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10-Day Shanghai Lhasa Shigatse EBC Train Tour

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Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Experience a monumental train journey across China from Shanghai to Lhasa, crossing over the world’s highest train line – the Qinghai – Tibet Railway;
  • Explore Lhasa and some of the most sacred sites in Tibetan Buddhism at the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, the Drepung and Sera Monasteries, and more;
  • Travel through the stunning landscapes of rural Tibet and the Himalayas as you journey on to the peak of the world at Mount Everest.

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Board the Train from Shanghai to Lhasa
This day will be free during the morning and afternoon to explore Shanghai on your own, or book one of our many tours to explore this ultra-modern city with a history of thousands of years. In the evening, we will take you to the Shanghai train station to board your train for your adventurous trip from Shanghai to Lhasa. The Z164 train departs from Shanghai at 20:10 (8:10 p.m.) and arrives in Lhasa at 19:44 (7:44 p.m.) on the 3rd day, taking 47 hours and 34 minutes for the 4,373 kilometer (2,717 mile) trip so you will be spending two nights on board the train. You will need to be at the train station at least one hour before the train departs, and be sure to have your Tibet Travel Permit with you as you will need to show it to the train authorities before boarding the train.

Accommodation:Overnight on the train

Day2  On the train
Witness the scenery en route

Accommodation:Overnight on the train

Day3  Arrive in Lhasa, Train Station Pick up
Today will feature the amazing landscape along the Qinghai – Tibet Railway, the world’s highest altitude train ride. You will pass through deserts, vast grasslands, beautiful lakes and the stunning, snow-capped mountains of the Himalayan mountain range as you approach Lhasa.

Upon your arrival at the Lhasa train station, your local tour guide will greet you and escort you to your private vehicle to take you on to your Lhasa hotel. You will have the rest of the evening to rest and relax from your long train journey, and to become acclimatized to the higher altitude.

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

Lhasa Gongga Airport

Lhasa Gongga Airport

Day4  Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and 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 to 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 Sakyamuni at the age of 12.

The last stop for today's Lhasa exploration is Barkhor 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.

After your visit to the Jokhang Temple, we will take you back to your hotel for the evening.

Tips for Visiting the Potala Palace
1. The number of visitors to the palace is strictly limited to 2,300 per day. Visitors can only visit during the time specified on the admission ticket.
2. Admission tickets to visit the Potala Palace are sold out almost every day, so it is strongly recommended to book your tickets several days in advance. 
3. There are many steps at the Potala Palace, so it’s best to take it slowly to avoid possible altitude discomfort.
4. Visitors should respect the rules while visiting. Do not wear hats, wear revealing clothes or step on thresholds as these actions violate local customs.
5. Photography and the taking of videos are forbidden inside the Potala Palace.
6. A security search will take place at the entrance to the palace. Explosives, flammables, knives, lighters and even water bottles are not allowed inside the Potala Palace.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa

Potala Palace

Barkhor Street

Day5  Lhasa – Norbulingka, Drepung and Sera Monasteries
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

Sera Monastery

Norbulingka Palace

Day6  Lhasa - Yamdrok Lake - Gyantse - Shigatse
Today we will begin our exploration of the more rural areas of Tibet, with an 8-hour drive to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. Although it is a long drive, it certainly won’t be a boring one – there is much to see and do along the way. We will travel over the Gampala Pass (elevation 4790 meters) as we drive from Lhasa to Shigatse to our first stop at the holy Yamdrok Lake (elevation 4400 meters). As the largest fresh water lake in the northern Himalayas, the lake reaches about 675 square kilometers from north to south, shaped much like a teardrop lying amidst the giant snow-capped mountains. Beyond the lake, you can see fertile pastures dotted with yaks and sheep along with small Tibetan villages along the shores of the lake, as well as holy Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar (elevation 7191 meters), the tallest mountain near Lhasa. A little bit further on from Yamdrok Lake we will see the Karola Glacier (elevation 5045 meters) as it towers imposingly above the right side of the road.

