Road Scholar : Home
China by Train and Yangtze Riverboat

Program Number: 3588RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/25/2013 - 4/19/2013; 5/5/2016 - 5/28/2016; 9/1/2016 - 9/24/2016; 10/13/2016 - 11/5/2016;
Duration: 25 nights
Location: China
Price starting at: $4,924.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Train Treks
Meals: 71; 23 Breakfasts, 22 Lunches, 26 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian    

The Great Wall stretches more than 5,500 miles across rugged land and mountains — reflecting the vastness, history, and traditions of China. Take a walk on this man-made wonder and then get closer to daily Chinese life in a journey by train and Yangtze riverboat that transports you from Beijing to Shanghai and across the Yellow Soil Plateau to China’s Silk Road capital —Xi’an. Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of countryside villagers along the way as you explore their marketplaces, talk openly with English-speaking students, and learn about traditions that have been at the heart of Chinese culture for thousands of years.


• Share lunch with a Beijing courtyard family, and then enter the Forbidden City, seat of Emperors and once forbidden to all others.
• From your train carriage, enjoy close glimpses of China’s colorful country life.
• Discover hidden hillside villages and lush landscapes of Guizhou Province.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to three miles daily; uneven terrain; steep steps at docks, sometimes without railings.

No overnight trains; all train travel during daylight hours. Optional tai chi and Chinese conversation. Some sites have uneven terrain, unpaved paths, cobblestones, uneven or steep steps with no railings. Group leaders are full-time staff, university graduates fluent in English.

Date Specific Information

3-25-2013, 5-5-2016, 9-1-2016, 10-13-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Beijing, 4 nights; train to Luoyang, 2 nights; train to Xi’an, 3 nights; Yangtze vessel, 3 nights; Wuhan, 1 night; train to Changsha, 2 nights; train to Kaili, 2 nights; coach to Guiyang, 2 nights; fly to Shanghai, 3 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Beijing
4 nights

Explore and learn about Imperial China at the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. Experience daily life in Tiananmen Square and along hutongs (residential lanes and alleys). Enjoy lunch with courtyard families and join local Beijingers in morning exercises at the Temple of Heaven.

Train to Luoyang
2 nights

Explore the 1,500-year-old Longmen cliff sculptures. Visit a primary school and chat with its English teachers and visit local families.

Train to Xi’an
3 nights

Discuss China’s cultural history before visiting Xi’an’s Museum of History. In the city’s lively Hui (Muslim) section, enjoy the aroma of spices that dates back to days of the Silk Road. Savor a special dumpling dinner.

Fly to Chongqing
Board Yangtze vessel
3 nights

In Chongqing, Szechuan Province, view indigenous giant pandas at the Chongqing Zoological Garden and enjoy a regional hotpot dinner before boarding your Yangtze vessel. Passing through the Yangtze’s gorges, discover area history, culture, traditional medical practices and modern life. Ashore, explore river towns and the Three Gorges dam site.

Disembark Yichang
Coach to Wuhan
1 night
Train to Changsha
2 nights

In Wuhan, discover artifacts found in a 2,500-year-old tomb. Journey by train past rice terraces irrigated by bamboo pipes, water wheels and worked by farmers and their water buffalo.

Train to Kaili
2 nights

In China’s least populated province, venture past terraced mountains and shimmering rice fields. Meet with ethnic Miao families, encounter blacksmiths, basket weavers, artisans, dentists and itinerant barbers in Kaili’s colorful Sunday market.

Coach to Guiyang
2 nights

Explore an "Old Han" village and enjoy the villagers' performance of one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera -- Dixi (earth opera). Engage with youngsters at a government supported recreation center where children study music, painting, calligraphy and martial arts.

Fly to Shanghai
3 nights

In China’s most sophisticated city, visit the 16th-century Yu Garden and the new Shanghai Art Museum. Enjoy a performance by Shanghai’s renowned Acrobatics Troupe and walk along the Bund for views of neo-Classical and Art Deco buildings.


From the opening of the Silk Road in the 1st Century BC, marking the beginning of trade between Central Asia and the burgeoning empires in the West, China has inspired global evolution. Six millennia of calligraphy, music, and dance emerged from the behemoth land during a dozen dynasties marked by conflicts of religion, power, and territory. Ruling emperors gave way to Communism and to Modern China, home to a fifth of the world’s population.

