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Tour Itinerary

Pack your bags for the odyssey of a lifetime with nothing less than 16 incredible days packed with cultural highlights and ancient wonders. You'll experience all of China's greats, from the lively streets of Shanghai to the colourful cliffs of the Three Gorges region, topping it off with the iconic Stone Forest that always promises to astound and amaze. Exhilarating experiences await at every turn as you dive into the landscapes and lifestyles of the one and only China.

Countries Visited


Cities Visited

Beijing , Chongqing , Jianshui , Kunming , Shanghai , Xian

  1. Day 1
    Arrive Beijing (3 Nights)
    Welcome to China's sprawling, high flying and innovative capital city, Beijing. With one foot in the future and the other in the past, Beijing is nothing if not unique. An impressive six UNESCO World Heritage sites and a splurge of temples make the city a historian's dream, whilst modern masterpieces like the CCTV Building and the Galaxy Soho ensure Beijing is a city taking its place as one of the front runners in contemporary design. Arriving today, you'll transfer to your hotel and meet up with your Travel Director before getting to know the rest of your group over a welcome dinner this evening.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Temple of Heaven
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Beijing Sightseeing
    Today's sightseeing tour will see you dive straight into the magic of Beijing, kicked off in the world's largest public square, Tiananmen Square. Claiming an incredible 440,000 square metres of space and flanked by Soviet style buildings, the square was the brainchild of Chairman Mao and flexes some serious Communist design ideals. Next up, you'll head over to the UNESCO listed Forbidden City, the largest palace complex in the world featuring courtyards, palaces, pavilions and gardens all ringed by 3.5km of scarlet coloured citadel walls. Take your time exploring this impeccably preserved complex, imagining what life would have been like for the 24 emperors who ruled here during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This afternoon enjoy some free time at leisure and perhaps explore the enchanting hútòngs or alleyways that crisscross the city. This evening you could opt to join us for the spectacular 'Legend of Kung Fu' show. Mixing traditional martial arts with modern theatre, watch as Kung Fu artists from all over China display an art form that is utterly synonymous with Chinese culture.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Beijing and the Great Wall
    Widely considered a Top 10 life experience, today's the day you'll be able to tick off 'visiting the Great Wall of China' on your lifetime to-do list. China's greatest feat of engineering and one of the most famous sights in the world, the wall stretches some 21,000 km from East to West China, snaking its way like a dragon through deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus. Walking along this impressive piece of history, be sure to take in the views of the wall snaking off into the distance and appreciate the sheer will and determination of the millions who helped to create this incredible fortification, the greatest relic of the Ming Dynasty. Lunch today will be in a local restaurant, then this afternoon, and after some much needed downtime, why not see out your time in Beijing with an optional dinner, a sumptuous banquet of local specialities including Beijing Kao Ya or better known as Peking Duck to the rest of the world.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  4. Day 4
    Beijing - Xi'an (2 Nights)
    Waking up to a free morning in Beijing, make the most of your final hours here by joining our optional trip to the UNESCO listed Temple of Heaven. A vast religious complex in the old outer city and one of the country's most important Imperial temples, this place is widely considered one of the greatest achievements of traditional Chinese architecture, with a layout that displays the belief that the earth is square and heaven round. You could indulge your creative side at 798 Art Zone, an impressive industrial complex blending China's past and present with historic architecture and a quirky modern art scene. With artists' studios, art exhibition spaces, trendy boutiques and cool restaurants and bars, it's a must-visit for culture vultures. This afternoon catch a flight to the historical city of Xi'an. Once home to emperors, warriors and the Chinese elite, Xi'an is the kind of place that keeps historians up at night, imagining what could have been. It's one of the few cities in China that's still managed to hold on to its imposing 12 metre high city walls, and is of course best known as the home of the magnificent Terracotta Army. This evening and with time to yourself, perhaps head out to explore the busy lanes of the Muslim Quarter.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Bell Tower Xi'an
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Xi'an Sightseeing
    We hope you're prepared as today's visit to the Terracotta Army may just knock you over backwards. One of the greatest archaeological discoveries of recent times, it's incredible to think that this life size army of thousands of warriors, each with a face different to the next, was discovered completely be accident by some fortunate peasants drilling a well. Standing in battle formation and positioned according to rank, the warriors have silently guarded over the body of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, for an astounding 2000 years. You'll learn about the discovery and history of the army from your local travel guide, and take your time exploring here before heading on for a local style lunch. This evening and no doubt hungering for more Chinese history, perhaps opt to join your fellow travellers at our Tang Dynasty dinner and show. Tuck in to a delicious dumpling banquet, then enjoy the vibrant costumes, colourful dances and traditional music of this eight part show that brings to life the culture and lifestyle of the great Tang Dynasty.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  6. Day 6
