China Sampler

BEIJING, XIAN & SHANGHAI

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Price: from $1,399

 

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    Save up to $800 per couple!!!

For a limited time only save up to $800 per couple on this remarkable journey to China. Reserve by December 23, 2014 to qualify for the early booking discount. Space is limited so please reserve early.

Click here to learn about the 17-Day China & Yangtze River Cruise with Hong Kong tour from $2799!

 

smarTours’ China Sampler tour features some of Asia’s most dynamic cities: Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai, with guided sightseeing tours included in each of them as well as free time to explore at your own pace. Take in China’s deep history by visiting Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Soldiers, and the Bund! Call smarTours today to book your next incredible getaway!

Itinerary at a glance Highlights Your tour includes
  • International flight to Beijing
  • 3 nights in Beijing
  • 2 nights in Xian
  • 3 nights in Shanghai
  • International flight to USA

 

  • Tiananmen Square (Beijing)
  • Great Wall (Beijing)
  • Terra Cotta Soldiers (Xian)
  • The Bund (Shanghai)
  • Suzhou Excursion (Shanghai)
  • Round-trip airfare from San Francisco via Air China (Add $129 if departing from NYC, JFK)
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-China flights and ground transportation
  • Accommodation at deluxe and first class hotels
  • 12 meals: 8 buffet breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L), 2 dinners (D)
  • Sightseeing tours as described in itinerary
  • English-speaking Tour Director and local guides

Click on the tabs below to learn more!

Land + Air 
(Land Only Prices Available Upon Request)

Tour cost airfare included

Depart

Return

Reserve by
Dec 23 2014

Reserve after
Dec 23 2014

2015

 

w/check 
discount

Sale

 After Sale

Jan 6

Jan 15

$ 1599

$ 1699

$ 1999

Feb 3

Feb 12

$ 1399

$ 1499

$ 1799

Feb 24

Mar 5

$ 1599

$ 1699

$ 1999

Mar 3

Mar 12

$ 1399

$ 1499

$ 1799

Mar 31

Apr 9

$ 1549

$ 1649

$ 1949

Apr 14 Apr 23 $ 1599 $ 1699 $ 1999
May 5 May 14 $ 1699 $ 1799 $ 2099
Jul 7 Jul 16 $ 1799 $ 1899 $ 2199
Sep 1 Sep 10 $ 1799 $ 1899 $ 2199
Oct 13 Oct 22 $ 1799 $ 1899 $ 2199
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is $299.
New York Departures:
Add $129 if departing from New York (JFK)
Business Class Upgrade (International Flights Only):
San Francisco add $3300. New York add $3700.
China visa fee not included
For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:30-5:30 EST) at 800-337-7773.
Reservations and Payments 
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable deposit (by check) which must be received within 7 days of reservation. Full payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.

 

