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11 Days Beijing & Soul of Tibet Tour

In-depth Exploration of Beijing and Tibet

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An in-depth discovery of both the best highlights of Beijing and Tibet! You will firstly explore China’s ancient history and culture in Beijing, then take a flight to the holy land Tibet where you will visit the most famous Tibetan monasteries and palaces of Tibet in the famous Golden Triangle Destinations(Lhasa, Gyangtse and Shigatse), also take an exciting expedition to the highest peak in the world - Mount Everest.

Highlights of this tour

  • Discover the greatest cultural heritages in Beijing – Forbidden City, Great Wall, Temple of Heaven…;
  • Spiritual journey to the holy land to see the devoted Tibetan people, also the grandiose holy Buddhist sites in Tibet;
  • Once in a lifetime adventure to the top of the world - Mount Everest.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Beijing / Lhasa / Gyantse / Shigatse / Everest
Travel Length:
11 Days and 10 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-BTT-11
Group Size:
You & Your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Ni Hao, welcome to Beijing, the iconic city as well as the capital of China!

You will be met by local tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Airport and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.

Arrival Ideals: At present, there are many international and domestic flights to Beijing. Besides, you can take a high speed train to this capital city from Shanghai (5-6 hrs), Xian (5.5 hrs), Guangzhou (8-9.5 hrs), etc.

Beijing Flight Arrival

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Day 2 Beijing ( B, L )

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After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square which is now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern square was the site where the Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s 5 most important palaces – Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties used to live in. Pass through various doorways to admire the magnificent and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow glazed tile roof, white marble base and splendid colorful paintings.

Leave the city, and drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World – Great Wall. The less-crowded Mutianyu, a well-preserved segment of Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty, lives up to all of your nice expectation. Take cable car or walk about 40 minutes to set your feet on Great Wall. Climb up the rising towers to enjoy scenic views as the wall wriggling along mountain ridges, and take brag-worthy photos of the wall.

Lastly, drive back to Beijing City, and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view the magnificent Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Tiananmen Square Great Wall Hiking
Day 3 Beijing ( B, L )

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After breakfast, drive to the imperial site – Temple of Heaven. It was originally used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for harvest, now becomes a bustling place for locals to take part in traditional activities, such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, etc.

Then, get back to central city to hop on a rickshaw to experience Beijing Hutongs – small alleys made of neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to feel the old Beijing life style, meet various antique shops and small boutiques, feel the historical changes of Beijing.

In the afternoon, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors. Feast your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colored paintings in Long Corridor.

Lastly, be escorted to take your train to Lhasa(3753km/40 hrs 30 mins).

Tips of today: 1) pack some of your favorite foods because the meals supplied on the train are basic; 2) battery charging is available on the train.

Summer Palace ToursBeijing Hutong Tour
Day 4 Flight to Lhasa ( B )

Welcome to Tibet, the holy land of Tibetan Buddhism! Your tour guide will pick you up at the airport arrival hall and escort you to your downtown hotel in Lhasa while you enjoy the stunning views along the Yarlong Tsangpo River.

After check in, the rest of the day is for you to acclimate to the high altitude and weather of Lhasa. Avoid strenuous physical activities during this first day since that may cause high altitude sickness.

Orientation Tips: 1) avoid vigorous activities but do take some leisurely walks in the city to acclimatize to the air and high altitude of Lhasa city (altitude of 3600m); 2) do not drink liquor in the arrival day, instead plenty of water and fruits are recommended.

Lhasa Gonggar Airport

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Day 5 Lhasa ( B )

After breakfast, start an incredible day of exploration in Lhasa city. The grandiose Potala Palace will be the first site to discover. After more than 1300 years of historical changes, this colossal palace still dominates the skyline of Lhasa city. The Palace is the political and religious center of Tibet and has served as the governance and preaching site for the Dalai Lama. Climbing up the sacred steps to the Red Palace and White Palace you will explore their marvelous interiors full of exquisite Thangkas, numerous Buddha statues, vivid wall paintings, and other works of Buddhist art.

In the afternoon, first visit the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet, Jokhang Temple, where the 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue is consecrated. With a history stretching over 1,300 years, this temple combines the architectural styles of Tibet, China, Nepal and India. As a spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple attracts hundreds of devoted pilgrims to worship there every day. Outside the door of Jokhang Temple is the famous pilgrimage circle, Barkhor Street, where you can join faithful Tibetans in colorful attires walking the circle around Jokhang Temple.

Tips for today: 1) wear suitable headgear and glasses to protect you from strong sunlight, but do not wear any hat while visiting inside the Tibetan monasteries; 2) photography is not allowed inside the chapels of monasteries; 3) have your passport with you all of the time.

Golden-roof of Jokhang TemplePotala Palace

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Day 6 Lhasa ( B )

After breakfast, we start our day with a visit to the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas and also the largest Tibetan garden – Norbulingka Park. The luxuriant trees and flowers, cool ponds and comfortable palaces make Norbulingka the best place for a summer retreat. Then drive about 5km westward to Drepung Monastery. This monastery has played a crucial role in Tibet Buddhism as the school of the Dalai Lamas. As you walk along, immense temples and chapels leap to your eyes one after another. In its heyday, more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Various Buddhist rituals are performed in the monastery during festivals, most famous being the ceremony of Buddha Display in the annual Shoton Festival.

We will then visit the featured six hundred year-old Sera Monastery, famous for its grand ceremony of Buddhist debating and its beautiful temples with sensational icons, murals and history.

Tips for today: 1) please follow the Buddhist manners - talk in a low voice, always be respectful of others, reflect on the Buddha’s teachings in these holy sites, and remain quiet and respectful when visiting temples 2) be sure to carry some water with you.

Sera Monastery DebatingNorbulingka

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Day 7 Lhasa – Shigatse ( B )

Today you will be taken to the second largest city in Tibet Shigatse, while viewing the highlights along the road. After about 1.5 hours of driving, you will arrive at the famous holy Yamdrok Lake. At an altitude of 4,441 meters, Yamdrok Lake is known as one of the "Three Holiest Lakes" in the world, and also one of the most beautiful lakes in Tibet. The turquoise pure waters of the lake are overlooked by incredible snow-capped mountains. Peaceful Tibetan villages surround the lakeshore in the neighboring flat valleys. Looking in the distance, you can see clearly yaks and sheep grazing on the grassland. After this stop we will continue driving to the next destination Gyantse and the grand and vast Karola Glacier.

You will have lunch in Gyantse town and then make a visit to the key landmark of Gyantse Palcho Monastery. This is a traditional Tibetan monastery with a fusion of Han, Tibetan and Nepali architecture in its temples and stupa. Kumbum Stupa is the symbol of the monastery, famous for its 100,000 Buddhist figures, paintings, and statues in the chapels, wall niches and on the walls. After this visit, you will leave Gyantse and drive ahead to Shigatse for the night's accommodation.

Tips of today: 1) pack some food and drinks for today's long drive; 2) wear suitable clothes, headgear, and glasses to protect yourself from the strong sunlight, wind and possible cold.

Yamdrok Lake in GyantsePalkor Myriad Buddha Stupa

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Day 8 Shigatse - Everest ( B )

Get up early and have a hearty breakfast because today’s trip starts with a visit to one of the most important monasteries in Tibet – Tashilhunpo Monastery which was built in 1447 during the Ming Dynasty by a disciple of Buddhism, Master Tsongkhapa. The monastery became the Buddhism center of Tsang region and has been the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, one of two most powerful leaders of Buddhists in Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery is surrounded by a 3000-meter-long wall and was constructed against the background of mountains facing to the sun. The Monastery has 58 sutra chapels and about 3600 rooms with many buildings made with golden glazed tiles and interlaced red and white walls.  There is also a Thangka Exhibit Platform. Be prepared to meet many pilgrims visiting this holy place from far places and countries!

Later in the day, we will drive about 8 hours to the day’s final destination - Mount Everest.  While it seems to be a tough driving day, the plateau landscape along the road is breathtaking and will keep you entranced. You will even have a chance to see four of the highest peaks in the world, all over 8,000 meters - Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. After arrival at Rongbuk Monastery, you will find all the effort of the trip swept away by the sight of the majestic peak of Everest rising in front of you. You can then rest for a while before visiting this featured monastery of the Nyingma Buddhist sect.
Accommodations are at Rongbuk Guest House or local tents.

