China & Holy Tibet

E-501: 11 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Lhasa - Xian - 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 $2129 per person Free Inquiry
Day 1 Entry Beijing
Our guide will expect you outside the Capital Airport customs according to your arrival timetable and escort you to the hotel. You have rest of the day free. Your hotel is centrally located at Nanwanzi Alley, several minutes on foot from the famous Tiananmen Square and Wangfujing Street. You may familiarize yourself with the city.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Accommodation: Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel
Day 2 Beijing
Forbidden City
Photo by our client Mr. James Elkjer
Your guided Beijing tour starts from the world's largest city square, Tiananmen Square. The square has witnessed 500 years of the nation's history, and continues to be where epoch making events take place. After getting around the square, you will come to the Forbidden City, the largest imperial palace complex in the world. It is now the Palace Museum, holding vast collections of imperial architecture and precious historical items dating from 14th to 20th century. Lunch is at your own expense but with your guide's aid to choose from local food varieties. Important: carry Chinese currency to pay for your meals at the restaurant cash registers.  

And then you get to visiting China's largest imperial garden, the Summer Palace, where the landscape designers have crafted garden art to perfection. You see lakes, mountains, islands and trees, and traditional Chinese garden long corridors, pavilions, bridges and halls. Back at the hotel and your evening is free on your own. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 3 Beijing
Sacred Way, Beijing
Photo by our client Mr. Pam Corbin
Our guide will pick you up at the hotel in the morning. Today you will climb the famous Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the best-preserved portions of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. The round way cable car will be arranged for you. Winding along the rolling mountains and being punctuated by sturdy beacon towers, the wall consistently inspires awe in mankind. The restaurants nearby are few and in low quality, thus it may be the best that you have a big breakfast at the hotel and choose a fast food restaurant for your lunch. On the way back to town, you will have a stopover at the Bird's Nest, the 2008 Olympic Games icon. In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Heaven, the emperor's prayer offerings altar.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing - Lhasa
In the early morning, our guide and driver will fetch you at the hotel lobby and escort you to the airport. You will get to Lhasa after a 5 hours' flight. On arrival, the local guide will be waiting for you at the airport and accompany you to the hotel. Relax yourself for the rest of the day and adjust to the altitude at the world's rooftop. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Gang-gyan Lhasa Hotel
Day 5 Lhasa
Sera Monastery, Lhasa
Photo by our clients Jan and Eduardo Ferrada
Today begins at the Tibet Museum, the region's first modern museum. The relics and handicrafts reflect the rich cultural history of the region. After lunch, proceed to Sera Monastery, one of the three large monasteries in the city. This monastery is famous for its large collection of Buddhist scriptures and statues. The Tibetan buildings and decor are also very impressive. Then visit the Norbulinka Park, the Dalai Lama's summer retreat or “the Summer Palace in Tibet”. Wandering in the Norbulingka Park, you will get amazed by its architectural style and beautiful landscape of lakes, hills, and plants. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 Lhasa
Our clients in Lhasa
Photo by our client Mr. Max Garrick
The highlight of your private trip comes today. Your guide will accompany you to the Potala Palace. A masterpiece of Tibetan architecture, the Potala Palace was built in the 7th century, and then redone at around 17th century. It has two parts, the Red Palace at the center and the White Palace on the wings. The main building is 110 meters (361 feet) high, capped with gilded gold roofs and abound with colorful murals and golden Buddhist decorations of typical local flavor. Continue after lunch, visit the Jokhang Temple, which is famous for its unique buildings. The 4-storey main building is covered with gilded bronze tiles on the roofs and embraced with graceful sculptures of human beings and animals on the beam. Here you could find Nepalese and Indian blended into the time period architecture of the Tang Chinese (618 - 907). Then walk to the bustling Barkhor Street, which still maintains the original look of Lhasa. You see the old buildings, small variety stores, and unique restaurants. Finally, you will pay a visit at a Nunnery to see the daily life of Buddhist nuns.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Lhasa - Xian
Today you will board a flight for Xian, where our guide will meet you at the airport and accompany you to the hotel. The rest of the day is open for your own adventure.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Days Inn City Centre Xi'an
Day 8 Xian
Your private guided sightseeing in Xian starts with the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, which houses the eighth wonder of the world. You will be impressed by the life-size warrior figures and horses, as well as the exquisite weapons of war. Lunch is on your own arrangement. Our guide may advise you on which restaurant to pick. 

