Golden Triangle & Tibet by Train
18-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Xiahe, Lhasa, Chengdu, Shanghai Tour
We make it possible to combine a visit to Tibet with the Pandas and classic sights of the Three Great Cities: Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai on this multi-destination tour.
- Overnight Train from Lanzhou to Lhasa
- Climb the Great Wall for a breathtaking view
- Magnificent underground Terracotta Army
- Vast grasslands at Xiahe
- Memorable tour of Tibet
- Meet the lovely pandas in the Panda Breeding and Research Center
- See breathtaking skyline on top of Shanghai World Financial Center
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
I had an amazing two trips on the Great Wall and the Forbidden City with the guide Ivy during my stay in China. She was very helpful and answered all of our questions with an enthusiastic approach. I have nothing to say but to highly recommend the trips they offer on the Great Wall hiking/camping and also the in-depth Forbidden City tour! Thank you Ivy and China Highlights.more
May 2023, Serhat Altay
Amazing First Time to Beijing with China Highlights
Tom, my private tour guide was there when I landed and accompanied me all the way through to sending me off at the airport after check-in at the end of my trip. Zhao the driver, who also did all the driving during my trip, was calm, confident and knowledgeable in taking us around. Both Tom and Zhao were punctual too. The Great Wall of China Hike I wanted to do started in a very remote, unrestored part of the wall. This would not had been possible without Tom problem solving many issues we had on the way up and I could not have done this on my own a a foreigner. It was well worth the effort and probably the highlight of my trip.The remainder of the tour around Tiananmen Square, Forbidden Kingdom and The Temple of Heaven was paired with a detailed commentary by Tom of which I learnt a lot.more
May 2023, Munsie
Beijing - city of surprises
A fantastic guide was waiting for us - Jack, who told all the stories with passion and commitment. He also fulfilled those wishes that were not in the plan. I highly recommend visiting Beijing with this guide.more
May 2023, Joanna i Piotr Kuzebscy
Liu Yuan was a superb guide and a lot…
Liu Yuan was a superb guide and a lot of fun to spend time with during my first visit to Beijing. It was a wonderful intensive three days.more
May 2023, Pam S.
Great weather and a good trip out with Lily!
Many thanks to my guide Lily for customising the trip to make it as efficient and enjoyable as possible. She arranged to start an hour earlier to beat the crowd and I got to enjoy the Great Wall before the crowd streamed in and while the weather was cool. I requested to switch the next attraction to visit from Temple of Heaven to Ming Tomb and she not only accommodated the prompt request, but made all the necessary arrangements even before the trip coordinator managed to reply! Kudos! Our driver was jovial and friendly, always on top of traffic conditions and took detours to beat slow moving traffic. Hassle free day and I wouldn’t have been able to cover the two attractions so easily and comfortably without them!more
May 2023, Meibao
This was our first time traveling to Beijing
This was our first time traveling to China, so we really wanted to experience some of the major historical sights of Beijing together with a tour guide. Our itinerary was very carefully planned out according to our interests and tailored to our needs. First, we went camping on the Great Wall and hiked from Jiankou to Mutianyu, and the next day we got an in-depth tour of the Forbidden City as well as a tour of the Temple of Heaven and a taiji experience in the gardens. Our tour guide, Ivy, was truly wonderful in preparing and organizing our personalized itinerary. She is very friendly and knowledgeable, and she was always able and willing to answer all of our questions. Ivy provided us with a truly amazing first visit to China and I would warmly recommend China Highlights for everyone who wishes to travel to China and I would especially recommend Ivy as a tour guide for your trips!more
May 2023, Annalina Wheeler
Tom is the BEST tour guide EVER!
