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17 Days Yangtze and Cultural China Tour

Enchanting Yangtze and Cultural China Tour

Experience the mesmerizing wonders of China on our 17 Days Beijing, Datong, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Yangtze, Shanghai, Suzhou tour. Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture as you visit iconic landmarks.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Tour 'Wow' Points

Find the Hidden Halls in the Forbidden City

the Forbidden City

Explore the Famous Yungang Grottoes of Datong

Yungang Grottoes

Make a Mini warrior with a Local Artisan Family

Learn to make a clay warrior

Witness the Famous Three Gorges of China

Yangtze River gorge

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Trip Advisor certificate of 2023 Tour Review

Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1 Beijing Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Beijing. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.

DAY 2 Beijing| The Forbidden City

Discover the Forbidden City, Beijing's historic center and home to 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. As the largest and best-preserved imperial complex in the world, it showcases magnificent architecture, gardens, and exhibitions brimming with ancient treasures. Wander for 2 hours through this UNESCO World Heritage site, graded as a moderate walk.

Beijing Forbidden City

Visit Tiananmen Square, Beijing's central city square surrounded by significant buildings, including the Heavenly Gate, museums, government structures, and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum. This iconic square holds cultural significance and witnessed pivotal moments in Chinese history. Spend 30 minutes exploring this symbol of national pride and architectural grandeur.

DAY 3 Beijing| Mutianyu Great Wall

Begin at the Temple of Heaven, a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors prayed for good harvests. Stroll through the lively park, witnessing tai chi and local activities.

Mutianyu Great Wall

Next, visit the Mutianyu Great Wall, ranked as the top section on TripAdvisor. Enjoy a round-trip cable car ride for stunning views and more time to explore. Hike the "golden route" between the 14th and 23rd watchtowers, known for its beauty. Book your trip today for an unforgettable experience.

DAY 4 Beijing | The Lama Temple

Begin your adventure with a visit to the Yonghe Lamasery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. Adorned with stunning halls and courtyards, it exudes a vibrant atmosphere as devotees gather to worship and seek good luck. Marvel at the world's largest wooden statue, the Matreiya Buddha, and explore Tibetan exhibitions that showcase the temple's cultural significance.

the Confucian Temple

Next, delve into history at the Confucian Mansion, an impressive ceremonial venue that dates back to the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. As the second-largest mansion of its kind in China, it offers a glimpse into ancient traditions and rituals, preserving the essence of Confucianism.

Conclude your journey with a visit to the majestic Summer Palace. This largest and best-preserved royal park in China captivates visitors with its harmonious blend of natural landscapes and architectural wonders. Meander through the serene gardens, explore the enchanting Garden of Virtue and Harmony, and experience a tranquil boat ride to fully appreciate the palace's imperial grandeur.

DAY 5 Beijing to Datong | The Yungang Grottoes

Visit the stunning Yungang Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Carved into sandstone cliffs on Wuzhou Mountain over 40 years (CE 453-493), these 45 intact grottoes showcase 51,000 Buddhism statues and murals. Marvel at the ancient Chinese grotto carving art and explore the Yungang Exhibition Hall, displaying relics from the Northern Wei Dynasty.

Admire the oldest and largest glazed screen in China, the Nine Dragon Screen. This 600-year-old masterpiece spans 45 meters and features elaborate multicolored glazes depicting nine vivid dragons.

Discover the awe-inspiring Hanging Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built into a near vertical rock face, suspended 50 meters above the ground, it uniquely combines Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Please note: the stairs are narrow and steep, so wear comfortable shoes and carry only a small bag. Fear of heights should be taken into consideration.

DAY 6 Datong to Xi'an | Shaanxi History Museum

Discover the rich history of Shaanxi, considered the history of China itself. Visit one of the nation's best museums, with four impressive galleries showcasing a vast collection. Most labels are in English, and your guide can assist with additional exhibition information. Wear comfortable shoes.

Shaanxi History Museum

Visit the iconic Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a significant Buddhist site. Built in the 7th century, it houses Buddhist materials brought from India by Xuanzang. Explore the Da Ci'en Temple complex with its grand halls, Buddhist statues, and captivating murals. Spend an hour here, immersing yourself in this sacred place.

