Ancient China Experience Value Tour (Tour Code: EBXF)

EBXF - Ancient China Experience Value Tour header image - Terracotta Warriors

EBXF Tour Resources

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Detailed Itinerary

This detailed itinerary is an expanded version of the text in the PDF version of the EBXF itinerary.
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Day 1, Tuesday: BEIJING ARRIVAL (no meals arranged today)
Upon arriving at Beijing International Airport, you will be greeted by your tour guide and then transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for relaxation or independent exploration.

Free Pick-up Period: 9:00 AM – 11:30 PM. Passengers arriving within two hours of each other will be picked up together; extra pick up fee: $50/vehicle (transfer for 2-3 passengers).

Day 2, Wednesday: BEIJING (B, L, D)
After breakfast, admire the striking exterior of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, which looks like an enormous eggshell, earning it the nickname “the Giant Egg.” Then visit Tiananmen Square, the biggest city center square in the world. With an area of about 44 hectares, it can accommodate one million people. Originally the front entrance of the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties, Tiananmen (“the Gate of Heavenly Peace”) was built in the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Yongle. When it was renovated during the Qing Dynasty, the new name Tiananmen was chosen to suggest the idea that the emperor’s mandate to pacify and rule the nation came from heaven. Next, tour the Forbidden City, a vast and exceedingly well-preserved complex that served as the royal palace for 24 consecutive emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Highlights of the complex include art exhibits from every dynasty, exhibitions of Qing Dynasty cultural relics, the Three Great Halls, the Imperial Garden, and the Palace of Heavenly Purity. After lunch, visit the largest extant temple complex in China, the Temple of Heaven, where the emperors of the Ming and Qing held religious rites. The famous Echo Wall and Triple-Sound Stone are located here. Next, taste Pu’er tea, a popular and health-promoting type of Chinese tea, with your tour guide. After dinner, enjoy The Golden Mask Dynasty*, a popular theatrical performance with music, dancing, acrobatics, and stunning special effects. Then proceed to The Place*, a popular new shopping and entertainment complex whose fantastical “skyscreen” ceiling is one of the largest LED screens in the world. Finally, relax and admire the beautiful Beijing scenery as you take a night tour of Chang’an Avenue* in the comfort of a luxury coach.
Day 2 Attractions and Activities:

Beijing - Forbidden City - Hall of Supreme Harmony - Richard Fisher - 209 x 140
Inside the Forbidden City, Beijing
(photo by Richard Fisher)
  • Tiananmen Square (天安门广场, Tiānānmén Guǎngchǎng)
  • National Centre for the Performing Arts (国家大剧院, Guójiā Dàjùyuàn) or National Grand Theater, nicknamed the Giant Egg (大巨蛋, Dàjùdàn)
  • Forbidden City (故宫, Gùgōng, or 紫禁城, Zǐjìnchéng)
  • Temple of Heaven (天坛, Tiāntán)
  • The Golden Mask Dynasty (金面王朝, Jīnmiàn Wángcháo)
  • The Place (世贸天阶, Shìmào Tiānjiē)
  • Night Tour of Chang’an Avenue (车游长安街夜景, Chēyóu Cháng’ānjiē Yèjǐng)
  • Shopping Stops: Pu’er tea tasting (普洱茶品尝, Pǔěrchá pǐncháng)

Day 3, Thursday: BEIJING (B, L only; Dinner left open—see itinerary below)
After breakfast, head to the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall of China, sometimes called the Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World. Located in a strategically important area that military commanders throughout history have sought to control, this stretch of the Great Wall is one of its best-reviewed sections. On the way there, stop at Bona Jade Museum and Store. After lunch, visit the site of many 2008 Beijing Olympics events: Olympic Park, where the famous National Aquatics Center, or “Water Cube,” and National Stadium, or “Bird’s Nest,” are located (exterior views only). Afterward, enjoy a relaxing free foot massage at a local products store to help your feet recover from so much walking. Finally, stroll along the pedestrian street at Wangfujing, a popular shopping and dining area, where you can find a wide variety of delicious and authentic food options (tonight’s dinner is at your own expense).
Day 3 Attractions and Activities:

Beijing - Great Wall - Rafael Gomez - 187 x 140
The Great Wall of China, Beijing
(photo by Rafael Gomez)
  • Great Wall of China at Juyongguan (居庸关长城, Jūyōngguān Chángchéng)
  • Olympic Park (奥林匹克公园, Àolínpǐkè Gōngyuán): exterior views of the National Aquatics Center (国家游泳中心, Guójiā Yóuyǒng Zhōngxīn), or Water Cube (水立方, Shuǐ Lìfāng), and the National Stadium (国家体育馆, Guójiā Tǐyùguǎn), or Bird’s Nest (鸟巢, Niǎo Cháo)
  • Wangfujing Street (王府井大街, Wángfǔjǐng Dàjiē)
  • Shopping Stops: Bona Jade Museum and Store (博纳玉器博物馆, Bónà Yùqì Bówùguǎn), local products store with free foot massage (足浴, zúyù)

Day 4, Friday: BEIJINGXI’AN Air (B, L D)
After breakfast, take an early flight to the ancient city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province. Formerly called Chang’an (“Eternal Peace”), it is considered one of the great cities of the ancient world along with Athens, Cairo, and Rome. Over the course of Chinese history, Xi’an was the capital of eleven dynasties. Because it was the eastern endpoint of the legendary Silk Road, the city features numerous cultural relics and historical sites. Upon arrival, visit the enormous Xi’an Ancient City Wall, which still surrounds the center of the city. Built more than 600 years ago, it is the most complete city wall in China today and one of the largest ancient military defense systems in the world. Afterward, tour Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a Buddhist pagoda built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), and the adjacent Xi’an Museum, a modern museum whose exhibit of 130,000 pieces includes ancient sculptures and ceramics, jade artifacts, and a scale model of the city of Xi’an in ancient times. For dinner, savor the many kinds of exquisite dumplings available at the renowned Defachang Restaurant. In the evening, enjoy a thrilling Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show* (optional activity for $30/person).
Day 4 Attractions and Activities:

Xi'an - City Wall - South Gate bell and guardhouse
City wall bell and guardhouse, Xi’an
(photo by CIT)
  • Xi’an Ancient City Wall (西安古城墙, Xī’ān Gǔchéngqiáng)
  • Small Wild Goose Pagoda (小雁塔, Xiǎoyàntǎ)
  • Xi’an Museum (西安博物院, Xī’ān Bówùyuàn)
  • Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show (仿唐歌舞表演, Fǎngtáng Gēwǔ Biǎoyǎn)

Day 5, Saturday: XI’AN (B, L D)
After breakfast, head out of the city to tour the world-famous Museum of the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shihuang. Perhaps the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century, the terracotta army is one of China’s top tourist attractions. The pits where the army is still in the process of being excavated are an ancillary section of the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Qín Shǐhuáng. Afterward, visit a ceramic art factory, where you can learn about the process of creating the terracotta warriors and the “Tang tricolor glaze” (唐三彩, Tángsāncǎi) characteristic of Tang Dynasty pottery. Next, proceed to the grounds of Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built to preserve the valuable scriptures that the famous monk Master Xuán Zàng brought back from India (exterior view only). While there, enjoy a fantastic show in Asia’s largest musical fountain square, as streams of water, coordinated with famous pieces of music, shoot high into the air. (Show may be suspended on rainy or snowy days.) Afterward, stroll through Qujiang Pond Park, which contains numerous sculptures depicting Tang Dynasty society and culture.
Day 5 Attractions and Activities:

Xi'an - terracotta soldiers - closeup - CIT - 200 x 150
Terracotta warriors, Xi’an
(photo by CIT)
  • Museum of the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shihuang (秦始皇兵马俑博物馆, Qín Shǐhuáng Bīngmǎyǒng Bówùguǎn)
  • exterior view of Big Wild Goose Pagoda (大雁塔, Dàyàntǎ) and musical fountain (音乐喷泉, yīnyuè pēnquán)
  • Qujiang Pond Park (曲江池公园, Qūjiāngchí Gōngyuán)
  • Shopping: ceramic art factory (美术陶瓷厂, měishù táocíchǎng)

Day 6, Sunday: XI’ANSHANGHAIWUXI Air + Bus (B, L, D)
Take an early flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, visit the City God Temple Bazaar, which is composed of specialty stores selling goods of every description, including artworks, jewelry, clothes, snacks, souvenirs, toys, and special folk handicrafts. Afterward, travel by coach to Wuxi. Visit Liyuan Garden and the Taihu Lake Scenic Area. The third-largest freshwater lake in China, Taihu Lake (also known as Lake Tai), is commonly believed to be the inspiration for Wuxi’s cultural achievements. Liyuan Garden harmoniously blends the tranquil charm of traditional Chinese gardens with touches of Western architecture. After lunch, continue to Xihui Park and Jichang Garden. Xihui Park is a sprawling scenic area composed of forested hills, cultural sites, and other attractions; Jichang Garden is a representative Jiangnan-style garden with rockeries, ponds, and pagodas. Afterward, stop at a pearl center and a zisha teapot factory. After dinner, check in to your hotel.
Day 6 Attractions and Activities:

Shanghai - Old Street - skyscrapers - D. Fuka - 210 x 140
City God Temple Bazaar, Shanghai
(photo by D. Fukagawa)
  • City God Temple Bazaar (城隍庙商城, Chénghuáng Miào Shāngchéng), also called Temple of the Town Gods Shopping Center, Yuyuan Bazaar, Old Town (老城市, Lǎochéngshì), or Old Street (老街, Lǎojiē)
  • Li Garden or Liyuan Garden (蠡园, Líyuán)
  • Taihu Lake Scenic Area (太湖景区, Tàihú Jǐngqū)
  • Xihui Park (锡惠公园, Xīhuì Gōngyuán)
  • Jichang Garden or Jichang Park (寄畅园, Jìchàngyuán)
  • Shopping Stops: pearl center (珍珠养殖中心, zhēnzhū yǎngzhí zhōngxīn), zisha teapot factory (紫砂壶茶艺品工厂, zǐshāhú cháyìpǐn gōngchǎng)

Day 7, Monday: WUXINANJING Bus (B, L, D)
After breakfast, transfer to Nanjing by bus. First, visit the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, the final resting place of the “Father of Modern China” and a place of pilgrimage for Chinese people both in China and abroad. Next, enjoy an exterior view of the 600-year-old Ming City Wall, the largest extant ancient city wall in China. Pass over the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, an impressive double-decked bridge that was the third bridge built across the Yangtze River. After that, visit the bustling Confucius Temple Bazaar and a jade store. The area around the temple consists of tourist shops, snack bars, restaurants and tea cafes, all in the architectural style of the Ming and Qing dynasties. After dinner, check in to your hotel.
Day 7 Attractions:

Nanjing - Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum - Jan Kunst - 187 x 140
Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, Nanjing
(photo by Jan Kunst)
  • Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (中山陵, Zhōngshānlíng)
  • Ming City Wall (明城墙, Míng Chéngqiáng)
  • Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (南京长江大桥, Nánjīng Chángjiāng Dàqiáo)
  • Confucius Temple Bazaar (夫子庙闹市, Fūzǐmiào Nàoshì)
  • Shopping Stops: jade store (玉器坊, yùqìfáng)

