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Beijing to Tibet - 'Across the Roof of the World'

Explore Beijing to Lhasa on a stunning rail adventure

From $ per person

Join us on an epic journey to the 'Roof of the World', and explore the mystical Himalayan Kingdom of Tibet, one of the most iconic nations in Asia. 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.

The itinerary for your journey
Tour highlights
Days 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
Great Wall of China

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
Terracotta Warriors

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. We then 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 archeological 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 they 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 the Grand Mosque.

Days 7-8 - Xi'an to Tibet across the 'Roof of the World'
Xian, Wild Grey Goose Pagoda

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
Lhasa, Jokhang Temple

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 tranquillity 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
Potala Palace

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
Yamdrok Lake

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 - Palkor Chode Monastery
Chode Monastery

On Day 12 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
Tashi lhunpo Monastery

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
Chengdu Pandas

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.

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure Dates

All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.

'Roof of the World' Railway
'Roof of the World' Railway

Opened in 2006, the 'Roof of the World Railway' is a masterpiece of modern engineering, connecting Xining, in mainland China, to Lhasa in Tibet, travelling at the highest elevation of any train globally. Whilst parts of the route were completed in 1984, the extension into Tibet was finished in 2005, and opened to the public the following year. Our journey passes over the Tibetan Plateau, a region which features permafrost that melts and refreezes as the seasons change, and which proved a challenging feat of engineering to overcome during the railway's construction.

Soft sleeper

For our overnight rail journey we use a "soft sleeper" service, the best available in the region, which offers a basic but reasonably comfortable and private overnight journey, although without the modern amenities you might expect on a European sleeper service. For daytime journeys, we travel in air-conditioned 'soft seat' class, which, whilst more basic than European trains, offers a fascinating insight into local life and local rail travel, as well as a superb way to see the stunning scenery in this part of the world.

Novotel Beijing Xinqiao, Beijing
Novotel Beijing Xinqiao

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
Tibet Hotel, Chengdu

The 4-Star Tibet Hotel Chengdu is conveniently situated five minutes from the nearest railway 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
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
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.

Tashi Choeta Hotel, Shigatse
Tashi Choeta Hotel

Offering comfortable and modern accommodation among the stunning mountain views of Shigatse, the Tashi Choeta hotel is built taking traditional Tibetan architecture and style into account. Sat at the heart of Shigatse's business centre, the Tashi Choeta is an excellent base from which to venture out into the surrounding town. With 3 restaurants, various shops and a bar, there are a range of amenities here to help you relax, and each room has an en-suite bathroom and a television.

Grand Mercure Renmin Square, Xian
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.

What's included

An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

Delicious meals included


Exciting excursions and free time to explore

Enhancing your tour


We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!

Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy
Flight Upgrade

• Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy from £450 per person each way

London Hotels
London hotels

Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your return to London, you would like to break your journey with an overnight stay before continuing home.

We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.

Hotel       Room Rate From Price 
The Ambassador Hotel      From £65 per person
Pullman London St Pancras      From £110 per person
Studios2Let, Cartright Gardens  From £55 per person


Above prices are approximate, subject to availability, and per room per night based on two people sharing. If you require a quote for single occupancy at any of the hotels please contact us on 01904 734 805. 

UK rail connections
UK train tickets

Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.

We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.

For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.

This page was printed from on 9 December 2019.
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