DAY 7 Xi'an | The Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Explore the captivating Terracotta Army, a discovery made in 1974. This remarkable collection of over 7,000 unique soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots has safeguarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210 BC. Visit the excavated pits and the informative museum, where you can learn about the vaults' history. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and feel free to take photos (without flash).

Xian terracotta warriors

Venture into the countryside to visit a local artisan's workshop and learn the ancient techniques of crafting life-sized Terracotta Warriors. Gain insight into the intricate process and interact with the welcoming community.

Uncover history at Xian's ancient city wall, one of the most complete and oldest city defenses in China. Explore the 13th-century structure by biking or walking its 13.74 km perimeter. If biking is not suitable, a visit to the Bell Tower awaits. Remember: bike rentals and guidance are available, and you have the flexibility to adapt based on weather conditions and personal preferences.

DAY 8 Xi'an to Chengdu| Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding: Start your day by visiting this famous research base dedicated to preserving and breeding giant pandas. You can observe these lovable creatures in their natural habitat and learn more about their conservation efforts. Make sure to arrive early in the morning to catch them when they are most active.

Chengdu panda reserve

Explore Jinli Ancient Street: After spending time with the pandas, head to Jinli Ancient Street, which is located nearby. This bustling street is designed in traditional Qing dynasty style and offers a unique glimpse into Chengdu's history. Enjoy exploring the shops, local cuisine, tea houses, and even witness traditional Sichuan opera performances.

DAY 9 Chongqing to Yichang | Ciqikou Ancient Town

Start your day by visiting Ciqikou Ancient Town. This charming old town is known for its well-preserved traditional architecture, narrow streets, and local handicrafts. Explore the shops, try some local street food, and soak in the cultural ambiance.

After Ciqikou, head to the nearby Chongqing People's Liberation Monument Square. This square commemorates the victory of the Chinese Communist Party. Admire the monument, take some pictures, and learn about its historical significance.

DAY 10 Yangtze River | Shibaozhai Village

Explore the enchanting halls of Shibaozhai, where each floor unveils fascinating artifacts waiting to be discovered. Delve into the history of China as you ascend the 12 floors, with each level dedicated to showcasing the accomplishments of a famous general from the Three Kingdoms period (220-265 AD), a renowned Chinese poet, or a local scholar.


Immerse yourself in the captivating architecture and rich cultural heritage of Shibaozhai. This site promises a truly unique and immersive experience, offering US travelers a glimpse into the storied past of China. Don't miss the opportunity to explore this hidden gem during your visit to China.

DAY 11 Yangtze River | The Shennv Stream

Embark on an unforgettable Yangtze Cruise highlight - Shennv Stream. Also known as Goddess Stream or Beauty Stream, this enchanting tributary mesmerizes with its stunning scenery. Glide along in a wooden flat-bottom boat, taking in the untouched beauty on both sides. Witness the merging of Shennv Stream and the Yangtze River at Qingshi Town, opposite the magnificent Shennv Peak.

The Shennv Stream

Explore this 15-mile-long waterway, untouched by human intervention. Join us as we delve into the depths of the valley, immersing ourselves in local life and capturing the beauty of this natural paradise. This extraordinary journey promises lifelong memories in China's unspoiled charm.

DAY 12 Yangtze River | Three Gorges Dam

Experience the awe-inspiring Three Gorges Dam, a marvel of human achievement and the world's largest water conservancy project. This incredible feat has captured the imagination of generations of Chinese people. Embarking on its construction journey in 1994, the body of the dam was completed in 2003, with the entire project reaching completion in 2009. Impressive in its proportions, the dam stretches across 2,335 meters in length, towering 185 meters in height. At its pinnacle, it measures 18 meters wide, gradually widening to an impressive 130 meters at the base.

Three Gorges Dam

Visitors to the dam will have the opportunity to ascend to its summit and bask in the breathtaking panoramic views it affords. Let your lens capture the magnitude of this engineering triumph as you indulge in various photography opportunities.

