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10 Days Panda & Qinghai Tibet Railway Memorable Tour

Chengdu Qinghai Tibet Highlights Trip

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Thinking more than 40 hours' train journey starting from Beijing, Chengdu or Chengdu is too long? You are advised to take the train to Tibet at Xining so you won't miss the most highlighting Qinghai Tibet Railway. This is how this itinerary goes. You will begin your travel from Chengdu, then fly to Xining to catch a train to Lhasa.

Highlights of this tour

  • Relaxing yourself in the leisure Chengdu and go to visit cute Pandas;
  • Experience the memorable train travel on the highest railway in the world;
  • Soak in the sacred atmosphere of Tibetan Buddhism in the sunshine city Lhasa. And take a side trip to see the picturesque Namtso Lake.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Chengdu / Xining / Lhasa
Travel Length:
10 Days and 9 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-CQT-10
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day (Can Be Customized)

Day 1 Chengdu Arrival

Welcome to Chengdu, the hometown of the Giant Panda. Your local guide will meet you at the airport/train station and then escort you to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is yours to relax in the panda city on your own.

Arrival Ideas: Chengdu is only about 2~3 hours flying from the majority of big cities in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shanghai, etc. You can also get to Chengdu by high speed trains from Xian (4hrs), Chongqing (1hrs), Guilin (6hrs), Kunming (6hrs), etc.

Day 2 Chengdu (B)

This morning you will make a stirring visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which is not only the most important panda scientific research center, but also dwelling home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. Walk at leisure through the bamboo framed paths, and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, climbing trees, etc. Be sure to not miss the chance to visit the most adorable panda babies in the nursery rooms and panda kindergartens. There is also a very informative Panda Museum for you to learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas.

Following the pandas, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in the hustling downtown of Chengdu - Wenshu Temple. Marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the peaceful paths. Adjacent to the monastery is a small bazaar (Wenshufang) where you can enjoy a leisure stroll through to experience local market and living style.

Chengdu is famous for its relaxing and leisure pace throughout China, which will be proved after a stay in Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, make a casual chat with your friends and watching locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment - napping in a lively teahouse, playing mahjong, disco dancing, neck massage, ear cleaning… Next is an impressive trip to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time steals away from you quietly while walking on the lively streets which are full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, etc.

At the end, your guide will escort you to your hotel.

Recommended Optional Evening Activities: 1) enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine (or hotpot) at a local restaurant; 2) watch a wonderful performance of Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment (usually performs during 20:00~21:30).

Experience Chengdu local living style in People's ParkLovely Pandas in Chengdu
Day 3 Chengdu - Xining (B)

After breakfast, go to visit the Jinsha Site Museum. Jinsha Ruins was found in 2001 with numerous relics of 3000-year-old Shu Kingdom in the western Chengdu. Over the actual archaeological dig site, built the Relic Hall of Jinsha Site Museum. In the Exhibition Hall of the museum, the objects that excavated from the site are displayed. The highlight of Jinsha Site Museum is the Gold Band with Sun and Magic Birds, which is the new symbol if Chengdu.

In the afternoon, take flight to Xining (less 2 hours), the capital city of Qinghai Province. Your tour guide will pick up you at the airport, then escort you to your hotel. The rest time is free for you to have fun.

Gold Band with Sun and Magic Birds in Jinsha Museum
Day 4 Xining - Qinghai Lake

After breakfast, drive around 2.5 hours to see the picturesque Qinghai Lake from Xining via Huangyuan, Riyue Mountain, etc. You won't feel boring along the driving since fascinate scenery of green grassland, blue sky, white clouds, clustered flocks and herds unfold like a photo gallery.

