Mysterious Tibet & Yangtze

E-406: 15 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Xian - Lhasa - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Partially-guided Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide & experienced driver for specified guided tours
Accommodation: 3-star decent hotels, also be open to your own choice
Tour Features:
    With essential parts like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army with a guide plus some open free days for easy sightseeing in downtown, our itinerary is particularly designed for clients who are on a limited budget and enjoy a measure of independent travel with our professional suggestions.
From $2629 per person Free Inquiry
Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Family fun at Forbidden City
Photo by our client Ms. Gillian
Welcome to Beijing! After you reclaim your luggage and clear customs, you will find your local guide is ready to greet you with a big smile at the Arrival Hall of the Capital Airport. On the way to the hotel, our guide will introduce the capital city briefly to give you a general impression of the city and also discuss the guided sightseeing arrangements the next day with you. To help you recover from the fatigue of long-hour flight, we leave the rest of the day free for you to have a good rest at the hotel. But if you want to get acquainted with the surroundings, it is also very safe for you to go outside and wander around by yourself. You'd better get some advice for where to go from your guide before he/ she leaves.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Accommodation: Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel
Day 2 Beijing
The long history endowed our capital city with considerable precious World Cultural Heritages. This morning we arrange the Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City to start your expected visit. The Forbidden City is famous for its exquisite buildings, excellent layout and rich cultural relics. It is one of the greatest palaces in the world and attracts more than 6,000,000 travelers every year. We will take you to see around this grand palace and tell you the mysterious imperial life of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. 

Lunch will be at your own arrangement and you may ask your guide for where to have lunch or find your own preference. In the afternoon, visit the largest royal garden, Summer Palace.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 3 Beijing
Our clients at the Temple of Heaven
Mutianyu Great Wall is one place that you can not miss when you visit Beijing. We will arrange the round trip cable car for you. It is a bit energy-consuming to hike on the Great Wall, but it is definitely worth your effort. Actually, no matter how many times you visit, the spellbinding Great Wall never fails to impress its viewers. We suggest you have a big breakfast at the hotel this morning and prepare some light food as your lunch since restaurants in the mountain area are not good. If you prefer to have simple lunch at restaurant, you may seek suggestion from your guide.
On the way back to downtown, you will pass the Bird's Nest, which was the National Stadium used for 2008 Olympic. If you like, you can ask the driver to stop and look at it and also take some photos from a distance. A visit to the Temple of Heaven is on this afternoon's schedule. As one of the most important sites, it was dedicated to imperial sacrificial in ancient time, now it is also a serene and nice park with a large area of cypress for visitors to view and admire.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing - Xian
Old Hutong alleys
No guided tour will be offered today and the whole day's arrangements will be free for your own to arrange. Here we kindly remind you to leave enough time to go to the railway station for the overnight train to Xi'an. We suggest you arrive at the railway station at least one hour before the train departure time. Hereunder we would like to give you some suggestion for today's visit, and you can follow our guidance if you are interested in these sites. The required hotel check out time is 12:00. In order to avoid coming back to hotel again in the noon for check-out procedure, we suggest you check out of the hotel in the morning and store your luggage at the hotel front desk before starting your visit.

If you have children with you, the Panda House in Beijing Zoo is a good place to go. You can take a taxi there at the expense of CNY25. The best time to see Panda is from 08:30 to 10:00, when the Pandas have their Bamboo feast and have fun around their houses or on the trees. If you do not want to visit the Zoo, then you can have a look at the local residence in Hutong area. There are many old Hutongs in Beijing and today we suggest the Yandai Xiejie Hutong for you. Go out from your hotel, walk eastward, then to the north for about 40m in total to find the bus station at the Nanheyan Street. You can take bus No. 60 or 82 to the north and then get off at the Drum Tower station after around 20 minutes. Then you can find an alley to the west, which is the east entrance of the Yandai Xiejie Hutong. Walking down the Hutong, you may find some old crafts are still preserved by people today. Turn to southeast at the end of this Hutong and go across Yindian Bridge, you will reach Houhai Area. It is the most famous bar street and one of the places of the cultural origins. The whole district here has mixed rich old Beijing atmosphere and modern breath. Besides, you can find many good restaurants and choose your favorite one for lunch today. When you are about at the west end of Houhai area, you will find a narrow lane named Houhai Jiadao running in a northeast direction. Please walk down this lane and then turn to the Drum Tower west street to the east direction, you may find the bus No. 5 at the Guozishi Station. You can take it and get off at the Jingshan Park Station. Standing on the top point of the Hill inside Jingshan Park , you will get a panorama of the Forbidden City.

