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China Sampler

BEIJING, XIAN & SHANGHAI

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

    Save up to $800 per couple!!!

For a limited time only save up to $800 per couple on these remarkable China tours. Reserve by June 9, 2016 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!

Itinerary at a glance Highlights Your China 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
Jun 9 2016

Reserve after
Jun 9 2016

2016

 

w/check 
discount

Sale

 After Sale

Jul 5 Jul 14 $ 1999 $ 2099 $ 2399
Jul 12 Jul 21 $ 1799 $ 1899 $ 2199
Aug 2 Aug 11 $ 1899 $ 1999 $ 2299
Sep 6 Sep 15 $ 1999 $ 2099 $ 2399
Oct 11 Oct 20 $ 1899 $ 1999 $ 2299
Oct 18 Oct 27 $ 1699 $ 1799 $ 2099
Nov 1 Nov 10 $ 1599 $ 1699 $ 1999
Nov 22 Dec 1 $ 1499 $ 1599 $ 1899
Nov 29 Dec 8 $ 1499 $ 1599 $ 1899
Dec 25 Jan 3 ’17 $ 1799 $ 1899 $ 2199

2017

 

w/check 
discount

Sale

 After Sale

Jan 3 Jan 12 $ 1399 $ 1499 $ 1799
Jan 31 Feb 9 $ 1399 $ 1499 $ 1799
Feb 28 Mar 9 $ 1499 $ 1599 $ 1899
Mar 21 Mar 30 $ 1599 $ 1699 $ 1999
Apr 11 Apr 20 $ 1649 $ 1749 $ 2049
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 $2995. New York add $3395.
China visa fee not included
For more information on this China 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 with our China tour packages begin 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 briefing. Penta Hotel 
Day 3
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, enjoy a welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director. (B,D)
Day 4
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. This evening, delight in an optional banquet ($50) featuring the famous “Peking Duck” and attend the famous “Legend of Kung Fu” Show. (B,L)
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. Golden Flower 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 of your China Tours come to an end as you arrive back in the U.S. later today. (B)

Check out this video from a smarTours traveler on this trip of a lifetime!


Optional Tours

To enhance and make your China tour packages 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 3
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. 

 

Departure Date SFO JFK
Depart Return Depart Return
2016: Jul. – Oct.
2017: Mar. – Apr.
2:30PM 12:30PM 4:30PM 2:30PM
2016: Nov. 1 2:30PM 11:30AM 4:30PM 1:30PM
2016: Nov. 29
2017: Jan. – Feb.
1:30PM 11:30AM 3:30PM 1:30PM
2016: Dec. 25 1:30PM 11:30AM N/A N/A

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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Average rating:  
 14 reviews
by Tracy Rivkin on smarTours

Hao was a fabulous Tour Director! Fun, informative, easy to be with. He had a great team of city-specific guides and drivers too. It was a good mix of historical sites, shows, restaurants, shopping. Just the right amount of walking each day. Every day was jam-packed with amazing history lessons!

by maria sonia melgar on smarTours
CHina Trip

My group went thru Smartours in Beijing and Shanghai. Best trip we ever had starting with the very affordable cost, the attention and efficiency of the staff, the choices of places to visit and the ambience created by the attention to detail of everyone involved. Thank you Smartours. We will be a regular happy traveler with your groups.

by wendy lewis on smarTours
china sampler

excellent

by Wendy lewis on smarTours
China sampler

Excellent

by Chuck Pennington on smarTours
Excellent Tour

This was an excellent tour. Hoa was our director and he was fantastic. The whole tour was great. Great value. Lots to see and do. Wished I had a little down time to enjoy. We were so busy seeing things, wanted a break to just walk. Cannot complain. Everything was great and better than advertised. My four trip with Smartours.

by Samantha on smarTours
Spectacular!!!

This China Sampler vacation was the best!! Enjoyed everything about this trip including Air China, our tour director Hou, the excursions, the food, the hotels (except the one in Xi'an) and the group of people I travelled with. The weather during the week we travelled there (Oct 13th) was beautiful and warm. This trip was well worth the money. I highly recommend it.

by SANDRA KRAMER on smarTours
China Sampler

We gave it a 5 star rating however the first hotel should be changed. The last hotel in Shanghai was fabulous. Room/ food/ service. 5 stars.
Great guides. jWonderful bus and planes. Took all of the extra trips. Worth every cent. Amazing places to visit. Shows at night were also good. Sandi's second trip with SmarTours. Hopefully many more to come.

by Dionne Calloway on smarTours
Fabulous Trip!

All of the tour guides and especially our tour director, Oscar, were very knowledgeable and personable. The only modification I would make is to spend less time at the Terracotta warriors exhibit in Xian and less time at the Forbidden City. Other than that, SmarTours delivered on everything they promised and more! I have recommended SmarTours to all of my friends.

by Jeannette Cheng on smarTours
Amazing China Tour

My husband and I along with his sister and her husband just returned from Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. Our tour director, Li Bo was the most knowledgeable and caring individual. The breath-taking views from the Great Wall, get lost in the Forbidden City, open-ness of the Temple of Heaven..was all around most-memorable trip EVER! Will book with SmarTours again for our next vacation! Thank you for well organized trip.

by Djenaba Bahar on smarTours
Great Vacation

Just returned from the China Sampler Tour. Our tour guide Hoa Jun was so informative and attentive to details. He was very professional and helpful. I truly enjoyed my time in China. I am so glad I went through Smartours because you take care of so many travel details. You take the hassle out of long distance traveling

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