Amazing China with Tibet

Package Includes

This Program is available for U.S. Passport Holders Only

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • International flights Los Angeles-Beijing, Shanghai-Los Angeles
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-flights: Xian-Chengdu, Chengdu-Lhasa, Lhasa-Chongqing & Yichang-Shanghai
  • 15 nights in First Class accommodations
  • Hotel & cruise porterage
  • All transfers and sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • High-Speed Bullet Train from Beijing to Xian
  • 36 meals: 15 buffet breakfasts, 14 lunches, 7 dinners (including 2 home hosted lunches, and welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Bottled water during sightseeing excursions
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Whisper technology enhanced touring

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Exploration of Tiananmen Square, the largest public plaza in the world, and the Forbidden City, a designated World Heritage Site
  • Lunch and meeting with a local family in Beijing’s Hutong community
  • Travel to the extraordinary 2000-year-old Great Wall of China, one of the most spectacular structures ever built by man
  • Join the residents of Xian in Xingqing Park in their morning exercise
  • Visit the unforgettable archaeological site of the magnificent Terra Cotta Warriors entombed with China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang
  • Meet the famous Giant Panda Bears at the Chengdu Panda Research Center
  • Travel to the storied capital of Lhasa in Tibet to visit the world-famous Potala Palace, one of the grandest monuments in all of Asia
  • Embark on a 3-night Yangtze River Cruise that journeys through some of the greatest scenery in the world

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    DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart the USA
    Depart the USA for China. Your overnight flight includes meals, drinks and in-flight entertainment

    DAY 2, Thursday - Arrive in Beijing
    Arrive in Beijing, sprawling capital of modern China; meeting and transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the time change
    Overnight: Xizhao Temple Hotel, Beijing

