Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group, Private

Discover China Tour (14 days)

Imperial Tours - China

Beijing, China To Shanghai, China

Valid for Departures Now Through: 24 May 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Beijing, China
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing None

Upon arrival at Beijing International Airport, you will be met at the gate by airport VIP staff, holding a sign with your name, who will lead you through immigration, baggage claim and customs. Your China Host will then meet you after you have claimed your luggage and passed through customs. Upon transferring to the hotel, you will have the remainder to the evening at leisure.

Day 2
Beijing, China
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Summer Palace & Traditional Hutongs

Today you will drive an hour northwest of the city center to the breathtaking Imperial Summer Palace, the enchanting mansion of the the Empress Dowager Cixi. Set on 700 acres of land, the Summer Palace incorporates stunning temples, arched bridges, capacious pavilions and the world's longest covered corridor, all within a landscape crafted according to the dictates of fengshui.

Later in the afternoon, you will visit an ancient quarter of Beijing, whose traditional alleyways known as hutongs are being preserved. Your tour begins in the everyday setting of an outdoor market from there you will travel partly on pedicab along the lakeside to an affluent neighborhood, where you will see beautifully restored traditional courtyard homes and have the opportunity to learn calligraphy.

Day 3
Beijing, China
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City & Antique Market

Today you will travel back in time strolling across Tiananmen Square, one of the largest squares of the modern era, after which you will enter the Forbidden City. We have arranged for special access to Chonghuagong, a section of the Forbidden City that is normally closed to the general public.

In the afternoon we will take you to the city's largest open-air antique/flea market offering unique souvenir solutions. This is your opportunity to polish you haggling techniques purchasing a genuine handmade Ming dynasty-reproduction chair, browse through bronze statuettes or guess the use of Tibetan curios.

Day 4
Beijing, China
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Great Wall of China

Today, you will visit the Great Wall of China. The section that we most highly recommend is further away, about 2 hours' drive, but is generally considered one of the most beautiful sections of the Great Wall. Once there, you will be treated to a private banquet on the Wall itself (wether permitting). After lunch you will be given some time for a stroll along the wall.

Day 5
Beijing, China
Xian, China
Sofitel Legend People's Grand Hotel Xian Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Temple of Heaven & Fly to Xi'an

In the morning you will visit the Temple of Heaven, the place where the former emperor came to meditate in the affairs of God and man. Today the 10 acres of ancient trees surrounding the marble terrace altar serve as a public park, free for pensioners and popular with amateur Peking Opera performers.

Later, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight to Xi'an, China's capital during the Han (206BC - 220AD) and Tang (618 - 907 AD) dynasties.

Day 6
Xian, China
Sofitel Legend People's Grand Hotel Xian Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Terracotta Warriors & Cycling Along the City Wall

This morning you will visit the awe inspiring Terracotta Warriors, built by China's first Emperor to protect him in the afterlife. Int he afternoon you will observe the enduring influence of Xi'an's vibrant Muslim community in its Great Mosque and forever-bustling Muslim Quarter. Tucked in an enclave within the historic City Wall.

Xi'an is fortunate to boast an intact defensive perimeter dating back to the Ming dynasty. Higher and taller than the Great Wall, you will be able to cycle along the top of this imposing structure to gain a unique perspective on Xi'an's two faces - the ancient city within the walls and the merging modern metropolis on the outside.

Day 7
Xian, China
Guilin, China
Banyan Tree Yangshuo Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Yangling Museum & Fly to Guilin

In the morning, you may wish to visit the stunning Yangling Museum, dedicated to the tomb of the Western Han dynasty emperor, Liu Qiu (188 - 141 BCE). The artefacts unearthed here, while similar in purpose to those found in the more famous tomb of Emperor Qin, are far more varied. For example they include courtesans, buildings and farm animals as well as soldiers. Highly stylized, they are also elegant - this is one of the most sophisticated displays you will find anywhere in China.

Later, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight to Guilin.

