Highlights of China
- Tour the Forbidden City
- Visit Norbulingka (Summer Palace) and Drepung Monastery
- Visit the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake
- Tour Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Steet
- Explore Xian Old City Wall
- Visit the Terra Cotta Warriors
- The Great Wall (Mutianyu Section) with cable car up and down
- Day 1:
Upon your arrival in Beijing and after clearing immigration and customs, meet your guide for the transfer to your hotel. The rest of day and dinner are on own arrangement.
- Day 2:
Visit Temple of Heaven in the morning. First, you will see local residents do morning exercises, and you will be surprised by the number of people and the variety of exercises they do. Elder people might be practicing their slow-motion Tai Qi. Young ones might be practicing their kung fu fighting or sword fighting. Ladies could be doing some traditional dances. Next, take a one-hour Tai Chi class at Temple of Heaven. Discover the ancient art of meditative self-defense that is Chinese Tai Chi. Your Tai Chi Master will guide you through introductory poses and breathing exercises in the remarkable setting of the Temple of Heaven. After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, you will visit Tiananmen Square, one of the world’s largest public squares. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the square, measuring in at 440,000 square meters (over 109 acres). As you walk from the southernmost part of the square all the way down its length, you will pass several monuments, including the mausoleum that houses Chairman Mao’s remains. The northern gate of the square features a portrait of China’s founding father and is also the gate through which you will enter the Forbidden City. Enter the Forbidden City and walk in the steps of emperors. The Forbidden City was completed in 1420 and was home to 24 emperors, the last of which left Beijing in 1924. The entire imperial complex is reputed to have 9,999 rooms, which, at its peak, housed up to 10,000 people, including the imperial family, 3000 eunuchs, as well as maids and concubines. Discover for yourself why the 170 acres were forbidden to common people as you stroll through what is arguably the best-preserved example of classical Chinese architecture in the world. This evening enjoy a Peking Duck welcome dinner at Duck de Chine restaurant. Duck de Chine is Beijing’s best, most stylish and most innovative duck restaurant. Without compromising on the time-honed and delicate methods of preparation of Beijing duck, Duck de Chine adds a unique French twist to the menu.
- Day 3:
In the morning, race through Beijing’s narrow hutongs in a wooden rickshaw. The word “hutong” refers to the narrow network of lanes created by closely built quadrangular homes. Once the primary architectural feature of China’s capital city, hutongs now make up only a small fraction of Beijing, having been replaced by high-rise buildings in recent years. Later you will be transferred to the Great Wall and enjoy lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit the longest structure ever made by human hands, the Great Wall (Mutianyu Section) with its cable car. You will be transferred back to your hotel with dinner on your own.
- Day 4:
Take the morning flight to Xian. Upon your arrival, your guide will take you to visit the Hanyangling. Built only 70 years after the construction of the Terra Cotta Warriors, the Hanyang tomb is the mausoleum of Han dynasty emperor Liu Qi. Transfer back to your hotel, Mercure Xian On Renmin Square, with lunch and dinner on your own.
- Day 5:
In the morning, meet your guide and visit the Terra Cotta Warriors, one of the most amazing sites in the world. One of the world’s greatest archaeological finds, the Terra Cotta Warriors were discovered quite by chance in 1974 by a group of peasants digging a well outside of Xian. Lunch at local Chinese restaurant near the Terra Cotta Warriors. After lunch, transfer back to the city and visit Xian Old City Wall. The city walls of Xian are some of the oldest and best preserved in all of China and can be dated back to the 2nd century BC, when Xian was the capital of the country. This will be followed by a walk through the Muslim Quarter. Then enjoy a dumplings dinner at Defachang Restaurant.
- Day 6:
Take the morning flight to Lhasa. The Tibetan capital promises mystery and wonderment to all who traverse its streets.
- Day 7:
This morning, your day begins with the Splendid Potala Palace. The Potala Palace is the religious center of Tibetan Buddhism and the former residence of the Dalai Lama. Enjoy Tibet food at local restaurant. Later, visit Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Steet. Lhasa's Jokhang Temple is the most important Tibetan Buddhist temple in the world. Occupying an area of over 25,000 square meters, the temple is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists.
- Day 8:
Breakfast at leisure in hotel. In the morning, visit Norbulingka (Summer Palace) and Drepung Monastery. Norbulingka Norbulingka means "Jeweled Garden," a fitting title for this 250 year-old park built near a medicinal spring in the western suburbs of Lhasa. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon visit the the Sera Monastery and watch the famous Debating on Buddhist doctrines.
- Day 9:
Full-day tour to visit the Yamdrok Yumtso Lake. Transfer back to your hotel with dinner on your own.
- Day 10:
Your day is at leisure before transfer to airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. The rest of your day is at leisure.
- Day 11:
In the morning, meet your guide and visit Shanghai’s Old Town and Yuyuan Garden. Four hundred years ago, a merchant spent almost 20 years, and all his life savings, to build a garden in order to please his parents in their old age. Dim Sum lunch at Lvbolang Restaurant. In the afternoon, take a walk around the former French concession and the lovely Art district of Tianzifang. Dinner on your own in Xintiandi. Huangpu River cruise in the evening. Free at leisure before transfer to airport for your departure flight.
- Day 12:
Your day is at leisure before the transfer to airport for your departure flight.
- Accommodation with daily breakfast as outlined in itinerary (entry level room)
- Transfer and sightseeing as listed above with private driver, English-speaking guide
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
- Flight Beijing-Xian-Lhasa-Shanghai by economy class, including all taxes and fuel charge (Air fare is subject to change by Aviation Bureau without early notice)
- Bottle water provided on transfers and sightseeing
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED
- International and domestic airfares and taxes, unless otherwise specified
- Visa expenses, processing and issuance fees
- Meals other than specified as included
- Travel insurance or expenses of a personal nature (mini-bar, phone call, laundry, etc.)
- Hotel’s surcharges for compulsory holiday dinners (Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve)
- Tips or gratuities to guides/drivers/porters/hotel, restaurant or boat staff, etc.
- Drinks or personal expenses or entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities