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15 Days China Tour with Tibet Discovery & Panda Visit from $3,038

Panoramic Impression of China

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This best-selected China tour is all about give you the best impression of China. Roam around various royal palaces to see the unique wooden architecture in China. Hold your breath when you climb on the Great Wall or tour the Terracotta Warriors to understand the defense and funerary culture of the imperial China. Make a close contact with the precious cute Giant Panda. Be awed by the holy Buddhism culture and magnificent Potala Palace in Lhasa. Enjoy the most beautiful hills and waters in Guilin.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Visit Beijing, Xian and Shanghai to see the past, present and future of China, and enjoy the marvelous landscape of Guilin.
  • Have a great time with the cute Giant Panda and enjoy a leisure time in Chengdu.
  • Set your foot on the sacred land of Tibet, experience the grandiose palace and holy temple in Lhasa.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Shanghai / Guilin / Yangshuo / Guilin / Chengdu / Lhasa / Xian / Beijing
Travel Length:
15 Days and 14 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-T10-15
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureHikingPhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~3 Arrival & Shanghai Tour

Experience the great contrast of Shanghai by visiting the traditional Yu Garden and Jade Buddha Temple, modern and prosperous Shanghai World Financian Center, Former French Concession and the Bund, etc.

Day 4~5 Guilin Tour & Flight to Chengdu

Take a relaxing Li River cruise from Guilin city to Yangshuo old town, then explore the amazing countryside landscape around Yangshuo. Before departing to Chengdu, visit the famous Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave.

Day 6~7 Chengdu Tour & Flight to Lhasa

One full day and a half day to meet the cute Giant Panda, then enjoy leisure time in Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park and Jinli Old Street. Before leaving for Lhasa, take some time in Jinsha Site Museum.

Day 8~10 Lhasa Tour & Flight to Xian

Two full days to explore the holy Lhasa, covering the grandiose Potala Palace, sacred Jokkang Temple, Barkor Street, delicate Norbulingka Park, and two major temples in Tibet – Drepung Monaster and Sera Monastery.

Day 11~12 Xian Tour & High Speed Train to Beijing

One full day to visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors, leisurely walk on the Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter. Before leaving for Beijing, explore the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaan’xi History Museum.

Day 13~15 Beijing Tour & Departure

Two full days and a half day sightseeing covering the grand Tiananmen Square, historical Forbidden City, spectacular Temple of Heaven, manmade wonder Great Wall of China, royal park Summer Palace, traditional Hutong, etc.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Shanghai Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Shanghai, the biggest metropolis of China!

Upon arrival, be greeted by our tour guide in the Arrival Hall who is holding a sign with your name. Before transferring to your hotel, you will firstly be taken to experience one of the fastest trains in the world - Shanghai Maglev Train (Optional).

Started operation at 2003, the Shanghai Maglev Train is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world. Running at a speed of 431km per hour, the Shanghai Maglev Train takes only 8 minutes to transfer from Pudong International Airport to Longyang Road Station in the central downtown of Shanghai. Passengers hardly can hear any noise, and feel any jolt, because the maglev trains run with touching the railway line. The facilities inside the trains are very modern, clean and comfortable. (Note: The Maglev Train only operates between Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Luoyang Road Station from 06:45 AM to 21:42 PM )

Optional Evening Activity - Enjoy an entertaining and breathtaking Acrobatic Show at Shanghai Circus World or other acrobatic theatres. 

  • Shanghai Maglev Train Feel the Highest Speed of 430km/h of Shanghai Maglev Train

Day 2 Shanghai (B, L)

You will take a full day of sightseeing to explore both the past and present of Shanghai. Your first stop is Shanghai Museum, one of the Best Four Museums in China. This modern museum, with a round top and a square base which symbolizing the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth", has collected many international-standard exhibits of bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, jade from more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing dynasty.

Then, take an interesting visit to Yu Garden, a shining star among all the ancient Chinese gardens in Jiangnan. This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works. Next you will drive several kilometers to enjoy a panoramic view of the modern face of Shanghai from the 100th floor (474m) of “the Eye of Shanghai” Shanghai World Financial Center.

You will then be transferred to another popular landmark of Shanghai, Nanjing Road, a shopping paradise as well as a great place to take a wonderful walk to experience the modern atmosphere of the City. Lastly, you will stop at the Bund, originally a simple towpath for transporting goods but now transformed into a feverish trading district. You will stroll along the Bund, seeing and feeling the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time taking in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes!

Optional activity: Enjoy an entertaining and breathtaking Acrobatic Show at Shanghai Circus World or other acrobatic theatres (usually performs during 19:30~21:00).

  • Yu Garden Yu Garden: The Classical Garden Built in 16th Century
  • Beautiful The Bund Beautiful International Buildings at The Bund
  • Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai Full View from Shanghai World Financial Center

Day 3 Shanghai & Flight to Guilin (B, L)

Have you wondered why Shanghai developed into a modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan city from what was originally a shabby fishing village? This morning’s tour to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center will answer that question fully while also giving you an overview of the City’s ambitious plans for future. The Center is a fashionably designed modern museum, themed with “City, Citizens, Environment and Development”. Different usages of photography, models and interactive multimedia displays make your visit enjoyable and entertaining. The best features are the old rare photos of landmarks, such as the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden, during the international settlement, and the large scale model showing the detailed layout of Shanghai.

