China & Holy Tibet

SD-501: 13 Days Beijing - Lhasa - Xian - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 5-star Super Deluxe Hotels, also be open to your own choice
Meals: 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches with some being a la carte style, 1 dinner
Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights in China - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, Potala Palace
  • Follow us on a Buddhist pilgrimage to Tibet & appreciate the profound culture
  • View the soaring city skylines and feel the pulse of modern Shanghai
  • Enjoy authentic Chinese foods, Kung Fu Show, Tang Dynasty Music and Dance performance
Mutianyu Great WallHutong tour by rickshawKungfu Show in Red TheaterTibetan peoplePotola PalaceTerracotta warriorsBig Wild Goose PagodaLocal people doing Taichi at the Bund, Shanghai
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Welcome to our beautiful country. Your flight will land in the capital airport and after passing through customs, you will see our guide greeting you with a warm smiling face. Then we will transfer you to the luxurious Peninsula Hotel. The remaining time of the day is free on your own. China is a country rich in food culture. On your first day here, we would like to recommend the elegant Jasmine Restaurant for your dinner. You can take a taxi to the restaurant for a 20 minutes' drive from your hotel. The most famous dish there is the Stir-Fried Beef Tenderloin with Garlic and Black Pepper Sauce. For your information, the average cost there is around CNY350 per person.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Accommodation: The Peninsula Palace
Day 2 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall
After a night's rest at the hotel, you should feel energetic and excited for the private deluxe tours of China. We'll first visit the Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City where emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties resided and governed the country. In the Treasure Gallery in the Forbidden City, you will see many precious gems including pearls, jade and a queen's crown of spun gold. Lunch today is served at the Fangshan Restaurant in Beihai Park. You'll enjoy the service and imperial food there just as the emperors did. In the afternoon, we visit the Temple of Heaven, followed by a vivid Chinese Kung Fu Show at the Red Theatre (VIP Seats). You will make your own arrangements for dinner, and for this evening we would like to recommend a small but exquisite restaurant, Najia Xiaoguan Restaurant which is favored by local people for its fantastic ambience, passionate service and delicious food. You should not miss the most popular dish which is fried prawns in crispy shells. This restaurant is not very expensive and normally CNY150 per person would be enough for an ordinary meal. As one of the most popular restaurants in Beijing, people frequently wait in line for a meal up to two hours in the evening. If you are interested, and wish to avoid a long wait, we are happy to reserve a table for you in advance and drive you to the restaurant after the tour. You will need to take a taxi to get back to the hotel after dinner.

Meals: American breakfast, Imperial lunch
Day 3 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, A la carte lunch, Bird's Nest (drive by). (B+L)
Hutong tour by rickshaw
Hutong tour by rickshaw
Photo by our client Mr. James Owens
Please get up early and have a substantial breakfast today as we will transfer you to the suburban district for a visit to the famous Mutianyu Great Wall. Surrounded by luxuriant vegetation, this section of the wall has the most beautiful scenery all the year round. You may enjoy the blooming flowers in spring, the green mountain in summer, the red leaves in autumn and white snow in winter. A round trip by cable car is included so as to save your energy when climbing the wall. Lunch is served at a pleasant resort nearby. On the way back to the city, we'll drive by the Bird's Nest (Olympic National Stadium) and the Water Cube to appreciate their appearance. Evening is free for your own arrangements. The restaurant we recommend for dinner tonight is 1949 the Hidden City. It is located at Gallery 49 Courtyard 4, a modern art gallery which itself also worth a visit. If interested, our guide and driver are happy to drive you there before they go off duty. The restaurant provides perfect roast duck with its home-made hoisin sauce, very tasty and delicious. The cost there is around CNY500 per person. You will need a taxi to return to the hotel.