Day 8
Guilin, China
Banyan Tree Yangshuo Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Bamboo Raft Down the Li River & Traditional Village Life

The day begins with a ride on traditional bamboo rafts along a less visited tributary of the Li River. Children swim in the rippling waters, lined with overhanging clumps of bamboo. Local farmers rake the riverbed for reeds to give to their wives to dry out and weave. Fishermen click signals to their cormorants as they hunt the river bottom for fish.

In the afternoon, you will travel far from the tourist trail and deep into the countryside for a rare view of agricultural life. Here you will have the opportunity to wander through the river paddies and learn how to make soy milk and tofu from villagers.

Day 9
Guilin, China
Hangzhou, China
Four Seasons Hotel - Hangzhou Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Hangzhou

This morning has been left free, and with good reason. This is one of your best chances to enjoy a little down time. You may wish to go for a swim in one of the hotel pools or perhaps take a stroll along the river.

Later you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Hangzhou.

Day 10
Hangzhou, China
Four Seasons Hotel - Hangzhou Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tai Chi Session, Private Gondola Tour of the West Lake & 3,000 Buddhist Effigies

Between 1180 and 1315, Hangzhou reputedly was the largest city in the world: "more than 100 miles in diameter with 12,000 stone bridges", asserts Marco Polo with a gift for hyperbole, if no accuracy. Your location for a serene Tai Chi session this morning, allows you to enjoy the full breadth of Hangzhou's delightful vista prior to following more closely in Marco's footsteps by your boarding a private gondola to tour the romantic West Lake. It's not hard to guess why countless Chinese philosophers, politicians and poets came, stayed and died here. As your guide will surely tell you: "In heaven there is paradise, on earth Suzhou and Hangzhou."

You will now visit Hangzhou's Buddhist temple district. At the foot of a wooded hill, you can marvel at the Peak That Flew From Afar, a limestone rock face decorated for over four centuries from the tenth century with more than 3,000 Buddhist effigies.

Day 11
Hangzhou, China
Shanghai, China
The Peninsula Shanghai Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a drive through tea plantations where China's most famous green tea is cultivated, we take you to a classical Chinese garden where you will experience the arts of the Five Disciplines - calligraphy, music, incense, flower arranging and tea, all of which the scholar gentleman of the past was expected to be proficient. This is a chance for you to try your hand at some of these quintessentially Chinese arts, as significant to the scholar set a thousand years ago as they are becoming today amongst the newly minted Chinese.

You will then drive to Shanghai. Whether you prefer "Paris of the East" or "megacity of the new millennium", one thing is really worth noting: this brash energetic 21st century metropolis is really just a baby, young even by American standards.

Day 12
Shanghai, China
The Peninsula Shanghai Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Colonial Tour of Shanghai & Shopping in Shanghai

Today begins with a walking tour on colonial architecture in Shanghai given by a member of the shanghai Historical Society. This tour will take you into some of the most important buildings along the Bund and former French Concession.

En route to lunch, we will travel along sycamore-lined boulevards into the heart of the French Concession. This section of the "Paris of the Orient" now hosts many arts-based business and art galleries that we can visit if you so desire. The afternoon will be spent discovering some of Shanghai's great shopping treasures. This might include a contemporary ceramics shop, the private studio of a renowned designer or a shop selling cashmere for children.

Day 13
Shanghai, China
The Peninsula Shanghai Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Shanghai Museum & Yu Gardens

Today you will visit the Shanghai Museum, one of the most modern in the country. Arranged by category rather than according to chronology, its collection introduces and elucidates the gamut of Chinese art from ceramics to jade and ivory carvings to paintings.

Later in the day you will visit the Yu Gardens, one of the best examples of traditional Chinese garden design in the country. Afterwards, you will have some time to stroll through Shanghai's Old Quarter.

Day 14
Shanghai, China
The Peninsula Shanghai Breakfast

Today you will be transferred to the airport in time for your international departure.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Adventure
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Family Vacations
  • Food & Wine
  • Romance & Honeymoons
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature

Description

Discover the best of China with a company that knows China intimately. On our discover China tour you will experience a China you never knew existed. Discover some of the most hidden secrets in the Middle Kingdom from the comfort, safety and luxury in which Imperial Tours is renowned for.

