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Tibet and the Yangtze: Beijing-Xi'an-Lhasa-Gyangtse-Shigatse-Lhasa- Chengdu-Chongqing-Yangtze River Cruise-Wuhan-Shanghai-Suzhou- Tongli-Shanghai (20 days)

Wuhan Shanghai Suzhou TongliThis journey leads you from the most significant and best-known cultural treasuries of the classic China, the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Great Wall and the Army of TerraCotta Warriors in Xi’an to the remote mountain landscape of Tibet, which was concealed from the views of the foreigners for centuries. But you will catch sight of treasuries of the World Heritage Sites as for example the two residences of the Dalai Lama, the Potala and the Nurbulinka in Lhasa. Besides ancient monasteries, you can get to know the breath-taking beauty of the Tibetan highlands. You can enjoy a further beautiful landscape during your river cruise at China’s probably most famous river, the Yangtze with its Three Gorges. Towards the end you can relax yourself in the artistic gardens of Suzhou. The journey ends with a visit to the now highest observation deck of the world at the 421 m high Jinmao Building in Shanghai.

Itinerary
:

Day1: Beijing   Best Western Hotel****

Arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport at noon. Greetings by your tour guide and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your disposal.

Day2. Beijing B/L/D Best Western Hotel****

Summer Palace Kunming LakeIn the morning, take a walk at the historic Tian'anmen Square (Tian'anmen Guangchang), the world-famous largest square within Beijing. Walk through the Tian’anmen Square Gate to the palace of the emperor (Gugong), which the Chinese officials call the Palace Museum (better known as the Forbidden City). This palace is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, too. It is a masterpiece of Chinese palace architecture and it demonstrates imposingly the integration of traditional architecture in ancient northern China into the art of palace building. After lunch, you will visit another landmark of Beijing, the Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan), where the Ming and Qing Emperors worshiped the heaven and prayed for good harvests. It is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is an unique expression of the Chinese concept of the relationship between heaven and earth.

Day3. Beijing / Xi’an B/L/D Train

In the morning, you will go to the Badaling Great Wall by bus. You can climb up to the wall through a scarped staircase and enjoy the scenery from above. Afterwards, you will visit the Summer Palace (Yi He Yuan). It is one of the imperial gardens, where the Chinese gardening is perfectly reflected. That's why it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Transfer to the train station in the afternoon. Go to Xi’an by train in a first class sleeping wagon.

Day4. Xi'an B/L/D Jianguo Hotel ****

Arrival in Xi’an in the morning. Transfer to the hotel and breakfast. Go on an excursion to the Army of TerraCotta Warriors (Bing Ma Yong), which is a part of the grave of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang (221-210 BC). The grave, including the TerraCotta Warriors is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Besides thousands of life-size TerraCotta Warriors and Horses, you can see two bronze models of horse carriage and warrior. They were found in ducts beside the burial mound. Go back to the city by bus in the afternoon. Afterwards visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Da Yan Ta) in the Dacien Temple built in 652 A.D., which is considered as Xi'an’s landmark.

Day5. Xi'an B/L/D Jianguo Hotel ****

Visit the Bell and Drum Tower square (Zhong Gu Lou) and the Muslim Old Town with its numerous small shops and restaurants in the morning. There you will visit the Great Mosque, (Qingzhen Si; or Hua Jue Si), which is built in the typical Chinese temple architectural style. Afterwards visit the Shaanxi History Museum (Shaanxi Lishi Bowuguan), one of the most beautiful museums in China. There you can get the best overview concerning the entire Chinese history, starting from Palaeolithic to the end of the emperor era.

Day6. Xi'an / Lhasa B/L/D Shambala Hotel ***

Lhasa 1 Transfer to the airport in the morning and fly to Lhasa. After the arrival, transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your disposal.


Day7. Lhasa B/L/D Shambala Hotel ***

In the morning, you will visit the Potala, a colossal palace complex and the most famous building in Tibet. It was taken up to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. It has its roots in the palace complex, constructed in the year 637, under the Songtsen Gampo, who united Tibet. It has got its shape of today essentially in the 17th century under the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama. Afterwards, you will stroll along the Barkhor, a Pilgrim Path, which goes around the Jokhang Temple and through the Old Town. There are a lot of old buildings and side streets in the typical Tibetan style, so that you can explore the culture of the ancient Lhasa. Afterwards you can walk together with the pilgrims along the pilgrim path to the Jokhang Temple, which was constructed in the 7th century under the king Songtsen Gampo. It is the most sacred place for the Tibetans till today. This temple is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, because it is a superb example of the Tibetan culture and it demonstrates the interexchange with the Chinese, Indian and Nepalese culture.

