16 days China highlights and Tibet tour from Beijing

⇀ Xi'an
⇀ Xining
⇀ Lhasa
⇀ Chengdu
⇀ Shanghai
This China Tibet tour from Beijing provides a soft train experience on the highest plateau of the world. View the spectacular landscapes of Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, stop at two beautiful lakes- Qinghai Lake and Namtso and more awaits!
16 days
1st Time travel to China, Culture and Heritage, Natural scenery, Train travel
Trip code
From CN¥ 16,830 per person
CN¥ 15,300
you save CN¥ 1,530 (10%)
Start this memorable China Tibet tour from Beijing and explore some of the top cities and attractions that China has to offer, including the Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, the Giant Pandas in Chengdu, and the modern city of Shanghai, as well as a trip to Tibet. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring views of the highest plateau in the world, the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, as you take a comfortable train ride to Lhasa. Explore famous spots in and around Lhasa city to learn about Tibetan Buddhism and culture and much more.
Day 01 :
Arrive Beijing

Welcome to Beijing, the capital city in China, your wonderful Beijing Tibet tour starts here. As one of the most famous ancient cities, Beijing holds rich historical heritage and tourism resources, traveling around this city will give a sense that you are twisting a kaleidoscope which mixes the modern city life with ancient culture.

Once upon arrival at the airport or railway station, be greeted and assisted to your hotel by a local guide and driver, take a break for the rest of the day or easily explore this ancient city on your own, your local guide will be pleased to offer suggestions on where to go or what to do your first night in Beijing.

Day 02 :
Beijing City Highlight Tour (B)

Start today's tour with a guided visit to Tiananmen Square, which is regarded as the biggest public square in the world. The square is located in the center of Beijing city, indicating it as the symbolic center to Chinese people. 

Afterward, go straight to the north end of Tiananmen Square and visit the magnificent Forbidden City, which was the dwelling palace to two dynasties of emperors and got its name as it was off limits for 500 years. Now it serves as a museum to present an incredibly large collection of preserved ancient wooden structures and countless historical treasures. 
Another worthwhile morning destination is Jingshan Park, behind the Forbidden City. Climb to the top for a magnificent panorama view of this capital city and princely views over the russet roofing of Forbidden City.  

After lunch, drive to the Summer Palace, a royal garden built during Qing dynasty. Here be impressed by the awe-inspiring landscape design and architectures, which combines the natural landscape of rolling hills and open waterways with many elegant pavilions, temples, and bridges. Together with Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace is declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

In the evening, you can choose to enjoy one of the cultural - Kongfu Show at Red Theatre or Peking opera at Liyuan Theatre (Entrance tickets on your own). 

Day 03 :
Day Tour to Beijing Mutianyua Great Wall (B)

Early morning visit the Temple of Heaven, a holy place for the emperors during Ming and Qing Dynasties to pray to the God of Heaven for good harvest. Seen from above, the temple halls are round and the bases square, shapes respectively symbolizing heaven and the earth. Morning is considered as a good time to visit Temple of Heaven as seniors go there for morning exercises with traditional music, dancing and Taichi, etc.. 
Afterwards, drive about 2 hours to visit Mutianyu Great Wall with breathtaking views of rolling mountains. Comparison with Badaling, Mutianyu Great Wall is less crowded and you will have oppotunity to see both restored and un-restored walls. We always suggest our clients head east towards Tower One where they can enjoy the wonderful restored wall and after a short walk to get to the un-restored sections. 

While standing atop the watchtowers and seeing the wall winding its way across the mountains, you will immerse yourself into the majestic scenery and admire the wisdom of ancient Chinese people. During your visit, the cable car is also available for those who require assistance in reaching the wall, also the cable car or Toboggan is for your choice to get down of the wall.

