Nature of China 

15 Days Beijing, Xi’an, Zhangjiajie, Shanghai and a Yangtze River Cruise Private Tour

Pandora is far, but Zhangjiajie is near. Movie Avatar makes the floating Hallelujah Mountain famous, so Zhangjiajie becomes popular among westerners in recent years. A book named River Town published in 2012, written by American writer Peter Hessler records life changes in a town on the Yangtze River, which reflects China’s development in the passed 20 years.

This 15 days private tour brings these two places close to you and shows you the essence of China in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, Enjoy the beauty of China with stunning natural views.

You can travel the same destinations in three different styles. Which travel style meet your needs?

Map of Beijing-Xian-Shanghai
Highlights for Comfort Style
  • Be amazed at the Great Wall of China, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is viewable from outer space
  • Experience over 8,000 majestic and well-preserved sculptures of the Terracotta Army
  • Soak up the beauty of pillar-like formations and mysterious Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountains
  • Feel your heart almost jump up at Suspended Glass Walkway —a mile high!
  • Observe the three gorges and the big dam from the relaxing Yangtze River Cruise
Full Itinerary

Covers all highlights of China and some natural scenery, this comfort style tour choose the most efficient transportation and 5-star accommodation to ensure you a stress-free tour in 15 days.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)

Whenever your flight lands your tour guide will be waiting for you at the arrival hall of the airport, greeting you with a smile and name plate. Transfer to your hotel by private van and driver.

Day 2 Beijing: Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Hutongs

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

You will visit iconic sights of the city: Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Tian'anmen Square at the heart of Beijing is the largest city square in the world, the witness of many major historical events. Walking northward from the square you will enter the Forbidden City, the imperial palace where treasures are hidden and history happened.

Have lunch at a popular local restaurant, where your guide will help you order dishes to ensure an authentic Chinese flavor.

In the afternoon hop on a rickshaw to explore the charming hutongs ('lanes') — traditional Beijing neighborhood areas.

The Forbidden City The Forbidden City
Day 3 The Great Wall and Temple of Heaven

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

This less-crowded Mutianyu section of the Great Wall offers superb views, as it snakes across mountains. After driving for about 2½ hours from Beijing city center, you will take a shuttle bus to the foot of the mountains. Cable cars are available to take you to a good section (avoiding climbing on steep steps), where you can walk along the wall and enjoy the view. You can descend by cable car, or walk along the wall for about an hour to descend by chairlift.

After lunch at a nearby restaurant, drive back to the city and visit the Temple of Heaven, where ancient emperors held grand ceremonies to pray for good harvests. You will see local people enjoying leisure time inside the park, singing, dancing, and playing chess or musical instruments.

The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
Day 4 The Summer Palace; Flight to Xi'an

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xian South (Superior Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

In the morning walk through the Summer Palace, an enormous park with pavilions, vividly-painted corridors, temples, and lakes surrounded by hills.

After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. Upon arrival in Xi'an, meet your guide at the arrival hall and go to your hotel by private van and driver.

Day 5 The Terracotta Warriors; Evening Flight to Zhangjiajie

Hotel: Pullman Zhangjiajie (Superior Room) (Rank No. 1 in Zhangjiajie on TripAdvisor)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Drive about one hour to the outskirts of Xi'an and admire the formidable underground army of Terracotta Warriors, which has been guarding 'First Emperor' Qin for over 2,000 years. Back in the city, walk on the ancient city wall, which divides the city into its inner and outer parts. Riding a bike on the massive wall is recommended.

Dinner is according to your own arrangement. Feel free to ask your tour guide for some insider recommendations. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight to Zhangjiajie. Upon arrival, meet your guide at the arrival hall for your transfer to a Zhangjiajie city hotel.

