Take in the highlights of Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai, and enjoy a cruise of the Yangtze River. Plus, venture to Lhasa, set high on a Himalayan plateau, for an insider's look at Tibet's Buddhist culture.

Starting at: $6,987 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Potala Palace in Lhasa  The breathtaking gorges of the Yangtze River  A panoramic view of the Forbidden City  Beijing's Forbidden City   The Great Wall of China  The Terra-Cotta Warriors of Xi'an  Monks amid the mountain landscape of Tibet  Young Tibetan monks  Prayer wheels at Lhasa's Potala Palace  Potala Palace, Lhasa  Prayer flags in Tibet  Detail of the Dazu Rock Carvings, a World Heritage site  China's Yangtze River  Pavilion in the Yu Yuan gardens of Shanghai  Yu Yuan (gardens) of Shanghai  The renowned Shanghai Museum

Classic China Featuring Tibet

Including a Yangtze River Cruise

19 days from $7,187 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Take in the highlights of Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai, and enjoy a cruise of the Yangtze River. Plus, venture to Lhasa, set high on a Himalayan plateau, for an insider's look at Tibet's Buddhist culture.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

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.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

May 3 - 21, 2017 Departure
Virginia Bower

Virginia Bower

Virginia Bower is an expert on Chinese art and archaeology. Virginia did her graduate study at Princeton University, and is now an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; she also teaches regularly at Rutgers University. She has contributed to numerous museum catalogs and exhibitions and is a co-editor of Chinese Ceramics: From the Paleolithic Period through the Qing Dynasty (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010). She has lived in Taiwan and worked at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Virginia first visited China as a tour lecturer in the 1980’s and has returned many times on a wide range of itineraries sponsored by educational institutions, including the Smithsonian.

Sep 14 - Oct 2, 2017 Departure; Sep 13 - Oct 1, 2018 Departure
Robert Foster

Robert Foster

Robert W. Foster has been fascinated by Chinese culture since he first read a translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching in high school. Since that early encounter with a strikingly unfamiliar worldview, he has spent his academic career developing a better understanding of the history of one of the world's great civilizations. After receiving a B.A. in History from Kenyon College in Ohio, Foster pursued graduate work at Harvard University, where he earned his Master's degree in East Asia Studies (1990) and his Ph.D. in Chinese History (1997), during which time he was an exchange student at Peking University (1990-1991). Since 1997, he has been a member of the faculty of the Department of History at Berea College, where he created the Asian Studies program. Although his courses at Berea focus on Chinese and Japanese history, Foster has also developed a broader understanding of the cultural interactions throughout East Asia and between China and Central Asia. Foster has been a participant in National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes on the Silk Road sponsored by the East-West Center in Hawaii and seminars on modern China at the Salzburg Seminar in Austria. Foster has worked to make Chinese culture more accessible to a Western audience. He has translated key Classical Chinese texts, has written on China's relation to the Silk Road, on Confucian philosophy, and on the modern use of Confucian imagery in the PRC and Japan. Recognizing the value of directly engaging Asian cultures, he has taken student and faculty groups to the Peoples' Republic of China and Japan. He has served as Smithsonian Lecturer in China and has led workshops on Asia with organizations as diverse as the U.S. military and secondary school educators in Kentucky.

Sep 21 - Oct 9, 2017 Departure
Paula Swart

Paula Swart

Paula Swart is an art historian with expertise in Asian art, culture and history, and has spent most of her professional life as a Curator of Asian Studies. She is a lecturer in the Continuing Education Departments of the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria where she has taught a series of courses related to UNESCO World Heritage.  Paula holds degrees in Sinology, Asian art history, Chinese history, and archaeology, having spent two years studying in China. She speaks five languages, including Mandarin, and has published several books and numerous articles on the art and architecture of Asian cultures. One of her recent articles discusses the first World Heritage site in Myanmar, the Ancient Pyu cities. Paula has enjoyed introducing visitors to Asian culture and history for more than 30 years, having participated in well over 50 expeditions by train, ship or private jet.

Oct 12 - 30, 2017 Departure
Rose Lee

Rose Lee

Rose E. Lee is an art historian, curator, and editor of Asian art whose focus is on the material cultures and societies of North Asia. With a working knowledge of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, she has lived and worked in Asia for over twenty years. Formerly a curator of Chinese art at the Denver Art Museum and the National Palace Museum of Taipei, Rose also taught Chinese art history at Colorado College and Soochow University. She currently lives in Washington, D.C. and edits exhibition catalogs and journal articles on Asian art.

Apr 4 - 22, 2018 Departure
Barry Till

Barry Till

Barry Till is a curator of Asian art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in Canada. With a wide-ranging knowledge of Asia's history, archaeology, and cultures, Barry has travelled extensively and lectured on numerous expeditions—including trips to China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar—for more than thirty years. He has published more than 100 exhibition catalogues (including The Buddhist Arts of Asia), books, and articles on various Asian art topics, and is an enthusiastic and engaging speaker. In 2008, Barry received the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Museums Association. He speaks Chinese, holds degrees in Far Eastern Studies, and studied at Oxford and at Nanjing University in China.

May 3 - 21, 2018 Departure
Ken Hammond

Ken Hammond

Ken Hammond is a historian with expertise in Asia and the cultural and intellectual history of China in the late imperial era from the 10th through the 18th centuries, with special interest in the Ming dynasty. As a professor of Asian History at New Mexico State University, he teaches courses on the history of Central Asia and the Silk Road in addition to classes on Chinese history. He has also taught university students during the summer at the China Studies Program in Beijing.

Ken has recorded a 36 lecture series for The Great Courses entitled From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History. He also focuses on global and comparative history and is interested in urban history and cartography. Ken has published many articles on a wide range of subjects, including Chinese intellectual and political history and Chinese gardens. He received his Masters and Ph.D. from Harvard University in history and East Asian languages and has been a research scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing and at the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands.