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China Discovery Tour with Tibet and Yangtze River Cruise

With thousands of years of history, diverse cultures and all kinds of landscapes, China offers a wide spectrum of amazing destinations and unique experiences to explore.

The China discovery itinerary is a perfect combination of culture, nature and relaxation. It will allow you to travel across China - from the historic Beijing and Xian with many ancient wonders, and then the holy city of Lhasa and Chengdu, the hometown of giant pandas, to Shanghai, after a luxurious Yangtze River cruise vacation.

CCT Advantages:

  • 1. Get to know the legendary history of the Great Wall – one of the miracles on earth;
  • 2. Visit the enormous Forbidden City, and ancient Chinese emperors’ striking gardens and religious site;
  • 3. Meet Terracotta Warriors in person, and ride a bike through China’s longest ancient city wall;
  • 4. Venture to Tibet, and visit the Potala Palace and the ancient temples and shrines in Lhasa;
  • 5. See the pandas, and unwind in Chengdu, the land of ease, with teas and delicacies;
  • 6. Sock up the breathtaking scenery on Yangtze cruise and admire ancient Chinese architectures;
  • 7. Explore the cultural heart of Shanghai, where the historical buildings, gardens are as appealing as its modern ornate skyscrapers.

16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 1, Arrive Beijing

Meals: No Meals

Hello, welcome to Beijing, China! The capital city Beijing is an international and modern city, while at the same time boasting numerous ancient sites. After transferring to your hotel, you may explore Beijing a bit yourself.

Recommended hotels:

  • - Beijing luxury hotels: Four Seasons, Peninsula, Hilton Beijing Wangfujing, Regent Beijing or similar
  • - Beijing boutique hotels: Double Happiness Beijing Courtyard Hotel or similar
16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 2, Forbidden City, Beijing Hutong Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Travel back in time to visit the Old Beijing. Cross the Tiananmen Square to the see the portrait of Chairman Mao and then walk intothe Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, converted from the perfectly-preserved Ming and Qing Imperial Palace. Get to know its history and admire the beautiful architecture and cultural treasures. Your guide will also lead you to climbJingshan Hillfor a full view of Forbidden City.

In the afternoon, take a rickshaw ride through the crisscross hutong. The winding, narrow lanes are lined with traditional courtyards, where you can see the friendly locals are playing chess, selling traditional snacks, and the dogs and cats enjoying quiet and sweet time.

SavorBeijing Roast Duckfor dinner(optional).

16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 3, Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall of China

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

The altars for rulers of Ming and Qing Dynasty to pray for a prosperous year, Temple of Heaven is the most spectacular religious building in China and the finest example of Ming Architecture.

One of the most remarkable ancient man-made projects on earth, the Great Wall like a giant flying dragon traversing the mountains of north China. Ascend Mutianyu Great Wall (cable way included) and imagine how ancient people fought and survived during wars with this barrier.

See a Kung Fu evening Show to experience Shaolin martial arts (optional).

16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 4, Summer Palace, Beijing to Xian by Bullet Train

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

The riverside Summer Palace was a royal garden and a summer resort for the emperors of Qing Dynasty. Appreciate its imposing architectures and beautiful landscapes when walking around, and take a boat at Kunming Lake for relaxation.

Enjoy a high speed train journey to Xian, one of the four great ancient capitals of China and ever witnessed the historical prosperity of Silk Road.

16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 5, Terracotta Warriors, Xian Old City Wall

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit the Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses, which is actually an ancient tomb to house the big “army” of Emperor Qinshihuang. The life-sized terracotta figures were perfectly carved and the replacement of human sacrifices in the feudal society.

Tour the Old City Wall of Xian, or known as the Ming Dynasty City Wall dating to 600 years ago. Ascend the Wall hung with red lanterns through one of its 18 gates, and see the watching towers, and other historical buildings.

Explore the bustling Muslim Quarter, a famous food street with a dazzling array of local snacks to taste, and lined with both Muslim and traditional Chinese buildings.

Recommended hotels:

  • - Xian luxury hotels: Wyndham Grand Xian South, Gran Meliá Xian, Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel or similar
  • - Xian boutique hotels: Grand Mercure Xi'an on Renmin Square or similar
16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 6, Dumpling Making Experience, Xian to Lhasa by Flight

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Admire Big Wild Goose Pagoda inside Ci'en Temple - used to be the most famous and grandest temple in ancient Xian and built to keep the Buddhist classics brought back from India by Xuanzang. Thereafter, learn to make and cook dumpling at a local family. Dumpling is the most popular traditional Chinese food, easy to make, and tastes delicious.

Fly to Lhasa, the highest land in the world. Acclimate the new climate, relax, and listen to your guide’s advice on how to prevent altitude sickness.

Recommended hotels:

  • - Lhasa luxury hotels: Shangri-La, St. Regis or similar
  • - Lhasa boutique hotels: Shambhala Palace, House of Shambhala or similar
16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 7, Norbulingka, Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit Norbulingka, the Summer Palace in Lhasa for Dalai Lama to cool off in summer. Apart from its beautiful architecture, this Tibetan style garden boasts over 100 species of plants, with some that are transplanted from the Himalaya.

Then admire Sera Monastery, which is one of the six great monasteries of the gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. There are numerous Tibetan Buddhism relics including thousands of Buddha sculptures. Also visit Drepung Monastery, the biggest temple in Tibet and one of the most beautiful examples of Tibetan Buddhist architecture.

