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Your Position: HomeChina ToursTibet Express Tours12 Days of Ancient China & Tibet Discovery Tour
  • Forbidden City
  • The Potala Palace
  • The Terracotta Army and Horses
  • Badaling Great Wall
  • Bell Tower
  • Jokhang Temple
  • Tashilhunpo Monastery
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Norbulingka (the Summer Palace)
  • Summer Palace
  • Yomdrok
  • Ancient City Wall
  • Barkhor Street
  • The Temple of Heaven
  • Sera Monastery
  • Shaanxi Provincial Museum
  • Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium)
  • Drepung Monastery
  • Hutong Tours in Rickshaw
  • Ming Tombs
  • National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube') Beijing
  • The Sacred Way
  • Tiananmen Square

You can click to see the attractions included in this tour itinerary.

From $1767 per person

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12 Days of Ancient China & Tibet Discovery Tour

Tour Code: TET02
Tour Duration: 12 Days
Destination: Beijing, Lhasa, Shigatse, Tibet, Xi'an
Tour overview: A true dream destination, Tibet is an incredible destination and one filled with surprises. Discover these surprises for yourself in this China group tour. Tibet has a culture truly unique and it is this culture that has transformed Tibet into such a spectacular place. The unforgiving landscape has forged the people into one of the friendliest on Earth. This China group tour will introduce you to the people, sites, and culture of Tibet in a package tour that you will never forget.

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews
12 Days of Ancient China & Tibet Discovery Tour 12 Days of Ancient China & Tibet Discovery Tour 12 Days of Ancient China & Tibet Discovery Tour 12 Days of Ancient China & Tibet Discovery Tour

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Beijing Arrive in Beijing, be met and transferred to hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
/
Day 2 Beijing Full day visit Tiananmen Square Forbidden City The Temple of Heaven Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B,L
Day 3 Beijing Full day visit Badaling Great Wall Ming Tombs The Sacred Way .On the way back to hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the, Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube') Beijing ,feel free to take some photos of the stadiums. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B,L
Day 4 Beijing Full day visit Hutong Tours in Rickshaw Summer Palace Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B,L
Day 5 Beijing/Xi'an Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for flight to Xian.
Arrive in Xian, be met and visit Shaanxi Provincial Museum Ancient City Wall Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hotel Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square Mercure on Renmin Square Xian Ibis Xian
B,L
Day 6 Xi'an Full day visit The Terracotta Army and Horses Big Wild Goose Pagoda Bell Tower . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hotel Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square Mercure on Renmin Square Xian Ibis Xian
B,L
Day 7 Xi'an/Lhasa Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for flight to Lhasa.
Arrive in Lhasa, be met and transferred to hotel, adaptting to the high altitude at the rest of the day.
Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Lhasa Manasarovar Hotel Lhasa Hotel Shangbala Hotel
B
Day 8 Lhasa Full day tour to the The Potala Palace Jokhang Temple Barkhor Street Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Lhasa Manasarovar Hotel Lhasa Hotel Shangbala Hotel
B,L
Day 9 Lhasa Full day tour to Sera Monastery Norbulingka (the Summer Palace) Drepung Monastery , and a Tibetan family. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Lhasa Manasarovar Hotel Lhasa Hotel Shangbala Hotel
B,L
Day 10 Lhasa/Shigatse Drive to Shigatse, visit Tashilhunpo Monastery Yomdrok Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Shigatse Hotel Shigatse Hotel Shigatse Hotel
B,L
Day 11 Shigatse/Lhasa Free at leisure, then drive back to Lhasa and enjoy the beautiful landscape on the way. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Lhasa Manasarovar Hotel Lhasa Hotel Shangbala Hotel
B
Day 12 Lhasa Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight departure. Details... B
Season Tour Class Group Size Single Room
Supplement
1pax 2-5pax 6-9pax
Peak Season 3*(Tourist Class) $3458 $2107 $1767 $442
4*(Deluxe Class) $3990 $2373 $2033 $708
5*(First Class) $4392 $2574 $2234 $909
1. Normally hotels allow a maximum of 3 adults per room with an extra bed, at extra charge. Some hotels will allow three adults and a small child.
2. Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
3. More people more discounts. Please enquire for more details.

Price Inclusions and Exclusions

Price Include

A. 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 Exclude

A. 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 Beijing Arrival

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Upon your arrival you will be greeted by our local guide and then transferred to your hotel by a private air-conditioned car. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time.

Day 2 Beijing (B, L)

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.

Day 3 Beijing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way,2008 Beijing Olympic venues

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.

On the way back to hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) and the National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube'), feel free to take some photos of the stadiums.

Day 4 Beijing (B,L)

Beijing (B,L)

Sightseeing: Hutongs, Summer Palace

We will experience a unique Hutong tour by taking a rickshaw this morning. Hutongs are a kind of ancient city alley or lane and are very typical for Beijing. Most of them can be found close to the Forbidden City, and many were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today, the Hutong is a living museum of Beijing history showing the traditional lifestyle of Beijing people.

