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China & Tibet Highlights

(14 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Beijing, Great Wall, Xi’an, Lhasa, Chengdu, Shanghai

 

Step into prayer halls of chanting Tibetan monks in magnificent monasteries on the roof of the world, watch pandas interact in their natural habitat in Chengdu, discover the ancient sites of Beijing & much more.

 

Begin your epic voyage in the Forbidden City, where you'll discover the ancient sites of Beijing including Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall. Stand in awe in front of the 7,000-strong Terra Cotta Army in Xi’an and get up close to China’s most loved animals at the Panda Research Center in Chengdu. Experience an authentic tea ceremony at a local teahouse before descending on the culinary delights of Chengdu’s fragrant Jinli Street. Tour the most significantly spiritual and visually stunning monasteries of Tibet, taste the spicy local cuisine in the home of Szechuan cooking and discover the modern delights of 21st-century Shanghai.

 

Your authentic experience of China’s most historically significant sites and Tibet’s profoundly spiritual monasteries is overseen by a team of experienced local guides and private drivers. You’ll stay in a collection of four and five star international hotels, and experience the traditional art of Buddhist Zen at a charming boutique property.

 

 

Day 1: Welcome to Beijing

Fly to Beijing, CHINA

 

Welcome to China. Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, obtain your Chinese visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Beijing, the capital of China, lies just south of the rim of the Central Asian Steppes and is separated from the Gobi Desert by a green chain of mountains, over which The Great Wall runs. Modern Beijing lies on the site of countless human settlements that date back half a million years. Homo erectus Pekinensis, better known as Peking man was discovered just outside the city in 1929. It is China’s second largest city in terms of population and the largest in administrative territory.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Beijing

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Park Plaza Wangfujing, Double Happiness Beijing, Red Wall Garden

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Fairmont Beijing, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, Peninsula Beijing

 

Day 2: Beijing

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning guided tour of Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City: This morning you will be picked up from the hotel and taken for a tour of Tiananmen Square where you will visit the mausoleum of Chairman Mao. Afterwards you will enter the Forbidden City which is the largest and most complete group of ancient buildings in China. Built in the 15th Century, the Imperial Palace was a forbidden area for 500 years before the revolution of 1911. It was home to two royal dynasties, the Ming and Qing emperors and it is from this palace that the emperors governed China, stepping out of its confines extremely rarely. Afterwards you will visit Jingshan Park where you can get a great view over the Imperial city and the rest of Beijing and then you will have lunch in a local restaurant.

 

Afternoon guided tour of the Summer Palace: This afternoon travel to the outskirts of Beijing to the Imperial Summer Palace. The original Summer Palace was laid out in the 12th Century and over the centuries was used by the emperors as their summer escape from the humidity of Beijing and the Forbidden City. The Palace is set in huge gardens on the large Kunming Lake. You will be taken around the palaces of the complex, including Empress Dowager's retreat, gardens and enjoy a boat ride on Kunming Lake.

 

Day 3: Beijing – Great Wall – Beijing

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Full day tour to The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu: Today is a full day tour to the Great Wall (Mutianyu) everybody who visits Peking wants to see the Great Wall and for good reason: it is one of the wonders of the world. As you stand on the top tower and look at the wall snaking its way across the tops of the mountains, close your eyes for a moment and see in your mind's eye the ancient armies locked in combat, and hear the whistle of arrows and the clang of striking swords. Explore this section of the Wall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

 

After lunch at the architecturally interesting Commune by the Wall you will visit the magnificent Ming Tombs and the Sacred Way before returning to the city. Later enjoy a performance of the Peking Opera.

 

Day 4: Beijing – Xian

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

This morning we visit the Temple of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven is enclosed with a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected an ancient Chinese thought of "The heaven is round and the earth is square". The temple and its surrounding altars, gates and park are a meeting place for the people of Beijing and it is possible to see the locals enjoying a game of chess or practicing the ancient art of Tai-Chi. Later return to downtown Beijing take a ‘cyclo' tour of the fascinating Hutongs, the small alleys and former courtyard houses of an Old Beijing. The Hutongs were mostly built during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, and are the narrow network of lanes created by closely built quadrangular homes. Adjoining the Hutongs is Prince Gong Palace. Within the confines of the palace walls are beautifully ornate and colorful buildings, ponds straddled by arched bridges and dotted with pagodas.

