A spectacular tour encompassing the best of Tibet, Hong Kong, Guilin, Chengdu, Xian, Beijing, and the stunning scenery of Longsheng County. This amazing journey of discovery will take you from the south coast of China through some of the most beautiful countryside in China, before transporting you to meet the great giant pandas of Chengdu. Then it will lift you up on an amazing Tibet train journey to the roof of the world, where you can see the best sights of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. From the heights of Tibet to the spectacular city of Beijing, and the ancient Imperial city, where the most amazing sights in the world await you.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1 Arrival in Hong Kong
When you arrive in Hong Kong, our local tour guide will be there to meet you at the Hong Kong International Airport, and help you transfer to your hotel, where you can rest after your flight. The rest of the day is yours to either rest or to explore the area and take in some of the local sights.
Stay overnight in Hong Kong.
Day 2 Hong Kong Sightseeing and Flight to Guilin
In the morning, your guide will pick you up from your hotel to get in some sightseeing around the major tourist attractions of this vibrant and historic city. Your first stop for the day is the famous Victoria Peak, from which you can get the most amazing view of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island, and Kowloon. You can head up the hill using the tram, a favorite of tourists, or hike to the top.
Then it is on to visit the beautiful beach at Repulse Bay, believed to be named for the legend of the battle between the local pirates and the British Navy. Repulse bay is also the most expensive area for housing on the island. After lunch it is time for a visit to the noted Stanley Market, one of the largest open-air street markets in Hong Kong. Well known for its bargains, you can find all kinds of souvenirs, as well as fine silks and traditional Chinese dress, arts, and crafts.
Then you will take the evening flight to Guilin, in mainland China, which takes around 1.5 hours.
Stay overnight in Guilin.
Day 3 Guilin to Yangshuo
The day will start after breakfast with a relaxing river cruise along the beautiful Li River to Yangshuo Town. Covering around 84 kilometers, this four-hour cruise takes you through the beautiful countryside along the shores of the winding river and past karst hills that seems to have come out of a Chinese painting.
After you disembark in Yangshuo, you will transfer to your hotel, where you can take a break or look around the town, with the stunning countryside that surrounds it enthralling your very senses. In the evening, you can take a delightful walk along the ancient West Street of Yangshuo, where Chinese and western cultures co-exist in perfect harmony. The area hosts some of the best bars and restaurants in the town, and you can enjoy the food and drink or just soak up the relaxing atmosphere.
Stay overnight in Yangshuo.
Day 4 Yangshuo to Longji Terraces in Longsheng
The morning starts with a four-hour drive from Yangshuo to one of the most beautiful sights in China – the Longji terraces in Longsheng County. Along the route to Longsheng, you can visit some of the local villages, including the village of Huanglong, where women commonly have hair of more than 1.5 meters long.
On your arrival in Pingan Village in Longsheng County, you can check in and then spend some time exploring the stunning views from the terraces above the village. The rice terraces have paths through them which you can hike along to reach the spectacular lookout points of Five Tigers, Nine Dragons, and Seven Stars with the Moon. The stunning views from these points are breathtaking, and it takes around half a day to hike around them all.
Stay overnight in Pingan.
Day 5 Longsheng Sightseeing and Flight to Chengdu
The rice terraces of Longsheng County are a spectacular sight, and you will have most of the day to explore them more. In the months from June to August the rice fields are a verdant green with the growing rice, but from late September to early November, they turn a golden yellow as the rice ripens ready for harvest. You can take some time to wander around the area and get to speak to some of the locals and learn more about this beautiful land, and it is a great place for photographers.
Later, you will be driven the two hours from Longsheng to Guilin airport, where you will catch your flight to Chengdu, in Sichuan Province. The flight takes around two hours, and your local tour guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Stay overnight in Chengdu.
Day 6 Chengdu Sightseeing Tour
Your first day in Chengdu will start with a visit to the unique Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. Catch the pandas at feeding time, when they are very active, and you may even get to see baby pandas, if there has been a recent litter of cubs. The center is the main hub of panda breeding and research in the world. You can also visit the panda museum on the site, where you can learn more about these beautiful and ancient bears.
After lunch you will get to visit the Wenshu Temple, in downtown Chengdu, where you can take in the stunning architecture of this Buddhist temple, and take a peaceful stroll around the sculpted gardens, soaking up the reverent atmosphere of this delightful temple. Then it is off to Renmin Park, where you can sit see local people in their daily lives, drinking tea and chatting, playing mahjong, getting a local massage, and even sleeping on the lush grass. Before dinner, you will get to visit the famous Jinli Street, where you can find the most exquisite artifacts, watch local folk shows, or taste the local snacks and street foods.
