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TS-C-EW-07 – TSTC
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TS-C-EW-07 China Highlights & Tibet

SHANGHAI ► LHASA ► XIAN ► BEIJING

11 nights from UK £ 2,475 per person

Price based on 2 people travelling together. These prices are here to give guidance and final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.

A trip of contrasts starts in modern SHANGHAI with its impressive skyline and scent of wealth. A flight on to LHASA in Tibet couldn’t provide greater contrast. Here an ancient spiritual culture still dominates on the “roof of the world.”

continue by train to XIAN, home of the Terra Cotta warriors and once capital of the Tang Dynasty. Your final destination is China’s capital of BEIJING full of imperial splendour.

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Day 1 - Arrival Shanghai

Arrival in Shanghai With Time to Relax at the Hotel After Your Flight

Welcome to Shanghai, China’s exciting and futuristic financial capital and living testament to China’s phenomenal growth. Your guide will greet you at the airport with a transfer by private car to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax from the long flight or start to explore the city with the help of your personalised and exclusive Trip Guidebook we send you before the trip. The area around your centrally located hotel is perfect for an introductory walk.

Meals Included: None today.

Day 2 - Shanghai

Yuyuan Gardens, Old Shanghai, Antique Market, the Bund & Skyscraper Viewpoint & Acrobats

Today you will have a full day private tour of some of Shanghai’s highlights starting with the classical Yuyuan Garden that dates back to 1577. Surrounding the garden is Old Shanghai, an area that has been a vibrant commercial centre for over a century. Here we visit Fuyou Road antique market, one of the best places for souvenir hunting and a fascinating experience even if not shopping. The tour continues with a walk down the Bund along which the Huangpu River runs and where some of Asia’s finest colonial architecture is located. From here we cross the River by ferry to Shanghai’s ultra modern Pudong Financial district for a bird’s eye view of the city from the top of one of the stunning skyscrapers.

There is no better way to round off this Shanghai experience than with a visit to the world famous Chinese Acrobats for a show filled with colour and excitement.

Return to your hotel or head out to sample Shanghai’s vibrant nightlife.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 3 - Xian to Lhasa

Flight on to Lhasa and Your First Taste of This Extraordinary City

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lhasa. Your guide will have your Tibet Travel Permit and plane ticket. Arrival at Lhasa’s Gonggar airport after what has, cloud cover permitting, been a spectacular flight. Your guide will be meeting you at the airport for the 1 hour drive to Lhasa. Tibet’s capital, at a quite manageable altitude of 3,650 meters (12,000 feet) is a unique city and a real highlight or any trip. The setting, history, architecture, people and contrasts all make for a very special travel experience.

Free time to relax and adjust to the altitude or start exploring the city.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 4 - Lhasa

Drepung Monastery, Nechung Residence, Sacred Jokhang Temple & Kora

Today first head 5 km out of Lhasa to Drepung Monastery, the largest in Tibet located on Gambo Utse mountain. Founded in 1416, it was the principal seat of learning for the Gelugpa school and at its height was thought to contain up to 10,000 monks (now there are 300). About 10 minutes walk from Drepung is Nechung Chok which was the residence of the State Oracle of Tibet. This small monastery was also evocatively known as the ”Demon Fortress of the Oracle King.”

After lunch (own arrangement) visit the Jokhang Temple constructed in 642 AD and considered the most sacred and important temple in all Tibet. It is located at one end of Barkhor Square, a fascinating meeting point for pilgrims from all over the region making for an intense atmosphere infused with incense and devotion. Surrounding the temple is the Barkhor Kora, a 1 km circular walk for pilgrims and locals as well as a fascinating market selling all the goods a pilgrim might need on their travels.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 5 - Lhasa

The Truly Spectacular Potala Palace & Ancient Sera Monastery

Today you visit one of the architectural highlights of China – if not the world – the vast Potala Palace, former residence of Dalai Lamas. Building started in 1645 and has been added to over the centuries. It is 13 stories high and contains over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues. You will see some of the meeting rooms as well as the extraordinary chapels with their vast gold and jewel encrusted shrines to previous Dalai Lamas – the chapel of the 5th Dalai Lama has a stupa coated in 3,727kg of gold and 18,680 precious stones. The Potala dominates Lhasa and the views from the palace stretch out across the city to the surrounding mountains.

Continue to Sera Monastery, spread over 28 acres at the base of Pubuchok mountain and built in 1419. The highlights are the great assembly hall and some of the colleges located within the complex with their wealth of architectural features and shrines.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 6 - Lhasa

Day Trip to Ganden Monastery With Time to Walk in the Hills

Today you leave the city into the often dramatic countryside to the huge Ganden Monastery approached by a spectacular winding road. Ganden is one of the ‘great three’ Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet, located at the top of Wangbur Mountain 36 km from Lhasa at an altitude of 4,300m. Founded in 1409 it used to be home to up to 6,000 monks. After touring the monastery you will have time to hike in the surrounding hills with their amazing views across the valleys and mountain ranges returning to Lhasa with a free evening.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Picnic Lunch.

Day 7 - Train to Xian

Depart Lhasa by Train to Xian

Free time until a transfer to the train station to continue your journey by train across the plateau and its dramatic scenery.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 8 - Arrival Xian

Changing Vistas of China Before Arrival in the Tang Dynasty Capital

A full day on the train watching the sparsely populated areas of Central China give way to the villages, towns and cities on the run up to Xian where you arrive late evening.

This city was the fabled Chang An – a thriving city of Emperors, soldiers, arts, culture and capital of the Tang Dynasty, an era considered a golden period of Chinese history. For a time it was the largest city in the world and one of the world’s great meeting points at the end of the Silk Road. Transfer to your hotel to overnight.

Meals Included: None Today – the train does have a dining car though.

Day 9 - Xian to Beijing

The Terra Cotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Walls & Muslim Quarter

Today visit one of China’s most extraordinary sights, the Terra Cotta Army built by China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 246 BC. Several thousand of the life-sized soldiers are on display and, with no two soldiers looking alike, make for a truly impressive spectacle.

We also visit a relic of the Tang Dynasty, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, home to some of the most famous Buddhist scriptures in China. It is possible to climb the pagoda – you will need to buy a ticket locally if you wish to do this – for views over Xian. Continue to the 14 km Ming Dynasty City Walls which are up to 18 meters thick at the base and 12 meters in height. It is possible to hire bicycles and ride some sections of the wall – local rental payment required.

Finish the day with a wander through Xian’s vibrant Muslim quarter, including a visit to the Great Mosque, unusually built entirely in the Chinese architectural style. This area is an excellent place to souvenir shop.

Transfer on to the station for the overnight sleeper train service to Beijing.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 10 - Beijing

Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Summer Palace

Early morning arrival in China’s cultural and political capital of Beijing with it’s extraordinary blend of ancient and modern sights. Your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel. Please note that the check-in time is 12 noon but if a room is available or you have pre-booked early check-in you can go straight to your room. We have booked an extra breakfast for you today due to your early arrival.

Today you will see the main highlights of Beijing starting with the Temple of Heaven, considered by many to be the most beautiful building in China. On to vast Tiananmen Square, home to the Mao Mausoleum (it may be possible to visit if open) and Monument to the People’s Heroes before walking to the huge palace complex of the Forbidden City. We’ll walk up the middle axis from South to North taking in the splendour of the most important central buildings before finishing in a small and ancient garden by the north gate.

The last stop today is at the Summer Palace to the west of Beijing. Dominated by Kunming lake it is as popular an escape from the city for todays Beijingers as it was for the Imperial court over the centuries.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 11 - Beijing

The Great Wall at Stunning Mutianyu & the 2008 Olympic Venues

Today we will be showing you one of China’s most famous sights – the Great Wall. We visit the dramatic and less crowded Mutianyu section 70 km from Beijing set amongst spectacular mountain scenery. Dating back to the 6th Century and largely rebuilt in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty, it is one of the best preserved sections of the wall largely due to the high standard of construction.

On the way back to the city we stop at the 2008 Olympic sites of the spectacular Bird’s Nest Stadium and the aquatics centre known as the Water Cube – external viewing only.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 12 - Depart Beijing

Depart Beijing & Start Your Trans-Siberian Rail Adventure

Free time this morning until a transfer to the train station to begin your Trans-Siberian adventure!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

VIEW TRANS-SIBERIAN TOURS STARTING FROM BEIJING

Hand-picked Accommodation for this Trip

The hotels & accommodation used for this trip are from our hand picked selection and all are excellent for their class. We also offer upgraded hotels in most locations. If you would like to explore additional hotel options please the button below and let us know of any changes you wish to make.

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Destinations Visited on this Trip

Click on any of the destinations below for more information.

READ OUR CHINA PLANNING GUIDE

What is included?

Air and / or train transport as described.

All accommodation as specified under the accommodation tab

All private transfers and any other transportation as described

All meals as specified in the itinerary

All tours as specified in the itinerary

All entrance fees to sights toured in the itinerary

24 hour emergency assistance

Visa Paperwork you need in order to obtain the visas

Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected

Our exclusive 200+ page trip guidebook, personalised to your trip

What is not included?

International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request

The Chinese visa – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we recommend ABTASure (UK residents only)

Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment

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LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCIAL PROTECTION
READ CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

 Use the email form below or call our UK office on +44 020 8816 8925 to contact us. We are always happy to hear from you!

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