Beijing: Four-star hotel near historic sites. Luoyang: Hotel near renowned People's Square. Xi'an: Hotel inside city walls in heart of downtown. Yangtze Vessel: First-class cruise ship. Wuhan: Four-star hotel with fitness center. Changsha: Four-star hotel with swimming pool. Kaili: Comfortable hotel. Guiyang: Four-star hotel near bustling street market. Shanghai: Five-star city center hotel

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Zhang Keyu

Zhang (John) Keyu grew up in a musical and artistic family close to Mandarin-speaking Beijing. A graduate of Shandong Commerce Institute, John majored in English while pursuing his interests in piano, calligraphy, tai chi and Chinese history. As a speaker of perfect English and Chinese, John’s groups enjoy Chinese conversation, up-to-date talks on Chinese history and current social policies, and personal lessons in tai chi. His wit and humor make him a favorite instructor.
Yang Hongying

Professor Yang Hongying is an expert in the study of foreign language and linguistics at Xi'an International Studies University, where she leads courses in Chinese culture and international studies. She has received numerous teaching awards, and also has received advanced degrees in cultural heritage studies from the Institute of European Studies in Macau, and in education from the University of New South Wales in Australia. Yang has published numerous papers on museum text translations and international culture studies, and has given lectures on Chinese culture and heritage in China, Macau, and Singapore. She has worked with and taught Road Scholar groups for more than 10 years.
Meals and Lodgings
   Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
  Beijing, China 4 nights
   Friendship Hotel
  Luoyang, China 2 nights
   Grand Noble Hotel
  Xi'an, China 4 nights
   Victoria Cruise Lines
  Yangtze River Vessel, China 3 nights
   Bin Hu Hotel
  Wuhan, China 1 night
   Xin Du Hotel
  Changsha, China 2 nights
   Huadu International Hotel
  Xiangtan, China 1 night
   Grand Dragon Hotel
  Kaili, China 2 nights
   Ramada Plaza Hotel Guiyang
  Guiyang, China 2 nights
   Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
  Shanghai, China 3 nights
 Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Originally built in the 1950s, this modernized hotel is located in a traditional district south of Beijing's famous Chan An Avenue and short distance from many of Beijing's historic and monumental sites, including Tian'anmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, and the Forbidden City. It also maintains a well-known theater devoted to nightly performances of Beijing Opera.
  Ship Information: na
  Contact info: 175 Yonggan Road
Xuanwu District
Beijing, NA 100050 China
phone: +86 -10-6301-6688
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, satellite television, free room non-wifi internet access, international direct-dial telephone, safe-deposit box, mini-bar, laundry service, coffee- and tea-making facilities. All rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Four restaurants with Western and Chinese cuisine, rooftop bar, business center, fitness center, beauty salon, Liyuan Peking Opera theater.Wi-Fi is available in the hotel lobby with free cost.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Program Provider (CAEE) Additional nights pre-program can be arranged by your Program Provider.

 Friendship Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This hotel boasts the best location in Luoyang, just across from the People's Square where locals gather on a daily basis to practice tai ji, ballroom dancing, martial arts, and to air pet birds.
  Contact info: 6 Xiyuan Road
Luoyang,  471003 China
phone: +86 379-6468-5555
  Room amenities: private bath and shower, TV, A/C, IDD phone, in-room safe, hair dryer, minibar, laundry service, internet access.
  Facility amenities: Daily Laundry, Gym, beauty salon, shopping arcade, lobby bar, dance hall, currency exchange.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Grand Noble Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located inside the city walls in the heart of 'downtown' Xi'an, the Grand Noble (formerly known as the Royal Garden Hotel) is close to the city's main attractions, including the Bell Tower and Muslim Section.
  Ship Information: .
  Contact info: 334 DongDaJie (East) Street
Xi'an, NA 710001 China
phone: +86 29 87690000
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, television, free in-room internet (no wifi) access, mini-bar, hair dryer, room service. All rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Free wifi in hotel lobby, laundry service, business center, coffee bar ,Wi-Fi is available in the hotel lobby with free cost.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Victoria Cruise Lines
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: All cabins are exterior-facing Superior Cabins with private balcony, bathtub, and shower.
  Ship Information: First class Yangtze River Cruise ship. All boats in Victoria Cruise Lines have steel, double-bottom hulls and have been built or completely refurbished between 2009-2013. Total capacity of 198-378. See for additional information.
  Contact info: 57-08 39th Ave
Woodside, NY 11377 USA
phone: 212-818-1680
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, TV, exterior cabins, floor to ceiling glass doors leading to private balcony, private bathrooms with showers. Lower berth single beds. All cabins are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Fitness center, laundry service, currency exchange, business center, beauty salon, reading room, shopping
  Smoking allowed: No