Day8. Lhasa B/L/D Shambala Hotel ***

Lhasa Potala Palace 2 Today, you will go by bus to one of the largest Monasteries in Tibet - the Drepung Monastery. It has been once the largest and most powerful monastery of the similar type and a politically important centre of the Gelupa religious group. Unlike the widely-held belief, the three large monasteries in Lhasa (Drepung, Sera and Ganden Monastery) are no places merely for rituals and prayers, but also monastic universities. The Grave stupas of three Dalai Lamas are situated there. Afterwards you will visit the Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 and which became likewise an important Buddhist teaching institute. In the afternoon, you will visit the summer residence of the Dalai Lama – the Norbulinka, which was founded in the 18th century by the 7th Dalai Lama. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, too. The residence is a masterpiece of Tibetan architecture and it is worth seeing due to the harmonious combination of Tibetan, Chinese and other elements.

Day9. Lhasa / Gyangtse B/L/D Gyangtse Hotel ***

Yamdrok Yumtso (Yamdrok-tso, Coral Lake) Tibet Today, you will go by bus to the city Gyangtse, the third largest city in Tibet, situated at the crossing point of the ancient route for commerce to India in the lowlands of the fertile Gyangtse Valley. The about five-hour drive goes through a unique landscape and over three 5,000 m high passes,where you can enjoy a splendid view of the glacier Nojin Kangsa. On the way through the treeless steppes you can have a rest at the Yamdrok Lake, the largest fresh water lake of Tibet, that is like most of the lakes, a sacred site both in the Tibetan Buddhism and in the Tibetan natural religions.

Day10: Gyangtse / Shigatse B/L/D Shandong Hotel ***

In the morning, you will visit the Pelkhor Choede Monastery, the only monastery, where monks of the Gelugpa, Sakyapa and Kahdampa religious group live pacifically together in spite of the diversity in interpretation of their religion. The monastery is one of the most impressing buildings of Tibetan architecture. Here, the most interesting and largest Stupa of Tibet (Kumbum Monastery) is located. It was constructed by a Nepalese master builder and there are evidences noticeable Nepalese influences. Afterwards you will visit the Fortress of the Dzong Mountain. The fortress was destroyed when the British tried to conquer Tibet. From the mountain you can get a beautiful view of the Old Town and the monastery. On the way to the about 100 km far Shigatse, you will make a trip to the Shalu Monastery, which was built in a unique blend of Han and Tibetan-style elements.

Day11. Shigatse B/L/D Shangdong Hotel ***

Today, you will visit the city-like Tashilunpo Monastery that was built in the 15th century and that is the domicile of the Panchen Lama since the 17th century. In the centre of the recently renovated monastery, which is located at the mountainside, stands a 27 m high gold-plated brazen statue of the Maitreya Buddha, decorated with numerous precious stones, where the monumental tomb of the fourth Panchen Lama is located. In the afternoon, you can walk through the Old Town and the market at the base of the middle mountains.

Day12: Shigatse / Lhasa B/L/D Shangdong Hotel ***

In the morning, you will go through the Valley of Tsangpo (which is called in India the Bramaputra) back to the about 280 km afar Lhasa. On the way you will visit an old Tibetan Village. Transfer to the hotel after the arrival. The rest of the day is at your disposal.

Day13: Lhasa / Chengdu / Chongqing B/L/D Ship****

Fly to Chengdu from Lhasa in the morning. After the arrival in Chengdu, you will go to Chongqing by bus. Make a city sightseeing tour there. Afterwards, you will get on the Yangtze Cruise Ship.

Day14-15: Yangtze Cruise B/L/D Ship****

Yangtze Cruiser President No. 4 picture 2Within two and a half days, you will make a cruise through the whole 600 km long distance from Chongqing to the Three Gorges Dam. You will cross the Three Gorges as well. At first you come to pass the only 8 km long and rather narrow, but very impressing Qutang Gorge (Bellows Gorge), then you come to pass the 40 km long Wu Gorge (Witch Gorge) and finally the 76 km long Xiling Gorge (West Mountain Gorge). You will make a trip to a very old village, which nearly can not be reached from the landside, and a cruise through the small gorges of one of the tributary rivers into a charming protected landscape. Moreover you pass the gigantic five ary watergate of the Three-Gorges-Dam - an outstanding attraction.

Day16: Yichang / Wuhan / Shanghai B/L Ocean Hotel ****

Arrival in Yichang in the morning. Afterwards, you will fly from Yichang to Shanghai, or go by bus to Wuhan and fly to Shanghai (it depends on availability). After the arrival in Shanghai, transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your disposal.

