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Day 1 – Home to Beijing

Our exotic journey to China begins as we board a flight bound for Beijing. We’ll give up a calendar day as we cross the International Dateline. The R&J Tour Director will be with you the entire time.

Included Meals: Inflight Meals (2) 

 

Day 2 – Beijing

Arrive in Beijing where we will be welcomed by our China tour guide and check in to our hotel. Relax and enjoy the evening in China’s historic and vibrant capital city.

Hotel: Beijing Jianguo Hotel or similar (3 Nights) 

 

Day 3 – Beijing

After a hearty breakfast and a tour briefing, we will visit the Tiananmen Square. At 100 acres, it is the world’s largest public square, flanked by an assortment of historical buildings, huge museums and Communist monuments, including Mao’s Mausoleum. One visitor has written, “An army could be massed, and all the kites in the world could fly.” We roam the Square; and walk through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, under the famed portrait of Chairman Mao, to enter the Forbidden City, the symbolic center of the Chinese universe and a lasing monument of dynastic China, from which 24 emperors of the Ming and the Qing Dynasties ruled the Middle Kingdom for nearly 500 years (1420-1911). Completed in 1420, the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the world’s largest palace complex and China’s most magnificent imperial architecture, consisting of many buildings with 9,999 rooms, on a 250-acre compound, protected by a 20-foot-wide moat and a 32-foot-high wall. Now known as the Palace Museum, the Forbidden City was the exclusive domain of the imperial court and dignitaries where outside visitors were forbidden for 5 centuries. Here you will explore the imperial treasures in the grand palaces and pavilions, exquisite courtyards and gardens in what was once the residence of China’s rulers. Afterwards, you are at leisure to explore Beijing on your own. Or, join our optional afternoon tour to “Old Beijing” Hutongs by Pedi cab, and the Summer Palace. This afternoon enjoy a rickshaw ride along Old Beijing’s Hutongs (narrow ancient alleys) to discover the sights and sounds of local Beijing life in these traditional Chinese neighborhoods. See the locals as they go about their daily activities; and tour the maze-like alleyways and courtyard houses before it’s gone forever. Highlights include visits to a traditional courtyard home, to a local market, and a leisure walk along the “Lotus Lane” lined with bars, restaurants and tea houses. This unique tour features a delicious lunch served at a local family home with a Chinese dumpling-making demonstration. Considered the finest Chinese imperial garden, the Summer Palace spans over 700 acres with breathtaking views, temples, pavilions, palaces and halls including the lavishly painted “Long Corridor”. It is most associated, however, with the Empress Dowager Cixi who paid for the extravagant Marble Boat with funds meant for the modernization of the Imperial Navy. Weather permitting you enjoy a dragon boat ride across the picturesque Kunming Lake.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 4 – Beijing

A memorable day awaits with an included full day excursion to the Sacred Way of Ming Tombs and the Great Wall of China. After breakfast, you take a drive to the northwest of Beijing to visit the Sacred Way of Ming Tombs, regarded as China’s finest example of imperial tomb architecture. Situated in a peaceful valley, the site was chosen by the Ming emperors as their burial place for its auspicious Fengshui alignment—a ridge of mountains to the north cradles the tombs on three sides, opening to the south and protecting the dead from the evil spirits carried on the north wind. Here you will walk along the elegant Sacred Way that leads to the tombs. Beginning with a grand marble gateway more than 400 years old, the long avenue is lined with 36 massive stone sculptures of officials, lions, elephants, camels and mythical beasts. After lunch, take a scenic drive through the countryside and mountains to reach China’s most renowned monument—the Great Wall. The wall was begun in the 5th century BC to keep out foreign invaders. Construction continued for centuries, eventually linking up the walls of the former independent kingdoms. The Great Wall meanders through China’s northern mountain ranges from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert—a distance of over 3500 miles! Chairman Mao once said “You haven’t walked on the Wall, you haven’t been a good Chinese”. This evening we enjoy a specially prepared meal of Peking Duck, cooked to crispy perfection.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

 

