China, the Yangtze River & Hong Kong - 16 Days

China, the Yangtze River & Hong Kong

Beijing China – Hong Kong

Mist-blanketed limestone peaks stand like sentinels along the Li River, greeting all who cruise its placid waters. Meandering across mountains and valleys, the Great Wall invites you to stroll atop stonework that transcends the centuries; climbing to the top of this wonder of the world is an unforgettable experience. Tranquility and a deep spirituality still have their place in this teeming land… find them among the pavilions of Shanghai’s Yu Gardens, before the altar of Beijing’s sublime Temple of Heaven, and in the otherworldly landscapes of the Three Gorges – also home to the greatest modern engineering project on Earth. Secrets of life at both ends of the spectrum are revealed within the inner sanctum of the Forbidden City, where mere mortals dared not go… and inside one of Beijing’s traditional hutongs, where the warmth of a family sharing a vanishing way of life in their private home stirs the soul.

Only With Tauck

  • 3-night Yangtze River cruise on the refurbished Yangzi Explorer through the Three Gorges
  • Private cruise along the Li River in Guilin, known for mist-shrouded limestone peaks
  • Insider experience in Beijing’s disappearing traditional neighborhoods, hutongs, featuring a visit with a local family; arrive by rickshaw
  • Private talk with a conservation expert at the Terra Cotta Warriors museum in Xi’an
Day 1
Your journey begins in Beijing

Tour begins: 5:30 PM at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing. A transfer is included upon your arrival from Beijing Capital International Airport to the Waldorf Astoria Beijing in the heart of the city. Meet your traveling companions at our welcome reception and dinner in your hotel.
Meals – Dinner
Lodging – Waldorf Astoria Beijing

Day 2
The Great Wall and the Hutongs in Beijing

Besides being the only man-made structure visible from space, the Great Wall of China tops most travelers’ lists of the Earth’s must-visit places. Take a walk atop the highest point of its Badaling section, then walk down to the bottom along an ancient stone path where you’ll travel a short distance for lunch at the Commune by the Great Wall – enjoy the views of this architectural wonder surrounding you. This afternoon, gain some insights on the city’s centuries-old hutongs – unique traditional neighborhoods threatened by ongoing urban development – when you take a private tour of a hutong – ride a rickshaw and visit a local family in their home. Dinner is on your own tonight in Beijing.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging – Waldorf Astoria Beijing

Day 3
Temple of Heaven to Tiananmen Square

Visit a grand example of traditional Chinese architecture – Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, a round, three-tiered wood structure intricately decorated with gold leaf and colorful designs; try to imagine a long-ago time when the emperor and his entourage would travel here in secret processions from the Forbidden City to hold solemn ceremonies asking the gods for a bountiful harvest. Learn the moves from the locals as you take part in a Tai Chi racquet lesson in one of the Temple’s beautiful
parks. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll explore the legendary Forbidden City itself, where Imperial China’s emperors dwelt for centuries; tour the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Middle Harmony, the Hall of Preserved Harmony, the Hall of Mental Cultivation, the Imperial Garden and more. Just beyond the Forbidden City, continue to Tiananmen Square, a witness to much of modern Chinese history and home to Mao Zedong’s mausoleum; view his portrait hanging above the “Gate of Heavenly Peace.” Dine at your choice of fine restaurants at the hotel this evening.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging – Waldorf Astoria Beijing

Day 4
On to Xi'an, one of China's oldest cities

Begin with a morning flight to the ancient city of Xi’an; set at the eastern end of the Silk Road, it’s one of the country’s oldest cities and served as the capital during the Han, Qin, Tang and other early dynasties. Upon arrival you’ll visit an amazing place – the Han Yang Ling Underground Mausoleum. Known locally as “the most underrated tomb in Xi’an,” it was undisturbed for about 2,100 years before opening to the public in the last decade. You’ll find an amazing collection of cultural relics in this unique underground “museum” that depict life as it was during the Western Han Dynasty. Dine at your leisure at the hotel this evening.
Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5
Terra Cotta Warriors & Shaanxi History

Get the inside story of Xi’an’s amazing Terra Cotta Warriors – 8,000 individualized, life-size terra cotta statues of soldiers who stood guard at the underground tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor, for more than 2,000 years – as you visit the site today with Tauck. They were discovered by farmers digging a well in 1974, and are now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site! View the incredible statues, tour the site’s museum, and get the scoop on future plans for their preservation during a talk with one of the museum’s leading staff members. Enjoy a traditional dumpling lunch at a local restaurant. Continue on to the Shaanxi History Museum, whose splendid collection of more than 350,000 artifacts illustrates the story of ancient China’s feudal dynasties, many of which had their capitals here in Xi’an.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
On to Guilin and a cruise on the city's canals

