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Gateway to Tibet

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11 days  |  Beijing to Lhasa  |  from USD $3,159  |   Guaranteed Departure 

Exploring Beijing’s grand Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and scenic Great Wall, Xi’an’s warriors and mighty medieval fortress, we continue our journey to the roof of the world, Tibet - a spiritual land that has exerted its magnetic pull over travellers for centuries.
Countries Visited: China, Tibet

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Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions
Reviews

Itinerary

Day 1

Beijing

Saturday. Huan ying, welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in.
Overnight: Beijing

Day 2

Tiananmen Square

Today we explore the heart of Beijing - Tiananmen Square where Chairman Mao’s tomb and various monuments to the people are located. Dominating the city’s heart is the Forbidden City, a centre of power for five centuries and seat of the emperors. Entering through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (replete with Chairman Mao’s portrait), we enjoy a guided tour of the old city, within the imperial city. This evening, we enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance. Swinging ropes, juggling hoops, spinning plates and human pyramids are just a few tricks these show stoppers pull out followed by a Welcome Dinner of Peking Duck at a city restaurant.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Great Wall of China

Don some comfortable shoes. Today we drive to Badaling, to walk a section of the Great Wall. The Wall is impressive to say the least. Following the ridge of barren hills through northern China it stretches as far as the eye can see. Later we visit a cloisonne workshop demonstrating the unique Chinese art of combining copper and enamel to make decorative pieces.

This evening take an optional Beijing by Night city tour and see some of the capital's monuments illuminated against the night sky (payable locally).
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Summer Palace

Beijing - Xi’an. This morning offers free time. If you are up for a little adventure, make your way to Wangfujing Dajie (shopping street, only a 10 minute journey. Through the winding alleys and adjacent back streets of Wangfujing you'll find numerous souvinier sellers, chinese herbalists and snack stalls, the later offering some fairly obsure local delicacies. BBQ Seahorse on a skewer anyone?

Later we re group and visit the Summer Palace, set on Kunming Lake and the cavernous Silk Alley market. En route to the train station we drive past the 2008 Olympic stadium commonly referred to as the ‘birdsnest’. (4 berth soft sleeper cabin)
Overnight: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Terracotta Warriors

Arrive Xi’an and transfer to hotel. Today we visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site and a workshop where we see the process used to create the terracotta figurines. In battle formation, the Terracotta Warriors are one of China’s most impressive sights. This evening we can attend a Tang Dynasty dinner and performance with Chang’an music and dance originally performed for the illustrious Tang emperors. Tonight, optional Tang Dynasty Bolt-on, with dinner and performance.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

City Wall Bike Ride

Today we take a leisurely bike ride along the 9 mile medieval City Wall that encircles the old town. Our afternoon offers a guided tour of the the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and early dinner. Free evening to relax or independently explore.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7

Tibet

Xi’an - Lhasa. Consider independently exploring the Muslim Quarter or see the Grand Mosque before your noon 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’.

Note: Travellers will fly without tour guide accompaniment to Tibet. Upon arrival to Tibet you will meet with our local guide who will conduct sightseeing arrangments throughout your stay.
Overnight: Lhasa  |  Breakfast

Day 8

The Potala Palace

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.
Overnight: Lhasa  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

Drepung Monastery

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.
Overnight: Lhasa  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Pilgrims & Yamdrok Lake

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.
Overnight: Lhasa  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Lhasa

Tuesday. Hotel check out and included onward transfer to airport.
Breakfast

Travel in 2016

Please note that the itinerary above relates to travel in 2015. Days 2 - 4 will follow a slightly different itinerary, please see the Trip Notes for more details.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged provided there is another single traveller booked on the tour date of your choosing.

Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
2015
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $3469
USD $799
 
USD $3469
USD $799
 
USD $3469
USD $799
15% off
USD $3469
USD $799
 
USD $3469
USD $799
 
USD $3469
USD $799
2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
Easter departure, book early!
USD $3249
USD $769
 
USD $3379
USD $769
 
USD $3379
USD $769
 
USD $3379
USD $769
 
USD $3249
USD $769
 
USD $3249
USD $769
 
USD $3249
USD $769
 
USD $3249
USD $769
 
USD $3249
USD $769
 
USD $3249
USD $769
 
USD $3249
USD $769
 
USD $3379
USD $769
 
USD $3379
USD $769
 
USD $3379
USD $769
 
USD $3159
USD $769

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Private Season Supplement
USD $1020
-  
Beijing - Pre-tour accom.
USD $69
USD $70
Lhasa - Post-tour accom.
USD $80
USD $40

This tour is also available on a private basis - for details please see the Supplementary Prices at the bottom of this page.

