Beautiful China and Holy Tibet

15 Days Beijing, Xian, Lhasa and Shanghai Tour with Yangtze River Cruise

This 15-day tour covers China's six cities from east to west. Discover imperial Beijing in Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasty, amazed by the Terracotta warriors and historical treasures in Xi'an, reach the holy Potala Palace, enjoy relaxing pace on the Yangtze River cruise from Chongqing to Yichang. Finish this comprehensive China experience in modern Shanghai, where past and future combined.

You can have the same destinations in three different travel styles. Which one fits your needs?

Map of Beijing-Xian-Shanghai
  • Comfort Trip
  • Discovery Trip
  • Essential Trip
Highlights for Comfort Style
  • Go off the beaten path to the less-visited and best-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China
  • View the incredible Terracotta Warriors and discover the cradle of Chinese ancient culture
  • Stand on the roof of the world and admire the pilgrim's holy palace, Potala
  • Embark on a three-night cruise on the Yangtze River aboard and enjoy changing majestic view outside
  • Experience modern and traditional of the most dynamic city, Shanghai
Suggested Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel:Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)(TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016)

Landing in Beijing, you will be met by your private guide and driver, head to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and recover from the jet-lag. If you would like to go for a walk or check out places nearby, please feel free to ask your guide for recommendations for dinning or places to see.

Day 2City Highlights: the Forbidden City and Hutongs

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

On this day we will discover the mysterious Forbidden City, the world's largest imperial palace. It's said to have 9,999½ forbidden imperial chambers, and was home to 24 emperors in the Ming and Qing dynasties (from 1420 to 1911 AD). Skip the long queues at the entrance. Your guide will lead you to the most popular and the less-crowded parts of the palace, explaining the history

Then move to Tian'anmen Square, where has great cultural significance, having been the site of several key events in Chinese history.

Later, hop on a rickshaw and ride through a maze of hutongs to discover old Beijing neighborhoods. Visit a hutong family and explore a hidden courtyard house. Meet local residents and have a nice chat with them.

The Forbidden City The Forbidden City
Day 3 The Less-Crowded Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Morning Exercises at the Temple of Heaven

As an Imperial Sacrificial Altar, the Temple of Heaven was founded in the first half of the 15th century. Visit the place in the morning to avoid crowds and enjoy local people's morning exercises, such as Tai Chi, ballroom dance, and calligraphy on the ground.

Mutianyu

Then drive about 2.5 hours to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. You can walk along this part and go through the watch towers, enjoy breath-taking views as it snakes across the hills and mountains. It is very flexible in choosing the way to go up and down: walking, cable car, toboggan.

Good to Know

If you prefer three hours hiking, just tell your travel advisor to change the arrangement according to your needs.

The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
Day 4 Visit the Summer Palace and Olympic Stadiums – Flight to Xi'an

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xian South (Deluxe Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

When people mention a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design in Beijing, it must be the Summer Palace. Different from gardens in Suzhou, it has larger scale and more imperial flavor. After visiting the royal garden, you will get close to ordinary people's life at their living quarter: hutongs. Then head to Beijing Olympic Stadiums, stop at the most famous sites: Bird's Nest and Water Cube where athletes created miracles. Next visit 798 Art District to enjoy Chinese modern art.

Evening Flight to Xi'an

On the day you will catch a flight in late afternoon or at night to Xi'an, an ancient capital city.

The Summer Palace The Summer Palace
Day 5 Xi'an – the Must-see Terracotta Warriors

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xian South (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Get ready for the most important place: the Terracotta Army, the soul of the city. You will be amazed by its' large scale, high-techniques, delicate crafts in Qin Dynasty. Viewing the place just like having a conservation with people in more than 2000 years ago.

Drive back to the city to the next attraction: Wild Giant Goose Pagoda, built in 652 during the Tang dynasty. One of the pagoda's many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang.

The Terracotta Army The The Terracotta Army
Day 6 Other Highlights of Xi'an

Hotel: Wyndham Grand Xian South (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

As the capital city of 13 dynasties in China, Xi'an has more than the Terracotta Army. Visit to the Shaanxi History Museum to see over 370,000 historical items that spanning more than one million years.

Biking or walking on the ancient City Wall is a pleasant experience. Stand on the wall and watch the cars and buses go through the ancient brick gates, which is a epitome of the city. Then move to the Muslin Quarter nearby, try some famous local snacks, such as Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup, or Jiasan Steamed Soup Dumplings.

