John's 22 Days Beijing Xian Guilin Yangtze River Cruise Yellow Mountain and Shanghai Tour Package.

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John's 22 Days Beijing Xian Guilin Yangtze River Cruise Yellow Mountain and Shanghai Tour Package

22 Days Beijing Xian Guilin Yangtze River Cruise Yellow Mountain and Shanghai Tour Packages

Grace,

Thank you again for coordinating such a great tour for us!

If I had to pick one top spot, I would say most enjoyed visiting Yangshuo because the Karst formations there are so beautiful and unlike anything I have seen before.  I particularly enjoyed the area along the Dragon River where our hotel, Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, was.  Compared to the Li River, which was bustling with motorized boats, the Dragon River is less crowded and more peaceful.  I would have loved to have spent more time in that area hiking. 

But it is so hard to pick one place.  Four other places deserve special mention.  One was hiking the Great Wall from Gubeikou to Jinshanling because the area was almost deserted (we say only 6 other hikers in 3 ½ hours) and the wall in its unrestored condition was so picturesque. Another favorite was the Longji Rice Terraces; even though the harvest had already happened, and so the hills were not as beautiful as they would have been a few weeks earlier, it was still beautiful country and it was inspiring to see what a beautiful geometry had been created by generation upon generation of labor.  A third was the Yellow Mountains which, even though the weather was foggy, were stunningly beautiful.  The fourth was Hongcun Village, which we recognized from the opening scene of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, as well as several of the other old villages we visited, like Xidi; they were beautiful and gave us a sense of traditional China.

22 Days Beijing Xian Guilin Yangtze River Cruise Yellow Mountain and Shanghai Tour Packages

For the best guide, that is also hard to say.  We loved Christina in Xian, Linda in Guilin, and April in Huangshan. If I had to pick one (I hate to have to pick one because all three were great), I would say April.  She seemed to have a deep passion for and knowledge of Chinese culture, which she shared with us.  Her English was great.  We felt like we became friends with her so quickly.  She took us to a visit a friend’s tea shop, run by a family that had been in the tea business for generations, and we had a great time there, and we loved that personal touch.  She came back the last day (after our flight was delayed overnight) to get us to the airport and see us off, even though it meant she had to delay some weekend plans she had with visiting friends, and then she would not even accept a tip for that extra time. 

But I do not want to leave out Christina and Linda. We felt like we became good friends with both of them as well.  They were both very knowledgeable and friendly.   Both were very flexible, with Linda adding in a trip to the Tea Research Institute and Christina adding in a trip to the Han tombs, joining us for the Xian “opera”, and even agreeing to be our guest for a foot massage.  

22 Days Beijing Xian Guilin Yangtze River Cruise Yellow Mountain and Shanghai Tour Packages

For hotel, none of the hotels disappointed, and most were fantastic.  I most enjoyed Hans Royal Garden because of the old China feel and the location in the hutongs; even though there were some little things (like fraying carpet or a little peeling paint) that were showing their age, that did not detract from the experience.

The Wyndham in Xian deserves special mention, both for the huge suite they upgraded us to and the best service we had anywhere on the trip.  The Yangshuo Mountain Retreat deserves mention because it is a charming hotel in a stunningly beautiful location. 

The Shangri-La in Guilin was an excellent hotel, but I think we would have preferred a hotel in the historic district even if the hotel facilities were not as nice. 

The room on the Yangtze cruise ship was surprisingly large and comfortable, but the food was disappointing.

We were very happy with the fast train from Beijing to Xian.  We do not have trains that fast or that smooth in the U.S.  It took only a little longer than flying would have taken, and we got to see scenery en route.  We also heard that the trains are less likely to be delayed or to have weather delays.  I would recommend the fast train to travelers.

22 Days Beijing Xian Guilin Yangtze River Cruise Yellow Mountain and Shanghai Tour Packages

For the suggestions for future travelers, here they are:

  1. Try a remote part of the Great Wall, at least if you like hiking. 
  2. Do not miss the Rice Terraces.  Do a long hike.
  3. Spend more than one day in Yangshuo.
  4. Avoid the Changjiang river cruise. The gorges must have been spectacular before the dam when the water was so much lower, but now they are pretty but not breathtaking. The food was so-so. The shore excursions, with large groups of people, are not nearly as fun as having a personal guide.
  5. The opera in Xian was okay but too touristy. The “Impression: Sanjieliu in Yangshuo was a bit of a disappointment, and it was hard to understand for someone not fluent in Mandarin. 

For the WOW factors in our tours:

  1. Our guide: April, Christina, and Linda.
  2. The Yangshuo area; Longji; deserted part of the Great Wall; the old villages.
  3. Your own high level of responsive service; taking the time to meet with us in Guilin and show us the old town.

