16 days Mysterious Tibet Lhasa tour with Yangtze cruise

Beijing
⇀ Xi'an
⇀ Lhasa
⇀ Tsedang
⇀ Lhasa
⇀ Chongqing
⇀ Yangtze Cruise
⇀ Shanghai
Experience the best of China and Tibet with our 16-day tour. Explore top cities Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai, as well as famous monasteries in Lhasa. Take a fascinating Yangtze River cruise and discover unspoiled natural scenery at every
Type
Private
Duration
16 days
Theme
1st Time travel to China, Culture and Heritage, Natural scenery, Yangtze cruise
Trip code
CTT-04
Price
From CN¥ 15,800 per person

This tour combines a marvelous Tibet trip and a wonderful Yangtze River cruise. Have a great time with exploring the highest plateau in the world, viewing the unspoiled natural world along Yangzte River and more. Have an in depth understanding of the Han and Tibetan, two different cultures as you stop at five highlight cities in China. Your journey is full of memories. 

Day 01 :
Arrive Beijing

Start your 16-day tour to mysterious Tibet, a memorable Yangtze cruise and more upon your arrival in Beijing. This modern capital is a famous ancient city that holds the keys to many rich tourism sites. Be greeted by our local guide and driver at the airport and get settled into your downtown hotel. The rest of the day is left free for you to relax or just walk around the city, easily ask your Travel Advisor or local guide for some advice about the place to go.

Day 02 :
Beijing City Tour

This morning you will visit Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. After breakfast, head to Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing city. The square, regarded as the largest in the world, is an important place for Chinese people to hold a celebration or other big occasions. At the north end of the square, you will see the magnificent Forbidden City, an ancient palace complex where 24 emperors had lived and worked during Ming an Qing Dynasty. Enter directly into the Forbidden City, and learn about the detailed history of the city and what life was once like for the emperors, empress and their servants who used to live here from your guide.

Then proceed to Jingshan Park where to enjoy a panoramic view of Forbidden city. 

In the afternoon drive to visit the old part of Beijing city - Beiluoguoxiang, here you will have a chance to experience the traditional Beijing Hutong culture. Take a traditional rickshaw riding through the various Hutongs and to get an understanding of the old local manners and customs from your local guide. 

In the evening, you might consider to savor the world famous Beijing roast duck or another local specialty for dinner.

Day 03 :
Beijing Great Wall Tour - High-speed Train to Xi'an

Start today's tour by heading to Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the greatest world heritage sites in China. As one of the best section to have a glimpse of Great Wall, Mutianyu gains its fame for its spectacular scenery of the walling presenting a shape of the soaring dragon to stretch along with the majestic mountain ranges. Take two or three hours to walk along the wall, and the cable car is also available for those who do not like hiking.

In the afternoon, drive to the railway station and take the high-speed train to Xi'an (about 4.5 hours drive), another famous ancient capital in China.

Day 04 :
Xi'an Terracotta Warriors Tour

Today's schedule will start from the eighth wonder of the world, Terracotta Warriors and Horses. This incredible life-size army was one part of the first emperor in China, Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum, used for help Qin Shi Huang rule in his afterlife. At present, you can still see their distinct facial expressions and positions orderly arranged in battle formations.

In the afternoon, drive back to Xi'an city and take a walk along the Xi'an City Wall to discover the glorious history of this ancient capital of 13 dynasties from every brick and tile. Then, stroll through Shuyuan Men, a famous ancient street jam-packed with small shops selling traditional arts and crafts. The last attraction you will visit today is the Muslim Quarter, take a walk in the Muslim Quarter to explore Chinese Muslim culture in Xi'an and try different snacks.

Day 05 :
One Day Excursion Trip to Mount Huashan(B)

In the morning, your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel around 08:00 and transfer you to Mount Huashan, a 2-hour journey. Upon arrival, a tourist bus takes you to the West Peak cable car station, where you'll enjoy a 20-minute ride to the peak, offering stunning mountain views. The West Peak, known for its natural beauty and lotus-shaped rock, is a highlight along with attractions like Cuiyun Palace and the Self-sacrifice Cliff.

Next, you'll hike for about an hour to the Middle Peak, a small extension of the East Peak, now considered a main peak of Huashan. The journey continues to the North Peak, requiring a 2-hour hike down through scenic spots like the Golden Lock Pass and the adventurous Black Dragon Ridge. The North Peak offers spectacular sunset views and a bird's-eye view of the surrounding peaks. The day concludes with a cable car ride down from the North Peak and a return transfer to your hotel in Xi’an.

P.S. If you prefer not to trek too much, you can choose to only go from the West Peak to the Middle Peak, then return to the West Peak to take the cable car down.

