Tibet Discovery - 11 Days / 10 Nights
TOUR CODE TT 2014
Beijing, Lhasa, Chengdu, Xining, Tongren
Day 1 Beijing
Arrive in Beijing after your flight. We will greet and escort you to your hotel.
Day 2 Beijing (AB, L, D)
In the early morning, we will visit the sites of the 2008 Olympic Games such as the Bird's Nest and Water Cube for outside viewing. The intricately constructed Bird's Nest
cost approximately $480 million to build and seats roughly 91,000 spectators. The stadium was built with massive steel structures overlapping and intertwining each other, creating an image of a gigantic bird's nest which embraces and nurses human beings. The Water Cube
, originally home to the swimming events during the Olympics, is truly a fascinating sight. Its translucent color-shifting building combines modern technology with Chinese traditional values. Now, one part of it has been turned into an indoor water park, where swimmers shoot down colorful tubes into pools of water. Popular Science magazine chose the Water Cube, the Best of What's New of 2006. After a short rest, we'll visit the Yonghegong
Lamasery and Temple of Heaven.
The Yonghegong Lama Temple, also known as the 'Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple', is a temple and monastery of the Geluk (Yellow Hat) School of Tibetan Buddhism located in the northeastern central part of Beijing, next to the subway station of the same name. Yonghegong is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. The building and the artworks of Yonghegong combine Han Chinese and Tibetan styles (and some Mongolian motifs). Visit the Temple of Heaven
, often considered the quintessential Chinese temple as it incorporates some of the finest architectural talents found anywhere in the nation, none of which required a nail anywhere! Capture awing photos as you observe one of the best preserved ancient architectures in China.
Day 3 Beijing - Lhasa (AB, L, D)
Today we board an early flight to Tibet, nicknamed "The Roof of the World." Tibet
is without a doubt one of the most extraordinary places to visit in Asia. It offers magnificent monastery sights, incredible high-altitude walks, spectacular views of the world's highest mountains and some of the most likeable people you will ever meet. Take in the breathtaking countryside as we travel from the remote airport into the city of Lhasa
. Lhasa is truly one of the most characteristic and breathtaking cities in the world. This is not only due to its high altitudes which means seclusion and restricted accessibility, but also because of its cultural and sacred history which leaves a remarkable heritage that has assisted to form the passionate and mystifying Tibetan religion. Unlike the domestic cities and other places in that high land, Lhasa is distinctive with a glamour all its own. The remainder of the day will be free and give you some extra time to adapt to the altitude.
Day 4 Lhasa (AB, L, D)
Today we visit the 7th century Jokhang Temple
and Sera Monastery. According to legend, the Jokhang Temple was built on the previous location of a lake. The lake site was selected after several disastrous tries to build a temple in the area. Every time a monastery was built here, it would fall down. In order to build the monastery, Wen Chang suggested they must fill and level the lake using 1,000 goats to lug soil from a mountain far away. When the building work was done, it was called Ra-Sa-Vphrul-Snag, "ra" meaning goat and "sa" meaning earth in Tibetan, to honor those goats. Whether the legend was factual or not, this temple brought Buddhism into this land and became an undividable part of Tibetan history and culture. The city Ra-Sa grew around the temple and over time, became recognized as Lhasa. Situated at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa, Sera Monastery
is one of three well-known monasteries in the city. It is devoted to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, established by Tsong Khapa. The monastery was named Sera which means "wild rose" in the Tibetan language, since the hill behind it was blooming with wild roses when it was being built. Afterwards, we visit Barkhor Street
to shop for traditional Tibetan arts and crafts. Barkhor Street is a place filled with spiritual ambiance and a world of interesting pieces.
Day 5 Lhasa (AB, L, D)
Our first stop will be the Potala Palace
, the most sacred location of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on the Red Hill of central Lhasa and is the highest-reaching ancient palace in the world. We then visit the Summer Palace of NorbuLingka
, which is the former residence of the Dalai Lama. The area used to be a wilderness with untamed animals, weeds and scrub which the Seventh Dalai Lama was fond of and frequently stopped by, consequently, the Qing magistrate had a palace built. Years later, Kelsang Potrang was built by order of the Seventh Dalai Lama. Later on, it was used as the Summer Palace for following Lamas, where they resolved the political issues and held cheerful celebrations. After a series of development and transformation, the look was enhanced with gardens, woods, potrangs and pavilions. It has now been turned into a park open to the community. Later, we see the Tibetan History Museum
. On top of presenting the culture of Tibet, the museum is also a perfect site to hold cultural relations and discussions, to conserve cultural remnants, and to support the archaeological study. A Tibetan singing and dancing performance highlights the evening.
