You'll not soon forget the spectacular architecture at the Potala Palace. You'll have a plenty time to tour the Guiling sights and the immense Reed Flute Cave. A full- day cruise on the crystalline Li River will immerse you in the extraordinary natural beauty of this unique area. In Guangzhou enjoy an overview of the city's elegant temples, old European estates, and boulevards teeming with shops and famous restaurants. Finish your trip exploring Hong Kong's unique blend of Chinese heritage and colonial influences.
Day 1: Beijing. You are welcome on arrival in the emperors' city of Beijing. The rest time is free.
Day 2: Beijing. Explore centuries of history and grandeur on the tour of the imposing Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and Summer Palace, a cool green oasis of lovely pagodas, pavilions, and courtyards. Relax over lunch at a revolving restaurant with grand city views. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Beijing. No pictures can prepare you for your day at the Great Wall, built by hand 2,200 years ago. Stroll the promenade and photograph the wall snaking into the horizon. Also visit the Ming Tombs with their awesome human and animal sculptures lining the Sacred Way. Finish the day with a delicious Peking Duck dinner. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Beijing - Shanghai. Spend the morning on a pedicab tour of Beijing quaint old hutongs, a maze of lanes and courtyard homes centered on the historic Drum Tower. Fly to Shanghai, China's most cosmopolitan city. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Shanghai. A full - day tour showcases Shanghai's color and diversity. Stroll the waterfront Bund, the famous Yuyuan Gardens, and the stunning Shanghai Museum. Meet local youngsters and sit in on their cultural classes at the Children's Palace, before tonight's thrilling performance of the Shanghai Acrobats. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Shanghai - Xian. Today fly to Xian, capital of 11 ancient dynasties. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 7: Xian. Take in the astonishing Terra gotta army excavation site, with some 8,000 ancient soldiers individualized from their hairstyles down to the scuff marks on their shoes. Proceed to the ancient City Wall, Provincial Museum, and Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and savor a deluxe Tang Dynasty dumpling dinner and show in the evening. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Xian - Lhasa. Fly today to Lhasa, Tibet, viewing the spectacular 22,000 foot Himalayan peaks enroute, if the weather is clear. Arriving in Lhasa, the rest of the day is at leisure to acclimatize to the 12,000 foot altitude. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Lhasa. You'll not soon forget the spectacular architecture at the Potala Palace. Former living quarters of the Dalai Lama, its massive 1,000 room structure towers over this mountain city. Later you'll visit the famous Barkhor Market, where you can shop for rare Tibetan items. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Lhasa. An extraordinary day of sightseeing will reveal one of Tibet's holiest shrines, revered 7th century Jokhang Temple, where pilgrims come to prostrate themselves before the statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha, lavishly enthroned in silver and gold. Visit the cliff - top Drepung Monastery, tiered against a mountain in traditional Tibetan style, which once housed more than 1,000 lamas. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Lhasa - Chengdu - Guiling. Fly via Chengdu to the green hills of Guiling, whose ethereal landscapes have been immortalized by poets and painters throughout the ages. This afternoon, if time permits, you'll tour the city sights and the immense Reed Flute Cave, filled with impressive grottoes, pillars, and inscriptions over 1000 years old. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Guiling. A full day cruise on the crystalline Li River will immerse you in the extraordinary natural beauty of this unique area. Sail in air-conditioned comfort, as every turn yields new views of towering stone pinnacles, unusual rock formations, quaint country villages, and fishermen casting their nets or bringing in the catch the traditional way, with cormorants. Return ashore in the late afternoon. Complete the day with a dinner, followed by an entertaining cultural performance. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Travel by air to Guangzhou, the famous old seaport of Canton. If time permits, enjoy an overview of the city's elegant temples, old European estates, and boulevards teeming with shops and famous restaurants. Then board a hydrofoil and sail to Hong Kong. The former British colony remains as vibrant and forward looking as ever. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 14: Hong Kong. This morning, explore Hong Kong's unique blend of Chinese heritage and colonial influences. Travel via coach to one of its newest attractions, the distinctive Peak Tower Complex, with its array of shops, restaurants, and viewing decks for taking in the superb panoramas. Continue around the island to scenic Repulse Bay, the floating community of Aberdeen, and the shopping mecca of Stanley. The afternoon is at leisure. Includes: (B).
Day 15: Hong Kong. The day is yours to spend at leisure shopping and sightseeing. Includes: (B).
Day 16: Hong Kong - Home. With indelible memories of your adventure, board a flight home. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia China Tibet History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey
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