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Summer PalaceSummer Palace in Beijing Price: Duration: Dates: Tour code: Overview: Ask for a free quotation 10 Days As you request TCG-3678 This is a tour of contrast.

The first leg of your trip will take you to Beijing, where you will witness the grandeur of Chinese history and learn about ancient Chinese culture. You will explore the architectural wonders of the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and the Great Wall, only stopping to dig in to authentic Chinese cuisine.

Lhasa, the epicenter of Tibetan culture and faith, is your next stop. It is a place of unique culture, religious significance and untouched nature. You will be welcomed into a local family home, and have a chance to learn about the very different lifestyles of the Tibetan people. Early-risers will also be able to start their day with the spiritual experience of watching the sunrise over the breath-taking Namtso Lake. Everyone dreams of visiting Tibet; this is your chance.

Remember – the climates of the two locations can be shockingly different from one another. Travelers taking this tour should be prepared for a variety of temperatures as well as the high altitudes of the Tibetan Plateau.
Itinerary
day 1
  • Meals: lunch, dinner
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City
Jingshan Park
Jingshan Park
Hutong Tour with local family visit
Hutong Tour with local family visit
Nanluoguxiang Street
Nanluoguxiang Street
day 2
  • Meals: lunch
Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car
Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
day 3
  • Meals: lunch
798 Arts District
798 Arts District
Walking at Houhai lake
Walking at Houhai lake
The Beijing Chaoyang Acrobatic Show
The Beijing Chaoyang Acrobatic Show
day 4
  • Meals: lunch
Morning activities in the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven
Morning activities in the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Hongqiao Pearl Market
Hongqiao Pearl Market
Drop-off at the Beijing airport
Drop-off at the Beijing airport
Pick up from the Airport
Pick up from the Airport
day 5
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple
Barkhor Circuit
Barkhor Circuit
day 6
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Sera Monastery
Sera Monastery
Buddhism Scriptures Debating
Buddhism Scriptures Debating
day 7
  • Meals: lunch
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Yongbulakhang Palace
Yongbulakhang Palace
day 8
  • Meals: lunch
Watch the sunset on Namtso Lake
Watch the sunset on Namtso Lake
day 9
  • Meals: lunch
Watch the sunrise on Namtso Lake
Watch the sunrise on Namtso Lake
Tibetan local family visit
Tibetan local family visit
day 10
  • Drop-off at the Airport
Drop-off at the Airport
Drop-off at the Airport
  • Tour price
  • Get a free quote
  • Our advantages
  • Included / not included
Tour price
Guests Cost per guest
Ask for a free quotation
Tour code: TCG-3678
  • » Your tour day starts and ends at a hotel in the city, which may or may not be included. If a hotel is included it is listed by name on the itinerary for each night.

  • » Discounts for children in China are based on height. Let us know your child's age and height and we can calculate accordingly.

  • Get a free quote
  •  
  • Let us modify the tour's itinerary for free and with no-obligation to suit your needs. We can change the activities, add or change hotel rooms, flights or trains as you wish.

  • Why book a tour with The China Guide?
  • » Zero shopping stops at overpriced commission factories. Your time and money is better spent.
  • » Flexible time schedule to suit your pace. No rush and can cater to children's needs.
  • » Guides selected and trained by our staff. Excellent English, accommodating, family friendly.
  • » Meals are in quality local restaurants. We order according to your tastes and diet.
  • » Western style service. Our agents and guides are there to make you happy.
  • » We have traveled in China with our own children. The American owners have four young children.

  • Read more about why choose The China Guide as your travel agency and meet our travel agents.
  • Included in the tour price
  • » Domestic flights, economy class as listed in the itinerary
  • » Private English speaking guide (selected/trained by our western staff), experienced Chinese speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle
  • » Admission tickets to all sights listed on the itinerary - no hidden costs
  • » Free bottled water supplied in your vehicle
  • » Meals as specified in quality local restaurants with unlimited standard drinks (Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Chinese tea)


  • Not included in the tour price
  • » Hotel (we can add on request)
  • » Tips to your guide and driver
  • » International travel insurance (you should purchase your own policy in your home country)


  • For tour booking terms & conditions, please review our company policies.

Tiananmen Square   天安门广场

Most people visit Tiananmen Square on their way to the Forbidden City, both can be done together in a morning or afternoon. Chinese citizens from around the country descend on Tiananmen to take their photos in front of the portrait of Chairman Mao. When there is a breeze you can buy a kite and fly it on the square.

Tiananmen Square is the largest public square in the world. It is a tourist site everyone tends to visit on their trip to Beijing. A vast desert of paving stones, the square can hold over one million people. It lies on the historical central axis going through the Forbidden City.

Expect to go through airport level security when going onto the square, with metal detectors and x-ray machines. There is also a high level of police presence. Nonetheless people are very friendly and its on most Beijing itineraries.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
5:00am - 10:00pm

The Forbidden City   故宫

The Forbidden City was the former imperial palace which was the home to twenty-four Chinese emperors over 491 years between 1420 and 1911. The Forbidden City is now known as the Palace Museum and is open to Beijing's visitors.

Wear comfortable walking shoes as the palace is 960 metres long and 750 metres wide. It has 9,999 rooms - a room being the space between four pillars.

The well guarded palace is surrounded by a moat 3,800 metres long and 52 metres wide. Intruders were discouraged by guards in watchtowers with bow and arrows.

There are five entrances to the gate - the central one reserved for the emperor. The empress was allowed through it only once - on her wedding day.

As well as walking through the wide open courtyards along its central axis, the sides offer some museum exhibits and small courtyards worth exploring.

An excellent view of the Forbidden...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Jingshan Park   景山公园

Jingshan Park was a part of the Forbidden City until the early 1900's when the walls were pulled down and a road cut through it destroying several gates and buildings between the park and the rear entrance of the palace. The hill in Jingshan Park was made with the earth removed to create the palace moat. It is well worth the climb on a clear day for spectacular views of the Forbidden City and Beijing.

The best view of Beijing is from the Pavilion of Everlasting Spring (Wanchun-ting) perched on top of the middle peak, which used to be the highest point in the city. Northwards, one can see the Drum and Bell Towers, a traditional feature of old Chinese cities. To the northwest, the two slabs of water of the Shichahai and Beihai Lake are intersected by Di’anmen Dajie. To the south, the golden roofs of the Imperial Palace can be seen stretching into the distance.

Just north of the Imperial Palace, the...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
6:30am - 8:00pm with last admission at 7:30pm

Hutong Tour with local family visit   胡同游

Hutongs are the old traditional alleyways and courtyard homes which once covered all Beijing. Many still survive today and are pleasant to walk or bike through. Not much has changed and you can see how people lived in the past.

The China Guide's Hutong Tour starts with a cycle rickshaw ride through the hutongs. Cycle rickshaws are a traditional means of transportation in the old narrow streets.

We take you into a traditional family courtyard home. The family will greet you, serve tea and show you through their home. Your guide will explain the cultural and historic significance of various aspects. For instance, the layout of the courtyard, who lived where and how to tell the importance of the people living in a home.

Nanluoguxiang is a trendy hutong area with fun restaurants and cafes, nice to visit during the day for a coffee or lunch, or return in the evening for dinner.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Nanluoguxiang Street   南锣鼓巷

An old lane with many funky shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. It is a nice place where you can stroll in the afternoon or evening. Popular with locals and tourists, you can do a bit of shopping and perhaps relax in a cafe.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5

Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car   慕田峪长城

For those who want to see a restored section of the wall which is more fun and less touristy than Badaling and not as far as Simatai or Jinshanling, then Mutianyu is a good choice. Just over an hour from Beijing in normal traffic, it is possible to see in a morning or afternoon and combines well with the Ming Tombs.

Mutianyu has some good options. You can take the cable car up, have a little stroll on the wall then come back down the cable car. Or you can take the cable car up and walk for about 45 minutes on the wall, down hill mostly, to the toboggan sled. Its pretty long run on the toboggan track down the hill from the wall. There are double cars for parents with kids as well as the usual single cars. Fun and safe, everyone seems to enjoy this.

