5 Days Tibet Tour
D1 Arrive in Lhasa
Upon arrival at Lhasa airport, our tour guide will meet you and transfer you to the hotel. For the rest of the day you will be at leisure to get acclimated to the altitude of the Tibetan plateau. You are free to explore on your own.
Day 2 Lhasa (B, L) Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor street
Potala was the winter palace of the Dalai lama, which was originally built in the 7th century by the king Sotsen Gampo and rebuilt to the present size by the 5th Dalai lama in the 17th century. Built in 1416 by Tsongapa’s disciple—Jamyang-choje. Jokhang Temple, one of the oldest temples in Tibet, was built in the 7thcentury by the 33rdking—Sontsanganbu. Barkor is the middle pilgrimage circuit around Jokhang Temple.
Today, you will visit some of the most well-known locations in Lhasa. Your first stop will be the Potala Palace. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lama and was originally built in the 7th century by King Sotsen Gampo and was rebuilt to its present size by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. Your next stop will be the Jokhang Temple. It was built in 1416 by Tsongapa’s disciple – Jamyang-choje and is one of the oldest temples in Tibet. The final attraction will be Barkhor Street. Barkhor was built in the 7th century by the 33rd king – Sontsanganbu and serves as the middle pilgrimage circuit around Jokhang Temple.
Day 3 Lhasa (B, L) Visit Drepung Monastery and Norbulinka Park
Drepung Monastery is the biggest Gelupa monastery in the west suburb of Lhasa.Built in the mid-18th century by the 7th Dalailama. Norbulingka, the Jewel Park was the Dalai lama’s summer palace, it covers 100 acres with palaces, pavilions and a zoo.
Another day of exploring is waiting for you. You will first visit the Drepung Monastery. It is the biggest Gelugpa monastery in Western Lhasa and was built in the mid-18th century by the 7th Dalai Lama. The second location will be Norbulingka, which is also known as Jewel Park. It used to serve as the Dalai Lama’s summer palace and currently covers 100 acres, with palaces, pavilions and a zoo.
Day 4 Lhasa (B, L) Vsit Ani kangsang Nunnery and Sera Monastery
Nunnery is just 1 km south to Jokhang temple with about 100 nuns. Sera is the second biggest Gelupa Monastery in the north suburb of Lhasa, which was built in 1419 by Tsongapa’s disciple—Sakya-yeshi.Situated at the heart of the oldest section of the Lhasa city.)
Your exposure to Tibetan culture and history continues today. The first stop will be the Ani Kangsang Nunnery. The Nunnery is located just 1 km south of the Jokhang Temple and houses about 100 nuns. Your next stop will be the Sera Monastery, which is the 2nd largest Gelugpa monastery in Northern Lhasa. It was built in 1419 by Tsongapa’s disciple –Sakya-yeshi. It is situated at the heart of the oldest section of Lhasa.
Day 5 Lhasa fly home (B)
After breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport. Fly to home or extend your trip to other destination.
* All deluxe hotel accommodation (based on double occupancy)
* Meals and featuring regional delicacies mentioned in the itinerary
* All visits and admission fees including entertainment shows mentioned in the itinerary
* English speaking guide;
Price does not include:
* Chinese Visa Application fee multiple entries (US passport): USD$190/person. (Canadian passport):USD$160/person.
* Service charge & all gratuities: USD$50/person for the entire trip
* Travel insurance.
* International and internal airfare with taxes
Do your homework before your departure; the following information will help you prepare for a
Trouble-free vacation in China.
Your Travel Documents
Make sure that you have:
1. Valid passport ready
2. Obtain the right China visa
3. Check the spelling of your name on the airline tickets, it must exactly match what is on your passport
4. Check the weather in the places you are going to visit in China and pack your baggage accordingly
5. Call the airline to get your seat pre-assigned and your special dietary requests placed as soon as you receive your airline tickets
We recommend you make two copies of your passport identification page. This will facilitate obtaining a replacement in case your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with friends or family. Carry the other one, along with a passport size photo, with you in a separate place from your passport. Leave a copy of your China Tour itinerary and contact information with family or friends so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
Flights to China
Contact the airline to confirm flight numbers and any possible schedule changes prior to leaving for the airport. Connecting passengers should verify, at the time of check-in, that luggage can be checked through to your final destination. For trans-Pacific flights, you must check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time.
In case you choose to arrange your own add-on flights to the designated gateway city, you must take the following facts into consideration before booking any flights. Nexus Holidays Group Inc. is not responsible for any missed connections and penalties/loss as a result. For a peace of mind, we strongly recommend you to purchase trip interruption/cancellation insurance. Note:
· For trans-Pacific flights, you must check-in at least three (3) hours ahead of the departure time
· It takes at least one (1) hour to clear customs and claim your checked luggage
· For domestic flights, you must check in at least two (2) hours prior to departure time
Most airline tickets are issued using a special fare which cannot be changed or cancelled without incurring additional costs. Should you lose or misplace your tickets while travelling, you should immediately notify the airline. In most cases, the airline will have you complete a Lost Ticket Indemnity Form, and for a fee, issue replacement tickets.
Passport & China Visa
All foreign nationals travelling to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) must travel on a valid passport with at least six (6) months remaining validity after the entry date into China. A tourist visa must be obtained prior to entering the PRC. Please read complete details about passports and visas for your trips to China.
A Nexus Holidays Group Inc. local tour guide will greet you once you have cleared the Customs area at your arrival airport in China. Please wear your name badge for easy identification and look for a Nexus Holidays Group Inc. sign. If you take care of the flight to China on your own and book our “Land Only” package, your airport/hotel transfers on arrival/departure days are excluded. The metered taxicab from the Beijing airport to your Beijing hotel costs about $15 per ride depending on traffic. Optional private transportation is available upon request. The hotel address in both English and Chinese is available at the “Contact Information” page in the travel documents sent to you two weeks prior to the departure of your trip to China.
We strongly recommend you to travel with one piece of checked luggage, one carry-on bag, and one personal item per person.
Baggage allowance differs for the trans-Pacific and the domestic Chinese sections of your China trip. Baggage allowance for the trans-Pacific flight is two pieces of check baggage per person. Total dimensions (Length +Width + Height) of the two pieces must not exceed 107 inches (273 cm); maximum dimensions of a single piece shall not exceed 62 inches (158 cm). Maximum weight per piece is 50 lbs. Each passenger may carry one piece of carry-on luggage, the combined dimensions of which shall not exceed 45 inches (115 cm).
Domestic Chinese flights are more restrictive than trans-Pacific flights. You are allowed only one piece of checked baggage, and that must not exceed 44 lbs per person. In addition, you are allowed one carry-on bag not exceeding 11 lbs and one personal item such as a purse or camera bag. The carry-on must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat. The airport authorities seldom weigh your carry-on baggage, but the size of it does matter, particularly when the flight is full. This is the rule. Sometimes it is enforced strictly and sometimes it is not – depending on the local airport and how full the flight is. The checked-baggage rule, allowing only one piece and its weight allowance are usually enforced, particularly in the inland cities.
Overweight luggage in excess of allowances will incur excess baggage charges payable on site by the passenger. For domestic Chinese flights, you may be asked by the airline to pay fees of approximately $2 to $4 per pound in excess of the weight limit.
Baggage Locks & Liquids
When departing from within the United States, you can either lock your checked baggage or leave it open to your discretion.
However, Chinese aviation and transportation authorities have a different rule on this issue and your checked baggage must be locked during the transportation in China. You only need to lock the major compartment of your baggage. This is a Chinese regulation. If your bag is found unlocked during transit, the airline or train station will lock it for you and you will be billed for the locks. So prepare a lock for the main compartment of each bag; any lock will do.
Liquids and gels over 100 ml must be packed in checked luggage at all airports in both the United States and China.
Make sure that you have luggage tags for each check suitcase. A copy of your itinerary and contact information should also go in an outside pocket of your luggage to aid the airline personnel to locate you in case you and your luggage become separated. Never check luggage containing prohibited items (i.e. lighters), valuables (i.e. cash, jewellery, and cameras), fragile items (i.e. undeveloped film, eyeglasses) or critical items (i.e. medicine, travel vouchers). Please also refer to the United States Customs for more information about permitted and prohibited items.
Nexus Holidays Group Inc. will not be responsible for loss or damage to your luggage and/or personal belongings. You must report any loss or damage immediately at the time of the incident and obtain a written report from the local authority for submission to your travel insurance provider. Travel insurance covering lost and damaged property is strongly recommended. If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filled with the carrier before leaving the airport.
No inoculation is mandatory for your trip to China. However, we remind you that travelling in China does require certain precautions. Most seasoned travelers get immunized for Hepatitis A&B and Tetanus. Note, we are not in the position to tell you that you should or should not take certain inoculations. We, therefore, highly recommend that you consult your family doctor to verify your particular needs, or contact your local Travel Clinic for their professional advice. You can locate a Travel Clinic in your area by a Google search using keyword “Travel Clinic” or look through your local Yellow Pages. Some shots need to be taken well in advance.
If you take prescription medication, be sure to bring enough to last the entire trip. Keep these medications with you and do not pack them in checked baggage.
Long-term travel overseas might cause tourists to develop an upset stomach, a change in water, food, sleep habits and/or climate may all cause discomfort. Bring anti-diarrheal medications such as Imodium and Lomotil just in case.
If you are prone to motion sickness, you are strongly recommended to bring motion sickness medication or patches to help ease nausea or dizziness. Motion sickness also includes air sickness and sea sickness.
If your trip to China includes Tibet (elevation of 12,000 feet), you are strongly recommended to visit your doctor or a travel clinic for their professional advice about travelling at high altitudes. People may experience Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) with symptoms like light-headedness, shortness or breath and may tire a little more easily at high elevations. Medication to reduce mountain sickness may be advised by your physician. The hotel we use in Tibet offers an oxygen bag for you at no cost.
Internet access is available at almost all hotels on your Nexus Holidays Group Inc. travel itinerary. You can use the computers in the business center at your hotel for a fee. Internet access is usually charged by minute and may be expensive. Many hotels offer free internet access at your hotel room, so you may want to bring your own laptop, but some hotels do charge for that and it could be expensive (up to $15-$18 per day). WiFi is not commonly provided in Chinese hotels. Most hotels in China either do not have WiFi at all or only have WiFi in a public area. Your smartphones can roam in China, but data roaming charges could be expensive. Please contact your carrier prior to your trip to China.
Chinese Tour Guides
Please rest assured that you are in good hands when you join Nexus Holidays Group Inc.’s inclusive Chinese package trip. Our travel guide system in China is comprised of a centralized office on a national level, local offices and partners in each destination city, and an extensive network or tour guides.
For a tour group of 10 or more travelers, a professional Nexus Holidays Group Inc. National Guide (a Chinese national) will be assigned to accompany the group throughout mainland China, supervising the work performed by local agencies and smoothing or any possible difficulties along the trip.
Your National Guide is a licensed professional who gives you personal care and is accessible 24 hours a day throughout your trip in mainland China (for tours in Hong Kong you will have a Hong Kong local tour guide instead). For your convenience, your National guide will give his/her cell phone number to you at the beginning of your China tour.
In addition to your national guide, a local guide is assigned throughout the trip in each destination to provide in-depth tour services to you and offer assistance on local tour arrangements. Sometimes, your National Guide may also act as your local guide in the city where he/she is from, provided he/she has a local tour guide license and is eligible to do so.
