China, Tibet & the Yangzi

Unlock ancient secrets and witness natural wonders in a journey through the very best of China and Tibet. From Beijing’s Forbidden City to the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace and Shanghai’s futuristic skyline.

Journey Overview

Unlock ancient secrets and witness natural wonders in a journey through the very best of China and Tibet. From Beijing’s Forbidden City to the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace and Shanghai’s futuristic skyline. Drift along the Yangtze River through the breathtaking Three Gorges. Meet some of China's best-known residents, the giant pandas, and sip tea like a local.

Journey Highlights

  • Explore Beijing’s Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven
  • Unravel the mystery of Xian’s Terracotta Warriors
  • Step inside the former winter residence of the Dalai Lama, Potala Palace
  • Cruise along the mighty Yangtze River through the dramatic Three Gorges
  • Climb or ride to the top of one of mankind’s greatest engineering feats, the Great Wall
  • Immerse yourself in the art, shopping and striking architecture of futuristic Shanghai
  • Hop in a pedicab and travel back to yesteryear through Beijing’s narrow hutongs
  • Meet the giant panda, China’s loveable national treasure

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Beijing.

Welcome to the vibrant, iconic and ever-surprising world of Beijing. Settle into your luxury hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Four Seasons Beijing (Premier Room)

Day 2: Beijing.

Start your city discovery at the Temple of Heaven. Walk in the footsteps of past emperors and their royal processions to arrive at the magical landmark. There’s no better place to enjoy the most traditionally Chinese of morning activities, tai chi. Watch or take part in your own private lesson with a local master (optional). Continue to the Forbidden City, built during the Ming Dynasty and recognised as the centre of the world for nearly 500 years. Today, as the National Palace Museum, it invites you to get lost amongst the largest collection of Chinese artworks and artefacts in the world. Cross to Tiananmen Square, an unmistakable statement of power from the founding fathers of the People’s Republic. Soak up the atmosphere on one of the world’s most famous and forbidding public plazas, flanked by Soviet-inspired architecture and Mao’s Mausoleum.
Four Seasons Beijing (Premier Room) | Meals: BL

Day 3: Beijing.

Witness one of the great man-made wonders of the world: The Great Wall. Stretching over 8,000 kilometres from the western desert to the east coast, this structure is a triumph of engineering and a direct link with the legendary emperors of China’s past. Leave the crowds behind at the Mutianyu section and scale the steps for sweeping views of the wall snaking through the Yan Mountains, or ride the cable car up and toboggan down. Later, trace the history of old Beijing as you hop aboard a pedicab to explore the city’s labyrinth of lanes and alleys, known as ‘hutongs’. Here, amongst some of the few surviving hutongs, step inside the home of a local family for a rare glimpse into a bygone era.
Four Seasons Beijing (Premier Room) | Meals: BL

Day 4: Beijing – Xian.

Travel by train to Xian, the first capital of unified China. Wander through the vibrant Muslim Quarter to the Great Mosque, the largest and best preserved of the early mosques of China. Then, settle into your luxury hotel.
Shangri-La Hotel Xian (Horizon Club Room) | Meals: BL

Day 5: Xian.

Visit the Terracotta Warriors, an astonishing symbol of imperial might. Buried for 2,000 years until farmers stumbled upon them in 1974, the Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang is one of the world’s greatest archaeological finds. Continue on to the City Wall, a surviving symbol of Xian’s infallible ancient military defence system. Cycle or stroll along the top, taking in its majestic battlements as you go.
Shangri-La Hotel Xian (Horizon Club Room) | Meals: BL

Day 6: Xian – Chengdu.

Rise early for your morning train to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. After lunch, discover the mix of serene parks and startling modernity in China’s fourth city. Take a stroll around People's Park, where mah-jong, tai chi and tea-drinking feature amid the Zen-style gardens. Head to a local teahouse where a fascinating tea demonstration awaits.
Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu (Horizon Club Room) | Meals: BL

Day 7: Chengdu.

