12 Days Classical China Train Tour to Shanghai, Chengdu, Lhasa, Xining and Beijing
Tour Code: CTT20
Tour Duration: 12 Days
Destination: Beijing, Chengdu, Lhasa, Shanghai, Xining
Tour overview: A train is a wonderful way to experience China. It allows you to travel with locals and watch the beauty of China pass by your window while you relax in your soft sleeper cabin. On this train tour, you will travel to some truly beautiful locations. You will experience the capital of Beijing with its modern heartbeat and imperial past, Shanghai a true cosmopolitan metropolis that blends Chinese and Western culture, giant pandas in Chengdu, and mysterious Tibet.
- Tour Summary
- Day by Day Itinerary
|Tour Dates||Destinations||Services Provided||Meals Included|
Arrive at Shanghai, our local guide will meet you at the airport then transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure in the evening.
Full day visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center , Yuyuan Garden , Jade Buddha Temple .
Visit The Bund Nanjing Road Shanghai World Financial Center . Then you will be transferred to airport to take flight to Chengdu. Arrive in Chengdu, be met and transferred to your hotel.
Full day visit Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding , Wenshu Monastery , Tea houses, Jinli Street .
You will be free until your local guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to Lhasa. Arrive in Lhasa, be met and transferred to hotel, adapting to the high altitude at the rest of the day.
Full day tour to The Potala Palace , Jokhang Temple , Barkhor Street .
Full day tour to Sera Monastery , Norbulingka (the Summer Palace) , Drepung Monastery .
|Day 8||Lhasa/Xining||Free in the day until our local guide escorts you to the railway station for your sleeper train to Xining. You could enjoy the fabulous scenery along your train trip. Details...||B|
Arrive at Xining station and then you will be escorted to the airport for your forward flight to Beijing. Upon arriving at the Beijing airport, be met and have a visit to the Summer Palace .
Full day visit Tiananmen Square , Forbidden City , The Temple of Heaven .
Full day visit Badaling Great Wall , Ming Tombs , The Sacred Way .
|Day 12||Beijing||Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight departure. Details...||B|
Price Inclusions and Exclusions
Price IncludeA. Entrance fees：To scenic spots as listed above in the itinerary.
B. Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary.
C. Private Transfers: Among airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in the above cities by the private air conditioned vehicle.
D. Guide and Driver: As outlined in the itinerary, a well selected English-speaking guide and driver will accompany you throughout the entire tour in that city. They do not fly with you from one city to another.
E. Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with twin beds. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
F. Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels.
G. Service Charge & Government Taxes.
H. Travel insurance in mainland China during the above travel period.
I. Arrangements: The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
Price ExcludeA. Entry or Exit China International Airfare or train tickets.
B. Visa Fees.
C. Excess Baggage Charges.
D. Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the itinerary.
E. Meals: Any meals which are not specified with "B", "L" or "D".
F. Single Room Supplement.
G. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
H. Gratuities, Tips to Guides and Drivers.
Day 1 Arrival / Shanghai
Transfer via: International flight –on your own arrangement
Upon your arrival in Shanghai, our local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Then you will have leisure time to explore the near streets, or relax and get over the jet lag.
Day 2 Shanghai (B,L)
Sightseeing: Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Yuyuan Market, Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple
After breakfast, we will first visit Shanghai Urban Planning Hall, which is the first kind of exhibition center in China showcasing a city's development. It showcases the past, the present and the future of the development of the urban planning of Shanghai.
Then we will take a stroll through the lovely Yuyuan Garden, one of the best Suzhou-style gardens in southern China, which has many scenic courtyards decorated with baroque rockery, pools and flora, all connected by corridors and passageways. Afterwards, you will get an insight into Shanghai's local life on the Yuyuan Market – taste a pot of tea, shop for unique souvenirs and get a feeling for Old Shanghai.
Follow us to the Jade Buddha Temple. It is famous for its two rare statues of Buddha carved out of a single piece of white jade. One is a 1,000kg, 1.9 meter-high figure carved from Burmese jade brought to China in 1882, and the other is a sleeping Buddha; The temple receives thousands of visitors and worshipers every day. If you're lucky, you can watch the monks serving a ceremony in a side room.
Day 3 Shanghai / Chengdu (B,L,D)
Transfer via: Flight – on our arrangement
Sightseeing: The Bund, Nanjing Road, Jinmao Tower
This morning, you will take a walk to the famous Nanjing Road and the Bund. They are among the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai and therefore a must-see when visiting Shanghai. Then get a bird’s eye view of Shanghai form the Jinmao Tower.
After the tours, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to Chengdu. Upon arriving in Chengdu, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 4 Chengdu (B,L)
Sightseeing: Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Wuhou Memorial Temple, Jinli Old Street
This morning, we will first go to the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base, which was built to imitate the wild ecological environment of pandas. It covers a space of 92 acres, with a green coverage of 96 percent. The base created a perfect ecological environment for the living and breeding of pandas and other precious and rare wild animals. It breeds over 20 pandas and lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white cranes and others.
