide and make a shore excursion to the world-famous project - Three Gorges Dam. The dam is the largest hydropower station in the world with an annual energy output of 84.7 billion kilowatt-hours. The Three Gorges Dam includes three areas: the dam itself, a hydroelectric, and a system of locks. The height of the Three Gorges Dam is 185 meters (607 ft) above the sea level. The dam is about 2,300 meters (7,546 ft) long and about 115 meters (377 ft) wide. With a water capacity of 39.3 billion cubic meters, the dam will hold a huge reservoir which will efficiently prevent flooding in the middle and lower portions of the Yangtze River. (Optional experience: you can choose to sail through the world’s largest ship lift - Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift to very closely marvel at the huge dam which is a totally fresh and exciting experience for travelers.)
Optional excursion: Enjoy a shore excursion to Tribe of Three Gorges today for an extra fee. Located on Xiling Gorge near Three Gorges Dam, the Tribe of Three Gorges is like a dreamland garden with breathtaking views - fishing boats along the river side, fishermen using bird to catch fishes, fishing nets hanging along the creek, young couple meeting on the bridge and lots more. You won’t miss the wedding ceremony of Tujia ethnic group.
Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift, the Largest Ship Lift in the World
Take Yangtze River Cruise in Spring
Three Gorges Dam with Ship Locks
Play Taichi in the Morning on Sundeck
Day 8 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)Three Gorges, Shennv Stream
Today you will continue sailing through the spectacular Three Gorges! Follow the guide’s live interpretation and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Xiling Gorge, Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge respectively.
On this day, take an enjoyable shore excursion to Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream), a tributary of the Yangtze River in Wushan County. You will be switched to a smaller boat to sail down this primitive stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of steep mountains and hanging coffins high on the cliffs as well as hear some of the local history. Besides, you will be entertained with local music and dance offered by the Tujia ethnic group. (Please note: some cruise ships will make an excursion to Shennong Stream which offers the similar experience at Shennv Stream.)
Optional excursion: Enjoy a shore excursion to White Emperor City today with an extra fee. Located at the entrance of Qutang Gorge, this excursions gives you the chance to know Romance of the Three Kingdoms and offers the best pot to appreciate the magnificent “Kui Gate”.
Enjoy Gorge Scenery on Sundeck
Shennv Stream with Primitive Gorge Scenery
Magnificent Qutang Gorge
Breathtaking Wu Gorge Scenery
Day 9 Yangtze River Cruise ( B, L, D )Shibaozhai Pagoda, Captain’s Farewell Party
In this morning, you will make a shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda, a pearl of Yangtze River in Zhongxian County. Reputed as one of the eight extraordinary architectures in the world, this 12-story, 16th century red wooden pagoda leans against the side of the rocky and craggy hill about 200 meters tall. Climbing up to the top of Shibaozhai, you can not only visit the Buddhist temples and halls but also have panoramic view of Yangtze River. (Please note: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be many stairs to climb up the pagoda.)
Optional excursion: Have a shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City today with an extra fee. Called “the Homeland of Divine Comedy in China”, it consists of buildings, structures, dioramas and statues related to the afterlife in hell. Entering this “City of Ghosts”, you will know many mysterious stories about underworld and cruel tortures and different kinds of devils and Chinese demons. (Please note: the visit to Fengdu Ghost City requires much walking and comfortable shoes highly recommended!)
In this evening, enjoy the well-prepared Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates onboard and have a pleasant dinner together. After the banquet, take part in the cabaret show to enjoy your last night.
Breathtaking Autumn Scenery of Yangtze Gorge
Shibaozhai Pagoda, a Pearl of Yangtze River
Fengdu Ghost City
Day 10 Yangtze Cruise to Chongqing & Chongqing Departure (B)Disembark at Chaotianmen Dock; See you off at the airport / train station
In this morning, your ship will arrive at Chongqing Chaotianmen Port around 09:00 where you will go through a check-out procedure and disembark.Upon arrival, your guide and driver will pick you up at the port and escort you to the airport / train station to next destination.
Departure Ideas: Travelers can take a flight from Chongqing Jiangbei Airport to Xian, Guilin, Lhasa, Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shangri-La and Dali, etc. Or you can take a high speed train from Chongqing North Railway Station to Chengdu (about 1.5hrs) and more cities in China.
Chongqing Chaotianmen Dock
Recommended Add-on Options
+ 3 more days to explore the capital city of China - Beijing
Get into the imperial capital city whose story goes back at least 3000 years.
Beijing’s opulent royal palaces, temples and magnificent walls and gates make it the first tourist destination in China. A wealth of history, both ancient (Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace) and more recent (Tiananmen Square, Bird’s Nest & Water Cube) will inspire your imagination. A visit to the Great Wall, the longest manmade structure in the world, is absolutely essential.
+ 2 more days to visit the largest metropolis in China - Shanghai
Experience the past, present and future of China all at once!
