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China tours - trips to China from Canada. Trip highlights include the Forbidden City and the Great Wall at Mutianyu in Beijing, Terracotta Army in Xian, a day cruise on Li River in Guilin, a 3-day cruise down the mighty Yangtze on Victoria Cruises' Jenna and exciting evening shows.

19-day China Odyssey

Beijing - Xian - Guilin - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Suzhou -Shanghai

Canada to China travel tours - luxury China tours to China from the UK, Australia, Canada, USA 2014 19 days 3 weeksExplore ancient sites in Beijing and Xian, admire nature's beauty in Guilin, sail through the majestic Three Gorges of the Yangtze, wander around classical gardens in Suzhou, marvel at China's economic boom best showcased in Shanghai - this China holiday tour allows you to do all that and much more! 

A crowd favourite for well over a decade, this escorted small group tour also incorporates a comfortable ride aboard the new high-speed train, an experience every China visitor should have.

Trip highlights include the Forbidden City and the Great Wall at Mutianyu in Beijing, Terracotta Army in Xian, a day cruise on Li River in Guilin, a 3-day cruise down the mighty Yangtze aboard Victoria Cruises' Jenna, and exciting evening shows.

If you are not a fan of river cruise, you may consider the 18-day Best of China.

Meal Code:

B = buffet breakfast / L = Chinese lunch / D = Chinese dinner

Important Features

  • Group size limited to 20.
  • No shopping stops.
  • Promenade or Bridge Deck cabin with exclusive amenities during Yangtze cruise.
  • Free in-room Wi-Fi in all hotels!
  • Daily breakfast
  • 12 lunches and 9 dinners at quality, non-tourist restaurants.
  • Unlimited supply of bottled water.
  • Competitive airfares on direct flights to China from multiple cities for your most convenience.
  • Travel from Beijing to Xian by high speed train.
  • Calligraphy and painting class.
  • Peking roast duck at a top rated restaurant.
  • Visits to side chambers in Forbidden City that most companies leave out.
  • Great Wall visit at Mutianyu including cable car.
  • Day hike to Longji terraced rice fields.
  • ERA acrobatic show in Shanghai subject to availability.

Options Available

  • Peking opera show in Beijing
  • Jewish heritage tour in Shanghai
Day 1/Thu: Departing Home City  
The journey begins with your transpacific flight departing from a city of your choice. You'll lose a day upon crossing the
International Date Line.

Day 2/Fri: Arrival in Beijing
Welcome to Beijing! Meet your guide on arrival in late afternoon and transfer to the hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure.

Day 3/Sat: Beijing
Capital of China, Beijing is a world-class cultural and educational centre with a population of 21 million (2013), ranking it China's second largest city behind Shanghai. Beijing is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates, treasures that make it the most popular tourist city in China by the number of visitors it receives every year.

Beijing was already a strategically important city in northern China for centuries when Kublai Khan decided to move his capital here from Karakorum in Mongolia. With the collapse of the vast Mongol empire in 1368 AD, Beijing, known as Da Du or Grand Capital at the time, lost its status as the country's capital but soon regained it when the imperial court of the successive Ming Dynasty moved here from Nanjing. luxury China tours from Canada by Laurus TravelBeijing continued to serve as China's capital after Manchu tribes dethroned the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty in 1644 and established the Great Qing Empire (Qing Dynasty), which lasted till 1911.

We begin today with a visit to Tiananmen (tian an men) Square. Located in the heart of Beijing, the square is 880 metres from north to south, and 500 meters from east to west. Said to be the biggest of its kind in the world, Tiananmen Square has the capacity to hold one million people. Tiananmen (Heavenly Gate) Tower sites at the north end of the square while the Monument to the People's Heroes dominates the centre. The square is flanked by The Great Hall of the People (west) and the National Museum of China (east). Chairman Mao's mausoleum and Qianmen (Front Gate) sit in the south of the square. Considered one of the top 16 tourist attractions in Beijing, Tiananmen Square is also the witness of the Chinese people's great struggles for democracy and personal freedom since 1919.

After lunch we proceed to the Forbidden City. Also known as Palace Museum or Gu Gong in Chinese, the Forbidden City was the place where the emperors of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties lived and carried out their administration. Construction of the Forbidden City took 14 years (1406-1420) to complete. The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 hectares or 180 acres. It exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, this is the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the China tour companies in Canada

We conclude our sightseeing today with a visit to a hutong neighbourhood. Hutong refers to an ancient alleyway with siheyuan or ''4-sided courtyard house" on both sides. The name hutong dates back to the Yuan Dynasty (1279 - 1368 A.D.). According to some experts, the word originated from the Mongolian language, in which it is pronounced as hottog and means "well." In ancient times, people tended to gather and live around wells. So the original meaning of hutong should be "a place where people live around".

