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A Taste of China

Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai, plus Hong Kong & Chengdu optional extensions

Book now online
10 days from $1999 $1699
per person, double occupancy, including airfare*
Book by Dec. 8, 2015 to save up to $300!


Style Small Group Tour
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Scheduled Dates: Select a departure from January 2016 – April 2017
Price Includes
  • Round trip flights from Los Angeles via Air China including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees
  • All intra-China flights and ground transportation
  • Deluxe and first class hotels with private bath
  • 12 Meals: 8 breakfasts plus 3 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
  • Professional English-speaking tour director and local guides
  • Advanced audio headset guided tour system
Departs Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Washington Dulles (IAD); other gateways on request (flight schedule)
Highlights Shanghai, Xi'an, Beijing, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, 2,200 year old Terra Cotta army, optional Hong Kong & Chengdu extensions
Themes Family Friendly,  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. Hong Kong is an independent/self-guided extension.
As Seen in
Budget TravelNew York TimesWashington Post

A Taste of China tour itineraryWith these great deals on tour packages to China, it's your year to visit this dream destination. You won't want to miss this wonderful opportunity to see China's most popular three cities at an amazing tour price. China has become one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world. You'll find impressive modern achievements within an ancient and incredibly rich culture whose recorded history dates back 5,000 years. Beijing, China's capital and, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics, and Shanghai, often called the "Paris of the East," are probably the most dynamic cities in the world. And Xi'an, which at first glance looks like any other large industrial city, is actually the site of one of the world's most important archeological treasures: the army of 2,200-year-old terra-cotta soldiers including more than 8,000 life-size ceramic soldiers, chariots and horses buried there to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor. But don't wait too long to reserve your spot. At prices this low, our Taste of China tour will sell out quickly!

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

Early Booking Discount: Book by 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 8 to save up to $300 per person!
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
Depart Return Price Book by
Dec 8
Thu Nov 19 2015 Sat Nov 28 2015 $1899   Departed
Thu Dec 17 2015 Sat Dec 26 2015 $2399 $2099 Closed
Thu Jan 7 2016 Sat Jan 16 2016 $2099 $1799 Available
Thu Feb 18 2016 Sat Feb 27 2016 $2099 $1799 Closed
Thu Feb 25 2016 Sat Mar 5 2016 $2199 $1899 Closed
Thu Mar 24 2016 Sat Apr 2 2016 $2199 $1899 Available
Thu Apr 14 2016 Sat Apr 23 2016 $2199 $1899 Available
Thu May 12 2016 Sat May 21 2016 $2299 $1999 Available
Thu Jul 7 2016 Sat Jul 16 2016 $2299 $1999 Available
Thu Aug 11 2016 Sat Aug 20 2016 $2299 $1999 Available
Thu Sep 15 2016 Sat Sep 24 2016 $2199 $1899 Available
Thu Oct 27 2016 Sat Nov 5 2016 $2199 $1899 Available
Thu Nov 17 2016 Sat Nov 26 2016 $2099 $1799 Available
Thu Dec 1 2016 Sat Dec 10 2016 $1999 $1699 Available
Thu Jan 5 2017 Sat Jan 14 2017 $1999 $1699 Available
Thu Feb 16 2017 Sat Feb 25 2017 $1999 $1699 Available
Thu Mar 2 2017 Sat Mar 11 2017 $2099 $1799 Available
Thu Mar 23 2017 Sat Apr 1 2017 $2099 $1799 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.

Options, Extensions & Fees

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.

A Taste of China
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement
Dec 17, Jan 7, Feb 18, Dec 1, Jan 5, Feb 16 +$300
Nov 19, Feb 25, Mar 24, Jul 7, Aug 11, Nov 17, Mar 2, Mar 23 +$350
Apr 14, May 12, Sep 15, Oct 27 +$450
Optional Excursions
Optional Excursions Package
Apr 14, May 12, Jul 7, Aug 11, Sep 15, Oct 27, Nov 17, Dec 1, Jan 5, Feb 16, Mar 2, Mar 23 +$185
All other departures +$175
Hong Kong Optional Extension
Hong Kong Extension1
Nov 19, Mar 24 +$899
May 12, Jul 7, Aug 11, Sep 15, Nov 17, Dec 1, Feb 16, Mar 23 +$949
Oct 27, Jan 5, Mar 2 +$1049
Apr 14 +$1099
Dec 17 +$1149
All other departures +$999
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement
Nov 19, Mar 24, May 12, Jul 7, Aug 11, Sep 15, Nov 17, Dec 1, Feb 16, Mar 23 +$399
Jan 7, Feb 18, Feb 25 +$499
Apr 14 +$549
Dec 17 +$649
All other departures +$459

1. This extension requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate. Flights for the extension must be confirmed separately by the airlines, which typically takes 3-5 business days after you place your booking. We will notify you immediately when confirmed.