Meet some of China's best-known residents at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Centre, the most famous conservation and protection area for these rare animals. Immerse yourself in the world of the pandas, watching them play and devour piles of bamboo. This evening, marvel at Sichuan Opera's face-changing act. This 300-year-old art form sees performers switch masks with every swipe of their hands. 

Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu (Horizon Club Room) | Meals: BL

Day 8: Chengdu – Lhasa (3,656m).

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet. Lhasa is one of the highest cities on earth and your home for the next three nights. Settle into your hotel to relax and acclimatise.
Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa (Horizon Potala View Room) | Meals: B

Day 9: Lhasa.

Discover the city’s long history, unique culture and isolated location surrounded by the world’s highest mountains. Visit the Ani Tsankhung Nunnery, a Buddhist nunnery built in the 7th century by Songsten Gampo, before moving onto the Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s most revered religious structure, in the heart of Lhasa. Here, you’ll get a real sense of daily life in Tibet as people come together for one purpose: to express their devotion. Encircling the temple is Barkhor Square, where you can follow pilgrims from all over Tibet as they complete their kora (walking clockwise around a sacred spot). In nearby Barkhor Bazaar, lose yourself amongst prayer beads and wheels, carpets, and thangkas. Then, see artisans at work in the Dropenling Tibet Handicraft Development Centre. Later, pause at the serene Sera Monastery, one of Tibet’s Great Six monasteries and a renowned seat of Buddhist learning. Explore the monastic city before watching the dramatic debates held in the outside courtyards as part of the monks’ training.
Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa (Horizon Potala View Room) | Meals: BL

Day 10: Lhasa.

Visit Sanggye Dhunghor, the Thousand Buddha Shrine, and count some 200 Buddha statues carved into a dramatic rock face. Then, climb to the Potala Palace, the UNESCO World Heritage site dominating the skyline of Lhasa. This intricate building was commissioned by the Dalai Lama in 1645 and became the winter residence of nine Dalai Lamas. See statues and treasured prayer halls at every turn and admire the walls exquisitely covered with frescoes depicting episodes from Buddhist scriptures, landscapes and historical events. Step outside where, on a clear day, the view of the Himalayas is magical. Continue to the Norbulingka, “the Jewel Park”, and bask in the tranquillity of this 99-acre haven. Finally, venture inside the palace of the present Dalai Lama, left exactly as it was when he fled to India in 1959.
Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa (Horizon Potala View Room) | Meals: BL

Day 11: Lhasa – Chongqing.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Chongqing, a former walled fortress and China's de facto capital during World War II. Discover an intriguing history in the Stilwell Museum, housed in the WWII headquarters and residence of U.S. Army hero and leader of American forces in China, General Joseph Stilwell. Immerse yourself more deeply in China’s captivating culture in the Huguang Guild Hall, an impressive complex built as a meeting place for immigrants from the provinces of Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong and Guangxi. Later, board the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer for your cruise along the world’s third-longest river. Settle into your sumptuous cabin before meeting your fellow guests in the Explorer Bar. Bask in the night-time cityscape of Chongqing as you sail deep into the Three Gorges region of the mighty Yangtze River.
Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer (Deluxe Cabin Wu Deck) | Meals: BD

Day 12: Cruising the Yangtze River

Explore the Yangtze, your way. Uncover a secret project hidden in the mountains of Fuling. Hidden for 50 years, the 816 Underground Project is the world’s largest artificial military cave. Alternatively, venture deep into the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum. See the intricate ancient rock carvings, unique flora and fauna of the Yangtze River. Then, stop at the colourful market to sample local delicacies, including Fuling’s famous pickles. After a day exploring, there’s no better place to re-charge than back on your cruiser where personalised service is a given.
Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer (Deluxe Cabin Wu Deck) | Meals: BLD

Day 13: Cruising the Yangtze.