You will stop at the Erlang Jian Scenic Area to enjoy the beauty of Qinghai Lake. As the largest inland lake, as well as the largest salt water lake in China, Qinghai Lake(3200m) stretches 105km at length, 63km at width and occupies a water area of over 4,500 square kilometers. Attracting thousands of photographers to take photos every year, this plateau lake was elected as the Most Beautiful Lake in China by China's National Geographic is surrounded by harsh mountain ranges from outside. While on the foot of mountains are endless beautiful grassland and rapeseed flower lands which are connected to the lakeside. At the same time, Qinghai Lake is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist site. There are many devoted Buddhists coming from afar to worship to Qinghai Lake each year.

After the sightseeing, drive back to Xining.

Tips:

1. Qinghai Lake is famous as the Paradise of Migrant Bird. If you are planning a bird watching tour, you are suggested to visit the Bird Island during May and June; 2. From late July to early August is the best time to view the vast golden rape flower fields surrounding the Qinghai Lake; 3. If you are interested and time allows, you can take optional visiting to some interesting attractions along the driving to and back to Xining, such as Dangaer Ancient City, Riyue Mountain, Jinyintan Prairie, etc.

Qinghai LakeQinghai Lake walking
Day 5 Xining – Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, drive about 26km to visit the famous Taer Monastery which is the birthplace of the Tibetan Buddhism master Tsongkhapa who was the founder of Gelug(a sect of Buddhism). It is also famous as one of the 6 monasteries of Gelug. You must not miss the three BESTs of Taer Monastery - murals, barbola and butter sculptures.

Drive back to Xining, then take a train to Lhasa. Enjoy the fabulous landscape of Qinghai Tibet plateau.

Taer Monastery
Day 6 Train to Tibet

Witness the beautiful Tibetan Plateau with groups of nomads. See the Kekexili Nature Reserve which protects wild plants and animals as well as their natural habitats.

You will arrive at Lhasa Train Station in the early afternoon. Your local tour guide is ready to pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in Lhasa downtown by a comfortable non-smoking vehicle. The rest of today is for you to acclimatize yourself to this high altitude city at the roof of the world.

Tips:

1. Go for some walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival; 2. You'd better not have bath; 3. Drink more water, and have some fruit; 4. Have a good rest.

Kekexili Nature Reserve
Day 7 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 the time.

Golden-roof of Jokhang TemplePotala Palace
Day 8 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 5 km 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
Day 9 Lhasa - Namtso Lake (B)

Only exploring the exotic culture of Tibet is not enough, you also have to enjoy its natural beauty. So today, you are going to visit the picturesque Namtso Lake which is about 220km from Lhasa city.

Namtso Lake, in Tibetan, means the Heaven Lake. It covers more than 1,920 square kilometers shaping lake a rectangle, and locates about 4,718 meters above the sea level, which makes Namtso the highest lake in the world. The pure water waves slightly under the pure and blue sky. Along the shore are enormous well-proportioned Mani stones. The colorful prayer flags hanged on the hills and monasteries make Namtso Lake holy and mysterious. A lot of huge stones have existed along the Namtso for thousands years, and are related to some beautiful Tibetan stories Namtso Lake is also the heaven for animals. It is natural pasture for nomads of northern Tibet. You have chance to see the sheep and yaks grazing leisurely on the grassland. Famous as one of three holy lakes in Tibet, Namtso lake is also a popular place for pilgrimage and meditation. It is honored as the holy lake both for Tibetan Buddhism and Bon.

After the sightseeing, drive back to Lhasa. (Optional: if you want, you can spend a night there to watch amazing sunset and sunrise. But this arrangement needs you add one extra day to your tour.)

Tips of today: 1) Get well-prepared for the high altitude(nearly 5,000m); 2) The weather is changeable. Rains, hail and snow usually come unexpectedly. So bring both thick and portable clothes with you. Also bring sunglasses and sun cream to prevent from strong sunlight and ultraviolet ray.

Namtso buddhist meditationNamtso Lake
Day 10 Lhasa Departure ( B )

Today is free for you until your driver transfer you to catch your flight (or train) leaving Tibet. Please check your luggage and make sure everything is packed, then check out from your hotel before 12pm.

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10 Days Panda & Qinghai Tibet Railway Memorable Tour

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