16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 8, Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Go on a pilgrimage to Potala Palace, the signature highlight of a Tibet tour. It is the largest ancient castle complex in Tibet that incorporates palaces and temples, and has the highest elevation (at 3700m). Walk between its red and white places to appreciate its art and culture valuables.

Then visit Jokhang Temple. Built 1300 years ago during the Tubo Period, it is the extant earliest civil structure construction, and also blends the architecture style of ancient China, Nepal and India. It is because of Jokhang Temple that Lhasa is honored as the holy city.

Afterwards, roam around the Barkhor Street, known as the “sacred way” among Tibetans, where the traditional dwellings are well kept and the peaceful traditional lifestyle can be experienced.

16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 9, Lhasa to Chengdu by Flight

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Free at leisure in Lhasa. You may explore the city yourself and bask under a truly blue sky. Transfer to the airport and fly to Chengdu – an energetic modern city but full of cultural relics. Moreover, it is the native place of giant pandas.

Recommended hotels:

  • - Chengdu luxury hotels: The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu or similar
  • - Chengdu boutique hotels: BuddhaZen Hotel or similar
16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 10, Chengdu Panda Base, Wuhou Ancestral Hall, Jinli Ancient Street

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy a happy morning with the adorable giant pandas at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center. Get to know the knowledge of giant panda and see them having breakfast and playing on the grassland.

Then visit a Three Kingdom Period (220-280) historical site. The Wuhou Ancestral Hall, a temple to memorize Emperor Liubei and the legendary “Zhuge Liang”, is the only one in China that a monarch and his minster are worshiped at the same temple.

Later have a brisk stroll through Jinli Old Street featuring cobbled alleys, ancient architectures, quaint tea houses and traditional handicrafts shops.

16 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Chengdu Yangtze and Shanghai Tour

Day 11, Chengdu Tea Experience, Chengdu to Chongqing by Bullet Train

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Experience Chengdu’s laidback atmosphere and glimpse local lifestyle at Chengdu People’s Park. The scenic park is very popular among locals who drink tea and enjoy playing chess, playing mahjong or other activities. Savor a cup of tea at a quaint, elegant teahouse and have chance to see the unique Sichuan tea ceremony.

Visit Du Fu Cottage, a shrine for scholars in history, as it is the former resident of Du Fu, one of ancient China’s greatest poets.

Take bullet train to Chongqing, pick up and transfer to the Chaotianmen Pier. Go on aboard Yangtze cruise ship. You can choose a standard five star ship or the best ship name Yangzi Explorer.

Beijing Xian and Shanghai Tour

Day 12, Yangtze River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a refreshing morning with tea or coffee, and clean air. Participate in the onboard leisure or cultural activities, such as Tai Chi practice (taught by a master) and attending the lecture of Yangtze River history. In the afternoon go ashore to visit Shibaozhai Pagoda, a spectacular wooden architecture wonder beside Yangtze River, with a history of about 400 years.

Enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Party with great foods and drinks, and entertaining performances.

Optional shore excursion today: Fengdu Ghost City, the “home of the dead” for over 2000 years.

Beijing Xian and Shanghai Tour

Day 13, Yangtze River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Relax at the spacious sun deck and take in the beautiful “Three Gorge” landscape when sailing through Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. And take small boats to slide into Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream) with primitive and serene natural scenery, and encounter local ethnic minority tribes.

Free at leisure and enjoy a delightful evening with Captain’s Farewell Party.

Optional shore excursion to White Emperor City is recommended to Chinese culture enthusiasts. It is known as a city of poem and boasts a wealth of Ming and Qing dynasties architectures.

Beijing Xian and Shanghai Tour

Day 14, Yichang, Flight to Shanghai

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast on board, check out and disembark. Before your Yangtze cruise finally ends, transfer toThree Gorge Dam, a highlight of the cruise voyage, to wonder at the largest hydropower project in the world.

Meet your local guide of Yichang and transfer to Sanyou Cave Cliff. Three famous poets traveled and wrote poems on the cliff in this karst cave in Tang Dynasty, hence the name. Outside the cave, there are also other cultural relics.

Fly to Shanghai and melt into its enticing night view.

Recommended hotels:

  • - Shanghai luxury hotels: Peace Hotel, Les Suites Orient Bund, Peninsula or similar
  • - Shanghai boutique hotels: Hotel Indigo on the Bund, The Yangtze Boutique or similar
Beijing Xian and Shanghai Tour

Day 15, Shanghai Culture and Art Discovery

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit Shanghai Museum, collecting ancient Chinese culture and art treasures. Ancient bronze ceramics and works of calligraphy and painting are the highlights of the museum.

Then experience traditional Chinese horticulture at the Ming Dynasty Yu Garden, where the ancient structures with carved eaves, windows and gates are well preserved. Shanghai’s old streets, known as the Town God Temple area, embrace Yu Garden with beautiful Qing Dynasty buildings, food stalls and souvenir shops.

Thereafter, see “the Universal Expo of architectures” on the Bund – the 52 colonial architectures of different styles have become a symbol of Shanghai. Ascend Shanghai World Financial Center to overlook the Huangpu River and Shanghai’s skyline.

Enjoy the wonderful Shanghai acrobaticsshow at night (optional).

Beijing Xian and Shanghai Tour

Day 16, Depart Shanghai

Meals: Breakfast

It is the end of your China discovery holiday. Meet your private guide and driver at hotel for a transfer to the airport. Fly back home safely.

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**Price per person per day Excludes Int'l Airfare but includes domestic airfare/train, excellent guide, private transfer, breakfast, fine lunch,some featured dinners, entrance fee, etc.

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