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15 Days Shanghai Chengdu Lhasa Xian and Beijing Tour

Tour Route: Shanghai - Suzhou - Hangzhou - Chengdu - Lhasa - Xian - Beijing

Trip Overview:

An epic tour that takes you from the east of China to the Tibetan plateau and back, this 15-day adventure is a tour of China’s most historic cities. From the primary city of commerce in Asia, and the stunning sights of this amazing city’s famous skyline, to the Jade Buddha, you will explore the ancient and modern together, before heading off to the panda capital of China, to visit the cuddly giant pandas of ancient Chinese mythology.

In Lhasa, after the long train expedition, you will see the most sacred temples in the world, and the most iconic symbol of Tibet, the Potala Palace. In ancient Xi’an, the Terracotta Army of the First Emperor stand guard over his tomb, and the ancient wall still protects this former Imperial capital. In the modern-day capital of China, Beijing, you can get the best view of the Great Wall, from on top of it, and visit the ancient Imperial Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven.

  • Tour Code: TTO-TT-STT15

  • Trip Level:

  • Tour Type: Private tour with private guide and vehicle

  • Time to Visit:

Highlights:

  • Explore the delights of Shanghai’s old and new facets, and see the world’s most famous skyline from inside the city.
  • Visit the cuddliest animals on the planet at the Chengdu Panda centers.
  • Go down into the bowels of the Potala, the impressive but spiritless citadel of the Dalai Lamas.
  • Join the shuffling, murmuring pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang, the spiritual heart of Tibet.
  • Stand alongside history’s oldest clay army at the site of the Tomb of the First Emperor of China.
  • Climb up to the Great Wall and feel the history of Beijing’s Imperial Palaces and ancient Temples.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Shanghai

When international flight lands in Shanghai, please take a taxi by yourself to our reserved hotel. The rest of the day free for you to be on your own.

Stay overnight in Shanghai.

Day 2: Shanghai Day Tour: Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden and the Bund

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 Yu 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.

Stay overnight in Shanghai.

Day 3: Shanghai to Suzhou via Tongli Water Town

Today, we will head to Tongli Water Town, which is an ancient town with over 1,000 years. It is a short drive of about 1.5 hours. There you can have a leisure walk in the town and visit the popular sites, such as Tuisi Yuan, Pearl Pagoda, Triple Bridge and so on.

After a short trip in Tongli, we will move on to Suzhou. Upon arrival, you will firstly visit the Lingering Garden, where you can enjoy a classical beauty of the traditional Chinese gardens in this region. Then you will visit No.1 Silk Factory to learn more about the silk making process.

Stay overnight in Suzhou.

Day 4: Suzhou to Hangzhou by High Speed Train

In the morning, you will take a high speed train to Hangzhou from Suzhou. You will first visit the famous West Lake, the landmark of Hangzhou city. You can enjoy a leisure cruise there to appreciate the natural beauty with the ancient pagodas, bridges and temples.

After that, you will visit Lingyin Temple. With about 1700 years' history, the old temple hidden in the forest creates a calm atmosphere for you. You can slow your step and experience the peace of Buddhism. Not far from Lingyin Temple is the Feilai Peak, from which you can see many ancient Buddhist carvings.

The last stop is Meijia Dock Dragon Well Tea Village, where you can enjoy a cup of Dragon Well Tea and learn more about Chinese tea culture and tea making process from the China National Tea Museum.

Stay overnight in Hangzhou.

Day 5: Fly from Hangzhou to Chengdu

Today, we will first visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda before taking the flight to Chengdu from Hangzhou. Standing at the side of Qiantang River, the Six Harmonies Pagoda was built in 970 in Song Dynasty, and it is a masterpiece of ancient Chinese architecture.  

Upon arrival in Chengdu, you will be picked up and transferred to the reserved hotel. You can have a good rest at your hotel and explore this land of abundance as you like.

Stay overnight in Chengdu.

Day 6: Chengdu Day Tour

In the morning, you will have a special date with the adorable giant pandas in Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. You could also learn more about the life and habits of the national treasure of China.

Then, head to visit the Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park and Jinli Street. As the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu, Wenshu Temple is famous for its exquisite gardens and halls. Renmin Park is a beautiful city park often filled with locals, and you can enjoy a cup of tea to experience the slow life of Chengdu there. In the end of today, you will walk along the Jinli Old Street to fully appreciate Sichuan’s customs and folk arts.

Stay overnight in Chengdu.

Day 7: Fly from Chengdu to Lhasa

Take a morning flight to Lhasa, and upon arrival our guide will welcome you with a warm Tibetan style greeting and present you with Hada (traditional Tibetan scarves). Then you will be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city at the comfort of your own private vehicle.

