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17-Day China Tour with Tibet & Yangtze Cruise

Tour route: Shanghai - Yangtze River - Chengdu - Lhasa - Xian - Beijing

  • Tour code: Essential Tour-Select-06
  • Tour Style: Affordable Private Tour (No Join-in Group Tour).
  • Price inclusions: All transportation mentioned in itinerary (flight, train, ship, private car, etc.); private guides & drivers, hotels, meals (based on your meal plan), and all service charges & taxes.
  • Travel date: private tour with flexible travel date.
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Day 1: Shanghai, Arrival

Upon your arrival at Shanghai, China's most cosmopolitan city, your personal guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax, or step out into this amazing city for an adventure on your own.

Day 2: Shanghai, City Tour

Today, we will bring you to explore more highlights in Shanghai. Start with the famous Yu Garden and the Yuyuan Market. Later visit Shanghai Museum which houses lots of art treasures and then drop by a Silk Factory to see how silk is made, before having a leisure stroll at the Bund and Nanjing Road. You will have some time to explore the Xin Tian Di area. 

Tonight, a recommendation for you is the famous Acrobatics Show which will bring you a memorable night in Shanghai.

Day 3: Shanghai-Yichang, Shanghai Sightseeing
Have some leisure time before being escorted to the airport for your flight to Yichang, where to start your wonder Yangtze River Cruise. Be met and transferred to the pier upon arrival. Board the ship around 19:00 and depart Yichang at 21:00.

Note: It is a good idea to have dinner at your own expense in the downtown before boarding the ship. Your local guide will give some suggestions on where to dine.
Day 4: Yangtze River, Three Gorges Dam

Your relaxing Yangtze Cruise begins. In the morning,join in the on board activities such as Taiji Lessons in preparation for your exploration.

Your ship will stop for an excursion to the well-known Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric complex in the world. Then back to your ship and pass through the unique Five-Level Ship Lock. This evening, you are invited to participate in the Captain’s Welcome Party.

Day 5: Yangtze River, Lesser Three Gorges

Today you will sail through Wu Gorge in the morning and take another excursion to the scenic Lesser Three Gorges or ShennongStream, according to weather conditions. You will also experience an exciting sampan ride rowed by boatman. Then return to the ship and view the scenery of the short Qutang Gorge.

Day 6: Yangtze River, Fengdu Ghost City

The last excursion will take you to Fengdu Ghost City, a city known for its special ghost culture. Perched on the Mingshan Hill by the river bank, it originated from a legend that two officials (Yin and Yang, their combination means Ghost King) became immortals here, 1,700 years ago. Since then, various statues,sculptures and paintings depicting the afterlife world have been created.Then continue sailing to Chongqing and join the farewell party in the evening.

Day 7: Yangtze River, Chongqing city tour, Chongqing-Chengdu
Disembark the cruise ship at Chongqing in the late morning and then take a half day tour to explore Chongqing. You will visit the Erling Park and Ciqikou Old Town. Then you will be escorted to train station for your train to Chengdu. Upon your arrival in Chengdu, our guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel.
Day 8: Chengdu, Giant Pandas & City Highlights

This morning, drive out of the city to visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base to meet the lovely pandas. Then go back to Chengdu city and visit the Marquis Wu Shrine, Jinli Old Street and the Kuanzhai Alley, to touch the history and local life of Chengdu people. 

A highly recommendation to you tonight is Sichuan Opera with face changing performance as an optional entertainment.

Day 9: Chengdu-Lhasa, At Leisure

You will be free to explore the city on your own until being escorted to the airport for your flight to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. When you arrive, your local guide will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel (around 1.5 hours' drive). After check-in, you are advised to rest at your hotel to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Day 10: Lhasa, The Potala Palace

Your Tibet tour begins with the overwhelming Potala Palace. As an emblem of Tibet, it was the winter palace of Dalai Lama (Tibet’s commensurate pope) and the actual religious center of the region. Every day many pilgrims from all over Tibet trek months and miles to worship their gods and pray for their blessing here. Brilliant religious architectures, sculptures and paintings can be fully-admired here.

In the afternoon, you will visit the centuries-old Jokhang Temple, the holy spiritual center of Tibetans, and walk the circular pilgrim route with local followers at Barkhor Street.

Day 11: Lhasa, Monastery Sightseeing

Today you’ll tour the enchanting Norbulingka Park,which is known as Tibet’s Summer Palace, see the training place of Dalai Lama at the historic Drepung Monastery, and then proceed to the Sera Monastery to appreciate the unique Buddhism scripture debating culture. You will see the daily life of the devoted monks and discover how they enjoy their simple life in these ancient monasteries.

