This 10-day trip can let you enjoy more than city sightseeing for your Chongqing Tibet tour. It adds the famous Qinghai-Lake in Xining, and Namtso Lake near Lhasa to the regular itinerary, plus a wonderful Tibet train ride experience. Starting from Chongqing in south China, you will first enjoy the highlights of this mountain city lies upstream of the Yangtze River, including famous Three Gorges Museum, Ciqi Kou and Hongya Cave.
Then fly to Xining and enjoy a one-day getaway to the beauteous Qinghai Lake, before you board the train to Tibet. After the wonderful train ride along scenic Qinghai-Tibet Railway, you will arrive in Lhasa, to enjoy the majestic Potala Palace, holy Jokhang Temple, monks debating in Sera Monastery etc. At last, the trip will bring you to one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet – Namtso, where you will indulge in the amazing lake scenery.
- Visit Hongya Cave to enjoy distinctive buildings of Chongqing and taste hot pot.
- Appreciate the breathtaking beauty of Qinghai Lake, the largest inland saltwater lake in China.
- Experience the Sky Train, the world’s highest train ride from Xining to Lhasa.
- Go down into the bowels of the Potala Palace, the impressive but spiritless citadel of the Dalai Lamas.
- Join the shuffling, murmuring pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet.
- Get a taste of the northern Changtang at the turquoise waters, snowy peaks and nomads’ tents of stunning high-altitude Lake Namtso.
Day 1: Arrival in Chongqing
As you arrive in Chongqing, our local guide will be expecting you at the airport or railway station. Later, the guide will escort you to your hotel. After you check in, the rest of the day is for you to have a good rest or explore the surroundings yourself.
Stay overnight in Chongqing.
Day 2: Chongqing Sightseeing: Three Gorges Museum, Ciqi Kou (Porcelain Village), Hongya Cave
In the morning, you will visit Three Gorge Museum, Local in the Yuzhong District of Chongqing, which is a museum about the Three Gorges and Chongqing. You can view many statues, ceramics and bronze relics here. And you can also see a lot of photographs which give you a chance to learn about the historical of Chongqing.
In the afternoon, head to Ciqi Kou. Here, you can stroll in traditional cobbled streets, buy some souvenirs, taste delicious foods, and enjoy the river view at the end of streets.
In the evening, you will go to Hongya Cave. Hongya Cave is a witness of Chongqing's history and a symbol of Chongqing's spirit. You can taste hot pot and local snacks and enjoy the stunning night view of Jialing River here.
Stay overnight in Chongqing.
Day 3: Chongqing to Xining by Flight
Today, you will take the flight from Chongqing to Xining, in Qinghai province of China. On arrival in Xining, our guide will transfer you to your reserved hotel. The rest of the day is for you to explore the surroundings or take a rest in the hotel.
Stay overnight on the train.
Day 4: Xining Day Tour to Qinghai Lake; Overnight Train to Lhasa
Today, you will take the short drive to Qinghai Lake, the largest inland saltwater lake in China. There you will see different varieties of birds. It is suggested to take a cycling trip around the lake the appreciate the beautiful scenery. The lake is elliptical in shape, and the crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding mountains and the clear blue sky.
In the afternoon, drive back to Xining to see the beautiful view of Riyue Mountain, known locally as “Sun and Moon Mountain”. Legend tells that it was on this mountain that Princess Wencheng lost a mirror called Sun and Moon, that allowed her to see her home in Xi’an, and the Datong River was born from her tears.
In the afternoon, drive back to Xining. Then head to the train station for the train to Tibet.
Stay overnight on the train.
Day 5: Scenery along the Tibet Railway, and Arrive in Lhasa
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.
Up here, every few minutes another range of snow-capped peaks with glaciers streaming down their sides appeared on the horizon. Lhasa After the whole daytime in the train enjoying the views outside, finally arrive at Lhasa in the afternoon.
Upon arrival in Lhasa, 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.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 6: Lhasa Sightseeing - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street
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 Temple. 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 Street 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.
Stay Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 7: Lhasa Sightseeing - Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery
In the morning, you will have a tour for Drepung Monastery, 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.
In the afternoon, you are going to visit Sera Monastery, 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 rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 lamas live in there. You may have the chance to watch the famous Monks Debate (usually from 15:00 to 17:00) before returning to Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 8: Lhasa to Namtso Lake
Today, you will head for Namtso Lake. Namtso Lake is located between Dangxiong County and Bange County, renowned as one of the three Holy Lakes in Tibetan Buddhism. You can enjoy your time to do leisurely trek around Tashi Dor Island and along the lakeshore.
Stay overnight at Namtso Tent Guest house.
Day 9: Namtso Lake back to Lhasa via Yampachen
Enjoy the clear morning by the lake, you can have a little trek along the lake shore to Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves.
In the afternoon, drive back to Lhasa, have a comfort stop in Yangpachen for the fabulous views of the grassland and its famous Yangpachen hot spring (optional, hot spring fee does not included in price).
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 10: Depart from Lhasa
Our guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.
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.