Day17: Shanghai B/L/D Ocean Hotel****

In the morning, visit the Yu Garden and the Tea House in the Old Town of Shanghai. Then you will experience the religious life in the Jade Buddha Temple, where a 2m Buddha statue made of one single piece of rare white Burmese jade, is housed. Stroll up Nanjing Road, the busiest shopping street of Shanghai. Then you will walk to the Bund, the famous street along the Huangpu River with its European colonial architecture of the 1930's.

Day18: Shanghai/Suzhou/Tongli/Suzhou B/L/D Guanyun Hotel****

Yu Garden ShanghaiIn the morning, go from Shanghai to Suzhou by train. After the arrival, visit the picturesque Humble Administrator's Garden (Zhuozheng Yuan), which was built in the 16th century. It is the largest and most representative garden in Suzhou. This garden is one of the 9 gardens in Suzhou, which was taken in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Then visit a Silk Mill, which is typical of Suzhou. Afterwards you will make a tour to the Water Town Tongli, a beautiful old town at the Grand Canal with many river tributaries, bridges, bent lanes and street markets. After having returned to Suzhou, visit the Garden of the Master of the Nets (Wangshi Yuan). It is the smallest, but perhaps the most impressive Suzhou private gardens. Because of its able use of space, it appears as if it were a much bigger garden. It was taken in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Day19: Suzhou / Shanghai B/L/D Ocean Hotel****

In the morning, you will visit the Tiger Hill (Hu Qiu), a landscape park with rock sceneries, steep stairs, gates, halls and pavilions. Legend has it that the tomb of an monarch of the empire Wu was built here in 496 BC.Tomb raiders, who searched here for treasuries, about 600 years later, were unsuccessful. Afterwards, you will return to Shanghai. There you can visit the 421 m high Jinmao Building, which is a marvelous combination of traditional Chinese elements and the gothic influence. On the nowadays highest observation deck, you can enjoy a wonderful view over the fastest developing Asian city.

Day20: Shanghai B  

Shanghai Pudong 2 skyline Jin Mao BuildingIn the morning, transfer to the airport and fly back home. (You can spend approx. $7 to go to the airport by the Transrapid).


End of the travel.




B: Breakfast     L: Lunch     D: Dinner

 

Tour No.:TY
Tibet and the Yangtze

For individual groups

Number of participants

Peak season

Single room extra charge

Single cabin extra charge

book

2-5 pers.
2675 USD
410 USD
220 USD
Shoulder season
Single room extra charge
Single cabin extra charge
     2610 USD     375 USD       200 USD

If you are a group with more than 5 persons, you can get more favourable prices. Please note that the prices may vary due to exchange rate fluctuations (RMB to USD) slightly. The prices above were computed by the rates as 1 USD= 7.9 RMB.

Peak season: April, May, September and October
Shoulder season: March, June, July, August, November

The hotels:
Beijing Best Western Hotel****
Xi'an Jianguo Hotel****
Lhasa Shambala Hotel ***
Gyangtse Hotel ***
Shigatse Shangdong Hotel ***
Shanghai Ocean Hotel****
Suzhou Guanyun Hotel****

Price includes:
-- All overnight accommodation in double rooms shared by two    adults with breakfast
-- Meals as listed in the itinerary
-- All transfers and entrance tickets as listed in the itinerary
-- Yangtze River Cruise Ship****
-- All inland flight tickets including fees
-- Local English-speaking tour guides


Price does not include:
-- International flight tickets
-- Visa for China
-- Personal expenditures, tips etc.

Note:
-- The Yangtze River Cruise Ship**** sails off every Friday evening from    Chongqing, so that the itinerary must be planed according to that.
-- Children less than 12 years old can be given discounts.
-- The hotels, trains and flights listed in the itinerary may be changed into the    ones of similar category if necessary.
-- The prices do not apply to the period of the Formula 1 racings in Shanghai    (25th Sep.–5th Oct.2006).
-- If you need more information, please contact us.

 

 

 

China Intensive

• Scenery and Culture
•China Panorama
•South China and the   Yangtze
•China Highlights
•China Discovery
•Trekking tour
•Biking tour
•Beautiful Silk Road
•the Complete Silk   Road
•Camel Ride across the Taklamakan Desert
•Tibet and the Yangtze
•Budget Tour 1
•Budget Tour 2
•Budget Tour 3
•Learning Kong Fu in Shaolin Temple
•China with Taijiquan
•Taijiquan and Sunbath   Vacation
•Tibet Discovery
•Shangri La Adventure
•F1 Shanghai

 
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