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China World Heritages and Architectures Tour

A mix of ancient architectural wonders, breathtaking natural landscape, and ancient temples and shrines with spiritual serenity, China’s UNESCO listed World Cultural and Natural Heritages satisfy travelers of any kind. This 3 weeks luxurious China tour allows you to explore the very best that this mysterious oriental country has to offer, from the royal architectures in Beijing to the legendry museum of Terra-Cotta Warriors in Xian, from the sacred majestic temples & palaces in Lhasa and Chengde to Sichuan’s treasures – giant pandas and the wondrous Jiuzhaigou.

CCT Advantages:

  • 1. Visit UNESCO World Heritages in Beijing – the Great Wall extending on serene mountaintop, Forbidden City, one of world’s most famous ancient palaces, Temple of Heaven and Summer Place;
  • 2. Discover the real Beijing, traversing narrow hutong alleys on a rickshaw;
  • 3. Tour Chengde with its beautiful temple complexes and the UNESCO World Heritage - Mountain Resort;
  • 4. Explore Xian, China’s prosperous ancient capital and visit UNESCO protected Terra-cotta Warriors;
  • 5. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Tibet highlands and UNSECO listed Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple;
  • 6. Explore Mount Qingcheng, the ancient Irrigation System and giant pandas’ natural inhabit in Dujiangyan – protected by UNESCO;
  • 7. Take in the intoxicating scenery of Jiuzhaigou Valley and Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area;
  • 8. Marvel at the astonishingly sized Leshan Giant Buddha and visit the ancient temples on Mount Emei;
  • 9. Visit Shanghai’s highlight attractions – the Bund, old streets, Yu Garden.

21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

Day 1, Arrive Beijing

Meals: No Meals

Nihao, welcome to China! Take your time for landing, luggage claim and meet your guide outside the customs of airport. Be transferred to your luxurious hotel with a comfortable, well-maintained vehicle. Spend the rest of the day free at leisure.

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
  • 21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 2, Forbidden City, Summer Palace

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Tour Beijing - China’s dynastic capital, where there are numerous ancient architectural wonders to be discovered. And some have entered UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List.

    Stand in Tiananmen Square, the heart of Beijing, overlooking Chairman Mao’s Portrait hung on the Tiananmen Rostrum, where people witnessed the founding of New China in 1949. 

    Then walk into the Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, or previously named Forbidden City, where 24 emperors used to ascend the throne. Initially built in 1406, Forbidden City covers an area of 720,000 square meters, with over 9000 rooms making up the world’s largest ancient wooden architecture groups.

    Visit Summer Palace in the afternoon. With beautiful mountain and river landscape, the site of Summer Palace had been constructed as a royal garden ever since the 11the Century, and extended to an area of over 1000 hectares in the early 20th Century. A boat cruise is included for you to better explore Summer Palace.

    Enjoy amazing Shaolin Kungfu or Peking Opera night show (optional).

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 3, The Great Wall, Beijing Hutongs

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    This morning, take the Great Wall cable car to the mountain top to view this awe-inspiring ancient fortification – hailed as the greatest architectural engineering in human history. From your knowledgeable tour guide, you’ll learn the history of the Great Wall, and why and how it was built.

    This afternoon, discover the old cultural traditions of Beijing when touring hutongs. Hutong is also a vanishing scene as Beijing is now being built as an international metropolis. See elegant traditional quadrangle dwellings.

    Taste famous Beijing specialty food – Peking duck (optional).

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 4, Temple of Heaven, Beijing to Chengde Tour

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Admire the magnificent religious architectural complex of Temple of Heaven, an imperial sacrificial altar dating the first half of 15th Century, where Ming and Qing Dynasty emperors worshiped the gods for a prosperous country.

    Then visit Panjiayuan Antique weekend Market, very popular among local antiquarians. There is chance that visitors can find precious from stacks of sealstone, ceramics, calligraphy and paintings, Buddhist bracelets, etc. (Visit Lama Temple if it is not a weekend)

    Afterwards drive for 3 to 3.5 hours to Chengde, a famous cultural city in China.   

    Recommended hotels:

  • - Chengde luxury hotels: Chengde Imperial Mountain Resort or similar
  • 21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 5, Chengde Mountain Resort, Pule Temple

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    The Mountain Resort of Chengde was built between 1703 and 1792 as an imperial summer palace. It is a masterpiece of Chinese classical garden by making full use of local landscape and traditional Chinese horticulture, thus known as the epitome of China's natural landscape.  

    Right next to Mountain Resort is the Pule Temple, with a blend of ancient Chinese temple complex and Tibetan architectures. It is a symbol of national unity.

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 6, Putuo Zongcheng Temple, Punning Temple, Chengde to Beijing

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    In the north of Mountain Resort, the hillside Putuo Zongcheng Temple is a replica of the Potala Palace in Tibet, thus known as the Lesser Potala Palace. With 60 building complex, it is the largest and grandest temple of Chengde’s eight outlying temples. 

