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8 Days Tibet Golden Route Expedition with Train from Beijing to Lhasa

Tour Route: Beijing - Lhasa - Yamdrok Lake - Gyantse - Shigatse

Trip Overview:

This golden route expedition from Lhasa to Shigatse immerses you in the riches of Tibetan culture and nature. After fully exploring Lhasa city, you'll have the chance to lose yourself in the endless Tibetan landscape while taking a short hike along the turquoise waters of Lake Yamdrok. This tour also offers the opportunity to explore the awe-inspiring Kumbum Stupa in Gyantse and the historic Tashilunpho Monastery in Shigatse. You will also experience the Tibet train, the world's highest train ride to enjoy the stunning views of Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

  • Tour Code: TTO-BTT-LS08

  • Trip Level:

  • Tour Type: Private tour with private guide and vehicle

  • Time to Visit:

Highlights:

  • Experience the Lhasa Express Train, the world’s highest train ride from Beijing to Lhasa through Qinghai-Tibet railway.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple.
  • Follow monks, mendicants and fellow pilgrims around the Barkhor Street, Lhasa’s fascinating medieval pilgrim circuit.
  • Take in a prayer meeting or some monk debating at Sera and Drepung Monastery, two of the largest and most intact of Tibet’s great monasteries.
  • Marvel at the turquoise waters of Lake Yamdrok-tso, one of Tibet’s most sacred lakes.
  • Worship before a 26m gold Buddha at Tashilhunpo Monastery, a walled complex the size of a village.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Board the Train to Lhasa from Beijing

The Z21 train to Lhasa departs from Beijing West Railway Station at 19:53. Please ensure that you arrive at the train station at least 1 hour before the scheduled departure.

Day 2: On the Train To Lhasa

Today is the first day on the Tibet train. You will pass through two important cities in northwest China, which is Lanzhou and Xining.

From Xining, the beginning of Qinghai-Tibet railway, you could see the scenery of countryside and cities in northwest China along the rail line.

Day 3: Breathtaking Views along the Tibet Railway and Arrive in Lhasa at Noon

Today, you are going to witness the most beautiful scenery of Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Along the way to Nagchu, you could see Tanggula Pass come and go, almost indistinguishable from the rest of the high land. You could find villagers gaze at the passing train and yaks bolted off the tracks. Up here, every few minutes another range of snow-capped peaks with glaciers streaming down their sides appeared on the horizon.

After the whole morning in the train enjoying the views outside, the train finally arrives in Lhasa at about 11:36.

Upon arrival, be greeted by local guide at the train station and be presented with traditional Tibetan White Scarf to wish you good luck! After group photo at the station, board on the vehicle and transfer back to hotel, you will enjoy the spectacular scenery and the typical Tibetan villages on the way.

Stay at the hotel after arrival for adapting to the high attitude. It is helpful to take things easy for the first few days, and try to drink some water just and now.

Day 4: Lhasa Day Tour: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery (B)

Today, you will first visit the Drepung Monastery, the largest monastery in Tibet that once housed over ten thousand monks. Here, you'll explore the Coqen Hall, where your guide will provide a detailed explanation of the Tibetan Buddhist worldview and narrate the stories of renowned figures in Tibetan Buddhist history.

Additionally, you'll tour the Loseling College (or an equivalent) within Drepung Monastery to understand monks' practices and studies. Exploring their dormitories will offer insight into their daily routines and living conditions.

In the afternoon, the tour proceeds to Sera Monastery, established in 1419 and long regarded as a significant Buddhist seminary. Here, you'll observe the renowned monk debates, a highlight of Sera Monastery. Your guide will provide a comprehensive explanation of how these debates aid monks in acquiring knowledge and advancing through academic degrees.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 5: Lhasa Day Tour: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Street (B)

After breakfast, your guide will accompany you to visit the magnificent Potala Palace, where you'll stand atop its heights and gaze down upon the city of Lhasa. Your guide will narrate the life and tales of the successive Dalai Lamas within the Potala Palace and meticulously introduce the various halls and treasures housed within its walls.

