16 days Beijing to Tibet tour - China's three golden cities and Tibet discovery tour
Welcome to Beijing, the first destination of your 16-day Beijing to Tibet tour. Upon arrival at the airport, our guide will meet and assist you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to take a break or explore the city on your own. Your Travel Advisor and local guide will be happy to provide suggestions on where to go and what to see around your hotel.
This morning, you will walk through Tiananmen Square and then visit the magnificent Forbidden City. With thousands of royal wooden structures and historical relics, the Forbidden City will transport you back 500 years to explore the prosperous lives of Chinese ancient emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Next, you will visit the Temple of Heaven, a religious site used for imperial ceremonies during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Every structure in the temple was designed based on strict Feng Shui requirements and has symbolic meanings, typically representing Heaven and Earth in Chinese culture.
Afternoon, you will head to the Summer Palace, a 300-year-old royal garden that is the most well-preserved and has the richest landscapes and impressive garden buildings.
Start today's tour with a visit to the splendid Mutianyu Great Wall which is located among the orchards and pines in the mountains to the north of Beijing city. Take 2 to 3 hours to walk along the wall and enjoy the scenery. Climb to the top of watchtowers for a glimpse of the spectacular wall, which presents the shape of a soaring Chinese dragon stretching along the breathtaking mountain ranges.
After lunch, drive back to Beijing city and explore the ancient Beijing Hutong culture with an excursion to Beiluoguoxiang. Learn about some cultures and the characteristic layout of the Chinese ancient courtyard from your local guide while visiting. You will also take a traditional rickshaw ride through the various Hutongs and get to know about old Beijing's manners and customs.
In the morning, you will be driven to the airport for your flight to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Your local guide will be waiting for you at the airport to assist you in checking into your hotel, located near Jokhang Temple. Since Lhasa is located over 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) above sea level, the rest of the day will be left free for you to acclimatize to the high altitude. If you have any questions, please let your guide know so that we can assist you at any time.
On the way from the airport to the hotel, you will be able to enjoy the spectacular plateau scenery and observe flocks of black-necked cranes, wild ducks, and many other kinds of wild birds.
A morning visit to the Potala Palace, the religious center of Tibetan Buddhism for centuries. The giant architecture looks like an ancient fortress, which includes the White Palace used for the living quarters of the Dalai Lama, and the Red Palace used for religious functions. Being the landmark of Lhasa, the Potala Palace will impress you with its simple but grand exterior, as well as the exquisite interiors covered with beautiful frescoes and priceless works of art.
Next, head to the Jokhang Temple located in the center of Lhasa city. The Jokhang Temple is probably the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists. At the entrance of the temple, you will see waves of awestruck pilgrims prostrating themselves while praying for their gods. The street around Jokhang Temple is the famous Barkhor, where you can also see pilgrims circumambulating the street clockwise, always keeping the temple to their right. Besides, Barkhor is the main shopping street in Lhasa, offering traditional arts and crafts.
Begin your day by heading to the Ganden Monastery, which is situated on the southern bank of the Lhasa River, approximately 60 km (37 mi) from Lhasa city. It is one of the earliest and most important Gelugpa Sect monasteries, also known as the "great three." The monastery's Kora is famous, and along the way, you will encounter numerous pilgrims and monks who offer prayers, rub holy rocks, and prostrate themselves along the path.
In the afternoon, return to Lhasa city and continue your tour by visiting the Sera Monastery, another Gelugpa Sect monastery well-known for its debating tradition. The debates usually take place in a natural courtyard enclosed by stone walls every afternoon, where you will witness monks clapping their hands and engaging in debates on the Buddhist scriptures.
Today, you will be heading to visit Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. The journey will take about seven hours by car, with many breathtaking attractions to see along the way. Your first stop will be at Kambala Pass, where you can catch a glimpse of Yamdrok Lake, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. The lake lies several hundred meters below the road's surface, and on clear days, it is a stunning shade of deep turquoise-blue.
After that, you will continue driving along the Friendship Highway, which is the main road from China to Nepal, and make your way to Gyantse, a small town famous for its wool and wood productions. Here, you will visit the Gyantse Kumbum, a majestic white building with nine tiers and over 100 chapels. You can also take a stroll around Gyantse Old City Area to see if there are any interesting local souvenirs you'd like to buy. In the late afternoon, you will arrive in Shigatse.
