Day01 WED Arrive in Beijing Arrival at Capital International Airport of Beijing, transfer to hotel. 1N at 4*Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel
Day02 THU Air Beijing – Urumqi BL In the morning transfer to airport, flight to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and China’s westerly province. In Uygur language Urumqi means "beautiful meadow". This city lies in the northern foot of the Tianshan Mountain and the three sides of which are surrounded by mountains. 1N at 4*World Plaza Hotel
Day03 FRI Air Urumqi – Kashgar BL In the morning transfer to airport, flight to Kashgar, an ancient oasis city. In the afternoon visit of the Id Kah Mosque and the Tomb of Abakh Hoja where the "Nice smelling concubine", an Uygur national heroine is buried. 2N at 4*Barony Hotel
Day04 SAT Kashgar – Kalakuli Lake – Kashgar BL Adventurous drive to Karakuli Lake at the foot of holy mountain Mustagh-Ata (7546 m) of Kirghiz. Nice walking by the Karakuli Lake (3300 m). Here you can take a camel ride (paid by yourself).
Day05 SUN Train Kashgar – Turfan BL In the morning visit of the Sunday-bazaar where many Uygurs do business. This bazaar is considered as the biggest free market with all kinds of goods in central Asia. In the afternoon transfer to railway station and start to go through the Taklamakan-desert in the Tarim basin by rail (K9788 1455/1317+1, 1446 km, soft sleeper, 4-bed-cabin). 1N on the train
Day06 MON Turfan At noon arrival in Turfan, the exotic “Land of fruits and melons”, which is situated 500 feet below sea level and separates the Silk Road’s northern and southern route. Transfer to hotel. Spare time in the afternoon. 2N at 4*Huozhou Hotel
Day07 TUE Turfan BL After breakfast visit of the ruins of Jiaohe city 10 km to the west of Turfan. The graperies in Turfan has long been benefited from the underground ditch-net. In the afternoon drive to Valley of Vineyards where you can enjoy the delicious seedless grape and get to know how Karze, the underground irrigation system, works. The Emin Minarett (Sugong Ta) is also at the program.
Day08 WED Train Turfan – Dunhuang BL In the morning visit of the Thousand-Bouddha Caves of Beziklik which is located in the Blazing Mountain (Huoyan Shan). Afterwards, visit of Gaochang ruins, an ancient city of more than 2000 years old. In the evening transfer to railway station, train ride to Dunhuang (soft sleeper, 4-bed-cabin). 1N on the train
Day09 THU Dunhuang BL In the morning arrival in Dunhuang, transfer to hotel to have a break. After breakfast in hotel visit of Mogao Grottos, which is one of the greatest examples of Buddhist art, and symbol of East-West cultural exchange. In the afternoon walking through the Singing Sand Dunes to the beautiful Crescent Spring Pool. If time permits, climb a 200-meter-high sand hill nearby. 1N at 4*Solar Hotel
Day10 FRI Dunhuang – Golmud BL Long drive to Golmud, en route visit of the Cha’erhan Salt Lake and Wanzhang Yanqiao (Salt Bridge). 1N at 4*Salt Lake Hotel
Day11 SAT Train Golmud – Lhasa B Early in the morning transfer to railway station, train ride to Lhasa (K9811 0825/2150, hard seat), the capital of Tibet. The train will be passing through Tuotuohe, Naqu and Damxung to Lhasa. A highlight of the tour is this train ride on the highest rail of the world from Lhasa to Xining. It is a fascinating handscroll of natural beauty. The snowy mountains, meadows, creeks and the immense grasslands are its components. Yaks, sheep flock, horses and other wild animals are active along side the railway. If you are lucky, you might have chance to see the most rare and protected animal of the plateau, the Tibetan Antelope or known as “chiru”, which lives on the 3500 – 5000 m high plateaux. At 21.50 arrival in Lhasa, transfer to hotel. 3N at 3*Thangka Hotel
Day12 SUN Lhasa BL In the morning, visit of the Potala, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and used as the Dalai Lamas’ winter residence and as the religious and political center of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, the innumerable and magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures put altogether create a dense religious and artistic atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon, visit of Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist believers, where thousands of pilgrims come to worshipevery day. The temple, built in 647, is the oldest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big market selling local specialities.
Day13 MON Lhasa BL In the morning visit of Drepung monastery, the sacred land of Gelug Sect., which was established in 1416, and the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama once resided in (place of living). After the visit of Norbulinka, the Dalai Lamas’summer residence. In the afternoon, visit of Sera monastery, which was built 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 roses”. Today 200 lamas still live there. The "Buddhism Scriptures Debate" in Sera is very famous.
Day14 TUE Lhasa – Yamdrok Lake – Gyantse – Shigatse BL In the morning drive to Gyantse along the Kyichu River. On the Kamba La (4.796 m) we have a fantastic view of Yamdrok Yumtso holy lake (4441 m), one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. On one of the peninsulas of the spear-shaped lake lies the holy Mt. Donang Sangwari (5,340m), and the snow peaks of Nojin Gangzang (7,191m) and Jangzang Lhomo rise in the distance. The lake and the Yarlungtsangpo River (3570) are separated by a mountain and the shortest distance between them is only 6 kilometers. The 800m difference in height contributes to provide rich water resources to this region. Many Tibetans believe that the life of in Tibet will no longer continue if the lake dries up. Pass by the 5.010 m high Karo La and the Simi La to Gyantse (approx. 3.900 m). In the afternoon visit of Pelkor Chode 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. This typical Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the only large building complex in Tibet. That old monastery and stupas are completely preserved and characterized as a monument. It is recorded 14,000 kilograms of copper were used to make the 8-meter-high sitting statue of Sakyamuni Buddha housed in the grand hall of the temple. The 8-storey stupa is 42m high and 62m in diameter contains a total of 76 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world. In the afternoon, drive of about 90 kilometers to Shigatse, (3880m), the second largest city in Tibet with 40,000 inhabitants and the traditional capital of the Tsang. 1N at 3*Manasarovar Hotel
Day15 WED Shigatse – Lhasa BL
In the morning visit Tashilunpo monastery of Gelug Sect, the seat of the Panchen Lama built in 1447 and one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet. The monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya (Buddha of the future) in China, and the grave of the 4th Panchen Lama containing masses of jewels and gold. In Tibet Buddhism, Panchen Lama is just the reincarnation of Maitreya Buddha. 1N at 3*Thangka Hotel
Day16 THU Air Lhasa – Beijing BL In the morning visit the beautiful Ani Sangkhung Nunnery. There are plants everywhere and it feels like you are in a garden in the middle of the city. In the nunnery there is a little shop where they print prayer books. If the nuns are working on it you are welcome inside to see how it is done. In the afternoon Transfer to airport, fly back to Beijing. Transfer to Hotel. 1N at 4*Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel
Day17 FRI Beijing – Home B Transfer to airport, fly back home.
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