Classic China and Tibet

Take in the highlights of Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai, including the Forbidden City, the Terra-Cotta Warriors, and Yu Yuan Gardens, and venture to Lhasa, set high on a Himalayan plateau for an insider's look at Tibet's Buddhist culture.

Starting at: $6,771 * Including airfare, airline taxes & departure fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Potala Palace in Lhasa  A panoramic view of the Forbidden City  The breathtaking gorges of the Yangtze River  Prayer flags in Tibet  The iconic Potala Palace in Tibet  Prayer wheels at Lhasa's Potala Palace  Monks amid the mountain landscape of Tibet  Tibet's 600-year-old Sera Monastery  Young Tibetan monks  Beijing's Forbidden City   Statue to the workers in Tiananmen Square  The Terra-Cotta Warriors of Xi'an  Detail of the Dazu Rock Carvings, a World Heritage site  China's Yangtze River  The architecture of Shanghai's Pudong area  The Shanghai Museum  Traditional fan dance exercise at dawn on the Bund in Shanghai. Credit: Genevieve Bergendahl

Tour Details



Best quality and attention to detail at a great price! 

Dick S.

I met so many interesting people on this tour. We bonded exceptionally well with each other and with the study leader and tour director. I will certainly use Smithsonian in the future. 

Mary Jeanne C.

This trip was so much better than our expectations (and they were high). My husband hesitates traveling abroad, but we both were totally captivated. Every night on tour, we celebrated the day!

Christina T.

If you want to learn about the history, culture, and art of China and Tibet, I highly recommend this tour!

Richard T.

Amazing journey! The quality of our expert and guide were unparalleled in our experience!

Kathleen S.

This was our first organized tour, and we were a bit wary of how it would work. Our wariness was unwarranted. As the tour went on, we were happier and happier with our decision. We now fear that no future tour will measure up to this one.

Jim S.


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Robert Shepherd

Robert Shepherd

Apr 1 - 19, 2015

Robert Shepherd holds a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Delaware, an M.A. in history from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from George Mason University. He has been an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at The George Washington University since 2006, where he teaches courses on international development, human rights and ethics, and contemporary Chinese society. Previously, Dr. Shepherd spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Nepal, three years teaching at a United Nations training institute in Beijing, China, and two years helping design and implement a national technical training program in Java, Indonesia. He has also led study-abroad programs to China and Tibet for both George Mason University and GWU, and worked with the University of Virginia's "Semester at Sea" program. Dr. Shepherd's research on tourism, cultural heritage issues, and the side effects of market changes in China has appeared in Southeast Asia Research, Consumption, Markets, and Culture, the International Journal of Cultural Studies, and the Journal of Contemporary Asia, among other publications. He is the author or co-author of four books, most recently Faith in Heritage: Displacement, Development, and Religious Tourism in Contemporary China (Left Coast Press, 2013) and Heritage Management, Tourism and Governance in China (with Dr. Larry Yu; Springer Press, 2012).

Dorothy Borei

Dorothy Borei

May 13 - 31, 2015

Dorothy (Dottie) Borei is an expert in East Asian history with interests ranging from Imperial to 20th century China, the history of Chinese women, and contemporary Chinese society in film. Dottie earned her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and is now an Emerita Professor of East Asian history at Guilford College in North Carolina. As the Director of International Studies at Guilford, Dottie wrote and administered several grants to develop Asian Studies at the college. She has taught American college students in Beijing and Hangzhou for China Educational Tours and Duke University, and has also been the director of several summer programs for faculty and students in China and Japan. Dottie has also traveled independently to South Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Julia Murray

Julia Murray

Sep 10 - 28, 2015

Julia K. Murray is Professor Emerita of Art History, East Asian Studies, and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin, where she taught courses in the history of Chinese art.  She earned her Ph.D. in East Asian Studies and Art & Archaeology from Princeton University, and her B.A. and M.A. in Chinese Studies from Yale University.  Her research focuses on Chinese pictorial art and the visual and material culture associated with the veneration of Confucius.  Her most recent books are Mirror of Morality: Chinese Narrative Illustration and Confucian Ideology and (co-authored) Confucius: His Life and Legacy in Art, and she has published many articles on varied topics in Chinese art. She has also worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, and the Harvard University Art Museums and has organized numerous exhibitions. After making her first visit to China in 1980, she served as a Smithsonian Journeys Expert for some of the early Smithsonian tours of China and has a great perspective on China’s amazing transformation into the modern nation that it is today.

Diane Perushek

Diane Perushek

Oct 8 - 26, 2015

Diane Perushek has traveled to China more than 70 times since her first visit in 1979, traveling with Smithsonian groups, purchasing books and other documents for libraries in the U.S., and, most recently, as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar for one year at Nanjing University researching how Chinese university libraries cooperate with one another. She worked as head of the East Asian libraries at Princeton and Cornell Universities, and is the current Director of Global Relations at the University of Hawai‘i whose Chinese studies programs date back to the 1920s. She earned a master’s degree in modern Chinese literature from Columbia University and did her Ph.D. work in classical Chinese literature at Princeton University. She has taught courses on the history of Chinese books and printing, and is an avid fan and preparer of Chinese cuisine. In the past year she has participated in two conferences, one in Hong Kong concerning university library consortia around the world, and one in Beijing comparing journalism in China and the U.S.