Discover the best of China, from the ageless clay faces of the Terracotta Army to the iconic Tiananmen Square in Beijing and the pulsating cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong, this still-enigmatic land blends ancient history with imposing Maoist architecture and glittering, 21st century skyscrapers. Cruise through the wooded mountains of the mighty Yangtze River, the world’s third longest river, stretching nearly 4,000 miles through China’s heartlands, and winds through the breathtaking Three Gorges. Experience the magical allure of China both old and new with Affordable World Tours.
Depart from the US and head overseas for an adventure of a lifetime. Spend the night aboard as the jetliner glides across the International Date Line.
Our local guide is there to greet us as we arrive in Beijing, the economic and political center of the nation. Transfer to the luxury accommodations provided for a good night’s rest.
Spend the day free or take the tour to visit the Great Wall, which is one of the man-built architectures that can be seen from the low orbit of the earth. The Great Wall is a massive defensive structure built to keep intruders from invading the mainland. It stretches an impossible 4000 miles across China's north, covering nine provinces. An enormous undertaking that originally began under Qin Shi Huang (first emperor of China) in 200 B.C., the Great Wall was not completed until the Ming Dynasty in 1640. This morning you have plenty of time to walk along its ancient path and experience part of China's fascinating history.
Today, we start our Beijing Capital tour with Qianmen Street. Qianmen Street was a commercial and entertainment hub due to its convenient location, connecting the Imperial Palace with other communities in Beijing. In the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, the street underwent a rejuvenation to restore the streetscape to that of the early 20th. A visit to Tiananmen Square, the world-famous and historic Tiananmen Square, or “Gate of Heavenly Peace”. Located in the heart of Beijing, Tiananmen Square was once the main gate to the Imperial Palace during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Today, it is home to the Monument to the People’s Heroes, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, National Museum of China, and the Great Hall of the People. Afterwards, we drive by the famed Olympic Site and have a photo stop at Olympic National Stadium (the Bird's Nest), Olympic National Aquatics Center (the Water Cube) and National Center for the Performing Art. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to explore the home to Ming and Qing emperors, Forbidden City. Comprised of 800 buildings covering 720,000 sq. meters, it is the world's largest palace complex.
**For those travelers joining the Forbidden City optional tour - your passport is required for entry. Please note if your passport does not match the passport on file for your reservation, you will be denied entry at the Forbidden City and your ticket will be nonrefundable**
Board a short flight to Yichang,the cultural and economic center of the western Hubei Province. Upon arrival , we board our ship sets for our Yangtze River adventure.
★★★★★ Victoria Anna
Arrive at Sandouping, you can stay on board and rest or take the optional shore excursion to explore the Three Gorges Dam Site, located in the middle of the Xiling Gorge. Wonder at the magnitude of the dam and then cruise upstream, traversing the 5-stage Three Gorges Dam locks and breathtaking Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges.
Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch , Dinner
★★★★★ Victoria Anna
Depending on the weather today, enjoy a memorable excursion to cruise along the serenely beautiful gorges of the Goddess Stream or Shennong Stream, two tributaries of the Yangtze. Afterwards, rejoin the cruise ship to glide past the elegant Wu Gorge, renowned for its vertical cliffs and 12 mist-shrouded mountains. Enter the final gorge, Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most impressive of the three.
Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch , Dinner
★★★★★ Victoria Anna
Today, you can choose to stay on board or go ashore to visit either the Jade Emperor scenic area near Fengdu or the extraordinary Shibaozhai pagoda*, a 12-story wooden pagoda built 400 years ago without the use of a single nail and filled with Chinese art that rises from the banks of the Yangtze.
*Visting site will be determined by local weather conditions.
Included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch , Dinner
★★★★★ Victoria Anna
Our Yangtze River journey comes to an end as we dock in Chongqing, a scenic cliff-side city that overlooks the conflunece of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. Transfer to Xian, the capital of Shannxi Province, one of the oldest cities in China. Xian is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China with more than 3100 years of history. The city was known as "Chang'an" before Ming Dynasty. Xian is the eastern teminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terra Cotta Warriors. Upon arrival in Xian, we will drive into town, passing through its massive City Wall, the best preserved defensive wall structure on earth and have a picture stop at Drum Tower and Bell Tower. In the evening, don't miss the chance to taste the local famous dumpling banquet.
