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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 $2519 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 Dec 31, 2019; 10% off - book by Jan 31, 2020
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2899 $2551$2609 $2295$2349 $2067
Tour Prices with Economy Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2809 $2471$2519 $2216$2259 $1987
  • 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
    4.836 Reviews
    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
    Rolf Berweger
    Posted on December 01, 2019
    My brother and I would like to thank you for the perfect arrangements for our China trip and the travel to and from there. Everything went fine without any trouble at all. We were particularly very happy with our Tibetan lady tour guide who introduced us in a perfect way to the special Tibetan culture. Our private driver was the best driver we ever had, always alert and cautious, but also very humourous. We liked the travel itinerary a lot, a good mix of cultural relics and natural beauty. The extra day we added and which brought us to the Sera Monastery was especially worthwhile, off the beaten tourist routes. In short, we have been very happy with all the arrangement and we will not fail to promote your agency to any party interested to travel to China. ... More
    Edward Ruggiero
    Posted on November 24, 2019
    We had an incredible journey in China! First, we want to thank TCG for obtaining our permit. It was delivered to our hotel in advance of our journey into Tibet and we encountered absolutely no problems because we had all the requisite documentation. Next, we want to thank our guide, Urgyan. He did an excellent job in planning our days. He also did a great job explaining the history of the various sites that we visited as well the Buddhist religion. Urgyan has a great grasp of the English language and was easy to understand. He was always pleasant and looking out for our best interests. Next, we want to thank our driver, Jimmy. He too did an excellent job. Jimmy was a very safe driver. He also kept both the inside and outside of the car very, very clean. He too was pleasant to be with although he had only a basic understanding of English. That being said, we were able to communicate with Jimmy too. Tibet is an incredible place and this trip was a great introduction to its most well-known sites – such as the Potala Palace in Lhasa (previous home of the Dalai Lamas). In addition, we viewed numerous magnificent monasteries and many places of natural beauty. We have great photographs and wonderful memories of Tibet and we hope to return to explore more of this amazing land (hopefully with Urgyan and Jimmy). ... More
    Tom Hauser
    Posted on November 22, 2019
    Beijing (3 days) Guide: It was the first time my guide (Christy) made a tour with a guest/group. She was concerned that everything was right, and everything went right. Well, She will be a better tour guide after she got more training and experience and a better English vocabulary. I have been in Beijing before and visited some of the tours highlights. So it was for me acceptable. Hotel: excellent Meals: ok, Beijing duck was excellent. Driver: ok
    Lhasa (4 days) Guide: Transfer from airport was guide No. 1-Tina. Evening and next day was guide No. 2 Kevin. He had 2 groups in parallel with different programs. So he was responsible for transfers and timing.
    Xi'an (3 days) Guide (Rita) is very good and her English is good. Meals: excellent Driver/Car: ok
    Shanghai (2 days) Guide very good. Meals: Eexcelent. Driver/Car: ok
    Summary: It was a well organized trip but the service in Tibet was a bit low. The attribute luxury to the tour is adequate. I never met any substantial problems which could not be solved. Thank you for organizing this marvelous tour.
    ... More
    Emma Stegall
    Posted on November 21, 2019
    We are spending our final night in Lhasa before heading to Shanghai. We wanted to say that we had a wonderful adventure! Thank you for coordinating our trip. We wanted to send a note to say that we marked all items, "Excellent."
    Maria Gil (Spain) & Wilhelmus K (Netherlands)
    Posted on November 10, 2019
    The organisation of the trip was excellent. All the scheduled visits were carried out as expected and the guides were very attentive and knowledgeable. Meals were in general great throughout the whole visit. Our favorites were the Sichuan food both in Beijing and Lhasa and the dumpling banquet in Xian. The only disappointing meal was in the hotel as the “hot buffet” was cold and hence the food selection rather poor for what we expected of a hotel. In our opinion, the food selection in Lhasa could be improved if there were more meals outside the hotel [or if this was offered as an option]. Lhasa has a reasonable restaurant range and more varied option choices (we were in a few good restaurants recommended by our guide). The guides' attitude during our trips and visits was excellent. All of them were always on time and were really attentive and knowledgeable. The guides' English knowledge was very good and we had no problem communicating with them at any level. All of them were clearly very knowledgeable of the places we visited and the cultural and historical facts around them. All cars were very clean and comfortable and the drivers very attentive. The attitude and service of all the guides was really excellent. We were very touched by Linda, our guide in Beijing who welcomed us with a bouquet of roses to congratulate us on our wedding. We have to highlight the English skills of both the guides in Xian (Rita) and Shanghai (Rebecca) and the knowledge of Tibetan history and religion of our guide in Tibet (Tibet was one of the highlights of the trip). Another highlight was the Guilin cruise on the Li river and the bike ride in the countryside (absolutely fab!) Our luggage didn't appear on our flight from Lhasa to Xian and the agency was extremely helpful. Finally, please accept our thanks for such a fascinating tour in China. ... More