Stay overnight in Chengdu.
Day 7 Free to Explore the city, then Board Train to Lhasa
The day is your own today, to explore the city more, or just relax with a refreshing cup of tea. Your guide will collect you from your hotel in the evening to transfer you to Chengdu Railway Station, where you will board the train bound for Tibet. The train leaves Chengdu at 9:37pm, and will reach Lhasa in Tibet at around 9:55am on the third day. The line from Chengdu runs through Xining, the start of the famous Qinghai Tibet Railway, and covers an amazing 3,070 kilometers up through China and across the Tibetan Plateau.
Tips: The trip up to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to Lhasa takes around 43 hours, so two nights are spent on the train. It is advisable to prepare snacks and packaged food for the journey, as well as some books, music, and other entertainment.
Stay overnight on the train.
Day 8 Train to Lhasa
Today, you will spend the whole day on the train to Lhasa. It is quite a long journey from Chengdu to Lhasa, for about 36 hours in total. You will pass through two important provincial capital cities in northwest China, Lanzhou and Xining. Xining is known as the beginning of Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
You will witness the most beautiful scenery along Qinghai-Tibet Railway. From the deserts to massive grassland, snowy mountains to turquoise lakes, all these landscapes will continually appear and strongly appeal to your eyes.
Stay overnight on the train.
Day 9 Scenery View of Tibet Railway, and arrive in Lhasa
The Chengdu-Lhasa train will arrive in Lhasa at about 09:55 in the morning. Upon your arrival, your tour guide will hold a board with your name on it at the exit to welcome you. A private car will take you to the reserved hotel. You may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River (the longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa River on their way to Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Tips: If this is your first visit to Tibet, you will need to acclimatize to the increased elevation, to prevent altitude sickness. This is best done by resting in the hotel and minimizing any physical exertion.
Day 10 Lhasa Tour: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street
Today, you’ll pay a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the world cultural heritage. You can explore its audience halls, the jeweled and Golden burial chortens (stupa Tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and a tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, Thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc.
Then tourists will head to the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple, built during Songtsen Gampo's reign by princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty, 647 A.D. Here you can observe sincere pilgrims making prostration in front of Jokhang Temple. While entering the temple, you can see the holiest statue of Buddha. Around the monastery is the famous Barkhor Street, where you can do the kora with pilgrims and locals. And then we’ll go to explore the old market and you may have the chance to see the traditional jewelry trading between people from different part of Tibet.
Finally, you’ll taste Tibetan tea with locals in the tea house and enjoy a welcome dinner at night.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
After finishing the sightseeing, if time allows, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center. Besides, you can also choose to upgrade your tour to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD).
Day 11 Lhasa Tour: Drepung and Sera Monastery
Today, you will visit two of the three prestigious Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416, Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet. Situated at the foot of Gambo Utse Mountain, Drepung was once home to more than 10000 monks. Here you can see the biggest monastery kitchen inside and then pay a visit to the Buddhist Sculpture Carving near Drepung.
After having lunch, you’ll continue to visit the Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The highlight is the monk debate held in the courtyard at around 3-5 in the afternoon. Besides, you can also see the colorful Rock Painting of Buddha and the three sand Mandalas and then visit the Tibetan scripture printing house.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 12 Flight from Lhasa to Xian
Today your guide will transfer you to the Lhasa Gonggar International Airport for your flight to Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province of China. One of the oldest cities in China, the flight takes around three hours, and our local guide, who will help you with your transfer to your hotel, will meet you. The rest of the day is yours to rest or look around.
Stay overnight in Xi’an.
Day 13 Xian Sightseeing Tour
The next morning will see you visiting the Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, a must-see when in Xi'an. Around 8,000 ancient, life-sized figures were created to accompany the first Emperor of China to the afterlife, and were part of his mausoleum. Each figure has a unique facial structure and expression, as if they had been made from living people. The warriors were buried with the Emperor in 208BC and were not discovered until 1974.
In the afternoon, you will be able to enjoy the ancient City Wall of Xi'an by bicycle tour. The wall around the inner part of the city was built in the 14th century and is 14km long. It is an amazing example of ancient defensive structures.
In the evening you will be able to travel to the Muslim quarter, with its famed gourmet street full of tasty delights. It is the largest area of Muslim business in the city, and is the perfect place to buy souvenirs of Xi'an and China, with a wide range of local snacks and handicrafts.
