|Style||Partially Escorted & Guided
Tour escorts & guides for some segments
|Departures||April – May 2015|
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), Washington Dulles (IAD), Houston (IAH); other gateways on request (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Shanghai, Beijing, Tiananmen Square, Badaling Great Wall|
|Included in the Price||
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
This trip was 100 times above my expectations. I cannot say enough great things about our tour guide Sam, and the local guides were also wonderful. I was blown away with how nice the hotels were. We saw some amazing sites, the camera never stopped! The guide in Chengdu took us when the pandas were active and made sure to time our visit with the red pandas during feeding time, and we avoided large crowds. Sam took us out of his way when we all wanted to go to a tea house. I even enjoyed the optional excursions in Shanghai, which I wasn't sure would be of much interest to me. Top show of the trip; Tang Dynasty show! Don't think twice about going, just go!
Courtney Preston, Elmira, NY
This tour offers multiple departure airports. Please select a departure below to check availability.
Prices, fees and deposits are per person. Prices and availability are subject to change. More about our prices.
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Wed||Feb 11||2015||Thu||Feb 19||2015||$1199||Departed|
|Mon||Feb 16||2015||Tue||Feb 24||2015||$1299||Departed|
|Wed||Feb 25||2015||Thu||Mar 5||2015||$1399||Departed|
|Wed||Mar 11||2015||Thu||Mar 19||2015||$1699||$1399||Closed|
|Mon||Mar 16||2015||Tue||Mar 24||2015||$1799||$1499||Closed|
|Wed||Mar 18||2015||Thu||Mar 26||2015||$1699||$1399||Closed|
|Wed||Mar 25||2015||Thu||Apr 2||2015||$1799||$1499||Closed|
|Wed||Apr 15||2015||Thu||Apr 23||2015||$1699||$1399||Closed|
|Mon||Apr 20||2015||Tue||Apr 28||2015||$1799||$1499||Closed|
|Wed||Apr 22||2015||Thu||Apr 30||2015||$1699||$1399||Closed|
|Wed||Apr 29||2015||Thu||May 7||2015||$1799||$1499||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to extend your stay later than the scheduled dates, subject to availability. Contact us about dates, prices and restrictions.
|Beijing & Shanghai Express|
|China Visa Fee1|
|China Visa Fee for CA, AZ, NM, & HI residents (paid separately)||+$180|
|China Visa Fee for residents of all other states (paid separately)||+$195|
1. All visitors to China must obtain a visa. Comprehensive visa instructions will be included in your confirmation packet.
Departure airports subject to availability.
To make a reservation, we only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card. This non-refundable deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package. You can pay the balance due later by credit card, PayPal, check or money order. Your final payment is due 75 days prior to departure, or within 72 hours of your reservation, whichever is later.
Transfers: Transfers for this package are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.
If you thought that China, one of the world's most attractive and popular destinations, was too expensive to visit this year, think again! Check out our new tour to China including Beijing and Shanghai, with air service from either Los Angeles, Houston, New York JFK or Washington Dulles.
Discover a wonderful mélange of impressive modern achievements within a rich and ancient culture, whose recorded history dates back 5,000 years. Start in Shanghai, often called the "Paris of the East". Spend a couple of days exploring this exciting city, or choose optional tour to Suzhou, the "city of gardens". Then fly to Beijing, fabulous capital city of China, and visit the Great Wall. Reserve your spot today, because at prices this low, our Beijing & Shanghai Express departures will sell out quickly!
To take full advantage of your visit to China, we offer a variety of optional excursions, which must be purchased locally. These are not "seat in coach" excursions that pick up passengers in various hotels—all our optional excursions are operated for Friendly Planet groups only. See our detailed itinerary below for full descriptions of each excursion.
Day 1: Depart USA. Depart the USA aboard your Air China flight to Shanghai, via Beijing.
Passengers departing from LAX & IAH will leave the USA just after midnight on the morning of the Tour Date (Day 1). You must check-in at the airport the night before.
Day 2: Shanghai. Arrive today in Shanghai, China's most modern city, often called the "Paris of the East." After passport control and customs, meet your guide and board your coach. En route to your hotel, enjoy a panoramic tour to Tian Zi Fang, a residential area in the French Concession made popular by small craft stores, coffee shops, trendy art studios and narrow alleys. Later, check in at your centrally located hotel. Accommodations: Broadway Mansion Hotel Shanghai.
Passengers departing from JFK & IAD will arrive to Shanghai late in the evening of Day 2 and will follow a slightly different touring itinerary in Shanghai.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Shanghai Acrobatic Show with Dinner, $35. This evening, take advantage of an optional dinner followed by an exciting acrobatics show.
