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11 Days Best Lijiang Chengdu and Lhasa Namtso Tour

Tour Route: Lijiang-Chengdu-Lhasa-Namtso Lake-Lhasa

Trip Overview:

This 11-day trip give you a chance to tour the best of Lijiang, Chengdu, and Tibet. Roam around antique Lijiang Ancient Town, explore majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, see lovely giant panda in Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center, experience scenic Qinghai-Tibet train journey, visit famous Potala Palace, do leisurely trek along the lakeshore of Namtso, enjoy a hot spring in Yangpachen. All this makes the trip great value for money.

  • Tour Code:
    TTO-PT-YLN11
  • Max Altitude:
    4700 m
  • 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.

  • Season:
    springSpringSummerSummerautumnAutumnwinterWinter

Highlights:

  • Head to Lijiang where tourists can tour beautiful Lijiang Ancient Town and famous Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
  • Visit Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center to look at lovely panda.
  • 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.
  • Follow monks, mendicants and fellow pilgrims around the Barkhor Street, Lhasa’s fascinating medieval pilgrim circuit.
  • Get a taste of the northern Changtang at the turquoise waters, snowy peaks and nomads’ tents of stunning high-altitude Lake Namtso.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lijiang and Visit Lijiang Ancient Town and Lion Hill

Welcome to Lijiang! As you arrive in Lijiang, our guide will meet you outside of the airport and transfer you to the hotel. After a short rest, you will explore Lijiang Ancient Town, a national historical and cultural city. It is the most preserved and most Naxi-style ancient town in China. You can stroll in the streets of ancient town, buy some exquisite souvenir, and drink a cup coffee or wine in cafes and bars, and so on. Besides, you can also climb to Wangu Tower of the Lion Hill to enjoy the panoramic view of the entire ancient town.

Stay overnight in Lijiang.

Day 2: Lijiang Day Tour: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Black Dragon Pool

Today, you will firstly tour Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the southernmost snow mountain in China. The Jade Dragon Snow mountain is surrounded by clouds and fog, looking like a silver-white dragon. Then, head to Black Dragon Pool, built in 1737 during the Qing dynasty.

Stay overnight in Lijiang.

Day 3: Fly from Lijiang to Chengdu and Visit Wide and Narrow Alley

In the morning, you will fly from Lijiang to Chengdu. After arrive in Chengdu, tour guide will escort you to the hotel. In the afternoon, you will visit Wide and Narrow Alley in downtown Chengdu. You can eat special snacks, drink tea, and buy some souvenirs there.

Stay overnight in Chengdu.

Day 4: Chengdu Day Tour: Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center, Jinsha Site Museum, and Jin Li Street

In the morning, you will have a special date with the adorable giant pandas in Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center. You could also learn more about the life and habits of the national treasure of China. Then head for Jinsha Site Museum to see the historical items of more than 3,000 years ago. Finally, it is suggested that you take a leisure stroll along Jinli Street. It is a famous commercial pedestrian street in the City, boasting rows of old-style buildings, delicious local snacks, interesting handicrafts and elegant restaurants. 

Stay overnight in Chengdu.

Day 5: Board the Train to Lhasa and Enjoy the Train Ride

Today, you will board the train from Chengdu to Lhasa. The train departs from Chengdu North Railway Station. Please arrive in train station at least 1 hour in advance.

Stay overnight in the train.

Day 6: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Sightseeing by train, arrive in Lhasa

The train will move on Qinghai Tibet Plateau, and you will pass by Yuzhufeng, which is the main peak of Kunlun Mountain, World Natural Heritage Kekexili Naturel Preserve, Tuotuo River-the resource of Yangtze River, Naqu Grassland and Cuona Lake. In the morning of the next day, the train will arrive in Lhasa. Tour guide will meet you at railway station.

Stay Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 7: 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 8: Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m)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 9: 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 10: Namtso Lake back to Lhasa via Yampachen

Get up early to enjoy the stunning view of sunrise at the lake shore. Besides, you can also trek to Tashi Dor Island to visit meditation caves. Then, go to Yangpachen. It is famous for its geothermic hot spring, so you can have a bath there. After having thoroughly relaxed in the spa, you will drive back to Lhasa. You can see a far view of a sky burial site on the way.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 11: Depart from Lhasa

Our guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.

What’s included?

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.

Trip Notes:

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.

2. Accommodation

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.

4. Toilet

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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