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12 Days Private Tour Beijing – Xian – Xining – Tibet Train - Lhasa – Chengdu - Shanghai
The 12-day China Tibet tour takes us first to Beijing, the political center of China. The highlights of Beijing - the Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan), the Forbidden City (Gugong) and the Great Wall are in the program.

By modern high-speed train we drive southwest to Xian, an ancient imperial city. Here we expect a view of the world-famous Terracotta Army and old city wall.

Then travel by train to Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, at 2275 meters altitude on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. From here, we take a nearly one day train ride to the holy city Lhasa on the roof of the world. Let us enjoy majestic and varied scenery while traveling on the Tibet Railway!

In Lhasa - the capital city of Tibet - you have two days for the attractions: Potala, Jokhang, Norblinka and Sera. And from Parla Lupu Monastery we'll enjoy the magnificent view of Potala Palace. We could circle around the Tibetan holiest Monastery Jokhang with pilgrims, who come from all over Tibet and the Tibetan cultural areas of Kham-Amdo of the provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan. Many pious Tibetans measure the way on the Barkhor market with their body length.

By air we reach Chengdu, the capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Here we'll visit the pandas, experience the ancient culture of Sanxingdui, stroll in the Wide Alley and Narrow Alley (Kuan Xiangzi and Zhai Xiangzi), and drink tea at a typical old teahouse in the people's park, which is a leisure lifestyle of Chengdu. And of course, we will discover the spicy Sichuan cuisine and more.

Finally, we arrive in modern harbor city Shanghai in East China. The view of the impressive skyline of Shanghai at the Bund (Waitan) is unforgettable. Of course, we will visit the famous Yu Garden, one of the most beautiful examples of garden art in China.
Highlights
China Highlights with Tibet Train from Xining to Lhasa
DAY
1

Arrive in Beijing

Welcome to China. Visit Temple of Heaven

In the morning arrive in Beijing, the capital of China, transfer to hotel. In the afternoon visit the Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan) which was built in 1420 of the Ming Dynasty and expanded in the Qing Dynasty at present covering an area of 273 hectares. The grand temple served as the sacrificial place for the emperors of the Ming and Qing to worship the heaven, presenting gratitude for the harvest of this year and praying for another good harvest next year. It is the largest and most important of all imperial temples in China.

Overnight at 4*5L Hotel
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
DAY
2

Beijing

Hiking and sightseeing on the Great Wall at Mutianyu

In the morning go to the Great Wall at Mutianyu (about 70 km in northeast of Beijing). The local section of the Great Wall built in 1368 and restored in 1983, is particularly attractive with its numerous watchtowers along the picturesque ridge in green, gently undulating landscape. The Great Wall was built as a defensive line against attacks by warlike steppe people from the north, and was constantly expanded and strengthened, so the strategic passes with barracks, watchtowers and storage rooms were expanded to fortress. The Great Wall is one of the eight ancient wonders of the world and the only man-made construction on earth that the astronauts can see in the moon. Starting out in the east on the banks of Yalu River in Liaoning Province, the Wall stretches westwards for 12,700 kilometers to Jiayuguan in the Gobi Desert. It gradually becomes the symbol of the ancient Chinese civilization. Have a walk on the Great Wall about 2 to 3 hours. In the afternoon return to Beijing.

Overnight at 4*5L Hotel
Breakfast
Great Wall
Great Wall
DAY
3

High-speed train Beijing – Xian

Forbidden City (Gugong), Tiananmen Square, from Jingshan Park great view of the Forbidden City

Stroll in the Tiananmen Square that is probably the biggest one of its kind in the world. Then go to visit the Forbidden City (Gugong) - the emperor's palace, which was built between 1406 and 1420 with 9000 halls and rooms, containing many precious relics. Facing south and rising from a terrace, the largest palace in the world represents the supreme power and authority that emperors enjoyed during the feudalistic dynasties, and exemplifies the elements of palace architecture. Then climb to the "coal hill" (Meishan) of Jingshan Park lined with pines and cypress, a beautiful park just opposite the north gate of the Imperial Palace, for a great view of the Forbidden City - a rectangular basic building with golden roofs in the center of Beijing. In the afternoon transfer to railway station to take the high-speed train (G665 1600/2150) to Xian, capital of province Shaanxi. After arriving, transfer to hotel.

