Beijing to Tibet - ‘Across the Roof of the World’
We start our journey in Beijing, China's vibrant capital, before traversing varied and diverse landscapes, and climbing to the mystical city of Lhasa on board arguably the most remarkable railway journey in the world.
Your first stop: bustling Beijing, the Forbidden City. From here you'll enjoy a cable car ride and a walk along the extraordinary Great Wall of China. Visit Xi'an to view the amazing Terracotta Warriors, definitely a world’s wonder. Then embark on an unforgettable journey to Tibet on the highest railway in the world. Experience sacred and historic temples and monasteries including the fabulous Potala Palace. There’s a lot of walking around these ancient places so take your comfortable shoes. Finally you'll arrive in Chengdu, famous for its Szechuan cuisine, where you can relax with a change of pace and enjoy a visit to the Giant Panda Base. Altogether a never to-be-forgotten holiday.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Flights from London to Beijing and from Chengdu to London via Hong Kong
- All rail and coach travel throughout
- 12 nights' hotel accommodation
- 1 nights' accommodation on board the overnight sleeper train to Tibet
- 33 meals including 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 10 dinners
- Visits to Beijing's Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City
- Excursion to the Great Wall of China
- A guided tour of Xian and visit to the Terracotta Warriors
- Sightseeing tour of Lhasa
- Visit to the Potala Palace, Sera Monastery and Yamdrok Lake, Palkhor Chode and Tashilhunpo Monasteries
- The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Day 1-2 - London to Beijing
We depart London on our overnight flight to Beijing, arriving on Day 2. On arrival, we visit the impressive Temple of Heaven in the bustling centre of China's capital, a local and cultural hub that is a popular meeting spot for residents. We then transfer to our base for the next three nights, the Novotel Xinqiao Hotel. The rest of your day is free.
Days 3-4 - Exploring Beijing and the Great Wall
We begin today at the impressive Temple of Heaven in the bustling centre of China's capital, a local and cultural hub that is a popular meeting spot for residents. From here, we visit Tiananmen Square, the city's political heart, and home to Chairman Mao's Mausoleum. This public area was famously the site of various demonstrations in 1989, in which the iconic Tank Man picture was taken of a man facing down a line of tanks in protest. We then explore the mysteries of the Forbidden City, a labyrinthine complex of palaces from where the Imperial dynasties once ruled. With its 18th century buildings, it is the perfect symbol of Imperial China's grandeur. On Day 4, we visit one of the country's most famous attractions, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the magnificent Great Wall. Stretching an astonishing 5,500 miles from Dadong all the way to Lop Lake, the wall was originally built as a defence against the steppe hordes of Eurasia. The Great Wall and its original foundations are over 2,300 years old and enjoy UNESCO World Heritage status. After a thrilling ascent by chair lift, we enjoy the chance to walk along this architectural masterpiece, marvelling at the captivating mountain scenery and sweeping valleys below.
Back in Beijing, we visit the marvellous Bird's Nest and Water Cube, venues for the 2008 Olympic Games. These two structures are marvellous examples of modern architecture. Tonight we sample Beijing's signature dish, Peking duck.
Days 5-6 - Xi'an and the Terracotta Warriors
Today we take the high-speed rail service to Xi'an, a teeming megalopolis of different cultures and a varied history at the end of the famous Silk Road. On Day 6 we enjoy a visit to the Terracotta Warriors. One of the greatest archaeological finds of the modern era, this army is made up of over 8,000 terracotta soldiers, as well as horses and chariots, which were buried alongside the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. It was thought that there were designed to protect the emperor in the afterlife. We then return to Xi'an for a tour of its attractions such as the city walls and Grand Mosque.
Days 7-8 - Xi'an to Tibet Across the 'Roof of the World'
We fly from Xi'an to Xining today, where we take a tour of multicultural Xining, before embarking on an epic journey on the highest railway on earth, ascending to the Himalayan kingdom of Tibet. This pioneering railway line is a testament to the ingenuity of the engineers who built it and a spectacular feat of modern construction. It features magnificent views of glaciers, mountains and Himalayan villages. We cross the Tangula Pass early on Day 8, home to long haired yaks, multicoloured banners and frosted peaks. From here we begin the long lazy descent into the colourful city of Lhasa.
Please Note: The overnight sleeper train from Xining to Lhasa is in 4 berth compartments.
Day 9 - Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery
We begin today in Lhasa at the ancient Jokhang temple, which is possibly the country's most revered structure. This building is made up of an array of chapels which are decorated in glorious colours and ornate motifs. An air of tranquility makes exploring these hallowed halls a delight. We also see the bustling Barkhour circuit, a fascinating rectangle of streets which make up a pilgrim circuit around the Jokhang Temple. This afternoon we visit the Sera Monastery, a remarkable complex of delightful colleges and temples. As an educational institute, this monastery is responsible for teaching around 3,000 monks from the age of 7 onwards.
Day 10 - Lhasa
We explore some of Lhasa's most famous sights today beginning at the dazzling Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama, made up of over a thousand rooms. We ascend the distinctive zig-zagged stairs to explore the regal living quarters and meditation rooms. We then continue to the Norbulingka Palace. A summer palace featuring the largest gardens in Tibet, these buildings display a cornucopia of colour with their golden structures and blooming floral displays.
