13 Days Explore Ancient Capitals of China

Beijing, Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, Dengfeng, Luoyang, Xian, Shanghai

Traveler Reviews


Tour Code: TCT-Cultural-04

Tour Type: Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

  Designed for those who is interested in Chinese history and culture
  Covers most China ancient capitals, such as Beijing, Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Xian, Shanghai.
  Worry free arrangement and services make you an impressive holiday in China
 

Best Travel Time: From March to November

Price from $ 1479

Free Inquiry

Day 1Beijing
Transfer service to hotel

Meals: No Meals
Recommended Hotel: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

Arrive in Beijing, the capital city of China. You will be greeted and met by TCT tour guide at the airport and transferred to your hotel, whenever your flight arrives in Beijing. After check-in, free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Beijing City View
Beijing City View

Day 2Beijing
Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Temple of Heaven, Panjiayuan Antique Market

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

[09:00-09:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the historical city of Beijing.

[09:30-12:30] You will reach the Tian’anmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Walk through the square and visit today’s highlight: Forbidden City , the largest and most complete ancient imperial palace in the world. Hike to Jingshan Park, where gives a nice panoramic view of the Forbidden City at the top of Coal Hill.

[12:30-14:00] Lunch time at Shi Yuan Restaurant, Chinese local food, famous for the braised eggplant, vegetable ball, and diced chicken with walnuts in soya sauce.

[14:00-16:30] Visit Temple of Heaven, which was used to pray for harvest by the emperors. It is China's existing largest structure for sacrifice to heaven. Shopping time at Panjiayuan Antique Market and Pearl Market.

[16:30-17:30] Back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night show or the Peking duck dinner with your guide and ask for suggestions.

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

Day 3Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, Olympic Park, The exterior Bird Nest and Water Cube

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

[08:00-08:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the Great Wall.

[08:30-12:30] Drive to Mutianyu Great Wall, which section is more popular among foreign visitors. Upon arrival, you can choose to hike on the Great Wall, or take cable car up and walk around.

[12:30-13:30] Lunch time at Xiaolongpu Restaurant, famous for the vegetable food, such as fried vegetables, dry-fried beans, sweet corn cake

[13:30-16:30] Drive back to Beijing city, while you can take a nap in the car. Visit the exterior Bird Nest and Water Cube, the amazing architectures that built for Beijing Olympic Games. After that you will experience Chinese tea at tea house.

[16:30-17:30] Back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night activities, such as foot massage, houhai night bars and Sanlitun bar street.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

Day 4Beijing
Summer Palace, Hutong tour by rickshaw

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

[09:30-10:00] A relaxing breakfast in the hotel. Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and have half day leisure tour in Beijing.

[10:00-11:30] Drive to Drum Tower area for taking a relaxing Hutong Tour by rickshaw , which is the way to know the Beijing local lifestyle.

[11:30-14:30] Drive to Summer Palace, which is the existing largest, best-preserved imperial garden in China. Boat ride on Kunming Lake is included. Lunch will be arranged at nearby restaurant, named Xiangyangtun, with opera stage inside.

Free at leisure in the afternoon. You could explore around Wangfujing Commercial Street or Dashilar near Qianmen, where you could find many old established shops.

Hutong Tour by?Rickshaw
Hutong Tour by Rickshaw

Day 5Beijing - Zhengzhou
Yellow River Scenic Area

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Zhengzhou ★★★★

Take a morning high speed train to Zhengzhou (duration: 3-3.5 hours), Henan Province, which is the ancient capital in Shang Dynasty in 2,000 years ago. This area is the cradle of Chinese civilization. You will then have chance to visit the Yellow River Scenic Area and take a jet boat cruise for one section of the river.

Yellow River Scenic Area
Yellow River Scenic Area

Day 6Zhengzhou - Kaifeng - Zhengzhou
Dragon Pavilion, Iron Pagoda, Xiangguo Monastery

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Zhengzhou ★★★★

[09:00-09:30] Enjoy your leisure time and have buffet breakfast in hotel. Meet at the hotel lobby.

[09:30-12:30] Drive for about 2 hours from Zhengzhou to Kaifeng. The first highlight of Kaifeng is Dragon Pavilion. There is a wax work museum themed with the Song Dynasty. And you can watch historical play which is set Song Dynasty as background with every day.

[12:30-14:00] Lunch time at local restaurant and enjoy the local food.