Meals: American breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 4 Beijing
Summer Palace with boat, A la carte lunch, Beijing Zoo including Panda House, Hutong Tour. (B+L)
Kungfu Show in Red Theater
Kungfu Show in Red Theater
Today we are going to visit the Summer Palace, Beijing Zoo and Hutong area. The Summer Palace is the best-preserved royal garden in China. In fine weather, a short boat trip on Kunming Lake will enable you to appreciate the beautiful scenery of the garden still more. An a la carte lunch is served at a nearby notable restaurant. After lunch, a short visit to Beijing Zoo gives you a chance to see the pandas. A rickshaw Hutong tour is scheduled at the end of the day to show you more about old Beijing's culture. Dinner is not included today. Again, we would like to recommend a nice restaurant for your choice. The restaurant Xu Xian Lou is located near the worker's stadium. With gracious environment and attentive service, you will surely have a pleasant evening there. The most popular dishes you should not miss are Spring Chicken and Dongpo's pork. Their Tiramisu dessert is also highly popular. The tables at this restaurant also need to be reserved in advance, or you may have a long wait. The average cost here is about CNY300 per person.

Meals: American breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 5 Beijing - Lhasa
Fly to Lhasa. Airport-hotel transfer. (B)
Your flight from Beijing to Lhasa leaves early in the morning. Our guide will transfer you to the airport and help you with the boarding procedure. After 5 hours on the plane, you will land in the holy city of Lhasa and be greeted by our local guide. The rest of the day is free so that you may adapt to the high altitude, which is 3,650 meters above the sea level. In order to have a good rest, you may consider having dinner at your hotel, where they serve Chinese, western and also Tibetan food.

Meals: American breakfast
Accommodation: St. Regis Lhasa Resort
Day 6 Lhasa
Tibet Museum, Sera Monastery, Norbulingka Park, Subject-live Performance Princess Wencheng. (B+L)
Tibetan people
Tibetan people
After a rich buffet breakfast, our guide will pick you up at the hotel lobby and take you to visit the Tibet Museum. Lunch is served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit the Sera Monastery and the Norbulingka Park. At the Sera Monastery, there is an interesting sutra debate at 15:00 daily from Monday to Friday. At that time, lamas will gather in a courtyard to debate Buddhist scriptures. The persons who are standing at the site with variety expression ask the questions and those who sitting on the ground provide the answers. It is very interesting and should not be missed. You will make your own arrangements for dinner. As Tibet is remote and thus short on varied restaurants, you may decide to try some authentic Tibetan food, such as the highland barley wine, yoghourt, buttered tea, Zanba, fried lamb chop and yak meat and so on. However, most people are not accustomed to these kinds of food. You can also get some advice from your local guide. After dinner, we will transfer you to enjoy the grand subject-live performance Princess Wencheng. Wencheng was a princess in Chinese Tang Dynasty and was granted to King Songtsan Gampo of Tibet for marriage in 641. This performance reproduces her overcoming hardships along the long wedding journey and introducing Chinese culture to Tibet. Then transfer back to your hotel.

Meals: American breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Lhasa
Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street and a Nunnery. (B+L)
Potola Palace
Potola Palace
Photo by our client Ms. Priscila Collier
Today, we will visit the world famous Potala Palace. After lunch, go ahead to visit the Jokhang Temple, the thriving bazaar of the Barkhor Street and a Nunnery. For dinner today, you may either choose the hotel restaurant, or find a western style restaurant near Barkhor Street. Also, as Lhasa is close to Nepal, it is quite easy for you to find an authentic Nepalese restaurant nearby. Return to your hotel by taxi after dinner.

Meals: American breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 Lhasa - Xian
A Tibetan family visit. Fly to Xian. Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
Before heading for Xian, you will pay a visit to a local Tibetan family, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. The flight from Lhasa to Xian takes about two and a half hours. Our guide will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. It will be late in the evening when you arrive in Xian, so we'd like to suggest you have dinner in the hotel or alternatively you can walk to Guo Hua restaurant on the southern side of your hotel across the street. It offers Cantonese cuisine until 22:00 and also late night tea and snacks until 01:00 am. The cost there is around CNY250 per person depending on what you order.