For most of the way, you follow the Kyichu River, you could see Tibetan homes with their trapezoid shaped windows and fluttering prayer flags, and Tibetans walking beside the roads wearing their distinctive national costumes. One of the first buildings you could see as you enter the city is the Potala Palace, sitting majestically on a hill dominating Lhasa.

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 more water.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 8: Lhasa Day Tour to Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

The tour will begin from UNESCO World Heritage site - Potala Palace, which is also the winter palace of Dalai Lama. It's situated at 12,139 feet above sea level. It's a 13-story high building that contains over 1,000 rooms, various statues, stupas, murals and artifacts. Then continue to Jokhang Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a spiritual center for Buddhists in Tibet. Next to the temple there is Barkhor Street, filled with pilgrims and street vendors, selling traditional Tibetan items such as prayer wheels and jewelry.

Stay overnight in Lhasa. 

Day 9: Lhasa Day Tour to Visit Two Important Monasteries in Lhasa, Sera & Drepung

In the morning, tourists are going to visit Drepung Monastery which was one of the “three greet” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1416. Ganden palace is used as Dalai Lama’s palace in the Drepung before moving to the Potala palace. In the afternoon, Sera Monastery---It was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1419. The highlight is the Monks debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 10: Flight from Lhasa to Xian

Today, you will head to take the flight to Xi’an from Lhasa. Your guide will transfer you to the airport. It will take about 3 hours to get to Xi’an by flight.

The local guide will pick you up upon your arrival, and then take you to the reserved hotel. The rest of the day is for you to have a good rest.

Stay overnight in Xi'an.

Day 11: Xian Day Tour: Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter

In the morning, you will visit the Museum of Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, a must-see when in Xi'an. Around 8,000 ancient, life-sized figures were created to accompany the first Emperor of China to the afterlife and were part of his mausoleum. Each figure has a unique facial structure and expression as if they had been made from living people. The warriors were buried with the Emperor in 208BC and were not discovered until 1974.

After the warriors, you will head over to the Ancient City Wall of Xi'an for a leisure bicycle tour. The wall around the inner part of the city was built in the 14th century and is 14km long. It is an amazing example of ancient defensive structures. Then you will travel to the Muslim Quarter, the largest area of Muslim business in the city. It is the perfect place to buy souvenirs of Xi'an and China, with a wide range of local snacks and handicrafts.

Stay overnight in Xi'an.

Day 12: Xian Day Tour: Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum; High Speed Train to Beijing

In the morning, you will continue exploring this fascinating city of Xi’an. First, you will visit one of the most popular sites in Xi'an, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Built in 652, the pagoda is a repository of Buddhist figures and scriptures brought to Xi'an from India by, Xuanzang, the first abbot of Daci'en Temple.

Afterwards, you will head to Shanxi History Museum, where you can take in the glory and ancient history of China. The museum holds artifacts that date back as far as the Paleolithic era, up to the more recent Qing Dynasty. The museum is packed with thousands of exhibits from all periods of history, and is a busy, popular attraction.

Finally, the guide will take you to the railway station for your high-speed train to Beijing. On arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel.

Stay overnight in Beijing.

Day 13: Beijing Day Tour: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace

Today is guided tour to Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace which are the traditional must-see places in Beijing. These attractions presentto the visitors an image of how the ancient Chinese emperors manage the country, what their family life is, how they spent leisure time, how they sacrifice gods.

Overnight in Beijing.

Day 14: Beijing Day Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall, Bird's Nest and Water Cube from Outside

The Great Wall tour proves that China was one of the strongest country in its history. Stretching thousands of kilometers, the Great Wall protected the ancient Chinese against the invasion of the enemy from its north side for more than 1000 years, the Great Wall was listed as one of the world's eight wonders. Mutianyu Great Wall, featured “graceful”, enjoy the best quality among all Wall sections, 80km north-east of Beijing with 22 ancient watchtowers, about one every kilometer. (Cable car is optional if you do not want to walk)

After that, you will be transferred back to the hotel in downtown area. On the way, you will witness the remarkable Bird's Nest and Water Cube from the outside. Both designed as the main stadiums of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, they now become the popular landmarks of Beijing.

Stay overnight in Beijing.

Day 15: Beijing Departure

Today, you will be transferred to Beijing International Airport for your flight home or next destination.

What’s included?

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.

Trip Notes

  • 1. How to Get the Tibet Travel Permit?

    The Tibet Travel Permit is essential for any Tibet tour. We help to obtain this permit free of charge when you book your Tibet tour through us. Simply send us copies of your passport and China visa at least 20 days in advance. Once we receive your documents, we will promptly process the permit application with the Tibet Tourism Bureau. After obtaining your permit, we will notify you and send it to your hotel in mainland China.

    In exceptional cases, our staff can personally deliver the permit to you at the airport or railway station. With years of experience in handling Tibet Travel Permit, we assure you a smooth visit to Tibet by ensuring the acquisition of your permit.

  • 2. Where to Stay in Tibet?

    Accommodation facilities and services in Tibet might not match those found in the coastal and central parts of China. However, there's a diverse range of hotel options available. However, you can choose from a wide range of hotel options. In big cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, from cheap and clean youth hostels to distinct Tibetan-style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotels, you will find one that suits your interests and budget.

    As you travel to remote areas of Tibet, such as EBC and the Mount Kailash region, the accommodations tend to be more basic. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel, while others may only offer electric blankets in the guesthouses. Nonetheless, we always handpick cozy and safe accommodations for you along your itinerary in Tibet, ensuring a pleasant night's stay for your Tibet tour.

  • 3. How about the Guiding and Tipping in Tibet?

    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 monitor your health and provide prompt assistance to you. If you encounter any trouble, please do not hesitate to contact them or our customer service manager.

    Travelers' tipping to Tibetan guides and drivers is seen as extra gratitude for their excellent service, much like what you do in the West. Normally, a tipping amount of 7 USD per day is acceptable. The basic principle is rewarding good service with fair pay.

  • 4. How are the Toilets in Tibet?

    Undoubtedly, for many Western tourists, using toilets in Tibet can be a challenging experience. Therefore, it's advisable to moderate your expectations. If you travel to Lhasa by Tibet train, both western-style and squat toilets are available onboard. Staying in hotels rated above 3 stars in cities like Lhasa and Shigatse ensures access to standard Western flush toilets, eliminating any discomfort.

    However, when visiting attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso or outdoor sites like EBC, you're likely to encounter smelly and unclean pit toilets. It's recommended to carry sufficient toilet paper for such occasions.

  • 5. How is the Weather in Tibet? What to Pack for Visiting Tibet?

    One of the notable weather features on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the significant temperature fluctuation between day and night. In Lhasa, the annual temperatures range from -2℃ to 12℃ (spring), 9℃ to 22℃ (summer), 7℃ to 19℃ (fall), and -7℃ to 9℃ (winter). Ensure proper clothing, such as thermal tops, a fleece jacket, breathable underwear, a down jacket, jeans, a beanie, and other essentials.

    Moreover, essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are crucial to shield yourself from the intense, blinding sunlight of the plateau. Staying hydrated by drinking more water and including vegetables in your diet is advisable to prevent dehydration during your travels in Tibet.

  • 6. How to Prevent from Altitude Sickness in Tibet?

    For first-time visitors to Tibet, whether arriving by flight or train, allowing ample rest is crucial for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Avoid rushing to explore the streets or attractions independently. Walk at a slower pace and refrain from exerting yourself by running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa before venturing to places like Shigatse or Namtso allows for better acclimatization. If you experience any discomfort, inform your guide, and they will assist you.

  • 7. Are There some Dos and Don'ts while Touring Tibet?

    Photography is generally prohibited in monasteries. If you wish to capture images of Tibetan pilgrims, kindly seek their permission or maintain a considerable distance while taking photos. Swimming and fishing are prohibited in the sacred lakes of Tibet. Avoid discussing sensitive topics like politics. According to policy, international tourists are not permitted to travel alone in Tibet.

    While navigating Barkhor Street, adhere to the custom of walking clockwise. Refrain from exploring unfamiliar trails. Take proactive steps to preserve Tibet's delicate ecosystem.

    Given that Tibetan Buddhism profoundly influences the lives of Tibetans, always show reverence and respect for their unique customs. If uncertain about any practice, it's advisable to seek guidance from your tour guide before proceeding.

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We're all about keeping you safe and comfortable. When you arrive in Lhasa, we're ready to support you for a smooth and enjoyable trip across Tibet. Choose us for a pleasant and hassle-free tour in Tibet!

  • Our customer service manager

    Personalized Care with Our Award-Wining Service Manager

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    Since 1984, we've been a local Tibet travel agency, and we now have an amazing team of 40 top Tibetan guides. They'll make your Tibet trip super enjoyable and comfortable, promising unmatched happiness and satisfaction!

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    Experienced Drivers for Safe and Scenic Routes

    Our skilled drivers make sure your journey is safe and fun, going through different routes like winding mountains and wide grasslands. Get ready for an amazing adventure exploring Tibet's beautiful landscapes with us! And don't worry—we always have oxygen and bottled water in our vehicles for your safety and comfort.

  • Our small group at Jokhang Temple

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    We're the top Tibetan tour operator, focusing on small group tours—our specialty! Our trips offer classic experiences with lots of choices and often leave at great prices. No shopping pressure, just budget-friendly fun! Our groups stay small, maxing out at 12 people, and we get over 5,000 clients every year.

