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Splendours of China & Tibet: Holiday of a Lifetime

Duration
17 Days
Prices From:
US$ 7,789

On this special Holidays of a Lifetime fully escorted tour, China's past, present and future come alive. You will explore Beijing's greatest splendours, meet Xian warriors, experience Tibetan culture, visit a Panda sanctuary, cruise the winding Yangtze River and shop in Shanghai.


Beijing - Xian - Lhasa - Chengdu - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Shanghai

On arrival in Beijing, you start of with a few gems of the many on this tour such as the largest public square in the world, Tian An Men Square, the Forbidden City which takes you immediately back to the days of the former Emperors, the breathtaking Great Wall of China and the Summer Palace of the Emperors.

After that, it is off to Xian, the home of the life-size Terra Cotta Warriors who are 2000 years old and only discovered in 1974. Next is arrival in Lhasa, the colourful capital of Tibet. The former Dalia Lama’s Potala Palace will amaze you. Then you will try Sichuan cuisine in Chengdu where you will also visit a Panda sanctuary.

Cruising is next along the scenically beautiful fiord like Yangtze River. The last stop will be the city of the future, if not of today, Shanghai which combines wonderfully, the old and the new. While in Shanghai, you will attend a performance of the famous Chinese Acrobat show. Also from Shanghai, you will discover the charms of the “Venice of the East”, the city of Suzhou with its attractive canals, stately ornamental gardens and its silk factories.

A visit to China will always be beyond expectations!


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At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
Duration
17 Days
Prices From:
US$ 7,789

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Welcome to Asia!

Upon arrival in Beijing, China's capital city, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.  There are not activities planned for this day however you will be greeted by your Goway Tour Director and along with your fellow travellers, you'll receive an informal briefing of the days to come.

Duration3
Accommodation

The Regent Beijing

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    The Regent Beijing



    Located just a heartbeat away from the legendary "Forbidden City", Regent Beijing is a prominent luxury hotel in Beijing, inviting travellers to lift the veil on 3,000 years of human history from the sanctuary of one of the world's finest hotels. The hotel ensures easy ...

    Located just a heartbeat away from the legendary "Forbidden City", Regent Beijing is a prominent luxury hotel in Beijing, inviting travellers to lift the veil on 3,000 years of human history from the sanctuary of one of the world's finest hotels. The hotel ensures easy access to numerous cultural and historical attractions in the region.

    Facilities

    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Indoor Pool
    • Internet Access
    • Spa

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Day 2

Beijing Splendours

After breakfast, we join our guide for a full day tour of Beijing. Beijing has been the capital of the nation for the last seven centuries. Today with a population of over 10 million, Beijing is the political, cultural and administrative centre of the People's Republic of China.

Our first stop this morning is Tian An Men Square, the largest public plaza in the world. Located in the heart of Beijing, Tian An Men Square was first built in the Ming Dynasty. It measures over 500 meters from east to west, more than 800 meters from south to north and covers an area of 440,000 square meters. The Square includes the Great Hall of the People, the museums of the Chinese Revolution and Chinese History and Chairman Mao Zedong's Memorial Hall. We'll have time to see the permanent reviewing stands where China's leaders preside over the mass rallies and parades in the square. It was here that Chairman Mao proclaimed the birth of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

From the square, we head to the Forbidden City, whose acres of splendid 15th Century halls and pavilions graced with imperial treasures now comprise the Palace Museum. The Forbidden City was built during 1406 - 1420 AD as the residence for the Ming and Qing Dynasty emperors - altogether 24 emperors lived here. It is now the world's largest and best preserved imperial palace, which boasts rare relics of over 1,050,000 pieces. After lunch we stop at the prestigious Summer Palace, the summer home of the Emperors and Empresses of China, where we will enjoy the vast gardens and lush greenery and see an amazing marble boat, which of course will never sail. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on Kunming Lake. Dinner this evening is at a local Chinese restaurant.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

