Our 17 day trip to China included Shanghai to Beijing offering. It is a trip not to be missed... the boat was fine for river cruising, meals were excellent and lots of variety. Being in August, the river was low so I personally found it difficult to get from the boat to the buses for excursions (too much climbing stairs) but once on board the bus, totally enjoyed all the scenery and the planned day.
For the days that we were on land (2 days in Shanghai, Overnight in Xian and 3 nights in Beijing), the hotels were first rate, clean and extremely beautifully decorated with excellent window views. Of special mention was the Crown Plaza in Xian.
The only negative I found was a bit of disappointment at disembarkment in Chongqing where helpers were gouging the tourists for assisting them up the many steps from the ship to the buses. Also, the lack of 'personal' time to do shopping - each excursion takes you to 'the government shop' where one may not find the special gifts they would like to bring home.
Travel on tour buses and China airways within our trip was clean and comfortable.
Finally, a special mention for our tour guide (Mother Hen). This job was very well executed by Mr. Joshua Wu from Beijing. He took great care of us and we will never forget all the great stories he told us over the 17 days we spent together.
We made many new friends from all over the world and still keep in touch with some, trading our everyday life stories through e-mails and pictures.
Thank you, Viking! Where can you take me this year? I'm ready to go again.