Tibetan women. Photo by Deepika Shrestha Ross


A Unique 18-Day Exploration of China including Tibet

A Truly Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity!

Sold Out! Trip is Full!

But, You can travel with us. We will be posting regular dispatches from the trip as we're taking it. Simply send us your e-mail address and we'll put you on the group distribution. The next best thing to being there! Send your e-mail address to: salydon@aol.com, and put "China 2011 dispatches" in the subject line. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Thursday, October 20 to
Sunday, November 6, 2011

Itinerary: (Designed for old China hands and first timers)
• Depart San Francisco and fly to Beijing
• Beijing 3 nights including Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall
• Xining, Qinhai Province – an overnight in this unusual city to acclimate
• Xining to Lhasa – an overnight train ride across the Tibetan Plateau
• Lhasa 4 nights – touring the political and emotional heart and soul of Tibet
• Kunming 3 nights – China’s “Spring City” is deep in history and diverse cultures
• Macau (via Shenzhen) 2 nights – founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century and a Portuguese colony until 1999, Macau is now an amazing mélange of Portuguese and Chinese culture overlaid with 21st century glamour
• Hong Kong 2 nights – An ex-British colony (returned to China in 1997), Hong Kong is yet another example of China’s “One Country: Two Systems” policy.
• Return to SFO non-stop from Hong Kong

Sprinkled with free time – We design the itineraries so there is frequent “down time” for you to explore. For that reason we use four and five star hotels that are centrally-located.

Sandy Lydon is Historian Emeritus at Cabrillo College in Aptos where he taught Asian and Asian American history since 1968. He has been leading groups to Asia and Europe since 1974, including China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea, Siberia, Mongolia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. He has been leading groups to China since 1977.

Gary Griggs is Professor of Earth Sciences and Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz where he has taught since 1968. He has studied geology all around the world, including Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea. He co-led a group with Sandy to China and the Yangzi in 2003, and traveled to India and Nepal in 2007 and Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan in 2009.

Cherie Barkey. She has taught Chinese History for the past ten years at Cabrillo College and holds a PhD in Modern Chinese History from UC Davis. She has lived in China several times (totaling over three years), and has studied Buddhist, Tibetan, and Central Asian History. Last year she studied the history and cultures of the Silk Road at the East-West Center, Honolulu. She is conversant in Mandarin.

Price: $6,395 per person double occupancy (single supplement is $1,000)

$1,500 per passenger to reserve a space. Deposit must be paid by check. Remainder of cost may be paid by credit card at an added 5%.

Deposit Refund Policy

If you withdraw before July 15th, 2011, you will receive $500 refund, and if your reasons for withdrawal are covered by the trip insurance, you will be covered for the remainder, except for the $250 insurance policy, for a total refund of $1,250.

Final payment for the trip is due to Pacific Harbor Travel on or before July 15, 2011. You may use a credit card for this portion of the trip, but you will incur a fee of 5% for the privilege.

What will be included:

• Air fare from SFO to Beijing; Hong Kong to SFO, Coach Class
• All transfers, travel and most tours in China
• Internal flights from Beijing to Xining; Lhasa to Kunming; Kunming to Shenzhen
• Train fare – soft seat sleeper – on the Xining to Lhasa train
• Boat fares, Shenzhen to Macau and Macau to Hong Kong
• English-speaking guides local guides throughout
• Most meals (though there will be opportunities to forage the local cuisines)
• All tips, gratuities, airport departure taxes
• Trip cancellation insurance
• Extensive pre-trip instruction and preparation
• Personally escorted by Sandy Lydon and Gary Griggs

Not Included:

• China visas: current fee $140 (we will assist in their acquisition)
• Airline fuel surcharges (currently $235, but may change – must be paid with final payment)
• Tibet travel permits
• Items of a personal nature including telephone, computer charges, laundry
• Transportation from home to SFO
• 5% handling fee for credit card transactions now imposed by suppliers
• U.S. Passport fees – currently costs $140 to renew
• Anything else not specified on the “included” list..

We will be riding on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the highest in the world.

Warning – Not for the Dilettante or Faint of Heart!

This adventure is not designed for those wishing merely to get their personal travel passports stamped, or something crossed off their bucket list. This trip has some inherent ruggedness and will require some work ahead of time on the part of participants.

Physically demanding – All international travel can be physically taxing, and though we’ve designed this itinerary to avoid – as much as possible – the hurry up, bags out by 6:00 AM routines. HOWEVER, the train trip into Tibet crosses Tanggu-la Pass at an elevation of 16,640 feet, and Lhasa is 11,975 feet above sea level. Mountain sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS) can be an issue at these elevations.

Physician's OK Required

Because of the unusual nature of this high-altitude trip, we are going to require that all participants, regardless of their age or health, get a signed statement from their personal physician that their health is good enough to withstand five days at altitudes in excess of 11,000 feet.

Pre-trip Preparation and Sessions:

We take pride in having some of the best-prepared groups in international travel. Every minute of preparation spent prior to departure pays off ten-fold during our travels overseas.

We will require those accompanying us on this adventure to prepare and become informed about Chinese culture and history in general and the history of Tibet in particular. Even if you’ve been to China and Tibet previously, we expect all group members to invest physical and intellectual energy prior to departure.

This pre-trip preparation helps insure that you will be traveling with an informed and culturally-sensitive group. One of the great risks of group travel is that you might be put together with strangers who might annoy and embarrass you every day. Because of our screening and pre-trip preparation, the group will be not only informed about China and Tibet, but also about each other.

Mandatory Pre-trip Sessions

We have scheduled four mandatory pre-trip sessions beginning on May 1. They are required for all participants living within 150 miles of Aptos. Most likely they will be held on the Cabrillo College campus in Aptos. All are on Sunday afternoons or evenings. At least one of them will include a special Chinese meal:
• Sunday, May 1, 2011
• Sunday, June 26, 2011
• Sunday, September 11, 2011
• Sunday, October 9, 2011

Travel Arrangements

We are working with Wendy Simon, co-owner of Pacific Harbor Travel, Santa Cruz. Wendy handled our group travel arrangements for our 2010 trip to Ireland, and she is ready and willing to assist us before, during and after the trip. Wendy can handle your travel arrangement should you wish to go out to China before the group and meet us there, or if you want to extend your travels after November 6.

Our China arrangement are being handled by Asian Pacific Adventures and its President, Hima Singh. Asian Pacific Adventures has been in the travel business since 1986, and we believe they are extremely knowledgeable and capable when it comes to not only arranging the logistics of our itinerary, but also being ready and able to assist us while we're out there.
They are on the web: www.asianpacificadventures.com


More Information

We have prepared a set of most-often asked questions and their answers. Download the pdf file HERE

How to Reserve a Space:
Register Now!

• Complete an application for each person – download the pdf file HERE
• Enclose a photocopy of the main page of your passport.
• Enclose a check for $1,500 for each space made out to Pacific Harbor Travel
• Mail the application, passport copy and check to:

Wendy Simon
Pacific Harbor Travel
519 Seabright Avenue, Suite 201
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

You may also hand-deliver the application and check if you wish.

Further Note:
Because of travel and study requirements, we do not accept group members under 21. This trip is not sponsored nor endorsed by Cabrillo College.