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zGrandeur of China & Tibet

12 days

12 Day Private Tour

Private Touring Discoveries for our World Travelers

  • Our extensive private sightseeing shows you all of China’s most important ancient sites including the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Xian’s Terra Cotta Army.
  • Experience Tibet’s ancient traditions and modern ways on our specially-arranged cultural excursions: Participate in a moving sacred rite of walking, prayer and meditation and spend time with a local Tibetan family
  • Our special Panda Volunteer program takes you behind the scenes with a keeper at the Panda Breeding & Research Station in Chengdu... Get an up-close and personal look at these amazing animals.
  • Fascinating secrets behind the “face changing” artistry of the Sichuan Opera are revealed during an exclusive backstage visit before the performance.
  • "Fly” from the airport to downtown Shanghai in less than 8 minutes, traveling more than 250 miles per hour on the extraordinary Maglev Train!
  • Discover 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites c

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Welcome to Beijing!

Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted by private car into the heart of the city. Check in to the 5-star Sofitel Wanda Hotel and enjoy the balance of your day at leisure.


The best of Beijing

Join your guide today to discover all of Beijing’s Imperial treasures. Stand in Tiananmen Square, one of the largest and grandest public plazas in the world. Then enter within the imposing walls of the Forbidden Cityc for an extensive tour through this vast complex of palaces, pavilions and courtyardsas your engaging guide illuminates the dramatic history of the Emperor who once resided here. Continue on to the lovely Summer Palacec, erstwhile retreat of China’s royalty. Meals B,L


Excursion to the Great Wallc & Ming Tombsc

Travel into the rugged mountain landscapes north of the capital to the magnificent Great Wall. Although sections can be quite steep, the views from atop this ancient structure are magnificent and the experience of actually walking along the Great Wall is truly unforgettable. Continue with your Private Guide and stroll along the statue-lined Sacred Way to visit Changling, greatest of the Ming Tombs.  Meals B,L


Over the “Roof of the World” to Lhasa

Transfer to the airport for your flight across China and the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa, where we’ve made special arrangements for you to spend time with a Tibetan family. This is an extraordinary opportunity to gain insight into the modern rhythms and deep traditions which shape their daily lives.  Continue to the comfortable Four Points Sheraton Hotel, wonderfully situated close to Jokhang Monastery and the lively Barkhor Market, and settle in tor your comfortable guestroom. Enjoy a relaxing evening and dinner here at your hotel.  Meals B,D


Exploring Lhasa

In the engaging company of your private guide, today’s in-depth sightseeing explores several of the city’s highlights. The beautiful Jokhang Temple is a colorful, 4-story timber structure topped with gold. Originally founded in the 7th century, it remains an important pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists. You’ll also explore the lively Barkhor Market and Norbulinka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas. Built in the 18th century, this expansive palace complex encompasses lovely garden grounds, pavilions and tranquil wooded areas.  Meals B,L


Into Tibetan Culture

We’ve made special arrangements this morning for you to join with pilgrims who come from all across Tibet to perform kora here at a sacred mountain site; this ancient rite of walking, prayer and deep meditation is a powerful and unforgettable experience.
Next you'll tour the magnificent Potala Palace c, described by British-born essayist Pico Iyer in this way: “The very center of Tibet is Lhasa and the very center of Lhasa, for more than three centuries, has been the Potala Palace. An unfathomable building erected on a rock face 13 stories high, it has golden turrets on the roof that can bee seen 12 miles away, and it stretches for more than 1,000 feet along a ridge against the snowcaps. The Potala looks and feels like no other building on the planet.” Then after lunch and some time to relax back at your hotel, you’ll visit the historic Sera Monastery before enjoying your evening at leisure.  Meals B,L


Fly to Chengdu

You’ll be escorted to the airport for your flight to the thriving city of Chengdu in southwestern China. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to the 5-star Crowne Plaza Hotel. This evening, we’ll take you to see the celebrated Sichuan Opera, known for the artistry and amazing skill of its “face changing” actors who can subtly change their masks and make-up ten times in 30 seconds.  Meals B,D


Be a Panda Volunteer and then fly to Xian

Our specially-arranged visit this morning gives you exclusive, up-close access at the Panda Breeding & Research Station. Go behind-the-scenes with a keeper to feed and learn about the care of these amazing creatures. Then fly to Xian, China’s capital for 13 dynasties, where you’ll be met and escorted to the deluxe Hilton Hotel, ideally located within the ancient walls of the city. Meals B,L


China’s greatest archaeological discovery!

Today’s sightseeing brings you to the actual excavation site of the Terra Cotta Warriors , discovered 35 years ago by local farmers digging a well. Today, you’ll be awestruck by this massive terra cotta army, thousands-strong, which was buried 2,000 years ago to guard the tomb of an emperor. Sit down to a lunch of savory dumplings, a regional specialty, and then visit the ancient defensive walls of the city.  Meals B,L


Fly to Shanghai

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, the futuristic ultra-fast Maglev Train will whisk you at speeds up to 250 miles-per-hour, and in less than 10 minutes you’ll be in the city-center where you check in to the exceptional Le Meridien Hotel. Meals B



Your full-day private tour begins at the Shanghai Museum, highly regarded for its vast collection spanning millennia of Chinese art and culture including ancient bronzes and celadon pottery, Buddhist scriptures, precious jade objects and priceless Ming Dynasty furniture. Then stroll in beautiful Yu Yuan Garden, laid out more than 500 years ago by a Ming Dynasty court official for the enjoyment of his aging parents. After lunch, relax on a scenic drive along the Bund; the city’s celebrated waterfront boulevard is still graced by elegant turn-of-the-century buildings constructed by Japanese and European trading companies. Then explore the handsome architecture of the historic French Concession before returning to your hotel for time to refresh and relax. Later this evening, you’ll sit down to a delightful farewell dinner. Meals B,L,D


Farewell to Shanghai!

A private transfer brings you to the airport today for your onward flight. Meals B


Feel free to add extra nights before or after your tour.

Ask about international air service on United or Cathay Pacific . See your travel agent or call us for current international airfare ssociated with this program. We offer both economy and business class fares. When you purchase air from us, arrival and departure transfers are automatically included. Prices are in U.S. currency and are per person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted. Availability is limited.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.