China Tibet Encompassed

  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Trip Notes
  • Reviews

A comprehensive and fast paced trip during which you will visit the renowned highlights of China, both ancient and modern as well as such scenic wonders as a cruise through the Three Gorges of the Yangzi River and train across the vast Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa, capital on the roof of the world. Experience the diversity of China’s peoples, cultures and cuisines as your guides reveal hidden aspects of each place.

Day 1: Beijing Arrival & Beijing Duck Dinner
Nihao! Welcome to Beijing, the Capital of China. Your tour begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm in your hotel lobby. Your guide will go over more details about your trip including meeting up with your guides in each city. After that, you will enjoy an orientation walk, followed by a Peking Duck dinner.  

Accommodation:
•Chongwenmen Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
• Peking Duck dinner

Day 2: Beijing Old & New: Explore Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Hutongs
There will be a lot of walking today as well as using the subway to get around some of Beijing’s most famous sights. Tiananmen Square, one of the world's largest public squares, is home to the Monument of the People's Heroes and the Great hall of the People. From here enter the Forbidden City (built 1406-1420), the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for more than 500 years. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the most extensive collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. After the Forbidden City, we will stroll through the alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyards known by Hutong and experience the local lifestyle of Old Beijing.

Accommodation:
• Chongwenmen Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 3: Beijing Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, train to Xi’an
Travel about 2 hours out of Beijing to the Mutianyu Great Wall. This is one of the best-preserved and restored sections so it is easy to climb, but you can still appreciate the difficulty of its construction. A picnic lunch on the Wall is provided.
Return to Beijing in the afternoon; you will have time for some free sightseeing or shopping before boarding the overnight train to Xian.

Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 4: Xi'an Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter
Arriving in Xi’an head to the hotel for breakfast. First on our Xi’an itinerary are the Terracotta Warriors, this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1976, comprises more than 6,000 warriors, chariots and horses - each individually sculpted from clay with different costumes, height and even facial expressions – all in battle formation. 3 main pits displaying over 2,000 of the warriors are open for you to view.
After lunch in a local village visit one of the best-preserved old residences in Xi’an dating back 400 years. The courtyard was home to seven generations of the Gao family – notable officials of the royal court. Get a taste of the traditional local lifestyle through period furniture, pottery, porcelain, and paintings.
Later, in Xi’an city, wander around the Muslim Quarter with its narrow streets lined with small shops, markets and restaurants.

Accommodation:
• Manxin Hotel Bell Tower or similar ( 1 night)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Cycle Xi'an City Walls, train to Xining
Start the day with a circuit of Xi’an’s ancient City Wall. This is the most significant and best-preserved city wall extant in China, running over 13 kilometers around Xi’an. It takes about 2 hours to cycle round the wall.
Then in the early afternoon we will board a bullet train to Xining (around 4.5 hours). Xining is set on the northwest plateau of China, home to 500 thousand Chinese Muslims. 

There will be time on arrival for an orientation walk around.
Accommodation:
• Xining Mansion or similar ( 1 night)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Xining Kumbum Monastery, high altitude train to Lhasa
About 30km outside Xining is the renowned Kumbum (Ta’er Si) Monastery. Kumbum is one of the six largest Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries. One of the most famous figures in the history of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, Tsongkhapa, was born and grew up here before travelling to Lhasa. You will view the stupas, Teaching Hall...etc. The amazing Butter Sculpture exhibition in the monastery will definitely impress you.
Return to Xining in time to catch the early afternoon train to Lhasa (approximately 21.5 hours). From Xining you climb to the Changtang Plateau and the sheer vastness of this landscape is not something you will quickly forget.

Accommodation:
• Overnight on soft sleeper train Xining/Lhasa ( 1 night)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 7: Across the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa
Wake to find yourself well inside Tibet as you travel the world’s highest railway. The passes may be covered by snow at any time of year and in summer the lakes are surrounded by vast grasslands.
On arrival at Lhasa station, on the outskirts of the city, you are warmly welcomed with a pure white katak scarf (prayer scarf). There will be time to relax and adjust to the altitude before a late afternoon orientation walk.