Day 12: Lhasa-Xian, At Leisure

Free in the day until our local guide escorts you to the airport for your onward flight to Xian. Upon arriving in Xian, your local guide will meet you at the airport escort to the hotel.

Day 13: Xian, Terracotta Warriors & City Tour

You will visit the incredible life-size Terracotta Warriors. Here you'll see over 6,000 life-size Qin Dynasty-era terracotta soldiers, chariots and horses, an army designed to protect Qin Shihuang, China's first emperor, in the afterlife. After lunch, you will visit the Jade Gallery and then cycle along the top of Xian’s Ancient City Walls (1-2 hours). When on the wall, you will be impressive by the view of the old city contained within its walls on one side and the modern city that lies without to the other side.

An optional night show for you is Tang Dynasty Show which is a dancing performance based on Tang Dynasty background.

Day 14: Xian-Beijing, The Summer Palace

On this day you will be free to pursue your personal activities until being transferred for your speedy train to Beijing.

Upon arriving in Beijing, you will be picked up and escorted to your hotel. After a short rest, you will head out to tour and marvel at the picturesque Summer Palace. As an imperial summer resort of Qing Dynasty, the Palace is reputed for its perfect layout, exquisite royal architectures and enchanting landscape. Your tour concludes with a stop at a Pearl Store.

Day 15: Beijing, Classic Sightseeing

On this day you will first visit Tiananmen Square, the largest plaza on earth. Passing through the iconic Tiananmen Gate, then you will enter the splendid Forbidden City, China’s No.1 palace complex famous for its grand royal buildings, exquisite ornaments and priceless treasures.

In the afternoon, you will come across the old Bejing by entering into the Hutongs, where you will have a leisurely walk into the local Beijingers’ daily life. Try your hands at painting a facial make-up of Peking Opera on a paper model and meet a local cricket trainer to learn their stories about cricket fighting.

Day 16: Beijing, Great Wall Tour

No Beijing tour is complete without a visit to the Great Wall (Mutianyu section). As a popular symbol of China, the breathtaking Walls was built on the mountain ridges brick, by brick only resorting to manpower 2,000 years ago. Stretching about 4,000 miles across northern China, it is entitled the Eighth Wonder of the World, a must-visit of China. This afternoon, you will visit the Chang Tomb.

Day 17: Beijing, Temple of Heaven/Departure

After a break, you will tour the spectacular Temple of Heaven and enjoy watching locals doing their morning exercises. It is a nice chance for you to chat with them, and even learn some native exercises from them.

After the tour, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to your next destination.

Recommended Accommodation for Your Journey

It is no doubt your journey enjoyment will be increased by a good choice of accommodation. Our well-established network with key hotel chains around China will bring you more benefits of competitive rates and guaranteed hotel quality with availability.

Standard Tour ClassComfortable Tour ClassDeluxe Tour Class
ShanghaiGreenland Jiulong Hotel comfortable hotel star No.601 Liyang Road,Hongkou District, Shanghai 200080 China The Bund Hotel comfortable hotel star 525 Guangdong Road, Shanghai China The Westin Bund Center Shanghai deluxe hotel star No.88 Henan Middle Road, Bund Center, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200002, China
ChengduMinShan Lhasa Grand Hotel standar hotel star No 88, Northern Road of Xiaojia River, No 4 of the Southern Part of Yihaung Road, Chengdu, Sichuan Tianfu Sunshine Hotel comfortable hotel star No.2, Taisheng north Road, Chengdu, Sichuan, China Sofitel Chengdu Taihe deluxe hotel star 15 Binjiang Middle Road, Sichuan Province CHENGDU, CHINA
LhasaNew Mandala Hotel standar hotel star Jiangsu Road Stadium Toward East 50 meters, Lhasa, China XinDing Hotel comfortable hotel star 8 Second Jinzhu Road (Jinzhu Er Lu) Four Points by Sheraton Lhasa comfortable hotel star

Room Type:Junior Suite

No 10, Bo Linka Road, Lhasa, Tibet, China
XianSkytel Xi'an (Formerly Prince International Hotel) standar hotel star No.32 South Main Street, Beilin District, Xi'an 710001, China Grand Noble Hotel Xian deluxe hotel star 334 Dong Da Jie(East Street), Xian City, Shaanxi Province, China No. 334 East Street, Xian City, Shaanxi, P.R.C. 710001 Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square deluxe hotel star No. 319 Dongxing Road, Xian, China, 710004
BeijingDong Fang Hotel Beijing standar hotel star No. 11 Wanming Road ,Xuanwu District, Beijing ,China P.C.100050 Beijing Novotel Peace Hotel comfortable hotel star 3 Jinyu lane, Wangfujing, Beijing, 100006, China The Regent Beijing deluxe hotel star 99# Jinbao Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China

We pick Hotels for You Based on:
Location:most of properties we selected are either located in downtown area with main city attractions or close by main transportations. These conveniences will certainly improve your holiday experience.
Facility & Service Quality:all hotels are inspected strictly and regularly, must be with great performance on accommodating English speaking customers, and excellent feedbacks from our pervious clients as well.
Diversity for Choice: many styles and grades of hotels are available for different budgets, tastes and culture backgrounds.