Just had the most AMAZING tour with Tom. He was beyond knowledgeable, so generous with his time and made me feel so at ease which was super important as I am travelling by myself. Thank you Tom for the best day-you have totally made my China trip a fabulous experience, one I will never forget!more
May 2023, SHARRYN HINCHLIFFFE
Superb service and wonderful time in Beijing
Superb service from Jack who were with us for 4 wonderful days in Beijing. Jack was clearly knowledgeable about the history and able to deliver insight information to us about places. He was also kind and accommodating to my mother who has bad knees. Both China Highlights and Jack were flexible about the itinerary to ensure that we enjoy the best of Beijing. We'll definitely use China Highlights' services again for our next trip to China.more
May 2023, Chani
First time booking a trip with China Highlights and was fortunate to have Sunny as my private tour guide. We went to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, then arrived and walked around Gubei Water Town, and then visited the Simatai portion of the Great Wall at night. Was a very enjoyable trip as we were able to see a night time drone show in the sky, ride a private boat through the canals of the Gubei Water Town, and eat a delicious lunch at a local restaurant along the way. Sunny is super knowledgeable when it comes to the history of the Great Wall and took the time to explain various interesting facts and stories which made the trip very meaningful. The driver we had was also a very nice man who was always on time and eager to help. Was an unforgettable experience and would highly recommend Sunny and China Highlights :)more
May 2023, Allen C
Tour to the great wall from the airport
My guide Tom was ver kind and knowlegable, he explained everything to me about the great wall and even went out of his way to help me the next day at Bejings downtown! amazing service!!! thank you so much Tom!more
May 2023, Fer Villasefior
Great tour, fantastic guide!
This tour was fantastic! I loved hearing about the history of the Forbidden City and admiring the views at the Great Wall. William was a fantastic tour guide. We were a group of families with several young children, and he was very accommodating and flexible with timing and arrangements. I totally recommend this tour and William as a guide!more
May 2023, Ryan Corless
Four excellent sightseeing days in Beijing
We had wonderful four days in Beijing. The entire trip was tailored exactly to our wishes. From experiencing local food, to exploring the major sites of the city up to hiking the great wall of China. Additionally, we had two amazing guides Ina and Fan taking care of all the tickets and coordination required. Also, they could not only tell us everything about the sights we visited and give us an insight to local customs and traditions, but they did so in perfect German. The chauffeur service from Mr Chang was also excellent, getting us from A to B without any hazzle. The past couple of days were one of the most carefree trips we have had so far.more
May 2023, Katha
Great tour from William
Great tour organized by China highlights, our tour guide was William - his knowledge was impressive, his English was great and he was always on time. We did the four day tour including the wall and forbidden city - would definitely recommend to anyone looking for an English tour guide.more
Apr 2023, Lawrence
Beijing 2 day private tour
The tour itself was great, private driver to and from, my guide Ivy was great English speaking guide. She was very knowledgeable and passionate about her country. Was a great time exploring the Great Wall of china and then my second day did a city tour (forbidden city, hutong tour, summer palace). Felt extremely safe, and was confident having an English guide. Thank you china highlights. (Provide them what you want and they’ll make it happen). Prices are reasonable as I looked at a few places but for private tour, my own schedule, and confidence of getting around safely you can’t go wrong.more
Apr 2023, Mark
Everything was to the vest standard, the history all very well explained by the Tour Guide in Beijing, Ivy. Really enjoyed it, and appreciated the time.more
Apr 2023, Jonathan
Amazing Beijing Experience
I had an amazing time in Beijing and glad Tom was my tour guide. He went above and beyond and I’m truly grateful. Tom did all that he could to ensure my stay in Beijing for two days was pleasant and thanks to him, I say that it was. The driver was also nice and courteous, I called him Jon. The company is blessed to have a good tour guide like Tom on their team so if you are planning to come down to Beijing, make sure you ask for Tom. Thank you Christy and Kimmy for replying all my emails with questions that I had.more
Apr 2023, Pedro V
We had a great experience with China Highlights and Roger was highly efficient and helpful planning our itinerary exactly how we needed.more
Apr 2023, Brenda Sarmanho
Excellent service and tour guide!!
Excellent service and communication from the travel agent Roger Li and amazing tour and experience of Great Wall of China from our tour guide Amber. Highly recommended!more
Apr 2023, Evangelos Athanasopoulos
Maggie was such a tremendous help for…
Maggie was such a tremendous help for our recent Beijing trip. Very prompt and helpful in helping us plan and adjust/amend to our requests.more
Apr 2023, Hi
We travelled first to Beijing for a few days before moving on to Wuhan for the wedding and then for a few days in Guilin along with my son and daughter in law. It was a great trip and all went smothly with the help of the guides we had along the way. William in Beijing and Jenny in Guilin were excellent. Chas in HK was also very helpful in getting us to the right place and the right time to fly home.more
Apr 2023, Alan Harris
On your arrival for your epic journey you will be met at the airport by your personal guide, who will take you to the hotel. If you need any advice, tips or help please just ask your guide. Our car and driver take care of your luggage and make sure you arrive more refreshed.
Your first day starts as early or late as you desire, your guide will pick you up in a private vehicle and take you to the Mutianyu Great Wall section, the most popular section with overseas tourists. The drive is quite long but the views of countryside are charming, and your guide will use the time to tell you about the historical aspects, so you can just take it in when you get the top. A cable car ride is available, or you can take a chair lift. Hepingmen Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant has a great reputation for their take on this classic dish, we would have made a reservation and duck order for tonight.
The day is packed with the best Beijing has to offer, starting with the enormous Tiananmen Square, where human size seems to shrink next to the mausoleum of the venerable Mao. The Forbidden City continues to make dwarfs of men, astounding not only with its size, but the intricate decorations rich with symbolism. Your guide will tell you more. There is also the Hall of Clocks and Watches, an altogether more earthly collection of the last Emperors, beautifully displayed and set to chime together at certain times of the day.
The Temple of Heaven ends the eventful day, the afternoon sun peaking through the ancient pine trees and glistening on the white marble of the ceremonial walkways and gilded roofs of the temple buildings.
Before settling of to your next destination, Xi'an, you have time for a visit to a local family in the Hutong district. The rickshaw ride lets you take in the narrow alleyways in comfort, and stop to look at doorways and hear the stories of what the designs mean, unlocking knowledge of the first owner.
The Terracotta Warriors and Horses guarded the emperor's tomb for two millennia before they were discovered, and there is still much to be unearthed in this burial complex. The warriors each have unique features and are exquisitely detailed; yet they are only clay. The riches yet to be found must be unparalleled.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda is an ancient symbol of Xi'an, made famous by centuries of pilgrims to the nearby Da Ci'en Temple.
Shaanxi History Museum tells of the history in this ancient capital of the nation through beautifully displayed artifacts. Your guide will explain how different eras link together. The Ancient City Wall on the other hand emphasizes the strategic importance of this Silk Road destination through its size; it's more a road on top of a castle than a mere wall. A bike or rickshaw ride lets you see more in shorter time.
The Great Mosque is truly remarkable due to combining of Chinese architecture with Islamic tradition. The descendants of the merchants on Silk Road still worship here.
Transfer to the airport and take flight to Lanzhou, which takes about one hour. Upon arrival, meet your local guide and transfer to hotel for check-in.
The visually stunning Yellow Hat Sect of the Tibetan Buddhism has its most important monastery in Xiahe, the Labrang Monastery. We will arrange an English speaking monk will show you around the halls and explain the stunning works of art housed here. The view of yaks roaming in the Songke Grassland amid green pastures is something to behold. In this area nomadic people still can be found singing their traditional songs, this is often one of the highlights of any visit to Tibet.
The day is spent getting from Xiahe to Lanzhou in a private car and then boarding an overnight train to Lhasa early evening. Your guide will see you settled in for the journey before saying goodbye.
You will arrive in Lhasa late in the evening and can relax in the safe knowledge that you will be met at the station by a friendly guide who will take you straight to your hotel.
Norbulingka was the summer palace of Dalai Lamas, and has largest garden in Tibet. Sera Monastery, founded in 1419, is one of the main monasteries and houses the 'daily debates', where novice monks learn doctrines. Drepung Monastery was founded around the same time and was he home to Dalai Lamas in ancient times. The famous Shonton Festival is held here.