Overnight at 4*Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel
Breakfast
Forbidden City (Gugong)
Forbidden City (Gugong)
DAY
4

Xian

The Eighth Wonder - Terracotta Army, Grand Wild-Goose Pagoda, the best-preserved Chinese city wall

Xian's main attraction is the famous Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China Qin Shihuangdi (reigned 221 - 210 BC) who managed to unit China for the first time. The guardians of his grave offer you one of the greatest insights into the world of ancient China. In the morning visit the Museum of Terracotta Warriors. An inside museum has been built over these pits, covering a floor space of 20,000 square meters and displaying 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors, 100 or so chariots, and 30,000 weapons-an assemblage famed as the Eighth World Wonder and a world cultural heritage site. Besides, visit Da Yan Ta (Big-Wild-Goose Pagoda) which was built by Emperor Li Zhi in 650 AD. Biking on the old city wall should not be missed. Built between 1374 and 1378, the city wall has a total length of 13.6 km and is the best preserved, oldest and largest ancient city defense system in China.

Overnight at 4*Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel
Breakfast
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
DAY
5

High-speed train Xian – Xining, night train Xining – Lhasa

Grand Dongguan Mosque, Train ride on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and through the human-less areas

In the morning transfer to railway station to ride express train D2671 0742/1225 (soft seat) to Xining, the capital of province Qinghai. It was an important pivot on a side route along the ancient Silk Road, where pilgrims, merchants and armed forces converged for thousands of years, people and traditions mixed colorfully and harmoniously. Today, more than 30 nationalities live in Xining, including Han, Hui, Tu, Tibetans, Mongols and Salar. The Hui nationality is one of the Chinese Muslims. You will visit their Grand Dongguan Mosque, located directly on Dongguan Street in the old district of Xining. Originally built in the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty, it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history, most recently in the 1910s. The architecture reflects the multicultural character of the city: a temple built in the Han-Chinese tradition combined with Islamic and Tibetan cultural features. The entire building covers a total area of 13,602 square meters. And the main building, the imposing prayer hall with around 1102 sqm offers seats for three thousand believer. Obviously, it cannot satisfy the numerous prayers - for the Friday prayer (Jum'a) almost ten thousand believers gather and transform the huge courtyard and the adjacent Dongguan Street to the prayer area, of course with the help of the local administration. In the evening transfer to railway station to take the train (Z6811 2030/1710+1, soft sleeper, 4-bed compartment) to Lhasa. In 20 hours’ drive via Golmud and Naqu to Lhasa. The special feature is the 1,956 km long railway line from Xining to Lhasa, which is considered the highest railway in the world. You can enjoy a grand, seemingly endless landscape gallery with snow-capped mountains, countless rivers and gorges, high mountain lakes and endless steppes along the way. Over and over, you will see flocks of yaks, sheep, horses and wild animals as well as birds, and with some luck, you can watch the herds of Tibetan antelopes that live mainly in the steppes of the Qinghai-Tibet highlands at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 m.

Overnight on the train
Breakfast
Mural
Mural
DAY
6

Arrive in Lhasa

Welcome in Tibet – the roof of the world

Today arrive in Lhasa (3650 m), the capital of Tibet and then transfer to hotel. Stay at the hotel for adapting to the high altitude, which is helpful to take things easily for the first few days, and then try to drink some water.

Overnight at 3*Yak Hotel
Breakfast
Pilgrims on Barkhor Street
Pilgrims on Barkhor Street
DAY
7

Lhasa

Potala Palace – landmark of Lhasa, Jokhang and Barkhor Street

In the morning visit Potala that was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political nexus of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, innumerable magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures altogether create a dense religious and art atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon visit Jokhang Monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where thousands of pilgrims come for worship everyday. The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big free market with its prolific stalls for selling local specialties.

