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Yangtze Highlights

Shanghai - Yangtze River cruise - Chengdu - Xi'an - Beijing

A journey that includes a river cruise through the Three Gorges with 5-star cruise boat, starting in the vibrant city of Shanghai, and including Beijing (Great Wall and Forbidden City) and Xi'an (Terracotta Army).

Day 1  Depart UK.

Day 2  Arrive Shanghai in the morning. Met on arrival and transfer to 5-star Ocean Hotel. Rest of the day free.

Day 3  Free day (B)

Day 4  Own arrangement to airport for flight to the central city of Yichang. Met on arrival and transfer to pier to join your 5-star Yangtze cruise boat from American Victoria Cruises (B)

Day 5  Yangtze River cruise upstream through the Three Gorges, departing in the morning. Shore excursion to the mighty Three Gorges Dam. (B, L, D)

Day 6  Yangtze River cruise, including trip in small boats on the narrow gorges of the Goddess Stream, one of the Yangtze's tributaries. (B, L, D)

Day 7  Yangtze River cruise, including shore excursion to the pagoda at Shibaozhai (B, L, D)

Day 8  Arrive Chongqing 09:00. Met on arrival and transfer to railway station for high-speed train to Chengdu (about 2 hour journey). Transfer to 4-star Yinhe Dynasty Hotel (B)

Day 9  Free day (B)

Day 10  Transfer to railway station for high-speed train to Xi'an (about 3-hour journey). Met on arrival and transfer to 4-star Somerset Xindicheng Xi'an Hotel or Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel. (B)

Day 11  Free day (B)

Day 12  Transfer to railway station for high-speed train to Beijing (about 5-hour journey). Met on arrival and transfer to 4-star standard Holiday Inn Express Dongzhimen.

Day 13  Free day (B)

Day 14  Free day (B)

Day 15  Own arrangement to airport for flight back to UK, arriving later the same day. (B)

(on a join-in group basis):

1) Shanghai City tour £55pp
Day tour around the vibrant city of Shanghai, first visiting the old town and the beautiful Yu Garden, before exploring China's rich artistic heritage in the Shanghai Museum, and its more recent history on the Bund, or waterfront. Explore the Tianzifang art district and the former French Concession. Also visit a pearl shop and the Shanghai History Museum. Lunch included.

2) Zhujiajiao water town and evening Huangpu River cruise £75pp
Visit to old 'water town' of Zhujiajiao, now on the outskirts of Shanghai, but typical of the small towns of the Yangtze delta area with whitewashed houses lining narrow streets and canals criss-crossed by elegant bridges. Then return to Shanghai to enjoy a cruise on the Huangpu River that flows through the city, giving you the best view of the city's skyline. Includes buffet dinner.

3) Chengdu, pandas and Giant Buddha £100pp
In the morning visit the Panda Research Centre near Chengdu to see many giant pandas, big and small. Then coach to Leshan to see one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, carved into a river cliff (runs Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Apr-Oct)

4) Terracotta Army, Xi'an £50pp
Visit to the life-size warriors of the world-famous Terracotta Army in the morning, created in the 3rd Century BC to guard the tomb of China's first emperor. Lunch included.

5) Beijing: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven £50pp
Start the day with a visit to Tiananmen Square. Then explore the imposing Forbidden City - the home of China's rulers for hundreds of years. After lunch visit the Temple of Heaven, where emperors prayed for good harvests, and the beautiful Summer Palace. Also visit a pearl shop and Chinese medicine store. Lunch included.

6) Great Wall and Ming Tombs £30pp
Excursion to the Great Wall at Badaling, about 1 hour's drive from the city centre. Climb up to the wall and walk along this marvel of human construction. Then visit the tombs of the Ming Emperors, in particular Changling, the tomb of the emperor Zhongle. Also visit a jade carving workshop and silk shop. Lunch included.

7) Beijing tour £50pp
Take a tour around the 'hutongs', the traditional narrow streets of old Beijing before stopping at the Yonghe Gong, or Tibetan Lama Temple, the capital's most colourful shrine. Then visit Beijing Zoo with its famous pandas and see the outside of the distinctive 'Bird's Nest' stadium built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Lunch included


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