12 Days Best of China and Tibet Discovery Tour
- great wall
- terracotta warriors
- potala palace
- the bund
Visit the famous World Heritage Sites in Beijing, such as Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, etc;
Take an exciting visit to the world famous heritage site - Terracotta Warriors, also explore other highlights in Xian City;
Explore the scared sights in the holy city Lhasa on the Roof of the World, such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, etc.
Witness the magnificent scene of West meeting East in the vibrant metropolis Shanghai.
- Itinerary Details
Welcome to the capital city of China! Upon arriving at the airport/train station, you will be met by your local tour guide, and then drive to your downtown hotel in Beijing City. After the hotel check-in, you are free to take a rest or explore around on your own.
China has more than 4000 years’ history of Imperial Social System, while Beijing is the best place in China to experience the magnificent history and culture of ancient China. Today your guide will pick you up in the hotel after your breakfast, then start the wonderful ancient China culture and history tour!
You will firstly get to the world's largest plaza – Tian’anmen Square. The grandiose Tian’anmen Gate was the place where the chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People’s Republic of China to the world. Passing through Tiananmen Gate, you will enter the splendid Forbidden City, the previous home to 24 emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties for 600 years. Magnificent architectures, intricate ornaments and touching legends make it a must-see of China. In the afternoon, head to visit the stunning and exquisite Summer Palace, and be amazed at the vast ensemble of lakes, gardens, temples, and palaces, together as a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. While in Qing Dynasty, it was the personal summer retreat for the royal families. It is made up of front hill, back hill and Kunming Lake. You will see splendid halls and pavilions in the front hill, while in the back hill, you will enjoy quiet and natural beauty.
After the sightseeing, you will be taken back to your hotel for rest.
Optional Recommended Night Activity:
1 watch an exciting Chinese Kungfu Show at Red Theatre which usually starts at 7:30 pm;
2 enjoy a famous Beijing Opera Show at Liyuan Theater between 19:30-21:00.
Hiking the Great Wall is one-in-a-lifetime thing to do for most travelers. Today, you are going to accomplish the Great Wall dream. You will be escorted about 70km from the downtown Beijing to the world-famous Mutianyu Great Wall which has fewer tourists compared with Badaling Great Wall. At the same time, it is the best Great Wall section to view the delicately beautiful scenery while appreciating the grandness of the Walls. After arriving at the ticket office, you will take a cable car to the walls of Mutianyu, and then hike about 2 hours on the Great Wall.
After the Mutianyu Great Wall hiking, you will drive back to the city. On route, take a sidetrip to the solemn Ming Tombs of ancient emperors in Ming Dynasty. Wander along the Sacred Road, a tranquil royal path featured with statues of divine animals and officials; also take an adventure to the mysterious Underground Palace. Before getting to your hotel, you will also make a stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to take some pictures of the world-famed "Bird’s Nest" and the "Water Cube" from the outside.
Optional Recommended Activity: enjoy a dinner of authentic Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude Restaurant.
After breakfast, you'll go to marvel at one of the greatest masterpiece in Chiense architecture history - the Temple of Heaven, where the ancient emperors used to preside at various rituals for a national good harvest in ancient times. Today, the outer area of the Temple of Heaven is a public park for locals to gather to play Taichi, fly kites, chatting… while the inner area is the historical site for tourists to learn about the ancient Chinese history and culture. Later move on to visit the most famous Hutongs which are some old alleys with traditional architecture originated from Yuan Dynasty (CD 1271~1368. Today, there are still many local Beijingers living in these old quarters, while in the Qing Dynasty (CD 1636~1912), there were even some noble royal families resided here. You can wander leisurely around these narrow alleys to experience the original features of people’s living in old time, or take a relaxing rickshaw through. Lunch will be arranged at a local family who lives in Hutong.
After the lunch, you will have some free time until be taken to catch a high speed train to Xian. Our local guide will be waiting for you in train station and escorting you to your hotel in Xian. The rest of day is free for you to explore the ancient city on your own.
After breakfast, drive about 1.5 hours to witness the magnificent man-mad wonder - the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, which were interred to protect Qin Shi Huang (the first Emperor of China) in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors and horses with different looks and numerous bronze weapons compose a large-scale army system to reappear the majestic momentum of the Qin Army 2,000 years ago.
In the afternoon, drive back to Xian city to visit the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Built in Ming Dynasty as a military defense, the wall’s top is wider than its height to allow the army drill. Stroll on the top of the ancient wall and observe the modern Xian, emerge yourself in the charm of this ancient capital. Your next place is to go is the nearby Muslim Quarter, a place to satisfy your stomach with various delicious local foods and snacks. It is also a wonderful place for a leisure walking around.
Optional Recommended Activity:
1 biking for a while on the Ancient Great Wall;
2 enjoy a wonderful performance of Tang Palace Dancing Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm).
Start today's Xian tour with a visit to the landmark of Xian - Big Wild Goose Pagoda. This earliest and largest square pavilion style pagoda built in Tang Dynasty is a seven-layered pagoda with a height of 64.5m. The pagoda was first built to store the Buddhist sutras brought back from the Ancient India by Xuanzang (the prototype character of Tang Seng in the novel of Journey to the West). After that, move to Shaanxi History Museum, where collects over 370,000 pieces cultural relics of different dynasties, including bronzes, Chinaware, gold and silver wares, grave frescos, currencies of various dynasties, etc.
The rest time of today is free for your own to spend and get prepared for tomorrow's flight to Lhasa.
After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport and take a flight to Lhasa (about 3.5 hours). Upon arriving at Lhasa Gongga Airport, you will be picked up by local tour guide at the airport hall, then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the local areas and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa.
