Cities of the Orient

20 Days from $4,790 per person

Cities of the Orient

What's Included
  • 13 nights hotel accommodation
  • 4 nights river cruise accommodations
  • 5 internal flights within China
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • Group airport transfers & ground transportation
  • National Escort & Local Insider Guides
  • Visa fees for US & Canada passport holders
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees
Places Visited
Shanghai (2 nights), Beijing (3 nights), Xian (2 nights), Yangtze River Cruise (4 nights), Guilin (1 night), Yangshuo (2 nights), Hong Kong (3 nights)
Highlights of the Itinerary
  • Wander along the incredible Great Wall of China
  • Come face to face with the Terracotta Warriors
  • Absorb the rural serenity of the Li River and Yangshuo
  • Marvel at the sparkling city of Shanghai on a Huangpu River Cruise
  • Take a 3-night voyage on the mighty Yangtze for a glimpse of China past and present
  • Get up close and personal with the Pandas of Chongqing
  • Step back into China's dynastic past at the Imperial Forbidden City
  • Explore gleaming metropolis Hong Kong, where the futuristic meets with Chinese tradition
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We start our sightseeing today in the Old Town (Yuan Bazaar) of Shanghai, where cobbled streets are lined with traditional shops selling herbal medicines, handicrafts, Chinese tea and a variety of tantalizing snacks. We take a relaxing walk through moon gates and latticed pavilions in the peaceful Yu Gardens, the inspiration for willow patterned china.

Next we head to the historical riverfront area known as the Bund. Recognized as Shanghai's former Wall Street, the Bund is home to an impressive collection of buildings from the early trade houses of the 1850s to the glamorous Art Deco modernism of the 1920s. We also visit a local Silk Museum and Showroom before continuing on to explore Xintiandi. This area was once a dilapidated strip of shikumen buildings, a mixture of English-styled terraces and traditional Chinese courtyard houses. This style of housing is unique to Shanghai, and was originally designed for the many Chinese workers that flooded the city in the early 1900s. The area was later purchased by film star Jackie Chan who restored the buildings.

Later we head across the great Nanpu Bridge to the Pudong District, a region that was put aside in 1990 for redevelopment to entice foreign investment to modernize and drive the city into the 21st century. With forward planning, the city avoided infrastructure and transport problems that other Asian cities have faced.

In the evening we will enjoy a cruise on the spectacular Huangpu River to view the picturesque nightscape of this exciting city.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel or Similar
Shanghai Old Town
This morning we view the superb antiquities and fine arts at the Shanghai Museum and wander the surrounds of the neighboring People's Square. We will then transfer to the airport for our flight to Beijing.

Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China and the nation's most important center for economy, education and international trade. With its unequaled wealth of history, Beijing served as the center for the many different empires and cultures that ruled China and has been the heart of politics and society throughout its long history. The ancient monuments and the stories of days gone by make this dynamic and modern city a destination not to be missed.

This evening our dinner will include a sample of the renowned local delicacy, Peking Duck.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Peking Duck Dinner
Accommodation: Jiangxi Grand Hotel or Similar
Shanghai Museum
This morning we will walk through the expanse of Tiananmen Square, where we pass Chairman Mao's Mausoleum. Built on Mao Zedong's orders, Tiananmen Square is said to hold a capacity crowd of over one million.

Next we walk through the outer gates of the Imperial Forbidden City, the sacred center of the Chinese empire for 500 years and home to both the Ming and Qing dynasties. We walk through this royal complex from the south gate at Tiananmen, named Gate of Heavenly Peace, through to the north gate at Shenwumen, named Gate of Divine Might. We can explore the outer courts, the courtyards and the private residences within the Forbidden City.

From here we visit the 15th century Temple of Heaven, one of the more perfect examples of Ming architecture, set among a 660 acre park with four gates set at each point of a compass. Walking through the park we will see the many groups of local people that gather here every day to sing folk songs, practice tai chi and sword dancing, play chess or just come to sit and chat.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Jiangxi Grand Hotel or Similar
Tiananmen Square
It is often quoted in Beijing that you have not been to China until you have climbed the Great Wall. Stretching from the Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west, it is more than 4,000 miles long. Walk along the wall, admire the panoramic views and reflect on the immensity of the material and labor required for its construction.

