15 Days 14 Nights . Asia . Culture and Sightseeing

This tour begins in Beijing with a visit to the remote and rugged Jingshanling section of the Great Wall. Enjoy a Beijing special cuisine before flying to Xining, nestled at the edge of the Tibetan plateau. See Qinghai lake, one of the world’s largest alpine lakes and unique Danxia landforms before boarding the train to Lhasa. Travel over 1000 miles across the roof of the world to Lhasa, the holy city and capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. Visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Sera Monastery housing sacred Buddhist treasures dating back to the 15th century. Travel by vehicle into the heartland of Tibet, over high mountain passes and along the shorelines of Lake Yamdrok Yumtso. Your sightseeing in the historic towns of Gyangze and Shigatse will allow you to experience authentic Tibetan way of life and culture. The Gyangze Dzong, Kumbum, and Tashilumpo Monastery are all unique and remarkable sites to explore.

The true high point of the trip will be an excursion and stay at Mt. Everest Base Camp, situated at 17,200 feet in the shadow of the world’s tallest mountains. The is no purer air or brighter night stars anywhere on earth. Fly to Northern Yunnan, located in the eastern Himalayas and home of Khamba Tibetans. The renamed region of Shangri-La has always exercised a unique hold on the imagination of the outside world. Despite its increased exposure to modernity, this magical Buddhist land seems to exist in another dimension, and still retains much of the mystery that entranced early travelers to the region. Hike through Pudacuo National Park and Tiger Leaping Gorge, the world’s deepest.

PRICE:
Group Rate, per person:$5,380.00

What’s Included in Tour Land Price:

• Deluxe or first class and character hotel accommodations, double occupancy
• Coach class Chinese domestic air, soft sleeper train and ground transportation while on tour
• All tour related Chinese domestic taxes and Tibet Travel Permit
• Arrival and departure transfers on tour dates
• Transfers and luggage (1 piece of 45 pounds per person) handling
• Pre-departure information packets
• All sightseeing, activities, and cultural events listed in the itinerary
• All meals as specified in the itinerary
• Service of a ACT Tour Leader and private English-speaking local tour guide in each city/area
• Private, clean, and newer vehicles with air-conditioning and professional drivers
• Gratuities to guides and drivers (for a group of 10+ travelers)

What’s Not Included in Tour Land Prices:

• International air tickets (quoted separately)
• Chinese visa processing
• Trip cancellation, baggage, accident, and medical insurance
• Gratuities to your ACT Tour Leader
• Items not listed and/or specified as included in the itinerary

Additional information

Age12+
Duration15 Days
LocationChina
MealsAll
Physicality7/10
Day 1

Beijing

Arrive in Beijing this afternoon; met by our English-speaking tour guide and driver to transfer to the centrally located and restored Red Wall Garden
Hotel (deluxe room) in a traditional ‘hutong’ neighborhood. This evening, meet your fellow travelers and Tour Leader Joe Sinisi at a Beijing Cuisine Welcome Dinner at Hua’s Fine Dining Restaurant.

Day 2

Beijing

Breakfast in hotel. Drive northeast to the Hebei Province border to the remote and rugged section of the Great Wall at Jinshanling. Hike along the restored wall in clear air far from the capital. Upon return to the city, enjoy a true Beijing specialty ‘Hot Pot Dinner’ at the iconic local restaurant.

Day 3

Beijing to Xining

Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to airport and fly MU2078 (1045-1300; simple  lunch on board) to Xining, capital of Qinghai province, laying at 7500 feet at the edge of the Tibetan Plateau.

Met by our local guide and driver, and immediately drive to GuiDe County to see the unique red sandstone “Danxia” Landforms. Return to Xining City by the evening. Enjoy a Local Cuisine Dinner in a popular restaurant. Stay overnight in Qinghai Hotel Xining (superior room).

Day 4

Xining on train

Early breakfast in hotel; take an excursion to Qinghai Lake, one of the world’s largest alpine lakes situated at 10,500 feet. Enjoy hiking along the shores of this azure saline lake which is host to thousands of migratory birds. After lunch in a local restaurant, travel back to the city and transfer
to train station to board T222 (1701-1422+1; soft sleeper berth). This pressurized train will travel 1215 miles across the roof of the world rarely dipping below 10,000 feet altitude. Overnight on Train

Day 5

Lhasa

After dawn, cross the Tanggula Pass, at 16,627 feet, the highest railway on earth. Observe the majesty of the Tanggula Mountains and Tibetan plateau
grasslands until we arrive in Lhasa (elevation 12,000 ft.).

Upon arrival, met by our Tibetan guide and driver, transfer to check into the centrally located Kyichu Hotel Lhasa (deluxe room). In the early evening, take a walking tour of the bustling Barkhor Market and enjoy dinner in a quality Tibetan restaurant.

