Prices include savings up to $300
for bookings by May 12, 2014!

A Taste of China

Beijing, Xi'an, & Shanghai, plus Hong Kong optional extension

Overview

Itinerary at a Glance
A Taste of China
Day Destination
1 Depart USA
2 Shanghai
3 Shanghai
4 Shanghai
5 Shanghai & Xi'an
6 Xi'an
7 X'ian & Beijing
8 Beijing & Great Wall of China
9 Beijing
10 Beijing/USA
Hong Kong Extension
10 Beijing/Hong Kong
11 Hong Kong
12 Hong Kong
13 Hong Kong/USA
Style Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures August 2014 – March 2015
Departs Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK); other gateways on request
Highlights Shanghai, Xi'an, Beijing, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, 2,200 year old Terra Cotta army, optional Hong Kong extension
Included in the Price
  • 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 Whisper audio tour guide system
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.

With 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!

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Testimonials

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Just a note to thank you for the wonderful tour we took to China. ...You even remembered my birthday, which our group celebrated on our last night over a Peking Duck dinner. I have recommended you to all my friends and co-workers. As an airline employee myself, I know a good thing when I see it. Many thanks to your staff for putting together such an excellent package.

Angel Murray, Kissimmee, FL

Dates, Prices & Options

All prices, fees and deposits are per person. Prices below are subject to availability and confirmation. After we receive your booking, we will confirm all prices and availability within 1–2 business days. Prices are subject to change at any time and not guaranteed until we receive your final payment. More about our prices.

Departures & Prices*
Depart Return Price Book by
May 12
Fri Apr 4 2014 Sun Apr 13 2014 $1849   Departed
Fri May 2 2014 Sun May 11 2014 $1999   Closed
Fri Jul 11 2014 Sun Jul 20 2014 $2299 $1999 Closed
Fri Aug 29 2014 Sun Sep 7 2014 $2349 $2049 Available
Fri Sep 5 2014 Sun Sep 14 2014 $2399 $2099 Available
Fri Oct 10 2014 Sun Oct 19 2014 $2299 $1999 Closed
Fri Oct 31 2014 Sun Nov 9 2014 $2299 $1999 Available
Fri Nov 21 2014 Sun Nov 30 2014 $2099 $1799 Available
Fri Dec 19 2014 Sun Dec 28 2014 $2499 $2199 Available
Fri Jan 9 2015 Sun Jan 18 2015 $1999 $1699 Available
Fri Feb 27 2015 Sun Mar 8 2015 $2099 $1799 Available
Fri Mar 6 2015 Sun Mar 15 2015 $2099 $1799 Available

* Prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and include airfare and Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee. Prices do not include excess baggage fees, extensions or optional items. Prices in orange reflect an early booking discount for bookings made by 5/12/14.

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.

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
Jul 11, Oct 31, Feb 27, Mar 6 +$400
Apr 4, May 2, Aug 29, Sep 5, Oct 10, Jan 9 +$450
All other departures +$350
Optional Excursions
Optional Excursions Package +$185
Hong Kong Optional Extension
Hong Kong Extension1
May 2, Jul 11, Jan 9 +$959
Apr 4, Oct 10 +$1149
Dec 19 +$1199
All other departures +$999
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement
May 2, Jul 11, Jan 9 +$399
Apr 4, Oct 10 +$599
Dec 19 +$659
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.

Departure Airports
Los Angeles (LAX) included
New York Kennedy (JFK)
Aug 29 +$50
May 2 +$100
Jul 11, Sep 5, Oct 10 unavailable
All other departures +$150

Departure airport prices subject to availability and may cost more based on flight availability at the time of booking.

Coming from somewhere else? Before you book, ask us about availability and prices for flights from other cities.

Check approximate costs to depart from other U.S. cities.

Booking Deposit
Standard Deposit $300

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, check or money order. Your final payment is due 75 days prior to departure, or within 72 hours of booking, whichever is later.

You must check-in no later than 9 PM of the night before your scheduled departure.

Detailed Itinerary

A Taste of China tour itinerary Day 1: Depart USA. Depart just after midnight aboard your Air China flight to Shanghai, via Beijing. You must check-in no later than 9pm of the night before your scheduled departure.

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. Then, visit one of Shanghai's oldest attractions, the Yu Garden. Time permitting, indulge in some silk shopping after lunch. Accommodations: Jin Jiang Hotel. Lunch provided.

Day 3: Shanghai. Enjoy a full day at leisure in Shanghai to explore on your own. Breakfast provided.

