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6 Days Xining to Tibet Lhasa Train Tour by Qinghai Tibet Railway

A Brief Glimpse of Tibetan Plateau Essence

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Why travel to Tibet from Xining? Because Xining is the nearest city to Lhasa and the starting point of the world-famous Qinghai Tibet Railway. With the largest number of Tibet trains and the shortest train journey of 20~22 hours (about 40.5 hours from Beijing, it is a popular rail gateway city to Tibet. Riding on this highest railway in the world, you will experience a unique train travel and enjoy marvelous plateau landscape, like snow-covered mountains, beautiful lakes, lovely plateau animals, grand canyon, etc., all the way to the holy land Tibet! Besides, Xining has a plateau elevation which helps you better acclimatize to the altitude of Tibet. Another reason is travelling from Xining to see the Qinghai Lake - China’s most beautiful lake is very convenient and rewarding. This 6 days Xining to Lhasa Train tour is the best-guided Qinghai Tibet Train travel that most travelers choose, highlighting scenery and good price are guaranteed.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Enjoy a one-day tour to China’s third largest inland lake- Qinghai Lake where the blue sky, white floating clouds, far-away snowy mountains, crystal blue water and golden sea of rape flowers draw a refreshing painting;
  • Marvel at various plateau landscape along the Qinghai Tibet Railway, including imposing Kunlun Mountains, Tanggula Mountains, Hoh Xil with fairy-like wildlife, sapphire Cuo’na Lake and impressive grasslands with herds in Northern Tibet;
  • Visit Potala Palace - the best symbol of Tibet, appreciate its remarkable architectures, long history, admire the fantastic Buddhist treasures and divine status, walk around the Barkhor Street;
  • Catch a glimpse of Tibetan Buddhism in Lhasa’s three major holy temples, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery, learn their different histories, traditions and highlights.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Xining - Qinghai Lake - Lhasa
Travel Length:
6 Days and 5 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-QXT-06
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Xining Arrival

Welcome to Xining (altitude: 2,261 m), the capital city of Qinghai Province in northwestern China. Upon arriving at Xining Caojiabao Airport (or Xining Railway Station), your tour guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel in the downtown by a private vehicle. After checking in, the rest of today is on your own to acclimate to the elevation and explore this historical city of China.

Arrival Ideas: You can take a flight to Xining from Beijing (about 2hrs), Shanghai (about 3hrs), Xian (about 1.5hrs), Chengdu (about 2hrs), Guangzhou (about 3.5hrs), Dunhuang (about 1.5hrs), etc., or get to Xining by high speed bullet train from Xian (about 4hrs), Lanzhou (about 1.5hrs), Zhangye (about 2hrs), Jiayuguan (about 3~3.5hrs) and other connected cities in China.

Nightlife idea: go to enjoy a great dinner and stunning night view of Xining city on Pearl of Puning which is a 188 meters tall TV & Sightseeing tower alike Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai.

Xining Railway Station
Day 2 Xining - Qinghai Lake - Xining & Train to Tibet (B, L)

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 the sightseeing, drive back to Xining and take an overnight train to Lhasa.

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.

Qinghai Lake walking Riyue Mountains Herd of Tibetan nomads around Qinghai Lake Qinghai Lake Cruise
Day 3 Tibet Train Tour & Lhasa Arrival

You will pass Qinghai’s Delingha and Golumd before dawn. As the train moves on the Qinghai Tibet Plateau, you can perfectly witness spectacular plateau scenery along the rail in the daytime. Firstly, across over the majestic Kunlun Mountains and Tanggula Mountains, see the Tuotuo River - one of the head streams of the Yangtze River, watch agile Tibetan antelopes in Hoh Xil Nature Reserve where also protects much precious wildlife like Tibetan donkeys, yaks, plants and the natural habitats. Afterwards, you will enter Tibet and stop for several minutes in Amdo. Continue the amazing train sightseeing journey, capture the azure blue Cuo’na Lake with distant snow-capped mountains and see groups of nomads and Tibetan yaks in the vast grassland of Northern Tibet.

You will arrive at Lhasa Railway Station in the early afternoon. Your local tour guide will 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.) There are special oxygen supply facilities you can use to ease the symptoms of altitude sickness. Ask help from the train staff if you feel uncomfortable. 2.) Go for some walking to acclimate to the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival. 3.) You’d better not have bath on the first 2 days on arrival; 4.) Drinking more water, having some fresh fruit and having a good rest helps you adapt to the altitude.

Qinghai Tibet Train Passes Magnificent Snow-capped Mountains Sapphire-like Cuo'na Lake in Tibet
Day 4 Lhasa Tour (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 Temple Julie & Friend from France - Lhasa Potala Palace
Day 5 Lhasa Tour (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.

Buddhism Scriptures Debating at Sera Monastery Norbulingka Park - A Beautiful Tibetan Style Garden
Day 6 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, and then check out from your hotel before 12pm.

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