About Us

Imperial Tours is exclusively China and exclusively luxury. We specialize in completely customized, creative itineraries to suit traveler's needs, traveling styles and interests. As Westerners based in China for almost 20 years, at Imperial Tours we understand the high end Western traveler and we also know China intimately providing clients unparalleled access to sites, guides and experts across China.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

A planning deposit may be applied.

Should you decide to cancel your place on the tour between the time of deposit and 90 days prior to the tour, you will forfeit USD150 per person, between 90 and 60 days prior to departure, you will forfeit your deposit, between 60 and 30 days prior to departure, you will forfeit 25% of the tour price, between 30 and 15 days you will forfeit 50% of the tour price, from 14 days or less, you will forfeit 70% of the tour price and from 3 days or less, you will forfeit 100% of the tour price. Should you decide to cancel your place on the tour between the time of deposit and 90 days prior to the tour, you will forfeit USD150 per person, between 90 and 60 days prior to departure, you will forfeit your deposit, between 60 and 30 days prior to departure, you will forfeit 25% of the tour price, between 30 and 15 days you will forfeit 50% of the tour price, from 14 days or less, you will forfeit 70% of the tour price and from 3 days or less, you will forfeit 100% of the tour price.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Imperial Tours - China

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highly recommend

By: dede


Reviewed on: 08 Jul 2013

our guide gwen was the best and handles everything- even the unexpected--- she is a credit to imperial tours which did a good job
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Bemis

Highly Recommended

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 19 Nov 2013

We had a wonderful adventure, with unexpected surprise touches that made it extra meaningful. Of the 7 guides that we had, 5 were excellent!! We were able, within 24 hour notice, to make additions/changes to the schedule, which allowed us to do some things we had not previously realized we would like to have included in the schedule. Hotel accomodations were wonderful and Sam stayed in close touch during our trip to be certain all was moving along smoothly.
Travel Advisor:  Michael King

The best way to travel in China.

By: D2


Reviewed on: 03 Dec 2013

Our experience with Imperial Tours exceeded our expectations. Their model of small groups, great properties, terrific guides and drivers as well as itineraries that include both the must see highlights coupled with some unique/customized experiences results in a great trip. Their followup and accessibility during the trip was also a plus. We will not hesitate to plan another trip to China with Imperial Tours.
Travel Advisor:  Michael King

Beijing Made Perfect

By: MLP


Reviewed on: 15 Nov 2015

I have never seen a tour company operate with as much concern for their customers as this one. We were met even before immigration at the Beijing airport and escorted through to our English speaking guide. We were given his cell number and the cell of our virtual concierge in Shanghai. We could call either for any problem and use the pre-programmed cell phone provided to us. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and our driver wonderful - he even picked us up for dinner and brought us home so we would not have taxi problems. The tours were fun and informative and we felt "protected" because we had someone who lived there, knew the system and the city, and was able to converse with us about many subjects. It was enlightening, fun, and the way to go. We noted Frommer's Guide did not mention Imperial in its list of guides. They were wrong on many things in Beijing and Hong Kong. Not including Imperial was just another one.
Travel Advisor:  Judy Perl
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Go with Gwen

By: Putnam Explorer


Reviewed on: 15 Oct 2017

Excellent guides with well thought out excursions. Only criticism is the two plus spent at the Shanghai Urban Planning Center. Our guide insisted upon this visit. Good for Nationalist Chinese, but not for westerners who have only 3 days in Shanghai. Would have preferred art galleries or unique local neighborhood/market excursion.
Travel Advisor:  Mary Porter

China Best Tour Company

By: kathleen


Reviewed on: 03 Apr 2018

Their architectural tour by Patrick was fantastic. All their guides were of the top quality. Enjoyed our tour of the Pandas in Changdu We used this tour company before in Beijing and we were exceptionally pleased.
Travel Advisor:  Katie McCormack Krinkie