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Tibet & the Search for Shangri-La

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Travelsphere Experience video

Explore unique cultures, visit a Naxi village, soak up the sights in Shanghai and uncover the mystical Shangri-La on this unforgettable 15-day journey through intriguing Yunnan Province and incredible Tibet, with the chance to add a stay in Hong Kong.

Touring

15 Days from £2,719

May 2018 - Sep 2018 Departures

Overview

What's included

  • Return flights from Heathrow with China Eastern Airlines and internal flights
  • 13 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels plus 1 night in flight
  • 34 meals: 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 
11 dinners
  • Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guide
  • Overseas transfers and other transportation
  • Porterage

Included holiday highlights

  • 
 Visit the Bund, Shanghai’s famous riverside boulevard
  • Sightseeing in Lijiang, including the Black Dragon Pool
  • Explore a Naxi village and visit a local family
  • Visit Zhongdian, renamed Shangri-La, and its interesting old town
  • Scenic Yangtze valley and traditional Tibetan village visit
  • Tour Barhkor Street, the old part of Lhasa, and fascinating Potala Square
  • The Johkang temple and Sera Monastery with debating class
  • Lhasa tour including the UNESCO-listed Potala Palace
  • See the Yamdrok Lake, Palkhor Chöde Monastery and Gyanste’s old town
  • Explore the old town in the beautiful city of Lhasa
  • Sightseeing in Shanghai

Itinerary

You’ll depart on your scheduled flight to Shanghai today.

On arrival in the vibrant city of Shanghai, you’ll transfer to your hotel where you’ll enjoy dinner.

Today you’ll get the chance to discover the Bund, Shanghai’s famous riverside boulevard, which is lined with magnificent former colonial buildings. You’ll also visit the well preserved water town of Zhujiajiao, located in a suburb of the city. Here, you’ll find 36 stone bridges built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. You’ll stay overnight in Shanghai.

Early this morning you’ll fly to Lijiang in Yunnan Province before transferring to the city, where lunch is included. A visit will be made to the Black Dragon Pool in Jade Spring Park, where you’ll find some intriguing temples along with fantastic views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Next you’ll discover Lijiang’s charming old town, where a fascinating array of architectural styles can be found. There will be free time for you to explore Lijiang further at your own pace.

Today there will be time to marvel at the fascinating Yunfeng Monastery before exploring a Naxi village, where you’ll visit a local family and discover their intriguing culture. This evening, why not learn more at an optional Naxi concert before staying in Lijiang overnight.

You’ll travel to Zhongdian by bus this morning. The town has been renamed Shangri-La, associating it with the mystical utopia featured in James Hilton’s novel, Lost Horizon – a constantly happy land that is isolated from the outside world. En route you’ll make several stops, taking in spectacular views of the towering Haba Snow Mountain and visiting Yi, a traditional minority village. You’ll also discover the First Bend of the Yangtze River in Zhongdian’s interesting old town.

You’ll get to see the fascinating Songzanling monastery today, before heading by bus to Dabaosi. You’ll visit a traditional Tibetan village and meet a local family, before staying overnight in Zhongdian.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lhasa this morning. Sitting at an altitude of 3,650 metres in a mountain-fringed valley, this remote and ancient city remains out of bounds to most travellers. After lunch you’ll visit the old part of Lhasa, Barkhor Street, which appears much as it would have centuries ago. You’ll also get to witness Lhasa’s fascinating Potala Square, where the monument to the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet stands.

Johkang temple awaits your discovery today, the ultimate destination for Tibetan pilgrims. You’ll also visit the Sera Monastery, a magnificent building which covers an area of 28 acres. The red-robed lamas (Buddhist monks) who reside here must participate in debates on Buddhist doctrines to further their studies and you’ll get to witness such an event today.

Marvel at the ancient, UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, before taking in the Norbulingka Summer Palace, another World Heritage Site which boasts a lovely surrounding park. There will also be plenty of time for shopping in Lhasa’s old town today.

