Highlights include Beijing, Fengdu, Three Gorges Dam Project, Terracotta Warriors, Home Hosted Lunch, Train to Tibet, Potala Palace, Giant Panda Breeding Sanctuary, Cooking Class, Kite Master and more.|
Day #1 Overnight Flight -
Day #2 Arrive Beijing, China - Tour Begins - Embark on your journey through China and Tibet – beginning in China’s vibrant capital city – Beijing.
Day #3 Beijing - LANGUAGE DISCOVERY: Your Tour Manager helps you discover the origin and history of the Chinese language including key words and phrases. Set off on a tour of Beijing, first visiting the expansive and historic Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world. Continue to the Forbidden City, a vast network of 17 palaces and the Chinese Imperial Palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. This evening, savor a Peking duck dinner, a specialty of Beijing!
Day #4 Beijing - Chongqing - Board Ship - Fly to Chongqing, your gateway to the Yangtze River. Visit the General Stillwell Museum, his headquarters during World War II and home of the Flying Tigers. Continue to Eling Park and take in grand views of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. Board your ship for a three night downstream cruise along the Yangtze.
Day #5 Cruising - Chongqing - Fengdu - Cruise the mighty Yangtze River today en route to the city of Fengdu and visit the Snow Jade Cave, praised by China National Geographic as “the most beautiful cave in China.”
Day #6 Cruising - Three Gorges - Shennong Stream - Continue sailing today and enter the first of the Three Gorges – one of nature’s most extraordinary sculptures. Pass through Qutang and Wu Gorge and take an excursion through the Shennong Stream. Later, sail through the third gorge, Xiling Gorge. This evening, sail through the dam ship locks.
Day #7 Cruising - Three Gorges Dam Project - Disembark Ship - Xian - Enjoy a memorable visit to the twenty-five billion dollar Three Gorges Dam which, when completed, will be the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Disembark in Yichang and head to Wuhan for your flight to Xian.
Day #8 Xian - Visit one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the world, the Wild Goose Pagoda. Step into the courtyards of Xian’s Islamic Mosque. Enjoy an Imperial lunch with twenty courses of dumplings! Explore the excavation site of more than 8,000 terracotta warriors and horses guarding the tomb of China's first emperor. Then, view the panoramic movie on the discovery of the site.
Day #9 Xian - Travel the countryside to visit a rural village. Meet locals and gain insight into their daily life during a tour of a local school, a visit to a cow farm, and lunch at a farmer's home. Later, climb to the top of the ancient city wall for stunning views of the city.
Day #10 Xian - Xining - Overnight Train - Begin today’s adventure with a flight to Xining, located on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Visit the Ta'er Monastery, one of the six famous monasteries of the Gelugpa Sect (Yellow Hat Sect) of Tibetan Buddhism. Following dinner, board your overnight train for Lhasa – on the highest train in the world.
Day #11 On Board Train - Lhasa, Tibet - Today enjoy the "Sky Train," a true engineering wonder, as it journeys past spectacular scenery of yaks grazing in emerald fields against a stunning backdrop of snowcapped mountains and brilliant blue skies. Three locomotives are required to pull the train over the 16,600 foot Tangula Pass en route to Lhasa. The train’s cabins feature two oxygen sources to help acclimate you to the altitude. Arrive in Tibet – the “roof of the world” – at approximately 10:30 PM and transfer to your hotel.
Day #12 Lhasa - This morning, tour the Jokhang Temple, built in 647 A. D. This temple is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest shrine for Tibetan pilgrims. Next, visit a local Tibetan family and gain insight into their simple way of life. Tour the Norbilinka Palace, known as the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. It was from this palace that the present Dalai Lama (XIV) escaped to India in 1959 from Chinese troops.
Day #13 Lhasa - Visit the Potala Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, considered the greatest monumental structure in Tibet and chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. Enjoy a leisurely tour of the Tibetan Museum. This afternoon, visit the Jatson Chumig School, founded to provide a positive environment for orphans and underprivileged children. Meet the children and learn about the organization and the involvement of the tour group Foundation.
Day #14 Lhasa - Chengdu - Enjoy a morning flight to Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province. After lunch, enjoy a stroll through a local market before an evening at leisure.
Day #15 Chengdu - See China’s national treasure up-close when you visit the Giant Panda Breeding Sanctuary to learn how these animals are being protected from extinction. The sanctuary is a simulated habitat; your guided tour allows you the rare opportunity to see the Giant Panda in its natural environment.
Day #16 Chengdu - Beijing - A morning flight brings you back to Beijing. No visit to China would be complete without seeing the Great Wall. Walk along a portion of this 3,700-mile marvel at the Juyongguan section. Afterwards, walk along the Sacred Way located in the Valley of the Ming Tombs.
Day #17 Beijing - Explore the world-famous Temple of Heaven, an ornate sanctuary. See locals doing their morning exercises; perhaps try your skill at Tai Chi ball. Participate in an interactive Chinese cooking class at the Jinshong Cooking School. Visit a local market, learn about traditional ingredients and the art of Chinese cuisine as you create a specialty with a local chef. Next, explore old Beijing during a rickshaw tour through narrow streets, stopping for lunch with a local family. Afterwards, meet a kite master and learn the art of this Chinese pastime. This evening, enjoy a special farewell dinner.
Day #18 Beijing - Tour Ends - Your tour ends in Beijing.