From time to time, our quality control manager in North America may contact you during your trip in China to ensure that the tour is progressing smoothly and satisfactorily.
Nexus Holidays Group Inc. local tour guides are hand-picked, well trained and service oriented. They are constantly evaluated based on the performance and our customer evaluation of each individual Nexus Holidays Group Inc. tour group. We strive to hire only the best. We know the success of your trip to China largely depends on the quality of your tour guides.
China is very much a cash-based society = bring a money belt or clothing with secure pockets because you’ll need to carry around a fair amount of local cash. Major credit cards are only accepted at hotels, tourist stores and upscale shops. We recommend you use a credit card for big purchases at tourist stores and buying insurance for shipped items. Don’t count on ATMs for credit card and bank card cash advances; they are not common in China. Please call your credit card company to notify them of your trip to China so that they won’t decline your transactions made while you are in China. Tipping can be made with either US dollars or the equivalent Chinese RMB. Pay in smaller bills when shopping with street vendors.
The Chinese currency is known as Renminbi (RMB), literally “People’s Money”. The basic unit of RMB is Yuan (dollar), which is divided into 10 Jiao (dimes), which is divided again into 10 Fen (cents). The Chinese Treasury issues RMB bills in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Yuan and 1, 2, 5 Jiao. Bronze and nickel coin equivalents exist for the smaller units. As of June 2016, the exchange rate is US$1 = RMB6.6. The exchange rate fluctuates daily. Hong Kong’s currency is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). It is internationally exchangeable and worth slightly less than the RMB. Note, the Hong Kong Dollar cannot be used in mainland China and you should convert all your HKD back to RMB or your home currency before leaving Hong Kong.
You can exchange money at hotels, Chinese arrival and departure airports and at Bank of China branches. The official exchange rate is used in most places so it’s unnecessary to shop around for a better deal. For the sake of convenience and safety we suggest that you exchange money at your hotel. Almost all hotels in your China trip offer foreign currency exchange services supervised by the Bank of China. Retain the exchange receipts because you will need the receipt to convert RMB back to your home currency at the end of the trip. Those travelling to Hong Kong can change RMB to HKD there, but make sure you convert all HKD to RMB or your home currency before departing Hong Kong. You must exchange all Chinese RMB before the last day of your tour because you won’t have time to convert it back to your home currency at the airport.
The fact is that travelers checks are rather inconvenient to use in China, particularly in the smaller cities and local Chinese hotels. So don’t rely on travelers checks.
If you are lucky enough to case your travelers checks remember to keep your exchange slip, you will need it when buying back to your home currency. We recommend you use travelers checks issued by major financial organizations such as American Express and Visa. But note, cash, particularly in the form of US dollars is much easier to use than travelers checks.
Cash advance services are not commonly available in China, so you need to bring cash with you. Please note: foreign currency are not accepted within China and need to be exchanged to RMB. All paper bills should be complete, not badly worn and free from graffiti. Partial, badly worn, or defaced bills will not be accepted by local vendors. You may feel more comfortable using a money belt for large sums of cash and credit cards. Care and good judgement is a must on all trips.
Major credit cards are only accepted at hotels, tourist stores and upscale stores. We recommend you to use a credit card for any big purchases at tourist stores and purchasing insurance for shipped items. Please call your credit card company to let them know you are travelling to China so they won’t decline your transactions made during the trip.
Personal checks are generally not accepted outside of North America.
ATMs (Automated Teller Machines)
Do not count on ATMs in mainland China. Although they are commonly used in Hong Kong and its usage is growing in mainland China, it is still rather limited to large cities such as Beijing or Shanghai. Most ATMs can only be used for withdrawing RMB. The exchange rate on ATM withdrawals is similar to the currency exchange rate. Credit card cash advances are not commonly available in China.
Although the People’s Republic of China covers five time zones, only Beijing Standard Time is adopted for the entire country. It is 8 hours ahead of GMT, 16 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (15 hours ahead of PST during daylight savings time). People in China’s far western regions, such as Tibet, follow a later work schedule to keep pace with the official centralized Beijing Time. Please check the world clock for the current regional time.
China’s electrical current is 220V, 50 cycles AC. Plugs and outlets come in a variety of shapes and are different from that in North America. Adapters and converters are readily available at all hotels but may be limited to a small number. So if you have to use them in urgency, you are advised to bring along you own adapters and converters for your North American appliances. As soon as you check-in, you should contact housekeeping to borrow adaptors and converters. Hair dryers and irons are readily available also.
Tap water is not considered safe to drink in China despite the fact that water in China is commonly chlorinated and processed. Drink only bottled water or boiled water. Bottled purified water and soft drinks can be easily obtained at reasonable prices. All your hotels offer boiled water to your room daily, with which you can safely make tea or other beverages.
Most meals are included as specified in your trip itinerary. Breakfasts included on your China tour are usually American buffet breakfasts to give you a good start for the day. Lunches and dinners are usually served in local Chinese restaurants with a set menu and in a family style. A regular lunch/dinner is composed of 6-12 dishes shared by 6-10 people sitting at a round table (which symbolizes union and harmony). One beverage of your choice (beer, mineral water or soda) is included per person per meal at no additional charge. Chinese tea is usually complimentary. Special meals such as an authentic Peking Duck dinner, dumpling banquet is also included courtesy of Nexus Holidays Group Inc.
China is a huge country with varied climates. In general, the north is cold and dry in the winter. IN the south, summer is hot and humid. The rainy season is in July and August. The best season to travel in China is April, May, late September, October and the first two weeks of November. The climate in Hong Kong is sub-tropical, similar to that of Hawaii. Please check your destination’s weather conditions beforehand in order to pack accordingly.
Dress & Laundry
China is a country with few dress taboos. Dress for comfort. Sandals, short and jeans are widely accepted. Coordinate your outfits for multi-tasking. Dress in layers to suit various weather/temperature changes. No formal dress is required. Chinese hotels offer laundry services. It is convenient but may appear expensive for some people. The least expensive places to do laundry are in smaller cities like Xi’an and Guilin. Please check pricing at your hotel laundry list from the hotel information page of each tour itinerary.
Your Chinese hotel offers postal service, allowing you to send postcards and letters overseas. It usually takes more than 10 days for a postcard to reach North-America. The postage is charged in Chinese RMB (equivalent to about 50 cents USD for a postcard and 80 cents USD for a letter up to 20 grams.
China publishes various newspapers and magazines in English. Among them, China Daily is a popular English newspaper, complimentary at most hotels. Imported publications such as Time, Newsweek, and the Economist can be found at certain hotels. BBC, CNN and even HBO are becoming commonly available in most tourist hotels.
Smartphones can roam in China, but data roaming can be expensive. Check with your phone carrier for the international roaming plan. You may also buy a SIM card in China to use if your phone is unlocked. The local SIM cards are prepaid – e.g. RMB100 will get you quite a bit of talk time and at a lower cost than the hotel IDD service. For your convenience, you may rent a cell phone. Please visit Pandaphone.com for details.
Both international and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. Domestic long distance rates in the PRC vary according to the distance and are usually inexpensive. Local calls are either at a very low rate or free of charge depending on the hotel. International Direct Dial (IDD) calls made from a hotel can be expensive when the hotel adds a surcharge on top of China’s already high IDD rates. Some hotels may require you to pay a deposit before you can access the international line from your hotel room. Use a phone card for international calls; it is becoming more widely available and the rate is reasonable. Simply consult your tour director regarding this matter, he or she will be happy to assist you.
