China & Tibet

Beijing, Xian, Lhasa, Chengdu & Shanghai

Overview

TOUR CODE: CHNTBT

Your adventure begins in Beijing to take in the major highlights such as the Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and the Great Wall.  In Xian, see the City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Great Mosque. We continue to Lhasa and explore the mysterious Buddhist kingdom of Tibet locked away in the mountains of the Himalayas. See Buddhist monks recite their mantras and spin prayer wheels as you enjoy the stunning views of the world’s highest mountains.  From Lhasa, we fly to Chengdu, home of the Giant Panda where we will visit a Breeding Research Center which provides the most ideal ecological place for visitors all around the world to get to know the appearance of the pandas and to get around the wild nature. Your tour will end in colorful Shanghai, see an amazing acrobatic show, places of interest and ride the world’s first commercial magnetic levitation train, the Maglev.

What’s Included

  • First class High Speed Train ticket from Beijing to Xian
  • One way Maglev train ride Shanghai
  • 3 nights in a Guest Room at Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel
  • 2 nights in a Deluxe Room at Wyndham Grand Hotel Xian South
  • 3 nights in a Deluxe room at Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa
  • 2 nights in a Deluxe City View Room at Shangri-La Hotel in Chengdu
  • 2 nights in a Deluxe Room at Kunlun Jing An Hotel in Shanghai
  • Transfers, meals, sightseeing and cultural performances as specified in the itinerary
  • Hotel taxes and service charge

Itinerary

DAY 01

ARRIVE BEIJING

After customs and immigration procedure, you will be escorted to your hotel for check – in.

DAY 02

TIANANMEN SQUARE/FORBIDDEN CITY/HUTONGS RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT (B/L)

This morning, visit Tiananmen Square (literally known as Gate of Heavenly Peace) for a stroll on the largest public plaza on earth. Lying in the center of Beijing, Tiananmen Square is thought of as the very heart of the city. The square, in spite of its past events, remains one of the most popular venues in Beijing.  Here, on any given day, thousands of visitors gather to walk, fly kites, or enjoy the view of the monuments that surround the square. Proceed to the extraordinary Forbidden City.  Center of the Chinese world for nearly 500 years, the Imperial Palace remains the most complete and best preserved collection of ancient buildings in China.  Called the “Forbidden City” for the exclusive nature of the emperors who built and inhabited it, the Palace is a vast complex of halls, pavilions, courtyards and walls.  It was within these walls that 24 emperors of two dynasties, aided by their ministers, eunuch guards, concubines and servants, acted out the drama of ruling imperial China from the early Ming Dynasty in 1420 to the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. Before we head out for our afternoon tour, lunch will be served at a local restaurant. This afternoon, enjoy a pedicab ride through Beijing’s hutongs.  “Hutong” is a Manchurian term referring to the network of small winding alleyways that once covered the city of Beijing.  Like a warren of interconnecting alleyways, islands of neighborhoods were created within the larger area of the city.  Although many of Beijing’s hutongs are now giving rise to modern skyscrapers, patches of simple courtyard houses have managed to survive the modern age.  A brief stroll through the hutongs concludes with a visit to one of the local families here. Visit the Temple of Heaven, a perfection of Ming architecture and one of the symbols of Beijing.  Built in 1420, this huge site (twice the size of the Forbidden City) follows a route traversed by past emperors and their entourages in splendid procession from which the commoner had to avert his eyes.  The emperors came to the Temple of Heaven during the winter solstice to offer sacrifices to Heaven and pray for bountiful harvests – momentous occasions for which the temple’s beauty and simplicity provided a fitting background.

DAY 03

GREAT WALL AT MUTIANYU/SUMMER PALACE (B/L)

This morning, you will be driven to the Great Wall at the Mutianyu site. Here you will have the opportunity to ride a cable car up and a toboggan sled down.  You can take the cable car up to the Wall (or the chairlift) and then come down by bobsled – an artificial steel track has been laid down the mountain slope (not suitable for children) – if you do not take the bobsled you can come back down by either the cable car or the chair lift. Rising from the wash of waves along China’s Bohai Gulf in the east, riding the crest of rugged forest-mantled mountains in north China and running across the grassy steppe and desert waste of the far northwest, the Great Wall is the ultimate expression of China’s past.  Imposing and almost defying possibilities this stunning structure literally defined a border between worlds far removed from each other.  Its towering ramparts threw up a defense against the incursions marauding nomad hordes while within its walls flourished the light of East Asian civilization – imperial China.   Enjoy time to walk and explore the ramparts and battlement towers that once stood at the vanguard of Chinese civilization. There is no better or more fitting way to remember a visit to Beijing than to walk along the wall of time that symbolizes the imperial majesty that is China. Following lunch continue on to visit the magical Summer Palace – enjoy your visit to this ethereal garden of imperial grandeur set around the shores of Kunming Lake – last reconstruction of the imperial summer residence – history dates to the Jin dynasty (1115 – 1234) and last site from 1888 – tour by foot and by private boat – walk the “Chang Lang” (the Long Corridor) and end your visit with a shared boat ride on Kunming Lake.

