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The Best of China


  • Destination:
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Price: from $1,899


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Save up to $1000 per couple!!!

For a limited time only save up to $1000 per couple on these remarkable China tours. Reserve by January 31, 2019 to qualify for the early booking discount. Space is limited so please reserve early.

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


  • Tiananmen Square (Beijing)
  • Forbidden City (Beijing)
  • Summer Palace (Beijing)
  • Great Wall (Beijing)
  • Terra Cotta Soldiers (Xian)
  • Tang Art Museum (Xian)
  • Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
  • Jinli Street (Chengdu)
  • The Bund (Shanghai)
  • Yu Yuan Garden (Shanghai)
  • Suzhou Excursion (Shanghai)
  • Round-trip airfare from San Francisco (+$149 for New York)
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-China flights and ground transportation
  • Accommodation at deluxe and first class hotels
  • 16 meals: 10 buffet breakfasts (B), 4 lunches (L), 2 dinners (D)
  • Sightseeing tours as described in itinerary
  • English-speaking Tour Director and local guides

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Guided Tour Pricing

Pricing includes land and airfare

(Land only pricing available upon request)



Best Value Pricing
Reserve by Jan 31 2019

Reserve after
Jan 31 2019





 After Sale

May 7 May 18 $ 2199 $ 2299 $ 2699
Jul 16 Jul 27 $ 2299 $ 2399 $ 2799
Jul 30 Aug 10 $ 2099 $ 2199 $ 2599
Aug 13 Aug 24 $ 2199 $ 2299 $ 2699
Sep 3 Sep 14 $ 2299 $ 2399 $ 2799
Sep 10 Sep 21 $ 2199 $ 2299 $ 2699
Oct 22 Nov 2 $ 1999 $ 2099 $ 2499
Nov 12 Nov 23 $ 1899 $ 1999 $ 2399
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is $499.
New York Departures:
Add $149 if departing from New York (JFK)
China visa fee not included
For more information on this China tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:00-5:30 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, non-transferable deposit which must be received within 48 hours 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 Best of China tour package 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 the 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. Beijing Capital Hotel
Day 3
Today, visit the Forbidden City, the former seat of the emperors throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is a true architectural masterpiece and is home to the National Palace museum. After lunch, proceed to the Summer Palace, a former royal retreat and now a lovely park. Here you might consider a scenic boat ride on peaceful Kunming Lake. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director. (B,L,D)
Day 4
On today’s exhilarating 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. On the way back to the city, make a photo stop at the iconic Beijing 2008 Olympic Park, including the famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube which now hosts many spectacular opening ceremonies and events. Marvel at the stunning exterior of these buildings before returning to Beijing. This evening, delight in an optional banquet featuring the famous “Peking Duck” and attend the famous “Legend of Kung Fu” Show. (B,L)
Day 5
Enjoy the morning at your leisure. You may join an optional excursion to Beijing’s ancient back alleys (Hutong) by rickshaw and witness the way the Chinese have lived for centuries, and then proceed to the Temple of Heaven. 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! Afterwards, visit the intriguing Tang Art Museum and view excellent exhibits and demonstrations of Chinese culture including folk art, ancient painting works, and calligraphy. On this evening’s optional outing, savor a delicious dumpling dinner, a local specialty, and delight in a Tang Dynasty spectacular folklore show. (B,L)
Day 7
Today you’ll travel to the train station where you’ll take a high-speed train from Xian to Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province and once the capital of the Shu Kingdom. Upon arrival in Chengdu, you’ll travel to your hotel. Tibet Hotel Chengdu (B)
Day 8
Start the day with a visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding for a truly memorable experience. The research base has created a perfect ecological environment for the breeding of pandas and other precious and rare wild animals. Giant pandas at the Chengdu Research Base live in large naturalistic habitats which help visitors understand how these animals live in the wild. This Research Base is one of the important centers in China for the captive conservation of giant pandas and the current goal is to increase the captive population of giant pandas with an ultimate goal of reintroducing giant pandas to the wild.
After lunch enjoy a stroll down the narrow Jinli Street where you’ll find yourself surrounded by old-world stores selling Shu Embroidery, lacquer products, folk handicrafts, curios, or calligraphy. Featuring traditional architecture, snacks, and folk customs, Jinli Street is synonymous with leisure. You’ll also find many cafes here, blending modern elements into the old town harmoniously.You may choose to relax and sit on a wooden bench with a cup of delicious coffee. (B,L)

Day 9
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. Crowne Plaza Shanghai Fudan Hotel (B)
Day 10
Embark on a guided orientation drive and stroll down the Bund, the bustling and exciting waterfront along the Huangpu River. Next, enjoy 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 afternoon is at your leisure to explore at your own pace. You may join an optional excursion to see the Shanghai Tower 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 dinner followed by a mesmerizing acrobatic show. (B)
Day 11
Optional Suzhou Excursion.
A full day at your leisure to explore Shanghai as you wish. We recommend an exciting optional excursion 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 one 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 12
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)

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 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
Full-Day Hutong (Old Beijing) & Temple of Heaven Tour with Lunch ($65 per person)
Enjoy an unforgettable look behind-the-scenes of Hutong, the old city of Beijing. You’ll ride on a traditional three-wheel cycle through the labyrinth which comprises 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. After an included lunch, proceed to the Temple of Heaven, a masterpiece of architectural harmony and precision.

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 Tower and Jade Buddha Temple Tour with Lunch ($68 per person)
If you purchase this optional tour, you’ll enjoy an included lunch followed by a guided afternoon tour. First, visit the Jade Buddha Temple that houses exceptional Buddha statues carved of a single piece of white jade. Proceed to the newest and tallest building in China – the Shanghai Tower is the second tallest building in the entire world (only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is taller). It houses the highest observation deck ever conceived by humans, which offers the highest views of Shanghai in a 360 degree pan-optic, doughnut shaped room that looks out onto the entire city and beyond. Ride the elevator up to the sky – a must-visit for enthusiasts of full-throttle architecture and anyone looking to be above it all.

Day 8
Shanghai Acrobats Performance and Dinner ($45 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


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
2019: May 7, Jul. 16, Jul. 30, Aug. 13, Sep. 3, Sep. 10, Oct. 22 2:30PM 12:30PM 4:30PM 2:30PM
2019: Nov. 12 1:30PM 11:30AM 3:30PM 1:30PM

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.                                               


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.


International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land only travelers are responsible for arranging the entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.

Main Tour: Land only services start upon independent check in at Beijing hotel on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on the tour page. Land only services end after breakfast at Shanghai hotel on Day 12 of the itinerary listed on the tour page. Please note that smarTours will provide the invitation letters for the specific dates of our tour. If you plan on arriving earlier or staying in the country after the end of our tour, you will be responsible for securing your own invitation letter for the extra time spent in the country.


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
  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, 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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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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