As the start point of Qinghai-Tibet Railway, Xining is one of the most popular gateways for foreigners, who want to have a thrilling Tibet train tour. Taking Xining as the first tourist destination, you have no reason to miss Qinghai Lake, the largest saltwater lake in China. Then, the train will pass by the grassland, the farmland, the salt lakes, the Gobi Desert, the Snowy Kunlun Mountains before cross Tanggula Pass (5072m), which is the world's highest point on a railway. About 22 hrs later, with one night on the train, you will arrive in Lhasa. You will visit the famous Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Drepung Monastery, and Sera Monastery in the following two days to acclimatize the altitude. After that, you will be driven along the friendship highway to Shigatse to see the grand Mt.Everest. Witnessing the stunning sunrise and sunset of Mt. Everest is the most impressive experience. Finally, you will see Namtso Lake as a perfect ending of this wonderful journey.
|Day||Route||Attractions & Activities|
|1||Arrival in Xining by Flight|
|2||Xining - Qinghai Lake||Qinghai Lake, Mt. Sun and Moon|
|3||Qinghai Lake-Xining-Lhasa||Qinghai Tibet Railway|
|4||Arrival in Lhasa by Train||Pick up and transfer to the hotel|
|5||Lhasa City||Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|6||Lhasa Suburb||Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery|
|7||Lhasa - Samye - Tsetang||Samye Monastery|
|8||Tsetang - Trandruk - Yumbulagang - Chongye - Tsetang||Trandruk Monastery, Yumbulagang Palace, Chongye Burial Mounds|
|9||Tsetang - Gyantse||Yamdroktso Lake, Karola Glacier|
|10||Gyantse - Shigatse||Pelkor Chode Monastery, Gyantse Dzong, Shalu Monastery|
|11||Shigatse - Sakya - Tingri||Sakya Monastery|
|12||Tingri - Rongbuk - EBC - Tingri||Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp|
|13||Tingri - Shigatse|
|14||Shigatse - Lhasa||Tashilhunpo Monastery|
|15||Lhasa - Namtso - Lhasa||Namtso Lake|
|16||Departure from Lhasa||Send off to airport/railway station|
Daily ItineraryCollapse Expand
Upon arrival in Xining Airport, please look for our local guide there who will be holding your name board. Then transfer to hotel in downtown Xining. Guide will help you check in before leave. You are free for the rest of the day to check out the city by yourself.
Today, you will visit the most popular scenic spot in Xining - Qinghai Lake. It is located about 130 kilometers west of Xining. We will start our tour after breakfast. As the largest saltwater lake in China, Qinghai Lake is famous for the beauty of sapphire-like water, the turquoise-like grassland and majestic snow-capped mountains. The picturesque views vary from season to season. Cruising is the ideal way to enjoy the landscape. Cruising down the 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.
- Qinghai Lake
- Mt. Sun and Moon
In the morning, you will get back to Xining city after breakfast. Your tour guide will send you to the train station. Please exchange eTicket to an actual paper ticket at the ticket hall by showing them your e-ticket, a copy of your Tibet Travel Permit, and your original passport. Xining - Lhasa train takes 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.
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 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 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 - one of the most devotional circuit 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 the morning, 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.
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 covers the hillsides. They look like huge rice heaps in the distance, so it is called Drepung. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, also the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
After breakfast, transfer from Lhasa to Samye along the serene waters of the braided Yarlung Tsangpo meandering through a swathe of land flanked by dramatic sand dunes and rich in Tibetan history. After sightseeing, transfer to Tsetang, the fourth-largest city in Tibet, for the night.
Visit the major sights of Yarlung Valley in Tsetang today, of which is consider the cradle of Tibetan civilization. It was from Yarlung that the early Tibetan kings unified Tibet in the 7th century and their massive burial mounds still dominate the area around Chongye.
Today, lots of beautiful scenery will be seen on the way from Tsetang to Gyantse. Passing over Gampala Pass (4790m), you will have a glimpse of Yamdroktso Lake (4400m), from where you will have a spectacular view of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar (7191m), the highest mountain near Lhasa. We head westward along Yamdroktso Lake to Karola Glacier, then drive towards Gyantse (3980m), a very pleasant town in Tibet, located in the Nyang-chu Valley.
Drive from Shigatse to Tingri via Sakya County where we will visit the famous Sakya Monastery. Stay the night in Tingri, the closest settlement from Everest Base Camp where guesthouses provide rooms with private bathrooms and hot shower.
Abt 3km from the Friendship Hwy, you get to the village of Chay. From Chay, it’s a winding drive up to Pang-la (5050m). The view here are stupendous on a clear day, and feature of a huge sweep of the Himalay a range, including Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. The road then descends past a couple of photogenic villages and runs done in to the fertile Dzaka Valley and Tashi Dzom village. The dirt road then runs up the wide valley, to Pagsum village. The next main village is Cho Dzom and from here the road turns south towards Rongphu. The first view of Everest appear half an hour before you arrive Rongphu. After sightseeing Rongphu and Everest, return back to Tingri for the night.
Drive from Tingri to Shigatse today, which takes abt 7hrs. Please feel free to ask your driver to stop at any time if you want to take a photo of the fatastic view along the way.
We will depart today from your hotel in Shigatse around 08:00 am. The rode condition is pretty good but because of the speed-limit, we will spend about 6hrs on the road.
On the way to Namtso, you will have a far view of Nyenchen Thanglha Snow Mountain. Enjoy the view of the vast grassland and spectacular natural scenery. You'll arrive at Namtso after pass Nagela Pass(5150m).
Your tour ends today. Our guide and driver will collect you from your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station for your next destination.