China & Tibet (15 days)

Included:

  • Meals as noted below
  • 4/5 Star Hotels (3/4 star in Tibet)
  • All transfers as indicated
  • domestic airfare (2)

Not Included:

  • International airfare to and from the destination, please contact us for the best available prices from your home city.
  • Travel Insurance is not included, but available, please contact us for the best options for your family.
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary below.
  • Tours not mentioned in the itinerary below.
  • Gratuities (optional).

Minimum of  2   guests for this tour.

Day 1 – Arrive in Beijing, China  

Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be met by our tour guide and transferred to your hotel in Beijing. Free for the rest of the day.
Meals: No

Day 2 – Beijing

After breakfast at your hotel, start your tour with the visit to Tiananmen Square (40 minutes), the largest public square in the world. Then move on to the Forbidden City (2 hours), the Chinese imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Then visit a Silk Factory, where you can bargain for silk products and China’s traditional silk arts (40 minutes).

To avoid the tourist meal, today you have a la carte lunch with an a la carte menu at a nice local Cantonese restaurant, where you could enjoy the authentic Chinese food.

After lunch, head to the Shichahai Area ( 2.5 hours ) – the old part of Beijing and visit a century-od old courtyard and learn about its history, layout, Fengshui, and its traditiona Chinese culture involved. Then take a pedcab and drive through the zigzag and narrow alleys or hutongs. Two people share one rickshaw. Drop off the peidicab at the Silver Ingot Bridge( Yinding Bridge ) and walk along the 800-year old Yandai Xiejie ( Tobacco Pipe Lean Street ), and get to the Drum Tower.

Ascending the 67-meter high and two-story Drum Tower dating from 1420 is sure to bring you back to the old Beijing by seeing the big drum tower and having bird’s-eye view of the surrounding communities of hutongs and siheyuan – existing traditional courtyards in Beijing.

Tonight you are arranged to see the Kung Fu Show at Red Theatre (middle Seating Area). This is a great show. It tells a story of Chin Yu entering the monastery and making his way through life to finally becoming the Abbott. There are many demonstrations of Kungfu and strength throughout the show. The costumes and the choreography are great. Unfortunately people are not allowed to take photos nor video it. You can however purchase a DVD of the show. The show lasts about one hour and 15 minutes. After the show, transferred back to your hotel.

Meals: Hotel Western breakfast and a la carte lunch.

Day 3 – Beijing

Morning excursion to the most beautiful section of the Great Wall – the Mutianya Great Wall (2 hours). The hike takes about 2-3 hours. Then visit a Jade Carving Factory, where you can bargain for jade and handicrafts and get to know about Chinese jade culture (40 minutes).

After lunch, continue to visit Changling (1.5 hours), one of the 13 Ming Tombs of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Back to the downtown hotel in Beijing.

Meals: Hotel western breakfast and Chinese lunch

Day 4 – Beijing

After breakfast, start your morning tour with the visit to the Summer Palace (2 hours), originally a royal garden and a temporary dwelling palace for emperors of Qing Dynasty. Then visit a Pearl market where you’ll have the chance to shop for gifts and souvenirs and get to know pearl culture. (40 minutes).

To avoid the tourist meal, today you have a la carte lunch with an a la carte menu at a nice local Cantonese restaurant, where you could enjoy the authentic Chinese food.

After lunch, head to the Olympic Green ( 1 hour ) to have an outside look at the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube. Then go to Capital Museum Beijing (1.5 hours), a five-storey building allowing for a maximum of 13 concurrent exhibitions, English and Japanese services are available. After the day tour, back to your hotel in Beijing.

Meals: Hotel western breakfast and a la carte lunch.

Day 5 – Beijing to Xian

After breakfast, start your morning tour with the visit to the Temple of Heaven (1.5 hours), the place where the emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for peace and harvest. Then, transfer to airport for your trip to Xiam

Meals: Hotel western breakfast             

Met at Xian Airport, or Xian Train Station and transferred to your hotel ( booked by us ). Free for rest of the day.

Day 6 – Sightseeing in the city of Xi’an

Pick up from your hotel in Xian. First visit Shaanxi Provincial History Museum. If you love Chinese history, Shaanxi Provincial Museum is a must on your Xian trip. It is one of the four largest museums in China ( the other three are Forbidden City Museum, Shanghai Museum and Henan Provincial Museum. It is situated 1km away, northwest of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It is a giant architectural complex in the Tang-dynasty style. It occupies an area of 70,000 square metres, and the construction area being more than 50,000 square metres. It focuses on the highlights of the Shaanxi culture and depicts the development of the Chinese civilization.