In Mutianyu village there are fish farms and restaurants, so you can fish out your own trout from the pond and have it cooked up for your lunch.
Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Summer Palace   颐和园

Time allowing, the Summer Palace is well worth a visit for its historical significance and to enjoy strolling its spacious grounds. You may take a boat ride across the lake if you prefer not to walk. Located 15 km northwest from the central city and occupying an area of about 300 hectares, the Summer Palace is associated with the Qing dynasty's dowager empress Cixi, but has a history of more than 800 years as an imperial garden dating back to the 1150s.

The name in Chinese, Yiheyuan, means "garden of restful peace." It served as a suburban pleasance for emperors, a place in the countryside yet near the capital.

The Yiheyuan in its present form dates from Manchu rule over China, 1644-1911. In the 1750s the emperor Qianlong commanded the creation of the lake and redesigned the temple atop Longevity Hill. Severely damaged during the punitive Anglo-French expedition of 1860 the Empress Dowager ordered...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
7:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

798 Arts District   798艺术区

A visit to the 798 community is recommended for travelers with an interest in modern art. This district has become a trendy area for local artists and contains numerous galleries, shops and cafes making for a pleasant stroll. Travelers looking to see the modern culture of Beijing should spend an afternoon browsing through the 798 art district's warehouses and alleyways. Whether you want to buy art or just look and enjoy a coffee along the way, the 798 art district is really a window into modern China and how it is embracing yet another aspect of western culture with its own Chinese twist.

This artistic community is located in the Dashanzi district and gets its name from the Soviet-style factories that used to operate there. Artists and gallery owners work in redesigned factory buildings which provide an industrial backdrop that enhances the atmosphere of the area. The abandoned factory district originally brought local...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
10:00am - 5:00pm

Chinese cooking class  

These two and a half hour classes will teach you the basics of Chinese cooking or regional Chinese cuisine. Each participant is given their own work space around a kitchen in a traditional hutong space. At the end of the class, dig into the dishes you have just cooked.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2.5

Walking at Houhai lake   后海

Houhai is a lake north of the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing. It is surrounded by hutongs (alleyways) and old Chinese style courtyard houses. It's within walking distance from the subway and the Drum and Bell Towers.

Houhai is always bustling with Chinese people and foreigners alike. It is a great place to walk around during the day and go out at night. The area around the lake is chock full of places to eat and shop. There are many tea shops where they will let you try the tea before you buy and of course many other souvenir shops. All along the lakeside there are bars and cafes from which you can choose from to have lunch or dinner. Make sure whichever one you end up choosing has a rooftop bar so you can get a good view of the Drum and Bell Tower.

Please note the cost of boating is not included in the price as you will be charged by hour and needs to pay deposit.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 12:00am

Morning activities in the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven  

Visit the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven and see the wide range of physical activities and games people do. From taichi to dancing and activities you have never seen before, its an eye opener to see how the elderly stay active in China.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Temple of Heaven   天坛公园

The Temple of Heaven is the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for a good harvest.

The grounds are part of a huge parkland and in the morning you can see the locals practicing martial arts and other exercises. Located nearby is the Hongqiao Market and Toy Market as well as the Legend of Kungfu show in the Red Theater.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
6:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Hongqiao Pearl Market   红桥市场

The Hongqiao Market is famous for its pearls but also offers a wide range of souvenirs and also has a huge toy market adjacent.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:30am - 7:00pm

Potala Palace   布达拉宫

The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, in 1959. Tour groups (that means everyone) must make a reservation to visit the Potala Palace and often are not assigned their time slot until the day before. There are quotas for the number of visitors to avoid overcrowding. So you need to realize that your Potala Palace visit may be shifted to the time or day assigned by the government. You cannot take photos inside but you may outside. You must exit the Potala Palace by your assigned time or the tour guide and company will be punished.

