The great China experience is about many things. If you are the one who is interested in an in-depth discovery of China's history and diverse culture, don't miss the Silk Road - a series of ancient trade routes as well as a significant bridge of the exchange of thoughts and civilizations between China and outside world including the Central Asia, Europe, etc. Many cultural treasures scattered along the Silk Road are well-preserved till now. For more adventures, you can't skip Xinjiang's eye-catching neighbor - Tibet - the roof of the world full of overwhelming Buddhist sites (temples, palaces, holy lakes…), breathtaking high-altitude landscapes and the most devoted Tibetans. Traveling them together, you will see the most mysterious and awe-inspiring perspectives of China.
This 19-day tour takes you to step into the land of the Silk Road and Tibet. Starting from Kashgar, you will travel to Xining via Dunhuang, Jiayuguan and Zhangye along the ancient Silk Road which the ancient traders travelers experienced, take a train to Lhasa along the world-famous Qinghai-Tibet Railway, and then enjoy an adventure to Mount Everest - the highest peak in the world. All culture, nature and local customs can be fully appreciated. China Discovery, with over 10 years' experience, specializes in organizing all-inclusive tour packages for every traveler. Just feel free to contact us to join a worry-free and customized trip to the Silk Road and Tibet.
Day 1 Kashgar ArrivalAirport or border ports pickup, then transfer to hotel.
Welcome to Kashgar, the southwestern border city of Xinjiang which used to be the epicenter of the regional trade and cultural exchange of ancient Silk Road for more than two millennia. Upon arriving at the airport/railway station of Kashgar, you will be welcomed by your local tour guide and driver, and escorted to Kashgar downtown to check in to your hotel. The rest time of today is free for you to relax and explore this legendary Silk Road city.
How to get to Kashgar?
- From mainland cities. You can take domestic flights from Beijing (about 6~7 hours), Xian (about 4 hours), Chengdu (about 6~7 hours), Shanghai (about 8 hours), Guangzhou (about 8 hours), Jinan (about 7 hours), Zhengzhou (about 7 hours), etc., or provincial flights from Urumqi (about 2 hours), Korla (about 1.5 hours), Yili (about 1.5 hours). There is no high speed train to Kashgar yet.
- From the borders. You can also get to Kashgar from land border ports, such as Kalasu Port, Irkeshtam Port, Torugart Port, Khunjerab Port. If you need transfer, we can send a tour guide and driver to pick up you from the borders.
- Welcome to Kashgar
Day 2 Kashgar City Exploration (B, L)Today's highlights: Abakh Khoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque, Kashgar Old Town
After breakfast, you will visit the Abakh Hoja Tomb first which is not a simple tomb but an exquisite architectural complex including chapels, gardens, archways, etc., as the best place in the region to admire Uygur people’s extraordinary aesthetics and skills of Islamic architecture. It also offers a rare opportunity to see and learn about funeral custom celebrated Uygur families because there is a large Islamic family of five generations whose name is Abakh Hoja buried here. The Abakh Hoja was a local Islam master who had strengthened the spread of Islam in Kashgar area, which later earned a great reputation for him and his family.Next, you will visit the landmark of Kashgar - Id Kah Mosque which is regarded as the holy shrine for the Muslims. Every day, there are thousands of Muslims worshiping here. In the history, Id Kah Mosque used to be a school where Islam culture and history was taught. Many scholars and honored clergies graduated from here. Only several minutes' walking from the mosque is the exotic Kashgar Old Town where you can experience the authentic Uyghur living style. Explore the traditional earth buildings where local people are living in, walk through the famous Handicrafts Street where you can see how the local craftsman making handicrafts. It is a good place to buy some interesting souvenirs for your families and friends. You will also take a break and enjoy a cup of local tea at the Ancient Tea House which is more than 100 years old. The locals also like to spend some leisure time in the tea house with friends and families - drinking, chatting and playing music sometimes.Today’s activities end. Have a good rest in your hotel.
- Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang
- Abakh Khoja Tomb
- Kashgar Old Town
Day 3 Kashgar - Flight to Urumqi (B, L)Today's highlight: Kashgar Bazaar
After breakfast, go to visit the famous Kashgar Bazaar which is huge, busy, crowded, amazing, chaotic, interesting and colorful. Bazaar, in Uygur, means the large market. Kashgar Bazaar has been the largest and busiest trading center of West and Central Asia since the origin and flourish of the Silk Road. Here you can buy anything from Muslim millinery to authentic Iranian saffron, from pashminas to carpets, from fruits to spices, from a cradle to a camel… or find a place to sit down to enjoy some local snacks, or just experience local culture.
