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10-Day Chengdu Lhasa Kathmandu Overland Tour by Train

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Overview

Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Experience the relaxing lifestyle of Chengdu and get up-close and personal with the adorable giant pandas;
  • Experience spectacular scenery from the plains to the plateau on board the Chengdu – Lhasa train;
  • Set foot on the holy ground of Lhasa and explore the fascinating Tibetan Buddhist culture

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Arrival in Chengdu
Ni hao and welcome to Chengdu, the hometown of the Giant Pandas! Whether you arrive by flight or by train, your local tour guide will meet you at the airport or train station and escort you by private vehicle to your downtown Chengdu hotel. The rest of the day will be free for you to explore on your own or stay In and rest up from your trip.

Accommodation:Overnight in Chengdu

Day2  Chengdu Tour – Train to Lhasa
Chengdu has three famous features as a major Chinese city – the Giant Pandas, its ancient history, and a leisurely pace of living. For the first day of your tour, we will get to experience all three of these features. First, we’ll visit the lovely Giant Pandas at the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base & Breeding Center, which is the number one must-do thing in Chengdu. We will pick you up early in the morning from your hotel and drive about 30 minutes to the panda base to see giant pandas as they are being fed, playing with each other, climbing trees, etc. There are many different enclosures for pandas of different ages, from baby pandas to 1-year old pandas to teenage pandas and older. Beautiful tree-lined walking paths lead you from one enclosure to the next so it’s an enjoyable morning spending time with the pandas.

After meeting the pandas, we’ll visit the sacred Wenshu Temple, which is hidden in a peaceful location right in the middle of modern Chengdu. This temple is the most popular Buddhist temple in the Chengdu region. With its beautiful, traditional and ancient architecture, the atmosphere is very calm and quiet, with some people praying, right in the midst of a busy and modern urban city. The grounds have a small garden and the monastery is very colorfully decorated, making it a fascinating place to visit.

After the Wenshu Temple, we will experience the leisurely pace of the life of the locals at Renmin Park and Jinli Street. Renmin (People’s) Park is where the locals go for a relaxing walk, to meet friends or have a cup of tea. Jinli Street, by contrast, is a street mainly for tourists but it does offer a view of the way things were in ancient times. You can wander along this traditional old street to absorb the special atmosphere of Chengdu while tasting the local snacks, watching street performers, etc.

After today’s tour, we will transfer you to the Chengdu train station and help you get on board your train to Lhasa, which departs at 21:37 (9:37 p.m.). This train will travel 3,600 kilometers through southwestern China via Lanzhou and Xining, then crossing over the Qinghai – Tibet Plateau and arriving in Lhasa at 09:55 the morning of the third day. Although it is a long journey, you will be able to see and experience much that most normal travelers never have the opportunity to do as you travel along the world’s highest railway while enjoying the endless snow-capped mountain scenery and rare wild life right outside of your train’s windows.

Today’s trip notes:
1) It’s best to arrive at the Chengdu train station at least 45 minutes before your train’s scheduled departure time, so we will have you there around 20:50 (8:50 p.m.) Ticket and Tibet Entry Permit check to board the the train starts about 30 minutes before the train departs.
2) It is a good idea to take some food, snacks and drinks for the long train journey.

Accommodation:Overnight on the train

Day3  Onboard the Chengdu – Lhasa Train
Today you will be traveling along the tracks of the world’s highest altitude train line – the Qinghai – Tibet Railway. Taking the train to Tibet is certainly a slower way to travel than by flight, but you will get to witness thousands of kilometers of some of the most stunning plateau landscapes in the world.

Today’s trip notes:
1) There is access to outlets for battery charging on board the train, but you will want to make sure that you have a proper socket adapter;
2) Only Chinese-style food is available on board the train, including breakfast, boxed lunches and self-selected meals in the dining car.