· Calling North America from China – Dial 00 (international access code) + 1 (North America country code) + local number
· Calling China from North America – Dial 011 (international access code) + 86 (China country code, or 852 for Hong Kong regional code) + China area code (minus initial zero) + local number
Essential Numbers in China
These numbers are the same throughout China. However, only International Assistance and Local Weather Forecasts are likely to have an English-speaking operator
International Assistance: 115
Local Directory Enquiries: 114
Long Distance Enquiries: 113 or 173
Local Weather Forecast: 121
Police Hotline: 110
Fire Hotline: 119
Area Code List
Beijing – 10
Guilin – 773
Shanghai – 21
Wuhan – 27
Suzhou – 512
Chongqing – 23
Xi’an – 29
Hangzhou – 571
Nanjing – 25
Wuxi – 510
Lhasa – 891
Canton – 20
Chengdu – 28
Hong Kong – 852
Camera, Memory Cards & Film
Your camera bag is considered a personal item and can be carried onboard in addition to your carry-on baggage. Make sure to bring many camera memory cards with you for your trip to China. A memory card is easy to obtain within China, but may not be compatible with your camera. If you still use a conventional camera and film, you should pack all undeveloped film in carry-on baggage. Repeat screening on check baggage will damage undeveloped film. Most x-ray machines in China’s airports and railway stations are marked “film safe”. However, films with a higher ASA rating could be fogged by repeat exposure to x-rays. You should carry such film by hand.
It is wise to bring hand wipes to use before dinner and after the restroom. Also bring a handkerchief or bandana; this can be substituted as a hand towel. Always bring your own toilet paper as it is not usually available in public toilets.
Packing for a China Trip
Pack light and you’ll soon find that you are better off with less. The best packing question a traveler can ask is “do people where I am headed live without this item”? Don’t pack stuff that is readily available in the hotels where you will be staying. Don’t cram your suitcase with unnecessary items, and you’ll have more room for the “treasures” you collect along the way. Remember that you will have access to:
· Convenient, same-day laundry service in all your hotels. If you send clothes in the morning you should have them back in the evening. The price is reasonable. For any destination city where you stay two or more nights you can do laundry.
· A hair dryer and iron are readily available at most hotels for your use; simply contact housekeeping.
· Bath accessories in your private bathroom include disposable toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, soap, shampoo, body lotion, sewing kit, sanitary bag, shower cap, etc.
· You can easily purchase a shoulder bag or small piece of luggage to carry your purchases back home.
· Virtually anything you require can be secured along the way. It is part of the adventure. Traveling in China involves a lot of walking. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. Make sure to check current weather conditions before you decide what clothes to pack.
Tips are commonly expected from foreign tourists in China. Whether they are considered as gratuities or service fees, tips are the major motivator for the tour guides. Your Chinese national guide, local guide, drivers and porters are professional, conscientious and most thankful for your acknowledgement.
USD $10 per traveler day, shared between all guides, porters and drivers.
Outside Dining: Service charge is included (except in Hong Kong)
China is the world’s factory and bargain shoppers’ paradise. We are aware of the fact that shopping is an integral part of international travel, particularly to countries like China. However, your valuable travel time in China is limited and therefore Nexus Holidays Group Inc. tours features the minimum amount of arranged shopping stops compared with tours offered by competitors.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself and your belongings against the unexpected. Please read more details about Travel Insurance.
Jet Lag Precautions
Jet lag happens when your body’s inner clock falls out of sync with daily cycles of light, rest and meals, as you cross time zones to reach your destination. Its symptoms include fatigue, irritability and vague disorientation. You cannot totally avoid jetlag, but you can minimize its effects. Here are some suggestions:
1. Get several good nights of sleep before your trip departure
2. Set your watch to your destination time when you board the place and adjust sleep and meals accordingly
3. Try to sleep on the plane
4. Walk around the plane occasionally, do isometric exercises at your seat
5. Drink plenty of water and fruit juice while flying
6. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks during and after the flight
7. On arrival, throw yourself into your new schedule, avoid naps, and try to stay awake until your normal sleeping time at home.