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Chengdu Xining Lhasa Train Tour

9 Days
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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This 9-day itinerary sets off from Chengdu, then takes you to Tibet by the shortest train from Xining. First, you will visit two of the most highly rated attractions - Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and Leshan Giant Buddha. Then you fly to Xining, which is the start point of the essence of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and an important town of the ancient Silk Road. It's also the commercial and cultural center of Tibetan, Han, Hui and other ethnic groups. You will visit 5A scenic spots in Xining such as Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, etc. Next, you will take the Tibet train to Lhasa(aka sky train) to enjoy the breathtaking alpine scenery of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, and finally arrive in the holy city of Lhasa. You will admire the magnificent Potala Palace, sacred Jokhang Temple, sprawling Drepung Monastery, and more, to explore Tibetan Buddhism and the exotic culture of Tibet.

DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrive in Chengdu Pick up and transfer to the hotel
2 Chengdu - Panda Base - Leshan - Chengdu Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding‎ Research Base, Leshan Giant Buddha
3 Flight: Chengdu-Xining Qinghai Lake, Mt. Sun and Moon
4 Visit Kumbum Monastery and board the overnight Train to Lhasa Kumbum Monastery
5 Arrival in Lhasa by Train Pick up and transfer to the hotel
6 Lhasa Sightseeing Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka
7 Lhasa City Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
8 Lhasa - Drak Yerpa - Ganden - Lhasa Drak Yerpa, Ganden Monastery
9 Lhasa Departure Send off to the airport/train station

Daily Itinerary


Upon arrival at the airport/railway station, you will find your guide/driver holding your name sign at the exit. Then they will transfer you to your hotel in downtown Chengdu. The rest of the day is your free time.

Stay overnight in Chengdu

You will be picked up from your hotel and then set out for Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda, which is a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas as well as other rare animals. Chengdu Panda Base is located in the northern suburbs of Chengdu. It is a national 4A-level scenic spot. The scenic spot is verdant with bamboo and trees, birds, and flowers, as well as integrated natural mountain scenery and beautiful artificial landscape. The highlight of the visit is the Panda Birth Room where the baby pandas can be seen growing up, and the Giant Panda Activity Field where visitors can see the relaxed daily life of pandas of different ages.

After sightseeing here, we're heading for Leshan to visit Leshan Giant Buddha, which is the tallest rock Buddha statue in the world. It was carved out of a cliff by monks in southern Sichuan province during the Tang Dynasty (618–907AD). Visitors also can get to the footsteps of the Giant Buddha or take a cruise to worship the Buddha from the river.

Stay overnight in Chengdu

We will fly to Xining in the early morning. The flight duration is about 1hr 40min.

After our arrival in Xining, we will visit two popular scenic spots in Xining - Qinghai Lake, and Mt. Sun and Moon. As the largest saltwater lake in China, Qinghai Lake is famous for its sapphire-like surface, turquoise-like grassland, and majestic snow-capped mountains. The picturesque views vary from season to season, and the best season to visit Qinghai Lake is from summer to fall. Cruising is the ideal way to enjoy its beauty. Cruising down Qinghai Lake, you can catch a glimpse of the grand Mt. Sun and Moon along the way. After visiting the places, you will stay overnight at the lakeside to enjoy the stunning sunset and sunrise.

Stay overnight at the lakeside

In the morning, you will visit the Kumbum Monastery which is located 25 kilometers away from Xining City. It is one of the major Gelugpa monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism and is also called “Ta’er Monastery”. It is the birthplace of Tsongkhapa- ​the​ ​founder of Tibetan Buddhism. You will find numbers of pilgrims traveling from thousands of miles away for 100,000 prostrating here. From visiting here, you will learn more about Tibetan Buddhism.

In the afternoon, transfer to the railway station and prepare to board a train to Lhasa. On the train, you will enjoy the fabulous scenery along the highest railway in the world - Qinghai Tibet Railway. You will see the gorgeous natural scenery of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau such as nomadic pasture, sapphire lakes, flocks of goats and yaks, snow-capped mountains, etc.

Stay overnight on the train

Our local Tibetan guide will wait for you at Lhasa railway station by holding your name sign. You will be greeted with a warm Tashi Delek (a kind of blessing), and be presented with a white Hada (traditional Tibetan ceremonial by giving you a white scarf). Then transfer to the hotel in Lhasa city. On your first arrival day in Lhasa (3650m), it's essential to have a good rest to avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS, also known as altitude sickness). Remember to drink lots of water, eat lighter and have high carbohydrate food which will be helpful to you to adapt to the high altitude better.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

In the morning, we will visit Norbulingka, which is a typical Tibetan-style royal garden, the summer resort of the Dalai Lama. There are a lot of towering trees, exotic flowers and plants in the garden, as well as many collections of cultural relics, Buddha statues, pagodas, thangkas, murals, etc. They are all very precious treasures.