Accommodation:Overnight on the train

Day4  Arrival in Lhasa
As you awake in the morning you will find that the train is traveling across the vast Nagchu Grasslands on it’s way into Lhasa. From Nagchu, it will take about 4 hours to arrive at your final destination on this long train journey – Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

After arriving at the Lhasa Railway Station at around 9:55 a.m., your local tour guide will greet you to escort you by private car to your hotel in Lhasa. The rest of the day will be free for you to explore the local area and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa.

Tips for High Altitude Acclimatization:
1) Go for a leisurely walk in the fresh high altitude air, but avoid any strenuous activity after your arrival.
2) It's better to avoid taking a bath to avoid catching a cold.
3) Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and eat some fresh fruit.4) Get plenty of rest.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa

Day5  Lhasa: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
Start your exploration of Lhasa today with a visit to a world-famous landmark - the Potala Palace, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful examples of architecture in the world. Climb up the palace along zig-zagging stone paths alongside the white and red walls to the top of the palace where you can gain a greater appreciation of the exotic Tibetan-style buildings as well as for a great view of Lhasa's entire urban area. After admiring the sweeping outside views, explore the inner spaces of the Potala Palace to find the stately chapels and learn more about the fascinating history of this special place.

From one historic landmark to another, your next stop will be at the Jokhang Temple, considered as the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Every day thousands of pilgrims come from all over Tibet and other places to the temple to worship the Buddha. The Jokhang Temple is also known as the "House of Buddha" because it houses the precious Jowo Rinpoche, a life-sized (1.5 meter/5 feet) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12.

The last stop for today's Lhasa exploration is Barkor Street, the wide, circular street that surrounds the Jokhang Temple. Local residents enjoy walking on the street, completing several circuits around the temple as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many small shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handicrafts.

Tips for today's tour:
1) There are 1,080 steps to the top of the Potala Palace, so it's best to take it slowly to avoid high altitude sickness.
2) Taking photos is not allowed inside the Potala Palace.
3) Most of today will be spent outside, so please bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and some water with you to protect yourself from the more intense sun at the higher altitude.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa

Day6  Lhasa: Norbulingka Palace, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
After breakfast at your hotel, we will visit the beautiful Norbulingka Palace and Park, the location of the former summer palace of the Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until 1959. It features the famous Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai Lamas built in the grandiose style of traditional Tibetan architecture.

After visiting the palaces and park at Norbulingka, we will travel around 5 kilometers to the western outskirts of Lhasa to visit the Drepung Monastery. The word "drepung" in Tibetan language means "prosperity". Since its establishment in 1416, Drepung Monastery has served as one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. During its prime, more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders studied at this monastery, including the Dalai Lamas. Accordingly, Drepung Monastery is also respectfully known as the “Mother School of Dalai Lamas”.

In the afternoon, we will escort you on to another famous monastery in Lhasa - the Sera Monastery. Sera Monastery is famous for its spectacular “Buddhist Debates”. As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the various Buddhist doctrines with exaggerated gestures, which is thought to be helpful in facilitating a better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study. After enjoying the "Buddhist Debates", we will take you back to your hotel with the rest of the day and evening to relax or explore on your own.

Tips for Proper Etiquette While Visiting Monasteries
1) For clothing, shorts and/or bare shoulders are not allowed.
2) Hats and sunglasses should be removed before entering the chapels.
3) Taking photos is usually not allowed inside the chapels.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa

Day7  Lhasa - Shigatse: Yamdrok Lake, Karuola Glacier, Kumbum Monastery
Today we will have an long but incredibly scenic drive from Lhasa to Shigatse by way of Gyantse. Enroute we will travel over the Gampala Pass (elevation 4790 meters) and get a great view of the holy Yamdrok Lake (elevation 4400 meters). This lake is surrounded my massive snow-capped mountains and in the distance you’ll have a spectacular view of the holy Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar (elevation 7191 meters), the tallest mountain near Lhasa.