If you happen to visit Kashgar on a Sunday, don't miss the opportunity to experience the Livestock Market, which takes place once a week on Sunday. By lunchtime, numerous sheep, camel, horse, cow and donkey will be driven by the Uyghur farmers and herders to squeeze through the gates of the bazaars for trade. It's dusty, smelly and crowded, but most people find it very exotic.
After the tour, you will be escorted to catch your flight to Urumqi - the capital city of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Meet your tour guide and driver at the airport, then transfer a short while to the downtown of Urumqi. Check in to your hotel. The rest time is free for you to relax.
Free Time Idea: You can take an educational visit to the Xinjiang Regional Museum. It is the most important ancient Silk Road themed museum in China which exhibits about 50,000 historical relics including more than 400 National First-class relics (60% of the total in Xinjiang). Among all the exhibitions, the most unique exhibition is the Mummy Hall. It collects 10 more than 4000 years old mummies which were mostly found in Loulan Ancient Kingdom Ruin and preserved almost intact. Loulan Princess, the most famous mummy in the museum, will definitely strike you with its typical European face. All these important exhibitions help you learn deep into the history and culture of Xinjiang as well as ancient Silk Road.
- Sunday Bazaar
Day 4 Urumqi - Turpan (B, L)Today's highlights: Tuyuk Valley, Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon, Karez System, Jiaohe Ancient City
This morning we drive to the “fire land” - Turpan(3hrs), famous for its melons and vineyards.
The first attraction for today is Tuyuk Valley (Tuyugou in Chinese) which is an Uighur valley with lots of historical sites. Mazar Village, the oldest existing Uighur village with a history of over 2,600 years, is a big highlight of the valley. Mazar Village holds a significant status in Buddhism and Islam. It is said that 6 Muslims came to China and started preaching there, so Mazar Village is called Eastern Mekka. Before Islam, it once was a Buddhist center as well. Many Buddhist caves can be found in the village, but the statues and murals failed to survive. The villagers still live peacefully in the village and you can clearly see how they run their daily lives in the old mud adobe houses.(with extra fees) available for your extensional visiting.Then, you will drive to Turpan City along Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon, which condenses the essence of the landscape of Flaming Mountain - the hottest spot in Turpan. Flaming Mountain is immortalized in the Chinese classic Journey to the West as a blazing mountain that the monk Xuan Zang has to pass through. Finally, they use a magic fan to extinguish the blaze and go on with their trip. Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon splits the whole mountain in half and you will clearly admire the unique landform - red sandstones looking like flaming fire, distinctive rocks showing the uncanny workmanship of nature and deep gorge with crisscross valleys. The magnificence, strangeness, danger, and elegance of Flaming Mountain are fully shown here.
Next discover the brilliant project of Karez System. Together with the Great Wall and Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Karez System is regarded as one of China’s Three Greatest Ancient Projects. It is a special kind of irrigation system consisting of vertical wells, underground canals, ground canals and waterlogging pond. The vertically dug wells are linked together to channel the water which occurs during summer rain season, or is melted from snow mountains of Tianshan range to desired farmlands in the desert area. Visiting Turpan Karez Museum, you will not only see the pictures and models detailing the history of Karez System, but also visit the real underground tunnels.
Your last stop is the famous relic - Jiaohe Ancient City - an ancient city that was strategically located along the ancient Silk Road. Perching on a plateau, it acted as a natural barrier from the attacking enemies in the old times. Now, it is renowned as the best-preserved earthen architecture in the world. The interesting sculptures, videos and some other displays in Jiaohe Cultural Village Museum will give you an appreciation of the history of Jiaohe City before you start exploring. Then, take a shuttle bus to the core scenic area. Walking up along the pathway uphill, you can see many historical structural remains, including the residential area, official area and Buddhist temples. It is also available to walk to the central platform for a more awesome view of the whole park. When the night drops, you will feast on a breathtaking sunrise over the ruins.
Be escorted to your hotel in Turpan.
- Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset
- Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon
- Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley
Day 5 Turpan - Dunhuang (B)Highlights: Echoing Sand Mountains, Crescent Lake
After breakfast, you will take a high speed train (about 3.5 hours) from Turpan to Dunhuang. You tour guide will pick you up and transfer to Echoing Sand Mountains (Mingshashan). It is said, in the sunny days, the sand mountains echo like Orchestra music even if there is no wind. If you slide from the sand mountains, you can hear the echoing sound clearly. Your last thing to do for today is the Crescent Lake. Surrounded by the Echoing Sand Mountains, Crescent Lake is a beautiful oasis with some well decorated traditional Chinese architecture, some trees and flowers and a lake that has never dried up and shapes like a crescent moon.
