This 11-day tour allows you to see the best sights of Guangzhou. In Xining you will get the chance to visit Ta'er Monastery, one of the most prestigious academies in China, before taking the train across the spectacular Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to Lhasa. After spending time touring the capital of the region, you will visit Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city, and enjoy the amazing scenery of the world's highest mountains. Taking in all the different cultural elements of this tour will give your life a new perspective.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1: Arrive in Guangzhou and Tour Canton Tower at Night
When you arrive at Guangzhou Airport, our guide will pick you up from the waiting area, and transport you to your hotel. There you will be able to rest after your flight, or explore the area around the hotel.
After dinner, our guide will pick you up for a night visit to the famous Canton Tower, a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city. The tower is the highest TV tower in China, and the third highest in the world, at 595.7 meters tall. From the top you will have an excellent view out over the city, and inside there is a host of entertainments and restaurants.
The Sky Drop is a 100-foot high freefall, which you can do sitting down or standing up, and the Bubble Tram, with its 16 crystal cabins, is a popular attraction as it spins around the top of the tower. The Spider Walk is the world's longest spiral staircase, with 1,095 steps, making it an arduous climb. And there are 3D and 4D cinemas on the lower floors.
Stay overnight in Guangzhou
Day 2: Guangzhou City Tour: Full day tour in Chimelong Safari Park and Chimelong International Circus
The Chimelong Safari Park is a wildlife world that reaches international standards with over 500 species of animals in the park, and the home of around 20,000 rare animals. A full day tour of the park will allow you to see all of the animals in their natural habitats, not cages up like in a zoo. The animals roam free and can be fed and have photos taken with them. The park has 50 koalas, pygmy hippopotamus, black rhinos, and the world's only giant panda triplets that were born there in 2014. There are trolley rides through the enclosures for parties without a vehicle, and walking around the rest of the park actually will take all day.
In the evening, we will take you to the world famous Chimelong International Circus, which is situated just outside Guangzhou. The circus is a classic style of entertainment, and the acts include hundreds of international performers from around the world. The stage literally comes to life in a series of spectacular shows with acrobats, clowns, dancers, and animal performers combined with amazingly choreographed music, lasers, lights, and fireworks. The performances are non-stop, and breathtaking, with parades roaming through the audience, and the chance of getting wet if you are too close to the front.
Stay overnight in Guangzhou
Day 3: Fly from Guangzhou to Xining
In the morning you will take the flight from Guangzhou to Xining, where our local guide will greet you at the airport. After you transfer to the hotel, you will have the rest of the day to rest and look around the city.
Stay overnight in Xining.
Day 4: Xining Tour: Ta’er Monastery & Dongguan Mosque
The next morning you will visit one of the most important religious sites in Tibetan Buddhism. Ta'er Monastery, also known as Kumbum Monastery, is located around 25km to the northeast of Xining, and is the birthplace of the Tibetan Buddhist Master, Tsong Khapa. The monastery was built around an ancient pagoda that marks the place of his birth. The most interesting part of the visit is the debate of the lamas. Students are tasked to put difficult philosophical questions to their masters in an open debate.
After lunch you will be taken to downtown Xining to visit the famous Dongguan Mosque, with its unique mix of Tibetan, Han, Arabic, and European architecture. This amazing place is full of culture and religion, and has been standing there for over 600 years. The main prayer hall can hold up to 3,000 people, and the mosque is an educational center and the institute for higher learning of Islam, as well as the leading mosque in Qinghai Province.
Stay overnight in Xining.
Day 5: Board Overnight Train to Lhasa
In the morning you will have time to rest or walk around the city, and in the afternoon you will transfer to Xining Railway Station, to begin the ride over the Qinghai-Tibet Rail-way to Lhasa.
Stay overnight on the train.
Day 6: Scenery View of Tibet Railway, Arrive in Lhasa
Traveling along the most scenic railway in the world, you will experience sights that will leave you breathless, and cross a plateau with an average elevation of over 4,000 meters. Do not forget to check out the view as you go over the Tanggula Pass, the highest railway pass in the world at 5072 meters above sea level. When you arrive in Lhasa, our guide will greet you warmly with the phrase, "Tashi Delek", which means 'wish you all the best'. Your tour guide will meet you at the exit of the station, and a private car will transport you to your hotel to allow you to rest and acclimatize for the rest of the day.
