Take this 11 days Chengdu to Tibet train tour to visit the incredible cultural sites and take in the scenic landscape via Qinghai-Tibet Railway. You will first head to Leshan to appreciate the Giant Buddha and then explore the ancient temples scattered in Mount Emei. Then back to Chengdu, you can get to visit the Giant Panda Breeding Base to meet those adorable creatures there. Next, the train to Tibet will take you to the holy city Lhasa, where you can discover the sacred places like Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monastery.
- Explore the architectural wonder Giant Buddha in Leshan.
- Visit Mt. Emei - one of the four most famous Buddhist mountains in China
- Have a close contact with Giant Pandas in Chengdu
- Experience the Sky Train, the world’s highest train ride from Chengdu to Lhasa.
- Tour the sacred monasteries in Lhasa.
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu
Upon your arrival in Chengdu, our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area of the airport and transfer you to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to have a good rest or explore the city.
Day 2: Chengdu - Leshan - Mt. Emei
In the morning, you will be driven to Leshan to take boat to appreciate the Giant Buddha, a sitting stone statue of Maitreya carved on a cliff at the confluence of Min River, Qingyi River and Dadu River. Measuring about 233-feet high, this Buddha with serious expression is the largest stone Buddha in the world whose carving work took about 90 years.
Afterwards, you will travel to Mt. Emei and register in the hotel at its foot.
Day 3: Mt. Emei - Chengdu
The tour today will focus on Mt. Emei itself and two renowned temples on it, Baoguo Temple and Wannian Temple. As one of the four most famous Buddhist mountains in China, Mt. Emei boasts temples and gathers Buddhism culture. In addition, owing to its majestic cliffs, deep valleys, flying waterfalls, sea cloud and verdant forests, the mountain has been reputed as 'a beauty spot under heaven' by Chinese people since ancient times.
Situated at the foot of Mt. Emei, Baoguo Temple is the largest temple on Mt. Emei and known as the No.1 scenic spot on the mountain. It is a magnificent architecture complex with a succession of four temple halls, which are shaded with green pines and luxuriant cypresses. The exquisite pavilions and beautiful gardens can also be seen here. Wannian Temple is one of the oldest temples on Mt. Emei which houses rich Buddhist cultural relics.
After that, drive back to your hotel in Chengdu.
Day 4: Tour Chengdu Panda Breeding Center and Board Chengdu-Lhasa Train to Tibet
In the morning, you will have a special date with the adorable giant pandas in Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. You could also learn more about the life and habits of the national treasure of China. The remainder of the day is free for you to have a good rest or explore the city before taking the train to Tibet.
You will board the train from Chengdu to Lhasa in the evening. The Tibet Railway offers a stunning alpine scenery full of snow caped mountains, lakes, vast plateau plains littered with nomads, yaks, Tibetan antelope and many other wild life elements. Tibet Railway is the world’s highest Railway. The rail line expands a vast highland area with an average altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level, the highest being 5,068 meters.
Day 5-6: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Sightseeing by train; Arrive in Lhasa
The train will move on Qinghai Tibet Plateau, and you will pass by Yuzhu Peak, which is the main peak of Kunlun Mountain, World Natural Heritage Kekexili Natural Preserve, Tuotuo River-the resource of Yangtze River, Naqu Grassland and Cuona Lake.
Upon arrival on the next day, you will 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.
Day 7: 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. With the golden roof shinning in the sun, it is visible from any distance. You can spend one hour wondering around the inside of this magnificent building and exploring the rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and many Buddhist icons within.
n the afternoon we go inside of the Jokhang. The Jokhang, like most of the larger temple structures having 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.
Day 8: Lhasa - 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.
You can spend the afternoon touring Sera Monastery and have a little hike for the beautiful valley scenery nearby and picnic there. Sera monastery was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As roses 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 to Lhasa.
Day 9: Lhasa to Shigatse via Gyantse
In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), and tourists will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m). The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance clients can have spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar (7191m), the highest mountain near Lhasa.
Gyantse was historically Tibet's third largest city after Lhasa and Shigatse. In Gyantse, tourists will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. After one and a half driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet.
Day 10: Shigatse to Lhasa
In Shigatse, we will visit Tashilhunpo Monastery before driving back to Lhasa. The monastery covers 70,000 square meters, is now the largest functioning religious institution in Tibet and one of its great monastic sights. The huge golden statue of the Future Buddha is the largest gilded statue in the world. Then we will drive back to Lhasa by following Yalong Valley. You can stand on the viewing platform and view the vast Yalong River bed. Finally, the guide will transfer you back to your hotels in Lhasa.
Day 11: Finish this Unforgettable Tour
Today, our guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.
Tour services end and Tibet welcome you back forever.
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 meals 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 Inquiry 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.