Accommodation:
• Thangka Hotel or similar (3 nights)
Meals Included:
• Dinner

Day 8: Lhasa Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery
One of the most iconic structures ever built; the Potala Palace was the seat of government and winter residence of the successive Dalai Lamas. A visit is an awe-inspiring experience. Perched 130meters above the city, it is divided into two parts, the White Palace (secular) and the Red Palace (religious - home to chapels, shrines, and tombs of Dalai Lamas). Although you must stick with your guide whilst exploring, this in no way lessens the impact of seeing what is a true architectural wonder.
Later, visit the Jokhang; the spiritual heart and most sacred temple of Tibet which always attracts steady waves of pilgrims. Spend some time exploring this large World-Heritage listed site and learn of its rich history. According to legend, the temple was built over a lake after many failed attempts to build monasteries in other nearby locations. Feast your eyes on the golden Buddha which stands in the center. After the visit join the pilgrims walking around the Barkhor Street (in a clockwise direction) considered a sacred kora by Tibetans.
Finally, in the late afternoon, we will visit the great university monastery of Sera where you will witness lively philosophical debating (except Sundays).

Accommodation:
• Thangka Hotel or similar (3 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 9: Tibet’s scenic beauty - Yamdrok Lake & Khamba-la Pass
Today take a day trip out of Lhasa to marvel further at the scenery. Crossing the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), Tibet’s longest river, the road then winds up to the Khamba-la Pass (4730m). From here you can see Yamdrok Lake, a brilliant turquoise freshwater lake, 72km long, against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

Accommodation:
• Thangka Hotel or similar (3 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 10: Chengdu – Local landmarks & lifestyle: Jinli Street and Kuanzhai Alley
After a morning flight to Chengdu head out to explore Jinli Street. This street is famous for its historic atmosphere, bustling business and, most of all, for its local snacks. Enjoy sticky rice cakes with sesame sauce, spicy chicken on a stick, sweet rice jelly, fried beef pancakes and, for the more adventurous, seasoned rabbits’ heads.
Later in the afternoon we will head to Kuanzhai Alley, a landmark of Chengdu. Here we will see the historical remains of the old Chengdu city and experience the leisure lifestyle of Chengdu locals.

Accommodation:
• Joha Forstar Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 11: Giant Pandas – Chongqing - Yangtze River boat
A morning visit to the Panda Breeding Center, where you can witness the conservation efforts being made to save this endangered species. Pandas look adorable with amazing body movements. They are bred and protected in the base. You can get quite close to them, watching them at play, eating, napping, and munching bamboo. After lunch in a local restaurant, we will head to the station for the bullet train to Chongqing.
Your deluxe Yangtze River Cruise is amazing way to see the beautiful passing scenery as well as keep a lookout for wildlife. Don’t miss being on deck for sunset.

Accommodation:
•Overnight on Yangtze River Cruise ( 3 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Yangtze River Cruise, Fengdu Ghost City
Wake up and look out of your window to watch the stunning scenery. Take a short excursion to Fengdu which earned its reputation as a “Ghost City” during the Eastern Han Dynasty. Visit the temples and get a taste of Chinese Ghost Culture. In the evening, enjoy a dynasties culture show by Chinese minorities. This performance will entertain as well as introduce you to some of the lesser-known ethnic groups of China.

Accommodation:
•Overnight on Yangtze River Cruise (3 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13    Yangtze River Cruise  – Qutang and Wu Gorges, Shennv Valley
Today pass through two of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze, the Qutang and Wu Gorges. There will also be an excursion to the Shennv Valley (the Goddess Stream) where you will have a breathtaking view of thousands of cliffs hanging above you. The water of the narrow stream is colored green by the hundreds of meters of cliffs which almost completely block the sky. In the evening, the captain’s farewell banquet. Say a toast to the wonderful crew and take in the river views for one last time.

Accommodation:
•Overnight on Yangtze River Cruise (3 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Three Gorges Dam - Yichang –flight to Shanghai
Early morning arrival at Huang Ling Miao and visit the Three Gorges Dam. This is the most significant hydro-electric project in the world; completed in 2009 it brings the benefits of flood control, power generation, tourism, ecological protection, South-North water transfer and irrigation. It also achieved a world record in 2014 for the enormous amount of power generated.
Disembarking at Yichang we take a flight to Shanghai.

Accommodation:
• Metropolo Jinjiang Classiq Shanghai Nanjing Road or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 15: Shanghai – Walking tour of Shanghai, City God Temple & YuYuan Gardens
Today’s walking tour will take you back in time. The first stop is the City God’s Temple area; a folk temple neighboring Yuyuan Garden. It originated as the Jinshan God Temple, dedicated to the spirit of Jinshan or "Gold Mountain", an island off the coast of Shanghai and was converted into a City God Temple in 1403. Its popularity turns the surrounding area into a large pedestrian area hosting an array of shops, restaurants and teahouses, as well as annual temple fair events. Yuyuan Garden is an extensive ancient garden with Ming and Qing architectural styles. We’ll also stroll along the narrow winding lanes (longtangs) of Old Shanghai where we can get a real glimpse into the locals’ daily life. 