Tips: High Altitude Sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can be avoided by resting and acclimatizing to the increased elevation. We recommend that you rest and eat plenty of high-protein foods and drink lots of water while you get used to the high altitude. It is also a good idea not to shower for the first two days to avoid catching a cold.
Day 7: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street
The following day your first stop will be the world famous Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Sitting atop Moburi (Red Hill), the palace looks down on the town of Lhasa from its 3,750-meter vantage point. The temple dates back to the 7th century, and houses artifacts and works of art from throughout Tibetan History. The palace also has the gilded burial stupas of the past Dalai Lamas, and below ground lies the ancient meditation cave of the 33rd King of Tibet.
After some lunch, you will head downtown to Jokhang Temple, the primary seat of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built by the 33rd King of Tibet in 647AD, and is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest temple in Tibetan Buddhism. Inside sits the most precious object in the temple, a life-sized statue of Buddha Sakyamuni when he was just 12 years old. Adorned with many precious gems, this gilded statue is the most sacred object in Tibet.
Running around the temple is the famed Barkhor Street. As well as the route of the holy kora, or religious circumambulation, it is also the site of many sellers where you can buy authentic souvenirs from across the region. You can join the pilgrims on their clockwise walk around the temple.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 8: Lhasa Tour - Drepung and Sera Monastery
The next morning you will leave early for a trip outside Lhasa, first to Drepung Monastery, one of the Great Three monasteries of the Gelugpa sect. Sitting at the foot of Gambo Utse, 5 kilometers outside Lhasa, it was founded by Jamyang Choge, one of the disciples of Tsong Khapa, in 1416. The Ganden Potrang, sited in the southwest corner of the monastery, was the former residence of the Dalai Lama, until the move to the Potala Palace.
In the afternoon you will travel back across the city to the northern suburbs, to visit Sera Monastery, another of the Great Three monasteries. Founded in 1419, the name, Sera, means "wild rose" in Tibetan, and was named because of the roses that were in bloom on the hill behind it when it was built. The main attraction of the monastery is the colorful and animated debating of the monks, held under the trees in the debating field every afternoon. Definitely something to watch, even if you do not understand what is said.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 9: Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) Tour
In the morning our guide will drive you from Lhasa to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. En route to Shigatse you will pass over Gampala Pass, which lies at an elevation of 4,790 meters, and will pass the amazing Lake Yamdrok. At 4,400 meters above sea level, the lake lies nestled between lofty mountains, and you will see the holy mountain, Nyenchen Khangsar, its 7,191 meter peak standing tall in the distance.
In Gyantse, you will get to visit the unique Pelkor Monastery, which is rare due to it housing three different sects of Tibetan Buddhism under one roof. You will also get to see the Gyantse Kumbum, a giant architectural stupa that stands 34 meters high.
After another hour and a half of driving you will reach Shigatse, and will be able to visit the seat of Tibet's second highest spiritual leader, the Panchen Lama, at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
Stay overnight in Shigatse.
Day 10: Shigatse (3900m) to Lhasa (3650m)
The day is spent driving back to Lhasa along the famous Sino-Nepal Friendship High-way. The road to Lhasa is 280 km long and it takes around six hours to drive. The road follows the course of the Yarlung Tsangpo river, which is the longest and largest river in Tibet. The evening will be yours to rest from the long drive.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 11: Departure from Lhasa
On the last day of your tour, our guide will take you to the airport or train station, and help you with checking in and boarding.
- Tibet Travel Permit and all other necessary permit to Tibet
- Domestic train/flight tickets as indicated in the itinerary
- All lodging listed in the itinerary
- Meals listed in itinerary
- Entrance fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
- Local Tour Transfers according to group size
- Excellent English-Speaking Tour Guide in China Tour and local Tibetan English-speaking guide in Tibet
- Government tax and travel agency service
- Chinese visa
- International flight to and out of China
- Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary
- Meals not specified the itinerary
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and drive
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
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