21 Days Classic China Tours with Tibet and Yunnan

Go to the southwest, to explore the mysterious high land, to get close to the minority life and to discover the imaginary landscape, all in this 21 Days Classic China Tours with Tibet and Yunnan. Come with us, you will first visit Beijing and Xian those two ancient city, to find out the solemn manner of the majestic city walls, royal palaces and grand pottery figurine. After that, starts your journey to the wild southwest land. From divine Lhasa to colorful Shangri-La, from peaceful Lijiang to picturesque Guilin, etc…You will have chance to visit the most classic sites of each city, to touch their very spirit. You will then finish your trip with a visit in Shanghai, a city which is walking between Tradition and Modernity.

Highlights:

  • Experience high speed train in China, feel profound history and modernization development of China.
  • Have a wonderful stay in the flourishing and historical cities in China, including Bejing, Xi’an and Shanghai.
  • Experience the Tibetan Buddism on the main monasteries in Lhasa.
  • Walk and explore in the historical ancient towns, like Dali Old Town, Lijiang Old Town and Baisha Old Town.
  • Experience the ethnic culture of Bai, Naxi, Tibetan, Yao minorities.
  • Explore the earthly paradise with Tibetan Lama monastery, primitive forest, crystal lakes, hospital people.
  • Lose yourselves in Shangri-La, an extraordinary wonderland with Snow Mountain, Buddhist monastery, forest park, and hospitable Tibetan people.
  • Take a crusie on Li River to enjoy the beautiful sceneries in Guilin.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Beijing Arrival
  • Day 2: Beijing
  • Day 3: Beijing
  • Day 4: Beijing-Xi’an
  • Day 5: Xi’an
  • Day 6: Xi’an-Lhasa
  • Day 7: Lhasa
  • Day 8: Lhasa
  • Day 9: Lhasa-Shangri-La
  • Day 10: Shangri-La
  • Day 11: Shangri-La-Lijiang
  • Day 12: Lijiang
  • Day 13: Lijiang-Dali
  • Day 14: Dali
  • Day 15: Dali-Kunming
  • Day 16: Kunming-Guilin
  • Day 17: Guilin
  • Day 18: Guilin-Yangshuo
  • Day 19: Yansghuo-Shanghai
  • Day 20: Shanghai
  • Day 21: Depart from Shanghai

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities:Arrival Beijing
Accommodation:Beijing
Meals:None

Arrive in Beijing, the Capital city of China. Be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.
Overnight in Beijing.

Day 2 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities:Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Peking Opera
Accommodation:Beijing
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Depart from your hotel in the morning to visit Tian’anmen Square, the World’s largest urban square and the Forbidden City, the largest and most complete ancient imperial palace in the world. Then visit the Temple of Heaven in the afternoon. The perfect harmony between the architectural environment and nature can be felt at Temple of Heaven; you might easily imagine the vivid spectacle of a great sacrifice to the Heavens for a good harvest. Peking Opera is available for your optional night entertainment(your own expense).

Day 3 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities:Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Peking Roasted Duck
Accommodation:Beijing
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, take a driving for 75km to visit the Badaling Great Wall first, then Ming Tombs (Changling Tomb), the once lavish burial chambers of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty.  Peking Roasted Duck is available for your optional dinner(your own expense).

Day 4 Beijing-Xian by flight

Sightseeing and Activities:Beijing Hutong
Accommodation:Xi’an
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, take a relaxing Hutong Tour by rickshawto visit the ancient lanes and alleyways of Beijing. Hutong Tour will give you an insight into the lives of ordinary Chinese people and reveal their social culture in today’s Beijing City. Be transferred to the airport for the flight to Xian in the afternoon.

Day 5 Xian

Sightseeing and Activities:Terracotta Warriors, Xian City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Dynasty Show
Accommodation:Xi’ an
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy your full day visit to the Terracotta Warriors, one of the world’s most important archaeological finds, with troops, horses and carriages in battle formation and the massive Xian City Wall. After that, you can take a nice walk to the North Square to view the ancient Big Wild Goose Pagoda. There is also the option to attend fantastic Tang Dynasty Show (dinner included)(your own expense).

