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Home China City Tours Beijing Tours Beijing Tibet Tours 13 Days Beijing – Xi’an – Lhasa – Shanghai Tour

Tour Overview

Lhasa, known as the “Roof of the World”, has a rich historical and cultural heritage and unique Tibetan customs. Combining Lhasa and the cities of China’s Golden Triangle, this tour takes you on an unforgettable journey through some of most iconic sights of China. Starting in Beijing, you’ll explore landmarks such as the Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall.

Continue to Xi’an to visit the Terracotta Warriors and immerse yourself in the vibrant Muslim quarter. Then, venture to Lhasa, the spiritual center of Tibet, to visit temples and experience unique Tibetan culture. Shanghai is the last stop of the journey, where modernity meets tradition on the Bund. This itinerary offers a diverse blend of history, spirit and urban charm, providing a truly enriching travel experience.

Highlights of this tour:

1. Explore the majestic Forbidden City in Beijing, step into the imperial past and marvel at its grandeur.
2. Surrounded by magnificent mountain views at Mutianyu Great Wall, admire this marvel of ancient engineering.
3. Immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of Lhasa by visiting temples like Jokhang Temple and witnessing peaceful debates at Sera Monastery.
4. Experience the tranquil beauty of Yamdrok Lake in Tibet, with its clear turquoise water and majestic mountain backdrop.
5. Create your own mini clay warriors in the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an and discover the incredible heritage of ancient Chinese civilization.
6. Stroll through the bustling Muslim district of Xi’an and sample vibrant street food.
7. Stroll along Shanghai’s historic Bund for a stunning mix of architectural styles and panoramic views of the city.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Welcome to our 13-day Beijing Xi'an Lhasa Shanghai Tour! Upon your arrival in Beijing, you will be greeted by your guide at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

    Take some time to rest and recover from your journey. You can choose to explore the nearby area or relax at the hotel.

    Meal: N/A

    Accommodation: Novotel Beijing Peace

  2. This morning, your guide will meet in the hotel lobby and we will drive to the first attraction of the day, Tian'anmen Square, located in the center of Beijing and a symbol of China. There are famous buildings on the square, such as flagpoles, the Monument to the People's Heroes, and the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. The flag-raising ceremony held every morning attracts many tourists.

    Next, walk to visit one of the world's largest palaces - the Forbidden City, aka the Palace Museum. It was the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties, with over 70 palaces and nearly 8,800 rooms. In addition to admiring ancient architecture, you will also appreciate a large number of precious cultural relics in the museum, which are historical witnesses of Chinese civilization.

    Forbidden City in Beijing
    Forbidden City

    After lunch, hop on a rickshaw ride through the traditional Hutong neighborhoods, experiencing the charm of old Beijing. You will be guided to witness the courtyard homes, narrow alleyways, and local life, gaining insights into the city's traditional culture.

    Return to your accommodation and spend the evening at leisure, perhaps trying some local cuisine or exploring the vibrant night markets.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Novotel Beijing Peace

  3. After breakfast, you will visit the Temple of Heaven, a magnificent imperial architectural complex built in 1420. The emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties held important religious ceremonies here. The Temple of Heaven is protected by two altar walls, divided into an inner altar and an outer altar. You will mainly visit the inner altar, showcasing numerous ancient buildings. One of the highlights is the Prayer for Good Harvest Hall, which has blue tiles and a golden roof, designated for the emperor to pray for a bountiful harvest during the first lunar month.

    Beijing Temple of Heaven
    Temple of Heaven

    In the afternoon, drive to visit the Mutianyu Great Wall in Huairou District of Beijing, which is the most famous section of the Great Wall in China. It features a unique architectural style and preserves the original appearance of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. The Mutianyu Great Wall is approximately 5.4 kilometers long, with a towering and sturdy wall that winds along the mountain ridges, presenting a magnificent spectacle. You will take a cable car to ascend to the Great Wall and then hike to appreciate the breathtaking scenery - the surrounding mountains form overlapping peaks, and the area is adorned with lush greenery. Capture memorable photos and immerse yourself in the history and grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site. You go down the Great Wall by cable car, too.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Novotel Beijing Peace

  4. Today, you will visit a royal garden composed of lakes, hills, and pavilions - the Summer Palace. You can take a leisurely walk along the lake and climb Longevity Hill to overlook the entire Summer Palace and its beautiful scenery. If you are interested, you can consider taking a boat tour on Kunming Lake to gain a unique perspective.