Head by bus to Yamdrok Lake, one of Tibet’s largest sacred lakes. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the lake is a truly spectacular sight, and believed to be invested with spiritual powers by the Tibetan people. You’ll continue to Gyantse, where some intriguing sights await. Palkhor Chöde Monastery is set in the Nyangchu river valley, a fascinating complex which includes the famous Kumbum Stupa, believed to be the largest structure of its kind in Tibet. You’ll also take in Gyantse’s traditional old town.

Today you’ll take to the road again with a bus trip to Lhasa. We include a packed lunch before you have time to explore the old town at your own pace.

Enjoy some more free time in Lhasa before checking out of your hotel. Lunch is included before your afternoon flight to Shanghai, arriving in this lively city in the evening.

We include a guided tour of Shanghai today where highlights include the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the world’s fifth tallest tower, along with the old town. There will also be time for some shopping. You may choose to join an optional Huangpu river cruise this evening to enjoy the spectacular views of the city. We include a farewell dinner tonight.

Today you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving later the same day.


Altitude: During this tour you will travel to altitudes of over 12,000ft where altitude sickness can occur. Our tour has been designed to allow a more gradual increase in altitude, giving you more time to adjust to the lower oxygen levels. Other simple measures, such as eating light meals and drinking lots of fluids can also help to alleviate the symptoms. If you suffer from heart or respiratory conditions or have any other concerns please consult your doctor.


In order to get the most out of this tour, you need to be in good physical health with full mobility.

Optional Excursions

Experience even more of your destination by adding one or more optional excursions to your holiday before you set off. Right now is the perfect opportunity to do that – with everything booked and paid for you’ll have even more to get excited about and all you’ll need to think about while you’re away is having a great time.

By the way - look out for ‘Optional Excursion Packages’. For some holidays we’ve grouped a selection of excursions into a package which means you can make a saving when you book in advance.

Prices shown may vary according to departure date and are subject to change.  The full range of excursions will be detailed in your holiday information pack, sent approximately 15 weeks prior to departure.

Naxi Concert

Naxi Concert

from £26

Click for more info

The Naxi people, who are long-time inhabitants of Lijiang, have created a unique and splendid concert to celebrate their cullture. This includes the Dongba culture which is primarily based on the local religion, and touches every aspect of daily life. Music and dance are also the two treasured cornerstones of the mysterious Dongba Every night from 20:00 to 21:30 there is a wonderful concert performed by a group of local senior musicians in the centre of Lijiang, as the average age of the musicians is 60 years old this tradition is dying away as the number musicians who have mastered this traditional skill has dwindled year after year.