Day 6 Xian-Lhasa by flight

Sightseeing and Activities:Xian-Lhasa by flight
Accommodation:Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy your own free time and get ready for your Lhasa tour. You will be then transferred to the airport to board a short flight to Lhasa, capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Day 7 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Barkhor Street
Accommodation:Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It has been used since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collection are the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.  


After you take lunch and then head to Jokhang Temple which was founded by the 33rd great king of Tibet in the 7th century, in order to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve, perhaps the single most venerated object in Tibet Buddhism.


Around the temple Barkhor Street where you can do kora (circling the Barkhor street) with pilgrims and locals and buy the souvenirs. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 8 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Drepung Monastery, Carpet factory, Sera Monastery
Accommodation:Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you are going to visit Drepung Monastery which was one of the “three greet” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. Ganden palace is used as Dalai lama’s palace in the Drepung before moving to the Potala palace.


Afternoon, Sera Monastery—It was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1419 by Jamchen chojey, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. The highlight is the Monks debate at around 3 – 5 in the afternoon. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 9 Lhasa-Shangri-La by flight

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhasa-Shangrila by flight
Accommodation:Shangri-La
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Shangri-La, the legendary lost paradise, a place with stunning scenery, the azure sky and the hospitality of unsophisticated people. 

Day 10 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin Lamasery, Pudacuo National Park
Accommodation:Shangri-La
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, begin your exciting tour with a visit to Songzanlin Lamasery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, then visit Pudacuo National Park (green vans available in scenic area) after lunch.

Day 11 Shangrila-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Lijiang Ancient Town
Accommodation:Lijiang
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge(Shangri-La section ), the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river. Then, drive to Lijiang and visit Lijiang Ancient Town to walk down the cobblestone streets over 700 years and see the Naxi way of life which chaned little over time.

Day 12 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Town, Baisha Mural
Accommodation:Lijiang
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Pick-up at 7:30am, drive about 30KM to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain , you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit Spruce Meadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around1 hours in the original forest in Spruce Meadow.

After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijang Ethnic Show (Regular seat )  directed in Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). A cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500m in an outdoor theater specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, a cast of over 500 people, and a number of horses.

After that, visit Baisha Town and Baisha Mural in the ancient capital of Naxi Kingdom in Baisha village.

Day 13 Lijiang-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Dali Ancient Town and Three Pagodas
Accommodation:Dali
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you will be transferred to Dali, the ancient political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan area. Upon arrival, visit Dali Ancient Town and Three Pagodas, the symbol of the history of Dali.

Day 14 Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Erhai Cruise, Xizhou Bai’s Houses
Accommodation:Dali
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, after breakfast, you will first be transferred to the pier and take an Erhai Cruise for about 4hours. Then in the afternoon, then visit Xizhou Town andBai’s Houses there(Yan’s Courtyard included) where you can see what the Bai people’s houses like.

Day 15 Dali-Kunming by high speed train

Sightseeing and Activities:Western Hill & Dragon Gate, Village of Ethnic Culture
Accommodation:Kunming
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Take the high speed train to Kunming in the morning, you will then take a visit of Western Hill & Dragon Gate. After the tour, you can have a short visit to the Ethnic Villages.

Day 16 Kunming-Guilin by flight

Sightseeing and Activities:Reed Flute Cave
Accommodation:Guilin
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your short flight to Guilin. On arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Actually, during your way to the hotel, you can have a short stop at Reed Flute Cave, a fantastic Karst cave with a profusion of stalactites and stalagmites, stele, stone pillars, stone curtains and stone flowers.