The charming Former French Concession used to be designated for the French and residential and as the premier residential for expats and retail district of Shanghai during the settlement period(1849 until 1943) and the Republic of China era(1912~1949). Its juxtaposition between the ultra-modern and the colonial past,tree-lined streets, boutique shops, historic lane houses and villas make it a window into the city’s up-and-down history.

In the afternoon, your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to Guilin (about 2hrs and 40mins), the darling of tourists. You will be welcomed by local tour guide at airport, then be escorted to your hotel in Guilin City. The rest of today is at your leisure to have fun.

  • Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with Visitors Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with Visitors
  • Shanghai French Cocession Shanghai French Cocession

Day 4 Guilin (B, L)

As the declaration in Chinese textbook "Guilin’s landscape is the best under heaven", today you will explore this best landscape starting with a relaxing sightseeing cruise along the Li River from Mopanshan Pier to Yangshuo Town. Along the 84-kilometer cruise, dazzling scenery overwhelms your eyes like a vast endless Chinese painting of winding river, green limestone karst mountains, fascinating countryside views.

After about 4 hours’ cruise, disembark in Yangshuo Town, and check in your hotel. Take a short break, throw yourself into the stunning countryside views and relaxed atmosphere. Be enthralled by the patches of paddy fields nestling under green hills and near the mirror-like river, with farmers cultivating the soil with their water buffalos.

This evening is for you to walk leisurely on the ancient West Street to witness how the western culture and Chinese culture perfectly and peacefully coexist here. Whether you want to enjoy a cup of drink in bar, taste some local food, or just experience the relaxing atmosphere, you get it here.

Optional activity: watch the splendid evening performance of Impression Liu Sanjie with the Li River itself as the stage, which was directed by famous director - Zhang Yimou (usually performs for an hour between around 19:45 and 22:20).

(Note: if you are interested in visiting the Longji Rice Terrace which is only about 2 hours driving from Guilin City, and can be done in a brief day, please contact your travel consultant to add an extra day to your itinerary.)

  • Li River Cruise in Guilin Painting-like Li River
  • Yangshuo Cycling Yangshuo Cycling
  • Old Alley in Yangshuo Yangshuo West Street

Day 5 Guilin & Flight to Chengdu (B, L)

After breakfast, transfer back to Guilin in a comfortable vehicle (1.5~2hrs). Then make a visit to the symbol of Guilin landscape - Elephant Trunk Hill. A giant rock hill vividly shapes like an elephant which is drinking water. Besides, there are many historical sites here for you to explore, such as stone carving, Buddhist temple, relic exhibition, etc. Then, drive about 7 kilometers to next attraction - Reed Flute Cave, a majestic underground palace with sparkling different colors. The magical Mother Nature condenses millions years of natural efforts to form the incredible stalactite, stalagmite, stone shield and stone waterfall of different sizes and shapes.

Lastly, your tour guide will take you to airport to catch flight to Chengdu, hometown of Panda. Upon arrival at Shuangliu International Airport, you will be met by local tour guide, and escorted to your hotel in a private car. The rest of today is at leisure to relax and recover from your flight.

  • Reed Flute Cave Reed Flute Cave
  • Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill

Day 6 Chengdu (B, L)

This morning you will make a memorable visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. This facility is not only the most important panda scientific research center in the world, but also the home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. You will walk at leisure through the bamboo-framed paths and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, and climbing trees. Be sure to not miss the chance to watch female pandas nursing their cubs in the nursery rooms! There is also a very informative Panda Museum where you can learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas. Following the visit to this Panda base, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in hustling downtown Chengdu, Wenshu Temple, where you will marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the temple’s peaceful paths. 

Chengdu is famous throughout China for its relaxing and leisurely pace and lifestyle, which will be demonstrated by a visit to the City’s Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, have a casual chat with your friends and watch locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment – napping, playing mahjong, disco dancing, and giving neck massages! Next will be an impressive visit to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time will steal away as you quietly walk on the lively streets full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, and other activities.

Optional activity: In the evening, watch a wonderful performance of Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment (usually performs at 20:00~21:30).

  • Mama and Baby of Panda Mama and Baby of Panda
  • Wenshu Temple Wenshu Temple
  • Jinli Old Street Jinli Old Street

Day 7 Flight to Lhasa from Chengdu (B)

Today is free until your guide escorts you to catch your flight to Lhasa (about 2hrs and 40mins). Upon arrival, a tour guide will pick you up at the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel in downtown Lhasa while you enjoy the stunning views along the Yarlong Tsangpo River.

After check in, the rest of the day is for you to acclimate to the high altitude and weather of Lhasa. You should avoid strenuous physical activities during this period since this may cause high altitude sickness.

