Iconic China: Beijing to Tibet
15 days from Beijing to Shanghai
From $ 4699
Duration15 days

Explore China like an insider on this 15-day adventure across its awe-inspiring interior. Go for a walk on the Great Wall, explore the bustling city of Beijing, and meet pandas at a breeding centre in Sichuan. Glimpse daily life in Tibet and cruise the incredible Yangtze River on a riverboat. Cycle atop the city walls of Xi’an, and face its standing army of terracotta warriors before eating lunch with a local family. Venture into the heart of the country, and find the pulse of China.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 15 days
    Service level: Upgraded
  • Starts in: Beijing
    Physical Grading: Light
  • Ends in: Shanghai
    Ages: 12+
Iconic China: Beijing to Tibet - Tour Map

Itinerary

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Day 1: Beijing

Start place: Beijing

Spend the day resting or taking in the local surroundings. In the evening, there will be a welcome meeting with the tour leader and fellow travel companions, followed by a scrumptious Peking Duck dinner.
Arrive at any time and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a first taste of Chinese cuisine with a Peking Duck welcome dinner.

End place: Beijing

Meals: D
Day 2: Beijing

Start place: Beijing

Delve into the history of Beijing, visiting the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Hear tales emperors and their concubines, a long crafted culture and rich tradition. Witness how ancient Chinese customs are still valued today, but also blended with modern technology and western influences. Also visit the Temple of Heaven and its surrounding grounds, where locals are whiling the hours away, practicing water calligraphy and Tai Chi, playing cards, and walking pet crickets, all with the colourful Temple of Heaven in the background.

Start the day early with a lesson in tai chi, led by a local expert at the historic Temple of Heaven. After continue exploring the key sites of Beijing including the famed Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City.

End place: Beijing

Meals: B
Day 3: Beijing/Xi'an

Start place: Beijing

One of the greatest structures ever built, the Great Wall was constructed in stages over 2,000 years ago. It stretches 6,000km (3,728 mi) westwards from the sea to western China. The section we visit is called Mutianyu and is one of the best preserved Ming Dynasty sections reachable from Beijing. Arrive at the wall, walk up and explore a stretch by foot while taking in the spectacular views as it winds along the mountain ridges.

Afterward, prepare for our overnight sleeper train journey to Xi’an, which we will board in the evening.
Take a walk along the 500-year-old Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Spend time exploring the towers, views, and the magnificent structure of this unique wonder. In the evening, board an overnight sleeper train to Xi'an. Accommodation this evening will be in Soft Sleeper train cars which have 8-9 compartments per cabin. One compartment includes four beds (two upper and two lower) and a sliding door which can be locked. Beds include a quilt, pillow, sheet, and reading lamp with space for luggage in each compartment.

End place: Xi'an

Meals: B
Day 4: Xi'an

Start place: Xi'an

Arrive in the ancient Chinese capital and traditional silk road terminus, Xi'an, in the morning. We will be met and transferred to our hotel. After settling in, gather for an inner city bike ride along 14km (9 mi) of ancient city walls.

In the evening, explore the multicultural feel of the Muslim Quarter, with shopping lanes and street-side food stalls selling naan, kebabs, and a fine array of sweets. Opt to try some of the best street food in China – the spicy beef and lamb kebabs are always a favourite.
Arrive early into Xi'an where we take a leisurely bike ride along the ancient city walls. Then enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes experience at the historic Gao’s Grand Courtyard House. Visit backstage, interact with local artists, and enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry. This evening explore the vibrant Muslim Quarter and local markets and opt to try some of the best street food in China.

End place: Xi'an

Meals: B
Day 5: Xi'an

Start place: Xi'an

Visit the famed Terracotta Warriors the archaeological wonder built over 2,000 years ago to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. After, visit a local Village for lunch. Opt to enjoy a Tang Dynasty dinner banquet in the evening.

End place: Xi'an

Meals: B, L
Day 6: Xi'an/Lhasa

Start place: Xi'an

Take a spectacular morning flight over the Himalayas to Lhasa, Tibet, the roof of the world at an altitude of 3,700m (12,140 ft). Enjoy a relaxed pace in the afternoon as we adjust to the altitude, and take a leisurely orientation walk with our local guide.
Fly over the Himalayas to Tibet. Settle into our Lhasa hotel, our home for the next 3 nights before setting out on an orientation walk with a local guide through Barkhor Square. Lhasa is at an altitude of over 3,700m (12,140 ft). You may experience headaches, nausea, and lethargy on arrival in Lhasa. It is important to be aware of the affects of altitude on one's tolerance. We recommend that you consult your doctor at home for any altitude sickness medication.

