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China

Classic Icons of China and Yangtze River Cruise

Program No. 15122RJ
Sail the Yangtze River alongside experts as you learn about and explore the icons of China, enjoying lectures, gaining insider knowledge and walking on the Great Wall.
Length
16 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
4,499

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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 1 - Apr 16, 2023
Starting at
4,499
May 6 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
4,499
Sep 2 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
4,499
Oct 7 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
4,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 1 - Apr 16, 2023
Starting at
5,379
May 6 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
5,379
Sep 2 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
5,379
Oct 7 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
5,379

At a Glance

Gain a vivid overview of ancient and present-day China as you encounter its most significant icons. On the Yangtze, discover how the world’s third-longest river influenced China’s development for thousands of years. Uncover the differences between the South and North as you explore imperial Beijing, ancient Xi’an, cosmopolitan Shanghai, and sail beneath the mystical mountains of the Li River.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three miles daily; uneven terrain, uneven stone stairs; steps without railings.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Voyage down the Yangtze River, visiting river towns along the way, and sail through its legendary gorges.
  • Walk the Great Wall, enter the Forbidden City, and lunch with a courtyard family in "Old Beijing."
  • Sail on the beautiful Li River as it winds through a sublime mountain landscape that has inspired centuries of Chinese painting and poetry.

General Notes

Optional tai ji and Chinese conversation classes.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Chinese Religions, Philosophy, and Character; Hongying Yang
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.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Chinese Religions, Philosophy, and Character;   Hongying Yang
Chinese Religions, Philosophy, and Character; Hongying Yang View biography
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.
Profile Image of Qing Zhao
Zhao Qing (‘Cindy’) grew up close to Mandarin-speaking Beijing and received her B.S. degree in biology and environmental protection from Hebei University. Cindy has studied, lived and worked in the U.S. and Canada and is fluent in English and Mandarin. A regular practitioner of tai ji and an avid cook, Cindy also enjoys being a global citizen -- currently dividing her time between Canada and China.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
China Reading and Film List
by Availability
An annotated reading and film list is an attachment near the end of the First Information Packet sent to participants three months before departure. To receive it earlier in a separate email, send your email request to Chinese American Educational Exchange: toc@ix.netcom.com. Be sure to include the program number in which you are enrolled and the departure date.
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16 days
15 nights
37 meals
14 B 12 L 11 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive China’s Capital Beijing/Welcome Meeting
Beijing
D
Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

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

DAY
3
Summer Palace, Tian'anmen Square, China: Land & Peoples
Beijing
B,L,D
Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

Activity note: Driving up to 1.5 hours throughout the day. Walking up to 1 mile in the Summer Palace on flat, paved terrain. Walking up to 1/2 mile from the coach to Tian’anmen Square and back to the coach (round trip).

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: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: On the way back to your hotel stop at Tian'anmen Square, known as the 'Heart of Beijing'. Then, return to your hotel for a Talk: China’s Land and Peoples.

Dinner: At your Welcome Banquet, experience Beijing’s famous culinary delight: an authentic Peking Duck dinner.

Evening: After dinner, the rest of the evening is at your leisure.

DAY
4
Temple of Heaven, Old Beijing, Family Lunch, Forbidden City
Beijing
B,L,D
Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

Activity note: Walk approximately 1.6 miles from the entrance to the exit of the Temple of Heaven Park on flat, paved terrain. Climbing the Temple requires 27 steps. Walking up to 1/2 mile in Hutong area. Walking approximately 2 miles in and around the Forbidden City on flat, paved terrain with many chairs and benches to rest; up to 80 steps with railings.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Depart the hotel 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.

Lunch: Enjoy a typical north Chinese lunch of dumplings ('jiaozi') with a local family in 'Old Beijing' hutong homes. (Hutongs are small residential alleys and courtyards that are rapidly disappearing.)

Afternoon: This afternoon, explore the Forbidden City – the 250- acre imperial compound that was once the residence and seat of the Qing Emperors and ‘forbidden’ to all others.

Dinner: Dinner is at a nearby restaurant.

Evening: Get together with your group leader to practice Chinese.

DAY
5
China's Great Wall, Fly to Xian
Xi'an
B,L
Grand Noble Hotel

Activity note: The motor coach trip to the Great Wall is about 45 miles, approximately 2 hours. Walking up to 1 mile. We will take a cable car to a higher point on the wall (weather and wind permitting). Some parts of the wall are very steep as it is in a mountainous area; walking sticks or trekking poles are helpful. The drive from the Great Wall to the airport is approximately 1.5-2 hours. The flight to Xi’an is approximately 2 hours. The motor coach trip from Xi’an airport to the hotel is about 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am. Plan for an early breakfast as we depart early for the Great Wall.

