11 days Tibet train tour to Beijing - Xi'an - Lhasa
Arrive at the Beijing Capital Airport, be met and transferred to hotel by your guide and driver, have a good rest by your own. Overnight at Beijing.
Today you will be arranged to visit Tian'anmen Square - the largest public square in the world and Forbidden City - magnificent imperial Palaces of Ming and Qing dynasties for almost 500 years, and then head to the Temple of Heaven, a place where the Emperors prayed for peace and harvest. After lunch, drive to visit Summer Palace, originally a royal garden and a temporary dwelling palace for emperors of Qing Dynasty. On the way back Fresh-water pearl market for a good bargain can not to be missed. In the evening enjoy the cultural show - Kongfu show or Peking Opera after dinner (optional). Overnight at Beijing.
Morning excursion to the most beautiful section of the Great Wall - the Mutianyu Great Wall. The hike takes about 2-3 hours. After lunch drive to visit Changling, one of the 13 Ming Tombs of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). In the evening transfer you to train station for the train to Xi'an (Z19, 21:18- the next day 08:19 or the train Z53, 21:24 - 08:25).
Arrival at Xi'an train station around 08:30, to be met and transferred to your hotel in Xi'an by local guide. Morning you may take a rest at hotel or explore Xi'an on your own. Afternoon half day tour is arranged to visit Provincial History Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi'an City Wall (the best preserved in the world,you can ride bicycles around this city wall), afterward have a wander on the famous Shuyuanmen Culture Street to appreciate the delicate traditional art crafts. Overnight at Xi'an.
Today make an excursion to see the extraordinary 2,200-year-old Terracotta Warriors of China's first Emperor- Qin Shihuang, discovered in 1974 by farmers while digging a well. This archaeological excavation site is a stunning exhibit of more than 7,000 ancient life-size terracotta statues of soldiers, officers, horses, chariots, and other artifacts. After lunch, drive back to the city, visit the Great Mosque and have some free time to explore for some souvenirs or antiques in the Bazaar near the Mosque. In the evening after the local specialty - Dumpling Banquet as dinner, enjoy the splendid Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show. Overnight at Xi'an.
Board the train to Lhasa at Xi'an train station in the morning (there are several trains passing Xi'an), O/n the train.
Today you will see the beautiful Tibetan plateau with the nomads groups, Kekexili Ntature Reserve, ect. Arrival at Lhasa in the late afternoon or evening, Lhasa train station picking up and transfer to your hotel in Lhasa. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, so we have purposely arranged only to visit Jokhang temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang temple is the most scared shrine in Tibet which was built in 7th century and located at the heart of old town in Lhasa, the circuit around it called Barkhor street, which is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Both of them are the focal points of pilgrims from entire Tibetan world, multitudinous pilgrims are circumambulating and prostrating in their strong faith. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today you will be arranged to visit Drepung, Sera monasteries and Summer Palace - Norbulingka palace. Both Drepung and Sera monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges. Drepung monastery was the seat of the Government prior to Potala, it was once the world largest monastery in the history with 10,000 monks hailed from different monasteries all over Tibet. Sera monastery is famous for its Buddhism philosophical debate practice, the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are well worth to see. Norbulingka is the summer palace of Dalai Lama, you can visit the residences of different lineages of the Dalai Lama. The park is crowded with picnickers and traditional activities during the Shoton (Yogurt festival) in August. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today make a day tour to Namtso Lake. Driving along Northern Tibetan grassland, distance view of the Nyenchen Thanglha snow mountain ranges, and pass the Nargen-la pass [5190m]. Namtso Lake is one of the three most holy lakes in Tibet, also the highest salt lake. You can do a bit trekking at the lakeside. Afternoon drive back to Lhasa. Overnight at Lhasa.
Note: In Winter Season, because of too much snow at Nagenla Pass to Namtso Lake, vehicle may not be allowed to get through. We will arrange you to visit Yamdrok Lake instead
Option tour to Yamdrok Lake in Winter:
Lhasa / Yamdrok Lake [4300m] / Tibetan local family visiting / Lhasa, 260KM , 4hrs drive (B)
Morning drive up to Kampala pass [4794m], you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso and spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance, the turquoise coloured Lake Yamdrok Yutso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. Here we will arrange you to visit one local Tibetan family, and you will get an opportunity to see their customs and how they live, and you will be invited to have butter tea or sweet tea by the hospitable host. Afternoon drive back to Lhasa. Overnight at Lhasa.
Your guide and driver will see you off at the airport or train station, end of the trip.