9 Days Chengdu & Lhasa Tour with Yangtze Cruise

Explore Western & Central China

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Have you ever wonder to explore Tibet and engage profound Buddhism culture? In this tour, you'll explore glorious landscape and inspiring activities not just Lhasa, but also Yangtze River from Chongqing to Yichang. All are ready for you!

Highlights of this tour:

  • Observe the cute Giant Pandas from a close distance and have leisure time as the locals do in the laid-back city;
  • Get on the Roof of the World and absorb the essence of Tibetan Buddhism and enjoy plateau landscape;
  • Take a 4-day downstream Yangtze River cruise from Chongqing to Yichang to enjoy Three Gorges scenery, interesting activities onboard and fantastic shore excursions.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Chengdu / Lhasa / Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Yichang
Travel Length:
9 Days & 8 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-CTCL-09
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureHikingMountaineeringReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~2 Arrival & Chengdu Panda Tour

One full day to explore leisurely in Chengdu downtown area by visiting Chengdu Panda Base, Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park and Jinli Old Street.

Day 3~6 Flight to Lhasa, Lhasa Tour & Flight to Chongqing

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. Fly to Chongqing and visit Three Gorges Museum before board your ship at Chaotianmen Port.

Day 7~9 Yangtze River Cruise & Yichang Departure

Explore the stunning scenery along Yangtze River, such as Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam and interesting excursions to Shibaozhai Pagoda, Shennv Stream, etc. Also relax yourself with rich activities on board. Disembark your ship in Yichang.

Full Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Chengdu Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Chengdu, the hometown of Giant Pandas. Upon arrival, your guide will meet and escort you to your hotel in Chengdu downtown in a private vehicle. The rest of today is free to explore the leisure city on your own.

Optional Activity: In the evening, you can enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine at a local restaurant.

  • Chengdu Hotpot The Typical Sichuan Cuisine - Chengdu Hotpot

Day 2 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. Next, 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).

  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu
  • Sichuan Cuisine Museum Sichuan Cuisine Museum
  • Renmin Park in Chengdu Renmin Park in Chengdu
  • Jinlin Street Jinli Old Street

Day 3 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 4 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 5 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 Debating at Sera Monastery Monks Debating at Sera Monastery

Day 6 Flight to Chongqing from Lhasa (B, L)

Today will be free until your guide escorts you up to the airport and flight to Chongqing (about 2hrs and 20mins). After arriving in Chongqing Jiangbei Airport, you will be met and transferred to the Chongqing downtown. Then you will be taken to the next highlight site, Three Gorges Museum, a large monographic museum presenting the history and culture of the Three Gorges Dam Project and its place in Chinese history.

After the tour, you’ll be transferred to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to board your cruise ship between 18:00-20:00 that evening. Your once-in-a-lifetime Yangtze River cruise sails at 21:00! (Please note: the boarding time and departure piers change based on the ship line, water level, season, weather, and other factors. Your travel consultants will ensure you have the actual departure time and boarding pier before your boarding.)

  • Three Gorges Museum Three Gorges Museum

Day 7 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

In the morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil and beautiful Yangtze River. It will be colorful and interesting whether you decide to stay onboard or go ashore at river stops. 

Onboard you will enjoy different kinds of activities, like practicing Tai Chi on the boat’s sundeck, drinking a relaxing morning coffee, attending a Yangtze River history and culture lecture, or taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party and evening shows. 

Next follow a local guide and make a shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda, one of the “Pearls” of the Yangtze River. A gem of Chinese architecture, this 12-story, 18th century red wooden temple on the northern bank of Yangtze River is an architectural delight full of legends and beautiful stories. (Note: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be lots of stairs to climb up!)

Optional Excursion: Take a shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City for an extra fee. Called the “City of Ghosts”, it is endowed with mysterious stories about underworld and cruel tortures and different kinds of devils and Chinese demons. Entering this ghost city, you will find many statues of demons and vivid scenes of their perfidious activities. (Note: Once again, the visit to Fengdu Ghost City requires much walking and comfortable shoes are again highly recommended!)

  • Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise A Lifetime Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise
  • Shibaozhai Pagoda Shibaozhai Pagoda

Day 8 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

Today you will sail through the spectacular Three Gorges while relaxing on the sun deck and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge respectively. 

In Wu Gorge you will take an enjoyable adventure to primitive Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream). Switch to a smaller boat to sail down this beautiful stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of high mountain peaks and hanging coffins on the steep cliff faces. After watching an entertaining music and dance show of local Tujia ethnic minority, sail back to your ship.

In the evening, you will enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Party as well as dancing show with all your mates onboard to spend a wonderful night.

Optional Excursion: Take a shore excursion to White Emperor City for an extra fee. Located at the entrance of Qutang Gorge, this excursion offers the best viewing spot to appreciate the magnificent Kuimen Gate.

  • Yangtze River Cruise Yangtze River Cruise
  • Shennv Stream Shennv Stream

Day 9 Yichang & Yichang Departure (B)

After breakfast, you’ll begin to check out and disembark at Maoping Port. Today’s highlight is a morning excursion to Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, located at the middle of Xiling Gorge near Yichang. You will marvel at this gigantic dam from different angles, learn more of the background history of the Three Gorges Dam Project and enjoy the surrounding beautiful landscape and scenery. If you like, you can take an optional experience to sail through Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift, the largest and the most sophisticated ship lift in the world, which takes only 40 minutes with fresh insight into the dam project.

After the dam visiting, you’ll take the bus arranged by the cruise company heading to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal for leave. Here you will be pick up by our local guide and escorted to visit Yichang Museum if time permits. Then, be transferred to the airport or train station to catch your flight or train to next destination. Service ends!

Disembarkation Tips: No matter you take Ship Lift or not, you’ll check out and take your luggage away in this early morning. (1) Only dam visiting: you’ll take bus from Maoping Port to Three Gorges Dam for sightseeing, and then arrive at Yichang downtown around 12:30. (2) Dam & Ship Lift Experience: travelers who are interested in Ship Lift will first switch to a sightseeing boat to sail through the Ship Lift and then visit Three Gorges Dam Site. You’ll arrive at Yichang downtown around 13:30.

Departure Ideas: You can take a flight from Yichang Sanxia Airport to Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, etc. Or you can take a high speed train from Yichang East Railway Station to Wuhan (about 2hrs), Shanghai (about 8hrs), Beijing (about 7.5hrs), Hangzhou (about 7.5hrs), Chengdu (about 7hrs), Guangzhou (about 7hrs) and more cities.

  • Three Gorges Dam Three Gorges Dam
  • Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift
  • Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal
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Recommended Add-on Options

+ 2 more days to visit the Paris of the East - Shanghai

Shanghai, regarded as the Oriental Paris, is the best place to see East-meet-West Culture, find hidden tradition within modernity.

Generally speaking, you can spend Day 1 exploring the popular landmarks of Shanghai, such as the Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, Nanjing Road,  the Bund, and Shanghai World Financial Center Tower. The Day 2 is for you to explore deep into the city of Shanghai (such as Old French Concession, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center or Jade Buddha Temple) and departure.

The Bund: Famous 'Museum of Architecture'
9 Days Chengdu Lhasa Tour with Yangtze Cruise

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