    Xi'an - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise (3 Nights)
    Heading for the airport this morning, you'll catch a flight bound for the booming city of Chongqing. As one of the most densely populated cities on earth it's little surprise that Chongqing throbs with life and energy, but the many, many people who live here are welcoming and friendly, and the vision of the city spilling over onto both banks of the Yangtze River is a real sight to behold. Speaking of the Yangtze, catch your first glimpse of the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world as you arrive here, then after dinner get even better acquainted as you board your river cruise ship, your home for the next three nights.Accommodation: Victoria Lianna (cruise ship)
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Yangtze River Cruise
    Slowly journeying down the sublimely scenic Yangtze River, otherwise known as the 'Chang Jiang' or 'long river', be sure to make the most of your surroundings. Sit back and relax on deck, cold drink in hand, and simply enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Your first port of call today will be Shibaozhai, or 'Precious Stone Fortress', an incredible 12 storey, 56 metre high wooden pagoda built on the top of a cliff and an impressive relic of the Xianfeng Emperor. Reaching the temple via a red pavilion masterfully built into the rock face, take your time exploring before cruising on to the shrines, temples and monasteries of Fengdu's 'Ghost City', a two-thousand-year-old complex located on the Ming Mountain that is dedicated to all things afterlife. Explore the vividly depicted images that reflect the notion of good and evil, then retire back to the ship to continue your Yangtze cruise.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Yangtze River Cruise
    The scenery gets even more beautiful today as you cruise through the Three Gorges region. Hold your breath as you squeeze through the steep precipices of the Qutang Gorge, the river swirling and frothing beneath you, then breathe a sigh of wonder as you enter the Wu Gorge, where the famous forest covered peaks of the Wushan Mountains are guaranteed to take your breath away. No doubt keen to get a closer look, it's here you'll board a small motor boat that will take you to Goddess Stream, a place that absolutely lives up to its otherworldly name. Utterly gorgeous, the steep cliffs and deep valleys of this region create a sense of real serenity, and you'll get to soak it all up before hopping back on board to visit the final gorge, Xiling, another beautiful area of tumbling rapids, karst caves and soaring cliff edges.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Yichang - Shanghai (3 Nights)
    Make an early start this morning and ascend to the top deck of the Yangtze cruise ship to enjoy the views of the vast Three Gorges Dam - the largest dam in the world and a serious labour of love with a production timeline that spanned decades. After disembarkation at Maoping Port there is another great photo opportunity to get shots of the Dam before transferring to Yichang Airport to catch your flight to the stunning city of Shanghai.Accommodation: Ocean
    Meals:   Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Shanghai Sightseeing
    Diving into all that Shanghai has to offer, this morning's sightseeing tour will start off at The Bund, the city's famous waterfront hub. Once a place of fast paced trading akin to New York's Wall Street, today The Bund is the place to be in Shanghai. All the top restaurants, hotels and shops can be found on this exclusive patch of real estate, where art deco and neoclassical buildings rub shoulders with monolithic skyscrapers. Continuing on to a silk museum where vibrant colours are the aim of the game, you'll then stop off at Shanghai's premium shopping destination, Nanjing Road. Stretching out over three miles and housing over 600 businesses, it won't be hard to see why shopping is serious business in Shanghai. Go wild in the stores selling high end couture and vintage finds alike, then this evening perhaps opt to join your fellow travellers on our visit to a daring acrobatics show.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  11. Day 11
    Shanghai Free Day
    With a full day to explore your way, be sure to make the most of it! If it's culture you're after, you're in the right place; Shanghai has one of the most revered cultural scenes of any city in the world with a wealth of museums and galleries showcasing contemporary and historical treasures alike. You may choose to take our optional trip to the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao with its 36 bridges built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. If it's modern Shanghai you want to see, you can join our optional trip to the 492m high World Financial Centre to marvel at the sweeping views of the city from the 100th floor, before heading to the trendy Tianzifang district to soak up the artsy vibes and shop to your heart's content. Or if you prefer to discover the city on your own, you could head to the Old Town for a glimpse of Shanghai of old or visit Yuyuan Garden, a true delight with its shady alcoves and fish filled pools. Eating is a hugely important social activity in China and undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience the culture, so be sure to sample all the wonderful delights that cross your path on your adventures.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Shanghai - Kunming - Jianshui (2 Nights)