Good to Know:

  • To avoid waiting in long queues, your Zhangjiajie guide might suggest you get up early or alter your attraction schedule. Please kindly understand and cooperate.
The Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army
Day 6 Zhangjiajie National Park: Tianzi Mountain and Yuanjiajie

Hotel: Pullman Zhangjiajie (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Breakfast at a 4-star hotel at Zhangjiajie is very basic, so our guide will prepare bread, coffee, and fruit for you.

Tianzi Mountain and Yuanjiajie are the most classic and popular sights of Zhangjiajie.

Take the cable car up Tianzi Mountain, and see through the glass below large areas of grotesque sandstone peaks thrusting up from the ground.

Have a simple lunch on the mountain.

If you prefer, we can arrange to have lunch at a McDonald's on the mountain, and have a break in the air-conditioned building.

The namesake and inspiration of Avatar's Hallelujah Mountain is located in Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, which you will visit in the afternoon after taking a shuttle bus from Tianzi Mountain.

Alternative: For getting back to the foot of the mountain, besides taking the cable car, there is also an option of taking Bailong Elevator, a glass elevator built on the side of a cliff, taking only 2 minutes. If you are interested, tell your tour guide in advance so that he/she can arrange to avoid long queues, which might take you 2 hours.

 Zhangjiajie National Park Zhangjiajie National Park
Day 7 Yangjiajie in Zhangjiajie's National Park

Hotel: Pullman Zhangjiajie (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Yangjiajie Scenic Area is a relatively recently developed area in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. With less people and pristine natural beauty, it takes a bit of an adventure to climb up and down the steep and sometimes narrow steps for the superb view. You will need to climb for about one hour, besides taking a cable car, to get up and down.

After visiting the National Park, let's head to Baofeng Lake to enjoy crystal clear water.


Alternative: If you do not want to walk so much, we recommend Gold Whip Stream for a pleasant stroll along the stream, surrounded by grotesque rocks. You might see some monkeys there. Please don't touch or scare them for safety reasons, but giving them food is ok.

 Yangjiajie of the National Park Yangjiajie of the National Park
Day 8 Tianmen Mountain and Yellow Dragon Cave

Hotel:Zhangjiajie Sunshine Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Tianmen literally means 'Heaven's Gate', and Tianmen Mountain does match its name. With an altitude of 1,518 meters (4,980 feet), its scenery is often locked in mist in the morning. Besides its beautiful scenery, it will make your heart beat fast as you walk across its glass walkway, suspended 1,430 meters up; ride the world's longest cable car from city to mountain top; and take a vehicle down the curvy mountain road of '99 Bends'.

Tianmen Cave, a 30-meter-high, doorway-like hole in the mountain, can be reached by climbing 999 steps, if you'd like the challenge.

You will get back to the foot of the mountain at around 2 pm in the afternoon. After a late lunch enjoying local specialty mushroom hotpot.

Then we move to Yellow Dragon Cave stretches a total length of 7.5 kilometers with four layers. It's home to an impressive collections of stalactites and stalagmites, illuminated in a variety of colored lights.

Good to Know: Show Opportunity: Tianmen Foxy Fairy is an outdoor musical telling an old Chinese love story, with Tianmen Mountain and its deep valleys as the backdrop. It has received good reviews on TripAdvisor. The show is on every night. If you are interested, please ask your guide to book tickets for you, at extra cost.

The Tianmen Mountian The Tianmen Mountian
Day 9 Zhangjiajie to Yichang by Train; Board Your Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: Century Ledgend (Deluxe Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Transfer to the train station for your Yichang-bound train (K1474, departing at 09:15 and arriving at 14:18). To ensure the most comfort for your China train experience, we book soft-sleeper carriages, where 4 people share a cabin.

Upon arrival at Yichang Train Station, meet your local guide for your port transfer, and board your Yangtze River Cruise, which embarks at 21:00.

Day 10 Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: Century Ledgend (Deluxe Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Tai chi exercise led by a teacher is offered in the early morning every day.