Day 1
Depart USA.
Your magical journey to China begins this afternoon as you depart on your wide-body jet flight bound for Beijing.
Day 2
Arrive Beijing.
After crossing the International Date Line you arrive late this afternoon in Beijing, China’s lively capital and recent host to Summer Olympics. You’ll be greeted at the airport and travel to your upscale hotel centrally located in downtown Beijing, within easy access to Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a welcome dinner and briefing. Penta Hotel (D)
Day 3
On today’s exhilarating included excursion venture outside the city to the legendary Great Wall, which extends nearly 4,000 miles. Time to view and mount the well-preserved ramparts of this ancient wonder before proceeding to the Ming Tombs, burial site of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (B,L)
Day 4
A day at leisure to explore at your own pace. Your hotel is ideally located for independent exploration. We suggest an optional ($65) full day excursion with lunch to the Forbidden City, the former seat of the emperors throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is a true architectural masterpiece and home to the National Palace Museum. After an included lunch, proceed to the Summer Palace, a former royal retreat and now a lovely park. Here, enjoy a scenic boat ride on peaceful Kunming Lake. This evening, delight in an optional banquet ($50) featuring the famous “Peking Duck” and attend the famous “Legend of Kung Fu” Show. (B)
Day 5
Beijing/Xian.
Morning at leisure. You may join an optional excursion ($40) to Beijing’s ancient back alleys (Hutong) by rickshaw and witness the way the Chinese have lived for centuries. You’ll also visit a home of a local family and have lunch with them. Later today, fly to Xian, ancient capital of China for eleven dynasties and historic gateway to the old silk trading route. Grand Metropark Hotel (B)
Day 6
On a guided morning excursion visit one of the world’s most amazing archaeological discoveries: a life-size Terra Cotta Army of soldiers and horses guarding the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi. It was unearthed in 1974 after being buried with the first Qin emperor for 22 centuries! The afternoon is at leisure to discover independently. Your hotel enjoys a superb location and you may wish to explore on foot and visit the intriguing Shanxi Museum to view stone carvings and precious art treasures from the ancient Han and Tang Dynasties. On this evening’s optional outing ($45), savor a delicious dumpling dinner, a local specialty, and delight in a Tang Dynasty spectacular folklore show. (B,L)
Day 7
Xian/Shanghai.
Today, fly to Shanghai, often described as “Paris of the East”. An intriguing, dynamic city, today’s Shanghai weaves the seaport legacy of its past with impressive new 21st century architecture. Upon arrival, embark on a guided orientation drive and stroll down the Bund, the bustling and exciting waterfront along the Huangpu River. Crowne Plaza Fudan Hotel or Equatorial Hotel (B)
Day 8
Start your day with a guided walk amidst the scenic ponds, colorful pavilions and walkways of the 16th century Yu Yuan Garden, a delightful reminder of old Shanghai. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore at your own pace. You may join an optional excursion with lunch ($38) to discover the acclaimed Shanghai Museum displaying exquisite ancient Chinese art and artifacts followed by a visit to the famous Jade Buddha Temple which houses exceptional Buddha statues carved of a single piece of white jade. This evening you may join an optional ($40) dinner followed by a mesmerizing acrobatic show. (B)
Day 9
Optional Suzhou Excursion.
A full day at leisure to explore Shanghai as you wish. We recommend an exciting optional ($65) excursion with lunch to the charming, canal laced Suzhou, often called “Paradise on Earth”. Here you embark on a boat ride on the ancient “Grand Canal” and visit two of Suzhou’s most famous gardens as well as other city highlights. Return to Shanghai later this afternoon. This evening join your fellow travelers for an included festive farewell dinner at a famous local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 10
Shanghai/USA.
Today, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA. Your memorable journey comes to an end as you arrive back in the U.S. later today. (B)

Optional Tours

To enhance and make your China visit more complete and memorable, you will be offered several optional tours and cultural/dining evening activities. You’ll need to decide while in Beijing which of these tours you want to participate in and pay for. Payment should be made by cash (U.S. dollars).  You may also pay with credit card (Visa or Mastercard only!).  Please note that if you wish to use credit card, 4% service charge will be added automatically by the bank to the optional tour prices listed below.  A minimum purchase of $150 is required if you wish to use your credit card. Once paid, optional tours are non-refundable. Additional optional tours may be added for your enjoyment, and the optional tours listed below may not be available on all departure dates.

Day 4
Full Day Forbidden City/Summer Palace with Lunch ($65 per person)
Start your day with a visit to the famous Tiananmen Square. You then enter the Forbidden City, an architectural masterpiece and home to the National Palace Museum. After an included lunch, venture outside the city to see the Summer Palace, summer resort of the Empress Dowager.

Day 4
Evening Kung Fu Performance and Peking Duck Dinner Banquet ($50 per person)
Enjoy an elaborate Chinese Dinner Banquet featuring the famous “Peking Duck”. Following dinner you’ll attend the “Legend of Kung Fu” show, a special stage performance that blends music, martial arts and a moving story. The show highlights the fascinating Chinese martial arts, known as Kung Fu.

Day 5
Morning Hutong (Old Beijing) Tour Plus Lunch ($40 per person)
Enjoy an unforgettable look at behind-the-scenes of Hutong, the old city of Beijing. You’ll ride on a traditional rickshaw through the labyrinth comprising this quarter. Walk along ancient back alleys and see where ordinary citizens live side by side with gracious old estates once owned by Beijing‘s old aristocracy. You’ll also visit the home of a local family where a home cooked lunch is served.

Day 6
Tang Dynasty Show and Special Dumpling Dinner ($45 per person)
On this evening outing, savor a delicious dumpling dinner, a local specialty.  Later, delight in a spectacular folklore show featuring music, dances and costumes from the Tang Dynasty.

Day 8
Afternoon Shanghai Museum and Jade Buddha Temple Tour with Lunch ($38 per person)
If you purchase this optional tour, you’ll enjoy an included lunch followed by a guided afternoon tour. First, visit the acclaimed Shanghai Museum, displaying exquisite ancient Chinese art and articrafts. This museum has some of Asia’s best art exhibits. Proceed to the Jade Buddha Temple that houses exceptional Buddha statues carved of a single piece of white jade.