Overnight at 3*Yak Hotel
Breakfast
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
DAY
8

Lhasa

Panoramic view over Potala, Norbulingka, Debate in Sera

In the morning visit Parla Lupu Cave Monastery, located on the slopes of Yaowang Mountain, was built in the 7th century. It is 22m high and from here you can have a wonderful panoramic view over Potala palace. Afterwards visit Norbulinka, the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas. In the afternoon visit Sera Monastery, which was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. It is also one of the six master monasteries of the Gelugpa. 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 have the opportunity to experience the famous monks' "Buddhism scriptures debates". Public religious debates are part of the education of monks.

Overnight at 3*Yak Hotel
Breakfast
Debate in Sera Monastery
Debate in Sera Monastery
DAY
9

Flight Lhasa – Chengdu

Home town of panda. Kuanzhai Xiangzi, drink tea in People’s Park

In the morning transfer to Gongga Airport, and then fly to Chengdu, the capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. In the afternoon stroll in the beautiful old block of Chengdu - Wide Alley and Narrow Alley (Kuan Xiangzi and Zhai Xiangzi) that are the relics of the Manchurian garrison since 1718 and consist of 3 parallel lanes with the old classical houses, which are unique in southern China just like the northern Chinese architectural style presented by Hutong. After a careful renovation in June 2008, the pubs, tea houses, restaurants and guesthouses concentrate here, and in no time at all, it becomes the "lobby of leisure capital Chengdu". A walk here gives you a first impression of the "city of loafers". Then visit the People’s Park in the city center to have a seat in an old tea house and enjoy your covered-bowl tea in a comfortable environment with bamboo chair and bamboo table, the tea culture of Chengdu is well known throughout China.

Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel
Breakfast
Kuanzhai Xiangzi
Kuanzhai Xiangzi
DAY
10

Chengdu – Guanghan – Chengdu

Giant Panda Base, Sanxingdui Museum

In the morning visit Chengdu Giant Panda Base of Breeding and Research. Founded in 1985, today there are over 50 giant pandas living here. Afterwards drive to Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan, about 40 km north of Chengdu, just set up at the northeast corner of the famous Sanxingdui Ruins. The nearly square ruin covers an area of 12 square kilometers and is protected by a river on the northern side and a city wall on the other sides. Here was the Sanxingdui culture in the period 2800 to 800 BC. Sanxingdui is one of the oldest cultivated settlements of humanity and is one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Opened in October 1997, the modern and informative Sanxingdui Museum showcases over 1,000 excavated gold, bronze, jade, clay and stone and ivory works of art. But the most beautiful, astonishing and mysterious are the bronzes, above all huge bronze masks and a larger than life bronze sculpture - they are so strange and with their big ears and eyes and the high-bridged nose look completely different from the already known Chinese art works! Apparently, the Sanxingdui culture mastered both the fine art of bronze technique and unprecedented aesthetics. This site is recognized as one of the most important ancient remains in the world for its vast size, lengthy period and enriched cultural contents. The unique Sanxingdui Museum is a good place to explore the mysterious ancient Shu culture and history. In the late afternoon drive back to Chengdu.

Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel
Breakfast
Sanxingdui Museum
Sanxingdui Museum
DAY
11

Flight Chengdu – Shanghai

World metropolis Shanghai. Yu Garden (Yu Yuan), The Bund

In the morning transfer to airport, and fly to Shanghai, China’s largest booming city. In the afternoon visit the famous Yu Yuan (Yu-Garden) and from here you can explore the enchanting old city area. You dive into the world of the Far Eastern culture with all your senses: The distinctive flair of the old street with its tiny alleys, food stalls and small shops. Originally built in 1559, it served as the private garden of high-ranking official from that time. The word “Yu” contains a meaning of “safe and peaceful”. Afterwards, take a walk on the Bund (Waitan), the waterfront of Shanghai. The view of the skyline as well as the old gorgeous buildings in European style is impressive.

Overnight at 4*Greenland Jiulong Hotel
Breakfast
Bund, Shanghai
Bund, Shanghai
DAY
12

Flight Shanghai - home

Leave China for home

Transfer to take maglev train to airport for homeward flight. End of the amazing tour in China.
Breakfast
Shanghai
Shanghai
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