The 15-day tour starts from Shanghai, a cosmopolitan city, and ends at Beijing, an economic and political hub in China. If you are a speed lover, you could experience the world’s fastest elevator in the Shanghai Tower. If you are a history lover, you can never miss Xi’an, an ancient capital city. You can visit the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. In addition, you can also enjoy lots of local delicacies on Muslim Street. If you have not seen the beautiful scenery in southwest China yet, you can never miss the China train tour to Lhasa. You will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the natural lake, snow-capped mountain, and so on in Xi’an to Lhasa train tour. On Lhasa to Beijing train tour, you could have a wonderful experience in Beijing by visiting the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace. Come and join us! You will enjoy yourself on this tour!
Upon arrival at the Shanghai airport, your excellent China tour will begin! Our professional guide holding your name sign will wait for you at the arrival hall and transfer you to the hotel. For the rest of the day, you can have a good rest at the hotel or stroll around the hotel to appreciate the beauty of Shanghai. Located in eastern China, it is a famous international metropolis as well as one of the sought-after tourist destinations in China. It boasts rich cultural heritage like Jade Buddha Temple and Yu Garden. In the next few days, we will visit these tourist attractions together and explore this magic city.
After breakfast, you will visit the Yu Garden (closed each Monday). Built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it was a private garden and was not opened to the public until 1961. Walking into the Yu Garden, you will see many sightseeing spots like Huge Rockery, Huijing Tower, and Nine-dragon Pond. There are 4 dragons carved on the wall of the Nine-dragon Pond. You may wonder 4 dragons conflict with the so-called name of the Nine-dragon Pond. That is because 9 dragons are made up of 4 stone-carved dragons and corresponding reflections in the water as well as the dragon-shaped pond. When you get there, you could count it on your own.
Then, you will visit the Jade Buddha Temple, which is 7.5 kilometers away from the Yu Garden. Built in the Qing Dynasty, it has a history of more than 100 years. Apart from its sitting jade Buddha and the reclining jade Buddha, it is also well-known for its magical bronze bell. You may be curious about what this bell is so magical about. It is said that the bell can detect whether the person who worships Buddha is pious. If they are pious, the bell when knocked sounds clear, melodious, and enchanting. On the contrary, when the impious knock the bell, it will only make a dull sound. Even if they knock it very hard, the sound would be hardly changed. What an amazing and magical phenomenon! You could try it by yourself.
After lunch, you will come to visit the Shanghai Tower. There are 127 storeys on the ground and 5 storeys under the ground. With a total height of 632 meters, it is known as the tallest building in China as well as the second tallest one in the world. Looking at its contour, you may find that it is a dragon-shaped building. Do you know why? Such design aims to protect itself from the typhoon. It looks like a dragon and is spiral in form. Each floor is twisted nearly one degree as the height rises. This design can slow down the wind flow. According to the experiment, the dragon-shaped design can reduce the side force of the wind by 24%, which is very important for Shanghai Tower.
Next, you will come to see the Nanjing Road, the first commercial street after Shanghai opened up its port for trade. It is lined with stores and is a paradise for shoppers. It also houses the Grand Theater. It is the first theater in Asia to use an air conditioning system and play sound film and dubbing film. In addition, it is also the first theater in Asia that is equipped with stereo. At that time, it was also one of the top eight theaters designated by Hollywood. Therefore, many Hollywood blockbusters were played at the Grand Theater, which attracted a large number of wealthy Japanese coming by ship or even by plane to Shanghai to watch the movies in the Grand Theater. What’s more, Gongbuju Symphony Orchestra, the top one in Asia, performed in the Grand Theater for a long time. Almost all the premieres of the world’s musical masterpieces in Asia were held here. Until now it is still a famous theater in Shanghai.
At the end of today’s visit, you will come to see the Bund. With a total length of 1.5 kilometers, it is home to 33 historic buildings, one of which is Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, formerly known as the HSBC Building. It is worth mentioning that there are four columns in the building that are chiseled out of a whole piece of Italian natural marble. These columns are made in Italy, each weighing about 7 tons. They are transferred from Italy here without any damage. It is said that there are only 6 marble columns like these in the world and the other two are now in the Louvre Museum in France. Walking on the Bund, you will see this magnificent building.
After breakfast, you will be taken to the train station to take the estimated train G3292 10:36/19:27 to Xi’an. China high-speed train can reach a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour. If it is your first time taking China his-speed train, you may marvel that it is so stable while moving at such speed. When you arrive at Xi’an train station, you will find that your tour guide is waiting for you with your name sign. You will be transferred to the hotel.