Continuing on our journey, we will reach the historical city of Gyantse, where we will have a nice local lunch before visiting the mysterious Palcho Monastery (elevation 4040 meters). At this monastery, monks from three of the main sects of Tibetan Buddhism – Sakyapa, Zhalupa and Gelukpa peacefully live in harmony. The monastery’s Kumbum (multi-storied aggregate of Buddhist chapels) is 35 meters tall, consisting of 76 small chapels with hundreds of images of Kriyantantras, and it is believed to be the largest such structure in all of Tibet.

After visiting Gyantse, we will drive the remaining 3 hours on to Shigatse (elevation 3800 meters) and check into the hotel for an overnight stay.

Tips for today’s trip:
1) Wear warm clothing to protect against the wind and colder high altitude temperatures;
2) Bring food and drinks with you for the long road trip.

Accommodation:Overnight in Shigatse

Yamdrok Lake

Kumbum Monastery

Day7  Shigatse to Everest Base Camp via Lhatse and Shegar
After obtaining your Alien Travel Permit (a separate required permit from your Tibet Travel Permit) in Shigatse, we will drive on to Lhatse to stop for a simple local lunch. From Lhatse we will journey on, passing through Shegar. Shegar is a newly built town, not far from the ruins of the destroyed fortress of Shegar Dzong and the destroyed Shegar Monastery. If the weather is clear, we may be able to get our first glimpse of Mount Everest from here.

From Shegar we will drive on another 4 to 6 hours to our final destination for the day, Rongbuk Monastery. Along the one way we will travel through one of the highest passes in Tibet – Pangla Pass (elevation 5050 meters). From here, if the weather permits, we will be able to see the five highest mountain peaks in the world laid out before us in a beautiful panoramic setting. Once we have had plenty of time to take in the magnificent views, we will travel on to the Rongbuk Monastery. Depending on the season, we will spend the night in the Tibetan Tent Camp or the Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse.

Accommodation:Overnight at Rongphu Guest House or Tent

Mt Everest

Rongphu Monastery

Day8  Everest Base Camp – Return to Shigatse
This morning, wake up early to see the incredible sunrise as it shines upon the peak of the world. If we have stayed overnight at the Rongbuk Guesthouse, we’ll drive to the Tibetan Tent Camp (elevation 4900 meters) to enjoy a closer view of Mount Everest. Of course the peak of Mount Everest is covered by snow year-round, so when the sun shines on the peak it looks like a giant white pyramid. This is one of the most famous views of Mount Everest in photographs, and if the day is clear enough you will be able to witness it with your own eyes. On bright days you may also see a wisp of a cloud hanging just above the tip of Mount Everest, which flies eastward in the fast-moving westerly wind, creating an effect just like a flapping flag. This unique effect is known as the “Cloud Flag” and it is spectacular as it changes from surging waves into a thin wisp of smoke, or from something resembling galloping stallions into the mysterious veil of a goddess.

After plenty of time taking in the incredible scenery of Mount Everest, we will drive back to Shigatse. After arriving in Shigatse in the afternoon, we will take you to see the officlal seat of the Panchen Lama – Tashilunpo Monastery. This important monastery is the largest and most influential Gelug Monastery in Shigatse Prefecture. It contains a giant statue of the Future Buddha, the largest one of its kind in the world, standing 26.2 meters tall and 11.5 meters wide and decorated with precious pearls, turquoise, coral and amber.

After our visit to the Tashilunpo Monastery, we will check in to our hotel for overnight accommodations in Shigatse.

Today’s trip notes:
1) To protect the fragile environment of Mount Everest, Everest Base Camp is currently not open for tourists, but the Everest landscape can still be enjoyed at the Rongbuk Monastery and the Tibetan Tent Camp. The Everest Base Camp marker, a tablet reading “Mt. Qomolangma Base Camp” has been transferred to the Tibetan Tent Camp. We suggest that you take a photo with this marker to commemorate this wonderful adventure tour; 
2) Sunrise usually begins around 6:30 to 7 a.m. on Mount Everest; 
3) Please remember to dress warmly for the cold mountain temperatures.

