Your own private courtyard room at the Summer Palace. Exclusive access to exhibitions of rare treasures. Picnicking on the Jinshanling Great Wall. A sampan boat ride through exquisite Shennong Stream. These are just a few of the remarkable experiences you’ll enjoy on this luxury China tour. From the pomp and ceremony of the Forbidden City to the lively vibe of Xian and Shanghai, this 12 day tour is the chance to travel China in total style.
Arrive in Beijing for nearly five days of relaxed touring. Check off your bucket list, visiting Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall (Jinshanling Section), and more. Find inspiration and beauty at the Summer Palace when you overnight there at the exclusive boutique Aman Hotel. Immerse yourself in Xian’s lively energy and feel the power that continues to emanate from the Terracotta Army. Change tempo when you board the 5 star Yantzi Explorer and cruise this remarkable river, going ashore to delve into key points of interest along the way: Baiheliang Underwater Museum and Shennong Stream among them. Shanghai is the final stop on this luxury adventure and your time here will surprise and delight. Visit iconic landmarks like Yuyuan Garden and the Bund, but discover a totally different side to Shanghai – and indeed, China – when you enjoy a private dining experience in a 1930s colonial villa and then watch in awe at the acrobatic prowess of local artists who showcase their skills in a spectacular show of performance arts. Inclusive of all 11 nights luxury accommodation in every destination and onboard the Yangzi Explorer, a thoughtfully curated selection of exquisite dining and cultural experiences, 24/7 access to our Luxury Tour Advantage service, wonderful local guides who are passionate about their work, all transfers in Mercedes Benz vehicles as specified, and so much more, this is a tour for those with uncompromising taste in travel.
Looking for more? We can help. Ask us about designing custom luxury travel arrangements for any destination in China.
Land at Beijing Capital International Airport or Beijing Daxing International Airport where you’ll be met by your dedicated tour guide and driver. Commence your luxury travel adventure in total comfort and style, enjoying the trip to your hotel, learning about the highlights and history of China’s political capital on the route. Once checked in to The Peninsula Beijing, you’re free to relax, settle in, and spend the rest of the day exploring. Guests are welcome to make their own way or enjoy the convenience of our Luxury Tours Advantage service by relying on our local guide and driver to provide transport and advice about things to do or places to eat before beginning exploration in earnest tomorrow.
Make the most of your free day and enjoy one of the many wonderful local dining options. Your guide is a rich source of local knowledge and will advise you on the best options for where and what to eat. If required, your guide can also assist with ordering meals so you can relax and savor every aspect of creating beautiful food memories while you’re our guest on tour.
A full day of touring awaits as you experience the distinctly different lives of Emperor and commoner in a single day. Your Beijing adventure starts immediately after breakfast this morning with a visit to the world’s largest city square, Tiananmen Square. Enormous, even by China’s standards, as China’s political heart Tiananmen Square is auspicious, immediately conjuring a sense of formality and seriousness. It is flanked by other significant monuments – the Great Hall of the People, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, and the National Museum of China. Lines of giant red flags flutter here as guards march by.
From the square, your guide will lead you across the road to the awe-inspiring Forbidden City. A culturally historic landmark in Beijing and indeed in China, the Forbidden City seems to go on and on as you step over threshold after threshold. The detailed planning, ingenious construction, and symbolic representation of every part of this former residence of Chinese royalty is a marvel. Be prepared to walk in wonder and admiration, especially when guided through the remarkable exhibitions found in the Gallery of Clocks, Treasure Gallery and Changyinge. With viewings only available via special arrangement, you’ll appreciate the treasures offered up here.
After the Forbidden City tour, the tour changes tempo from royalty to real life with a visit to a Beijing hutong. Wander through the hutong and observe the daily life of Beijingers who retain the lifestyle and traditions for which the hutong is famous. If time and opportunity permits, relish visiting a quaint miniature theater where a traditional Beijing folk art show can be found here. Incredibly, the theater’s owner – and solo performer – is the only remaining family member to practice this traditional art form. If good fortune prevails, the show’s star – now an elderly man – may perform, sing ballads and tell stories in the tiny 10 meter square theater.
A final stop at the Drum Tower follows. Located at the northern end of the central axis of the Inner City, there will be a chance to climb the tower and see the boundary between east and west of the hutong area. Return to the hotel for a short break before enjoying Beijing’s must-have meal, Peking Roast Duck at one of the city’s most famous restaurants, Da Dong. With numerous wins as “Best Chinese Restaurant of the Year” in the Beijinger’s annual restaurant awards, eating here is a food memory to savor.
Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner
Note: Your tour guide may adjust your itinerary due to closure of the Forbidden City each Monday.
Start today with a visit to the remarkable Temple of Heaven, where emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties performed ceremonies and rituals to pray for good harvests and blessings for the country. From Temple of Heaven it’s just a short drive to Liulichang Culture Street, a road that’s been home to local craftsmen and women for over 300 years. It’s here you’ll find Chinese artworks, antiques, and importantly, the Four Treasures of the Study, namely calligraphy brushes, ink, paper and ink stone. With many genuine treasures to be discovered among the street vendors and tiny boutiques, it’s the ideal place to immerse yourself in traditional culture and perhaps collect an authentic memento or two.
The tour continues at Yonghe Lamasery (Lama Temple), considered the most revered Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It was once home to the prince who became Yongzheng Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Take time to appreciate the symbolism reflected in the temple’s color palette of red and yellow. Found only within the Forbidden City itself, Lama Temple was painted in these colors as patronage to the two Qing Dynasty emperors who were born here. You will see that even today, locals and travelers from all over China visit the Lama Temple to pray for good health and wealth such is its importance in traditional culture.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Yonghe Lamasery, discover another iconic highlight, the Confucius Temple. An unassuming street frontage belies the quiet and peaceful temple and its grounds, famous for its namesake who worked there and has inspired centuries of students. Learn how the tradition continues today as aspiring hopefuls return to pray for entry into their preferred university course.
If time permits, walk through the Wudaoying hutong where the daily life of locals can be observed between visiting quaint shops and enjoying a coffee.
Meals included: Breakfast
China is home to many iconic historical structures and monuments, however, few are as remarkable as the Great Wall. Today you’ll come face to face with the section of the wall that retains more of its original elements and construction than any other when you visit Jinshanling Section, albeit in somewhat less pristine condition. Located about two hours from Beijing, you can enjoy the drive, taking in the countryside along the way, and once there, savor the incredible panoramic views of vast natural landscapes visible from the cable car round trip, watch towers and sloping walkways of the Wall. Add a whole new meaning to the dining room with a view when you rest after exploring and enjoy a light picnic with the Wall and surrounds as the backdrop.
Return to Beijing in the afternoon and check into the Aman Summer Palace, an exclusive boutique retreat located just steps away from the Summer Palace. The hotel reflects traditional Chinese Imperial architecture and interior design, with the original complex once used by guests waiting for an audience with Empress Dowager Cixi. A delight in every way, the hotel offers a truly unique experience of the luxurious life enjoyed by emperors, their courtiers, and guests. This evening you’ll enjoy dinner at the famous royal-style restaurant in the Summer Palace. Located in the Ting Li Guan (Oriole Listening Hall), this is where Empress Dowager Cixi herself enjoyed Chinese opera and musical performances. Apart from the remarkable surroundings imbued with elegant design, fascinating history, and imperial traditions, you’ll have the chance to see calligraphy originally written by Empress Dowager Cixi – truly travel memory to treasure.
Meals included: Breakfast, Great Wall Picnic and Dinner
Note: This morning you will check out from this hotel and be transferred to the Aman Summer Palace after your return from the Jinshanling Great Wall.
Note: Herbal spa and aromatic baths are available at Aman Summer Palace. Please let us know if we can book a treatment for you during your stay.
Start today by feeling the intrigue of imperial court life when you access the Summer Palace from a private hotel door. Quite literally you’ll feel this is your own private Summer Palace garden, just as Empress Dowager Cixi did. Wander at leisure towards Western Dam, past the Marble Boat, Long Corridor, Tower of Buddhist Incense (the very best place for a panoramic view of the Summer Palace grounds). Finally, arrive at the Garden of Harmonious Pleasures, considered the quintessential example of Summer Palace perfection with its balance of natural and built forms. Appreciate the beautiful gardens and imagine the lifestyle of royalty who enjoyed this summer resort during imperial times.
You will be checked out from the hotel and transferred to the Beijing West railway station. Your guide will assist with checking in and boarding the high speed train to Xian. The trip, which is approximately five hours traveling at 300 kilometres per hour, provides the opportunity to relax and watch the diverse landscape slip by. On arrival at Xian North Station, the local guide and driver will meet you and then transfer you to the inner city luxury hotel selected for this destination, the Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel Xian.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Please be aware our Luxury Tour Advantage service is available to you in Xian.