[14:00-16:30] Visit Iron Pagoda known as the Kaibao Temple Pagoda originally and is a Buddhist Chinese pagoda built in 1049 during the Song dynasty (960-1279) of China by the Song emperor for keeping the relics of Sakyamuni. Then explore Xiangguo Monastery, one of the ten famous monasteries and temples in China.

[16:30-18:30] Drive back to Zhengzhou and free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Dragon Pavilion Park
Dragon Pavilion Park

Day 7Zhengzhou - Dengfeng
Shaolin Temple and the Pagoda Forest

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Chanwu Hotel ★★★★

[09:00-09:30] Enjoy your leisure time and have buffet breakfast in hotel. Meet at the hotel lobby and check out

[09:30-11:30] Drive from Zhenzhou to Dengfeng for about 74km. It will takes about 2 hours for driving.

[12:00-13:00] Lunch time at  local restaurant and have a short break after a long driving.

[13:30-16:00] Take a drive to Mt Songshan. At the foot of the mountain are the famous Shaolin Temple and the Pagoda Forest. Vegetarian food will be served as lunch today. Our visits of the temple will end up with a Kung Fu performance from martial arts master. What you used to see on TV will now be real.

[16:00-17:00] Drive to check in your hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day. You could also plan for the night activity such as Shaolin Zen Music Ritual with the assistance from the local guide.

Shaolin Temple
Shaolin Temple

Day 8Dengfeng - Luoyang
Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang Museum of Folk Customs

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel:Yaxiang Jinling Hotel

[09:00-09:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby, checking out and transfer back to Luoyang.

[09:30-11:30] Drive back from Dengfeng to Luoyang for about 2 hours

[12:00-13:00] Lunch time at local restaurant enjoying the local food

[13:00-17:00] Enjoy your full day city visit that covers the most classic sites here of Longmen Grottoes which overwhelmingly depicts Buddhist subjects, are densely dotted along the two mountains. Then have a visit to Luoyang Museum of Folk Customs, realizing the local culture and walk along Minng & Qing Old Town, exploring the history of this ancient city.

[17:00-18:00] Drive to and Check in the hotel. Free at leisure at night.

Longmen Grottoes
Longmen Grottoes

Day 9Luoyang - Xian
White Horse Temple, Emperor Carriage Museum

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Atour Hotel Xian Nanmen

[09:00-09:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby, checking out from hotel in the morning

[09:30-12:30] Visit White Horse Temple, founded in AD 68 during the Eastern Han Dynasty, with a history of thousands of history. It is the first Buddhist temple in China after Buddhism was introduced into China, as well as a famous Buddhist Temple in the world.Before lunch, continue to visit Emperor Carriage Museum, which is a history museum build over the relics which dates from 770 B.C.

[12:30-13:30] Lunch time at local restaurant enjoying the local food

After a short break, transfer to Luoyang Railway Station to catch an afternoon train to Xian. It will take about 2 hours on the high speed train. The Xian local guide will pick up you at the exit of railway station and transfer you to hotel. Help with the hotel check in.

Xian City View
Xian City View

Day 10Xian
Terracotta Warriors, Tang Bo Art Museum, Bell Tower, Muslim Quarter

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Atour Hotel Xian Nanmen ★★★★

[09:00-09:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the Ancient city.

[09:30-12:30] Drive to Terracotta Warriors and explore one of the world's most important archaeological finds, with troops, horses and carriages in battle formation. Shuttle bus will be arranged for your convenience.

[12:30-14:00] Lunch time at Lanchi Restaurant, professional for buffet and local food, such as dim sum, noodles and Chinese hamburger.

[14:00-17:00] Afternoon visit Tang Bo Art Museum, where gives you brief history and examples of Chinese art. The calligraphy lesson will be arranged and you will be taught how to write a couple of Chinese characters. Then visit the Bell tower, which is the largest Bell tower in structure and shape and the best-preserved one in China. Continue to visit Muslim Quarter and enjoy your shopping time there.

[17:00-17:30] Back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night activities, such as Tang Dynasty Show with Dinner.

Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors

Day 11Xian - Shanghai
Ancient City Wall, Wild Goose Pagoda and north square, Hanyang Tomb

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel:Sunrise On The Bund Hotel ★★★★

[09:30-10:00] You will have enough time to pack up and check out. Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and have one day leisure tour in Xian before leaving for Shanghai.

[10:00-12:30] Visit the Ancient City Wall, which represents one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. Bicycle or sightseeing car will be arranged on the wall to go around. After that visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and you will have chance to watch the North plaza fountain show.

