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Drifting On A Headwind

By Jim Harlan

Adventures in travel!

Experience the wild adventures of the author as he travels in remote corners of the world. Read more...

Experts in travel to remote corners of the world

China Yangtse River Tour

> Asia >> China

Featuring: Beijing and the Yangtse River.

Image source:

Length: 15 Days / 12 Nights

Itinerary Highlights:

DAY 1-USA/Beijing
Depart USA on transpacific flight to Beijing

DAY 2-Enroute
Cross the International Dateline

DAY 3-Beijing
Welcome to China! On arrival you will be met by a representative who will escort you to your hotel where you can relax after your long flight. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

DAY 4-Beijing
Begin your day with a visit to the Forbidden City, ancient residence of emperors and bastion of imperial power, forbidden to all but the highest nobility until opened to the public in 1949. Then continue on to Tiananmen Square. The leaders of China have used Tiananmen Gate as a podium from which to address the masses since ancient times. In 1949 Chairman Mao proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic here, and more recently the square has been the center of democratic student demonstrations. Animal lovers should consider a visit to the Bejing zoo, home to the world famous pandas.

DAY 5-Beijing
You will start early on this full day excursion to some of China’s most famous sites. First visit the Ming Tombs, the final resting place of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. Then it is on to the only man made structure visible from space, the Great Wall of China. Construction of this colossal 3,700 mile-long fence began around 220 B.C. as an effort to keep out Mongolian invaders.

DAY 6-Beijing/Xian
Travel day, fly to Xian and transfer to your hotel.

DAY 7-Xian
Begin today’s tour of China’s former capital with a visit to the Wild Goose Pagoda. Then you are off to witness the “eighth” wonder of the world, Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum and his Terracotta Army. See the 8,000 life size terra cotta soldiers and horses, hundreds of chariots and a large number of real weapons unearthed from underground vaults. After a long day of sightseeing relax in the Hua Qing Hot Springs.

DAY 8-Xian/Chongqing
Travel day, fly to Chongqing and transfer to your hotel.

DAY 9-Chongqing
Situated among the hills where the Jaling and upper Yangtze Rivers converge, Chongqing is known as a city of mountains, rivers, and fog. The heights surrounding the city afford magnificent views of the river valleys below. While here you will visit scenic Pipa Hill, be entertained at the Sichuan Fine Arts Academy, and feast on Sichuan Province’s famous cuisine.

DAY 10-Chongqing/Yangtse
This morning embark on an unforgettable cruise along China’s vital waterway, the Yangtse River. This mighty river will guide you through serene rural settings and magnificent natural scenery. You will pass through the famous “Three Gorges” witnessing the full drama of the landscape, much of which will soon be submerged due to construction of the “Three Gorges Dam”.

DAY 11/12-Yangtse River Cruise
Shore excursions to the ancient towns of Wanxian, Shibaozhai, Fengdu, Yichang and Jingzhou reveal both the richness of local history and the colorfulness of life along the Yangtze. As you flow down the river you will pass by Shibaozhai, or “Pearl of the Yangtze”, a 12- story, 400 year old wooden pagoda built against the side of a sheer cliff. Take a smaller boat down the Daning river valley, home of the Three Small Gorges: Dragon Gate Gorge, Misty Gorge and Emerald Gorge. The main attraction on your Yangtse cruise will no doubt be the three gorges themselves. Qutang Gorge is the most imposing of the gorges, as it is very narrow, causing the river to gush through sheer rock cliffs. When passing through Wu Gorge look for the twelve surrounding peaks enshrouded in rain and mist. Xiling Gorge is the most treacherous of the three gorges, but also the most beautiful and awe-inspiring.

DAY 13-Yangtse River/Wushan/Shanghai
Passing through the Windbox or Qutang Gorge, with its 1200 metre high peaks, you come to Wushan, and the conclusion of your cruise. Transfer directly to the airport and fly to Shanghai.

DAY 14-Shanghai
Visit the Bund, the enchanting Shanghai waterfront, home to majestic trading houses of times past and a popular romantic destination when illuminated at night. During the day visit the Jade buddha Temple, home to artistic buddha figures and an active community of monks. During the Cultural Revolution a clever abbot saved this temple by hanging pictures of Mao on the bolted gates. In order to enter, the Red Guards would have had to tear down the pictures, a political crime that would have been punished by death. Relax in the afternoon with a stroll though the Yu Garden and tea in the famous tea house. If you have any energy left get some of your souvenir shopping done along Nanjing Road. Tonight enjoy a thrilling acrobatic show.

DAY 15-Shanghai/USA
Goodbye! Today you board a for return your to the USA.

The above is a sample itinerary. Uncommon Adventures specializes in custom itineraries to suit your specific desires and needs as well. Please feel free to consult us to design an adventure of your own.

Uncommon Adventures specializes in unique adventure travel and expeditions to all corners of the world. Our well traveled staff is able to provide you with personal insights to the uncommon destinations on the planet.

Life is short! Start your adventure today.

Uncommon Adventures specializes in unique adventure travel and expeditions to all corners of the world. Our well traveled staff is able to provide you with personal insights to the uncommon destinations on the planet. Life is short! Start your adventure today.

Photography courtesy of Randy Harwood Photography.