Xi’an, a capital city of 13 dynasties, is home to large quantities of historical relics. The United Nations has listed 6 historical sites in Xi’an as World Heritage Site. You will visit two of them tomorrow: Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In addition, you will also enjoy local snacks in a street selling different kinds of food. Visiting Xi’an is a must for the tourists, especially for history lovers and foodie lovers.
This morning, you will begin to explore Xi’an by visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. We will drive you northeast for more than 1 hour (41 kilometers) to get there. The discovery of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is an interesting coincidence. One day in March 1974, a farmer prepared to dig a water well in his backyard. In the process of digging, the farmer found a lot of terra cotta fragments, but he did not take them seriously. As we say that Xi’an once served as the capital of 13 dynasties, so it is quite normal to excavate some antiques. However, when continuing digging, he felt that something looked like a human underground. After hearing the news, archaeologists hurried to the farmer’s backyard and began to excavate it protectively. At last, they found the terra cotta arm. It turned out that they were made in the Qin Dynasty (221-206) as the funerary objects of Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first emperor in China.
After lunch, you will visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was a well-preserved ancient building. There are many versions of its naming story. There were two major schools of Buddhism: Mahayana Buddhism and Hinayana Buddhism. Different from Mahayana Buddhism, Hinayana Buddhism is hardly shy of eating meat. One day, a monk in the Hinayana Temple had nothing to eat. He looked up at the sky and saw a flock of wild geese flying overhead. He talked to the geese, “Today we have nothing to eat. The Buddha should give us some meat for knowing that we are hungry”. Before the words left his lips, a wild goose fell to the ground. All monks in the Hinayana Temple believed that the wild goose was the incarnation of the Buddha. Thus, they built a pagoda in which the wild goose fell and named it the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Nowadays, it becomes a holy place for Buddhists.
Then, you can take a stroll on Muslim Street. With a length of about 500 meters, it is a famous food street in China. You can find a variety of local delicacies here, one of which is Rougamo, also called Chinese Hamburger. It is a kind of Chinese food with stewed meat sandwiched in the baked bun. A kind reminder: The most classic way to eat the Rougamo is to hold the bun horizontally and start with both sides of the bun. Holding the bun horizontally can immerse the meat juice in the bun and biting both sides can make the meat juice not squeeze out. When you walk on Muslim Street, do not forget to taste this traditional food.
After lunch, you will be transferred to the train station and catch the estimated train Z265 9:45/16:56+1 to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet autonomous region. Nowadays, people choose different ways to reach Tibet. Some people may travel there by car and some may go there by plane. But most people will choose China high-speed train, which is safe and economical. In addition, you can also enjoy the scenery along the way. For instance, you will see the Hoh Xil also called Kekexili, a vast nature reserve on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. It is home to more than 230 species of wild animals. If you are lucky, you may see the wild yak grazing in the grass. Along the journey, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tsonag Lake, one of the highest freshwater lakes. In addition, there are also many beautiful views not mentioned yet. Do not miss them. Or you are going to regret it.
You will arrive in Lhasa at 16:56. The local guide will be waiting for you with your name sign at the train station. And then you will be transferred to the hotel. You can have a good rest in the hotel. As you are visiting the city located in the highland regions, there are some tips you should pay attention to.
1. Eat more foods that are high in sugar and easy to digest to provide more energy for the body.
2. Warm clothes are a must due to the large temperature difference during the day.
3. Drink more water. Since the humidity is low at high altitudes, people are likely to suffer from dehydration.
4. Use suntan lotion and lip balm. This is because Lhasa has dry climates and strong sunshine. Suntan lotion and lip balm will protect you from sunburn.
Today, you will first visit the Potala Palace. At 12,139 feet above sea level, the Potala Palace is the highest of its kind in the world. It used to be the political and religious center of Tibet. The 1300-year-old Potala Palace was built in 7 A.D by Songtsen Gampo who was the king of Tibet. He wanted to marry Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty. At that time, several other tribal leaders also want to marry Princess Wencheng. Therefore, they all sent ambassadors to the capital of the Tang Dynasty to propose. To select one of them, Emperor Taizong, the emperor of the Tang Dynasty at that time, held a competition and promised that the winner could marry the princess. In one competition, the rule was to identify the maternal relationship between the mare and colt among a hundred mares and colts. Some ambassadors identified by their hair color, and some by height. But they have all failed the competition. When it turned to Songtsen Gampo’s ambassador, he just kept mares and colts separately and gave them food without water for a whole day. The next day, he put mares and colts together. Surprisingly, all colts rushed to their mothers to suck the breast. Therefore, he won the competition with minimum effort and Songtsen Gampo married Princess Wencheng.