[12:30-16:30] Special lunch will be arranged as dumpling banquet at local restaurant. After lunch, drive to Xian airport, on the way visit the Hanyang Mausoleum, the largest museum with largest floor space in China.

Fly to Shanghai. Your Shanghai tour guide will wait for you at the airport and help you to transfer to the hotel.

Ancient City Wall
Ancient City Wall

Day 12Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple, the exterior of Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Yuyuan Garden; Shanghai Old Street, The Bund

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel:Sunrise on the Bund Hotel ★★★★

[09:00-09:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the Modern city of China.

[09:30-12:30] Visit Jade Buddha Temple, which is famous for the seated Buddha, encrusted with jewels, which is said to weigh 1,000 kg.Then visit the exterior of Oriental Pearl TV Tower, while walking on Riverside Promenade Bingjiang Da Dao.

[12:30-13:30] Lunch time for the local special food, Dim Sum and Steamed Bun

[13:30-16:30] Visit Yuyuan Garden, which is a Chinese classic garden in city downtown, shopping time at Shanghai Old Street and Nanjing Road which is the earliest commercial street in Shanghai, you could look for some special souvenirs and silk product there. After that, enjoy a leisure walk along the Bund, famous for groups of buildings known as "a Gallery of world architecture".

[16:30-17:30] Back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night Acrobatic Show, especially the ERA show, which is one of the most popular evening entertainments in Shanghai.

The Bund
The Bund

Day 13Shanghai
Transfer service to airport

Meals: Breakfast

Free day at leisure and be transferred to the airport for return flight. We can arrange the Maglev train ride to Pudong airport if you are interested in, or we will drive you directly to the airport.

Service Ends

Tour Price (US$ per person)

Hotel Class Group Size Dec. ~ Feb. Mar. ~ Nov.
Economy Hotel
★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2042 $2138
6 ~ 9 pax $1479 $1576
Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2280 $2335
6 ~ 9 pax $1729 $1785
Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2619 $2894
6 ~ 9 pax $2047 $2322
Price includes:

♦ Domestic flight or high-speed train as specified
♦ Private transfer between the airport or railway station, attractions, and hotels
♦ Private licensed English-speaking guide and driver service
♦ Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast on sharing basis
♦ All attraction entrance fees as specified
♦ Meals mentioned in the itinerary, Chinese local food
China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance

Price excludes:

* International Air tickets or Train Tickets to enter or leave China
* Tips to your tour guide and driver on your own discretion
* China Entry Visa Fees
* Personal expenses
* Optional tours, meals, activities and services


Remarks:

※ Prices are valid from Mar 1, 2020 to Feb 28, 2021, except Chinese public holidays, local fairs or events.
※ TCT reserves the right to adjust the price caused by exchange rate
※ No guide on the flight and Yangtze River cruise. 
※ Recommended hotels are subject to change in actual booking
※ Special requirements should be advised to TCT in advance.
※ TCT reserves the right of final explanation for any change due to the reasons beyond our control.

Traveler Reviews Feedbacks & Photos >>

5.0

Samin I

5.0

The country is beautiful and glamorous from the inside and the outside. Including the people. Special thanks to our tour guide,LILY who made our trip memorable She planned everything from our our tickets to our food and shopping. Her service was excellent just like her behaviour. We had a misfortune of losing three newly bought phones. Even though we couldn't get the phones back lilly helped us through all the procedure from the police station to the street cc tv. And the lunch she provided us today in front of the great wall was perfect and elegant. Thank you for everything lilly. Hope we get you the next time we visit china again. And visit my country bangladesh anytime you like with your daughter and husband :)
pao t

5.0

Top China Tour-Joyce Tang was our tour coordinator and I can only have praises for her professionalism,her attention to details, and accommodations to make our lifelong dream of visiting china a memorable experience. Joyce listened to our needs and made recommendations and tailored the tour to fit our schedule. We spent 9 days visiting Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. The daily schedule was perfect which allowed us to see all the highlights as well as enough time to spend on our own to explore the local culture. I would not hesitate to contact Joyce for our next trip to China.
Candi S

5.0

Raylene did a wonderful job organizing our tour to meet our time constraints. She answered all questions very efficiently. Our tour guide Rocco met us at the airport and the Driver was waiting near by. I have specific dietary restrictions and the guide was extremely helpful communicating that with the restaurants. The trip was so easy and we always felt safe. My husband and I are looking forward to booking a more extended trip in the future. There is so much to see and the food is wonderful!
efjm23

