Tibetan peopleTibetan people

China & Holy Tibet

S-501: 11 Days Private Tour of 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
Meals: 10 western buffet breakfasts, 5 lunches with some being a la carte style
Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors
  • Follow us on a Buddhist pilgrimage to Tibet & appreciate the profound culture
  • Have a leisurely walk or an exciting bicycle ride on the time-honored City Wall of Xian
  • View the soaring city skylines and feel the pulse of modern Shanghai
From $2589 per person Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Sincere greetings & airport-hotel transfer.
Upon your arrival today, our excellent English-speaking guide will be waiting for you outside the arrival hall of the airport after you finish the check-out procedures. A comfortable private transfer will take you to the hotel in downtown area. For the remaining time of the day, we intend to keep it free for you.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Day 2 Beijing
Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, A la carte lunch, Summer Palace with boat ride on Kunming Lake. (B+L)
Toasting on the Great Wall
After breakfast, you will pay a visit to Tiananmen Square, the largest central city square in the world with an area of 440,000 square meters (108 acres), which can hold one million people for meeting at one time. The solemn flag ceremony is performed everyday at sunrise and sunset on the square drawing the attention of people who are passing there. Besides, Tiananmen Gate on the north of Chang'an Street across the square is the entrance to your next stop, the Forbidden City, which is an imperial palace complex of the Ming and the Qing dynasties and also a big museum. It tells people about the changes of the royal courts for about 600 years and the several thousand years' history of Chinese civilization. 

At noon, we will offer an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) for you to sample the pure Chinese delicacies. We will then transfer you to visit the Summer Palace, a fantastic resort for visitors to admire the peaceful landscape and magnificent architecture of the royal garden. Visitors may go to the Front Hill Area where most ancient constructions are located. The first construction you visit may be the Hall of Dispelling Clouds (Paiyundian). It is regarded as the most spectacular architectural complex of the Summer Palace. The Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) used to celebrate her birthday here every year. After strolling around, you will board a boat to sightsee the beautiful Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 3 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall with a round-trip cable car, Olympic Bird's Nest, Temple of Heaven. (B)
Tiananmen Square
This morning you will journey to visit the famous Mutianyu Great Wall with the round way cable car. Although it is a little tiring to hike on the wall, the magnificent wall and the astonishing views are worth of your visit. The Great Wall, with a length of about 6,300 kilometers (3,915 miles), is one of the greatest miracles in the world. Like a huge dragon, it winds up and down across mountains, grasslands, deserts and plains, stretching from the Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu in the west to the Shanhaiguan Pass near the eastern seaside of our country.

Lunch is not included. On returning to the downtown, we will stop over at the Bird's Nest so that you can take some pictures outside. The next spot you will view is the Temple of Heaven, a delicate ancient architecture complex where the emperors offered sacrifices to the God of Heaven.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
 Friendly Tips

The round-trip cable car fare at Mutianyu Great Wall is included in this tour price. We can also arrange for you to take the chairlift up and toboggan down the wall. Please contact your travel consultant if you are interested.
Day 4 Beijing - Lhasa
Fly to Lhasa. Airport-hotel transfer. (B)
A Tibetan prayer
It's time to say goodbye to our capital and fly to your onward destination - Lhasa this morning. You will be greeted by the local guide at the airport on time. In addition to a brief introduction of the city, the guide will also give you some useful tips on obviating high altitude reaction when the car is driving to the downtown area. Later what you need to do is have a good rest in your hotel to adapt yourself to the environment. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 5 Lhasa
Tibet Museum, Sera Monastery, Norbulingka Park. (B+L)
Being reputed as 'City of Sunlight', this 1300-year-old city has long been the political, economic, cultural and religious centre of Tibet, as well as a heart home for many devout followers of the faith. The first spot you will visit is the Tibet Museum, which well describes the peculiar Tibetan culture and history via plenty of collections, including various artifacts, Buddha figures, handwritten ancient books, artistic Thangka paintings, ethnic handicrafts etc. After having lunch at a fancy local restaurant, you will get to the Sera Monastery, one of the greatest monasteries for Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and then the Norbulingka Park, the once summer house for generations of living Buddha and the nowadays local largest created garden.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 Lhasa
Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, A Nunnery. (B+L)
Lama's sutra-debating at the Sera Monastery
Another thrilling day starts with a visit to the Potala Palace. Highest in elevation, this palace, the city's landmark, is world-famed for its unique layout, civil engineering, metal smelting, painting, sculptures and so on. Next we will take you to discover the essence of this ancient city by visiting the Jokhang Temple and thriving bazaar of the Barkhor Street. You can learn about the Jokhang Temple's profound position after viewing its characteristic architectural style, as well as the thousands of never - extinguished butter - oil lamps. Afterwards, you will be guided to a Nunnery.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Lhasa - Xian
Fly to Xian. Airport-hotel transfer. (B)
Today you will take a late morning flight to Xian. Our local guide will expect you outside the baggage claim area of the airport and escort you to check in the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 8 Xian
Terracotta Army, Provincial History Museum, City Wall. (B)
Bicycle riding at sunset on Xian City Wall
This morning, you will visit the Terracotta Army, which is the largest underground military museum in the world. The lifelike soldiers and horses were orderly arranged in battle formations with distinct expressions on each face. Besides, the delicate Bronze Chariots and Horses and weapons are very impressive. 

Move to the Provincial History Museum, one of the most renowned history museums with abundant cultural relics. Then you will mount the well-preserved City Wall to explore the city's history from every of its bricks and titles. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 9 Xian - Shanghai
Xian Museum and Small Wild Goose Pagoda, A local family visit and home-cooked lunch. Fly to Shanghai. Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
Our guests learning to make dumplings in a Chinese family home
This morning we will show you the most-visited Xian Museum including the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. This museum perfectly brings together the Buddhist architecture heritage of the Tang Dynasty, exhibition of various cultural treasures and pleasant scenic garden. 

Our hospitable local people welcome you to their home. It is also a good chance for you to have a nice break. With the guide's help, you can talk with the hosts on local people's life styles and visit their home. In addition, the hosts are very happy to invite you to have lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) together at their home. They will prepare abundant home cooked dishes for you. If you are interested in cooking Chinese food, you can also go into the kitchen to learn with them step by step. 

Then we will see you off at the airport. You will fly to Shanghai. Our local guide will expect you at the airport and escort you to check in the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch
Day 10 Shanghai
Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden, A la carte lunch, Huangpu River cruise, the Bund and an ancient cultural street. (B+L)
Shanghai Bund
An private elite sightseeing is arranged for you today. In the morning, you will go to see plenty of rare historical collections displayed in Shanghai Museum firstly. Covering an exhibition area of 12,000 square meters, it is one of the four best museums in our country and mainly features the bronze vessels, potteries, handwritings and paintings. The next stop is to the famous and elegant Yuyuan Garden. As one of the masterpieces of the classical gardens in southern region, it is marked by the ingenious design, delicate layout and elegant landscape. 

After that you will enjoy an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a noted local restaurant where you will taste authentic Shanghai cuisine. Traditionally called Benbang cuisine and formed by a complex flavor structure, cooking style and technique norms, the cuisine stresses the use of condiments while retaining the original flavors of the ingredients and has features of being fresh, smooth and crispy. 

In the afternoon, you will take a cruise on the Huangpu River and stroll along the Bund area to appreciate the various European buildings on the west side of Huangpu River and the modern skyscrapers on the opposite Pudong side. Finally our guide will take you to an old street, where you may find fun and relaxation.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 11 Departure from Shanghai
Hotel-airport transfer & see you off. A nice journey home! (B)
Today we will see you off on your international flight back home. Hope our dedicated services bring you a memorable, interesting and enjoyable private vacation. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
DestinationsStandard HotelsEconomy Hotels
BeijingPentahotel Beijing Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel
LhasaTashipozhang Hotel Gang-gyan Lhasa Hotel
XianHoliday Inn Xian Big Goose Pagoda Days Inn City Centre Xi'an
ShanghaiOcean Hotel Shanghai Golden River-view Hotel
Early Bird Savings on 2020 Tours
12% off - book by Jan 31, 2020; 10% off - book by Feb 29, 2020
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2969 $2612$2679 $2357$2409 $2119
Tour Prices with Economy Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2879 $2533$2589 $2278$2319 $2040
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • The prices in red reflect 12% discount.
  • Any parts of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • A la carte lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Private English-speaking guides
  • Private drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
  • Tibet Travel Permit
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Why Travel With Us
  • Customer Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
    4.844 Reviews
    George & Kathleen B.
    Posted on January 07, 2020
    Full evaluation follows.

    1. Maggie (tour guide) in Beijing was better than excellent. She was knowledgeable about nearly every topic and her attitude was a perfect 10. We loved her and would like to bring her to Canada to work at our business. She is everything you could hope for in a tour guide (or any other job). She always looked out for us whether we were in the car, in a crowd, at a site, or dining. Great English. Attractive and fashionably dressed. Always on time. Great attitude and always positive. She is simply the best. The car and driver were also very good. In Tibet we were very happy with Bamba as he was almost as good as Maggie although that would be next to impossible. Bamba would be given a 9.9 rating as we reserve a perfect 10 for Maggie. Bamba was also everything we could hope for in a guide. He had excellent knowledge of every topic, was always courteous and helpful, and made us feel very safe and at home in Lhasa. Our tour of the Potala Palace was fantastic and he did an exceptional job of pacing us on the many stairs so we were never winded, and he worked us through the crowds so we always felt like we had time to see everything. The hotel was excellent. The hallways are full of museum pieces, the lobby has beautiful works of art and locals playing musical instruments, the staff is first class, the room was very good although they need to put in 100 watt bulbs instead of 40 watt bulbs so you could actually see at night, and the food was very good. We really liked the hotel (especially the great attitude of the staff) and would highly recommend it although it is not as close to the city center as other hotels. The first night both my wife and I got ill from the altitude change and used the hotel Dr. to help us. He did a fine job of assisting us and personally brought us an oxygen tank to our room and helped us get it hooked up. We believe it did help us get over our severe headaches and by the next morning we were nearly back to normal although we did continue to have a slight headache the 2nd day.

    2. Meals were fine although the one in Xi’an was just OK. The meals with Sophie in Shanghai were very good, but it may have been because we enjoyed being with Sophie which made the food seem better;

    3. Cars: Cars in Beijing & Shanghai were very good; car in Tibet was OK but a little worn out; car in Xi’an made us feel unsafe as it appeared the shock absorbers were worn out and we were a little concerned for our safety and we would not use that car again.
    ... More
    Jolymar Arias
    Posted on January 01, 2020
    I had the best time of my life! My guide Droga and my driver Tserin in Lhasa were extremely kind, friendly and extremely helpful. I have never felt so welcomed than with them. I consider them as wonderful friends. I would also like to say that the travel company and Travel Agents Kelly/ Cindy were extremely kind, helpful and they helped me plan the perfect holiday. Many many thanks to TravelChinaGuide, they are by far the best travel company I have ever dealt with.
    Patricia Service
    Posted on December 26, 2019
    I greatly enjoyed my vacation. The meals were all very good and my hotel was adequate and fine. My Tibetan guide, Tashi, was excellent. His knowledge of his native Tibetan culture was outstanding, and greatly added to my Tibetan experience. His English was excellent and made the tours of the monastaries so fascinating. Also, he was able to explain to me the various religious figures and traditions of each monastary we visted. In addition, he explained the traditions and regions of the Tibetan native styles of clothes which I was very curious about. My driver (also a Tibetan) was wonderful and a careful and conscientious driver. The vehicle (Land Cruiser) was clean at all times and very comfortable. It was indeed a pleasure to be in such capable care as with my Tibetan guide Tashi and my driver. They made my Tibetan experience complete. Thank you for arranging my tour. ... More
    Posted on December 18, 2019
    I and my friends wish to thank you all for having arranged such wonderful program for us to visit China. Not with standing the high attitude problem, we enjoy so much our stay in Lhasa where can experience the Tibetian culture and receive the kind hospitality of the Tibetian people. In Beijing we have the opportunity to climb the Great Wall. And of course not to forget the “Hot Pot” Sichuan food. I hope can be able to come back once again.
    Vikki Halliday
    Posted on December 16, 2019
    We are pleased to give a feedback on this tour we just finished.

    Guides: All the guides took a real interest in the places they were showing me and appeared very proud of their city and heritage. All the guides spoke very good English, understanding them was never a problem. Again all the guides had a very in depth knowledge of their cities and showed me round with enthusiasm.
    Meals: All the meals served were of a very high standard but I particularly enjoyed the restaurant I ate lunch in on the Sunday in Beijing, the food was fantastic and the Peking duck restaurant was also gorgeous, I would recommend anyone on a visit to Beijing eats there!
    Drivers and Cars: All my drivers were fantastic, always on time and the cars were always clean and tidy.