    Beijing Summer Palace
    Summer Palace

    In the afternoon, take a high-speed bullet train from Beijing to Xi'an, a journey that offers scenic views of the countryside. Arrive in Xi'an and check in at your accommodation. Take some time to rest and prepare for the adventures ahead.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Wyndham Grand Xi'an South

  5. After breakfast, drive for an hour to visit the world-famous Terracotta Army in Lintong District. This is the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient terracotta figurines in the world. These terracotta warriors are finely crafted, varied in appearance, and vividly depict the spectacular scene of the Qin Dynasty army. Follow your guide to uncover the stories behind the Terracotta Warriors.

    After that, you will engage in a unique DIY activity where you can create your own mini clay warriors under the guidance of a skilled artisan. Unleash your creativity and take home a personalized souvenir.

    Xian-Terracotta-Army
    Terracotta Warriors and Horses

    In the afternoon, return to the Xian downtown area to visit the Ancient City Wall. This wall, built during the Ming Dynasty, has a perimeter of 13.7 kilometers, making it the most well-preserved ancient city wall in China. The Xi'an city wall includes features such as a moat, drawbridges, arrow towers, watchtowers, corner towers, enemy towers, and more military facilities. Strolling on the city wall provides a panoramic view of the entire city. You can also choose to rent a bicycle for a ride along the wall.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Wyndham Grand Xi'an South

  6. Your Xi'an tour today will commence at the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, a renowned Buddhist cultural site and a symbol of the Tang Dynasty. Stands at a height of 64.5 meters, this pagoda houses a vast collection of Buddhist artifacts and scriptures brought back from India by the monk Xuanzang. Following that, you will proceed to the Shaanxi History Museum, which showcases the historical and cultural evolution of the Shaanxi region from the Neolithic era to the Qing Dynasty. The museum boasts an extensive collection of treasures, including bronzes, ceramics, calligraphy, jade, and more.

    Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian
    Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Xuanzang

    After that, you will be transferred to a local family to learn the art of making traditional dumplings, a popular Chinese dish. Roll up your sleeves and follow the guidance of an experienced chef to make your own delicious dumplings.

    In the late afternoon, experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Muslim Quarter, with its bustling markets, aromatic street food, and charming architecture. You can stroll through the narrow alleys, shop for souvenirs, and savor the local flavors.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Wyndham Grand Xi'an South

  7. After breakfast, say goodbye to Xian and take a flight to Lhasa, the spiritual heart of Tibet. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and welcomed to the city known as the "Roof of the World."

    Check in at your accommodation and take some time to acclimate to the high altitude. It's important to rest and drink plenty of fluids to ensure a smooth adjustment.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Thangka Hotel

  8. The first stop on your Lhasa trip is the Norbulingka, a typical Tibetan-style garden. Built in the 1740s, Norbulingka served as the summer residence for successive Dalai Lamas. Expanded over two centuries, the entire garden covers an area of 360,000 square meters and features over 100 plant species, including unique plants from the foothills of the Himalayas, as well as rare flowers introduced from abroad.