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    With 30+ years of experience, we provide you with a free Tibet Permit! Count on us to handle all your travel needs smoothly, ensuring your trip to explore stunning Tibet is stress-free. Your permit is our promise for an amazing adventure in the Himalayas!

  • Local Tibetan restaurant

    Supporting Local Communities through Tibetan-Owned Businesses

    We only pick Tibetan-owned restaurants and hotels to help our community. Your trip with us directly helps the Tibetan community by supporting local businesses. Come embrace real Tibet and make a positive impact while exploring with us!

  • Explore Mount Kailash

    Authentic Exploration of Tibet's Rich Culture

    Discover the real Tibet with us! We're dedicated to showing its true spirit and exploring its lively culture. Our aim is to give you an authentic experience, sharing the beauty and richness of Tibetan traditions. Come along for a journey deep into the heart of Tibet!

  • Leisurely explore Lake Yamdrok

    Unhurried Exploration of Every Destination

    We never hurry on our tours, so you can enjoy every spot fully. We promise a relaxed pace, letting you take in each place on our list. Journey with us for a truly satisfying experience!

  • Photo with Mount Everest

    24/7 Support & Daily Communication with Guide

    Feel safe with our 24/7 local support! Your safety and comfort matter most to us. We talk to our guides every day to keep your trip smooth. Count on us for ongoing help, making your journey hassle-free and fun. Relax knowing we're here for you throughout your adventure!

  • Pleasant trip in Tibet

    Constant Optimization for Superior Travel Experiences

    Join us for amazing travel adventures! We keep making our trips better every year, improving quality wherever we go. We're dedicated to giving you the best service possible. Come with us on unforgettable journeys where every detail shows how much we care about making you happy!

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What Our Customers Say

  • Truly memorable experience

    We did a private trip actually, after a thorough research of numerous agencies we decided to go with Tibet Vista as they seem very experienced in Tibet tours and they are also very responsive. It was well-made decision, we loved our tour and our guide Kungga was excellent, he was attentive and accomodating to us...More reviews

    Apr 2024 Denira K
  • Once in a life time

    14 days from Beijing to Tibet and Nepal. The reality was beyond my expectations. A trip that I will remember for the rest of my life. The trip was arranged in an exceptional way! Laura Tang did an amazing job! She responded to all my questions immediately, she supported and solved any problems very quickly. The hotels she arranged for me were amazing!! ...More reviews

    Jan 2024 nico k
  • Nice view in winter!

    The view was magnificent. got to see snow and snow capped mountains. Thanks to Gemma Wei for helping with all the planning. Also thanks to Kunchok and Tsering for going accomodating to my needs as i was not used to the altitude. They also helped alot with the trek up the hills! ...More reviews

    Dec 2023 Benjamin X
  • Tibet is beautiful

    The tour was great! We visited amazing places and could feel the sacred atmosphere in all the temples. The nature is breathtaking with beautiful mountain and lake views. Our guide Jingme told us all about the history and showed us great places. All the hotels were much better than what I expected...More reviews

    Nov 2023 Krisyna H
  • Unforgettable Experience

    The 8-day trip with Tibet Vista was remarkable, combining cultural depth with stunning Tibetan landscapes. Our guide Jig Me was really knowledgable, the journey well-organized, and each destination, especially Everest Base Camp, was a highlight. Great value; highly recommended...More reviews

    Nov 2023 George J
  • FANTASTIC!

    Visiting Tibet with Tibet Visa agency is a once in a life time experience! They take care of everything and you just need to enjoy! Our tour guide was AMAZING...More reviews

    Nov 2023 Alberto
  • Exploring Tibetan culture

    Tibet vista made the entry process into Tibet super easy. Jing mei our guide had a wealth of knowledge about all the locations we visited and happily answered questions we had. Also organising a birthday cake for one of the guests showed how thoughtful he was...More reviews

    Nov 2023 Dylan P
  • Lhasa to Kathmandu

    Can't recommend this company enough. We did it very last minute and got our Chinese visas a few days before we flew to Chengdu and got the train to Lhasa. Lycoris our contact was patient and reassuring over the applications. The trip itself was something else...More reviews

    Nov 2023 philgiles
  • Private tour with guide and driver… wow!

    After much research, my wife gave the desired itinerary to the agency rep that she was working with. It covered a huge area from Lhasa all the way West to the Ali area and back along a Northern route. Of course having a private driver and Land Cruiser along with a very experienced guide, the trip was just fantastic... More reviews

    Oct 2023 howardxp1
  • Best trip I have ever had

    I just arrived home this morning after a one-month trip in India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. I have travelled a lot in my life but this trip is the best trip I have ever had. It really stands out by its geographic particularity, historical and cultural knowledge and most of all, its emotional/spiritual impact...More reviews

    Sep 2023 hptranle

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