Embrace the yin and yang of wonders old and new on this soul-enriching expedition.
Your itinerary starts in Beijing, with visits to Tiananmen Square—the largest public square on earth—and the Forbidden City, hidden away for years from the outside world. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through Beijing’s hutongs, the city’s old maze-like neighborhoods, and dine in the home of a local family. Gaze in awe at the ornately decorated Temple of Heaven, a Ming Dynasty pagoda built without a single nail. Walk along the majestic two-thousand-year-old Great Wall, which offers wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Fly to Xi’an to see the famous Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses—all eight thousand of them—each completely unique and buried more than two millennia ago to watch over China’s first emperor.
Onward to Lhasa—the “place of the gods”—one of the highest cities on earth (at 11,450 feet) and Tibet’s spiritual heart. Visit the 13-hundred-year-old Jokhang Temple, the epicenter of Tibetan Buddhism, its flagstones polished by centuries of prostrating religious pilgrims. Venture within the Potala Palace, former residence of the Dalai Lama, an architectural masterpiece containing one thousand rooms. You will also visit Sera Monastery, where monks gather to debate Buddhist philosophy.
Observe giant pandas at the Chongqing Zoo, then embark upon your Yangtze River cruise through the Three Gorges. Savor the spectacular scenery as the ship winds through dramatic narrow passageways. Stop en route at the 12-story-high Shibao Pagoda, situated on an island that was a mountain peak in the days before the Three Gorges Dam. Conclude your journey in Shanghai, renowned for its architecture, dim sum, and amazing acrobats, all of which you will have opportunities to experience first-hand.
Who will enjoy this cruise/tour
This 14-day itinerary is for travelers seeking a soul-enriching and spiritually enlightening journey that encompasses China as well as the mysterious, remote region of Tibet—places that often seem light years apart and thus make for an irresistible travel experience. This cruise/tour also includes 4 days on the Yangtze River, exploring its mystical Three Gorges.