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Beijing to Tibet

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An epic journey across the 'Roof of the World'

15 days From $4,295 per person
This is an independent non-escorted holiday

2021 Tour code: QTG21

About the tour

Experience an epic journey across the 'Roof of the World' and explore the Himalayan Kingdom of Tibet, one of the most iconic nations in Asia. Start your holiday in Beijing, China's vibrant capital, before traversing varied and diverse landscapes, climbing to the magical city of Lhasa on board one of the most remarkable railways in the world.

Highlights

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What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-4 - London and Beijing

Fly overnight from London Heathrow to Beijing, arriving on Day 2. You'll be met by and English-speaking guide before transferring to your hotel for the next three nights.

Begin Day 3 with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the city's political heart, and home to Chairman Mao's Mausoleum. Next, explore the mysteries of the Forbidden City, a labyrinthine complex of palaces from where the Imperial dynasties once ruled, then, after lunch, continue to the incredible Summer Palace.

Day 4 takes you to one of the country's most famous attractions, the magnificent Great Wall of China. 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, enjoy the chance to walk along one of the quieter sections of the wall, marvelling at the captivating mountain scenery and sweeping valleys below. Back in Beijing this evening, drive past the marvellous Bird's Nest and Water Cube arenas, venues for the 2008 Olympic Games, on your way to a local restaurant where you'll sample Beijing's signature dish, Peking duck.

Beijing
Days 5-6 - Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors

Make a visit to the Temple of Heaven this morning before boarding the high-speed train to Xi'an, a bustling megalopolis of different cultures that sits at the end of the once-famous Silk Road.

Day 6 takes you to the city's most renowned attraction, the Terracotta Warriors. One of the greatest archaeological finds of the modern era, this clay army is made up of over 8,000 soldiers, as well as horses and chariots, and was buried alongside the tomb of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang to protect the emperor in the afterlife. Back in Xi'an this afternoon, take a private tour of the city, seeing the great city walls, the Grand Mosque, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the local bazaar. This is followed by an authentic dumpling-making lesson and dumpling banquet.

Terracotta Warriors
Days 7-8 - Xining and across the ‘Roof of the World’ to Lhasa

Transfer to the airport for an early morning flight to Xining, enjoying a guided tour of the city on arrival. After lunch at a nearby hotel, you'll be transported to the station to join the overnight sleeper train to Lhasa. Travelling on the highest railway on earth, this pioneering route is a testament to the ingenuity of the engineers who designed it and features magnificent views of glaciers, mountains and Himalayan villages as you climb towards Tibet across the 'Roof of the World'.

Waking to spectacular views on Day 8, cross the Tangula Pass, home to long haired yaks, multicoloured prayer flags and frosted peaks, before beginning the descent into colourful Lhasa. After transferring to your hotel, the rest of your day is free. 

Buddhist Prayer Flags
Days 9-10 - The Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastry and Potola Palace

Start your day at Lhasa's ancient Jokhang temple, made up of different chapels decorated in glorious colours and with ornate motifs. You'll also see the bustling Barkhour circuit, a fascinating rectangle of streets that form a pilgrim circuit around the temple. After lunch, visit the Sera Monastery, a remarkable complex of delightful colleges and temples. As an educational institute, this monastery is responsible for teaching up to 3,000 monks from the ages of seven upwards.

Explore further on Day 10, with time at the dazzling Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama. Featuring over 1,000 rooms, ascend the distinctive zig-zagged stairs to discover the regal living quarters and meditation rooms before continuing to the Norbulingka Palace. A summer resort boasting the largest gardens in Tibet, soak in a cornucopia of colour as you admire the golden structures and blooming floral displays.

Potala Palace, Tibet
Days 11-13 - Gyantse, Shigatse and Chengdu

Leave Lhasa and travel by coach through the mountains to Gyantse. During the trip, you'll stop to visit the glorious Yamdrok Lake, said to be populated by powerful deities. Lying several hundred metres below the road, the tranquil waters are a brilliant shade of turquoise, contrasting with the sandy inlets that surround it. Later, check into your hotel in Gyantse for the night.

On Day 12, make your way to the striking Palkhor Chode Monastery. This famous gold-domed monastery complex has 108 chapels as well as one of the largest Kumbum towers in Tibet, the Kumbum Stupa. From Palkhor Chode, continue by road to Shigatse and check into your hotel. Shigatse has an important role in Tibet's history, having, in the past, been the centre of Tibetan military and political power. Nowadays, it's a fine example of modern urban life, with vibrant streets and multi-hued flags on each corner. Explore some of its grand landmarks on a sightseeing tour, visiting the Tashilhunpo Monastery in the Old Town, founded by the first Dalai Lama, ahead of your flight to Chengdu.

Yamdrok Lake, Tibet
Days 14-15 - Panda Research Institute and London

Today, come face to face with one of nature's most lovable animals - the giant panda. The Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute is home to more than 100 of these magnificent creatures, allowing you to see them at close range as they enjoy go about their everyday lives. On Day 15, transfer to the airport for your flight back to London Heathrow via Hong Kong.

Chengdu Panda

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Please note: This may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.

Hotels

Novotel Peace Hotel, Beijing

Novotel Peace Hotel, Beijing

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Tibet Hotel, Chengdu

Tibet Hotel, Chengdu

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Gyantse Hotel, Gyantse

Gyantse Hotel, Gyantse

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Four Points by Sheraton, Lhasa

Four Points by Sheraton, Lhasa

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Tashi Choeta Hotel

Tashi Choeta Hotel, Shigatse

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Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian

Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian

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Trains

'Roof of the World' Railway
Soft sleeper

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Beijing to Tibet

An epic journey across the 'Roof of the World'

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James Starkie
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James Eaton
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Laura Strawinski
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