The Great Wall

A day we will not forget! Our coach takes us approximately 70 km/44 miles north to the easy-to-traverse Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. The wall was built in the fifth century B.C. to protect China from the aggressive northern Tartars. Winding six thousand kilometers through Northern China, the Great Wall stands 6.5 meters high. Towers 11 to 12 meters high were built into the wall every 180 to 270 meters. Its sides are made of earth, brick and stone and the top of the wall is paved with bricks set in a line to form a path for soldiers and horses. Return to your hotel to refresh and tonight enjoy a traditional Peking Duck Banquet.  

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Beijing to Xian

This morning we take time to visit the Temple of Heaven, another masterpiece of Ming Dynasty architecture. This blue-tiled temple exemplifies Chinese perfection of form and space and was built to be used for important rituals designed to perpetuate the rule of the Ming Dynasty. Many of the articles used at the ceremonies, including musical instruments, are on display. While at the Temple of Heaven we will practice our Tai Chi with a master. Time for lunch at a local restaurant before touring Beijing's famous Hutongs, an old and traditional area of the city. We will travel the narrow alleyways filled with vendors and shoppers by pedicab. We will also experience a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony. Later we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Xian. Upon arrival in Xian, we are met and transferred to our hotel. This old walled city is a veritable treasure trove of Chinese culture and history, but Xian is also a modern agricultural centre alive with street markets and a vast array of small stalls. Tonight we enjoy a Western Buffet dinner at our hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2
Accommodation

Gran Melia Hotel Xi'an

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    Gran Melia Hotel Xi'an



    A spectacular Spanish luxury hotel with comprehensive facilities and services. Exceptionally located in Qu jiang New District, besides Tang Paradise and opposite Nanhu Lake. 10 minutes walking distance from Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a UNESCO world heritage site. The hotel blends Chinese cultural and historical ...

    A spectacular Spanish luxury hotel with comprehensive facilities and services. Exceptionally located in Qu jiang New District, besides Tang Paradise and opposite Nanhu Lake. 10 minutes walking distance from Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a UNESCO world heritage site. The hotel blends Chinese cultural and historical heritage with a decor rich in contrasts. It combines traditional luxury with the surprising avant-garde flair of Gran MeliĆ” Hotels and Resorts

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • 24 Hour Room Service
    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • Spa/Jacuzzi

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Day 5

Xian Splendours

Xian, the capital city of Shaanxi Province has been a famous historical and cultural city of China for more than 3100 years. Since 1126 B.C., it had served as the capital for more than 12 Dynasties! The city is an open-air museum and the starting point for the Silk Road. This morning we visit the over six thousand life-size terra cotta warriors, which have been standing guard by the tomb of Qin Shi Huang for 2,000 years. Discovered in 1974, the individually sculpted warriors may be the archaeological find of the 20th century. Thousands of life-size terra cotta warriors, no two alike, with their horses and chariots, are being unearthed at the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who unified China in 221 BC. This afternoon we visit the Huxian Village where we will be greeted by a traditional Lion Dance. See the very famous Farmer's Painting, the best known local rural art community in Huxian County. Tonight we enjoy a Tang Dynasty Dinner and show at a local theatre.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Xian to Lhasa

This morning we will be transferred to the airport for our flight over snow-capped mountains to Tibet, the "rooftop of the world." Upon arrival in Lhasa, we will be met and transferred to our hotel. Lhasa City in Tibetan language means 'Holy City'. It is the capital of Tibet which dates back to 7th century AD when King Songtsen transferred his capital from Yarlung to Lhasa. The remainder of the day is at leisure to acclimatize ourselves to the altitude or explore on your own. We will marvel at Lhasa's palaces and temples set against a backdrop of towering peaks.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration3
Accommodation

St Regis Lhasa Resort

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    St Regis Lhasa Resort



    Standing on the 'Roof of the World" at 3,680 meters above sea level, The St. Regis Lhasa Resort offers an unrivalled dimension of luxury, bespoken service and refined elegance at one of the most mystical and exotic addresses in the world - all devoted to ...