    Also visit Punning Temple, the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in North China. Admire its magnificent architectures from its front courtyard of traditional Chinese style gates, halls, towers to the backyard of typical Tibetan architecture, with a group of buildings modeled after the famous Samye Temple in Tibet.

    Drive back to Beijing.

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 7, Beijing to Xian, Big Wild Goose Pagoda

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Take a morning flight from Beijing to Xian. Arrive the eastern terminus of the ancient Silk Road. From 202 BC to the 8th Century, the Peace Messenger was sent by Emperor Wu of Han from Xian to the West Regions and then gradually developed the Silk Road

    An important site on Silk Road, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is also known as the Da Cien Temple Pagoda, built in 652 to hold valuable Buddhist classics brought back from ancient India. A 64.5-m-tall brick pagoda, it is a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture of Tang dynasty.

    At dinner time, savor different flavors of dumplings, the most popular Chinese food, and feast your eyes on beautiful Tang Dynasty Dance show.

    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
    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 8, Museum of Terra-cotta Army, Xian Old City Wall

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Discover one of the world’s top ten ancient tombs - the massive excavation pits of Terra-cotta Army dating to over 2200 years ago. Have a wonderful encounter with thousands of life-sized Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, and witness a list of cold weapons.

    Afterwards, get in ancient China’s best-kept and longest city wall dating to the 14th Century, which is also one of the iconic structures of Xian. If you prefer, ride a bike to see the old structures such as the Bell and Drum Tower of Xian in the Old City area and tower blocks in the New Xian.

    See Han people and Hui people l live in harmony when rambling the Muslim Quarter, where there is a wide spectrum of local foods and snacks to taste.

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 9, Xian to Lhasa, Free Time

    Meals: Breakfast

    Experience the splendid ancient Chinese art at the Shanghai Museum, where there are over 120,000 valuable cultural relics are on display. Later visit Ming Dynasty Yu Garden, one of the finest traditional Chinese gardens in South China. And explore the bustling food & snack center and the enticing old streets of Shanghai in Town God Temple area.

    Thereafter, walk through the Bund to see the striking colonial architectures and Shanghai’s modern iconic landmarks across Huangpu River. Ascend the observation deck of Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the highest buildings in Shanghai, to see the New China from the air.

    Depart Xian and fly to Lhasa, the economic and cultural center of Tibet and a famous holy city for Buddhists. Your dream of traveling to Tibet is now fulfilled. Spend the remain of the day to adapt plateau climate and enjoy the uniqueness that Tibet has to offer – the blistering sun, the clearest blue sky, the purest sacred snow-capped mountains, the freedom…

    Recommended hotels:

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

    Day 10, Norbulingka, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    You will be escorted to visit Norbulingka, the summer palace for Dalai Lama. It is a beautiful Tibetan garden with hundreds of rooms, halls and chambers, elaborately-designed artificial landscapes, and various exotic flowers and plants.

    Then come to the Sera Monastery, one of the three great monasteries in Tibet, housing tens of thousands of Buddha statues. There is chance to see Tibetan Buddhist debate in Sera Monastery.

    Delve deeper into Tibetan Buddhist art and culture in Drepung Monastery – the biggest temple in Tibet. The Dalai Lama II to V used to live here and left many cultural relics.

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 11, Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Walking across the Potala Square and visit the enormous Potala Palace in person – the winter palace of the Dalai Lama for 1300 years. UNESCO depicts it as a historic ensemble, as it incorporates perfectly the palace, castle, and temple complex and possesses a myriad of Buddhist and Tibetan culture and art treasures.

    Later come at Jokhang Temple, the final destination of the pilgrimage of Tibetan Buddhists. When Jokhang Temple was built in the 7th Century, Lhasa was then honored as the holy city. Admire the statue of Shakyamuni in twelve years old and find the best place to see the distant Potala Palace.

    Then walk Barkhor Street, the commercial center of Lhasa and a ritual walk path surrounding Jokhang Temple, thus known as the sacred way. Here you can meet friendly local Tibetans and buy Tibet souvenirs and specialties. 

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 12, Lhasa to Chengdu, Wide and Narrow Alley

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Leave Tibet, and fly from Lhasa to Chengdu, where several other UNESCO World Heritages await.

    Transfer from airport to hotel and have a brisk stroll on the Wide and Narrow Alley, the Chengdu style hutongs dating to 18th Century, with traditional courtyards of black tiles and grey brick walls.

    Recommended hotels:

    • Chengdu luxury hotels: The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu or similar
    • Chengdu boutique hotels: BuddhaZen Hotel or similar

    Day 13, Chendu to Dujiangyan, One-day Panda Volunteer Program

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Transfer to Dujiangyan Panda Base – an important part of the UNESCO-protected Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, where you will participate in a full day panda volunteer program. Dress up and be an honorary keeper – learn knowledge and stories about panda bear that has been living on Earth for at least 8 million years, thus known as a "living fossil”. And take good care of pandas by cleaning their house and feeding them.