Absolutely we will recommend you without hesitation. 

John & Marion Brooks

John & Marion Brooks from America Tailor-made 22 Days a China Tour Package to Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangtze River Cruise, Yellow Mountain and Shanghai.

22 Days Beijing Xian Guilin Yangtze River Cruise Yellow Mountain and Shanghai Tour Package Itinerary

Day 1 Sun 09/Oct/2016: Arrival at Beijing: Hainan Airlines HU496 at 17:00, Flight on Your Arrangement
China Culture Tour: Private transfer from the airport to the hotel in Beijing
Accommodation: Han's Royal Garden Hotel - Boutique (Han's Suite-65sqm)
Add: 7 Beibingmasi Hutong 20 Qinlao Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Day 2 Mon 10/Oct/2016: Beijing
China Culture Tour: Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace (including Garden of Virtue and Harmony & Cruise & Tower of Buddhist Incense), Old Summer Palace
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Chongxue Shanzhuang Restaurant with a La Carte Menu  

Day 3 Tue 11/Oct/2016: Beijing
China Culture Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City with Treasure House, Walking tour in Hutong, Jingshan Park
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Ba Guo Bu Yi Sichuan Restaurant with a La Carte Men
Day 4 Wed 12/Oct/2016: Beijing
China Culture Tour: Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking
Meals: Breakfast, Local Lunch

Day 5 Thu 13/Oct/2016: Beijing to Xi'an by Train: G87 (14:00 - 18:25) (First Class)
China Culture Tour: Beijing Tour: Yonghegong Lama Temple, Temple of Confucius, Guozijian Ancient Imperial School, Private transfer to Beijing train station; Private transfer from the train station to the hotel in Xi'an.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Jindingxuan Dim Sum Restaurant with a La Carte Menu  
Accommodation: Wyndham Grand Xian South 5* (Deluxe Room-55sqm)
Add: No. 208 Ci'en East Road, Qujiang District, Xi'an 710061, China

Day 6 Fri 14/Oct/2016: Xi'an
China Culture Tour: Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, Chinese Calligraphy Learning in Small Wild Goose Pagoda Temple
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Baiweizheng Restaurant with a La Carte Menu

Day 7 Sat 15/Oct/2016: Xi'an to Guilin by Flight: Tianjin Airlines GS7675 (16:20 - 18:20) (Economy Class)
China Culture Tour: Xi'an Tour: Xian Great Mosque, Muslim Street, Xian City Wall, Private transfer to Xi'an airport; Private transfer from the airport to the hotel in Guilin.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Defachang Dumpling Restaurant with a La Carte Menu  
Accommodation: Guilin Shangri La Hotel 5* (Deluxe River View-42sqm)
Add: 111 Huan Cheng Bei Er Lu, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Day 8 Sun 16/Oct/2016: Guilin
China Culture Tour: Daxu Ancient Town, Folded Brocade Hill, Reed Flute Cave
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Mc Found Restaurant with a La Carte Menu

Day 9 Mon 17/Oct/2016: Private transfer: Guilin to Longsheng (100km, 2 hours one way)
China Culture Tour: Dazhai Terraced Rice Field, 4 to 5 hours' hiking from Dazhai village to Ping'an village, Longji Terraced Rice Field and Ping'an Zhuang Village
Meals: Breakfast, Local Lunch with A La Carte Menu  
Accommodation: Longji One Hotel - Boutique (Deluxe Terrace View Double Room-20sqm)
Add: Ping'an village, Longsheng County, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Day 10 Tue 18/Oct/2016: Private transfer: Longsheng to Guilin (100km, 2 hours one way)
China Culture Tour: About 90 minutes hiking from Ping'an Village to Longji Ancient Zhuang Village, Private transfer from Longsheng to Guilin hotel (2 hours)
Meals: Breakfast, Local Lunch with A La Carte Menu
Accommodation: Guilin Shangri La Hotel 5* (Deluxe River View-42sqm)
Add: 111 Huan Cheng Bei Er Lu, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Day 11 Wed 19/Oct/2016: Guilin to Yangshuo by Boat
China Culture Tour: 3 hours Li River Hiking and rafting combined; Xingping Ancient Town, 40 minutes private transfer to Yangshuo.
Meals: Breakfast, Local Lunch with A La Carte Menu
Accommodation: Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Hotel - Boutique (River View Superior King Room)
Add: Wang Gong Shan Jiao, Feng Lou Cun Wei, Gaotian Zhen, Yangshuo, Guilin, China

