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12 Days Modern and Ancient China Tour plus Tibet Discovery

12 Days Modern and Ancient China Tour plus Tibet Discovery

(CTT016) Kunming - Lijiang - Shanghai - Lhasa


This 12-day itinerary begins from Kunming, “the city of Spring” in Yunnan. And from Kunming, you will head to Lijiang to enjoy the picturesque scenery of ancient town and snow-capped mountains. After that, you’ll fly to Shanghai, the international megacity with fine blend of tradition and modernity. Then, you will take Qinghai-Tibet train ride to Lhasa. The holy Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, devout Tibetan pilgrims and exotic alpine customs and scenery would bring you a second-to-none journey of spiritualty in Buddhism kingdom.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kunming

Upon arrival in Kunming, you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the time is free for you to have a good rest and prepare for your trip.

Stay overnight in Kunming

Day 2: Kunming Day Tour: Stone Forest, Golden Temple, Green Lake and Flower and Bird Market

In the morning, drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. There is a local saying: 'It is a waste of time not to visit the Stone Forest while visiting Kunming'. The quintessential karst landscape makes every tourist lost in wonder.

After lunch, drive back to Kunming and visit the Golden Temple. And then, take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. After, visit the Flower and Bird Market in the downtown.

In the evening, you will be escorted to Kunming Railway Station to take the overnight train from Kunming to Lijiang (about 9-10 hrs)

Stay overnight in Kunming-Lijiang train

Day 3: Arrive in Lijiang and Visit Lijiang Ancient Town and Lion Hill

As you arrive in Lijiang, a historic city home to Naxi and other ethnic minority groups in northwest of Yunnan Province, our local guide will be expecting you at the airport. Later, the guide will escort you to your hotel.

In the afternoon, we will visit one of the must-see attractions in Lijiang, namely Lijiang Ancient Town. The hot pedestrianized town features plenty of lovely little canals and bridges, traffic free streets and overhanging willow trees. Numerous small cafes and bars, and street artists, tasty local snacks, etc. can also be found. Afterwards, climbing to Wangu Tower of the Lion Hill where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the entire old town and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain afar.

Stay overnight in Lijiang

Day 4: Lijiang Tour: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Black Dragon Pool

In the morning, the tour will take you to climb Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the picturesque mountain overlooking the Lijiang. Get down jacket since the temperature can get pretty cold. You may choose to visit incredible Glacier Peak or enchanting yak meadows.

After that, we head to spectacular Black Dragon Pool, built in Qing Dynasty. The lovely park gives you a break from touristy ancient town. You can stroll on the colorful cobbled path and enjoy the gorgeous Moon-Embracing Pavilion with crystal-clear lake below reflecting the enchanting Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. We can also stop by Dongba Culture Museum inside the park.

Stay overnight in Lijiang

Day 5: Fly from Lijiang to Shanghai

Today, you will fly from Lijiang to Shanghai. As you arrive in Shanghai, the megacity and financial hub of China, our local guide will be expecting you at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Later, the guide will escort you to your hotel. After you check in, the rest of the day is for you to have a good rest or explore the surroundings yourself.

Stay overnight in Shanghai

Day 6: Shanghai Tour: Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, and Oriental Pearl TV Tower, The Bund

Today we are about to visit some of the highlights of highlights of Shanghai Tour. Starting with fascinating Shanghai Museum, the magnificent 4-story building houses an incredible collection of bronzes, sculptures, ceramics, coins, paintings, calligraphy, costumes and other exhibits in different dynasties. It’s the perfect place for fans of Chinese history and art.

Next comes the Yu Garden. Built in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty, the Yu Garden used to be the private residence of a senior Government administrator in the Ming Dynasty. For passionate photographer, never miss the chance to photograph Old Street of Yu Garden.

In the evening, we will visit the most iconic building of Shanghai, i.e. Oriental Pearl TV Tower. You can enjoy the amazing panorama of the skyline of Shanghai at night. And as you stroll along the Bund, you will get amazed at the spectacular Huangpu River and dazzling light from buildings of Pudong.

Stay overnight in Shanghai

Day 7: Shanghai Tour and Board Train to Lhasa

In the morning, we are expected to visit picturesque Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, also known as the "Venice of China". It’s about 1 hour drive from downtown Shanghai. The ancient town dates back to Ming Dynasty. It’s highly recommended to enjoy the boat ride from one end of the water way to the other. Ke Zhi Garden and multiple shops and bridges, and street vendors selling handicrafts and goldfish and turtles provide a respite from boisterous metropolitan city.

After a good rest at hotel in the afternoon, you will be transferred to Shanghai Railway Station to board the overnight train to Lhasa. Train Z164 starts at about 20:10 from Shanghai and arrive in Lhasa at 19:20 on the third day, totally about 47 hours and 10 minutes.

Stay overnight in the train

Day 8-9: Scenery View of Tibet Railway, Arrive in Lhasa

A full day window sightseeing along Qinghai-Tibet Railway, you will see land of snows, desert, immense grassland, ice mountain, beautiful lakes which will fairly entertaining.

Shortly after your arrival in Lhasa in the late afternoon of third day, you will be warmly received by your tour guide who would say Tashi Delek, which means wishing you all the best and transferred to your reserved hotel in Lhasa. You can have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 10: Lhasa Sightseeing - Potala Palace/Tibet Museum/Jokhang Temple/Barkhor Street

In the morning, visit the famous Potala palace and explore the grandest of this myriad chapel. You will appreciate its audience halls, the jeweled and Golden burial chortens (stupa Tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc.

Tibet Museum is an important window to introduce the glorious culture of Tibet, and as a free Museum in Lhasa, you should not miss.

In the afternoon, visit the holist temple in Tibet, the Johkang Temple, built during Songtsen Gonpo's reign by princess Wencheng of Tang Dynasty, 647 A.D, and its famous Barkhor Kora.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 11: Lhasa Sightseeing - Drepung Monastery/Sera Monastery

Visit two important monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera.

Drepung monastery is situated at the foothill of a mountain and was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. It was once home to10000 monks and Ganden podrang in Drepung is famous as it was the government centre and later moved to the famous Potala palace during the fifth dalai lama.

After lunch, continue to visit the Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The most attractive is its Buddhist Scriptures debating held in the courtyard mostly around 6:00 - 7:30 in the afternoon.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 12: Departure from Lhasa

The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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