In the afternoon, move to Forest of Stele Museum that was originally built in Northern Song Dynasty (1090 A.D.) when a large Confucian collection of steles cut in A.D. 837 - the oldest existing texts of the Confucian classics - was moved to it for safekeeping. All kinds of calligraphy and scripts tell stories, poems and reports from around the Empire. Other exhibits include early sculptures and objects from Imperial tombs.

The Ancient City Wall and Forest of Stele Museum The Ancient City Wall and Forest of Stele Museum
Day 7 Flight to Lhasa

Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa (Deluxe Room) (TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Guide and driver see you off at Xi'an. Catch the flight to Lhasa which takes about 4½ hours. You will arrive in Tibet in the afternoon. Lhasa is at an altitude of 3,650 meters (12,000 ft). You may experience further altitude sickness in the Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery in the coming day, which have higher altitudes. The rest of the day is for you to take a rest at hotel. The first two days arriving in Tibet, we suggest visitors keep warm, not take a bath, smokers smoke as little as possible, and do not drink alcohol.

Holy Tibet Holy Tibet
Day 8 Lhasa: Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka and Sera Monastery

Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Start your Lhasa tour with the Sera Monastery, comprising a great sutra chanting hall, a college and 32 sections. After lunch, you will visit Norbulingka, the living quarters of the Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of the Potala. It is also called Tibet's Summer Palace, and it means “Jeweled Park” in Tibetan language. With lovely plants in the garden, you may breathe more comfortable due to more oxygen. The last Lhasa tour attraction for today is the famous Drepung Monastery, surrounded by the dark faces of mountains, its grand white buildings stand out shining in the sunlight.

Debating at Drepung Monastery and Norbulingka Debating at Drepung Monastery and Norbulingka
Day 9 Lhasa: Potala Palace, and Barkhor Street

Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Enjoy a classic Lhasa tour visiting the Potala Palace, which is a symbol of peace and a great masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. Ascend to this majestic palace; see exquisite murals, decorated statues, and antiques. The red and white palace buildings combined with pure blue sky are the most iconic picture of Tibet.

Later, step into the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims. Barkhor Street offers you a glance at daily life of the locals.

The Potala Palace The Potala Palace
Day 10 Flight from Lhasa to Chongqing and Get on Board at Night

Hotel: Century Legend on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

This day you will take flight to Chonqing in the morning and have some free time to explore the charming city on your own. If you like spicy food, try hot pot, the famous food in Chongqing. Board the ship from 18:30 to 21:00 and departs Chongqing at 21:30.

The Boat of Century Legend The Boat of Century Legend
Day 11 Shore Excursion to Shibaozhai

Hotel: Century Legend on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Wake up in the morning and learn how to practice Tai Chi with staff. After breakfast, start shore excursion to Shibaozhai that was first built in Qing Dynasty in 1750. It is one historic site that will look much different in 2009 because of rise of water level. The wooden architecture stands on the riverside. It is built by catch upon a rectangular rock with sheer cliffs with a height of 56 meters and 12 stories. And every floor of the wooden structure contains interesting artifacts. Each of the 12 floors of Shibaozhai is dedicated to a famous general of the Three Kingdoms period (220-265AD), a local scholar or a renowned Chinese poet.

At night you are welcome to join the Captain's welcome dinner party and crew cabaret.

Shibaozhai Shibaozhai
Day 12 Shore Excursion to Shennong Stream

Hotel: Century Legend on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Your boat will pass two gorges on this day: Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and sails through the ship-locks. Highlight of this day is shore excursion to Shennong Stream that is another tributary of the Yangtze River, and its fast-flowing, crystal clear water runs southwards through deep gorges. The stream races past large and small karst caves, flocks of swallows, sheer cliffs, deep gorges, waterfalls, three-colored springs, rapids, the ancient plank path, a suspended coffin in the cliff, groups of ancient tombs and marvelous karst formations.

At night there is a captain's farewell banquet.

Good to know

There is an Optional tour to White Emperor City that clings to the hills and cliffs of a peninsular jutting out into the river. At an extra pay of RMB290 per person.

