Tibet & the Search for Shangri-La

From £3,014.10
Duration 15 Days
Departures from May 2020 - Sep 2020
Book now
From £3,014.10
Duration 15 Days
Departures from May 2020 - Sep 2020
Tour Overview

​Adventurous travellers won't want to miss this incredible tour of the Yunnan Province and Tibet. After flying to Shanghai, there's time to explore this modern metropolis before venturing west to the city of Lijiang. We'll meet a local Naxi family, learn about their culture and discover the mystical town of Shangri-La, then continue our journey to Tibet and its remote capital Lhasa. UNESCO-listed sites, monasteries and a Buddhist temple all await our discovery and we'll also visit the sacred Yamdrok Lake on our journey to a world unseen by most travellers.

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Your Holiday Includes

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

Included Holiday Highlights

  • ​Zhujiajao Water Town
  • Visit the Bund, Shanghai's Riverside boulevard
  • Sightseeing in Lijiang
  • Visit a local family in a Naxi village
  • Visit Zhongdian, renamed Shangri-La
  • Yangtze valley and visit to a Tibetan village
  • Tour Barkhor Street and Potala Square, Lhasa
  • The Jokhang temple and Sera Monastery
  • Opportunity to see a monk debating class​
  • Dinner with a Tibetan family
  • Lhasa tour including Potala Palace
  • Yamdrok Lake, Palkhor Chöde Monastery and Gyanste's Old Town 
  • Explore Lhasa's Old Town
  • Sightseeing in Shanghai
  • Turn the world's largest prayer wheel


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.​

Meals included: B,L,D

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.

Meals included: B,L

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.

Meals included: B,L,D

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.

Meals included: B,L,D

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.​

Meals included: B,L,D

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.​

Meals included: B,L,D

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.​

Meals included: B,L,D

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.​

Meals included: B,L,D

Day 12 Gyantse - Lhasa

This morning, there is an opportunity to explore Gyantse as you wish before we drive back to Lhasa this afternoon.

Meals included: B,L,D

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.​

Meals included: B,L

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.

Meals included: B,D

Day 15 Shanghai - UK

We will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving later the same day.​

Meals included: B

Additional Information

​​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​.​


Jin Jiang Tower Hotel

Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai is situated in downtown Shanghai. Hotel facilities include three restaurants, café, Lobby Lounge, Gymnasium, Beauty Salon and Sauna.

Palace Hotel

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.

Shangri - La Paradise Hotel

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.

Kyichu Hotel

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.

Gyantse Hotel

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.

Prices shown are based on twin occupancy of a double or twin bedded room with private facilities unless otherwise stated. Single occupancy supplements will apply. 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.