Sail through the first gorge — Xiling Gorge, and pass through the five-step ship lock and have a shore excursion to the world-famous Three Gorges Dam site. In the evening, a welcoming banquet is held, hosted by the captain. There's no dress code for the Yangtze River cruise; wearing comfortable clothing for traveling is completely fine.

Xiling Gorge Xiling Gorge
Day 11 Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: Century Ledgend (Deluxe Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Take a shore excursion to visit Shennong Stream in small wooden boats, and see the mountain and water scenery more intimately. The cruise proceeds through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge.

You have the option of visiting White Emperor City (CNY280 per person extra), the source of inspiration for many ancient Chinese poets. Enjoy some interesting performances presented by the ship crew in the evening.

Shennong Stream Shennong Stream
Day 12 Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: Century Ledgend (Deluxe Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

You will have a shore excursion to Shibaozhai, a craggy hill by the Yangtze with a red pavilion and a walkway to the temple at the top of the hill. The Captain's Farewell Banquet is held in the evening.

Shibaozhai Shibaozhai
Day 13 Arrive in Chongqing; Flight to Shanghai

Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World (Superior Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

The cruise will dock at Chongqing port at around 9 am. Your local tour guide will pick you up from the port for your airport transfer and flight to Shanghai. Upon landing in Shanghai, your Shanghai tour guide will meet you at the arrival hall for your hotel transfer and a good rest.

Day 14 Shanghai City Highlights

Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Shanghai's charm of mixed cultures will be unveiled during your visit to the essential highlights of the city — the classical landscape garden of Yu Yuan; the Oriental Pearl TV Tower with a history museum on the lower floor; and the Bund, where architecture of various Western styles are gathered.

Lunch is at a famous Old Shanghai Restaurant, where authentic Shanghai flavor is served in an old-fashioned dining environment.

 The Bund The Bund
Day 15 Shanghai Departure

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Your tour guide, driver, and van will pick you up from your hotel for you to the airport transfer and flight. The guide will accompany and assist you as far as the security check, and then wave goodbye.

Highlights for Discovery Style
  • Wander along the awe-inspiring Great Wall, symbol of China
  • Come face to face with 8,000-year Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army
  • Enjoy the beauty of unique formations and mysterious Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountains
  • Cruise the Yangtze River and see the man made marvel of the Three Gorges Dam
  • Absorb traditional and modern flavor of Shanghai
Full Itinerary

Soak up the natural beauty of China and you will not miss the three golden triangle cities- Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, this discovery style tour choose the valuable accommodation and give you a sweet memory tour in 15 days.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel: Sunworld Hotel Beijing (Superior Room)

Your guide and private driver meet you in the arrivals lobby when you landed. During the 40-minutes journey to your hotel, everything jumps into your sights is fresh. You are welcome to ask any questions to your private local guide.

Day 2 Beijing: Essence of the City

Hotel: Sunworld Hotel Beijing (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Wake up in the morning; get ready for the visit to iconic sights of the city: the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square.

Tian’anmen Square at the heart of Beijing is the largest city square in the world, the witness of many major historical events. It is supposedly the largest down town square in the world – is the symbolic centre of Chinese power. Walking northward from the square you will enter the Forbidden City, which was built more than 500 years ago and off limits to commoners for almost all that time, its a truly amazing place.

Have lunch at a popular local restaurant, where your guide will help you order dishes to ensure an authentic Chinese flavor. In the afternoon hop on a rickshaw to explore the charming hutongs (‘lanes’) — traditional Beijing neighborhood areas.

The Tian’anmen Square The Tian’anmen Square
Day 3 Less-Crowed Part of the Great Wall

Hotel: Sunworld Hotel Beijing (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Each morning thousands of Beijing’s retirees gather at the lake’s shores to practice tai-chi, dancing, and even badminton. The Temple of Heaven is a popular place to do exercises. Walk around here, imagine ancient emperors held grand ceremonies to pray for good harvests.

