Panda Country & Yangtze River

CET-07: 12 Days Beijing - Xian - Chengdu -Yangtze River - Shanghai Tour

The Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors and the Giant Pandas are the three pictures that come to mind when people think about visiting China. This tour includes all of those highlights, combined with the natural beauty of the Yangtze River. Meet all sorts of people in a local tea house which is a good way to connect with daily life in China. The extravagant social life of people in Shanghai gives an idea of the future of this country. All of this will fill your memories with the wonders of China.

CET Advantages:

  • Ride a toboggan down the Great Wall.
  • Be amazed by the 7,000+ Terracotta Warriors.
  • Get up close and personal with the Giant Pandas.
  • Marvel at the Three Gorges Dam.
  • Experience the high life in Shanghai.
Price from: USD1999 per person

Full Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival, Nihao!

Meet your Beijing tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). The guide will be holding your name sign. Follow the guide to meet your private driver at the parking lot. It is about a 50-minute drive to your centrally located hotel; check in and discover the city on your own.

Day 02: Beijing, Power Center: Royal Life VS Courtyard life (B, L)

Beijing has been the capital city of China since the Ming Dynasty, about 600 hundred year ago. Walk through the Forbidden City and experience the emperors’ royal life. There are 24 emperors who have lived here and more than 9,000 rooms can be found in this imperial palace. Pay a visit to the Clock Collections Hall and see the 1,000+ separate clocks from all around the world.

Walk out through the Meridian Gate and you will find that Tiananmen Square is just in front of you. Stroll across the biggest square on earth and listen to the stories. There are many Hutongs around the Forbidden City, which are the local neighborhoods. They are only about 1 mile from the Forbidden City, but ordinary people who live there never have a chance to enter into the imperial palace in their whole lives. Be a guest in some local people’s house and get an insight into the local courtyard daily life.

 Tiananmen Tower Tiananmen Tower

Day 03: Beijing, Be the Man (B, L)

There is a saying in China: one who fails to reach the Great Wall cannot be called a man. In the morning, we will drive you for about 1.5 hours to the Mutianyu Section of the Wall. There are many sections of the Great Wall near Beijing, but this one is so well-organized that both children and senior citizens just love it. You can choose to climb to the top of the Wall, while the cable car and toboggan are also available. Walk through the watch towers and see how the wall twists and turns on the top of the mountains. The background stories will help you to know more about Chinese history. Wearing a pair of comfortable sneakers will be a great help if you hope to walk through the 20 watch towers.

Enjoy your lunch in a local restaurant near the Great Wall and drive to the Temple of Heaven in the city center. It consists of a group of religious buildings in a park. The best known of these is the three-story pagoda, the Hall of Prayer for Bountiful Harvests. This is the place where the emperors prayed. But now it has become a social center for local people. You will see the everyday life of Chinese people singing, dancing, practicing Taiji, playing cards, or just talking.

Mutianyu  Section of the Wall Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall

Day 04: Beijing to Xi’an, Empress Dowager Cixi (B,L)

There are many stories to hear about the Empress Cixi when you visit the Summer Palace. Most of the stories are about how she was responsible for rebuilding the Summer Palace after it was burned down. Also how she became the most powerful lady at the end of the Qing Dynasty. There are many impressive buildings which are connected to this lady in this park: the Opera Stage, the Tower of Buddhist Incense, the Long Corridor, and Suzhou Street.

After that, it’s about a 20 minute drive to the Lama Temple. As it is the largest Tibetan Buddhism temple in Beijing, there are many worshipers present. Lots of people come here to give offerings and incense and pray to the Buddhas.

This afternoon, take a high speed bullet train to Xi’an. The trip takes about 5.5 hours. Your Xi’an tour guide will welcome you at the exit of the railway station. Transfer to your hotel and check in.

Summer Palace Summer Palace

Day 05: Xi’an to Chengdu, World Wonders (B,L)

Located around the city center, the Ancient City Wall has a history of more than 600 years. Jump onto a bike and cycle around it to soak up the views, particularly the massive apartment buildings outside the city center.

Later in the morning, hit the road for the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. The drive will take you about 1 hour from the city. As it is one of the  Wonders of the World, be prepared to be amazed by the 7,000+ pottery soldiers and horses.

Leave Xi’an behind and board the flight to Chengdu. Your Chengdu tour guide will welcome you at the arrival hall with your name sign. The trip takes about 40 minutes to your centrally located hotel. Your tour guide will help you to check in.

Terracotta Warriors and Horses Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Day 06: Chengdu, Hello Giant Panda (B,L)

See the Giant Pandas in the morning, as they are more active then. We will drive you for about 30 minutes to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. The pandas are playing, rolling around, sitting in water and eating bamboo. You may also get the chance to see the red pandas and baby pandas.

This afternoon you have the opportunity to explore the Kuanzhai Ancient Street of the Qing Dynasty. There are lots of things you can explore: Ancient architecture, local crafts and souvenir shops, eye cleaning services, local desserts and Sichuan Opera Shows. Pay a visit to the Wuhou Memorial Temple nearby and try to learn some Chinese history stories.

Good to know: If you prefer to do a Panda Keeper Program, please feel free to contact your travel specialist.

Panda Keeper Program Panda Keeper Program

Day 07: Chengdu to Chongqing, Experience Local Life (B,L)

Tea Houses are very popular in Chengdu. Local people enjoy taking time out of their daily life in these places, they just drink tea and talk. Walk into one of them, talk to local people and experience their daily life.

Later in the morning, we will drive you for about 30 minutes to the Jinsha Site Museum. This archeological site represents an important part of Chinese history and dates back more than 3200 years. The museum exhibits will explain to you clearly the significance of the finds and how they are linked with the rest of ancient China.