Stay overnight in Xi'an.
Day 14 Xian Sightseeing Tour & High-speed train to Beijing
Today, you will continue exploring this fascinating city of Xi’an. First, you will visit one of the most popular sites in Xi'an, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Built in 652, the pagoda is a repository of Buddhist figures and scriptures brought to Xi'an from India by, Xuanzang, the first abbot of Daci'en Temple.
Afterwards, you will head to Shanxi History Museum, where you can take in the glory and ancient history of China. The museum holds artifacts that date back as far as the Paleolithic era, up to the more recent Qing Dynasty. The museum is packed with thousands of exhibits from all periods of history, and is a busy, popular attraction.
After lunch, you will transfer to the Xi’an Railway Station, where you will board one of China’s famous High-Speed bullet trains to Beijing. The train journey takes around 4-5 hours, and on your arrival at Beijing Railway Station, a private driver will pick you up, load your luggage, and transfer you to your hotel. There you can rest from the journey, or take in some of the local sights.
Stay overnight in Beijing.
Day 15 Beijing Sightseeing Tour
Your first full day in Beijing will take you first to the infamous Tiananmen Square, where you can see the mausoleum of China’s famous Chairman Mao, take a walk around the National Museum of China, and get some great photos of the great hall of the People. Tiananmen Square is the largest square of its kind in the world, and is part of the heart of China.
Your tour of Beijing continues with a visit to the famous Forbidden City, which was the Chinese Imperial Palace from around 1420 to 1912. Set right in the center of Beijing, it now houses the Palace museum. The Temple of Heaven is your next stop, which was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century.
In the Afternoon, you will visit the incredible Summer Palace, the imperial summer home of the Qing Dynasty. Situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing, Summer Palace is the largest and most well preserved royal park in China, and is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens, and palaces. These beautiful attractions show visitors what life was like for the royal household in ancient China, and how the Chinese emperors managed their empire.
Stay overnight in Beijing.
Day 16 Beijing Sightseeing Tour
No tour of China would be complete without a visit to the great Wall, the largest man-made structure on the planet, which can be seen from orbit. This tour shows the great strength of the Chinese Empire, and the wall protected the ancient Chinese from invasion by their enemies from the north. The Mutianyu section of the wall is 2,250 meters long, and includes a total of 22 watchtowers, making it one of the most protected sections of the entire wall. Mutianyu is the longest fully-restored Great Wall section open to tourists.
After the awesome sight of the Great Wall, you will visit the Ming Tomb of the 13th Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Wanli. Ruler of all China for 48 years, he was the longest ruling of all the Ming emperors and was entombed on his death in 1620. One of 16 Ming Tombs, the tomb of Emperor Wanli is the only one that has been excavated and opened for public viewing.
Then it is off to take a tour of Beijing’s fantastic Olympic Village. Known as the Bird’s Nest, the National Stadium in Beijing was built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and is now a major tourist attraction, as well as a venue for important football matches and athletic events. Nearby lies the equally famous Water Cube, the National Aquatics Center, the official swimming and water sports facility for the 2008 Olympics.
Stay overnight in Beijing.
Day 17 Beijing Sightseeing and Beijing Departure
In the morning, you will get to visit the world-renowned Temple of Heaven, an imperial temple complex that was often visited by Ming and Qing Emperors for the annual prayer ceremonies for a good harvest. The ceremonies would be held twice a year in the temple, where the emperor and his retinue would camp within the complex and pray to heaven for good harvests, kept out of sight of the common people.
Later, you will be transferred to Beijing International Airport for your flight home.
- Tibet Travel Permit and all other necessary permit to Tibet
- Domestic train/flight tickets as indicated in the itinerary, including Chengdu to Lhasa train ticket, Xi'an to Beijing train ticket etc.
- Half-day Li River cruise
- All lodging listed in the itinerary. If you travel individually, you will need to share one room with another tourist. If you prefer to stay in one room by yourself, you will have to pay the single room supplement
- Meals listed in itinerary
- Entrance fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
- Local tour transfer, comfortable tourist vehicle according to group size
- Excellent English-speaking tour guide in China tour and local Tibetan English-speaking guide in Tibet
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance
- One shared big Oxygen tank in the car
- First aid kit
- Chinese visa
- International flight to and out of China
- Domestic train/flight not listed in the itinerary. (We offer domestic train/flight ticket booking service, please contact our travel experts for the details.)
- Meals not specified the itinerary
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
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