This 12-dau China tour focus on Chengdu and Tibet. Chengdu is the best choose of stopover prior you tour in Tibet. A little sightseeing in Chengdu then take the 43hrs train-ride from Chengdu to Lhasa, and further on the Everest Base Camp, to see Mt Everest, aka. Mt Qomolangma(elev 8844m), the highest peak in the world.
|D1||Arrival in Chengdu||Transfer from Chengdu Airport|
|D2||Chengdu > Panda > Leshan > Chengdu||Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Leshan Grand Buddha|
|D3||Train: Chengdu-Lhasa||AM: Wenshu Monastery, Wuhou Shrine, Jinli Old Street|
|D4||In the train|
|D5||Arrival in Lhasa||Transfer from Lhasa Railway|
|D6||Lhasa||Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery|
|D7||Lhasa||Potala Palace, Zang Gyab Lukhang Park with Lukhang Temple, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|D8||Lhasa > Gyantse > Shigatse||Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum|
|D9||Shigatse > Tingri > Rongbuk > EBC||Rongbuk Monastery|
|D10||EBC > Tingri > Shigatse||Everest Base Camp|
|D11||Shigatse > Lhasa||Tashihunpo Monastery, Drolma Lhakhang Monastery|
|D12||Departure from Lhasa||Transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway|
Day 01: Arrival in Chengdu
Your Chengdu guide will be waiting for you at Chengdu Airport holding a sign with your name on it. A comfortable private non-smoking car & experienced driver are ready to transfer you to hotel in Chengdu. Guide will help you check in. The rest of the day will be at leisure for you to explore the city on your own.
Day 02: Chengdu > Panda > Leshan > Chengdu
Activities: Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Leshan Grand Buddha
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding: here not only you can see these amazing creatures up close in their natural environment, it also provides an in-depth look into these laidback animals. Established in 1987, the facility began with just six rescued giant pandas, a number that has since grown to exceed 80 animals. Tours also include a chance to visit the onsite museum featuring exhibits dealing with the reproductive problems of these fickle bears. Often found sleeping, pandas are their liveliest during morning feeding times, that’s why we usually arrange this in the morning.
Leshan Giant Buddha: the serenely seated Leshan Giant Buddha(Grand Buddha), carved into a cliff face overlooking the confluence of Dadu River & Min River, is the pride and joy of locals Sichuanese. Qualifying as the largest Buddha in the world, here’s the bottom line: he’s 71m high, his ears are 7m long, his insteps 8.5m broad, and you could picnic on the nail of his big toe which is 8.5m long.
Day 03: Train: Chengdu-Lhasa
Activities: Wenshu Monastery, Wuhou Shrine, Jinli Old Street
Wenshu Temple: this Tang dynasty monastery is Chengdu’a largest and best –preserved Buddhist temple. Wenshu Temple epitomizes a Buddhist temple – the air is redolent with incense, there’s alow murmur of chanting, exquisite relief carvings, and best of all, there is a sense of serenity and solitude, despite the crowded of worshippers who flock to the temple. A vegetarian restaurant and two atmospheric teahouse are on the grounds.
Wuhou Shrine: one of Chengdu’s oldest temples, the splendid Wuhou Shrine dates back to 302 AD when it was built in honor of Zhuge Liang, a famous strategist and statesman who later served as Chancellor of the Shu Han empire from 221-263 AD. Rebuilt in 1672, this vast temple complex boasts many interesting features, including its large central hall with its gilded clay figure of Zhuge Liang. Also worth seeing is the temple dedicated to Liu Bei, ruler of the Shu Han Empire who’s buried in the adjacent 12-meter-tall burial mound. Other notable features are the 28 terracotta statues of ministers, generals, and high officials of the state of Shu Han displayed in the east and west covered walks, as well as a number of ancient inscribed stone tablets featuring poems and writings from this important period in China’s history.