 

Enjoy a Beijing farewell lunch with the guide at the most famous brand, Quanjude roast duck restaurant. To see to believe, watch the exquisite skill of cutting of chief, taste crisp duck skin and learn how to eat it in a proper way. Yummy!

 

Later this afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Xian.

 

Fly Beijing to Xian on Air China CA1235, departing 17:15, arriving 19:25

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Xian. Upon arrival at Xian Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Xian, the eternal city, records the great changes of the Chinese nation just like a living history book. Called Chang’an in ancient times, Xian is one of the birthplaces of the ancient civilization in the Yellow River Basin area of the country. During Xian’s 3,100 year development, 13 dynasties such as Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang placed their capitals here. So far, Xian enjoys equal fame with Athens, Cairo, and Rome as one of the four major ancient civilization capitals. Xian is the capital of Shaanxi province, located in the southern part of the GuanZhong Plain. With the Qinling Mountains to the north and the Weihe River to the south, it is in a favorable geographical location surrounded by water and hills. It has a semi-moist monsoon climate and there is a clear distinction between the four seasons.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Xian

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square, Wyndham Grand Xian

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Sofitel Legend Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel Xian

 

Day 5: Xian

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning excursion to the Terracotta Warriors: Today is the highlight of your visit to Xian as you visit the Terracotta Warrior Digs. In 1974 a peasant digging a well came upon what now stands as one of the main attractions in China and one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. An army of thousands of life-sized warriors and their horses in battle formation, which were buried for 2,000 years, stand guard over the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi-Huang. The figures were buried with artefacts and weapons of the day and every figure differs in facial features and expressions. The dig is still in progress, as it is believed that the site is part of an even larger army still buried.

 

Afternoon tour of the Shaanxi Museum: After lunch in a local restaurant you will visit the Shaanxi Museum, established in 1952, and considered to be one of the best museums in China. Its exhibits date from prehistoric times through early dynastic China and up to the early 20th century, and many are from the local area. Included are terracotta horses and soldiers, Ming and Qing pottery, bronze cooking vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasties (16th - 11th centuries B.C.) and tools and pottery from the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages.

 

Dumpling Dinner & Tang Dynasty Show: This evening you will enjoy a special dumpling dinner followed by a colourful performance of traditional music and dance from the Tang Dynasty era at the Shaanxi Grand Theatre.

 

Day 6: Xian – Lhasa

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning visit the ancient city walls. In the centre of the walled city, the bell in the Bell Tower was sounded at dawn when the city gates were opened, and the drum or the nearby Drum Tower at dusk when the gates closed. The renovated Bell Tower dating from 1384 was moved to its present site in 1582 where it is now encircled by downtown's shopping and commercial centre and stands 118 foot high. Afterwards visit the beautiful mosque near the Drum Tower in Huajue Xiang. Then you’ll set off to visit the lesser known terracotta army. Road workers in the northern suburbs of Xian recently discovered the 2000 year old tomb of Han Yangling, and the site has now opened to tourists in its barely excavated state. Relics from the tomb reveal the cultural characteristics of imperial life from Han Dynasty as well as a miniature set of clay soldiers.

 

After the sightseeing, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Lhasa.

 

Fly Xian to Lhasa on China Eastern Airlines MU2335, departing 11:20, arriving 14:35

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Tibet. Upon arrival at Lhasa Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Welcome to the mystical land of Tibet, a place that for years has been shroud in mystery, hidden and made unreachable by the highest mountain range in the world - the Himalayas. Lhasa The name Lhasa means holy land in Tibetan. On the northern bank of Lhasa River, a tributary of Yarlung Zangbo River, it is 3,650 meters above sea level. It is famous for its long history. Lhasa is also famous as a city of sunshine, for its sunshine of more than 3,000 hours a year. It is the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region and is a political, economic and cultural center of the region. It boasts many historical sites and scenic spots both in its urban areas and outskirts. The Potala Palace and Jokhang, Sera, Ganden monasteries and Drepung Temple are well known at home and abroad.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 4 night in Lhasa

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Four Points by Sheraton Lhasa

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa, St. Regis Lhasa Resort

 

Day 7: Lhasa

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning visit to Drepung, one of the great Gelukpa monasteries. It was once the largest monastery in the world, housing over 10,000 monks and was founded in 1416. The name 'Drepung' means 'rice heap', perhaps a reference to its general appearance but in fact it was named after a Tantric temple in India. It stands at the foot of a mountain about 5 kms west of Lhasa with fine views across the Lhasa valley. The buildings were extended during the first half of the 17th century during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama. It was a monastic university - one of the 'three seats of state' along with Garden and Sera monasteries.

