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See the best of China on this whirlwind tour by China Spree (tel. 855/556-6868; www.chinaspree.com), which bundles airfare, eight nights' hotel at four-star properties, transportation, transfers, and more, from $1,499 per person.

Start in Beijing, with sightseeing at the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and more. While in Beijing, you'll stay at the modern Traders Hotel by Shangri-La, which is close to the metro and the China World Trade Center. A couple of days in Xian means you will get a chance to see the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Accommodations include the Xian Grand Noble Hotel, near the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. Wrap up the adventure in Shanghai. With the recently remodeled Shanghai Ocean Hotel as your base, you're close to the old quarter and the city's bustling promenade, the Bund. This package includes an excursion to the charming town of Tongli and Suzhou. Known for its classical gardens, canals, and stone bridges, Suzhou is often called "the Venice of the East."

Why is this a deal? The airfare itself is nearly the cost of this trip: a multi-stop itinerary starts from $1,387 on Air China for a November departure. The hotels included in this package come to about $1,163 altogether, or $581 per person. If you booked just the airfare and accommodations independently, it would cost you $1,968 per person. Booking with China Spree saves you about $470. Once you factor in all the benefits of this package -- the guides, the meals, local transportation, the local guides, and more -- it's fair to say that you'll save another $500 per person versus booking independently. If you tried to book this itinerary on your own, it would likely cost you at least $2,468. The package from China Spree saves you about $970.

November is a better month to travel than during the winter, but if you want to take advantage of the off-peak prices and don't mind the cold, pack your winter coat. Beijing and Xian's winter temperatures are similar to New York City's (in the 30s); Shanghai and Suzhou average in the 40s, and Tongli is a bit warmer than that -- expect average temps in the low 50s.

Trip Type: Air-inclusive; locally escorted

What the Quoted Price Gets You: Round-trip airfare from San Francisco; intra-China flights, ground transportation and transfers; eight nights' hotel (three each in Shanghai and in Beijing, two in Xian); 16 meals including eight breakfasts, five lunches, five dinners; a welcome dinner in Beijing; comprehensive sightseeing tours with entrance fees and locally escorted tours with professional local guide in each destination city; fuel surcharges, government taxes and fees; hotel taxes and fees

What Else You Will Have to Pay:
Visa fee of $140 (if you get it on your own); $170 if you obtain it through China Spree.

Book By: As soon as possible for best availability

When: Nov. 23, 29, 2012; Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31; Feb. 7, 21, 28, 2012.

Single Supplement: add $299 for 2012 departures; add $320 for 2013 departures

Other Departures: Los Angeles (from $1,549); New York-JFK (from $1,599); Washington, D.C. (from $1,799)

Other Details: This package jumps significantly in price during warmer weather months but is available with nearly weekly departures through much of 2013.

All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Blackout dates may apply. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways. The single supplement is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.