Day 5 – Beijing to Xian

In the morning, we will tour the Temple of Heaven, the largest temple complexes in China and a paradigm of Chinese architectural balance and symbolism. One key element in China’s architectural genius was the blending of the monumental with the delicate, and the Temple of Heaven is perhaps the finest expression of this mixing of near opposite. During each winter solstice, the Ming and Qing emperors would perform rites and make sacrifices to Heaven praying for good harvest for their empire. The most striking edifice is the Hall of Prayer of Good Harvests, which according to the emperor’s Fengshui masters, is the exact point where heaven and Earth met. Built in 1420 (without the use of a single nail), this masterpiece of Ming architecture, features triple eaves, dramatically carved marble balustrades, and gorgeous glazed azure roof that symbolizes the color of heaven. This 120-foot-high structure is fixed by four inner pillars representing the seasons, and two sets of 12 columns denoting the months and the traditional Chinese division of a day. Also enjoy time to connect with the locals who practice Thaichi, dancing, Peking Opera, and water calligraphy inside the complex. Later, transfer to the airport for a flight to Xian to experience the historical side of our China tour. Located in the Yellow River Basin in China’s heartland, Xian is one of the birthplaces of civilization. It has seen 3,100 years of development and 11 dynasties, giving it equal fame with Athens, Rome and Cairo as one of the four major ancient civilization capitals. Xian reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty at 10th century with a population of one million and is rich with cultural and historical significances.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Hotel: Xian Grand Noble or similar (2 Nights) 

 

Day 6 – Xian

Today you take an included full day excursion to modern China’s greatest archaeological discovery Terracotta Warriors and Horses, which silently guarded the tomb of China’s First Emperor for over 2,200 years. In 1974, a local farmer uncovered the first of three massive earth and timber vaults, while digging a well. The extensive excavation, still in progress, has yielded over 6000 life-sized terracotta warriors, each individually sculpted, with the physical characteristics of the humans they were modeled after. Archers, infantrymen, horses and bronze chariots have also been unearthed. A Circle Vision documentary is available on site. Our lunch today is at a local restaurant and see a noodle making demonstration. In the afternoon, you take a tour to the Wild Goose Pagoda, a Tang Dynasty landmark. This seven-story pagoda was initially constructed in 652 AD to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from India by the monk, Xuan Zang, who later translated them into Chinese. His pilgrimage to India is immortalized in the Chinese classic—The Journey to the West. Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), traditionally regarded as the golden age of China, was a time of patricians and intellectuals, Buddhist monks and Taoist priests, poetry and music, song and dance – a period of peace and exceptional creativity lasting 300 years. This evening, you attend a feast of culinary and cultural delights with a special Dumpling (dim sum) dinner followed by a fascinating Tang Dynasty stage show. Indulge yourself in this remarkable show and reinvent your China dream with a travel back in time to the world of China’s Golden Age, then come back to the present with a greater understanding of this amazing time.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

 

Day 7 – Xian to Chongqing

This morning, we transfer to the airport for a short flight to the mountain city of Chongqing. With a population of over 30 million, Chongqing is the gateway to China’s most populous Sichuan (Literally, Four Rivers) Province and also home to China’s most notable Sichuan cuisine. During WWII, Chongqing was China’s wartime capital. U.S. General Stillwell was the Commander of the US Forces here and the “Flying Tigers” was also based in Chongqing. Enjoy an opportunity to see the Giant Pandas at Chongqing Zoo. Whenever China dispatches its animal ambassadors to zoos around the world, they have usually started their life in Sichuan Province where eighty percent of the world’s 1,000 remaining giant panda reside. Giant Panda is officially considered a national treasure by Chinese government and is often used to cultivate relationships with other countries with panda diplomacy. This zoo offers a wonderful chance to get face-to-face with China’s gentle giants. No visit is complete without a meal in a local Sichuan restaurant. The cuisine is spicy, and peppercorns and chilies abound, but often in a surprisingly subtle way. Whether it’s hotpot, meat or a vegetable dish, your mouth will water and your taste buds tingle with delight. After dinner, board your luxurious cruise ship for the memorable 3-night cruise down the Yangtze River. Settle into your outside balcony cabin and check out the numerous amenities on board. The Yangtze River originates on the Tibetan Plateau and traverses a distance of 3900 miles before flowing into the East China Sea, near Shanghai. It is the third longest river in the world, after the Amazon and the Nile. With over 700 tributaries, the Yangtze River has been the lifeline and major commercial thoroughfare in China for millennia.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Ship: Victoria Jenna (3 Nights) 

 

Day 8 – Yangtze River Cruise

Your cruiser sets sail early in the morning and later stops at Shibaozhai. Shibaozhai is known for its impressive wooden pagoda, which was built without any nails, and is appropriately named “The Pearl of the Yangtze.” It is considered one of the gems of Chinese architecture. Depending on river conditions, there may be an opportunity for an optional excursion to Fengdu, visiting the new relocation village built for families who have moved as a result of the Yangtze’s rising waters brought about by the Three Gorges Dam (optional at additional cost).