  • Yarlong Tsangpo River Yarlong Tsangpo River

Day 8 Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, start an incredible day of exploration in Lhasa city. The grandiose Potala Palace will be the first site to discover. After more than 1300 years of historical changes, this colossal Palace still dominates the skyline of Lhasa city. The Palace is the political and religious center of Tibet and has served as the governance and preaching site for the Dalai Lama. Climbing up the sacred steps to the Red Palace and White Palace you will explore their marvelous interiors full of exquisite Thangkas, numerous Buddha statues, vivid wall paintings, and other works of Buddhist art.

In the afternoon, visit the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet, Jokhang Temple, where the 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue is consecrated. With a history stretching over 1,300 years, this temple combines the architecture styles of Tibet, China, Nepal and India. As a spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple attracts hundreds of devoted pilgrims to worship there every day. Outside the door of Jokhang Temple is the famous pilgrimage circle, Barkhor Street, where you can join faithful Tibetans in colorful attires walking the circle around Jokhang Temple.

  • Tibet Potala Palace Visit Potala Palace
  • Jokhang Temple Jokhang Temple
  • Meet Tibet Locals Meet Tibet Locals

Day 9 Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, we start our day with a visit to the summer palace of Dalai Lamas and also the largest Tibetan garden – Norbulingka Park. The luxuriant trees and flowers, cool ponds and comfortable palaces make Norbulingka the best place for summer retreat. Then drive about 5km westward to Drepung Monastery. The monastery used to play a crucial role in Tibet Buddhism as the school of Dalai Lamas. As you walk further, immense temples, chapels leap to your eyes one after one. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks living and studying in the monastery. Various Buddhist rituals are held in the monastery during festivals, most famous one is the ceremony of Buddha Display in annual Shoton Festival.

We will then go to visit another featured Sera Monastery. This six hundred year-old monastery is famous for its grand ceremony of Buddhism debating apart from its beautiful temples with sensational icons, murals and history.

  • Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance
  • Norbulingka Norbulingka Park
  • Monks Debating at Sera Monastery Monks Debating at Sera Monastery

Day 10 Lhasa & Flight to Xian (B)

Today is free for you to explore Lhasa city until your tour guide transfers you to the airport for your flight to Xian (about 2hrs and 45mins).

Welcome to Xian, the ancient capital of China! You will be met by our local tour guide at the arrival hall of Xian Xianyang Airport and escorted to your downtown hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of the day is on your own to relax.

    No documents found.

Day 11 Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world - the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor of China Qin Shihuang to protect him in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits for more than 2,000 years until uncovered by a local farmer in 1974, form an ancient military army with complete battle units of infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Emperor Qin Shihuang but also by the fabulous artistic skills of ancient Chinese artisans.

After lunch, return back to Xian to take a wonderful stroll on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Enjoy panoramic views of modern Xian and walk leisurely on the well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circle of nearly 14 kilometers. This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.

Optional activities: 1). Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2). Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Terra Cotta Warriors Terracotta Warriors
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall
  • Muslim Snack Street Muslim Community

Day 12 Xian & High Speed Train to Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.)

Next is an educational visit to the Shaanxi History Museum where you can ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate historic relics such as porcelains, paintings, and currencies dating from the Zhou to the Tang dynastic periods (1100BC to 907 AD).

The rest of today is free for you until get escorted to catch a high speed train to Beijing (about 5hrs), the iconic city and capital of China! You will be met by local tour guide at the Beijing West Railway Station and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax.

  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Xian Shaanxi History Museum To Explore the Spectacular Heritages of Ancient China

Day 13 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s five most important palaces - the Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings.

After lunch, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor.

Optional activities: 1) You can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2) Enjoy the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater between 19:30-21:00.

  • Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square
  • Forbidden City Forbidden City
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 14 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! You can take a cable car or an enjoyable 40 minute walk to set your feet on the historic Great Wall. Then climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views of the wall as it wriggles along mountain ridges and you take brag-worthy photos.

Continue your trip to Ding Tomb, the mausoleum of a 13th century emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Follow your tour guide to observe its geomantic arrangement as well as visit the underground palace for a closer observation. Then drive back to Beijing City and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Optional activity: After the whole day’s tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.

  • Mutianyu great wall The Magnificent Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Ding Tomb Ding Tomb
  • Bird's Nest Bird's Nest

Day 15 Beijing & Beijing Departure (B)

After breakfast, drive to the imperial site of the Temple of Heaven. Originally a site used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for good harvests, it is now a bustling place where locals take part in traditional activities such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, and others.

Then get back to the central city to hop on a rickshaw to experience the Beijing Hutongs - small alleys made by neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing life style, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing.

After the tour, your Beijing tour is about to end. Your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to next destination or home.

  • Temple of Heaven Tour Temple of Heaven
  • Hutong Family Hutong
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15 Days China Impression Tour

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  • +1 more day to visit the city of Gardens - Suzhou
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