Stay overnight in Dunhuang City.
Nightlife Ideas: 1) Go out to go for a walk in the Shazhou Night Market where you can try some local food, relax in a drinking bar, or buy some interesting handcrafts, etc. 2) Enjoy the fascinating Silk Road Show - Silk Road Flower Rain which is a relaxing feast of unparalleled visual beauty with impressively elaborate dances performed by professional dancers wearing stunning costumes and an incredible set design.
Useful Tips: 1) Pack some food and water for the long driving on the desert; 2) get fully prepared for the strong sunlight and high temperatures in the daytime.
- Echoing Sand Mountains
- Crescent Lake Never Dry Up
- Our customers Lili's family from German visited Mingsha Mountains in Dunhuang, Gansu in July, 2021.
Day 6 Dunghuang (B, L)Today's Highlights: Yardang National Geologic Park, Yumen Pass, Great Wall of Han Dynasty
After breakfast, you will be taken to explore the remote wild Gobi Desert landscape as well as several legendary historical sites. Drive westwards about 100 km, you will first arrive at Yumen Pass (Jade Gate Pass) which used to be a military defensive pass as well as an important border for international trading along the ancient Silk Road. It is said that the jadewares from the West were imported to China through this gate, which is how the name Yumen was given. About 5 km from Yumen Pass is the Ruin of the Great Wall of the Han Dynasty, which was built to fight against the Xiongnu in ancient times. Keep driving more than 80 km, you will get to Yardang National Geologic Park. It is also called Devil City in that you will hear the sound just like the devil screaming when the strong wind goes through the desert. The park features Yardang landforms in distinct shapes like Mongolian Yurt, Stone Bird, Peacock and others. Make full use of your imagination, you may find some rocks with some miniatures similar to famed architectures, like the Potala Palace in Tibet, Heaven Temple in Beijing or something else.
Leave Yardang National Geologic Park, and drive along the coming way back to Dunhuang. On the route, you will take a side trip to visit Yangguan Pass, which was the gate to another branch of the ancient Silk Road. Accommodate in Dunhuang City.
Useful Tips: 1) Pack some food and water for the long drive in the desert; 2) Get fully prepared for the strong sunlight and high temperatures in the daytime.
- Beautiful Yardang National Geopark Sunset in June
- Yumen Pass (Jade Gate Pass)
Day 7 Dunhuang - Jiayuguan (B, L)Today's Highlights: Mogao Grottoes, Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center
After breakfast, drive about 10 km from the Dunhuang city to visit the modern Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center before go to Mogao Grottoes. You will watch two well-produced educational documentary movies that introduce the history, arts, and other facts about Mogao Grottoes. After the movies, take the interzonal bus to Mogao Grottoes. Mogao Grottoes is famed as the "Louvre of the East", which is outstanding for its exquisite mural paintings and statues. There are now 492 grottoes in which about 45000 square meters mural paintings and 2100 colorfully painted statues from which you can trace the development of Chinese art over 1600 years from one dynasty to the next because each dynasty built own caves to record its own features. There are about 40 common caves opened to the public. In the tourist area, you will be divided into groups by different tour guides who will accompany you to visit the caves (usually 7~8 caves during April ~ November and 12 caves during December ~ March) with great introduction. After that, if you want to visit more other caves, you can do it by yourselves or follow other tour guides. Besides, there are 10 special caves (with extra fees) available for your extensive visit.
After lunch, drive about 5 hours to Jiayuguan from Dunhuang. Enjoy the breathtaking desert and Gobi views along the road.
Tips: 1) During peak seasons (May to October), there are usually a lot of visitors to Mogao Caves, so it is recommended to make a reservation in advance for at least 7 days. 2) If you want to see the Special Caves (excluded in the regular visit, and only open for limited individual visitors or small groups with reservations), you can contact our travel consultants or your tour guide to arrange for you, but you have to pay an extra admission fee for each cave. 3) It is not allowed to take photos inside the grottoes.
