National Geographic Journeys

Iconic China: Beijing to Tibet

  • Duration 15 Days | Beijing to Shanghai
  • Group Size Max 15
  • From $4,511 AUD
Call 1300 363 742

Trip Overview


Explore China like an insider on this 15-day adventure across its awe-inspiring interior. Go for a walk on the Great Wall, explore the bustling city of Beijing, and meet pandas at a breeding center in Sichuan. Glimpse 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 with a local family. Venture into the heart of the country and find the pulse of China.


Trip Highlights

    • Get up close to pandas at a breeding center in Chengdu.
    • Explore Lhasa’s palaces and temples, and make Tibetan dumplings with a local chef.
    • Take a tai chi lesson with a local expert at Beijing’s historic Temple of Heaven.
    • Sail through the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River on a three-night cruise.

Itinerary - 15 Days

Day 1 Beijing

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer to the hotel is included. Kick off your trip with a welcome dinner of Peking duck. (1D)

Day 2 Beijing

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. (1B)

Day 3 Beijing

Take a walk along the Great Wall, exploring its towers and enjoying outstanding views. This evening, board an overnight sleeper train to Xi’an. (1B)

Days 4 & 5 Xi'an

Take in incredible views of Xi'an during a bike ride along its ancient city walls. Then enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes experience at Gao’s Grand Courtyard, a historic house in the Muslim Quarter. Interact with local artists, enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry, and visit backstage. In the evening, stroll the markets of the Muslim Quarter and sample some of the best street food in China. The next day, visit the famed terra-cotta warriors and then have lunch in the local farming village where these archaeological treasures were discovered. (2B, 1L)

Day 6 Lhasa

Fly over the Himalaya to Tibet. Set off on an orientation walk with a local guide through Barkhor Square. (1B)

Days 7 & 8 Lhasa

Enjoy a guided visit to Potala Palace, the sacred Jokhang temple, and the Tibetan Medical Institute. The next day, visit 15th-century Sera Monastery, then take a cooking class with a local chef to make (and eat) Tibetan momo dumplings. Also visit a thangka academy to observe this ancient and intricate art form, considered sacred to Buddhists. (2B, 1L)

Day 9 Chengdu

Fly to Chengdu and sample the city’s famed (and fiery) Sichuan cuisine for dinner. (1B, 1D)

Day 10 Chengdu/Chongqing

Visit a panda breeding center to observe these iconic national treasures and learn about their life cycle and habitat. Later, board a riverboat for your first of three nights on the Yangtze. (1B)

Days 11 & 12 Yangtze River

Cruise the Yangtze River with daily shore excursions that may include: visiting Fengdu, Shibaozhai, or Wanzhou; sailing through Qutang Gorge–Wu Gorge, Daning River Small Gorges, or Shennong Stream; sailing through Three Gorges Dam ship locks; and an optional excursion to White Emperor City (all depending on the season and river conditions). Relax in your well-appointed cabin and enjoy shipboard activities such as tai chi, tea tasting, and calligraphy classes. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Days 13 & 14 Shanghai

Take a tour of Three Gorges Dam before flying to Shanghai. The next day, enjoy free time to explore this vibrant city on your own. Opt to visit Yuyuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum or this evening catch the famed Shanghai acrobats performance. (2B)

Day 15 Shanghai

Depart at any time. (1B)

Related Trips

Iconic China: Beijing to Tibet

From AUD $4,511 Call 1300 363 742


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