11 Days Private Tour Beijing – Lhasa – Tibet Train – Xian - Shanghai
The 11-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), the Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan) and the Great Wall are in the program.
By air we reach the holy city Lhasa on the roof of the world. 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.
Let us enjoy majestic and varied scenery while traveling on the Tibet Railway from Lhasa to the ancient imperial city Xian. Here we expect a view of the world-famous terracotta army and old city wall.
By high-speed train we drive to 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.
In the morning arrive in Beijing, the capital of China, and then transfer to hotel. In the afternoon visit the Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan) that 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
Forbidden City (Gugong), Tiananmen Square, from Jingshan Park great view of the Forbidden City, Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan)
Stroll in the Tiananmen Square, which 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 visit the Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan). Numerous unforgettable photo opportunities are waiting for you. In the summer it was too hot for the Chinese emperors, so they began in 1153 to build a summer residence in northwest of Beijing. The Summer Palace is the most successful imperial garden, one of the highlights of Chinese landscape and horticultural art.
Overnight at the 4*5L hotel
Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan)
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 the 4*5L Hotel
Flight Beijing – Lhasa
Welcome to Lhasa - the roof of the world. Visit nunnery Ani Sangkhung
In the early morning transfer to airport, and fly (CA4125 0735/1215) to Lhasa (3650 m), the capital of Tibet, and then transfer to hotel. In the afternoon visit the nunnery Ani Sangkhung. "Ani" means nun and "Sangkhung" is a 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. The monastery set up prayer hall, dorm, kitchen, etc. The nuns plan many plants, so the monastery looks like a garden.
Overnight at the 3*Yak Hotel
Nunnery Ani Sangkhung
Potala Palace – landmark of Lhasa, Jokhang and Barkhor Street
In the morning visit Potala, which 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
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
Debate in Sera Monastery
Train Lhasa - Xian
Train ride on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and through the human-less areas
In the morning transfer to the train station, train to Xian (Z166 1130/2034+2, soft sleeper, 4-bed compartment). In 36 hours’ drive via Naqu, Golmud, Xining, Lanzhou to Xian. 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
Lhasa Railway Station
Arrival in the historic imperial city Xian
In the evening arrive in Xian, the capital of province Shanxi. Meet with local guide at the railway station and transfer to hotel.
Overnight at the 4*Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel
Ancient City Wall of Xi'an
High-speed train Xian - Shanghai
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) that 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. Transfer to railway station, take the high-speed train (D308 1935/0620+1, soft sleeper, 4-bed compartment) to Shanghai.
Overnight on the train
Arrive in Shanghai
World metropolis Shanghai. Yu Garden (Yu Yuan), The Bund
In the morning arrive in Shanghai, China’s largest booming city. Transfer to hotel. Have breakfast and take a rest in hotel. Then 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 by then. 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
Flight Shanghai - Home
Leave China for home
Transfer to take maglev train to airport for homeward flight. End of the amazing tour in China.