After lunch, you will visit the Jokhang Temple. In the beginning, you should know that taking pictures in the temple is not allowed. It holds the supreme position in Tibetan Buddhism. Every year, there are countless pilgrims from all over the world come to Jokhang Temple to worship. And Like the Potala Palace, it was also built by Songtsen Gampo in 647. When choosing the position of the Jokhang Temple, the master of geomancy said that building the temple in the area where the lake is located is conducive to the development of Tibet. To build a temple here, they need to fill the lake first. It is a large project and a large number of workers are needed. To solve this problem, Princess Wencheng advised to let goats instead of men carry sandbags to fill the lake. Consequently, millions of goats are used to carry the sand. When finishing the building of the temple, Songtsen Gampo named the temple as Resah Temple to memorize the goat. In the Tibetan language, “re” means goat, and “sha” means sand. During the Ming and Qing (1636-1912) dynasties, it changed its name to the Jokhang Temple.
After breakfast, we will drive you southwest for about 5 hours (263 kilometers) to go to Gyantse. You will enjoy the beautiful scenery of Yamdrok Lake. It covers an area of 675 square kilometers and is 4,441 meters above sea level. Here you can see thousands of white aquatic birds flying above the lake, which is very spectacular. Legend has it that long ago, a serf owner took a fancy to a beautiful girl with white skin. But the girl was unwilling to marry the serf owner. Later, the man heard that the girl would take a bath in the Yamdrok Lake every evening. Thus, one night, he hid in the lake in advance. When the girl took a bath, he clung to her and tried to bring her to his home. Suddenly, a female fairy showed up and killed the serf owner. But he held on so tightly to the girl that they sunk into the lake together. The girl also drowned. At dawn the next morning, people came to the lake, looked for her, and yelled her name. Suddenly, a white aquatic bird flew out of the lake. The bird was the incarnation of the girl. Since then, white aquatic birds have always flown over Yamdrok Lake. You have a great possibility to see this spectacular scenery.
When you arrive in Gyantse, you will visit the Palkhor Monastery. The Palkhor Monastery, Potala Palace in Lhasa, and Sakya Monastery in Shigatse are known collectively as three art treasures of Tibet. It was built in the Ming Dynasty and completed in a decade. The most precious treasure in the Monastery is the mural of the Ming Dynasty painted on the walls. In the mural, all venerable Bodhisattvas look peaceful and kind. The expressions on their faces are vivid. They fully show the essential artistic charm of Tibetan Buddhist mural art. You can appreciate the charm of these murals as well as other treasures in the Palkhor Monastery.
After visiting the Palkhor Monastery, you will be driven northwest for about 1.5 hours to Shigatse, which is 94 kilometers away from Gyantse. And then, you will be transferred to the hotel in Shigatse. You can have a good rest here.
After breakfast, you will start today’s visit with the Tashilunpo Monastery. It was built in the Ming Dynasty. The Tashilunpo Monastery covers an area of 150,000 square meters, surrounded by walls with a perimeter of more than 3,000 meters. It is home to 3600 rooms and 57 Buddha halls, one of which is Han Buddha Hall which is infrequent in Tibetan Monasteries. Various gifts such as porcelain, jade, textiles given by the emperors of the Qing Dynasty are stored here. Inside the main hall hangs the huge portrait of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. He wears a kasaya (Buddhist monk’s robe) with a dharma vessel in his hand. Under the portrait, there is a memorial tablet that reads “Long Live the Emperor Daoguang”, the eighth emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Every time Panchen Lama received an imperial edict, he would kowtow and thank the emperor for his favor in the Han Buddha Hall. All these cultural relics in the Han Buddha Hall prove the system of administering between Tibet and the central court in past dynasties.
