Giant Pandas, Yangtze River, and Golden Triangle Family Tour

CHT-PD-01: 12-day Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Yangtze and Shanghai Tour
From: $2,449
Family Nature Panda Culture

The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, visited China from March 22 to 26 in 2014 and she traveled to Beijing, Xi'an, and Chengdu. Historic cities and cute pandas impressed Michelle and her two daughters. This tour features the homeland of giant pandas in Chengdu but also includes the famous Golden Triangle — Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an. The Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors, and the Bund are all yours to see and, to cap it off, the Yangtze River cruise. What a trip!


  • The Great Wall of China
  • The Terracotta Warriors
  • The Panda Breeding and Research Center
  • A Yangtze River Cruise
  • The Shanghai World Financial Center

Tour Summary

What's Included

  • Entrance to attractions listed in the itinerary
  • Private transfers between the airport, attractions, ports, and hotels
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private local tour guide and driver service throughout the tour (except on the Yangtze River Cruise)
  • Specified flights and Yangtze River cruise

Price Per Person in US Dollars

Nov.1 - Mar. 31 Deluxe Class Superior Class
2-5 People $2739 $2449
6-9 People $2449 $2159
Apr.1 - Oct.31 Deluxe Superior
2-5 People $2919 $2589
6-9 People $2619 $2299

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you in arrivals. A comfortable private car (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to the hotel. Your guide will help you check-in.

Day 2Beijing: The Three Great Sights of Beijing
The Forbidden City The Forbidden City

Today's experiences include the classic, epic sites of Beijing: the Forbidden City, home to 24 emperors and the imperial palace where treasures are hidden and history has happened; the grand Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world and witness to many major historical events; and the tranquil Summer Palace, the royal garden built almost 300 years ago. Lunch near the Summer Palace is authentic Sichuan cuisine surrounded by traditional Chinese style decor.

Day 3Beijing: Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall Mutianyu Greal Wall

The Mutianyu Great Wall, a less-crowded section of the Great Wall, allows for leisurely walks along it, passing through the watchtowers and presenting a superb view as it snakes across the hills and mountains. Autumn colors are especially good for photography, as is the winter snow. A garden-style restaurant with farmhouse dishes, where you can help to catch your own rainbow trout or salmon, makes the lunch a talking point on its own.

Day 4Beijing: Hutongs and Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven Temple of Heaven

The hutongs, a maze of historic alleyways with old single storey traditional courtyard houses, are only to be seen in Beijing. A rickshaw ride through the narrow alleys and a visit to a local family make for a truly special experience.

The chosen spot for lunch is a mixture of East and West: French cuisine in traditional Chinese surroundings.

The Temple of Heaven, where emperors visited for annual ceremonies to pray for a good harvest, is an impressive display of architecture and intricate carvings. You can explore early in the morning, giving you a chance to exercise or stroll with the locals and watch people practice martial arts and play traditional instruments.

In the evening, you will be driven to the airport and fly to Xi'an.

Day 5Xi'an: Terracotta Warriors and Horses
Terra Cotta Army The Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Warriors and Horses, each figure being unique, have guarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC. The arranged lunch will let you experience traditional Hunan and Sichuan cuisine.

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a simple, elegant brick pagoda built in the 7th century, stands in the grounds of the attractive Da Ci'en Temple.

In the evening, you will be taken by our guide to the airport for the flight to Chengdu.

Day 6Chengdu: Panda Breeding and Research Base
The Giant Panda The Giant Panda

Today you will get close and personal with the symbol of China — the giant panda — at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base. The best time to see giant pandas is early in the morning between 8:30am and 10:30am, when the pandas come out to eat and play. There is also a panda theater where you can watch a video to learn more about pandas.

After lunch at one of Chengdu's most popular restaurants, Jinsha Site — which is more than 3,000 years' old — awaits your discovery. Adjacent to it is Jinli Old Street, an ancient street fully restored in the traditional Sichuan style; it is picturesque, bustling, and full of local arts and crafts, traditional Chinese goods, food, and delicacies.