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

 

Day 9 – Yangtze River Cruise

The Three Gorges are one of nature’s most extraordinary sculptures. Today you will pass through the first two—Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Qutang Gorge is the shortest (5 miles), narrowest (500 feet), and most dramatic. The 25-mile long Wu Gorge is known for its quiet beauty, forest-covered mountains, and cliffs so sheer that the sun barely penetrates the precipices. Transfer to another vessel for a relaxing excursion through the attractive gorges of Goddess Stream. Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion may be substituted to the gorges of Shennong Stream. Enter Xiling Gorge, the longest (41 miles), and the deepest of the Three Gorges. In the evening, sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship locks.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

 

Day 10 – Yichang to Shanghai

Morning visit to the Three Gorges Dam at Sandouping, the site of modern China’s most ambitious engineering project – the construction of the Three Gorges Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant. View the current phase of this 17-year project. When completed, the dam will be 610 feet high and over a mile wide. The hydroelectrical power plant will be driven by the world’s largest turbines and have the generating capacity of 18 nuclear power plants. A reservoir 372 miles long will be created, with the end result of displacing 1.5 million people, submerging 1000s of their towns and villages and wiping out numerous archaeological sites. Whole cities have been relocated, precious topsoil brought to higher elevations and centuries-old lifestyles altered forever. Disembark at Yichang, the terminus of your memorable Yangtze cruise, we board a flight to Shanghai, China’s vibrant financial and artistic center. Shanghai, literally meaning “above the sea,” is China’s largest and most dynamic city, with a population of 18 million. In the 13th century it became a minor county seat and so it remained until the mid-19th century when British commercial ambitions led to war with China. The ensuing Treaty of Nanking allowed the British to trade freely from certain ports including Shanghai. The city soon became an outpost of glamour, high living, and ultimately decadence. In the 1930s, Shanghai was renowned as “the Pearl of the East.”

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Hotel: Shanghai Baolong Hotel or similar (3 Nights)

 

Day 11 – Shanghai

Some places are forever associated with a single landmark and in the case of Shanghai it is surely the Bund. Today, you take a leisure walk along the waterfront promenade of the Bund. The Bund was at the heart of colonial Shanghai, flanked on one side by the Huangpu River and on the other by the hotels, banks, offices, and clubs that were the grandiose symbols of western commercial power. Take the day excursion to explore Shanghai’s highlights. Begin your tour in the heart of old Shanghai at the 16th century City Bazaar, and Temple of God. This complex, with its classical architectural details, maze of walkways and reflecting pools, has been a marketplace and social center for the locals in the past 200 years. Continue to the People’s Square, the center of life in today’s Shanghai, where you will see Shanghai’s many predominant architectural masterpieces: the Shanghai Grand Theater, MOCA Shanghai, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai Art Museum, and Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, which traces the huge urban development projects which have taken place in recent years. A whole floor is dedicated to a scale model of Shanghai, showing all existing and approved buildings. Visit the famed Shanghai Museum, a unique and inspiring piece of architecture, home to more than 120,000 cultural relics of ancient China, including a priceless collection of jade, bronze, ceramics, paintings, furniture, etc. After dinner, attend a thrilling performance of the Shanghai Acrobatics show.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

 