Day 3: Shanghai. Enjoy a full day at leisure in Shanghai to explore on your own. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Suzhou Day Tour with Lunch, $95. Suzhou is China's well-known "city of gardens" where the art of gardening has evolved over more than 1,500 years. There were once over 200 gardens in the city, and an impressive 69 of them are still well-preserved today. You'll visit the Master of Nets Garden (1140 AD), which has been duplicated at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Enjoy a Rickshaw Tour among the local streets and river banks. After a boat ride through Suzhou's lovely Grand Canal and a visit to the local market, stop for lunch at a local market and experience the sights and sounds of China first-hand. Round out your day discovering how silk is produced at the Silk Reeling Factory.
Day 4: Shanghai. Spend a final day of leisure in Shanghai. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Shanghai City Tour with Lunch, $70. Begin at the Shanghai Museum of ancient Chinese art, which possesses a collection of 120,000 precious works. Its rich and high-quality collection of ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphy is known throughout the world. View the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, a unique architectural addition to the Shanghai cityscape and one of the largest radio and TV towers in the world. Continue with a stroll along the waterfront along the Bund River. Other stops on this optional tour include the lively Xintiandi Bar Street and the picturesque French Concession.
Day 5: Shanghai & Beijing. After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to exciting Beijing, the historical and cultural capital city of China. Upon arrival, drive into the city for a panoramic tour of Beijing, including a stop at the historic Tiananmen Square. Accommodations: Beijing International Hotel. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Kung Fu and Peking Duck Dinner, $53. Tonight, enjoy an optional Peking Duck dinner followed by the Legend of Kung Fu show, a special Shaolin Kung Fu stage performance that blends music, martial arts, and a moving story.
Day 6: Great Wall of China. Depart after breakfast on a full day included excursion to the Great Wall of China. En route, view the Olympic venues, the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube, and enjoy a visit to a jade factory with a presentation and some time for shopping. The Great Wall follows a ridge of barren hills and stretches at least 13,000 miles. Construction of the Great Wall, which spanned more than two thousand years, began between the 7th and 6th century BC and continued through the Ming Dynasty. The wall was originally built of stone, wood, grass and earth, but during the Ming Dynasty, bricks were produced in kilns set up along the wall. The bricks were transported by men carrying them on their backs or by donkeys, mules and even goats, which had bricks tied to their heads before being driven up a mountain. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Beijing Foot Massage and Set Menu Dinner, $45. After a long day exploring the Great Wall, relax tonight with a traditional Chinese foot massage. Let a massage therapist soak and kneed your worries away. Conclude the evening with a set menu dinner.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Beijing Forbidden City and Hutong with Lunch, $65. Explore the Hutongs of Beijing by rickshaw this morning. Later stop for a home-cooked lunch including dumplings. Next, enjoy some time at the Forbidden City, located at the exact center of the ancient city of Beijing, where it served as the imperial palace during the mid-Ming and Qing Dynasties. Known as the Palace Museum today, its extensive grounds cover 720,000 square meters, 800 buildings and more than 8,000 rooms. The Forbidden City is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world and was declared a World Heritage site in 1987.
Day 8: Beijing. Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore on your own. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Tai Chi Boxing Lecture, Temple of Heaven, and Panda Zoo with Lunch, $80. This full day tour starts with a 30 minute Chinese Tai Chi Boxing lecture in English, followed by time to practice the skills acquired during the lecture. Next, enjoy some time at the Summer Palace, the quintessential Chinese garden, and a UNESCO World Heritage site ranked among the most noted classical gardens of the world. Proceed to the Temple of Heaven, the most holy of Beijing's Imperial temples, where Chinese Emperors came to worship heaven and pray for a good harvest, since a bad harvest could be interpreted as the Emperor's fall from heavenly favor and threaten the stability of his reign. The 6-meter-high walls surrounding the temple take a square shape to the south and a semi-circular one to the north. The main buildings in the temple are circularly shaped. This architecturally unique pattern represents an ancient belief that heaven was round while earth was square. The whole complex, gorgeously painted and set off by thousands of pine and cypress trees, expresses a harmonious atmosphere as if heaven and earth are integrated into one. Continue to the Panda Zoo, dedicated to the preservation of this endangered (and adorable) species of bear, of which only about 2000 remain in the wild.
Optional Excursion (purchased locally): Peking Opera and Mongolian Hot Pot Dinner with Chinese liquor, $53.
Day 9: Beijing/USA. Bid farewell to Beijing and to China today as you transfer to the airport for your flight back to the USA. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA. Breakfast provided.