Chengdu Optional Extension1
Chengdu Extension from LAX
Nov 19, Dec 17, Jan 7, Feb 18, Feb 25, Mar 24 unavailable
All other departures +$699
Chengdu Extension from NYC, IAH, IAD, or SFO2
Nov 19, Dec 17, Jan 7, Feb 18, Feb 25, Mar 24 unavailable
All other departures +$839
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy - LAX included
Double Occupancy
From NYC, IAH, IAD, or SFO
Single Occupancy - LAX +$199
Single Occupancy - NYC, IAH, IAD, or SFO +$339

1. This extension requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate. Flights for the extension must be confirmed separately by the airlines, which typically takes 3-5 business days after you place your booking. We will notify you immediately when confirmed.

2. . Due to flight schedule, an additional overnight at Beijing International Airport will be provided. This extension requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate. Flights for the extension must be confirmed separately by the airlines, which typically takes 3-5 business days after you place your booking. We will notify you immediately when confirmed.

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
Los Angeles (LAX) included
Washington Dulles (IAD)
Nov 19, Dec 17, Jan 7 unavailable
All other departures +$50
San Francisco (SFO)
Nov 19, Dec 17, Jan 7 unavailable
All other departures +$75
New York Kennedy (JFK)
Nov 19, Dec 17, Jan 7, Feb 18, Feb 25, Mar 24 unavailable
All other departures +$150

This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above, subject to availability. 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.

Los Angeles (LAX) passengers must check-in no later than 9 PM of the night before scheduled departure.

Transfers: Transfers for this tour 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.

How to Make a 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.

Standard Deposit $600


Day 1: Depart USA. Depart aboard your Air China flight to Shanghai, via Beijing. (Los Angeles (LAX) passengers must check-in no later than 9pm of the night before scheduled departure.)

Nanjing Road, Shanghai Day 2: Shanghai. Arrive today in Shanghai, China's most modern city, often called "Paris of the East." Transfer to your centrally-located hotel for check-in. Accommodations: Jin Jiang Hotel.

Day 3: Shanghai. 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. After exploring the Yu Garden's impressive rockeries and pavilions, enjoy lunch with your fellow travelers. The balance of the day is at leisure in Shanghai to explore on your own. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Optional Excursion: Oriental Pearl TV Tower & Shanghai Museum, $50 (purchased locally). Begin your tour at the Shanghai Museum of ancient Chinese art, which houses a collection of 120,000 precious works. Next, get a panoramic view of the city 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. Other stops on this optional tour include the lively Xintiandi Bar Street and the picturesque French Concession.

Optional Excursion: Dinner and acrobatics show, $48 (purchased locally). This evening, take advantage of an optional dinner followed by an exciting acrobatics show.

Day 4: Shanghai. Spend a final day at leisure in Shanghai. Breakfast provided.

Gardens in Suzhou Optional Excursion: Full day Suzhou tour with lunch, $95. 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.

Day 5: Shanghai & Xi'an. After breakfast, transfer by maglev train to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. Transfer to your hotel for check-in and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure for independent exploration. Accommodations: Grand Mercure Xi’an. Breakfast provided.

Optional Excursion: Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty dance performance, $48. This evening, enjoy an optional Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty dance performance.

Friendly Planet travelers at the Terra Cotta Warriors site in Xi'an Day 6: Xi'an & Terracotta Army. Today, board your touring coach and drive to the site of the famous 2,200-year-old Terra Cotta army, among the most important archeological discoveries of modern times. More than 8,000 life-size ceramic soldiers, chariots and horses have been uncovered, but it's 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. Learn more about this fascinating site during your visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum. Other stops on today's tour include the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and City Wall, followed by an included lunch. Time permitting, you'll also enjoy a chance to shop for ancient Chinese furniture or ceramics.
Breakfast & lunch provided.

