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Train Tour to Tibet

Last century in September 1985, the year just after the whole road was asphalted from Xining to Lhasa with 2200km and the year the first 4 star Lhasa Hotel opened, we arranged and guided the first group with 26 American tourists from US Lyndblade Tour Company to start with 4 nights and 5 days’ bus adventure tours along this highest highway in the world. Since then there were about 30 to 40 groups from different countries traveling on this road from Xining via Golmud to Lhasa or Lhasa to Xining every year.

Day 01 --Arrive at Beijing and then connected flight to Xining
The city is situated on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau at 2200m and the capital of the Qinghai Province, which was the former Eastern Tibetan area Amdo. Today it is a quite modern city and there is little left of the old walled town that used to be the main trading station between China and Tibet and entrance to the Silk Road. The population today is Chinese, Tibetan, Mongol, Muslim and Tu. To stay in Xining is also a good step to adjust your body to the high altitude for those who are going to Lhasa or to the grassland. Up on arrival, If time allows, we drive 30 km to visit the famous Kumbum monastery of Gelukpa-sect which was built in 1560 in Huangzhong county and also one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet. Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Lamaistic "yellow hat sect" and the 14th Dalai Lama were born here. As Kumbum-monastery has always been playing an important role to connect the Mongolian with the Lamaism, today many Mongolian come to this place for worship.. Overnight Qinghai Hotel ****(www.qhhotel.com) Tel: 0086-971-6144888, Fax: 6144145 or another new four star hotel. BLD.

Day 02. -Xining – Kokonor—Xining, boarding on Train
This morning we drive for 151km to the biggest salt lake Kokonor. On the way, we pass over Sun-Moon-Mountain. In 641 Wencheng princess of Tang Dynasty passed by this mountain where today a sun-pavilion and a moon-pavilion are built on the summit for people to have a break. The Sun-Moon mountain pass (Alt:3520m) has always been a distinguish line between meadow and agriculture area. Arrive at Koko Nor Lake(Alt:3200m) at about 12:00pm, after lunch, sightseeing by the lake and then, we take another new road driving back to Xining. We will drive through beautiful sand dunes by the north of the Lake, Gobi desert, grassland and narrow gorges along one of the tributaries of the Yellow River. After dinner, in the evening take soft sleeping train (19:00pm/07:00am, shared 1st Class 4 berth soft sleepers train compartment) to Golmud. Overnight in the train. BLD

Day 03. --Golmud – Lhasa
At 07:00am, we arrive at Golmud station, after 15 minutes, our train goes on to Lhasa. Enjoy the highland scenery along Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which is considered as the longest railway running on the world’s highest plateau; There are a lot of to see through the train windows: Gobi desert, huge wild and dry mountains without any plants which just look like big rusty irons, suddenly the scenery changes to beautiful grassland decorated with snow mountains standing behind and yak and sheep under the blue sky. Clean rivers and lakes look like mirrors. The lush land appears countless different colors of highland flowers. The highest point should be Tanggula mountain pass at elevation 5200m, where the Yangtze River originates. At 20:00pm arrives at Lhasa station. Meet the local guide and transfer to the hotel. Overnight 4 star hotel in Lhasa. BLD

Day 04 --Lhasa
If Tibet is the "roof of the world", then its capital, Lhasa, is certainly the "city of the sun". Standing on a plain over 13,000 feet (3700m) above sea level, surrounded by towering mountains, Lhasa is a town bathed in sunlight. This morning we have an acclimatization rest in the hotel. In the afternoon, we take easy visit to Norbulingka, meaning the “garden of treasures” in Tibetan. Located in the west suburbs of Lhasa, this palace complex was built in the 18th century and served as the summer residence since the 7th Dalai Lama. Then follows a visit of Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhists, where innumerable pilgrims come for worship everyday. The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor Street around Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties. Overnight 4 star hotel in Lhasa. BLD

Day 05 --Lhasa
In the morning, we visit Potala Palace, which was constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet and later served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas. Then drive to visit Sera monastery, built in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called "the court of wild rose". Today still 200 lamas live in there. Sometimes, we may see the lamas doing Scripture Debating in Sera Monastery. Overnight 4 star Hotel in Lhasa. BLD

Day 06. --Lhasa - Gyangtse - Shigatse
Today leaving for Shigatse. Pass by the Yamdrok-Tso Lake, the third-biggest holy lake in Tibet and a good place for taking photos. Then cross over Kangpa-La Pass (5000 m) to arrive in Gyangtse in the afternoon where visit Kumbum Pagoda also called 100-thousand-Bouddha's-pagoda as well as Pelkor Monastery famed with its splendid Buddhist Tibetan art, both of them were built in the 15th century. Afterwards drive to Shigatse, the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet. Overnight Shigatse Hotel or another better Hotel. BLD

Day 07. --Shigatse - Lhasa (290 km)
In the morning, we visit Tashilunpo monastery of Gelukpa sect, the seat of the Panchen Lamas and one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet region. In the monastery the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya (Buddha of the future) in Tibet is enshrined. In Tibet Buddhism, Panchen Lama is just the embodiment of Maitreya Buddha. After lunch, we return to Lhasa by another road to enjoy different landscape on the way. Overnight 4 star Hotel. BLD

Day 08. --Lhasa fly to Beijing
Transfer to Gongga Airport and departure for Beijing. Overnight Tianlun Songhe Hotel*** (www.tianlunsonghehotel.com). Tel: 0086-10-65138822, Fax:65139088. B

Day 09. –Beijing Visit the Wild Great Wall
Unlike other tours going to the restored Great Wall of China at Badaling or Jurongguan area, we will take you to the less visited part of the wild wall at Simatai where the wall is still like when it was first built 600 years ago. Great Wall: In 220 B.C., under Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defense system against invasions from the north. Construction of the great wall continued up to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure. Its historic and strategic importance is matched only by its architectural significance. Peking Duck dinner this evening. BLD.Overnight Tianlun Songhe Hotel. (www.tianlunsonghehotel.com). Tel: 0086-10-65138822, Fax: 65139088.

Day 10. --Beijing fly to your home
Transfer to Beijing International Airport to meet your flight. B

Our holiday includes:
Two domestic flights Beijing/Xining// Lhasa/Beijing
Soft sleeper train ticket Xining/Lhasa
Air-conditioned deluxe transportation within the tour
Accommodation at international 3 or 4 star standard Hotels based on your requests
Three meals as specified in the itinerary
Full Western Buffet Breakfast Daily except on the train
Comprehensive sightseeing
Experienced and knowledgeable tour guides
Permit to Lhasa
Local Specialties:
Beijing - Peking Duck Banquet

Our holiday does not include:
International airfare
Personal expenses
Tips to guide and driver


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