Today arrival in Shanghai, China’s largest booming city. Transfer by transrapid to hotel. 1N at 4*Great Wall Holiday Inn Downtown
Day02 Air Shanghai – Chengdu BL
In the morning visit of Yu Yuan (Yu-Garden) and the old city area. Originally built in 1559, it served as the private garden of high-ranking official by then. The word “Yu” contains a meaning of “safe and peaceful”. Then visit of Waitan (Bund). As one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai, the Bund site shows a portion of the historic center of the foreign presence in Shanghai and its transformation in recent times. In the afternoon transfer to airport, fly to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, the home town of Panda. Picked up by the local guide at airport and transferred to hotel. 1N at 4*Minshan Lhasa Hotel
Day03 Air Chengdu – Lhasa BL
In the morning drive to Chengdu Giant Panda Base of Breeding and Research. Founded in 1985, today there are over 50 giant pandas living here. In the afternoon transfer to airport, fly to Lhasa (3650 m), the capital of Tibet. Arrival at Gongga Airport, transfer to hotel. Stay at the hotel to acclimatize to the high altitude. For the first few days, try to drink some water regularly 3N at 3*Thangka Hotel
Day04 Lhasa BL
In the morning, visit of the Potala, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and used as the Dalai Lamas’ winter residence and as the religious and political center of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, the innumerable and magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures put altogether create a dense religious and artistic atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon, visit of Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist believers, where thousands of pilgrims come to worship every day. The temple, built in 647, is the oldest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big market selling local specialities.
Day05 Lhasa BL In the morning visit of Drepung monastery, the sacred land of Gelug Sect., which was established in 1416, and the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama once resided in (place of living). After the visit of Norbulinka, the Dalai Lamas’summer residence. In the afternoon, visit of Sera monastery, which was built in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As roses are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild roses”. Today 200 lamas still live there. The "Buddhism Scriptures Debate" in Sera is very famous.
Day06 Lhasa – Tsetang BL Today drive to Tsetang. Located in the southeast of Lhasa, Tsetang is 3,500 meters high. It was said the legendary ancestors of Tibetans, a monkey (Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara in the shape of a monkey) and his wife Dakhini once lived on the Gongpori mountain in the east of the city. And so the city of Tsetang is regarded as the “Playground of Monkeys” and the Tibetans as the descendant of the Monkey. In terms of geography, the fertile valleys of Yarlung and Chongye here are appropriate for the Tibetan civilization development; there were once numerous temples, shrines and Stupas in this area. Besides, Chonggye is the birthplace of the 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682). At first visit of Samye monastery. Located in the north of Yarlung Tsangpo River and hold in the arms of mountains, it is the oldest monastery of Tibet (8th century). The stele hanging on the entrance to the main temple shows that king Trisong Detsen took Buddhism as the state religion in 779. The monastery complex consists of several buildings, whose arrangement reflects the Buddhist conception of the structure of the universe. In the afternoon we make a trip to visit the Yumbulakhang, a castle built in the 7th and 8th centuries during the time of the first Tibetan kings. You can see the castle by far, as it is built on a hill and looks brightly white. The original fortress is now converted into a chapel; on the ground floor there is a shrine in honor of the early kings. The stairs are steep but it does worth it as the view from the top of the hill is beautiful. 1N at 3*Yulong Holiday Hotel
Day07 Tsetang – Yamdrok Lake – Gyantse – Shigatse BL
Drive to Gyantse. On the Kamba La (4796 m) we have a fantastic view of the holy lake Yamdrok (4,441 m), one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. After arrival, visit of Pelkor Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby. Both of them were built in the 15th century and are situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse. This typical Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the only large building complex in Tibet that old monastery and stupas are completely preserved, and characterized as a monument. It is recorded 14,000 kilograms of copper were used to make the 8-meter-high sitting statue of Sakyamuni Buddha housed in the grand hall of the temple. The 8-storey stupa is 42m high and 62m diameter contains a total of 76 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world. Arrival after a drive of 90 kilometers to Shigatse (3880m), the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang. 1N at 3*Manasarovar Hotel
Day08 Shigatse – Lhasa BL In the morning visit Tashilunpo monastery of Gelug Sect, the seat of the Panchen Lama built in 1447 and one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet. The monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya (Buddha of the future) in China, and the grave of the 4th Panchen Lama containing masses of jewels and gold. In Tibet Buddhism, Panchen Lama is just the reincarnation of Maitreya Buddha. In the afternoon drive back to Lhasa. 1N at 3*Thangka Hotel
Day09 Train Lhasa – Beijing B
In the early morning transfer to Lhasa Railway Station for train ride to Beijing (T28 0920/0734+2, soft sleeper, 4-bed-cabin). It is a whole 47hrs train ride from Lhasa to Beijing. The train will be passing through Nagqu, Golmud, Xining, Lanzhou and Xi’an. A highlight of the tour is the 1956 km train ride on the highest railway of the world from Lhasa to Xining. It is a fascinating spectacle showing the beauty of nature. The snow-covered mountains, meadows, creeks and the immense grasslands are its components. Yaks, sheep flocks, horses and other wild different species are active alongside the railway. If you are lucky, you might have the chance to see the most rare and protected animal of the plateau, the Tibetan Antelope or known as “chiru”, which lives on the snowy plateaux of 3500 – 5000 m high. 2N on the train
Day10 Train ride to Beijing
Day11 Arrival in Beijing BL
At 07:34 we arrive in Beijiing. Transfer to hotel for breakfast. In the morning, rest in the hotel. In the afternoon visit the Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan), which was built in 1420 of the Ming Dynasty and expanded during the Qing Dynasty. Nowadays, it covers an area of 273 hectares. The grand temple was used as a sacrificial place for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasty to worship the heaven, presenting gratitude for the harvest of this year and praying for another good harvest next year. 3N at 4*Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel
Day12 Beijing BL
Stroll about Tian An Men Square, which is probably the biggest one of its kind in the world. Then go to visit the Forbidden City (Gu Gong) the emperor's palace, which was built between 1406 and 1420 with 9000 halls and rooms, containing many precious relics. Facing south and rising from a terrace, the largest palace in the world represents the supreme power and authority emperors enjoyed during the feudalistic dynasties, and exemplifies the elements of palace architecture. In the afternoon we make an excursion to the Summer Palace (Yi He Yuan).
Day13 Beijing BL
In the morning go to the Great Wall at Mutianyu part. The Great Wall is one of the eight ancient wonders of the world and the only man-made construction on earth that the astronauts can see from the moon. Starting out in the east on the banks of Yalu River in Liaoning Province, the Wall stretches westwards for 12,700 kilometers to Jiayuguan in the Gobi Desert. It was built as a defensive structure and gradually become the symbol of the ancient Chinese civilization. Walking on the wall at Mutianyu. Late in the afternoon drive back Beijing.
Day14 Leave China for home B
Check out hotel in the morning and transfer to airport for homeward flight. End of the amazing tour in China.
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