Road Scholar : Home
The Best of China: Imperial Capitals, Tibet and the Yangtze River

Program Number: 19406RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/27/2015 - 9/16/2015; 4/21/2016 - 5/11/2016; 5/10/2016 - 5/30/2016; 5/17/2016 - 6/6/2016; 8/25/2016 - 9/14/2016; 9/11/2016 - 10/1/2016; 10/6/2016 - 10/26/2016; 10/16/2016 - 11/5/2016; 10/19/2016 - 11/8/2016;
Duration: 20 nights
Location: China/Tibet
Price starting at: $4,667.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 51; 19 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 15 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian    

Absorb the complex identity of China on a grand journey that brings you face-to-face with the country’s glorious treasures and modern identity. Feel the energy of Beijing and Shanghai, experience life along the Yangtze River and discover the fascinating land of Tibet on the “Roof of the World.”


• Travel to Tibetan grasslands where nomadic families raise yak, sheep and goats. Speak with pastoral villagers and the director of their small school.
• Marvel at the massive Buddhist cliff carvings of the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Voyage down the Yangtze River, sailing through its legendary gorges, to the Three Gorges Dam to examine firsthand this extraordinary feat of engineering.

Activity Particulars

Extensive walking over uneven terrain, up to three hours per day. Stairs are unavoidable on some field trips and as you embark and disembark ship on Yangtze River docks, which also may not have railings. Elevations up to 12,000 feet.

Date Specific Information

8-27-2015, 4-21-2016, 5-10-2016, 5-17-2016, 8-25-2016, 9-11-2016, 10-6-2016, 10-16-2016, 10-19-2016

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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Beijing (China), 4 nights; flight to Luoyang, 2 nights; train to Xi’an, 3 nights; flight to Lhasa (Tibet), 4 nights; flight to Chongqing; Yangtze River study cruise, 3 nights; disembark in Yichang, flight to Shanghai, 3 nights; departure.

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

Discover the Forbidden City — the former seat and residence of Qing rulers — and explore Tian'anmen Square before enjoying a dinner of traditional Peking Duck. Journey to the Great Wall at Jin Shan Ling where you walk through its battlements and watchtowers for views of the wall crossing mountains in the distance. Wander the alleys and lanes of "old Beijing" where you visit with families in their courtyard homes.

Flight to Luoyang
2 nights

Stroll through the Temple of Heaven park where local people practice tai chi, play traditional instruments and practice ballroom dancing. Examine the massive Buddhist cliff carvings at Longmen Grottoes. Learn about life in a nearby village as you speak with teachers and children at its primary school.

Train to Xi’an
3 nights

Enjoy vantages of rural life on an express train to the ancient capital of Xi’an. In the city’s lively Muslim section, savor the aroma of spices and the blend of cultures dating to the days of the Silk Road. Engage in informal chats with English-speaking students at the International Studies University. Contemplate one of the most astounding archeological finds of the 20th century -- the Terracotta Army in the tomb of China’s first emperor.

Flight to Lhasa (Tibet)
4 nights

Step inside the majestic Potala Palace, built into a mountainside to serve as the seat of the Dalai Lama. Journey to grasslands where nomadic families raise yak. Meet with pastoral villagers and the devoted director of their small school. Enjoy an al fresco lunch in the countryside. At the Hospital of Traditional Tibetan Medicine learn about its centuries-old precepts.

Embark Yangtze River study vessel
Yangtze River
3 nights

Delight in a visit to Chongqing Zoological Gardens to meet its giant pandas. Voyage down the Yangtze passing beneath its legendary gorges, stepping ashore at river towns, and witnessing firsthand the immense Three Gorges Dam.

Coach and flight to Shanghai
3 nights

Discover Shanghai’s intriguing cityscape from the neoclassical to the ultramodern. Learn about Shanghai of the future at its Urban Planning Center and explore the Ming Dynasty Yu Garden in Shanghai’s historic district.

Beijing: Four-star hotel near historic sites. Luoyang: Hotel opposite its lively People's Square. Xi'an: Hotel inside city walls in heart of downtown. Lhasa: Three-star hotel on the northern bank of Lhasa River. Yangtze Vessel: First-class cruise ship. 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.
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.
Baima Wangdui

Professor Baima Wangdui is a senior professor in the Art Department of Tibet University. He is an expert on Thangka painting and gives numerous student lectures on the subject. In addition, he has extensive knowledge in Tibetan Buddhism, to which Thangka art is very closely linked.
Suolang Wangmu