    Say goodbye to Shanghai's buzzing city streets, engineering wonders, and tasty local delicacies this morning as you catch a flight to the laid-back city of Kunming. After touching down, we'll head to a local restaurant for a tasty lunch to fuel up for today's adventures. Over 12 centuries of culture, architecture and stories await as we journey to our home for tonight, the ancient town of Jianshui and history buffs will be delighted by this afternoon's agenda. We'll get right to it with a guided walking tour to soak up the sights like the Chaoyang Tower, the final one of four towers still standing, built during the Ming Dynasty as an eastern gate to the ancient town. Don't forget to listen for the resounding boom of the tower's bell which can be heard by every resident at sunset. You'll also learn about the history of its ancient wells, which locals prefer to get their daily water from instead of the tap. Already wrapped up in Jianshui's charms, check in to your hotel and rest up for tomorrow's explorations as the natural wonders of China just keep on coming.Accommodation: Lin An
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  13. Day 13
    Jianshui Sightseeing and Free Time
    Waking up to another day of adventure on your China value tour, we'll kickstart the day with a slice of culture at the Confucian Temple. It's over 700 years old and the third-largest of its kind in China and you're sure to be blown away by the temple's incredible detail. The jewel in its crown is Dacheng Hall, where 22 intricate doors are engraved with nearly one hundred birds and animals and are considered to be one of the most exquisite works of the early Ming dynasty. Don't miss the chance to snap a photo of the huge cypress tree too! Next up, we'll make our way to the Double Dragon Bridge for yet another dose of history. Located at the confluence of two rivers, this ancient 17-arch bridge is the largest in Yunnan province with views of green fields, blue mountains and clear waters that are sure to give you a sense of calm. Keep that zen feeling with you during a visit to the Zhang Family Garden, a rare chance to see a traditional walled Yunnan village and the building's meticulously decorated doors. This afternoon, spend the rest of your day exploring your way. Wander the streets with your camera, stop to refuel over a cup of chá (tea), and don't miss your chance to see locals in action at a traditional pottery and tofu workshop. Garden lovers will be sure to visit the Zhu Family Garden, with 42 stunning courtyards over 20,000 square metres.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  14. Day 14
    Jianshui - Stone Forest - Kunming (2 Nights)
    Nature lovers are in for a treat today as you journey back to Kunming, stopping along the way for lunch and a stroll through the magical Stone Forest. You'll marvel at this incredibly rare geological phenomenon, where 80 hectares of karst limestone pillars resemble a forest when viewed from far away. Standing tall for 270 million years, it's been known as the 'First Wonder of the World' since the Ming Dynasty and is still home to the Sani tribe, part of the diverse Yi minority renowned for their embroidery and traditional dancing. You'll love the experience of making your way through the stone labyrinths, letting the energy of local folklore, traditions and nature work its way under your skin. As we make our way to Kunming, no doubt memories of this mystical place will stay in your mind for years to come.Accommodation: Grand Park
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  15. Day 15
    Prepare for yet another mind-blowing day on your China vacation package, this time with a full day exploring Kunming. Your spine will tingle at our first stop as you stare down the steep cliff of the Dragon Gate Temple, the Taoist wonder carved into the city's Western Hills and home to the best scenery in the region. You'll be scratching your head in amazement as you see how stonemasons managed to craft the intricate grottoes, tunnels and pathways. Next, you'll switch up your perspective at the Hua Ting Temple, one of the largest Buddhist temples in the Yunnan Province that has been rebuilt several times. Breathe in the sweet scent of camellia, magnolia and osmanthus blooms as you explore the ancient buildings and sacred grounds. This afternoon head back to your hotel for some well-deserved rest before spending the evening your way. We can't think of a better way to celebrate the last night of your trip than with a traditional feast and a colourful show where Yunnan's 25 ethnic groups perform an expertly choreographed display by one of the most famous national dancers of China.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  16. Day 16
    Depart Kunming
    Your incredible odyssey through China will come to an end today, but your memories of beautiful landscapes, exquisite architecture, ancient kingdoms and tasty local delicacies will last a lifetime. Say goodbye to your fellow travellers before transferring on to Kunming Airport to catch your onward flight to your next destination.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Sightseeing Highlights