Jinli Old Street: Jinli is an old street in Chengdu about 550 meters long. It is a part of Wuhou Shrine. The theme is Three Kingdoms Culture, a traditional folk custom. There are many bars, inns, snack stores and souvenir shops. The street was renovated in 2004. In 2005, Jinli was named as “National Top Ten City Commercial Pedestrian Street”. In 2006, Jinli was named as “National Demonstration Base Of The Cultural Industry” by the Ministry of Culture. There are approximately 18,000,000 visitors a year.
After the sightseeing, transfer to Chengdu Railway to catch the train to Lhasa. Guide ll see you well-settle before say goodbye.
Day 04: In the train
The train will cross Tibetan plateau during daylight, guaranteeing you great views. From Golmud the train climbs through desert into jagged caramel-coloured mountains of Nanshankou, passing what feels like a stone’s throw from the impressive glaciers beside Jade Pearl Peak, 6178m. Other highlights include the nearby tunnel through the 4776m Kunlun Pass, where you can see the prayer flags at the top of the pass, and Tsonak Lake, 9.5hrs from Golmud near Amdo, claimed to be the highest freshwater lake in the world at 4608m. Keep your eyes peeled throughout the journey for antelope, fox and wild asses, plus the occasional nomad. The train crosses into Tibet over the 5072m Tangula Pass, the line’s highest point.
Day 05: Arrival in Lhasa
Upon your arrival in Lhasa Railway, our Tibetan guide will be there waiting for you holding your name board with our company logo on it. Based on Tibetan tradition, a white Hada(aka. scarf) will be presented to you as a warm welcome to Tibet. Then transfer to hotel in downtown Lhasa, which is abt 20mins from Lhasa Railway. Guide will help you to check in and set up a pick-up time for the next day before leave. You are free for the rest of the day. But a good rest is highly suggested, as the first day’s well-rest is crucial for you to acclimatize the high altitude of Tibet.
Day 06: Lhasa
Activities: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
Drepung Monastery: situated at the foot of Mt Gambo Utse, 5km from the western suburb of Lhasa, Drepung Monastery is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. Covering an area of 250,000 sq meters, Drepung Monastery is the largest-scale monastery among its kind. Seen from afar, its grand white construction gives the appearance of a heap of rice. Thus the name was given, Drepung literarily means collecting rice in Tibetan.
Sera Monastery: located at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa, Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, and built it in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Sera literarily means wild rose in the Tibetan. When the monastery was built, the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom, the name was thus decided. Between 3pm~5pm from Monday to Friday, debating is held in the monastery’s debating courtyard, which is a sight so extraordinary and enchanting even you don’t understand a word they’re saying.
Day 07: Lhasa
Activities: Potala Palace, Zang Gyab Lukhang Park, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
Potala Palace: it is the landmark of Lhasa, and one of the great wonders of world architecture. Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley, at an altitude of 3,700m.
Zang Gyab Lukhang Park with Lukhang Temple: situated right behind Potala Palace, Zang Gyab Lukhang Park is a lovely place where locals and tourist hang out, with a lovely lake built during the construction of Potala Palace. And there is a small and little-visited temple in a small island in the lake, called Lukhang Temple.
Jokang Temple: included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2000 as part of the Potala Palace , the Jokhang Temple is located in central Lhasa. With an area of 25,100 square meters (about six acres), it is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Pilgrims. In front of the entrance to Jokhang is a forecourt that is perpetually crowded with pilgrims polishing the flagstones with their prostrations.
Barkhor Street: located in the old town of Lhasa, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding Jokhang Temple. It’s said that in 647, the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617-650) built Jokhang Temple. Due to its magnificence, it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. As a result, a trodden path appeared. It was paved by hand-polished stone boards. Though it is not broad, it accommodates thousands of pilgrims and tourists every day. Varied shops stand on its both sides and thousands of floating stands are on every corner.
Day 08: Lhasa > Gyantse > Shigatse
Activities: Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum
Yamdrotso Lake: dazzling Yamdro-tso (elev 4441m) is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la(4700m). The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather is fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang (7191m). Yamdrotso Lake is 130km long from east to west and 70km wide from north to south with a total perimeter of 250km and the surface area of 638 sq km, average depth of 20-40 meters. It is the largest lake at the north foot of the Himalayas.
