This is indeed a cover-all itinerary that involves the Yangtze cruise going perfectly with Tibet, as the cruise is all about coziness and feasting, which will ease your tiredness and discomfort. Appealing destinations will fulfill all of your imaginations of a real China!
- Tour in Beijing and visit Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven, Badaling, 2008 Olympic stadium Bird's nest and the Summer Palace
- Enjoy the scenic Beijing-Lhasa Train
- On the way to Lhasa, tourists can see Yarlung Tsangpo River/ Bhamaputra river and visit major religious sites like Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monastery and you can take a stroll on busy Barkhor Street
- Fly to Chongqing, and visit Shibaozhai and have Yangtze cruise to appreciate the Three Gorges
- Fly to Shanghai, and tour Shanghai Museum and Yuyuan Garden, Bund area
Day 1: Arrival in Beijing
The prelude of your exciting China tour starts when you meet our professional local guide at Beijing Airport after reclaiming your luggage and clearing the customs. The guide will accompany you in a comfortable vehicle to the hotel and help you with the check-in procedure. The rest of the day is left for you to have a good rest or to become familiar with our capital city by yourself.
Day 2: Beijing Sightseeing
Today your tour officially starts. First you will meet your group members at the hotel lobby and have a short meeting with the guide. Then head to the first stop today, the impressive Tian'anmen Square, which is the biggest urban city square in the world. Nowadays, many constructions of great historical importance have been built on and around it. From there you will enter the "Imperial Palace" known as the Forbidden City to explore its many fascinating halls and pavilions.
Here, you will not only get to know how the emperor handled political affairs and lived their lives, but also appreciate numerous ancient art treasures. In the afternoon, you will go to the Temple of Heaven, the place where the emperors worshipped the heaven for good harvests. As the dwelling of the God of Heaven, it covers an area even larger than the dwelling of the emperor, Forbidden City. To round off a memorable start to your travel, we will arrange a lively and dramatic Chinese Kung Fu Show at the Red Theater.
Day 3: Beijing Sightseeing and transfer to the Sky Train to Lhasa
This morning you will be taken to Badaling where you will experience at first hand the wonder of the Great Wall. Standing on the wall and looking at it stretching up and down into boundless distance is an exciting experience and will leave you a life-long memory. To celebrate and commemorate this moment, we specially provide red wine for a group-toasting on the Great Wall. After lunch, we will drive you back to the city center, while on the way back to downtown, you will have a short stay at the Bird's Nest (Olympic National Stadium), the major venue for 2008 Olympic Games, and take photos with the huge nest.
In the afternoon, visit China's largest imperial garden, the Summer Palace, which is renowned for the perfect combination of natural landscape and gardening design. You can see beautiful scenery of lakes, mountains, islands and trees, as well as traditional Chinese garden construction of long corridors, pavilions, bridges and halls. Departure transfer to Beijing West Station to take Train No.T27 starting at 9:30pm for Lhasa. The Beijing Lhasa Railway extends about 3753km across the heartland of the Middle Kingdom and the Tibetan Plateau. It will take you 43 hrs 32 min. and across the 5200 meter high mountain pass amidst the grand vistas of surreal mountain range and uniquely shaped Tibetan Landscape. It would be an unforgettable expedition across full bosomed clear streams cascading down beautiful mountain ranges, sharing kisses with glistering dew drops, an amorous ride with nature.
Day 4: On the train
Lanzhou 1:04pm The Lanzhou Train Station is located in a narrow valley. The Yellow River passes through the city. It is one of the largest cities in the northeast. And there is an famous attraction around Lanzhou - the Bingling Temple Caves. Xining 3:50pm Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, and an important stopover for a visit to China's largest inland lake, Qinghaihu, a bird watchers paradise. It is a good starting pointing to come into Tibet from here.
Day 5: Afternoon arriving at Lhasa
When you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and take you to your hotel .An route to view the Yarlung Tsangpo River/ Bhamaputra river (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa river.
After arriving in Lhasa ,you can take a rest and acclimatize to plateau environment. If you feel to go out, then you can go to the Potala square, where you will enjoy the fountain with different colors and get amazing photos of the Potala and around.
Day 6: Lhasa highlights escorted tour
After breakfast, we go to the Potala Palace, a golden feather upon the roof of the world, which Tibetans proudly claim to be the prime miracle since the creation of this world. It is visible from any distance, with the golden roof shinning in the sun, spend one hour wondering around the inside of this magnificent building exploring the rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and the many Buddhist icons within.