After lunch, we will visit the Jade Factory and Showroom. From here we head to the Summer Palace, a retreat for emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the most notorious of which is Empress Dowager Cixi. Popularly known as the dragon lady, the empress spent money reserved to commission a modern navy on embellishment of the royal garden. However, she did restore the large marble boat that sits at the edge of the beautiful Kunming Lake, which occupies three quarters of the park's expanse.

Our evening entertainment tonight is an exciting Chinese acrobatics performance, where we will see gravity-defying acrobatics, contortionists, juggling, plate spinning acts and more.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Jiangxi Grand Hotel or Similar
The Great Wall
This morning we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Xian. Upon arrival we will check into our hotel.

Xian, which means Western Peace, is located on the banks of the Yellow River and has a history dating back to 1000BC. It once rivaled great cities such as Constantinople and Rome in size, culture and development and was also the starting point for the famous trade route, the Silk Road, a caravan passageway which carried not only silks, ceramics and spices but also led to an exchange of cultures, technologies and ideas. Buddhism brought from India during the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD) was perhaps one of the most influential of the religions to travel along this famed road into Xian.

We will then visit the renowned Shaanxi Provincial Museum, home to thousands of priceless cultural relics from past dynasties.

In the evening we enjoy a performance of music and dance dating back to the Tang Dynasty while feasting on a sumptuous Shui Jiao dumpling dinner, a specialty of the region.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Shui Jiao Dumpling Dinner
Accommodation: Golden Flower Hotel or Similar
Shaanxi History Museum
We start our day with a visit to the famous UNESCO World Heritage listed Terracotta Warriors and Horses. One of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, this unearthed terracotta army is comprised of over 7,000 soldiers, horses and chariots. The army was built in life-sized form by thousands of workers and designed by the self-proclaimed Emperor Qin Shi Huang to defend himself in his afterlife. The word China derived from his name and he is acclaimed by Chinese historians to have unified the rival lands of China into a single empire after defeating his enemy states and standardizing the systems of currency, writing and measurement.

On our return to Xian we stop at the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition where replicas of the warriors are made before visiting the Ancient City Wall, a 500-year-old barricade built to protect the city. Standing the test of time, it is one of the only walls in China to remain intact.

Later we will stroll through the lively Muslim Quarter, exploring the many narrow laneways of the interesting Islamic food markets.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Golden Flower Hotel or Similar
Terracotta Warriors
This morning we are transferred to Xian airport to board our flight to Wuhan. Upon arrival in Wuhan, we transfer by coach (4-5 hour drive) to the city of Yichang, where we will board our Yangtze River cruise vessel.

We will be taking an amazing journey along China's Yangtze River, which is undeniably one of the world's great and legendary waterways. This 3,900 mile river has its origins high up in the snow covered mountain of Tanggula Shan in the south western Qinghai Tibet Plateau and runs into the ocean at Shanghai. It is estimated that this river has more than 10 percent of the world's population living along its banks.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Five-star Yangtze Cruise Ship
Yangtze River Cruise
Over the next three days, relax as we explore the wondrous landscape and life along the Yangtze River. This morning we will visit the site of the Three Gorges Dam. Commenced in 1994 and completed in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken. The Dam is located near Sandouping, which is in the middle of the Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges Dam is 7,660 feet long, 600 feet high, 60 feet wide on the top and 430 feet wide at the bottom. The dam has raised the river to a level of 575 feet above sea level, creating a 372 mile long reservoir, with 1.5 million people relocated. The building of this huge dam was for the purpose of flood control, electricity, navigation and irrigation.