Minimal Walking – Cultural – Legendary

Accommodation

Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai is situated in downtown Shanghai. Hotel facilities include three restaurants, café, Lobby Lounge, Gymnasium, Beauty Salon and Sauna.
Located on the south gate of the old town, featuring tranquil old-world architecture, a peaceful garden atmosphere, and flowing dark-wood walkways, the Wang Fu hotel is located in a quiet area close to the Old Town centre. The hotel has a restaurant serving Western and Chinese dishes, as well as a bar, a fitness centre and outdoor pool. All rooms feature en-suite facilities, TV, internet access, minibar and tea/coffee making facilities.
Paradise Hotel is situated in Shangri-La in the Yunnan Region. Rooms are air-conditioned, with a flat screen TV and hairdryer. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, fitness centre, and free Wi-Fi.
Named after the Kyichu River which in Tibet is known as "The River of Happiness". A tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo and the cradle of the ancient Tibetan civilisation, the river meanders through the fertile valley in which the fabled and formerly forbidden city of Lhasa is situated. Located between the sacred temple of Jokhang in Barkhor Square and the famed World Heritage Potala Palace and minutes away from traditional quarters of Lhasa. Hotel features include 24-hour hot and cold running water, indoor/outdoor garden restaurant with umbrella tables, North Indian, Tandoori and Nepalese chefs. Being treated as a family member and getting individual attention, making it your base will let you enjoy complete satisfaction service offered by the friendly and knowledgeable English-speaking staff.
Built in 1986, hotel is located in the ancient city centre of Gyantse town. The hotel includes single, double and triple rooms with attached bathrooms. The hotel has 3 restaurants supporting almost 300 people. The hotel and room amenities include front helpdesk, Western/Tibetan-styled guestrooms, laundry, business centre, shopping centre, restaurants, bar, internet, cafe nearby, private bathrooms, 24-hour hot and cold water, boiled water in thermos, IDD telephone, colour/cable TV, writing desk, room service.
Named after the Kyichu River which in Tibet is known as "The River of Happiness". A tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo and the cradle of the ancient Tibetan civilisation, the river meanders through the fertile valley in which the fabled and formerly forbidden city of Lhasa is situated. Located between the sacred temple of Jokhang in Barkhor Square and the famed World Heritage Potala Palace and minutes away from traditional quarters of Lhasa. Hotel features include 24-hour hot and cold running water, indoor/outdoor garden restaurant with umbrella tables, North Indian, Tandoori and Nepalese chefs. Being treated as a family member and getting individual attention, making it your base will let you enjoy complete satisfaction service offered by the friendly and knowledgeable English-speaking staff.
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai is situated in downtown Shanghai. Hotel facilities include three restaurants, café, Lobby Lounge, Gymnasium, Beauty Salon and Sauna.

Jin Jiang Tower Hotel

Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.

Dates and Prices

Departing from

Departure date

Duration

Was

Now

Status

 

London (Heathrow)

Saturday 19 May 2018

15 Days

£2,719

Available

Outbound
China Eastern Airlines

Saturday 19 May 2018

Departs

21:00 London (Heathrow)

Arrives

16:00 Shanghai (Pu Dong)

Operated by

China Eastern Airlines

Inbound
China Eastern Airlines - MU

Saturday 02 June 2018

Departs

12:30 Shanghai (Pu Dong)

Arrives

17:50 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

China Eastern Airlines

London (Heathrow)

Saturday 08 September 2018

15 Days

£2,919

Available

Outbound
China Eastern Airlines

Saturday 08 September 2018

Departs

21:00 London (Heathrow)

Arrives

16:00 Shanghai (Pu Dong)

Operated by

China Eastern Airlines

Inbound
China Eastern Airlines - MU

Saturday 22 September 2018

Departs

12:30 Shanghai (Pu Dong)

Arrives

17:50 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

China Eastern Airlines

Add-on

Take the opportunity to maximise your travel experience and extend your holiday with an add-on. The number of days shown is inclusive of the main tour and the price shown is in addition to the cost of the main tour:

Tibet & the Search for Shangri-La with Hong Kong Add-on

Extend your holiday to 19 days from £649

May 2018 - Sep 2018 Departures
On the final day of your brochure holiday you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Hong Kong, where you will stay for four nights. Hong Kong is known for its diverse culture, spectacular skyline and glittering natural harbour. And with its unique blend of fascinating museums, stunning country parks and vibrant festivals, you’re sure to leave with lasting memories of your time here. During your stay, we include a morning sightseeing tour of Hong Kong Island, with stops including the top of Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay and the fishing village of Aberdeen. The rest of your time is free for you to explore at your own pace - or, if you prefer, you can choose from an exciting range of optional excursions. Your Hong Kong option includes: Scheduled flights; overseas transfers; 4 nights’ accommodation on a bed and- breakfast basis; the services of a Local Representative; all airport taxes and security charges; all state and local taxes.

Unique Hong Kong Experiences

Choose our optional Hong Kong add-on and you'll conclude your holiday in style with a stay in one of the world's most dynamic and exciting cities.

Sophisticated, cosmopolitan with a spectacular skyline and harbour, Hong Kong is Asia’s World City. It is a unique blend of East and West, successfully combining contemporary style with over 5,000 years of ancient Chinese heritage. Hong Kong offers so many fantastic attractions and events that will leave a lasting impression of this wonderful city.