In the afternoon we go inside of the Jokhang. The Jokhang, like most of the larger temple structures have numerous individual temples within it dedicated to specific enlightened beings, protectors, high lamas, or saints. Images, both sculpted and painted, are everywhere. Every inch of wall and ceiling is brightly painted with images of clouds, beings, mandalas, or decorative patterns. Colorful silk banners, three stories high, hang in various places. Color, pattern, and images crowd in around you. The central image inside the building is a 30-foot high gilded image of Maitreya Buddha. Then stroll around the back alleys of the Barkhor area of Old Lhasa. The streets smelled of yak butter and incense while hordes of pilgrims shuffled along the main Kora (circumambulations) around Jokhang Temple. If someone just walked at a normal pace, one kora would take about 15-20 minutes.
Day 7: Drepung and Sera Monastery
In the morning have a tour for Drepung, the ever largest monastery with more than 10 thousand monks, Buddhist debates often occur there. Seen from afar, its grand, white construction gives the monastery the appearance of a heap of rice. As such, it was given its name which, in the Tibetan language, means Monastery of Collecting-Rice. Learn about the lives of Tibetan monks there.
The afternoon is spent touring Sera Monastery, have a little hike for the beautiful valley scenery nearby and picnic there, in the afternoon, visit Sera monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 lamas live in there. Catch the famous debate session of the monks before returning back to Lhasa.
Day 8: from Lhasa to Chongqing by air
Free time at your disposal this morning, explore the bustling markets of the Barkhor to buy some souvenirs for your families and friends. After lunch, departure transfer to the airport and fly to Chongqing. After arrival in Chongqing, your local guide will transfer you to the Cruise pier, and board the ship from 17:00 to 20:00. Your lifetime Yangtze River Cruise starts in Chongqing at around 22:00. Note: the boarding time changes based on the cruise ships, season, water level, weather, etc.
Day 9: Chongqing - Shibaozhai
After breakfast, the river guide will give you a brief introduction of the cruise and the schedule. Then you will disembark and visit Shibaozhai, which is famous for its fanciful architecture and many interesting legends. With the reputation of 'Pearl on the River', Shibaozhai has received 220,000 visitors from home and abroad every year since opened to the public in 1979. Now it has become the 'little Penglai' for visitors to overlook the views of Yangtze River. The Captain's Welcome Party will be held tonight.
Day 10: Badong - Xiling Gorge - Sandouping
The highlight part of the Yangtze cruise is coming today. You will appreciate the unique scenery of the Three Gorges. As you sail on, there is the famous Shennong Stream on the border between the Wu Gorge and the Xiling Gorge, where you will disembark and take an interesting sampan adventure. Sitting on the special local wooden boat, you will travel along the zigzagging watercourses and enjoy the grotesque rocks and picturesque scenery along the banks, accompanied by the folk songs from the trackers. The Shennong Stream adventure will last about 3 to 4 hours. Then sailing into the Xiling Gorge, which is the longest gorge among the three and renowned for the numerous shoals, swift currents and grotesque peaks. The cruise ship will pass the Five Level Ship Lock of the Three Gorges Dam in the evening.
Day 11: Yichang - Shanghai
Today your Yangtze River trip will end with an excursion to the Three Gorges Dam, which is the major construction of the Three Gorges Project, the world largest irrigation project. When embark again, it's time to say goodbye to your memorable Yangtze cruise tour. After lunch, visit the Yichang Museum if time permits. Then you will head for Shanghai by flight. Upon your arrival, our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to downtown hotel.
The rest of the day is free on your own exploration. Your hotel is not far from the famous Xin Tian Di area. Xin Tian Di, where the new meets the old and East meets West, is a famous place for shopping, dining and nightlife in Shanghai. When evening comes, the Xintiandi area becomes a shining star in the city center. You could enjoy its unique construction, have dinner at the outdoor tables, or do some shopping in the fashion shops. The various styles of night bars can absolutely satisfy and enrich your night life.
Day 12: Shanghai Sightseeing
In the morning, visit Shanghai Museum. It is a large museum exhibiting the ancient art while featuring bronze ware, chinaware, calligraphy and painting. Then, travel to the Yuyuan Garden, which is a famous classic garden of south region. The beautiful scenery and quiet atmosphere here make it a peaceful place in bustling Shanghai. In the afternoon, we will transfer you to the Bund area for a short cruise on the Huangpu River. Standing on the cruise ship, you will see many western-style buildings from Shanghai's colonial days in Puxi area. While on Pudong side, rows of skyscrapers will come into view. The utterly different buildings are the best records of the development of the city. You will explore the Bund area and then visit an old street in Shanghai.
