18 Days Beijing, Xi'an, Xining, Lhasa, Shigatse, Chengdu, Shanghai Discovery Tour

  • Tour Code:TET10
  • Tour Duration: 18 Days
  • Destination:Beijing, Chengdu, Lhasa, Shanghai, Shigatse, Xi'an, Xining
  • Tour overview:This is a truly wonderful China tour. On it, you will travel to some of China’s most exotic and beautiful destinations. You will experience the capital of Beijing with its modern heartbeat and imperial past, Shanghai a true cosmopolitan metropolis that blends Chinese and Western culture, giant pandas in Chengdu, and mysterious Tibet. There is so much to this incredible tour that will leave you awestruck as you witness the best China has to offer.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Upon your arrival you will be greeted by our local guide and then transferred to your hotel by a private air-conditioned car. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time.

Day 2 Beijing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City

This morning our tour will begin with a visit of the Temple of Heaven, which was completed in 1420, and expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. It was the place where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing.

After lunch, we will go on our city tour to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.

From here we will walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and experience the ancient Emperor's daily life. For 5 centuries Chinese emperors carried out their administration here. With almost 10,000 rooms, it was the centre of the Ming and Qing dynasties, a massive complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens where 24 emperors used to live. Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and in the past it was indeed a forbidden place for commoners.

Day 3 Beijing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way

After experiencing the royal lifestyle, today we will be transferred to the surrounding countryside of Beijing and visit the Badaling Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon described it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk one of the best preserved sections of the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views. Bring a jacket and layer- although it is breezy, the climbing is tough. So be in a good shape!

In the afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, which are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, Changping, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13 Ming emperors buried there, this place was called the 13 Ming Tombs. You will walk along the Sacred Way, a road guarded by stone statues on both sides, as the ancient emperors did to hold a memorial ceremony for their ancestors. In addition, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors.

On the way back to hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) and the National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube'), feel free to take some photos of the stadiums.

Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight arranged by us
Sightseeing: Hutongs, Summer Palace

We will experience a unique Hutong tour by taking a rickshaw this morning. Hutongs are a kind of ancient city alley or lane and are very typical for Beijing. Most of them can be found close to the Forbidden City, and many were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today, the Hutong is a living museum of Beijing history showing the traditional lifestyle of Beijing people.

We will continue by visiting the Summer Palace. Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called 'Yiheyuan' (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. Until nowadays, it is the best preserved and the largest imperial garden in China. You will regret it if you leave Beijing without having visited this grand imperial garden.

After the tours, you will be transferred to airport to take flight to Xi'an. Arrive in Xi'an, your guide will greet you and then transfer you to hotel with private car & driver.

Day 5 Xi'an (B, L)

Sightseeing: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower

Today you will experience the highlights of Xi'an. After breakfast, you will depart you're your hotel. You will visit the amazing 2000-year-old Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World, the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, ordered the construction of a vast army of Terra-cotta warriors in search of immortality. After his early death they were buried with him to protect his empire.

Another highlight today is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated in the south of Xi'an city, it is one of the main constructions in the famous Buddhist temple-Da-Ci-En Temple. There, the well-known Buddhist Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his collection of classic Buddhist artifacts brought from India in Tang Dynasty. Now it is the Landmark of Xi'an.

Then we will go on to visit the Bell Tower, which is the best-preserved and best-known one among many. The Bell Tower was built in 1384. In early mornings of ancient times it had the mission of ringing the bell and giving the correct time to the whole city, hence called "The Bell Tower". With magnificent carved beams and painted rafters, this classical building is truly elegant.

Day 6 Xi'an to Xining (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight arranged by us
Sightseeing: the Shaanxi History Museum, Ancient City Wall.

In the morning you will enjoy some free time until you will be transferred to airport to take the flight to Xi'an. After your arrival there, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by our local guide, then visit the Shaanxi History Museum. It is a magnificent architectural complex in the Tang Dynasty style. The Museum possesses a treasure of 113,000 historic and cultural artifacts unearthed in Shaanxi, and it covers an area of 1,100 square meters for exhibition

Then we will visit Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. It is the largest and best preserved present city wall in ancient China and is probably the best military battlement in the world. If you want to, you can rent a bicycle for a ride on top of the spectacular city wall.

In the afternoon, you will be transferred to Xi'an airport to take flight to Xining. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 7 Xining (B, L)

Sightseeing: Qinghai Lake,Ta'er Monastery

Today you will visit to the Qinghai Lake and have a crusei on it. It is a saline lake situated in the province of Qinghai, and is the largest lake in China. It is located about 100 km west of the provincial capital of Xining at 3,205 m (10,515 feet) above sea level in a depression of the Tibetan Plateau in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo.Twenty-three rivers and streams empty into Qinghai Lake. Scenery in Qinghai lake varies according to seasons. Summer and autumn are the most comfortable weather conditions and the lake's scenery is most beautiful during these seasons.

After lunch, have a visit to Ta'er Monastery. It is one of the six great monasteries of the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, built in 1557 on sacred land. Still quite active with 600 monks. It is the birthplace of Tsong Khapa, founder of the Yellow Hat (Gelupa sect), and is known for its sculptures of human figures, animals and landscapes carved out of Yak Butter.

Day 8 Xining / Overnight train to Lhasa (B, L)

Transfer via: Overnight train arranged by us
Sightseeing: Dongguan Mosque

Today we will go to the Dongguan Mosque. It's the biggest mosque in Qinghai Province. It was built in 1380, and now boasts a history of more than 600 years. The mosque is not only famous for its magnificent architecture but also as a religious education center and as the highest learning institution of Islam.

Free at leisure until your guide transfer you to railway station to take overnight train to Lhasa.

Day 9 Overnight train / Lhasa

Arrive in Lhasa, you will be met and transferred to hotel by our local guide, adapting to the high altitude at the rest of the day.

Day 10 Lhasa (B, L)

Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhore Street

We will go on a full day visit of Potala Palace. It is the greatest monumental structure all over Tibet. This ancient architectural complex is considered as a model of Tibetan architecture. Located on the Red Hill in Lhasa, it is 3,700 meters above sea level and covers an area of over 360,000 square meters. The palace has 13 stories, and is 117 meters high. In 641, Songtsan Gambo, ruler of the Tubo Kingdom, built the Potala Palace for Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, whom he was soon to marry.

Then we'll visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The sacred image of Jowo Sakyamuni is the most venerated and beautiful image all over Tibet

After lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit Barkhor Street, which is the oldest street in Lhasa as well as the center of old Lhasa which remains very traditional. Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple. Tibetan people are very proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, this street is also a must-see place.

Day 11 Lhasa(B, L)

Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Drepung Monstery

In the morning we will visit the Sera Monastery, around 5 km north of central Lhasa, which was, along with Drepung, one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries. Its once huge monastic population of about 5000 monks has now been reduced to several hundred.

Then we will visit Norbulingka Park; Norbulingka meaning "Jeweled Garden", the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. The gardens are poorly tended and the palaces themselves are something of an anticlimax, especially as most rooms are currently closed to the public.

Our next stop will be Drepung Monastery. It is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered as one of the 'Three Great Monasteries' (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery.

At last we will arrive at a local Tibetan Family. Common Tibetan people will welcome you to their homes; greet you in their traditional way and you will taste their typical food. You can feel Tibetan culture and religion vividly.

Day 12 Lhasa to Shigatse (B, L)

Sightseeing: Tashilhunpo Monastery, Yomdrok 

Our visit today begin with Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded by the First Dalai Lama in 1447, the monastery's structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. Tashilhunpo Monastery covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters (3,229,279 sq. ft.).

Later we will continue to explore the Yomdrok Lake which is one of the three holy lakes on the Tibetan Plateau. This huge lake spans 130 kilometers long from east to west and 70 kilometers wide from north to south. The scenery of the clear turquoise blue water in the lake with the reflection of the surrounding mountains was awesome and we had a 360 degree view of the mountains.

Day 13 Shigatse to Lhasa (B)

Today you will be free at leisure, then we will drive back to Lhasa and enjoy the beautiful high plateau landscape on the way.

Day 14 Lhasa to Chengdu (B,L)

Transfer via: Flight arranged by us
Sightseeing: Wuhou Memorial Temple, Jinli Street 

Today you will enjoy some free time and then be transferred to airport to take the flight to Chengdu. After your arrival there, you will be met by our local guide and visit Wuhou Memorial Temple. The Temple is dedicated to Zhuge Liang, the Martial Marquis of Shu in the Three Kingdoms. His outstanding intelligence place Zhuge Liang above all emperors, generals, and ministers in history.

Afterwards you will take a walk along Jinli Street which is particularly representative for this city. It is recorded that as already during Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), Jinli Street was the most famous place for baldachin - a rich, ornate cloth. During Shu Kingdom (221-263) it was one of the busiest commercial streets. Hence, it is known as 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'. In order to reclaim the street's prosperity of former days, it was restored with contributions from the Wuhou Memorial Temple and was opened to public in October of 2004.

Day 15 Chengdu (B, L)

Sightseeing: Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Dufu's Thatched Cottage  

Today we will visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base, which was built to imitate the wild ecological environment of pandas. It covers a space of 92 acres, with a green coverage of 96 percent. The base created a perfect ecological environment for the living and breeding of pandas and other precious and rare wild animals. It breeds over 20 pandas and lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white cranes and others.

And then we will continue to visit the Thatched Cottage of Dufu, located by the side of the Huanhua Stream in Chengdu's western suburb, will be our next stop. It was the residence of Dufu, the great poet of the Tang Dynasty when he took refuge in Chengdu. Du Fu (712-70 AD),one of China's most famous poets, left home at the tender age of 20, becoming a court official at the former capital in Chang'an (near Xi'an). Du Fu's civil service duties did not last long however, and he was captured by rebels and forced to flee the city for Chengdu after only a few years. It was in Chengdu, at this small and simple house, that Du Fu was inspired to write more than 200 poems which are regarded today as masterpieces of realist poetry.

Day 16 Chengdu to Shanghai (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight arranged by us
Sightseeing:Nanjing Road and the Bund

In the morning you will be transferred to airport to take flight to Shanghai.

After your arrival in Shanghai, you will be met by our local guide and then take a walk to the famous Nanjing Road and the Bund. They are among the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai and therefore a must-see when visiting Shanghai.

Day 17 Shanghai (B, L)

Sightseeing: Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple, Oriental Pearl Tower, Yuyuan Garden

Today we will start the day with a visit of Shanghai Museum which is the biggest museum of China. It incorporates a collection of over 120,000 pieces of Chinese art & cultural relics and is especially famous for its treasures of bronzes, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy.

Then we head to the Jade Buddha Temple. The old-time and classical architectural style makes the temple unique and inimitable in this modern city. Both, the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha are carved with whole white jade. If you're lucky, you can watch the monks serving a ceremony in a side room.

After lunch, we will visit the Oriental Pearl Tower, the highest TV Tower in Asia, which creates a picture of 'twin dragons playing with pearls'. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors all year round.

Then we will take a relaxing walk to the lovely Yuyuan Garden, a beautiful garden in the south of the Yangtze River. Wandering through it, you will find pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many other natural features.

Day 18 Shanghai Departure (B)

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Enjoy some leisure time until our local guide will transfer you to the airport where you will take the flight to your next destination.

Tour Price

1. Normally hotels allow a maximum of 3 adults per room with an extra bed, at extra charge. Some hotels will allow three adults and a small child.
2. Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
3. More people more discounts. Please enquire for more details.