Next, you will be driven southwest to Dingri, which is 236 kilometers away from the Tashilunpo Monastery and it will take you more than 4 hours to get there. On the way, you will pass the Sakya Monastery. You will stop there and go sightseeing. Built in the North Song Dynasty (960-1127). It is said that a person in local nobility found the earth here is white and shiny. He believed that this place is blessed. Therefore, he invested to build a monastery here. That is the original Sakya Monastery. The current Sakya Monastery consists of the North Sakya Monastery and the South Sakya Monastery. When you walk into the monastery, you will find the main colors of the monastery are red, white, and cyan. Red represents Manjusri Bodhisattva; white represents Guanyin Bodhisattva, and cyan represents Vajrayana Bodhisattva.
After visiting the Sakya Monastery, you will be driven to Dingri. When you arrive in Dingri, you will be transferred to the hotel. You can have a good rest there.
Today, we will drive you southwest to the Rongbuk Monastery, which is 110 kilometers away from Dingri, and it will take you more than 2.5 hours. It is about 20 kilometers from the top of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. The Rongbuk Monastery is 5,154 meters above sea level, making itself the highest monastery in the world. It is also the best place to enjoy the sight of Mount Everest. Looking from the south of the Rongbuk Monastery, you can see Mount Everest towering among the peaks. It looks like a huge pyramid. It is so majestic and even formidable as well, which can make people feel quite small. When the weather here is bright and sunny, people will see a cream-colored cloud floating above the crest of Mount Everest. The cloud looks like a flag waving in the sky. It is known as the highest flag-shaped cloud in the world. Almost everyone who sees the beautiful scenery says that it is a magical scene in the world.
Then, we will drive you back to Shigatse. It will take you more than 6 hours. You can have a rest in the car.
Today, we drive you northeast for more than 4.5 hours to Lhasa, which is about 270 kilometers away from Shigatse. You can have a rest in the car. If you are still energetic, don’t miss out on the beautiful scenery outside the window.
After breakfast, you will be led to the airport here to take the estimated flight TV9815 10:00/13:35 to Beijing. The local tour guide will hold your name sign and wait for you at the airport in Beijing. Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel.
Beijing is the ancient capital of the 6 dynasties. Over the past 2,000 years, many buildings related to the imperial family have been built, making Beijing a city with the largest number of imperial palaces, gardens as well as temples in China. In the next few days, you will visit part of them and appreciate the charm of the ancient capital. You will never be disappointed to visit this city.
Option: If you want to go for a stroll on your own, Qianmen Street is a good choice. It is a famous commercial street in Beijing, where you can enjoy authentic Beijing delicacies like the Peking Roast Duck. The Peking Roast Duck has a history of more than 300 years. In the middle of the nineteenth century, a person named Yang Quanren learned a different way of duck roasting from a royal chef. Then, he bought a store in Qianmen Street to sell roast duck. He named the store Quanjude. Now, it has become one of the most famous restaurant brands in Beijing. Almost everyone will eat Peking Roast Duck in Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant on his first visit to Beijing. You can also give it a shot.
This morning, you will first visit Tian’anmen Square, which is located in the center of Beijing. Here you will see the national flagpole, the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, and the Zhengyangmen Gate Tower standing in sequence from north to south. With a length of about 880 meters and a width of 500 meters, Tian’anmen Square covers an area of 440,000 square meters. Many historical events have taken place here. For instance, on October 1, 1949, the founding ceremony of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was held in Tian’anmen Square. At 3 o’clock that afternoon, Mao Zedong who is the leader of the Chinese Communist Party and founder of the PRC stood on the Tian’anmen gate tower and solemnly declared the establishment of the PRC to the world.
Later this morning, you will visit the Forbidden City (closed each Monday). Known as the Palace Museum, it covers an area of 720,000 square meters, which is equivalent to the area of one and the half Vatican. Built in the Ming Dynasty (1369-1644), it was the imperial palace for emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Walking into the Forbidden City, you will see many buildings with red walls and yellow tiles. Why? On the one hand, yellow represents dignity and supremacy in China. As far back as the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was defined as the color representing the imperial family. On the other hand, red is a symbol of happiness, auspiciousness, and wealth in China. Since the Zhou Dynasty (1045B.C.-256 B.C.), red has been widely used in the buildings of imperial palaces. Therefore, most buildings in the Forbidden City are built with red walls and yellow tiles to show the dignity, supremacy, and wealth of the emperor.
After lunch, you will first visit the Temple of Heaven. It covers an area of 2.73 million square meters, which is 4 times larger than the Forbidden City. It was firstly built in the Ming Dynasty and then was rebuilt by the Emperors Qianlong and Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, emperors would worship heaven three times a year. The first time falls on the fifteenth of the first lunar month. On this day, the emperor would pray for a bumper grain harvest in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. For the second time, the emperor would pray for rain in the fourth lunar month in the Circular Mound Altar. The third time happened on the Winter Solstice. The emperor would express his thanks to heaven for the protection in the Circular Mound Altar.