Optional Tour:
If you want to get closer to the pandas and do something for them, you can join the volunteer program at Dujiangyan Panda Valley (1½-hour drive from Chengdu). The program last for one day and the activities may include cleaning and weighing fresh bamboo, feeding the pandas and cleaning panda enclosures. To change this day's arrangements to the volunteer program, extra cost is approximately as below:
2-5 people: US$150 per person
6-9 people: US$135 per person

Day 7Ciqikou Old Town and Yangtze River
Ciqikou Old Town Ciqikou Old Town

In the morning, our guide will take you to the train station to travel to Chongqing via the bullet train in two hours. Our guide in Chongqing will pick you up at the station and escort you to Ciqikou Old Town, an authentic community with old wooden houses and narrow streets; a taste of China of the past. Lunch is at a traditional local restaurant where a taste of Cantonese cuisine is also available.
Three Gorges Museum explains the history of the Yangtze River and the Three Gorges Dam, and afterwards you will board the Yangtze River cruise.

Day 8Yangtze River: Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai Shibaozhai

Enjoy the scene of riverbanks passing by in leisure in the morning. In the afternoon, a short visit to Shibaozhai — a magnificent red pavilion providing a walkway to the top of the hill — allows for spectacular views of the area. An optional tour to Fengdu Ghost City awaits those who are interested in mystical matters.

A welcoming banquet and party ends the day, while you glide along the glistening river.

Day 9Yangtze River: Gorges and Shennong Stream
Yangtze River Yangtze River

Two of the magnificent three gorges, Qutang and Wu Gorge, are passed through this morning, so be ready with a camera. The wonder of engineering, the vast ship locks, and the majesty of nature present themselves to you as you sit back and relax.

The afternoon is dedicated to Shennong Stream, with rushing waterfalls and an ancient plank path leading to suspended coffins in the cliff. You also have the option of visiting the White Emperor City.

In the evening, the crew of the ship will entertain you with their performances.

Day 10Three Gorges Dam and Flight to Shanghai
Three Gorges Dam Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam is the highlight of the day, and a visit to the top of the dam gives great photo opportunities. After arriving in Yichang, you will be taken to the airport for a transfer flight to Shanghai. Your guide in Shanghai will escort you back to the hotel for a good rest.

Day 11Shanghai
The Bund The Bund

The Shanghai World Financial Center observation deck, which is the tallest in the world, starts the day with the best views of the city line. The Jade Buddha Temple and Yuyuan Garden provide a taste of old architecture, while Yuyuan Market is a 'heaven' for tasting Shanghai snacks.

Lunch is in an old and famous local restaurant which serves typical Shanghai food and is a treat for taste buds.

Day 12Shanghai Departure

Your private car, driver, and guide will transport you to the airport and take you all the way to the security gate for your convenience. Relax all the way to the plane with us.

Trip Notes

1. Tailoring your tour

This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, extend or shorten it to suit your price, interest and schedule. Feel free to tell us your requirements, and we are happy to help you arrange with our professional knowledge and experience.

2. Get close to pandas

The Panda Breeding and Research Center has a donation program which allows you to take pictures holding a panda for about one minute by donating CNY 2,000 Yuan (for reference only). Only 20 tourists are allowed to hold pandas a day. If you want to hold a panda, please tell your travel advisor or tour guide in advance because you must book it at least one week in advance. This program is subject to the availability of pandas on that day. Please bring enough CNY cash as payment by credit card is not accepted there.

Feel free to tell us your requirements and interests, and we will be happy to help you arrange a trip with our professional knowledge and experience.

3. Reopen of panda photo and volunteer programs

In order to protect the giant pandas from canine distemper infection, all the panda bases stopped the panda interconnect activities since January, 2015. Dujiangyan Panda Valley has reopened the volunteer program and the program to take photos holding a panda since March, 2015. The reopening date of these programs at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base and Bifengxia Giant Panda Base is still TBA.

4. Payment Methods:

We now offer 3 payment methods: PayPal, credit card authorization via fax and wire transfer. PayPal is recommended for its safety and efficiency. You can pay USA dollars, Australian dollars, European dollars and Great Britain Pound directly with your credit card or debit card, even if you don't have PayPal account.