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.
In the morning, after a short 2.5 hours of drive, you will reach Mutianyu Great Wall, a less-crowded section of the Great Wall where cable cars are available to take you up and down a good section. Time for you to freely stroll through the watch towers and enjoy a panoramic view of the wall winding its way across hills and mountains.
Afternoon drive back Beijing train station for the high speed train to Xi'an (about 5-5.5 hours train ride).
In the morning visit the 8th wonder of the world -- Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (the first emperor in Chinese history). The vivid figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are believed to guard Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum. You will surely be impressed by this living archeological site military museum.
After lunch, head back to Xi'an downtown to visit Xi'an City Wall, the best preserved city walls in China. You can stand on top of it to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole Xi'an city or if time permits, hire a bike and ride along the wall to savor its brilliant past from every stone and tile. Enjoy Tang Dynasty Music and Culture Show in the evening. Overnight in Xi'an.
In the morning head to visit Shanxi Provincial History Museum (one of the best in China) which houses more than 370,000 historical relics dating back to over 1,300 years ago. The location of this museum is in a secluded environment and its architectural style echoes that of the Tang Dynasty. It's said that history of this museum can be compared with China's history as a whole. So it's well worth the time wandering in this art gallery.
Afternoon visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a landmark of Xi'an city. Built in the Tang Dynasty, it's a seven story foursquare cone-shaped tower that was used to house the Buddhism scriptures and statues brought back from India by Master Xuanzang (a famous monk in the Tang Dynasty).
Your last stop will be the Great Mosque, the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China. It offers a great opportunity to appreciate both the Islamic and Chinese architecture and you can also go taste the delicious snacks on the Muslim Street or shop for some souvenirs to take back home. Overnight in Xi'an.
Board the train to Lhasa at Xi'an train station in the morning (there are several trains passing Xi'an), the train journey from Xi'an to Lhasa takes about 31 hours.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 you will visit Jokhang temple and Potala Palace only on your first day of Lhasa. Jokhang temple is the most sacred shrine in Tibet which was built in the 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 the 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 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 7,700 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.