|Style||Escorted or Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||Scheduled Dates: Select a departure from October 2015 – March 2016|
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX); other gateways on request (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Shanghai’s famous Yu Garden, West Lake, Hangzhou Chinese Pharmacy, Giant Panda Research Center, Sichuan Cooking Class, The Great Wall of China, and the Forbidden City|
|Themes||History & Culture|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Post-tour extensions to Hong Kong and Xi’an are independent with guided sightseeing.|
China is one of the world's oldest nations, with recorded history dating back 5,000 years. At the same time, it's a modern dynamo, a fast-rising star on the world stage. It boasts the world's fastest high speed train, which is outpaced only by its amazing economy.
Join our China Delight tour and experience China's most iconic cities, Beijing and Shanghai, and their fascinating sights. You'll visit the amazing Great Wall of China, imposing Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven as well as the Yu Garden and other sights of Shanghai. Then, you'll go "off the beaten track" with a visit to beautiful Hangzhou and its lovely canals and romantic West Lake, where, like Marco Polo, you'll have a chance to see, touch and even buy some gorgeous silk. Continue to Chengdu and visit the Giant Panda Research Center and fabulous People's Park, an amazing gathering place where locals sing karaoke, dance, play cards, drink tea, even practice Tai Chi. You'll even learn how to prepare a delicious Chinese meal in a Sichuan cooking class. But don't wait too long to reserve your spot. At prices this low, our China travel package will sell out quickly!
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Thu||Jul 16||2015||Sat||Jul 25||2015||$2599||Departed|
|Thu||Aug 20||2015||Sat||Aug 29||2015||$2599||Closed|
|Thu||Sep 10||2015||Sat||Sep 19||2015||$2999||$2699||Closed|
|Thu||Oct 15||2015||Sat||Oct 24||2015||$2899||$2599||Available|
|Thu||Nov 12||2015||Sat||Nov 21||2015||$2549||$2249||Closed|
|Thu||Dec 3||2015||Sat||Dec 12||2015||$2499||$2199||Closed|
|Thu||Jan 14||2016||Sat||Jan 23||2016||$2499||$2199||Available|
|Thu||Feb 11||2016||Sat||Feb 20||2016||$2499||$2199||Available|
|Thu||Mar 10||2016||Sat||Mar 19||2016||$2599||$2299||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers. Contact us about prices and availability.
Family-Friendly: Departures with this icon are open to children of any age, and special discounts apply to children up to age 11. Call us at 800-555-5765 to reserve these family-friendly departures.
|Single Room Supplement||+$499|
|Xi'an Optional Extension1|
|Xi'an Optional Extension||+$699|
|Single Room Supplement||+$149|
1. The Xi'an & Hong Kong extensions cannot be booked together online. If you'd like to book both extensions, please call us. The Xi'an extension requires at least 2 passengers to operate. Flights for this extension must be confirmed separately by the airlines, usually within 3-5 business days after your booking, and we will notify you immediately once confirmed.
|Hong Kong Optional Extension1|
|Hong Kong Extension|
|Sep 10, Mar 10||+$999|
|All other departures||+$899|
|Single Room Supplement|
|Sep 10, Mar 10||+$499|
|All other departures||+$399|
1. The Xi'an & Hong Kong extensions cannot be booked together online. If you'd like to book both extensions, please call us. The Hong Kong extension requires at least 2 passengers to operate. Flights for this extension must be confirmed separately by the airlines, usually within 3-5 business days after your booking, and we will notify you immediately once confirmed.
|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.
|Los Angeles (LAX)||included|
This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
Coming from somewhere else? Ask us about availability and prices for flights from other cities.
Check approximate costs to depart from other U.S. cities.
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.
To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call us one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765, Mon–Fri 9:30–6:00 Eastern time. But first, check out our Things to Know section.
We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.
Day 1: Depart USA. Your exotic journey begins as you check in for your wide-body jet flight for Shanghai via Beijing.
Note: Los Angeles (LAX) passengers must check-in no later than 9pm on the night before the scheduled departure.