Included: Breakfast at hotel
Spend the day free or take the tour to witness the famous "Terra Cotta Warriors." The serendipitous discovery of the Terra Cotta Warriors in 1974 has drawn throngs of visitors to Xian each year, and ranks as one of the world's most important recent archaeological finds. Three excavation pits have been opened to the public with a fourth underway. Spend some time admiring the fine troops, horses, and carriages in battle formation. After lunch, the motorcoach takes us back inside city limits to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. It is rated as a National Key Cultural Relic Preserve as well as an AAAA Tourist Attraction. Tonight, take the opportunity to enjoy the cultural musings of the Tang Dynasty Show, a song and dance performance which reflects the rich cultural history and prosperity of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Board a flight to Shanghai, the largest metropolitan center of China.She is a bright pearl at the mouth of the Yangtze River and China's largest economic center.
This morning, we visit the Shanghai Museum and view the exhibits of ancient Chinese art. Designed by a local Shanghai Architect, the current building was completed in 1993 and resembles the shape of a bronze cooking vessel. Afterwards, we visit City God Temple Bazaar, the Nanjing Road and the Bund. Spend the afternoon to relax at the hotel or take the optional tour to Lujiazui Finance and Trade Development Zone and a ride on Huang Pu River Cruise. In the evening, do not miss the opportunity to experience the exciting Chinese Acrobatics Show (with dinner).
Spend the day free at leisure or take an optional excursion to the charming water village of Suzhou. Suzhou, often known as the “Venice of the Orient”, is a historic city located at the heart of the Yangtze Delta in the southern part of the Jiangsu Province. Beautiful stone bridges, pagodas, and classical gardens line the canals that cover 42 percent of the city.
Transfer to the airport and board a short flight to the dynamic island of Hong Kong. Upon arrival, check into our selected hotel and spend the rest of the day free at leisure.
Enjoy your leisure time in Hong Kong. We will take you to visit the Victoria Peak, Stanley Market, Repulse Bay and Aberdeen Floating community. Victoria Peak, one of Hong Kong’s most famous scenic spots, offers breathtaking views of Hong Kong’s skyline, Kowloon, and Victoria Harbor. The Peak, as locals call it, is located on a mountaintop and is reachable by the Peak Tram. Pulled by steel cables, the tram climbs 1,200 feet (about373 meters) up the side of the mountain.Stanley also has beautiful beaches that are popular with windsurfers, as well as a wide variety of trendy bars and restaurants to enjoy after a long day of sightseeing.
Our voyage through China and Hong Kong comes to an end as we board our international flight back to the US
*Fares are subject to availability; for detailed gateway fares please view our dates & pricing
Create your ideal getaway with the following upgrade options. Extensions and upgrades can be added during the booking process.
*Subject to availability; extension and upgrade options vary by tour
*Subject to availability
Stride along the Great Wall of China and visit the Sacred Way of China’s past emperors on this fascinating 8-hour optional day trip from Beijing.
After pickup from your hotel in the city, soak in views of Beijing’s suburbs and rural China as you travel north to one of the most scenic sections of the Great
Turn back time to the days of China’s great emperors on a 4-hour optional tour of Beijing’s historical showpiece: the UNESCO-protected Forbidden City. Located on the northern edge of Tiananmen Square in the heart of China’s vast capital, this gargantuan walled palace was the residence and political base of 24 emperors of the Ming and
Enjoy a feast of dumplings, a universal favorite which holds a rich history in China. Tonight, you'll get a chance to taste 18 different varieties of dumplings, ranging from sweet to savory.
Visit the famed Terracotta Warriors Museum, where you'll tour the excavation pit, the copper chariot, and watch a circle vision film about the discovery. Enjoy lunch en route, then visit Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor and China's most well-preserved Buddhist pagoda, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Afterwards, we stop by at Arts & Crafts Center. (Will provide earphone if over 10 visitors.)