Morning: This morning, travel outside of Beijing city to a green mountain range where you can walk the Great Wall and experience spectacular views as it winds up and down the distant mountains.

Lunch: A simple box lunch is provided to eat at a spot of your choosing on the wall.

Afternoon: This afternoon, fly to Xi'an, the capital of China during the golden age of the Tang Dynasty.

Dinner: A light supper served in-flight.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Chinese Life Views, Dynastic Treasures in Museum of History
Xi'an
B,L,D
Grand Noble Hotel

Activity note: At the museum, walk approximately 1 mile mostly indoors. Approximately 2 hours spent at the museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am. If you like, join your Group Leader for a pre-breakfast tai ji session.

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: Enjoy lunch at the university dining room.

Afternoon: Explore Xi’an History Museum, one of China’s finest and which provides an enlightening window into China’s dynastic history.

Dinner: at restaurant

Evening: Get together with your group leader to learn number counting and useful phrases.

DAY
7
A Qin Emperor's Terra Cotta Warriors, Muslim Area Walkabout
Xi'an
B,L
Grand Noble Hotel

Activity note: Drive is about 1 hour each way. Walking approximately 2 miles at the Terra Cotta Warriors on flat, paved terrain with many benches to rest. In the Muslim area, walking up to 0.6 mile, or 1.5 miles total if choosing to walk back to the hotel from the Muslim section.

Breakfast: Join your Group Leader to continue tai ji movement and then enjoy your hotel's buffet breakfast.

Morning: This morning, experience one of the most astounding archeological discoveries of the 20th century -- the huge tomb site of the Qin Emperor, containing an army of life size terra cotta infantrymen, cavalry, horses, and graceful archers.

Lunch: At restaurant nearby.

Afternoon: This afternoon return to your hotel or join your group leader for an informal walk in Xi'an's Hui Muslim section.

Dinner: A chance for you to choose your own local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Fly to Guilin, Coach to Yangshuo, Music on the Li River
Yangshuo
B,L,D
Guilin Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel

Activity note: The motor coach trip to the airport is about 1 hour. The flight to Guilin is approximately 2 hours. The motor coach trip from Guilin airport to the hotel in Yangshuo is about 1 hour. The evening outdoor performance will last for approximately 70 minutes.

Breakfast: Enjoy optional tai ji class followed by hotel buffet breakfast before checking out of the hotel.

Morning: This morning fly to Guilin/Yangshuo.

Lunch: A light lunch served in flight.

Afternoon: Arrive at Guilin Airport and coach to Yangshuo (about two hours).

Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.

Evening: This evening, enjoy the open-air musical, 'Third Sister Liu,' directed by the renowned Zhang Yi Mou (the director of Beijing Olympics magnificent Opening and Closing Ceremonies). Set amidst the natural scenery of the Li River and surrounding mountains, Zhang's musical Folk Opera uses actors and singers from local fishing families wearing ethnic costume and singing traditional folk songs in an extraordinary setting.

DAY
9
Village Country Life and Li River Cruise
Yangshuo
B,L
Guilin Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel

Activity note: The motor coach trip to the village is approximately 40 minutes. Walk up to 1/4 mile through the village on flat, paved terrain to the dock for Li River Cruise. The cruise is about 2 hours round trip. Walk around the village after the cruise and coach back to the hotel, 40 minutes drive.

Breakfast: Tai ji exercise followed by hotel buffet breakfast. (Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am.)

Morning: Drive to the nearby countryside where you can explore local villages enveloped by magnificent karst mountains.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a riverside restaurant.

Afternoon: Depart for the banks of the Li River, a source of much Chinese landscape painting and poetry. Embark on an afternoon's cruise amid this serene and unique landscape.

Dinner: Your chance to explore local fare.

Evening: Learn about Chinese landscape painting in a demonstration by a Master at your hotel.

DAY
10
Fly to Chongqing, Giant Pandas, Yangtze River Sailing
Yangtze River Vessel
B,L,D
Victoria Cruise Lines

Activity note: Drive is about 1 hour to the airport; flight to Chongqing is approximately 1.5 hours, drive 1 hour to Chongqing Zoological Gardens. Walking up to 1.5 miles at the Zoological Gardens. About 35 steps down to the Yangtze River Dock with railings for embarkation. Luggage must be claimed at the Chongqing airport and will be transported directly to the vessel. Carry-on luggage can be left on the coach during the day.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet breakfast. Check out of hotel after breakfast.

Morning: Depart early for the airport and fly to the port city of Chongqing on the Yangtze River.

