Terra Cotta Warriors and Holy Land Tibet

13 Day Tour: Beijing, Xian, Lhasa, and Shanghai

Begin the tour in Beijing, where you will tour the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Summer Palace.

Fly to Xian, one of the world’s largest and grandest cities and capital of China for 11 dynasties. Marvel at the Terra Cotta Warriors, one of the most fabulous archaeological reserves in the world, visit the 5,000 year-old Banpo Neolithic Museum, a well-preserved center of Yangshao Culture and explore Muslim Street and the Grand Mosque.

Fly to Lhasa and begin your holy land exploration. You will explore the mountain monasteries, spin the prayer wheels, shop in the colorful markets and sample the unique food and culture of this fascinating region. You will not only visit the World Heritage Sites of the Potala and Jokhang Temples, the Drepung and Sera monasteries in Lhasa, you will also see amazing natural landscapes, the Holy lake of Yamdrok and Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier.

You will visit the historical Gyangtse Kumbum Stupa and the traditional Tibetan old towns of Gyangtse, the impressive seat of the Panchen Lama – Tashilhunpo Monastery at Shigats to experience of Tibetan religion and the Tsang (west Tibet) area life style.

This journey is specially designed for a small group of 6 to 8 families and offers outstanding travel value.
    • Three full days to explore Beijing including the Forbidden City, The Great Wall, and the Temple of Heaven
    • Explore the old neighborhood of Beijing, chat with locals and experience real Chinese families.
    • Climb the Great Wall at the less crowded and best preserved section for both children and adults.
    • Specifically selected authentic and traditional meals representing each region’s typical menu. (our exclusive)
    • Early morning walking through parks and taichi practice with locals. (our exclusive)
    • Breath-taking display of picturesque mosaic of Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen, ancient monasteries, high Mountain passes, wide arid plains and awe-inspiring mountain views
    • Three amazing nights in Lhasa visiting with a local Tibetan family and learning about Tibetan Buddhism

    This tour features the following World Heritage sites:

    • The Great Wall of China
    • Temple of Heaven
    • The Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Beijing
    • The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Xi’an
    • Historic Area of the Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

    See other list of CCE’s tours featuring World Heritage sites.

  • Air and Land transportation within China
  • Tibet travel permit
  • Escorted by English-speaking professional tour leader
  • 4 star hotel accommodations, hotel and dining taxes
  • Welcome Peking Duck dinner
  • Meals according to itinerary
  • Admissions and cultural events
  • Visit to a local family
  • Tang Dynasty Theater show
  • Acrobatic or Kungfu Show
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per person
  • Airport and hotel transfers

Day 1 US/Beijing

Depart New York for Beijing. Cross the International Date Line to the wonders of China. In-flight meals.

Day 2 Beijing

Arrive late day in Beijing, China’s bustling capital. Board your air-conditioned motor coach, sit back and enjoy the night scenery of Beijing as your bus takes you to your hotel. Welcome dinner tonight featuring delectable Peking Duck. (D)

Day 3 Beijing

We get up early today to begin our official tour of Beijing. First is the imposing Forbidden City, so called because it was off limits to the public for 500 years. Situated on 250 acres, the Forbidden City was home to two dynasties of emperors, the Ming and the Qing. It is the largest and most complete ancient imperial palace in the world, with more than 800 buildings and 9,999 rooms. In front of the Forbidden City is Tiananmen Square, Chairman Mao’s creation, the largest public place in the world and site of many history-making events. A visit to the 15th century Temple of Heaven provides a glimpse of where the emperors made offerings for the harvest. Today it is a popular place for local people to play chess, practice tai chi or listen to the Peking Opera. Dai ethnic dinner tonight followed by a special world famous Acrobatic show. (B.L.)

Day 4 Beijing, evening flight to Xi’an

The Great Wall of China once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. Visit the Cloissonné Art Works to experience the meticulous craftsmanship of Chinese artisans in the ancient style. Evening flight to Xi’an. Xi’an, the “City of Everlasting Peace,” was the capital of China for 11 dynasties and is one of the world’s largest and grandest cities. It is here that you’ll experience a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of the extraordinary 2,300 year-old terra cotta warriors of China’s first emperor, Qinshihuang. (B.L.)

Day 5: Xian

This morning we will visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Neolithic village of Banpo, which contains relics from the earliest known inhabitants of China – The 7-storied, pyramid-shaped Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a symbol of Xi’an. After lunch, tour the old City Wall with the South Gate Tower (showing the ancient military defense system and the only one of its kind in China). Enjoy an elegant and graceful Tang Dynasty Theater Performance in the evening. Dinner tonight will be a special local Shanxi cuisine. (B.L)

Day 6: Xian

A highlight of your visit this morning will be the extraordinary 2,300 year-old Terra Cotta Warriors of China’s first emperor, Qinshihuang. The warriors still stand on the actual site where peasants discovered them in 1974. Later visit Shanxi Art and Clay factory to see how the Terra Cotta Warriors were made. Afternoon we will arrive at a typical Chinese village. Through meeting the local village leader, visiting a local school learn about village life. Evening is as leisure for you to stroll around park near the hotel. (B.L)

Day 7 Xining and Sky Train to Lhasa

After breakfast, transfer to Xian Airport for flight to Xining. Tonight, transfer to the train station and board the ‘Sky train’ to Lhasa to experience world’s highest railway journey. The 2,000 km journey lasts for 25 hrs. Peeping through UV blocked big train windows you remain captivated with a flashing glimpse of Chinese countryside, flat cultivated land, brown hills, river-side valleys. The train rolls across the 5200 meter high Tanggula mountain pass amidst surreal mountain vistas, as you near Tibetan plateau. The train continues to roll through mesmerizing views of turquoise Qinghai Lake and uniquely shaped vast Tibetan plateau right below the huge mountain range with 7000+ meter peaks dominating the entire landscape. Oxygen supplying equipment and an oxygen mask is also available in the train for those who are prone to altitude sickness. You will have the best services from soft sleepers, vacuum flush toilets, flat-screen TVs to the finest of cuisine.

