This 6 days private tour of Tibet and Xining Qinghai Lake by Qinghai-Tibet Train amazingly provides you a real adventure to West China! It departs from Xining, covers the splendid Ta’er Monastery, Potala Palace as well as the the picturesque Qinghai Lake, will bring you a truly holy trip both in Xining and Lhasa. Accompanied by friendly local guides and drivers, you will deeply explore the Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan culture as well as local foods. The availability of overnight soft-sleeper train will not only low your cost down but also offer a good chance for Qinghai-Tibet Railway!
Highlights of this tour: *Visit the magnificent Ta’er Monastery–a holy land of Buddhist culture and Shamanism. *Explore China’s largest inland lake and saltwater lake–Qinghai Lake. *Explore the mysterious Potala Palace in the marvelous holy city Lhasa. *Watch local people worship in the Barkhor Street to feel the pilgrimage culture. *Appreciate the graceful and colorful Frescos on the mountain near Sera Monastery. *Discover the graceful scenery, abundant plant species and treasures in Norbulingka famed as “Idyllic World”.
Upon your arrival at Xining airport / train station, our local English speaking tour guide and driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.
After short rest, your exploration begins with Ta’er Monastery. As one of the “Six Great Monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism Gelug Sect”, Ta’er Monastery is another site in Xining, Qinghai Province, sharing the same popularity with Qinghai Lake. Ta’er Monastery has profound historical origin that it’s the birthplace of famous Tsongkhapa, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism Gelug Sect. Not only bearing the divine position in religious followers, the monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist institution of higher education. Beneath the glorious decorations on surface fascinating your eyes, the rich accumulations in history, culture, religion and arts of Ta’er Monastery excites your souls deeply especially when meeting those devout followers trudged for pilgrimage here.
In the morning, drive around 3 hours to Qinghai Lake.
You must have heard the fame of Qinghai Lake before you go. It is indeed hot for tour to Qinghai and the whole Silk Road. Why? The co-existence of different views collected at the meantime at Qinghai Lake push its fame higher and higher: massive sea-like lake, vast desert, lush meadow-grass and yellow sea of rape flower. A single one of the four elements would attract people as a “wonderful place”, however, the mix of the four at Qinghai Lake makes it a “must-go” place. Each summer (June and July), it ushers in the annual peak when the blossom of rape flowers and round-the-lake cycle track here.
Today, the main scenic area as you will be visiting is the Erlangjian Scenic Area where is reputed as the most beautiful place in Qinghai Lake. There is boat cruises, horse rides and bike rides available around the lake, you can optionally try it according to your interests (optional).
After the relaxing sightseeing, you will be dropped off at Xining train station for overnight soft-sleeper train to Lhasa.
Friendly tip: The overnight soft-sleeper train from Xining to Lhasa rides over 22 hours. You will be boarding the train in the evening of today and arrives Lhasa in the evening of second day. For the soft-sleeper train, there will be 4 pax sharing one cabin, NO private bathroom or breakfast provided. Please expect it. You are suggested to prepare some snacks and wear comfortable shoes for the long-time train travel.
Accommodation: Overnight on the soft-sleeper train
Today you will spend most time on the train which would be a good chance to enjoy the outside scenery on the way. Upon your arrival at Lhasa train station, the local English speaking tour guide and driver will be waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name. Check in in local hotel and have good rest!
The imposing Potala Palace is the highlight of any trip to Tibet. Today you are going to visit this majestic architectural treasure of Lhasa, over 3,700 meters above sea level. The whole architectural complex includes two parts, the White Palace and the Red Palace. The White Palace is the place where the Dalai Lamas lived and handled political affairs, while the Red Palace mainly houses the stupas of the Dalai Lamas. Your tour guide will share a wealth of information with you to help you understand its history and Tibetan Buddhism.
After that, continue to explore the holy Jokhang Temple which has a history of over 1300 years. The temple is a mixture of Tibetan, Tang, Nepalese, and Indian architectural styles and has become an example of Tibetan religious architecture. The interior is so impressive with plenty of statues, colorful murals, and rows of butter lamps. It’s not allowed to take photos at most parts, but you will have opportunity to take some at the rooftop.
After coming out of the sacred Jokhang Temple, you will follow your tour guide threading your way through the throngs of pilgrims and other travelers in the mesmerizing Barkhor Street. This old street will give you a taste of Tibetan people's life and their faith. You can casually walk around and do some shopping.
Today, you will go to one of the most significant monasteries in Tibet- Drepung Monastery. You will see the place is well preserved and many devout Tibetan people come to pray here. Wandering around the monastery full of the aroma of incense and butter, you will learn something about Tibetan Buddhism from your knowledgeable tour guide and enjoy the peaceful scenery everywhere.
Next, continue the Buddhism trip to Sera Monastery which is the second largest monastery in Tibet. Sera Monastery was built in the Ming Dynasty by the famous Sagya Yeshes who was one of the eight disciples of Zongkapa and given the title of the Great Mercy Dharma by Emperor Xuanzong of Ming Dynasty after he had an audience with the Emperor in 1409 and 1414. The debate about Buddhism of Sera Monastery earns its fame in the Tibetan region, which is always taken a necessary activity to see for travelers from the whole world.
Last, move on to the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas - Norbulingka. It is the largest garden in Tibet with gorgeous scenery and plenty of historic sites. This lovely garden will offer more insight into the life of the Dalai Lamas. You will have a pleasant walk through the garden and appreciate beautiful murals and other treasures.
The core of our service is excellent travel guides. Over 20 years, we have built up a considerable professional guide team that is knowledgeable, attentive and flexible. The most experienced and reliable guides will be arranged for your unique China tour. Our passionate guide team is full of contagious enthusiasm and keen interest to share culture and history in a pleasant manner. We are always glad at your service to lead you to explore a real China and experience authentic local life in China.
Our Driver and Vehicle
The first mission of our service is to ensure you feel safe and comfortable during your travel. The vehicles we use are air-conditioned, clean and well-maintained. Our drivers are all licensed drivers with many years of driving experience. Moreover, we offer free baby seats for families with little kids.
Food is a very important part of Chinese culture. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to taste the real local Chinese food!
Buffet breakfast will be included in the hotel if you would like accommodation to be arranged by us. Having lunch at local restaurants close and convenient to the attractions you will visit, you would enjoy the local dishes in each city. Chinese style, Vegetarian or Muslim meals are all available. If you have any other diet requirements or allergies, please feel free to let us know, we will try our best to organize it.
For daily dinner, you are suggested to have it on your own when you are exploring each city in your own time, this way would be more flexible for you to choose food as per your interest and preference.