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10 Days Chengdu - Xining - Tibet Railway Tour

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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;
  • Ride a traditional Chinese train to Tibet on the highest railway in the world, the Qinghai – Tibet Railway;
  • Explore one of the most beautiful and holiest lakes in China – Namtso Lake.

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Arrival in Chengdu
Welcome to the hometown of the Giant Panda! Your local tour guide will meet you upon your arrival at the Chengdu airport or train station and then escort you in a private vehicle to your downtown hotel in Chengdu. After checking in at the hotel, you will have the rest of the day free to rest and relax or explore the local area on your own.

Optional Activity: Authentic Sichuan Cuisine dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation:Overnight in Chengdu

chengdu panda


Day2  Chengdu Sightseeing: Panda Base, Wenshu Temple, Jinli
Chengdu has three famous features as a major Chinese city – the Giant Pandas, it’s 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 Jinlin 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.

Optional Recommended Night Activity: Take in the incredible Sichuan Opera & Face Changing Performance in a local theater.

Accommodation:Overnight in Chengdu

wenshu temple


Day3  Morning Tour - Flight from Chengdu to Xining
This morning you will have the opportunity to visit the Dufu Thatched Cottage, which is a museum in honor of Dufu (712 – 770 A.D., who was the greatest realist poet in China, often referred to as “the Sage of Poetry”.

After lunch, your tour guide will escort you to the Chengdu airport for your afternoon flight to Xining.

At the Xining airport, your local tour guide will greet you to take you by private car to your downtown Xining hotel, where you will have the rest of the evening free to relax or explore the local area on your own.

Accommodation:Overnight in Xining

renmin park

wuhou temple

Day4  Day Tour to Qinghai Lake
After breakfast at your hotel, we’ll take you on a drive for around 2 and half hours to Qinghai Lake – definitely one of the highlights of your Qinghai tour. Qinghai Lake is surrounded by high mountains, and at the foot of these mountains are vast and beautiful grasslands, making for great views all around whether you are walking, riding or biking. Qinghai Lake is a paradise for numerous species of birds, which can number more than 10,000 in the summertime.

We will have time for a boat cruise on the lake to visit Bird Island. On the way there, you will also visit the Riyue (Sun & Moon) Mountains, and the Ri and Yue Pagodas. These pagodas were built during the Tang Dynasty to commemorate the marriage of the Chinese Princess Wencheng to the first king of Tibet. Also nearby, you can enjoy the Daotong River, which flows from east to west, unlike nearly every other river in Qinghai.

In the evening, we will take you back to your hotel for an overnight stay in Xining.

Accommodation:Overnight in Xining

erlang jian scenic area

erlang jian scenic area

Day5  Ta'er Monastery Visit, Take Train to Lhasa
After an early breakfast, we will drive about 26 kilometeres to visit another famous monastery, the Taer Monastery. This monastery is the birthplace of the Tibetan Buddhist master Tsongkhapa, the found of the Gelug sect of the Buddhist religion. It is also famous as one of the “Six Gelug Monasteries”. We’ll help you make sure that you don’t miss the “three bests” of the Taer Monastery – murals, barbola (the craft of making small models of fruit or flowers from a plastic paste) and butter sculptures. The Taer Monastery has also served as an important institution over the centuries for the learning of Buddhism, Astronomy and Medicine. There are many Buddhist ceremonies organized here at this important temple each year.

After your visit, we’ll return to Xining to catch the overnight train to Tibet, where you will be able to enjoy spectacular plateau views as you travel along the world’s highest railway on your way to Lhasa.

Accommodation:Overnight on the train

taer monastery

taer monastery

Day6  Arrive in Lhasa
As the train takes you along your way to Lhasa, you will be able to witness the beautiful Tibetan Plateau, often spotting groups of nomads and wildlife along with the natural scenery. You will pass through the Kekexili Nature Reserve, where the wild animals and plants are protected by the Chinese government, as are their natural habitats.

Upon your arrival at the train station in Lhasa, your local tour guide will greet you and escort you in a private vehicle and take you on to your hotel in downtwon Lhasa. Once at the hotel, you will have the rest of the day free to explore the local area around your hotel and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and higher 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

tibet tour

tibet tour

Day7  Lhasa Sightseeing: 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" becuase 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

potala palace

barkhor street

Day8  Lhasa Sightseeing: Norbulingka Palace, 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

nurbulingka palace

sera monastery

Day9  Day Tour to Namtso Lake
Since we have already explored some of the most famous monasteries, today we’ll take in some more natural scenery with an exciting trip to holy Namtso Lake, which is located about 5 hours drive time from Lhasa. With an early start, we’ll arrive at Namtso Lake in the early afternoon with some time to rest and relax around the incredible landscapes of this holy lake.