Day 8, Tuesday: NANJINGSUZHOU Bus (B, L, D)
After breakfast, transfer to Suzhou by bus. Take a cruise along Suzhou’s canals at Shantang Street, a Venice-like area famous as a center of trade and culture since the main canal’s construction during the Tang Dynasty; the area reached its peak of prosperity during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Afterward, tour Hanshan Temple, named after a legendary Tang Dynasty poet-monk whose name is usually translated as “Cold Mountain.” It is not only a charming historic temple but also a place of deep cultural resonance for people throughout Asia. Continue on to Panmen Gate for an exterior view of the 2,500-year-old gate. Famous for its “land-and-water” architecture, it was the only way through the city wall that surrounded Suzhou in ancient times. Next, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the newly developed Jinji Lake Scenic Area. Then you can get a taste of the enchantment of traditional Suzhou as you take a leisurely stroll along Guanqian Street* and enjoy its Qing Dynasty-era commercial street atmosphere, with many old and famous shops. Afterward, be dazzled by Yuanrong Times Square, a large, modern shopping, entertainment, and dining complex boasting a 500-meter-long LED screen, the longest in the world. Then enjoy a silk fashion show.
Day 8 Attractions:

Suzhou - canal and bridge - Stephen Hanafin - 120 x 150
A Suzhou canal
(photo by S. Hanafin)
  • Shantang Street (山塘街, Shāntángjiē)
  • Hanshan Temple (寒山寺, Hánshānsì)
  • Panmen Gate or Pan Gate (盘门, Pánmén)
  • Jinji Lake Scenic Area (金鸡湖风景区, Jīnjīhú Fēngjǐngqū)
  • Guanqian Street (观前街, Guànqiánjiē)
  • Yuanrong Times Square (圆融时代广场, Yuánróng Shídài Guǎngchǎng)
  • Shopping Stops: silk fashion show (丝绸时装表演, sīchóu shízhuāng biǎoyǎn)

Day 9, Wednesday: SUZHOUHANGZHOU Bus (B, L, D)
After breakfast, transfer to Hangzhou by bus. Take a boat ride on the iconic West Lake, Hangzhou’s most famous attraction. As you relax, admire the storied scenery of the lake, which is bounded on one side by a modern downtown area and on the other sides by the natural beauty of Hangzhou’s hills. This scenery is one of the main reasons for the Chinese expression “Up above, there’s Heaven; down here, there’s Suzhou and Hangzhou.” Afterward, visit Meijiawu Tea Plantation. Aside from West Lake, Hangzhou is most famous for the Dragon Well (龙井, Lóngjǐng) green tea cultivated in the surrounding hills. Then enjoy Viewing Fish at the Flower Pond, popular for its large, colorful carp, and take in the lively yet spiritual atmosphere of Jingci Temple. During the tour, visit a jewel store to admire beautiful jewels found in the Jiangnan region. After dinner, enjoy a spectacular show: Night of West Lake*.
Day 9 Attractions:

Hangzhou - West Lake night - Lu Yu - 211 x 140
West Lake, Hangzhou
(photo by Lu Yu)
  • West Lake (西湖, Xīhú)
  • Meijiawu Tea Plantation (梅家坞茶园, Méijiāwù Cháyuán)
  • Viewing Fish at the Flower Pond (花港观鱼, Huāgǎng Guānyú), also known as Fish Wonder at Huagang Crook or Red Carp Pond
  • Jingci Temple (净慈寺, Jìngcísì)
  • Night of West Lake (西湖之夜, Xīhú Zhī Yè)
  • Shopping Stops: jewel store (宝石店, bǎoshí diàn)

Day 10, Thursday: HANGZHOUSHANGHAI Bus (B, L, D)
After breakfast, transfer to Shanghai. In Shanghai’s Pudong Newly Developed Zone, marvel at some of the tallest buildings in the world, all of which have been built in the last two decades as the area has been transformed from farmland into a hub of international business, finance, and high tech. Afterward, stop at a honey products store before proceeding to Nanjing Road, where you can stroll among a sea of people, soak in the lively atmosphere, and enjoy free shopping time in one of the world’s most famous shopping districts. After dinner, take a Huangpu River Cruise*. While on the cruise, enjoy the city’s bright and colorful night scenery, including the Oriental Pearl Tower, a symbol of Shanghai and the tallest TV tower in Asia, as well as the Shanghai World Financial Center, the Shanghai Tower, and the colonial buildings lining the Bund on the opposite shore.
Day 10 Attractions:

Shanghai - Pudong - Huangpu - night - Curt Smith - 210 x 140
Huangpu River Cruise, Shanghai
(photo by Curt Smith)
  • Pudong Newly Developed Zone (浦东新区, Pǔdōng Xīnqū), also called Pudong New Area
  • Nanjing Road (南京路, Nánjīnglù)
  • Huangpu River Cruise (黄浦江游船, Huángpǔjiāng Yóuchuán)
  • Shopping Stops: honey products store (蜂蜜店, fēngmì diàn)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

Deluxe Hotels

The hotels booked for the tour are all rated five stars by China’s National Tourism Administration. Alternate hotels of equivalent quality are only used if there is no availability at the listed hotels.

Shanghai - Crowne Plaza Hotel - 129 x 160
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shanghai

Beijing: Beijing Taishan Hotel 北京锦江泰山饭店 or Chang An Grand Hotel 长安大饭店 (5-Star)

Xi’an: Grand Noble Hotel Xi’an 西安皇城豪门酒店 (5-Star)

Shanghai: Crowne Plaza Shanghai 上海银星皇冠假日酒店 (5-Star)

Nanjing: Nanjing Dingye New Century Hotel 南京鼎业开元大酒店 (5-Star)

Wuxi: Noble Crown Hotel Wuxi 鼎尚皇冠酒店 (5-Star)

Suzhou: Su Yuan Hotel 苏苑饭店 (5-Star)

Hangzhou: Braim Canal Hotel 杭州百瑞运河大饭店 (5-Star)

Local Delicacies

The following local delicacies are among the dishes included in the meals on the tour:

Shanghai xiaolongbao - steamed buns with broth - CIT - small - 200 x 200
Shanghai’s famous xiaolongbao
(photo by CIT)

Beijing: Peking roast duck (北京烤鸭, Běijīng kǎoyā)

Xi’an: Defachang dumplings (德发长饺子, Défācháng jiǎozi)

Nanjing: Huaiyang cuisine (淮扬风味, Huáiyáng fēngwèi), Nanjing salted duck (盐水鸭, yánshuǐyā)

Wuxi: Qianlong Banquet (乾隆晏, Qiánlóng Yàn), Wuxi-style spareribs in sauce (酱排骨, jiàngpáigǔ), Three Treasures of Lake Tai (太湖三宝, Tàihú Sānbǎo)—white shrimp (白虾, báixiā), whitebait (银鱼, yínyú), and whitefish (白鱼, báiyú)

Shanghai: Shanghai-style steamed buns with broth (小笼包, xiǎolóngbāo), “three-yellow” chicken (三黄鸡, sānhuángjī)

Hangzhou: West Lake cuisine (西湖风味, Xīhú fēngwèi)—Dongpo braised pork (东坡肉, Dōngpōròu) and beggar’s chicken (叫花鸡, jiàohuājī), casserole banquet (砂锅晏, shāguō yàn)

Suzhou: Jiangnan water village cuisine (水乡风味, shuǐxiāng fēngwèi), fried perch (驰名松鼠鱼, chímíng sōngshǔyú)

* Special Activities

Here is a complete list of the special activities marked with an asterisk above and their costs:

Beijing ($50 total, mandatory): Golden Mask Dynasty show, Day 2 + The Place LCD skyscreen, Day 2 + Night Tour of Chang’an Avenue, Day 2

Xi’an ($30, optional): Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show, Day 4

Suzhou/Hangzhou/Shanghai ($80 total, mandatory): Guanqian Street, Day 6 + Night of West Lake show, Day 7 + Huangpu River cruise, Day 8

