14 Days China Highlights & Tibet Odyssey
Tour Route: Beijing-Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse-EBC-Lhasa-Shanghai
This epic tour is the perfect way for a taste of the best of China and Tibet. It starts in Beijing, China’s capital and the land of many of China’s iconic symbols: the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and Forbidden City. Then fly to Tibet and introduce you most of the major sights in Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse plus the chance to gaze on the magnificent north face of the world’s tallest peak, Mt Everest. This tour ends in Shanghai, China’s fashion and culture capital.
- Tour Code:
- Max Altitude:
- Tour Type:
Private tour with private guide and vehicle
- Phisycal Demand:
Phisycal Demand Level Guide:
1. Easy (1 point) - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
2. Moderate (2-3 Points) - suitable for those having average level for fitness, family with kids bigger than 12 years.
3. Moderate to Strenous (4 Points) - suitable for those physically fit and have experiences of high altitude trekking.
4. Strenuous (5 Points) - suitable for adventures and individual with physically fit and healthy.
- Experience the major tourits attractions in Beijing such as Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Badaling Great Wall, Olympic National Stadium Bird's Nest and the Summer Palace
- Enjoy the scenic Beijing-Lhasa train
- Tour Lhasa and visit celebrated religious sties like Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monastery
- Travel from Lhasa to Gynatse and arrive in Shigatse. Tourists will enjoy Lake Yamdrok, Pelkor Monastery, Kumbum Stupa and visit the world's highest monastery Rongbuk Monastery
- Besides, you will be able to explore in Everest Base camp
- Visit Tashilumpo Monastery
- Drive back to Lhasa and tour bustling Barkhor Street
- Fly to Shanghai and visit Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden, and cruise on the Huangpu River
Day 1: Arrival in Beijing
The prelude of your exciting China tour starts when you meet our professional local guide at Beijing Airport after reclaiming your luggage and clearing the customs. The guide will accompany you in a comfortable vehicle to the hotel and help you with the check-in procedure. The rest of the day is left for you to have a good rest or to become familiar with our capital city by yourself.
Day 2: Beijing Sightseeing
Today your tour officially starts. First you will meet your group members at the hotel lobby and have a short meeting with the guide. Then head to the first stop today, the impressive Tian'anmen Square, which is the biggest urban city square in the world. Nowadays, many constructions of great historical importance have been built on and around it. From there you will enter the "Imperial Palace" known as the Forbidden City to explore its many fascinating halls and pavilions.Here, you will not only get to know how the emperor handled political affairs and lived their lives, but also appreciate numerous ancient art treasures.
In the afternoon, you will go to the Temple of Heaven, the place where the emperors worshipped the heaven for good harvests. As the dwelling of the God of Heaven, it covers an area even larger than the dwelling of the emperor, Forbidden City. To round off a memorable start to your travel, we will arrange a lively and dramatic Chinese Kung Fu Show at the Red Theater.
Day 3: Beijing Sightseeing and transfer to the Sky Train to Lhasa
This morning you will be taken to Badaling where you will experience at first hand the wonder of the Great Wall. Standing on the wall and looking at it stretching up and down into boundless distance is an exciting experience and will leave you a life-long memory. To celebrate and commemorate this moment, we specially provide red wine for a group-toasting on the Great Wall. After lunch, we will drive you back to the city center, while on the way back to downtown, you will have a short stay at the Bird's Nest (Olympic National Stadium), the major venue for 2008 Olympic Games, and take photos with the huge nest.
In the afternoon, visit China's largest imperial garden, the Summer Palace, which is renowned for the perfect combination of natural landscape and gardening design. You can see beautiful scenery of lakes, mountains, islands and trees, as well as traditional Chinese garden construction of long corridors, pavilions, bridges and halls. Departure transfer to Beijing West Station to take Train No.T27 starting at 9:30pm for Lhasa. The Beijing Lhasa Railway extends about 3753km across the heartland of the Middle Kingdom and the Tibetan Plateau. It will take you 43 hrs 32 min. and across the 5200 meter high mountain pass amidst the grand vistas of surreal mountain range and uniquely shaped Tibetan Landscape. It would be an unforgettable expedition across full bosomed clear streams cascading down beautiful mountain ranges, sharing kisses with glistering dew drops, an amorous ride with nature.
Day 4: On the train
Lanzhou 1:04pm The Lanzhou Train Station is located in a narrow valley. The Yellow River passes through the city. It is one of the largest cities in the northeast. And there is an famous attraction around Lanzhou - the Bingling Temple Caves. Xining 3:50pm Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, and an important stopover for a visit to China's largest inland lake, Qinghaihu, a bird watchers paradise. It is a good starting pointing to come into Tibet from here.
Day 5: Afternoon arriving at Lhasa
When you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and take you to your hotel. Tourists may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River/ Bhamaputra river (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa river on their way to Lhasa. You can take a rest and get acclimatized to high altitude.