Day 13: Departure from Shanghai
Our guide will pick you up from the hotel and send you to the airport so that you can board the flight back home after this pleasant tour. Alternatively, should you wish to stay on rather than return home right away, you could contact us and choose our other City Packages as an extension to your memorable adventure!
1.Tibet Entry Permit
2. Comfortable, clean and safe vehicle depending on your group size with reliable local driver;
3. Admission fees of tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
4. Professional English speaking tour guide;
5. Accommodations depend on your preference. Please tell us your preferred accommodation class when submitting the enquiry, and we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
6.All measl listed in the itinerary;
7.Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance
What’s not included?
1. International flight to and out of China;
2. Chinese Visa
3. Domestic flight / train not listed in the itinerary (If you need ticket booking service, please leave your requirements in the Online Inruiry form.)
4.Meals not specified in the itinerary;
5.Tips to driver and tour guide, Tip as you wish
6.Personal expenses, such as laundry, phone call, optional tour activities and so on.
1. Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit is a must for Tibet tour. 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 the permit after you book a Tibetan tour with us. Shortly after we get your permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau, we will inform you and mail it to your hotel in China via express.
In some extreme cases, our staff will hand it over to you at the airport or railway station. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
Tibet is never known for its 5-star luxury resorts, though you can find some like Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise, St.Regis Lhasa Resort, Sheraton hotel, etc in Lhasa. Overall, the accommodation facilities and services are not as good as those in coastal and central parts of China. However, from cheap and clean youth hotel, to distinct Tibetan style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotel, you will find one that suits your interest and pocket in Lhasa.
We’ve handpicked cozy and safe hotels in the central area of Lhasa, where you will find Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street are just steps away from you. You can easily experience more of the local life and culture. Normally, as you travel to remote areas in some parts of Shigatse like Tingri, or EBC, Ngari, Nagqu, etc. the accommodation would be much poorer. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel;others may only have electric blanket in the guesthouses. And the food is also very basic.
3.Guiding and Tipping
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. Throughout your stay in Tibet, we will minor your health and provide prompt help to you. If you run into any trouble, please do not hesitate to reach them or our customer service manager.
Travelers’s tipping to Tibetan guide and driver is taken as an extra gratitude to their good service, just like what you do in the west. Normally, a tipping of 7 USD/day is acceptable. The basic rule is good service for good pay.
Admittedly, to many western tourists, using toilets in Tibet is the most dreadful experience. So, please down play your expectation. If you take Tibet train to Lhasa, both western toilet and squat toilet are available in the train. If you stay in hotel above 3-star hotels in Lhasa, Shigatse, etc. you will have no complaining using standard western flash toilet.
However, if you visit some of the attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso, EBC outdoor, mostly you will see the smelly and filthy pit toilet.It's better to carry enough toilet paper.
5. Tibet Weather
One of the biggest features of weather on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the dramatic temperature change between day and night. The annual temperature in Lhasa is -2℃-- 12℃(spring), 9℃-- 22℃(summer), 7℃-- 19℃(fall), -7℃-- 9℃(winter). Do wear clothes properly such as thermal tops, fleece jacket, breathable underwear, down jacket, jeans, beanie, etc.
Of course, sun screen, lip balm, sun glasses are essential to shield you from powerful blinding sunlight on the plateau. Do drink more water and eat more vegetable as you travel in Tibet. It can prevent you from dehydration.
6. Acclimatization to the High Altitude
For the first timer to Tibet, either by flight or train, a good rest is a must for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Never rush to tour the street or attractions on your own. Walk slower and do not exert yourself like running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa is a good way to get acclimatized before heading to Shigatse or Namtso. If you have any discomfort, do tell it to your guide,and he will help you out.
7. Other Dos and Don'ts
Normally, taking photos is forbidden in the monastery. If you want to take photos of Tibetan pilgrims, a gentle ask of permission would be appreciated or you can do it from a long distance. Swimming and fishing are not allowed in holy lakes in Tibet; Do not talk about sensitive topics like politics; International tourists are not allowed to travel alone in Tibet according to the policy; Walk clockwise around Barkhor Street; Never venture into the unknown trails; do as much as you can to protect the fragile eco-system in Tibet, etc.
As Tibetan Buddhism is deeply-rooted in every facet of Tibetans' life, always follow and respect the unique customs in Tibet. If you are uncertain about something, it’s advisable to ask your guide before you do it at will.