Essential China

Whether you are looking for ancient history, urban wonders, picturesque landscapes, or cultural experiences, this trip to China takes in all of the first-time-visitor essentials and will not disappoint! Join Sandra this spring to discover this beautiful and historic land. 


April 17 - 30, 2018

$3,725 from Toronto

Single supplement $1230

Space Available



*If the tour is SOLD OUT, please contact us to be added to the waitlist.


Day 1 - Tuesday, April 17:

Evening departure from Toronto on Air Canada (or similar direct service) to Bejing. Full inflight services, including dinner and a snack will be provided.  

Day 2 - Wednesday, April 18:

Arrival in Beijing, the political and cultural centre of the world's most populous nation. Following customs formalities we are met by our local guide who will be with us for the duration of the tour. Transfer to the hotel where we will have time to settle in before a welcome dinner. Overnight at Pullman Hotel Beijing South (or similar). 

Day 3 - Thursday, April 19:

Breakfast at the hotel followed by a full day sightseeing tour of the Chinese capital. We begin with a visit to Tiananmen Square, site of the June 1989 student led protests which became part of the democratic revolution. We continue with a visit to the Forbidden City where from 1420 to 1912 it served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of the Chinese government. Today it is the home to the Palace Museum filled with many priceless treasures. Our day ends with an exploration of The Temple of Heaven, an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of the city. Tonight we will enjoy a sumptuous Roast Duck dinner followed by a local folklore show, Legend of Kung Fu.

Day 4 - Friday, April 20:

Today we travel outside of the city to the Great Wall, an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture. It is the world’s longest wall and biggest ancient architecture. The Chinese Great Wall stretches over 6000kms from west to east: across deserts, over mountain peaks, deep into ravines till at last it reaches the sea. As one of the Eight Wonders in the world, the Great Wall of China has become the symbol of the Chinese nation and its culture. Time to walk a part of the wall before enjoying a lunch of local specialties. We return to Bejing in the late afternoon and will have a photo stop at the Olympic sites, where we will see the Bird Nest Stadium and Water Cube Aquatic centre. Before returning to the hotel there will be a stop at a local Jade Factory to see the art of Chinese Jade making followed by a pedi-cab ride through the ancient streets and residential areas to see the daily life of local people. 

Day 5 - Saturday, April 21:

Transfer to Bejing airport for our flight to Yichang where we will board our ship, one of the Yangze President series, for a cruise through the three gorges. Meals may be altered to accommodate the flight schedule.  

Day 6 - Sunday, April 22:

Early morning optional guided Tai Chi session on the sun deck early morning (or similar available activities). Enjoy the stunning scenery as we sail through Xiling Gorge. Today we embark on a shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam Site, the largest water conservancy project undertaken by man. Later in the day we enjoy the spectacular sights while passing through the Three Gorges Dam 5-stage ship locks. In the evening, there will be a Captain's Dinner and a Folkloric Performance.

Day 7 - Monday, April 23:

Early morning optional Tai Chi session on the sun deck early morning (or similar available activities). Depending on the river conditions, there may be a shore excursion to Shennong Stream, which is a natural habitat of the mandarin ducks and golden-hair monkeys. After lunch, admire breathtaking sights of the narrow cliff walls and dramatic vistas in the Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge.

Day 8 - Tuesday, April 24:

Early morning optional Tai Chi session on the sun deck. Later in the morning, take a shore excursion to Fengdu "the Ghost City" or Shibaozhai, home to a 12 storey red wooden pavilion built against a protruding 220 meter rectangular rock.

Day 9 - Wednesday, April 25:

Morning arrival in Chongqing. Following breakfast we disembark the ship for a guided tour of the city. Following the tour we transfer to the airport for our short flight to Xian. Transfer to the hotel followed by dinner. Overnight at Grand Barony Hotels Xi'an (or similar) for two nights. 

Day 10 - Thursday, April 26:

Today is devoted to visiting the Terra Cotta Museum home to a collection of over 8,000 Terra Cotta Warrior sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. They are a form of funeral art that was used to bury people of influence in ancient China. The first Emperor of China (210–209 BC) was buried with them to protect him in the afterlife. This evening will feature a dumpling dinner as well as an amazing Tang Dynasty Dinner Show.

Day 11 - Friday, April 27:

Meals may vary depending on airline schedule. Transfer after breakfast to Xian airport for the short flight to Shanghai, China’s biggest city and a global financial hub. On arrival, we transfer to the city centre for a city tour. Highlights include; a visit to the City-God Temple Market, sprawling Yu Garden with its traditional pavilions, towers and ponds, the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings and fabulous views of the futuristic skyline including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. In the late afternoon we arrive at our hotel The Crown Plaza Fudan. Following dinner tonight will be an Acrobatic Show.

Day 12 - Saturday, April 28:

Morning departure for Suzhou, a city known for its stunning gardens and canals but equally famous as a major centre for China’s illustrious silk production. Our visit here begins with a guided tour of the city including a visit to the Master of Nets Garden and a boat ride on the Grand Canal. Following lunch we transfer to a silk production facility where we will learn more about the ancient techniques and fine craftsmanship of Suzhou’s most famous export. Return to Shanghai in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight.

Day 13 - Sunday, April 29:

Free day to explore Shanghai or enjoy shopping and sight-seeing at your leisure. Our guide will make suggestions on possible places to visit as well as offering an optional Huangpu River cruise or a ride on the Maglev Train. Farewell dinner this evening.

Day 14 - Monday, April 30:

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for our return flight on Air Canada or similar to Toronto.




Return flights on Air Canada or similar, including all airport taxes and surcharges; Internal flights as indicted in itinerary; Entrance fees and scheduled sightseeing by air-conditioned transportation with English speaking guide; Accommodations based on double occupancy – Single room supplement $1230; Transfers from airports in China as specified in the itinerary; Meals as specified in itinerary. (B/L/D) is Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Tipping to tour guide and driver; Services of a Pauwels Travel tour escort.


Chinese visa fee, approx. $180.00; Personal Expenses such as laundry, alcoholic beverages, excess baggage; Optional travel insurance. Please call our office for details.


Other tours you may be interested in:

Knights to Malta

February 22 - March 06, 2018

$4,395 from Toronto


Paris in Depth

March 02 - 11, 2018


Space Available

Espana Incognita

March 06 - 16, 2018

$3,375 from Toronto*

Space Available