Go beyond the wall for a transformative adventure through China’s awe-inspiring interior. Explore the unforgettable city of Beijing and meet pandas at a breeding centre in Sichuan. Discover daily life in Tibet and cruise the incredible Yangtze River on a riverboat. Cycle atop the city walls of Xi’an, and face its standing army of terracotta warriors before eating lunch in the local farming village where they were discovered. Get into China’s very heart and it will most certainly get into yours.

Trip highlights

Dumpling-Making Lesson, Momos are dumplings native to Tibet. Join a local chef for a lesson in making these tasty little bites. When it comes to time to eat them, they’ll be served with a special milk tea. Delicious!

Great Wall Mutianyu Visit, Climb the rolling hills of Huairou County at Mutianyu, one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall. Enjoy scenic views as the wall winds along mountain ridges, and take brag-worthy photos of the wall from any of the 22 towers.

Itinerary - 15 Days

Day 1 Beijing (1D)

Arrive at any time and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a first taste of Chinese cuisine with a Peking Duck welcome dinner.

Day 2 Beijing (1B)

Start the day early with a lesson in tai chi, led by a local expert at the historic Temple of Heaven. After, continue exploring the key sites of Beijing including the famed Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City.

Day 3 Beijing/Xi'an (1B)

Take a walk along the 500-year-old Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Spend time exploring the towers, views, and the magnificent structure of this unique wonder. In the evening, board an overnight sleeper train to Xi'an.

Day 4 Xi'an (1B)

Arrive early into Xi'an where we take a leisurely bike ride along the ancient city walls. Then enjoy a visit to the historic Gao’s Grand Courtyard House and enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry. This evening, explore the vibrant Muslim Quarter and local markets then opt to try some of the best street food in China.

Day 5 Xi'an (1B, 1L)

Visit the famed Terracotta Warriors — an archaeological wonder built over 2,000 years ago to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. After, visit a local village for lunch. End the day by sampling the local fare or exploring on your own.

Day 6 Xi'an/Lhasa (1B)

Fly over the Himalayas to Tibet. Settle into our Lhasa hotel, our home for the next three nights, before setting out on an orientation walk with a local guide through Barkhor Square.

Day 7 Lhasa (1B)

Enjoy a guided visit to the Jokhang Temple and the Tibetan Medicine Institute to learn more about Tibetan spirituality and culture. Also visit a tangka academy to observe this ancient and intricate art form, considered sacred to Buddhists. The works usually depict a deity, scene, or mandala and are tied directly into Buddhist teaching and meditation.

Day 8 Lhasa (1B, 1L)

Visit the breathtaking Potala Palace and the historic Sera Monastery, one of the great Tibetan Universities famed for its open debates among monks on the Buddhist doctrines. Later take a cooking class with a local chef and make (and eat) Tibetan momo beef dumplings.

Day 9 Lhasa/Chengdu (1B, 1D)

Fly to Chengdu and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

Day 10 Chengdu/Chongqing (1B)

Visit the Panda Breeding Centre to learn about and observe these gentle animals. Later, catch a train to Chongqing and board a luxury riverboat for the first night on the Yangtze.

Day 11 Yangtze River (1B, 1L, 1D)

Cruise the Yangtze River with daily shore excursions that can include Fengdu, Shibaozhai, or Wanzhou; sailing through Qutang Gorge/Wu Gorge, Daning River Small Gorges, or Shennong Stream, and sailing through Three Gorges dam ship locks. Relax in comfortable cabins and enjoy onboard activities such as tai chi, tea tasting, and Chinese calligraphy classes.

Day 12 Yangtze River (1B, 1L, 1D)

Cruise the Yangtze River with daily shore excursions that can include Fengdu, Shibaozhai, or Wanzhou; sailing through Qutang Gorge/Wu Gorge, Daning River Small Gorges, or Shennong Stream, and sailing through Three Gorges dam shiplocks. Relax in comfortable cabins and enjoy shipboard activities such as tai chi, tea tasting, and Chinese calligraphy classes.

Day 13 Yangtze River/Shanghai (1B)

Enjoy a tour of Three Gorges Dam (dependent on river conditions) before flying to Shanghai.

Day 14 Shanghai (1B)

Enjoy free time to explore this vibrant city on your own. Opt to visit Yuyuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum, or catch the famed Shanghai acrobats in performance this evening.

Day 15 Shanghai (1B)

Depart at any time.

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