Start your visit to Xian with an exploration of the ancient City Wall, currently the largest and best-preserved wall of its type in China. Enclosing China’s former capital city and almost 14 kilometres long, enjoy your free time by exploring on foot or by cycling the full perimeter. You’ll then be led to Shuncheng Alley and Shuyuanmen Street. Well known for highlighting the rich cultural and historical spirit of Xian, you’ll find curios and mementos that will make for beautiful travel memories.
For a change of pace, take in the quiet of Xian’s Great Mosque, located in the middle of the city’s old block. Built mid seventh century, the Great Mosque is the oldest and largest Islamic mosque in China and reflects the diversity that emerged through Xian’s place as the Silk Road’s starting point. Mix with locals and find food of every flavor in Muslim Quarter, which is bustling with authentic street food and inexpensive souvenirs.
In the afternoon, you’ll spend time admiring the world-renowned Terracotta Army. Considered by historians worldwide to be the largest underground military base in the world, the Terracotta Army defies belief with the thousands of unique life-sized (and life-like) figures, including soldiers, horses, carts and weapons. Return to the city and your hotel for a rest before heading out for dinner and an evening showcase performance at the legendary Tang Dynasty Palace. A remarkable presentation of Tang Dynasty Music and Dance, you’ll have premium seats that allow you to witness the color and spirit of the evening in all its glory.
Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner Show
Check out from the hotel after breakfast and join your guide for exploration of the Shaanxi History Museum where over 370,000 relics of Chinese history are housed. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of two iconic Buddhist pagodas in Xian. You may have a chance to enter the top of the pagoda and look out over Xian’s 1,400 years of history, then take a contemplative walk through the temple and gardens. Following on from the morning’s activities, you’ll be driven to the airport for your flight to Chongqing. On arrival in Chongqing, your local guide will take you through the Ciqikou Old Town if the travel schedule permits. You’ll then be escorted to board the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer cruise ship, which finally weighs anchor at 10.00 pm. Soak up the spectacular Chongqing city lights from the deck as you cruise on by.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Your tour guide may alter your itinerary as the Shaanxi History Museum is closed Mondays.
Note: You will be required to attend a safety, orientation and river briefing when you board the ship.
Cruise leisurely along the Yangtze today and soak in the relaxing pace of traveling this magnificent river, which has inspired poets, philosophers and peasants. With all shore excursions included, you can step ashore to explore according to your interests. Visit the Fuling-816 Underground Project, a relic of the period during which Chinese and Russian relations deteriorated dramatically in the 1960s. An incomplete underground nuclear weapons production facility, the tunnel is believed to be strong enough to withstand explosives and earthquakes. Alternatively, step ashore and discover the intelligence with which the Chinese integrated science into their approach to managing the rise and fall of the Yangtze River found at the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum and then step back on board after visiting a local market. In the evening, join the Captain’s welcome party, relax on aboard or attend the Three Kingdoms live open-air live show.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Continue the cruise today and get right up close for views of the impressive Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Through this stretch of river, enjoy an excursion to Shennong Stream on a sampan – a wooden boat rowed by local Tujia boatman. It’s here you’ll also have the chance to visit a local village and gain insights to a traditional and rural Chinese community. Return to the ship and enter the western section of the Xiling Gorge. Relax in the evening and enjoy the cruise farewell dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
After breakfast, disembark from the cruise boat at Maoping Pier in Yichang. Take a bus to visit the largest hydroelectric project in the world, the Three Gorges Dam where you’ll take a tour to learn how the dam was designed, built, and how it now serves the local people and region. After the tour, you’ll be transferred by shuttle bus to the Yichang Three Gorges Tourism Center and met by your guide who will escort to you the airport for the flight to Shanghai. On arrival, your Shanghai guide will transfer you to the Fairmont Peace Hotel, a lovely piece of luxury on the Bund.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Guests may also choose the optional Ship Lift Tour when disembarking at Maoping Pier. Board a ferry and sail through the TGP ship’s elevator where you can enjoy a tour of the Three Gorges Dam. Arrangements for this tour are to be made onboard the cruise prior to disembarking.
Note: Please be aware our Luxury Tour Advantage service is available to you in Shanghai.
Commence your tour of Shanghai with a visit to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center where you’ll discover intricate displays presenting Shanghai’s urban planning and development over centuries. Be amazed by the center’s highlight, a large scale model of the urban Shanghai in its entirety.
