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16 Days China Tour for Culture and Tibet Adventure

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  • Day 1-3 Beijing
  • Day 4-5 Xi'an
  • Day 6-8 Xining
  • Day 9-16 Lhasa
Tour Details

Take this private China tour to discover imperial Beijing in Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasty, amazed by the Terracotta warriors and historical treasures in Xi’an, reach the holy Potala Palace and more adventure in Tibet, definitely includes the Everest Base Camp trip.

Pick Up & Drop Off Info

  • Your arrival/departure port
  • Your hotel

Meet Time

  • 09:00am Everyday

Price Includes

  • Private English tour guide service
  • All entrance tickets, hotels and meals listed above
  • All transportation in destination location
  • Service charge, luggage transfer, insurance and tax

Price Excludes

  • International airfare or train tickets in or out of China
  • Any meals not listed above
  • Any private expenses
What to Expect
  • Warm up with our exclusive, in-depth Forbidden City journey with our expert in history and architecture.
  • Explore a less-crowded part of the Great Wall by combining effort-saving cable car rides and moderate hiking.
  • Stand face-to-face with the Terracotta Warriors and get to know why they were created over 2000 years ago
  • Stand on the roof of the world and admire the pilgrim's holy palace, Potala
  • Challenge your breathing limitations - approach Everest Base Camp and feel the thin air

Day 1Beijing Arrival and Private Transfer to Hotel

With a sunny smile, your private guide will be on time and waiting for you at the arrival hall. A comfortable private car (non-smoking) & experienced driver are ready and will transfer you to the hotel. Get the first impression of China.

Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)
Sunworld Hotel Beijing (4-star)
Dongfang Hotel Beijing (3-star)

Meals: None

Good to Know:
Don’t worry about being late. Your guide will be there no matter when you arrive. This tour can be customized just for you.
Our tour guides are not only good at English, but also knowledge of the Chinese culture and history. Most importantly, they are nice people, friendly. You’ll enjoy a nice time with them.

Free-Time Ideas:
If you are not suffering from jet-lag, we recommend the following activities:
A: Visit Beijing Zoo to see the cute giant pandas. Zoo opening times:
April 1–October 31: 7:30 to 18:00;
November 1–March 31: 7:30 to 17:00.
B: Watch a fabulous night show, such as the Kungfu Show or the Acrobatics Show.
Ask your China tour guide to help you with tickets.

Day 2Forbidden City, Hutongs Tour

You will first visit Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City in the morning. Then, have lunch in a local restaurant.

Later, you will get on a rickshaw and the rider will take you into the beating heart of Beijing: the hutongs (old alleyways). Follow up by spending some quality time with a local family in a hutong.

Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)
Sunworld Hotel Beijing (4-star)
Dongfang Hotel Beijing (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Good to Know:
The Forbidden City is the most popular attraction in Beijing, so usually visitors have to take at least half an hour to queue up for entrance tickets. Only 80,000 tickets are sold per day. During the high season, if you don’t get up early to buy the tickets, you may well be shut out.
When you travel with us, however, our tour guide will buy the tickets in advance for you, so that you won’t waste any time standing in a queue and won’t need to worry about whether or not you can get in.

Optional Activities:
Cultural experience: If you are interested in learning to make facial masks for Peking Opera, learning Chinese calligraphy or learning Chinese paper-cutting, just ask us to make a reservation for you. (Each activity takes about 40 minutes and US$5-18.)

Day 3Great Wall at Mutianyu and Temple of Heaven

In the morning, take a relaxing visit to the Temple of Heaven, where Chinese emperors used to worship God.

Later, visit the Mutianyu Great Wall (2.5 hours’ drive from downtown Beijing). This is a less-crowded section of the Great Wall. A cable car takes you up to a good spot, where you can have an easy walk along the wall.

You can return either by cable car, walking down or tobogganing down. Tobogganing down is actually the most popular.

Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town (5-star)
Sunworld Hotel Beijing (4-star)
Dongfang Hotel Beijing (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

The Great Wall Travel Tips:
Toilets are accessible from the Wall. They are clean and hygienic. You should of course always bring some tissues and wet wipes with you when travelling in China, as there are no tissues at most toilets in China.
Put on your hiking shoes. You can hike at your own pace. If you don’t much like hiking, you can take some nice pictures of and from the Great Wall.
Cultural experience: Weather-permitting, at the Temple of Heaven you’ll see locals doing tai chi, making calligraphy and playing traditional instruments, and you can join them if you wish, for experiences you could probably never have in your own country.

Optional Activities:
If a 2-hour hike on the Great Wall at Mutianyu is not enough for you or you want to hike along other parts of the wall, let us know in advance. We can arrange the day according to your preferences.

Day 4Summer Palace, Flight to Xi'an

After breakfast, you will be transferred to visit Summer Palace. The Summer Palace, initially built in 1888, is also known as the Royal Garden Museum. The long gallery, where there are over 8000 paintings about ancient Chinese stories, is the must-see in the Summer Palace.

After a fair well lunch with your Beijing tour guide at the charming traditional Chinese restaurant, later on be transferred to the airport, in just a few hours you’ll be in Xi’an, meeting your local Xi’an tour guide.

Wyndham Grand Xian South (5-star)
Grand Noble Hotel (4-star)
Titan Times Hotel (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast

Free-Time Idea:
Quanjude Roast Duck is world-famous. You can taste it at brunch, if you wish. Ask your guide, who will help you to arrange this.

Optional Activities:
Beijing is a big city with many famous attractions not listed above, like the Bird’s Nest, Jingshan Park, the Bell and Drum Tower, the Yonghe Lama Temple and the Fragrant Hills Park. If you’d like to explore the city more, tell us on your inquiry form. We can customize a tour to meet your requirements.

Day 5Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter, Mosque and Xi’an Ancient City Wall

The first Emperor united all of China. Stand face to face with 6,000 statues at the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, created by the first Emperor. It is said the warriors were all sculpted in the shape of powerful or rich people of the time.

After a dumpling lunch, explore the Ancient City Wall, which surrounds the city center. The wall was built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City.

Later, visit the Muslim Quarter. Many souvenir shops, cafés and bars there are operated by Muslim people. At its heart is one of the largest Islamic mosques in China, remarkable for its combination of Chinese architecture and Islamic practice.

Wyndham Grand Xian South (5-star)
Grand Noble Hotel (4-star)
Titan Times Hotel (3-star)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Free-Time Ideas:
Visit the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. When night falls, the towers are lighted, becoming beautiful and romantic. They are not far from your hotel, so you can walk there and back.
The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is also recommended. If you’d like to see it, your guide will help you buy tickets.

Optional Activities:
Weather-permitting, you can bike on (or right round) the city wall.

Day 6Flight to Xining, Visit Tulou Temple

After breakfast, you’ll head to Xining (Qinghai Province)by air. On arrival your private Xining tour guide, driver and car will meet you at the airport and transfer you directly to your hotel for check-in.

Then be transferred to visit Tulou Temple.

Xining Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7Qinghai Lake & Bird Island Day Tour

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to start the Qinghai Lake and Bird Island Day Tour.

Xining Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8Kumbum Monastery, Board Train to Lhasa in Afternoon (Soft Sleeper)

Visit Kumbum Monastery, Board Train to Lhasa with Soft Sleeper in Afternoon.

Overnight Train

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

About the Train Trip to Lhasa:
1. Train tickets to Lhasa are always popular, particularly from June to October.
2. The most beautiful scenery is from Golmud to Lhasa, the last 13 hours before arrival in Lhasa.
3. The train will go across the Tanggula Mountains, and the highest altitude you reach will be 5,072 meters. During the journey people might feel altitude stress.
4. The trains on Qinghai-Tibet railway have oxygen supplying equipment to ensure the passengers have enough oxygen. People can ask for a free air tube to use the oxygen outlet, which is available for each seat and bunk.

Day 9Arrival in Lhasa

Your private Lhasa tour guide and driver will pick you up at Lhasa train station and accompany you to your hotel.

Yak Hotel

Meals: Dinner

Adapt to the altitude:
1. To prevent altitude sickness, we suggest you have a good rest and do not get too excited. We haven’t arranged any activities for the first day of your trip in order to give you time to acclimatize.
2. There is a chance you might suffer from symptoms of altitude sickness, including abnormal tiredness or headaches. If you need any help, your guide is on 24-hour standby. If you feel good, feel free to explore this gorgeous ancient city on your own. Take it easy and move slowly.
3. Enjoy some time in the square in front of the Potala Palace at night. It’s a good chance to see more of the locals as they like to get together there at night.

Day 10Lhasa: Norbulingka, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery

Enjoy breakfast in your hotel and start your day with a trip to Norbulingka. There, you can breathe in the fresh morning air and slowly get used to the altitude. Then drive for 15 minutes to see Drepung Monastery, where you will climb the stairs up to the hill and visit the delicate temples. If you are lucky, you will hear the monks chanting together, which sounds just like singing.

Have lunch in a local restaurant and try some Tibetan food, such as yak butter tea, which will help you to adapt to the altitude.

After lunch, visit Sera Monastery and watch the monks’ debate. Guess the meaning of their gestures and grasp the chance to take photos.

Quick Facts

Formerly known as the Summer Palace for the Dalai Lamas, it is now a beautiful public park with plenty of plants providing extra oxygen. Due to this, it is the best attraction to visit at the start of your trip.

Sera Monastery
The highlight of visiting this monastery is watching the monks’ debate, which is held at 3:30pm every day except for Sundays.

Drepung Monastery
It is the biggest monastery with the most monks in Tibet. It also has the biggest monastery kitchen, which allows 10,000 monks to have their meals together.

General rules for visiting temples in Tibet

Cameras are not allowed in the temples or in the debate field, but taking photos with a cell phone is acceptable.

When entering a temple, please take off your hat and sunglasses to show respect. Your shoulders should be covered and you should not wear shorts.

Walk clockwise when visiting Barkhor Street.

Yak Hotel

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 11Lhasa: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

This is your third day in Tibet, so you should be physically ready for the Potala Palace, which has a lot of steps. Prepare to enjoy the resplendent chambers and exquisite wall paintings.

Potala PalaceThe red part of the wall is made of special straw.

After lunch, visit the Jokhang Temple. You will see many pilgrims prostrating themselves near the temple. Take part with the locals in the 20-minute walk with prayer wheels, going clockwise around the Jokhang Temple. Take a stroll around Barkhor Street and see some Tibetan handicrafts.

Jokhang TempleColorful Prayer Flags twining on the prayer column: Guess what the black hair on the column is?

Quick Facts

Potala Palace
1. Known as the Dalai Lamas’ Winter Palace, it houses countless treasures including eight Dalai Lamas’ holy stupas. The most luxurious stupa is the 5th Dalai Lama’s, which comprises 3,721 kilograms of gold, 52 tons of silver, and over 15,000 jewels and pearls.
2. The Potala Palace is composed of a white palace and a red palace, and the walls of the white palace taste sweet! This is due to the coating, which contains milk, honey, and white sugar, and these ingredients make the coating bright and stable.
3. Before entering the Potala Palace, you will need to climb about 360 steps, which takes about 30 minutes. Take it easy and have a short break if you like, and take some photos on the way.

Jokhang Temple
It is “Mecca” for Buddhists as it preserves the life-sized golden sitting statue of Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old.

Yak Hotel

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 12Lhasa – Gyangtse (4,040 Meters) – Shigatse (3,836 Meters): Yamdrok Lake, Karuola Glacier, Palcho Monastery

Your adventure will take you southward, all the way to Shigatse. First, you will visit Yamdrok Lake. On sunny days, the lake appears turquoise. If it’s good weather, you will enjoy a lakeside picnic including sandwiches, vegetables, and fruit.

You will also view the fabulous scenery of Karuola Glacier, one of the top three continental glaciers in Tibet. When you arrive at Gyantse, visit Palcho Monastery.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Quick Facts

Yamdrok Lake
1. It’s one of the top four Buddhist holy lakes in Tibet. It’s about 150 kilometers from Lhasa and takes 2½ hours to get there by car.
2. Taking photos with a yak or Tibetan mastiff by the lakeside costs around 20 yuan per person.

Palcho Monastery
1. The most interesting thing in this monastery is the “One Hundred Thousand Buddhas Pagoda”. It has nine floors, 77 chambers, and 108 doors. Each of the chambers has a very low doorframe and people have to bow to enter.

Shigatse Hotel

Breakfast and lunch

Day 13Shigatse – Tingri (4,300 Meters): Tashilunpo Monastery

Visit Tashilunpo Monastery and drive all the way to Tingri. The journey from Shigatse to Tingri takes about 4½ hours by car but you will not get bored; there are stunning views along the way.

Have a good night and be ready for Mt. Everest Base Camp tomorrow.

Tashilhunpo monastery Monks take off their shoes before enter the hall.

Dingri Zhufeng Hotel

Breakfast and lunch

Quick Facts

Tashilunpo Monastery
1. It was traditionally the seat of successive Panchen Lamas. Its building style is different from the monasteries in Lhasa.
2. This monastery has a deep breath of life. There are several small villages in this monastery — you will see local women sitting by the roadside and chatting, children running around, and sleepy dogs and cats lying on the ground and enjoying the sun.
3. Pay special attention to the boots that the monks wear in this monastery — you will notice a big difference!

Optional itinerary:
If you want to see the stunning sunset at Mt. Everest, and you are used to the high altitude and ready to accept the poor environment, we recommend you spend the night at Mt. Everest Base Camp.

Drive for 4 hours from Tingri and the altitude will reach 5,200 meters. The oxygen in the air is only half as much as in the flatlands, and the accommodation is poor there.

You can choose to stay in a tent or a guesthouse, but they don’t have any air-conditioning, private toilets, or showers; only basic bunk beds are provided.

Day 14Tingri – Shigatse: Mt. Everest Base Camp (5,200 Meters), Rongbuk Monastery

After breakfast in your hotel, you will take a 4-hour trip towards the roof of the world. Driving along the zigzagging road, you will have many chances to take photos of the Himalayas.

When you reach Mt. Everest Base Camp, you’ll see Mt. Everest right there in front of you. With a feeling of excitement and accomplishment, you’ll find it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience; unless of course you return one day to climb the mountain.

Visit Rongbuk Monastery near the base, and see the hard life of the monks and nuns there. Take dramatic photos from different angles at Rongbuk Monastery.

After visiting the monastery, you will be driven back to Shigatse.

Shigatse Hotel

Breakfast and lunch

Quick Facts

Mt. Everest Base Camp
1. Everyone who goes there takes a photo with the stone tablet that is engraved with “MT. QOMOLANGMA BASE CAMP” to prove that they have been there.

Rongbuk Monastery
1. The monastery is the highest temple in the world, at 5,100 meters.

Day 15Shigatse – Lhasa

After breakfast in your hotel, you will be driven back to Lhasa. The journey takes about 6 hours but there is marvelous scenery on the way. You’ll travel along the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon. You’ll see plateau lakes, rivers, snowy mountains, and traditional Tibetan villages. Your guide will know some interesting stops.

Local villageLocal people mix dung with staw and dry them on the wall for fuel.

Yak Hotel

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Optional itinerary:
A train journey from Shigatse to Lhasa takes about 2½ hours, and the view is similar to the road. If you are okay to travel without any photo stops and prefer to save some time for Lhasa, please tell us and we will arrange a train journey for you.

Day 16Lhasa Departure

Your Lhasa tour guide and driver will take you to the airport and escort you safely through the check-in procedures and all the way to your gate, so you can rest assured your departure is smooth. We’re confident that this trip will be one you’ll never forget.

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