 Bin Hu Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Contact info: 325 Dong Hu Road
Wuhan,  430071 China
phone: +86 -278-862-0268
  Room amenities: air conditioning, TV
  Facility amenities: business center, restaurants, bar, beauty salon, fitness center, laundry service
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Xin Du Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Contact info: Zhonghuan Road
Changsha,  410001 China
phone: +86 -731-478-8888
  Room amenities: air conditioning, TV, mini bar, hairdryer, iron, in-room safe
  Facility amenities: shopping, beauty salon, business center, laundry service, shopping, swimming pool, fitness center
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Huadu International Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: in the center of the city
  Contact info: Jianshe South Road
Xiangtan City,  411100 China
phone: +86 -732-855-5895
  Room amenities: private bath and shower. AC, TV, mini bar, hair dryer, internet access, long distance direct dialing, safety deposit box.
  Facility amenities: daily laundry, restaurants, beauty salon, bar, gift shop, business center, currency exchange
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Grand Dragon Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This hotel is located in town and is now considered Kaili's best. Though modest, the hotel is comfortable and has all the usual amenities.
  Contact info: No.8, Ningbo East Road
Kaili , 556000,   China
phone: +868558060046
  Room amenities: air conditioning, TV, hair dryer, mini bar
  Facility amenities: restaurant, bar, business center, fitness center, gift shop, laundry service
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Ramada Plaza Hotel Guiyang
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This four-star hotel is located in the heart of Guiyang and considered among the city's best. Short walk to Guiyang's bustling night street market.
  Contact info: 1 Beijing Road
Guiyang,  550004 China
phone: +86 -851-677-1888
  Room amenities: air conditioning, TV, hairdryer, internet access, coffee maker, iron, mini bar
  Facility amenities: business center, bar, restaurant, gift shop, currency exchange, beauty salon, laundry service, fitness center, indoor swimming pool
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: This five star hotel is in the city center, close to many of Shanghai's highlights and within walking distance of one of Shanghai’s most popular parks where locals gather for traditional exercises and exchange of local news.
  Contact info: No.1928 Gonghexin Road, Zhabei District
Shanghai,  200070 China
phone: +86 21 2602 2222
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, television, mini-bar, hair dryer, room service, rooms will be no smoking but hotel has smoking areas.
  Facility amenities: AC, daily laundry, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, cafe, bar, restaurants, business center, currency exchange, free wi-fi in hotel lobby
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Contact your Program Provider. contact your Program Provider;

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Meet your Group Leader in the hotel lobby at 6:00 pm on the arrival day and join a welcome meeting. Check-in time for your hotel is 2:00 pm on Day 2. You will be staying at Qianmen Jianguo Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Your program ends at 11:30 am. Check-out time from your hotel is 12:00 pm/noon. You will be staying at Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. APPLYING FOR YOUR CHINA VISA: U.S. RESIDENTS: Due to the complexities of obtaining a China visa we strongly urge you to use Road Scholar's designated visa service. Whether or not you use GenVisa, you must submit the following for your application: 1. Your completed visa application form with official photo as described. Tip: if you choose Journalist or Religious Worker as your occupation, your visa could be denied. 2. An official Abbreviated Itinerary with Accommodations information on Road Scholar letterhead and which has your name included. That document will be mailed or emailed to you separately. 3. If you have NOT purchased your international air tickets from Road Scholar and/or if you are NOT using GenVisa, you must also submit a copy of your confirmed international flight information. (If you have purchased your international air from Road Scholar and are using GenVisa, your flight information will be submitted to GenVisa for you.) NON US RESIDENTS: If you are not using GenVisa, some of the requirements may differ. You should check with your Chinese Consulate or with a visa agency you have chosen. If an official letter of invitation from China is required, the Chinese American Educational Exchange (CAEE) can email or mail you one. To request such a letter contact CAEE: email: phone: 212 334 1971.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: n/a
To Start of Program
  Location:  Beijing
  Transportation to site: If independent flights do not coincide with the designated group transfer or if arrivals are a day or more earlier than the program start date, it is the responsibility of participant(s) to make arrangements to get to the program site. Taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel is very easy. Your Final Information Packet includes a sheet with taxi information and your hotel location in English and in Chinese characters. Just show it to a taxi driver and he will know exactly where to go. Many participants have used this sheet and no one has ever had a problem. Taxi cost between Beijing airport and your hotel is about $30 US (170 Chinese yuan) per car. Taxi cost from Shanghai airport to your hotel is about $40 US (240 yuan). Tip is not expected. (You will need to buy Chinese currency at the airport upon arrival. ATM's and Foreign Currency Exchange desks are easy to locate. All signs include English.) Take taxis at designated taxi stands and make sure the driver turns on the meter. Time to the hotel by car takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour (depending on traffic).
  From End of Program
  Location:  Shanghai
  Transportation from site: Program Only Participants (POP) can take the scheduled airport transfer free of charge if there is room in the transfer vehicle. Alternately, your Group Leader can help you arrange a taxi. Cost is about $40 US (240 Chinese yuan) per car. Tip is not expected.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures
(Monday, March 25)
 In Transit: International flight Departures