Built at an altitude of 3,700 m (12,100 ft), on the side of Marpo Ri ('Red Mountain') in the center of Lhasa Valley, the Potala Palace, with its vast inward-sloping walls broken only in the upper parts by straight rows of many windows, and its flat roofs at various levels, is not unlike a fortress in appearance. At the...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:00am - 4:00pm with last admission at 3:30pm

Jokhang Temple   大昭寺

Located at the very heart of Lhasa, the Jokhang Temple is a splendid Buddhist temple and an important pilgrimage site for all Tibetans. The temple has four floors, a gilded roof and is made entirely of wood, and traditional vihara layout reflects both Indian and Nepalese architectural influences. The candlelit maze-like corridors inside the temple connect tiny chapels swathed in prayer scarves that are dedicated to various gods and bodhisattvas.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Barkhor Circuit   བར་སྐོར་, 八廓街

Legend has it that when the Jokhang Temple was first built by the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 647, the Barkhor street was created by thousands of pilgrims wearing down the surrounding earth by circumnambulating the shrine. Today this atmospheric 1km circuit is the heart and soul of Lhasa, with locals and pilgrims alike continuously completing the holy circuit from dawn until dusk, swirling prayer wheels and even rhythmically prostrating their bodies along the ground to express their total religious devotion. Colorful shopping stalls set up along the Barkhor circuit sell prayer flags, Tibetan jewelry, yak butter lamps and other religious handicrafts.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2

Drepung Monastery   哲蚌寺

The Drepung Monastery is one of the three great university monasteries and is also the largest monastery in Tibet. Flowery murals and richly colored drapes adorn every wall of the countless halls and chambers scattered around this impressive lamasery that was once home to around 8,000 monks. Experience the electric atmosphere in the stunning Great Assembly hall, where the sun’s rays filter down from ornate window frames and through dramatic multi-colored banners, onto rows upon rows of softly chanting monks.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3.5
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 3:00pm

Sera Monastery   色拉寺

Built as one of the great three university monasteries in Tibet, the Sera monastery is home to hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns as well as precious Buddhist texts. Built on a hill that was once blanketed by roses, the monastery gets its name from the Tibetan word sera, meaning rose. Revolution saw total desecration of most of the monastery and the death of countless monks, yet today it has been restored to its former glory and spiritual significance. Visitors in the early afternoon will be treated to an authentic display of monks vigorously debating Buddhist doctrines.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3
Opening hours:
9:00am - 6:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Buddhism Scriptures Debating   佛教辩经

Monks at Sera Monastery perform a daily debate for tourists to view.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
3:00pm - 5:00pm

Samye Monastery   桑耶寺

Samye Monastery was the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, built in the 8th century with the help of Indian Buddhist masters. The layout of the monastery complex forms a huge mandala, a representation of the Buddhist universe, and is modeled after the Indian temple of Odantapuri in Bihar.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3
Opening hours:
9:00am - 6:00pm

Yongbulakhang Palace   雍布拉康宫

Yongbulakhang Palace is the first palace in Tibetan history. It contains statues of the three-world Buddhas and Tsanpos of various historical stages.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Watch the sunset on Namtso Lake   纳木措湖观日落

Watch the sunrise on Namtso Lake   纳木措湖观日出

Tibetan local family visit   藏民家访

Visit a local Tibetan family in their own home and see how they live. You might get a chance to try authentic home cooked Tibetan tea made with yak butter.

Drive along the Changtang Grasslands & Yangbachen River   沿途欣赏羌塘草原和羊八井

The Changtang Grasslands is a high altitude plateau in western and northern Tibet. The weather can be harsh and unpredictable. Part of the Tibetan Plateau, the Changtang Grasslands has some large lakes and the Yangbachen River passes through it.

Beijing 北京

Beijing is an enormous municipality abundant in culture, beautiful landscapes, history and fine cuisine.