    Standing on the 'Roof of the World" at 3,680 meters above sea level, The St. Regis Lhasa Resort offers an unrivalled dimension of luxury, bespoken service and refined elegance at one of the most mystical and exotic addresses in the world - all devoted to the pursuit of a truly unique experience. The hotel features 122 luxury guest rooms, 28 private villas, and 12 exquisite suites including the presidential suite, which ranges from 61 to 254 square meters and affords guests views of the amazing landscapes of Tibet.

    Facilities

    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Massage Treatments
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Pool (s)
    • Room Service
    • Secretarial Service
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi

    More Details

Day 7

Tibetan Splendours

After breakfast travel to the amazing Potala Palace one of the oldest structures in Tibet. The Potala Palace has also become the most visited monument in Tibet. The construction of the palace was started by King Songtsen Gumpa in the 7th century for his two newly wed wives. The palace was used by the king as a retreat for meditation until his death. The original structure burned down and was rebuilt in the 17th century by the Fifth Dalai Lama. At one time the seat of Tibetan religious and political activity it was the former home to the Dalai Lamas. The palace is now a museum 13 stories high consisting of 1000 rooms. After lunch we visit one of the most important religious centres in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple. The huge Jokhang complex was built in 7th century and covering an area of about six acres, it is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan pilgrims.

Later, we will travel to a school for visually-impaired children, the first of its kind on the Tibetan plateau, called Brailles without Borders.  Today will be a moving experience as we witness the dedication of this organization to provide education to its students. Return to the hotel for dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Lhasa Splendours

This morning we visit the Sera Monastery. Built in 1419 the monastery is a training centre for Buddhist monks. We also visit a Tibetan hospital where we will have a chance to see local healthcare at its best. Finish the day with a visit to Barkhor Street, a circular street at the centre of Old Lhasa. It is a place where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts come together and is also a famous shopping market, where you will find traditional Tibetan artifacts in small roadside shops. Buddha figures, prayer flags, copper teapots, horse bells and jewelry inlaid with turquoise and other gems. This evening we will enjoy an authentic Tibetan dinner and entertainment. 

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Lhasa to Chengdu

After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival, we will be met and transferred to our hotel.

After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, visit the area of Chengdu known as Kuan Zhai Xiangzi or "Wide and Small Lanes." Here we can get a glimpse of the history of the old Chengdu City with its ancient pagodas, pedestrian alleyways that today offer a mix of shops, restaurants and interesting architecture. This evening we enjoy an authentic Hot Pot Dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2
Accommodation

Sofitel Wanda Chengdu

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    Sofitel Wanda Chengdu



    Sofitel Wanda Chengdu is located on the Funan River, just a 20 minute drive from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and a 15 minute walk from Central Square and the commercial hub of the city. The hotel features 262 elegant rooms, 3 restaurants, 4 bars, a ...

    Sofitel Wanda Chengdu is located on the Funan River, just a 20 minute drive from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and a 15 minute walk from Central Square and the commercial hub of the city. The hotel features 262 elegant rooms, 3 restaurants, 4 bars, a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, spa and gymnasium.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Day Spa
    • Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Sauna
    • Swimming Pool

    More Details

Day 10

Chengdu and Pandas

This morning we visit the Panda Sanctuary, founded in 1987, with six giant pandas rescued from the wild. Today the captive population has increased to approximately 83 individuals from that founding population of only six. Research at the Chengdu Panda Base focuses on the advancement of wildlife conservation in China. The giant panda is the principle species of interest; others include the South China Tiger, the Red Panda, the Golden Monkey and others. Research areas include reproduction, nutrition, veterinary medicine, behavior and more. After lunch at a local restaurant we visit Sanxingdui Museum, an archeological site. In 1986, two large Shang-period sacrificial pits were unearthed with more than one thousand gold, bronze, and jade objects, shocking the entire country. Among other things, the finds proved that Sanxingdui was the capital of the ancient Shu Kingdom more than 3,000 years ago. This evening we will enjoy a performance of the ancient Sichuan Opera with its folk music and dancing. 