Skyline viewpoints

From gleaming skyscrapers to peaceful outlying islands, Hong Kong has breathtaking viewpoints. There are many beautiful sights to see in Hong Kong but the most popular attraction is The Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Visitors can travel to the top of The Peak by a tram service and admire the view of skyscrapers and Victoria Harbour all the way to the green hills of the New Territories.

Buzzing street markets

For shopaholics, Hong Kong offers a vast contrast and choice of shopping experiences from bustling markets to ultra modern malls and department stores. Visitors should head to the Mongkok District for a chance to practice their haggling skills on goods such as clothing, watches, bags, home furnishings, CDs and trinkets. For more market action other options include Temple Street night market and Ho Hung Kee in Causeway Bay.

Outlying islands

To escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Hong Kong has over 260 outlying islands to explore. Lantau Island is a great choice to experience the Hong Kong countryside and admire the beautiful greenery. Visitors can take the NP360 cable car to see this other side of the city. They can climb to the top of the Big Buddha statue and also visit the Tai O Fishing Village.

Victoria Harbour tram
Hong Kong Food Market
Big Buddha statue, Lantau Island

Culture and heritage

Hong Kong’s culture is a melting pot of customs and traditions, influenced by thousands of years of immigration. Wherever you look in the city, there is a story to be told that will take you back centuries. The Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is a scenic attraction to visit due to its beautiful ornate building and rich history, it a perfect opportunity to see the cultural side to Hong Kong.

Harbour cruise

Hong Kong has emerged as one of the world’s most fast-paced and dynamic cities. With beautiful harbour views there is no better way to see Hong Kong than a harbour cruise. Start off your trip my taking a ride on one of the traditional Chinese junk boats and tour the Victoria Harbour with the best view in the house.

World-class cuisine

With over 11,000 restaurants Hong Kong is known as the ‘Culinary Capital of Asia’; ranging from Michelin star dining to street stalls, it is a gourmet paradise. It is also home to the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world, Tim Ho Wan, and other lovely local eateries, there is something for everyone.

Wong Tai Sin Temple
Junk boat, Victoria Harbour
Dim Sum

Beautiful beaches

Hong Kong’s coastal area has a rich array of beaches, coves, bays, cliffs, arches and sea caverns just waiting to be explored. Repulse Bay is one of the most popular beaches with both locals and visitors, it is ideal for beach strolls or to enjoy a beautiful sunset. This crescent-shaped stretch of sand is one of the most stunning beaches in Hong Kong.

Great outdoors

Hong Kong has a rich natural side with quaint villages and beautiful rolling mountains. Visitors can hike, camp and enjoy the green country parks away from the busy city. Sai Kung is known as the 'back garden of Hong Kong', a great area to fish or sail in the sheltered waters, BBQ or sunbathe on secluded beaches, and swim or snorkel in the clear blue waters.

Rooftop bars

To escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Hong Kong has over 260 outlying islands to explore. Lantau Island is a great choice to experience the Hong Kong countryside and admire the beautiful greenery. Visitors can take the NP360 cable car to see this other side of the city. They can climb to the top of the Big Buddha statue and also visit the Tai O Fishing Village.

Travelsphere Cares: Supporting Local Community Children

Travelsphere CaresMany Tibetans are held back by a lack of education and even though three quarters of Tibetan children enter elementary school, less than half of them continue to middle school. Although schools are free and even the poorest families consider education important, many of them cannot send their children to school due to the lack of schools in rural communities, or the necessity for children to help their parents with agricultural work. The most common solution taken by poor families is to spend what little money they have for the education of only one child, while others often cannot read or write.

At Travelsphere we believe in giving back to the communities we visit, supporting various charities and helping people in need all over the world. In Tibet we support a local village in Lhasa by providing vital materials to aid their children’s education.