Day 2: Arrive Shanghai. Arrive today in Shanghai, China's most modern city, often called "Paris of the East." In recent years, Shanghai has gone through a major revitalization plan and is now considered one of Asia's most vibrant and exciting cities. After passport control and customs, meet your guide and transfer to your centrally-located hotel for check-in. Accommodations: Jin Jiang Hotel.
Optional Excursion: Dinner and acrobatics show, $48 (purchased locally). This evening, take advantage of an optional dinner followed by an exciting acrobatics show. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.
Day 3: Shanghai. Enjoy a full day at leisure in Shanghai to explore the city independently or join an optional guided excursion to beautiful Suzhou, located approximately 50 miles west of Shanghai. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Full day Suzhou tour with lunch, $95 (purchased locally). Travel by motor coach to Suzhou, China's well-known "city of gardens”. On this full day excursion including lunch, you will visit the Master of Nets Garden, explore a local market, take a ride by rickshaw for a tour of water town, visit a silk factory and embark on a boat ride through Suzhou's lovely canals. Return by motor coach to Shanghai later this evening. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.
Day 4: Hangzhou Excursion & Shanghai. After breakfast, transfer by bullet train to Hangzhou, a city famous for its natural beauty. Today, you will explore West Lake, Hangzhou's most scenic location and UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you will see some of its numerous gardens, temples and pagodas. You will soon understand why this area has been an inspiration to artists and writers for centuries. Next, explore ancient Hefang Street, a well preserved section of Hangzhou that has been a cultural and commercial center for centuries. Enjoy a special presentation on Chinese medicine and have the opportunity to explore an age-old pharmacy, which blends ancient remedies with modern medications. Return to Shanghai this evening. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 5: Shanghai & Chengdu. This morning, visit one of Shanghai's oldest attractions, the Yu Garden. The garden was originally constructed in the 16th century, but the current layout was part of a five-year restoration project which began in the 1950's. Next, you'll have a panoramic view of the city from atop 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. Later today, transfer to the airport for your flight to Chengdu, considered China's "Land of Milk & Honey". Upon arrival, transfer to your centrally located hotel. Accommodations: Sofitel Wanda Hotel. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 6: Giant Panda Research Center & People's Park in Chengdu. After breakfast, visit Chengdu's Giant Panda Research Center for a truly unforgettable experience. The research center is China's leading organization in the conservation of endangered species. Enjoy an included lunch and later this afternoon visit Chengdu's famous People's Park, where locals go to unwind, play games and enjoy nature. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure or join an optional excursion this evening to Sichuan dinner show. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Optional Excursion: Sichuan dinner show, $80 (purchased locally). This evening, join a very special and unique optional excursion during which you will see Sichuanese folklore performances and enjoy a traditional spicy Sichuan dinner. The performance showcases the magic of “Bian Lian", the traditional art of face-changing masks. Sit in amazement as the performers' colorful masks transform within the blink of an eye. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.
Day 7: Chengdu, Sichuan Museum, Cooking Class & Beijing. This morning, participate in a unique culinary experience at the Sichuan Culinary Museum in Pi County. Sichuan cuisine is characterized by its diversity and spice. You will prepare your own Sichuan lunch dish with help from the school's culinary instructors. After you enjoy the meal you've carefully prepared, it's back to the Chengdu airport for your flight to Beijing, China's historic and cultural capital. Upon arrival, transfer to your centrally located hotel for check-in. Accommodations: New Otani Chang Fu Gong. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 8: The 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. Also enjoy a visit to the 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: Peking Duck dinner and Kung Fu show, $53 (purchased locally). 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. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.
Day 9: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Summer Palace. Today's tour begins at historic Tiananmen Square. Afterward, continue to 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. Next, visit an exquisite pearl factory before having lunch at a local restaurant. Your tour ends at Beijing's Summer Palace, the quintessential Chinese garden and UNESCO World Heritage site, ranked among the most noted classical gardens of the world. Return to your hotel, and balance of the day at leisure. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Optional Excursion: Evening visit to Chinese family, $35 (purchased locally). This evening, enjoy a special experience with a Chinese family; a glimpse of what it's really like to live in Beijing, China. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.