Day 12 – Suzhou & Tongli

Today is a full day excursion to the water town of Suzhou and Tongli. In the morning, you travel by motorcoach to Suzhou, which is often referred to by the Chinese as the “Venice of the East”. Suzhou is a 2,500-year-old city world-renowned for its traditional gardens, ancient canals and silk production. In 1997, Suzhou’s classic garden was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction of the Grand Canal in the 7th century created a means whereby silk, the prized commodity from this region, could be transported to the Northern capital, Beijing, a distance of over 600 miles. With prosperity came prestige as merchants and artisans plied their trade. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Suzhou flourished as a place of refinement, drawing an influx of scholars and merchants who built themselves numerous elegant gardens. The Chinese garden developed as a synthesis of two concepts linked in Taoist philosophy – scenery and serenity, the contemplation of nature in isolated meditation led to enlightenment. Therefore, the educated and wealthy built natural-looking retreats for themselves with an urban environment. The garden created poetic and painterly concepts, with the aim to improve on nature in creating a picture that looks natural but is in fact entirely artificial. For this, the Chinese garden designer used four main elements: rocks, water, plants and architecture. Upon arrival, you visit the Garden of the Master of Fishing Nets and experience all of the elements of a classical Chinese garden. It is said that the Master of the Nets Garden was named after one of its owners – a retired official who wished to become an accomplished fisherman. Dating to 1140, it is considered by many, the finest of all Suzhou’s gardens. Although exceptionally small, it succeeds, with great subtlety, in introducing every element considered crucial to the classical Chinese garden. It includes a central lake, discreet connecting corridors, pavilions with miniature courtyards, screens, delicate latticework, and above all, points which “frame a view”, as if looking at a perfectly balanced photograph. The best known building is the “Pavilion for Watching the Moon”, from where the moon can be viewed in a mirror, in the water, and in the sky. Later, you tour the Silk Spinning Mill, where you will learn how silk is created from the mulberry-munching silkworms to produce thread and fine cloth. Afterwards, you travel to Tongli, a pretty little water town typical of the region. Tongli gives visitors a good idea of what Suzhou must have been like in its heyday. Reminiscent of scenes from traditional Chinese paintings, it is complete with canals, arched stone bridges, cobbled lanes and tile-roofed wooden houses. Visit a courtyard mansion to learn about the lavish lifestyle of its residents. Then, learn about traditional Chinese wedding customs at a local folklore museum. Take an exciting ride on a gondola and experience the charm of Tongli’s waterways. You will have free time to browse and buy some local specialties along Old Street, which is lined with Ming style homes and storefronts. In the late afternoon, you travel by motor coach to Shanghai.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 13 – Shanghai to Beijing to Home

After breakfast at the hotel, we will head to the airport for our flight home. We will arrive in the U.S. later today with grand memories!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Inflight Meals

 

*VISA – As a courtesy to our China guests, R&J will facilitate the visa process. We will mail the application for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa to you prior to departure. The Visa process will be at NO extra cost to you!* **We have also INCLUDED & will handle ALL local GRATUITIES for this tour!**

Deposit Due

$750 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 90 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed

Yes

Tour Pace

Moderate Walking

Price Includes

Roundtrip airfare from MSP including all taxes, surcharges, & baggage fees; 27 Meals plus Inflight Meals, Hotels, All Activities as stated in brochure, Expert Local Guide, Fully escorted by R&J from MSP, Gratuities to Local Guides Included.

*VISA - As a courtesy to our China guests, R&J will facilitate the visa process. We will mail the application for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa to you prior to departure. The Visa process will be at NO extra cost to you!* **We have also INCLUDED & will handle ALL local GRATUITIES for this tour!**

PRICING AVAILABLE AFTER AIRFARE IS RELEASED. PLEASE CALL AFTER NOV. 21, 2017 FOR PRICING!



Flyaway Departure Date:
10/02/2018
Flyaway Return Date:
10/14/2018

Make a Reservation Online

Tour Map


Tour Highlights

Cruising on the Yangtze, China’s greatest river, has been a dream for many Americans. This memorable R&J trip offers you an exciting journey combining a 3 Night Yangtze Cruise through its splendid Three Gorges as well as visits to China’s top three must-see cities: Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai.
This trip features an all inclusive package tour that includes roundtrip transpacific airfare, intra-China transportation and transfers, first class hotel accommodations with American buffet breakfast, and a 3 Night Yangtze Cruise aboard the Yangtze’s newest river cruise ship, the Victoria Jenna, with a private balcony. Plus escorted, private sightseeing tours that are operated by a professional tour manager and local guides, bountiful meals representing China’s
regional flavors, evening shows per itinerary, and more!
Besides the visits to the “must see” sites such as Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, & Three Gorges Dam, this tour also has some unique features such as a local family home visit in Beijing with a home-hosted lunch and Suzhou - China’s famed water town!


Dedicated to presenting the greatness of God through the beauty of His Creation.