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This once in a lifetime journey takes you to the mystical land of Tibet and on to Chengdu, home to the Pandas of China. Tibet is one of the most beautiful and special places on earth: stunning Himalayan Alpine scenery, sacred Buddhist Monasteries, and one of the most unique, spiritual and traditional cultures in the world. Finishing the tour in China you will have the rare opportunity to observe the magnificent pandas in their natural environment.
Depart London on your scheduled overnight flight to Chengdu in China.
On arrival, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in time for dinner.
Today you will fly to Lhasa Airport in Tibet. On arrival into Lhasa you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure in order to acclimatise to the altitude.
After breakfast this morning you will visit the spectacular Potala Palace, the spiritual and symbolic heart of the Tibetan nation. After lunch visit the Jokhang temple, Lhasa's other main attraction.
After breakfast visit the Norbulingka, which translates as the Treasure Garden and is also known as the Summer Palace. The summer palace is where the Dalai Lama would have lived and spent most of his time until he reached the age of eighteen and was ready to take on greater responsibilities. After lunch a short ride will take you to the 600 year old Sera Monastery.
Today you will be leaving Lhasa and travelling by train to Tibet's second city, Shigatse, passing by rural villages, mountain peaks and rivers. After lunch on arrival you will have a chance to explore the Tashilhuunpo monastery. Now home to Tibet's largest number of monks, this vast complex of buildings, temples and prayer halls is essentially a walled town in its own right. The temple of Jampa, the future Buddha - housing the world's largest gilded statue and the Monastery's assembly hall with its stunning courtyard are not to be missed.
This morning you will be travelling to Gyantse with an opportunity to visit a traditional Tibetan family's house on the way, a great insight into Tibetan culture and the central role religion plays in their lives. After lunch you will visit Pelkor Chode Monastery and the monumental Gyantse Kumbum, a chorten 35 metres high and built on six floors, filled with thousands of exquisite original paintings. The monastery, founded in 1418, is surrounded by ancient red-bricked battlements and still receives a steady influx of wondering pilgrims. It is no wonder this is one of Tibet's must see attractions.
Today leave Gyantse to embark on a journey that will take you through some of the most stunning scenery in the world, Yamdrok Lake and Karo La Glacier. Make sure you bring your camera to capture some truly mesmerising photo opportunities.
After breakfast transfer to the airport and take your flight to Chengdu. On arrival take a tour of the city including the People's park and the Wide and Narrow alleys.
Today takes you to experience a once in a lifetime trip to the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, home to one of China's largest habitat of pandas. In the evening enjoy a delicious Sichuan meal.
After breakfast transfer to Chengdu International Airport for your flight back to the UK.
Visa information for China:
A visa is required for entry into China. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote "Mercury Holidays". The cost of the visa is approximately £186.00, when calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of the most up to date fees. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of issue. We therefore recommend that you apply for your visa 3 months before travel, however please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time. Alternatively you can visit The Chinese Visa Application Centre in London: 12 Old Jewry, London, EC2R 8DP.
Visa information for Tibet:
A visa is required for entry into Tibet. We have included the cost of the visa in your tour and this will be arranged for you by our team in China. Therefore, you do not need to organise a visa for Tibet before you travel. Please note in order to obtain a visa for Tibet, clients will need to ensure they have a British passport. Should you not possess a British passport please check with us before booking.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£39||£75||£129|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of €300pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Chengdu Airport is with British Airways (BA) departing from London Heathrow Terminal 5. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage that you are permitted to carry one item of hand baggage (Max 5kg - 56x36x23cm) Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 18. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour with local guides throughout ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in China and Tibet is the Renminbi, known as RMB or CNY. It is often referred to as the yuan. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. US Dollars are widely accepted in China and Tibet should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
You will need to take money with you to cover any personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200 will be sufficient for the durations of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|20 Sep 2018||30 Sep 2018||€2328|
|11 Oct 2018||21 Oct 2018||€2160|
|11 Apr 2019||21 Apr 2019||€1791|
|25 Apr 2019||05 May 2019||€2015|
|23 May 2019||02 Jun 2019||€2093|
|06 Jun 2019||16 Jun 2019||€2216|
|04 Jul 2019||14 Jul 2019||€2429|
|19 Sep 2019||29 Sep 2019||€2384|
|10 Oct 2019||20 Oct 2019||€2216|
We have a limited amount of rooms with no single supplement on this tour.
If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.
Please note that the tour departing on 12/11/15 is 9 days long with only one night in Chengdu.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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