Optional Excursion: 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, and the Lingering Garden. Continue to the National Embroidery Institute, established in 1957 to preserve and further the study of silk embroidery, an important activity in Suzhou for more than 1,000 years. After a boat ride through Suzhou's lovely canals and a visit to the local market, conclude your tour at the Water Gate, one of the eight gates of Suzhou built by Wu Zixu ($95 per person, includes lunch).

Girl selling trinkets, China  Photo by Charlie Ridgeway
Girl selling trinkets, China
Photo by Charlie Ridgeway

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

Optional Excursion: 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 to the Jade Buddha Temple, which houses two exceptional Buddha statues, each exquisitely carved from a single piece of white jade. The temple's architectural design is also very impressive. Other stops on this optional tour include the lively Xintiandi Bar Street and the picturesque French Concession. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally ($70 per person, includes lunch).

Optional Excursion: This evening, take advantage of an optional dinner followed by an exciting acrobatics show. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally ($48 per person, includes dinner).

Nanjing Road, Shanghai 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: This evening, enjoy an optional Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty dance performance ($48 per person).

Friendly Planet travelers at the Terra Cotta Warriors site in Xi'an Day 6: Xi'an. 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 paintings. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Forbidden City, Beijing Day 7: X'ian/Beijing. After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Beijing, China's historic and cultural capital.

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. 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 only man-made structure visible from the moon, 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: 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 can only be purchased locally ($53 per person).

Mahjong players Day 9: Beijing. Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore on your own. Your hotel is centrally located in the heart of Beijing, close to major attractions, restaurants and shopping. Breakfast provided.

Optional Excursion: You can also choose an optional tour to the Hutongs of Beijing, followed by the Temple of Heaven with lunch included. For those who want to explore the way the Chinese live and have lived for centuries, a jaunt down the intricate maze of Beijing's Hutongs is essential. 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.

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, 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 pattern represents an ancient belief that heaven was round while earth square, and this pattern is quite architecturally unique. The whole complex, gorgeously painted and set off by thousands of pine and cypress trees, expressing a harmonious atmosphere as if heaven and earth are integrated into one. You will also pay a visit to the famous DIY shopping place of the Pearl Market ($75 per person, includes lunch).

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.

Summer PalaceOptional Excursion: 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 your optional tour 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. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally ($50 per person, includes lunch). Depending on the departure time of your return flight, this optional excursion may be conducted on the afternoon of Day 9, at which point lunch will be substituted with dinner.

 

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.

Junk in Victoria HarbourDay 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.

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. Breakfast provided.

Senado Square, Macau 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.

 

Optional Excursions in China

To take full advantage of your visit to China, we offer a special discount package of optional excursions to other "must-see" sites. 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.

Optional Excursions Package Includes:

  • Suzhou full day tour, including lunch (Day 3)
  • Xi'an Dumpling Dinner plus Tang Dynasty Dance Performance (Day 5)
  • Hutongs of Beijing & Temple of Heaven tour with lunch (Day 9)

Package Price $185 per person if booked and prepaid before final payment.

If you prefer not to book in advance, the individual optional excursions will be available from your guide once you arrive in China, at prices posted in our itinerary. Other optional excursions, mentioned above in our itinerary, will also be available to you in China. Payment for optionals purchased in China must be made in cash (U.S. or equivalent in Chinese currency).

We regret that we cannot accept bookings for the pre-paid optional excursions package within 75 days from departure or after final payment has been received.

Videos

Friendly Planet's Taste of China video Friendly Planet's Hong Kong Extension video

Booking & Travel FAQs


Shop & Compare

Our tours may look similar to others you've seen, but we invite you to shop & compare. There are important differences that make Friendly Planet tours the best you can find.

No Compromise on Quality: Despite our extraordinary prices, there are no compromises on our China tours. In all three cities, you'll stay in Superior First Class, centrally located hotels that are noted for their amenities and service.

Included Features: Your transfers as well as important visits to the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Terra Cotta Army in Xi'an and the Yu Garden and Temple of the City God in Shanghai are all included, not expensive extras as in other tours.

Credit Cards or Cash: Whether you pay by check, money order or your favorite major credit card, your tour price on this tour is the same. No extra cost to charge your dream vacation to China.

Personal Service: Most important of all, the extra ingredient that makes our tours stand apart from others—the wonderful, personal attention you'll receive from our friendly staff in the USA and our representatives in China —is completely free of charge. Compare our China programs to others, feature for feature. You'll see for yourself that ours are the very best value for money you'll find anywhere.

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