The first sight is one of a sprawling city, dotted with towering buildings with only, the giant, red Chinese characters atop to show visitors they have arrived in China. And this is when it becomes important to look closer and find out what Beijing has to offer. The real gems in this city are the low-rising, narrow alleyways, known as Hutongs, which give you an exciting glimpse into the local culture and history. Strolling into a hutong, with its grey brick walls and upturned ‘artichoke-leaf’ roofs, you disappear into Beijing of old. The tall, noisy city melts away and is replaced by sleepy seniors sitting and watching the world around them, people nattering away, going about their daily business and the curious and delicious smells of truly, authentic restaurants. It is a view of old Beijing before modernization, and...   Read more

Tibet / Lhasa 西藏

Tibet is one of the world's mystical destinations, and rightfully so. It has a rich cultural heritage and a proud ethnic people. While Tibet has gone through major changes in the past 50 years, the people and landscapes which make it such a fascinating place are easily visited.

Because of the political climate in Tibet there are a number of rules in place concerning group size and itinerary which need to be followed when planning a trip. Also be aware that sometimes the region will close to foreign tourists without notice.

Tsedang 泽当

Tsetang is the third largest city in Tibet. Samye Monastery, Tibet's first monastery, is located 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the city of Tsetang. It has been the capital of the Yarlung region since antiquity and was the seat of the ancient emperors of Tibet.

Namtso Lake 纳木措湖

Namtso Lake is a high mountain lake located 112 kilometres (70 miles) northwest of Lhasa. Namtso Lake lies at an elevation of 4,718 meters (15,479 feet), and covers an area of 1,920 square kilometers (740 square miles). It is a salt lake and is the largest lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Summer is the best time to visit. Be sure to bring warm clothes as the weather at this altitude is significantly colder than in Lhasa. If you are lacking in warm clothes there are yak wool clothes and hats for sale.

The water on the lake is crystal clear blue and makes for some striking photographs, especially in the morning and evening light.

The Beijing Chaoyang Acrobatic Show

The Chaoyang Acrobat Show is in our opinion one of the best shows to see while on tour in China. It appeals to all ages, from young children to adults. It is very visual and the show is not made of "tricks" but is feats of skill and fitness. It is comparable to many international Cirque style shows but at a price much lower and an opportunity to sit much closer. Having seen all the acrobat shows in Beijing and Shanghai, we consider this one to be the best of the lot.

Duration:
60 minutes

Breakfast

Most hotels come with breakfast, or if not it can be added at a cost. Four and five star hotels will generally offer a good western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Three star hotels may only have a Chinese breakfast, or a Chinese interpretation of a western breakfast. Anyway a Chinese breakfast is not bad - rice porridge, eggs, Chinese style breads and vegetables.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Lunch on Tour

We consider experiencing good Chinese cuisine to be an important part of the tour experience. When on a tour, lunch is generally Chinese style and normally included in the price. Our guides will help you order according to your taste. Mild, spicy, meat, vegetables, rice and/or noodles. Dishes are served family style and shared by the guests. The driver may eat on his own but the guide will join you if you like.

Food in Beijing is quite good quality and we take our guests to genuine local restaurants, not tourist traps. We consider it distasteful to ask you for small amounts of money during the tour, so we offer unlimited standard drinks including Coke, Sprite, local bottled water and Chinese tea. You also won't leave the table hungry, if you need more to eat just let your guide know.

We don't have fixed restaurants we must use, it depends on where you are at the time you are hungry. When traveling around China we normally have the same arrangements outside Beijing but this may vary depending on your exact itinerary.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Dinner on Tour

Unless there is a special activity planned or you prefer to have all your meals catered, guests often prefer to relax after a day tour and arrange their own dinner. This gives you flexibility in time and cuisine. Having all your meals catered every day can be tiresome. Handling your own dinner allows you to have some control and also strike out on you own. Your guide can give you restaurant suggestions and in big cities you can find lots of options for fine dining, fast food, both western or Chinese. Hotel staff can often make restaurant recommendations within walking distance.

If you get the taste for a burger or pizza after a lot of Chinese food, this is easily found in Beijing, Shanghai and many other cities around China. Many hotel restaurants offer nice food. China also has its share of McDonald's, KFC and Subway sandwich chains if you need a fix.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.


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