Accommodation:Overnight in Shigatse

Day9  Shigatse – Lhasa
After breakfast we will begin the long scenic drive back to Lhasa alongside the legendary Yaluzangbu River, often referred to as the Mother River of Tibet. Halfway back to Lhasa we will stop at the village of Nyemo Tunba, the home of Tunmi Sangbuzha, the inventor of the Tibetan language characters as well as the famous Tibetan incense. In Nyemo Tunba, surrounded by the fabulous scenery of ancient cypress trees, green willows and clear rivers, we will be able to witness the making of Tibetan incense at the local water mill – a fascinating process.

After experiencing the village life of Tunba, we will drive on back to Lhasa and check into our hotel to rest up after our long journey.

Accommodation:Overnight in Lhasa

Day10  Departure from Lhasa
Today you will have free time until we 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.


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).


 YairM79
Travel Date:September 30, 2019

Last week we (4 of us) traveled to Tibet one way by train and return by flight.

Upon arrival to Lhasa a tour guide Mr. Chimpel waited for us in the train station and took us to the hotel.

A first class hotel big rooms very clean and best restaurants.

The guide made a plan for the 3 days tour including all relevant sites of Lhasa and out of town.

He's very knowledgeable and I feel like being in a class.

At the end we (all the four of us) were very grateful to Amy who arrange all and our travel agency Asia Odyssey Travel.

I will definitely recommend your office to any friend who will want to visit Tibet

Best wishes.

 Fidschibitter
Travel Date:May 26, 2019

Wir reisten im April diesen Jahres (gute Reisezeit) nach Tibet, mit Tibet Odyssey Tours als Reiseveranstalter. Es hat uns sehr bewegt und wir träumen immer noch von unserer Reise nach Tibet, von der frischen Luft, den grünen Seen, den majestätischen Bergen und den vielen weiteren Sehenwürdigkeiten. Wir möchten unbedingt erneut nach Tibet. Die Einheimischen waren besonders freundlich zu den Touristen. Ein paar sprachen zwar kein Chinesisch, aber sie haben uns angelächelt und uns somit hallo gesagt. Wir haben uns einfach sehr Wilkommen gefühlt. Tibet Odyssey Tours ist eine perfekte Reiseagentur und wir hatten einen Tourguide mit viel Humor, Ortskenntnissen und Einfühlungsvermögen : ) Auf unserem Weg zum Everest Base Camp hat er uns stets gute Orte für Fotos empfohlen und er hat sich gut um uns gekümmert, z.B. wenn jemand an der Höhenkrankheit litt. Er war stets besorgt um unsere Gesundheit und hat uns jederzeit immer geholfen. Wir haben eine Nacht im Everest Base Camp geschlafen. Die Erfahrung war einmalig. Leider gab es nur eine öffentliche Toilette und es war sehr kalt, aber unser Guide hat uns mit den bescheidenen Mitteln, die vor Ort vorhanden waren, geholfen. Er hat sogar für Licht mit seinem Handy gesorgt. Diese Hilfsbereitschaft hat uns wirklich sehr bewegt. Die Reiseagentour können wir nur wärmstens empfehlen. Hier gilt unser spezieller Dank Amy, die sich sehr viel Mühe gegeben hat.

Unsere nächste Tour buchen wir wieder dort.

 thewhalecat3
Travel Date:July 20, 2019

This trip has been part of our family’s bragging card at get togethers and parties ever since we stepped foot out of Tibet. But it would have not been without the preparation and help from Xiao Yu, our tour planner from Chengdu. In addition our tour guide Julia was extremely informative and a joy to be around for those 8 days. The hotels were extremely nice and the places along the way were magnificent. Our family felt very welcomed to the area and we enjoyed the endless insight into the beautiful culture and religion (It helped out the person taking world history next year in our family). We would definitely recommend this trip to other family and friends as it is worth every single petty bit of the high elevation fatigue.

 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.

 Chetan
Travel Date:Nov. 17th 2018

Overall, I am very satisfied with the service. Our travel consultant Monica is very responsive and helpful. She responded to our questions promptly and willing to accommodate my request. Tibet tour is very nice and memorable. We got well along with other travel members and became very good friends. The only thing I do mind is the condition of the public toilets, hard to describe, you should see them by yourself.

 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.