- Mogao Caves were constructed on a cliff of Mingshashan Desert
- Mogao Caves
Day 8 Jiayuguan - Zhangye (B, L)Today's Highlights: Jiayuguan Fort, Zhangye Danxia Geopark
After breakfast, visit "the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven", also the westernmost starting point of Great Wall of Ming Dynasty - Jiayuguan Pass. Start your exploration with an education visit to the Great Wall Museum to learn some interesting facts about both the Jiayuguan Fort and Great Wall, including history, old photos, relics, etc. Then enter the gate to explore the grandiose Jiayuguan Fort. It is a complex of towers, city walls and other military buildings covering more than 25,000 square meters. The city wall is nearly 11 meters high, and comprises an outer and inner wall. There are two large gates standing at the east and the west of the inner wall. Walkways lead to the top of the wall, allowing horses to climb up the wall.
In the afternoon, drive to Zhangye to explore the famous Danxia Geopark(Danxia Landform). Danxia landform is a spectacular petrographic geomorphology landscape which is formed from red-coloured sandstones and conglomerates. The one in Zhangye was formed in the pre-Jurassic Age. Thousands of mountains and stiffs stretch like the colorful sunset glow. The barren mountains are covered by a red grit rock stratum. At the same time, some surfaces of mountains appear other colors, such as white, yellow, etc, and form many irregular lines and blocks looking like some abstract oil paintings. There are four viewing decks for you to watch and shoot. You will visit one by one, and will be transferred by interzonal buses from one deck to another.
Tips: 1) Pack with sun creams, sunglasses, protective clothing and hat to protect from strong sunlight in summer; 2) sunset are the best hours for taking photos which happen around 19:00~20:00 in summer and 18:00~19:00 in winter.
Accommodate in Zhangye city.
- Jiayuguan Fort
- Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains
Day 9 Zhangye - Mati Temple & High Speed Train to Xining (B, L)Today's Highlights: Giant Buddha Temple, Matisi Temple
After breakfast, you will go to visit the famous Giant Buddha Temple which is famous for having the largest indoor sleeping Buddha in Asia. This temple is a large complex with regal arrangements built in Xixia Dynasty(1098), and keeps many precious Buddhist scriptures and wall paintings. Its famous treasure is the Sleeping Buddha which is the centrally seated, symmetric buildings situate along the sides. The Buddha statue was carved by woods with a length of 34.5 meters, telling the story of Buddha's Nirvana. His ears are as big as the space in which 4 adults can sit side by side.
After the Giant Buddha Temple visit, drive about 65 km to visit the Matisi Temple (Matisi Grottoes). Built in Northern Liang period (A.D. 397 - A.D.460), Matisi Temple blends Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture together in a single site. Its key site is the Puguang Temple which is set in the side of a sheer mountain rock wall with 21 grottoes in five storeys arranged in the form of a pagoda. The facades of several temples jut out on the surface of the cliff, making them look like they are hanging in the air. There are somewhere you need to climb up steep stairs to get up to the top storeys of the temple. The view outside the grotto is very beautiful with rolling hills covered with trees. In the distance is the Qilian Mountain which is usually snow covered (November to June).
After sightseeing at Matisi Temple, you will be transferred to catch your high speed train to Xining (about 2 hrs). Our local guide will pick up you at the train station, then escort you to check in your hotel.
- Matisi Temple is famous for Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture
- Mati Temple
Day 10 Xining - Qinghai Lake - Xining (B, L)Today's highlight: Qinghai Lake (Erlangjian Scenic Area)
After breakfast, drive around 150 km (2.5 hours) to see the picturesque Qinghai Lake from Xining via Huangyuan, Riyue Mountain, etc. You won't feel bored along the driving since the fascinating scenery of green grassland, blue sky, white clouds and clustered herds unfold like a photo gallery. As the largest inland lake, as well as the largest salt water lake in China, Qinghai Lake (3200 m) stretches 105 km in length, 63 km in width and occupies a water area of over 4,500 square kilometers. It was elected as the Most Beautiful Lake in China by China’s National Geographic, attracting thousands of photographers to take photos every year.
You will spend a wonderful time appreciating the beauty of Qinghai Lake in Erlangjian Scenic Area - the essence of the whole scenic area of Qinghai Lake. It shapes like a long and narrow sword inserting into the lake. Walking on the plank road, you will be delivered a far-reaching panorama of the sea-like lake. Due to the different salt content of different parts of the lake, the water presents different colors in the refraction of sunlight. More than the lake view, the scenic surrounding - endless grassland and rapeseed flower lands, soft sand beaches as well as flocks of grazing sheep, horses and yaks also make you enjoy yourself to the fullest. On a clear day, you will feast your eyes on a charming vista of the snow-capped mountains in the distance as well as the huge sand dunes of Sand Island on the far shore. At the same time, Qinghai Lake is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist site. There are many devoted Buddhist coming from afar to worship to Qinghai Lake each year.
