I would like to travel into Shanghai on the 4th February and make my way over to Tibet. We are a couple who have 15 days in total. We would like to definitely visit Shanghai, Three Gorges and Chengdu and Tibet. We have already been to Guilin and Xian so would like to avoid these places also. Does anyone have any ideas on possible routes, timings, tours, restrictions in February etc?
Many of the Yangtse cruise boats are out of action from the Spring Festival until March. If that is essential to your plans then you should try to book well ahead - or delay your arrival.
It could be very cold at this time but that does have its advantages especially as Lhasa gets very busy with domestic tourists now.
You want to cover a lot of ground so your outline is probably enough. There is a slight advantage in doing your itinerary downriver so perhaps: Shanghai - Lhasa - Chengdu - Shanghai (assuming return tix from Shanghai). Since you will probably only go to Tibet once it might be worth trying to add in the loop to Shigatse/Gyantse. From Shanghai you could easily include Suzhou or Hangzhou. about 8 years ago
I have only been to Tibet from Kathmandu but my understanding is that every foreigner needs a special visa for Tibet and you can only go with an authorised guide no matter from where you enter - even China. Check out the visa requirements early so as not to be disappointed. It will be very cold in Tibet at that time. You can search the internet for more information on the best things to see around Lhasa in the short amount of time that you have. Try this link for more info http://blog.snowliontours.com/2010/04/lhasa-day-trips/ about 5 years ago