Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

Gateway to Tibet

12 days  |  Beijing to Lhasa  |  from USD $3,159  |   Guaranteed Departures 

Exploring Beijing’s grand Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the scenic Great Wall at Badaling and Juyongguan Pass, Xi’an’s warriors and mighty medieval fortress, the Giant Pandas of Chengdu before continuing 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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Please note: This amazing itinerary is for departures in 2017. If travelling in 2016, our program arrangements differ slightly from those detailed below. Please contact us for a copy of our 2016 program.

Day 1


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.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Great Wall of China

After a free morning to further explore the city, 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. This evening we spend the night at our quaint hotel at the foot of the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass.
Overnight: Juyongguan Pass.  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Morning at the Great Wall

Beijing - Xi’an. We rise early this morning and head to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass for when it opens to beat the crowds. We have time to enjoy and explore the wall before visiting a Jade Carving Centre to learn about this ornamental rock and its importance in Chinese culture. After lunch we head back to Beijing. Free time is offered in the cavernous Pearl Market - an Aladdin's Cave of clothing, jewellery and electronic gadgets, before travelling by express soft sleeper train to Xi’an in Shaanxi Province.
Overnight: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5

Terracotta Warriors

Arrive Xi’an, hotel check in and time to freshen up. Today we visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of Xian’s most iconic landmarks, followed by the Muslim Quarter. After we enjoy a bike ride atop the Xi’an City Wall (electric car option available). Dating back to 1370 the 12m-high walls are some of the few remaining urban fortifications still standing in China today and after extensive restorations the City Walls offer ample opportunities from which to explore Xian. Tonight, optional Tang Dynasty Bolt-on, with dinner and performance.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

City Wall Bike Ride

Xi’an - Chengdu. This morning we visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site. Standing in battle-ready formation and numbering into the thousands, the Terracotta Army is Xian’s most popular sight and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, 13 years after the army was discovered. Built by local craftsman during the 3rd century BC for emperor Qinshihuang, the life-sized warriors and horses were designed to offer protection in the afterlife. After we visit to a clay workshop specialising in making replica figurines of the Terracotta Warriors. This afternoon we fly to Chengdu.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Today's highlight is the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Opened in 1993 it is fast becoming one of China’s must see places. The centre has been created to help and imitate the pandas’ natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. Later we visit the Wenshu Monastery, built during the Qing Dynasty. The temple is a hidden gem with few tourists visiting and a stop must be made at the delightful teahouse located inside the temple grounds which serves a fine cup of green tea and some of the best vegetarian food in the city. The evening is spent at leisure. On most nights Sichuan Opera is performed at the Shufengyayun Theatre and tickets can be booked locally or in advance.

Day 8

Driving to Leshan our morning is spent exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dafo (Great Buddha), which is carved into the red sandstone face of Lingyun Hill overlooking the treacherous confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers below it. Dafo has huge 8m feet, his ears droop 7m, his shoulders span 28m and his nose measures a whopping 5.6m!

This evening is at leisure.

Day 9

Potala Palace

Chengdu - Lhasa. Spend the morning at leisure before our noon flight to Lhasa (please note this is an unescorted flight. Upon arrival to Tibet you will drive (aprox 1.5 hours) to the fabled city of Lhasa. Once we reach our destinationv we kick off our sightseeing with a visit to Lhasa’s most enduring image, the Potala Palace - the winter home of the Dalai Lamas and a masterpiece in design. The Dalai Lama’s Summer palace, Norbulingka, is our next place of pilgrimage. 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.

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 arrangements throughout your stay.
Overnight: Lhasa  |  Breakfast

Day 10

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, Dinner

Day 11

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 12


Wednesday. Hotel check out and included onward transfer to airport.

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.

This tour will be 11 days in length in 2016. When booking flights, please subtract 1 day from the end date noted below.
11 day tour in 2016 - subtract 1 day
Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
4+ places available
Limited places
Sold out
On Request (Please Contact Us)
Single Supp.
USD $3379
USD $769
Single Supp.
USD $3379
USD $769
USD $3379
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 $3379
USD $769
USD $3379
USD $769
USD $3379
USD $769
USD $3379
USD $769

Supplementary Prices

Single Supp.
Private Season Supplement
USD $1020
Beijing - Pre-tour accom.
USD $69
USD $70
Lhasa - Post-tour accom.
USD $152
USD $145

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


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.