Enjoy a world-class dinner prepared by internationally-acclaimed chefs, then watch the legends of the Tang Dynasty unfold. This show recounts the cultural history and splendor the dynasty's past through captivating performances of song and dance.
Then, cruise along the city's main shipping artery, the Huangpu River, and enjoy sweeping views of Shanghai's cityscapes. Colonial buildings along the Bund and gleaming skyscrapers in Pudong.
Enjoy dinner and an acrobatics show, performed by the world-renowned Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe. Watch as the award-winning performers execute jaw-dropping stunts and bring back the grandeur to acrobatics.
Depart for Suzhou, an ancient water village lined with canals and nicknamed the "Venice of the Orient". Our first stop is the Garden of the Master of the Nets", the smallest yet the most impressive of Suzhou's residential gardens. Take in the waterfront village scenery as you cruise along the Grand Canal, the longest in
Undoubtedly an excellently executed tour. Any reservation and concerns we had prior to departure evaporated in Beijing when we met tour guide Garry. There were 12 of us in our immediate group and we were joined by 4 others making a total of 16. The transportation provided was very comfortable and all our bus drivers were very patient and professional. We were able to get to most of our venues on time. All our hotel accommodations were at least 4 star, and the staff were very helpful and informative. Exchanging money was no problem. The buffet breakfasts had a wide variety of food to satisfy most palettes. It allowed us to prepare snacks for our lunches later in the day as advised by some reviews. This came in extremely handy during longer tours. Our tour guides were excellent, starting with Garry in Beijing, John at the 3 Gorges, Lie in Xian, Ocean in Shanghai and Patrick in Hong Kong. They were all professional knowledgeable, informative caring and concerned for our safety. They wanted to share as much of China as time allowed. We gained a broad overview of China that were we able to share with our friends and families. We enjoyed the comedic side of some of the guides. Amanda and Terry on the Victoria Cruises were also very pleasant, helpful and informative. I learned to play Mahjong from Amanda and I'm teaching others. Based on prior reviews we were concerned about the tipping arrangement. All our fears were allayed since it was not the horror we had heard about and expected. We generally gave the recommended $10 per person a day per tour and sometimes more. The guides all deserved it, and were very gracious. The group would usually pool the tips and hand it to the tour guide at the end of our stay, sometimes on the way to the airport. The tour guide would take the the responsibility to share with the driver. There were some reasons for not giving a rating of 5 star. When we arrived at the Yichang airport from Beijing, there was no tour guide to meet us. After several phone calls we were told that it would take her an hour to pick us up. The bad part was we had to make the calls. This mistake should have been handled easily by the guide calling the airport and confirming whether the flight had arrived. The access by stairs to the Hunan restaurant in Shanghai was deplorably dirty. It did not make it for an appetizing dinner. In spite of the two issues mentioned we would highly recommend Affordable World. It was a positive memorable experience.More Less
What an experience. This trip lives up to its billing, plus much much more. The guides made the difference - Tony in Beijing and Ocean in Shanghai were awesome. I love the way they made a little competition between Beijing and Shanghai, always in a playful way. The people on the tour were also awesome. We connected with everyone on Facebook and have made some lifelong friends. In fact we are planning another trip with some of them! The hotels were awesome as well, a++ plus the breakfasts were fantastic. We really enjoyed all the sights. We did not experience the "mandatory tipping" others have warned about. It was strictly voluntary, in fact we gave less in Xian and more in the other two cities. The factory stops were fine, we have experienced the same in other trips, eg Turkey. You will see jade, silk, but are not required or embarassed into purchasing any. Take the trip, you will love it! ABMore Less
