Beijing + Xi’an + East-Central China 13-Day Tour (CITS13): Only $2299!

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CITS13 - PDF icon - 116 x 150 CITS13 Language and Culture icon - 150 x 150 - new CITS13 - Chinese page icon - 150 x 150 CITS13 PDF icon - Chinese - 116 x 150
Beijing icon with text - 75 x 75 Xi'an icon with text - 75 x 75 Shanghai icon with text - 75 x 75 Zhouzhuang icon with text - 75 x 75 Suzhou icon with text - 75 x 75 Wuxi icon with text - 75 x 75 Hangzhou icon with text - 75 x 75

Departing on December 19, 2012

Please note:
* As this discount tour will be conducted in Chinese, it is recommended for Chinese speakers, people traveling with Chinese speakers, and students of Chinese only. Tour participants will receive Chinese language educational materials specifically designed for this tour. Many of these materials are available on our CITS13 Language and Culture Learning Resources pages; others will be made available exclusively to tour participants.
* The itinerary includes a free day in Shanghai for you to spend as you’d like; you will not be accompanied by a tour guide on that day.

Itinerary Overview




Day 1

Departure from San Francisco (SFO)

Day 2

Evening arrival in Beijing (16 hours lost due to time difference), transfer to hotel

no scheduled dinner due to lateness of arrival

Beijing: Royal King Residence Hotel (4-Star)

Day 3

Sightseeing in Beijing: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, hutong tour, Shichahai

Beijing: Royal King Residence Hotel (4-Star)

Day 4

Sightseeing in Beijing: Great Wall of China, Temple of Heaven, Bird’s Nest, Water Cube, The Place

Beijing: Royal King Residence Hotel (4-Star)

Day 5

Flight to Xi’an

Sightseeing in Xi’an: Big Goose Pagoda’s North Square, Shaanxi History Museum, Huimin Street

Xi’an: Titan Times Hotel (5-Star)

Day 6

Sightseeing in Xi’an: First Emperor’s terracotta army, dumpling banquet, Tang Dynasty show

Xi’an: Titan Times Hotel (5-Star)

Day 7

Flight to Shanghai

Sightseeing in Shanghai: the Bund (views of
Pudong skyscrapers and the Huangpu River),
Nanjing Road, Old Town

Shanghai: Wujiaochang Holiday Inn Hotel (4-Star)

Day 8

Travel to Zhouzhuang by coach

Sightseeing in Zhouzhuang: “old town”
streets and canals

Travel to Suzhou by coach

Sightseeing in Suzhou: Suzhou Museum,
Guanqian Street

Suzhou: Garden Hotel (4-Star)

Day 9

Sightseeing in Suzhou: Cold Mountain Temple (Hanshan Temple), Lingering Garden

Travel to Wuxi by coach

Sightseeing in Wuxi: Li Lake Park

Wuxi: Sujia Jinlong Business Hotel (4-Star)

Day 10

Sightseeing in Wuxi: Three Kingdoms City, Lake Tai (with boat tour), Changguang Creek Wetlands

Travel to Hangzhou by coach

Sightseeing in Hangzhou: Qinghefang Ancient Street

Hangzhou: Beauside Hotel

Day 11

Sightseeing in Hangzhou: West Lake (with boat tour), Residence of Hu Xueyan

Travel to Shanghai by coach

Shanghai: Wujiaochang Holiday Inn Hotel (4-Star)

Day 12

free day in Shanghai (lunch and dinner on your own)

Shanghai: Wujiaochang Holiday Inn Hotel (4-Star)

Day 13

Departure from Shanghai and arrival in San Francisco (16 hours gained due to time difference)

Detailed Itinerary
Beijing - Forbidden City - Momo Wong - 320 x 120
The walls of the Forbidden City, Beijing
(photo by Momo Wong)

Day 1: U.S.A. – Beijing
Today you will board a plane bound for China, where you will witness the vicissitudes of China’s five thousand-year history. Your tour will begin with the dynamic capital city of Beijing, a city that encompasses the vast range of China’s cultural styles.