Day 04 :
Beijing Cultural Hutong Tour - Board the high-speed train to Xi'an (B)

You will have the opportunity to explore the ancient Hutong culture on your last day in Beijing. After breakfast, head to Yonghegong, also known as the Lama Temple, considered the largest and best-preserved lamasery in Beijing. It's worth visiting for its atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

Then, head to the Shichahai Area and visit a 300-year-old courtyard. With the assistance of your English-speaking tour guide, you will learn about the history, culture, and layout of Beijing's courtyard and Hutongs. Talk with local residents to gain direct insights into these historical places. Experience the life of local Beijingers by taking a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs.

After being dropped off at the Silver Ingot Bridge (Yinding Bridge), walk along the old Tobacco Pipe Lean Street (Yandai Xiejie), which has a history of over 800 years, and stop at the Drum Tower to view the surrounding Hutongs and traditional courtyards from above.

After lunch, board the early afternoon train to Xi'an (about a 4-5 hour journey). Upon arrival in Xi'an, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Xi'an.

Day 05 :
Xi'an Terracotta Warriors Day Tour (B)

This morning, make an excursion trip to the Terracotta Warriors in the northeast countryside of Xi'an. It's hard to imagine this subterranean life-size army of thousands has stood guard over the soul of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang for over 2,000 years, and this is why the site is also called as the Eighth Wonder of the World.

After lunch, head back to downtown and pay a visit to Xi'an City Wall, one of the oldest and best-preserved city wall in China. To visit the city wall, you can choose to explore it on foot or by bicycle. If you are interested in artwork and crafts, then just get down at the South gate of City Wall and visit Shuyuan Men Cultural Street, it is a place that jammed with many shops for selling delicate traditional art crafts. 
Afterwards head to Muslim Quarter, the hub of the Muslim community in Xi'an, and is famous for its mosques, Beiyuanmen Moslem market featuring delicious food and souvenirs. 
In the evening you can choose to enjoy a cultural show of Tang Dynasty Dance and Music or learning how to make dumplings at one of the local families.

Day 06 :
Another half day Xi'an City Tour - High speed train to Xining (B)

Today you will start another half day tour to visit Xi'an, firstly drive to visit Beilin Museum (Forest of Stone Steles Museum), it is a treasure trove of Chinese calligraphy, historical documents, and stone carvings, housing over 3,000 steles.

Next for today is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the most famous landmark in Xi'an. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a preserved ancient building which was built in 652 AD to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from India. Atop of the pagoda it offers a bird's eye view of Xi'an city. 

After lunch, drop you off at Xi'an train station for the high speed train to Xining (about 4.5 hours train ride). Upon arrival, be greeted and assisted to your hotel by the local Xining guide and driver. 

Day 07 :
Day excursion to Qinghai Lake- Board the train to Lhasa (B)

Today make an excursion to Qinghai Lake, the largest salt lake which often serves as the symbolic midway point between Tibet and Mongolia in China. The lake is a gift that is endowed by nature, and you will agree or disagree once you witness the incredible natural beauty around the lake. 

In the late afternoon or evening, board the overnight train for your journey to Lhasa. The Cabins are pressurized and double glazed for the comfort of the passengers as it ascends into the high altitude of Tibet.

Day 08 :
Enjoy the Stunning Landscapes of Tibet Railway - Arrive Lhasa (B)

On the train to Lhasa, you will have a perfect glimpse of the magnificent Tibetan Plateau, see groups of nomads with their yaks, and view the rugged but beautiful Kekexili Nature Reserve. Arrive in Lhasa in the evening, and then be assisted to your hotel by the local guide to take a good rest for acclimatizing to the high altitude.

Day 09 :
Lhasa Monasteries Day Tour (B)

Since it's your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, you will only be arranged to visit two renowned monasteries: Drepung Monastery in the morning and Sera Monastery in the afternoon.

Drepung Monastery was once the world's largest and the governmental seat before the Potala Palace, historically housed up to 10,000 monks. It's renowned for its significant role in Tibetan culture, religion, and education.