Girl selling trinketsDay 7: X'ian & Beijing’s Hutongs. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Beijing, China's historic and cultural capital. Upon arrival, transfer to your centrally located hotel for check-in. This afternoon you’ll travel to the intricate maze of Beijing's Hutongs to explore the way the Chinese live and have lived for centuries. These ancient, labyrinthine alleys or lanes are still an important feature in the urban landscape of Beijing, where houses along Hutongs still occupy one third of the total area, providing housing for half the population and providing yet another example of Beijing as an ancient yet modern city. End your tour with a visit to an exquisite pearl factory and enjoy an included dinner. Accommodations: New Otani Chang Fu Gong. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Great Wall of China Day 8: 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 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.

Conclude your visit at the Sacred Way, an ancient road linking the Ming Tombs, the burial site of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. A massive stone archway, built in 1540 at the southern end is decorated with designs of clouds, waves and divine animals. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Optional Excursion: Peking Duck dinner and Legend of 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.

Forbidden City, BeijingDay 9: Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City. 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. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy the balance of the day at leisure or join our optional tour to the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Temple of Heaven, Beijing Optional Excursion: Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven, $50. Enjoy some time at the Summer Palace, the quintessential Chinese garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site ranked among the most noted classical gardens of the world. Continue to the Temple of Heaven, the most holy of Beijing's Imperial temples, is the place where Chinese Emperors came to worship heaven and to pray for a good harvest.

Day 10: Beijing/USA. Today, 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! Breakfast provided.

Optional Excursions Package (Apr 2015-Mar 2016): $175

Save by pre-booking a discounted package of our most popular optional excursions:

  • Suzhou full day tour, including lunch (Day 4)
  • Xi'an Dumpling Dinner plus Tang Dynasty Dance Performance (Day 5)
  • Summer Palace & Temple of Heaven tour (Day 9)

You can book these excursions individually in China. But you can save if you purchase this special package ahead of time—with or before your final payment. These are not "seat in coach" excursions that pick up passengers at various hotels; all are operated for Friendly Planet groups only.

Hong Kong Optional Extension

Prepare to be dazzled by a breathtaking symphony of lights in cosmopolitan Hong Kong. City-lovers worldwide rank Hong Kong among their must-see destinations, and for good reason. A former British colony perched on the edge of mainland China, Hong Kong is a fascinating city of contrasts—a place where East meets West; where the modern blends with the traditional; where shiny skyscrapers stand next to narrow alleys crammed with traditional vendors' stalls; where new technology flourishes alongside ancient Chinese customs. With its glorious harbor, excellent shopping, renowned restaurants, and some of the best nighttime skylines in the world, Hong Kong has it all.

Day 10: Beijing & Hong Kong. Bid farewell to Beijing as you transfer to the airport 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.

Hong Kong from Victoria Peak 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 and Aberdeen fishing village, a community of some 600 colorful floating homes. Conclude your tour with some time for shopping. The afternoon is yours 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 nighttime 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 on your own or shop to your heart's content. Breakfast provided.

Day 13: Hong Kong/USA. Today, transfer to the airport to board your return flight to the U.S. via Beijing. Your memorable journey to China comes to an end as you arrive in Los Angeles later today. Breakfast provided.


Chengdu Optional Extension

Take advantage of your time in China, and continue to Chengdu, home of 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.

Day 10: Beijing & Chengdu. Today, transfer to the airport for your short flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your well located hotels for check-in. The balance of the day will be at leisure. Accommodations: Sofitel Wanda Hotel. Breakfast provided

ChengduDay 11: 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.

Bian LianOptional 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 12: Chengdu/USA. 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 the U.S. via Beijing. Your memorable journey to China comes to an end as you arrive later today. Breakfast provided. Passengers returning to NYC, IAH, IAD, or SFO will have an additional night included at the Beijing International Airport Hotel to accomodate Air China's flight schedule.



Video: Friendly Planet's Taste of China Video: Friendly Planet's Hong Kong Extension


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Excellent - a great overview of China, left me wanting to see more. Our tour guide, Sam Liu, was the ultimate professional, able to meet the many different needs of all the passengers. Sam is knowledgeable and willing to share and answer numerous questions. The food and hotels were outstanding value. I will use Friendly Planet again. Looking for my next affordable Friendly Planet adventure.

M.E. Frederick, New York, NY

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