End place: Lhasa

Meals: B
Day 7: Lhasa

Start place: Lhasa

Enjoy a guided visit to the Potala Palace and the Tibetan Medicine Institute to learn more about Tibetan spirituality and culture. Also visit a Tangka Academy to observe this ancient and intricate art form, considered sacred to Buddhist. The works usually depict a deity, scene, or mandala and are tied directly into Buddhist teaching and meditation.

End place: Lhasa

Meals: B
Day 8: Lhasa

Start place: Lhasa

Visit sacred Jokhang Temple and the historic Sera Monastery, one of the great Tibetan Universities famed for its open debates among monks on the Buddhist doctrines. Later take a cooking class with a local chef and make (and eat) Tibetan momo beef dumplings.

End place: Lhasa

Meals: B, L
Day 9: Lhasa/Chengdu

Start place: Lhasa

Fly down into the Sichuan Valley, leaving the arid Tibetan plateau behind. Be prepared to try some of the spiciest food in all of China in Chengdu. Our tour leader will take us straight to spice-lovers heaven! Sichaun is also famous for its opera, and, as a direct influence from the food- its spicy ladies.
Fly to Chengdu and sample the famed and fiery Sichuan cuisine for dinner in the evening.

End place: Chengdu

Meals: B, D
Day 10: Chengdu/Chongqing

Start place: Chengdu

The majority of the world’s remaining pandas live in the mountains of Sichuan. Early in the morning we'll visit the Breeding Center to see the pandas stretch after a long night’s slumber, then dig in to a healthy bamboo breakfast. At this hour the pandas should be their most active, as they romp in their playground environment.

Later we'll head to Chongqing, where our Yangtze River cruise boat is docked. We'll enjoy a brief visit to the city of Chongqing, then board our vessel and settle in for the upcoming cruise.

For our river cruise we use Victoria Cruise lines. Onboard facilities include a single-seating dining room, atrium lobby, two lounges, three bars, a gym, lecture room, library, beauty salon, massage room, and gift shop. All cabins are outside and have private balconies and bathrooms with bathtub and shower. All ships are fully air conditioned and have the latest satellite communications, HBO, CNN, and internet access.

Important note: The cruise company is subject to change at any time and without notice.
Visit the Panda Breeding Centre and learn about and observe these gentle animals. Later, catch a train to Chongqing and board a luxury riverboat for the first night on the Yangtze. While on the cruise, any bar purchases, items of a personal nature such as gifts, laundry, internet, telephone, medical services, spa and beauty services are not included and are payable by the passenger. There is no cash flow aboard, you will simply sign for purchases made and your final bill may be settled during your last night or last day on board, in any major currency, major credit card, or travellers checks.

Do not drink the tap water on board. One bottle of spring water is provided per person per day in your cabin. You may also request boiled water. All water and ice in the Yangtze Club and Dining Room is safe to drink. The water is boiled, treated and filtered. Voltage on board is 220 volts (110 volts in the bathroom).

Casual attire is recommended on board and ashore. For the captain's cocktail party and farewell banquet, we suggest bringing a dressier outfit.

End place: Chongqing

Meals: B
Day 11: Yangtze River
The mighty Yangtze River splits China into north and south, and runs all the way from Chongqing to Shanghai. We cruise through one of the most geographically dramatic sections of the river, called the Three Gorges. Here, the scenery is impressive, and we see the rock formations change as we pass village after village.

While on the boat, enjoy one of the several activities planned, or just laze the days away taking photos.

Meal times will vary depending on the schedule of excursions and activities; times will be posted daily. Meals are served in the single-seating Dynasty Dining Room. Sumptuous western and Chinese buffets are offered at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cruise the Yangtze River with daily shore excursions that can include Fengdu, Shibaozhai, or Wanzhou; sailing through Qutang Gorge/Wu Gorge, Daning River Small Gorges, or Shennong Stream, and sailing through Three Gorges dam ship locks. Relax in comfortable cabins and enjoy onboard activities such as tai chi, tea tasting, and Chinese calligraphy classes. All shore excursions and gorge visits will depend on the season and river conditions There is also a tea time in the afternoon and happy hour.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 12: Yangtze River
The mighty Yangtze River splits China into north and south, and runs all the way from Chongqing to Shanghai. We cruise through one of the most geographically dramatic sections of the river called the Three Gorges. Here, the scenery is impressive, and we see the rock formations change as we pass village after village.

