Uncover the Spirit of the Himalayas

3-Week Himalayan China Itinerary

Prices from £2,825 pp

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Duration22 days / 21 nights (flexible)


ItineraryBeijing - Great Wall of China - Xian - Terracotta Army - Lanzhou - Xiahe - Langmusi - Songpan - Jiuzhaigou - Chengdu - Zhongdian - Lijiang - Chengdu

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Disappear into a land of snow-topped mountains and nomadic Tibetan monks on this trip to China’s Himalayas, where Buddhist chants echo across the valleys. You’ll mix the peaceful spirit of the mountains with China’s cultural highlights and stunning scenery, giving you the very best of both worlds. It’s a journey with soul, giving you plenty of chances to meet the local people.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • 3 Domestic Flights
  • Transport
  • Excursions as described
  • Entrance fee to Panda Research Centre

Our ready-made itineraries 1. Add your favourite itinerary to your travel plan  2. Send it our way 3.Our travel specialists will get planning and send you a quote

Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Temples and Hutongs of Beijing

You’ll spend three nights soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of Beijing, an intoxicating clutter of history and modern-day ambition. Wander through the atmospheric hutongs, visit the Forbidden City and take a breather from the madness of the city at the Temple of Heavenly Peace. Top off your time in Beijing with a trip along the twisting Great Wall, one of the world’s most staggering sights.

beijing wall

Terracotta Army and Drum Towers

Marvel at the soldiers of the ancient Terracotta Army and wander around the Bell Tower in Xi’an. A modern city with an imperial past, it’s an eye-opening window into Chinese culture. Drenched in history and jam-packed with fascinating places to explore. You’ll spend two nights in China’s past Imperial Capital, soaking up the atmosphere and visiting the impressive Terracotta army.

terracotta army jen

Monks on the Grassy Plains

Take a deep breath of fresh mountain air in the valleys of China. You’ll spend three days exploring the outpost of Xiahe and the rolling Ganjia Grasslands, criss-crossed by rivers and wandering sheep. Meet the semi-nomadic monks, soak up the spiritual atmosphere of the Lebrang Monastery and get a true glimpse of the unchanging lifestyle.


Yak Herders and Nomadic Villages

Explore a remote world of semi-nomadic villages, Tibetan monasteries and grazing yaks. Beginning in Xiahe, you’ll travel through the hills of secluded Sichuan to the beautiful temple of Langmusi. From there you’ll head to Songpan, an inspiring ancient town home to a mix of Tibetans, Hui Muslims and Han Chinese.

Yak Herders and Nomadic Villages

Crystal Lakes of Jiuzhaigou

Watch clouds float across sapphire mountain lakes circled by snowy peaks and hike to hidden waterfalls in Jiuzhaigou, a gorgeous natural playground tucked between the hills. One of China’s most beautiful sites, it’s criss-crossed with prayer flags and scattered with multi-coloured terraced pools.

Crystal Lakes of Jiuzhaigou


During the trip you will be taken to the Huanglong pool where you can take a cable car to the hilltop and hike downhill between the rainbow-coloured terraced pools. The following day you are free to explore the emerald lakes and green forests backed by snow-topped mountains at your own pace, arranging your own transport.

Teddy Bears and Tea Houses

With mouth-watering food and teahouse culture, Chengdu is a winner. You’ll spend 2 nights here, ambling amongst old shops, sampling Sichuan dishes and slowing to the relaxed pace of life. On the second day, you’ll visit the giant pandas that have roamed these parts for 2 million years. Now residents of the ethically run Breeding Research Centre, you’ll be bowled over by their quiet beauty and sheer size.

Two panda bears eating bamboo shoots in china

At the Foot of the Himalayas

Explore China’s answer to Shangri-La, a peaceful Tibetan nook in the snow-capped mountains. Visit remote monasteries and soak up the spirit of the Himalayas. Wander through cobbled backstreets, meet friendly monks and gaze down upon green valleys. It’s a tiny taste of isolated Tibetan life. You’ll spend two nights just outside Zhongdian, and have free time to soak up the atmosphere.

snowy mountain peaks in the sky

Lanterns in Lijiang

Amble amongst the stone bridges and cobbles of timeless Lijiang, packed with lanterns and teahouses. You’ll spend two nights in Lijiang in a modern hotel and cycle to visit the legendary Dr Ho. Lijiang is certainly no longer a secret, drawing millions of tourists to its maze of cobbled streets every year, however if you get up early to beat the crowds, you could have the place to yourself.

Lanterns in Lijiang


When you arrive at the airport you’ll make your way to your original hotel, where you’ll spend one final night before heading back to the airport under your own steam and beginning your journey home.

Man at Great Wall of China

Speak to our China specialist, Rob

"I was lucky enough to travel across China for two months and the more I explored, the more I loved; from its ancient towns to its futuristic cities. My top highlight has to be the mountainous scenery of Yunnan."

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