Road to Tibet with Yangtze River Cruise 21 Days

$5,685.00

Medium Pace

This is an amazing tour to the south western province of Yunnan, which is not only home to 51 of China’s 55 fascinating ethnic minorities, but also a land of mesmerizing landscapes, envelop your senses and embrace your spiritual side with this cultural and scenic tour of Tibet and China.

For centuries, Tibet – the rooftop of the world, the mysterious Buddhist kingdom, locked away in its mountain fastness of the Himalaya, has exercised a unique hold on the imagination of the West. Dreamers on a spiritual quest have long whispered of a lost Shangri-la, steeped in magic and mystery. Tibet offers fabulous monastery sights, breathtaking high-altitude treks, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains and one of the most likeable people you will ever meet.

You will also discover the dramatic gorges, mountain villages, historic relics and breathtaking scenery as you cruise along the mighty Yangtze River. This 21 day tour is a visual delight, full of pleasant surprises and many treasures waiting to be discovered.

 

Tour Highlights:

  • Beijing: Walk on the incredible Great Wall
  • Xi’an: Terracotta Warriors & Horses Museum, Dumpling Banquet, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Ancient City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Yangtze River Cruise: Cruise down the magnificent Yangtze River
  • Lhasa Express: Experience an unforgettable railway journey through the breathtaking scenery of Qinghai to Tibet
  • Qinghai Lake: Marvel at the enormous Qinghai Lake, the largest lake in China and admire its natural beauty and surroundings
  • Lhasa : Discover the spiritual city in Tibet, Lhasa, known as the heart and soul of Tibet and a city of wonders
  • Shigatse: Immerse yourself in the sacred Tibetan culture with visits to intricate palaces, holy monasteries and religious temples

 

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Guaranteed Departure Dates

Depart Australia Arrive Australia Package Price Per Person Land Only (~) Single Supplement
08 Sep 2016 28 Sep 2016 From $5,685 $4,785 $1,500
13 Oct 2016 02 Nov 2016
13 Apr 2017 03 May 2017
11 May 2017 31 May 2017

Package Inclusions:

  • Economy class international airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges departing Sydney or Melbourne flying China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines or Air China (subject to availability)
  • Tibet entry permit
  • Internal airfares (operated by a local carrier)
  • Hotel accommodation (twin share)
  • 4 nights aboard Yangtze River Cruise (twin share)
  • 3 shore excursions (subject to change and favourable weather conditions)
  • Daily meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Coach transportation
  • Round trip airport and hotel transfers
  • Entrance fees to scenic attractions
  • English speaking tour guide(s)
  • Soft sleeper class train from Chongqing to Lhasa

Package Exclusions:

  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $235
  • China visa application fees
  • Optional recommended excursions
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Optional Post-Tour Stopover Package

Hong Kong & Macau 4 Day 3 Night Stopover

From $599

Once a sleepy fishing Village, Hong Kong has now developed into one of the premiere financial powerhouses of the Far East. It is a city which boldly blends the modern with Chinese heritage and British colonial influence. A safe, well organised, fast paced shopping paradise, it also offers up some unmatched cuisine experiences. Dine on some of the best yum cha and wonton noodles in the world, or a taste of more unusual culinary delights such grass jelly or shredded jellyfish.

Macau is a small peninsula in mainland China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. Its giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname, the “Las Vegas of Asia.” One of its more striking landmarks is 338m-high Macau Tower, with sweeping city views.

Inclusions:

  • 3 nights hotel accommodation (twin/double share)
  • Hotel buffet breakfast
  • Round trip airport and hotel transfers
  • Half day Hong Kong Island sightseeing tour
  • Macau day tour, lunch and round trip ferry tickets

Accommodation:

  • Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees Hotel 4 star or similar

Price Guide:

  • Single Supplement: $280
  • Alternative hotel upgrade options are available upon request
  • Note: To book this stopover, the airline must first be upgraded to Cathay Pacific at additional cost, please refer to the Price Guide

Accommodation

Beijing Traders Upper East Hotel local rating or similar
Xi’an Titan Times Hotel local rating or similar
Yangtze River Cruise Yangtze 2, President 7, or Victoria Jenna or similar local rating or similar
Chongqing Double Tree by Hilton local rating or similar
Lhasa Express Soft sleeper class
Lhasa The Tibet Cang-gyan Lhasa Hotel local rating or similar
Shigatse VanRay International Resort local rating or similar
Chengdu Chengdu House International Hotel local rating or similar
Hong Kong Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees local rating or similar

Optional Recommended Excursions

Get to know China better with our list of in-depth excursions recommended to add another dimension to your total experience! They can be prepaid in Australia more than 30 days prior to departure at the discounted AUD prices below, or paid directly in the local currency to your tour guide upon arrival in China. English speaking guide, admissions and round trip transfers are included in the price.
Beijing The Golden Mask Dynasty $75
Beijing Hutong Life Tour $70
Chengdu Face Changing Show $55
Board an overnight connecting flight via an intermediate city to Beijing.
Arrive in Beijing, the capital city of China. We will be warmly greeted at the airport by our tour guide and transferred to our hotel. Our welcome banquet includes the local delicacy, “Peking Roast Duck“.
Beijing has served as the capital of five dynasties over a period of 800 years. Today we start our city tour with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the second largest public square in the world, followed by a visit to the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty. In the afternoon, we continue to the Temple of Heaven, which was used by emperors in ancient times to offer sacrifices to heaven and pray for good harvest. After dinner, you can choose to attend an optional large scale dramatic musical, “The Golden Mask Dynasty“.
Our highlight today is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall at Juyong Pass, the most famous image of China. After lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a Cloisonné Factory. Later, visit the Changling Exhibition Hall of the Ming Tombs where thirteen out of the sixteen Ming dynasty emperors are buried. We cap off the day by attending a superb and thrilling Chinese Acrobatic Show in the evening.
This morning we tour the exquisite Summer Palace (Imperial Garden), the largest preserved ancient garden in China and a former summer resort for Emperors, followed by an outside view of the beautiful Bird’s Nest (National Stadium) and Water Cube (National Aquatics Centre), both purposely built for the 2008 Olympics. This afternoon, join an optional “Hutong Life Tour”, a special journey which explores Beijing’s ancient alleyways or “hutongs” by pedicab, (at your own expense), or just stroll in Wangfujing, one of the Chinese capital’s most famous shopping streets.
This morning we fly to Xi’an, the first Chinese city to open its doors to the world during the Tang dynasty and capital for eleven dynasties over a period of more than 2,000 year. Our highlight here is a visit to the Terracotta Warriors & Horses Museum to see the life-sized defending army to the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. This site is among the most significant archaeological excavations of the 20th century. Later, we visit a Ceramics Art Factory, followed by a special Dumpling Banquet, while enjoying a performance of music and dance from the Tang Dynasty.
This morning we visit the fascinating Shaanxi Provincial Museum, followed by lunch featuring a special noodle making demonstration. Afterwards we visit the Ancient City Wall, the most complete ancient city wall that has survived in China. Then we visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the symbol of the city.
This morning we fly to Wuhan and transfer by coach (approximately 4-5 hours) to Yichang, the starting point of our Yangtze River Cruise for the next four nights. We board the luxury cruise in the evening and receive an introduction on cruise events and onboard activities.
Enjoy a tour to the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam, before cruising on the Yangtze River. Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery as we cross through the Yangtze Three Gorges: Xiling Gorge, Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge. Enjoy shore excursions to explore the fascinating history and tranquil landscapes.
We disembark from our cruise in the port city of Chongqing this morning and visit the Panda House at Chongqing Zoo. Tonight you will be feast on sumptuous Sichuan cuisine.
Enjoy a short tour of the city’s historic sites, including the Residence of General Joseph W. Stilwell, People’s Assembly Hall, and Hongya Cave. You will be transferred to the train terminal this afternoon for your 3 days 2 nights Lhasa Express trip. The line includes the Tanggula Pass, which, at 5,072m above sea level, is the world’s highest railway. Tanggula railway station at 5,068m is the world’s highest railway station. The 44-hour trip is a great opportunity for the group to get to know each other. It is also fun trying to communicate with some of the locals on board.
The passenger carriages used on Lhasa trains are specially built and have an oxygen supply for each passenger. Every passenger train has a doctor.
The train will pass Xi’an, Lanzhou, Qinghai Lake and Xining today.
Qinghai Lake is the largest salt lake in China.
The train will pass Golmud, Qaidam Basin, Tsonag Lake today. You train arrive this afternoon and you will be warmly greeted by our local tour guide.
Qaidam Basin is bounded on the south by the towering Kunlun Mountains – with many peaks in the western part exceeding 20,000 feet (6,000 metres) above sea level. The northwest portion of the basin is an area of true desert.
Tsonag Lake is one of the highest fresh water lakes. It can be observed on the right (west) as the train passes Tsonag Lake Railway Station.
The first hint that you are entering the traditional capital of Tibet is the red and white Potala Palace, home to Tibet’s spiritual leaders – the Dalai Lamas since the 17th century. Then visit Tibet’s oldest temple, Jokhang Temple. Tibetan Buddhists aim to visit Lhasa as they are drawn by this sacred temple, which forms the heart of the Tibetan quarter. In the afternoon, explore the captivating neighbourhood, the Barkhor Street. It is a traditional shopping street situated in the centre of Lhasa and a place where Tibetan culture, economy religion and arts assemble.
This morning, travel by coach to Yamdrok Lake, also known as Yamdrok Yumtso, one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather is fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin (7191m). The famous Kharola Glacier is below the south ridge of Nojin Kangsang. Then we visit the Palkhor Monastery, a huge temple with a unique history and a wealth of Buddhist art. It is notable for its superb Kumbum, the largest and spectacularly well preserved chorten in Tibet, crowned with a golden dome and still containing thousands of wonderful murals.
Visit the Tashilunpo Monastery. Tashilunpo means in Tibetan “all fortune and happiness gathered here”. The monastery is well known for its biggest gold-gilded sitting Buddha in Copper Amitabha. Travel back to Lhasa in the afternoon. On the way back, we will visit the Norbulingka, it was used as the Summer Palace for successive Lamas and it is now been turned into a park open for public.
Fly to Chengdu this morning. Upon arrival, explore the dynamic folk custom street Jin-Li, and experience the life style of Old Chengdu.This evening, you can watch a fascinating show featuring Face Changing (at your own expense), a kind of magic traditional Chinese dramatic art that is the pride of Sichuan opera.
After breakfast, transfer to Chengdu airport to board your overnight connecting flight via an intermediate city to Australia. The trip may be over, but the experiences and memories will certainly last a life time.
Arrive home this morning