Later today, we will pass through the Xiling Gorge, once the most treacherous stretch of the Yangtze which has now been tamed by the new dam. Further upstream we reach the larger Wu Gorge, before we finally sail through the narrow and dramatic Qutang Gorge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Five-star Yangtze Cruise Ship
Three Gorges Dam
Today's program may include shore excursions to Shennong Stream. From Badong we sail through Wu Gorge, at a length of 24 miles, with cliffs so sheer the sun barely penetrates to the river below.

At the Lesser Three Gorges, higher water levels mean we can travel further upstream to unspoiled villages or if the river levels allow, we will hop into small pea pod boats at Shennong Stream. Here we can see the cut stone of the trackers path high on the sheer walls. Gain knowledge about the history of the trackers, the men who while walking along those paths, dragged enormous junk ships along the Yangtze for centuries.

When we return to the cruise vessel, continue cruising through the shortest, but the most dramatic of the Three Gorges, Qutang Gorge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Five-star Yangtze Cruise Ship
Shennong Stream
Today's program may include a shore excursion to Fengdu, an ancient ghost city on the banks of the Yangtze River. Fengdu is the original and supposedly haunted ghost town themed on numerous legends and folktales. Here we visit the temples dedicated to the underworld and heaven. We can also participate in several tests and tasks to help predict our future, fidelity and fortune.

Upon returning to the cruise vessel, continue cruising overnight.
Ghost City of Fengdu
We disembark from the cruise this morning in Chongqing, a city perched on the steep hills overlooking the confluence of the Jialing and the Yangtze rivers. It is the chief industrial center of south western China, producing approximately one fifth of Sichuan’s industrial output. Chongqing has been reshaped by the Three Gorges Dam Project, which now allows larger sea-going vessels to sail all the way upriver to China’s most famous waterfront mountain city.

We visit the Panda House at the Chongqing Zoo before transferring to the airport for our flight to Guilin, one of China’s most stunning and panoramic cities.

Founded in the Qin Dynasty, Guilin is renowned for the unique beauty of the mountains that fringe it. Guilin developed as a trading town due to the building of the Ling Canal which links the important Pearl and Yangtze River systems. Upon arrival into this picturesque town we will transfer to our hotel.

Afterwards we visit the Reed Flute Caves, named so because of the clumps of slender reed once commonly found at the entrance to the caves. Here we will take a short walk through the caves.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Lijiang Waterfall Hotel or Similar
Panda in Chongqing Zoo
Today we take a cruise along the beautiful Li River to Yangshuo, passing tranquil farming and fishing scenes and picturesque villages. The main attraction is the stunning limestone karsts that tower above the river creating a magical landscape of mountains and water. The unique and natural beauty of this region has for centuries been an inspiration to Chinese artists and poets alike. Don’t forget your camera on this occasion as this is one place where it will be working overtime!

After we disembark in Yangshuo, we take a short walk to our hotel. Set amid limestone peaks, lush green rice paddies and surrounded by meandering river ways, Yangshuo provides an interesting contrast to the big Chinese cities.

This afternoon wander through the bustling local market and through residential areas, taking in Yangshuo’s captivating atmosphere.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Elite Garden Hotel or Similar
Li River
This morning we will explore the beautiful rural countryside around Yangshuo, taking a leisurely stroll to discover the lifestyle of the villagers and witness how the locals farm. This afternoon we will have time to walk around the cobblestone streets and enjoy this charming town at our own leisure.

For this evening’s entertainment we are taken to the Li River to watch a traditional method of fishing in China, where trained cormorants are used to catch fish. Using bamboo rafts and a pole to move through the water, the fishermen hang strong lights over the water to attract the fish. The cormorants then dive into the water on a fisherman’s command and catch them, emptying the fish onto the raft for all the fishermen to take to their families. Although the cormorants have string tied around the base of their necks to stop the fish from being swallowed, these are removed afterwards so that they can eat, with the reward being a fish they have caught!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Local Three to Four-star Standard Hotel
Yangshuo Countryside
You may wish to rise early today and enjoy some free time at leisure before we travel back to Guilin and transfer to the airport to board our flight to Hong Kong. We will say farewell to our Chinese guides in Guilin.

