China and Tibet
Beijing, Lhasa, Xi’an, Shanghai
12 days / 11 nights
Day 1 Arrive Beijing, China’s capital city
Day 2 Visit Tian An Men Square and walk to the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City, home to China’s emperors for more than 500 years. Explore Beijing’s Old Living Quarter, the Hutongs, climb up the old Drum Tower for a bird-eye view of Old Beijing.
Day 3 The Great Wall of China was built over the course of nearly two thousand years, like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 5,500 miles from east to west of China.
Day 4 Visit the Temple of Heaven was built for the worship of heaven and the Summer Palace with its exquisite gardens and perfect views. Weather permitting you may enjoy a boat ride on Lake Kunming. This evening enjoy an optional evening performance of Beijing Opera or the Legend of Kung Fu.
Day 5 Fly to Lhasa he capital of Tibet. After a scenic drive along the Yarlung Tsangpo River arrive at Lhasa City. The rest of the day free to adapt to the high altitude.
Day 6 Potala Palace, the former living quarters of the Dali Lama, was originally built in the 640's. The Potala is full of elaborate artwork and frescos including ornately decorated statues, sculptures and Tibetan painting. Walk to Barkhor Market where you will visit one of Tibet’s holiest place Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet, where many pilgrims worship. The roof is covered with gilded bronze tiles and offers wonderful view of Lhasa.
Day 7 Norbulingka, or 'Jeweled Garden', was the site of the Dalai Lamas' summer palace. From the mid-18th century, each successive Dalai Lama moved to the park during the summer season. The New Summer Palace, built by the 14th Dalai Lama, is in the center of the Norbulingka.
You may wish to extend your stay to 7 days to visit Shigatse and Gyantse to learn about Tibetan culture outside Lhasa.
Day 8 Fly to Xi’an. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 Tang Dynasty, to keep the 657 volumes of Buddhist scriptures brought back from India by Monk Xuan. Explore the City walls on foot or by bicycle. After a dumpling dinner stroll around the Muslim Quarter.
Day 9 The Terra-cotta Warriors Museum is the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Excavation projects have unearthed three pits containing over 8,000 soldiers as well as chariots & horses.
Day 10: Fly to Shanghai. Visit Yu Garden, famous for its rock gardens, pavilions, halls and ponds, the Old Shanghai Bazaar with shops filled with all manner of interesting curios. Walk along the Bund, Shanghai's famous waterfront and a symbol of Shanghai.
Day 11: Travel by train to Suzhou to visit the Humble Administrator’s Garden, amongst the best of Suzhou’s classic gardens. Enjoy a boat ride on the small canals. The Garden of the Master of Nets is the smallest among the four most famous classic gardens in Suzhou, yet the finest. Return to Shanghai.