  • Beijing Visit the Great Wall of China at Juyongguan, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden city
  • Jianshui Visit the Chaoyang Tower, Confucius Temple, Double Dragon Bridge and discover some ancient water wells
  • Kunming Visit the Dragon Gate and Hua Ting Temple located in the city's' Western Hills
  • Shanghai Visit the Bund, a Silk Factory Outlet and Nanjing Road
  • Shilin Visit the iconic Stone Forest
  • Tuanshan Village Visit the Zhang Family Garden
  • Xi'an Visit the Terracotta Warriors
  • Yangtze River Cruise Sail through the Three Gorges; the narrow Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge

Dining Highlights

  • 15 Breakfasts
  • 7 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets Provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Variety of Optional Experiences
  • An expert Travel Director and separate driver
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes

Health and Safety Protocols for Costsaver Tours

Costsaver has introduced these enhanced hygiene protocols – for you and team members.

Costsaver asks that you please take personal responsibility for your wellbeing. This begins with packing any personal protective equipment and sanitizers you require. Please adopt physical distancing and hygiene practises throughout your pre-trip travel arrangements and follow all health instruction whether physical signage, or requests from the professional staff once you are vacationing.

Expertly Trained Travel Directors

Travel Director training equips them with enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures. During your trip, they will operate with a duty of care and monitor the hygiene etiquette of the guests, reacting and advising as needed, to ensure high standards are maintained. Before you travel, Costsaver will also keep you well informed about new protocols required in these areas, and ask that you cooperate with and heed the advice and direction of Travel Directors while on your trip. The Travel Directors have preventative measures in place to try and ensure your well-being and in the event that any unexpected issues arise on trip, they will activate additional protocols.

Stringent On-the-Road Protocols

The customized luxury coaches are sanitised before the start of your trip and have always been kept to very high standards. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Costsaver have taken additional measures to elevate hygiene and sanitary practices in accordance with guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and as required, applicable government regulations. The Driver training provides them with the latest hygiene protocols. They will clean and disinfect all surfaces including handrails, door handles, tables, seats, air-conditioning filters and overhead lockers on a daily basis. All the guests are asked to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organisation including the thorough and regular washing of hands and sanitising when required. Hand sanitiser is freely available on board for your use throughout the day. Please bring your own washable face mask and gloves with you, and additional hand sanitiser to make you feel comfortable, as these will be required to be worn in public in some countries. Should an unexpected situation arise, additional face masks, rubber gloves, antiviral sprays and wipes will be available for guest distribution on all trips.

