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A spellbinding odyssey through five thousand years of Chinese culture and history.
Your journey begins in Beijing at the huge Tiananmen Square, a nearly hundred-acre site that has witnessed a staggering number of major historic events. Explore the Forbidden City, once off-limits to all but the Emperor’s inner circle, an enormous complex that was China’s seat of power for nearly five hundred years. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the city’s hutongs—old neighborhoods with labyrinthine lanes—and dine at the home of a local family.
Take an exhilarating walk along the two-thousand-year-old Great Wall, its ancient stones worn smooth over many centuries. Return to the city and visit the Temple of Heaven—an ornately decorated and ingeniously designed wooden pagoda—and take an excursion to the Beijing Zoo, home to delightful giant pandas. Fly to the ancient capital of Xi’an to see the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, an eight-thousand-strong stone army keeping vigil over the grave of China’s first emperor. You will also visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s holiest Buddhist temples.
China’s natural wonders are just as amazing as its man-made marvels. Revel in the stunning scenery along the Yangtze River and its Three Gorges, famous for their dramatic cliffs, mist-shrouded peaks, and jade green water. Go ashore for an up-close look at the Shibao Pagoda and its elaborately carved wooden entrance. Take a small riverboat along the Shennong Stream—a Yangtze tributary—for a more intimate perspective of this unspoiled region. Your trip concludes in Shanghai, a place known for its skyscrapers and acrobats, museums and teahouses, and many lingering echoes of its colonial past.
Who will enjoy this cruise/tour
Our most concise itinerary in China, this 11-day journey from Beijing to Shanghai is ideal for travelers eager to sample all the highlights of the region—such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, giant pandas, and Terra-cotta Warriors. This cruise/tour also features the breathtaking natural beauty of the Three Gorges, observed on a 4-day cruise down the Yangtze River.
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