We will drive in a westerly direction along the lake towards Gyantse, the third largest city in Tibet after Lhasa and Shigatse. Once in Gyantse we will visit the mysterious Pelkor Monastery and see the Gyantse Kumbum (multi-storied aggregation of Tibetan Buddhist chapels), the largest such structure in all of Tibet. After leaving Gyantse, we will drive another 90 minutes on to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. Here we will vist the Tashilunpo Monastery, the historic seat of Tibet Buddhism’s second highest incarnation, the Panchen Lama.

Accommodation:Overnight in Shigatse

Day8  Shigatse - Tashilunpo Monastery - Rongphu Monastery
After obtaining the necessary Alien Travel Permit (required to visit the area around Everest) from the local government office, we will leave Shigatse to drive on to Lhatse. Lhatse is a small Tibetan town where we will have lunch and take a short break from the drive. After lunch we will move on to Shegar, and if the weather permits, we will have a great view of Mount Everest in the distance along the way.

It will be a long 4 to 6 hour drive on to Rongbuk Monastery, but enroute we will see some fantastic scenery, including traveling over one of the highest altitude passes in Tibet at Pangla Pass (elevation 5050 meters) where we can get a great view of five of the highest mountain peaks in the world. Upon arrival we can tour the Rongbuk (Rongphu) Monastery of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism – the highest altitude monastery in the world at an elevation of 5000 meters above sea level. After visiting the monastery, you may want to trek the 4 kilometers on to the base camp, or we can also travel there by eco-van. Depending upon the season, we will stay overnight at the Everest Base Camp or the Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse.

Accommodation:Overnight at Rongphu Guest House

Day9  Rongphu Monastery - Gyirong
Early in the morning we will enjoy the sun rise on the top of Mt, Everest; After that our tour we will drive back to the main road(318 national high way) to Gyirong Port. On the way you still have the chance to get a last glimpse of the Mt.Everest and the Himalaya mountains. Mt. Everest: Located in the Himalayas ranges of the border between Tibet and Nepal, Everest is also called Qomolangma or Chomolungma. It raises 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level, it is the main peak of Himalayas and the world's highest mountain. The Everest is covered by snow all the year round, when sun shines on the mountain, the summit of the mountain seems like the pyramid covered by the sunlights, offering a spectacular view.

Accommodation:Ovenright in Gyirong

Day10  Depart from Gyirong Port Drive to Gyirong Port, See you off
In the early morning, you will cross the border - Gyirong Port, our service ends at the border.

Accommodation:None

What's Included

Private professional English-Speaking local tour guide
Licensed Vehicle with experienced driver
All necessary Tibet travel permits.
All accommodations listed in the itinerary
Meals specified in the itinerary as "B,L,D".
Entrance tickets listed in the itinerary
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
A container of Oxygen for emergency use in Tibet
All taxes, fees and handling charges
Lodging and meal allowance to the guide & driver
2 bottles of drinking water per person per day
International flight to and from China.
China visa.
Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
Meals not listed in the itinerary.
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
Entrance tickets not listed in the itinerary
Single room supplement.

Additional Info

Alterations of Itineraries

The travel date, service items, itinerary and number of visitors, visitors’ ID information, etc. can be modified free of charge 30 days or more before the trip. If the visitor needs to make a second modification, an additional service fee of 5% of the deposit will be charged. Every time the content of the travel contract is modified, the company reserves the right to re-quote.

Cancellation Policy

Once the deposit is paid, your trip is confirmed. If you need to change or cancel your itinerary, please contact your travel consultant by email, phone, instant messenger, etc. There will be a charge for Cancellation or modification. The policy is as follows:

1. Notice of trip cancellation due to personal reasons before the trip starts
Cancellation 30 days or more before the trip starts, 10% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 29-15 days before the trip starts, 20% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 14-7 days before the trip starts, 30% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 6-2 days before the trip starts, 50% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation within 48 hours prior to the trip starts, no refund of your deposit.