Then drive to the less-crowded Mutianyu section of the Great Wall offers superb views, the wall stretches 6,000 km westwards from the mountain ridges north of Beijing. It was originally constructed to protect Chinese empires from the 'barbarians' of the north and even though it failed in this purpose, it's still without a doubt one of the country's most remarkable achievements and an iconic destination.

Cable cars are available to take you to a good section (avoiding climbing on steep steps), where you can walk along the wall and enjoy the view. You can descend by cable car, or walk along the wall for about an hour to descend by chairlift.

The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
Day 4 The Summer Palace; Flight to Xi’an

Hotel: Grand Noble Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

In the morning walk through the Summer Palace, an enormous park with pavilions, vividly-painted corridors, temples, and lakes surrounded by hills.

After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to Xi’an. Upon arrival in Xi’an, meet your guide at the arrival hall and go to your hotel by private van and driver.

 The Summer Palace The Summer Palace
Day 5 The Terracotta Warriors and Flight to Zhangjiajie

Hotel: Wulingyuan Hotel (Standard Room of Main Building)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Drive about one hour to the outskirts of Xi’an and uncover the mystery of the underground army dated thousands of years ago at the Terracotta Warriors Museum and see the sites where they were discovered. After lunch at a popular Chinese restaurant, return to the city area and cycle or walk on the city’s ancient city wall, which once guarded the inner city for 600 years.

Back in the city, walk on the ancient city wall, which divides the city into its inner and outer parts. Riding a bike on the massive wall is recommended. Dinner is according to your own arrangement. Feel free to ask your tour guide for some insider recommendations. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight to Zhangjiajie. Upon arrival, meet your guide at the arrival hall for your transfer to a Zhangjiajie city hotel.

Good to Know:

  • To avoid waiting in long queues, your Zhangjiajie guide might suggest you get up early or alter your attraction schedule. Please kindly understand and cooperate.
 The Terracotta Warriors and Horses The Terracotta Warriors and Horses
Day 6 Zhangjiajie National Park

Hotel: Wulingyuan Hotel (Standard Room of Main Building)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Breakfast at a 4-star hotel at Zhangjiajie is very basic, so our guide will prepare bread, coffee, and fruit for you.

Tianzi Mountain and Yuanjiajie are the most classic and popular sights of Zhangjiajie. Take the cable car up Tianzi Mountain, and see through the glass below large areas of grotesque sandstone peaks thrusting up from the ground.

Have a simplelunch on the mountain. If you prefer, we can arrange to have lunch at a McDonald’s on the mountain, and have a break in the air-conditioned building.

The namesake and inspiration of Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountain is located in Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, which you will visit in the afternoon after taking a shuttle bus from Tianzi Mountain.

Alternative: For getting back to the foot of the mountain, besides taking the cable car, there is also an option of taking Bailong Elevator, a glass elevator built on the side of a cliff, taking only 2 minutes. If you are interested, tell your tour guide in advance so that he/she can arrange to avoid long queues, which might take you 2 hours.

Tianzi Mountain Tianzi Mountain
Day 7 Yangjiajie in Zhangjiajie’s National Park

Hotel: Wulingyuan Hotel (Standard Room of Main Building)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Yangjiajie Scenic Area is a relatively recently developed area in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. With less people and pristine natural beauty, it takes a bit of an adventure to climb up and down the steep and sometimes narrow steps for the superb view. You will need to climb for about one hour, besides taking a cable car, to get up and down. After visiting the National Park, let’s head to Baofeng Lake to enjoy crystal clear water.

Alternative: If you do not want to walk so much, we recommend Gold Whip Stream for a pleasant stroll along the stream, surrounded by grotesque rocks. You might see some monkeys there. Please don’t touch or scare them for safety reasons, but giving them food is ok.

