This classical highlights tour of mainland China includes Beijing, Xian and Guilin (with Li River cruise) and 2 days in Long Sheng County, Longji Terrace (rice terrace village) followed by an 8 day exploration of Tibet, ending in Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, you can fly home, add more days to visit Nepal or join our fall Bhutan tour. This is an active tour with lots of walking.
Arrive in Beijing. Transfer to hotel Taiwan or City Hotel (based on availability).
Beijing Full day sightseeing: Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven. Begin the day early to see flag ceremony in Tian’anmen Square. – The Tian’anmen Square: The largest city square in the world. – The Forbidden City: The largest imperial palace in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties with a history of around 600 years. -Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 A.D. during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven. As Chinese emperors called themselves “The Son of Heaven” ,they dared not to build their own dwelling,”Forbidden City” bigger than a dwelling for Heaven. Enjoy the Peking Opera Show in the evening at Huguang Guild Hall.
Beijing Full day sightseeing: the Great Wall from “JinshanLing to Simatai. – The Great Wall: One of the seven wonders in the world and the symbol of China. 4km long walk in Beijing on the Great wall —not the famous part of the wall where all the tourists go, but another part “JinshanLing to Simatai.” The walk follows the range of the mountain, and you would be actually walking on the wall. At the end of the walk, you will be picked and transferred to the hotel. Allow3-4 hours at a leisurely pace to enjoy the landscape.
Beijing Morning visit Hutongs by rickshaw. and walk about the Dazhalan area with guide. – Hutongs: The old narrow paths where common people lived. All the Hutongs crisscross with each other, dotted with the Kindergarten, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, the Tea House, and the lake, House of Gong Infant and local people’s houses among them. Afternoon flight to Xi’an.
Xi’an : Full day Visit The Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi Provincial History Museum and Ancient City Wall. Enjoy the Tang Dynasty show in the evening. -The Wild Goose Pagoda: The pagoda where widely renowned Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his classics brought from India. The Big Goose Pagoda is situated in the Da Ci’en Temple, four kilometers away from the center of the city. Shaanxi Provincial History Museum, 1 km northwest of Wild Goose Pagoda, a striking Tang-Dynasty style pavilion, houses a large collection of 113,000 historic and cultural artefacts unearthed in Shaanxi. – The Ancient City Wall: An extension of the old Tang Dynasty structure boasting the most complete city wall that survives through Chinese long history.
The Tang Dynasty show: presents the palace dances and songs from the Tang Dynasty when Xian was the capital. Performance and dinner is at Tang Le Gong (Tang Dynasty Palace). The eight course dinner is quite good and the performance is excellent!
Xi’an Visit Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. – The Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses: The greatest archaeological findings of the century: the army of terra-cotta warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at emperor Qin’s tomb. Late afternoon flight to Guilin.
Guilin Full day Li River Cruise to Yangshuowith lunch aboard and return to Guilinby car in evening. -Li River Cruise: Depart from your hotel in the morning. Transferred to the Zhujiang Pier (about 1 hour drive) for a 4.5 hours wonderful cruise.You will enjoy the picturesque mountains, peaceful green fields ,farms and villages with water buffalos, cows wandering around on both sides of the river bank. Disembark at the one-thousand-year-old town,Yangshuo in the afternoon. Have a short exploration of the old town and ample time to browse the market before transfer back to Guilin city by car.
Longji Village Drive to Longji approx 2 hrs; walk 30 minutes uphill on stone paved path to the village. Afternoon Longi village walks to see the various ethnic groups including te Miao long hair girls.
Longi village walks. Enjoy the beauty, claen fresh air and peacefulness of this region.
Evening flight to Chengdu. Met at airport and transfer to hotel.
Chengdu – city tour and visit Panda Sanctuary.
Evening attend Sichuan Opera and Folk Arts Performance.
Fly to Lhasa Air China Southwest. Transfer to Yak Hotel in Old City. Rest of day free to acclimate.
Lhasa – two full days to explore this fantastic city on the roof of the world. The spiritual heart of Tibet is the Jokhang Temple and every morning is full of life as pilgrims bring offerings of butter and barley flour. The Potala Palace rises above the city and, more than any other sight, symbolizes the history and culture of Tibet. Nearby are the huge monastic universities of Drepung and Sera – still active institutions.
Drive to Gyantse (6 hrs). Visit Pelkor Choede and Kumbum Monastery with its extraordinary architecture. Alt 3950m; hotel with attached bath hot shower
Drive to Shigatse; visit the great Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama. Alt 3900m; hotel with attached bath hot shower
Drive to Sakya along the Yarlung Tsangpo (known as the Brahmaputra once it reaches India). Alt 4050m; basic accommodations.
Drive to Nyalam on the Tibetan Plateau to 5200 m high Lalung Pass from where we have a spectacular view of the Himalayan range and Shisabangma, the highest peak in Tibet; in Lao Tingri, the peaks of Mt. Everest (Qomolongma in Tibetan) and Cho Oyu can be seen. Alt 3658m; basic accommodations.
Drive to Kathmandu. A long day, beginning with the steep descent down the gorge to Zhangmu-Kodari where we complete border formalities before continuing the winding descent to Kathmandu.