    Martin and Olive Burke
    Posted on November 07, 2019
    We would like to thank you and your company dearly for providing, what was for us, one of the greatest experiences of our lives. Every aspect of this trip was so well planned and executed that we did not have to worry about anything for the duration of our tour in China. The hotels provided, the meals, the tours and shows were all fabulous. We particularly loved the visit to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors and our time in Tibet. In fact, we really felt that if it was not for your careful planning and our wonderful guide Tibet would not have been possible for us to visit, especially Everest Base Camp (which has been a life long dream of mine) in the time frame we had. With the tour, everything was possible, and so easy. We would like to extend a special recommendation for our guides in Beijing (Maggie), with whom we felt so much at ease straight away. She was incredibly welcoming, friendly and professional, a great ambassador for China, and Purbar (forgive me if I have mis spelt this) who was simply amazing, caring and very sensitive to the fact that this was a once in a lifetime trip for us. We felt so safe and looked after in their care. In fact we think that it is guides like this that made this trip so special. We felt that your company employs guides who really care about the people on their tour, and we noticed this when we met other tourists who did not seem to have the same rapport with their guides. It is for all of these reasons, as so much more besides that I would highly recommend your company to a family member or friend, and know that when we return to China that we would not hesitate to use Travelguide.com again. ... More
    Posted on October 29, 2019
    What can I say! My two weeks in China were simply amazing. The package put together by TravelChinaGuide was perfect. I saw the must see locations without feeling rushed. I had enough time to explore on my own and practice my Mandarin with the local people. The itinerary allowed me to venture off to less traveled areas where I could get a feel for how the local communities really live their lives. Thank you TravelChinaGuide and thank you China for your hospitality - I will see you again.
    David Johnson
    United States
    Posted on October 27, 2019
    The three guides were fantastic. a) all guides were exceptional and went the extra mile to accommodate any requests or interests I had outside the itinerary. They were all very helpful with the language and assisting me for those times I would be on my own. b) all three guides had a very good command of English. I had no problems communicating with any of them. c) all the guides were very knowledgeable about the sites we visited and the area and general. They had answers to all the questions I asked. I am amazed at how they can keep their energy and enthusiasm given that they visit the same places hundreds of times. I never got the sense that they were tired or bored. I truly felt like each of them was a friend showing me around their city - as opposed to them showing a client around because they had to. I can't say enough about these three wonderful ladies. My guide in Beijing was kind enough to hold on to some souvenirs while I was visiting Xian and Lasa. Upon meeting with her when I returned to Beijing, she took her own time to meet me at my hotel, give me information and advice for the remaining things I was to do on my own, and even volunteered to accompany me on a trip to a site an hour outside the city just to make sure I didn't encounter any problems. Her courtesy and consideration were impressive. My guide in Xian took great care to make sure that I was having a good visit and was full of suggestions for other things I could do. The Lhasa guide had a very kind and intelligent spirit and was extremely helpful, flexible, and patient in assisting me with the changes I initiated to the itinerary.

    The food was quite good - particularly the dumpling sampler in Xian. There was too much food for me as a solo traveler, but that's better than not having enough! The accommodations in Beijing and Xian were superb. Internet access, financial transactions, and most importantly laundry service was always available. The vehicles were comfortable and the drivers very skilled - I would certainly struggle in those big roundabouts! The meals were quite large - not sure if it only seemed that way as I was traveling alone, but each meal offered more than I could really eat (particularly the lunches). This kind of tired me out immediately following lunch. Also, I understand why the guide and driver don't eat with the guests, but being a solo traveler, being dropped off to eat alone felt a bit strange. Would have been nice if the guide could have joined me (although two of three did have one meal with me).

    I must also thank Doris for working with me to change my train ticket from Lhasa to Shanghai. Your efforts provided me a full day to wander around Shanghai on my own and that day was truly memorable.

    Thank you Doris, Maggie, Rita and Lena.
    ... More
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