Today is all about the spectacular Three Gorges. Wind through the canyons of Wu Gorge, known as “witches gorge” for its depth and twisting nature, and between the dramatic limestone cliffs of the narrow Qutang Gorge. Later, drift along the crystal-clear waters and forested slopes of Shennong Stream during a ride in a traditional sampan. As the boat gently floats through this stunning riverine gorge, spy hanging coffins stowed high within the limestone cliffs – evidence of early settlements. Pause at a traditional trackers village for a fascinating glimpse into a traditional rural Chinese community. Back onboard, enjoy a farewell feast of Chinese delicacies.
Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer (Deluxe Cabin Wu Deck) | Meals: BLD

Day 14: Yichang – Shanghai.

Meander through Xiling, the longest gorge, to the vast Three Gorges Dam with a tour of the site and exhibition centre. A massive feat of engineering, at over two kilometres in length, the dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric power station in terms of capacity and energy generation. After your tour, bid farewell to the Yangtze and journey to Yichang city. Descend into the Three Travellers' Cave, a magical limestone cave named for three celebrities in the Tang Dynasty, who visited the caves in 819 and composed poems to mark the occasion. Enjoy the serenity of Riverside Park before transferring to Yichang Airport for your flight to Shanghai, China’s glittering commercial metropolis.
The Peninsula Shanghai (Deluxe Riverview Room) | Meals: BL

Day 15: Shanghai.

A change of pace today as you’re transported from the urban crush to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town known as the ‘Venice of Shanghai’. Only 45 minutes west of central Shanghai, this enthralling river town seems worlds apart from the modern megacity. Wander the tiny stone-paved lanes and stop awhile to take in the regal stone bridges arching over bubbling waterways lined with carefully preserved buildings, homes and courtyards from the Qing and Ming Dynasties. Find old enterprises, such as a soy sauce factory, rice commissary and a traditional Chinese herbal pharmacy. Head north of the old town to Kezhi Yuan, once amongst the largest private gardens in China, for some quiet contemplation before your final private boat ride down the pearlescent streams.
The Peninsula Shanghai (Deluxe Riverview Room) | Meals: B

Day 16: Shanghai.

Welcome to the China of tomorrow. Join your expert guide for a revealing tour of the city’s diverse neighbourhoods. Amble along the Bund, the city’s famous promenade, taking in its historic architecture and famed skyline. Navigate the tree-lined avenues of the French Concession, with charming facades and alfresco cafés proving Shanghai’s reputation as the “Paris of the East”. Bask in the wonders of the Old Town, set around the exquisite Yu Garden, and lose yourself in the warren of alleys and lanes. After lunch, explore artist studios and galleries in the thriving M-50 Contemporary Art District.
The Peninsula Shanghai (Deluxe Riverview Room) | Meals: BL

Day 17: Depart Shanghai.

Your adventure in China comes to an end as you transfer to the airport. 
Meals: B

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Four Seasons Beijing

China, Tibet & the Yangzi

Enter the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing and be graced by modern elegance and unsurpassed sophistication all edged in a traditional Chinese s... Read more

Shangri-La Hotel Xian

China, Tibet & the Yangzi

A grand welcome to Xian awaits at the Shangri-La Hotel Xian, a modern hotel boasting some of the largest rooms in the city. Situ... Read more

Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu

China, Tibet & the Yangzi

On arriving at the resplendent Shangri-La Hotel in the history-rich city of Chengdu, you are welcomed into the majestic lobby by the grac... Read more

Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa

China, Tibet & the Yangzi

Located within walking distance of some of the Tibetan capital's best-known attractions is the first Shangri-La hotel in Tibet which exud... Read more

Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

China, Tibet & the Yangzi

Highlights:Recently refurbished, the elegant Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer sets a new standard in luxury river cruisin... Read more

The Peninsula Shanghai

China, Tibet & the Yangzi

The Peninsula Shanghai offers 235 supremely comfortable and stylish rooms and suites. Each room takes inspiration from the Art Deco perio... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this suggested itinerary can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey.


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