    All the guides made an effort to ensure that my holiday was not only enjoyable but personal to me, taking into account the things I wanted to do and see rather than sticking to a rigid routine. The personal touch was very much appreciated.
    My guide in Beijing very kindly brought me a moon pie to try one morning after I had mentioned the day previous I'd never seen or heard of them before, I thought it was very kind of her to have picked up on that and remembered to bring one for me.
    My guide in Tibet was fantastic at organising the days sight seeing in such a way that I'd get to see and make the most of the places and things I was most interested in, again I was very impressed with the way he picked up on the things I had talked about wanting to see that weren't a part of the tour and managed to fit them in during my stay. Lhasa was a truly memorable and beautiful place.
    My guide in Xian was incredibly knowledgeable of her city and she had such a great enthusiasm for the tour and her home city, it was a pleasure being shown round by her.
    Though I only really got to spend one full day with my guide in Shanghai, she was also very knowledgeable and accommodating of the things I wanted to see and do.
    ... More
    Jody Gomber
    Posted on December 13, 2019
    I am glad to provide some feedback on our recently completed China trip. Guides - we had a total of 4 guides. We would rate as very good to excellent to Lynn in Shanghai, Lhakdon in Lhasa, guide in Xian (name forgotten). These people were all well informed and informative, enthusiastic and helpful, and had good English. The guide in Beijing was enthusiastic and willing, but he need to improve his English. Meals - we appreciated that the information about our dietary requirements had been passed to the guides and was taken into consideration in meal planning. Food was plentiful and quite tasty. We thought the à-la-carte meals were a nice touch. We appreciated the opportunity to have lunch outside one time when the weather was nice in Lhasa, and would have liked to do more of that. Probably our most memorable meal was one we had on our own in Xian. The noodles were delicious. Cars - the cars were generally clean and comfortable. Drivers were generally friendly and service oriented. Hotels - generally, we were impressed by the hotels. They were well located. We appreciated the fact that we might not have found some of these hotels on our own, as some didn't appear in our guidebooks. Home visits - the home visits were quite interesting. The guides clearly do the same visits over and over again and know all the answers to the questions we might ask the hosts; however, we would suggest they refrain from answering themselves and act more like translators, so that the hosts can play a more active role in the visits. We found this varied from guide to guide. Overall, we were very pleased with the trip and with the services of TCG. ... More
    Posted on December 09, 2019
    Thank you for a truly amazing trip, all my friends are very jealous and I've certainly recommended they take this trip if they have the opportunity.
    Posted on December 09, 2019
    Thank you for the care and time you took in arranging all of the details for our customized China tour this past November. Although we had traveled through China two years ago, seeing so much a second time did not take away from any of the wonder that comprises China, and we were excited to include Tibet. All four of us seasoned travelers found this China trip to be a wonderful experience and certainly up there with our favorites. We much appreciated the quick responses to any of our queries (and these were numerous!) and your willingness to create this tour so that it met all of our expectations. Linda, you are the best tour operator in China by far. Thanks so much. ... More
    Posted on December 05, 2019
    We were very satisfied with Travel China services. You made traveling to China much easier, finding good, safe, and sanitary lodging and restaurants readily available. With as complicated as our schedule was, it was a big relief to know that we would be met at every airport on time with a guide who quickly allowed us to adjust to our new environment. Top honors to our guide in Lhasa for making our stay in Tibet especially memorable. He was instrumental for delivering exactly what we wanted to experience, most notably when he went beyond the usual guide duties and was able to arrange for us to experience a special blessing by a high lama. He was exceptionally knowledgeable about the area, people, and culture and communicated well with us. He was such a good guy, made our trip interesting and impressive. ... More
    Susan Seth
    Posted on December 01, 2019
    I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to Emily for making wonderful arrangements for us. We also appreciate their patience and helpfulness while arranging our itinerary. We arrived in Beijing and were taken care of the moment we got off the plane. They were so wonderful in making sure that all my worries and concerns and questions were all answered before we even left for China. Our trip to Beijing, Lhasa, Xian, Shanghai was so memorable. The guides in each city were so welcoming and so informative and were a great help to us. China is such a beautiful country with so much history; my only disappointment is that we were not able to stay longer! Each city has its own character and history and we have vivid memories of it all. The Forbidden City, Potala Palace, Xian City Wall and Terra Cotta Warriors are only a few of our many memories. The Tang Dynasty dinner and show was so beautiful! While we were in Xian, Lily took us to eat dumplings and hot pot, what a treat! Kitty (Beijing), Phurbu (Lhasa), Lily (Xian) and Holly (Shanghai) took great care of us and went out of their way to suggest activities for us when we had free time. Mr. Lee? And all the other drivers were so good to us as well. I'm so thankful that we were able to meet such wonderful people. Emily, I'm very glad that we were able to meet you in Xian even if it was for a short time. It really was a treat to meet the person who put our entire package together. Five star experience!!! ... More
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