$4,000 17-day bus tour and hiking on the Road to Shu between Chengdu and Xi'an 3-day Yangzi cruise with one-day tours in Chongqing & Yichang One-day and two nights in Hong Kong All-inclusive land costs meals, lodging, entertainment, bus rental, and 2 internal flights Flight to China not included You pay for your visa and plane fare: USA to Chengdu and Hong Kong back to USA Tea comes with meals: You pay for alcoholic drinks and soda
Option 2 17-day bus tour and hikes between Chendu and Xi'an only 20-day total including 3 days travel time No cruise, no Hong Kong $2,600 Flight to China not included You pay for your visa and plane fare: USA to Chengdu and Xi'an back to USA You pay for alcoholic drinks and soda
This unique tour visits some of the most famous sites along the old Road to Shu on a 17-day bus excursion as we travel off the beaten track and experience an older, more traditional China. We hike the beautiful cypress-shaded old flagstone road (two 3-hour hikes, two 5-hour hikes, and two excursions to plank roads), spend two days in Langzhong's Old Town in a restored Ming dynasty residence, and visit six towns (Wulian, Puan, Jianmenguan, Guangyuan, Hangzhong, and Feng Xian) in Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces which are not on the usual tourist circuit. Even though we will be hiking in remote areas, we will still be close enough to town to have comfortable lodgings and marvelous meals which we'll eat family-style at a single table. We'll also visit some famous tourist attractions in Chengdu (pandas, opera), Xi'an (terra cotta warriors), and Hong Kong, and enjoy a relaxing three-day cruise through the Yangzi Gorges.
Day 1 & 2 travel Day 3 & 4 Chengdu. Two days of sightseeing in Chengdu in our private bus will include the Panda Breeding Center, the Temple of the Martial Marquis, Wenshu Temple Tea Garden, Sichuan Opera, and famous Sichuan eating places, including Shizilou Hotpot, Ginko, and Longchaoshou Little Snacks. Day 5-6 Langzhong. Our bus will drive to Langzhong on Day 5, arriving in time for lunch in our lodgings, an authentic Ming dynasty rich man's house that has been converted into a hotel. In the afternoon we'll take a boat ride on the Jialing River which encircles the town, indulge in a foot massage, and shop on our own before dinner. The second day we'll get a bird's eye view of the city and the surrounding mountains from the Huaguang Tower and visit the Zhang Fei Temple, Examination Hall, among other sights of old town. After lunch we'll take our bus into the hills across the river to the White Pagoda and hike down the mountain (about an hour) to a 9th century Buddhist Temple. We'll have dinner at another famous old courtyard house, tour its seven courtyards, and then take in a traditional puppet show. Day 7-10 Puan. We head for Puan by bus on Day 7, breaking up the four-hour ride with a two-hour hike and lunch in Bailong. Our local guide, Miss Li, will join us here and accompany us for the next three days. We will spend two of our three days in Puan on bus excursions to nearby towns along the Green Cloud Corridor, a beautiful stretch of highway lined with ancient cypresses. One excursion is to Wulian for a short hike and the second to Jianmenguan to visit Sword Gate Pass, the site of a famous 3rd century battle in which a small Shu army defended the pass against a massive Wei army attack. The third day we'll spend hiking from Hanyang to Puan, a 5 hour hike along long stretches of old flagstone with some climbing. Day 11-12 Guangyuan. On Day 11 we'll spend the morning in Puan's Old Town, then head north to Guangyuan in time for lunch. Mr. Chen will be our guide to visit a local pre-kindergarden school. On our second day we will visit the Mingyue Gorge and walk the rebuilt plank road which runs along a cliff above the Jialing River. We'll also visit the newly restored Thousand Buddha Cliff, once one of the most treacherous spots along the Road to Shu. We will stay in the newly remodeled Phoenix International Hotel Complex, in a lovely Chinese style building built on an island in the Jialing River in downtown Guangyuan. Day 13 Hanzhong. On Day 13 we head to Hanzhong by bus, arriving in time for lunch at our hotel where we will sample Hanzhong's unique version of little snacks and in the afternoon visit the Road to Shu display in the local museum. Day 14-15 Feng Xian. On Day 14 our bus will take us through the Qinling Mountains on a scenic route that follows the old Road to Shu, first along a river and then over two 5,000-foot mountains to Feng Xian. We will break up the trip with a visit to another plank road and the beautiful and remote Zhang Liang Temple, honoring a Three Kingdoms' hero. We'll have lunch at the hotel next to the temple. That night we'll stay in Feng Xian and the next day take the last, and most difficult of our hikes, the Feng Xian Hike. Those who want to skip the hike can stay in town and visit a local school and shop. Mr. Zhai will be our guide for the hike and his English-speaking niece will join us at our hotel to accompany those who don't take the hike. Day 16-18 Xi'an. On Day 16 we head for Xi'an, a four-hour drive, again following the route of the old Road to Shu, mostly through river valleys but with one 5,000-foot mountain pass to cross. We will spend three nights in Xi'an, visiting the famous terra cotta warriors, the city wall, the Bell and Drum Towers, and the Little Goose Pagoda. We'll sample a Xi'an specialty, lamb stew, and dine at a popular roast duck restaurant and a hot pot restaurant. There will be time for shopping when we visit the Muslim quarter. This is the last day of the Road to Shu part of the trip and people have the option of ending the tour here and flying home or flying directly to Hong Kong. Day 19 Fly to Chongqing. The main part of the tour will fly to Chongqing where we will have a bus tour of city highlights and two excellent meals before boarding our Yangzi cruise ship at 8 p.m. Day 20 First Day Cruise. A morning excurion to a local cave and cruising a non-gorge section of the river. Day 21 Second Day Cruise. An early morning visit to a famous temple which affords a wonderful view of the first gorge we will be passing through. Cruising through the first gorges in the late morning and an afternoon excursison up a tributary to the Three Little Gorges where we can see these smaller gorges up close from a small boat. Day 22 Third Day Cruise. In the morning we will visit the famous Three Gorges Dam, leaving the boat at noon and spending the day in Yichang. A bus will pick us up and take us to an amusement area which has a restaurant in a cave, an old trackers trail in the cliff, and a speedboat ride on the tributary and another boat ride on the Yangzi through part of the Yichang gorge. Day 23 Fly to Shenzhen. We will fly to Shenzhen in the morning and take a two-hour bus ride to Hong Kong in time for tea at the Penninsula Hotel and an evening walk along the harbor to see the lights of Hong Kong Island. We'll be staying at the Salisbury YMCA which is ideally situated next to the Penninsula a few blocks from the Star Ferry. Day 24 Hong Kong. After a dim sum breakfast, we will take a walking tour of Hong Kong which will include a Star ferry ride, and the tramway ride to the Peak. After lunch there will be time for some final shopping on Nathan Road before dinner at the Wu Kung Shanghai style restaurant. Day 25 Fly home.