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Beijing – Chengdu – Lhasa – Xi’an
Above the Clouds is a tour that transports us back to a time when the journey was as important as the destination. Since the Tang Dynasty princess, Wen Cheng, was sent to marry the King of Tibet, the route hasn’t been an easy one. But, with the advent of modern transportation we can make the journey to the roof of the world in relative comfort. Our spectacular journey begins in Beijing, the capital of China. The resplendent golden roofs of the Forbidden City, the historic Tiananmen Square, the poetic Summer Palace and the Great Wall reflect the imperial splendor of this amazing city. A way stop at Chengdu in the Sichuan Mountains gives us the opportunity to acclimate ourselves to the higher altitudes while we visit the God of Wisdom Monastery. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province, the home of the Giant Panda, and is one of the famous historical and cultural cities in China with a temperate climate and rich produce, known as “heaven”. We will tour the Panda center, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Dufu Cottage and the ancient Han Dynasty Tomb. We continue our ascent to Lhasa, capital of Xizang Autonomous Region (Tibet), an area cut off for centuries from the outside world. Visit the imposing Potala Palace, the former seat of spiritual and secular power in Tibet, that houses the holy script, shrines and prayer halls lit by yak-butter lamps. You can still hear the melodic chanting of the palace monks there. As we leave for Southwest China, the landscape changes from Himalayan highlands to Xi’an, the ancient capital that holds the greatest appeal for those most interested in the history of the Middle Kingdom. Incredible outings take us to one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the century; the Tomb Complex of Emperor Qin’s army of over 6,000 Terra Cotta Warriors. Visit the Ancient City Walls and Big Wild Goose Pagoda which houses sacred Buddhist script brought from India at a time when religions were born. Our fantastic journey ends in Beijing, the capital of China. The resplendent golden roofs of the Forbidden City, the historic Tiananmen Square, the poetic Summer Palace and the Great Wall reflect the imperial splendor of this amazing city.
One of the advantages of traveling with USCPT is that local staff will handle all the practical details of your stay thus freeing your time for the enjoyment of your personal journey. The Above the Clouds journey plan takes you to some of the most beautiful areas of China. However, no matter when you visit, the 12,000 foot altitude of Lhasa valley is a factor to consider. We also travel to untamed and agrarian regions of China where tourism is relatively new and conditions can be challenging. Cultural enthusiasts, eco-tourists and seasoned travelers looking for adventure will all find the Above the Clouds itinerary immensely rewarding.