Tips for today: 1) prepare some food and drinks to take with you because there are only some basic foods offered at Mount Everest; 2) pack warm and thick clothes for the cold; 3) get fully prepared for the high altitude (5100m).

Mount Everest - SunsetTashilumpo Monastery Monks and Builiding

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Day 9 Everest - Lhatse ( B )

Get up early to catch the beautiful sunrise over the stunning landscape around Everest. The morning sunlight shining on the highest peak of the world makes it appear like a golden pyramid. On clear days, you also have a chance to witness the God-given sight of “flag clouds”.

After watching the sunrise, you will take the eco-bus to Everest Base Camp (EBC), located about 8km from Rongbuk Monastery. EBC is the most important base for mountaineers planning to climb even further to the top of Mount Everest. Take a closer view of Mount Everest from the Base’s elevated sightseeing platform with its many colorful Buddhist prayer flags waving in the breeze to witness the clear face of giant Mount Everest in all of its glory.

At the end of this visit return to the Rongbuk area and drive back to Lhatse County along the road you arrived on. After arrival at the day’s destination, check into your hotel. The rest of the day is for you to take a good rest and explore on your own.

Mount Everest - EBC

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Day 10 Lhatse – Lhasa ( B )

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Wake up from the peaceful atmosphere in the early more. After breakfast, go ahead to visit the famous monastery of Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism – Sakya Monastery. It is the ancestral monastery of Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. Sakya, in Tibetan, means gray and white earth. So you can see many temples and walls painted in gray and white. Sakya Monastery is known as the “Second Dunhuang” because of its rich collection of arts, historical relics, including more than 24,000 Buddhism books, 3,000 Thangkas, Buddha statues, porcelains, wall paintings, etc.

Leave Lhatse, and drive about 3 hours to Shigatse where you will have lunch and short rest. Then keep driving about 5 hours on well-conditioned highway back to Lhasa.

Sakya Monastery Grey Soil Tower
Day 11 Lhasa Departure ( B )

Today is free for you until we transfer you to the airport in time for your flight.

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Recommended Add-on Options

+2 days Chengdu City Break & Giant Panda Visit

Chengdu is famous for Giant Pandas and its idyllic slow pace of daily living.

During this trip, your tour guide will company you to explore the top recommended attractions in Chengdu one by one to experience its authentic culture and history. First of all, take an exciting visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Then move to Renmin Park to enjoy a cup of traditional Chinese tea in the Renmin Park; Learn about Buddhism culture in Wenshu Temple; Experience traditional Chengdu life in Jinli Old Street...

Mama and Baby of Panda
+3 more days to conquer the top of the world - Mt. Everest

As a famous saying in Tibet goes: "no Tibet tour is complete without visiting Mount Everest"! That's right! This is a once in a lifetime adventure that everyone should take so they can leave their footprints on the highest peak in the world.

This tour will help you realize that dream. It starts from Lhasa, travels via the cities of Gyantse and Shigatse, to Mount Everest, and then back to Lhasa - Visit the most famous and important monasteries and palaces in Tibet - the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Pacho Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery, and others; Enjoy the turquoise color and wonderful landscape of the holy lake - Yamdrok; Make a memorable expedition to see the top of the world - Mount Everest.

Mount Everest - EBC
+ 2 more days to visit the Paris of the East - Shanghai

Shanghai, regarded as the Oriental Paris, is the best place to see East-meet-West Culture, find hidden tradition within modernity.

Generally speaking, you can spend Day 1 exploring the popular landmarks of Shanghai, such as the Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, Nanjing Road,  the Bund, and Shanghai World Financial Center Tower. The Day 2 is for you to explore deep into the city of Shanghai (such as Old French Concession, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center or Jade Buddha Temple) and departure.

The Bund: Famous 'Museum of Architecture'

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  • +2 days Chengdu City Break & Giant Panda Visit
    +3 more days to conquer the top of the world - Mt. Everest
    + 2 more days to visit the Paris of the East - Shanghai

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