We will continue by visiting 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 5 Beijing to Xi'an (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight arranged by us
Sightseeing: the Shaanxi History Museum, Ancient City Wall.

In the morning you will enjoy some free time until you will be transferred to airport to take the flight to Xi’an. After your arrival there, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by our local guide, then visit the Shaanxi History Museum. It is a magnificent architectural complex in the Tang Dynasty style. The Museum possesses a treasure of 113,000 historic and cultural artifacts unearthed in Shaanxi, and it covers an area of 1,100 square meters for exhibition

Then we will visit Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. It is the largest and best preserved present city wall in ancient China and is probably the best military battlement in the world. If you want to, you can rent a bicycle for a ride on top of the spectacular city wall.

Day 6 Xi'an (B, L)

Xi'an (B, L)

Sightseeing: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower

Today you will experience the highlights of Xi’an. After breakfast, you will depart you’re your hotel. You will visit the amazing 2000-year-old Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World, the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, ordered the construction of a vast army of Terra-cotta warriors in search of immortality. After his early death they were buried with him to protect his empire.

Another highlight today is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated in the south of Xian city, it is one of the main constructions in the famous Buddhist temple-Da-Ci-En Temple. There, the well-known Buddhist Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his collection of classic Buddhist artifacts brought from India in Tang Dynasty. Now it is the Landmark of Xian.

Then we will go on to visit the Bell Tower, which is the best-preserved and best-known one among many. The Bell Tower was built in 1384. In early mornings of ancient times it had the mission of ringing the bell and giving the correct time to the whole city, hence called "The Bell Tower". With magnificent carved beams and painted rafters, this classical building is truly elegant.

Day 7 Xi'an to Lhasa (B)

Transfer via: Flight arranged by us

In the morning, you will be transferred to airport for flight to Lhasa. Arrive in Lhasa, you will be met and transferred to hotel by our local guide, adapting to the high altitude at the rest of the day.

Day 8 Lhasa (B, L)

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 9 Lhasa (B, L)

Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Drepung Monstery

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 10 Lhasa to Shigatse (B, L)

Lhasa to Shigatse (B, L)

Sightseeing: Tashilhunpo Monastery, Yomdrok 

Our visit today begin with the Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded by the First Dalai Lama in 1447, the monastery's structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. Tashilhunpo Monastery covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters (3,229,279 sq. ft.).

Later we will continue to explore the Yomdrok Lake which is one of the three holy lakes on the Tibetan Plateau. This huge lake spans 130 kilometers long from east to west and 70 kilometers wide from north to south. The scenery of the clear turquoise blue water in the lake with the reflection of the surrounding mountains was awesome and we had a 360 degree view of the mountains.

Day 11 Shigatse to Lhasa (B)

Today you will be free at leisure, then we will drive back to Lhasa and enjoy the beautiful high plateau landscape on the way.

Day 12 Lhasa Departure (B)

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Enjoy some leisure time until our local guide will transfer you to the airport where you will take the flight to your next destination.

Comment on our service from 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.

 

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 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.

Regards,

Gracie.


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Comment on our service from 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.

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 nice driver. Thanks a lot.

If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.

Best regards,

Sergey


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Comment on our service from Thomas Anthony Lucker, USA

It was great and the guide was tremendous!

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.  :)  


Tom

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Comment on our service from 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.

Rob Miller

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Comment on our service from Caitlin Radich, New Zealand

Overall we loved our tours. Zhangjiajie was fantastic! Our tour was really great and we would recommend it. Beijing - our guide was fantastic! So full of facts, great English and overall fantastic. Overall we have found dealing with your company a very pleasant experience, and we like the individualised aspect of it.

Hi Sandy,

Nice to hear from you. Overall we loved our tours. Zhangjiajie was fantastic! Our tour was really great and we would recommend it. Our tour guide was really lovely in zhangjiajie, but her English was less than perfect, but overall that didn’t hinder anything.

Beijing - our guide was fantastic! So full of facts, great English and overall fantastic. Forrest was his name. Seeing the wall was amazing!!!

Overall we have found dealing with your company a very pleasant experience, and we like the individualised aspect of it.

I hope you find this helpful, and thank you for your help,

Thanks

Caitlin


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Comment on our service from Wolfgang Ernst Kasper, Australia
I want to to thank you again for your good services. Everything worked out as expected ––or better! Getting the gaotie tickets was easy, and the two excursions were most enjoyable.

Dear Sandy,

now that we have returned home after a marvellous trip through China, I want to to thank you again for your good services.

Everything worked out as expected –– or better! Getting the gaotie tickets was easy, and the two excursions were most enjoyable. In particular, the guide at Huangshan – I called her ciao Xue (Little Snow) – was attentive and intelligent, great company!


After the hike up and down on Huangshan, we felt great: we can still do that at our age in the high seventies!


Hakka Country


Finally, it was a pleasant surprise to get your call. That was unexpected, but much appreciated.

Keep selling China to the world!

Best wishes

Wolfgang


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