5.0

My wife (34) and I (35) took a 13-day trip to China during the last two weeks of May organized by Top China Travel. Our tour organizer was Janet Chan with whom we had a very excellent experience. The arrangements were flawless. We did not join a group, all the arrangements were made only for the two of us. We had a guide, a driver and a sedan car in each city. All the internal flights, cruise and train tickets, and any other ground transportation was arranged by TCT. We visited Beijing, Xian, Guilin-Yangshuo, Chongxing-Yangtze River Cruise, and Shanghai. I won't talk too much about the cities since there is plenty of information in the internet. I just can tell that China is amazing. My top favorite sites/monuments/attractions were: The Great Wall (Mutianyu section), Terracotta Warriors, bicycle ride in Yangshuo, bicycle ride in Xian City Wall, cooking lesson in Yangshuo, shopping at Tianzifang and Old Town market in Shanghai and the food EVERYWHERE. The hotel selection by TCT was good, however, depending on needs and tastes, I would recommend to discuss and agree with TCT on specific hotels after doing a little research. Reasons: breakfast selection might not be suitable for everybody (chinese breakfast is very different from occidental breakfast), some hotels might not enforce non-smoking policies hard enough (Novotel Peace in Beijing for example). The Yangtze River cruise was a really nice experience, the landscapes are unique. It's something worth seeing. We took the President #8 Ship, the rooms are clean and comfortable, however, the entertainment activities on board are limited. Overall experience in China was excellent and I definitely recommend Top China Travel as the agency of choice.
Alimeister77

5.0

I booked my flights without a tour thinking I could do it on my own. I soon realised it was not so easy as I thought. Top Travel China were a good option for booking a tour. Vicky helped with hotels, tours on our own (2 of us) and joining group tours. She arranged picking us up and dropping us off in luxury vehicles (Except the groups tours, which were in the normal not so great vans). The experience was awesome. Do be clear if you prefer spending more time in the village areas rather than the cities, but Vicky booked some awesome tours with some great guides, Annie in particular. A great service I have to say and what a fabulous trip.
Salina W

5.0

My 3 friends and I did a 11 days Beijing, Xian, Shanghai & Chengdu tour. Our tour agent was Joyce at TCT. From day 1 till the very last day everything went very smooth. All was organised very well, we had excellent tour guides, drivers, comfortable vans, they were very pleasant, helpful and flexible. The rooms in Xian and Shanghai were beautiful. I really got to see & experience a lot, got to taste delicious local food, bought nice silk stuff (haven't used it yet). Overall it was a great trip. Thanks to Joyce, Kurt, Helen, Presence and all the drivers for a wonderful, memorable trip.I would highly recommend TCT tours and definitely coordination through Joyce.
bob

5.0

My wife and I chose TCT to plan a two week private tour of China for us and we are very glad that we did. Yocky, our travel planner, was excellent and everything worked out exactly as she had told us it would. The guides were well chosen and by and large spoke quite passable English. The younger ones sometimes tended to try and cram too much to do in one day for an older couple, but they were very flexible and quite willing to make minor alterations to our set progamme on our request. All in all, I would recommend TCT to anyone who wants an in depth look at China and its people.
Ryan S

5.0

We chose TCT for an 11 day/10 night private guided tour trip through Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Yangshuo, and Shanghai. Janet helped us plan and finalize the itinerary for our trip via email and phone communication and was very accommodating and helpful during the entire process. She also kept in contact with us throughout the trip to make sure that everything went smoothly and to our satisfaction. For the city guides, we had Merry in Beijing, Christina in Xi'an, Ji in Guilin/Yangshuo, and Leo and Sara in Shanghai. Each of our guides were helpful and informative and made sure that our needs were met along the way, and all of them were flexible with any last-minute requests or issues that came up. Special mention also for our driver Mr. Ai in Beijing who always made sure that we had water and that we got to our destinations on time regardless of the traffic situation, and likewise with Ms. Luo in Shanghai. Our trip overall was very action-packed and we were able to see almost everything planned on our schedule including some last-minute inserted locations which was a plus. We had a great time visiting on our first trip to China, and would recommend TCT for anyone looking to looking to plan their own trip there.
A TripAdvisor Member