Once you've explored the grandeur of the Potala Palace, your next stop will be Longwangtan Park nestled at its base. This tranquil spot offers a unique vantage point to admire the majestic Potala Palace and partake in traditional Tibetan cultural experiences.

In the afternoon, you'll head to the sacred Jokhang Temple—the heart of Tibetan faith and life. Within the temple resides the rare and revered 12-year-old statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, an image so lifelike that it resembles seeing the Buddha in person. Around the temple is Barkhor Street, where you can take a clockwise kora, witnessing how local Tibetans practice their Buddhist beliefs.

Following this, your guide will take you to the liveliest indoor Tibetan tea house in Lhasa, where you can enjoy Tibetan sweet tea with locals. Your guide will join everyone, sharing insights into the social relations and daily leisure life of Tibetans.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 6: Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse

After exploring Lhasa, you'll travel overland to Shigatse, Tibet's second-largest city. Along the way, immerse yourself in Tibet's splendid scenery and discover the leisurely lives of local villagers.

The first stop will be at Yamdrok Lake, one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet. This stunning lake unveils its beauty from the Gambala Mountain Pass (4790m), curving like a blue ribbon, while the towering Mt. Noijin Kangsang (7191m) can be seen in the distance. As you descend to the lakeshore, explore various viewpoints offering intimate encounters with the lake's shoreline. Towards the lake's end, you'll have the opportunity to visit a welcoming local family in the village and have lunch with them.

Next, you'll pass by the Karola Glacier (5100m). Positioned right by the roadside, it resembles a serene maiden grooming herself while gazing from afar at the majestic snow-capped mountains.

Continuing your journey towards Gyantse, you'll make a stop at Simila Mountain Pass. Here, you can hang prayer flags, offering prayers for global peace and the well-being of your loved ones.

Upon arrival in Gyantse, seize the opportunity to capture memorable photos of the ancient city. En route from Gyantse to Shigatse, you will witness vast stretches of lush green barley fields (in summer) and golden fields (in autumn), alongside numerous farms.

Finally, upon reaching Shigatse and checking into the hotel, take a moment to relax and prepare for the upcoming trip to Mount Everest the following day.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 7: Shigatse - Nyemo - Lhasa

In the morning, you will explore the residence of the Panchen Lama, Tashilhunpo Monastery, which is also the largest monastery in Shigatse. This expansive monastery occupies the hillside, housing the world's largest statue of Maitreya Buddha, serving as the spiritual heart of Shigatse. You can see monks, wearing yellow hats and red robes, walking through the temple. If you are lucky, you will also see a Dharma ceremony held in the temple.

Then, you will journey back to Lhasa along the Yarlung Tsangpo River, revered as the Mother River of Tibetans.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 8: Finish This Unforgettable Tour and Depart from Lhasa (B)

Today your guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board. Please confirm your departure flight or train details in advance with your guide. The tour ends.

What’s included?

1.Tibet travel documents such as Tibet Travel Permit (excluding expedited processing fees), and delivery of the permit to your hotel in mainland of China.

2. Comfortable, clean and safe tourist vehicles with experienced local drivers offering attentive service.

3. 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.

4. All meals listed in the itinerary.

5. Excellent local Tibetan English-speaking tour guide.

6. Admission tickets for all tourist attractions listed in Itinerary.

7. Travel accident insurance.

8. Other services: exquisite Tibetan souvenirs, tourist map, portable oxygen, medical oxygen in the vehicle, bottled mineral water, and more.

What’s not included?

1. Chinese Visa (for any visa assistance services, please contact us for details)

2. International flights to and out of China.

3. Domestic flight or train to and out of Lhasa (If you need ticket booking service, please leave your requirements in the Online Inquiry form.)

