Explore China & Tibet
Get over the wall for a life-changing adventure through China's awe-inspiring interior. Explore the unforgettable city of Beijing and meet pandas at a breeding centre in Sichuan. Discover daily life in Tibet and cruise the incredible Yangtze River on a riverboat. Cycle atop the city walls of Xi'an, and face its standing army of terracotta warriors before eating lunch in the local farming village where they were discovered. Get into China's very heart and it will most certainly get into yours.
Enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry, learn how to make Tibetan momos (beef dumplings), get up close and personal with pandas at a Sichuan breeding centre, take in Thangka art at a Tibetan academy in Lhasa, cruise the mighty Yangtze River on a luxury riverboat
Train, minibus, cruise boat, small canal boat, ferry, bicycle, plane, walking.
Hotels (10 nts), soft-sleeper overnight train (1 nt), Yangtze riverboat (3 nts).
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Temple of Heaven Tai Chi, Beijing National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Chinese Shadow Puppetry, Xi'an National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Tangka Painting demonstration, Lhasa National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Dumpling-Making Lesson, Lhasa. Arrival transfer. Tour of Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. Visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Bike ride along the Xi'an city walls. Orientation walk through Xi'an's Muslim Quarter and street markets. Tour the museum of the terracotta warriors. Orientation walk in Barkhor square. Tour of Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace, and the Tibetan Medicine Institute. Sera Monastery visit. Visit a panda breeding centre. Yangtze River cruise. Three Gorges Dam tour. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Day 1 Beijing (1D)
Arrive at any time and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a first taste of Chinese cuisine with a Peking Duck welcome dinner.
Day 2 Beijing (1B)
Start the day early with a lesson in tai chi, led by a local expert at the historic Temple of Heaven. After continue exploring the key sites of Beijing including the famed Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City.
Day 3 Beijing/Xi'an (1B)
Take a walk along the 500-year-old Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Spend time exploring the towers, views, and the magnificent structure of this unique wonder. In the evening, board an overnight sleeper train to Xi'an.
Day 4 Xi'an (1B)
Arrive early into Xi'an where we take a leisurely bike ride along the ancient city walls. Then enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes experience at the historic Gao's Grand Courtyard House. Visit backstage, interact with local artists, and enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry. This evening explore the vibrant Muslim Quarter and local markets and opt to try some of the best street food in China.
Day 5 Xi'an (1B, 1L)
Visit the famed Terracotta Warriors the archaeological wonder built over 2,000 years ago to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. After, visit a local Village for lunch. Opt to enjoy a Tang Dynasty dinner banquet in the evening.
Day 6 Xi'an/Lhasa (1B)
Fly over the Himalayas to Tibet. Settle into our Lhasa hotel, our home for the next 3 nights before setting out on an orientation walk with a local guide through Barkhor Square.
Day 7 Lhasa (1B)
Enjoy a guided visit to the Potala Palace and the Tibetan Medicine Institute to learn more about Tibetan spirituality and culture. Also visit a Tangka Academy to observe this ancient and intricate art form, considered sacred to Buddhist. The works usually depict a deity, scene, or mandala and are tied directly into Buddhist teaching and meditation.
Day 8 Lhasa (1B, 1L)
Visit sacred Jokhang Temple and the historic Sera Monastery, one of the great Tibetan Universities famed for its open debates among monks on the Buddhist doctrines. Later take a cooking class with a local chef and make (and eat) Tibetan momo beef dumplings.
Day 9 Lhasa/Chengdu (1B, 1D)
Fly to Chengdu and sample the famed and fiery Sichuan cuisine for dinner in the evening.
Day 10 Chengdu/Chongqing (1B)
Visit the Panda Breeding Centre and learn about and observe these gentle animals. Later, catch a train to Chongqing and board a luxury riverboat for the first night on the Yangtze.
Day 11 Yangtze River (1B, 1L, 1D)
Cruise the Yangtze River with daily shore excursions that can include Fengdu, Shibaozhai, or Wanzhou; sailing through Qutang Gorge/Wu Gorge, Daning River Small Gorges, or Shennong Stream, and sailing through Three Gorges dam ship locks. Relax in comfortable cabins and enjoy onboard activities such as tai chi, tea tasting, and Chinese calligraphy classes.
Day 12 Yangtze River (1B, 1L, 1D)
Cruise the Yangtze River with daily shore excursions that can include Fengdu, Shibaozhai, or Wanzhou; sailing through Qutang Gorge/Wu Gorge, Daning River Small Gorges, or Shennong Stream, and sailing through Three Gorges dam shiplocks. Relax in comfortable cabins and enjoy shipboard activities such as tai chi, tea tasting, and Chinese calligraphy classes.
Day 13 Yangtze River/Shanghai (1B)
Enjoy a tour of Three Gorges Dam (dependent on river conditions) before flying to Shanghai.
Day 14 Shanghai (1B)
Enjoy free time to explore this vibrant city on your own. Opt to visit Yuyuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum or this evening catch the famed Shanghai acrobats performance.
Day 15 Shanghai (1B)
Depart at any time.