Day 2: Arrive China’s Capital Beijing/Welcome Meeting
(Tuesday, March 26)
 Afternoon: Arrive at Beijing International Airport where your Group Leader (National Guide) will be waiting for you. After check-in and a short rest, get together for a Welcome Meeting at your hotel. Note: CAEE Group Leaders are qualified National Guides who are full-time permanent members of our offices. All are university graduates, fluent in English, well-educated in safety and protocol and are supported by offices nation-wide.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at your hotel.
 Evening: at your leisure
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: BEIJING: Temple of Heaven /Tian'anmen Square/'China: Land and Peoples'/Peking Duck
(Wednesday, March 27)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at our hotel at 7:45 am.
 Morning: Depart the hotel at 8:45 am for the 15th century architectural masterpiece, the Temple of Heaven which symbolizes the relationship between heaven and earth. Walk the extensive grounds to the Temple itself or stay in its environs and enjoy the activities of local people practicing calligraphy, tai ji, musical instruments, dancing, or flying kites. Later, stop at the 'heart of Beijing' -- Tian'anmen Square
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: A Talk at your hotel introduces China's Land and Peoples. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
 Dinner: This evening at a Welcome Dinner, celebrate with a Beijing specialty: Peking Duck Dinner. Peking Duck was first created in Beijing for emperors six hundred years ago during the Ming Dynasty. Thinly sliced, with crisp skin, the duck is wrapped in light pancakes with julienned cucumbers and a variety of sauces. It is often said that if you go to Beijing there are two things you must do: walk the Great Wall and enjoy Peking Duck.
 Evening: After dinner, the rest of the evening is at your leisure.
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: BEIJING:Great Wall/Beijing Opera
(Thursday, March 28)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am. Optional tai ji class before breakfast at 7:15 am.
 Morning: Experience the grandeur of the Great Wall in the mountains outside of Beijing. Walk along the wall for glorious vistas of it rising and descending along the mountain ridges.
 Lunch: Enjoy a typical north Chinese lunch of dumplings ('jiaozi') with local families in their homes.
 Afternoon: Return to your hotel in Beijing.
 Dinner: Dinner is at your hotel.
 Evening: At a nearby theater, enjoy a taste of Beijing opera, a unique art form that uses brilliant costumes, mannerized make-up, acrobatics and martial arts, various types of falsetto singing, and exuberant percussionists. The performance is presented with English and modern Chinese supertitles above the stage. Chinese Opera is an ‘acquired taste’ for Western ears. For an introduction to Beijing Opera and its traditions, try to see the film ‘Farewell My Concubine.’
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: BEIJING: Hutongs/Family Lunch/Forbidden City
(Friday, March 29)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy your hotel's buffet breakfast. Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am.
 Morning: Explore the hutongs (small residential alleys and courtyards) near Beihai Park. Visit a local school, families in their homes, and the former residence of Song Qing Ling, political activist and wife of Dr. Sun Yat Sen.
 Lunch: Enjoy a local lunch hosted by hutong families.
 Afternoon: Explore the Forbidden City, a vast complex once the seat of Qing Emperors and forbidden to all else.
 Dinner: Walk to a restaurant near your hotel for dinner
 Evening: Join your group leader for a briefing about your first train journey tomorrow morning and to learn some useful Chinese phrases.
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Train to LUOYANG: People’s Square
(Saturday, March 30)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at your hotel.
 Morning: In early morning, leave for Beijing West Railway Station and depart for city of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province. .
 Lunch: We'll bring a box lunch for the train.
 Afternoon: Your train crosses the Yellow River about 10 minutes before arriving in Zhengzhou. Coach to the city of Luoyang.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: Explore the evening activities in the lively People's Square just opposite.
Accommodations: Friendship Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: LUOYANG: Longmen Grottoes/Agricultural Village/Country School/Chinese Music
(Sunday, March 31)
 Breakfast: Enjoy early morning tai ji movements at 7:15 am and then enjoy your hotel's buffet breakfast. Hotel buffet is offered between 6:00 am and 10:00 am.
 Morning: Before breakfast, practice gentle tai ji exercises on the People's Square, filled with local people practicing martial arts, ballroom dancing or airing pet birds. After breakfast, depart for the 1,500 year old Longmen Grottoes. Learn about these stone carvings that overlook the Yi River and which celebrate the introduction of Buddhism into China.