Day 6: Lhasa highlights escorted tour
After breakfast, we go to the Potala Palace, a golden feather upon the roof of the world, which Tibetans proudly claim to be the prime miracle since the creation of this world. It is visible from any distance, with the golden roof shinning in the sun, spend one hour wondering around the inside of this magnificent building exploring the rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and the many Buddhist icons within.
In the afternoon we go inside of the Jokhang. The Jokhang, like most of the larger temple structures have numerous individual temples within it dedicated to specific enlightened beings, protectors, high lamas, or saints. Images, both sculpted and painted, are everywhere. Every inch of wall and ceiling is brightly painted with images of clouds, beings, mandalas, or decorative patterns. Colorful silk banners, three stories high, hang in various places. Color, pattern, and images crowd in around you. The central image inside the building is a 30-foot high gilded image of Maitreya Buddha. Then stroll around the back alleys of the Barkhor area of Old Lhasa. The streets smelled of yak butter and incense while hordes of pilgrims shuffled along the main Kora (circumambulations) around Jokhang Temple. If someone just walked at a normal pace, one kora would take about 15-20 minutes.
Day 7: Drepung and Sera Monastery
In the morning have a tour for Drepung, the ever largest monastery with more than 10 thousand monks, Buddhist debates often occur there. Seen from afar, its grand, white construction gives the monastery the appearance of a heap of rice. As such, it was given its name which, in the Tibetan language, means Monastery of Collecting-Rice. Learn about the lives of Tibetan monks there.
The afternoon is spent touring Sera Monastery, have a little hike for the beautiful valley scenery nearby and picnic there, in the afternoon, visit Sera monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 lamas live in there. Catch the famous debate session of the monks before returning back to Lhasa.
Day 8: Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse
After you fully explore Lhasa, you’ll have a chance to get lost in the endless Tibetan landscape while you take a short hike along the turquoise waters of Lake Yamdrok, one of the four holy lakes in Tibet. This dazzling lake is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la (4700m). The lake lies several hundred metres below the road, and it is shaped like a coiling scorpion. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangstsang (7191m).
Afterwards pass by the 5,010 m high Karo-la and the Simi La forward to Gyantse (3,950m). Visit Pelkor Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, both of them built in the15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse. In the afternoon drive about 90 kilometers to Shigatse (3880m), the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang.
Day 9: Shigatse to Rongbuk Monastery
Today we have an early start to drive westwards the Friendship way to Rongbuk. On the road the drive is full of magnificent scenery and cross some extremely high passes including Gyatsola (5248m). The road to Everest diverts off the newly paved Friendship highway near the town of Shegar and turns into bumpy gravel trail, which is still 90km to get to Rongpuk. If it is in clear weather, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which is 8000m high or more, such as: Mt. Lhotse (8516m),Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Qowowuyag (8201m),Mt Mayalu (8463m).
Day 10: Drive back to Shigatse
Get up early for sunrise. You could take the local bus to arrive at Everest Base camp for half an hour, or you also can have a hike to Base Camp around 1.5-2 hours one way. It's interesting and much warmer, but hard to breath. The morning is frigid and as the wind howl your fingers must be frozen trying to take pictures of the iconic mountain but it is worth the pain to view such an amazing site. Then in the afternoon go down from E.B.C back to Shegar by friend-ship highway and continue back to Shigatse.
Day 11: Drive back to Lhasa
This morning you’ll have an opportunity to explore the Tashilumpo Monastery, the holy seat of the Panchen Lama, which is essentially a walled town with cobbled and twisting lanes that revolve around a magnificent monastery. Then you’ll take a slightly different route back to Lhasa along Yarlung Tsangpo River, be wrapped again in the endless vistas of the Tibetan plateau.
Day 12: from Lhasa to Shanghai by air
Free time for you this morning, explore the bustling markets of the Barkhor to buy some souvenirs for your families and friends. After lunch, departure transfer to the airport and fly to Shanghai. Our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to downtown hotel. The rest of the day is free on your own exploration.
Your hotel is not far from the famous Xin Tian Di area. Xin Tian Di, where the new meets the old and East meets West, is a famous place for shopping, dining and nightlife in Shanghai. When evening comes, the Xintiandi area becomes a shining star in the city center. You could enjoy its unique construction, have dinner at the outdoor tables, or do some shopping in the fashion shops. The various styles of night bars can absolutely satisfy and enrich your night life.
Day 13: Shanghai Sightseeing
In the morning, visit Shanghai Museum. It is a large museum exhibiting the ancient art while featuring bronze ware, chinaware, calligraphy and painting. Then, travel to the Yuyuan Garden, which is a famous classic garden of south region. The beautiful scenery and quiet atmosphere here make it a peaceful place in bustling Shanghai.