Professor Suolang Wangmu, a senior professor at Tibet University, received her doctorate in linguistics from the University of Bergen in Norway. She has been a visiting scholar at Sichuan University Department of Foreign Studies, and the University of York in Britain. Professor Suoloang Wangmu has often traveled abroad as an invited lecturer on the subject of Tibetan religion.
Meals and Lodgings
   Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
  Beijing, China 4 nights
   Friendship Hotel
  Luoyang, China 2 nights
   Grand Noble Hotel
  Xi'an, China 3 nights
   Kyichu Hotel Lhasa
  Lhasa, Tibet 4 nights
   Victoria Cruise Lines
  Yangtze River Vessel, China 3 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

 Kyichu Hotel Lhasa
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Kyichu Hotel is a 10 minute walk from Jokhang Temple and the center of old Lhasa.
  Contact info: No.149 Beijing East Road, Chengguan District
Lhasa,  Tibet China/Tibet
phone: +86 891 6338 824
  Room amenities: A/C, TV, hair dryer, laundry service.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, shops, coffee shop, Wi-Fi is available in the lobby and rooms.
  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

 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.
  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 Program Information Packet will include 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.
Elevation Note: Highest elevation is 12,000 feet in Lhasa, Tibet.

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
(Thursday, August 27)
 In Transit: International flight Departures

Day 2: BEIJING: Arrive China’s Capital Beijing/Welcome Meeting
(Friday, August 28)
 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: the Summer Palace/ China's Land and Peoples/ Peking Duck Welcome Dinner
(Saturday, August 29)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am.
 Morning: This morning, enjoy the beauty of the Qing Emperor’s Summer Palace where lily ponds and arched bridges border its serene lake and painted pavillions depict stories that reflect the rich history of Chinese life and art.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to your hotel for a Talk: China’s Land and Peoples
 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: The Great Wall
(Sunday, August 30)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am. Optional tai ji class before breakfast at 7:15 am.
 Morning: Drive out to the Great Wall at Jin Shan Ling -- sometimes referred to as 'the Wild Great Wall' as it is not overly restored. Take a gondola lift to the upper part of the wall, then walk along its battlements and through watchtowers to experience magnificent views of the wall as it climbs and descends over the distant mountains.
 Lunch: A picnic lunch is provided to enjoy in a spot of your choosing on the Wall.
 Afternoon: Return to your hotel in Beijing.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Get together with your group leader for an informal chance to learn some useful Chinese expressions.
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: BEIJING: Old Beijing Hutongs/Family Lunch/Free Afternoon
(Monday, August 31)
 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. Walk or pedicab around the district that houses many historic residences, including the former home of Song Qing Ling, politicial activist and wife of Dr. Sun Yat Sen.
 Lunch: Enjoy a local lunch hosted by hutong families.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is at your leisure.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Evening: at your leisure
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: BEIJING and LUOYANG:Temple of Heaven/ Flight to Luoyang
(Tuesday, September 1)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet breakfast
 Morning: This morning, explore 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. .
 Lunch: a light lunch served on your flight to Luoyang.
 Afternoon: Fly to the small city of Luoyang in Henan Province. Luoyang was one of the four great ancient capitals of China and is home to the extraordinary Longmen Buddhist cliff carvings.
 Dinner: At the hotel or a nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a private introduction and demonstration of Chinese musical instruments at your hotel.
Accommodations: Friendship Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: LUOYANG: Longmen Grotto Carvings and Village Life
(Wednesday, September 2)
 Breakfast: Enjoy early morning tai ji movements at 7:15 am in the People's Square (filled with local people practicing martial arts, ballroom dancing or airing pet birds). The square is very active in the morning and evening. Hotel's buffet breakfast is offered between 6:00 am and 10:00 am.
 Morning: 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: With families in Huaishuwan, an agricultural village.
 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: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Evening: Practice Chinese conversation with your group leader.
Accommodations: Friendship Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: XI'AN: Train to Xi'an (Shaanxi Province)/ Muslim Section/ Drum Tower/ English Corner
(Thursday, September 3)
 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: Train arrives at Xi'an Station about noon. We'll have lunch at a Muslim Restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore Xi'an's Hui Moslem section on foot. We'll meet at Xi'an's ancient Drum Tower to catch a traditional drumming performance. After, check in to your hotel in the late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner is at your hotel or nearby 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 want to practice spoken English and with whom you can have informal chats.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: XI'AN: 'Chinese Cultural History'/History Museum/Dumpling Banquet
(Friday, September 4)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: At Xi'an International Studies University, one of China's key universities, you learn about Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism as a way of understanding Chinese character and customs. After, visit the campus with students from the university's renowned English Department and learn about student life in China.
 Lunch: University dining room.
 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: Taste a selection of unique dumplings with amusing shapes and delicious variations in fillings -- a Xi'an specialty.
 Evening: Join your Program Leader for informal instruction in useful Chinese conversational phrases.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: XI'AN: a Qin Emperor's Terra Cotta Warriors/ China's Government Now
(Saturday, September 5)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel
 Morning: Experience the unparelled wonder 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: Get together with your Program Leader for a discussion of Chinese government structure.
 Dinner: Your chance to choose local fare.
 Evening: At your leisure.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: LHASA: Tibetan Life and Culture/ Norbulingka Summer Palace
(Sunday, September 6)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Depart for flight to Lhasa, the ancient capital of Tibet.
 Lunch: a light lunch will be served in flight.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, At Tibet University, learn about Tibetan Life, Culture, and Religion. Then explore Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama which contains his residential quarters. (Note that although Tibet uses ‘Beijing time,’ it is actually about 2 hours ‘later’ than Beijing. Your itinerary adjusts for this time difference.)
 Dinner: in the hotel.
 Evening: Practice Chinese conversation with your group leader.
Accommodations: Kyichu Hotel Lhasa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: LHASA: Monasteries, Medicine, Temples of Tibet
(Monday, September 7)
 Breakfast: buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the heart of Lhasa - Jokhang Temple, built in the 7th century. This is the most revered temple in Tibet, and the destination of pilgrims who journey by any means, even on foot, to worship here. Surrounding the temple, the Bokhor Bazaar offers an exciting array of Tibetan goods both old and new: Tools, cloth, thangkas, jewelry and yak hides.
 Lunch: At a restaurant overlooking the bazaar, serving Tibetan and international dishes.
 Afternoon: Walk to the nearby traditional Tibetan Medicine Hospital for an introductory talk by Dr. Chiwang, who explains the precepts of Tibetan medicine and treatments. Enjoy the hospital's colorful array of medical thangkas. Choose to return to the hotel or continue to the outskirts of Lhasa to experience the magnificent Drepong Monastery, Tibet's largest.
 Dinner: In the hotel or nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Discuss Tibetan culture and religion with your Tibetan guide.
Accommodations: Kyichu Hotel Lhasa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: LHASA: Tibetan Village/ Lhasa Museum
(Tuesday, September 8)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Travel to Nomadic grasslands beyond Lhasa where pastoral families raise yak, sheep, goats and horses. If it is grazing season, visit with nomadic families and then observe Tibetan rural life in a small village. Visit its primary school and meet with its dedicated director.
 Lunch: al fresco
 Afternoon: On the way back, stop at the Tibet Museum, home to a rich collection of cultural relics, antique thangkas, scriptures, costumes, and folk art. For those who would like to continue on to your hotel, feel free to do so.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Evening: Practice Chinese conversation with your group leader.