Day 06 :
Flight from Xi'an to Lhasa - Drive to Tsedang

Morning drive to Xi'an Xianyang Airport for the flight to Lhasa, the flight will take over 3 hours. Upon arrival, you will be driven to Tsedang, a small town which is located 87 km. (48 mi.) from Lhasa Gonggar Airport. The rest of today is left free for you to start acclimatizing the high altitude, your mysterious Tibet tour will start tomorrow. 

Day 07 :
Tsedang Sightseeings - Drive to Lhasa

After breakfast, head to the Yongbulakang Palace, which is regarded as the first palace in Tibet. The palace is situated in the hinterland of the Yarlung Valley, with the meaning of palace like a doe's leg on a mountain slope. Here you will have a good chance to see the fascinating scenery of Yarlung Valley. 

Afterwards, take a visit to Samye Monastery, which is the first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet. The same with the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the layout design of this monastery was also based on the ideal universe described in the Buddhist scriptures, compared with these two places, you will learn some different and unique characteristics between Chinese traditional culture and Tibetan Buddhism culture. In the late afternoon, drive back to Lhasa city, and check into the hotel for preparing the next day. 

Day 08 :
Lhasa City Tour

After breakfast, head to the heart of Lhasa city, you will see the magnificent Potala Palace standing on the side of Marpo Ri (Red Mountain). The whole palace was designed like a fortress, composed of the Red Palace on the top and the White Palace at the bottom. In ancient time, Potala Palace was used for the living quarters of Dalai Lama and many other religious functions. 

In the afternoon, take a visit to Jokhang Temple, which is the holy shrine for all the Tibetan Buddhists. Standing at the roof of Jokhang you will have an excellent view of Barkhor square and the Potala Palace in the distance. You can also see many pilgrims prostrating themselves at the entrance of the temple. The street around Jokhang Temple is called Barkhor, the most important Kora for pilgrims, as well as the most famous shopping street for visitors. End the trip today by walking around this street and visiting one local family in Lhasa. 

Day 09 :
One Day Tour to Ganden Monastery - Return to Visit Sera Monastery

Today you will visit two famous Gelugpa Sect monasteries in and near Lhasa city, Ganden Monastery and Sera Monastery. Ganden Monastery is the first one that was built by the founder of Gelugpa Sect himself. and now is well known for its Kora. While walking along the path, you will see many pilgrims and monks offering prayers, rubbing holy rocks and prostrating themselves.

Sera Monastery is famous for its debating. The debating is usually set within a stone-walled natural courtyard every afternoon, where you will see some monks clap their hand and debate the Buddhism scriptures, it is an old tradition in Tibetan Buddhism. 

Day 10 :
Free Exploration, Afternoon Fly to Chongqing, Board the Yangtze Cruise

Morning free explore Lhasa on your own, then Lhasa airport drop off and fly to Chongqing in the afternoon. Your Chongqing driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to board on the cruise ship in the late afternoon. At 21:30 your memorable Yangtze River begins. Spend the next three days on Yangtze cruise and enjoy the breathtaking attractions along the Yangtze River. 

Day 11 :
Yangtze River Cruise with Shore Excursions to Mountain Shuanggui or Shibaozhai Wooden Pagoda (B, L, D)

Taking a Yangtze River Cruise might be the best way to explore the breathtaking natural landscapes and cultural heritage along the Yangtze River.

Morning take a shore excursion to Mountain Shuanggui near Fengdu. Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion may be substituted to Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda. Continue the cruise on Yangtze River. Dinner and Supper are offered on board. 

Optional shore excursions today (fee on your own): 
Depending on the river conditions, there is an optional shore excursion to Fengdu ghost city, Fengdu is an ancient town where you can experience the world of the afterlife in Chinese ghost folktales. Wreathed with numerous statues and interspersed by temples, the whole scenic area is a treasure house of art that combines the culture of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. 

Day 12 :
Yangtze River Cruise - Enter the Three Gorges with Small Gorges of Goddess Stream (B,L,D)

In the early morning, you have the option to join an optional shore excursion to the historical and cultural site of White Emperor City (additional fee applies). This renowned location offers stunning views of the Kuimen scenery and is often referred to as the "City of Poems." Immerse yourself in the rich history and soak in the breathtaking landscapes that surround you. Alternatively, you can choose to enjoy leisure time onboard the ship, relaxing and taking in the tranquil ambiance.