Hotel criteria for each tour class

Hotel arrangement for Standard Tour Class

It will meet the basic requirements for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center or spa can be expected.

Standar Hotel


Hotel Arrangement for Comfortable Tour Class

Normally you'll stay at formal and large hotels conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, room service, fitness center and swimming pool (in very rare cases there is no pool) all together offer an above-average accommodation experience. 
Usually good 4-star hotels are adopted or boutique hotels at request. Hotels best available will be arranged if no qualified choice, e.g. in remote area.

Comfortable Hotel


Hotel Arrangement for Deluxe Tour Class

Luxurious hotel with top-notch service and an extensive range of facilities for an excellent accommodation experience. Multiple restaurants on site with extensive menus for choice, room service available 24/7, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience. Hotels best available will be arranged if no qualified choice, e.g. in remote area.

Deluxe Hotel


Normally China Odyssey Tours provides two meals each day: Breakfast and Lunch. You will have the freedom to make your own dinner choice.


It is normally served at the hotel where you stay. Depending on the hotel, the breakfast would be in western style, Chinese style, or a combination.

A la carte lunch

When plan your lunches, we consider the balance of food quality, dining environment and tour convenience. We provide a la carte lunch in a local restaurant whenever possible. A la carte meal will give you an opportunity to eat at local restaurant, follow local customs, and taste local dishes. The a la carte allowance would be adequate for a decent meal in our recommended local restaurants, but varies from different restaurants and different cities. However in some remote regions where it’s simply hard to find a non-tourist restaurant, the meal could be arranged at a local tourist restaurant or a local family.

Your own dinner choice

Dinners will not be included in your meal plan unless you have that requirement. Enjoying the local food could be one of your best experiences in China. This is why we provide you this flexibility of food choice. Your private guide will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.

If you have certain food allergies or special requirements such as vegetarian food, let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Private Guide & Transfer

You will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility.

All of our tour guides are qualified professionals and registered English Speaking Tourist Guides in China who are reassessed annually. All of our tour vehicles are clean and in excellent condition, manned with licensed safe drivers.

Private Tour Guide

You will always be greeted punctually on arrival at each destination airport. At every departure, your guide will stay at your side until you have checked in and passed through the security checkpoint.

All of our travel guides in every destination are locals, who know the area well, they are very good at guiding you around and telling background stories of the tour sites, as well as showing you the secret spots for taking your best photos.

When changing your itinerary is needed due to unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you have a wonderful experience.

Private Transportation

With our comfortable and safe private transportation, your tour will be more relaxing and less tiresome, keeping you in the best spirits to make the most of your experience in China.

In every destination visited, your vehicle is air conditioned, clean, and expertly maintained. Your private driver is licensed, insured, and very experienced.

To maximize your comfort, we use vehicles with extra space for you and your luggage. Depending on how many are traveling together, we generally use sedans or mini vans (7 seats) for 4 people or less, large vans or small coaches (12-22 seats) for 5-12 people, medium coaches (33 – 37 seats) for 13 – 25 people, and large coaches (45 seats over) for more than 25 people.

Reviews on: China Tour with Tibet & Yangtze Cruise

Rating 4.8 - 2,141 Reviews
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2141 reviews sorted by date

Clients: Max G

Travel Consultant:
Wendy Wan
Our trip to China (Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai) through Odyssey Tours was wonderful--a trip of a lifetime! We worked with Wendy to plan our trip and Wendy was great. Wendy created the perfect itinerary for us. Through our back and forth emails she was able to pick up on just what we wanted and allowed us to customize our trip to see additional sights and to add extra days to visit with family. We wanted to experience the culture and we did! Plus, the Courtyard 7 hotel was the perfect place for us. So historic and we loved being in a hutong. The hotels in Xi'an and Shanghai were also great, and in safe and convenient locations.