Day 8
Shanghai Acrobats Performance and Dinner ($40 per person)
This evening you will delight in seeing a breathtaking performance of the renowned Shanghai Acrobats.  Chinese dinner will be included in tonight’s activities.

Day 9
Full Day Suzhou Excursion with Lunch ($65 per person)
On this most memorable excursion, journey by road to the charming, canal laced Suzhou often called “Paradise on Earth”. Here you embark on a short cruise on the ancient “Grand Canal” and enjoy a walk of the old town followed by a visit to one of Suzhou most famous Chinese gardens. After lunch visit a silk workshop to learn about silk production. Return to Shanghai late this afternoon.

Trip Preparation

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Your flights from the U.S. to China and back are on Air China with the corresponding schedules.  We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure. 

               San Francisco (SFO)          New York (JFK)                                             

Depart:                1:30PM                                    3:30PM   

Return:               12:30PM                                  2:30PM

Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting fight.  We recommend at least 3 ½ hours.  Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior note.                                               

ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT

Air China does not assign seats in advance. Please note that smarTours is not involved with your seat assignment. It is between you and the airline! Seat assignment can only be arranged upon check-in at the airport.

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

Travel to China requires a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. American citizens require visa to enter China. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Passengers traveling to China need to have individual visas stamped in their passports. To obtain an individual visa for China, please follow one of the following:

  1. If you prefer to apply for your visa directly with the Chinese Consulate, you will have to apply in person.   Chinese Consulates do not accept mailed-in visa applications.  Please contact the Chinese Consulate nearest your area for visa requirements and application forms and fees.
  2. If you do not reside close to a consulate, we suggest that you use a visa service to facilitate the processing of the visa.  We recommend using CIBT.  Please use the following link to download instructions and forms at http://www.cibt.com/home.aspx?Login=50002
  3. If you do not have access to a computer, and you are not able to apply for your visa in person, please contact CIBT to have a form mailed to you.  If you plan to use the services of CIBT and have any questions regarding the application please call them directly at 800-406-1523.
  4. We recommend that you apply for the visa in-person or through CIBT, at least 45-50 days before your scheduled departure to China. If you apply earlier, your visa may expire by the time you are scheduled to take your trip!

PLEASE NOTE:  An invitation letter addressed to the Chinese Consulate will be e-mailed to you approximately 50 days prior to your departure date.  This invitation letter will include the addresses and telephone numbers of the hotels and land operator in China.  You will need to print this invitation and present it with your China visa application.  When you send us your final payment, please make sure you provide us with your correct e-mail address on your tour registration form.  Also please note that visa procedures may change at any time.  You should check directly with the consulate, or if using CIBT online at www.cibt.com, for the most up to date instructions before submitting your paperwork.  Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS

Your airline tickets along with final instructions and additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour. Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions.

CLIMATE

You may expect temperatures averaging in the 30’s and 40’s in December, January and February, 50’s and 60’s in March and November, 60’s and 70’s in April, May, September and October and 80’s in June through August.

NON-INCLUDED MEALS

The hotels used on this tour have several dining choices from coffee shop to specialty restaurants. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in the coffee shop is about $15-20 per meal per person. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals.

CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY

Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards.  However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars. Your hotels will be able to exchange for you cash to local currency. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.

BAGGAGE

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (maximum 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece. Carry on must not exceed 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

 

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Dec 08, 2014 by Jenny

My family and I took this tour this year, and it was completely fabulous!! Everything was taken care of, our meals and accommodations were excellent, and our tour guide, Hao Jun, was the best guide we've ever had anywhere. It was truly a wonderful and memorable trip!


Amazing and a great value!!!

Feb 12, 2014 by Erin

My mom and I and I took this tour a couple of years ago. We were a bit skeptical of the quality of the tour because of the price (seemed too good to be true). However, the tour was fantastic in every regard. We could not have seen or done so much on the same budget had we tried to do so on our own.

Our main guide, Michael, was phenomenoal and seamlessly managed our tour group with ages ranging from 12-80.

I enjoyed this tour so much that I took a second smarTours tour last year (Incredible India) and am considering a third for later this year.


smarTours , USA 5.0 5.0 2 2 My family and I took this tour this year, and it was completely fabulous!! Everything was taken care of, our meals and accommodations were excellent, and our tour guide, Hao Jun,

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