Day 8 Arrival in Lhasa

After an approximate 25 hrs of train ride across the “roof of the world”, you finally arrive in Lhasa with fond memory of your just accomplished world’s highest train journey. Train arrives at Lhasa around 6:30pm. You will be met at the train station by your Tibetan tour guide to escort you to your hotel. During the hour long drive to your hotel in the city, enjoy the breathtaking view along the Yarlong Tsangpo River. Tibetan features can be seen along the way, including Big Buddha engravings on the hill near the road, colorful prayer flags and friendly Tibetan people. The altitude in Lhasa is about 3,650m above sea level. Take time out to relax and acclimate to the high altitude after arrival.

We recommend that you avoid strenuous activity for the first few days. It is advisable that you not take showers for the first day. For first time visitors, it is common to have different degrees of high altitude sickness symptom. Drink more water, have fresh fruit and plenty of rest will help to prevent the sickness. Have a good rest tonight, and get ready for tomorrow’s journey.

Day 9 Lhasa

Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. The city, with an altitude of 3700 m above sea level, has long been the “Holy Land” of Tibet. Due to the high elevation, altitude sickness can happen to anyone regardless of your age and health condition. Most visitors to Tibet will experience some symptoms that will generally disappear through acclimatization. Please consult with your physician prior to traveling to Lhasa. After adjusting to the altitude, visit Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where innumerable pilgrims come for worship everyday. The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Surrounding Jokhang is the Barkhor, the Pilgrim’s Circuit, Lhasa’s old market. This area is full of activity with monks chanting, vendors selling their wares, yak butter wafting in the air and hundreds of people moving in a clockwise direction. Much has been changed in Tibet in the past few hundred years, but the Barkhor still has the air of a medieval bazaar. In today’s Barkhor you can bargain good-naturedly for souvenirs, thangkas, and other local specialties. In the afternoon visit Norbulingka, which means “the garden of treasures” in Tibetan language. Located in the west suburbs of Lhasa, this palace complex was built in the 18th century and served as the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas.

Please try not to disturb pilgrims; you can take pictures from a distance. If you still have energy in the evening, you can go to the square on your own in front of the Potala Palace around 8:30pm to enjoy the 2-hours music fountain for free. (B.L.)

Day 10 Lhasa

Like the previous days, you experience invaluable insights during your visits to Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery. This 17th century Potala Palace offers an awesome view of the entire city and also has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in 14th century used to shelter around 10,000 monks but as now there has been quite a decline resulting in only few hundreds. Tibetans’ respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery. In the afternoon, tour the Tibetan Museum to learn more about the history of this region referred to as the “roof of the world”. Today’s cultural exchange program will offer you an insightful visit to a local Tibetan home where you have a people-to-people experience with the locals and enjoy the famous yak-butter tea. Notes: As you climb up to the Potala Palace, you might experience slight shortness of breath due to the exertion. Take your time and rest when needed. (B.L.)

Day 11 Lhasa to Shigatse

This morning take 2 ½ hour scenic drive to the Yamdrok Yumtso (tso means lake) to enjoy the natural beauty of this mystical land. You will follow Lhasa River to Tsangpo River, the highest major river in the world. Then continue for 1.5 hours to the foot of Naiqinkangsang Snow Mountain, one of the holy mountains of Tibet. If you look up to the Snow Mountain you’ll see the beautiful “flag cloud” floating and shining in the air. Karo-la Glacier will be in your eyes. It has a good fame of “Ice Queen” on the roof of the world. It is about 5,600 meters north of the main peak of Karo-la Mountain. You’ll have a long-distance of this masterpiece of nature. Late afternoon, visit Palkor Chode (Palcho) monastery. Built as a Tibetan monastery, its structural style is very unique, reputed as the lord of Tibetan stupas. In addition, it is famous for the architecture, sculpture, and mural painting art. Arrive in Shigatse in the evening. (B.L.)

Day 12 Shigatse to Lhasa

Visit Tashilump Monastery in the morning. Tashilunpo Monastery was Built in 1447 by the first Dalai Lama. Painted in red and white, the buildings in the kloster stand closely together in terraced rows, offering a grand and majestic view. Tashilunpo Kloster represents the Tibetan super architecture art in the Last Tibetan spirit. The Kloster attracts thousands of Buddhists and tourists from domestic and abroad to travel and worship every year. After lunch, drive back to Lhasa. Enjoy the desert scenery and the scenery along the Brahmaputra and see devout Tibetans prostrating and measuring their pilgrimage route with their flesh and blood on Tibetan Plateau. Overnight in Lhasa. (B.L.)

Day 13 Lhasa to Shanghai

Morning at leisure. Afternoon transfer to Lhasa airport for your flight to Shanghai, China’s most populous city and center of trade and industry. (B.L)

Day 14 Return home

Transfer to Pudong International Airport for connecting flights to USA. Crossing back over the International Date Line, you will arrive home on the same day! (B)

Tour Date(s):

  • October 14-27, 2017

Tour Cost:

  • $3,695 per person, double occupancy
  • Single supplement: $920

Special Notes:

  • Price does not include international airfare, passport and visa fees. Optional trip extension, transportation to/from orphanage, gratuities to guides, driver, hotel personal and airport taxes.
  • Tour fares are subject to change.
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