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Pandas, Yangtze and Shanghai

Starting in Chengdu we visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre for a unique opportunity to see these beautiful animals in an environment that mimics their natural habitat. We then cruise the mighty Yangtze River, through the dramatic Three Gorges with opportunities of shore excursions. Disembarking at Yiching, we fly to Shanghai, for a day tour of this fascinating metropolis, 'The Paris of the Orient'.

Inclusions

6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners
comfortable accommodation on a twin share basis
Airport arrival and departure transfers (day 1 and 7 only)
local english speaking guide
4 star Yangtze River cruise
walking tour of old quarter
sightseeing and entry fees as per itinerary
Hightlights
Giant Panda Breeding Centre
Chengdu - Du Fu Cottage, Wenshu Temple
3 Day cruise along the Yangtse River through the majestic Three Gorges
Shanghai - Yu Yuan Gardens, Shanghai Museum, Oriental Pearl Tower
Hop aboard a boat down the Huangpu River in Shanghai
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
7
Price From
AUD $2,490
Start Location
Chengdu, China
End Location
China
Age Range
Min :14
Group Size
2 to 6
Tour Style
Original
Tour Themes
Adventure, Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Mild
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
01 Dec 201707 Dec 2017AvailableAUD $2,390
02 Dec 201708 Dec 2017AvailableAUD $2,490
03 Dec 201709 Dec 2017AvailableAUD $2,490
04 Dec 201710 Dec 2017AvailableAUD $2,490
05 Dec 201711 Dec 2017AvailableAUD $2,490
06 Dec 201712 Dec 2017AvailableAUD $2,490
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30 Dec 201705 Jan 2018AvailableAUD $2,490
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ItineraryExpand
Day 1
You will need to arrive into Chengdu by midday. You will be transferred from the airport on your arrival to your hotel. Although China's fifth largest city, Chengdu has preserved plenty of its traditional flavour and visitors will still find traditional tea houses and numerous markets and even stumble across parks where old men walk their song birds. This afternoon you will have a tour of Chengdu including Du Fu cottage, People's Park and Wenshu Temple. The thatched cottage of Du Fu is the site of the former residence of Du Fu, a great pt of the Tang dynasty. Wenshu Temple is a Tang dynasty monastery and the largest and best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu. Sichuan food is known the world over for its spicy cuisine so if you like it hot and spicy Chengdu has some of the most interesting food in China. Must tries are huoguo (hot pot) and mapo doufu (spicy tofu). This evening you can try and take in a traditional Sichuan Opera performance (a tradition dating back more than 250years), poke around some of the side street shops selling all kinds of temple trinkets or spend some time in People's Park watching locals practice tai chi.
Day 2
This morning we visit the Panda Research Centre to see these endearing animals and the national treasure of China, being reared in surroundings reminiscent of their natural habitat.The morning is the best time to visit to see the pandas while they are at their liveliest. The centre has been established to save this endangered species and there are now about 50 giant and red pandas at the centre. Not all of them can be viewed but as the centre has been successful in its breeding program you might even be fortunate to witness some baby pandas in the nursery. You will return to Chengdu city and you may have some for further exploring or perhaps a quick stop at any of the tea houses or enjoy a hot pot before you head to the railway station for your fast trian to Chongqing. The train usually departs at 14.00 and arrives in at 16.15, but is subject to change. Chinese trains are generally comfortable padded seats and there are usually clean toilets and a restauarnt on board. Smoking is generally not allowed on Chinese trains. In the late afternoon after our arrival into Chongqing, we board our 4-star cruise boat and prepare for three days travel along the most spectacular section of the Yangtse River. Settle into your cabin, become familiar with the facilities on board and enjoy the sailing. The accommodation is in standard twin bedded cabins and all meals and shore excursions are included. (Please note the schedule may differ slightly to what is described below). Starting from Chongqing we travel through the spectacular 'Three Gorges' stopping along the way to visit temples and towns and to take a side excursion into some of the small gorges.
Days 3-4
The Yangtze River is the longest river in China and the third longest waterway in the world. We travel along one of the most picturesque sections of the river where over millions of years it has carved its way through the surrounding mountains creating these uniquely beautiful gorges now named the Three Gorges. Over the next three days we will have the opportunity to view the dramatic scenery from both sides of our comfortable 4-star boat. Along the banks of the Yangtze River high peaks tower above us from both sides, in some sections, exposing huge cliffs and dramatically perched temples. Waterfalls spray mist over the river creating a mystical feeling as we meander along. During the cruise and included in your trip cost, you will visit: DAY 2 at 16:00 - 18:30 A shore excursion to The Shibaozhai Temple. Known as "The Treasure Stone Stronghold" DAY 3 at 12:30 - 17:00 We change boats for an afternoon excursion to either the river tributary of Shen Nv Stream, known as "The Goddess Stream" or Shen Nong Stream. Both are equally impressive. There are two optional land excursions (which are at your own expense and are payable locally) during cruising days should you be interested. These are subject participant numbers on board being adequate hence we cannot include them pre trip as numbers of those interested locally will not be known until on board. Day 2: The Ghost City in Fengdu. 08:00 - 10:30 Day 3: White Emperor City. 07:00 - 09:30 Or, you may choose to relax on board and take in the majesty of the area. Accommodation aboard our boat is in private twin share cabins. All meals on board are included.
Day 5
Today we sail through the last of the famous Gorges and experience first hand the giant locks, the complex system for moving large vessels up and down stream. (Timings of the movement through the locks can vary depending on the number of vessels waiting to pass through.) Once we disembark from the boat you will visit the massive Three Gorges Dam - the largets engineering project of modern times. We then transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Shanghai was once known as the "Paris of the Orient" and it is easy to see why. Long the place of quick fortune, opium and teahouses Shanghai has a vibrant feel that seduces everyone. Now Shanghai represents the new modern, cosmopolitan metropolis of the fastest growing economy in the world. Depending upon your arrival time you may wish to wander down to the vibrant "Bund" with its spectacular array of art-deco style buildings. It is wonderful location to walk along the waterfront and observe local life in Shanghai. This is a great place to start to get to know the city - anytime of the day or night: people practice Tai Chi early in the morning, black-marketeers sell a wealth of goods, there are street performers and by night, couples stroll along soaking up the atmosphere. Contrast this area with the bright lights and skyscrapperrs of Pudong. Its hard to believe that less than 20 years ago this area was just rice fields!
Day 6
This morning after breakfast you will meet your guide and embark on a full day tour of this cosmopolitan and bustling city. You will visit the spectacular Yu Yuan Garden and the famous Shanghai Museum. The museum situated at People's Square in the centre of Shanghai possesses over 120,000 cultural relics including calligraphy, jade objects, pottery and porcelain. You will take a trip along the Huangpu River and also have the opportunity to wander through the old French quarter to view some of the wonderful architecture including the old art-deco apartments and the neo-classical mansions. The day will be interspersed with tasting the delicious snacks such as steamed dumplings with vinegar dipping sauce that can be found in the many teahouses, bazaars and markets throughout town. Late afternoon you will go on a river cruise to see the city from a different perspective. In the evening, you can catch a performance by the famous Shanghai Acrobats, hang out in the new trendy Xintiandi district or wander down Nanjing Road with its many Chinese department stores.
Day 7
Today is departure day, so after breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. If your onward travel is later in the day, remember that check out time is 12:00 noon. You can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.