Next, you will visit the Summer Palace. It was the imperial garden in the Qing Dynasty. Mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake, it covers an area of 2.9 square kilometers, three-quarters of which is water. It is also home to the world’s longest corridor, the Long Corridor, which is 728 meters long. It is famous for its rich painted decoration (more than 14,000 paintings). Now, I will tell you the story of one painting that describes a boy holding an orange. Legend has it that at the end of the Han Dynasty (184-220), there was a famous filial son named Luji. When he was 6 years old, he and his father called on a rich and powerful person named Yuanshu. Yuanshu gave some oranges to him. He ate some small oranges but put bigger ones into his cloak. When he was about to leave, bigger oranges were dropping out of his cloak. Then Yuanshu asked why he took oranges. Luji answered that these oranges were very delicious and he wanted his mother to eat them. After hearing what Luji said, Yuanshu was touched by Luji’s filial piety and called him the filial son.
Today, we will drive you northward to the Ming Tombs, which is 51 kilometers away from the center of Beijing, and it will take more than one hour to get there. It was built in the Ming Dynasty. It is also known as the Thirteen Ming Tombs. Just as its name implies, thirteen emperors in the Ming Dynasty are buried here. The Chang Tomb was the first constructed tomb in the Ming Tombs. It is also the largest and best-preserved one. Emperor Zhudi (the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty) and his Empress were buried here. The process of choosing the location of the Chang Tomb is very complicated. Emperor Zhudi dispatched Liao Junqing, the master of geomancy, to select the location of the tomb. Liao junqing firstly chose a place named Yanjiatai. But Zhudi was not content with it. And then, Liao junqing chose a place named Huangtushan Mountain. There was a tomb burying the Kang family near the Huangtushan Mountain. Kang and Zhu have the same pronunciation as bran and pig respectively in Chinese. Besides, bran is used to feed the pig. So, Zhudi believed it was a good omen. But he thought Hhuangtushan was a vulgar name. He changed it into Tianshou Mountain. In China, Tianshou has the meaning of longevity. Thus, the location of the Chang Tomb was determined.
After lunch, we will drive you northeast for an hour to the Mutianyu Great Wall, which is 40 kilometers away from the Ming Tombs. The Great Wall was built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty(221BC-207BC). The Great Wall is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials. It was generally built along the historical northern borders of China to protect China against the raids and invasions of the nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Today, you will visit one of the best parts of the Great Wall: the Mutianyu Great Wall. You can take a stroll on it. As a military project, there are shooting mouths, watchtowers, and beacon towers. The shooting mouth is served for soldiers to shoot at the enemies while hiding behind the wall. From the watchtower, soldiers can observe the enemies from afar. The beacon tower is a high platform for delivering important military information. When soldiers find some clues to the enemy’s activities, they would make smoke during the day and light a fire in the evening. It is the oldest but effective way to pass the message. When you visit the Mutianyu Great Wall, two ways are highly recommended. Taking a round-trip cable car is a good choice. In addition, you can also take the chairlift up and toboggan down. That is a more exciting way.
Today, our 15 days tour comes to an end. Your tour guide will escort you to the airport. We sincerely hope that you had a pleasant journey in these 15 days. If you want to visit China again, China Tour Star will be delighted to serve you again. Have a nice trip!
Proofreader: Betsy He
|City||Five Star hotel list||Four Star hotel list|
|Shanghai||Ocean Hotel Shanghai||Ambassador Hotel|
|Xi'an||Tianyu Gloria Grand Hotel Xi'an||Sunworld Dynasty Hotel|
|Lhasa||Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa||Thangka hotel|
|Beijing||Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Beijing Wangfujing||Sunworld Hotel Wangfujing|
|Other Cities||Guest House||Guest House|
About your child or infant, please contact us for a discounted price.
We started with a few days in Beijing & ended in Shanghai, from where we visited the Forbidden City and Great Wall. In between we visited Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, Panda Base, Shanghai Disneyland.
We had a wonderful holiday in China which will remain long in the memory. China is a breathtakingly beautiful country full of splendid temples and palaces, mountains and rivers, peaceful rural scenes and bustling shopping streets.