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Xining Lhasa Train Tour

6 Days
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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As the beginning of the world's highest railway, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, Xining is the closest city for travelers to travel to Tibet by train. It is also the best part of the scenery that offers spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and beautiful glaciers from the Thangula ridge (5072m), endangered wild lives like Tibetan antelopes by traversing the Kekexili Wildlife Reserve, lone nomad families dwelling black tents and scattered villages in the isolated Changthang. And on your arrival at the holy city, Lhasa, you will greet by its fair blue sky and a glimpse of Potala palace perching on the red hill. In the following days, you will be overwhelmed by mystical buildings and temples which reflect the rich culture and tradition of the ancient city. Moreover, it is a great pleasure to mingle into the bustling Barkhor Street with devoted pilgrims.
DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Xining-Lhasa Train Get on the train in Xining West Railway Station
2 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel
3 Lhasa City Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
4 Lhasa Sightseeing Drak Yerpa, Sera monastery
5 Lhasa Suburb Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka
6 Depart from Lhasa Send off to the airport/railway station

Daily Itinerary


To arrive at the train station about 2hrs in advance is suggested. Exchange eTicket to an actual paper ticket at the ticket booth by showing them your e-ticket, a copy of your Tibet Travel Permit, and your original passport. Trains are departing from Xining to Lhasa every day, about 22hrs covering a distance of 1960km. 

You will spend the rest of the day on the train and enjoy the fabulous scenery along the highest railway in the world - Qinghai Tibet Railway. You will see the gorgeous natural scenery of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau such as nomadic pasture, sapphire lakes, flocks of goats and yaks, snow-capped mountains, etc.

Stay overnight in the train

Stunning scenery along Qinghai- Tibet Railway

Welcome to Lhasa! Our local Tibetan guide and driver will wait for you at Lhasa Railway Station by holding your name sign. You will be greeted with a warm Tashidelek (meaning hello with blessing), and be presented with a white Hada (traditional Tibetan ceremonial). Then transfer you to the hotel in Lhasa city. On the way, you can enjoy the stunning views of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. After checking in your hotel, you will be free for the rest of the day to have a good rest and acclimatize to the high altitude at the top of the world. If you physically feel good, you can visit the Potala Palace Square, have a far view of the Yaowang Mountain, and take a panoramic view of the Potala Palace. Remember to drink lots of water, eat lighter and have high carbohydrate food, which will be helpful for you to adapt to the high altitude better.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

In the morning your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby 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 33rd King - Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century and rebuilt later by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. Now it is 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 one of the most sacred temples all over 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 which is 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 is also a must-see place for visitors.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

The Potala Palace is the world's highest palace, castle and monastery.
Many pilgrims are worshipping and performing their devotions at the gate of Jokhang.

In the morning, you are heading to Drak Yerpa, a place maybe not that famous but with its advantage. It consists of a monastery and several ancient meditation caves. Some arrow holes on the cliffs are believed to prove that the legendary hero Ling Gesar had visited this valley.

In the afternoon, you will pay a visit to Sera Monastery, which is one of the "great three" Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Monks debate from 3pm to 5pm. It's exciting, even if you don't understand what they are talking about at all. If the debate is not your type, you can also see the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha inside the monastery. Besides, the sight in the Sera monastery is splendid because you can see roses around. That's why people also call it "the court of wild rose."

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Known as the shrine of Lhasa, Drak Yerpa has monasteries and famous ancient meditation caves.
Sera Monassrey is located at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa City

After breakfast in the hotel, you will be taken to visit Drepung Monastery which was the world's largest monastery that housed over 10,000 monks, also the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect. Drepung means Monastery of Rice Heap in the Tibetan language. The entire monastery is large in scale and the white buildings cluster and covers the hillsides. They look like huge rice heaps in the distance, so it is called Drepung. Before the expansion of the Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery was the residence of successive Dalai Lamas.

After that, we will go to visit Norbulingka, Norbulingka park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet including the Norbulingka, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities. The park is where the annual Sho Dun or 'Yoghurt Festival' is held.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Drepung Monastery was the largest monastery in Tibet, with over 10,000 monks. Now, this monastery houses about 700 monks.
Tyokyil Potrang is a pavilion in the midst of a lake and known for the top scenic spot in Norbulingka
Today your guide and driver will escort you to the Lhasa Airport or Railway Station for your next destination. Before your departure, we will appreciate if you can spend a few minutes to evaluate our services either by filling the feedback form or simply send us an email when you get back home. Your tour is officially ended.
Tour Price and Service
  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB) 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;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • 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;
  • Free use of sleeping bag;
  • 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 --- 4.2%. 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 robe***

I am American. My girlfriend is Chinese. We both live and work in Shanghai. Our dates are flexible to join a group to save the cost in July or August. Thank you

Answered by Beatrice 2021-05-05

Currently, Tibet has not yet been opened. But we hear some rumors that Tibet would open after July 1st. So there's a possibility to visit Tibet in July or August as you requested. 