    Tibet Norbulingka
    Norbulingka

    Then, go to Drepung Monastery, one of the largest monastic institutions in Tibet. You will be amazed by its impressive architecture when exploring various halls and churches. Gain a deep understanding of Tibetan Buddhism and witness the monastic way of life. Lastly, visit the Sera Monastery, a 600-year-old temple known for its lively monk debates. You will witness the lively debates among monks in the monastery's courtyard. This centuries-old practice is an integral part of Tibetan Buddhist education and provides a fascinating insight into the monastic life.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Thangka Hotel

  9. After breakfast, your guide will take you on a cultural tour to Jokhang Temple, a revered religious place that attracts pilgrims from all over Tibet. You will explore the intricately designed chapels and witness believers engaged in prayer ceremonies. (Note: Photography is not allowed in the small chapels of the monastery, so it is important to follow this rule during the visit.) Next, take a leisurely stroll around Barkhor Street, which is a vibrant marketplace encircling Jokhang Temple. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, explore the shops selling traditional Tibetan crafts, and experience the local culture.

    Tibet Jokhang Temple
    Jokhang Temple

    After that, enjoy afternoon tea at Ani Tsangkhung Nunnery, a peaceful retreat where nuns practice meditation and devotion. Relax and soak in the serene ambiance of this spiritual sanctuary.

    The last stop is the majestic Potala Palace, the political and religious center of Tibet. It is located on the Red Hill, with a grand and spectacular appearance, and a large collection of historical relics and artworks inside. Your guide will provide insights into the historical and cultural significance of Potala Palace as you explore its various chambers, including the White Palace and the Red Palace.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Thangka Hotel

    Potala Palace Lhasa Tibet
    Potala Palace in Lhasa

  10. In the morning, a scenic drive for approximately 2 hours to reach Yamdrok Lake, one of the three sacred lakes in Tibet, along with Namtso and Manasarovar. Situated at an altitude of 4,400 meters, Yamdrok Lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, majestic snow-capped mountains, and lush forests and meadows, creating a breathtaking natural panorama. This area serves as a paradise for wildlife, with wild animals like Tibetan antelope and wild asses freely roaming, while various migratory birds spend the cold winter here.

    Tibet Yamdrok Lake
    Yamdrok Lake

    Settle down for a delightful picnic by the lakeside, enjoying the serene beauty and tranquility of the landscape. Take leisurely walks along the shore, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and capture breathtaking photos of this natural wonder.

    After the tour, return to Lhasa and spend the evening at your own pace.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Thangka Hotel

  11. After breakfast, you will catch a flight to Shanghai, a vibrant metropolis known for its modern skyline and bustling streets.

    Upon arrival, take some time to rest and recharge after the journey. Explore the surroundings of your accommodation and soak in the dynamic atmosphere of the city.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Sunrise On The Bund

  12. After picking you up from the hotel, your guide will take you to the Bund, located on the banks of the Huangpu River, which is one of the iconic attractions in Shanghai. The Bund is a hub that brings together the historical, cultural, financial, and fashionable elements of Shanghai. From colonial-era buildings to towering modern skyscrapers, the blend of various architectural styles is truly awe-inspiring. Here, you can appreciate the vibrancy and charm of Shanghai, experiencing the city's vitality and diverse cultural influences.

    After that, catch a panoramic view of the city from the Shanghai Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world. You will be guided to ascend to the observation deck and capture breathtaking views of the cityscape below.

    the Bund
    The Bund

    In the afternoon, enjoy a half-day customized experience with your tour guide. Whether you wish to explore Shanghai's fashion scene, go shopping in trendy districts, or indulge in local cuisine, your guide will tailor the activities to your preferences.

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Sunrise On The Bund

  13. Enjoy your last moments in Shanghai. Depending on your flight, your guide will accompany you to Shanghai Airport for your departure flight.

    Farewell to China with good memories! Have a safe journey.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: N/A

Tour Price ($=USD)

From $2819 P.P, which is based on a private tour for 2 people. The price varies depending on the activity, number of people, travel date, and selected hotel.

 

Price Includes

  • 12 nights' accommodation;
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Private land transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with licensed drivers;
  • Excellent local English-speaking tour guides services as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Entrance tickets as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • China Travel Insurance.

Price Excludes

  • Flights to Beijing / off Shanghai;
  • Any optional activities inside the attractions;
  • Any item not mentioned in the itinerary;
  • All kinds of gratuities for guides, drivers & others.
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