Yangjiajie of the National Park Yangjiajie of the National Park
Day 8Tianmen Mountain and Yellow Dragon Cave

Hotel: Best Western Grand Hotel Zhangjiajie (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Tianmen literally means ‘Heaven’s Gate’, and Tianmen Mountain does match its name. With an altitude of 1,518 meters (4,980 feet), its scenery is often locked in mist in the morning. Besides its beautiful scenery, it will make your heart beat fast as you walk across its glass walkway, suspended 1,430 meters up; ride the world’s longest cable car from city to mountain top; and take a vehicle down the curvy mountain road of ‘99 Bends’.

Tianmen Cave, a 30-meter-high, doorway-like hole in the mountain, can be reached by climbing 999 steps, if you’d like the challenge.

You will get back to the foot of the mountain at around 2 pm in the afternoon.

Then we move to Yellow Dragon Cave stretches a total length of 7.5 kilometers with four layers. It's home to an impressive collections of stalactites and stalagmites, illuminated in a variety of colored lights.

 The Tianmen Mountian The Tianmen Mountian
Day 9 Zhangjiajie to Yichang by Train; Board Your Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: President 8 (Deluxe balcony Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Transfer to the train station for your Yichang-bound train (K1474, departing at 09:15 and arriving at 14:18). To ensure the most comfort for your China train experience, we book soft-sleeper carriages, where 4 people share a cabin.

Upon arrival at Yichang Train Station, meet your local guide for your port transfer, and board your Yangtze River Cruise, which embarks at 21:00.

Day 10 Three Gorges Dam on Yangtze River

Hotel: President 8 (Deluxe balcony Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Breath fresh air at dock, Tai chi exercise led by a teacher is offered in the early morning every day.

Sail through the first gorge — Xiling Gorge, and pass through the five-step ship lock and have a shore excursion to the world-famous Three Gorges Dam site.

In the evening, a welcoming banquet is held, hosted by the captain. There’s no dress code for the Yangtze River cruise; wearing comfortable clothing for traveling is completely fine.

The Three Gorges Dam The Three Gorges Dam
Day 11 Shore Excursion to Shennong Stream

Hotel: President 8 (Deluxe balcony Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After buffet breakfast, take a shore excursion to visit Shennong Stream in small wooden boats, and see the mountain and water scenery more intimately. The cruise proceeds through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge.

You have the option of visiting White Emperor City (CNY280 per person extra), the source of inspiration for many ancient Chinese poets. Enjoy some interesting performances presented by the ship crew in the evening.

Shennong Stream Shennong Stream
Day 12 Shore Excursion to Shibaozhai

Hotel: President 8 (Deluxe balcony Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner You will have a shore excursion to Shibaozhai, a craggy hill by the Yangtze with a red pavilion and a walkway to the temple at the top of the hill.

The Captain’s Farewell Banquet is held in the evening.

Shibaozhai Shibaozhai
Day 13 Arrive in Chongqing; Flight to Shanghai

Hotel: The Bund Hotel Shanghai (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

The cruise will dock at Chongqing port at around 9 am. Your local tour guide will pick you up from the port for your airport transfer and flight to Shanghai.

Upon landing in Shanghai, your Shanghai tour guide will meet you at the arrival hall for your hotel transfer and a good rest.

Day 14 Shanghai City Highlights

Hotel:The Bund Hotel Shanghai (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

China’s most prosperous city oozes vibes of both tradition and modernity. Visit South China’s classical landscape garden at Yuyuan Garden, enjoy a bird’s eye view over Shanghai on the sightseeing deck of Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and finally have a walk around the Bundto learn about Shanghai history.

Good to Know

There are many optional evening shows in Shanghai, the most highly recommended being those involving acrobatics, some of the best in China. Ask your tour guide to help you obtain tickets.

 The Yuyuan Market The Yuyuan Market
Day 15 Shanghai Departure

Meals Provided: Breakfast

As your China trip comes to end, your tour guide, driver and car will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your departure flight home.

The guide will be accompany you and assist with flight check-in and luggage, and then see you off at the security check-point.