Today we enjoy a delicious dinner at high-end Beijing roast duck restaurant.(B/L/D)

Day 4/Sun: Beijing
Morning sightseeing takes us to historic Jingshan Park for a panoramic view of the Forbidden City from above. The park to the north of the Forbidden City was part of the imperial palace in the old days, serving the royal families as a convenient site for farming, recreation and ancestor worshipping. The man-made hill (46 meters above ground, 89 meters above sea level) overlooks the Forbidden City and provides a great spot for bird's-eye view of the surrounding area.

premium china vacation travel packages from Canada, usa with airNext on our schedule is the Summer Palace, a well preserved UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The imperial resort was first named Garden of Clear Ripples, which was burnt down by the allied forces of Great Britain and France in 1860 during the Second Opium War (referred to as Arrow War by the British). Reconstruction started 25 years later and was completed in 1895 when the name was changed to Yi He Yuan (Garden of Good Health and Harmony). The design gives prominence to Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, south of the hill. The sprawling complex covers an area of 290 hectares and the buildings inside consist of over 3,000 bays.

Afternoon sightseeing at the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Situated in southeastern Beijing the Temple of Heaven is China's largest extant sacrificial temple where, during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the emperors conducted the elaborate and most exalted sacrifices addressed to "the Supreme Ruler of the Universe." Construction of the temple started in 1406, during the reign of the Ming Emperor Yongle, and took 14 years to complete. The temple was expanded under the Qing emperors Qianlong (1736-1796) and Jiaqing (1796-1820). Occupying 2.73 square kilometres (roughly 1,700 by 1,600 metres), the area of the Temple of Heaven is more than twice that of the Forbidden City.

The famous Hongqiao Pearl Market, the largest of its kind in the world, sits right across from the Temple of Heaven. The market is recommended in various guidebooks as a good place to buy fresh water pearls, a market segment dominated by the Chinese. If you are interested, please ask the guide to drop you off there. However, you'll need to get back to the hotel by taxi, which costs about 50 yuan or $8. (B/L)

Day 5/Mon: Beijingpremium China vacation package tours from Canada to Great Wall Mutianyu
Today we embark on a full-day excursion to the legendary Great Wall at Mutianyu, 75km northeast of the city. Zigzagging over 6,000 kilometres from east to west along the undulating mountains, the Great Wall was built to hold off tribal invaders from the north. Construction of the earliest sections of the Wall started in the 7th century B.C. A major renovation started with the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 1368 and took 200 years to complete. The wall we see today in Beijing is almost exactly the result of this effort. (B/L)

Day 6/Tue: Beijing - Xian 
Free morning to relax or explore on your own. We check out the hotel at noon and travel to Xian by the high-speed train. The four-hour-forty-minute rail journey cuts through fertile farmland dotted with villages, providing the visitor an excellent way to enjoy the beautiful landscape. The track we travel on is part of the new 2,298 km high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Guangzhou, the longest high-speed rail line in the world. The Chinese for the past 20 years have been on a building spree expanding the country's rail network and upgrading existing railways. This new rail service rivals France's TGV and Japan's "shinkansen" in terms of speed, comfort, cleanliness and onboard facilities.

Please note that the train ride may be replaced by air flight during and within 3 days before and after these Chinese public holidays: Spring Festival (Feb 19), Qingming (Apr 5), Labour Day (May 1), Duanwu (Jun 20), Mid-Autumn (Sept 27),  National Day (Oct 1-7) and New Year's Day. (B/D)

Day 7/Wed: XianEnglish speaking China tours from Vancouver to China
Eastern terminus of the fabled Silk Road and one of the ancient capitals of China, Xian is home to the world famous 
Terracotta Army.

Morning visit to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Built on the excavation site, the museum is located 30km east of the city. Designed to follow the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) into eternity, the Terracotta Army represents one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th Century.

After lunch we return to the city for a stroll on the ancient city wall. The wall, declared national treasure by the State Council in 1961 under the premiership of Zhou Enlai, was started in 1370 during the Ming Dynasty, encircling an area of 14 square kilometres. The wall runs 13.7 kilometres long and measures 12 metres in height and 15 to 18 metres in thickness at the base.

Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner in the hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 8/Thu: Xian
Morning sightseeing begins with 
Shaanxi Provincial Museum. 
The modern, well-organized museum was completed in 1992 and traces the history of Xian from prehistory to Qing dynasty (1644-1911). The extensive galleries and exhibitions offer the visitor an excellent introduction to the area that greatly improves understanding of the numerous historical sites in and around the city.China business travel tours small group from Toronto for families with children

We then visit the ancient grand mosque in the old town centre and the adjacent Muslim bazaar. The mosque was established in the 8th Century but the majority of the complex was constructed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was further expanded in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, this mosque is completely Chinese in its architectural style. It has neither domes nor traditional style minarets.

We spend the rest of the day learning Chinese calligraphy and water-colour painting with a local artist. This is guaranteed to be a session filled with fun and laughter. (B/L)

Day 9/Fri: Xian - Guilinluxury china tours from toronto with business class airfares
Free morning to explore on your own. We recommend Bell Tower and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. You can reach both by Subway Line 2, which has a stop right next door to our hotel. Bell Tower is 3 stops away (8 minutes). The pagoda is 7 stops away plus a short taxi ride at the other end which costs about 15 Yuan (less than $3).

Late afternoon flight to Guilin. A small city by Chinese standards, Guilin has long been renowned for its unique scenery. The name Guilin literally means "forest of sweet osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant sweet osmanthus trees in the city. (B/L)Chinese English speaking tour guide in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian

Day 10/Sat: Guilin (Li River cruise) china tours from toronto to china Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo china land tours toronto company
We begin today with a five-hour cruise down the Li River. The 83km stretch of the river between Guilin and Yangshuo affords breathtaking scenery as the river snakes through tall karst mountains, gigantic bamboo sprays, and picturesque villages -- sights that have inspired countless poets and painters for generations.

We disembark in Yangshuo after lunch and drive back to Guilin, stopping by at a village en route. We wrap up the day with a quick tour of the scenic Fubo Hill (63 metres) located 2 km from the hotel.

For dinner, you will find all kinds of restaurants around the centrally located hotel. To avoid hassle and waste of time, please ask your local guide for advice. (B/L)

Day 11/Sun: Guilin
Enjoy a full-day hiking excursion to the terraced rice fields in Longji. Located 80km (2 hours drive) to the northwest of Guilin, Longji, meaning dragon back, is famous for its terraced rice fields. Because the villages at Longji are in the jurisdiction of Longsheng County, the tourist attraction is often collectively referred to as Longsheng Terraced Fields. The scenery is arguably at its best in early May during transplanting and in late September right before harvest when the fields turn golden.china tours longji dragon back hiking from Toronto

Built by local farmers of different ethnic groups from Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) to Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the mountainous fields cover a total area of 66 square kilometres, rising between 300 meters and 1,100 metres above sea level. (B/L)

Optional Tea Farm Visit
If time permits and for a nominal fee we can arrange a late afternoon visit to Guilin Tea Science and Research Institute, subject to a minimum of 6 participants.

Founded in 1956, the state-owned institute and its experimental tea farm cover an area of 42 hectares, boasting 250 species of tea plants. The predecessor of the institute was said to be one of the tea suppliers to the imperial court during the Ming Dynasty. The farm sits on fertile soil ideal for tea growing. During harvesting season, the farm employs 150 workers full time to pick tea leaves. Each year the institute produces around 42 tons of organically grown tea of different flavours.

Day 12/Mon: Guilin - Chongqingluxury china tours
Morning flight to Chongqing. Our city tour of Chongqing includes the zoo (giant pandas) and Stilwell Museum built on the site of the former U.S. military headquarters in China during World War II. We board Victoria Cruises' Jenna (the newest among the U.S. cruise operator's fleet of seven) after a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine. (B/L/D)

Day 13/Tue: Yangtze Cruise tours to china 2010
At 6,380km the Yangtze is the longest river in China and the third longest in the world after the Nile and the Amazon. The most impressive section of the Yangtze is the Three Gorges stretching 119km.
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On today’s shore excursion we visit a relocation village built for locals affected by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Please note that at the cruise line's discretion the village visit may be substituted with Fengdu Ghost City. The Ghost City is a Buddhism and Taoism-themed tourist project rebuilt in the 1980s with extensive murals and sculptures depicting life in the Next World. (B/L/D)