 

Return to the city for lunch, following which you will also visit the Pabonka Monastery, chosen for its more remote location and wonderful lack of other visitors. Afterwards continue to Chagpo Ri, the former site of the Medical Institute and Sera Monastery. The Sera Monastery is erected grandly at a mountain slope with a colorful architecture. Sera's collection of murals is maintained in perfect, original condition. Scriptures written in gold powder, scroll paintings, a tapestry portrait of Jamchen Chojey, and thangkas can be seen throughout Sera. You will also have an opportunity to experience the great Debating Ceremony at the Sera Monastery.

 

Day 8: Lhasa

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning visit to the Potala Palace, the former winter residence of the Dalai Lama and seat of the Tibetan government until 1959. The Potala is a magnificent building of over 1,000 rooms that towers over the Lhasa valley on top of the holy Red Mountain. It is considered to be one of the architectural wonders of the world. The Potala is the official residence of the Dalai Lama, Buddhism's highest ranking priest. He is believed to be both a living god and an incarnation of all previous Dalai Lamas. Construction of the Potala Palace had begun by the 5th Dalai Lama, but it was not completed by the time of his death, in 1682. His regent concealed his death whilst the new Dalai was found [there is an elaborate process involved in locating the new Dalai upon the death of the previous incarnation]. The regent also knew that the workers would never have the heart to complete their work if they knew their beloved leader to be dead, so the regent convinced the entire country that the Dalai had merely gone on a lengthy spiritual retreat for some 20 years, while the new Dalai was raised to adulthood.

 

After lunch, visit the Tibetan Traditional Medicine Hospital where you are introduced to a rather complex but fascinating set of medical beliefs and cures. Afterwards visit Jokhang, the spiritual center of Tibet, and walk around the Bharkhuo, a market street dotted with monasteries.

 

Day 9: Lhasa

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

This morning you will drive out of the city to Ganden Monastery the spiritual home of the Gelpuga sect and set high in the mountains at an altitude of 4500 meters. A visit to Ganden is the highlight of a visit to Tibet. On your return to the town, visit to the Norbulingka, meaning Jewel Park was the Summer Palace of Dalai Lamas. Originally built by the Seventh Dalai Lama in the 18th century, it now covers an area of some 360,000 sq meters (about 89 acres) after successive expansions by the Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Dalai Lamas. Pavilions, gardens, a zoo, lakes and woodland make Norbulangka the perfect place for visitor to relax.

 

Day 10: Lhasa – Chengdu

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Your Tibetan Adventure comes to an end an enjoy time at leisure, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Chengdu.

 

Fly Lhasa to Chengdu on Air China CA4402, departing 12:00, arriving 13:50

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Chengdu. Upon arrival at Chengdu Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Chengdu is well documented for its Panda Research Center and Giant Panda breeding programs the biggest facility of its kind in the world. However, there are many other areas of interest in Chengdu, including Luodai Ancient Town and its spectacular food. Recently designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, there is a never-ending selection of delicious food to choose from. The local people are also very welcoming here and can often be found sipping tea with friends at a local shop house. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Chengdu

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Tibet Hotel, Buddha Zen Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu, Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu

 

Day 11: Chengdu

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Enjoy a full day private guided Chengdu tour, starting with a half-day trip to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. It is estimated that there are between just 700 and 1,000 pandas left in the wild. Writings about the panda can be traced back 3,000 years, and they were once believed to have magical powers that could ward off evil spirits. It is extremely difficult to see the panda in the wild nowadays. The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base has been in operation since 1990 and pandas at the base live in large enclosures designed to resemble their natural habitat, which helps the visitor to understand how these animals live in the wild. The base is dedicated to the research, breeding and conservation of the giant panda as well as keeping the public aware of the status of the endangered species. In addition to the giant panda, visitors will also be able to see its smaller and more active cousin, the red panda.