Day 6 Lhasa-Namtso (AB, L, D)
Today we will drive to one of the Holy lakes in Tibet, Namtso Lake
. The Namtso Lake is the second largest saltwater lake in China but the largest lake throughout Tibet. Its tender magnificence should not be neglected by any visitors there. Its cleanness and somberness are representations of Qinghai-Tibet Platean. In Tibetan, Namtso means "Heavenly Lake" and is regarded as one of the three sacred lakes in Tibet, renowned for its high altitude, enormous size and stunning scenery. After admiring the beauty of nature, return back to Lhasa.
Day 7 Lhasa (AB)
Today is a free day. Take the time to go shopping and make sure to taste some regional cuisine while in Lhasa.
Day 8 Lhasa - Chengdu (AB, L, D)
In the morning, we board our flight to the city of Chengdu, Sichuan (Szechuan), the gateway to Tibet. Sichuan Province is one of the biggest provinces in China. The western part of the province is one of the Tibetan-inhabited regions and visitors can experience traditions and the lifestyle of the Tibetan nationality here too. Its capital city, Chengdu, is the business and cultural center for the rural Chengdu Plain and one of the first centers of printing in the country. It has is known for its deluxe brocades, lacquer ware and satins. After checking into the hotel, rest up before heading out to enjoy a Sichuan opera in the evening.
Day 9 Chengdu (AB, L, D)
In the morning today, we will make our way from Chengdu to the Giant Buddha at Mt. Leshan. The statue itself is the most well known picturesque location in Sichuan Province. The statue took over 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had prolonged their hard work and perception on the project. Today, the Giant Buddha is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world. Afterwards, we will return to Chengdu in the evening.
Day 10 Chengdu - Dujiangyan (AB, L, D)
Today we'll visit the World Cultural Heritage site of Dujiangyan, which is an age-old irrigation project. This water project has been functioning for over 2,000 years, guarding against floods and irrigating the vast Chengdu Plain. Next, we head back to Chengdu to visit the Giant Panda Research Center. The Panda Breeding Research Center was designed to replicate the pandas' natural environment in order for them to have the best possible setting for reproduction and nurturing their young. More than 20 species of uncommon animals are nourished and raised there all throughout the year, including white storks and black-necked cranes to name a few.
Day 11 Chengdu (AB)
Enjoy your breakfast before we escort you to your flight back home.
Day 8 Lhasa Train (AB)
Board a train to Xining. Xining is the economic, technological, political, scientific, cultural, and traffic center of Qinghai Province. It was also the most common passing channel of the famous Silk Road. With a population of over two million, Xining is the very first city on the upper reaches of the Yellow River to reach a population into the millions. The locals' way of life and traditions are influenced by the unique ethnic groups that live here, specifically the Tibetan group. While traveling to Xining, enjoy the spectacular views of the Tibetan highland. This fundamentally undiscovered highland is enclosed by the Himalayan range and is the residence of the world's tallest peaks, including Kawa Karpo, Mount Everest and Anyi Macheng Mountain.
Day 9 Xining - Tongren (L, D)
Upon arriving in Xining, we'll experience a unique, natural Eastern Tibetan view during our drive to Tongren, the hometown of Tibet Thangka painting art. This area has been the home to a range of nationalities. Their diverse social traditions draw visitors most. In fact, ethnic minorities make up over fifty percent of Tongren's population. Later, visit a workshop of the paintings and spend the night in Tongren.
Day 10 Tongren - Xining - Beijing (B, L, D)
Drive to Xining in the morning. Before boarding our evening flight back to Beijing, we'll visit the Tibetan Medicine Museum and witness the longest Tibetan Thangka, which it holds the Guinness World Record for. The Tibetan Medicine Museum is home to a great collection of Tibetan artifacts centered on the Five Major and Five Minor Tibetan Studies. The center of the assortment starts with Tibetan Medicine in the type of medicine thangkas, medicinal specimens, and implements. The display is used for learning purposes to show the integrative viewpoint of Tibetan Medicine, Tibetan Astrology and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy to comprehend the human lifecycle as well as the nature of human health and healthcare.
Day 11 Beijing (B, L)
End your tour and we will escort you to your flight back home.
||This itinerary is subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including: weather, airline schedules, cruise itinerary changes, boat changes, etc.