As a senior Tibet travel agency, we can arrange group tours for you and your girlfriend once Tibet opens. We will send you a newsletter if there's any update.

Asked by Zach***

Do you get a Tibet permit through this tour?

Answered by Cherry 2019-07-16

I suggest you take a train to Lhasa from Xining then join our 4 Days Lhasa City Essential Group Tour. May I know when would you like to have this group tour?

Asked by Jame***

I am considering a late October/early November (2019) trip to Tibet, specifically your 6-day train tour. If I am able to obtain a visa, I would plan on flying into Xining on my own airplane ticket (Delta/South China), spend two or three days there to acclimate (I am coming from sea-level in California), and then take the Lhasa train via your tour, returning by air from Lhasa on my own airplane ticket. If this plan is possible/feasible, I would appreciate an additional information you could provide. Thank you!

Answered by Catherine 2019-06-24

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have 6 days train tour from Xining to Lhasa in late Oct or early Nov. We happen to have a fixed tour departing on Oct.28th. Please check if it is ok for you.

Regarding Drak Yerpa - Norbulingka - Tibetan Family Visit, we can arrange a one-day private tour for you to include these attractions. Please let me know if you want to cancel it.

We can help you book the train ticket from Xining to Lhasa

Asked by jacl***

hi...I;m looking at travelling around 11th of August.

Answered by Tressa 2019-06-03

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have the 6 Days Xining Lhasa Train Tour around Aug 11th. We can arrange the tour for you.

Asked by Vict***

Hi, My siblings and I are planning a trip for my parents. My mother is in her 50's and my father is in his 60's. This trip is mainly for my father as its his dream to one day get on the train to Tibet and experience the culture. He is very fond of this history of Chinese & Tibetan. At the moment we do not have a date set but would like to get more info on the tours, best time to visit as well as the cost involved. For accommodation, 3-4 stars would be ideal as they are young anymore. I hope the details provided is sufficient and hope to hear from you soon. Thank you, Victor.

Answered by Catherine 2019-05-28

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to prepare a Tibet tour plan for your parents. I suggest they may come in September. In autumn, the weather is cool,  the scenery along the way is so beautiful, the number of people is not too much and the attractions won't be so crowded. Regarding the train tickets from Xining to Lhasa, we can help you book it. Regarding the accommodation, both the 3-star & 4-star hotels we arrange for our clients have good locations and services. But Tibet relatively lags behind other provinces in China. Thus, the quality of accommodation is not the same as in Beijing, Shanghai or Chengdu. The 4-star accommodations are more comfortable with better facilities and environment. So, I suggest you choose the 4-star class if your budget is not tight. We recommend varied itineraries depending on what you want to see or experience in Tibet. For some travelers, who want to admire the spectacular mountain, they can visit Mt. Everest, even Mt. Kailash. They believer the tour will wash their sins and cumulate merits. But it takes longer time and requires strenuous effort. I have learned that your father prefers to explore culture, they can visit the main attractions in Lhasa and suburb. And we can arrange a local Tibetan family visit for them. It is quite a good way to know about the Tibetan culture and real life of Tibetan people. After that,  I suggest they go to Shigatse or Lhoka after their 2-3 days' stay in Lhasa because most of the temples, eg. Samye Monastery, Ganden Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery, etc. are located at Shigatse and Lhoka. Besides, the scenery of Lhoka in autumn would be extremely charming. Would you like to arrange a private tour for your parents? They will have their own car, driver, and guide. They will be more flexible to handle them. By the way, will your parents be interested in holy lakes? such as Namtso ( 250km), and Yamdroktso (120km ) far from Lhasa. We can also add one-day holy lake tour for them. The tour wouldn't be too strain or tired. What do you think?

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My TIBET experience with Great Tibet Tour was very brilliant.   It was the 2nd-time visit to TIBET but Shigatse and Gyantse. The hotel you chose me at Shigatse had very Lovely Tibetan decoration. and Guides ( both 2 guys)  were very kind and gentle. So I could relax. ....

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