In the afternoon, we will transfer you to the Bund area for a short cruise on the Huangpu River. Standing on the cruise ship, you will see many western-style buildings from Shanghai's colonial days in Puxi area. While on Pudong side, rows of skyscrapers will come into view. The utterly different buildings are the best records of the development of the city. You will explore the Bund area and then visit an old street in Shanghai.
Day 14: Departure from Shanghai
Our guide will pick you up from the hotel and send you to the airport so that you can board the flight back home after this pleasant tour. Alternatively, should you wish to stay on rather than return home right away, you could contact us and choose our other City Packages as an extension to your memorable adventure!
1.Tibet Entry Permit
2. Comfortable, clean and safe vehicle depending on your group size with reliable local driver;
3. Admission fees of tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
4. Professional English speaking tour guide;
5. Accommodations depend on your preference. Please tell us your preferred accommodation class when submitting the enquiry, and we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
6.All measl listed in the itinerary;
7.Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance
What’s not included?
1. International flight to and out of China;
2. Chinese Visa
3. Domestic flight / train not listed in the itinerary (If you need ticket booking service, please leave your requirements in the Online Inruiry form.)
4.Meals not specified in the itinerary;
5.Tips to driver and tour guide, Tip as you wish
6.Personal expenses, such as laundry, phone call, optional tour activities and so on.
1. Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit is a must for Tibet tour. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for the permit after you book a Tibetan tour with us. Shortly after we get your permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau, we will inform you and mail it to your hotel in China via express.
In some extreme cases, our staff will hand it over to you at the airport or railway station. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
Tibet is never known for its 5-star luxury resorts, though you can find some like Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise, St.Regis Lhasa Resort, Sheraton hotel, etc in Lhasa. Overall, the accommodation facilities and services are not as good as those in coastal and central parts of China. However, from cheap and clean youth hotel, to distinct Tibetan style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotel, you will find one that suits your interest and pocket in Lhasa.
We’ve handpicked cozy and safe hotels in the central area of Lhasa, where you will find Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street are just steps away from you. You can easily experience more of the local life and culture. Normally, as you travel to remote areas in some parts of Shigatse like Tingri, or EBC, Ngari, Nagqu, etc. the accommodation would be much poorer. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel;others may only have electric blanket in the guesthouses. And the food is also very basic.
3.Guiding and Tipping
Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service. Throughout your stay in Tibet, we will minor your health and provide prompt help to you. If you run into any trouble, please do not hesitate to reach them or our customer service manager.
Travelers’s tipping to Tibetan guide and driver is taken as an extra gratitude to their good service, just like what you do in the west. Normally, a tipping of 7 USD/day is acceptable. The basic rule is good service for good pay.
Admittedly, to many western tourists, using toilets in Tibet is the most dreadful experience. So, please down play your expectation. If you take Tibet train to Lhasa, both western toilet and squat toilet are available in the train. If you stay in hotel above 3-star hotels in Lhasa, Shigatse, etc. you will have no complaining using standard western flash toilet.
However, if you visit some of the attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso, EBC outdoor, mostly you will see the smelly and filthy pit toilet.It's better to carry enough toilet paper.
5. Tibet Weather
One of the biggest features of weather on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the dramatic temperature change between day and night. The annual temperature in Lhasa is -2℃-- 12℃(spring), 9℃-- 22℃(summer), 7℃-- 19℃(fall), -7℃-- 9℃(winter). Do wear clothes properly such as thermal tops, fleece jacket, breathable underwear, down jacket, jeans, beanie, etc.
Of course, sun screen, lip balm, sun glasses are essential to shield you from powerful blinding sunlight on the plateau. Do drink more water and eat more vegetable as you travel in Tibet. It can prevent you from dehydration.
6. Acclimatization to the High Altitude
For the first timer to Tibet, either by flight or train, a good rest is a must for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Never rush to tour the street or attractions on your own. Walk slower and do not exert yourself like running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa is a good way to get acclimatized before heading to Shigatse or Namtso. If you have any discomfort, do tell it to your guide,and he will help you out.
7. Other Dos and Don'ts
Normally, taking photos is forbidden in the monastery. If you want to take photos of Tibetan pilgrims, a gentle ask of permission would be appreciated or you can do it from a long distance. Swimming and fishing are not allowed in holy lakes in Tibet; Do not talk about sensitive topics like politics; International tourists are not allowed to travel alone in Tibet according to the policy; Walk clockwise around Barkhor Street; Never venture into the unknown trails; do as much as you can to protect the fragile eco-system in Tibet, etc.
As Tibetan Buddhism is deeply-rooted in every facet of Tibetans' life, always follow and respect the unique customs in Tibet. If you are uncertain about something, it’s advisable to ask your guide before you do it at will.
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