I would love to take this tour in the Fall of 2015. Anyone else?
China: Shanghai & Yangtze River (Part 2)
Note: Below is our planning itinerary. We are putting together a final itinerary with set dates and pricing.
Day 1: Arrive Shanghai (D)
Your Adventure in the ancient land of China begins today in its most modern metropolis. Upon arrival in Shanghai, you will be met by a representative of WAI and transported to our hotel in the city. Later this evening, we’ll rendezvous at a “Get Acquainted” dinner and discuss the Adventure that lies ahead!
Day 2: Activities in Shanghai (B,D)
Shanghai Sightseeing Walk – 10 km, rated 1
Today’s walk introduces us to Shanghai, both old and new. We’ll walk through the Yu Gardens and along the Bund promenade, surveying this westernized section along the Yangtze that was China’s “Wall Street” in the days before Communism. We’ll wonder at Pudong, the most extensive construction site in the world, on the opposite site of the River. Finally, we’ll stroll through the People’s Square, enjoying its kite flyers and pleasant urban lake. Tonight an early dinner at a local restaurant will be followed by a performance of the famous Chinese acrobats.
Day 3: Activities in Shanghai (B,L,D)
We’ll explore more of fascinating Shanghai this morning with visits to the Children’s Palace and Jade Buddha Temple. After a Mongolian BBQ lunch, we’ll explore the impressive new Shanghai Museum. Though we have no official walk today, pursuing the frenetic heartbeat of this booming port city, one of several Chinese Special Economic Zones, requires a good deal of walking!
Day 4: Shanghai – Guilin by plane (B,L,D)
After a morning free to explore more of the area near our hotel, we’ll drive to the Shanghai Airport and fly to Guilin, in the southern province of Guangxi. Upon arrival in Guilin, we’ll explore this scenic city on the Li River with a tour by motorcoach.
Day 5: Guilin – Yangshuo (B,L,D)
Yangshuo Rice Paddies & Water Buffaloes Walk – 10 km, rated 2
Our day begins with dreamy reflections of the majestic limestone peaks (karsts) rising from the surrounding plains as we enjoy a relaxing cruise down the tranquil Li River. You won’t soon forget the images of this afternoon’s walk through rural Yangshuo – barefoot farmers walking down dirt roads, water buffalos trailing slowly behind; women working in rice paddies and vegetable patches; orange groves; stands of bamboo; and quiet fish ponds reflecting the rural scenes.
Day 6: Yangshuo – Wuhan by plane (B,L,D)
Another exciting day in China begins with a drive back to Guilin and a flight to Wuhan. Wuhan is an ancient and strategically located city on the Yangtze River. The city played a key role in several turning points in China’s seemingly endless history, including the Wuchang Uprising led by Sun Yat-sen in 1911 that led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China. Upon arrival, we’ll embark on a tour of Wuhan that includes a visit to Chairman Mao’s Residence and the Ancient History Museum.
Day 7: Wuhan – Yichang – MS Victoria Empress (B,L,D)
Shashi Market Walk – 5 km, rated 1+ (unsanctioned)
We drive west through the fascinating panoramas of rural China this morning, against a backdrop of rice paddies, farming villages, and a way of life that has endured for centuries. Upon arrival in Shashi, we’ll have lunch then visit the museum that is home to Mr. Sui, a 1000-year-old mummy discovered with most of his flesh still intact. Our walk explores the bustling streets and intriguing local market of Shashi, sights seldom experienced by foreigners. Today’s final stop is Yichang, where we’ll dine at a local restaurant before boarding the MS Victoria Empress, our floating hotel for a memorable 4-day cruise up the majestic Yangtze!
Day 8: Yangtze River Cruise: MS Victoria Empress (B,L,D)
Today’s first stop, the controversial Three Gorges Dam, has displaced approximately 1.5 million people. Benefits, however, include an end to millennia of devastating floods, as well as much-needed drought control and hydroelectric power. Upon returning to the ship, we’ll pass the gigantic locks of Three Gorges Dam and sail through the Xiling Gorge.