While on the boat, enjoy one of the several activities planned, or just laze the days away taking photos.

Meal times will vary depending on the schedule of excursions and activities; times will be posted daily. Meals are served in the single-seating Dynasty Dining Room. Sumptuous western and Chinese buffets are offered at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cruise the Yangtze River with daily shore excursions that can include Fengdu, Shibaozhai, or Wanzhou; sailing through Qutang Gorge/Wu Gorge, Daning River Small Gorges, or Shennong Stream, and sailing through Three Gorges dam shiplocks. Relax in comfortable cabins and enjoy shipboard activities such as tai chi, tea tasting, and Chinese calligraphy classes. All shore excursions and gorge visits will depend on the season and river conditions There is also a tea time in the afternoon and happy hour.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 13: Yangtze River/Shanghai
Enjoy a tour of Three Gorges Dam (dependent on river conditions) before flying to Shanghai.

End place: Shanghai

Meals: B
Day 14: Shanghai

Start place: Shanghai

Enjoy free time to explore this vibrant city on your own. Opt to visit Yuyuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum or this evening catch the famed Shanghai acrobats performance.

End place: Shanghai

Meals: B
Day 15: Shanghai

Start place: Shanghai

Shanghai is a fascinating city - we recommend booking a few extra nights at the end of your tour to better explore the it.
Depart at any time.

End place: Shanghai

Meals: B

Inclusions

Included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Temple of Heaven Tai Chi, Beijing Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Chinese Shadow Puppetry, Xi'an Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tangka Painting demonstration, Lhasa Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Dumpling-Making Lesson, Lhasa Your Discover Moment: Shanghai
  • Arrival transfer
  • Tour of Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven
  • Visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall
  • Bike ride along the Xi'an city walls
  • Orientation walk through Xi'an's Muslim Quarter and street markets
  • Tour the museum of the terracotta warriors
  • Orientation walk in Barkhor square
  • Tour of Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace, and the Tibetan Medicine Institute
  • Sera Monastery visit
  • Visit a panda breeding centre
  • Yangtze River cruise
  • Three Gorges Dam tour
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Transport

    Train, Minibus, Cruise boat, Small canal boat, Ferry, Bicycle, Plane, Walking
  • Accommodation

    Hotels (10 nts), Soft-sleeper overnight train (1 nt), Yangtze riverboat (3 nts)
  • Meals

    14 breakfasts,
    4 lunches,
    4 dinners

Dates & availability: Iconic China: Beijing to Tibet

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Sat, 04/13/2019 Finishing Sat, 04/27/2019 Catalog Price $ 4499 Sale Price $ 4499 15 Book
Departing Sat, 04/27/2019 Finishing Sat, 05/11/2019 Catalog Price $ 4499 Sale Price $ 4499 15 Book
Departing Sat, 05/04/2019 Finishing Sat, 05/18/2019 Catalog Price $ 4699 Sale Price $ 4699 15 Book
Departing Sat, 05/18/2019 Finishing Sat, 06/01/2019 Catalog Price $ 4699 Sale Price $ 4699 11 Book
Departing Sat, 06/15/2019 Finishing Sat, 06/29/2019 Catalog Price $ 4699 Sale Price $ 4699 13 Book
Departing Sat, 07/06/2019 Finishing Sat, 07/20/2019 Catalog Price $ 4699 Sale Price $ 4699 15 Book
Departing Sat, 08/24/2019 Finishing Sat, 09/07/2019 Catalog Price $ 4699 Sale Price $ 4699 15 Book
Departing Sat, 09/07/2019 Finishing Sat, 09/21/2019 Catalog Price $ 4699 Sale Price $ 4699 15 Book
Departing Sat, 10/05/2019 Finishing Sat, 10/19/2019 Catalog Price $ 4499 Sale Price $ 4499 15 Book
Departing Sat, 04/04/2020 Finishing Sat, 04/18/2020 Catalog Price $ 4499 Sale Price $ 4499 15 Book

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