Enjoy a walk along The Bund, iconic and prestigious, and one of the most well-preserved examples of old Shanghai glamour. Walk Nanjing Road, the busiest shopping precinct in China. If the interest takes you, make your way to the famous Jingdezhen Porcelain Shop. Displaying all types of porcelain craftsmanship, this is the ideal place for learning about the significance of porcelain throughout Chinese history.
Change tempo and visit Yuyuan Garden, where you can marvel at the stunning and thoughtfully designed gardens; then stroll around the nearby Chenghuangmiao bazaars and make a worthwhile detour to visit the Shikumen Museum in New Spot (XinTianDi) for a true taste of old world Shanghai. Round out the day with a private dining experience at a tiny restaurant housed in an unmarked 1930s colonial villa, complete with glossy wallpaper and chipped mosaic floors. The private dining room is furnished with antiques, cherrywood chairs and chandeliers. Immerse yourself in the taste and style Shanghai from another era as you enjoy the delicious local cuisine and a refined 1930s ambience.
The final highlight on today’s itinerary is ERA Intersection of Time, a magnificent live acrobatic performance that will leave you enthralled just as it has with audiences from all over the world. Return to your hotel to rest before tomorrow’s departure.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
This morning your guide will collect you from the hotel and drive you to the airport for your departure flight. Depending on your flight time, you may choose to avail yourself of our Luxury Tour Advantage service to do any last minute exploring, sightseeing or shopping in fabulous Shanghai.
Guests whose flight departs from Shanghai Pudong International Airport may enjoy traveling to the airport on the Shanghai Maglev (the world’s fastest commercial high-speed electric train). Your guide will accompany you, while the driver will transfer your luggage to the airport by car.
Note: We love helping our customers make the most of their available travel time. Need helping planning your next destination? We can assist. With a network that spans the whole of China, we can take care of every detail and arrange your departure train or flight from anywhere. Simply ask our friendly travel consultants. (A surcharge will apply).
Meals included: Breakfast
Inclusions / Exclusions
- Admission fees: to sightseeing spots and activities specified
- Accommodation: suites in premium luxury hotels; courtyard guest room in a boutique hotel; selection based on double/twin occupancy as specified
- Tour guide: excellent private English-speaking guide
- Transportation: high-speed train of Beijing/Xian (Business Class). domestic flights between Xian/Chongqing, Yichang/Shanghai (Business Class), and the super five star Yangtze River cruise ship (Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer)
- Transfers: land transfer with drivers as specified in Mercedes Benz vehicle
- Luxury Tour Advantage service in every destination city
- Unlimited Evian bottled water daily and travel comforts
- Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
- Government taxes and fees.
- International flights to/from Beijing and Shanghai
- China visa fees
- Gratuities to guides and drivers and any expense of a personal nature
- Our tour package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase travel insurance before your trip to protect for any unforeseen circumstances
Tour specific important information – LUXURY TOUR
- This is a private luxury tour for your group of family or friends. There will be no other travelers in the group apart from you.
- Smart casual dress and comfortable walking shoes are recommended
- Prices based on twin occupancy (2-5 Persons)
- The prices shown are not valid during China’s Official Holidays (such as National Day and Chinese Spring Festival).
- The tour guide may adjust the itinerary due to the closure of the museums nationally each Monday.
- Optional tours to Suzhou, Hangzhou, nearby Watertown, and other destinations are also available for an additional fee. A booking surcharge will apply.
- Any city not included in the existing tour package can be added to this tour as a private tour.
- Options to enter or exit China from Hong Kong and Taipei are also available.
- Stays at entering and exiting cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei) can be extended.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
After purchase, you will receive a receipt and a Purchase Confirmation email with a Passenger Information Form. The Passenger Information Form must be completed within 72 hours of the purchase.
Any special requests, preferences and optional extras MUST be clearly stated in your Passenger Information Form. Any change requested after submitting your Passenger Information Form cannot be guaranteed, is strictly subject to availability and will incur surcharges as outlined in the Schedule of Fees below.
On purchasing this tour product, you are bound by the General Terms and Conditions, in addition to the specific terms and conditions outlined in this Important Information.
Please note: online credit card payment and PayPal payments incur surcharges.
Tour Start Dates
Private and custom tours can be scheduled to commence on any day. Multi-day small group tours start on set dates as indicated in the booking calendar for the specific tour.
Cities for Commencement of Tours
Beijing is the city in which multi-day small group tours start. Multi-day tours with set itineraries booked as a private tour, commence in Beijing unless otherwise arranged with ChinaTours.com. Tours booked as custom tours can start in any destination listed on the ChinaTours.com website.