This trip was all that I expected and hoped it would be. The initial arrival in Beijing and being greeted by Gary at the airport put any fears aside. Gary is an outstanding guide with great knowledge of the Beijing, its history, culture and customs. The Beijing Doubletree by Hilton was a welcome sight after many hours of travel. The hotel is clean, the rooms are spacious and the staff could not be more helpful. The daily breakfast buffet selection and quality was exceptional. The local area was a bit inconvenient to the tourist sites since no local subway station was at hand and the public transit bus was a challenge to negotiate. Stay on the tour and do not venture off on your own. The taxi drivers are not friendly nor helpful. It could take more than an hour to get get one taxi driver to agree to take you to the hotel after wandering around on your own. Gary indicates that a new subway stop was being constructed next to the hotel so hopefully this will make it a convenient future hotel location. The tour sites in Beijing (Forbidden City, Tianamen Square, Great Wall, etc.) were just as I had imagined. I could have done without the "hard sell" at the many factory stops. Although it was interesting to be educated on Jade, Pearls and Cloissonne, the attempts to sell made it uncomfortable. On to Xian and a history lesson from our well versed tour guide J.C. The Grand Hotel was just that. WOW. The rooms, location, dining facility was definitely five star. J.C. provided a historical perspective about Xi'An and the Terra Cotta Warriors excavation site. He moved guided along at a comfortable pace. The Tang Dynasty show was well worth purchasing. On to Chong Qing. Tony our Chong Qing guide was extremely pleasant and helpful. We had a brief stop at a silk factory. It was interesting and not hard sell. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating so what should have been a short city tour turned into a long city tour, dinner and an extended motor coach trip to Fengdu to meet the Victoria Selina; the Yangtze River was too high for the boat to dock in Chong Qing. The Victoria Selina experience was terrific. The cabin was comfortably spacious enough for two (executive level upgrade recommended)the meals were top quality with great variety and they could easily provide whatever dietary modifications necessary. Each of the optional side tours was carefully executed with adequate time allocated for sightseeing and shopping. The staff could not be more helpful. The onboard laundry option was a lifesaver and is highly recommended so no need to overpack (less is more). The Three Gorges are beautiful and the visit to the Three Gorges dam site was interesting. Again, because of weather conditions, the Victoria Selina was unable to travel through the dam locks on to YiCheng. A motor coach trip to YiCheng was needed. We were greeted by the lovely and entertaining Christine. Her city tour, museum tour and a visit to a Feng Shui shop capped off a guide visit to YiCheng. On to Shanghai. The weather was still not cooperating. Our flight from YiCheng to Shanghai was delayed for five hours and once we finally approached Shanghai, we were diverted to a different airport in Shanghai (a blessing in disguise because it was much closer to our hotel). Technology saved the day because I was able to text our incredible tour guide Shirley in Shanghai. She kept me and my travel mates informed of the travel delay issues. She monitored our delay and knew of the plane diversion. She cheerfully greeted us at 1:00 AM. The Renaissance Hotel was amazing and their breakfast buffet was top notch. It is a hotel frequented by westerners so they cater as needed. Shirley is a gem! Shanghai is a city that needs more than one day to explore. Visiting the Bund, river cruise and acrobat show in one day is too much. We opted to skip the museum and shopping because of the flight delays and extremely late arrival into Shanghai. The shopping and the price negotiating in the marketplace could easily have been a full day experience. Wish we had more time in Shanghai! Again, Shirley is a gem! Finally we headed to Hong Kong. Although our tour guide, Wing, made it pleasurable, the heat and humidity made it unbearable during the day. Hong Kong by night is much like Manhattan. It must be experienced. You can gather from this review that it was a memorable trip. Thank you Affordable World. On a side note, two areas for pre-travel preparation; get Chinese currency before you leave the U.S. Your local bank should be able to have it available. Credit cards are widely accepted at the larger shopping locations but not at the street markets or street vendors. The other issue was traveling from China into Hong Kong then back to China for the return trip home. It is very, very inconvenient. The customs process, the transit process in Beijing and the layovers put a damper on an otherwise enjoyable experience. Also, because we are from Boston, flying from New York is a must. Avoid the Los Angeles or San Francisco gateway departures because you can save OVER six hours of flight time to Beijing because of the route flown from the east coast versus the west coast of the U.S.More Less