5.0

Enjoyed touring the Forbidden City and Great Wall of China in Beijing. Thanks to our guide Mark. He was very knowledgeable and made our time there very enjoyable.
maity_monalisa

5.0

We were really fortunate to have engaged Top China Travel as our travel organiser . Our entire 10 day trip went through without a hitch. Rebecca had been our correspondent from the very beginning, answering all our queries. Our travel guide at Beijing was Eric , (a most amiable , punctual and enterprising person ) who arranged all our sightseeing tours in the most convenient way. He always tried to satisfy our curiosities regarding the places or Chinese way of living. He never seemed to tire of our endless questions about anything and everything we saw. We visited the summer palace , temple of heaven , Great Wall of China , water cube and bird's nest stadium in our three days stay at Beijing. We learnt about Chinese culture , some ancient stories about the emperor, concubine etc. Also a funny story about the famous dish - Peking roast duck. Seeing the huge area of temple of heaven and summer palace we thought we won't be able to cover it, but thanks to Eric - our guide, it was a smooth and enjoyable tour. We didn't feel exhausted at all. We got enough time at the Great Wall - a wonderful structure, climbed about 1000 steps and come down through the toboggan which was thrilling. We loved the Chinese which our tour guide had planned. All in all it was leisurely and fun. Thanks again for planning such a wonderful trip
vosoledad

5.0

From the planning of the trip with Janet to the amazing private guided tour given by Jimmy and driving by Mr. I, we felt cared for and pampered. We arrived on my birthday and Jimmy waited for hours for us due to a delayed flight for one of our party, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my birthday. We had asked for a hike along the Great Wall and were able to hike a five hour stretch on a nearly deserted piece of mountain trail culminating in a fantastic view of the snaking wall near Inner Mongolia. Jimmy was encouraging to us as not all of our party were the best hikers. Jimmy gave accurate historical descriptions of what we were about to see, he didn't make up answers to our sometimes random questions, but tried to find out the answers to them if he didn't know. He was personable and seemed to know what we needed before we did. Mr. I is a talented driver, navigating the chaotic Beijing streets with smoothness and skill getting us to our destinations in a timely manner. He also made sure we had water, which was essential for the hot (90*) and above days we were there. Our three star hotel the Holiday Inn Express was a new facility with great amenities. We had been worried that three stars in China might be a bit iffy, but this was very nice. We just happened upon Top China Travel on the Internet, but couldn't be more pleased with our experience.
Sameera s

5.0

I'm from Sri Lanka and I visited China with 11 pax of group on June. Janet was in charge of the arrangements (hotel bookings) and our guide for city of Beijing was Cathy from Top China travel agency and she was on time with excellent knowledge about all the places we visited. She was very helpful, friendly, flexible and excellent speaking in English language. They make our trip to unforgettable life time experience.
Robin C

5.0

We wanted to do a short tour while stopping in Chengdu before flying to Kunming. We had used TCT very successfully before for a tour of Yunnan so they were our natural choice. As before the service we received was excellent. Daniel Mo, who was our email contact at the company was prompt and very efficient in his dealings. David our guide was knowledgeable and spoke very good English. The Old Chengdu Club hotel was excellent and our driver very steady! Trip arrangements were immaculate and the day trip to the Bifeng Panda reserve a sheer delight. I can happily recommend TCT
Allessandr0

5.0

I am a tour leader from Italy and this was my first cooperation with Janet and how lucky we met her!! We followed the trip with her to remote areas in China including some ethnic group area in Guizhou province and Sanjiang, Longsheng and Guilin, we enjoyed completely throughout the whole trip and some arrangement even out of our surprise, like we went to Janet’s home to learn how to pack Chinese Ravioli, she invited a Taichi teacher and we had a 1 hour Taichi class inside her home community. Everything was fine and our group members are all like her very much. We strongly recommend Janet Chan (janet@topchinatravel.com) as your China trip consultant! She is so considerate and carefully planned each detail of our trip. Guizhou is a very interesting and primitive place for visiting, you should include in your China trip as well! Thank you Janet! You are very professional!!
Kihei.Goldilocks