4. Some meals not included in the itinerary.

5. Tips to the guide and driver based on your satisfaction with their services. We recommend paying a total of $7 per person per day for both the guide and driver.

6. Additional expenses resulting from force majeure events (such as natural disasters, traffic controls, loss of valuables, visa delays, flight delays or cancellations, etc.).

7. Personal expenses and any other expenses not mentioned in the inclusion list.

Trip Notes

  • 1. How to Get the Tibet Travel Permit?

    The Tibet Travel Permit is essential for any Tibet tour. We help to obtain this permit free of charge when you book your Tibet tour through us. Simply send us copies of your passport and China visa at least 20 days in advance. Once we receive your documents, we will promptly process the permit application with the Tibet Tourism Bureau. After obtaining your permit, we will notify you and send it to your hotel in mainland China.

    In exceptional cases, our staff can personally deliver the permit to you at the airport or railway station. With years of experience in handling Tibet Travel Permit, we assure you a smooth visit to Tibet by ensuring the acquisition of your permit.

  • 2. Where to Stay in Tibet?

    Accommodation facilities and services in Tibet might not match those found in the coastal and central parts of China. However, there's a diverse range of hotel options available. However, you can choose from a wide range of hotel options. In big cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, from cheap and clean youth hostels to distinct Tibetan-style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotels, you will find one that suits your interests and budget.

    As you travel to remote areas of Tibet, such as EBC and the Mount Kailash region, the accommodations tend to be more basic. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel, while others may only offer electric blankets in the guesthouses. Nonetheless, we always handpick cozy and safe accommodations for you along your itinerary in Tibet, ensuring a pleasant night's stay for your Tibet tour.

  • 3. How about the Guiding and Tipping in Tibet?

    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 monitor your health and provide prompt assistance to you. If you encounter any trouble, please do not hesitate to contact them or our customer service manager.

    Travelers' tipping to Tibetan guides and drivers is seen as extra gratitude for their excellent service, much like what you do in the West. Normally, a tipping amount of 7 USD per day is acceptable. The basic principle is rewarding good service with fair pay.

  • 4. How are the Toilets in Tibet?

    Undoubtedly, for many Western tourists, using toilets in Tibet can be a challenging experience. Therefore, it's advisable to moderate your expectations. If you travel to Lhasa by Tibet train, both western-style and squat toilets are available onboard. Staying in hotels rated above 3 stars in cities like Lhasa and Shigatse ensures access to standard Western flush toilets, eliminating any discomfort.

    However, when visiting attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso or outdoor sites like EBC, you're likely to encounter smelly and unclean pit toilets. It's recommended to carry sufficient toilet paper for such occasions.

  • 5. How is the Weather in Tibet? What to Pack for Visiting Tibet?

    One of the notable weather features on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the significant temperature fluctuation between day and night. In Lhasa, the annual temperatures range from -2℃ to 12℃ (spring), 9℃ to 22℃ (summer), 7℃ to 19℃ (fall), and -7℃ to 9℃ (winter). Ensure proper clothing, such as thermal tops, a fleece jacket, breathable underwear, a down jacket, jeans, a beanie, and other essentials.

    Moreover, essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are crucial to shield yourself from the intense, blinding sunlight of the plateau. Staying hydrated by drinking more water and including vegetables in your diet is advisable to prevent dehydration during your travels in Tibet.

  • 6. How to Prevent from Altitude Sickness in Tibet?

    For first-time visitors to Tibet, whether arriving by flight or train, allowing ample rest is crucial for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Avoid rushing to explore the streets or attractions independently. Walk at a slower pace and refrain from exerting yourself by running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa before venturing to places like Shigatse or Namtso allows for better acclimatization. If you experience any discomfort, inform your guide, and they will assist you.

  • 7. Are There some Dos and Don'ts while Touring Tibet?