Day 6

Lhasa

Breakfast in the hotel, visit the active Jokhang Monastery in the old city center; next enter the monumental Potala Palace, a 13 story, 1000 room hilltop structure and former residence of the Dalai Lama.

Have lunch in a local restaurant followed by a visit to the Sera Monastery where you may see young monks practicing Buddhist debating skills. If time permits, visit the unique Ani Tsankhung Nunnery. Transfer back to hotel and dinner is on your own.

Day 7

Gyangze - Shigatse

Breakfast in hotel; drive toward Shigatse over the Gangdis Range into the heart of the high Himalaya region. En route, visit the sacred freshwater  Yamdrok Yumtso Lake (elevation 14,600 ft.) at Ganbala Pass. Also make a brief stop at the Karola Glacier for a stunning view.

In Gyangze (13,200 ft.), visit the quiet neighborhoods of Pelkor Chode and the Kumbum. Continue driving onward to Shigatse (elevation 12,500 ft.) and check in the Shigatse Hotel (standard room). Have dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 8

Shigatse - My. Everest Base Camp

Breakfast in hotel; drive towards the world’s highest peaks near Rongbuk via Lhatse, Shegar, Gyatsola and Pangla passes. Have
lunch in a local restaurant on the way. Visit Rongbuk Monastery, which at 16,300 feet is the world’s highest monastery.

Have free time to acclimate or hike around the high alpine valley in the shadows of Qomolangma (Everest), Cho Oyu and Lhotse. Have a simple dinner in the guest house and enjoy the most brilliant stars you have ever seen. Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse (standard room).

Day 9

Base Camp - Shigatse

Before dawn, travel by vehicle to the Mt. Everest Base Camp (elevation 17,200 ft.) and the Rongbuk Glacier to enjoy sunrise viewing of the world’s highest mountain. Exploration of the camp environs.

On the return back to Shigatse, check into Shigatse Hotel (standard room). Have Dinner in hotel.

Day 10

Shigatse - Lhasa

In the morning after breakfast, , visit the Tashilumpo Monastery, a group of  temples with fine murals and sculptures, and also home base of the Panchan Lama, second highest religious leader in Tibetan Buddhism.

Travel by vehicle back to Lhasa today. Along the way, stop by a Tibetan village or a local market; arrive in late afternoon and check into hotel and balance of the day is at leisure; overnight in Lhasa Guyi Heritage Hotel (standard room).

Day 11

Lhasa - Shangri-La

After breakfast, transfer to Gonggar Airport and fly across the Eastern Himalayas on MU5940 (1205-1340) to Shangri-La (Zhongdian in Mandarin and Gyalthang in Tibetan), Yunnan Province (elevation 10,600 feet).

Met by guide and driver and transfer to the elegant boutique hotel Songtsam Retreat Shangri-la (superior room). In the afternoon, visit the Songzanlin Monastery, the region’s largest Tibetan temple built by the 5th Dali Lama in the 17thcentury. Finish the day with a waterside hike around Napa Lake; return to dinner in hotel.

Day 12

Shangri La - Walnut Garden

Get up early this morning, after breakfast, go to visit Pudacuo National Park to view Shudu Lake and Bita Lake. Next drive towards Tiger Leaping Gorge, visiting Xiao Zhongdian Village on the way.

Have lunch in local restaurant. Upon arrival in Walnut Garden, check into the quaint Sean’s Guesthouse (standard room) and enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Day 13

Walnut Garden - Lijiang

After breakfast, begin a 5-mile hike along trails in the gorge and enjoy breathtaking views of this amazing landscape including Yulong Snow Mountain, a jagged peak soaring 18,340 feet into the air that has only been successfully climbed once. See the Tiger Leaping Gorge’s 34 rapids of the Yangzi River cut, one of the world’s deepest gorges.

Arrive at the Halfway House for lunch. Trek another hour and then get picked up by our vehicle and drive to Lijiang. Check into the fabulous Naxi architecture inspired InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort (deluxe room) for rest and refreshing. Enjoy a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Dayan Old Town followed by a Yunnan Cuisine Dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 14

Lijiang - Shanghai

After Breakfast in hotel; transfer to visit the Yulong Snow Mountain. Take a cable car to the 14,000 foot Yak Meadow and hike through fields of alpine
flowers. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit charming Shuhe town just outside Lijiang and finish the day in the Naxi Cultural Center and the Black
Dragon Pool Park.

After an earlier dinner, transfer to airport and fly MU5868 (2010-2310) to Shanghai. Met by our Shanghai guide and driver, and transfer to Astor House Shanghai (deluxe room) for check-in and rest.

Day 15

Return

Breakfast in hotel; transfer to Pudong Airport and fly home. Or continue on for the 2-night Post-Tour Shanghai Extension.

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