Fly to Guilin, among China’s most picturesque places, whose landscapes have inspired poets and artists for centuries. After checking in and relaxing at bit at your hotel, the Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin, set out on an evening cruise through the center of the city along its delightful canals. As you cruise, you’ll pass under bridges built to resemble some of the world’s most famous spans, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the Tower Bridge in London; enjoy a demonstration of cormorant fishing along the way. Dinner is à la carte this evening at your hotel.
Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7
A Li River cruise & a cooking lesson in Guilin

Spend the morning on a private Tauck cruise along the storied Li River today; feast your eyes and your soul on tranquil groves, fishermen on bamboo rafts, breathtaking limestone peaks and views of traditional village life that seem to be lifted from an ancient Chinese scroll painting! Following your cruise, attend a cooking lesson on local cuisine – then eat what you helped make for lunch! Dinner is à la carte this evening at your hotel in Guilin.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
Chongqing & your Yangtze River cruise

Following an afternoon flight to Chongqing, board the newly renovated Yangzi Explorer to continue your China travel adventure with a memorable three-night cruise through the Three Gorges of the mighty Yangtze River. Dine aboard ship this evening before setting sail on your cruise, bound downstream to Yichang.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9
Onboard fun & shore excursion choices

Visions of knobby, mist-shrouded mountains steeped in the mystique of old China travel with you as you experience the Yangtze from dawn to dusk aboard the recently renovated Yangzi Explorer, one of the finest and roomiest ships on the river – and completely renovated for 2018. Enjoy a range of activities aboard ship today, including Tai Chi exercises and an introduction to Chinese healing practices. Arrive in Fuling, where you will have a choice of shore excursions – a visit the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum or the 816 Underground Project, an underground nuclear installation that is one of the world’s largest artificial military caves. Return to the ship midday for an afternoon cruising the Yangtze. This evening, meet the Captain at a welcome reception, followed by dinner and a choice of The Three Kingdoms Open Air Show or a cultural performance by the ship’s crew.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10
Pavilions and pagodas along the Yangtze

While cruising the Yangtze, view centuries-old pagodas and temples built against steep-sided cliffs, ancient roads and terraced fields along the river’s edge. Today you’ll navigate through Qutang and Wu Gorges, explore Shennong Stream on a private Tauck shore excursion via sampan, and enjoy shipboard activities including a calligraphy lesson as Yangzi Explorer cruises through Xiling Gorge, largest of the Three Gorges, this afternoon and evening.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11
The Three Gorges Dam & on to Shanghai

Sail into Yichang through a series of locks adjacent to the site of the Three Gorges Dam, one of the world’s largest construction projects. Following your private visit to the site and lunch aboard the ship, disembark and fly to Shanghai, one of the country’s most cosmopolitan cities, where you’ll spend three nights at the Fairmont Peace Hotel.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging – Fairmont Peace Hotel

Day 12
Shanghai sights & an acrobatic show

Today you’ll explore Shanghai’s famous waterfront Bund. First up, visit the historic and harmonious Yu Gardens, whose original grounds and temple date back to the 1550s; the word yu translates to “peace and health.” Pathways wind through rock gardens and bamboo stands, and stone bridges cross pools filled with bright carp. Have lunch today at the charming “M on the Bund” – and then tonight, watch from premium seating as the daring acrobatic performers of Shanghai’s acclaimed ERA show entertain you. A day to remember… an experience to savor.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging – Fairmont Peace Hotel

Day 13
Shanghai past to future & a dining treat

You’ll get a good introduction to Shanghai at the Shanghai Urban Planning Center, showcasing the city’s future urban development through detailed models and multimedia displays. Explore the center’s exhibits on this historic port city’s past, present and future, including a mock-up of 1930s Shanghai; a huge model of what the city might look like in 2020; a 360- degree, 3-D film and more. Then tour the Shanghai Museum, displaying 120,000 works of art and artifacts. After lunch on your own in the Xintiandi neighborhood, you’ll have time to explore the area – and on a guided walk, learn about its vanishing traditional stone-gated shikumen homes. This evening, a special experience – dinner at the wonderful restaurant Jean Georges Shanghai, known for its cuisine and views.
Meals – Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging – Fairmont Peace Hotel