Day 12 Thu 20/Oct/2016: Private transfer: Yangshuo to Guilin (65km, 1.5 hours one way)
China Culture Tour: Yangshuo picturesque countryside tour by private transfer, Jiuxian Ancient Village, Moon Hill, Private transfer from Yangshuo hotel to Guilin hotel (1.5 hours)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Local Beer Fish Restaurant

Day 13 Fri 21/Oct/2016: Guilin to Chongqing by Flight: Xiamen Airlines MF8293 (09:25 - 10:50) (Economy Class), Chongqing to Yangtze Cruise
China Culture Tour: Private transfer from the hotel to the airport in Guilin; Private transfer from the airport to the dock in Chongqing, Chongqing Tour: Ciqikou Old Town, Three Gorges Museum, Board the ship from 18:30 to 21:00 and departs Chongqing at 9:30pm. (Dinner is not included).
Meals: Breakfast, Chongqing Local Hotpot Lunch
Cruise Ship: Century Sun 5* (Deluxe Cabin with Balcony-26sqm)

Day 14 Sat 22/Oct/2016: Yangtze Cruise
China Culture Tour: Tai Chi exercise. Shore excursion to Shibaozhai (14:00-17:00). Captain's welcome party and dinner. Crew cabaret. Optional tour to the Fengdu Ghost City (RMB 290 per person).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on ship

Day 15 Sun 23/Oct/2016: Yangtze Cruise
China Culture Tour: Tai Chi exercise. Optional tour to White Emperor City (RMB260 per person). Scenic cruising-Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. Shore excursion to Shennv Stream. Captain's farewell banquet. Fashion show. Sails through the ship-lock.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and  Dinner on ship

Day 16 Mon 24/Oct/2016: Yangtze Cruise to Yichang, Yichang to Shanghai by Flight: China Eastern Airlines MU2675 (16:45 - 18:35) (Economy Class)
China Culture Tour: Shore excursion to The Three Gorges Dam Site. Scenic cruising-Xiling Gorge. Arrive in Yichang at 12:30pm.Yichang Tour: Private transfer from the dock to the airport in Yichang; Private transfer from the airport to the hotel in Shanghai.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Grand Central Hotel Shanghai 5* (Deluxe Business Room-35sqm)
Add: No.505 Jiujiang Road, Shanghai 200001, China
Surroundings: Nanjing Road

Day 17 Tue 25/Oct/2016: Shanghai
China Culture Tour: To Be a Shanghainese for one day, The Bund
Meals: Breakfast, Local Family Lunch

Day 18 Wed 26/Oct/2016: Shanghai to Tunxi by Flight: Shanghai Airlines FM9267 (14:20 - 15:25) (Economy Class)
China Culture Tour: Yuyuan Garden, Tea Ceremony at Old Shanghai Teahouse, Shanghai World Financial Center (To the 94th, 97th and 100th floor), Private transfer to the airport in Shanghai; Private transfer from the airport to the hotel in Tunxi.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Yueyue Tea Restaurant with A La Carte Menu
Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Huangshan Yucheng 5* (River View Room-37sqm)
Add: No.1 Huizhou Avenue, Tunxi District, Huangshan 245000, China

Day 19 Thu 27/Oct/2016: Private transfer: Tunxi to Huangshan (100km, 1.5 hours one way)
China Culture Tour: The Yellow Mountains, Yungu Cable Car up, hiking about 1.5 hours, Xihai Grand Canyon hiking about 2 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese buffet lunch at the mountain top Xihai Hotel (CNY 202 per person), Chinese buffet dinner at the mountain top Xihai Hotel  
Accommodation: Xihai Hotel 4* (Standard Room-20sqm)
Add: Huangshan, Xihai Scenic Area

Day 20 Fri 28/Oct/2016: Private transfer: Huangshan to Tunxi (100km, 1.5 hours), Tunxi to Shanghai by Flight: Shanghai Airlines FM9268 (22:30 - 23:30) (Economy Class)
China Culture Tour: Yungu Cable Car down; Xidi Village, 3.5 hours hiking from Xidi Village to Hongcun Village, Hongcun Village, Private transfer to the airport in Tunxi; Private transfer from the airport to the hotel in Shanghai.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at Leigang Villa Restaurant  
Accommodation: Grand Central Hotel Shanghai 5* (Deluxe Business Room-35sqm)
Add: No.505 Jiujiang Road, Shanghai 200001, China
Surroundings: Nanjing Road

Day 21 Sat 29/Oct/2016: Shanghai
China Culture Tour: A free day on your arrangement in Shanghai
Meals: Breakfast

Day 22 Sun 30/Oct/2016: Departure Shanghai: Hainan Airlines HU7955 at 13:15, Flight on Your Arrangement
China Culture Tour: Private transfer from the hotel to the airport in Shanghai
Meals: Breakfast
Tour Service Ends

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