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An Epic China Vacation with Panda Visit and Yangtze Cruise for Senior Travelers

Comfort and travel don’t have to be oxymoronic. Forget the hurried, fixed group tour - this private, luxurious, relaxed-pace itinerary is perfectly devised for senior travelers to embrace China’s culture, history and nature on an epic scale.

Admire the breath-taking architectures of royal capital Beijing, soak up Silk Road culture in Xian, become an honorary panda keeper to be in close contact with world’s cutest creature, take in the dramatic dreamy karst landscape of Guilin, rest and relax in luxurious cruises exploring the Yangtze and Li River… - Everything is so wonderfully and flexibly planned that your tour in China seamlessly blends comfort and luxury with sightseeing and exploration.

CCT Advantages:

  • 1. Take the cable car, an easy and convenient way to reach the Great Wall on mountain tops;
  • 2. Visit imperial palaces of ancient China – Forbidden City and Summer Place -- from the inside out;
  • 3. Live like a local senior, practicing Tai Chi boxing in front of Temple of Heaven;
  • 4. Discover thousands of Terracotta Warriors and Horses at the archeological site;
  • 5. Explore giant panda’s natural inhabitation and join in the panda keeper program
  • 6. Sit back in a cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, where you take private cookery lesson and calligraphy lesson, and visit the picturesque authentic countryside;
  • 7. Feel comfortable and relaxed cruising for 3 nights on Yangtze River, enjoying the well-selected shore excursions;
  • 8. Learn about Shanghai’s colonial history on the Bund, and experience Chinese water town’s slow life tempo.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Senior Travelers

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 1, Arrive Beijing

Meals: No Meals

Board your international flight to Beijing, the capital and cultural center of China for centuries. After landing, take your time for disembarking from the plane and luggage claim. Be met and greeted by your private guide outside the airport customs. Then transfer to your luxurious hotel for check-in. Your guide will make all things are perfectly done until you can rest at hotel.

Recommended hotels:

  • Beijing luxury hotels: Aman Summer Palace, Peninsula, Hilton Beijing Wangfujing or similar
  • Beijing boutique hotels: Double Happiness Beijing Courtyard Hotel or similar
18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 2, Beijing: Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After a sound sleep, we prepare you a special gift to your health – taking a private Tai Chi boxing lesson right in front of Temple of Heaven. And see the locals, mostly the elderly, enjoying their morning hours in a healthy, active way by dancing and practicing Kung Fu. Temple of heaven itself is a truly outstanding architecture and was a sacred place for ancient Chinese monarchs to worship heaven.

Thereafter, navigate to the heart of Beijing, where the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are located. Walk on the Tiananmen Square to look up fluttering Chinese national flags, Tiananmen Rostrum and other historical sites surrounding.

Forbidden City was the place where the emperors lived and met their cabinet members, and a truly a restricted area for normal people. However, today you can have a personal access into the Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum. Admire the world’s biggest ancient wooden architecture and its countless treasures.

Watch a performance of Peking Opera or Shaolin Kung Fu with VIP seat (optional).

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 3, Beijing: the Great Wall, Hutongs

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

The iconic landmark of China, the Great Wall is a big draw for all people. For senior travelers, we’ll arrange you the round way cableway on Mutianyu Great Wall. You may or may not walk for a while to take in the magnificent views – the walls stretch on the mountaintops as far as your eyes can reach. Learn from your expert guide the historical facts of the Great Wall.

Sit on a vintage rickshaw, an old means of transportation in the early 20th Century, to explore the winding hutong alleys. It is a secret corner in Beijing, full of historical buildings and cultural sites. The local Beijingers live their life in a traditional way, a rare scene in this cosmopolis.

Follow the traditional dinning etiquette to enjoy a Beijing Roasted Duck dinner (optional).

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 4, Summer Palace, Beijing to Xian

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

If you choose to stay at Aman Summer Palace in Beijing, you can have a private access to Summer Palace to skip lines and have more time to discover the cultural delights and traditional Chinese garden art. Sit back on a dignified dragon boat to cruise Kunming Lake, surrounded by beautiful natural scenery and enjoying an incredible prospective of Summer Palace’s architectures.  

Fly or ride a bullet train from Beijing to Xian, a prosperous capital of ancient China and the eastern end of Silk Road.

Recommended hotels:

  • Xian luxury hotels: Wyndham Grand Xian South, Gran Meliá Xian, Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel or similar
  • Xian boutique hotels: Grand Mercure Xi'an on Renmin Square or similar
18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 5, Xian: Museum of Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Begin your full day Xian tour with a trip to the archaeological site of the enormous Terracotta Army. The vividly carved warriors, officers, horses, chariots and weapons were the funerary objects of Emperor Qinshihuang and supposed to protect him after he died. Get to know Chinese manual skill of terracotta 2000 years ago.