Day 2: Arrival in Beijing
Today, after arriving in Beijing, you will be greeted at the airport by CIT’s professional bilingual tour guide and escorted to the hotel where you will be staying overnight.
Beijing Accommodations: Royal King Residence Hotel 融金中财大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent

Day 3: Beijing (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will visit Tiananmen Square. 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, its name was changed to Tiananmen to suggest the idea that the emperor’s mandate to pacify and rule the nation came from heaven. Next, you will tour the Forbidden City, which served as the royal palace for 24 consecutive emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. There you can explore art exhibits from every dynasty, exhibitions of Qing Dynasty cultural relics, the Three Great Halls, the Imperial Garden, the Palace of Heavenly Purity, and other attractions. In the afternoon an expert guide will take you on a pedicab tour of Beijing’s hutong, or “narrow alleyways,” where you can take pictures that will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time, and afterward you will stroll along the shore of Shicha Hai, a picturesque man-made lake.
Day 3 Attractions:

Beijing - Great Wall - Rafael Gomez - 187 x 140
The Great Wall of China
(photo by Rafael Gomez)
  • Tiananmen Square (天安门广场, Tiānānmén Guǎngchǎng)
  • Forbidden City (故宫, Gù Gōng, or 紫禁城, Zǐjìn Chéng)
    • Three Great Halls (三大殿, Sān Dàdiàn)
    • Imperial Garden (御花园, Yùhuā Yuán)
    • Palace of Heavenly Purity (乾清宫, Qiánqīng Gōng)
  • Beijing’s hutong, (胡同, hútòng)
  • Shicha Hai (什刹海, Shíchà Hǎi)

Day 4: Beijing (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will visit the Juyongguan (“Juyong Pass”) section of the Great Wall, one of the Eight Wonders of the Ancient World. You can climb up to the highest point and admire the spectacular view of mountains arrayed around you. Next, you will tour the largest extant temple complex in China, the Temple of Heaven, where the emperor held sacrificial rites. The famous Echo Wall and Three-Tone Stone are located here. Afterward, you will visit the famous site of many 2008 Beijing Olympics events to get a look at the iconic National Aquatics Center, or “Water Cube,” and National Stadium, or “Bird’s Nest.” In the evening you will head to a popular new shopping and entertainment complex called The Place, whose fantastical “skyscreen” ceiling is the 3rd-largest LED screen in the world.
Day 4 Attractions:

Beijing - Temple of Heaven - Saad Akhtar - 160 x 120
The Temple of Heaven, Beijing
(photo by Saad Akhtar)
  • Great Wall of China at Juyong Pass (居庸关长城, Jūyōngguān Chángchéng)
  • Temple of Heaven (天坛, Tiāntán)
    • Echo Wall (回音壁, Huíyīn Bì)
    • Three-Tone Stone (三音石, Sānyīn Shí)
  • external 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)
  • The Place (世贸天阶, Shìmào Tiānjiē)

Day 5: Beijing – Xi’an (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will fly 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 Xi’an was the eastern endpoint of the legendary Silk Road, it features numerous cultural relics and historical sites. First, you will visit Big Goose Pagoda’s North Square, where, if the timing is right, you will see a spectacular musical fountain show that ranks as Asia’s largest. The pagoda itself, which was built to preserve the valuable scriptures that the famous monk Master Xuán Zàng brought back from India, serves as a stunning backdrop to the fountains. Afterward, you will tour the city’s acclaimed Shaanxi History Museum, boasting a collection of over 300,000 artifacts and artworks. Finally, you will take a stroll along Huimin Street in Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter, a lively section of the city whose character was directly influenced by the Silk Road.
Special Arrangements: authentic Shaanxi-style dinner
Xi’an Accommodations: Titan Times Hotel 西安天朗时代大酒店 (5-Star) or equivalent
Day 5 Attractions:

Xi'an - Big Goose Pagoda - CIT - 180 x 120
Big Goose Pagoda, Xi’an
(photo by CIT)
  • Big Goose Pagoda’s North Square (大雁塔北广场, Dàyàn Tǎ Běi Guǎngchǎng)
  • Shaanxi History Museum (陕西历史博物馆, Shǎnxī Lìshǐ Bówùguǎn)
  • Huimin Street (回民街, Huímín Jiē)

Day 6: Xi’an (B/L/D)
If you haven’t seen the First Emperor’s terracotta army, known as the Eighth Wonder of the World, you haven’t really been to Xi’an. The vast main pit, with rank upon rank of terracotta soldiers, is an ancillary section of the tomb of the infamous First Emperor, Qín Shǐhuáng. After taking in the stunning site of the terracotta army and exploring the museum’s exhibits, you will return to the city for a dumpling banquet and Tang Dynasty-style show. Admire modern musicians and dancers as they present an opulently staged show, re-created from historical materials, in imitation of Tang Dynasty performances.
Day 6 Attractions:

Xi'an - terracotta soldiers - closeup - CIT - 200 x 150
Terracotta soldiers, Xi’an
(photo by CIT)
  • the First Emperor’s terracotta army (兵马俑, Bīngmǎyǒng)
  • dumpling banquet (饺子宴, jiǎozi yàn)
  • Tang Dynasty-style performance (仿唐乐歌舞, Fǎng Táng yuègēwǔ)

Day 7: Xi’an – Shanghai (B/L/D)
Today you will say goodbye to Xi’an and travel to Shanghai, the largest city in China. First, you will tour the architectural complex of the Bund, which lies along the Huangpu River in the downtown area. The Bank of China tower, Peace Hotel, Customs House tower, and other famous buildings built by Western nations during the colonial era are all located along the Bund, where the historical elegance of the “Wall Street of the Far East” has reappeared. On the opposite shore of the Huangpu River in Pudong stands a cluster of modern skyscrapers that represent China’s new era of prosperity, conveying a sense of vigor, majesty, and luxury. Later, you will walk among a sea of people on Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s famed shopping district, before heading to the Old Town district (also known as Old Street) to visit the Temple of the Town Gods Shopping Center. Here you will find goods of every description, including artworks, jewelry, clothes, snacks, souvenirs, toys, and special folk handicrafts.
Shanghai Accommodations: Wujiaochang Holiday Inn Express 五角场假日 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 7 Attractions:

Shanghai - Pudong skyline - CIT - 214 x 120 v2
Pudong skyscrapers seen from the Bund
(photo by CIT)
  • The Bund (外滩, Wàitān)
    • view of Pudong (浦東, Pǔdōng) and the Huangpu River (黃浦江, Huángpǔ Jiāng)
  • Nanjing Road (南京路, Nánjīng Lù)
  • Old Town (老城市, Lǎo Chéngshì)
    • Temple of the Town Gods Shopping Center (城隍庙商圈, Chénghuáng Miào Shāngquān)

Day 8: Shanghai – Zhouzhuang – Suzhou (B/L/D)
Today, after breakfast, you will proceed by coach to Zhouzhuang, a famous “water village” built around a series of canals, with buildings dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Like flipping through a series of well-preserved old photos, walking through Zhouzhuang will give you an intense feeling of nostalgia. Afterward, you will head to Suzhou, where your first stop will be the Suzhou Museum, an architectural masterpiece designed by I.M. Pei whose exhibits feature ancient Chinese art. Then you can get a taste of the enchantment of old 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.
Suzhou Accommodations: Garden Hotel (Yuanwailou) 园外楼饭店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 8 Attractions:

Zhouzhuang - canal 2 - Chen Zhao - 160 x 120
Zhouzhuang canals
(photo by Chen Zhao)
  • Zhouzhuang (周庄, Zhōuzhuāng)
  • Suzhou Museum (苏州博物馆, Sūzhōu Bówùguǎn)
  • Guanqian Street (观前街, Guànqián Jiē)