Board your high speed bullet train and leave for Chongqing in the afternoon. The trip takes about 2 hours. Meet your Chongqing tour guide at the exit of the railway station, transfer to the port and check-in for your voyage on the ship.

Good to know: Prepare your own dinner before you board the ship. Your tour guide can help you to buy some food.

Tea Houses Tea House

Day 08: Yangtze River and Shibaozhai (B,L,D)

A Tai Chi exercise refreshes you for the whole day. Enjoy the magnificent scenery along the riverbank in the morning. A shore excursion to Shibaozhai is arranged for the afternoon. Here is a 12-meter red pavilion, which was originally built in the Ming Dynasty, built against the side of the hill. You will admire the ancient architectural style of this wooden structure.

You can join an optional tour to Fengdu Ghost City if you are interested in supernatural matters. The evening on the River will not feel lonesome as you attend the Captain’s welcome banquet and enjoy the crew’s performance.

Shibaozhai Shibaozhai

Day 9: The Gorges and Shennong Stream (B,L,D)

You will pass 2 of the three gorges, Qutang and Wu Gorge in the morning. Just sit on the balcony or the open deck of the ship to enjoy the picturesque view.

The tour to Shennong Stream in the afternoon takes you to tranquil waterfalls and an ancient plank path. Experience the process of the ship passing through the 5 locks this evening. It is fascinating to watch as the ship passes through each lock, taking about 1 hour to either lower or raise the ship. 

Qutang and Wu Gorge Qutang Gorge

Day 10: Tour the Big Dam and Fly to Shanghai (B)

Shore excursion to The Three Gorges Dam Site to observe one of the greatest water projects in the world. The project includes the ship locks and the wall itself which is over 2 kilometers long. Contained within this huge structure are 26 turbines with another 6 to be installed in order to generate power to many parts of China.

Disembark at Yichang around 12:00 noon, meet your personal guide and driver and onward to the airport for your flight to Shanghai.

The Three Gorges Dam The Three Gorges Dam

Day 11: Shanghai, the International Metropolis (B,L)

Today, you will explore some highlight attractions in Shanghai. The tour starts from Shanghai Museum, one of the greatest museums in China. It has a vast collection of antiques, paintings, porcelains and Bronze Ware. Yuyuan Garden, a classic Chinese garden with traditional houses, corridors, ponds and hills, is a beautiful getaway. 

In the afternoon, you have a chance to visit one of the highest buildings in the world, Shanghai World Financial Center. Have a bird’s eye view of this metropolis: the incredibly well-lit city of Shanghai stretches out everywhere that you can see. Walk on the highest observation deck in the world, see the bustling city just under your feet. Later today, walk along the Old French Concession and experience the old Shanghai.

Yuyuan  Garden Yuyuan Garden

Day 12: Departure

Your tour guide will be waiting for you at the hotel lobby and transfer you to the airport based on the flight schedule. The guide will double check the flight schedule before you leave for the airport.

Hotel Options:

  Standard Accommodation Comfortable Accommodation Deluxe Accommodation
Beijing King Parkview Hotel Beijing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Crowne Plaza Beijing Wangfujing
Xi'an Grand New World Hotel  Grand Noble Hotel Xi'an  Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square 
Chengdu Holiday Inn Express Chengdu Wuhou Tianfu Sunshine Hotel Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel 
Yangzi River The President Fleet The President or Victoria Fleet The Victoria or Century Fleet
Shanghai Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai The Bund Hotel Shanghai Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World

What's Included:

  • Bullet train travel from Beijing to Xi’an and Chengdu to Chongqing.
  • Domestic flight booking from Xi’an to Chengdu and Yichang to Shanghai.
  • Cruise ship on Yangtze River.
  • Centrally located hotel accommodation.
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary.
  • Entrance to the attractions.
  • Overland transfer with private driver.
  • Excellent English speaking tour guide (Or other languages as requested).
  • China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance.


1. Is this tour recommended for traveling with young kids?

The Giant Pandas are cute as you can imagine and your kids will love to see them playing, eating and sleeping. You will have a very leisurely time on the cruise of Yangtze River. The shore excursions are good opportunities to learn more about Chinese culture and natural landscape. This combination is a perfect choice for traveling with kids.

2. Is the price for an in-country cost only? Does your quotation include the international flight?

We usually quote land tours and internal transportations. As a tour provider based in China, we have agood relationship with hotels and local suppliers in each city and internal airlines so we are confident to provide quality tours with competitive prices. For international flights, we will quote separately for you to compare with what you can get on your side.

3. What is your money back guarantee?

We offer a Money Back Guarantee if our promise hasn't been carried out. We are launching No Shopping Outlets tours. We will not put any shops or factories in the itinerary except on your request. If CET tour guides and drivers vary from our policy regarding tipping or shopping we will refund the land service cost (excluding hotels, airfare and train fares, attraction entrance fees and meal costs) for that city after the tour.

4. Is it safe to travel alone in China?

Yes, China is a safe country to travel around. Most people you will meet are nice, easy-going and honest. Here are a few tips to keep you safe.

  • Dress conservatively. Do not wear revealing clothes or expensive jewelry, they may encourage unwanted attention.
  • Avoid walking alone late in the evening or in places which give you a feeling of discomfort.
  • Keep your valuables in a secure place, like the safe box in your hotel.
  • Just say NO to any offers which make you uncomfortable. You might encounter some strangers who want to practice English with you or take you to a tea house. Just say NO to them.
  • Do not eat or drink anything not familiar to you.