Later, view Xian’s urban landscape, dotted with old structures such as Bell and Drum Towers, on the majestic Ancient City Wall. There’s no other place like Xian that retains its history on every modern aspect.

Enjoy the gastronomic scene and bustling atmosphere at the Muslim Quarter, the most famous food street in Xian. The local cuisine mixes both the Muslim Hui and traditional Han flavors.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 6, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian to Chengdu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda - a famous site on the Silk Road. As the earliest and largest existing quadrangle brick pagoda of Tang Dynasty, it is an important Buddhist heritage after Buddhism was introduced into China from India via the Silk Road.

Later, visit a local family in Xian to glimpse and even experience the real Chinese life. The host will ask for your help to make dumplings for today’s lunch. Dumpling is a most popular Chinese food that is especially suitable for the elderly.

Fly or ride a bullet train from Xian to Chengdu, famous as the hometown of giant pandas.

Recommended hotels:

  • Chengdu luxury hotels: The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu or similar
  • Chengdu boutique hotels: BuddhaZen Hotel or similar
18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 7, Chengdu: Panda Keeper Program at Dujiangyan Base

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

One of the most adorable animals on Earth, giant panda is a national treasure of China. To become a qualified panda keeper, you need to prepare them the delicious foods, feed them, and also clean their rooms. Generally the work is easy, without much energy consumed, and offers a rare opportunity to be close to pandas and get to know them, their history, habit, hobbies…

After a working day to have fun with giant pandas, you’ll be driven back to your Chengdu hotel to rest and enjoy a full pleasant sleep.

Kind reminder: the panda keeper program is not available for the seniors older than 65.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 8, Traditional Chengdu Tea House, Chengdu to Guilin

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy a relaxing morning at Chengdu People’s Park. Local people gather here to drink tea, play mahjong and dance in groups. There’s also chance you can see some local traditions, e.g. ear cleaning service and street barber’s shop. Then sip tea at a quaint teahouse, soaking up profound tea culture of Chengdu.

Afterwards, have a brisk stroll along Wide and Narrow Alley, the Chengdu style hutongs dating to 18th Century and lined with traditional courtyards of black tiles and grey brick walls. And have a visit of Wenshu Monastery initially built in the 7th Century. It is the best preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu, blending delicate, elegant garden art.

Board your flight to Guilin, known as the most beautiful place to visit in China.

Recommended hotels:

  • Guilin luxury hotels: Shangri La, Sheraton or similar
  • Guilin boutique hotels: Aroma Tea House, Jolie Vue Boutique Hotel or similar
18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 9, Guilin: Free Day or Longji Rice Terraces Day Trip

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, free at leisure at your hotel and explore the city center on your own pace.

Alternatively, take a trip to Longji Rice Terraces, one of the largest and most beautiful of its kind in China. The local mountain tribes have worked for hundreds of years to create the seemingly endless terraced fields over the mountain tops. You need to walk up for a while to get to the viewing platform where you can take in the best views.

Also visit the Longji Ancient Zhuang Village, a traditional hamlet nestled in the terraced fields and inhabited by Zhuang tribes. Appreciate their wooden stilted houses and see people dressed in traditional clothes.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 10, Li River Cruise, Guilin to Yangshuo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, board your luxury river ship and set sail on Li River. Nominated as one of World's 15 best rivers for travelers by CNN, Li River is the essence of UNESCO-listed South China Karst. Along the way, view dramatic karst peaks, the distant villages, and find the sight on RMB twenty Yuan note.

Join the locals to walk through the West Street, the town center of Yangshuo from the past till the date. It is especially favored by international travelers, thus named “Foreigners’ Street”.

Thereafter, sit back on your private vehicle to tour the countryside of Yangshuo. Soak in the amazingly beautiful surroundings of limestone hills, green vegetation, twisting rivers, vast farmlands stretching to ancient villages… And visit a local family to get to know China’s village life.

Enjoy Impression Liu Sanjie night show, performed in the outdoor with real landscape as the backgrop (optional).

Recommended hotels:

  • Yangshuo luxury hotels: Banyan Tree or similar
  • Yangshuo boutique hotels: Mountain Retreat or similar
18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 11, Yangshuo: Cooking Class, Calligraphy Lesson

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Live a life like locals, buying fresh seasonal food materials at the traditional wet market. Then take a private Chinese cooking class, learning from a teacher to cook the most popular Chinese foods to eat in Yangshuo. Chinese Cuisine is one of the top cuisines in the world, with a long history, and pays special attention to both the food’s nutrients and taste.