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

Chengdu to Chongqing

This morning, we will be transferred to the train station for our relaxing journey to Chongqing. The city of Chongqing is situated on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. It is the largest industrial centre in Southwest China. The river surrounds the city on three sides and it is built against a mountain, which has given the city the nickname: "The Mountain City." Upon arrival we will take a tour to the local market and City Square. Later we are transferred to the cruise ship terminal where we will board our Yangtze River cruise ship. Our ship is a fully air-conditioned, multi-decked vessel with modern private facilities, health club, sauna, games room, bar, dining room, sun deck and room service. 

Accommmodation: Century Paragon Cruise (3 nights), Room Type: Deluxe Cabin

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration3
Day 12

Yangtze River Cruise

We leave Chongqing and begin our 1400km cruise through the heart of China along the most beautiful stretch of the world's third longest river. Our day might start out with morning Tai-Chi exercises overlooking the mists of the river. Then you can choose between a western-style breakfast and traditional Chinese fare. During the day we will be occupied with exciting shore excursions to the many stops along this intriguing waterway. After sightseeing, you may lounge on the deck to enjoy the glorious sunset while sipping a tall cold drink. In the evening, you might want to enjoy a cocktail in the lounge and hear your favorite music at the bar.

There are also numerous activities after dinner, learn to play Mah Jong, enjoy a massage, relax in the sauna or just dance the night away. The first port of call is Fengdu, known as "City of Ghosts" where you can take an optional shore excursion to visit the many temples housing silent ghost devils. We will also have an included visit Shibaozhai the “Stone Treasure Fortress”, which is a pavilion, located on a steep hill on the south bank of the Yangtze River. First built in Qing Dynasty in 1750, the wooden architecture in each of the 12 floors of Shibaozhai is dedicated to a famous general of the Three Kingdoms Period, a local scholar or a renowned Chinese poet.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13

Yangtze River Cruise

A spectacular day today as we cruise through the famous Three Gorges of the Yangtze River and its tributaries:

Wu Gorge: this gorge extends from the western tip of Wushan County at the mouth of Daning River to the Official Ferry in Badong County, a distance of 40kms to the east. The western section is called Golden Helmet and Silver Armor Gorge while the eastern section is called Iron Coffin Gorge. On either side there are peaks and green vegetation. The gorge zigzags and the waterway is not more than one hundred meters in breadth. One ancient poet describes the scene in this way: "As the boat sails on the river passengers feel they are moving in splendid paintings.”

Qutang Gorge: Qutang is the first of the Three Gorges extending about 8kms. High cliffs and steep precipices with sharp edges rise one after another on either side of the narrow gorge. If you look upwards you will only see a narrow line of sky and clouds. The poet Bai Juyi described the gorge with the words: "The shore looks like two screens. The sky has been cut out." Within the gorge there is Baidicheng, the ancient plank road built along the face of the cliff, and the sites of relics of the Daxi culture.

Xiling Gorge: Xiling Gorge starts at the western tip of Xiangzi Stream in Zigui and extends to the Nanjin Pass, about 76kms. In the middle is Miaonankuangu where the Three Gorges Dam is built on Zhongbao Island. At the western section we find Military Book and Treasury Sword Gorge, and the Ox Liver and Horse Lung Gorge. In the east are Light Shadow Gorge and Yellow Ox Gorge. Xiling Gorge is known for its strategic importance and as a place of dangerous shoals. The landforms on the western shore of the gorge are varied. There are many rocks, caves and streams.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 14

