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12 days 11 nights Beijing/Lhasa/Xi’an (PT12D-4)

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As the capital of China, Beijing is one of the world’s truly imposing cities, with a 3,000-year history and 11 million people. Covering 16,808 square kilometers in area, it is the political, cultural and economic center of the People’s Republic of China . Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south. Five rivers run through the city, connecting it to the eastern Bohai Sea. Administratively, the Beijing municipality equals the status of a province, reporting directly to the central government. Rich in history, Beijing has been China’s primary capital for more than seven centuries. China’s imperial past and political present meet at Tiananmen square, where the Forbidden City palace of the emperors gives way to the Great Hall of the People congress building and the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong. The old city walls have been replaced by ring roads, and many of the old residential districts of alleys and courtyard houses have been turned into high-rise hotels, office buildings, and department stores. Beijing, a dynamic city where the old and new intermingle, remains a magnet for visitors from inside and outside China.

Lhasa is rightly one of the most featured and dreamt-about cities in the world. This is not only because of its remoteness, its high altitude at 3,650 meters (11,975 feet) means limited accessibility, but also because of its impressive heritage of over a thousand years of cultural and spiritual history that has helped to create the romantic and mysterious Tibetan religion Differing from the inland cities and other places in Tibet, Lhasa is unique with an allure all of its own. In the Tibetan language, Lhasa means the Holy Land or the Buddha Land. It is the center of Tibet’s politics, economy and culture. The city has also been appointed as one of the 24 historical and cultural cities of China. The splendor and grandeur of the Potala Palace in Lhasa remains a world-famous symbol of the enigmatic power of politics and religion in this region.

Xi’an is a city with incredible history, as well as a prosperous modern city. As the capital city of Shannxi province, it holds a key position in the fertile plain between the highland plateau of the north and the Qinling Mountains to the south. Xi’an has been the capital of eleven dynasties for more than 2000 years. Along with Rome and Constantinople, this city played a vital role in bridging the gap between east and west. There are important sites and relics in this city. The Terracotta Army of Qin Emperor, is regarded as the eighth wonder of the world.

Tour Schedule
1 Arrive at Beijing. Transfer to Days & Suites Beijing Hotel for 2 nights stay. (D)
2 Full Day City Tour (Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven) (B,L,D)
3 Badaling Great Wall & Summer Palace. Train to Tibet in the evening (B,L,D)
4 On Train (B,L,D)
5 Arrive at Lhasa in the evening, Transfer to Lhasa Hotel for 4 nights stay.(B,L,D)
6 Full day Potala Palace & Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Street (B,L,D)
7 Full day Yamdrock Yutso Lake (B,L,D)
8 Full day Drepung Monastery & Norbulingka & Sera Monastery (B,L,D)
9 Fly to Xi’an, Transfer to Xi’an Sheraton Hotel for 3 nights stay. (B,L,D)
10 Full Day Terra cotta Tour (Terracotta Museum & Big Wild Goose Pagoda & Banpo Museum) (B,L,D)
11 Full Day City Tour (City Wall & Shaanxi History Museum & Forest of Stone Steles Museum). Early evening flight to Beijing. Transfer to Days & Suites Beijing Hotel. (B,L,D)
12 Departure from Beijing. (B)

The price includes:

Hotels:

  • Days & Suites Beijing Hotel Standard room for 3 nights stay, with ABF daily
  • Lhasa Hotel Standard room for 4 nights, with ABF daily
  • Xi'an Sheraton Hotel Standard room for 2 nights, with ABF daily

All airport transfers

All entrance fees to all sightseeing

Private English Speaking tour Guide, and Driver

All domestic airfare (Economy Class)

  • Lhasa to Xi'an

All train ticket (Soft sleeper)

  • Beijing to Lhasa

This price excludes:

  • Gratuities for the Guides and Drivers
  • Incidentals in hotel such as dry cleaning, phone, mini bar
  • Inbound and outbound international air

Note:

  • Hotels used may be changed prior to tour but will be replaced with similar category of hotels
  • Price and availability subject to change without notice until deposit is received

Activities

Banpo Museum

Description : The Banpo Museumis located in the eastern outskirt of Xi'an City. As the first museum at the prehistoric site, It was built at the base of the excavations of the Banpo site. The Banpo site is a typical Neolithic matriarchal community of the Yangshao Culture dating back about 6,000 years. Here a lot of relic exhibited to show how ancient people.
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Barkhor Street

