TOUR ITINERARY: China & Tibet led by John Van Auken
September 12 - 25, 2017
This tour is moderately strenuous; there will be daily walking sometimes on uneven terrain. Keep in mind that Tibet is very high in altitude and oxygen is limited. Consult with your doctor before making plans to travel and please get them to sign a health waiver, which we can provide.
Day 1 – Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Depart to China. Depart on group flight from our West Coast Gateway to Beijing.
Day 2 – Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Arrive Beijing, China. Welcome to China! Enjoy a wonderful spiritual adventure. After arrival at Beijing International Airport, the group will be welcomed by an English-speaking guide and Cayce China Center tour leader. Transfer to our five star hotel, Renaissance Wangfujing, and rest after a long flight. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel dining room and tuck in for a good night’s rest. (D)
Day 3 – Thursday, September 14, 2017
BEIJING. After breakfast at the hotel, start with a visit to the Temple of Heaven. Built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty, Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors visited for annual ceremonies to pray for good harvests. Afterwards, enjoy the Hutong Tour by rickshaw, which will bring you to the old residential quarters where you will visit houses of traditional architecture. A home cooked lunch in a local resident’s home at Hutongs will be a highlight today. In the afternoon, the group will have an interactive lecture with a Taoist, talking on the meaning and origin of Taoism and how it is interwoven into Chinese daily life. Overnight in Beijing. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Friday, September 15, 2017
BEIJING. In the morning, we will have a small practice of Taoist Tai Chi before driving to the Great Wall, one of the Seven World Wonders and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 5,500 miles from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2000 years, some of the sections are now in ruins or have disappeared. After lunch, on our way back to Beijing, we will stop at Beijing Olympic Stadiums, Bird’s Nest and Water Cube. After dinner, the group will get to experience one of China’s oldest traditions, Kung Fu. The Kung Fu show will introduce the five major schools of Chinese martial arts. It will reveal that Kung Fu is not just the skill of exercise and defense, but mental practice, self-discipline, and self-knowledge as well. Overnight in Beijing. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Saturday, September 16, 2017
BEIJING. Start the day with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in Beijing, meaning the Gate of Heavenly Peace. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several key events in Chinese history. It is the symbol of China’s national pride and it is surrounded by many imposing buildings including the Heavenly Gate (entry to the Forbidden City), museums, government buildings and Chairman Mao’s mausoleum. Then, walk through the Forbidden City, the home to 24 emperors between 1368 and 1911. This “city within a city” is the largest and best preserved ancient imperial architectural complex in the world, featuring the great square, halls and gates contrasted with intricate gardens, courtyards, and quarters. After lunch, enjoy Chinese Tea Art and Taoist ancient musical instrument demonstrations, an opportunity to practice Tai Chi, and a grand finale to the day with a Roast Duck Dinner! Overnight in Beijing, Renaissance Wangfujing Hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 6 – Sunday, September 17, 2017
BEIJING | XI’AN. After breakfast, transfer to the airport and embark on your flight to Xi’an. After lunch, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a World Heritage Site. It was built in 652 for preserving the Buddhist scriptures brought from India through the Silk Way. Enjoy Dinner. Overnight in Xi’an at Titan Times Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Monday, September 18, 2017
XI’AN. Today will be an exciting day as the group will visit the famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Discovered accidentally in 1974, this incredible army of over 7,000 soldiers, archers, horses, and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin’s Tomb since 210 B.C. Each figure is unique and there are still current excavations taking place in three pits. This site is often considered the Eighth Wonder of the World. Have a dumpling dinner while enjoying a wonderful Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Performance. Overnight in Xi’an. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Tuesday, September 19, 2017
XI’AN | LHASA. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Lhasa, Tibet. A local guide will welcome the group and help with the transfer to the hotel. The afternoon is at leisure, for resting and altitude acclimatization. Overnight in Lhasa. (B, L aloft, D)
Day 9 – Wednesday, September 20, 2017
LHASA. Depart this morning on a beautiful journey of Lhasa and its spiritual sites. Visit Jokhang Temple. This 4-story, golden-roofed temple is at the heart of a rich and living Tibetan Buddhism. Many locals pray here regularly; the Temple is surrounded by Barkhork Street and thronged with pilgrims and visitors. Yak butter lamps burn in front and its rich sanctuary that includes the Sakyamuni Buddha brought to Tibet by Princess Wen Cheng in the 7th century. Continue onto Barkhork Street, built about 1,300 years ago, The Barkhor (pilgrims’ circuit) is found in the heart of Lhasa encircling the Jokhang Temple. Many people call the Barkhor “the window of Tibet” as it exhibits typical Tibetan life. Watch the pilgrims wearing their local dress from many different parts of Tibet. After lunch, visit the Tibet Museum, an attractive modern building in Tibetan style, there is a wonderful variety and quality of items on display here illustrating the rich history, traditions, and customs of Tibet, both ancient and modern. In the afternoon, visit Norbulingka, meaning “jeweled garden.” It was constructed as a summer palace for the Dalai Lama, it later served the whole government administration. It was built by the 7th Dalai Lama and served both administrative and religious purposes. After dinner, enjoy some free time in the front yard of Potala Palace. Overnight in Lhasa. (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Thursday, September 21, 2017
