Bronze lion at the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

One-of-a-Kind Culture on an Exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime to China and Tibet

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Immerse yourself in China and Tibet’s culture on Goway’s exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime.

If you ask someone who’s been to China why you should travel there, they’ll probably mention the culture. But this word is bandied about so much in travel writing that it has lost a lot of meaning. What exactly do they mean by the culture? It helps to be specific. China’s culture is a hectic, fascinating combination of languages (most significantly Mandarin and Cantonese), cuisines, arts, traditions, and customs, all united under the banner of the Middle Kingdom.

For Globetrotters, the culture is about the food, but also about the specific experiences you can have in the marketplace or historical landmarks, or simply by walking down a small alley of a crowded metropolis that you can’t have anywhere else. That’s what culture is. It’s the culmination of all the human interactions that makes a country unique. So it’s correct to say that the culture is a huge reason to visit China, and there’s no better way to get the most of a journey here than on Goway’s exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime, Splendours of China & Tibet: Holiday of a Lifetime.

Must-See Icons on an Exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime

You need only read the name to know that Goway’s Holidays of a Lifetime mean business. They’re high-end journeys to some of the world’s best destinations. They include first-class or deluxe accommodations, guided tours, and a curated blend of local encounters and tours of the most popular landmarks in the destinations they visit. Each exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime is led by a handpicked Goway guide who’ll make sure travellers have a comfortable journey while also taking care of the little things along the way, from timing vehicle transfers to tipping restaurant and hotel staff. Each vacation also comes with Goway’s “Promise of Something Special,” which ensures that you have a journey that lives up to its title.

Terracotta Warriors in Xian, China
Terracotta Warriors in Xian

The 17-day Splendours of China & Tibet: Holiday of a Lifetime is the gold standard for vacations to China. It begins in the Chinese capital, Beijing, where you see some of the essential landmarks of imperial China, from the Forbidden City to the Summer Palace to massive Tiananmen Square. You then head north of the city to the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China, the best-preserved remnant of this northern fortification. From Beijing, connect to Xian, the ancient capital and resting place of the nation’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. In Xian, you’ll see the famous Terracotta Warriors that have protected the emperor’s tomb since the 3rd century BC.

From Xian, pass into the autonomous region of Tibet and reach the capital, Lhasa. You’ll see the former home of the Dalai Lama, Potala Palace, and get in touch with local Tibetan traditions before passing back east to Chengdu, home to the Giant Panda Breeding Center, where you’ll see dozens of giant pandas roam the famous observation centre. Continue to Chongqing and board a cruise vessel to journey along the Yangtze River and see the Three Gorges Dam, which altered the planet’s rotation, before arriving in Yichang. The final stop on your exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime is Shanghai, China’s city of the future, where you’ll spend a few days seeing the sights while strolling along the Bund, and taking a day trip to nearby Suzhou to admire the canals and gardens of this “Venice of the East.” As you can see from this brief overview of the itinerary, the Splendours of China & Tibet tour checks off a lot of the boxes of an essential China vacation.

Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
Ancient town of Suzhou, China
Ancient town of Suzhou

Sample China’s Many Flavours

If you go to China and don’t eat Chinese food, you haven’t really visited the country. That’s why on the Splendours of China & Tibet: Holiday of a Lifetime, you have several scheduled meals that demonstrate China’s formidable culinary prowess. But before we explore what flavours await you on this exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime, we have to point out that Chinese cuisine is not monolithic by any means. It’s one of the oldest and most significant food cultures in the world, but it comprises several distinct regional cuisines that are very different from one another. So while all the foods you’ll try on a trip to China can be grouped under the umbrella of Chinese cuisine, that designation doesn’t tell half the story.

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Enjoy Different Cuisines on Travel to China

During a Splendours of China & Tibet Holiday of a Lifetime, you’ll experience a few of the delectable meals that China is famous for. In Beijing, you’ll enjoy one of the most popular Northern Chinese dishes at a Peking Duck banquet. Peking Duck is seasoned and roasted duck that’s known for its extremely crispy skin and savoury flavours. It’s often paired with vegetables such as spring onion and cucumber, and served alongside sweet bean sauce and savoury pancakes.

Peking duck dinner in Beijing, China
Peking duck dinner in Beijing

In Xian, you’ll enjoy another cornerstone of Chinese culture: the tea ceremony, an elaborate ritual that’s often a component of traditional weddings and is meant to showcase tea’s central importance in China and show respect for the people participating in the ceremony. Xian also offers a chance to sample some Chinese Muslim cuisine, as the Muslim Quarter is among the largest in the country and the best place to try some mutton dumplings or Liangpi noodles.

Once you reach Lhasa, you’ll experience a whole new cuisine with a Tibetan dinner that showcases staple ingredients like mutton, goat, and noodles. And let’s not forget the dumplings, as Tibetan cuisine is famous for the wonderful dumplings, known as momos, that are stuffed with meat like mutton and beef, vegetables, and are even sometimes made from potato. In Chengdu, you’ll experience another classic Chinese meal: the hot pot. Chengdu is the centre of Sichuan province and the centre of Sichuan cuisine (often called Szechuan), known for its abundance of chilies and Sichuan peppers. During a hot pot dinner, you use chopsticks to dip thin slices of meat and vegetables into a simmering pot of stock, which cooks the food. In Sichuan cuisine, the soup stock is often seasoned with Sichuan peppers, adding a spicy bite to everything you eat.

It’s also important to point out that you’ll have a lot of opportunities to try local foods at lunch time throughout your exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime vacation. Whether you’re wandering down streets filled with food stalls in Beijing or Shanghai or discovering little dumpling houses in Xian, you’ll enjoy a lot of wonderful flavours on this Holiday of a Lifetime.

Street food vendor cooking spicy fried tofu in Muslim Quarter, Xian, China
Street food vendor cooking spicy fried tofu in Muslim Quarter, Xian

Get in Touch with Chinese Art, Tradition, and Daily Life

It’s hard not to feel the foreigner you are when venturing through China, what with the many looks and occasional requests for photos you’ll get from the locals, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from getting in touch with some fundamental aspects of Chinese culture during your exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime. In fact, the Splendours of China & Tibet includes art experiences and community engagements that ensure you leave China with a vital connection to its people and many traditional practices.

Sichuan opera performer, China
Sichuan opera performer

In Xian, you’ll get a taste for Chinese opera with the Tang Dynasty Music & Dance Show, which showcases the history of the Tang Dynasty through a blend of traditional songs, acrobatic dance, and modern audiovisual technology. Also, while staying in Xian, you’ll head just outside the city to the village of Huxian and get to watch as the local villagers perform a Lion Dance to greet you. Also in Huxian, you’ll get to see the farmer paintings, which celebrate Communist farmers and are some of the most important examples of post-Cultural Revolution art in China. Later, when you visit Chengdu, you’ll have another chance to experience Chinese opera with a Sichuan opera show. Hear more ancient Chinese legends, enjoy the singing and dancing, and pay careful attention to the differences from the show you saw in Xian.

Once you cross into Tibet, you’ll get to experience how distinct Tibetan culture is from Han Chinese culture. Tibet was annexed by China in the 1950s and has had a distinct culture, centred on Tibetan Buddhism, for thousands of years. In order to experience the customs and social rituals that define Tibet, you’ll visit the home of a local family to experience Tibetan hospitality firsthand and learn about daily routines in Lhasa. Later, you’ll visit a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where you’ll observe monks training for ordination and enjoy an intimate glimpse into Tibetan Buddhism.

Ancient temples of Sera Monastery near Lhasa, Tibet
Ancient temples of Sera Monastery near Lhasa, Tibet

It’d be wrong to discuss distinct Chinese cultural traditions without bringing up martial arts, as martial arts, or kung fu, have defined China for at least 1,300 years. You’ll get a few chances to admire this ancient Chinese military art form and even try if for yourself while on your exclusive Holiday of a Lifetime. In Beijing, while visiting the Temple of Heaven, you’ll have the chance to learn some rudimentary Tai Chi under the guidance of a Tai Chi master. Learn to control your body’s movements and synchronize your rhythm as a group. After getting a taste for martial arts in Beijing, later in Shanghai you’ll see some of the best performers demonstrate strength and agility during the famous Acrobatics Show. You may not be able to replicate their acrobatics (nor would I recommend trying), but after your Tai Chi lesson in Beijing, you can appreciate how simple skills trained properly can lead to incredible displays of physicality.

Martial arts master practicing high kick technique at Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China
Martial arts master practicing high kick technique at Temple of Heaven, Beijing

The Splendours of China & Tibet: Holiday of a Lifetime doesn’t only take you to the must-see landmarks of China such as the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, and the Yangtze River, but it showcases the many delicious flavours of Chinese cuisine and unique cultural aspects of this massive nation. It’s truly a journey of a lifetime.

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Aren Bergstrom
Aren Bergstrom

Globetrotting Editor - You might say that Aren was destined to become a Globetrotter after his family took him to Germany two times before he was four. If that wasn’t enough, a term spent in Sweden as a young teenager and a trek across Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand confirmed that destiny. An independent writer, director, and film critic, Aren has travelled across Asia, Europe, and South America. His favourite travel experience was visiting the major cities of Japan’s largest island, Honshu, but his love for food, drink, and film will take him anywhere that boasts great art and culture.

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