 

After watching and observing the pandas, travel to the Wenshu Monastery, the best-preserved Buddhist monastery in Chengdu. Some of the highlights include cultural relics, paintings and calligraphy that have been stored here since the Tang and Song dynasties. Continue to Jinli Street, an ancient thoroughfare that dates back to the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). It was the busiest commercial street during the Shu kingdom, as Sichuan Province was called during the Three Kingdoms period, and is known as 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'. Today, the street is popular with tourists who come to see the traditional architecture and old shops selling goods including Shu embroidery, handicrafts, lacquer products and Chinese paintings, and to taste famous local snacks.

 

Evening Sichuan Opera Performance. Enjoy a Sichuan opera performance in one of Chengdu's traditional tea houses. The unique characteristic of the Sichuan opera is the "bian lian" or changing masks.

 

Day 12: Chengdu – Shanghai

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Shanghai.

 

Fly Chengdu to Shanghai on Air China CA4503, departing 13:30, arriving 16:00

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Shanghai. Upon arrival at Shanghai Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Shanghai, Hu for short, is situated on the estuary of Yangtze River of China. It is the largest industrial city in China. Covering an area of 5,800 square kilometers (2,239 square miles), Shanghai has a population of 18.7 million, including 2 million floating population. Originally, Shanghai was a seaside fishing village and in time its gradual development led to it being granted County status on August 19th, 1291 during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Hence this day became the anniversary of the founding of Shanghai. Today’s Shanghai is a multi-cultural metropolis with both modern and traditional Chinese features. Bubbling Shanghai shows off every aspect of her unique glamour. Serving as the largest base of Chinese industrial technology, the important seaport and China’s largest commercial and financial center, shanghai draws the attention of the whole world.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 night in Shanghai 

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Les Suites Orient, Yangtze Boutique Hotel, Shanghai Marriot Hotel City Centre

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Fairmont Peace, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, Peninsula Shanghai

 

Day 13: Shanghai

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today you’ll explore Shanghai’s most famous waterfront Bund, lined with fine colonial buildings from its 1930s heyday when the city was occupied by European, American, and Japanese banks, trading houses, clubs consulates and hotels. These buildings have been restored as a showcase of the city. Next, continue to visit the historic and harmonious Yu Yuan Garden. Within the past turbulent century much of Shanghai's old quarters were destroyed; however what remains gives an interesting insight into Shanghai's past. For the Chinese, gardens were a microcosm in which the skillful gardener who had to combine the qualities of a painter, poet, architect and landscape gardener could construct his own world using minerals, plants and animals in a limited space. Although the Yu Yuan occupies less than two hectares it seems far larger and ingeniously mingles pavilions and corridors, small hills, lotus ponds teeming with goldfish, bridges, winding paths, trees and shrubs. Yu Yuan Garden date from the 16th century, after looking around the garden you will have time to visit the adjoining market or sip tea in the tea pavilion. Continue to the Jade Buddha Temple. Comparatively new (built in 1911), this temple, with its multiple courtyards and levels, is still in active use with dozens of monks in attendance. It is named after its two exquisite milk-white jade Buddhas brought back from Burma in the 19th century.

 

This afternoon, your China tour continues when you get a good introduction to Shanghai at the Shanghai Urban Planning Center showcasing the city's future urban development through detailed models and multimedia displays. Explore the center's exhibits on this historic port city's past, present and future, including a mock-up of 1930s Shanghai; a huge model of what the city might look like in 2020; a 360-degree, 3-D film and more. Then tour the Shanghai Museum, displaying 120,000 works of art and artifacts.

 

This evening enjoy a performance of Chinese Acrobatics show. The impressive acrobatic feats are hardly credible and are a result of early professional training, starting as young as six or seven. Most performers have a minimum of twenty years experience.

 

Day 14: Depart China

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today enjoy time at leisure until you are transferred to the Shanghai airport in time for your flight to your next destination. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.

 

 

Price guideline:

 

The above tour costs from $985*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.

 

*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.

 

Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges.

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary.

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner.

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.

 

The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff

 

 

All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: info@globaltravel-asia.com