 Lunch: At restaurant nearby.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, visit Huai Shu Wan agricultural village and its Primary School. Huai Shu Wan is a typical north Chinese country village and its primary school has about 200 pupils from various villages in the area. Observe classes, talk with the English teachers and then visit families in the village. On the way back to your hotel, if time permits, stop at Luoyang's small Old Section.
 Dinner: At hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy an introduction to traditional Chinese musical instruments with demonstration (at hotel).
Accommodations: Friendship Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: XI'AN: Train to Xi'an
(Monday, April 1)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Take a morning train to the City of Xi'an. Enjoy views of rural life from the train as you ascend China's Yellow Soil Plateau. The land is covered with a thick layer of wind-blown loess soil, which masks the original landforms. Deeply eroded, the landscape has steep ravines and almost vertical cliff faces pocked with holes and caves known as 'yaodong,' which are used for dwelling and resting.
 Lunch: Box lunch on train.
 Afternoon: Arrive at Xi'an Station in mid-afternoon and check in to your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: If time permits, get together with your group leader to practice Chinese.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: XI'AN: 'Chinese Cultural History'/History Museum/Dumpling Banquet
(Tuesday, April 2)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: At Xi'an's renowned International Studies University, a presentation discusses Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism as a way of illuminating the Chinese 'character' and world views.
 Lunch: University dining room. After lunch, walk the campus and speak with university students to learn about China's new generation.
 Afternoon: Understand China's dynastic history, as well as its rich and enduring culture in a tour of its state-of-the-art Museum of History.
 Dinner: Enjoy a banquet of various dumplings for which Xi'an is famous.
 Evening: At your leisure.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: XI'AN: Qin Emperor's Terra Cotta Warriors Tomb
(Wednesday, April 3)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Experience the truly awe-inspiring site of the Qin Emperor's Tomb. Learn about and explore this remarkable 2,000-year-old tomb site that contains thousands of life-size terra cotta warriors, cavalrymen and graceful archers -- each believed to represent an actual member of the Emperor's retinue.
 Lunch: At a nearby restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to town about mid-afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
 Dinner: Dinner will either be at your hotel or at restaurant.
 Evening: Get together with your group leader to practice spoken Chinese.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: XI'AN: Hui (Muslim) Section/'English Corner'
(Thursday, April 4)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Walk about Xi'an's lively Hui (Muslim) district. Explore commercial and residential areas, and street markets. Enjoy its beautiful Great Mosque, built in the style of Chinese temples. Meet at Xi'an's Drum Tower, which you can climb for a view of the surrounding area.
 Lunch: At a nearby Muslim restaurant, enjoy a delicious lunch with local flavors
 Afternoon: The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. If you'd like to do some exploring on your own, your guide can make some suggestions -- for example a walk or bike ride on Xi'an's city wall or a visit to its large herb market.
 Dinner: At restaurant.
 Evening: After dinner, visit the campus of Xi'an International Studies University to join their 'Thursday English Corner' -- a weekly gathering of students and some local citizens who practice spoken English and where you can have informal chats.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Calligraphy/Pandas/flight to Chongqing for Yangtze River Cruise
(Friday, April 5)
 Breakfast: After tai ji practice, enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: A brief introduction to Chinese calligraphy at your hotel. If time permits, try your hand at producing some characters. Then depart for your flight to Chongqing, the port city situated on the Yangtze.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Visit Chongqing's Zoological Gardens to view their pandas which are indigenous to only this province (Szechuan).
 Dinner: Dinner near the Yangtze Piers.
 Evening: Board your Yangtze vessel and, as you set sail, view the hill city of Chongqing at night.
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Yangtze River Cruise/Relocated Village/Chinese Music and Dance
(Saturday, April 6)
 Breakfast: Ship's buffet.
 Morning: Discuss traditional Chinese medicine and consider the Yangtze's influence on China. Whenever possible, your national guide will also continue instruction in tai ji and Chinese conversation.
 Lunch: Ship's buffet
 Afternoon: Visit a new village for relocated families. Explore their agricultural market and visit with a local family. This evening, the Captain invites you to a welcome reception
 Dinner: On board.
 Evening: Evening entertainment includes performances of Chinese music and dance.