DAY 04

BEIJING/XIAN (B)

Today, transfer to the train station for your journey to Xian. Upon arriving in Xian, check in at the hotel and start your afternoon sightseeing and take a stroll along the top of the City Wall, one of the few remaining City Walls in China.  Originally built to provide the inner city with an effective means of defense against attack, the City Wall contains four gates and a large number of that towers and bastions. X’ian City Wall is the best preserved, oldest and largest ancient city defense system in China. It is also one of the most important landmarks of the city. Proceed with a walk through Xian’s Muslim Quarter en route to the mosque. The Great Mosque, one of the most interesting sites in a city known for its rich history.  While the Buddhist traditions of Chinese culture are well known to most visitors, the influence exerted by Islam is not.  Yet, of the religious beliefs within China today, no one can claim the strength of belief that Islam does. Following your visit to the Mosque, proceed to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is the second religious building to survive from the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. – 907 A.D.).  It formed part of the Temple of Great Mercy and Goodness, built by Prince Li Zhi in the first half of the 7th Century in honor of his mother.

DAY 05

THE TERRACOTTA WARRIORS/THE BIG WILD GOOSE PAGODA (B/L)

This morning, your sightseeing will commence at 07:30.  You are kindly requested to arrive at the Museum early – it opens at 08:30, and it can get very crowded. You will travel overland to Lintong County, site of the single greatest archeological find of the 20th century: the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Excavation.  The drive will give you the chance to view the fertile less fields of Shaanxi; an ever replenished supply of soil which has been the foundation of civilization.  For millions of years the annual flow and deposition of mineral rich dust or loess soil over a region of north central China (Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Henan provinces) has provided farmers with a renewable source of nutrients for grain crops for thousands of years. The Terra-Cotta site is made up of three distinct dig “pits ”; the Bronze Chariot Museum; and a theater in the round, which shows a short film on the history of the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty (220 B.C. – 209 B.C.) and the construction of his mausoleum. As most people now know the site was rediscovered by accident in 1974 when a local farmer, Yang Zhifa, and his production team were digging a well. They accidentally unearthed some pieces of terra-cotta figures (not a head as is commonly said), which were turned over to the local archaeological authorities. The archaeologists quickly understood the significance of this find. Records written by the Han historian, Sima Qian, in the first century B.C. clearly confirmed that the massive burial complex of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty lay in this region. A full brigade of archaeologists and technicians was sent to the sight and over the ensuing years thousands of figures – warriors and horses – were unearthed, catalogued and restored.  They were put back into their original situation and eventually provided researchers with a clue to the meaning of this extraordinary find. The site represents just a portion of a greater funerary sight – which would include the tomb and satellite tombs of the emperor and his retinue.  The current dig is made up entirely of military figures, which the professor, Wang Xueli (formerly the director of the Terra-Cotta Dig), says represents a classic example of 2nd century B.C. Chinese military might.After lunch, continue to visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is the second religious building to survive from the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. – 907 A.D.).  It formed part of the Temple of Great Mercy and Goodness, built by Prince Li Zhi in the first half of the 7th Century in honor of his mother.

DAY 06

XIAN/LHASA (B/D)

In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lhasa. Tibet’s capital and only major city. Sitting on a plateau on the northern side of the Himalayas, Tibet is an autonomous region of China covers an area 965,000 square miles. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your Tibetan guide at the airport. From the airport, drive into  town along the beautiful Kyi Chu River, taking approximately 60 minutes. After we check into our hotel, enjoy the rest of the day to relax and acclimate to the high altitude at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet above sea level. It is critical to stay well hydrated and avoid over-exertion until you are more used to the altitude.

DAY 07

POTALA PALACE/NORBULINGKA PALACE/SERA MONASTERY (B/D)

A delightful morning will be spent at the legendary Potala Palace. With nearly 10,000 rooms and towers rising majestically from the face of the sacred Putuo Hill, this impressive architecture was once the living quarters of the Dalai Lama. Continue to the Norbulingka Palace, the former Summer Palace of Tibetan Kings. Afterwards, continue to Sera Monastery, its name was derived from the Tibetan language “Sera” which means wild rose. The hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when it was built. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these imply a style distinctive from those at Lhasa’s other famous monasteries. In the evening, enjoy a Tibetan Folk Show (Wencheng Princess Show) and get immersed to their culture through music and dances.