We have just returned to the U.S. after our Majestic China and Yangtze River 12 days tour and want to thank you for the exceptional service. The schedule and all the arrangements worked perfectly and as planned. We certainly could not have seen and learned as much about China in such a short time without your help. All your guides were very good and were keen to explain the local customs and history and to show us the best places to photograph and also helped us with our food choices since we are vegetarians. We did not go hungry at all as we feared before our trip, also worth noting for vegetarians there is Pizza Hut and Starbucks in every major city we visited. We want to particularly recognize and compliment our Shanghai guide, Shirley. She worked very hard, her English is excellent, and her knowledge is very comprehensive. She is a fine ambassador for her city of Shanghai, and for AffordableWorld Tours. All the tour buses were clean and the drivers were courteous and good. All the hotels in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai were 5 Star quality and the breakfast was great. Our favorite breakfast was the one in Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel. We were fortunate to have a wonderful group of travelers in our tour group. We travelled with our 2 children ages - 18 and 12 and were happy to be with 2 families from Columbia and Australia during our trip. Our children got along great and this made the trip memorable for them. The highlight of our tour is the Yangtze River Cruise – the 3 gorges were breathtaking. All staff on board the Victoria Selina were very professional and took care of all our needs. AffordableWorld has taken the recommendation from previous postings and worth noting is none of the guides except one in Beijing asked us for tips. We did tip the guides the recommended amount for their exceptional service which they received with gratitude. We highly recommend this trip We thank you and all of your people for making this a Fantastic trip. Best regards – Latha & Ravi Iyer, CaliforniaMore Less
My wife and I recently returned from our tour of China. I must say that I was very impressed with the manner Affordable World took care of all our needs. We had excellent guides in Beijing, Leo and Gary who were very knowledgeable not only in the historical aspects of China but of its current day place in the world. Kathy, our guide, in Xian was also well informed and provided excellent commentary on China. Although we had a limited time in Yi Chang, Christine took very good care of us and also had an exuberant personality that enchanted us and the fellow travelers. Shirley, was an excellent host in Shanghai and we enjoyed a delightful one on one opportunity to gain insightful views of today's China. Accommodations were excellent, food selections were superb, and the crew aboard the Victoria Selena were very hospitable and welcoming. I was so impressed with our journey that I am anxious to go back and explore myself in other parts of China. Affordable World was a one stop shopping experience that made my dreams come true.More Less
Just returned from our Majestic China and Yangtze River 12 Day trip. Everything from meeting the tour guides, checking into the hotels, tours and inter-China flights is well coordinated. Overall we had a fantastic time and would recommend this trip. LOW POINTS: 1. Our Tour Guide Kathy in Beijing was quite rude in her enforcement and controlling of tipping $10 per person per day to be given directly to her. Actually opening up the envelopes and confronting guests in front of the whole group. My parents were such guests. Unbeknownst to her that they had tipped Tom (the co-tour guide) directly since Tom was the one that assisted them during our visit in Beijing. Needless to say due to some language issues they gave Kathy an additional $60 when confronted in the bus in front of everyone. Kathy needs to understand the concept of "tipping." 2. A significant amount of walking is involved. This is not a bad thing, it just needs to be noted. 3. Prepaying your tours may or may not work to your advantage - On the Yangtze River Cruise there was some confusion as to which tours were included and which were not and which ones we had prepaid for. In Shanghai we were placed in the wrong River Cruise - Paid for the "Venice of the East" canal cruise and were placed in the Bund river cruise. 4. Way too many "factory" stops. HIGH POINTS: 1. Tour Guides check in your luggage and obtain boarding passes for inter-China flights, plus flights included meals. 2. Nice Hotels with great breakfast. 3. Our tour group was upgraded to the Upper Deck on the Yangtze River Cruise. This was really nice, except that some of our group members had paid separately to be upgraded and there was a couple from our group which was not included in the upgrade. 4. Wheelchairs and/or golf carts are available at most sites for those that are physically challenged for a reasonable price. 5. We were fortunate to have a wonderful group of travelers in our tour group. RECOMMENDATION: The top suggestion I would make is to include all tipping in the price of the trip. Kathy's behavior in Beijing really put a damper on the rest of the trip.More Less
