Day 1 UK - Shanghai
You will depart on your scheduled flight to Shanghai today.
Day 2 Shanghai
Shanghai is China's largest city, and on arrival we will transfer you to your hotel. Western culture and oriental charm collide in this modern metropolis, as you'll discover during your two-night stay.Meals included: D
Day 3 Shanghai
Your adventure begins with a chance to discover the Bund, Shanghai's famous riverside boulevard, lined with colonial-style buildings. You'll also visit the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao and see its 36 stone bridges which were built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Day 4 Shanghai - Lijiang
This morning we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Lijiang, where you'll stay for the next two nights. Lijiang is the capital of the Naxi Kingdom and is surrounded by fields and forests. On arrival we will explore the charming Old Town, steeped in history and natural beauty.Meals included: B,D
Day 5 Lijiang
Today we'll visit the fascinating Yufeng Temple and Monastery, where an ancient 500-year-old camellia tree still blossoms in the spring. Next we're going to visit a family in a local Naxi village and learn about their intriguing culture. After lunch we'll visit the beautiful Black Dragon Pool. A number of ancient monuments surround the water, and on a clear day you'll enjoy fabulous views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
If you want to discover more about the Naxi people, you can attend an optional Naxi concert this evening - a performance of traditional music played by local people. The average age of the musicians is 60, and it is feared that as the years pass this old tradition may be lost forever.
Day 6 Lijiang - Zhongdian
A journey by bus takes us to Zhongdian, the town now known as Shangri-La. Its name was changed in 2001 to associate it with the paradise-like world featured in the novel, Lost Horizon. Along the way we'll stop to enjoy a picnic lunch and admire spectacular views of Haba Snow Mountain. We'll also visit Yi, a traditional village and see the scenic First Bend of the Yangtze River. When we arrive in Zhongdian, a tour will introduce us to its interesting Old Town and we'll see and turn the world's largest prayer wheel.
Day 7 Zhongdian
Today you'll see the fascinating Songzanling Monastery. Built in the 17th century, it has a gilded copper roof and at one time about 3,000 monks are thought to have lived and studied here. Later, we'll drive to Dabaosi and meet a family in a traditional Tibetan village. We'll step inside a house, learn about local life and visit the Dabao Temple. Amid the spiritual surroundings you can buy Tibetan prayer flags and Yak butter candles if you wish.
Day 8 Zhongdian - Lhasa
We'll fly to Lhasa, in Tibet, this morning. This immensely spiritual region boasts breathtaking scenery, impressive monasteries, ancient temples and friendly people who are proud of their culture.
The remote city of Lhasa lies at an altitude of 3,650 metres and our sightseeing starts after lunch when we visit the old part of Lhasa, Barkhor Street. We'll also see the fascinating Potala Square and monument to the peaceful liberation of Tibet.
Day 9 Lhasa
Today's highlight is a visit to the Jokhang temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet. Pilgrims come from across the country to worship at this sacred site which houses a revered golden image of Buddha. Climb to the top and you will be rewarded with fabulous views of Lhasa. We'll also visit the magnificent Sera Monastery and watch as the red-robed monks debate Buddhist doctrines.
Tonight you'll have dinner with a Tibetan family.
Day 10 Lhasa
We're going to see not one, but two, UNESCO-listed sites today. We'll begin at the ancient Potala Palace, an impressive 1,000–room building which overlooks Lhasa from a hilltop position. Then we'll head to Norbulingka, a former residence of the Dalai Lama, set within beautiful gardens. Later, you'll have time for a spot of shopping in Lhasa's Old Town.
Day 11 Lhasa - Gyantse
Our day begins with a drive to the spectacular Yamdrok Lake. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks it is one of the largest sacred lakes in Tibet. Next we'll head to Gyantse to see the Palkhor Chöde Monastery, a fascinating complex which includes the famous Kumbum Stupa. This awe-inspiring structure is thought to be the largest of its kind in Tibet. We'll also take in Gyantse's traditional Old Town.
Day 12 Gyantse - Lhasa
This morning, there is an opportunity to explore Gyantse as you wish before we drive back to Lhasa this afternoon.
Day 13 Lhasa - Shanghai
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Lhasa and time to reflect on all the wonderful experiences we have shared during our time in Tibet. After lunch we'll drive to the airport ready for our flight back to Shanghai.
Day 14 Shanghai
We'll explore the lively city of Shanghai on a guided tour this morning. Highlights include the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Old Town. You'll have time for some last-minute shopping, and for spectacular views of the city, there's the option of a Huangpu River cruise. Sights you'll see include the Yangpu and Nanpu Bridges, the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Bund, the Wu Song ancient gun fort relics and the Pudong Business District, which boasts a dramatic skyline.
This evening we'll get together for a farewell dinner.
Day 15 Shanghai - UK
We will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving later the same day.
Please note: During this tour you will travel to altitudes of over 12,000ft where altitude sickness can occur. If you suffer from heart or respiratory conditions, or have any other concerns, please consult your doctor.