Description : Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the Tibetan people are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, this street is also a must-see place for the tourists. It's said that in 647, the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617 - 650) built the Jokhang Temple. Due to its magnificence, it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. As a result, a trodden path appeared. That is the origin of Barkhor Street. Today even still many pilgrims hold the prayer wheels to walk clockwise there from dawn to dark. Also you can see some pilgrims walking or progressing body-lengths by body-lengths along the street. Even some of them are teenagers or have experienced thousands of miles' walk to reach this sacred place. The way they express their piety could make you understand the holiness of religion. To sum up, Barkhor Street is a place full of religious atmosphere and a world of exotic articles. If you have been attracted by it, you should go there. Believe your eyes, and you will get a lot of surprise there.
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Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Description : Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. This attraction can be divided into three parts: the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Da Ci'en Temple, and the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. it attracts numerous visitors for its fame in the Buddhist religion, its simple but appealing style of construction, and its new square in front of the temple.
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Forest of Stone Steles Museum

Description : Once the site of the Temple of Confucius during the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), the Forest of Stone Steles Museum is situated on Sanxue Street, near the south gate of Xi'an City Wall. With 900 years of history, this treasure house holds a large collection of the earliest stone steles of different periods, from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, all together there are 3,000 steles.
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Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Emperor Qin Shi Huang

Description : The Terracotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, had work begun on his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.
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Norbu Lingka

Description : There are many gardens in Lhasa which in Tibetan are called "lingka" In the past monks and lay officials used these gardens to avoid the heat of summer, and most were owned by monk officials, lay officials, noble families and the monasteries. The Norbu Lingka, the summer and autumn retreat for the Dalai Lama, is one such garden, hence the name "Dalai Summer Palace." Norbu Lingka means "treasure garden" in tibetan. Located about one kilometer west of the Potala Palace, it used to be covered by marshland. In the mid-18th century, the 7th Dalai Lama, who was suffering from leg problems, often went for a dip in the fountain. The Qing Dynasty High Commissioner in Tibet ordered tents to be erected in the fountain area so that the 7th Dalai Lama could rest and recite sutras. This was the origin of the Norbu Lingka. In 1755, the 7th Dalai Lama had the Galsang Phodrang Palace built in the area. During the period of the 8th Dalai Lama, the Cogyi Phodrang Palace (Lake Center Palace) and areas for Buddhist teaching and recitation were also constructed. The Gyianse Phodrang Palace, Galsang Degyi Palace and Qimei Qoigyi Palace were built in the western part of the garden during the time of the 13th Dalai Lama, and the Daain Myingquelin (Eternally Unchanging Palace) was added at the time of the 14th Dalai Lama. As a result of all these efforts, the Norbu Lingka is today a large garden containing palaces in various traditions, villas, pavilions, waterside pavilions, lawns dotted with flowers, fruit trees and gushing fountains. It is now a park and museum open to the general public, and celebrations are held there during festivals and holidays.
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Shaanxi History Museum

Description : Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi Province is the birthplace of the ancient Chinese civilization. Xian City was the capital city in thirteen dynasties which in total lasted over 1100 years. The Shaanxi History Museum considers it an obligation to be a showcase of ancient civilizations. It was opened to the public in 1991. Over 700,000 people visit this national treasure each year.
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Temple of Heaven

Description : Temple of Heaven was built in 1,420 in the Ming Dynasty, which is the most holy of all Beijing's imperial temples. This is where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. True to the Chinese saying, “Round Heaven, Square Earth.” The park is in a square shape and the temple in a round shape which symbolizes that the emperor had to leave the Earth (represented by the square) for Heaven (represented by the round-roofed building).
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The Forbidden City

Description : Forbidden City was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties which is the largest palace complex in the world. It surrounded by 10-meter high walls and a 52-meter wide moat. It covers 74 hectares and has 9,999 rooms. In the forbidden city, you can get more knowledge about the eastern architecture, splendid painted and beautiful craftwork.
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The Great Wall

Description : The Great Wall is perhaps China's most famous and most mythologized site. Several sections are conveniently visited from Beijing, including at Badaling, the most popular site, about 70 km (43 mi.) northwest of Beijing and at Mutianyu, 90 km (56 mi.) northeast of Beijing. These impressive brick and earth structures date from the Ming dynasty, when the wall was fortified against Mongol forces to the north. The Ming wall is about 26 feet tall and 23 feet wide at the base, and could accommodate up to six horsemen riding abreast. Watch towers, built on high points every 200-300 meters or so with small garrison forces, used fire signals or fireworks as a means of communication. These stretches of the wall are part of a system that extends from the Shanhaiguan fortress on the Bohai Gulf in the east to the Jiayuguan fortress in the west, altogether some 6000 km (3700 mi).
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The Jokang Temple