Day 14
On to remarkable Hong Kong

A morning flight takes you to legendary Hong Kong. Spend the rest of the day and evening exploring the city as you please from your world-class hotel – The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, located on floors 102-118 in the International Commerce Centre overlooking Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour in Kowloon, and offering spectacular panoramic views of the city.
Meals – Breakfast
Lodging – The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Day 15
Hong Kong from many perspectives

You’ll experience this fascinating city from different perspectives today – by ferry, by double-decker bus, and on a funicular tram ride up Victoria Peak, then have lunch at a local dim sum restaurant. The rest of the day is free to explore the city as you please. Hong Kong abounds with street stalls selling everything from sneakers to silk, tropical birds to exotic fish; your hotel is in the Kowloon section, right in the heart of this shopper’s paradise. We invite you to join us and celebrate an incredible China travel experience at our farewell reception and dinner tonight at your hotel, overlooking Kowloon and Victoria Harbour from the upper floors of the International Commerce Centre.
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging – The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Day 16
Bound for home

Tour ends: Hong Kong. Catch your return flight home. A transfer is included from The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong to Hong
Kong International Airport; you should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in.
Meals – Breakfast

What's Included

  • On-Tour Air (5 flights)
  • Special visits to the Han Yang Ling Underground Museum and the Shaanxi History Museum Introduction to Shanghai at the Shanghai Urban Planning Center
  • Unique dining experiences at local restaurants
  • Performance of Shanghai's daring, hi-tech ERA acrobatic show
  • Sampan ride on Shennong Stream during your Yangtze cruise
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 37 meals; gratuities to local guides, taxes, service charges, admission fees and porterage

Nights 1-3 Beijing, China

Waldorf Astoria Beijing

Experience a signature blend of contemporary elegance, personalized service and contemporary amenities at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing in the heart of iconic Wangfujing. Luxuriate in spacious and superbly appointed guest rooms featuring plush pillow-top beds dressed with fine linens, expansive work area, flat-panel HDTV, alarm clock with CD and MP3 player, minibar, coffee and tea facilities including in-room expresso machine, safe, iron/ironing board, and a lavish bath with granite countertops, twin vanity, exquisite amenities, bathrobe and slippers, and hair dryer. The hotel’s sophisticated Chinese Restaurant offers the finest Cantonese and Beijing delicacies and a choice of elegant settings. Inspired by its namesake at the Waldorf Astoria New York, Oscar’s Brasserie offers an ambience of relaxed, contemporary luxury and a choice of both buffet and a la carte dining options. And the stylish and sophisticated Peacock Lounge provides the ideal setting for a relaxed light lunch, an informal business meeting or bespoke cocktails before dinner.

Nights 4-5 Xi’an, China

Hyatt Regency Xi’an

Hyatt Regency Xi’an offers guests a luxurious five-star experience on the banks of idyllic Qujiang Lake. The hotel is conveniently located about 45 minutes away from Xi’an Xianyang International Airport and 15 minutes from the city center, offering easy access to main historical sites like the Wild Goose Pagoda and the Qujiang Pool Relics Park. Energizing guest rooms are outfitted with oak floors and marble surfaces in designs that reflect the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty. Each features a large walk-in closet and a spacious work area with an ergonomic chair; over half of the hotel’s guest rooms feature views of Qujiang Lake. The hotel’s onsite dining options include international cuisine at the Market Café; The Lounge, reflecting Xi’an’s rich history with a range of authentic cuisines from along the Silk Road; and Chinese northern fare and traditional Shaanxi dishes at Hu Pan. Hyatt Regency Xi’an also features a FLO SPA and a 24-hour fitness center with Life Fitness equipment.

Nights 6-7 Guilin, China

Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort

Against the stunning karst landscapes of the limestone mountains of Yangshuo – a truly breathtaking sight to behold – Banyan Tree has built a picturesque mountain resort with access to all that nearby Guilin City and Yangshuo County have to offer, including the Li river, caves, rice fields, and activities including rock climbing and more. Banyan Tree Yangshuo Resort’s luxurious villas and suites, many featuring views of the Li River, are equipped with queen or king-sized beds with duvets, allergy- free bedding and a pillow menu; IDD telephone; CD & DVD player; international TV channels; coffee & tea making facilities; electric kettle; hair dryer; in-room safe; alarm clock; bathrobes & slippers; bath amenities and more. The resort offers two restaurants for all-day and specialty dining – Baiyun for classic Cantonese dishes, and Ming Yue for international favorites – two lounges, and a full-service spa offering an exotic blend of ancient health and beauty practices amidst a backdrop of natural beauty.

