China Explorer


Pairing the classical sights with a Yangtze cruise, visits to the atmospheric ancient towns and a hike on the Great Wall as it weaves on undulating alien landscapes; this itinerary will bring you closer to the authentic charm of China.

Places Visited

US - Beijing (3N) - Gubei Watertown (1N) - Xian (2N) - Chengdu (2N) - Yangtze River Cruise (3N) - Shanghai (2N) - US

Days 1-2 Fly to Beijing
Fly overnight to Beijing, China's historical capital. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Days 1-2 Fly to Beijing
Day 3 Forbidden City and Summer Palace Walk
Stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Walking through this ornately designed complex offers an unsurpassed insight into China's colourful past. Continue to the idyllic Summer Palace and explore the magnificent grounds, before taking a short hike up Longevity Hill to enjoy panoramic views. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Forbidden City and Summer Palace Walk
Day 4 Beijing's Hutongs
Arrive early for a visit to the Temple of Heaven and mingle with the locals as they start their day with tai chi, dancing and card playing in a flurry of sociable activity you would never see in a park at home. Next explore the Hutongs, visiting Yandaixiejie Hutong where you will have lunch with a local family. Drive to Gubei Watertown and ascend Simatai Great Wall by cable car for spectacular views. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Beijing's Hutongs
Day 5 Hike the Great Wall
Rise early to transfer to the Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall. Much less frequented by tourists than other parts of the Wall, the walk over Jinshanling winds over dramatic hills. The stark, yet magnificent surroundings allow you to put yourself in the shoes of those who walked this incredible edifice hundreds of years ago. This challenging trek will take you through dramatic landscapes and rugged terrain. Later, head back to Beijing, where you’ll have free time in the evening. Buzzing Sanlitun or lakeside Houhai are a great choice for the evening. (B,L)
Day 5 Hike the Great Wall
Day 6 Cycling in Xian
Fly to Xian. The ancient former capital surrounded by an impsoing and enourmously wide wall, which is used as a city thoroughfare. YOu'll enjoy a gentle cycle ride that will take you the nine miles around the wall and past many smiling locals, giving you a unique perspective of Chinese urban life. Take in an optional fountain and light show and be dazzled by the city at night. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Cycling in Xian
Day 7 Terracotta Warriors and Muslim Quarter walking tour
Housed in three immense hangars, the ranks of the Terracotta Army stand sentinel in their subterranean necropolis, constructed to protect China's first Emperor in the afterlife. Gaze over the ranks of warriors and horses, each one unique, whilst your guide introduces you to these life-like soldiers' fascinating story. Visit the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition then take a walking tour of the narrow and twisting streets of the Muslim Quarter. Sample the delicious, freshly cooked snacks and gain an insight into the city's fascinating culture and significance as the start of the Silk Road. (B,L)
Day 7 Terracotta Warriors and Muslim Quarter walking tour
Day 8 Pingle Ancient Town
Fly to Chengdu and drive to Pingle Ancient Town. Dating back to the Han Dynasty, Pingle was a stopping point on the Tea Horse Road. Take a walk across the magnificent Jinji rope Bridge for vistas of the bamboo forest below before returning to Chengdu for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Pingle Ancient Town
Day 9 Dujiangyan Pandas
Located in the forested Sichuanese countryside north of Chengdu, Dujiangyan offers refuge to Giant Pandas with the ultimate aim to reintroduce them into the wild. The panda centre's rural location offers one of the most authentic, spacious and natural settings in the country. Later, explore the slopes of Mt Qingcheng, one of China’s holy Taoist Mountains. Take the cable car to the higher slopes, and take a boat ride on Yuecheng Lake. Drive back to Chengdu for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Dujiangyan Pandas
Day 10 Ancient Ciqikou
Jump on the bullet train to Chongqing. Visit the charming old town of Ciqikou - there's time to wander the cobbled alleyways and learn about its colourful history., Later board your Yangtze Cruise vessel, home for the next three nights. (B,D)
Day 10 Ancient Ciqikou
Day 11 - 12 Yangtze River Cruise
During your Yangtze cruise, nature takes over, revealing some of the world's most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next two days prepare for one breathtaking panorama after another. Take fascinating side trips to Shibaozhai or the Ghost City of Goddess or Shennong Stream. This is a chance to absorb extraordinary countryside and get a glimpse of life on the river banks. (B,L,D)
Day 11 - 12 Yangtze River Cruise
Day 13 Three Gorges Dam
Visit the Three Gorges Dam, then fly to Shanghai. On arrival the evening is at leisure to begin exploring this neon wonder. (B,L)
Day 13 Three Gorges Dam
Day 14: Shanghainese Shanghai
Wake up to the buzz of Shanghai, and take a breakfast walking tour between coruscating skyscrapers and traditional streets. Walk through the city's most fascinating districts, marvelling at monuments and rickety buildings before enjoying breakfast as the locals do - sample pancakes, fried bread sticks and tofu. Visit the Yu Yuan Gardens, the Old Town and the Silk Museum before taking an evening stroll along the Bund and a farewell dinner of authentic Shanghainese cuisine. Your final farewell to China will be a cruise down the huangpu River, serenaded by the neon lights of Pudong. (B,L,D)
Day 14: Shanghainese Shanghai
Day 15: Fly Shanghai to USA
Fly to the USA, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Day 15: Fly Shanghai to USA

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

Customize Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to one of our Destination Specialists who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us at 877 993 6399 and we'll help plan your dream vacation.

