Train to Tibet - 11 days
Experience one of the marvelous engineering feats of our age taking the train across the Tibetan plateau, through some of the highest and most forbidding real estate on the planet.
Begin the tour in Beijing by visiting the world famous Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. Fly to Xian and sightseeing tour including Terracotta Warriors and Horse, one of the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Fly to Xining, a part of Silk route and take a train to Lhasa on the world’s highest railroad along in comfort, at the same time spectacular views of the mountains and wonderful landscapes outside your window. The train passes through the world’s highest line with the maximum elevation of 16600 feet (5,068 meter) with the availability of oxygen in each car besides two parallel oxygen delivery system on board.
Explore in and around Lhasa visiting magnificent Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple in Lhasa and sightseeing around Ganden and Norbulinka before leavign Lhasa.
*** 17 days Train to Tibet with an extension via scenic overland drive to Kathmandu through Everest Base Camp is available.***
From US$ 1816.00
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 01 Arrive Beijing
Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be met & transferred by tour guide to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 02 Beijing Breakfast/lunch/dinner
Today you have a full day guided city tour of Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square-the largest square in the world which is located at the center of Beijing City. At the north end of the Square is Tiananmen Tower. Initially built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D.- 1644 A.D.), the Square was the front door of the Forbidden City which you will also visit.
The most important use of it in the past was to declare in a big ceremony to the common people who became the emperor and the empress. Until 1911 when the last feudal kingdom was over, no one could enter the Tower except for the royal family and aristocrats. The present Tiananmen Square has an area of 440,000 square meters and has become a relaxing place for the common people to fly kites and walk. On a holiday, the whole square is covered with fresh flowers.
Day 03 Beijing Breakfast/lunch/dinner
After breakfast the guide will take you the sightseeing tour of The Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was enlisted in the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500 miles) from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2000 years, some of the sections of the great wall are now in ruins or even entirely disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance. Ming Tombs, 31 miles northwest from Beijing City lies the Ming Tombs - the general name given to the mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The mausoleums have been perfectly preserved, as has the necropolis of each of the many emperors. Because of its long history, palatial and integrated architecture, the site has a high cultural and historic value.
The layout and arrangement of all thirteen mausoleums are very similar but vary in size as well as in the complexity of their structures Sacred Way. In the front part of the imperial necropolises, there usually is a Sacred Way (or Divine Road) which means the road leading to heaven. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also deservedly would return to Heaven through this road. The road is often lined with stone statues which are important decorations of the mausoleum. These statues are usually 12 human figures (including the general, civil officials and meritorious officials) and 24 animals which are lion, camel, elephant, xiezhi (a mythological unicorn), qilin (one of the four "divine animals, the other three are dragon, phoenix and tortoise), and horse.
Day 04 Beijing/Xian Breakfast/lunch/dinner
After breakfast transfer to airport for the flight to Xian. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to hotel. Lunch at local restaurant followed by visit to Shaanxi Historical Museum, Shaanxi Province is the birthplace of the ancient Chinese civilization.
Xian City was the capital city in thirteen dynasties which in total lasted over 1100 years. Consequently, the ancient history of Shaanxi is to some degree the ancient history of China. The Shaanxi History Museum considers it an obligation to be a showcase of ancient civilizations. It is situated in the southern suburb of Xian City, northwest of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Since it was opened to the public in 1991, its architectural buildings, internal apparatus, and exhibits have made it famous as a first-class museum in China. Ancient City Wall. it\'s the most complete city wall that has survived in China built during the old Tang dynasty (618 -907), After the extension, the wall now stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall, 12-14 meters (40-46 feet) wide at the top and 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) thick at the bottom. It covers 8.5 miles in length with a deep moat surrounding it
Day 05 Xian Breakfast/lunch/dinner
Today you have a full day tour of the world famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses which are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. This is a must see once in your life time. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to Xian in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC).
Also visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the symbol of the old-line Xian, Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. It is located in the southern suburb of Xian City, about 2.49 miles from the downtown of the city. Later in the afternoon visit the Grand Mosque, this is well-preserved example of cultural merging. During the prosperous Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) large number of Moslems traveled the world famous Silk Road to Chang\'an (former Xian) bringing Islam to China. With the support of Tang Emperor Xuanzong (685-762, reigned 712-756), they established the Great Mosque in 742.
Day 06 Xian/Xining Breakfast/lunch/dinner
Buffet breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport for flight to Xining which is located in the eastern part of Qinghai province and lies on the Huangshui River. Xining has a history of over 2100 years and part of a larger trade corridor along the Northern Silk Road in the ancient time.
Xining is also called the Summer Resort Capital of China for its cool summer. The region also provides a number of attractions making one of the important places to visit in China. Upon arrival in Xining, meet and transfer to your hotel. After a short rest, visit the Provincial Historical Museum and the Qutan Temple. After a short rest, you will tour Kimblum Lamasery (Ta’er Temple).. Then you will visit Xiguan Moslem Temple and provincial Museum. The archaeologist of the museum will give you an introduction and be with your throughout the visit to answer your questions. Welcome Dinner and local cultural show at night.
Day 07 Xining/Lhasa Breakfast
Breakfast at the hotel. Today visit Ta\'er Monastery The monastery is considered one of the finest merges of Han and Tibetan architectural styles. The famous "butter sculptures",the "barbolas" (embossed embroidery) and the mural frescoes are truly Evening transfer to train station and board a train to Lhasa.
Overnight on Soft Sleeper in train. (Soft sleeper consists of spacious carpeted & lockable 4-berth compartments with oxygen pipes on each berth and toilets & washrooms at the end of the corridor. Some trains even have personal TV screens for each berth)
Day 08 Lhasa
There are 45 stations along the 1225 miles (1972 km )long Qinghai-Tibet railway from Xining to Lhasa and every station has unique scenery. To provide travelers better opportunity to enjoy the stunningly beautiful scenery on that way, nine scenery viewing platforms have been set up at nine stations. These include: Yuzhu Peak Station, Chumaer River. Tuotuo river, Buqiangge, Tanggula Mountain, Lake Namtso, Nagqu, Damshung, Yambajan. The platform is around 500-meter long and 1.25 meters high. On the platform, you can enjoy the views around that area and take photos.
You will arrive in Lhasa in the evening. Upon arrival at the train station, you will be met & transferred to your hotel.
Day 09 Lhasa Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Today will be spent exploring palaces. First on your list will be the Potala Palace. The palace of the Dalai Lama a treasure of Tibetan culture was, till 1965, the seat of both religion and politics in Tibet and quite possibly, the singularly most important building in all Tibet. It was built in the seventh century by Tsongtsen Gampo as a fort and later renovated by the fifth Dalai Lama in the seventeenth century to its present specifications.
Your next stop will be Norbulingkha the winter palace of the Dalai Lama which was built in the eighteenth century.
Day 10 Lhasa Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Today you will visit the Drepung monastery. This is the largest monastery in the world and once housed 10,000 monks and nuns. It was built in 1419 and the second , third and fourth Dalai Lamas lived and were entombed here. A visit to the kitchen of this monastery is a must. Look out for the washing machine in which the monks mix their butter tea!
Your next stop will be the Jokhang Temple. This is the holiest shrine in Tibet and houses a golden statue of the Buddha which was brought to Tibet by the Chinese princess “Wen Chen”. You then stop off at Barkhor Bazaar outside the Jokhang monastery. This is a bustling flea market and is, generally, the place to buy souvenirs and meet other tourists.
Day 11 Lhasa -Departure Breakfast
After breakfast, transfer to airport for onward flight.
***End of the Tour***