Namtso Lake is the highest altitude saltwater lake in the world at an altitude of 4718 meters above sea level. This lake is also the second largest saltwater lake in all of China, just behind Qinghai Lake in size. It’s quite common for first-time visitors to Namtso Lake to be awestruck when they first observe this fantastically beautiful lake. With snowy mountain peaks in the background and crystal-clear, dazzingly blue waters, Namtso stretches all the way out to the horizon. On clear days, the lake looks like a beautiful turquoise gem surrounded by the magnificent snow-capped Tanggula Mountains. The shores surrounding the lake are a verdant green, wide and open, dotted with the tents, yaks and sheep of the local nomads. For travelers, Namtso is an ideal place for phototography, while for Tibetans, it is a sacred and magical lake for pilgramige.

After visiting the lake, we will drive back to Lhasa to stay overnight.

Tips for today’s tour:

1) The Namtso Lake region surrounding the lake sits at an altitude of about 5,000 meters above sea level, so you should take preparations to avoid high altitude sickness. Remember to keep warm and drink plenty of water while avoiding any strenuous activities. 
2) If you would prefer to spend more time at the lake and observe the sunset and sunrise over Namtso, we can stay overnight at Namtso but please keep in mind that accommodation conditions there are very basic as is the food, so it is not nearly as nice as the hotel in Lhasa.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa



Day10  Departure from Lhasa
Today we will meet you in the lobby of your hotel to transfer you to the Lhasa airport or train station for your departing flight or train.

Today's Tips:

1) Please take care to pack all of your belongings, particularly the small things that are easy to forget about, such as phone and camera chargers, power adapters, mobile phones, wallets, etc. 
2) If your flight or train is in the afternoon, please be sure to check out of your hotel room by 12 p.m.


lhasa airport

lhasa airport

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).


 Shanghaipitt
Travel Date:November 8, 2019

Just wanted to say I and my partner Jane had a fantastic trip of a lifetime and can’t thank all the team enough! Amy you did a great job! Everything went perfect loved the ancient Hotel and Tibetan people were so so nice to us. Train journey was a pleasure and 2 days past like 2 hours.

Would have loved more days in Tibet.

 KanikaJ
Travel Date:August 19, 2019

- From arranging our Tibet Permit, organizing paperwork, answering all sorts of questions/doubts, our travel consultant SHIRLEY was amazing. A big thanks to her for making us highly trust the company.

- And a big shout out & thanks to our guide DAWA TSERING (guide) - DAWA GANTESN (driver) from TCT, for an amazing time & experience.

Both were welcoming, polite, helpful, knowledgeable, kind.

- Amazing trip..

 beno v
Travel Date:June 30, 2019

I had an amazing, memorable trip with Amy/Odyssey: 9 days incl. Lhasa, EBC and Namtso Lake. Amy's service was excellent. From our first contact until after the trip all communication and organisation was very fast, clear and exhaustive. Our guide, Sun, made the whole trip even better. He is a really great, funny and laidback guy, proud Tibetan with very good knowledge of all relevant topics. Take into account that the pronounciation of English by Tibetan people/guides is of a different level than that of native speakers, and when you listen a bit more active than you normally do everything will be clear. The hotels were of a higher standard then expected which was really nice to start and finish the day. I recommend Amy/Odyssey to anyone planning a trip to Tibet! I will definitely go again with them on my next Tibet trip. June was a great time for weather and Tibetan festivities which made trip even more special.

 Mark Lim
Travel Date:May 14th 2018

I had to mention our tour guide – Puktso because he is too nice. He is very passionate and thoughtful when he talked with us on the daily tour arrangement. We reschedule a little bit and he gave us great ideas. I like all the stories and insight knowledge on local life he shared with us. We enjoyed a wonderful trip with his company.

 Sharu
Travel Date:May 11th 2018

From the airport pickup time to the train station drop of, we enjoyed a five star service. I was welcome in a Tibetan way with Hada and Tibetan greetings, and our guide was careful with my itinerary and flight schedule, very thoughtful.

 booyunhan
Travel Date:June 6, 2019

I had a wonderful 9 days trip in tibet. I enjoyed very aspect of this trip. Registration and organisation was very easy, and the driver was very kind and enthusiastic, so we weren't bored even during long distances. The food was great, and I especially enjoyed the purple sweet potato. The staff were polite and did their best to make us feel comfortable and listen to our needs.

I felt comfortable with everyone I met on this trip. I truly felt as if I had experienced and witnessed the lifestyle of Tibet, and I definitely recommend this place to other travelers. If the chance arises, I would like to go on this trip once again.

Thanks Amy, Tashi; he was a fantastic guide and my sweet driver; he made me laugh a lot. Oh, don't forget to bring a lot of headache tablet you might need a lot.