Yichang to Shanghai

Today we take time to visit the site of the world famous hydroelectric dam. The well-known Three Gorges Project is in Sandouping, Yichang, Hubei Province. The dam is 1,852 meters long and 185 meters high and was built in three phases. Since many of the peaks along the gorges are all 100-1000 meters above sea level, most were unaffected, but, places of special interest such as the ancient plank roads on the face of the cliffs, the limestone caves, the Military Book and Treasury Sword Gorge, Ox Liver and Horse Lung Gorge were submerged. Baidicheng will become an island but the glory of the Three Gorges still remain. We will cruise through the eastern section of the Xiling Gorge before arriving in Yichang in the early afternoon. After lunch, we disembark and transfer to the airport for our flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival in Shanghai, we are met and transferred to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration3
Accommodation

Okura Garden Hotel

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    Okura Garden Hotel



    This deluxe hotel is located in French Concession area-one of the nicest districts in Shanghai. It was originally the French Embassy and is now part of prestigious Japanese hotel chain. The Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai is in the heart of the city centre and enjoys ...

    This deluxe hotel is located in French Concession area-one of the nicest districts in Shanghai. It was originally the French Embassy and is now part of prestigious Japanese hotel chain. The Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai is in the heart of the city centre and enjoys excellent expressway connections to the Shanghai Railway Station, the Hongqiao Airport and the Pudong International Airport. The subway system provides a convenient way for you to visit Shanghai and to shuttle around the city. South Shaanxi station on line 1 is located immediately adjacent to the property.

    Facilities

    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Gym/ Fitness centre
    • Internet Access
    • Restaurant(s)

    More Details

Day 15

Shanghai Splendours

Shanghai is one of the world's largest cities with a population of more than 12 million making it China's largest urban centre. Shanghai played no role in the glorious days of the Chinese empire until the coming of the British opium fleet to Chinese waters in the 19th century. Shanghai was then jolted from being a quiet commercial backwater to becoming a thriving industrial metropolis. Shanghai's identity, even today, is still inextricably linked with those treaty port days. The Treaty of Nanking in 1842 opened Shanghai, as a free port, to western trade and influence demarcated by foreign concession areas, distinctly visible to this day. A stroll along the Bund, the legendary waterfront area of the British Concession, will give us a taste of how life must have been in the thirties and forties. Before stopping for lunch at a local restaurant, we take time to visit famous Yu Yuan Garden situated in the old Chinese quarter of the city. The Gardens date from the Ming Dynasty and are a serene spot combining the grace of water, the wonder of stone and beauty of plants. This afternoon we visit the Shanghai Museum. The museums style and presentation surround visitors with artifacts demonstrating ancient wisdom and philosophy. The museum is divided into eleven galleries and three exhibition halls. The eleven Galleries cover most of the major categories of Chinese art: Ancient Bronze, Ancient Ceramics, Paintings, Calligraphy, Ancient Sculpture, Ancient Jade, Coins, Ming and Qing Furniture, Seals, and Minority Nationalities. Later today you have the opportunity to shop on your own along the amazing Nanjing Road.

Tonight we will enjoy a performance of the world famous Acrobatic Show.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 16

Suzhou

Today we visit Suzhou by bus. Suzhou is called the Venice of the East. We will go to the Ou Garden where we learn how to practice the ancient art of Chinese Calligraphy.  After, cruise on a Suzhou Canal, part of the larger Grand Canal system, followed by a visit to a silk factory where beautiful fabrics are woven from moth cocoons.

This evening our farewell dinner is at the Fairmont Peace Hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 17

Depart Shanghai

Following breakfast, the morning is at leisure before we transfer to the terminal of the Magnetic Line in Pudong where we will board the Maglev train to the airport. The principle of a magnetic train is that it floats on a magnetic field and is propelled by a linear induction motor hitting speeds of over 400km per hour - it's a great experience. Your tour ends on arrival at the airport. 

Meal Plan Breakfast

9 Sep 2017
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