15 Days Essences of China and Tibet Tour with Yangtze River Cruise
Tour Route: Beijing - Xi'an - Lhasa - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruiser - Shanghai
This best-selling China and Tibet group tour with a relaxing Yangtze River cruise should be called “The Trip of a Lifetime”. It covers almost the must-see sites in China: the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors, Tibet, the Yangtze and its Three Gorges, and much more. It’s an intimate encounter with ancient and modern China in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. With this amazing tour, you can also discover the mysteries of sacred Lhasa as well as the Yangtze, the longest and most spectacular river in China.
- Tour Code:
- Max Altitude:
- Tour Type:
Join-in Coach Tour
- Phisycal Demand:
Phisycal Demand Level Guide:
1. Easy (1 point) - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
2. Moderate (2-3 Points) - suitable for those having average level for fitness, family with kids bigger than 12 years.
3. Moderate to Strenous (4 Points) - suitable for those physically fit and have experiences of high altitude trekking.
4. Strenuous (5 Points) - suitable for adventures and individual with physically fit and healthy.
- Enjoy a relaxing Yangtze River cruise onboard the luxury cruise ship and see the marvelous landscapes of the Three Gorges every day.
- Be amazed at the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors and Horses in the ancient capitals - Beijing and Xi'an, to learn more about Chinese history.
- Discovery the mysterious culture and religion of Tibet in the holy city Lhasa.
- Experience the contradiction of the modern and the tradition of Shanghai, the most prosperous city in China.
Day 1: Arrival in Beijing
Welocome to 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: Coach Tour in Beijing (B+L)
Pick up from hotel after breakfast, and drive about 1 hour to the first stop the Ming Tombs - the burial site of 13 emperors of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2003.
The afternoon will be for the Great Wall climbing. As one of the Eight Wonders of the Ancient World, The Great Wall, symbolizing China's ancient civilization, is one of the most renowned projects. We visit the Badaling section, one of the best preserved and a classic representations of the wall. While climb the wall, you are sure to experience its greatness far beyond your imagination. UNESCO listed it as one of the World Heritages in 1987.
You will be sent back to hotel in the late afternoon. During the trip, 1-2 typical feature shopping will be arranged and each for 30 minutes.
Day 3: Coach Tour in Beijing (B+L)
This intensive day takes you to the three best sites in Beijing: After breakfast, pick up at hotel, then to Forbidden City - Imperial Palace of Ming and Qing Dynasties represents the splendor and lavishness of the Chinese Imperial Court, which listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987.
After visiting Forbidden City, we will visit Summer Palace - the best-kept and largest existing royal garden in China with over 3000 sites, it is a virtual museum of traditional Chinese gardening. Take picturesque photos by the Kunming Lake, breathe the fresh fragrant air in the lake breeze and stroll along the half-mile corridor enjoying the Chinese legends from the 14,000 brush paintings. UNESCO listed it as one of the World Heritages in 1998.
And finally back to hotel in the evening. During the trip, 1-2 typical feature shopping will be arranged and each for 30 minutes.
Day 4: Fly to Xian from Beijing (B+L)
After breakfast, go to the Temple of Heaven- a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods. UNESCO listed it as one of the World Heritages in 1998.
Then, you will have an Old Beijing Hutong Rickshaw Tour with a typical China shopping in Hutong on the way back.
Catch flight to Xi’an in the late afternoon or at evening, to explore another ancient capital of China.
Day 5: Coach Tour in Xian (B+L)
The visit to the majestic Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum will start your day's trip. In the museum, there are altogether three excavated pits exhibiting amazing warrior figures and Chinese ancient weapons. No wonder a great site to learn about Chinese ancient military affairs.
In the afternoon, you will appreciate Chinese calligraphy and stele culture at Forest of Stone Steles Museum.
This evening, you will enjoy a marvelous Tang Dynasty Dinner Show at the Tang Dynasty Palace. The show will take you back to 1400 years ago - the dreamy and glorious Tang Dynasty.
Day 6: Coach Tour in Xian (B+L)
Today, you will visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Ancient City Wall. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built under the emperor's conduct to collect scriptures, Buddha statues and Buddhist relics taken from India about 1,300 years ago. Different from those typical Islamic buildings, the following City Wall is the existing most complete urban fortification in China.