Accommodation:
• Metropolo Jinjiang Classiq Shanghai Nanjing Road or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 16: Shanghai - Depart
Your adventure through China comes to an end. A departure transfer to the airport is included. 

Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Tour Code
Start
End
Price(US$)
  • CA-CT200328

    Saturday

    2020-03-28

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-04-10

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200411

    Saturday

    2020-04-11

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-04-24

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200425

    Saturday

    2020-04-25

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-05-08

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200516

    Saturday

    2020-05-16

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-05-29

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200530

    Saturday

    2020-05-30

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-06-12

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200613

    Saturday

    2020-06-13

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-06-26

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200711

    Saturday

    2020-07-11

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-07-24

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200815

    Saturday

    2020-08-15

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-08-28

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200829

    Saturday

    2020-08-29

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-09-11

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT200912

    Saturday

    2020-09-12

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-09-25

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT201010

    Saturday

    2020-10-10

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-10-23

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

  • CA-CT201114

    Saturday

    2020-11-14

    From Beijing

    Friday

    2020-11-27

    From Shanghai

    Over

    US$3429.00

    16
    Days

Visas

A visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei who are allowed visa free stays under 14 days. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China.

In some cases, you may be required to provide further information or documentation and if this is the case we will notify you as soon as possible.

Booking a Single Room

On this particular tour we are pleased to be able to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Due to the variety of accommodation used on this tour, single rooms are available for a majority of the nightstops, however it would still mean sharing on any overnight trains. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.

Vaccinations and Your Health

We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years. 

Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. At the start of the trip you must provide us with: the name of your insurance company, your policy number, a 18 hour medical emergency contact number, and the expiry date of the policy. You should ensure that your policy covers you for medical expenses and repatriation. If you are unable to provide all this information at the start of the trip you will not be allowed to join the trip. You can purchase insurance easily online by checking our Travel Insurance page.

Luggage

One main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage – so don’t overload yourself. It is essential that your baggage is lockable; the airline/train authorities insist on this. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.

 

What to Expect on Tour

Itinerary Disclaimer

The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. 

Accommodation

Your accommodation is selected for convenient.




Robert

Excellent tour with a great variety that was well balanced.Tibethas so much to offer. The highlight for my wife was the panda center and getting to see a 2 year old panda. For me it was listening to about 70 monks chanting in the Ganden Monastery. Our guide was simply the best and I have been on a lot of guided trips in many countries. One thing that I did not expect was how good the food was inChina. It was far superior to the Chinese food that is offered in my country. Our guide selected or suggested restaurants and usually ordered the food for all to share. This worked very well - I loved not having to make decisions all the time.


Erin

The tour was well organized with great attention to details that allowed us to get the most out of our short time inChina. Leah was a pro. She was knowledgeable, friendly, efficient and fun. Everything you could ask for in a tour leader. The included meals were all excellent. We really appreciated going to popular local restaurants, not just touristy places. The accommodations were all good.


Rajashree

Overall it was better than expected. The tour included everything as advertised. The accommodations were good and the best part was our tour coordinator Jenet.

She was a pleasure, a resourceful facilitator who showed us the best of her country.

The best part for me was the time we spent inTibet.

I would have liked to spend more time there to explore areas outside Lhasa. The free time provided as per itinerary usually did not pan out as expected or was cut short to an extent that we were left with insufficient time to do much with it. The itinerary was so tightly scheduled that there was not much time for "free time". As we passed through Chengdu I was left wishing I could have spent another day there and also at the end of the trip in Shanghai.

 

Miriam

We had a wonderful tour. Because it was more of a cultural tour, we were able to experience many different parts ofChina, were able to enjoy cultural shows and had lots of opportunities to experience local foods. I liked the pace, especially the fact that we often had more than one night in each place. We were often busy but we also had time to relax or explore on our own. It was also helpful being in a smaller group. Our hotels were very nice and above expectations. Their locations were also good and near subway stations or tourist and shopping areas that we could easily walk to.

 

Sudarin

Excellent tour. Have nothing bad to say about it. the tour leader did a grand job & made us all welcome & relax. Most of tour guides are great. All accommodations are more than perfect, even on the boat & great locations too. Excellent job. I would recommend to anyone.

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