In the afternoon, you are heading to Drepung Monastery, which means Monastery of Rice Heap in the Tibetan language. The entire monastery is large in scale and the white buildings cluster and cover the hillsides. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, also the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

In the morning our guide will meet you at the hotel and first take you to visit the famous Potala Palace, the cardinal landmark of Tibet and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. It was first built by the 33rd King - Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century and rebuilt later by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. Now it's a museum and world heritage site. 

In the afternoon, we will go to visit Jokhang Temple in the center of the Lhasa old town. Jokhang Temple is the most sacred temple in Tibet and it is always bustling with earnest local pilgrims since the early days. After that, you will take a walk around the Barkhor Street - one of the most devotional circuits as well as a crowded central market of Lhasa. Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it‘s also a must-see place for visitors.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

In today's excursion outside of Lhasa city, we'll take you to Ganden Monastery which is about 50km northeast of Lhasa. Ganden Monastery is the most special one of the top six Gelug monasteries in Tibet, as it's built by the founder of the Gelug sect - Tsongkhapa in 1409. It's quite worth seeing if this is your first time to travel to Tibet.

En route, we will also visit the less-known-by-tourists Drak Yerpa hermitage, which is about 16km northeast of Lhasa. It's an ancient temple that has a history of more than a thousand years. After passing through a rugged path to the temple, you can see the beautiful scenery in the distance. Compared to the Jokhang Temple and Sera Temple, which are full of incense, there are not many tourists. Only devout Tibetans burn mulberry to worship here, and you can feel the tranquility brought by Tibetan Buddhism.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Your tour ends today. Your tour guide and driver will drop you at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or Lhasa Railway Station for your next destination.

Our Service


  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance tickets fee for tourist attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Experienced local English-speaking tour guide;
  • Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel, or guesthouse. Please tell us your preference;
  • Breakfasts provided by hotels;
  • Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
  • Travel Agency Liability insurance;
  • Government tax;
  • Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
  • Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
  • Oxygen tank for emergency use;
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.


  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese Visa/China Group Visa; (Note: we could help you by providing the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies for your Chinese Visa or the invitation letter for your China Group Visa)
  • Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa; (We can help you book the domestic flight/train ticket at the BEST price. Please contact us for details.)
  • Meals are not included but we will recommend some good ones for you according to your requirements. Usually, it takes 3-10 USD per person for each meal.
  • While the gratuity for guide and driver is NOT mandatory, it is expected. Based on their service, you can tip them on the last day of the tour. Each of you is suggested to tip them 5-10 USD/day in total;
  • All the commission and tax charged by PayPal, Bank, and government when making payment. (e.g. PayPal --- 4.4%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Asked by Ruth***

I would like to take the 10 day trip Chengdu to Lhasa and then back to Chengdu. I would like to start about May 30 and finish about June 12. Can you arrange for me? I want to travel with a group.

Answered by Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to join the 10 Days Chengdu Xining Lhasa Chengdu Train Tour which is a private tour. As travelers less than five, we often suggest they join our small group tour to keep the cost down. We have 10 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Everest Namtso Group Tour with the departure date on May.30th. Is it available to you? There is no group tour in Xining. And we can arrange the daily group tour in Chengdu for you.  May I remind you that we need at least 12 working days to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit. There is no much time left. 

Asked by nara***

hi, we will fly to chengdu from bangkok on 11/04/2018 and fly back to bangkok on 20/04/2018 at night. we would like to do this trip, and I would like to know is it possible to do in these date?

Answered by Caroline

In your inquiry, you mentioned that there are three of you would like to do our 10-day Chengdu Xining Lhasa Chengdu Train Tour from April 11-20. Yes, it’s possible since it’s a private tour. You could choose the beginning time based on your schedule. Please confirm the following itinerary before I could quote to you.(

Asked by Mitc***

Me and my girlfriend plan in taking a tour like this around October 15 2017. We want to pay as little as possible so the cheapest accomadatuins will do. We also don't mind being put in another group to lower the cost please let me know how much just us two would cost and if going in a group is possible

Answered by Amy

Dear Mitchell J Sternweis, since you are on budget for the tour, here I have some suggestions for you: our 10 Days Chengdu Xining Lhasa Chengdu Train Tour is a totally private tour, so I suggest you travel in Chengdu & Xining on your own between 15th Oct & 17th Oct, then to join our 6 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Group Tour on 18th Oct in Tibet.

Asked by Paul***

We are interested in introductory tour of Chengdu and Tibet. We are available from December 15 - December 31, although the length of tour depends on cost. We are more interested in culture like cooking, art, music etc. Of course nature is interesting for us. We are brother and sister aged 60 so we will require separate single accommodations. We await your recommendations and price estimates. We are based in the Philippines.

Answered by Penny

Hi Paul Bograd, thanks for telling us your travel plan! I got them all. Kindly check the email I've sent to you and let me know if you like the itinerary I suggested, thanks!

What Our Customers Say
Paro Dzong

As I return home from my Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet adventures, I owe you a very BIG “ THANK YOU “, for making it one if not the best trip ever! Your thorough planning, flawless execution and above all your willingness to respond to ALL of my questions is most appreciated. I must give a big compl ....

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