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8-Day Xian to Tibet Tour Via Qinghai Tibet Railway

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Overview

Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Discover the Da Cien Temple with its architectural masterpiece, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda;
  • Explore one of the most well-preserved ancient city walls in the world as you walk or ride a bike on top of the ancient Xian City Wall;
  • Embark on the train journey of a lifetime traveling overnight on a train along the Qinghai – Tibet Railway;

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Arrival in Xian
Welcome to Xian, the ancient capital of China! Your local tour guide will greet you at the Xian Xianyang Airport or the Xian train station to take you to your private car and escort you to your hotel. The rest of the day will be free for you to rest and relax from your trip to Xian, or you can begin to explore the ancient capital city on your own. (If you arrive early enough in the day, we can also schedule in some sightseeing for you today.)

How to Get to Xian:
Currently there are a few international flights that fly directy into Xian, and numerous domestic flights from most other major cities in China. By train, there are many high-speed (bullet) trains arriving from many major cities in China, including from Beijing (4.5-6 hours), Shanghai (6-7 hours), Guangzhou (8.5-9 hours), Hangzhou (6.5-7 hours), Pingyao (3 hours), Zhengzhou (2 hours), etc.

Accommodation:Overnight in Xian

Day2  Xian: Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Da Cien Temple
This morning your local tour guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel to take you about 40 kilometers (25 miles) outside of the city to witness what is truly one of the greatest man-made wonders of the world – the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. The Terracotta Warriors and Horses were built around 2,200 years ago as part of a much larger complex known as the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang. In 221 B.C. Qin Shi Huang became the first emperor to conquer and unify the different warring states into the country of China. More than 8,000 life-sized warriors, horses and chariots made of terracotta and bronze were created and buried to protect the first emperor in the afterlife, standing in guard to the east of his actual burial tomb, facing those states that he conquered in unifying China. These life-sized figures are each unique, designed with different facial features, uniforms and body positions. It is truly awe-inspiring to visit this spectacular site and contemplate how they were so intricately designed thousands of years ago by such skilled Chinese artisans.

After a thorough look at the incredible Terracotta Warriors, we will take on to visit the Da Cien Temple and its Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The temple was first constructed in 648 A.D. with the famous monk Xuanzhuang in charge – his epic journeys to and from India were the inspiration for the novel Journey to the West. Xuanzhuang oversaw construction of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in 652 A.D. to store the precious Buddhist manuscripts that he brought back from India. 1,400 years later it is still possible to climb to the top of this pagoda for some great views over Xian.

After the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, we will take you back to your hotel for the night.

Accommodation:Overnight in Xian

Day3  Xian: Shaanxi History Museum, Xian City Wall, Muslim Quarter
Your tour guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel this morning to take you to another of Xian’s historic treasures, the Shaanxi History Museum. As Shaanxi was the home of 13 of China’s historic dynasties, including the Qin dynasty that gives China its name, it is rich in historic artifacts. The museum buildings were built in the Tang Dynasty style and house more than 370,000 objects. Please note that during overcrowding during the high season from July to early September and Chinese holidays, we may need to substitute another activity or attraction in place of the museum; our friendly travel consultants will advise you at the time of your booking.

After your visit to the musuem and a nice lunch, we will take you to another of Xian’s ancient wonders - the Xian City Wall. Construction began on the wall in 1370 on top of an earlier existing palace wall that was built during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 A.D.) Rectangular in shape, 12 meters high and 18 meters wide, the wall runs a total length of 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) around the inner city. Visitors can climb to the top of the wall for a walk with great views over the city, or bicycles are available for rent for biking along the top of the wall as well.

From the ancient city wall we will take you on to the lively Muslim Quarter, a historic section of the city that is great for walking around to see how the local people live while sampling the many traditional Xian snack foods. We can also walk around the nearby Drum and Bell Towers, which were constructed in 1380 A.D. and 1384 A.D. respectively, marking time in the ancient capital city with a bell being rung in the morning at sunrise and a drum struck in the evening to mark the sunset. These very well preserved towers have stood for centuries as reminders of Xian’s important place in world history.

Recommend evening activity:
Take in the Tang Dynasty Dinner Show, which combines a delicious traditional Chinese dumpling dinner with a spectacular show tracing the amazing history of Xian.

Accommodation:Overnight in Xian

Day4  Departure from Xian – Board the Train from Xian to Lhasa
This morning we will pick you up from your hotel to escort you to the Xian train station to catch the train on to Lhasa. Please note that as Xian is just a stopover city for the Guangzhou to Lhasa and Shanghai to Lhasa trains, it can be very difficult to get the train tickets so we recommend that you book with us as early as possible for the best chance at obtaining them. Currently there are 2 trains from Xian to Lhasa – one departs at 09:45 a.m., arriving in Lhasa at 16:19 the following day for a total trip time of 30 hours and 34 minutes. There is another train that departs at 11:24 a.m. and arrives in Lhasa at 19:30 for a total trip time of 32 hours and 6 minutes. 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.

Enjoy the sightseeing along the railway as the scenery changes while you travel across this vast country. The second day 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.

Accommodation:Overnight on the train

Day5  Arrival in 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

Day6  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 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

Day7  Lhasa: Norbulingka Palace, Sera Monastery
This morning 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

Day8  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.

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

 jackylF9873DL
Travel Date:October 5, 2019

First at all, we would like to say we have a wonderful 9D8N Tibet trip arrange by Asia Oddessy Travel, they are really provide a professional consult and guide from the begining until the end (including booking train ticket, flight ticket, chengdu hotel and airport pickup services & payment services).

Secondly, a special Big THANK YOU to our pretty travel advisor Amy, with her great experiences, good English communication, patient & friendly client services, we are finally completed our wonderful trip with a lot of joys and happiness. Thumb up to Amy!!! You did a perfect job here!!!

At last, Tibet is an amazing place you must pay a visit once in your life time, for a foreign traveller, to avoid any hassle during the trip, I highly recommend Asia Odyssey Travel Service Co Ltd.

Best Regards

Jacky & Ryan (From Malaysia)

 Elaine
Travel Date:Dec. 12th 2018

I cannot praise the Asia Odyssey Travel operation highly enough, from the applying of permit to the expertise of our guide. Everything was well arranged. Our guide, Puktso, was both personable and knowledgable, and yet was able to keep things moving. I will definitely go back to Tibet again!

 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.

 Dom B
Travel Date:June 23, 2019

We went to Tibet at June 2019,our tour was arrange by Amy from Chengdu, she is very kind and helpful, we have a lot of questions before the trip, she can answer them with full of patience.

First day, our driver and tour guide waited at airport and drive us to our lovely hotel (4 star himalaya hotel). the tour guide Mr Ba Sang from Tibet is very caring and helpful throughout the journey. Everything is well planned and taken care of. He brings us to nice local restaurants and have a good taste of local cuisine. In temple, we given detail explanation on the culture and explain to us the practice of the people. Experience at Everest Base camp is unforgettable, we able to see the remarkable view of everest mountain.

Tibet is a place you will want to visit again and again.

Driver Mr Xia is a good, responsible and steady driver. He drives us safely to all locations.

Hopefully next time we can join the Ling Zhi trip to see flowers in spring time.

Highly recommended this tour and this travel agents for their excellent service. We are happy to join on this tour.

 Ann Phan
Travel Date:April 4th 2018

The trip is very satisfied overall, just a few things to watch. There are too many monasteries. I am not quite a fan of religion. The hotel air conditioner didn’t work well and the hot water went wrong some times. Wish the hotel condition could be better in the near future.

 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.