Long a bustling commercial center, Shanghai has become one of the world’s most exciting cities, brimming with spectacular skyscrapers designed by world-famous architects. Stroll along the Bund, Shanghai’s famed waterfront promenade, and get a sense of its 19th-century roots. Enjoy a traditional dim sum lunch at the Pudong Shangri-La, after which you’ll have time to browse through the district’s intriguing shops. In the evening, a performance by the world-renowned Shanghai Acrobats will dazzle you.
Visit the Shanghai Museum, a stunning contemporary structure that houses treasures of Chinese art, including ancient bronzes from the Shang and Zhou periods, exquisite jades, calligraphic works from many dynasties, and Ming and Qing furniture. Later, fly to Yichang and board your elegant ship.
Shibao Pagoda, whose red walls and yellow gate are a Yangtze River landmark, was built into the side of a hill in the 18th century. Although the temple is 12 stories tall, only its top 3 stories still tower over the water. Make a wish and climb the stairs; legend has it that the higher you climb, the more likely it is that your wish will come true. In the evening, a Farewell Dinner with complimentary wine will be served.
Disembark in Chongqing, the booming capital of western China. As part of your city tour, you’ll visit the giant pandas at the Chongqing Zoo. Later, catch a flight to the ancient city of Xi’an, where you’ll settle into the Shangri-La Xi’an hotel and savor an extraordinary dumpling banquet in the city widely considered the home of this delicious delicacy.
Twenty-four centuries ago, China’s first emperor was entombed with a vast army of warriors and horses made of clay. The tomb complex lay undisturbed until the 20th century. Only about 8,000 of the life-sized Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses have been excavated thus far, some of which you’ll visit at the museum. Afterwards, you’ll see the massive defensive wall built around Xi’an in the 15th century. In the evening, indulge in a traditional dinner and a performance that re-creates the music, folk dances, and costumes of the Tang Dynasty.
Catch a flight to Beijing and visit the UNESCO-designated Temple of Heaven before checking into the Ritz-Carlton Beijing. In the evening, enjoy a delicious dinner at your hotel.
Start the day off with a visit to one of the nation's most iconic sites, the UNESCO-designated Great Wall of China. Walk along the top of the wall to appreciate just how formidable a barrier it would have been to the nomadic mounted warriors who confronted it over the centuries. Back in Beijing, spend the evening at the Red Theatre, taking in a spectacular show that combines kung fu prowess with acrobatics and dance.
The last full day of your China adventure begins in broad Tiananmen Square, which is both the heart of modern Beijing and a gateway to the wonders of imperial China. Chairman Mao’s mausoleum borders the square, as does the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site you’ll visit today. Your next stop takes you to the backbone of Old Beijing—the ancient residential lanes known as the hutongs. Hop aboard a rickshaw for a behind-the-scenes tour of these historic neighborhoods, where you can still see the region’s traditional courtyard homes. You’ll be invited to join a family in their home for a delicious traditional lunch. In the evening, enjoy a Farewell Dinner of succulent Peking duck, a signature dish of the city since imperial times.