Highlights for Essential Style
  • Enjoy the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in a full day
  • Have a silent conversation with of the 8,000 years old Terracotta Army
  • Soak up the beauty of pillar-like formations at Zhangjiajie National Park
  • Test your courage at suspended Glass Walkway —a mile high!
  • Observe the three gorges and the big dam from the relaxing Yangtze River Cruise
Full Itinerary

This essential style tour covers key attractions in each city and arranges connected transportation. Leave the rest of days for you to discover on your own. Convenient accommodation ensures you a good location with complete public facilities.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel: Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room of Main Building)

When your flight arrives at Beijing airport, your driver and guide will be waiting to greet you at the arrival hall and help with your luggage and transfer to hotel by private car. After check-in, your guide will help you ensure everything is in order at your hotel room.

Day 2 Beijing Highlights

Hotel:Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room of Main Building)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

This day you will join in a small group tour to the essence of Beijing.

Tian’anmen Square at the heart of Beijing is the largest city square in the world, the witness of many major historical events. Walking northward from the square you will enter the Forbidden City, the imperial palace where treasures are hidden and history happened.

Have lunch at a popular local restaurant, where your guide will help you order dishes to ensure an authentic Chinese flavor.

The Forbidden City The Forbidden City
Day 3 Free Day in Beijing

Hotel: Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room of Main Building)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Today you will explore the city in your own way and at your own pace. Classic highlights include the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace and hutongs. You can get between these sites conveniently using public transport like the subway, buses or taxis.

Day 4 Free Daytime and Catch Train to Xi’an

Hotel: Overnight Train (Soft Sleeper)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

After visiting major attractions on the previous day, you are recommended to explore some special or leisure place like 798 Art District, Houhai, or Nanluoguxiang.

Overnight Train to Xi’an

To ensure your comfort, we will book soft sleeper tickets on the direct high speed train Z19 (20:43-07:58), with a maximum of 4 people in one compartment. Guide will meet you at hotel lobby and you may want to pack some bottled water and snacks for your train ride.

Day 5 The Terracotta Warriors and Flight to Zhangjiajie

Hotel: Wulingyuan Hotel (Standard Room of Main Building)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Your train is expected to arrive at Xi’an around 8:00 in the morning. You will be picked up at the station by your guide, driver and car, and transferred to your hotel for breakfast. After you have freshened up and whenever you feel ready, start today’s private tour to the Terracotta Warriors.

Transfer to the airport for your evening flight to Zhangjiajie. Upon arrival, meet your guide at the arrival hall for your transfer to a Zhangjiajie city hotel.

The Terracotta Warriors and Horses The Terracotta Warriors and Horses
Day 6 Tianzi Mountain and Yuanjiajie

Hotel: Wulingyuan Hotel (Standard Room of Main Building)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Breakfast at a 4-star hotel at Zhangjiajie is very basic, so our guide will prepare bread, coffee, and fruit for you.

Tianzi Mountain and Yuanjiajie are the most classic and popular sights of Zhangjiajie.Take the cable car up Tianzi Mountain, and see through the glass below large areas of grotesque sandstone peaks thrusting up from the ground.

Have a simple lunch on the mountain. If you prefer, we can arrange to have lunch at a McDonald’s on the mountain, and have a break in the air-conditioned building.

The namesake and inspiration of Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountain is located in Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, which you will visit in the afternoon after taking a shuttle bus from Tianzi Mountain.

Tianzi Mountain Tianzi Mountain
Day 7Yangjiajie in Zhangjiajie’s National Park

Hotel: Wulingyuan Hotel (Standard Room of Main Building)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Yangjiajie Scenic Area is a relatively recently developed area in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. With less people and pristine natural beauty, it takes a bit of an adventure to climb up and down the steep and sometimes narrow steps for the superb view. You will need to climb for about one hour, besides taking a cable car, to get up and down.

After visiting the National Park, let’s head to Baofeng Lake to enjoy crystal clear water.