Upon arrival in Hong Kong we are welcomed by our Local Guide and transferred to our hotel.

Hong Kong, one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, and a true economic powerhouse, was once just a small fishing village on the edge of the South China Sea. That all changed in the mid-19th century when the British arrived, turning this quiet, out of the way village into a modern, vibrant and sparkling jewel of a city that still flourishes today.

The rest of the afternoon and evening is free at our leisure to explore this incredible city.

Included Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Local Three to Four-star Standard Hotel
This morning we will explore this vibrant city on a tour of the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island. If this is your first time in Hong Kong, or even if you have been many times before, this tour provides you with either an introduction to the city itself or as a reminder of memories from the past.

We start our tour with a panoramic ride that brings us up to Victoria Peak, where the harbor and the city sprawl in front of you. High above Hong Kong Island on the back of the Dragon, Victoria Peak is the City of Life's premier visitor attraction, providing magnificent views of Hong Kong Island, the harbor, Kowloon and the hills beyond.

We then continue with a visit to the Stanley Market, the most adored of all Hong Kong's open air shopping options. Here we can stroll through the seaside village bazaar with its historic fishing lanes, jam packed with vendors selling Chinese artwork, silk collectibles, clothing and curios.

Later we continue to Aberdeen Fishing Village, home to hundreds of people living on fishing junks, the Boat People, whose lifestyles have not changed much since the early days. Their traditional lifestyle is dramatically juxtaposed against a modern high-rise community that spreads up the nearby hillsides. While here you may wish to take an optional sampan ride at your own expense. Along the way we will be able to view the most popular beach in town, Repulse Bay Beach. Visit an exquisite jewelry factory where the world’s famous jewelry-setting art is carried out.

This afternoon will be at our leisure.

Included Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Local Three to Four-star Standard Hotel
 Victoria Peak
Today we will discover Hong Kong’s largest island, Lantau Island.

We start with a ferry ride through Victoria Harbor to Silvermine Bay, Lantau. Here we board a coach to the beautiful Cheung Sha Beach and continue on to the unique Tai O Fishing Village, where many homes are built on stilts.

We continue on a winding road up the mountain to Ngong Ping Plateau where the Giant Buddha sits majestically close to the Po Lin Monastery. Here we will visit the Giant Buddha Exhibition Hall and the Po Lin Monastery and the culturally themed Ngong Ping Village.

Our tour ends with a spectacular ride on the Skyrail Cable Car, offering stunning views as we go down to Tung Chung (near the airport). Afterwards we return to the hotel for some free time.

This evening we will enjoy dinner on the top of Victoria Peak.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Local Three to Four-star Standard Hotel
Lantau Island
This morning we will discover a tapestry of scenic contrasts on a tour of the Land Between, commonly known as the New Territories. We will also visit the hinterland, the area which lies between the Kowloon Hills and the boundary of the Special Administrative Region. The blend of rolling green hills, peaceful woodlands and rural markets create a unique area, which stands as both a gentle reminder of Hong Kong’s past as well as of its hopes and plans for the future.

Our first stop is to one of Hong Kong’s most impressive monasteries, the Yuen Yuen Institute, a religious complex that demonstrates the significance of Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist contributions to the society. We drive past banana plantations and stop at the lookout point of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s tallest mountain, for a panoramic view of Hong Kong Island to the south and the Land Between to the north.

Driving downhill, we stop at a peaceful bird sanctuary at Luk Keng and its nearby village. We continue through the lush green Plover Cove Country Park to Sam Mun Tsai Fish Zone, where fish are bred in submerged cages.

This afternoon our group tour arrangements end. Transfer to the airport to board your flight back to the USA.