Description : Included on UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2000 as part of the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple is located in central Lhasa in Tibet. With an area of 25,100 square meters (about six acres), it is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Pilgrims. The Jokang Temple is a four-storey timber complex with a golden top. It adopted the architectural styles of the Tang Dynasty, as well as those of Tibet and Nepal. Standing in the square of the Jokang Temple, one can view the entire complex. On the square there are two steles, one recording an alliance between the king of Tibet and the emperor of the Tang, the other portraying the teaching of the Tibetan people of how to prevent and treat smallpox, a once incurable disease in Tibet. In the eastern section of the yard there are rows of votive lights. These flicking lights provide a path leading all the way to the main hall. The main hall, over 1,300 years old, is the oldest shrine of the complex. Above the major entrance, there is a Dharma Wheel (chakra) flanked by two deer. This represents the unity of all things and symbolizes Sakyamuni himself. On both sides of the passageway, paintings showing the building of the temple and renderings of the temple from the seventh century are adorned on the wall. The statue of Sakyamuni at age 12 sits in the middle of the hall. It has been gilded many times and decorated elaborately with jewels typical of Tibet. Statues of King Songtsem Gampo, Princess Wen Cheng and Princess Bhrikuti are on the second floor. On the top floor, there are four gilded bronze tile tops crafted in the emblematical Tang style. The statue of Sakyamuni is a rare treasure. When Sakyamuni was alive, he disagreed with the idea of 'personal worship' and did not allow likenesses of himself to be created. Only three statues, designed by he himself, were permitted to be sculpted during his lifetime. The first is a likeness of him at age eight; the second shows him at age twelve when he was still a prince of India; and the third is of him as an adult. The statue kept in the Jokang Temple is the statue of Sakyamuni at age eight. It was presented to the king of the Tang Dynasty and brought to Tibet by Princess Wen Cheng.
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The Potala Palace

Description : Perched upon Marpo Ri hill, 130 meters above the Lhasa valley, the Potala Palace rises a further 170 meters and is the greatest monumental structure in all of Tibet. Early legends concerning the rocky hill tell of a sacred cave, considered to be the dwelling place of the Bodhisattva Chenresi (Avilokiteshvara) that was used as a meditation retreat by Emperor Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century AD. In 637 Songtsen Gampo built a palace on the hill. This structure stood until the seventeenth century, when it was incorporated into the foundations of the greater buildings still standing today. Construction of the present palace began in 1645 during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama and by 1648 the Potrang Karpo, or White Palace, was completed. The Potrang Marpo, or Red Palace, was added between 1690 and 1694; its construction required the labors of more than 7000 workers and 1500 artists and craftsman. In 1922 the 13th Dalai Lama renovated many chapels and assembly halls in the White Palace and added two stories to the Red Palace. The Potala Palace was only slightly damaged during the Tibetan uprising against the invading Chinese in 1959. Unlike most other Tibetan religious structures, it was not sacked by the Red Guards during the 1960s and 1970s, apparently through the personal intervention of Chou En Lai. As a result, all the chapels and their artifacts are very well preserved. From as early as the eleventh century the palace was called Potala. This name probably derives from Mt. Potala, the mythological mountain abode of the Bodhisattva Chenresi (Avilokiteshvara / Kuan Yin) in southern India. The Emperor Songtsen Gampo had been regarded as an incarnation of Chenresi. Given that he founded the Potala, it seems likely that the hilltop palace of Lhasa took on the name of the Indian sacred mountain. The Potala Palace is an immense structure, its interior space being in excess of 130,000 square meters. Fulfilling numerous functions, the Potala was first and foremost the residence of the Dalai Lama and his large staff. In addition, it was the seat of Tibetan government, where all ceremonies of state were held; it housed a school for religious training of monks and administrators; and it was one of Tibet's major pilgrimage destinations because of the tombs of past Dalai Lamas. Within the White Palace are two small chapels, the Phakpa Lhakhang and the Chogyal Drubphuk; dating from the seventh century, these chapels are the oldest surviving structures on the hill and also the most sacred. The Potala's most venerated statue, the Arya Lokeshvara, is housed inside the Phapka Lhakhang, and it draws thousands of Tibetan pilgrims each day.
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The Sera Monastery

Description : The Sera Monastery at the foot of Tatipu Hill is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. It is one of three famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery. The Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples built the monastery in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built. The monastery is magnificent and covers an area of 114,946 square meters (28 acres). Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall, Zhacang (college) and Kamcun (dormitory). Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa's other famous monasteries .
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The Summer Palace

Description : The Summer Palace landscape, dominated mainly by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, covers an area of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is under water. Its 70,000 square meters of building space features a variety of palaces, gardens and other ancient-style architectural structures. The Summer Palace is a monument to classical Chinese architecture, in terms of both garden design and construction. Borrowing scenes from surrounding landscapes, it radiates not only the grandeur of an imperial garden but also the beauty of nature in a seamless combination that best illustrates the guiding principle of traditional Chinese garden design: "The works of men should match the works of Heaven".
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Xi'an City Wall