Optional Post-Tour Stopover Package

Hong Kong & Macau 4 Day 3 Night Stopover

From $599

Once a sleepy fishing Village, Hong Kong has now developed into one of the premiere financial powerhouses of the Far East. It is a city which boldly blends the modern with Chinese heritage and British colonial influence. A safe, well organised, fast paced shopping paradise, it also offers up some unmatched cuisine experiences. Dine on some of the best yum cha and wonton noodles in the world, or a taste of more unusual culinary delights such grass jelly or shredded jellyfish.

Macau is a small peninsula in mainland China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. Its giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname, the “Las Vegas of Asia.” One of its more striking landmarks is 338m-high Macau Tower, with sweeping city views.

Inclusions:

  • 3 nights hotel accommodation (twin/double share)
  • Hotel buffet breakfast
  • Round trip airport and hotel transfers
  • Half day Hong Kong Island sightseeing tour
  • Macau day tour, lunch and round trip ferry tickets

Accommodation:

  • Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees Hotel 4 star or similar

Price Guide:

  • Single Supplement: $280
  • Alternative hotel upgrade options are available upon request
  • Note: To book this stopover, the airline must first be upgraded to Cathay Pacific at additional cost, please refer to the Price Guide
Fly to Hong Kong, the gourmet and shopping paradise of Asia. Check into your hotel upon arrival, and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure (flight time permitting).
Enjoy a half day tour of Hong Kong Island visiting Victoria Peak, Stanley Market and Aberdeen Fishing Village. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Today, take a high speed ferry (Turbojet) to Macau for a tour of Asia’s equivalent to Las Vegas, visiting the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, A Ma Temple, Barrier Gate, Serado Square, Casinos and souvenir stores. In the evening, return to Hong Kong by ferry.
After breakfast, transfer to Hong Kong international airport to board our overnight flight to Australia.
Arrive home this morning.