DAY 08

DREPUNG MONASTERY/JOKHANG MONASTERY/BARKHOR MARKET (B/D)

Today’s adventure features the cliff top of the Drepung Monastery for a panoramic view of Lhasa city. Built in 1416, the Drepung Monastery was the home of the Dalai Lamas before the Potala Palace was built in the 17th century. Resembling a heap of white rice from a distance, it was dubbed “Monastery of the Collecting-Rice” or Drepung Gompa in Tibetan. In the afternoon, tour the 7th century Jokhang Monastery, one of the holiest shrines in Tibet where pilgrims come to bow before the statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha which is lavishly enthroned in silver and gold. Stroll through the Barkhor Market where a maze of streets lined with stalls where all sorts of goods are sold before returning to your hotel for a free evening.

DAY 09

LHASA/CHENGDU (B)

In the morning, take flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival in Chengdu, we check in to our hotel. Enjoy the rest of the  day at leisure.

DAY 10

CHENGDU/PANDA BREEDING RESEARCH CENTER /JIN LI ANCIENT STREET (B/L)

In the morning, we tour the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center, which is situated on the Axe Hill about 6 miles from the north suburb of Chengdu.  It covers an area of 600 acres.  The environment here is exquisitely designed; the air is refreshing with the bamboo growing luxuriantly and flocks of wild birds flying around. Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center is the most famous conservation and protection center for giant pandas and “State Science Popularization Center”.  It also provides the most ideal ecological place for visitors all around the world to get to know the appearance of the pandas and to get around the wild nature.  Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center was awarded “Global 500″ twice by the United Nations in the years of 1989 and 1994. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and continue to tour the city in the afternoon, at Jin Li Street and People’s Park. See locals relaxing and families spending time with each other. Observe the local artist painting Chinese characters along with locals playing chess and mahjong in traditional bamboo chairs. Afterwards, visit the Jinli Street, located to the east of the Wu Hou Monastery.  It is an ancient street for tourists to relax, admire the traditional-style buildings, buy some curios and taste some local snacks.

DAY 11

CHENGDU/SHANGHAI (B/D)
The morning will be free at leisure until your flight to Shanghai. This evening, enjoy a dazzling display of spectacular agility as you attend a Chinese Acrobatic Show including round trip transfers. The contortions and balancing acts are quite incredible and sometimes seem almost super human, or super rubber human. You will be at the edge of your seat through most of the show saying “don’t fall, don’t drop it!” And incredibly, they never do.

DAY 12

SHANGHAI (B/L)
Start your day with breakfast at the hotel and begin your tour at The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, a new landmark of Shanghai which faces the Bund across the Huangpu River at Lujiazui, the busiest part of Pudong new Area. At a height of 1535 ft, it is the tallest TV tower in Asia. An elevator whisks visitors to the tower’s observational deck, where they can feast their eyes on a panoramic view of Shanghai. The tower is equipped with tourist service facilities, including eateries, shops, recreational centers and a hotel. Proceed to The Bund. This waterfront area sweeping along the Huangpu River has become the center of Shanghai’s foreign business establishment and the symbol of Shanghai’s identity as a modern city. Take a walk through Shanghai’s old Chinese quarter to the lovely Yu Yuan garden, a 16th century Ming Dynasty private garden and residence. Despite Shanghai’s crowded lanes and teeming masses, the garden remains an oasis of tranquility. Its deceptive size, laid out with many corners and breezeways to give one the illusion of size, houses in exquisite harmony the essential elements of a Chinese garden – pavilions, water, vegetation, rock formations, and bridges. The Old Town refers to the original Chinese city that flourished in the Ming dynasty. The architecture of the area has been restored to the original Ming period style. For lunch, Dim Sum will be served and the rest of the day is free at leisure.

DAY 13

SHANGHAI DEPARTURE (B)

This morning you will be transferred to the airport by private vehicle and Maglev Train.  The traditional, long-aspired dream of Chinese philosophers was to be able to “run with the wind” is now a reality in Shanghai with the world’s first commercial magnetic levitation train, the Maglev. Beginning operation in 2004, the $1.2 billion Maglev covers 20 miles from Pudong to the outskirts of the city in a blistering 7 minutes and 20 seconds. With a design speed of over 310 mph and a regular service speed of 267 mph, Shanghai’s Maglev is the world’s fastest railway system in commercial operation. On arrival at Pudong International Airport, you will be assisted with your check-in for the international flight.

Meals: B= Breakfast   L= Lunch    D=Dinner

Contact us at (800) 988-4833 or Email us to Book this Trip NOW!

Pricing

Per person, based on double occupancy

    2019Land Only
    Mar 01 - Jun 24$3,399
    Jun 25 - Oct 02$3,599
    Oct 03 - 31$3,399
    Nov 01 - 30$3,299
    2020
    Mar 01 - 24$3,299
    Internal Air (Price is approximate and subject to change)$1,200
    Prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy and subject to availability. This is a land only package without International and internal airfares. Tour prices include hotel taxes and service charges. (AI/012419/C-10)

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