Then move on to Big Goose Pagoda for a visit.  Big Goose Pagoda is one of the oldest structures in China. Originally Big Goose Pagoda consisted of a brick structure of five storeys and was about 60 meters high. First built in 589A.D.in the Sui Dynasty. Between AD 701 and AD 704 during the reign of the Empress Wu Zetian five more storeys were added to the pagoda making ten in all. Unfortunately it was damaged during World War II and reduced to seven storeys, which is as it remains today. The Big Goose Pagoda is situated in the Da Ci’en Temple, four kilometers south away from the center of the city. It is one of the city’s most distinctive and outstanding landmarks, possibly the most beautiful building left in Xian today.

After lunch, continue to visit The famous Great Mosque is located in the Muslim Area. For the tourists coming here, the bazaar in the Muslim area is most attractive with a wide area of stalls selling everything. The streets and walkways are full of life. The shopping is great, very cheap and some unusual items we will seldom see anywhere else in China. The Great Mosque in Xian is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xian is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style, except for some Arabic lettering and decorations.

After visiting the Great Mosque, continue to walk to the Bell Tower. On the way to Bell Tower, just to the northwest of the tower, there is a nice Starbucks. You may have a break for a few minutes there before you climb up the Bell Tower. The coffee at Starbuckcs is on you.

After drinking coffee at Starbucks, you are arranged to ascend the Bell Tower. In Chinese history from Ming Dynasty, each city had a bell tower and a drum tower. The bell was sounded at dawn and the drum at dusk each day in ancient time, a means of telling time. Xian was not exception. The Bell Tower and Drum Tower of Xi’an date back to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The two are located in the center of the Xian city connecting the four roads from east, south, west and north within the city wall. Atop the Bell Tower you will have a panoramic view of the Xian City; atop the Drum Tower you will have a bird’s eye view of the Muslim Quarters.

After visiting the Bell Tower, you come to the final attraction for today’ sightseeing in Xi’an – The Forest of Stone Steles Xian. Xi’an Forest of Stone Tablets was originally built in 1087. The Forest of Stone Steles in Xi’an holds a big collection of steles in China. It is a classical courtyard styled structure at the site of former Confucian Temple in Sanxue Street, Xian, close to the south gate of Xi’an City Wall. The museum has an area of over 30,000 square meters. It is one of the centers of ancient Chinese stone-engraving classic. It is also the center of the works of art of noted calligraphers of past dynasties. The numerous standing steles likens a forest, hence the name ” Forest of Steles”‘. With a history of over 900 years, it is an art treasure well known at home and abroad.

After the day tour, get to the Shaanxi Grand Opera House around 6:00pm and our tour guide will help you find your seat for the Dumpling dinner within the Opera House. Dumpling, or Jiaozi in Chinese, is one of the most representative Chinese food. The food can be dated back two thousand years ago. It is quite popular in China, and also loved by most of foreign tourists. Enjoy the jiaozi dinner before and over the Tang Dynasty Show. The Tang Dynasty Show showcases the costumes, music, and dancing of China’s golden age: the Tang dynasty (618 – 907). Return to your downtown hotel in Xian. ( B L D )

End of service. Transferred to your hotel in Xian.

Day 7 – Visit Army of Terra Cotta Warrors and City Wall, and Exit ( B L )

Pick up from your hotel in Xian. First visit the Terra-cotta Warriors. To visit Army of Terra Cotta Warriors is the main reason why you are here in Xian. You may have already seen its pictures from China travel books or China tour related travel websites. The original site was found by a local farmer drilling a well in 1974. Now it has turned into the most important attraction in Xian – Terracotta Warriors and Horse Museum. It is located about 50km east of the Xian City. The museum includes Pit 1, Pit 2 and Pit 3 as well the exhibition hall of the chariots and horses. The Pit 1 is the largest of the three. The museum and the mausoleum are listed the world’s cultural legacies as the UNESCO.

Typical Xian local flavor lunch will be arranged in a nice restaurant in Lintong County on your way back to the downtown Xian. You will see how chefs make noodles. After lunch, drive back to the city center of Xian and visit the City Wall. The main magnet of Xian is the city wall, which is the most complete city wall that has survived in China as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. It was enlarged in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) from the city wall initially built in Tang Dynasty (618 -907). Now it is 12 meters tall, 12-14 meters wide covering 14 kilometers in length with a deep moat surrounding it. You can walk, even cycle on the wall. Its south gate is the most largest with a suspension bridge. Most of the tourists choose the south gate for sightseeing.