High Altitude Acclimation Tips:
1 go for some leisure walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival;
2 you'd better not have bath, in case of catching a cold; 3) drink more water, and have some fruit; 4) have a good rest.
Today we will start off with the fantastic Potala Palace, which historically served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. It was first used in the 7th century by the 33rd king of Tibet. The most valuable collections in the Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of the former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.
After lunch, we will move on to the Jokhang Temple, which was also founded in the 7th century by the 33rd great king of Tibet to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni as he was at the age of twelve – this is perhaps the most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can perform the “Kora” (a religious circuit around a sacred building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals. The Barkhor market is also a great place to pick up locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.
Tips for Visiting Potala Palace
1. The number of visitors to the palace is strictly limited to 2,300 per day. Visitors can only visit during the time specified on the admission ticket.
2. Admission tickets to visit the Potala Palace are sold out almost every day, so it is strongly recommended to book your tickets several days in advance.
3. There are many steps at the Potala Palace, so it’s best to take it slowly to avoid possible altitude discomfort.
4. Visitors should respect the rules while visiting. Do not wear hats, wear revealing clothes or step on thresholds as these actions violate local customs.
5. Photography and the taking of videos are forbidden inside the Potala Palace.
6. A security search will take place at the entrance to the palace. Explosives, flammables, knives, lighters and
This morning we will visit the Drepung Monastery – one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge, on Tosngkhapa’s main disciples, the Drepung Monastery is home of Ganden Palace, which formerly served as the Dalai Lama’s palace before later moving on to the Potala Palace.
In the afternoon we will move on to see another of the great three of the Gelug monasteries in Tibet – the Sera Monastery. Founded in 1419 by another main disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Chojey, the main attraction of this monastery is the lively scene of the monks debating Buddhist scriptures in the courtyard behind the monastery in the afternoon.
Today, you will be escorted to the airport and take a flight to Shanghai, the largest metropolis of China. Your local guide is ready to meet you in the airport and escort you to your hotel in Shanghai. The rest of today is free for you to explore the city.
Tips of Today:
1 please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charger, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel;
2 if your flight is arranged in the afternoon, please make sure you check out the hotel before 12pm.
Yu Garden is your first stop in Shanghai. The private garden built in Ming Dynasty fully shows the architecture and design style of classical Chinese gardens with delicate pavilions, clear ponds and artificial hills. Next, you will walk leisurely through the Yuyuan Bazaar which is full of tasteful local snacks and elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works, and locates right next to the Yu Garden. Then, drive to Lujiazui and ascend to the second tallest skyscraper in Asia - Shanghai World Financial Center. Overlooking from the view deck on the 100th floor, a prosperous and majestic Shanghai will reveal its true face in front of you.
After lunch, stroll along Nanjing Road, you will be surprised how this paradise for shoppers satisfy your shopping demand. At the east end of the road appears the famous Bund, the symbol of Shanghai situated in the river bank of Huangpu River. Walk along the Bund, feel the perfect fusion of Chinese culture and Western culture, and seize the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes.
Optional Recommended Night Activity: take an enjoyable ship cruise on the Huangpu River to enjoy the beautiful night view of Shanghai.
The first place to visit for today is the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center where multiple medias, such as photography, models, videos, machines, etc, are used to help visitors to learn about the past history, present facts and future plan of Shanghai. Then come to the next site - Jade Buddha Temple which has the largest jade Buddha in the world and numerous religious artifacts, ancient statues and Buddhist scriptures. It is the hidden pure land in the crowded and modern metropolis.
In the afternoon, you will be escorted to the airport/train station for your flight/train to next destination or back home.
- Service Included
All necessary Tibet travel permits.
Domestic flight and train tickets within China.
Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
Private vehicle and Luggage Transfers.
All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis.
Meals, as noted in the itinerary.
Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary. Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
China visa, all air tickets and train tickets to and from Tibet.
Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
Meals not listed in the itinerary.
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
Excess Baggage Charges.
Single room supplement.
- Trip Notes
1.Tibet Travel Permit;
You will need a Tibet Entry Permit. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
We’ve selected heritage hotels in the more traditional area of Lhasa, near Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street, so that travelers can experience more of the local life and culture. If you prefer to stay in a hotel with special oxygen supplies, other hotels in Lhasa are recommended (as above).
The accommodation in Dingri is poor (see above).
Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service.
Enjoy local Tibetan, Western Chinese and Nepalese food on the tour.
You will have standard western hotel breakfast in Lhasa, and specially prepared breakfasts outside of Lhasa: including butter, bread, coffee, tea, etc.
After the first day, lunch is included every day. Your guide can recommend some good local restaurants for dinner. Outside Lhasa, we suggest you have dinner in the hotels where you are staying.
Before your trip, ask your doctor for any suggestions in relation to altitude sickness and bring some medicine just in case. The most popular altitude medicine among foreigners is Acetazolamide/Diamox.
We recommend that during the first two days after arriving in Tibet, visitors should keep warm, not take a bath, not smoke or drink alcohol. Drink plenty of water (>4 litres per day) before going and at altitude, and eat lots of vegetables and carbohydrates. Slow down, even if you feel energetic. Moving slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness.
If you don’t feel well after entering Tibet, go and see a doctor as soon as possible. There are doctors in major hotels in Lhasa, and you can call your tour guide for help at any time. We offer a free oxygen bag in the car.
6. What to Pack
Seek medical advice about altitude effects and pack any medicine you might need. Sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block, walking boots, and down jackets are all recommended.
Comfortable private cars/vans with experienced drivers will be arranged for you. All our vehicles meet the requirements of the Tibet Tourist Bureau, and are equipped with GPS and speed-limiting equipment.
Take into consideration the time you need to apply for your Tibet Entry Permit. It’s best to book a tour with us at least 30 days before your tour starts.
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