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16D Close to China

Duration: 16 days / 15 nights

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.

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Route Highlights

  1. Shanghai
  2. Chengdu
  3. Jiuzhaigou
  4. Langmusi
  5. Xiahe
  6. Lanzhou
  7. Dunhuang
  8. Xi’an

Itinerary

DAY 1 // ARRIVAL SHANGHAI

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.

Overnight stay: 
Shanghai
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 2 // 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.

Overnight stay: 
Shanghai
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 3 // SHANGHAI - CHENGDU

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.

Overnight stay: 
Chengdu
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 4 // CHENGDU - JIUZHAIGOU

Fly to Jiuzhaigou and transfer to Huanglong. Visit Huanglong National Park (UNESCO site) and marvel at its multi-colored, terraced lakes. Return to Jiuzhaigou.

Overnight stay: 
Jiuzhaigou
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 5 // 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.

Overnight stay: 
Jiuzhaigou
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 6 // JIUZHAIGOU - LANGMUSI

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.

Overnight stay: 
Langmusi
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 7 // LANGMUSI - XIAHE

After visiting two Lama monasteries in Langmusi, drive to Xiahe, stopping to visit the Milarepa Tower.

Overnight stay: 
Xiahe
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 8 // XIAHE - LANZHOU

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.

Overnight stay: 
Lanzhou
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 9 // LANZHOU - DUNHUANG

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.

Overnight stay: 
Train in a 4 person soft-sleeper berth
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 10 // 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!

Overnight stay: 
Dunhuang
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 11 // DUNHUANG - XI’AN

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.

Overnight stay: 
Xi’an
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 12 // XI’AN

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.

Overnight stay: 
Xi’an
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 13 // XI’AN - BEIJING

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.

Overnight stay: 
Beijing
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 14 // BEIJING

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.

Overnight stay: 
Beijing
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 15 // BEIJING

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.

Overnight stay: 
Beijing
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 16 // DEPARTURE BEIJING

Transfer to airport for your departure flight.

Included

  • 14 NIGHTS ACCOMMODATION - In hotels of chosen category
  • TRAIN ACCOMMODATION - 1 night on a train in soft sleeper 4-bed cabins
  • SPECIFIED MEALS - 15 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 9 dinners
  • GUIDES - Professional English speaking guide
  • TRANSPORTATION - In an air conditioned vehicle, including fuel
  • ALL ENTRANCE FEES MENTIONED
  • FLIGHTS - Economy Class from Shanghai to Chengdu, Chengdu to
  • Jiuzhaigou, Dunhuang to Xi’an and Xi’an to Beijing, including
  • tax and fuel surcharge.

Not included

  • TIPS
  • VISA FEES
  • PERSONAL EXPENSES
  • OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS
  • MEALS AND DRINKS - Not listed
  • FLIGHTS - To Shanghai on Day 1 and from Beijing on Day 16