    DAY 3, Friday - Forbidden City/Home-Hosted Lunch in Hutong
    Morning briefing with your tour manager on the exciting journey that awaits you. Our exploration begins at huge Tiananmen Square, the largest public plaza in the world, built at the height of the Ming Dynasty. The square's Gate of Heavenly Peace was once used as a staging ground for imperial edicts and by Mao Zedong himself to declare the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. Enter the Forbidden City, once residence of Chinese emperors from the Ming to the Qing dynasties. This extraordinary walled complex, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is truly a masterpiece of Chinese architecture; its complex consists of 800 buildings with more than 9000 rooms. Then, from the palatial to the modest, as we continue to a typical Hutong neighborhood. Beijing's Hutongs, a community of small residences centered around alleyways and courtyards, are dwindling in number as the city is modernized, but some have been preserved as “protected areas.” Special arrangements just for you to meet a local family and share lunch together in their home - they will be delighted to share their secret family recipe for dumplings, complete with a demonstration. This evening, join your fellow travelers at a festive welcome dinner, featuring China's world-famous Peking Duck
    Overnight: Xizhao Temple Hotel, Beijing
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 4, Saturday - The Great Wall & Ming Tombs
    An amazing day! Travel to the extraordinary 2000-year-old Great Wall of China, one of the most spectacular structures ever built by man, spanning nearly 4000 miles of China's northern frontier. We travel to a less crowded section in Badaling to avoid crowds and have a less hurried experience. Mount the ramparts of this ancient wonder to view beautiful mountain passes, plateaus and grasslands from this 7th century defensive fortification. To aid local organizations, we'll plant a tree along the ancient paths to commemorate our visit to the Great Wall. After, stop at a local shop to see some of China's famous Jade. This afternoon lunch will be at a local restaurant. Continue to the Sacred Way lined with mythical stone beasts and statues. Originally built to lead to the mausoleum, it was thought to be the "road leading to heaven." Walk through the huge Memorial Stone Arch guarding its entrance continuing along the road to the 13 Ming Dynasty Tombs. Visit the Dingling Tomb, also known as the Underground Palace, the first Imperial tomb excavated in China, housing the remains of Emperor Wan Li and two of his wives. In the exhibition, you'll also see many of the precious golden crowns and glittering jewels that were uncovered. Return to Beijing via the striking ultra-modern “Bird's Nest” stadium built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics
    Overnight: Xizhao Temple Hotel, Beijing
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 5, Sunday - Train to Xian & Market Visit
    Morning departure from Beijing to Xian by high-speed bullet train, traveling through Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province and Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province. Lunch will be provided. Along the way, see glimpses of the Yellow River, Mt. Huashan and the huge construction projects everywhere you look. Arrive in Xian, the ancient capital of eleven dynasties and an archaeological treasure trove. Then, on to the Muslim Quarter, hub of the Muslim community in Xian. Over ten mosques are spread out in the winding and narrow streets including the popular Great Mosque. At the bustling Beiyuanmen Market, you'll find a unique blend of Chinese and Islamic stalls with foods and crafts. Overnight in Xian
    Overnight: Ramada Xian Bell Tower, Xian
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 6, Monday - Xian Antiquities with Terracotta Army & Wild Goose Pagoda
    Morning visit to Xingqing Park, a hub of activity -- join the residents of Xian in their morning exercise. Afterward, stop at a lacquer furniture shop to hear more about this delicate technique. Next, visit the ancient Xian city wall, which was started in 194 B.C. This is the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well as being one of the largest ancient military defense systems in the world. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then, a truly unforgettable experience! Arrive at the archaeological site of the magnificent Terra Cotta Warriors, a vast collection of more than 7000 finely sculpted, life-sized soldiers, horses and chariots that were entombed with Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor. This world-famous site discovered by farmers in 1974 is still being excavated today, more than thirty years since the time of its unearthing. Later, visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China constructed during the Tang Dynasty era. This brick and wood structure was only moderately damaged during the major earthquake in 1556 and still stands today as a compelling symbol of Xian
    Optional: Tang Dynasty Show with Dinner (PM)
    Overnight: Ramada Xian Bell Tower, Xian
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 7, Tuesday - Xian City Wall/Flight to Chengdu
    This morning, visit the ancient Xian city wall, which was started in 194 B.C. This is the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well as being one of the largest ancient military defense systems in the world. Lunch today enroute. Afternoon flight to Chengdu; arrival and transfer to your hotel in this capital city of Sichuan Province
    Overnight: Jin Yuan Lou Hotel Chengdu, Chengdu
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 8, Wednesday - View Giant Pandas/Visit Mahjong Parlor
    This morning you'll get to visit some of Chengdu's most relaxed local celebrities - giant panda bears. We'll travel to the Chengdu Panda Research Center which houses more than 80 giant pandas. The center is one of the largest panda breeding facilities in the world. Their livelihood in the wild is under threat from deforestation. After lunch at a local restaurant, join some residents in a local Mah Jong parlor to watch this ancient Chinese game and have a few lessons from the experts. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Tonight, try the famous China “Hot Pot” for dinner. Created over 1000 years ago, this dish varies by region and is popular all over the country. Be careful with the Szechuan version - it's spicy!
    Overnight: Jin Yuan Lou Hotel Chengdu, Chengdu
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 9, Thursday - Flight to Lhasa*
    Early morning flight from Chengdu to Lhasa, storied capital of the Tibet autonomous region in China, 12,000 feet above sea level on the northern slopes of the Himalayas. Arrive at your hotel with time to rest and adjust to the high elevation. Lunch at a local restaurant, followed by an afternoon briefing with Tibetan experts to hear about the local customs, traditions and the thrilling journey you will experience in Tibet. Rest of the day at leisure. Tonight, dinner at a local restaurant
    Overnight: Dhood Gu Hotel, Lhasa
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 10, Friday - Potala Palace/Tibet Museum*
    Today you'll see the astonishing Potala Palace -- one of the grandest monuments in all of Asia. Built in the 17th century atop the original 7th century site, the palace boasts more than 1000 rooms, including the Red Palace (where the Dalai Lama once lived), 10,000 chapels, and a labyrinth of mysterious dungeons. It took 7,000 workers and 1,500 artists and craftsmen more than 50 years to build the adjoining White and Red Palaces. This Eastern architectural triumph was once the world's tallest building before the creation of 20th century skyscrapers. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Tibet Museum, a colorful combination of Chinese and Tibetan architectural styles. Spend the afternoon in the Museum's huge exhibition halls featuring a rich collection of prehistoric cultural relics, Buddha statues, folk art, handicrafts, adornments made of gold, silver and jade, as well as fine Chinese pottery
    Overnight: Dhood Gu Hotel, Lhasa
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 11, Saturday - Jokhang Temple/Sera Monastery*
    Arrive this morning at the popular Barkhor Street Bazaar, located in the heart of Lhasa. This cultural highlight is comprised of a series of circular streets that encompass the Jokhang Temple, along with many merchants and vendors offering a wide variety of local Tibetan arts, crafts, and tasty cuisines. At the Jokhang Temple, the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism can be observed by the sound of chanting sutras and the spinning of prayer wheels. Local Tibetans can be seen day and night performing pilgrimages and prostrations around the Bazaar. Inside the Jokhang Temple, thousands of yak-butter candles flicker inside beneath the enlightened gaze of the golden 7th century Buddha statue. We'll dine at a local restaurant, before visiting the Sera Monastery, known as one of the great three university monasteries of Tibet. Stop at a Tibetan art shop to collect souvenirs to bring home. This evening, dinner at a local restaurant accented by a traditional Tibetan Dance Performance
    Overnight: Dhood Gu Hotel, Lhasa
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 12, Sunday - Flight to Chongqing/Embark Cruise
    Depart Lhasa by flight to Chongqing, gateway to the Yangtze River. Upon arrival, visit the Three Gorges Museum, opened in 2005, with its displays of Chinese art and artifacts saved from the construction of the Three Gorges Dam and the artificial lake. Lunch at a local restaurant, then on to the Stilwell Museum, at his renovated former residence, dedicated to the General who was the Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater. With the aid of General Stilwell, the Chinese people won the War of Resistance against the Japanese invaders. This evening, embarkation on your cruise ship to begin the scenic journey on the Yangtze River - you'll be welcomed by the warm and friendly crew
    Overnight: Yangtze River
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 13, Monday - Cruise to Fengdu
    Awake this morning to the beautiful vistas on the river. Today's optional shore excursion will visit the new relocation village built for the families who were forced to move due to rising waters from the creation of the Three Gorges Dam, with the opportunity to hear from one of the locals about their own relocation experience
    Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Fengdu Relocation Village
    Overnight: Yangtze River
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 14, Tuesday - Qutang and Wuxia Gorges
    Wondrous views await you today. Sail through Qutang Gorge, the smallest of the three Yangtze Gorges followed by spectacular views of the surrounding mountain passes as you sail through the 25-mile long Wuxia (Witches) Gorge, famous for its fabled Twelve Peaks. According to legend, the peaks are believed to be the spirits of 12 fairies, the most famous of them being the Shennu Feng (Goddess) Peak, topped by a huge rock resembling a kneeling maiden. An optional shore excursion on Shennv Stream takes you through narrow gorges past the Goddess Peak; the journey upstream accompanied by local folk songs and dances. Finally, begin sailing downstream through Xiling Gorge. The longest and deepest section of the Three Gorges system, it comprises the Xietan, Qintan, and Kongling rapids in what is known as the Three Rapids of Xiling
    Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Shennv Stream
    Overnight: Yangtze River
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 15, Wednesday - Three Gorges Dam/Disembark Cruise
    After breakfast this morning, an optional visit to the Three Gorges Dam site near Sandouping Village. The dam is the world's largest and most ambitious hydro-electric project ever undertaken by man, nearly six times the size of the Hoover Dam. This project has forever changed the landscape surrounding the Yangtze River. After lunch on board, disembarkation in Yichang; flight to cosmopolitan Shanghai, the fastest growing city in Asia, with its dramatic ever-changing skyline. Tonight, learn more about this ever-changing country by participating in an informative lecture and discussion about China's "Cultural Revolution" presented by a Shanghai resident who experienced the revolution first-hand and was sent to the countryside to be “re-educated” by the peasants
    Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Three Gorges Dam
    Overnight: Jing An Hotel, Shanghai
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 16, Thursday - Yu Yuan Gardens/Caoyang Community & Home-Hosted Lunch
    Morning stroll along the famous Bund walkway, with its gorgeous vistas of old and new Shanghai. Then, visit to the classical Yu Yuan Gardens (Garden of Happiness) in the Old Quarter, built during the Ming Dynasty. This beautiful and serene sanctuary features pagodas, lakes, and magnificent pavilions. On to a carpet factory to see how fabric is woven into stunning designs by local craftspeople. This afternoon we'll continue to the Caoyang New Village, the first Worker's Housing Project in Shanghai, to learn more about this self-sufficient community and their daily life. You're invited to a home hosted lunch in this community before visiting the government offices and learning how the legislature here functions. Tonight, bid farewell to China and your fellow travelers at the farewell dinner at a local restaurant
    Overnight: Jing An Hotel, Shanghai
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 17, Friday - Depart for the USA
    Transfer to the airport for your departure flight to the USA
    Meals: Breakfast

    *Please note: Lhasa sits at an elevation of 11,000 feet above sea level. Your included sightseeing will include a fair amount of walking, which at high elevations can be taxing for those in good physical condition. If you have any concerns about traveling to high altitudes, please consult with your healthcare provider.

    Tang Dynasty Dinner & Show
    Tang Dynasty Dinner & ShowDay #6 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Mar 2016           $59
    Dine on Imperial set menu of 6 hot courses. All while you enjoy the beat of Chang' an music. After dinner, enjoy the celebrated Tang Dynasty show, a one-thousand-year-old dance performed by the passionate Tang Dynasty Troupe. This historical performance is a national art, reflective of the glory and richness of China's Tang Dynasty. Transfers to and from your hotel included.

    Pickup details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.
    Yangtze River Optional Shore Excursion Package
    Yangtze River Optional Shore Excursion PackageDay #12 01 Mar 2014 - 31 Dec 2014           $80
    Upstream Itineraries:
    (1) Visit Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest electricity-generating plant; (2) Visit the natural scenic wonders of the Shennong Stream; (3) Visit Shibaozhai, which is known for its impressive wooden pagoda and is appropriately named "The Pearl of the Yangtze"

    Downstream Itineraries:
    (1) Visit Shibaozhai, which is known for its impressive wooden pagoda and is appropriately named "The Pearl of the Yangtze;" (2) Visit the natural scenic wonders of the Shennv Stream; (3) Visit Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest electricity-generating plant

    For itineraries with Victoria Cruise Line
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    Dates & PricesLand Only
    Dates & PricesAir & Land
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    *Not Included:
    Prices do not include Yangtze River Cruise service charge of RMB 150 (approx. US$25) per adult per cruise (charged directly to your account upon embarkation), China visa fees, optional tours and gratuities for guides/tour managers. Land only prices do not include arrival/departure transfers, but do include intra-flights.

    Additional Information:
    Due to limited storage space on High Speed train from Beijing to Xian, only one small piece of luggage (44 lbs) per passenger is permitted onboard for your personal belongings. Your additional luggage will be transported separately to Xian and you will be without your checked in luggage for 1 night in Beijing; therefore it is recommended to take an extra bag.

    Yangtze River Cruise cabins cannot comfortably accommodate 3 people; therefore, our triple adult and twin with child pricing reflects the additional cost of an upgrade to Executive Suite.

    Cruise itineraries are subject to change. Alternative sights may be visited depending upon water levels and darkness.

    This program is available for U.S. Passport Holders only: A visa is required for entry into Tibet and is obtained on your behalf by Gate 1 Travel. This visa is required in addition to and separately from a China visa. Entry into Tibet is strictly controlled by the Chinese government, and rules for entry change regularly and without notice. At this time, Gate 1 is only able to obtain a Tibet visa for U.S. passport holders. Entry to Tibet is never guaranteed, regardless of nationality. On occasion, entry to Tibet may be prohibited entirely and without notice. In the event of a border closure, Gate 1 will make alternative arrangements for affected passengers to visit Guilin, in another area of China.

    Entry Requirements:
    Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.

    Is This Trip Right for You?

    This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day, and we spend 4-5 hours on our feet during tours. The pace is moderate, with 3 two-nights stays and 3 three-night stays. Some of our tours require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep stairs. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions.

    Getting Ready to GoAbout Your FlightsArrival and DepartureAccommodationsAt Your Destination

    Know Before You Go
    Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
    Getting Ready to Go
    Passports and Visas
    It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has unstamped visa pages.

    Entry Requirements:
    US citizens require a passport valid for six months beyond travel dates.
    Tibetan Visas - A visa is required for entry into Tibet and is obtained on your behalf by Gate 1 Travel. This visa is required in addition to and separately from a China visa. Entry into Tibet is strictly controlled by the Chinese government, and rules for entry change regularly and without notice. At this time, Gate 1 is only able to obtain a Tibet visa for U.S. passport holders. Entry to Tibet is never guaranteed, regardless of nationality. On occasion, entry to Tibet may be prohibited entirely and without notice. In the event of a border closure, Gate 1 will make alternative arrangements for affected passengers to visit Guilin, in another area of China.

    Trip Preparation
    A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver’s license) are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. As for the liquid containers, we suggest that you squeeze out excess air from those containers and place into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

    Cell Phones & Calling Cards
    You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. U.S. service is dominated by the CDMA technology standard, while most of the world uses the incompatible GSM standard. Some U.S. providers do offer GSM, but you may incur high international roaming fees. With GSM, however, you can often choose to have your phone unlocked and then add a local SIM card for lower fees. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally.

    When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel’s reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges.

    Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
    When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code + destination Country Code + Phone Number.
    For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If the international number you wish to call starts with a 0 (zero), you must drop this starting digit when dialing the number.

    Wireless Internet Access
    Passengers traveling with WiFi enabled devices (such as a personal computer, smartphone, tablet, or digital audio player) may be able to connect to the internet via a wireless network access point (or hotspot). WiFi access in hotels and/or cruise lines often involves a fee which, in some cases, can be very expensive. Availability of WiFi varies by country, hotel and/or cruise line. Even if WiFi is available, signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Internet availability on cruises is unpredictable due to the ship frequently changing locations while sailing through multiple countries. Passengers requiring internet access may seek out internet cafes or may be able to locate free WiFi hotspots such as libraries or coffee shops. Hotspots can often be located and planned in advance via an online search. Planning ahead may help avoid unnecessary fees.

    Staying Healthy While Traveling
    All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal health-care provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or theWorld Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

    There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

    • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
    • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
    • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
    • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
    • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellant (for both active and warm destinations).
    • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.

    Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

    Tibet - Tibet has one of the highest elevations in the world, averaging around 12,000 feet above sea level. Travelers to this region may be affected with altitude sickness, with no apparent regard to age, gender or physical condition. While it is generally a mild condition that passes within a few hours, it is our suggestion to discuss the matter with your health care provider, who may recommend prophylaxis with acetazolamide prior to departing for Tibet. Those affected should avoid over-exertion, drink extra water, and eat lightly. Oxygen bottles for your room are available for purchase at the hotel for CNY 150/per bottle (approx $25), which can last up to 6 hours and can be shared by 2 people. If desired, small portable oxygen pumps can be purchased as well at CNY 50/per bottle/per person (approx $8); these last about 15 minutes and may be taken with you on the tour. Due to the altitude, some areas of Tibet are covered by snow and ice most of the year, weather changes are frequent, and the climate is varied. The sun can be strong so sunglasses, sunscreen and lip protection are recommended. Note: Photographers may consider a camera with an ultraviolet filter for the same reason.

    Climate & Clothing
    We ask tour members to refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance, in respect for other clients on the tour bus who may be allergic.

    China - China is a huge country with varied climates. In general, the north is cold and dry in winter. In the south, summer is hot and humid, with a rainy season from July through September.

    Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

    Air pollution is a problem in many of China’s major cities. Because of the potential for respiratory infection, we suggest all travelers be immunized against influenza, and those susceptible to take additional measures. Please see the CDC website and/or consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations. Some passengers find that using a bandanna or light scarf screens out some of the pollutants in the air.

    China Average Temperatures: http://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#china-weather

    Book & Film Recommendations
    Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests’ recommendations.

    CHINA: Books
    River Town by Peter Hessler
    From Emperor to Citizen by Pu Yi
    Wild Swans by Jung Chang
    Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng
    China: Fragile Superpower by Susan L. Shirk