Optional Qinghai Lake Cruise: Taking a cruise allows you to admire Qinghai Lake from a different perspective. There are two kinds of cruises available in Erlangjian Scenic Area: High Speed Cruise and catamaran. The former offers a 25 minutes’ single trip from Erlangjian Wharf to Erlangjian Peninsula at the cost of CNY140. The latter offers a 50 minutes’ round trip at the cost of CNY180. This price doesn't include your personal expense on the ship, such as drinking, food, etc. This cruise is only available during the period from May to October.
After sightseeing, drive about 10 minutes to Viewing-deck in Nanshan Mountain for a panoramic view of Qinghai Lake. The beautiful shoreline is seen clearly and the water takes on bluer color. Then, drive back to Xining for accommodation.
Warm Tips: 1) It is available to visit Qinghai Lake all the year around, but May to October is the best time because of the most comfortable weather. If you want to savor the sea of rape flowers, remember to visit in July and August. 2) The sunlight is very strong in Qinghai Lake, and it is necessary to bring hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. to protect your skin from sun burn especially in summer. 3) Few people get serious high altitude sickness in Qinghai Lake, but it is important to be wary of high altitude sickness if it's your first time to enter the high plateau. Avoiding strenuous exercise and drinking more water will be helpful.
- Herd of Tibetan nomads around Qinghai Lake
- Qinghai Lake Fully Blooming Rape Flowers in August
- Enjoy a cruise on Qinghai Lake
Day 11 Qinghai-Tibet Railway Experience (B)Today's highlight: amazing natural landscape along Qinghai Tibet Railway
Today is free until you are escorted to Xining Station to take a train to Lhasa along Qinghai-Tibet Railway. As the train goes to the high plateau graddually, you get a good chance to adapt your body to the alitude. The whole train trip takes 21 ~ 22 hours, but the scenery en route was incredible.
Qinghai Tibet Railway traversing through harsh and wild Qinghai Tibet Plateau is a wolrd-class railway. It is ranked as the Heaven Road that got 9 world records, such as the Highest Railway in the World, the Longest Railway in the World, the Highest Railway Station, the Longest Railway Bridge, etc. For travelers, the most important thing is the fatastic view out of the window. Choosing different trains allows you to see the different scenery. Generally, you get an opportunity to see beautiful Qinghai Lake, magic Qarhan Salt Lake, snow-capped Kunlun Mountains, wild Hohxil Nature Reserve, Fenghuoshan Tunnel, dominating Tanggula Mountains, ever-blue Tsonag Lake, Changt ang Grassland and Yangpachen Geothermic Spring.
Tips: 1) becase all the Xining-Lhasa trains are overnight train, we suggest you choose a soft sleeper for a comfortable experience; 2) every train is equipped with dining carriage which provides Chinese-style breakfast, lunch and dinner and some nacks and drinks; 3) there are two toilets at two ends of each carriage, one western-style and one squate style.
- Qinghai Tibet Railway
- Train Running to Tibet through Grassland and Snowy Mountains
Day 12 Lhasa ArrivalLhasa Railway Station picked-up and transfer to your hotel
Welcome to Tibet, the holy land of Tibetan Buddhism! Your tour guide will pick you up at the train station 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 3,600m); 2) do not drink liquor in the arrival day, instead plenty of water and fruits are recommended.
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Day 13 Lhasa City Exploration (B)Today's highlights: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple
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.
- Magnificent Architecture of Potala Palace
- Golden Roof of Jokhang Temple
Day 14 Lhasa City Exploration (B)Today's highlights: Deprung Monastery, Norblingka Park, Sera Monastery
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.
- Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance
- Norbulingka Park - A Beautiful Tibetan Style Garden
- Monks Debating at Sera Monastery
Day 15 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse (B)Today's highlights: Yandrok Lake, Palcho Monastery
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 lake shore 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 take a short break at Karola Glacier which is famous for its approachability, brightness and grotesque shape.
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.
- Holy Yamdrok Lake
- Palcho Monastery and Monks
Day 16 Shigatse - Everest (B)Today's highlight: Mount Everest
Today we will drive about 8 hours to the final destination - Mount Everest. It seems to be a tough long driving day, but 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 at the sightseeing platform of Gawula Pass (5,250).