Full-service flights included, where applicable. For international flights: full-service flights included only if the tour includes travel to/from Hong Kong, Taiwan, North Korea, or as part of Indochina tour packages. Domestic flights included as part of a tour package are provided by select Chinese domestic airlines. Flight carriers will be specified in itinerary provided on the finalization of booking. Note: the maximum baggage allowance for domestic in China is 20 kilograms for economy class domestic flights, 30 kilograms for business class, and 40 kilograms for first class. Flight class upgrades are available on request at an additional charge.
High Speed Trains
First class seat for five star (Luxury) tour packages and second class seat for four star (Superior) tour packages.
High Speed Train Seat Upgrades
Seat upgrades are available on high speed trains on request at an additional charge and subject to availability. A limited number of first class seats are available on high speed trains. ChinaTours.com cannot guarantee high speed train seat upgrades due to third party or supplier’s shortage.
Transfers from airport to the hotel provided as air-conditioned vehicle with driver.
Post Tour Airport Transfer
At the completion of your tour, a transfer service from your hotel to Hongqiao or Pudong Airport can be arranged on request. Additional charges apply.
Accommodation options for early arrival prior to commencement of tour are available. Bookings can be made online prior to checkout or arrangements can be made with a ChinaTours.com travel consultant.
Accommodation options for stay behind after completion of the tour are available. Bookings can be made online prior to checkout or arrangements can be made with a ChinaTours.com travel consultant.
All ChinaTours.com tour guides are bilingual speakers with intimate knowledge of an area/city, its culture, history, people, and food, which they will share on tour. ChinaTours.com does not operate commission-based shopping tours which means our tour guides do not receive commissions for commission-based shopping stops. Small group and private tour groups of 1-2 (<3) people will be provided with a guide/driver rather than a driver and a guide.
Small Group Size
The maximum number of passengers in a multi-day small group tour is 12 people.
Optional tour activities are available on request. Please contact ChinaTours.com directly to customize your optional tour activities and destinations.
ChinaTours.com selects international four star and five star hotels located in the inner city centre. In small, regional destinations, ChinaTours.com selects the best available hotel.
Bedding included in accommodation is double or twin bedding (subject to availability). Special arrangements available on request; additional charges may apply due to third party or hotel request.
Adjoining/Interconnecting rooms are available subject to passenger’s request. Additional charges may apply due to third party or hotel request.
Pricing for child and infant can be quoted separately.
Infant price is valid for children 0 to 2 years. Child price is valid for children aged 2 to 11 years. Adult pricing apply for passengers aged 12 years and over. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult aged 18 years or over. No unaccompanied minors allowed.
All breakfasts included. Lunch and dinner are excluded allowing passengers to make their own selection for lunch and dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided on the Yangtze River Cruise only. Lunch provided on the Li River Cruise. Local guides can be consulted to provide recommendations and assist with eating arrangements on request.
Customers are required to provide valid passport details either at the time of purchase or within 72 hours of purchase. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of the booking. In this instance customers will be responsible for any costs and fees incurred.
Passport validity should be at least six months for entering China.
A tourist visa for China is a strict requirement if travelling on a foreign passport.
Please make arrangements for your visa as soon as you receive your documentation to account for any delays due to consulate operating hours and visa processing times.
Gratuities (tips) for services of the tour guide and driver throughout the tour are not included in the tour package price.
ChinaTours.com tour packages do not include travel insurance. We strongly recommend purchase of comprehensive travel insurance prior to departure to protect for any unforeseen circumstances.
Schedule of Fees
For changes to travel arrangements:
- First change – No charge.
- For all subsequent changes – USD50.
- Any charges applied by a third party (for example, airline, cruise company, accommodation provider, other travel provider) cannot be waived.
For China tour Packages, ChinaTours.com charges cancellation fees at a percentage of the total tour package price, which are stated as follows:
- More than 60 days prior to tour start date: 15 percent cancellation fee
- 45 – 59 days prior to tour start date: 20 percent cancellation fee
- 30 – 44 days prior to tour start date: 30 percent cancellation fee
- 15 – 29 days prior to tour start date: 50 percent cancellation fee
- Within 14 days prior to tour start date: 100 percent cancellation fee
Any charges applied by a third party (for example, airline, cruise company, accommodation provider, other travel provider, credit card fee, bank fee) cannot be waived.