Included Meal: Breakfast
Depart US Arrive US Price From Special Offer Saving
Tue. Sep 01 Sat. Sep 19 $4,790 - -
Tue. Sep 08 Sat. Sep 26 $4,790 - -
Tue. Sep 15 Sat. Oct 03 $4,790 - -
Tue. Oct 06 Sat. Oct 24 $4,890 - -
Tue. Oct 20 Sat. Nov 07 $4,890 - -
Tue. Nov 03 Sat. Nov 21 $4,790 - -
All of the hotels used by Wendy Wu Tours are of four star or superior three star (international tourist) standard unless otherwise specified. The hotels are selected for their comfort, convenience of location and character and are subject to change. Below is an example of the typical hotels used on our tours, however these are not guaranteed and alternative hotels of a similar standard may also be used.

Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel

This modern and well-appointed hotel is a comfortable retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Information

  • Hotel Facilities

    The hotel features a fitness room, indoor swimming pool, sauna, spa and massage facilities as well as a business centre. 24-hour room service, currency exchange, laundry service and free Wi-Fi in public area are available.

  • Room Facilities

    Amenities include satellite television, DVD player, mini-bar, safety deposit box, kettle and hair dryer as well as free wired and wireless internet access. There are tea/coffee making facilities and complimentary bottled water offered.

  • Restaurants

    Three restaurants feature a range of styles including International cuisine, Japanese specialties and contemporary Cantonese food. There is also a patisserie and a lobby lounge.

Jiangxi Grand Hotel

The Jiangxi Grand Hotel is located in the southwestern part of Beijing, with a good range of local facilities nearby.

Information

  • Hotel Facilities

    The hotel offers a business center, laundry service, room service, currency exchange service, beauty salon and free Wi-Fi in public area.

  • Room Facilities

    Room in the Jiangxi Grand Hotel provides satellite television, free toiletries and complimentary bottled water. An attached toilet with deep-soaking bathtub and shower facilities are also provided.

  • Restaurants

    The hotel has western restaurant and Chinese restaurant. A bar at the hotel lobby is also available.

Golden Flower Hotel

The Golden Flower Hotel is located in the core business area of Xian, close to Terracotta Warriors and Xi'an City Walls.

Information

  • Hotel Facilities

    Recreational amenities include swimming pool, exercise facilities, sauna and massage room. Currency exchange, ticket office, laundry service, gift shop, beauty salon and free Wi-Fi in public area are all available.

  • Room Facilities

    The air conditioned room is fitted with a satellite TV, complimentary toiletries, bottled water and 24-hour room service.

  • Restaurants

    A daily buffet awaits guests every morning at Golden Flower Hotel. In-room dining is available with room service.

Lijiang Waterfall Hotel

Lijiang Waterfall Hotel is a deluxe five-star hotel located in the downtown area of Guilin, quite close to Li River and Zhengyang Pedestrian Street.

Information

  • Hotel Facilities

    The hotel is equipped with a swimming pool, a fitness center and a game room. Guests could enjoy a relaxing massage or unwind in the sauna room. Car rental services, ticketing service, laundry service and free Wi-Fi in public area are all available.

  • Room Facilities

    The air-conditioned room is equipped with a mini bar, in-room safe, separate bathroom and satellite TV. Free toiletries, 24-hour room service and complimentary bottled water are also included.

  • Restaurants

    The hotel has both Chinese restaurant and western restaurant.

Elite Garden Hotel

The Elite Garden Hotel is a popular hotel located quite close to Yangshuo West Street.

Information

  • Hotel Facilities

    The hotel features a business center, 2 dining options, laundry service, room service, car-rental service and free computers at lobby. Free Wi-Fi in public area is also available.

  • Room Facilities

    Rooms in this hotel are fitted with bathtub, TV, independent desk, hair dryer, small refrigerator, free toiletries and separate bathroom.

  • Restaurants

    The hotel has Chinese restaurant and western restaurant. A bar at hotel lobby is also available.

  • This was an excellent tour! This was an excellent tour. We came to experience the wonders of China and the everyday Chinese experience. The variety of restaurants from five star to working class was an important contributor to our enjoyment. All the mainland tour guides were outstanding, friendly, efficient and positive. We cannot say enough about how much we loved China and this tour.
    Mr M Jackson and Mrs L Polley Tasmania, Australia
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