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

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

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 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 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!

Yong An Hotel, Beijing

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Just a 5 minute walk from the Agricultural Exhibition Centre, the Yong An hotel is a modern hotel with great amenities. Guest rooms are classically decorated with large windows allowing lots of natural light. The hotel has a restaurant that serves up both Chinese and western dishes. Complimentary wi-fi is available and the popular buzzing bar street is just a 15 minute taxi ride away.

Juyongguan Pass Great Wall, Great Wall

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: 2 Star Hotel

At the foot of the Great Wall, Juyongguan Great Wall Hotel offers classic Chinese architecture and basic but comfortable en suite rooms. An on site restaurant serves up local cuisine and Wi-Fi is available throughout. Being just a few minutes from the entrance to the Juyongguan Pass gives us the opportunity to be first up at the Wall in the morning.

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: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 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, Pearl markets, Jade Carving 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, Muslim Quarter.
Yamdrok Lake and Kamba-la Pass
Badaling & Juyongguan - 2 UNESCO listed sections of Great Wall of China
Lhasa – Potala Palace, Norbulinka Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Barkhor Bazaar. Yamdrok Lake, Kamba-la pass


11 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners incl. a Peking Duck dinner in Beijing
1 overnight train (soft sleeper cabin)
2 Economy class flights - Xi’an – Chengdu & Chengdu - Lhasa
Xi’an - bike ride on medieval City Wall
Touring of Beijing, Badaling, Juyongguan, Chengdu, Xi'an and Lhasa
English speaking specialist guides at local sights and for sightseeing in Tibet
All relevant transfers and transportation in private vehicles
10 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 12
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


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 • Submitted 24 Jul 2014

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

Graeme Thorn • Submitted 09 Jun 2014

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

Travis Keen • Submitted 09 Jun 2014

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

Elizabeth Dhar • Submitted 25 Apr 2014

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.

Karen Shaw • Submitted 08 Jun 2011

Going into Tibet made me feel humbled – it’s like the land that time forgot. Such a touching experience and beautiful as well.

John Gunns • Submitted 09 Nov 2009

Dear Ryan

I can't believe that it is nearly 6 weeks since we returned from our trip. I have been meaning to email you ever since to tell

you that we had the most wonderful trip - Tibet in particular was a never to be forgotten experience and we are both

determined to go back.

I guess you know that there were 8 of us to start but we lost 5 within the first two days - taken off by the Chinese authorities and put in quarantine because someone on their flights had tested positive for swine flu. We were very lucky to escape.

Your tour guides were as usual fabulous. In particular Pembe in Tibet was unbelievable - what a wonderful man we learnt so much from him. Tibet really made us feel very humble - difficult to put into words how special we found it.

Anyway suffice to say that next year we intend motorbiking in the USA but future trips lined up include a return to Tibet; Vietnam and Cambodia; Peru; Chile and Mongolia so you shall be seeing us again. We cannot speak highly enough of On the Go!!

Many thanks for all your help and good advice.

Kind regards

Jenny and Pete

Jenny and Pete • Submitted 25 Jul 2009

Tour Details
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star
Local Payment
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Breakfast: 9, Lunch: 3, Dinner: 2

Tour Bolt-ons

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

Uncover North Korea

USD $4,269 / 5 days


USD $809 / 4 days
Extra Tour Info
Visiting the Great Wall
Our guide to the various sections of the Great Wall
Seeing Pandas in China
Where best to see pandas in China and what to expect

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
Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights OTG Signature
Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

On The Go's Signature group tours place local interaction and authenticity at the heart of your cultural travel experience. Upping the comfort stakes, this range is a clear cut above our OTG Adventure range.

Appealing to a wide age demographic from the 20s to 60+, we maximize your days with excitement and awe and then bring you home to a comfortable 4* hotel with western amenities, air-conditioning, WiFi and, where appropriate, a swimming pool. Hotels can sometimes be of 3 or 5 star standard too, ensuring you get the best value for your holiday.

Visiting all the main attractions you’ll be accompanied throughout by our highly qualified English-speaking local guides too. Group size is typically 18 with a maximum for 28, apart from festival tours, where group sizes can be larger due to the one-off nature of these events.

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