Accommodations: Kyichu Hotel Lhasa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: LHASA: Potala Palace/ Thangka Painting
(Wednesday, September 9)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the Potala Palace, seat of the Dalai Lama and one of the most awe-inspiring princely residences and palaces in the world.
 Lunch: At Lhasa cuisine restaurant
 Afternoon: Learn about traditional Thangka painting (Tibetan religious scrolls) through a talk and demonstration.
 Dinner: at your hotel
 Evening: Enjoy a private Farewell Tibetan Dance and Singing party.
Accommodations: Kyichu Hotel Lhasa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: CHONGQING and YANGTZE RIVER: Chongqing Pandas/Yangtze River Embarkation
(Thursday, September 10)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Depart for flight to Chongqing, an independent municipality situated inside Szechuan Province and at the head of the navigable Yangtze.
 Lunch: a light lunch will be served in flight.
 Afternoon: At Chongqing Zoological Gardens, meet its giant pandas, indigenous to Szechuan Province only.
 Dinner: Enjoy a traditional Szechuan 'hot pot' dinner.
 Evening: Board your Yangtze vessel and, as you depart, view the hill city of Chongqing at night.
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: YANGTZE RIVER:Sailing the Yangtze
(Friday, September 11)
 Breakfast: Ship's Buffet
 Morning: Discuss traditional Chinese medicine and consider the Yangtze's influence on China. Where 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.
 Dinner: Before a set dinner on board, the Captain invites you to a welcome reception.
 Evening: Evening entertainment includes performances of Chinese music and dance
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: YANGTZE RIVER:Sailing through Yangtze Gorges/ Sampan cruise on Mini-Gorges
(Saturday, September 12)
 Breakfast: ship's buffet
 Morning: Today, pass through the magnificent Yangtze Gorges and cruise in sampans up a mini-gorge on a pristine tributary of the Yangtze where you can catch glimpses of red monkeys amongst the trees, goats clinging to the craggy cliffs, and 'hanging coffins' secured in the cliff face by the Ba people centuries ago.
 Lunch: ship's buffet
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to enjoy sailing on the river, ship's presentations, or Chinese language learning with your program leader.
 Dinner: Set dinner in ship's dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy an on-board performance of Chinese music and dance.
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: YANGTZE RIVER: Three Gorges Dam/ Disembark for flight to Shanghai
(Sunday, September 13)
 Breakfast: Ship's buffet
 Morning: This morning, take a short coach ride to the Three Gorges Dam site. From an observation deck, you 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: Lunch en route to Yichang airport.
 Afternoon: Flight to Shanghai.
 Dinner: at a nearby restaurant.
 Evening: If time permits, join your Program Leader for Chinese conversation.
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: SHANGHAI:Shanghai Museum/Xin Tian Di/ Urban Planning Center/ Acrobatics
(Monday, September 14)
 Breakfast: in the hotel. Tai ji is offered before breakfast.
 Morning: This morning, explore Shanghai Museum which houses China’s finest collection of ceramics, painting, sculpture, and bronzes. If you like, join your local guide for a ride on the Shanghai metro to the Museum stop – or take the coach.
 Lunch: Coach to Shanghai's fashionable Xin Tian Di (New Heaven Earth) section. Explore its lanes, cafes, shops, and a small restored residence/museum independently. Take lunch of your own choosing.
 Afternoon: Learn the background of new Shanghai at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. View archival photos and a vast scale model of Shanghai as projected in 2020.
 Dinner: in a local restaurant
 Evening: Acrobatics is considered one of China's performing arts 'treasures'. It has a history of thousands of years and figures in other genres such as Chinese opera. This evening, enjoy a performance by the famed Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe.
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 20: SHANGHAI:Shanghai's Changing Citiscape/Yu Garden/ the Bund
(Tuesday, September 15)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: Explore the Ming Dynasty Yu Garden in Shanghai’s historic district. The garden’s classical pavilions, fountains, and arching bridges exemplify traditional Chinese garden landscaping.
 Lunch: Experience a delicious and imaginative vegetarian meal, near the active Longhua Temple.
 Afternoon: Walk along the riverfront Bund beside art deco and neo-classic buildings stemming from Shanghai's history as a foreign 'concession'. View across the river 'new Shanghai' -- until recently undeveloped farmland and now a forest of glittering skyscrapers.
 Dinner: Farewell Banquet in nearby restaurant
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: SHANGHAI:International Departures
(Wednesday, September 16)
 Breakfast: at your hotel
 Morning: Depart for Pudong International Airport for departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  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.
  Renmin Guangchang (People's Square)
Located just off of the main shopping street Nanjing Road, this square was once the site of a horse-racing track popular in Shanghai among the 1930s elite. The park serves as a meeting place for Shanghai locals to practice tai ji or martial arts, play games or perform music and dance. Numerous attractions surround the square, including an English-style clock tower building, which was used as clubhouse for the Shanghai Race Club. Other surrounding buildings include Shanghai City Hall, the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Shanghai Urban Planning Center.
  Shanghai Walks
Many areas of Shanghai are quite ‘walkable’. Frommer’s Shanghai (or on line: contains interesting walking tours with clear directions. We strongly recommend using this for free time self-guided walks. For additional information, visit
  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 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.
  Beijing Walks
Many areas of Beijing are quite ‘walkable’. Frommer’s Beijing (or on line: ) contains interesting walking tours with clear directions. We strongly recommend using this for free time self-guided walks. For additional information, visit
  Capital Museum of Beijing
A new and elegant building housing five floors of Chinese arts including artifacts, calligraphy, painting, jade, and sculpture. For additional information, visit
  Factory 798
This defunct German-built factory complex houses international exhibitions of modern art, contemporary Chinese art, as well as creative art festivals in the spring and fall and contains various galleries, bookstores, cafes, etc. This Bauhaus influenced complex is quite large; maps are available on-site to navigate the different buildings and galleries.
  Liulichang Antiques Area
Restored area known especially for antiques, calligraphy, paintings, coins collectibles, and tea shops.
  Panjiayuan (Dirt Market)
Wander amongst thousands of stalls offering assortments of Chinese antiques and collectibles. Open weekends only and located further southeast of the city center. Bring your bargaining skills and watch out for fakes.
  The 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.
  Lhasa Bicycling
Rent a bicycle and explore the city on your own.
  Bokhor Bazaar and Jokhang Temple
Beyond the main circle of the Bokhor Bazaar are wonderful alleys and lanes worth exploring. Behind Jokhang Temple there is a small Muslim section as well as old residential dwellings.
  Lhasa River
Walk along the Lhasa River.
  Tibet Museum or Norbulingka
Revisit the Tibet Museum or Norbulingka
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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