After visiting, you can take taxi back to the hotel for your luggage and then take taxi again to Beijing West Station to board the overnight train to Xi'an. We suggest you read the compulsory tips on the Train Baggage Allowance and keep eyes on your valuable belongings on the train. We also suggest you take some light food or snack for dinner and the next day's breakfast as the food on the train is really poor and somewhat expensive. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight soft sleeper train
Day 5 Xian
Terracotta Warriors
After over eleven hours on the train, you will arrive in the ancient city Xian this morning. Please take all your belongings and baggage and find your local guide at the platform. We will transfer you to the hotel. The check in time is 14:00, but the hotel will try to arrange room for you based on the availability in the morning. Later after about 40 minutes driving, you will be guided to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. The accompanying pits inside the museum started construction together with the First Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum when he was enthroned, and it was finally completed after 37 years. You can imagine how grandiose and massive the project was. Lunch is not included, so you can sample something appetizing on your own. The afternoon will be spent at the Shaanxi History Museum, the Xian Museum and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Your guide will show you around these sites and give you detailed introduction for each of them.

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: Days Inn City Centre Xi'an
Day 6 Xian
Our travel consultant Abbey with her guests
Today we do not offer any service but only the hotel accommodation for you. Actually, there are some important attractions around your hotel and you can visit each one on foot. We would like to give you some guidance for your arrangements. Xi'an City was built around the Bell Tower with four main streets extending to four directions. Your hotel is located in North Street, about 650m away from the Bell Tower. Going outside of the hotel, walking down the street to the south for about 20 minutes, you will see the ancient City Wall blocks your way. You can buy the entrance ticket to climb on the wall from the South Gate. The wall has firmly stood to guard the inner city for more than 600 years. Since it is wide on the top, riding a bike on the wall becomes very popular. The bike rental fee is CNY40 per person for 100 minutes, and a deposit of CNY100 is required but will be refunded when you return the bike. If you do not want to ride it for a full circle, and then only ride halfway to the East Gate and return to the starting point, this may need about half an hour. The bike can be returned at four places, they are the east, south, west and north gate. We suggest you get off the wall at north side of the South Gate for there is a pedestrian street named Shuyuanmen located 50m away on its eastern side. The street is lined with traditional buildings selling curios, handcraft works, paintings and calligraphy. After a short visit there, take the underground passage to the other side of the South Street, you will find a street stretches to the west named Xiangzimiao Street, where there are some restaurants for lunch. Have a rest at your hotel and visit the Bell Tower. Passing the underground passage to reach the north side of the West Street, you can see the Drum Tower ahead of you. Under the Drum Tower, and next to the Mcdonald's, a small road to north leads you to the Muslim Street, where you can find lots of restaurants and shops selling various souvenirs. Have a look at the bustle in the street and come back to your hotel after dinner.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 7 Xian - Lhasa
Please find your own way to the airport for the flight to Lhasa. We suggest you take shuttle bus to the airport. Please walk southwards along North Street from your hotel to the underpass, turn right at the underpass and get out at the South Exit of West Street, then walk for about 100m more, you can find or wait for the airport shuttle bus in front of the Melody Hotel. Our guide in Lhasa will pick you up at the exit and then we will drive you to the hotel. On the way, you will be overwhelmed by the pure sunshine and colorful Tibetan buildings. For the remainder of the day, no sightseeing is scheduled and we suggest you have a rest at the hotel to adapt yourself to the high altitude.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Gang-gyan Lhasa Hotel
Day 8 Lhasa
Potala Palace
Photo by our client Ms. Margarita de Castellanos
