See the pavilions of Shanghai’s Yuyuan Garden. Cruise a sampan on the Yangtze’s Goddess Stream. Behold the 50,000 statues of the 7th-century Dazu Rock Carvings. Discover the Dongba culture. Wander Lijiang’s 800-year-old Dayan Town. See Beijing’s Summer Palace. This 19-day Viking river cruise tour combines a 7-day Yangtze cruise; land discovery in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai; and more exploration in rarely visited locales where treasures elude most travelers.
The metropolis and financial center of Shanghai orbits around its famous Bund, an elegant riverfront promenade overlooked by colonial-era banks.
The largest city in China and one of the world’s most important ports, Shanghai began as a tiny fishing village 5,000 years ago.
Because Shanghai has long welcomed people from all over the world, it has a history of being an open-minded city with a freewheeling character.
One of the most important cities of China’s Republican Revolution, this capital of Hubei province is a gateway to the Yangtze Gorges.
Within Jingzhou, ancient Ying’s city walls, gates and watchtowers help Jingzhou strike a dramatic pose on the Yangtze’s banks.
At 25 miles long, Wu Gorge is a breathtaking canvas of forest-covered mountains, sheer cliffs, rising mist and cascading waterfalls.
Part of the Three Gorges system on the Yangtze River, Wu Gorge is perhaps the most beautiful stretch in the river.
Shibaozhai Temple (Precious Stone Fortress) is a gem of Chinese architecture.
Perched on steep hills where the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers meet, Chongqing was one of the Allies’ three World War II headquarters.
Today Chongqing, with its Manhattan-like skyline, is China’s most important inland city.
Laced by narrow canals lined with paper lanterns and traditional timber-built houses, Lijiang’s Old Quarter of historic warrens, intimate enclaves and gracefully arched bridges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Once a center of silk embroidery, Lijiang was a major stop on the trade route known as the Old Tea Horse Caravan Trail.
Chengdu Panda Base lets visitors observe the giant bears playing, resting and eating while experts explain different ways to protect these gentle creatures.
Thousands of ancient Terra Cotta Warriors, buried with Emperor Qin Shi Huang over 2,000 years ago, were unearthed in Xian in 1974.
Over 3,100 years old, Xian rivals Egypt and Greece as the birthplace of civilization; its peak came during the glorious Tang Dynasty.
Once among the world’s largest and richest cities, Xian sat at the terminus of the fabled Silk Road.
Quiet warrens of courtyard homes, Beijing at its best, recall the Peking of old.
From the sprawling Forbidden City to the serpentine Great Wall, Beijing is a massive repository of the monuments of the past.
Day 19 Beijing, China
Beijing, a grand imperial capital from the 10th century until Communism in 1949, holds over 3,000 years of history.