The Huangpu River splits Shanghai into two districts: Pudong and Puxi. The Pudong skyline with stunning tall buildings like Shanghai Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and Oriental Pearl TV Tower gives you a flourishing scene of modern Shanghai. On the Puxi side, walk along the Bund to get a taste of old Shanghai. What a huge contrast!
+ 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.
- Entrance fees of the scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
- Meals as specified in the itinerary.(Exceptions: If the western breakfast is not available in some of the hotels, breakfast would be either Chinese breakfast or Chinese and western breakfast.)
Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with
or a king size
bed; All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or
Please note double bed room is on request basis which is subject to Hotel's
and re-confirmation upon check-in.
Service, room facilities and breakfast might be not up to standard in some remote areas.
- Transportation: Flights or train as listed in the itinerary.
- Sightseeing As listed in the Itinerary will be escorted with English-speaking guide;
Service of local guide and van is for a maximum of 8 hours
the full day individual
* Please note that our English-speaking guide and driver provided for you in each city or area will not fly with you from one city to another.
- Private Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in each city or area by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver and English-speaking guide as listed in the itinerary.
- Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & Government Taxes.
- Luggage Transfers between airports, trains and hotels.
- Flights (Economy class) not as listed in the itinerary.
- Accommodation not as listed in the itinerary.
- Visa Fees: Please make sure that you have got your valid passport and visa before your entry to China. We can send you a free official invitation letter to assist you in obtaining your visa after the reservation deposit is received.
- Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
- Meals not listed in the itinerary.
- Personal expenses such as room service, internet charge, laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional activities, etc.
- Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
- Excess Baggage Charges.
- Life Tourist insurance. Please kindly note that the full coverage travel insurance from your country of origin should be purchased in advance on your own.
- Optional activities.
Read what other travelers think about this China trip / Yangtze cruise trip. We only accept reviews from actual, confirmed travelers who purchased the tour / activity from us, so you can be sure the reviews are unbiased and authentic.
Dear Jack, good morning!
Glad to see you! Thank you for your mail!
The trip was great! Really well organised!
Additional THANK YOU to the manager of the boat called Alina who took the special care about us.
- Svetlana - August 14, 2023‚ ,
The cruise was great... Flight is delayed though (5:45pm now delayed until midnight), but the cruise was good. Great weather and wonderful staff
- Hannah - August 5, 2023‚ ,
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Essential China Travel Information & Service
To help you have a further understanding of your tour, we provide some essential travel information like your tour guides, drivers, private cars/vans, accommodations and meals that you could know more about how is your China Yangtze cruise tour going. All the experience will be vivid and memorable in any time in any destination.
Your Private Tour Guide
The tour guides in all destinations are qualified, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and responsible!
All of our guides in every destination are locals. They will be greeted you punctually upon arrival at airport, train stations or cruise ports. And escort you to your hotel and tourist attractions and make you have full understanding about the local life, scenic spots as well as show you the fun places for more featured activities and things to do according to your time and interests.
“All our guides, especially those who we had a chance to spend more time with (Guilin, Chengdu, Lijiang, Zhangjiajie) were great. Always very accommodating, punctual and attentive.” - Review from Zane, Canada
Your Private Driver & Car
Taking our private transportation will make you comfortable, relaxed and worry free!
All our drivers are licensed with many years’ driving experience. They are always polite, friendly and helpful, glad to offer more service you may need during the transfer. Our vehicles are air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and expertly maintained. We use different types of cars/vans to guarantee your comfort. Besides, there is need to worry about your luggage for we use vehicles with extra space for your luggage.
"With respect to the drivers, we can state that they are excellent drivers and very friendly. They are pleasant with smiling face and helpful too." - Review from Pedro Corro‚ USA
Comfortable & Homelike Hotel
In each destination, we guarantee you a comfortable stay!
The hotels we choose are based with star rating, great location, well-pointed facilities and high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot and you could decide where to stay on your own. When taking a Yangtze River cruise, you are guaranteed a comfortable cabin or suite with private balconies to enjoy breathtaking scenery.
“All the hotels were comfortable and in good locations. The food was generally good with a wide choice of both western and Chinese choices for breakfast. The room sizes even with the extra bed for Jessica were also fine.” - Review from McHale, USA
Dining, Meal & Local Food
On Yangtze River cruise, you are offered three meals (usually buffet with western and Chinese dishes) each day. In other cities of China, breakfast and lunch usually are included in your tour packages. You’ll dine in local restaurants, follow local customs and enjoy local dishes. The food quality and dining environment will suit for your taste. If you have any suggestions or special requirements (vegetarian or food allergies), just let your travel consultants and guides know. They will arrange the suitable food and restaurants for you. Recommended evening dining options are: Peking Roast Duck in Beijing, Dumpling Dinner in Xian, and Hot Pot in Chengdu etc.
“We had very good breakfasts in all the hotels and were given a substantial lunch every day.” - Review from John, United Kingdom
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