The Shennong Stream The Shennong Stream
Day 13 Shore Excursion to the Three Gorges Dam and Flight to Shanghai

Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

08:00 in the morning start shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam which is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken by man and it has been a dream for several generations of Chinese people. The construction of the dam formally began in 1994. The body of the dam was completed in 2003, and the whole construction has been completed in 2009. It will be 2,335 meters long, 185 meters high, 18 meters wide on the top and 130 meters wide at the bottom. At about 11:00, the boat will cross Xiling Gorge. If you would like to see more, an optional excursion to the hometown of Quyuan is available on the day. Your boat will arrive in Yichang at 12:30pm.

The Three Gorges Dam The Three Gorges Dam
Day 14 Shanghai – Metropolis of East and West

Hotel:Les Suites Orient Bund Shanghai (Bund Studio River View)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

During the day, your guide will show you different aspects of the prosperous city. To learn about history of Shanghai, the Bund witnesses the changes from concession period in Qing Dynasty to modern time. To enjoy gardening art, Yuyuan is a place that you should not miss. To get close to Shanghainese life, Shikumen presents their daily life. To feel the city beat, stand at the top of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, look around, you may not believe this is China.

Good to Know

There are many evening shows in Shanghai, and the most recommended ones involve acrobatics, some of the best in China. Ask your tour guide to help you obtain tickets. This is optional.

Day 15 Shanghai Departure

Meal: Breakfast

How time flies, your 15 days China trip comes to the end. Review what you see, what you feel, keep it as a sweet memory. Your private guide and driver will see you off at the airport, assist you with flight check-in and luggage.

Highlights for Discovery Style
  • Follow our professional hiking guide who spends 200 days on the Great Wall per year
  • Immerse yourself in the mystery of the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an
  • Stand on the roof of the world and admire the pilgrim's holy palace, Potala
  • Embark on a three-night cruise on the Yangtze River aboard and enjoy changing majestic view outside
  • Explore the modern and traditional Shanghai lifestyle
Suggested Itinerary

Covering six cities from east to west, this tour shows different aspects of beautiful China and unveils mystery of Tibet. The Discovery Style offers high-speed train experience from Beijing to Xi'an.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel: Novotel Peace Beijing (Superior Room)

Private Transfer to the Hotel

Arriving in Beijing, fresh your eyes by different atmosphere and views. Your private guide and driver will meet you on time. On the way to your hotel, guide will introduce Beijing generally. Feel free to ask questions if you need. The rest time is for you to relax.

Day 2 Hiking on the Great Wall

Hotel: Novotel Peace Beijing (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

The Hike of a Lifetime

There is a Chinese saying goes: Who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. You will stand on the breath-taking ancient fortification, measure the Great Wall on your own feet. The 3 hours hiking on Gubeikou section is moderate and fit for most of people.

Good to Know

If you do not prefer hiking, or would like to have a short route, we will adjacent according to your needs. Enjoy flexibility of this private tour.

The Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall The Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall
Day 3 City Highlights: the Forbidden City and Hutongs

Hotel: Novotel Peace Beijing (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

After a sound sleep, start the tour from the mysterious Forbidden City, the world's largest imperial palace. It's said to have 9,999½ forbidden imperial chambers, and was home to 24 emperors in the Ming and Qing dynasties (from 1420 to 1911 AD). Skip the long queues at the entrance. Your guide will lead you to the most popular and the less-crowded parts of the palace, explaining the history

Then move to Tian'anmen Square, where has great cultural significance, having been the site of several key events in Chinese history.

Later, hop on a rickshaw and ride through a maze of hutongs to discover old Beijing neighborhoods. Visit a hutong family and explore a hidden courtyard house. Meet local residents and have a nice chat with them.

The Forbidden City The Forbidden City
Day 4 Visit the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven– Train to Xi'an

Hotel: Grand Noble Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Continue highlights in Beijing. Built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, the Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties visited for annual ceremonies of pray for good harvests. Located in the south of Central Beijing, it covers an area of 273 hectares. Temple of Heaven was enrolled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998.

Then move to the Summer Palace, relax at the imperial garden, stroll at the long corridors, listen to the stories of Empress Dragon Cixi.

Guide and driver will see you off at railway station. Catch a soft-sleeper train to Xi'an.

Good to Know:

You are recommended to prepare some snacks and drinks for 6 hours journey on train.

The Summer Palace The Summer Palace
Day 5 Xi'an - The Terracotta Warriors

Hotel: Grand Noble Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Meet the soldiers thousands of years old

Welcome sunshine on train, arrive into Xi'an at about 8 am. Guide and driver meet you at railway station and arrange breakfast for you. You can choose either having breakfast in your hotel or trying local one.

