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11 Days Private Tour Lhasa – Yamdrok - Gyantse – Shigatse – Lhasa – Qinghai-Tibet Train – Chongqing – Yangtze cruise - Yichang
In Lhasa - the capital city of Tibet - we 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. On the scenic drive to Gyantse and Shigatse we will experience the magnificent scenery, pass by the turquoise Yamdrok Lake and cross over the passes Kamba La (4,794 m) and Karo La (5,010 m). Then visit the unique Kumbum Pagoda in Gyantse and Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse.

Let us enjoy majestic and varied scenery while traveling on the Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Chongqing, the “City of Mountains”, one of the four municipalities, is a promising metropolis of China. Don't forget to taste the world-famous hot pot in Chongqing. Visit Dazu Rock Carvings, the home to world famous Buddhist carving arts. During the Yangtze cruiser downstream from Chongqing to Yichang we'll enjoy the unique and beautiful sights along Yangtze River, such as “Ghost City” Fengdu, Shibaozai, Baidi City, Shennong Stream, splendid gorges of Yangtze and the massive Three Gorges Dam.
Highlights
Tibet Train Tour from Lhasa to Chongqing with Yangtze Cruise
DAY
1

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
Pilgrims on Barkhor Street
Pilgrims on Barkhor Street
DAY
2

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
3

Lhasa – Gyantse – Shigatse

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
4

Lhasa – Gyantse – Shigatse

Karo La Pass and Glacier, holy lake Yamdrok, Palkhor with Pagoda Kumbum

Drive to Gyantse. On the Kamba La (4796 m) have a fantastic view of the holy lake Yamdrok (4,441 m), one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. On arriving, visit Pelkor Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby. Both of them were built in the 15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse. This typical Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the only one large building complex in Tibet that old monastery and stupas are completely preserved and characterized as a monument. It is recorded that 14,000 kilograms of copper was 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 diameters contains a total of 76 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world. Afterwards drive about 90 kilometers to Shigatse (3880m), the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang.

356 km
6 hours 41 minutes
Overnight at 4*Mulunlazong Hotel
Breakfast
Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Lake
DAY
5

Shigatse – Lhasa

Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse, traditional manufacture for Tibetan incense

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 a tomb of the 4th Panchen Lama containing masses of jewels and gold. In Tibet Buddhism, Panchen Lama is just the reincarnation of Maitreya Buddha. In the afternoon drive back to Lhasa. On the way visit a traditional manufacture for Tibetan incense in small town Tunba by the Yarlung Tsangpo River.

273 km
4 hours 58 minutes
Overnight at 3*Yak Hotel
Breakfast
Tashilunpo Monastery
Tashilunpo Monastery
DAY
6

Train Lhasa – Chongqing

Nunnery Ani Sangkhung, departure by Qinghai-Tibet Train

In the morning visit the nunnery Ani Sangkhung. "Ani" means nun and "Sangkhung" is meditation cave. The nunnery Ani Sangkhung was founded in the 15th century by a disciple of Tsongkapa. It is located in the old city center near Jokhang. Today about 100 nuns live here. In the monastery prayer hall, dorm, kitchen, etc, are set up. The nuns plant many plants, so the monastery looks like a garden. In the afternoon transfer to railway station to take the train (Z224 1840/0640+2, soft sleeper, 4-bed compartment) to Chongqing. In 36 hours we drive via Nagqu, Golmud, Xining, Lanzhou, Guangyuan to Chongqing. The special feature is the 1,956 km long railway line from Lhasa to Xining, 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
Nunnery Ani Sangkhung
Nunnery Ani Sangkhung
DAY
7

On the train to Chongqing

Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Loess Plateau, Silk Road

Today you continue to drive by train on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, along the Koko Nor Lake (Qinghai Hu), and enter the Loess Plateau and the Silk Road. We leave Tibet, and then reach Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, and stop briefly in Lanzhou by the Yellow River (Huang He), the capital of Gansu Province.

Overnight on the train
Breakfast
Tibet Railway
Tibet Railway
DAY
8

Chongqing

“City of Mountains”, Dazu Rock Carvings, Yangtze River Cruise starts

In the morning arrival in Chongqing, the city with many nicknames, such as the "City of Mountains" because of its hilly cityscape, the "capital of the fog" because of its countless foggy days in the year and the "capital of the bridges" - the city is located at the confluence of Yangtze River (Yangzi, Changjiang) and Jialing River, so there are numerous bridges to ensure the smooth traffic. Located in the middle of China's geographical center, Chongqing is the youngest of the country's four municipalities along with Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. But in the course of the "Western Development" of China, it has seized the opportunity and developed rapidly. Today Chongqing is an important economic and port metropolis of China with a promising future.
After breakfast at a nice hotel, drive to Dazu and explore the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan which contains the finest and most concentrated rock carvings. Dazu is the home to world famous Buddhist carving arts. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Dazu Rock Carvings are made up of 75 protected sites containing about 50,000 statues, with over 100,000 Chinese characters forming inscriptions and epigraphs. In the afternoon drive back to Chongqing and transfer to the pier, embark the Yangtze Cruise ship. The magnificent cruise ship starts its voyage downstream at 21.30 on the Yangtze River, the third largest river in the world.

Overnight at 5*Yangtze Cruiser
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Stone Carving of Baoding in Dazu
Stone Carving of Baoding in Dazu
DAY
9

Yangtze River Cruise

From now on you will experience a unique voyage on China's longest river, Changjiang, better known in the west as Yangtsekiang. On this route, the landscape gallery of shores, gorges, mountain- and rock-formations are fascinating. Our first destination is Fengdu (option), the “Ghost City” of China, which is because of its big amounts of statues with the image of hell – ghost and devils. According to the legend, here is the place to settle down souls. The next station is Shibao Village. At the dinner time, a great party is held by the captain to welcome everybody.

Overnight at 5*Yangtze Cruiser
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Yangtse River
Yangtse River
DAY
10

Yangtze River Cruise

Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, boating on Shennong Stream

At first, you can visit White Emperor City (option). Then the cruise will travel through the Qutang Gorge, the shortest but the most majestic and dangerous gorge of the three gorges of Yangtsekiang. Shift to Wu Gorge, which gain high reputation because of its fascinating sights. Get off at Wushan and continue your leisure tour - traveling through Shennong Stream by a small boat, enjoying the clear running water, distinctive rock formations and even monkeys and goats along its sides. This is a special approach to get close to these beautiful features of Shennong Stream.

Overnight at 5*Yangtze Cruiser
Breakfast
Yangtse River
Yangtse River
DAY
11

Departure from Yichang

Visit the massive Three Gorges Dam Project. Travel to next destination

After breakfast you will disembark at Maoping port of Yichang to visit the massive Three Gorges Dam Project. After 12 years of construction, the Three Gorges Dam (Sanxia Daba) was completed with a hydroelectric power plant, a ship lift and a lock system on May 20, 2006. With about 2335 m, the gigantic concrete dam extends between the two sides of a narrow valley at the end of the Xiling Gorge of the Yangtze River near Sandouping, a small town about 40 km upstream from Yichang in Hubei Province. China is pursuing ambitious goals: protecting the densely populated regions in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River away from flooding; operating a hydropower plant with 32 large turbines, each of which has 700 MW of installed capacity and generates around 100 billion kWh of electricity; enabling the navigability of the Yangtze River to 660 km from Yichang to Chongqing for ships up to 10000 tons.
Your tour ends in Yichang, transfer to airport or railway station, travel to next destination.
Breakfast
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Hotel, program, itinerary, train and Yangtze cruiser are subjected to change with prior notice.