updated 2/13/2009 11:17:27 AM ET 2009-02-13T16:17:27

The deal
In honor of China’s recent New Year’s celebration, we’ve rounded up some of the most unique and affordable tours available in the fascinating nation. Between Beijing’s historic sites and extraordinary Olympic architecture, to romantic Shanghai and the breathtaking karst scenery of Guilin, these wallet-friendly tours will get you to some of the country’s most spectacular sites.

Try a tour from only $1,065 and discover why China is already well on its way to becoming one of the world’s top tourism hotspots.

6-night trio of Beijing, Xi’An and Shanghai
This six-night multi-city China tour includes round-trip airfare from major U.S. cities, and starts off in Beijing with two overnights and time to check out sights like the Great Wall, Tian'anmen Square and Bird’s Nest Stadium. From there you’ll fly to Xi’An, one of the oldest cities in Chinese history. Finally, your tour finishes off in Shanghai, where you’ll be able to take in its amazing architecture. This three-city combo package covers all flights, daily breakfast and hotel taxes, with sightseeing tours available at an additional cost. Rates start at $1,065.

18-day China sampler
Prepare yourself for a true Chinese excursion. This 18-day comprehensive adventure, on offer from smarTours, covers five of China’s top cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Hong Kong, as well as sights along the Yangtze River.

Departing from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), you’ll arrive in the lively city of Shanghai. Often described as the “Paris of the East,” Shanghai impresses visitors with its mixture of old China and awe-inspiring 21st century architecture. That night enjoy a welcome dinner with fellow travelers.

Next, you’ll venture off to equally popular and busy Beijing. While there, you’ll have an opportunity to visit the Great Wall and wander around at your own pace. From Beijing, you’ll continue on to Xi’An, a picturesque city with an abundance of historic attractions.

Other tour highlights include a luxurious Yangtze River cruise, the towering limestone pinnacles at Guilin, and Hong Kong’s spectacular harbor. Book your exciting China adventure by Feb. 20 from just $2,799 per person, a price that covers airfare, sightseeing tours and admission fees, as well as 33 meals throughout the tour.

Solar Eclipse tour in China
China will witness a total solar eclipse and you can be there to observe the rare occurrence. Starting on July 10, Tropical Sails Corp. is offering a tour that will get you a front row seat to watch the eclipse.

This exciting two-week excursion starts off in Beijing, with tours of Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Summer Palace. Other highlights include Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s 7,000 terra cotta warriors and horses in the ancient city of Xi'an, a five-star, three-day cruise along the Yangtze River and the historic Shanghai Bund.

As your tour draws to a close on July 22, you’ll witness firsthand the phenomenon of a solar eclipse from Anji, Zhejiang, China with a champagne celebration to follow. The package includes 4-star accommodations, breakfast daily, knowledgeable English-speaking local guides, domestic travel insurance, and more. Land-only packages start at $2,898.

The dollars
Based on double occupancy. Taxes and fees are additional.

The catch
The summer months are peak travel season for Beijing, in particular. Save on hotel costs by avoiding travel at the beginning of May (Labor Day) and early October (National Day).

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