Then head to the Terracotta Warriors Museum to meet the life-sized soldiers and horses. Your guide will introduce the mysterious historical relics with some information that can't be googled.

Drive to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, enjoy the ancient architecture in Tang Dynasty (618-907), learn about its history.

The Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army
Day 6 Other Highlights of Xi'an

Hotel: Grand Noble Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Discover more of Xi'an and China's ancient history at the Shaanxi History Museum and the ancient City Wall, then head to the Muslim Quarter and wander through the alley ways to explore and taste the local Muslim Cuisine, like Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup, or Jiasan Steamed Soup Dumplings.

In the afternoon, move to Forest of Stele Museum that was originally built in Northern Song Dynasty (1090 A.D.) when a large Confucian collection of steles cut in A.D. 837 - the oldest existing texts of the Confucian classics - was moved to it for safekeeping. All kinds of calligraphy and scripts tell stories, poems and reports from around the Empire. Other exhibits include early sculptures and objects from Imperial tombs.

Good to know

China Highlights gives a helping hand to charity and has built a good relationship with the Xi'an Hui Ling Service Station for Intellectual Disabilities (NGO) near the Muslim Quarter. If you would like to know about NGO in China, we are happy to arrange a visit there to see their handicraft workshop and have some interaction with them.

The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall Muslim Quarter and the City Wall
Day 7 Flight to Lhasa

Hotel: Lhasa Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Guide and driver see you off at Xi'an. Catch the flight to Lhasa which takes about 4½ hours. You will arrive in Tibet in the afternoon. Lhasa is at an altitude of 3,650 meters (12,000 ft). You may experience further altitude sickness in the Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery in the coming day, which have higher altitudes. The rest of the day is for you to take a rest at hotel. The first two days arriving in Tibet, we suggest visitors keep warm, not take a bath, smokers smoke as little as possible, and do not drink alcohol.

Holy Tibet Holy Tibet
Day 8Lhasa: Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka and Sera Monastery

Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Start your Lhasa tour with the Sera Monastery, comprising a great sutra chanting hall, a college and 32 sections. After lunch, you will visit Norbulingka, the living quarters of the Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of the Potala. It is also called Tibet's Summer Palace, and it means “Jeweled Park” in Tibetan language. With lovely plants in the garden, you may breathe more comfortable due to more oxygen. The last Lhasa tour attraction for today is the famous Drepung Monastery, surrounded by the dark faces of mountains, its grand white buildings stand out shining in the sunlight.

Debating at Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery Debating at Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery
Day 9 Lhasa: Potala Palace, and Barkhor Street

Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Enjoy a classic Lhasa tour visiting the Potala Palace, which is a symbol of peace and a great masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. Ascend to this majestic palace; see exquisite murals, decorated statues, and antiques. The red and white palace buildings combined with pure blue sky are the most iconic picture of Tibet.

Later, step into the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims. Barkhor Street offers you a glance at daily life of the locals.

The Potala Palace The Potala Palace
Day 10 Flight from Lhasa to Chongqing and Get on Board at Night

Hotel: President 8 on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

This day you will take flight to Chonqing in the morning and have some free time to explore the charming city on your own. If you like spicy food, try hot pot, the famous food in Chongqing. Board the ship from 17:00 to 20:00 and departs Chongqing at 21:00.

The President 8 Boat The President 8
Day 11 Shore Excursion to Shibaozhai

Hotel: President 8 on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Wake up in the morning and learn how to practice Tai Chi with staff. After breakfast, start shore excursion to Shibaozhai that was first built in Qing Dynasty in 1750. It is one historic site that will look much different in 2009 because of rise of water level. The wooden architecture stands on the riverside. It is built by catch upon a rectangular rock with sheer cliffs with a height of 56 meters and 12 stories. And every floor of the wooden structure contains interesting artifacts. Each of the 12 floors of Shibaozhai is dedicated to a famous general of the Three Kingdoms period (220-265AD), a local scholar or a renowned Chinese poet.

At night you are welcome to join the Captain's welcome dinner party and crew cabaret.

Good to know

There is an Optional tour to Fengdu Ghost City at an extra pay of RMB280 per person

Shibaozhai Shibaozhai
Day 12 Shore Excursion to Shennong Stream

Hotel: President 8 on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Your boat will pass two gorges on this day: Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and sails through the ship-locks. Highlight of this day is shore excursion to Shennong Stream that is another tributary of the Yangtze River, and its fast-flowing, crystal clear water runs southwards through deep gorges. The stream races past large and small karst caves, flocks of swallows, sheer cliffs, deep gorges, waterfalls, three-colored springs, rapids, the ancient plank path, a suspended coffin in the cliff, groups of ancient tombs and marvelous karst formations.

At night there is a captain's farewell banquet.

Good to know

There is an Optional tour to White Emperor City that clings to the hills and cliffs of a peninsular jutting out into the river. At an extra pay of RMB280 per person.

The Shennong Stream The Shennong Stream
Day 13 Shore Excursion to the Three Gorges Dam and Flight to Shanghai

Hotel: The Bund Hotel Shanghai (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

08:30 in the morning start shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam which is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken by man and it has been a dream for several generations of Chinese people. The construction of the dam formally began in 1994. The body of the dam was completed in 2003, and the whole construction has been completed in 2009. It will be 2,335 meters long, 185 meters high, 18 meters wide on the top and 130 meters wide at the bottom. At about 11:00, the boat will cross Xiling Gorge. Your boat will arrive in Yichang at 13:00pm.

Catch the flight to Shanghai in the afternoon.

The Three Gorges Dam The Three Gorges Dam
Day 14 Shanghai, Modern Meet Tradition

Hotel: The Bund Hotel Shanghai (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

With the population of 24 million, Shanghai likes a melting pot of different culture. To taste tradition and local culture, your guide will accompany you to Yuyuan, a famous landscape garden and Shikumen where Shanghainese enjoy their daily life. To learn history and future of the city, the Bund and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower are arranged.

Good to Know

There are many evening shows in Shanghai, and the most recommended ones involve acrobatics, some of the best in China. Ask your tour guide to help you obtain tickets. This is optional.

The Yuyuan Garden The Yuyuan Garden
Day 15 Shanghai Departure

Meal: Breakfast

As your China trip comes to end, your tour guide, driver and car will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your departure flight home. The guide will assist you with flight check-in and luggage, and see you off at the security check-point.

Highlights for Essential Style
  • Feast your eyes by visiting the Forbidden City and the Mutianyu Great Wall in one day
  • Try some adventures on your own, but with the backup of our special-award customer support
  • Enjoy a day group tour of Xi'an's iconic Terracotta Warriors and Banpo Museum
  • Visit every must-see sights in Lhasa with a group and
  • Embark on a three-night cruise on the Yangtze River aboard and enjoy changing majestic view outside
  • Worry-free pick-up service in each city and hotel bookings coordinated professionally for you
Suggested Itinerary

The essential style tour package secures you a safe booking of domestic air tickets and hotels to make a worry-free connection in each city. It includes private round-way transfers between airport or railway station to hotels, highlights day-tours in Beijing, Xi'an and Lhasa with the company of your guide and driver. Save your time, so you do not need book everything from different suppliers. This is the style combining convenience and flexibility.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Hotel: Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room)

Private Pick Up and Transfer to Hotel

When your flight arrives at Beijing airport, your driver and guide will be waiting to greet you at the arrival hall and help with your luggage and transfer to hotel by private car. After check-in, your guide will help you ensure everything is in order at your hotel room.

Exploring Beijing

The rest of the day is all yours to relax or explore. Feel free to ask for insider ideas and recommendations from your travel advisor or hotel staff when you arrive in.

Day 2 Highlights: the Forbidden City and the Great Wall

Hotel: Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Today you take a small group tour with a maximum of 6 people in a group. Your guide contacts you the day before departure and picks you up from the hotel lobby. We will have already booked your tickets online so no need to queue in line and waste time, “Skip the line at the amazing Forbidden City (Imperial Palace Museum). In the morning, walk around Tian'anmen Square with an insider's insight.

In the afternoon, your guide and driver will escort you to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Avoid the morning crowds to enjoy a 2-hour Great Wall Hike with return cable car. You also have free portable Wi-Fi anytime and anywhere. This is a smartly-timed arrangement with absolutely no shop visiting. You can have confidence with our money-back guarantee. ”

The Forbidden City and the Mutianyu Great Wall The Forbidden City and the Mutianyu Great Wall
Day 3 A Full Free Day in Beijing

Hotel: Dongfang Hotel Beijing (Standard Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Beijing – DIY Free Day

Today you will explore the city in your own way and at your own pace. Classic highlights include the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace and hutongs. You can get between these sites conveniently using public transport like the subway, buses or taxis.