We took this package for our tour of China. We fell in love with the place and its people. Thanks, Affordable World. Both our international and domestic flights unfolded with no glitch. Thanks to our tour guides who were extra helpful with checking in our luggages and securing our boarding passes especially during our domestic tours. Meals in our domestic flights were a big surprise. Our hotels were nice and comfortable. Worthy of note is the Grand Nobel at Xian. We wish we could stay another night. Of all the hotels we stayed at, the Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel offered the best breakfast. The highlight of our tour is the Yangtze River Cruise. Thanks to Affordable World for upgrading our tour group to the Upper Deck Floor. We have unlimited use of the computers. We even have our own special dining room complete with beautiful servers. We have our own observation deck where we have a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The two shows were magnificent, entertaining and extremely educational. Specail thanks to Luther for teaching some Chinese phrases and for sharing his knowledge about the Yangtze River and the Chinese culture. Our tour guides were marvelous. They were punctual, knowledgeable and yet humble. They were courteous and extremely attentive to our personal needs. Their personal stories were particularly touching and enlightening. Worthy of mention are Tony, our guide in Beijing, and Jevans, our guide during the Yangtze River Cruise and Shanghai. We don't recommend this trip to those who are physically challenged. Overall, the trip was FANTASTIC. We got more than our money's worth...W and MMore Less
Donna and I just returned from this trip and continue to marvel how smooth and uneventful all the logistics were. We consider ourselves veteran travelers having visited over 50 countries, lived outside the U.S. and have hosted groups for visits. We appreciate all the hard work and effort that goes into making a great trip. Saying all this it is difficult to find fault with any aspect of this trip. The tours were well chosen and expertly guided, the accomodations were first class, the food was great in qualiaty, variety and quantity. The educational value of the trip was beyond any reasonable expectations. Every tour guide was extrodinarily gifted and knowledgable. We had three main guides, Tony, Jesse and Jevons. All were very good however, Jevons was over the top excellent A++. As with other reviewers we would offer a couple of suggestions. Tipping was ackward for some OK for others you may want to look for another method of tipping. Also, the tours did not give any advanced (prior to purchaseing) indication of the physical effort or walking required. There were many in our group that were not physically capable of taking the tours they purchased, some felt they would be wasting their money if they did not take the tour they purchased. As such many of the tours were understandably slowed significantly. Like many cruise excursions we recommend that each tour be given some kind of rating for phyical effort or walking required. All in all this was an outstanding adventure of a lifetime and well conducted by Affordable World. Donna and TerryMore Less
I was also on the Majestic China and Yangtze River 12 days as the above reviewer. I completely agree on all points. Jeffrey Qin was great - from offering us details of his own life in China to linking us to an amazing tailor for mens custom suits in Shanghai in 48 hours. The 4 in our party became quick friends with Jeffrey and I think he is one of your most valuable employees to provide travelers with a fantastic China vacation. I think Jeffreys suggestions for tipping were acceptable but also believe Affordable World should charge the gratuity up front so that local guides, drivers, boatmen, bellmen, porters and river guides will be compensated for all their well coordinated service for travelers. The couple mentioned complained to all the guides, yacht crew, and all the other travelers without cause. We figured them out in the 1st five minutes of the tour and were affected by their behavior the whole trip. Mostly, we were embarrassed that their behavior would be interpreted by our host country to be typical American. We had a wonderful tour thanks to the efforts of our guides. I recommend this trip 100%. Great Value. Great Hotels. Great Tours and Optional Tours.More Less
My husband and I recently returned from our "Majestic" trip to China, which was amazing! Tom and Kathy, our tour guides in Beijing were professional and patient, trying to insure that all of us had the most positive experience possible. Adam, our tour guide in Xian, was equally helpful and gracious. During our tour of the Yangtze and Shanghai, Jeffrey was the best. Our river guide, Luther, gave several informative and insightful lectures which helped us to understand the culture better. The accommodations and breakfasts in the three cities were excellent. The only blip on our trip was one couple who balked at tipping. They were rude and obnoxious. In the future, it might be better if Affordable World added the tips into the cost of the trip up front to prevent another such negative experience for the tour guides. Just a suggestion... All in all we were most pleased with our China experience and would recommend it to anyone!More Less