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Yangtze River Cruise/Yangtze Gorges
(Sunday, April 7)
 Breakfast: Ship's buffet.
 Morning: Today, pass through the renowned Yangze Gorges. Later, disembark at Wushan Danning River for an excursion to the Three Little Gorges, a quiet tributary of the Yangtze where we take sampans upstream beneath a fantastic natural backdrop. Look up in the cliffs for 'hanging coffins,' suspended there thousands of years ago by the Ba people. And further down the cliffs, watch for golden-haired monkeys and goats.
 Lunch: Ship's buffet.
 Afternoon: Return to your ship and continue sailing down the Yangtze River.
 Dinner: At restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy an on-board performance of Chinese music and dance.
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Three Gorges Dam Site/Disembark at Yichang/Wuhan
(Monday, April 8)
 Breakfast: Ship's buffet.
 Morning: This morning, take a short coach ride to the Three Gorges Dam site. From an observation deck, you will have a bird's-eye view of the dam, five-step ship lock, diversion canal, and power station. A nearby exhibition displays a dam model; a briefing will explain this project, one of the largest construction ventures ever.
 Lunch: Return to ship for an early lunch.
 Afternoon: Disembark at Yichang and then depart by coach for Wuhan (about 4 1/2 hours).
 Dinner: At hotel.
 Evening: Meet with your national guide and practice some Chinese phrases and learn Chinese finger counting.
Accommodations: Bin Hu Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: CHANGSHA: Wuhan Museum/Train to Changsha
(Tuesday, April 9)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji practice, enjoy breakfast at hotel buffet.
 Morning: Enjoy Wuhan Museum's beautiful collection of lacquer ware and other artifacts - including a large set of bells discovered in a tomb dating from 500 B.C.
 Lunch: Hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Board the train for the city of Changsha, capital of Hunan Province and often referred to as one of the 'rice bowls' of China.
 Dinner: En route.
Accommodations: Xin Du Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: CHANGSHA: Hunan Provincial Museum/Hunan Agricultural Academy
(Wednesday, April 10)
 Breakfast: Wake up to tai ji practice, followed by breakfast at hotel buffet.
 Morning: Explore the Hunan Provincial Museum and its fascinating collection (including mummified remains, silks, lacquerware) discovered in a 2,100 year old remarkably preserved tomb.
 Lunch: Hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Lectures and field excursions introduce you to rice cultivation, harvesting and processing.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: Practice Chinese with your national guide and learn some basic calligraphic characters.
Accommodations: Xin Du Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: 'Life of Mao Ze Dong'/Mao's Birthplace
(Thursday, April 11)
 Breakfast: Following morning tai ji, enjoy breakfast at hotel buffet.
 Morning: Before departing, a Talk will introduce Mao Ze Dong whose impact on 20th century China is controversial and incontrovertible. Then depart by coach for the city of Xiangtan to catch your 'starter' train the next morning.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: On the way, stop at Mao's birthplace with a visit to his boyhood village. After exploring 'Mao country,' continue on to Xiangtan, to spend the night before the train journey to Kaili.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: Get together with your group leader to practice Chinese conversation.
Accommodations: Huadu International Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Train Journey to Kaili
(Friday, April 12)
 Breakfast: Following morning tai ji, enjoy breakfast at hotel buffet.
 Morning: Depart by train for Kaili. Travel through Hunan Province to the Province of Guizhou, one of China's most beautiful and sparsely populated regions.
 Lunch: On board train.
 Afternoon: Cross the border to Guizhou Province, where you begin to notice the difference in architecture, especially the elegant wooden, balconied houses of Miao families.
 Dinner: At your hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Grand Dragon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: KAILI: 'Minority People of Guizhou'/Shiqiao Miao Village/Qingman Miao Village
(Saturday, April 13)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: This morning a Talk at your hotel discusses the minority peoples of Guizhou Province. Then drive into the beautiful Kaili countryside passing terraced mountains and small Miao villages set on the hillsides. The Miao are renowned for their silverwork, indigo batik, colorful embroidery, and for their talent as dancers and musicians. This morning explore a small mountain village in which, for centuries, households have made fine calligraphy paper from the bark of the mulberry tree.
 Lunch: Box lunch provided.
 Afternoon: On the way back to Kaili, stop at Qingman Village for a music and dance performance.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: Practice useful Chinese phrases with your national guide.
Accommodations: Grand Dragon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dinner, Dinner

