Tour Beijing’s Forbidden City, Cruise Suzhou’s Grand Canal, and Visit Shanghai’s Bazaar
Included in all options:
- Round-trip airfare from Chicago (ORD) on Hainan Airlines (flight time: 13-14 hours)
- Four nights standard accommodations at 4-star Beijing International Hotel
- One night standard accommodations at 4-star Grand Metro Park Hotel in Suzhou
- One night standard accommodations at 4.5-star White Horse Lake Jianguo Hotel Hangzhou
- Two nights standard accommodations at 4.5-star Renaissance Shanghai Putuo Hotel
- Meals and tours per itinerary<p>
Click here to see a full itinerary.
Days 1–5: Beijing An overnight flight takes you to Beijing, a megacity with a population a more than 20 million people. The following morning, the tour heads to the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that served as China’s imperial palace for five centuries. After exploring Forbidden City’s imitable Chinese architecture, you’ll head to Tiananmen Square, Beijing’s iconic city center, and home to historic monuments from the Qing and Ming dynasties. Later, you’ll take a Hutong trishaw tour through Beijing’s trademark alleys to learn about other sacred sites and attractions.
Spend Day 4 at your leisure, but you can take an optional tour to the Great Wall of China, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and perhaps China’s most-famous landmark (additional fee).
On Day 5, the tour heads to the Temple of Heaven, a 15th-century complex best known for the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a 124-foot conical building. The Hall’s intricate design includes significant symbolism—its 28 supportive pillars collectively represent the 12 Chinese prayer watches, the 12 months, and the four annual seasons.
Days 6–7: Suzhou A short flight takes you to Shanghai, where you’ll transfer to Suzhou, nicknamed “Venice of the Orient” for its spectacular gardens and collection of canals. You can take an optional cruise on the Grand Canal (additional fee), the earth’s longest manmade canal. Dating back to the 5th century BC, the canal is still bordered by centuries-old buildings.
Over the next two days in Suzhou, you’ll tour a silk factory and explore the ancient Master of the Nets Garden, which is nearly a century old.
Days 8–10: Hangzhou and Shanghai
The tour will take a two-hour drive south to Hangzhou, where you’ll stop off at a local tea plantation for a sampling of Dragon Well tea before visiting West Lake—a beloved lake surrounded by pagodas and temples. Afterwards, you’ll travel to Shanghai via a cruise down the Huangpu River. If you arrive in Shanghai after dark, you’ll see glittering skyscrapers reflecting off the river.
In Shanghai, you’ll walk along the Bund district, which is perhaps the best example of western influence on the city. Here you’ll see a diverse assortment of European-inspired architecture, including centuries-old mansions and banks that exemplify ornate Baroque and Gothic architecture.
Before boarding your flight home, spend some time at Shanghai’s City God Bazaar, featuring elaborate altars for worship, along with teahouse shops that sell anything from designer clothing to handmade souvenirs.