Day 14/Wed: Yangtze Cruise tours to china 2010
Admire nature’s grandeur while sailing through spectacular Wu Gorge (45km) and Qutang Gorge (8km). Later this morning we navigate Shennong Stream on a small vessel. Originating in the southern slopes of Shennongjia Nature Reserve, the crystal clear river twists and turns 66 kilometres through forested mountains before emptying into the mighty Yangtze. Please note this excursion may be replaced with a similar one on Daning River, another Yangtze tributary. (B/L/D)

Day 15/Thu: Yichang - Shanghaibest china tours 
Morning visit to the Three Gorges Dam site. Construction of the dam started on December 14, 1994 with completion date set for 2009. Due to additional projects such as the underground power plant with six additional generators, the dam did not become fully operational until the end of 2011. The dam raised the water level the third time to 172.5 metres by the end of 2008. The Chinese government estimated the cost of the construction to be $27 billion while some Chinese scholars and international organizations estimated the actual cost could be as high as over $80 billion. The project upon completion will become the largest hydroelectric dam in the world with a reservoir stretching hundreds of kilometres upstream. We disembark in Yichang around noon and fly to Shanghai after lunch. (B/L)

Day 16/Fri: Shanghaiall inclusive china land tours from San Francisco trips to China
Before 1949, Shanghai was widely known in the West as a city of quick riches and paradise of the adventurers. After four decades of anemic growth in a state planned economy, Shanghai is roaring back to recapture its position on the world stage. With a population of 23 million and rapid economic expansion in the last 20 years, Shanghai has again become a leading global city with significant influence in commerce, culture, finance, media, fashion, technology and transport.

Our sightseeing today begins with a walk on the Bund, a waterfront promenade famous for its landmark neoclassical buildings of European style. We then visit Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple and Yu Garden in the old town centre. Evening entertainment is a dazzling acrobatic show. (B/L/D)

Day 17/Sat: Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai
Enjoy a full-day excursion to Suzhou today.

Eighty kilometers to the northwest of Shanghai, ancient Suzhou is most famous for its gardens, canals and silk industry. In late 13th Century a Venetian named Marco Polo visited Suzhou and he was very impressed by what he saw. He vividly described the prosperous silk making trade and dubbed Suzhou Venice of the East due to the small waterways crisscrossing the city. Our schedule today takes in historic Tiger Hill, Humble Administrator's Garden and a short cruise on the Grand Canal. If time permits, we'll stop by the silk spinning mill before returning to Shanghai.

Tiger Hill has been a popular tourist destination for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, as is evident from the poetry and calligraphy carved into the rocks on the hill. The hill is so named because it is said to look like a crouching tiger. Another legend states that a white tiger appeared on the hill to guard it following the burial of King Helu. The highlight here is the brick pagoda constructed between 959 and 961 AD as part of Yun Yan Buddhist temple. Because of its unintended tilt to one side (2.34 meters off towards northeast), the pagoda is also called by some China's Leaning Tower of Pisa, except this one is 200 years older than the bell tower in Italy.premium small group tours to China from New York and Vancouver

The traditional Humble Administrator's Garden is a masterpiece listed by the UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site with a style in sharp contrast with the Yu Garden of Shanghai. (B/L/D)

Day 18/Sun: Shanghai
Today is a free day to explore on your own. Our recommendations include Jinmao Tower, the Maglev train, French Concession (extra-jurisdictional territory from 1849 to 1946) and the popular evening cruise on Huangpu River to enjoy the city's spectacular neon-lit skyline. The new bullet train system has made it possible to explore a number of popular destinations near Shanghai such as Hangzhou and Nanjing without overnight stay. For more information, please feel free to ask your tour leader or local guide. (B)

Day 19/Mon: Shanghai - Home City
Spend the morning packing and relaxing. Transfer to the airport to board return flight departing in the afternoon. Re-cross the International Date Line and arrive home the same day. (B)

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2016 Dates & Prices

Sample Air Add-ons with Taxes & Fuel Surcharges

from via fare from via fare from via fare
Calgary Vancouver $120 Montreal Toronto or a US airport $80 Saskatoon Vancouver or Toronto $350
Edmonton Vancouver $150 Nanaimo Vancouver $180 Toronto Toronto or a US airport $0
Halifax Toronto $450 Ottawa Toronto or a US airport $80 Victoria Vancouver $150
Kelowna Vancouver $180 Regina Toronto or Vancouver $350 Winnipeg Vancouver or Toronto $350
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