Delve deep into traditional Chinese art by taking a calligraphy class. Learn and practice using brush and inkstick and the way to apply on paper. Appreciate the artistic beauty of Chinese characters and write them down yourself. Chinese calligraphy requires patience and concentration and is regarded as a rewarding hobby for the elderly.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 12, Reed Flute Cave, Guilin to Chongqing

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Leave Yangshuo, and drive back to Guilin. Before flying to Chongqing, the starting place of your Yangtze cruise, explore the magic Reed Flute Cave at the hallway of a limestone mountain. The stalactites and stalactitums grow wild in the cave and have formed numerous diverse fantastic configurations – flowers, lions, pillars, waterfalls, towers… For senior travelers, you may take a sedan chair for going up and down the mountain and sightseeing if you don’t walk much.

Upon arrival in Chongqing, pick up and transfer to Chaotianmen Pier. Set sail in the soft darkness.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 13, Yangtze Cruise – Shibaozhai Pagoda

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

If you prefer, spend the early morning as an energetic Chinese senior do – practicing Tai Chi moves in the breeze and bask in the first soft sunlight. Join a local-expert-led shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda standing majestically on the bank of Yangtze. One of the few all-wood architectures of ancient China, the pagoda is hailed as an amazingly strange building in the world.

At tonight’s welcome party, meet the captain and crew. Enjoy the delicious dinner and a choreographed performance.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 14, Yangtze Cruise – Goddess Stream

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, the ship will sail through the Three Gorge landscape, which incorporates Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge and is renowned for the majestic views of mountains and steep cliff. Relax at the deck, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the scenery of water and greenery. Then take a small boat to slide through Goddess Stream (Shennv Stream) – a hidden gem along the Yangtze, with access to the tomb of hanging coffins and cliff coffins, and local people’s humble village.

Attend the Captain’s Farewell Party. Get together with the others in a relaxed, fun, yet refined atmosphere.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 15, Three Gorge Dam, Yichang to Shanghai

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, check out, and disembark in Yichang this morning. You will be driven to the site of Three Gorge Dam, along with all the other passengers. The dam is a multipurpose hydraulic project, being the biggest and most efficiency of its kind in the world, and creating a spectacular scene on the Yangtze River.

Before flying to Shanghai, have a visit of Sanyou Cave, a famous cultural site in Yichang, with ancient pavilions and military fort. Many ancient literati came here successively and left hundreds of cliff inscriptions and poems.

Recommended hotels:

  • Shanghai luxury hotels: Peace Hotel, Les Suites Orient Bund, Peninsula or similar
  • Shanghai boutique hotels: Hotel Indigo on the Bund, The Yangtze Boutique or similar
18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 16, Shanghai: Yu Garden, the Bund

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

No one fails to fall in love with Shanghai, a city mixing the tradition with future. Join the locals to enjoy life in Fuxing Park, an elegant Chinese-French style garden. The family with kids have fun with recreation facilities, couples lie on the grass to enjoy sunshine, the elderly dance and practice Tai Chi… 

Then visit an outstanding works of classical Chinese garden -- Yu Garden was built in 1559 by using the ingenious construction techniques. Even today, it is the best garden in Shanghai. After that, ramble in the Yuyuan Bazaar, or known as Shanghai’s “food paradise”, where the locals and tourists gather together on the old streets to feast on street foods and buy specialty souvenirs.

Later ascend the observation deck of Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the tallest buildings in Lujiazui, to view the rising skyscrapers. Then ramble on the Bund along Huangpu River. There are over 50 colonial buildings of different classical Western architectural styles, making the Bund a historical landmark in Shanghai.

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 17, Cruise Tongli Water Town

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, transfer from Shanghai to Tongli to soak up the picturesque views of thousand year-old ancient town, canals, Ming & Qing dwellings, gardens, wetlands… Experience a peaceful, slow-paced life as the locals do in Tongli and ride a boat to cruise the lakes and bridges. Walk leisurely on the Ming Qing Street lined with traditional snack and specialty shops and visit UNESCO-listed Tuisi Garden.

Tonight, enjoy VIP seating watching the performance of Shanghai acrobatics (optional).

18 Days Beijing Xian Chengdu Guilin Yangtze and Shanghai Tour for Seniors

Day 18, Depart Shanghai

Meals: Breakfast

Pick up, and transfer from hotel to airport. Your guide will assist you to go through the check-in procedures and walk you to the security Checkpoint. Board your flight back home. China Culture Tour service ends.

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