Journey to Yunnan and Tibet
Fly from Shanghai to the Yunnan province. Explore Dali’s ancient historic quarter and surrounding Bai villages. Discover Lijiang’s canals and stone bridges. Journey to the Tibetan plateau, enjoying views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and stopping at Tiger Leaping Gorge. Marvel at the Potala Palace in Lhasa and wander the markets of Barkhor Street. Visit the fabled temples and forts of Gyangtse and Shigatse.
Fly to Shanghai, China. (Cross the International Date Line during flight.)
Arrive Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. Transfer to our hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. Hyatt on the Bund
The bustling metropolis of Shanghai is home to nearly 25 million people and a thriving seaport dominating the mouth of the Yangzi, the world's third longest river. The hotel is located on the historic “Bund” waterfront lined with architectural traces of 19th and early 20th-century European influence. Visit the classic Yu Gardens and the Shanghai Museum in Peoples Square. Enjoy an evening acrobatics performance. Hyatt on the Bund (B,L)
Explore the French Concession area this morning. Fly to Dali this afternoon. The Dali Bai Autonomous Region, lies at 6,000 feet and is set in a 30-mile-long rice plain wedged between the 12,000-foot-high Cangshan Range and Erhai Lake. This was capital of the independent Nanzhao kingdom during the 8th and 9th centuries and at its height conquered parts of Burma, Laos and Thailand. Linden Centre (B,L,D)
Take a scenic two-hour boat ride on Erhai Lake. Visit Putao Bai temple, built on a rock island, and explore a Bai fishing village. See the San Ta Pagodas, which are among the oldest structures standing in southwest China. Discover Dali’s historic quarter, with its quaint stone houses and narrow streets. Linden Centre (B,L,D)
We drive to Lijiang (7,872 feet) the capital of the Naxi Autonomous Prefecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its charming old town district is a world of cobbled streets, canals, and stone bridges that date from the Ming Dynasty. Enjoy beautiful views of 18,000-foot-high Yulong Shan (Jade Dragon Mountain). Experience a special dinner with a performance by traditional musicians and dancers. Jinmao Hotel (B,L,D)
Explore Lijiang and travel to the outlying village of Nguluko, former home of the Austrian-American explorer, Joseph Rock. Visit China’s first national park and ascend to Spruce Meadow on the flanks of Jade Dragon Peak by cable car. Jinmao Hotel (B,L,D)
Our scenic drive passes from deciduous forest, through conifer and rhododendron, to high grasslands, and on to the Tibetan plateau. We stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge along the upper reaches of the great Yangzi River before reaching Zhongdian (10,000 feet) where the local population is primarily of Tibetan heritage. Shangri-la Hotel (B,L,D)
Tour the spectacular Ganden Sumsanling Monastery where more than 800 monks live and practice. Enjoy a walking tour along the shores of spectacular Shudu Lake. Shangri-la Hotel (B,L,D)
Fly this morning to Lhasa. After lunch and a rest to acclimatize to the 12,000 feet altitude, we visit the nearby Tibet Museum. Shangri-la Hotel (B,L,D)
Explore the Potala Palace, which is thirteen stories high and purportedly houses over 1,000 rooms, and contains the Dalai Lama’s residences, immense tombs and numerous prayer halls. Visit the pilgrimage site of the Jokhang Temple where the first statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tibet is housed. Around the Jokhang is a constant procession of pilgrims moving in circumambulation. Shangri-la Hotel (B,L,D)
Embark on an overland drive crossing a holy mountain pass at 16,000 feet and onwards to Yamdrok Lake, a brilliantly aquamarine-colored lake located on the high plains of the Tibetan Plateau. En route see local herdsmen and nomads tending yaks in high pasture. Arrive in Gyangtse (13,000 feet) and tour the “kumbum” at Palcho Monastery. Gyangtse Hotel (B,L,D)
Shigatse (12,600 feet) is the seat of power for the Panchen Lama and home to the impressive monastery complex, Tashilumpo. After we explore this “second city” of Tibet we return to Lhasa by road or rail, as our schedule allows. Shangri-la Hotel (B,L,D)
Visit the great Drepung Monastery filled with art treasures and elaborate murals depicting the great epics of Tibetan Buddhism. Experience Norbulingka, the official summer residence of the Dalai Lamas and their families located in a park-like setting. Shangri-la Hotel (B,L,D)
Enjoy some sightseeing and shopping in Lhasa before our afternoon flight to Beijing. Grand Hyatt Beijing (B,L,D)
Our sightseeing will focus on the Lama Temple of Tibetan Buddhism for an interesting contrast to the architecture seen in Tibet, and the charming Confucian Temple nearby. If this is your first visit to Beijing consider extending your stay. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight. Grand Hyatt Beijing (B,L,D)
Transfer to the Beijing Airport for flights home or stay in Beijing.
Cost and Details
$7,395 per person, double occupancy
$1,500 single room supplement
15 nights accommodations as specified (or similar); 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches (including one picnic lunch), 13 dinners (including one in-flight); wine and beer with welcome and farewell events; Tour leader and local guides; activities as specified in the itinerary; internal flights; coach transportation throughout; airport transfers on designated group dates and times; Commonwealth Club representative with 15 or more participants; gratuities to local guides, drivers, and for all included group activities; pre-departure materials.
International airfare; visa and passport fees; meals not specified as included; optional outings and gratuities for those outings; alcoholic beverages beyond welcome and farewell events; travel insurance (recommended, information will be sent upon registration); items of a purely personal nature.
Beijing Extension Cost:
Based on a minimum of 10 travelers
$685 per person, double occupancy
$325 single room supplement
2 nights accommodations; 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches; local guide and excursions.
Participants must be in very good health and able to keep up with an active group; walk on average 1-2 miles a day; stand for up to two hours; walking in cities and towns on cobblestone, dirt and pavement; walk up and down steep stairs without hand rails and without the assistance of another person; get off and on tour vehicles without assistance. We travel and stay at altitudes up to 13,000 feet on this tour (we also drive across one 16,000 ft pass in Tibet, but will not stay at that elevation for long). While the tour is planned to steadily acclimatize to the high altitude, travelers should not underestimate this risk and a medical form is required to participate in this trip.
Terms and Conditions
The Commonwealth Club (CWC) has contracted Bamboo Tours to organize this tour.
A $1,000 per person deposit, along with a completed and signed Reservation Form, will reserve a place for participants on this program. The balance of the trip is due 120 days prior to departure and must be paid by check. Any credit card payment is subject to a 3.5% additional fee.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a Worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit commonwealthclub.org/membership or call (415) 597-6720.
Cancellation and Refund Policy:
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
• 91 or more days or more prior to departure: $1,000 per person
• 90-60 days to departure: $2,500 per person
• 59-30 days to departure: $3,500 per person
• 29-0 days to departure: No refund
Tour pricing is based on a minimum of 15 participants. Tour price is based on exchange rates as of January 2019 and is subject to change. Tour can also be cancelled due to low enrollment. Neither CWC nor Bamboo Tours accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased in conjunction with the tour.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance:
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance as coverage against a covered unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave trip while it is in progress. A brochure describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your reservation.
Participation in this program requires that you be in good health and participants must complete a Health Information Form in order to participate. The “What to Expect” outlines what is required. If you have any concerns see your doctor on the advisability of you joining this program.
Itinerary Changes & Trip Delay:
Itinerary is based on information available at the time of printing and is subject to change. We reserve the right to change a program’s dates, staff, itineraries, or accommodations as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed, or the itinerary changed, due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, airline schedules, government intervention, sickness or other contingency for which CWC or Bamboo Tours or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays or changes is not included.
Limitations of Liability:
In order to join the program, participants must complete a Participant Waiver provided by the CWC and agree to these terms:
CWC and Bamboo Tours its Owners, Agents, and Employees act only as the agent for any transportation carrier, hotel, ground operator, or other suppliers of services connected with this program (“other providers”), and the other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. CWC and Bamboo Tours shall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against CWC/ Bamboo Tours for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. By registering for the trip, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CWC/ Bamboo Tours shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the traveler. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers.
CST Commonwealth Club: #2096889-40
CST Bamboo Tours: #2003767-40