This epic journey will take the traveler through some of the most remote as well as some of the most historic parts of China. The fascinating lifestyle of the population living along this route has remained largely unchanged over the last few centuries. Tibetan style farmhouses often dot the countryside and peasants still dress in traditional clothes. The tour includes several important Lama monasteries, such as Labrang Monastery. The journey includes also a visit to Chengdu, which offers some spectacular sights, such as the opportunity to observe Giant Pandas in a semi-natural environment. Some incredibly beautiful landscapes can also be seen on this trip, especially in the Jiuzhaigou nature preserve. In addition to visiting the less tamed portions of Western China there will be an opportunity to learn more about the nation’s rich history when exploring the large metropolises of Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an with its Terracotta Warriors.
Arrive in Shanghai and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the old and new Bund along with the shopping street on Nanjing Road. Take time to explore the hustle and bustle of the many fascinating side streets that branch off from Nanjing Road in the very heart of Shanghai.
Visit the Jade Buddha Temple. Then tour the Yu Garden, one of the finest Chinese gardens in the region. This will be followed by a walking tour of the Old City. In the evening, enjoy an exciting acrobatic show.
Fly to Chengdu and spend the first part of the day exploring the city. In the afternoon visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute. Here you can get to see where the Giant Pandas are raised and get within almost touching distance of these amazing creatures.
Fly to Jiuzhaigou and transfer to Huanglong. Visit Huanglong National Park (UNESCO site) and marvel at its multi-colored, terraced lakes. Return to Jiuzhaigou.
Spend a day exploring the picturesque Jiuzhaigou National Park, which is famous for its Mirror Lake, the Pearl Shoal Waterfall and the Five Coloured Pond.
Drive to Langmusi, across the border between Sichuan and Gansu provinces. The drive takes about 8 hours, and en route enjoy Sichuan’s impressive mountain landscape.
After visiting two Lama monasteries in Langmusi, drive to Xiahe, stopping to visit the Milarepa Tower.
This day takes you through the impressive landscape at 2800m above sea level to Labrang Monastery, the largest monastery in the Eastern Tibetan cultural world. After visiting the monastery which is not far from the city, drive to Lanzhou.
Enjoy a city tour of Lanzhou, visit the Zhongshan Bridge and White Pagoda Temple. In the evening, take an overnight train from Lanzhou to Dunhuang.
Morning arrival in Dunhuang and transfer to the hotel to freshen up. Visit the Mogao Caves, one of the best known Buddhist grottoes in China. Then, visit the Mingsha Sand Dunes and the Crescent Lake for a bit of camel riding!
Fly to Xi’an in the morning and upon arrival have a walk on the ancient City Wall that dates back to the Ming Dynasty. Visit the Great Mosque, which exhibits an interesting fusion of Chinese and Islamic culture. The mosque was built primarily in the Ming Dynasty and was a direct result of Xi’an’s important location as the terminus of the Silk Road.
Visit the Terracotta Army, one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of all time. Afterwards, return to the Xi’an city centre to pay a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
Transfer to the airport in the morning and fly to Beijing. Spend the day taking in the splendour of the imperial Summer Palace, once the luxurious resort of the last emperors of China.
Pass the 2008 Olympic Stadium, the Bird’s Nest, on the way to see the Badaling portion of the Great Wall which was built during the Ming Dynasty. Finish the day off, with a visit to the Ming Tombs and the Spirit Way.
Start the day by a visit to the centre of Beijing, Tian’anmen Square, then walk to the Forbidden City. Tour the Temple of Heaven in the afternoon. In the evening enjoy a Beijing Roast Duck Dinner.
Transfer to airport for your departure flight.