The below prices include international flights. If you have your own flights, we also offer land-only packages.

Land only from $3,790 (Beijing - Shanghai)
Single supplement from $790
Tipping paid locally US$110

03-Sep > 17-Sep - $5,090 BOOK NOW
11-Sep > 25-Sep - $5,090 BOOK NOW
08-Oct > 22-Oct - $5,090 BOOK NOW
08-Apr > 22-Apr - $5,120 BOOK NOW
06-May > 20-May - $5,160 BOOK NOW
20-May > 03-Jun - $5,500 BOOK NOW
02-Sep > 16-Sep - $5,220 BOOK NOW
16-Sep > 30-Sep - $5,220 BOOK NOW
14-Oct > 28-Oct - $5,220 BOOK NOW

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Super House International Hotel
Super House International Hotel - Beijing (3 Nights)
hotel star rating

The 4 star Super House International Hotel combines traditional Chinese culture with contemporary comforts. All of the rooms feature air conditioning, satellite television, a minibar and a safety deposit box. Facilities include a restaurant serving authentic Chinese cuisine, a coffee shop, lobby bar and tea room. There is also a fitness centre with sauna and a small boutique.



Golden Flower Hotel
Golden Flower Hotel - Xian (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

The Shangri-La Golden Flower Hotel is centrally located in Xian. Classically decorated, the hotel’s en-suite rooms include free Wifi, satellite television, air conditioning, tea making facilities and a safety deposit box. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves both Chinese and Western cuisines, and the lobby bar serves hot and cold drinks. An indoor heated pool and fitness centre is also available.



Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel
Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel - Chengdu (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

The Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel is located a ten minute walk from the centre of Chengdu. All of its air conditioned, en-suite rooms have a safety deposit box, tea making facilities and a flat screen satellite television. There are also complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool, a fitness centre and an onsite restaurant featuring Chinese and Korean cuisine.



Greenland Jiulong Hotel
Greenland Jiulong Hotel - Shanghai (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

Greenland Jiulong Hotel is located in the famous Shanghai Bund area with luxury views of the Huangpu River and Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower. Rooms include high speed wired internet, air conditioning, a minibar and tea making facilities. There are onsite restaurants providing traditional Shanghai delicacies and Cantonese food, as well as a hotel bar and a spa.



A visa is required for US and Canadian passport holders. A visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Wendy Wu Tours uses CIBT for visa processing services. Travelers who obtain a visa service through Wendy Wu Tours will receive information on submitting the visa application around 65 days prior to departure.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the US the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 1, then the local area code , then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 1 212 868 5800. 

Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in China and you will find high quality coverage. China has active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however text and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your cell phone provider if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the US.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. Many websites, including most Google Products, Facebook and Twitter are banned in China and therefore inaccessible. If you need to access your email via Gmail whilst in China, please use an alternative email account whilst in the country.

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and China is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip.
 
For those passengers on group tours we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For those traveling privately, we will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure, and China has a vast array of shopping opportunities for those who love to seek out a bargain. From hand carved jade to local silk products or pearls from the South China Sea – the variety and choice can seem endless.
 
In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavor to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost.
 
Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. As is traditional in China, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on a ‘Lazy Susan’ so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. In China all the dishes are served in various styles and brought out to the table for everyone to share. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Each individual place setting will consist of a bowl of fan (rice), a pair of chopsticks (you may request western cutlery if you prefer), a flat bottomed soup spoon and a saucer. Chinese food is usually served in courses where a typical meal will consist of rice, one to four meat or fish dishes, two vegetable dishes, and one soup dish. Almost all food is cut into bite sized pieces. The centre of the meal is the fan or rice. The meats and vegetables that we think of as the focus of the meal are known as ts’ai, which roughly translates as ‘side dishes’. Fish is not always available, particularly outside of the bigger cities.
 
The Chinese are also not big on desserts with meals normally complemented with fruit to clean and refresh the palate.
 
Sichuan cuisine is distinguished by its use of ginger, chilli and the ‘Sichuan peppercorn’ called the fagara. Each meal will usually have some mild dishes but many of the local speciality dishes will be hot. If your group find there are not enough mild dishes served, please inform your National Escort/Local Guide so that they may resolve the problem for the next meal.
 
If you would like to drink beer, soft drink or bottled water with your meals, payment is to be made directly to the restaurant staff. Beer is traditionally consumed in small glasses; not the larger pints glasses that you may be used to.
 
Green tea is sometimes provided complimentary. All other drinks will be at your own expense.
If you have booked a tour that does not include all meals, your local guides will be able to recommend a variety of restaurants to meet your taste and budget.
 
It is possible to buy snacks in supermarkets within major towns or cities. Alternatively, you may also like to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars, and tea/coffee from home.
 
Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.

Hotels in China are bound by Government laws which mean that air conditioning is switched on nationally in May and the central heating in November (this may vary slightly depending on the region).


Why Book This Tour?

This tour is designed for those who wish to further immerse themselves in the authentic charm of China and take part in more cultural and active experiences. This tour is also suitable for those who wish to take a Yangtze River Cruise.

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USA's Asia Specialist

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