Lunch: light lunch in flight

Afternoon: From Chongqing airport coach to a monorail station for a ride to Chongqing's Zoological Gardens to observe giant pandas, which are indigenous to this province (Szechuan) only.

Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant near the Yangtze Piers.

Evening: Board your Yangtze vessel and, as you set sail, view the hill city of Chongqing at night.

DAY
11
New Yangtze Village Relocated Families, Afternoon at leisure
Yangtze River Vessel
B,L,D
Victoria Cruise Lines

Activity note: After disembarkation, a gentle slope will lead to the village. Walk up to 1/2 mile at the relocated village on flat, paved terrain then back to the ship.

Breakfast: Ship's buffet

Morning: Today, learn about the changes in the lives of families who have moved from an ‘old city’ to new housing above the Yangtze waters.

Lunch: Ship's buffet

Afternoon: You will be notified of times for shore visits, cultural programs and talks on a daily basis. Where possible, your national guide will also continue instruction in Tai Ji and Chinese conversation. This evening, the Captain invites you to a welcome reception.

Dinner: On board

Evening: Evening entertainment includes performances of Chinese music and dance.

DAY
12
Sail through the Yangtze Gorges and Mini-Gorges
Yangtze River Vessel
B,L,D
Victoria Cruise Lines

Activity note: Walk approximately 200 yards from the cruise ship to a smaller ferryboat for a 2-hour cruise on the beautiful tributary of Yangtze River.

Breakfast: Ship's buffet

Morning: Today, pass through the magnificent Yangtze Gorges and ferry 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 the ship, the river and river towns.

Dinner: On board

Evening: Enjoy an on-board performance of Chinese music and dance.

DAY
13
Three Gorges Dam Site, Disembark, Flight to Shanghai
Shanghai
B,L,D
Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai Daning

Activity note: Visiting Three Gorges Dam for about 2.5 hours. About 40 steps at the dam and 30 steps disembarking the ship in the afternoon. Flight to Shanghai is about 1 hr 45 mins.

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 birds-eye view of the dam, the five-step ship lock, the diversion canal, and the power station. A nearby exhibition room displays a model of the dam, and a briefing will explain this project which is one of the largest construction ventures ever undertaken.

Lunch: Lunch on board.

Afternoon: Disembark and transfer to Yichang Airport for flight to Shanghai.

Dinner: At a restaurant en route to our hotel in Shanghai.

Evening: Arrive Shanghai and transfer to your hotel for check in.

DAY
14
Arts Museum, Riverside Bund, Shanghai Acrobatics
Shanghai
B,D
Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai Daning

Activity note: The coach trip to Shanghai Museum is approximately 1/2 hour. Spend about 2 hours at the museum; elevators and escalators available. Acrobatic performance will last for 1hr 40 minutes.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:00 am and10:30 am.

Morning: Explore the state-of-the-art Shanghai Museum, home to China's finest collection of paintings, ceramics, bronzes and sculptures and a dynamic testimony to China's long and rich culture.

Lunch: The museum contains a small café where you can take lunch on your own at a time that is convenient for you as you explore the museum. Your group leader can also give you suggestions for restaurants nearby.

Afternoon: Depart the museum for a stroll on 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.

Dinner: at restaurant.

Evening: Enjoy an evening of amazing skill and prowess at a performance by the world-famous Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe. Acrobatics have, for thousands of years, been considered as one of the 'treasures' of Chinese performing arts and figure in other genres such as Beijing Opera.

DAY
15
Ming Dynasty Yu Garden, Longhua Temple, Xin Tian Di District
Shanghai
B,L,D
Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai Daning

Activity note: Approximately 30 minute coach ride to the old section; walk through the winding alley at the old section with souvenir stores on both sides for approximately 1/2 mile to the Yu Garden to enjoy its classical pavilions, fountains, and arching bridges. Drive approximately 45 minutes to a vegetarian restaurant near the Longhua Temple to enjoy this unique cuisine.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:00 am and 10:30 am.

Morning: This morning, we depart the hotel to explore Shanghai's historic old section and the nearby Yu Garden, whose classical pavilions, fountains, and arching bridges exemplify traditional Chinese garden landscaping.

Lunch: Enjoy imaginative vegetarian cuisine near Longhua Temple, Shanghai's largest and most active temple.

Afternoon: Coach to Shanghai’s Xin Tian Di district – a cultural street and restoration project that has set a benchmark for Asia.

Dinner: Enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a nearby restaurant.

DAY
16
Program Concludes
Shanghai
B

Breakfast: hotel buffet,Hotel buffet is offered between 6:00 am and 10:30 am.

Morning: This morning depart for Shanghai Airport for international departures or post-program travel. Your Group Leader will advise you as to departure time.






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.