5.0

Our tour: Beijing, Xi`an, Yangtze River Cruise and Shanghi When we first made our inquires, we thought we would be hooked up with a group but due to our dates, it turned out to be just my husband and I. It was one of the best tours we’ve been on and we travel the world. First, we were immediately notified of a hotel upgrade prior to leaving home due to a National Holiday they declared in China. Our first hotel was close to the center of Beijing and everything would be shut down due to the Military Parade scheduled. Upon arriving in Beijing at 4:30am, we learned from our “super” guide, Grace, that all tours would be shut down for that one day also. Not a problem. We ended up going to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace the day before the shut down. We had plenty of time at both locations plus a delightful lunch on the way to the Great Wall. The day after the shutdown, was to the Temple of Heaven, (actually a wonderful park with everyone doing everything from dancing to playing checkers) then on to Tian`anmen Square. Here the decorations were still up from the parade and it was starting to get crowded but we started early, the Forbidden City and the Rickshaw Hutong Tour. Lunch was part of the Rickshaw tour and was in a local Chinese home. Normally, these might be spread out over a couple of days but we had to compress due to the shutdown and didn’t feel we missed anything. Again, Grace and our driver were wonderful and she knew all the short cuts etc… Then they drove us to the high speed train. Grace arranged our tickets and even boarded the train with us to make sure we were in the right seats, Loved this girl!! We were met in Xi`an at the train station by _____and driven to the Ramada Bell Tower. First on the agenda was the Ancient City Wall. This wall is about 40 feet high and probably 15 feet across. It isYou popular to rent bikes and ride around it (lots of tandum bikes) or walking or jogging. The whole distance is about 6 miles around. (visible from Google Earth) Then on to Terracota Army Museum. This is about an hour drive out of the city. This is a large complex. I don’t know what I was expecting but I didn’t expect buildings other than the hugh one built over the warriors. Lunch was provided at a restaurant on site. Back to Xi`an and a quick stop at the Wild Goose Pagoda. Here you are given into the care of a Pogoda volunteer to take you thru the grounds. The next morning we had some time before our flight to Chongqing so ___ took us to the Shaanxi History Museum. This museum has some wonderful exhibits that are well worth the time. Our flight was met by the local guide and driver and they took us to the Victoria Llanna. I can’t tell you how fantastic it is to have these guides to move you around and look out for you. There is no way we would have known to hire a local porter to carry our luggage to the boat They put a suitcase on each end of a bamboo pole and carry it down probably 60 cement stairs to a 50 foot metal walkway on drums extending out to the boat. I had to hold on to the rail just to walk across to board the boat. No way I could have handled luggage. Our guide recommended the proper fee to the porter and fended him off when he wanted more. Registration is on board the boat. Our guide helped us with that and then off he went. On board, you are seated with a group of other travelers. We were called the Foreign Independent Travelers. We had couples from France, Israel and Australia at our table. The meals are oriental but it is easy to find something you like. Every meal was buffet except for the final night. Always breads, eggs, meat and various fruits for breakfast. Lunch and dinner had rice, chow mein, various meat and vegetable dishes and always watermelon. In the bar area, I found an ice cream bar that was my daily reward! The different Georges were beautiful. On one you stop and board smaller boats to go deeper into the Goddess stream. At about 11pm on the final night, you start through the locks of the three gorges dam. Two boats go through at a time. Take a nap so you can stay up for this transition. When we arrived in Yichang, another very competent guide came on board and collected us. Hired a local porter for us and up the hill we went to the car and driver. Then on to the Yichang Airport to catch our flight to Shanghi. Our guide walked us into the airport and made sure we had our boarding passes. In Shanghai we were again met and taken via the MagLev train to the Marriott Puxi Hotel. The MagLev operates out of the Pudong airport so if you want to ride on this, you need to arrive at the right airport. (our son said we had to do this so, there you go) Our day in a took us to the Jade Budda Temple, YuYuan Garden, Old Town, Oriental Pearl Tower (clear observation floor-like you are standing on air), Nanjing Road and the Bund. All doable in one day and at an easy pace. I’m not a shopper but did take my picture at the Apple Store to show I was there! Next morning we went to Watertown. This is a town with canals (think Venice) that is 1700 years old. Walked the streets and took a cruise on the wooden boat. Very peaceful amid the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. On to the Hongqiao Airport for a flight back to Beijing. (We were on Hawaiian Airlines so needed to go in and out of Beijing ) Our last day in Beijing we went to the Pearl Market to shop. This is where one goes to by knock offs. High end handbags, electronics, toys etc. (Flight crews go there to shop) This is not a souvenir shop. The next morning another guide and driver showed up to take us to the Beijing Airport. A guide and driver are the way to travel China and Top China Travel does it well. All guides were English speaking and paid attention to any requests we had
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