Description : Xi'an City Wall initially built during the old Tang dynasty (618-907) and ZhuYuanzhang,the first emperor of Ming dynasty, rebuilt the wall, creating the modern Xi'an City Wall. The wall now stands 12 meters tall, 12-14 meters wide at the top and 15-18 meters thick at the bottom. It covers13.7 kilometers in length with a deep moat surrounding it. It's the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well as being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.
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Yamdrok-sto Lake

Description : Yamdrok Yumtso (or Yamdrok-tso), one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, lies at Nhagartse, located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the southwest of Lhasa. According to legend, it was a fairy that descended to earth. Her husband followed suit and transformed into Mt. Kampala. Besides Mt.Kampala, Yamdrok Yumtso is also surrounded by Mt. Nyinchenkhasa, Mt.Chetungsu and Mt. Changsamlhamo. Befitting its mythical feminine origins, the turquoise blue lake has indescribable scenic beauty, prompting the Tibetans to compare it with the fairyland in heaven. The lake is also called Coral Lake of the Highlands due to its shape. The charming lake produces abundant aquatic life. On the surrounding expansive pasture, animals and birds flourish in huge numbers. There are dozens of islets in the lake, on which flocks of birds roost. During the herding season, the local herdsmen will ferry their herds of sheep across to these islets since there aren't any predators on these islets, and leave them there until the onset of winter. The holy lake is also a pilgrimage site for Tibetans. Every summer, gangs of pilgrims trek there to pray and receive blessings. Pilgrims believe that its water can make the old young again, grant the middle-aged a longer life and make the children smarter. Being a sacred lake, the color of its water may be taken by the devout as having spiritual meaning. Tibetans will usually visit the lake before making important decisions. On one of the islets, stands a Nyinmapa monastery South of the lake, one finds the Sangding Monastery, which is famous as the residence of the only female high lama in Tibet
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Hotels

Days & Suites Beijing Hotel (Chang An Grand Hotel)

*****
Description : Offering comfortable accommodation and various facilities, the Chang An Grand Hotel is an ideal travel destination for both business and leisure travelers visiting Beijing. The hotel has 373 rooms.
Amenities: Airline reservation desk Beauty shop Car Rental Babysitting Bar & Lounge Concierge desk Foreign exchange Restaurants Housekeeping service daily Laundry on-site
Restaurant: Guests can enjoy delicious western cuisine in the relaxed atmosphere of the onsite restaurant and later chill out with a refreshing drink at the cocktail bar.
Guest Rooms: Guests are provided with the comfort of tastefully decorated rooms that are spacious and facilitated with numerous in-room amenities. The hotel also offers 24-hour room service for your convenience.
Location: 27 Hua Wei Li, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
Location Description: The Chang An Grand Hotel is located in the southeast corner of Beijing City, adjacent to Beijing Curio City, China's largest curio and folk artwork market. It is also close to the Central Business District and downtown.
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Lhasa Hotel

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Description : Lhasa Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in Lhasa. This former Holiday Inn hotel was renovated in 1999. The hotel has 450 rooms.
Amenities: Meeting Facilities Business Center Ticketing Office Domestic Long-distance Access Laundry Service First Aid Beauty Salon
Restaurant: The hotel has a range of restaurants, which provide Sichuan, Western, Indian and Tibetan food.
Guest Rooms: Some are decorated in Tibetan Style while others are decorated in Western comfort. All rooms come with amenities that meet the needs of the international travelers.
Location: No. 1, Minzu Road, Lhasa, China
Location Description: Located at 3,600m above sea level. Right next to the hotel is the famous landmark of Norbulingka, the summer Palace of the Dali Lama. It takes only 10 minutes of drive to the "Holy City" centre, where one can see the mystical Potala Palace. The distance from airport is 95 km
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Xian Sheraton Hotel

*****
Description : It is close to the Xi'an West Wall and only a few minutes from the center of the city.
Amenities: Baby sitting service Banquet facilities Beauty salon Business centre Cocktail bar Concierge Conference facilities Currency exchange Disabled facilities Photocopying facilities Reception Restaurant Room service Safe deposit box Sauna Shopping arcade Spa Swimming pool Table tennis Tour desk
Restaurant: The hotel restaurants serve authentic Cantonese seasonal specialties and an array of regional gourmet dishes. The American cuisine is served in the western restaurant.
Guest Rooms: The guestrooms are very large and in good condition. They are all tastefully decorated and equipped with a wide range of deluxe amenities to make your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible.
Location: No. 262 Fenghao Road, Xian, China
Location Description: The hotel is adjacent to the West Second Ring Road, only minutes away from the new Xian Developing Zone of High Technology Industries. It is also near to the Xi'an West Wall. The major scenic spots can all be accessed easily from this hotel.
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