All aboard the world's highest railway as you travel from Xining in western China, up and over the 5,072-meter Tanggula Pass, across the stark beauty of the Tibetan Plateau to the sacred city of Lhasa. An incredible feat of engineering that passes spectacular lakes and mountains, crossing huge plains and permafrost at the "roof of the world", the Qinghai-Tibet Railway puts you right in the heart of Tibet's gigantic landscapes.
Immerse yourself in this once-in-a-lifetime expedition through Tibet's rich past and vibrant present. Experience three incredible rail journeys, explore the palaces, temples, and monasteries of Lhasa, Shigatse, and Gyantse, stand in awe of Mt Everest at sunrise, and savour tasty local cuisine.
Your Holiday Package Includes:
- Economy class flight to Xian, return from Chengdu
- 15 night Tibetan Railroad guided tour with Wendy Wu, Xian to Chengdu
- 3/4-star accommodation
- 14 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners
- Domestic transportation
- Visa fees & processing for Australian passports
- Touring with guides & entrance fees
- Tibet entry permit
Pricing is per person twin share and based on travel 07-23 October 2024
Based on departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Departures from other cities & flight upgrades available on request
Other departures available, seasonal surcharges apply
Solo traveller pricing available, speak with your travel consultant
Day 1-2: Fly to Xian
Fly overnight to Xian, the ancient former capital. You will be met in the arrival hall by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 3: Terracotta Warriors
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-sized warriors and horses. Visit the workshop to see where the warriors are intricately recreated in the style of their ancient counterparts and stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xian's old town. Take a walking tour of the narrow and winding streets of the lively Muslim Quarter and gain an insight into the city's fascinating culture and significance as the start of the Silk Road. In the evening, enjoy a dumpling feast and Tang Dynasty dancing show.
Day 4: Bullet train to Xining
Start the day with a visit to the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and the Xian Museum, home to a number of relics and artefacts. Later, transfer to the train station to board the bullet train to Xining, capital of Qinghai province in western China.
Day 5: Overnight train to Tibet
Explore the sacred Kumbum Monastery, also known as Ta'er Temple. Later, transfer to the railway station to embark on the incredible 21-hour overnight train to Lhasa on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the highest rail journey in the world. Please refer to the tour dossier for further information on the rail experience.
Day 6: Lhasa
Traverse the 5,072 metre Tanggula Pass and across the stark beauty of the Tibetan Plateau to the 'roof of the world', Lhasa. Watch from your window as you cross huge plains and permafrost and pass spectacular lakes, mountains and wildlife. Whether you prefer to unwind with a book, engage in a game of cards, or enjoy a meal in the dining carriage, there's ample opportunity to relax during this scenic rail journey. Arrive in Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet, in the afternoon. The remainder of the day is free to relax and acclimatise to the altitude.
Day 7: Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Circuit
Lhasa is a quickly growing modern city but among the narrow, old streets you will feel a million miles from the stresses and strains of the modern world. Wander around the Barkhor Circuit to see traditionally dressed locals, stalls of religious trinkets and prostrating pilgrims. Inside the Jokhang Temple, the devotion is palpable as queues of people worship in the flickering light of yak butter candles. There will also be a visit to Sera Monastery, one of the three great monasteries of Tibet, to witness the debating monks. This evening, enjoy a tasty Tibetan dinner and dance performance.
Day 8: Potala Palace
This morning, visit the iconic palace of Potala, the largest monastery in the world. Sitting atop Red Mountain, the Potala Palace is painted in a traditional Tibetan blend of deep red and stark white. Next, visit Norbulingka, Lhasa's answer to Beijing's Summer Palace, set in parkland just outside the city.
Day 9: Train to Shigatse
Travel across Tibet's stark plains to Shigatse. Dominated by a fort reminiscent of the Potala, Shigatse is Tibet’s second city and the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama. Enjoy some free time to explore the local markets.
Day 10: Shigatse
Visit Shalu and Tashilhunpo Monastery, which was founded in 1447 by the first Dalai Lama, and join the pilgrims on their 'Kora' (circumnavigation) of the Monastery.
Day 11: Mount Everest Base Camp
Rise early for the drive through some of the world's most incredible scenery to the Rongbuk Township with stops along the way. With Mount Everest dominating the horizon, stop by the world's highest post office, then continue to Everest Base Camp Boundary Monument. Situated under the gaze of Everest's north face, the views of the world's highest peak are unsurpassed (weather permitting). Visit Rongbuk Monastery, draped in colourful prayer flags, as well as the small Old Rongbuk Monastery. Stay overnight in a Tibetan tent camp or guesthouse, depending on the weather conditions
Day 12: Sunrise over Everest
Rise early to see a glorious sunrise over Everest (weather permitting) before returning to Shigatse, passing the Tso La Pass and Gyatso La Pass and enjoying the awe-inspiring views.
Day 13: Gyantse
Continue to the pleasant town of Gyantse. Visit Gyantse Kumbum as well as the Tsang Traditional Folk House to see a traditional kitchen and taste some local snacks and homebrewed 'chang'.
Day 14: Tsedang
Travel along the Brahmaputra River to Tsedang. Visit Gangpo Ri, the ‘birthplace of the Tibetan people'.
Day 15: Yumbulhakang Palace
Perched on a hill over the Yarlung River, legend says that the ancient Yumbulhakang Palace was the first building in Tibet and the palace of the first Tibetan king. Continue to Tradruk Monastery and the King's Tomb before returning to Lhasa for an evening at leisure.
Day 16: Fly to Chengdu
Fly 2 hours to Chengdu. On arrival, transfer to your hotel where the rest of the day will be at leisure before a farewell dinner this evening. Your guide will be on hand to suggest activities or places to explore, or you can use the time to just relax in your hotel.
Day 17-18: Depart Chengdu
Your day is at leisure until it's time to transfer to the airport for your flight back home, arriving the next day.
Terms & Conditions
Prices listed are per person in Australian Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 07 February 2024 and can be withdrawn without notice. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Airfares are based on departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Departures from other cities & flight upgrades available on request. Customary tipping amount of approximately RMB895pp (AU$199pp) is paid locally in China. Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2. Extra nights' accommodation (pre or post tour) or stopovers may be required at an additional cost. Price listed is based on new bookings only