Potala Palace is the defining feature of Lhasa; the red and white palaces create a formidable sight looming over the city. Jokhang Temple, although smaller, is just as impressive as the religious center of Tibetan Buddhism, and where visitors flock to light yak butter lamps. Barkhor Street surrounding the temple is not only a pilgrim path but a hub of activity, with shops and stalls selling all manner of goods. There is no better place to observe people from different areas of Tibet, all in their distinct clothing.
On the drive to Shigatse, the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, you will pass Yomdrok Lake. It is a brilliantly blue alpine sanctuary, where thousands of swans stop each summer. The Palgor Chorten, also called Palcho Monastery, is a unique design among other monasteries, and has one of the most famous stupas, a religious structure built to house relics.
Tashilunpo Monastery is historically and culturally significant because Panchen Lama, the second highest of Lamas, resides here, and a priceless gilded bronze Buddha statue resides here.
Your guide will escort you to Lhasa airport for your flight to Chengdu, where you will have some free time after transfer your hotel.
Wu Hou Temple has lovely gardens surrounding the delightful halls celebrating the memory of Zhu Geliang, an imperial grand councilor in ancient China. Jinli Old Street has been known since ancient times as a commercial hub and celebrates tradition with shops full of food and local delicacies. Visit to Panda Breeding and Research Center is the reason why many people come to Chengdu; these delightful creatures are sure to not disappoint.
Good to Know:
The Panda Breeding and Research Center has a donation program which allows you to take pictures holding a panda for about one minute by donating CNY 2,000 Yuan (for reference only). Only 20 tourists are allowed to hold pandas a day. If you want to hold a panda, please tell your travel advisor or tour guide in advance because you must book it at least one week in advance. This program is subject to the availability of pandas on that day. Please bring enough CNY cash as payment by credit card is not accepted there.
After your morning flight to Shanghai, your guise will take you to lunch, and then to explore two of the most famous roads: Nanjing Road and the Bund. The former is a shopper's paradise, the latter a living museum of the city's European influence. We recommend staying in the Bund to wait for dusk; the view is quite spectacular.
Yuyuan Garden is a slice of Ming Dynasty elegance in the middle of metropolis. Once a private garden of a high ranking official, it is now a haven of green for ordinary people. Yuyuan Market in the surrounding streets celebrates the common hobby of people here: shopping. City God Temple is a Taoist complex, somehow very appropriately named. Jade Buddha Temple is named after two statues of Buddha, carved from rare single blocks of white jade adorned with precious stones, is extremely popular, and therefore a great place to people watch and observe customs. The Shanghai World Financial Center celebrates the success of modern Shanghai, and has a viewing deck at 474m above ground for fabulous views of the cityscape.
1. Tailoring your tour
This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, extend or shorten it to suit your price, interest and schedule. Feel free to tell us your requirements, and we are happy to help you arrange with our professional knowledge and experience.
2. Taking trains in China
Arrive at the correct train station at least 30 minutes before departure time. You are required to do a security check before entering the train station, and there's a 5-8 minute walk from ticket gate to the platform. There may be long stairs and slopes without escalator, so it is suggested that you pack light.
Bring some food and drinks for the ride, which come less in varieties and higher in prices on the train. Bring toilet tissues as it is not provided onboard.
Keep your train ticket in place. It might be checked again during the ride and at the exit of train station.
3. Traveling in Tibet
Besides a China visa, you will need to apply for Tibet Travel Permit to enter and tour Tibet. Working with approved Tibet tour operators, China Highlights is able to assist you to obtain all of the above documents if you book a Tibet tour with us.
Monasteries: Smoking is not allowed when visiting monasteries. Dress properly, not in shorts or sunglasses. Do not touch the heads of people with your hands. Do not try to debate with lamas about their lives and religions. Do not enter monasteries without permission.
Photography: Taking photos of Buddha statues is not allowed in most Tibetan monasteries. Ask for permission first before taking pictures of other people in the Barkhor areas. Sometimes they will ask you for money, but most of the time it is ok to give them a little gift.
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