Cycling on the ancient wall is a special experience that many people like to try (bike rental fee is not included).
After the visit to Bell Tower & Drum Tower, Square and Muslim's Quarter, transfer back to your hotel.
Day 7: Take a Flight to Lhasa from Xi'an (B)
Take morning flight to Lhasa, upon arrival, be greeted by local guide at airport and be presented with traditional Tibetan White Scarf to wish you good luck!
Then, board on the coach and transfer back to hotel. you will enjoy the spectacular scenery and the typical Tibetan villages on the way.
Stay at the hotel after arrival for adapting to the high attitude. It is helpful to take things easy for the first few days, and try to drink some water just and now.
Day 8: Lhasa Highlights (B)
Today 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.
Then you are invited to have a close touch with Jokhang Temple, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where innumerable pilgrims come for worship everyday. You could also explore the bustling markets of the Barkhor Street and watch the locals as they prostrate around the Jokhang Temple.
Day 9: Lhasa Highlights (B)
In the morning have a tour for Drepung Monastery, 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 10: Flight to Chongqing from Lhasa and board Your Yangtze Cruise Ship (B)
Today is free for you to explore Lhasa city until your tour guide transfer you to airport for flight to Chongqing.
Welcome to Chongqing! Unpon you arrive, you’ll be transferred to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to board your ship during 18:00-20:00. Your lifetime Yangtze River cruise sails at 21:00!
(Please note: the boarding time and pier change based on Yangtze cruise ships, water level, season and weather, etc. Your travel consultants will tell you the detailed time and pier before your boarding.)
Day 11: Yangtze River Cruiser (B+L+D)
In the morning, the river guide will give a brief orientation of the cruise schedule and Yangtze River introduction. At about 14:00, the ship will disembark at Zhongxian and our local guide will take you for an onshore excursion to Shibaozhai. Built along the Yuyin Mountain, the world famous Shibaozhai tower shows a unique and charming architectural image. Being one of the rare wooden structures, Shibaozhai tower is reputed as the Eighth Fantastic Architecture of the World for its talented and supernatural design.
After finishing the visit, you will be back aboard ship and the cruise continues towards the splendid Three Gorges. This evening, the cruise staff will invite you to join the Captain's Welcome Party held on deck.
Optional Shore Excursion: Take shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City which charges extra fee. It endows mysterious stories about underworld cruel tortures and kinds of devils in Chinese legends. If you decide to visit the ghost city, please make sure wear comfortable shoes for it needs a lot of walk up to the Ghost city.
Day 12: Yangtze River Cruiser (B+L+D)
The climax of your Yangtze River Cruise is coming today. The unique scenery of the Three Gorges will be unveiled in front of you. Among them, Qutang Gorge is the most dangerous and shortest. Standing on the deck of the cruise ship, you will see the steep precipices standing on both banks of this narrow stretch of water.
Wu Gorge is the most beautiful, which is renowned for its deep valley and elegant beauty. Passing through Wu Gorge by the cruise, you will feel like entering a winding gallery of painting. Here, you will change to a sampan to take an interesting adventure along Shennong Stream for 3 to 4 hours. Shennong Stream features picturesque natural beauty, distinctive Tujia flavor, boat tracking culture and valued historical relics.
After that, you will return to the ship and sail into Xiling Gorge. Passing through this gorge is an adventure for it is known for numerous torrents and dangerous shoals.
You may find many cultural relics in this gorge, such as hanging coffins.
In the evening, the ship will travel through the Five Level Ship Lock of the Three Gorges Dam.
Day 13: Arrive in Yichang and fly to Shanghai (B)
Disembark for an excursion to the Three Gorges Dam. Your ship will arrive at Yichang Port around 12:30. Then pack your luggage and complete check-out procedures. Our guide will pick you up at the cruise.
After lunch, visit Yichang Museum if time permits. Following the visit, we will see you off on your flight to Shanghai -your terminal destination.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel. The rest of today is free for you to explore this cosmopolitan.
Day 14: Coach Tour in Shanghai (B+L)
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 15: Departure from Shanghai (B)
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.
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.
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