    Want to take a photo with giant panda? We can fulfill your dream to hold a panda and take photos (with extra fee).

    Recommended hotels:

    • Dujiangyan luxury hotels: U Villa or similar
    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 14, Mount Qingcheng, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Dujiangyan to Chengdu

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Have an easy walk up Mount Qingcheng, the place of origin of Taoism and one of the four great Taoist mountains in China featuring verdant forests and home to lots of cultural relics and historical Taoist temples.

    Thereafter, wonder at the ancient Dujiangyan Irrigation System, originally built in 256 BC during China’s Warring States Period. It is the world’s earliest existing hydraulic engineering. After more than 2,200 years, it is still in use today.

    Drive back to Chengdu and check-in to hotel.

    Day 15, Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong National Park

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Fly from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou, you’ve slide into a fairyland.

    Known for its "four wonders" - colorful pools, snowy mountains, serene canyons and lush forests, Huanglong Scenic Area is the best-preserved plateau wetland in China. The Huanglong Valley at the foot of Xuebao Ding Mountain resembles a huge yellow dragon, hence the name. Enjoy the peaceful time and stunning natural scenery in Huanglong. 

    Recommended hotels:

    • Jiuzhaigou luxury hotels: Howard Johnson Tianyuan Resort, Marriott or similar
    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 16, Jiuzhaigou Tour, Jiuzhaigou to Chengdu

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Visit the heaven-like Jiuzhaigou Valley. Both Huanglong and JIuzhaigou are UNESCO World Heritages. Jiuzhaigou nature reserve was built mainly to protect rare animals such as giant pandas, golden monkeys and their natural ecological environment. Appreciate the jewel-like lakes, pools, streams, spectacular waterfalls and beautiful valleys.

    Fly back to Chengdu.

    Important notice: currently Jiuzhaigou is only partially open since the 2017 earthquake and is expected to be fully open after recovery. Meanwhile, as a result of the flight reductions, passengers can only fly into and out of Jiuzhaigou via Chengdu with night flight. So your tour to Jiuzhaigou is likely to be adjusted accordingly.

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 17, Chengdu to Mount Emei, Leshan Giant Buddha

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Today make your way to Mount Emei Scenic Area , including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, which was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1996.

    The 8th-century Leshan Giant Buddha, also named Lingyun Buddha, is located on the east bank of Minjiang River. It is the statue of Maitreya, as high as 71 meters – the largest cliff carving statue in China. Take a short cruise on the river so that you can get a full picture of Leshan Giant Buddha.

    Stay overnight at the foot of Mount Emei.

    Recommended hotels:

    • Mount Emei luxury hotels: Hongzhushan Hotel or similar
    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 18, Mount Emei & Its Temple Complex

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Take the shuttle bus up Mount Emei, featuring beautiful views and home to a wealth of Buddhist relics and sites, including architectures, sculptures, ritual, music, and painting. Visit Wannian Temple, one of the oldest temples on Mount Emei, to see the tooth relic of Buddha, the bronze statue of Samantabhadra and Buddhist classics.

    Then hike to Qingyin Pavilion, a fine example of Chinese Buddhist temple garden. Observe the wild monkeys around Wuxiangang parking lot. Take shuttle bus down to visit the Baoguo Temple. It is the first and most famous temple of Emei and the local Buddhist activity center.

    Drive back to Chengdu

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 19, Chengdu to Shanghai, Free Time

    Meals: Breakfast

    Fly from Chengdu to Shanghai, you’ve come to the most energetic city of China and one of the busiest metropolises on Earth. However, Shanghai’s hundreds year-old traditions and local dwellings are still well-kept. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

    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

    Day 20, Shanghai’s Traditional Dwellings & the Bund

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    See traditional Shanghai style residential houses – the Shikumen dwellings hidden in the Nongtang alleyways. The lintel of the door with brick carving is the highlight. Then Explore Shanghai French Concession to travel back in time and visit Shanghai in early 20th Century when the Western people “took adventures” in the Orient.

    Tour Yu Garden, located right next to the City God Temple. Built in the 16th Century, it is one of the finest examples of China’s traditional gardens with many exquisite and elegant ancient structures. Then roam the old streets of Yuyuan Market.

    Later get to know Shanghai’s colonial culture on the Bund, where you can see an array of 19th Century colonial architectures. Across the Hupu River is the ultra-modern Lujiazui Financial District. Ascend Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the highest buildings in the district, for glitzy city view of Shanghai. 

    21 Days Beijing Chengde Xian Lhasa Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Shanghai Tour

    Day 21, Shanghai Departure

    Meals: Breakfast

    Enjoy a private transfer service from your hotel to airport – end of your 21 days China tour. Have a safe and pleasant journey back home!

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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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