Day 4 Free Time in Beijing & Overnight Train to Xi'an

Hotel: Overnight Train (Soft Sleeper) Beijing to Xi'an

Breakfast

Beijing – DIY Free Daytime.

After visiting major attractions on the previous day, you are recommended to explore some special or leisure place like 798 Art District, Houhai, or Nanluoguxiang.

Overnight Train to Xi'an

Get your own transport to the train station and board the overnight train heading for Xi'an. If you need help to transfer to the railway station, please inform your travel advisor to add this in. To ensure your comfort, we will book soft sleeper tickets on the direct high speed train Z19 (20:43-07:58), with a maximum of 4 people in one compartment. Make sure to arrive at the train station at least one hour before departure time, and you may want to pack some bottled water and snacks for your train ride.

Day 5 Arrive in Xi'an

Hotel:Titan Times Hotel Xian (Standard Suite ) Your train is expected to arrive at Xi'an around 8:00 in the morning. You will be picked up at the station by your guide, driver and car, and transferred to your hotel. You can take a rest on the day or walk around your hotel.

Day 6 Xi'an – the Iconic Terracotta Warriors

Hotel: Titan Times Hotel Xian (Standard Suite )

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Your guide and driver will meet you at hotel lobby and join in a one-day group tour to The Terracotta Warriors that have been buried underground guarding the lavish Emperor Qin Shihuang for thousands of years. With the introduction from your tour guide, you will get to know their history and stories.

After lunch at a popular Chinese restaurant, drive to Banpo Museum where remains a 6000 year old Neolithic community discovered in 1953.

The Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army
Day 7Flight to Lhasa

Hotel: Yak Hotel (Standard Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Guide and driver see you off at Xi'an. Catch the flight to Lhasa which takes about 4½ hours. You will arrive in Tibet in the afternoon. Lhasa is at an altitude of 3,650 meters (12,000 ft). You may experience further altitude sickness in the Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery in the coming day, which have higher altitudes. The rest of the day is for you to take a rest at hotel. The first two days arriving in Tibet, we suggest visitors keep warm, not take a bath, smokers smoke as little as possible, and do not drink alcohol.

Holy Tibet Holy Tibet
Day 8 Lhasa: Group Tour to Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street

Hotel: Yak Hotel (Standard Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

In the morning visit the famous Potala palace and explore the grandest of these myriad chapels. Afternoon you will visit the holist temple in Tibet, the Johkang Temple, and at Barkor Kora, which is the most famous Kora in Tibet, you can buy Tibetan traditional or religious suviniors.

The Potala Palace The Potala Palace
Day 9Lhasa: Group Tour to Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery

Hotel: Yak Hotel (Standard Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

On this day, you will visit two important monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. If you are very lucky, you may even come across Sera Monastery's Monks debiting which was held in the courtyard at around 3:00-5:30 in the afternoon.

Monks at Drepung Monastery Monks at Drepung Monastery
Day 10 Flight from Lhasa to Chongqing and Get on Board at Night

Hotel: President 1 on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

This day you will take flight to Chonqing in the morning and have some free time to explore the charming city on your own. If you like spicy food, try hot pot, the famous food in Chongqing. Board the ship from 17:00 to 20:00 and departs Chongqing at 21:00.

The President 1 The President 1
Day 11 Shore Excursion to Shibaozhai

Hotel: President 1 on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Wake up in the morning and learn how to practice Tai Chi with staff. After breakfast, start shore excursion to Shibaozhai that was first built in Qing Dynasty in 1750. It is one historic site that will look much different in 2009 because of rise of water level. The wooden architecture stands on the riverside. It is built by catch upon a rectangular rock with sheer cliffs with a height of 56 meters and 12 stories. And every floor of the wooden structure contains interesting artifacts. Each of the 12 floors of Shibaozhai is dedicated to a famous general of the Three Kingdoms period (220-265AD), a local scholar or a renowned Chinese poet.

At night you are welcome to join the Captain's welcome dinner party and crew cabaret.