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Nights 8 – 10

Yangzi Explorer

Our 3-night cruise aboard Yangzi Explorer takes you through the scenic heart of the Yangtze River, the Three Gorges, with included shore excursions. The 5-star Yangzi Explorer boasts the highest ship staff-to-guest ratio on the river. All cabins include a mini bar, bathrobes and slippers, phone, private safety box, TV, hair dryer, and private balcony. Offering all the amenities one would expect at a 5-star hotel, Yangzi Explorer features a fitness center; multi-language library; spa facilities; theater; lounge; and espresso bar. International buffets are offered for breakfast and lunch, while dinner tempts with a variety of international and Chinese specialties; wine and beer are included with meals aboard the ship. The Yangzi Explorer cruises between Chongqing and Yichang.

Nights 11 – 13 Shanghai, China

Fairmont Peace Hotel

One of the most famous hotels in all of China, the Fairmont Peace Hotel, called the “Mansion in the East” by many and today combines East and West with ancient and modern, first opened its doors as the Cathay Hotel in 1929 and welcomed illustrious guests such as Charlie Chaplin, Bernard Shaw, General George Marshall and Noel Coward, who completed his play “Private Lives” here. Recently renovated guest rooms provide such appreciated amenities as premium Egyptian cotton linens, central air conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, MP3 docking station and CD player, in-room laptop-compatible safe and a minibar. After a busy day, take advantage of the Spa Fitness Centre facilities, including state-of-the-art exercise equipment and a swimming pool or indulge yourself at the Willow Stream Spa. The Peace Gallery, which houses a collection of memorabilia showcasing the hotel’s history and heritage, is a quiet haven to discuss the collection with the curators or just sit and read. The Cathay Room, featuring elegantly presented European home-style cuisine overlooking the Bund was, and still is, a favorite dining venue for Shanghai society and visitors. Enjoy Shanghainese and Cantonese favorites in an ambiance of classical luxury at the Dragon Phoenix or have a more casual meal at Victor’s, an art deco deli with a French café menu. The Jazz Bar is a trip back in time to the private clubs of the 20s and 30s, with suitable entertainment by the Old Jazz Band whose six musicians have an average age of 77 and who have played for the likes of former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, while the Jasmine Lounge is an elegant venue for afternoon tea and evening cocktails.

Nights 14 – 15 Hong Kong, China

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Located on floors 102-118 in the International Commerce Centre overlooking Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, The Ritz- Carlton, Hong Kong and the hotel’s 360-degree panoramic views offer a virtual map of the city – where guests can see a destination full of unlimited possibilities. The thrilling ride to the 102nd floor lobby heralds what is to come when you arrive… for as the doors open and your eyes alight on “Horse Galloping Across the Sky,” a stunning ceiling mural, it is clear that staying at one of the most luxurious hotels in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Hong Kong will be a truly transformative experience. The 360- degree views alone will take your breath away. All of the hotel’s guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows with magnificent city or harbor views. Each is equipped with plush carpeting, 400-thread count bed linens, down feather pillows and throws, 42- inch flat screen LCD TV, Blu-ray DVD player, 160GB Classic iPod and iPod docking station, Nespresso coffee and tea making machines, in-room safe and phone charger, and minibar. Full marble-floored bathrooms feature a separate bathtub and shower with rainforest shower head, double sink, 17-inch LCD TV, lighted shaving/make-up mirror, plush terry robes and exclusive Asprey bath amenities. The hotel’s fine dining venues are as diverse as the world-savvy guests who frequent them – an impressive global culinary repertoire that ranges from Michelin Star restaurants to a sleek futuristic lounge providing a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Savor authentic Cantonese and Italian fine dining at the Michelin star Tin Lung Heen and Tosca. Or, for a more relaxed affair, enjoy a casual or business lunch, dinner, or Afternoon Tea at Café 103. High up on the 118th floor of the hotel, OZONE invites you to indulge in signature cocktails and exotic selection of Asian tapas, while enjoying DJ beats and the captivating vistas of the city and Victoria Harbour at the highest bar in the world.

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China, the Yangtze River & Hong Kong

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