After arrival at Mount Everest, hop on a park bus and drive about 20km (30 minutes) to the Rongbuk Monastery(5,100 m), the world's highest monastery with an altitude of 5100m. It is the best platform to view Mount Everest. 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. Since it is only about 20 km from the peak of Mount Everest, you can clearly see the giant pyramid of the mountain from south and the charming banner clouds in bright days. Apart from that, Rongbuk Monastery is the best place to see the sunrise and sunset for its high location close to the Everest. Also explore Everest Base Camp where you can see many Marnyi Stones and take photos with the marker of EBC.
Accommodation will be arranged at Rongbuk Guest House. (If you visit Mount Everest during May to October, you will accommodate at the Everest Base Camp near Rongbuk Monastery). Please note that the accommodations at both places are very simple and basic. There are dorms with beds, duvets, heated blankets and hot water provided. You are suggested to bring your own sleeping bag if you have one. There is no running water, sinks or showers. The guest house only offers basic breakfast and dinner without menu. There is no private bathroom in the dorms. Only communal squat toilets are available. Remember to bring your own toilet paper.
Tips for today: 1) the Everest Base Camp has been moved to Rongbuk Monastery area, so was the EBC marker; 2) prepare some food and drinks to take with you because there are only some basic foods offered at Mount Everest; 3) pack warm clothes to keep yourself warm all the time and get fully prepared for the high altitude (5100m~5200m).
- Perfect View of Mt. Everest from Rongbuk Monastery
- Our Group Tourists in Kyawulha Pass on the Way to Everest
Day 17 Everest - Shigatse (B)Today's highlight: Mount Everest Sunrise
Get up early to catch the beautiful sunrise over the stunning landscape around Everest. You can see the Mount Everest appears gradually as the clouds are being blown away by the strong wind. The sleeping pure peak puts on a shining costume that is lit by the orange sun. And then, when the sun all rises up, the mountain shows her bright red face completely like a young girl putting up the best blusher ever, with the red cloud fairies dancing by side.
If you are lucky, you will have a chance to see the famous "flag clouds" which is a famous wonder on Mount Everest. You will see milk white streamer floating above the peak, and flutters toward one side like a banner in the wind. Sometimes, you can see it change the shape, like the huge waves on the sea or the impetuous horses on the ancient battlefield, and so forth. Once in a while, it is lucky to see the plateau eagles flying above the banner cloud, which is especially a particular sightseeing.
In the end, farewell to Mount Everest, and drive back to Shigatse along the coming way.
Tips for today: 1) the sunrise usually starts around 6:30am to 7:00am on Mount Everest; 2) keep warm all the time.
- Amzing Sunrise in Mount Everest
Day 18 Shigatse - Lhasa (B)Today's highlight: Tashlhunpo Monastery
After breakfast, you will go to visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the most important monasteries in Tibet, 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!
We will then leave Shigatse and drive about 5 hours back to Lhasa. Enjoy a good rest in Lhasa.
- Tashilunpo Monastery
Day 19 Lhasa Departure (B)Be Transferred to airport or train station for your next Destination
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, and then check out from your hotel before 12pm.
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1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2023.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
we made it back to Shanghai. It was a great trip even with rain, COVID, and Sophie's personal issues.
we enjoyed the trip very much. Thanks a lot for organizing everything so brilliant it was really fantastic!
Thank you for your help in sorting out my few days ago. I will certainly be asking you for help in the future, now to start thinking about my 10 day break, beginning of April!
We did quite a lot of research for travel agency before heading for our first trip to Lhasa, Tibet; since foreign travelers to Tibet have to purchase a tour. China Discovery did a great job in helping us get the Tibet Tourism Bureau permit, booking our train tickets from Xining, Qinghai Province, to Lhasa; and organizing a private Tibetan guide, Tenzin, and a driver, for our 5 days in Tibet. They also helped us with all Covid-19 safety measures and authorization requirements). Great sceneries and sites, especially Yamdrok Lake, Khambala pass (4800m), Potala Palace, Sera Monastery and Deprung Monastery. Our guide Tenzin spoke very well in English and was very helpful.
My suggestion: No need to visit Summer Palace; suggest organizing visit of Yack herd with Nomads in higher plateau and in Snow area. Otherwise, very good and Tenzin was excellent
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
Xining / Zhangye / Jiayuguan / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar
Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar
Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi
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“Very good experience”
“WONDERFUL 25 DAYS IN CHINA - PRIVATE TOUR”
“Awesome China tour from northeast to southwest”1,530+ Reviews