We had a different tour guide and driver in each city. All were wonderful and went out of their way to make our trip special. Our flight was delayed in Chicago and Alice, our Beijing tour guide, was waiting for us at the airport at 11:30 pm--9 hours after our scheduled arrival and was terrific about picking us up at that late hour. Alice made sure to fit everything into our time in Beijing and included extra things. Alice has a keen interest in history and was great about explaining the history and culture of the area. I found she purposely built on what we learned the previous day and helped us to learn and make sense of everything. Alice was willing to start our tours early and never complained about staying longer than expected with us. Our driver, Mr. Lee, was exceptional. He also worked late sometimes to ensure we would arrive back to our hotel safely. Traffic was crazy in Beijing but I felt safe with Mr. Lee as our competent driver. He was very personable and we enjoyed each day with both Alice and Mr. Lee. I can't say enough good things about both of them.
Rating: December 12th, 2016

Clients: Max G

Travel Consultant:
Wendy Wan
Our trip to China (Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai) through Odyssey Tours was wonderful--a trip of a lifetime! We worked with Wendy to plan our trip and Wendy was great. Wendy created the perfect itinerary for us. Through our back and forth emails she was able to pick up on just what we wanted and allowed us to customize our trip to see additional sights and to add extra days to visit with family. We wanted to experience the culture and we did! Plus, the Courtyard 7 hotel was the perfect place for us. So historic and we loved being in a hutong. The hotels in Xi'an and Shanghai were also great, and in safe and convenient locations.In Xi'an, we were met by our tour guide, Eric. He was so warm and friendly and once again went out of his way to make our tour easy and special. Eric recommended great restaurants and activities for the evenings which enhanced our tour. He recommended the opera followed by the traditional 16 dumpling dinner, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Eric also has a strong interest in Chinese history and was able to help us navigate the sites quickly while telling us much more information than we could have discovered visiting historical sites and museums on our own. My husband forgot his bag at the Terracotta Warrior museum and Eric figured out a way to recover the bag. We were very grateful.
Rating: December 12th, 2016

Clients: I3455TXmaryt

Travel Consultant:
Kyle Li
We had a two week trip in Vietnam and 8 days in China through China and Indochina Odyssey. Our tour coordinator was Kyle Li, the 2nd time we've worked with him. We can not say enough good things about this trip as well as the way Odyssey saw to our needs. Vietnam was just spectacular, wonderul scenery, delicious food and friendly people. The guides we had there, Han, Dins and Quanz were just so great in making this a smooth trip and helping us understand the culture and history better. I think I most enjoyed the days in NW Vietnam, trekking. We also enjoyed amazing highlights in Shanhai, Xian and Bejing with the Great Wall being just breathtaking. Our guides in China were Run, Kevin and Alice, all superb ambassadors for China. We are already discussing where our next adventure(s) in Asia will be, and we will be including Odyssey.
Rating: December 10th, 2016

Clients: Kwk6528

From: Singapore

Travel Consultant:
Alex Quan
Beijing is an interesting city with a mix of very modern facilities and buildings together with a lot of historical sites that are just a short drive or walk away. The sheer scale and majestic view of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall are a must for any first time visitors. There is even a toboggan ride down from the wall as an alternative to the chair lifts or cable car. Don't be mistaken, even after the ride up to the wall, the walk on the wall is still a big challenge for those who are physically challenged, Besides other sites like the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, we also took a short rickshaw ride through the small alleys (Hudongs) to visit to a traditional household in Beijing. It was a good preview of how multi tier families used to live. Eye-opener for my kids (and us parents) from the modern and westernized cultures.

I must say I had my reservations about taking the internal flight to Xi'an but it turned out to be rather pleasant. Both airports were very modern and well equipped, Xi'an is the place of the famous Terracota warriors build by the first emperor of China. It was an hour ride out from the hotel but a trip that was worth the time. Again, it was an amazing sight seeing the scale of the tomb and wondering how did our ancestors manage such a feat. There was a smaller scale of the "great wall" build around the old city centre centuries ago. Cycling on top of the wall took over an hour but was a good chance to get a quick view of different angles of the city. At night, Xi'an is very colourful literally. The Bell and Drum Towers were lighted up and make fantastic photo stops.

It was was my kids' first time to China and they enjoyed the experience which was greatly enhanced by China Odyssey Tours. The tour coordinator Mr Alex Quan and our personal tour guides Ms Tracy Liu in Beijing and Ms Nancy Song in Xi'an made the trip very smooth and enjoyable. Everything was well coordinated from the moment we landed in Beijing until we left on the last day. The guides were very knowledgeable and the service was top notch. I would strongly recommend Odyssey to anyone visiting China and looking for a guided tour.
Rating: December 9th, 2016

Clients: Niel Mukherjee

From: Australia

Travel Consultant:
Reinself Wei
We went on a 14 day tour of China organised by Reinself Wei. It was in June 2016 and its memories are still fresh in my mind. It was a perfectly arranged tour and I would recommend Odyssey Tours and Reinself for going to any tour they cover. We started in Beijing and then went on to Xian after which we went to Guilin, then to Chonqing, the Yangtze River Cruise and finally Shanghai. We had different guides in all the above places. They were wonderful, helpful and we simply enjoyed the whole experience. Thank you Reinself for arranging such a wonderful tour for us.
Rating: December 7th, 2016
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