Ancient China Experience Value Tour (EBXF) Departure Dates
Month Tuesday Arrival Month Tuesday Arrival
January 2014 7, 14 July 2014 8
February 2014 11, 18 August 2014 12
March 2014 11, 25 September 2014 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
April 2014 1, 15 October 2014 7, 14, 21, 28
May 2014 6, 20 November 2014 4, 11
June 2014 10
Ancient China Experience Value Tour (EBXF) Tour Fare
Start Date Tour Fare (including Beijing – Xi’an – Shanghai airfare and tax) Tour Fare (excluding Beijing – Xi’an – Shanghai airfare and tax)
2013-03-01 – 2014-02-28 $859 $499
2014-03-01 – 2014-11-11 $899 $499


  1. If booking the Beijing – Xi’an and Xi’an – Shanghai flights separately, please book early flights departing between 7:30 AM and 9:00 AM.
  2. Tour fare excludes service charge. Service charge includes tips for tour guides, drivers, etc. The charge for adults and children is the same: $40/person in Beijing, $20/person in Xi’an, and $60/person in Jiangnan (Shanghai – Hangzhou).
  3. The total tour price, composed of the tour fare, special activities fee, and service charge, must be pre-paid at the time of reservation.

Total Tour Price
March 2014 – November 2014

The total tour price is determined by adding the following charges:

  • Tour Fare: $899 or $499
  • Service Charge (mandatory gratuity for guides, drivers, etc.): $120
  • Special Activities Fee: $130 (mandatory) + $30 (optional)
  • Single Occupancy Supplemental Charge (optional): $380

The total tour price, including the Beijing – Xi’an and Xi’an – Shanghai air tickets, for one adult sharing a room with another adult, is US $1179.

The total tour price, NOT including the Beijing – Xi’an and Xi’an – Shanghai air tickets, for one adult sharing a room with another adult, is US $779.

The total tour price, including the Beijing – Xi’an and Xi’an – Shanghai air tickets, for one adult NOT sharing a room with another adult, is US $1559.

The total tour price, NOT including the Beijing – Xi’an and Xi’an – Shanghai air tickets, for one adult NOT sharing a room with another adult, is US $1159.

Note: Subtract $30 from these prices if not attending the Tang Dynasty show in Xi’an.

Ancient China Experience Value Tour (EBXF) Tour Fare for Children
March 2014 – November 2014

Tour Fare (including Beijing – Xi’an – Shanghai airfare and tax) Tour Fare (excluding Beijing – Xi’an – Shanghai airfare and tax)
Child 2-11 years old with separate bed $939 $689
Child 2-11 years old without separate bed $679 $429
Child under 2 years old without separate bed 10% of adult tour fare 10% of adult tour fare
Important Tour Information

Please read the following information about the tour:

If necessary, the tour itinerary is subject to changes based on local conditions.

Because this is a discount tour package, no refunds of the tour fare can be given if you decide to cancel your trip or are unable to participate in the tour. We recommend that you consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself from the potential loss of your tour fare.

Tour participants agree to stay with the group throughout the tour.

The fare for this tour package includes the following:

  • Bilingual English-speaking tour guides (the tour will be conducted in English)
  • Transportation as listed on the tour itinerary
  • Admission tickets as listed on the itinerary
  • Accommodations as listed on the itinerary
  • Meals as listed on the itinerary
  • Basic travel accident insurance

Service charges (gratuity) for tour guides and drivers, and charges for the special activities marked with an asterisk, are mandatory charges separate from the base tour price. See the tour price information above for details.

The fare for this tour package does NOT include the following:

  • International airfare; airfare for travel to arrival city and from departure city
  • Additional hotel charge for single occupancy (base price assumes two people per room)
  • Visa fees, passport application or renewal fees, etc.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, phone calls, shopping, postage, additional baggage charges (for overweight, oversized, and/or excess baggage)
  • Losses caused by acts of God, natural disasters, fires, weather, acts of government or authorities, political changes, strikes, war, riots, quarantine, or customs regulations; damages or injury caused by accidents beyond the responsibilities of travel agents and/or incurred due to violations of the law by tour participants
  • Anything not listed on the itinerary

See our China visa application information page for information about Chinese visas.

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