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Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Enjoy an arrival transfer to our hotel.
This morning, we tour the centre of Beijing including the massive Tiananmen Square and the sprawling Forbidden City. Boasting some 9999 rooms, the city within a city was once the sole preserve of the Chinese emperors. Afternoon rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing.
Today, we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling, to walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Built in the Ming Dynasty, a 6m wide pathway makes a formidable defence, following the highest contours of a steep range of hills. Later we visit the Emperor's Summer Palace, set on Kunming Lake.
This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of the Temple of Heaven and the Silk Alley Markets before transferring you to the train station for your overnight sleeper train to Xi'an.
Arrive Xi’an and hotel check in. Later we tour the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site where some 7,000 warriors stand in battle ready position and a factory demonstrating how the warriors are crafted.
We visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and take a bicycle ride along Xi’an 9 mile in length, medieval City Wall before heading down into the Muslim Markets.
Today, we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Lhasa. Upon arrival to Tibet you will drive (aprox 1.5 hours) to the fabled city of Lhasa. Once you reach Lhasa the remainder of the day is free for you to relax and acclimatise at ‘the roof of the world’.
We begin our exploration of this mystical city first heading to Lhasa’s most enduring image, the Potala Palace. The winter home of the Dalai Lamas and a masterpiece in design, 13 stories high, containing thousands of rooms, this is the heart of Tibet, its (exiled) government and people. The Dalai Lama’s Summer palace, Norbulingka, is our next place of pilgrimage. Less daunting and surrounded by gardens, this homely palace reflects the Dalai Lama’s more earthly pleasures and it was from here the present Lama fled in the 1950’s. However, it is the Jokhang Temple which will be the most enlightening stop of the day. The holiest shrine in Tibet, it houses a solid gold shrine of the enlightened Buddha and it is around which, in varying degrees of exertion, all Tibetans prostrate themselves at some point throughout their lifetime.
Our exploration of Lhasa continues today as we take the short journey to the 15th century Drepung Monastery. Formerly one of the central monasteries of Tibet it was torn asunder during the Cultural Revolution and continues to rebuild is walls and status today. Just north of Lhasa is the Sera Monastery, still a working retreat 600 years after its foundation as a main teaching monastery and one of the three great Gelukpa ‘Universities’ once housing more than 5500 monks. You will see young novices learning scriptures in the Debating Garden and being rewarded for a correct answer with a resounding hand-clap from their master. Returning to Lhasa we will experience the Barkhor markets which surround the Jokhang temple and sell all things Tibetan.
An early morning start as we drive out toward the Himalayas. From Lhasa, itself at 3500m, we travel over the Kamba-La pass and reach 4794m above sea level. As we journey along the winding road, weaving our way through the rocky mountains and valleys, in the far distance on a very clear day it maybe possible to catch a glimpse of the High Himalayan Peaks of Everest and Lhotse. From the top of the pass we can look down on the deep azure waters of Yamdrok Lake, cradled by snow capped mountains before dropping down to the shores itself. One of Tibet’s 3 holy lakes, nomadic tents, pilgrims prostrating and children hunting with sling shots on the stony beaches make this something you are likely to have never experienced before. Rising back into these vivid and rugged mountains we head back to Lhasa, looking for hoards of Yak along the way.
Spend the morning at leisure before flying to Chongqing, the start point for our exciting Yangtze River Cruise. Before boarding the cruise the we can stroll along Chongqing’s People’s Square, in the city centre.
Yangtze River Cruise.
Yangtze River Cruise.
After a morning shore excursion to visit the Three Gorges Dam we disembark from our cruise. We will pick you up and travel onto the airport for your flight to Shanghai.
Enjoy a full days sightseeing in Shanghai including the Oriental Pearl TV tower, the Jade Buddha Temple, French Quarter, The Bund and the Yu Gardne including the Old City and Nanjing Road for shopping.
Departure transfer to the airport.
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...