After that, you will return to downtown area and pay a visit to Shaanxi History Museum, which is well-known for the extensive collection of cultural relics. Then we will drive you to visit the Xian Museum and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Embracing an area of over 16,000 square meters, this museum collects 130,000 cultural relics of various historical periods in Xian. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built in 707 AD. It is a 43.4-meter-high thirteen-story pagoda used to safe-keep the sutras and Buddhist figurines brought back from India.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 9 Xian - Shanghai
Terracotta Army
Check out the hotel before 12:00. Spend a day in relative leisure before taking the night train Shanghai bound. From the hotel you are a 10 minutes walk to the Bell Tower. Use the Bell Tower landmark as your lighthouse. On its east side is the most bustling business street where you can find big shopping malls, boutique, franchise houses, bars, cinema and supermarkets. On its west side, you can visit the Drum Tower and Muslim street and some antique - style buildings. It is easy to find a restaurant in either Western style or Chinese style, or you may just try some local street vendor food. In the afternoon, you may progress to the South Gate area and bicycle tour the City Wall. Surrounded by moat and dense trees, the protective wall circles the old town of the city. It is now an important city landmark. Return to the hotel to retrieve your luggage, and get to the railway station by taxi for an overnight soft sleeper train to Shanghai. The 15 hours train journey does not include excellent catering aboard, you may need to prepare your own nurishment. Double check your train baggage allowance before you take the train. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight soft sleeper train
Day 10 Shanghai
Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai
The train arrives in Shanghai Railway Station at 08:00 in the morning. Follow directions to exit from South Square of the Railway Station. You can take subway line 1 to get to the Golden River-view Hotel within 10 minutes. The hotel check in time is after 14:00, so early check-in is spotty at best. You can leave your luggage at the hotel reception desk and start visiting the city. Shanghai offers plenty of places to see. Do not miss World Financial Center, Bund, Nanjing Road and Yuyuan Garden.

Shorter than 600 meters walk from your hotel to the subway station of Hanzhong Rd., take subway Line 1 for 2 stops to People's Square Station, then change to Line 2 for 3 stops and get off at Dongchang Road Station. The World Financial Center is the current highest building in Shanghai and you get fantastic views on both banks of Huangpu River while standing on the 100th floor of the skyscraper. Then visit the Bund and Nanjing Road on west bank of Huangpu River. Directions: please walk westward for about 80 meters, turn left to Dongtai Road, then keep walking another 250 meters and turn right to Dongchang Road, after 380 meters more you will reach the ferry station. At East Jinling Road station (first ferry stop) walk 500 meters northward to reach the Bund area. Nanjing Road is on west side of the Bund. As one of the most bustling commercial street in Shanghai, Nanjing Road compares favourably with the Fifth Avenue USA, the Champs Elysee Paris, the Oxford Street London, and the Ginza  Tokyo. There are many restaurants here to pick and choose for lunch. In the afternoon, take taxi to visit Yuyuan Garden, a famous classical garden of southern Yangtze area. Get back to your hotel by subway: take subway line 10 from Yuyuan station, and then interchange to subway line 12 at Tiantong Rd. Station. After two stops, leave from Exit 1 of Hanzhong Rd. Station and walk to your hotel for a good rest. 

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: Golden River-view Hotel
Day 11 Shanghai Exit
Get to the airport using your own means. Go by taxi is preferable especially when you have heavy luggage. It takes about one and a half hours to get to Pudong Airport and the taxi fare is around CNY170 per cab. Hongqiao airport is closer, and it takes about 50 minutes and rings up CNY60 per cab. 

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
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 Lisa | May. 09, 2017 20:22Reply
Can you advise if there is any discount for young children traveling to China?
Answers (1)
Answered by Abbey | May. 09, 2017 20:36

Hi, as long as your child is under 12 years old, she or he can enjoy some discount on airfare, cruise ticket and some of attractions.
Asked by Gayle from CANADA | Aug. 02, 2016 20:22Reply
Tibet visa
I've heard that there is Tibet visa needed when enter Lhasa, do you get it for us? When and where will we receive that?
Answers (1)
Answered by TravelChinaGuide | Aug. 02, 2016 20:41

Dear Gayle,

Yes, the Tibet Travel Permit is required when foreign travelers enter to Tibet. We will apply for the permit for you after receiving your confirmation of the tour and our guide in Beijing will give it to you before you fly to Lhasa. Thanks for your attention.
Asked by Leonardo | Jul. 16, 2012 16:52Reply
What does the price include (local air tickets, ground transportation, int. transp)?
What additional costs must be considered.
Answers (1)
Answered by Kim | Jul. 16, 2012 06:51

The price includes the domestic airfare, hotel accommodation, ground transportation, admission fee, etc. You will need to arrange the air tickets of arrival and departure by yourself. For more details about what includes and what excludes, please refer to the following page:
Asked by Mrs.Malaysia | Apr. 13, 2011 21:51Reply
Hi. I'm planning a visit to Beijing sometime early June 2011.Please advise the best outfit to wear.Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Jamie | Apr. 14, 2011 20:45

It will be the summer there so please wear your cool summer clothes. There will be less rainfall and plenty of sunshine but not very dry.
Asked by Mr.Richard | Feb. 24, 2011 01:34Reply

I am travelling to beijing with 2 adults and 2 young children (2 and 4 years) I imagine the kids will be free on the subway and buses.
Would I need to buy 2 transportation cards for the adults or can they share a card.
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Hank | Feb. 24, 2011 20:11

Child under 1.2meters is free to take subway and buses in the city. You should purchase 2 cards for two adults since one card is valid for one person every time.
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