The private day tour will start with a visit to the Tibet Museum, where you will have a first impression of this holy land and learn its history and culture. It is believed that this museum will help visitors well understand the rest of the sites and Monasteries. After lunch, you will be led to Sera Monastery, one of the three greatest monasteries in Tibet. The most distinctive feature of Sera Monastery is the lama's sutra-debating held in the afternoon from Monday to Friday. Later you will see the Norbulingka Park, which is a classical Tibetan Garden by combining beautiful scenery with cultural and historical relics. Furthermore, it is also the Summer Resort of Dalai Lama.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 Lhasa
Lama's sutra-debating in Sera Monastery
This morning, we will show you the Potala Palace, which is the symbol of Lhasa, even that of whole Tibet. Being a grand palace complex, it has important significance in Tibetan culture and religion. After lunch, continue your journey to Jokhang Temple. In a sense, Jokhang Temple is the most important temple in Tibet because a 12-year-old golden Buddha statue of Sakyamuni is worshipped here. Its buildings show a perfect combination of Tibetan, Chinese Tang Dynasty, Nepalese and Indian architecture styles, and are the epitome of Tibetan architecture. Stepping out of the temple, you will turn to the thriving Barkhor Street, where you will see the locals' traditional life and residence. At last, you will have an interesting visit in a Nunnery nearby.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 10 Lhasa - Chongqing
Our clients enjoying the spectacular view on the ship
Today you will fly out of Lhasa to the starting point of your Yangtze River cruise. The airport transfers will be provided in both Lhasa and Chongqing. We will arrange a visit to Ciqikou Village in Chongqing, where you can see lots of traditional buildings and get to know the history of this mountain city. Before checking in at the cruise, you may get some ideas from your guide for where to have your dinner. Chongqing enjoys high reputation for Sichuan Cuisine. Maybe the famed hotpot is a nice choice for you to try. Afterwards, we will transfer you to the dock and help you to check in the cruise, which will set sail at 22:00.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: President No.7/No.8 with balcony
Day 11 Yangtze River Cruise
Your colorful activities on the cruise will start today. Regarding sightseeing arrangements, the cruise company always offers some other optional excursions for clients, if you are interested in them, then pay on the spot. Or, you can join in some other activities held on the ship for fun, or just sit at the balcony to enjoy the scenery along the river. Lunch will be served on board. The shore excursion to Mount Shuanggui comes at about 12:30. Facing the Yangtze River, Mount Shuanggui is a renowned site with the integration of both natural and cultural landscapes. It is covered by more than 500,000 species of trees and flowers, so called the back garden of Fengdu. Besides, the poems and inscriptions left by the ancient Chinese poets can be seen everywhere. Tonight, the Captain's Welcome Party is waiting for your attendance. A performance is given by the crew to show their sincere welcome to all the valued clients.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 Yangtze River Cruise
The ship will continue sailing. Today you will see unique sceneries, including the Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and the Xiling Gorge. The river guide will give you detailed introduction when the ship passes by the gorges. Please take your camera and get a good shot of the striking view. You may also have a chance to take a junk, and according to the water level, the shore excursion will take you to the Shennong Stream to fully enjoy the rare natural beauty. The farewell party tonight looks forward to your attending, and you can have fun together with the crew and the other passengers.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 Yichang - Shanghai
Another highlight of your Yangtze River cruise comes today as you visit the Three Gorges Dam. Before sightseeing, you need to complete the check-out procedure first. After the tour, you will be transferred to the Three Gorges Tourist Center in Yichang city to meet your Yichang guide. Then we will drive you to Yichang East Railway Station to take a bullet train to Shanghai, which is a 7.5-hour trip. Upon your arrival in Shanghai, you need to arrange your own transfer to the hotel. Here we would like to offer some suggestion for the transportation from Shanghai Railway Station and Hongqiao Railway Station to your hotel.

From Shanghai Railway Station: Your hotel is located near the Shanghai Railway Station. A taxi to your hotel will cost you about CNY20 and take 10 minutes.