Shibaozhai Shibaozhai
Day 12 Shore Excursion to Shennong Stream

Hotel: President 1 on Board (Deluxe Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Your boat will pass two gorges on this day: Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and sails through the ship-locks. Highlight of this day is shore excursion to Shennong Stream that is another tributary of the Yangtze River, and its fast-flowing, crystal clear water runs southwards through deep gorges. The stream races past large and small karst caves, flocks of swallows, sheer cliffs, deep gorges, waterfalls, three-colored springs, rapids, the ancient plank path, a suspended coffin in the cliff, groups of ancient tombs and marvelous karst formations.

At night there is a captain's farewell banquet.

Good to know

There is an Optional tour to White Emperor City that clings to the hills and cliffs of a peninsular jutting out into the river. At an extra pay of RMB290 per person.

The Shennong Stream The Shennong Stream
Day 13 Shore Excursion to the Three Gorges Dam and Train to Shanghai

Hotel: Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast

08:00 in the morning start shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam which is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken by man and it has been a dream for several generations of Chinese people. The construction of the dam formally began in 1994. The body of the dam was completed in 2003, and the whole construction has been completed in 2009. It will be 2,335 meters long, 185 meters high, 18 meters wide on the top and 130 meters wide at the bottom. At about 11:00, the boat will cross Xiling Gorge. If you would like to see more, an optional excursion to the hometown of Quyuan is available on the day. Your boat will arrive in Yichang at 12:30pm.

Catch a high-speed train to Shanghai in the afternoon. It takes about 8 hours and arrive in Shanghai at about 23:30.

The Three Gorges Dam The Three Gorges Dam
Day 14 Shanghai Free Day

Hotel: Kingtown Hotel Plaza Shanghai (Superior Room)

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

The convenient and efficient public transport in Shanghai will get you to attractions that you don't want to miss – possibly the Bund, Jade Buddha Temple, or Yuyuan Garden. You can get a bird's eye view of the city at Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and if you like history, visit Shanghai History Museum on the lower floors of the tower.

Day 15 Shanghai Departure

Meal: Breakfast

As your China trip comes to end, your tour guide, driver and car will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your departure flight home. The guide will assist you with flight check-in and luggage, and see you off at the security check-point.

What's Included
  • Entrance to attractions listed in the itinerary
  • Tibet Permit
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transfers between the airport or railway station, attractions, ports, and hotels
  • Private local English-speaking tour guide and driver service (except tips based on your willingness)
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast and service fee
  • Specified domestic flights, trains, and Cruise
Trip Notes

Extension based on the tour

Extend the tour:

  • Guilin: add 3-4 days - Li River cruise, Yangshuo and Longji Terrace Feilds
  • Chengdu: add 2–3 days — visit a Panda Research Center, the Giant Buddha, and Mt. Emei
  • Suzhou and Hangzhou: add 2–4 days — visit scenic gardens, West Lake, and water towns
  • Hong Kong: add 2–3 days — visit Victoria Peak, Disneyland, and day-tour Macau

Tibet Entry Permit

You need a Tibet Entry Permit and it is included in the tour price. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will deal with your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.

Altitude Sickness

Nearly all tourists entering Tibet experience altitude sickness. For some the effects are strong, but for most it is just an inconvenience. Before your trip, ask your doctor for suggestions, and bring some medicine in case.

Extensions

Please feel free to ask your trip advisor to make itinerary changes and even extend your tour while you're planning it. We also offer tours to other parts of Tibet and China. If you want to visit Yamdrok Lake and Shigatse, Tsetang, or the Nyingchi area, you need to extend your tour by 2–3 days for each destination.

Wifi on Board and Upgrade

Wifi is available on boat with extra RMB200 per person per voyage (The signal at lobby is the strongest.) If you would like to Upgrade to VIP restaurant: RMB300 per person per voyage (VIP restaurant is more quiet, private and not crowded.

Optional Activities

It must be clearly understood that enjoying these extras is your own decision. They are not included in the itinerary or tour price, so you will need to pay separately. The ticket price depends on seating. Ask your guide to book tickets if you want to see any of the following.

  • Beijing — Legend of Kungfu Show
  • Xi'an — Tang Dynasty Cultural Show plus Dumpling Banquet
  • Shanghai — Chinese Acrobats Show

More Trip Information

Want to learn more about this trip? Please click here to see details about traveling in China, booking, payment and responsible travel.