Day 17 Guilin-Longsheng-Guilin

Sightseeing and Activities:Longji Rice Terrace and Ping’an Zhuang Village
Accommodation:Guilin
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you will take about 2.5hours driving to Longsheng, for your today’s highlight tour to Longji Rice Terrace and Ping’an Zhuang Village. Be transferred back to Guilin after the visits. 

Day 18 Guilin-Yangshuo by boat

Sightseeing and Activities:Li River Cruise, Yangshuo, West Street, Impression of Liu Sanjie
Accommodation:Yangshuo
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning you will be driven to the Pier for the Li River Cruise(about 4 hours, lunch served on board). Savour the fairy-tale scenery while cruising down the meandering river to Yangshuo. After disembarkation, have a walk along the famous West Street. In the evening you can enjoy the optional night show of Impression of Liu Sanjie(on your own expense).

Day 19 Yangshuo-Guilin-Shanghai by flight

Sightseeing and Activities:Moon Hill,Big Banyan Tree
Accommodation:Shanghai
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, have an excursion (if you are interested, can have a biking) in the countryside of Yangshuo to admire some of the most stunning scenery like the Moon Hill and the Big Banyan Tree. Drive back to Guilin after lunch for your flight to Shanghai.

Day 20 Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities:Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Museum, the Bund, Acrobatics show
Accommodation:Shanghai
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, enjoy your full day city tour that start with the visit to the Yuyuan Garden, a Chinese classic garden in city downtown, and the nearby old street. Next have a bird-eye view of the city after ascending Shanghai’s new landmark- Shanghai World Financial Center in the new and fast-developing Lujiazui. After that, have a short stop at Shanghai Museum. In the late afternoon, have a nice walk along the Bund, Shanghai’s famed waterfront promenade, will be a good idea. Today if you are interested you can take an Acrobatics show as the optional activity. 

Day 21 Depart from Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities:Depart from Shanghai
Accommodation:None
Meals:Breakfast

Your China Experience is over all too soon as you transfer to the airport and board the homebound international flight, bidding a fond farewell to this ancient land.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star
Beijing Regent Hotel Beijing Beijing International Hotel Redwall Hotel Beijing
Xi’an Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square Grand New World Hotel Mercure on Renmin Square
Lhasa Intercontinental Hotel Lhasa Yak Hotel Lhasa Xiongbala Hotel
Shangri-La Shangri-la Resort Zhaxidele Hotel Maoyuan Hotel
Lijiang Lijiang InterContinental Resort Wangfu Hotel Louwailou Hotel
Dali Dali Hilton Hotel Landscape Hotel Taiheju Hotel
Kunming Crowne Plaza Kunming City Centre Jinjiang Hotel Longteng Hotel
Guilin Li River Secluded Hotel Gangshe Hotel Zhuzai Shudian Hotel
Yangshuo Four Season Fairyland Hotel Mid-mountain Cloud & Water Boutique Hotel Yangshuo Chen’s Garden Hotel (Yangshuo West Street)
Shanghai JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square New World Shanghai Hotel Holiday Inn Express Shanghai Wujiaochang

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation with breakfast as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide and vehicle for transfers & sightseeing;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  •  Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • High speed train tickrts with 2nd class seat;
  • Two bottles of mineral water each day.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • All optional programs;
  • Domestic air tickets fares with airport tax and fuel extra fee based on economy class mentioned in the program.

Travel Tips:

  1. Tibet Permits

There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)

  1. Available Months to Visit Tibet

Generally speaking, May to early October is the best time to for a Mount Kailash trip. July and August are the peak season and rainy season. It may be too cold to travel in Kailash area from November to March. There is usually heavy snow. The conditions in Namtso Lake and Mount Everest area are quite similar with Kailash. While other places like Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are suitable for travel all year around.

  1. High Altitude Sickness

The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.

  1. How to Go to Tibet

Basically you have two options – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa. Kathmandu also has several flights to Lhasa each week.

If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing(40.5hrs), Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).

  1. Packing and Wearing Ideas

Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended. As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.