Transfer to hotel for the evening.

Day 8 – Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lhasa

You will be greeted by your Tibetan guide once you arrive in Lhasa Gonggar airport or train station. From airport to Lhasa city is 68km, around one hour and half drive will take you to the holy city Lhasa; from the train station it is only 15km and takes 20 minutes by drive. Afternoon, have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 9-  Lhasa Sightseeing

Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, so we have purposely arranged only to visit Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Jokhang Temple is the most scared shrine in Tibet which was built in 7th century and located at the heart of old town in Lhasa. The circuit around the Jokhang called Barkhor Street is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Both of them are the focal points of pilgrims from entire Tibetan world, multitudinous pilgrims are circumambulating and prostrating in their strong faith. Afterwards stroll on the narrow streets of Lhasa old town to meet local people and visit their markets. A “Welcome Dinner” is arranged for today. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 10 – Lhasa Sightseeing 

About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung Monastery, once world’s largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day’s sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains. Drepung is one of Lhasa’s two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera Monastery. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The ‘Buddhism Scriptures Debating’ in Sera is very famous. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 11 – Lhasa / Gyantse [3980m] / Shigatse [3840m], 360km, 6-7hrs drive

Morning drive up to Kampala pass [4794m], you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso and spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance, the turquoise colored Lake Yamdrok Tso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, the unforgettable vista of pincer-shaped turquoise water of the lake and amazing spectacle of Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar glacier from Karo la pass are the wonders of the day. Then along the Friendship southern Hwy drive to Gyantse, visit the famous stupa – Gyantse Kumbum, one of the most stunning architectural wonders in Tibet. Late afternoon, drive to Shigatse. Overnight at Shigatse.

Day 12 – Shigatse / Rongbuk Monastery [4900m] / E.B.C [5150m], 340km, 6-7hrs drive

Morning visit lively local market in Shigatse while your guide assist you process the PSB permit at local PSB office, afterwards start driving to Rongbuk via Lhatse and Shegar, cross over Gyatsola [5200m] & Gawu la pass [5250m], from the top of the Gawu la you will see the spectacular Himalayan Ranges and its glorious peaks viz Mt. Makalu [8463m], Mt. Lotse [8516m], Mt Everest [8844m], Mt. Cho Oyu [8201m] and Mt. Shishapama [8020m] from Left to right, climbing down through numbers of switchback bends lead to the dry valley of Tashi Zom and then to today’s destination – Everest Base Camp. Rongbuk is the highest monastery in Tibet and is consisted by both monks and nuns, where is still a good point to see Mt. Everest. Sunset at Mt. Everest is another highlight of today if in good weather. Overnight at local tent guesthouse or Rongbuk guesthouse (dorm beds only).

Day 13 – Rongbuk / Shigatse [3840m], 340km, 6-7hrs drive

Get up early this morning, and if you are lucky enough, you will see sunrise at E.B.C. To hike from the Tent guesthouses community to the E.B.C, it will take you about 2 hours (8km). Or you can take the dedicated minibus (In winter season our driver will drive you up to Base Camp). Late morning or early afternoon start driving back to Shigatse. Overnight in Shigatse.

Day 14 – Shigatse / Lhasa [3595m], 300km, 6hrs drive [B]

Morning visit Shigatse Tashilunpo Monastery and the spectacular tombs of Panchen Lamas, sometimes it is crowded with local pilgrims. Afterwards drive back to Lhasa along the northern friendship way, marvelous landscapes and sceneries along the Brahmaputra River will accompany you all the way back to Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 15 – Lhasa airport / train station dropping off

Morning Lhasa airport or train station dropping off, the time to say your farewells to your guide and driver, end the trip.

 

Prices starting from:

Luxury             $3,553.00 U.S. per person, based on double occupancy

Standard         $3,409.00 U.S. per person, based on double occupancy

Comfort           $3,340.00 U.S. per person, based on double occupancy

Above pricing includes taxes where stated. In Canada, GST/HST included. Country taxes that must be paid locally are not included.  Prices listed were correct at time of publication.  Prices can change to reflect exchange rate changes. Custom World Vacations reserves the right to amend prices at any time without prior notice.  All vacations are subject to availability.

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