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

14 Days from $4,205per
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You are viewing the 2020 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: CTG20)

Explore Beijing to Lhasa on a stunning rail adventure

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 railroad journey in the world.

  • Beijing and the Forbidden City
  • Terracotta Warriors
  • The Great Wall
  • The ‘Roof of the World’ rail journey to Tibet
  • Lhasa
  • Jokhang Temple
  • Potala Palace and Norbulingka Palace
  • Palkor Chode Monastery
  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute
What’s Included
  • Standard Class Rail
    1 night on board the overnight sleeper train
  • 12 Nights' Hotel Accommodation
  • Selected Departures Guaranteed

Beijing to Tibet - 'Across the Roof of the World' 2020Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing


Meet your group and Tour Manager at the Novotel Xinqiao Hotel in Bejing. The rest of your day is free.

Days 2-3 Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China

Exploring Beijing and the Great Wall

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 3, 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 defense 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 4-5 Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors

Xi'an and the Terracotta Warriors

We begin today at the impressive Temple of Heaven in the bustling center 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 5 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 6-7 Xining, Dongguan Grand Mosque
Xining, Dongguan Grand Mosque

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 railroad on earth, ascending to the Himalayan kingdom of Tibet. This pioneering railroad 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 7, home to long haired yaks, multicoloured banners and frosted peaks. From here we begin the long lazy descent into the colorful city of Lhasa.

Please Note: The overnight sleeper train from Xining to Lhasa is in 4 berth compartments.

Day 8 Lhasa, Jokhang Temple
Lhasa, Jokhang Temple

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 colors 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 9 Potala Palace
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 color with their golden structures and blooming floral displays.

Day 10 Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Lake

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 11 Chode Monastery
Chode Monastery

Palkor Chode Monastery

On Day 11 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 12 Tashi lhunpo Monastery
Tashi lhunpo Monastery

Shigatse sightseeing

Shigatse has played an important role in Tibet's history, having, in the past, been the center 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 13-14 Chengdu Pandas
Chengdu Pandas

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 14, transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Please note

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

Airport waiting room

Recommended Airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving into Beijing Airport, which is approximately 16 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is the Chengdu Airport, which is approximately 13 miles from your final hotel.

Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

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.

What’s included

An escorted experience and travel during your tour

  • The services of a professional Tour Manager from start to finish
  • All rail and coach travel throughout

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 12 nights' hotel accommodation
  • 1 night on board the overnight sleeper train to Tibet in a fourberth compartment

Delicious meals included

  • 33 meals including 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 10 dinners


Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Visit to Beijing's Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City
  • Excursion to the Great Wall of China
  • Guided tour of Xi'an 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
  • Journey on the 'Roof of the World' Railroad

Not Included

  • Flights and airport transfers
Dimitri Zgonis
Vaugnel Fletcher
Yung-Mei Choi
Beijing to Tibet - 'Across the Roof of the World'

Explore Beijing to Lhasa on a stunning rail adventure


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