After the return to Chengdu we will fist visit Wuhou Memorial Temple. The Temple is dedicated to Zhuge Liang, the Martial Marquis of Shu in the Three Kingdoms. His outstanding intelligence place Zhuge Liang above all emperors, generals, and ministers in history.
Afterwards you will take a walk along Jinli Street which is particularly representative for this city. It is recorded that as already during Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), Jinli Street was the most famous place for baldachin - a rich, ornate cloth. During Shu Kingdom (221-263) it was one of the busiest commercial streets. Hence, it is known as 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'. In order to reclaim the street's prosperity of former days, it was restored with contributions from the Wuhou Memorial Temple and was opened to public in October of 2004.
Day 5 Chengdu / Lhasa (B,L)
Transfer via: Flight – on our arrangement
You will be free until your local guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to your next destination-Lhasa. Upon your arrival at Gonggar airport, you will be met by your local guide and then be transferred to the hotel. Take the rest of the day for free, to adapt yourself to the high altitude or have a first look around the town.
Day 6 Lhasa (B,L)
Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhore Street
We will go on a full day visit of Potala Palace. It is the greatest monumental structure all over Tibet. This ancient architectural complex is considered as a model of Tibetan architecture. Located on the Red Hill in Lhasa, it is 3,700 meters above sea level and covers an area of over 360,000 square meters. The palace has 13 stories, and is 117 meters high. In 641, Songtsan Gambo, ruler of the Tubo Kingdom, built the Potala Palace for Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, whom he was soon to marry.
Then we'll visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The sacred image of Jowo Sakyamuni is the most venerated and beautiful image all over Tibet
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit Barkhor Street, which is the oldest street in Lhasa as well as the center of old Lhasa which remains very traditional. Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple. Tibetan people are very proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, this street is also a must-see place.
Day 7 Lhasa (B,L)
Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery
In the morning we will visit the Sera Monastery, around 5 km north of central Lhasa, which was, along with Drepung, one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries. Its once huge monastic population of about 5000 monks has now been reduced to several hundred.
Then we will visit Norbulingka Park; Norbulingka meaning "Jeweled Garden", the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. The gardens are poorly tended and the palaces themselves are something of an anticlimax, especially as most rooms are currently closed to the public.
Our next stop will be Drepung Monastery. It is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered as one of the 'Three Great Monasteries' (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery.
At last we will arrive at a local Tibetan Family. Common Tibetan people will welcome you to their homes; greet you in their traditional way and you will taste their typical food. You can feel Tibetan culture and religion vividly.
Day 8 Lhasa / Xining (B)
Transfer via: Overnight train (soft sleeper class, about 24 hours)-on our arrangement
Free in the day until our local guide escorts you to the railway station for your sleeper train to Xining. You could enjoy the fabulous scenery along your train trip.
Day 9 Xining / Beijing (B,L)
Transfer via: Flight – on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Summer Palace
Arrive at Xining station in the morning and then you will be escorted to the airport for your forward flight to Beijing. Upon arriving at the Beijing airport, your local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel.
Then have a visit to the Summer Palace. Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called 'Yiheyuan' (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. Until nowadays, it is the best preserved and the largest imperial garden in China. You will regret it if you leave Beijing without having visited this grand imperial garden.
Day 10 Beijing (B,L)
Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City
This morning our tour will begin with a visit of the Temple of Heaven, which was completed in 1420, and expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. It was the place where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing.
After lunch, we will go on our city tour to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.
From here we will walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and experience the ancient Emperor's daily life. For 5 centuries Chinese emperors carried out their administration here. With almost 10,000 rooms, it was the centre of the Ming and Qing dynasties, a massive complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens where 24 emperors used to live. Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and in the past it was indeed a forbidden place for commoners. Your tour here will include private access to the Emperor's palace.
Day 11 Beijing (B,L)
Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way
After experiencing the royal lifestyle, today we will be transferred to the surrounding countryside of Beijing and visit the Badaling Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon described it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk one of the best preserved sections of the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views. Bring a jacket and layer- although it is breezy, the climbing is tough. So be in a good shape!
In the afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, which are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, Changping, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13 Ming emperors buried there, this place was called the 13 Ming Tombs. You will walk along the Sacred Way, a road guarded by stone statues on both sides, as the ancient emperors did to hold a memorial ceremony for their ancestors. In addition, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors.
Day 12 Beijing / Departure (B)
Transfer via: flight on your own arrangement
Today will be free for your own purposes, until our guide will escort you to the airport for your next destination.
Hello Sandy, Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190214-S Tour Starting Date: Thursday, 14 February 2019
Client's information: Annette Esselborn, Germany
We had a wonderful day. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you. The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.
Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.
The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of course the Great Wall of China was the highlight for us. And despite the snow, it was an experience. Somewhat hectic was the climb from lunch (by the way very, very delicious!) But I know that this was only due to the weather that day.
The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.
If I come back in 2 years with a group, we would like to book again the same tour (maybe without snow ....) with the same tour guide.
Our heartfelt thanks!
Hi Sandie! Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you! We are ... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190105-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 5 January 2019
Client's information: Nancy Tuksaudom,USA
Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us. We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us. We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! We had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us. Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!
Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you!
We are home now (since early February) and planning our next trip in Mexico for April.
We totally enjoyed our time in China, despite the fact that it was cooler than we had planned for/expected. Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us. We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us, as we did the flights, as well. The only semi-negative comment was that the Guilin hotel heat situation was sub-par.
We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! They often showed us much more than we expected and worked very hard to make all connections efficiently, etc.
I did complete feedback forms for each guide in each city. I hope that they forwarded them to you. They were likely to be more thorough than what I just wrote to you.
The bottom line, though, was that we had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us. Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!
If you ever visit Seattle, Washington, please let me know and I/we will show you around our beautiful city and environs.
Nancy and Pricha (Tuksaudom)
Hello Sandy, Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip. Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planne... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20181012-S Tour Starting Date: Friday, 12 October 2018
Client's information: Gracie Chan, USA
We had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU! Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.
Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip.
Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU!
Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. It was great to have their help dealing with hotel checking-ins and transportation details. It was very convenient and helpful. Having to move in and out of hotels daily and trying to catch all those train on time are very stressful ~ A big "Thanks" for all their help.
I want you to know that we consider Jackie Zhang (our guide for Zhangye & Dunhuang) to be the BEST of all the guides we encountered on this trip. She is enthusiastic, meticulous and extremely knowledgeable. You can tell that she enjoys her job tremendously!
My observation ~ Most "Foreign Visitors" don't always have a base knowledge of the history of the places they are visiting. A SHORT & CONCISE explanation is better than a long and winding narrative. It should not be assumed that one formula works for everyone. Some visitors are more knowledgeable than others and vice versa.
We enjoyed all the sights we visited on this trip tremendously. That said, there are some room for improvements.
The one disappointment for me was the visit to Qinghai Lake. It was too commercialized. It would have been so much better if we were able to stop by the lake area BEFORE the visitor center where it was much more pristine and unspoiled. After all, we are there to take it the natural beauty of the area after all.
Our guide and driver was most accommodating when we asked them to stop by the side of the road in order for us to photograph herds of YAK and sheep. It was the highlight of the trip for me! I am sure other visitors will feel the same way.
My suggestion ~ Maybe some sort of arrangements can be made with local farmers that owned land along the Qinghai lake for a short stop over in your future tours? This way, your visitors can have wonderful opportunities to photograph and experience the scenery and lifestyle of the local people.
My observation ~ In Turpan, the Turpan Museum would have been a BETTER choice than the visit to the Karez well system (Kan'erjing Museum). There is really nothing much to see here.
The International Grand Bazaar was also a bit of a disappointment, it was too touristy. I think we would find it much more interesting if we have the opportunity to visit a local street market instead.
We rode a donkey cart at the Flaming Mountains. It was great fun! I think this should be included in the future and its a great way to help the local make some extra money too. You agree?
Hotels ~ We still prefer staying at International Brand hotels. We really liked the Sofitel Hotels (in Xian & Xining) and the Sheraton in Urumqi.
We find the service and breakfast food selection available at the local brand hotels are still somewhat lacking compared to the International Brand hotels.
Food ~ We had some amazing and some mediocre food on this trip. The quality of the meal is inconsistent. I guess it depended a lot on your local tour coordinators?
I hope our observations and honest suggestions are helpful to you. Please do not consider this is as criticism of our trip but as suggestions for improvements. We had lots of fun and we hope you'll be able to attract more visitors to your tour. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.
I have attached the "corrected" photo and an extra one taken at the Flaming Mountains. You have our permission to include all three of the photos along with the following review to your website. I will write a review for TripAdvisor.com later.
Dear Sandy, Nice to hear from you. The one day Beijing tour was fine. It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and ... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180924-S Tour Starting Date: Monday, 24 September 2018
Client's information: Sergey Shunailov, Russia
It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and nice driver. Thanks a lot. If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.
Nice to hear from you. The one day Beijing tour was fine. It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and nice driver. Thanks a lot.
If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.
Hi Sandy, It was great and the guide was tremendous. I had a great time in Kaifeng. I think we have another tour coming up quickly on the 26th to Luoyang.... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180922-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 22 September 2018
Client's information: Thomas Anthony Lucker, USA
It was great and the guide was tremendous!
It was great and the guide was tremendous. I had a great time in Kaifeng. I think we have another tour coming up quickly on the 26th to Luoyang. :)
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique. The Dazu museum was very interesting since did not know there were so many of the grottoes in China an... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20180908-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 8 September 2018
Client's information: Robert William Miller, USA
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique.
It was a good trip. The sites were very interesting and unique. The Dazu museum was very interesting since did not know there were so many of the grottoes in China and other countries as well. We didn’t take lunch but asked rather to see another grotto. Would recommend going to the small grotto and then the larger one and then museum in that order.
Custom Tailoring: Design your own tour with our help to meet your unique interests. You don't have to compromise. Do exactly what you want to do! Let us assist you to tailor-make your own China experience.
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What Our Customers Say
Thank you for your request. We had a
wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall.
The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.
The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of
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