Day 9: Yangtze River Cruise: MS Victoria Empress (B,L,D)
We’ll transfer to small, motorized sampans today and motor up the pristine Daning River to explore the Three Smaller Gorges. Back on the Yangtze, we’ll continue upstream between the sheer walls of Wu Xia (Witches Gorge) and Qutang Gorge.
Day 10: Yangtze River Cruise: MS Victoria Empress (B,L,D)
Depending on sailing conditions, we’ll stop to tour one of three typical Yangtze riverside towns: Shibaozhai, Fengdu, or Wanxian. Our walking tour will provide yet another glimpse into this fascinating land along the Yangtze. This evening’s highlight is the Captain’s Farewell Dinner and a bit of local entertainment provided by the guests!
Day 11: End Cruise – Chongqing – Xi’an by plane (B,L,D)
We leave the M/S Victoria Empress this morning and begin our journey through Chongqing. We’ll stop at the Panda Zoo to see China’s most cuddly residents, and visit a working silk factory before an afternoon flight to Xi’an, center of most of China’s early dynasties and one of the world’s largest and most influential cities during the medieval era.
Day 12: Activities in Xi’an (B,L,D)
In 221 B.C., Qin Shihuang became the first emperor to unite China. Over 2000 years later, in 1974, farmers discovered an underground vault with thousands of life-size, terracotta warriors — Qin Shihuang’s after-life army. After viewing these treasures, we’ll return to the city for this evening’s Tang Dynasty Dumpling Dinner and Show, a stunning presentation of the music and dance of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), China’s Golden Age.
Day 13: Xi’an – Beijing by plane (B,D)
Xi’an Imperial Wall Walk – 10 km, rated 1+
Our morning activity provides a bird’s-eye view of historic Xi’an with a walk that features several kilometers of Xi’an’s famed city walls—a barrier nearly 40 feet tall and 45 feet across – and the delights of the colorful Muslim Quarter. An afternoon flight takes us to the center of the Middle Kingdom – Beijing – for the final segment of our epic Adventure in China.
Day 14: Activities in Beijing (B,L,D)
Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City Walk – 10 km, rated 1
Today’s main event is an unforgettable walk in the middle of the Middle Kingdom. We’ll stroll across enormous Tiananmen Square, past the Mao Zedong Mausoleum and Great Hall of the People, and beneath Mao’s ever-present portrait into the never-ending mysteries of the Forbidden City. Following lunch with a local family in a hutong quadrangle, our walk continues through the mesmerizing old hutong neighborhoods next to the Forbidden City.
Day 15: Beijing – Great Wall Gubeikou (B,D)
Gubeikou/Jinshanling Great Wall Walk – 10 km, rated 3/4
We venture north by coach toward the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall. Arriving late morning, we’ll walk through rural villages and farmland, then climb to a section of unrestored Wall. In cooperative weather, the views are breathtaking. Part two of the walk traverses a restored section of the Wall at Jinshanling and provides fresh appreciation for the sacrifices and accomplishments involved in this multi-millennial construction project. It’s difficult to overstate the grandeur of this magnificent structure. We’ll overnight in a humble but charming rural inn.
Day 16: Great Wall Gubeikou – Beijing (B,L,D)
Summer Palace Walk – 10 km, rated 1+
Following a captivating drive through the countryside back towards Beijing, we’ll have lunch at the colorfully-named Listening to Oriole Royal Restaurant inside the Summer Palace, then enjoy a relaxing walk through the Summer Palace gardens. This complex was built along man-made Kumming Lake as an exclusive summer getaway for the Empress Dowager Cixi, the so-called Dragon Lady, and the reclusive Imperial family. This evening’s highlight is a Peking Duck dinner followed by a special surprise to-be-announced!
Day 17: Depart Beijing (B)
We finish our Adventure in China reluctantly today with a flight from Beijing back to the Western Hemisphere. We leave with fond memories, new walking friendships, and an abiding respect for the history, culture, and scenery of this special part of our world.