    Photography is generally prohibited in monasteries. If you wish to capture images of Tibetan pilgrims, kindly seek their permission or maintain a considerable distance while taking photos. Swimming and fishing are prohibited in the sacred lakes of Tibet. Avoid discussing sensitive topics like politics. According to policy, international tourists are not permitted to travel alone in Tibet.

    While navigating Barkhor Street, adhere to the custom of walking clockwise. Refrain from exploring unfamiliar trails. Take proactive steps to preserve Tibet's delicate ecosystem.

    Given that Tibetan Buddhism profoundly influences the lives of Tibetans, always show reverence and respect for their unique customs. If uncertain about any practice, it's advisable to seek guidance from your tour guide before proceeding.

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  • Explore Mount Kailash

    Authentic Exploration of Tibet's Rich Culture

    Discover the real Tibet with us! We're dedicated to showing its true spirit and exploring its lively culture. Our aim is to give you an authentic experience, sharing the beauty and richness of Tibetan traditions. Come along for a journey deep into the heart of Tibet!

  • Leisurely explore Lake Yamdrok

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  • Photo with Mount Everest

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What Our Customers Say

  • My Tibetan tour

    I just returned from my 8 day Tibetan excursion with my guide Kelsang Dorje I had a wonderful trip seeing fantastic places - there Jokhong Temple ,Potala Palace , the base camp of Everest. Kelsang was a wonderful guide and very informative about all the visits...More reviews

    May 2024 teri
  • Amazing trip with Pasang as the best guide ever!

    This was a great tour! Tibet is of course amazing but what really made this trip special is our guide Pasang! I feel we could not have been more lucky with him as our guide...More reviews

    May 2024 Celine C
  • Wonderful experience in Tibet

    Really enjoyed visiting the monasteries and Everest base camp. Our tour guide Keldor was very good with arranging everything for us in the trip. Our experience wouldn’t be as great as it is without Keldor.More reviews

    May 2024 Nathan N
  • If you go to Tibet you will never forget

    This trip was one of the most amazing I have ever taken! I experienced the most unique way to learn about Tibetan culture and people. And nature is just mind blowing. No words can describe beauty of Tibetan nature, you must see yourself to believe it...More reviews

    April 2024 Juris U
  • Amazing experience

    Amazing experience, thankfully to our guide the young Kunga, whose knowledge is amazing! Superb experience, highly recommended...More reviews

    April 2024 Tim Starcic
  • Best Tibet trip ever

    Such an amazing trip! Having the opportunity to visit this lovely part of the world is very eye-opening:) our guide, Tenzin, was very knowledgeble and kind. A 10/10 experience...More reviews

    April 2024 Crete
  • Truly memorable experience

    We did a private trip actually, after a thorough research of numerous agencies we decided to go with Tibet Vista as they seem very experienced in Tibet tours and they are also very responsive. It was well-made decision, we loved our tour and our guide Kungga was excellent, he was attentive and accomodating to us...More reviews

    Apr 2024 Denira K
  • Once in a life time

    14 days from Beijing to Tibet and Nepal. The reality was beyond my expectations. A trip that I will remember for the rest of my life. The trip was arranged in an exceptional way! Laura Tang did an amazing job! She responded to all my questions immediately, she supported and solved any problems very quickly. The hotels she arranged for me were amazing!! ...More reviews

    Jan 2024 nico k
  • Nice view in winter!

    The view was magnificent. got to see snow and snow capped mountains. Thanks to Gemma Wei for helping with all the planning. Also thanks to Kunchok and Tsering for going accomodating to my needs as i was not used to the altitude. They also helped alot with the trek up the hills! ...More reviews

    Dec 2023 Benjamin X
  • Tibet is beautiful

    The tour was great! We visited amazing places and could feel the sacred atmosphere in all the temples. The nature is breathtaking with beautiful mountain and lake views. Our guide Jingme told us all about the history and showed us great places. All the hotels were much better than what I expected...More reviews

    Nov 2023 Krisyna H

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