Sera Monastery is another the great Gelug university monasteries of Tibet. Renowned for its lively monk debates between 3 pm to 5 pm (daily except on Sunday) on Buddhist philosophy, the monastery is an important center for learning and culture.Your guide will provide a detailed explanation of how Tibetan monks participate in debates to acquire knowledge and progress in their academic studies.
Rest of the today is on your own exploration or acclimazation. 

Day 10 :
Lhasa City Tour - Walking Tour (B)

In the morning start your Lhasa city highlight tour to visit Potala Palace, the landmark of Lhasa city. The palace can be declared as an architectural miracle even by modern standards, it rises 13 stories and contains more than 1,000 rooms. The layout of Potala Palace includes the White Palace, used for the living quarters of the Dalai Lama, and the Red Palace, used for religious functions. Now Potala Palace serves as a holy shrine to Tibetan Buddhism believers.Then proceed to visit Jokhang temple in old part of Lhasa, this 1,300-year-old Temple is the most scared one in Tibetan Buddhism, houses a significant Shakyamuni Buddha statue and melds Tibetan, Indian, and Nepalese designs. It's a vital pilgrimage destination, drawing worshippers from Tibet and beyond to its revered statue.
The Barkhor Street, a renowned Kora (holy walking path) encircling the Jokhang Temple, is constantly bustling with Tibetan faithful. Visitors will discover the unique experience of mingling with local pilgrims along Barkhor Street. It also serves as a vibrant shopping district, offering the perfect opportunity to purchase gifts for your loved ones.

Following your sightseeing adventures, join your guide at one of Lhasa's most vibrant Tibetan sweet tea houses. Here, you can enjoy sipping traditional Tibetan sweet tea while sitting among local Tibetans. Your guide will provide valuable insights into Tibetan social dynamics and daily life, offering a deeper understanding of the culture.

Day 11 :
One day Excursion to Namtso Lake (B)

You need an early breakfast today for the day tour to Namtso Lake. On the way to get there, have a distance view of the Nyenchen Thanglha snow mountain ranges and Northern Tibetan grassland. Namtso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and is also called as sky lake by locals. The lake is also regarded as the highest salt lake in the world. Once get there, take several hours to walk along the lakeshore and enjoy the charming natural scenery on the highest plateau of the world. Afternoon drive back to Lhasa, on the way back, you will be arranged to visit one nomad family, experience the local life and taste the local food.
Note: Namtso Lake is normally closed to tourists in winter season starting from mid of Oct. till the next end of March or early of April due to too much snow at the high pass. During this time, we normally arrange Yamdrok Tso Lake instead.  

Day 12 :
Fly to Chengdu / Free exploration in Chengdu on your own (B)

Morning head to the airport and say farewell to your Lhasa local guide, then take a flight to Chengdu, the flight will take over 2 hours. Upon arrival, you will be picked up by your local driver (only driver no guide) and transferred to the hotel in the downtown. Afternoon freely exploration on your own. 

Day 13 :
Morning Visit Chengdu Panda Base - Afternoon fly to Shanghai (B)

Morning around 7:30 to 8:00, to be met at your hotel and drive to Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. See the morning feeding of the adorable pandas and spend time and get up close with the panda, one of the rarest animals in China. Now the giant panda only lives in Sichuan Province mountain ranges in central China and cultivation centers like the Chengdu Panda Base.Then you will have some time to watch the film to know the panda daily life. 

After lunch, drive to the airport for the flight to Shanghai, your Shanghai local guide will meet you there and help you check in the hotel, then take a break in the rest of the day. 

Day 14 :
Shanghai City Tour (B)

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 :
One Day Free in Shanghai (B)

Today is left open and flexible for you to explore Shanghai on your own. You can spend the day shopping or just walking around to get a better understanding of the city. Please easily ask your local guide for some suggestions on where to go and what to see. 

Day 16 :
Departure from Shanghai (B)

After breakfast, be escorted to the airport and ready for the departure. Wish you have a pleasant journey home, and WindhorseTour is happily to assist you in extending your tour within China.

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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