Day 11 - Yamdrok Lake and Gyantse
Today we leave Lhasa and travel through the mountains to Gyantse. During our trip we stop to visit the glorious Yamdrok Lake, said to be populated by powerful deities. Lying several hundred metres below the road, the tranquil water is a brilliant shade of turquoise, contrasting with the sandy inlets that surround it. Later, we check into our hotel in Gyantse.
Day 12 - Palkhor Chode Monastery
We visit a highlight of the region today in Gyantse, the striking Palkhor Chode Monastery. This famous gold-domed monastery complex has 108 chapels and one of the largest Kubum towers in Tibet, the Kumbum Stupa. From Palkhor Chode we continue to Shigatse. On arrival, we check into our hotel.
Day 13 - Shigatse Sightseeing
Shigatse has played an important role in Tibet's history, having, in the past, been the centre of Tibetan military and political power. Nowadays, it is a fine example of modern Tibetan urban life, with vibrant streets and multihued flags on each corner. Today we explore some of its grand landmarks on a sightseeing tour, visiting the Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded by the first Dalai Lama. Later, we make the return journey to Lhasa.
Days 14-15 - Chengdu, Pandas and Home
Today we take a short flight to Chengdu for one night at the Tibet Hotel. We visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute, which is home to more than 100 of these magnificent creatures, and allows us to see the enchanting animals at close range as they enjoy their natural habitats. On Day 15 we transfer to the airport for our flight back to London via Hong Kong, where your tour concludes.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Novotel Beijing Xinqiao, Beijing
Located near Beijing New World Centre in central Beijing is our hotel during our time here - the 4-Star Novotel Beijing Xingjao. This modern building has some excellent amenities, including a range of restaurants serving cuisine from around the world, a bar, a fitness centre, a beauty salon, and a massage centre that offers a range of therapies (payable locally). The rooms are comfortable and well appointed, and come with a television, a hair dryer, an in-room safe, complimentary Wi-Fi, and tea & coffee-making facilities.
Tibet Hotel, Chengdu
The 4-Star Tibet Hotel Chengdu is conveniently situated five minutes from the nearest railroad station. The hotel was built in 1988 and boasts more than 25 years of history, accommodating guests with 276 well designed and comfortable rooms this hotel has plenty to offer, attractive on the outside as it is within. The hotel has two restaurants, laundry facilities, sauna, fitness room and a beauty salon amongst other excellent facilities on offer.
Gyantse Hotel, Gyantse
Celebrated as one of the best hotels in the area, the Gyantse Hotel is ideally placed in the southern half of the ancient town of Gyantse. The hotel boasts superb dining facilities, including three restaurants catering to Western, Chinese and Tibetan cuisine, as well as a bar and a coffee shop. There is also a shop on the premises, and both Western and traditional Tibetan-style rooms are on offer. All rooms are en-suite and have a telephone, cable television and a writing desk.
Four Points by Sheraton, Lhasa
Attractive, modern and well-placed accurately describe the Four Points by Sheraton. It is located in the heart of Lhasa, with a host of authentic cultural attractions just ten minutes away. The hotel boasts a stylish interior, with comfortable, well-appointed rooms throughout the hotel. Facilities include an international restaurant, using only the freshest ingredients and recipes from around the world, as well as a cocktail bar. Every room is en-suite and well equipped with satellite television, telephone, desk, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities, safe and individual climate control.
Shigatse Hotel, Shigatse
Ideally located in the heart of Shigatse, the Shigatse Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1985. It is one of the largest hotels in the area, adorned with a delightful blend of Western and traditional Tibetan décor in both the lobby and rooms. The hotel boasts a fitness centre, beauty parlour and a sauna, and the restaurant serves authentically traditional local cuisine. Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, and all rooms are equipped with satellite television, telephone, minibar and a hairdryer, as well as standard en-suite facilities.
Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian
Set within the ancient walls of Xian, the 4-Star Superior Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian combines chic Chinese design with modern touches. Among the hotel's many facilities is a restaurant serving both Chinese and western cuisine, a bar and lounge, a fitness centre and a wellness centre offering massages. The rooms are air conditioned and come with a television, telephone, minibar, safe, Wi-Fi and tea & coffee making facilities. A laundry service is available at the hotel.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|22nd May 2019||£3,995||Book Now|
|4th September 2019||£3,995||Book Now|
|10th October 2019||£3,995||Book Now|
|27th May 2020||£3,995||Book Now|
|23rd September 2020||£3,995||Book Now|
|7th October 2020||£3,995||Book Now|
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Beijing to Tibet - 'Across the Roof of the World': Departs 22nd May 2019 (£3,995), 4th September 2019 (£3,995), 10th October 2019 (£3,995), 27th May 2020 (£3,995), 23rd September 2020 (£3,995), 7th October 2020 (£3,995)
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Please note the itinerary for 2019 may change. Prices are correct at the time of this web page going live; however are subject to confirmation at time of booking. Prices are based on double occupancy.
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