Alternative: If you do not want to walk so much, we recommend Gold Whip Stream for a pleasant stroll along the stream, surrounded by grotesque rocks. You might see some monkeys there. Please don’t touch or scare them for safety reasons, but giving them food is ok.

 Yangjiajie of the National Park Yangjiajie of the National Park
Day 8 Tianmen Mountain and Yellow Dragon Cave

Hotel: Best Western Grand Hotel Zhangjiajie (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Tianmen Cave, a 30-meter-high, doorway-like hole in the mountain, can be reached by climbing 999 steps, if you’d like the challenge.

You will get back to the foot of the mountain at around 2 pm in the afternoon.

Then we move to Yellow Dragon Cave stretches a total length of 7.5 kilometers with four layers. It's home to an impressive collections of stalactites and stalagmites, illuminated in a variety of colored lights.

The Glass Walkway at Tianmen Mountain The Glass Walkway at Tianmen Mountain
Day 9Zhangjiajie to Yichang by Train; Board Your Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: President 8 (Deluxe balcony Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Transfer to the train station for your Yichang-bound train (K1474, departing at 09:15 and arriving at 14:18). To ensure the most comfort for your China train experience, we book soft-sleeper carriages, where 4 people share a cabin.

Upon arrival at Yichang Train Station, meet your local guide for your port transfer, and board your Yangtze River Cruise, which embarks at 21:00.

Day 10Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: President 8 (Deluxe balcony Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Tai chi exercise led by a teacher is offered in the early morning every day.

Sail through the first gorge — Xiling Gorge, and pass through the five-step ship lock and have a shore excursion to the world-famous Three Gorges Dam site. In the evening, a welcoming banquet is held, hosted by the captain. There’s no dress code for the Yangtze River cruise; wearing comfortable clothing for traveling is completely fine.

The Three Gorges Dam The Three Gorges Dam
Day 11Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: President 8 (Deluxe balcony Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Take a shore excursion to visit Shennong Stream in small wooden boats, and see the mountain and water scenery more intimately. The cruise proceeds through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge.

You have the option of visiting White Emperor City (CNY280 per person extra), the source of inspiration for many ancient Chinese poets. Enjoy some interesting performances presented by the ship crew in the evening.

Shennong Stream Shennong Stream
Day 12Yangtze River Cruise

Hotel: President 8 (Deluxe balcony Cabin)

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

You will have a shore excursion to Shibaozhai, a craggy hill by the Yangtze with a red pavilion and a walkway to the temple at the top of the hill. The Captain’s Farewell Banquet is held in the evening.

Shibaozhai Shibaozhai
Day 13Arrive in Chongqing; Flight to Shanghai

Hotel: Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

The cruise will dock at Chongqing port at around 9 am. Your local tour guide will pick you up from the port for your airport transfer and flight to Shanghai. Upon landing in Shanghai, your Shanghai tour guide will meet you at the arrival hall for your hotel transfer and a good rest.

Day 14Shanghai City Highlights

Hotel: Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Shanghai’s charm of mixed cultures will be unveiled during your visit to the essential highlights of the city — the classical landscape garden of Yu Yuan; the Oriental Pearl TV Tower with a history museum on the lower floor; and the Bund, where architecture of various Western styles are gathered.

Lunch is at a famous Old Shanghai Restaurant, where authentic Shanghai flavor is served in an old-fashioned dining environment.

The Bund The Bund
Day 15Shanghai Departure

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Your tour guide, driver, and van will pick you up from your hotel for you to the airport transfer and flight. The guide will accompany and assist you as far as the security check, and then wave goodbye.