LHASA. Start the day with a visit to Potala Palace, former winter home of the Dalai Lama, a vast awe-inspiring maze of corridors and stairs leading through countless rooms of richly decorated statues, tombs, murals, and antiques. You will climb past the White Palace into the Red Palace, where the file of pilgrims offering silk scarves, coins or yak butter to burn in the shrines combine to make this an unforgettable experience. Note: you need to be in good health for climbing up the long stairways. After lunch, visit Sera Monastery, a complex of four structures, the Great Assembly hall and three colleges. It was found in 1419; Sera means wild roses and was called this because the monastery was surrounded by wild roses. It is one of the three main monasteries of Lhasa. It is here that the monks “famous daily debates” take place. Every day (except Monday) at 3:00 pm, there is a debate about Buddhist doctrines among the monks at Sera Monastery. The debates are held in the grounds and they are a necessary way of learning the sutras and scriptures. After dinner, enjoy a lecture and discussion on Tibet Buddhism by a Tibetan monk. Overnight in Lhasa. (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Friday, September 22, 2017
LHASA| SHANGHAI. After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, visit Nanjing Road and the Bund. Nanjing road is the most famous and busiest shopping street in Shanghai, from time-honored traditional Chinese brand stores to international designer boutiques. It is a fascinating glimpse of modern, commercial China. Overnight in Shanghai / Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Nanpu. (B, L aloft, D)
Day 12 – Saturday, September 23, 2017
SHANGHAI. Visit Shanghai Museum with the largest gallery of ancient Chinese art, pottery, porcelains, jades, paintings, furniture, and family seals. After lunch, visit Yuyuan Garden, located in the center of Shanghai old quarters. It was a private garden built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty, with typical Chinese classic architecture and style. The complex covers an area of 2 acres, with rockeries, pavilions, ponds, and corridors. Dine tonight on a river cruise to enjoy the beautiful neon lights of the largest city in China! Overnight at Shanghai. (B, L, D)
Day 13 – Sunday, September 24, 2017
SHANGHAI. Visit the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine. After lunch, a visit to Yufo Temple, a Buddhist Temple and learn about Buddhist rituals, lecture and meditation. Farewell dinner atop a rotating restaurant with a gorgeous night view of Pudong, Shanghai. Overnight in Shanghai. (B/L/D)
Day 14 – Monday, September 25, 2017
DEPARTURE. After breakfast, check out and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the USA.
Price (land only, based on double occupancy): $4,895
Price (with group international round trip flight, based on double occupancy): $5,895
Registration DEADLINE: July 1, 2017!
- Lodging accommodations
- Meals where indicated (breakfast B, lunch L, or dinner D)
- Private motor coach transportation throughout the trip
- Domestic airfare, Beijing/Xi’an/Lhasa/Shanghai
- Tibet Permit
- Medical emergency and evacuation insurance
- Tour leader and Tour Director throughout the whole journey
- Entrance fees and admission to all sites listed
- Gratuities for dining room servers, tour director, and all drivers
- Transportation to and from departure destination (Los Angeles)
- Chinese Visa fee
- Cancellation insurance
- Airline baggage fees
- Individual hotel expenses (mini bar, room service, laundry fees, internet, etc.)
- Alcoholic beverages and personal expenses
About A.R.E. Tours
For more than forty years, the A.R.E. has been offering annual travel programs to explore concepts in the Edgar Cayce material while visiting a variety of travel destinations that focus on insights from the Cayce readings, dreams, meditation, as well as all of the activities popular with "regular" tourists.
The tour content is meant to provide an educational and enrichment element that is not found on most tours. All of the tours are led by outstanding speakers and teachers in the metaphysical and holistic fields, specifically from the Edgar Cayce perspective. Top local guides, who are also part of each program, highlight the historical and cultural aspects that would be included in any first class tour. Special care is taken to include the heart and soul of the areas visited. Emphasis is placed on sacred sites and areas of historic spiritual significance.
is an internationally renowned speaker, a long-time A.R.E. staff member, a current director at A.R.E, and a popular leader of A.R.E.’s tours to sacred sites around the world. He is the author of numerous bestselling books including Edgar Cayce on the Spiritual Forces Within You, Angels, Fairies, Demons, & the Elementals, and is co-author of his most recent, Edgar Cayce on the Mysterious Essenes: Lessons from Our Sacred Past. His extensive knowledge of the Edgar Cayce readings, the Bible, ancient Egypt mysticism, world religions, and Christ Consciousness make him a popular and authoritative teacher.
To view John's upcoming schedule of events, visit our events search page for "John Van Auken."