“The Lost Horizon” is the story of four Americans who survived a plane crash in the Himalayas, only to discover the reclusive land. It was British writer James Hilton’s novel “The Lost Horizon” that sparked a legend and brought fame to an unknown and almost untouched place called Shangri-La. "Shangri-La" is a Tibetan word meaning "land of sacredness and peace". Finally, in Septemgber 1997, the government of Yunnan province declared that Shangri-La had been discovered in Zhongdian, Diqing, a prefecture in Yunnan province. It now may be the last virgin land where one can observe culture whose layers go back for thousands of years into the past.
Day 1: Arrive in Beijing, the capital of China. Meet your guide upon arrival and be transferred to your comfortable hotel. Meals: (D).
Day 2: Beijing. Begin the day’s activity with a visit to Tian’anmen Square, the largest urban square in the world. Then, move on to the Imperial Palace, also known as the "Forbidden City", the biggest palace complex in the world. In the afternoon, visit the enchanting Summer Palace, one of China’s largest and best-preserved royal gardens, where you can have a walk along the famous Long Corridor. A Peking Duck Dinner concludes your first full day’s activities in China. All meals are included.
Day 3: Beijing. Today’s highlight is your visit to the Great Wall, one of the "Seven Wonders of the World" and a symbol of Chinese civilization. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across mountains. Then, move on to visit the Ming Tombs (Changling Tomb) area where is for deceased emperors of the Ming Dynasty. All meals are included.
Day 4: Beijing-Xi’an. Pay a visit to Temple of Heaven, the place where the emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for good harvest. Then, you will ride a rickshaw through some old "Hutongs", lanes or alleys formed by lines of Siheyuan. Take a late afternoon flight to Xi’an. All meals are included.
Day 5: Xi’an. Begin the day’s activity with an once-in-a-lifetime viewing of the extraordinary 2,200-year-old Terracotta Warriors of China’s first feudal Emperor, Qin Shihuang. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built in 652 A.D. It contains a large volume of Buddhist scriptures which were obtained from India by the eminent monk of Xuanzang. Then, visit Forest of Steles Museum where precious stone carvings and sculptures are kept. All meals are included.
Day 6: Xi’an-Lhasa. Take a morning flight to Lhasa, an amazing city where devout Buddhists and the fashionable set enjoy their lives in different ways. The guide will meet you at Konggar Airport, and transfer you to Lhasa city with about 1.5 hours’ driving (100 km). On the way, you’ll get greeted with Nie Tang Buddha - a Buddha image engraved in the mountain face. On arrival at the hotel, rest and acclimatize yourself to the local time and altitude. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 7: Lhasa
The first day of sightseeing starts from Lhasa’s cardinal landmark- Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image has already appeared on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels. Some 2 km to the east of the Potala is the most revered religious structure and the holiest temple in Tibet - Jokhang Tempel. Bustling with worshippers and redolent with mystery, the Jokhang is an unrivalled experience. The quadrangle of streets surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkhor Market - Lhasa’s most interesting pilgrimage circuit. This area of the Old Town is both the spiritual heart of Lhasa and the main commercial district for Tibetans. All meals are included.
Day 8: Lhasa
Sightsee the Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka in Lhasa. Drepung Monastery, the largest and richest monastery in Tibet, was founded in 1416 by a disciple of Tsong Khapa under the patronage of a noble family and later enlarged by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Nowadays it stands as Tibet’s most important and largest monastic university in Tibet. Norbulingka Park was built in the 1740s during the reign of the Seventh Dalai Lama. Later it was renovated and enlarged and became the Dalai Lama’s Summer Palace. Sera Monastery is located a few miles to the north of Lhasa, and is one of the three largest monasteries. All meals are included.
Day 9: Lhasa-Tsedang. Drive to Tsedang, and today’s highlight is the visit of Yonbulakhang and Changzhu Temple. Yongbulakang is the palace for the 1st Tubo King Niechi in the Yalong River Valley. Changzhu Temple, famous by its "Pearl Tangka", is on the east bank of the Yalong River in the district of Shannan. Stay an overnight in Tsedang. All meals are included.
Day 10: Tsedang-Zhongdian. Drive to the Airport, take a morning flight to Zhongdian, which is called "Shangri-La". Check in hotel. All meals are included.
Day 11: Zhongdian. Visit Napahai Lake Nature Reserve, the habitat for the black neck cranes. Then, pay a visit to Songzanlin Lamasery, or "Second Potala" as it is affectionately known, a spiritual place that invites you to discover the mystery and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Today, you will also have chance to visit Tibetan Family and try home-made Yak Butter tea and Tibetan Cheese. All meals are included.
Day 12: Zhongdian-Lijiang. Today you will drive to Lijiang, and stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge. As one of the world’s greatest four gorges, it is located in Hutiaoxia Town in Zhongdian County and is honored as one of the deepest and most marvelous gorges on the globe. If road and time permit, you can stop at the village of Stone Drum where you will have a look at the first bend of the Yangtze River. All meals are included.
Day 13: Lijiang. Visit the Suhe Tea and Horse Old Town, Baisha Murals in Baisha Naxi village and Black Dragon Pool to have a look at the renowned Moon Embracing Pavilion. You will have some time for sightseeing of the Old Town of Lijiang, also known as Dayan Town with Sifang Street at the core, the entire city spreads out in all directions, and is crisscrossed by a labyrinth of flagged streets and alleyways. All meals are included.
Day 14: Lijiang-Dali. Drive to Dali after breakfast and stop at Jian Chuan. Sightsee of Shibao Mountain Stone Caves, just like gem as bright as Dunhuang in Gansu, Yungang in Shanxi, Longmen in Henan, and Dazu in Sichuan. You will also visit Sideng Street in Shaxi, ancient fair place along the tea-horse merchant’s track. On arrival in Dali, you will have chance to walk around the Foreigner Street in the old town. All meals are included.
Day 15: Dali-Kunming
In the morning, visit Xizhou Morning Market in Xizhou old Town. Take a cruise on Erhai Lake. Just as its name implies, the lake is similar in form to that of a human ear. Enjoy the tea ceremony of Bai People in Xizhou Old Town and the Zhoucheng Village. You will also have some time to explore the Old Stone Town of Dali with its colorful markets. Take a late afternoon flight to Kunming, “The City of Eternal Spring”. All meals are included.
Day 16: Kunming-Stone Forest-Kunming
Today, you will drive to the Stone Forest (90 km), and pay a visit to Seven Star Yi people’s Village on the way. This area offers tourists a unique landscape of stark limestone pillars twisted and sculpted. From a distance, these stone pillars look indeed like a dense forest; hence the name of Stone Forest. It covers an area of 350 square kilometers, yet only about 11.92 square kilometers have been developed as scenic landscape open to the public. Drive back to Kunming in late afternoon. You will also have chance to visit to the handcraft workshop in Daying Village on the way. All meals are included.
Day 17: Kunming-Shanghai. You will visit to the Western Hill, from top of which you get through the Dragon Gate and get a beautiful panoramic view of Dianchi Lake. Then, visit the Yunnan Municipal Museum. Take a late afternoon flight to Shanghai. Check in hotel on arrival. All meals are included.
Day 18: Shanghai. Enjoy one cruise on Huangpu River in the morning. Visit fascinating Yuyuan Garden, a well-restored Suzhou-style garden, and take a walk through the Old Town filled with antique markets and specialty stores. Then, visit Jade Buddha Temple where two rare jade statues of Sakyamuni Buddha are treasured. Enjoy a fabulous Acrobatic Show in the evening. All meals are included.
Day 19: Return from Shanghai. Be transferred to the airport and board on your homebound flight. Meals: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia China Tibet Local Culture Cultural Journey
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