From Hongqiao Railway Station: A taxi to your hotel will cost you about CNY70 and take about half an hour. To save cost, you may also take subway line 10 from the train station to Shaanxi South Rd. first and then transfer to line 12 to Hanzhong Rd. Station. Finally, walk to the hotel in about 10 minutes.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Golden River-view Hotel
Day 14 Shanghai
Snapshot of the Bund
We do not offer guided service in Shanghai as the transportation in this city is quite convenient and sites are easy to understand. Here we will give you some sightseeing options for your reference. Shanghai Museum is one of the most famous museums in China including all kinds of exhibits of paintings, calligraphy, precious relics, and jewels. You can take taxi with the fee of CNY20 to get there. No admission fee is needed but we suggest you rent an auto-interpreter device (CNY40 per piece) for a better understanding. Upon completing your visit, walk out of the museum and take a taxi at a cost of CNY20 to Yuyuan Garden. After visiting the garden, you can wander around outside Chenghuangmiao area to find good eateries with local flavor dishes for lunch. For the rest of the afternoon, you may walk or take a taxi (CNY14.00) to the Bund area, where you will see all kinds of international architecture styles, and you can also relax by strolling along the Huangpu River.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 15 Departure from Shanghai
Today you will check out of the hotel and leave for your next destination by yourself. Please also make sure you will get to the correct airport. Generally, all international flights depart from Pudong Airport but China domestic flights use both airports. For those who take heavy baggage, it would be best to catch a taxi to the airport. To save cost for clients going to Pudong Airport, you can take a taxi first to the shuttle bus station, which is at the South Square of Shanghai Railway Station, just opposite to the Passenger Waiting Hall across the street, and then you can take bus line 5 to Pudong Airport. Or you can take subway line 1 and transfer to line 2 at People's Square Station to the airport.

Besides, there is one more choice for clients who want to experience the maglev train to Pudong Airport. Firstly, take a taxi from your hotel to Maglev train Station at Longyang Road and the taxi fee is around CNY60. The maglev train ticket for standard class seat is CNY50 per person, but you can get preferential price of CNY40 with intraday air ticket. The whole train ride will only need 8 minutes. We hope you will enjoy the journey!

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Tour Prices
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • Any part of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares & train fares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • Lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Private guides and drivers on guided tours
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites on guided tours
  • Tibet Travel Permit
  • Yangtze River cruise with full board
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Transfers and entrance fees for free days
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Why Travel With Us
Questions & Answers
Asked by JC Giron from EL SALVADOR | May. 02, 2018 09:00Reply
Can I have the zip code of 198 Siping Road, Shanghai?
Answers (1)
Answered by Noah from DENMARK | May. 02, 2018 20:12

The correct zip code is 200080.
Asked by Giovanna Paola from INDIA | Oct. 29, 2017 19:15Reply
Is there any bus from chongqing airport to luzhou and which time is the bus?
Answers (1)
Answered by Amanda from CANADA | Oct. 29, 2017 20:35

Yes, direct buses to Luhou can be taken at the Long-distance Exchange Center between T2A and T2B. The schedules are from 09:50 to 22:30, 9 buses in total. And it takes around 3.5h.
Asked by Elizabeth Ahrens from ENGLAND UK. | Apr. 25, 2017 05:01Reply
Independent Solo Traveler for Three Gorge Cruise.
I am 66 year old female and will arrive in Beijing on 8 September and depart Beijing on14 September . I plan to visit Pingyao, Xi'an and' Chengdu before starting 3 Gorge Cruise. Can you suggest the best dates for me to try to book a cruise as I am aware that it will be National Day and Golden Week 1-8 October. I can be quite flexible.

I hope that you are able to help me and appreciate any suggestions.
Thank You
Elizabeth Ahrens
Answers (1)
Answered by Mateo from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 28, 2017 02:06

Hey, you are advised to avoid the China Golden Week holiday. There will have crowded tourists when visiting 3 Gorge Cruise. The mid of October will be a nice time to enjoy the cruise. Don't worry. :)
Asked by Rachel Wong from MALAYSIA | Apr. 03, 2017 01:53Reply
Will be going to Beijing on 28 April - 1 May 2017 , what advisable cloth to wear?
Answers (1)
Answered by Eddie from ITALY | Apr. 03, 2017 04:23

According to the weather forecast, it might be cloudy during that time. The tempareture may range from 55F to 75F. It is suggested you wear shirts and light jackets.
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