Afterwards, return to the cruise and sail through the spectacular Three Gorges. Begin the passage with Qutang Gorge, the shortest and the grandest among three gorges. Have a glimpse of the exquisite peaks and grotesquely shaped rocks along the two banks of Yangtze River. Then pass the Wu Gorge, considered to be the most beautiful one where you will have a graceful view of the lofty and misty peaks. 

Later, you'll transfer to smaller boat for a delightful excursion through the enchanting gorges of either Goddess Stream (Shennv Stream) or, depending on river conditions, Shennong Stream. Experience the natural beauty and serenity of these captivating gorges. Finally, return to the cruise to continue your journey through Xiling Gorge, which holds the title of being the longest (41 miles) and deepest of the Three Gorges.

Day 13 :
Yangtze River Cruise - Visit Three Gorges Dam - Flight to Shanghai (B)

Disembark this morning and take a tour of the Three Gorges Dam, the grandest hydroelectric project in the world, which spans the Yangtze River at Sandouping in Xiling Gorge. The dam is designed to provide a huge source of hydropower for China and control the flood. After morning sightseeing, You will be provided a motor coach transfer to nearby Yichang by Cruise company. Upon arrival at Yichang, our Yichang local guide or driver will greeted and assisted you to Yichang airport for the flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival at Shanghai, airport picking up and transfer to your hotel.
​​​
Optional shore excursions today (fee on your own): 

An additional optional shore excursion is also available (preceding the Three Gorges Dam tour) through the recently- completed unique ship lock with a ship lift, the world’s largest.

Day 14 :
Shanghai City Tour

In the morning, cross the Huangpu River and head to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower located at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong District. Recognized globally as the official landmark of Shanghai, it offers breathtaking views of the city and the Huangpu River. Next, visit Yu Garden, a beautiful garden established by a Ming Dynasty government officer, renowned for its intricate layout, stunning pavilions, and extensive use of rockeries and water features that capture the essence of nature. Afterwards, explore Shanghai Old Street to gain insights into Shanghai's history.

After lunch, head to Xintiandi in the French Concession. Originally the site of the first congress of China's Communist Party, it is now a vibrant cultural center of Shanghai featuring cafes, bars, bookstores, and boutiques.

Finally, experience the historical charm of the Bund along the Huangpu River. Your day tour in Shanghai ends at Nanjing Road, which offers a bustling shopping experience. 

In the evening you might consider to enjoy a spectacular Chinese Acrobatics show (available only on weekends) or take an evening cruise along the Huangpu River to enjoy the night view of the Bund (additional fee). Overnight stay in Shanghai.

Day 15 :
Drive from Shanghai to Suzhou - Suzhou Sightseeing - Return to Shanghai

After breakfast, take a private car to Suzhou, a beautiful city that is famous for its ancient gardens, the drive will take over one hour. Upon arrival, head to the Humble Administrator's Garden, a natural and elegant garden that has almost 500 years of history. Every building and pavilions in the garden are meticulously placed and each has wonderful stories about them, you will have no idea what the surprise you will see next while walking in the garden. Afterward, have a cruise on the Grand Canal,  the longest canal or artificial river in the world.

In the afternoon, take a visit to Lingering Garden, another ancient garden in Suzhou. The same with the Humble Administrator's Garden, you will also be rewarded with scenes more splendid than the one you were just in while visiting in the garden, and this is one of the main characteristics of Suzhou gardens.

Day 16 :
Shanghai Send Off

Your fantastic tour will come to an end today. Drive to the airport and railway station and say farewell to your local guide. Wish you have a pleasant journey home.

Tour notes:

Please note prices are based in CNY.

General inclusions:

2 bottles of mineral water provided daily.
All required government taxes and fees.
All required Tibet permits and domestic travel documents.
Where possible 3 star hotels will always be provided, if the city or town does not have then the local guest house or monastery guest house will be provided (i.e. tent / dormitory bed, no private bathroom etc.)
The hotel accommodation is based on two persons sharing one standard twin room with private facilities in all relevant locations. If a single client requests a twin room alone, the single room supplement will be charged.
Local Tibetan guide fluent in English, Chinese or Japanese that is certified by the state tourism build. (If your native language is not listed please let us know, we are certain we can assist your needs.)
Airport and/or train station pick-up and drop-off.
All domestic flight and train tickets. Economy-class for flights and soft sleeper / seat for train tickets.
Transportation will we be provided via a comfortable and clean car, minivan or tourist bus depending upon the groups size.
Meals as remarked in the itinerary. (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

General exclusions:

Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, internet access, fax, telephone calls etc.
Tips for your guide and driver.
Optional Attractions that are not specified in the itinerary.
Flight and/or railway ticket(s) to the first city of the tour and departure from the last city of the tour.
Meals not specified in the itinerary.

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