DAY 13 Shanghai | The Bund and Yuyuan Garden

Start your day by visiting the iconic Bund, a historic waterfront promenade. Enjoy a leisurely stroll while taking in the stunning views of the Shanghai skyline. Don't miss the opportunity to photograph landmarks like the Oriental Pearl Tower and the skyscrapers of Pudong. Afterward, cross the Huangpu River to Pudong and ascend to the observation deck of either the Shanghai Tower or the Shanghai World Financial Center for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Shanghai the Bund

Head to the Yu Garden, located in the heart of Shanghai. Explore the beautifully landscaped Chinese gardens, intricate architecture, and peaceful ponds. Adjacent to the garden, visit the bustling Yuyuan Bazaar, where you can sample local snacks, buy souvenirs, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of a traditional market.

DAY 14 Shanghai to Suzhou | The Lingering Garden

Experience the captivating beauty of Suzhou's famous gardens. The Lingering Garden offers a succession of small, exquisitely landscaped gardens, each with unique architecture and art. As you stroll through its covered walkways, carved corridors, and perfectly positioned viewpoints, the charm of this special garden will leave you spellbound. Venture to Tiger Hill, a majestic hillock steeped in history. Explore ancient sites dating back 2,500 years, and marvel at the Leaning Cloud Rock Pagoda, which has tilted over the centuries. Standing 36 meters tall, Tiger Hill boasts spectacular views and a perfect glimpse into Suzhou's historical past.

Suzhou gardens

Immerse yourself in the local culture with a rickshaw ride through the ancient canals of Suzhou. Discover the charm of local life along the banks and admire the city's timeless traditions. As the sun sets, embark on a magical night tour of the Nets Master Garden. Despite being the smallest of Suzhou's residential gardens, it offers the most exquisite design. Wander through pavilions surrounding a central pond, adorned with rocks and plants filled with symbolism and stories. Don't miss the mirror backing that creates a breathtaking illusion of three moons. This enchanting garden will transport you to a world of serenity and beauty.

DAY 15 Suzhou to Tongli Town | Tongli Watertown

Experience the captivating allure of Tongli Town, a destination with over a thousand years of history waiting to be discovered. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage as you explore the town's magnificent collection of gardens, temples, and former residences from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Marvel at the architectural splendor and serene landscapes, gaining insight into the lives of the remarkable individuals who once called Tongli home. Traverse the town's intricate network of historic bridges, spanning fifteen rivers and connecting seven islands, to truly appreciate the charming ambiance of this ancient water town.

Tongli Watertown

Embark on a leisurely Tongli Cruise, a delightful 20-minute boat ride along the enchanting canals of the ancient water town. Drift along the picturesque Water Lanes and glide beneath ancient Stone Bridges, witnessing glimpses of local life unfolding along the canal. Engage with the friendly locals, immerse yourself in their vibrant culture, and delight in the tranquility that surrounds you. Interact with skilled artisans, savor local delicacies, and create unforgettable memories in this serene and captivating destination. Tongli Town invites you to step back in time and experience the beauty of China's rich history firsthand.

DAY 16 Tongli to Shanghai | The French concession

embark on a captivating walking tour through the former French concession. This charming district is home to historical buildings such as the former residences of Sun Yat-sen and Zhou Enlai, Fuxing Park, Moller Villa, Lilac Garden, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Immerse yourself in the European architectural influence and relish the ambiance created by the century-old French colonial-style buildings. In the evening, we'll explore the vibrant café, bar, and restaurant scene, where you can savor a cup of coffee and enjoy the alluring atmosphere.

The French concession

Get ready to be amazed as we visit the iconic Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building. Standing tall at 632 meters, it offers breathtaking views from its observation deck located at 561 meters above the ground. Marvel at the city skyline stretching as far as the eye can see. Experience the thrill of riding the world's fastest elevators and discover the tower's impressive architectural features. Don't forget to capture stunning photos of this incredible landmark.

DAY 17 Shanghai Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Shanghai Pudong Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

Tour Price

FromUS4,250 p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling

Tour code: cht-cx-9

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