Today, you will be driven to Rongbuk Monastery to witness the majestic Mount Everest. You will cross over Gyatsola Pass, the first place where you can catch a glimpse of the spectacular Mount Everest, the world's highest peak. Then, you will stop at Shegar for the checkpoint. Afterward, you will cross over Gawu La Pass, which is an excellent location to see the magnificent peaks that are all over 8,000 m (26,247 ft) in altitude in the Himalayan Ranges. You will have a chance to take some photos at the pass, so make sure to bring your camera.
Once you arrive, you will take the local sightseeing bus to reach Rongbuk Monastery and E.B.C (Everest Base Camp). Mount Everest is one of the world's most awe-inspiring sights, making the trek a perfect experience. You will see the splendid sunset of Mount Everest, which will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.
Depending on the weather, you may have the opportunity to witness the sunrise at Mount Everest early in the morning. It will be an unforgettable sight that you have never seen before. Afterward, you will take a private car and drive back to Shigatse.
Today, you will spend the day visiting several attractions in Shigatse city. After breakfast, you will head to the Tashilhunpo Monastery, which was once the seat of the Panchen Lama. Above the white monastic quarters of the monastery, you will see a crowd of ochre buildings topped with gold, which are the tombs of the past Panchen Lamas. The Kora outside the monastery is also worth seeing during your visit.
Next, you will visit the old Shigatse Market, a place jammed with many small shops selling local crafts. In the afternoon, you will drive back to Lhasa and rest at the downtown hotel.
You will drive to the airport for your departure to Xi'an. The flight will take a little over 3 hours. Upon arrival, your Xi'an local guide will warmly greet you and assist you in getting settled into the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or explore this ancient capital city on your own.
In the morning, you will drive about 40 minutes into the countryside of Xi'an to visit the world-famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses. As you step into the museum, you will be impressed by the sight of the figurine army lined up in neat formation for protecting the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. It is a masterpiece of ancient Chinese art that will capture your admiration with its grandeur and magnificence.
In the afternoon, you will drive back to Xi'an city and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is the most famous landmark of Xi'an. This square pyramid structure stands at a height of 64 m. (210 ft.), and you can climb to the top for a fantastic view of the entire city of Xi'an.
Afterwards, you will visit the Great Mosque, a charming blend of Chinese and Islamic architecture that offers insight into the Chinese Muslim culture in Xi'an. Next to the mosque is the Muslim Quarters, where you can shop for souvenirs or antiques for your friends.
In the morning, visit the Shaanxi History Museum, which is the most comprehensive museum showcasing ancient China in all aspects and a great place to learn about Chinese history. Afterward, visit the Xi'an City Wall. It was once part of the military defense system during the Ming Dynasty. You can walk along the wall and enjoy the view of local people singing and playing games in the gardens surrounding the wall.
In the afternoon, visit Shuyuan Men, a famous area filled with shops selling delicate traditional arts and crafts. Afterward, drive to Xianyang Airport for a flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, your guide will meet you at the airport and assist you in checking into the hotel.
Start your wonderful day with a sightseeing tour of Yu Garden, a peaceful and comfortable place in the center of bustling Shanghai. The garden is one of the most classic gardens in the southern region due to its outstanding layout design and unique pavilions, ponds, and cloisters, all of which retain their historical appearance from 500 years ago. Next to the garden is a market where you can find many antiques and souvenirs for sale.
Afterwards, head to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall to gain a deep understanding of the city's future scale plan. Then visit the Shanghai World Financial Center and catch a glimpse of one of the tallest buildings in the world. After that, take a walk along Nanjing Road and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Bund.
Today's itinerary includes a visit to Zhujiajiao, a charming water town located in the suburb of Shanghai. With a history of over 1,700 years, this town is famous for its numerous rivers, 36 stone bridges, and well-preserved ancient buildings that still line the riverbanks today. After exploring the town, return to Shanghai in the afternoon for some free time to shop, explore, or relax.
After breakfast, you will be escorted to the airport to prepare for your departure. We hope you have had a pleasant journey and wish you a safe trip home. If you have any specific requirements for this Beijing to Tibet tour, please let us know and we will do our best to adjust it to meet all your needs.