Day 10: Temple of Heaven & Beijing/USA. This morning, visit the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In ancient China, the Emperor of China was regarded as the "Son of Heaven", who administered earthly matters on behalf of, and representing, heavenly authority. To be seen showing respect to the source of his authority, in the form of sacrifices to heaven, was extremely important. The temple was built for these ceremonies, and each winter solstice the emperor and his entourage would move through the city to encamp within the complex, wearing special robes and abstaining from eating meat while personally praying to heaven for good harvests. The symbolic layout and design of the Temple of Heaven had a profound influence on architecture and planning in the Far East. Bid farewell to China as you transfer to the airport to board your return flight to the USA. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. If your schedule permits, take advantage of an optional extension to Hong Kong or Xi'an, home of the Terracotta Army! Breakfast provided.
Take advantage of your already-included international airfare by joining our optional post-tour extension to Xi'an and its Terracotta Army. Passengers taking the Xi'an extension will return to the U.S. 2 days later than the return date shown on the Dates & Prices tab.
Day 10: Beijing & Xi'an. After touring the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, transfer to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in. Accommodations: Grand Mercure. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Tang Dynasty Dinner Show, $50 (purchased locally). This evening, enjoy an optional Tang Dynasty show including music, dancing, and a scrumptious dumpling dinner. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.
Day 11: Xi'an & Terracotta Army. After breakfast, board your touring coach and drive to the site of the famous Terracotta Army, one of the most important archaeological discoveries of modern times. Visit the Qin Army Vault Museum, home to the army of 2,200-year-old terracotta soldiers unearthed 25 miles east of town. More than 8,000 life-size ceramic soldiers, chariots and horses have been uncovered - only a fraction of the total buried there to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor. Each soldier is based on an actual person of the time, and all segments of Chinese society are represented. Other stops on today's tour include the Shaanxi Provincial Museum and City Wall. Today you'll also enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and have some time for shopping at a ceramics store. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 12: Xi'an/USA. Today, bid farewell to China as you transfer to the airport to board your return flight to the USA via Beijing. Breakfast provided.
Prepare to be dazzled by a breathtaking symphony of lights in cosmopolitan Hong Kong. With its glorious harbor, excellent shopping, renowned restaurants, and some of the best night-time skylines in the world, Hong Kong has it all. Passengers taking the Hong Kong extension will return to the U.S. 3 days later than the return date shown on the Dates & Prices tab.
Day 10: Beijing & Hong Kong. After touring the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, transfer to the airport for your flight to cosmopolitan Hong Kong. You'll be transferred to your luxurious hotel located in the bustling heart of Kowloon, near the scenic harbor and the "Golden Mile," Hong Kong's famous shopping district. Accommodations: The Royal Garden Hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 11: Hong Kong. Your morning tour of Hong Kong Island features a ride to the top of Victoria Peak for a magnificent city and harbor view. Descend and continue to Repulse Bay, Stanley Market, and Aberdeen fishing village, a community of some 600 colorful floating homes. Conclude your tour with some time for shopping. The afternoon is at leisure for independent sightseeing in the city. Tonight, we recommend an optional dinner cruise aboard the Hong Kong Bauhinia, where you'll enjoy a fabulous buffet dinner, live music, and stunning night-time views of the glistening harbor. Recommended optional excursions must be booked and purchased locally. Breakfast provided.
Day 12: Hong Kong. Enjoy a full day at leisure to take in the sights and sounds of Hong Kong or shop to your heart's content. Breakfast provided.
Day 13: Hong Kong/USA. Today, bid farewell to Hong Kong as you transfer to the airport to board your return flight to the USA via Beijing. Breakfast provided.
The Xi'an and Hong Kong extensions cannot be booked in combination online, if you are interesting in adding both extensions to your tour, ask us about availability and pricing.
This is one of the best of the many tours I have taken over the years, notably the quality of the accommodations, excellent guides in all cities, specially, SAM, who patiently stayed with us to the end. I have and will continue to highly recommend Friendly Planet. Very much a high-end budget package which was very flexible. Thanks for the hospitality from you as well as from the Chinese—so accommodating with a smile.