Day 21: Traditional Medicine Hospital/Sunday Market/Music, Dance and Choral Performances
(Sunday, April 14)
 Breakfast: Following morning tai ji, enjoy breakfast at hotel buffet.
 Morning: Visit a Traditional Medicine Hospital and then explore Kaili's Sunday Market where Miao people come to exchange, sell and buy goods from baskets and cookingware to necklaces and hand embroidery. Pass itinerant dentists and barbers plying their skills.
 Lunch: Hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: After lunch, travel westward by coach to Guiyang, the provincial capital.
 Dinner: Dinner is at your hotel.
 Evening: A private performance presents the vibrant music and dance of the province's people. Listen for the distinctive sound of Dong people's a capella chorus.
Accommodations: Ramada Plaza Hotel Guiyang
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: GUIYANG: Earth Opera Demonstration/Dim Sum/Children's Palace/ Farewell Banquet
(Monday, April 15)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: This morning, visit Ji Chang village whose residents are descendants of Han military units sent to Guizhou in the 15th century. Among the customs they brought with them was 'dixi' ('earth opera'), a folk form that dates from the early Ming Dynasty and is still performed in 'old Han' locales. Villagers will perform a sampling of dixi, using traditional hand-made wooden masks.
 Lunch: Enjoy dim sum lunch -- a Cantonese 'tea meal' favorite. These dishes include a selection of fried and steamed dumplings, as well as various other savory items. The term for this Chinese style of eating translates as 'Heart's Delight.' Originally dim sum referred to the Cantonese practice of serving small dishes in teahouses.
 Afternoon: Enjoy interacting with local youngsters at Guiyang 'Children's Palace' a government supported recreation center, examples of \ which exist throughout China and where extra activities include music, dance, painting, calligraphy, sports and martial arts.
 Dinner: Farewell banquet at Guiyang Hotel.
Accommodations: Ramada Plaza Hotel Guiyang
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: SHANGHAI: Fly to Shanghai/Bund Promenade/ Pudong
(Tuesday, April 16)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: Fly to Shanghai on early morning flight.
 Lunch: Local restaurant in Shanghai en route to hotel
 Afternoon: After checking in to your hotel, depart for the Bund, Shanghai's Huangpu River promenade, to view the busy river activity and the iconic art deco and neo-classic buildings dating from the time of 'foreign concessions' in Shanghai. Travel to the other side of the river to the newly developed area of Pudong --until recently undeveloped farmland and now a glittering forest of skyscrapers.
 Dinner: Local restaurant.
 Evening: At your leisure.
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: SHANGHAI: Shanghai Museum/Xin Tian Di/Acrobatics
(Wednesday, April 17)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: Visit the Shanghai Fine Arts Museum. This 'state-of-the-art' museum is home to China's finest collection of paintings, ceramics, bronzes and sculptures and is an impressive testimony to China's long and rich culture. (If you like travel to the Museum on Shanghai's new metro with your local guide.)
 Morning: Visit the Shanghai Fine Arts Museum. This 'state-of-the-art' museum is home to China's finest collection of paintings, ceramics, bronzes and sculptures and is an impressive testimony to China's long and rich culture. (If you like travel to the Museum on Shanghai's new metro with your local guide.)
 Lunch: Coach to Shanghai’s Xin Tian Di district – a restoration project that has set a benchmark for Asia. Walk about this new and fashionable area; take lunch on your own in one of its many cafes or international cuisine restaurants.
 Afternoon: The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. If you want to explore some other areas, your local guide can give you some suggestions (e.g. visit the Urban Planning Center with a huge model of Shanghai as planned for 2020, explore the old French quarter, visit Shanghai TV tower for a ‘bird’s-eye view of Shanghai or stroll in the People’s Park where there are several museums besides the Shanghai Museum which you visit)
 Dinner: Dinner in a restaurant on the way to a performance by the famous Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe.
 Evening: Performance by Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe. For more than 2,000 years, acrobatics has been an important aspect of Chinese performing arts and many of the feats performed originated with skills perfected by artisans and craftspeople. Acrobatics figures in other performance genres such as Chinese opera.
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 25: SHANGHAI: Yu Garden/Old Section/Free Afternoon
(Thursday, April 18)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: This morning, explore Shanghai's historic old section and the nearby Yu Garden, whose classical pavilions, fountains, and arching bridges exemplify traditional Chinese garden landscaping.
 Lunch: At Longhua Temple, enjoy imaginative vegetarian cuisine prepared by Temple monks.
 Afternoon: The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Free Time Opportunities
  Xi'an Forest of Stone Steles Museum
This small, pleasant museum -- once a temple with peaceful gardens -- houses ancient stone tablets with exemplary Chinese calligraphy. As well, it has a small collection of sculpture and ceramics.
  Night Market
Xi'an's night market bustles with activity. Locals and visitors stroll, chat and look for bargains.
  People's Park
Typical meeting place where various generations gather for tai ji, to air pet birds, play traditional musical instruments or practice local opera.
  Beijing Summer Palace
Located outside Beijing, the Summer Palace is among the largest and best preserved of imperial parks. It is famed for Kunming Lake which is laced with lily ponds and crossed by steep arching bridges. It can be reached easily by taxi or by metro.
  Beihai Park
This former imperial garden with a scenic large lake is a lovely spot to walk about or just to sit and people-watch as it is a favorite park for families to relax.
  Shanghai French Concession
The former French concession contains mansions from colonial past, many now turned into chic restaurants and pubs, often with garden seating. The area also includes Huaihai Road with upscale shops and the former residence of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, now a small and pleasant museum open to the public.
  Hall of Urban Planning Center
The Shanghai Exhibition Hall of Urban Planning (not far from the Shanghai Museum) includes archival photos and a vast scale model of Shanghai as projected in 2020.
  Huangpu River Cruise
There are many cruise offerings both night and day and differing in length of time. Ask your local guide in Shanghai how to arrange for tickets. Evening cruises can sometimes be very crowded.
  Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Built in 1994, situated on the Pudong side of the river, the TV tower offers 365 degree views of Shanghai. Lines can sometimes be quite long.
  Peace Hotel
This art deco hotel built by the Sassoon family has recently been restored. Enjoy the lobby or walk up to the roof and garden bar for spectacular views of the Bund and the Huangpu River and the newly developed Pudong area on the opposite bank.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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