Meals: American breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Crowne Plaza
Day 9 Xian
Terracotta Army Museum with a culture lecture, A la carte lunch, Big Wild Goose Pagoda. (B+L)
Terracotta warriors
Terracotta warriors
We visit the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum in the morning. A short lecture by a senior archeological expert is arranged here so you may learn more about this site. An a la carte lunch is served at the best local restaurant nearby. We then drive back to the downtown area and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. After today's sightseeing tour, we will transfer you back to your hotel. The guide and driver may also transfer you to the restaurant where you have dinner and help you order food before they leave. Here we would like to recommend another restaurant, Chang'an Yi Hao for you to enjoy the typical Shaanxi food. The signature dishes of this restaurant are Roasted Whole Chicken and Sweet Yam with Sticky Rice and Chinese dates. You may also try some local snacks at the suggestion of your guide. Cost at this restaurant is around CNY300 per person for an ordinary meal excluding wine. After dinner, you may walk back to your hotel which is about 1000 meters away.

Meals: American breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 10 Xian
City Wall Park, City Wall, A local family visit and home-cooked lunch, Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter, Tang Dynasty Dinner Show. (B+L+D)
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
The first place you will visit today is the City Wall Park. In the morning, there are always many local people doing exercises, dancing and performing Tai Chi. You will have a relaxed time to see a little of the lifestyle of local retired people here. You may also join them for fun, if interested. Later you can choose to have a bicycle tour on the ancient City Wall. You may either ride all the way round which takes about 90 minutes, or just a part of it if you feel less energetic. Afterwards, we visit a local family where an a la carte lunch will be served in the family home that gives you the opportunity to taste authentic home cooked Chinese food. The host will also be happy to teach you how to cook one or two Chinese dishes. In the afternoon, the trip continues with a visit to the Great Mosque and the nearby Moslem Market. Tonight, a marvelous Tang Dynasty Dinner Show is included for you at the Tang Dynasty Palace (Add: No.75, Chang'an Road, Xian).

Meals: American breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch, Tang Dynasty dinner show
Day 11 Xian - Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai. Airport-hotel transfer. (B)
Our guide will pick you up at the hotel in the morning and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, you will be met by your Shanghai guide and then driven to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city by yourself. Having had Chinese food for several days, we guess you might be a bit tired of it and wish to have an exquisite western style meal. Today, we would like to recommend a world famous restaurant, "M on the Bund" for your dinner. Walking southward along the Bund from your hotel for about 1.1 kilometers, or taking a taxi for a five minutes' drive, you will see the restaurant alongside the Bund. The environment of this restaurant is first class as you may have a bird's eye view of the Bund and Huangpu River when dining. The scenery is amazing especially when all the lights are on in the evening. A dinner here may cost about CNY600 per person.

Meals: American breakfast
Accommodation: The Peninsula
Day 12 Shanghai
Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Yuyuan Garden, A la carte lunch, The Bund, Tianzifang, Portman Acrobatic Show. (B+L)
Local people doing Taichi at the Bund, Shanghai
Local people doing Taichi at the Bund, Shanghai
In the morning, you are scheduled to visit the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, which is now a new highlight in the city. It was completed in 2000 and exhibits aspects of the City, its Humanity, Environment and Development as well as its past achievements and prospects for the future. It's a prefect window to better understand Shanghai within your short stay in this charming city. A visit to the elegant Yuyuan Garden follows and at noon, a farewell a la carte lunch will be served at a fancy local restaurant offering authentic Shanghai and Cantonese cuisine. After lunch, we visit the Bund and an ancient cultural street, Tianzifang. Tonight, we will arrange a fantastic acrobatic show for you to enjoy at Shanghai Centre Theatre. Before that, our guide will bring you to have dinner at your preferred restaurant. You may choose food with the help of your guide and pay for the meal on the spot. If you do not have any preferred restaurant in mind, we would like to recommend Cang Xian Gong Fang for you which is only a 6-7 minutes' drive from Tianzifang. The restaurant is famous for its various and fresh seafood. Usually, it costs CNY300 per person excluding wine. After the acrobatic show, we will transfer you back to the hotel.

Meals: American breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 13 Departure from Shanghai
Hotel-airport transfer & see you off. A nice journey home! (B)
Your luxurious vacation in China ends today as we transfer you to the airport for your homeward flight. We hope that you enjoyed the trip and many unforgettable moments of your stay in China will remain forever in your memory!

Meals: American breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
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