2. Trip cancellation due to irresistible factors before the trip starts

If you have to cancel the itinerary due to irresistible reasons such as traffic, weather, politics, etc., the deposit will be fully refunded by the company (for loss related to air ticket/train ticket, please take reference of the first item).

Reviews

 Chrisz
Travel Date:Sep. 21st 2018

It was the first time we went to Tibet. Too much things we need to arrange, itinerary, travel date, tickets, permit…We were lucky to have had Kay handle our plan. She was professional, efficient and dealt everything in order. Our trip went smoothly as planned. We visited Lhasa, yamdroke lake, Everest, the beauty of Tibet was beyond my expectation except the altitude sickness.

 Juna_liu
Travel Date:July 12, 2019

Thanks for Tibet odyssey. Me and my friend had an unforgettable and amazing 9 days tour in Tibet in June 2019. During those 9days, our tour guide Ms Gao hong were really responsible, helpful and reliable, he arranged all of the schedule and help us to go through every single day smoothly, safely and comfortable, even when we in the highest place where is altitude 5200m, we didn’t feel any afraid and fearful. He explained and shared lots of history, knowledges and culture of Tibet with us, odyssey not only helped us to experience the amazing views but also delivered lots of knowledges to us.

Ms Kay helped us to deal with lots of problems and offered the kindest advice and service. Giving us flexible arrangements and respond our question effectively.

Fully recommend Asia odyssey!!!!

 philcori
Travel Date:May 29, 2019

Wonderful moments in Tibet thanks to Odyssey Travel. It was all so well organized thanks to Amy who had been so professional and supportive.

The beauty of landscapes and people in Tibet were simply mesmerizing. Our guide and driver were amazing companions for this travel. The Kora of Mount Khalash was the highlight of this wonderful journey. I learned a lot about the culture of Tibet.

Thank you Odissey!

Philippe cori

 Getshulma
Travel Date:April 05th 2018

I was fully in love with Tibet. Truly unique. breathtaking, wonderful and yet once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was hoping I could stay longer to see the ancient city, Yamdrok Lake is the most beautiful lake I have ever saw.We managed to see as much as we can. Thanks to Claire who was very helpful to organize everything.

 Mary C
Travel Date:July 6, 2019

We worked with Shirley to build an itinerary of cycling through Tibet to EBC. She was incredibly helpful and responsive. She designed a trip that met our requests and exceeded our expectations. She worked with our tour members who would be traveling from North America and China to make sure we were all set with plenty of time to get visas and permits.

Our trip was 10 days in Tibet, with a rest and sightseeing day in Lhasa (Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple). Our amazing guide Phuntsok handled travel, permit, and hotel logistics with expertise and flexibility. He was a 5-star guide in every way- making sure we had everything we wanted and needed, giving cultural + historical context to the sights we saw, and having lots of fun with us.

We had 2 drivers (the van and a truck for our bikes) who were both very helpful, friendly, and good company.

We were worried it would get into rain season while we were there - instead we had beautiful, sunny days 9.5 out of our 10 days.

Thank you to all at Tibet Odyssey Tours for a trip we will remember for a lifetime.

 BurtCo
Travel Date:May 27, 2019

Initially our tour consultant AMY did a fantastic job of coordinating our tour. This included arranging our small group to meet up in Lhasa despite us arriving there on different days. The accommodation was great and AMY followed up during the tour to ensure everything was going smoothly. Great Job AMY !!

On the tour itself we were accompanied by JESSICA for whom I cannot speak highly enough. Her explanations in all the various locations proved she was very knowledgeable. Her English was clear and she was always willing and able to answer any queries. Best of all, there was not a single day when she did not greet us with a happy and friendly smile. Participated in countless photos with us. The tour was unforgettable thanks to AMY, JESSICA and Asia Odyssey Travel.