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.

Deluxe
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.

Lavish
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!

Rainbow Hotel, Beijing

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Rainbow is a contemporary hotel accented by the colours of traditional Chinese folk art culture. The spacious guestrooms display character of the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful wooden furniture whilst providing modern amenities fit for international travellers. The hotel also has a restaurant, cafe and bar.

Train - 4 berth soft sleeper cabin, Beijing

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Train

Soft sleeper cabins are private compartments which have four bunks - two upper and two lower. A door separates the compartment from the aisle and bedding and pillows are provided. Each bunk is equipped with a small reading lamp. Temperature controls are installed alongside the door. Generally, the facilities include a clothes rack, slippers, clothes brush, stainless steel thermos, fine porcelain teacup, a waste bin and wall socket.

Wan Nian Grand Hotel, Xi'an

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Wan Nian Grand is a comfortable, friendly hotel with light, good sized rooms. Elegantly decorated, the rooms also boast modern amenities and the hotel has a wealth of facilities including an indoor pool and sauna house, a cafe and bar, and well-equipped business centre.

Yak Hotel, Lhasa

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

In the heart of the old part of Lhasa, the Yak Hotel offers clean comfortable accommodation decorated in a classic Tibetan style. Guest rooms are simply furnished with authentic Tibetan artwork and decent amenities - including local tea - great for warming up with after a day's activities. The hotel also boasts a roof top terrace where you can sit and relax and admire stunning view of the Potala Palace! Well located just a short walk from the Jokhang Temple and Ani Tsankhung.

Trip Highlights

Beijing - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, UNESCO listed Emperor's Summer Palace, Silk Alley markets, Cloisonne Factory, Hutong area of Beijing and Chinese Acrobatic Show
Xi’an - UNESCO - listed Terracotta Warriors, Clay warrior workshop, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall and bike ride.
Yamdrok Lake and Kamba-la Pass
Badaling - UNESCO listed Great Wall of China
Lhasa – Potala Palace, Norbulinka Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Barkhor Bazaar. Yamdrok Lake, Kamba-la pass

Included

10 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners incl. a Peking Duck dinner in Beijing
1 overnight train (soft sleeper cabin)
Economy class flight - Xi’an – Lhasa
Xi’an - bike ride on medieval City Wall
Touring of Beijing, Badaling, Xi'an and Lhasa
English speaking specialist guides at local sights and for sightseeing in Tibet
All relevant transfers and transportation in private vehicles
9 nights 3-4 star hotels
Chinese Acrobatic Performance
Rickshaw ride through the Hutong area of Beijing
4x4 drive to Yamdrok Lake
Tour leader escorted for groups of 6 or more (days 1 - 6)
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 and day 11
Tibet Travel Permit (given to you in China).

Not Included

International flights and visa
Entrance Fees: $155-160 USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 5 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: $70-75 USD

Reviews

We have had an incredible time in china. Our guide, Mandy was extremely organized and very nurturing and accommodating to our individual needs. Her knowledge of the various sites we visited, as well as her additional knowledge of the country in general is exceptional.

I had a lot of fun with a good group of people. Stephanie was excellent and we really appreciated her great manners. Thank you.

Lisa was an excellent guide. Always there to help everyone when needed. Her knowledge was excellent. I was happy with overall experience.

Stephanie is an excellent guide, careful, caring. She ran the tour at an excellent pace and gave very good explanations.

Everything was so well organised and our tour leader Feng was a complete treasure. I can't stop raving about the time we had in China, I think my friends are getting annoyed. I can't help singing your praises on the go, recommending to everyone. Tibet is a must see.

Tour Details
Starts
Beijing
Ends
Lhasa
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 3

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Uncover North Korea

USD $4,269 / 5 days

Datong

USD $809 / 4 days

We have had an incredible time in china. Our guide, Mandy was extremely organized and very nurturing and accommodating to our individual needs. Her knowledge of the various sites we visited, as well as her additional knowledge of the country in general is exceptional.

Marc Peverett
Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.
Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.