What's Included
  • Entrance to attractions listed in the itinerary
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transfers between the airport or railway station, attractions, ports, and hotels
  • Private local English-speaking tour guide and driver service (except tips based on your willingness)
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast and service fee
  • Specified flights, trains, and Cruise
Trip Notes

Extension based on the tour

Extend the tour:

  • Guilin: add 3-4 days — Li River Cruise, Yangshuo countryside, Longji Terrace Field
  • Chengdu: add 2–3 days — visit a Panda Research Center, the Giant Buddha, and Mt. Emei
  • Suzhou and Hangzhou: add 2–4 days — visit scenic gardens, West Lake, and water towns
  • Hong Kong: add 2–3 days — visit Victoria Peak, Disneyland, and day-tour Macau

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is reopened on September 28th, 2016! The other attractions in the Grand Canyon Area are still closed, so people can only visit the glass bridge at presen. If you are interested in the bridge, feel free to ask your travel advisor to add it.

About Accommodation in Zhangjiajie

Star-rated hotels in Zhangjiajie might not be up to the standard of those in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. The hotels we use in the tour are carefully selected based on criteria like hotel environment, location, service, and previous customer feedback.

There are some hostels in the national park, with very basic facilities. If you would like to stay in a local guesthouse, we can arrange it. In this way you can save time on transportation, avoid tourist groups, and also cut the cost.

About Food in Zhangjiajie

Restaurant and cuisine choices are very limited in the national park. We will find the best available, but it is also suggested that you bring some snacks. Local villagers sell water and food like fruits and corn on the mountains, which are good to try while you climb the steps.

Breakfast at a 4-star hotel at Zhangjiajie is very basic, so our guide will prepare bread, coffee, and fruit for you.

What’s the difference between 3, 4, and 5 -star hotels?
We usually arrange centrally-located and Western-standard hotels. Five-star hotels are usually palatial with huge lobbies and comfortable rooms, their standards not quite matching the best of Paris or New York, but very close. Four-star hotels have quality facilities, but not as luxurious as five-star hotels. Three-star hotels meet the needs of most Westerners, but breakfasts have less choice.

We also recommend some courtyard hotels or Chinese-style hotels with local features and architecture. These hotels have a good ranking, or positive feedback from our customers, and TripAdvisor.

Usually hotels in big cities, small cities, and rural areas are a bit different, even if they have the same star level. We try to use the best available hotel in each place.

What are train conditions like in China?
A soft sleeper is recommended for overnight and long-distance travel. Each soft sleeper compartment is enclosed, and contains four bunks, two on each side. The bunks are wider and more comfortable than hard sleepers, with decent bedding. Soft sleeper compartments may vary between trains. You may have both over-head storage and under-bed storage, or just under-bed storage.

For short distance train travel, G and D high-speed trains are recommended. G trains are the fastest trains in China, with a speed of 250 km/h to 400 km/h, and their prices are highest.

Currency Exchange

As currency exchange rates in China fluctuate, we suggest you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. In 2015 the yuan (NCY or RMB) has been around 6.2 USD (6.1–6.3 USD), and the HKD (Hong Kong Dollar) has been more stable around 7.75 USD (7.74–7.77 USD). There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Master card, but these are limited to cities. We also recommend the use of cash and travelers checks in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but they may charge a 2–4% transaction fee.

Tipping

It is customary to tip service providers in the travel industry in Asia, depending on the service. Tipping is expected — though not compulsory — and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Recommendations for tipping drivers (3 USD per person per day as a guideline) and local guides (8 USD per person per day as a guideline) would depend on the quality and length of the service.

Food

Eating is an important part of your China experience. Generally breakfasts are included in the itinerary and offered by hotels. China Highlights recommend local Chinese restaurants that are popular with local people for lunch. You can order dishes with the help of your guide. We usually leave dinner for your own choice — Western food can be found in most large cities.

If you are vegetarian or you are looking for e.g. halal food, please feel free to inform your travel advisor, who can arrange a restaurant to fit your needs.

Vehicle

We use comfortable sedans or vans with air-conditioning. The comfort and safety of our customers is of utmost importance, so we ensure that all of the vehicles that we use are well maintained and always very clean. Our drivers take pride in their vehicles.