A Full Team of Support 24/7

It’s not just your Travel Director and Driver who will be taking care of you. Behind the scenes, the operations and guest support teams are in contact with them and on call 24/7, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Physical Distancing

Adapting to the right size groups, based on government distancing requirements, you can rest assured that you will travel with the comfort of your own personal space. Have peace of mind that all of the experiences, hotels and restaurants you’ll enjoy on your trip have been vetted to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Trusted Partners, Exceptional Standards

Costsaver is very selective in who they work with and choose to only use hotels, restaurants, ground handlers and venues that take the well-being of the guests as seriously as Costsaver does and agrees to meet expected guidelines and specifications. Costsaver only works with establishments that they are confident will consistently adhere to their high standards.

Always in the Know

As part of The Travel Corporation (TTC) , Costsaver is kept up to date with all government advisories and travel alerts on a daily basis and is continually in touch with all of the partners on the ground in each destination. Also, rest assured that during your trip, the teams work to ensure the supplier partners (hotels, restaurants, museums and other venues) are also applying the same standard to these new hygiene and distancing protocols, to the extent possible.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Costsaver Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
Professional Staff
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Value for Money

Ratings based off 502 reviews about Costsaver Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

This was a great trip. It included things that I never would have chosen on my own that I really enjoyed. The tour director was great. I would use CostSaver again. Great value.

I will strongly refer your company to my friends and relatives

Steve our travel director is excellent! He went above & beyond to give us a trip of a Lifetime. Very well organized and had some fun activities while on the road to make our ride time less boring. Very professional and courteous but treat everyone like Family. Very knowledgeable about geography & history of the places we were visiting. Our driver Giuseppe has a top knotch driving skills and very professional and courteous. Keeping us all safe on the road as well as helping everybody while getting off the bus. And looking out for our luggage's safety. I would definitely recommend to my friends & Family and I will book a trip with Costsaver again.

Hotels were even better than expectrd. We saw do many and wonderful attractions.

The trip itinerary was very detailed. From the booking to the end of my trip I was totally satisfied. It was my second trip, but I think I will book my future trips again. The trip director and all local guides were very knowledgeable and had great sense of humor, never boring. The optional excursions were excellent.

If people would ask me if I got my money's worth, I would reply that I got much much more than my money's worth. My trip was beyond wonderful, beyond amazing, beyond breathtaking.... Trent Plaine gave great background history of every country we visited; he took us to places morning noon and night... if there were places on the way out of a country he'd have us visit them and stop for great views. He was knowledgeable on flavors, food... the road trip was fantabulous!

The trip was well organized,the director Annarika is excellent in all aspects .our driver Marco is excellent too.They are both highly recommended in the fields they chose.In my next travel I wish I will be with them again.

Another excellent trip from start to finish. I am looking forward to my next trip already!!

We had a great experience with this company on this tour and would recommend this trip to anyone.

This was my first Costsaver tour and it was amazing. Our consultant, Maureen and tour guide Rose were top notch, extremely knowledgeable, and true professionals. I will definitely use Costsaver again!

Novotel Hotel was disappointing.

The trip to Italy was beyond my expectations! Our tour guide Amedeus was knowledgeable, kind, intuitive and made sure each one of us felt like royalty!

Our tour director Gianmarco was enthusiastic, informative and engaging. If I could pick him as my personal tour director to with me as I travel the world I would. The locations and sites were awe inspiring, but Gianmarco made this a very memorable experience. One I will cherish for a long time.

This was my 6th trip with Costsaver/Trafalgar, and I look forward to my next.

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