Karola Glacier: Mt Nojin Kangsang stands tall with an elevation of 7,191 m (23,592 ft) between Gyantze County and Nagarzê County, with several snow-capped mountains over 6,000 m (19,685 ft) surrounding it. Mount Nojin Kangsang is the most accessible glacier site on the Tibetan Plateau. The famous Kharola Glacier (elevation 5,560 m or 18,241 ft) is below the south ridge of Nojin Kangsang.
Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum: the sprawling compound in the far north of town houses Pelkor Chöde Monastery and the monumental Gyantse Kumbum, a chörten filled with fine paintings and statues. Both are deservedly top of the list on most travellers’ must-sees. Palkhor lies at the foot of Dzong Hill. It is well-known for its Kumbum, which has 108 chapels in its four floors. The multi-storied Kumbum Stupa was crowned with a golden dome and umbrella, surrounded with more chapels filled with unique religious statues and murals.
Day 09: Shigatse > Tingri > Rongbuk > EBC
Activities: Rongbuk Monastery
Rongphu Monastery: Rongphu(elev 4900m) is the main Buddhist centre in Everest region and once coordinated the activities of around a dozen smaller religious institutions, all of which are now ruined. It was established in 1902 by a Nyingmapa lama. While not of great antiquity, Rongbu can at least lay claim to being the highest monastery in Tibet and thus the world. Some of the interior murals of Rongphu are superb. Rongphu and its large chörten makes a great photograph with Everest thrusting its head skyward in the background.
Day 10: EBC > Tingri > Shigatse
Activities: Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp: Mt Everest, aka. Mt Qomolangma(elev 8844m), is the highest peak in the world. In Tibetan Qomolangma means the third Goddess of mountain. If you have no plan to actually climb Mt Everest, Everest Base Camp(elev 5150m) is as far as you can reach. Endowed with springs, Everest Base Camp has a couple of permanent structures and a small army base. It’s not possible to go all the way to Everest Base Camp by travel vehicle. All vehicles must stop at the nomad tent camp, abt 4km away from the sightseeing point. From here you can take the environment-friendly shuttle bus, or trek to the final sightseeing point. The way up is gentle and the altitude gain is less than 200m: most people can cover the distance in less than an hour by foot. Along the way you pass scree slopes, jagged ridges, and broad glacier valleys flowing with muddy water. Clamber up the small hill festooned with prayer flags of the final sightseeing point for great views of the star attraction, Mt. Everest.
Day 11: Shigatse > Lhasa
Activities: Tashihunpo Monastery, Drolma Lhakhang Monastery
Tashilhunpo Monastery: it is a real pleasure to explore the busy cobble lanes twisting around the aged buildings. Covering 70,000 sq meters, Tashilunpo is essentially a walled town in its own right. from the entrance to the monastery, visitors get a grand view. Above the white monastic quarters is a crowed of ochre buildings topped with gold—the tombs of the past Panchen Lamas. To the right, and higher still, is the festival Thangka Wall that is hung with massive, colourful thangkas during festivals.
Drolma Lhakhang Monastery: this significant although small monastery is jam-packed with ancient relics and hidden treasures. As you return from Shigatse to Lhasa, you’ll pass a blue rock carving of Sakyamuni Buddha at the base of a cliff. Drolma Lhakhang Monastery is abt 6km from it. Inside Drolma Lhakhang Monastery, the first chapel to the left is a gonkhang, decorated with severed stags’ heads and arrow holders. As you enter and exit the main monastery building look for the 2 ancient guardian deities, which may even date back to the 11th century at the founding of the monastery.
Day 12: Departure from Lhasa
The last day of your tour in Tibet. According to your train/flight time, our guide and driver will come over to your hotel to pick you up then transfer to Lhasa Railway/Airport.
End of service!