Day 9: Suzhou – Wuxi (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will tour a place rich with poetic atmosphere: Cold Mountain Temple (also known as “Hanshan Temple”), made famous by the poem “Anchored at Night by Maple Bridge.” The temple grounds feature carvings, statues, and stelae reflecting the area’s rich literary heritage; a treasure hall; a bell tower; and numerous other towers and buildings. Your next stop will be one of the four most famous classical gardens in China, the Lingering Garden, which features a variety of beautiful and interesting works of architecture and landscaping, as well as a distant view of picturesque Tiger Hill, with its famous leaning tower. Then you will proceed by coach to Wuxi, nicknamed “Little Shanghai” and called a “land of plenty.” You will visit the lovely Li Lake Park, whose enchanting variety of flower gardens and “mountain-and-lake” scenery look like something out of a poem or painting. You will spend the night in Wuxi.
Wuxi Accommodations: Sujia Business Hotel 金龙商务 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 9 Attractions:

A Jiangnan-style garden and pagoda in Suzhou
Jiangnan-style garden in Suzhou
(photo by Kao Shiyang)
  • Cold Mountain Temple / Hanshan Temple (寒山寺, Hánshān Sì)
  • Lingering Garden (留园, Liú Yuán)
    • view of Tiger Hill (虎丘山, Hǔqiū Shān) and the Tiger Hill Leaning Tower/Cloud Rock Pagoda (虎丘斜塔, Hǔqiū Xiétǎ / 云岩塔, Yúnyán Tǎ)
  • Li Lake Park (蠡湖公园, Lí Hú Gōngyuán)

Day 10: Wuxi – Hangzhou (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will tour Three Kingdoms City, a re-creation of a Three Kingdoms-era town featuring architecture, costumes, and performances from the 3rd century A.D. Then you will take a boat tour of Lake Tai, which is the most iconic symbol of Wuxi and is also famous for the freshwater pearls that thrive in its clean water and favorable ecological conditions. Lake Tai boasts a vast expense of emerald water and peaks that appear and suddenly disappear in the lake mist, creating a magical, constantly changing scene. Afterward, you will visit the Changguang Creek Wetlands, an ancient river course where the area’s earliest settlers lived and where a variety of cultural artifacts are still being discovered to this day. Then you will head to the internationally famous city of Hangzhou. There you can explore the quaint shops and enjoy the traditional atmosphere of Qinghefang Ancient Street, which reflects the distinctive culture and charm of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, before heading to your hotel for the night.
Hangzhou Accommodations: Hangzhou Beauside Hotel 博赛德大酒店 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 10 Attractions:

Wuxi - Lake Tai sunset - Synyan - 187 x 140
Sunset on Lake Tai
(photo by Synyan)
  • Three Kingdoms City (三国城, Sānguó Chéng)
  • Lake Tai (太湖, Tài Hú), including a boat tour
  • Changguang Creek Wetlands (长广溪湿地, Chángguǎng Xī Shīdì)
  • Qinghefang Ancient Street (清河坊古街, Qīnghéfāng Gǔjiē)

Day 11: Hangzhou – Shanghai (B/L/D)
After breakfast today, you will visit Hangzhou’s iconic West Lake, situated between the downtown area and the surrounding hills. You will take a boat tour of the lake and admire the magnificent views laid out along the shore in every direction. Afterward, you can stroll around the lake and enjoy such famous sights and attractions as Red Carp Pond, Broken Bridge, and Dragon Well Tea Village (literally, “Inquiring About Tea at Dragon Well”). Next you will tour the opulent Residence of Hu Xueyan. Built with an enormous sum of money by a 19th-century pharmaceutical magnate, it has been called “China’s Number One Mansion.” Finally, you will return to Shanghai by coach.
Shanghai Accommodations: Wujiaochang Holiday Inn Express 五角场假日 (4-Star) or equivalent
Day 11 Attractions:

Shanghai - Old Street - skyscrapers - D. Fuka - 210 x 140
Old Town, Shanghai
(photo by D. Fuka)
  • West Lake (西湖, Xī Hú), including a boat tour
    • Red Carp Pond (花港观鱼, Huāgǎng Guānyú)
    • Liulang Wenying Park (柳浪闻莺, Liǔlàng Wényīng)
    • Dragon Well Tea Village (龙井问茶, Lóngjǐng Wèn Chá)
  • Residence of Hu Xueyan (胡雪岩故居, Hú Xuěyán Gùjū)

Day 12: Shanghai (B)
Today you have an open itinerary, a free day to go shopping, explore the vast, cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, and do whatever you please! If you would like some recommendations on places to visit and restaurants to try, please feel free ask us or your tour guide. You can also visit our website to peruse our other tour itineraries featuring Shanghai or our Shanghai photo gallery.

Day 13: Shanghai – U.S.A. (B)
Today you will say goodbye to Shanghai as you transfer to the airport by coach for your trip back to the United States and home, sweet home! Arrive in time to rest before celebrating New Year’s Eve in the U.S.A.

Total Price (including tax): $2299

Departure Date: 12/19/2012

Extra charge for single occupancy: $360/person

Please note:

  1. Only Chinese-speaking tour guides are provided on this tour.
  2. This tour departs from San Francisco (SFO) only.
  3. There is no discount for children not requesting a separate bed on this tour.
  4. Once your booking is confirmed, no changes can be made within 30 days of the departure date, including cancellation for any reason, changes to your itinerary, or name changes (exchanging your booking with another person).
  5. Any tour member who wishes to not accompany the group during the tour (i.e., deviate from the itinerary) must pay an extra USD $99 per person for each day away from the group. (This does not apply to the free day in Shanghai.)

Tour price includes the following:

  1. Round-trip international air ticket and all domestic travel fares within China
  2. 5-Star and 4-Star deluxe accommodations throughout the trip (two people per hotel room)
  3. Expert tour guides
  4. Entrance fees and tickets for all places and programs listed on the itinerary (non-refundable if unused)
  5. Three satisfying meals a day (except on international arrival and departure days and as noted on the itinerary)
  6. Travel accident insurance

Tour price does NOT include the following:

  1. Chinese visa processing fee
  2. Domestic airfare within the U.S. (to and from SFO)
  3. Any and all personal expenses
  4. Tips for tour leader, tour guides, driver, bellhops, etc. (We recommend US $8-10 per tour participant per day to be divided among them.)
  5. Any other expenses caused by acts of God, natural disasters, fires, weather, acts of government or authorities, political changes, strikes, war, riots, quarantine, customs regulations, damages or injury caused by accidents beyond the responsibilities or control of travel agents

Please read the “Standard Booking Notice” on our website’s Booking page before making your tour reservations.

In addition to the sightseeing itinerary, this tour also features brief shopping stops for traditional local goods: jade ware, footbath/massage, and the Tongrentang TCM store in Beijing; fine pottery in Xi’an; jade seals in Shanghai; silk in Suzhou; pearls and teapots in Wuxi; and tea leaves in Hangzhou.

China International Travel CA, Inc. cancellation policy: Notice of cancellation must be received by fax or mail; verbal notice only will not be considered sufficient. Please contact CIT to confirm that we have received your cancellation notice. A cancellation fee will be charged according to the following criteria:

– 60 or more days prior to departure: $200 per person will be assessed.
– 45-59 days prior to departure: $300 per person will be assessed.
– 31-44 days prior to departure: $400 per person will be assessed.
– 30 days or less (including nonappearance): 100% of total charge.

If tickets for any form of transportation (including, but not limited to, airline, cruise, or train) have already been issued or final confirmation has been received at time of cancellation, an additional penalty will be assessed in accordance with the policies of the company providing the transportation.

We strongly suggest that our clients consider purchasing cancellation insurance to prevent the loss of your tour investment in the event of illness, accident, or some other unforeseeable circumstance that might prevent you from going on the tour. Please see our website’s Booking page for more information about the insurance policies we sell from USI Affinity, a trusted travel insurance company.

© 2009-2012 China International Travel CA, Inc.
California Seller of Travel Registration #2095947-40
Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha