Travel to the “Roof of the World”, starkly beautiful and isolated plateau offer a richness of religious and cultural traditions and an amazing diversity of art and architecture.
Click here to Download Tibet Culture Interlude
This innovative journey reveals the heart and soul of Tibet and its close neighbour Qinghai, home to thousands of Amdo Tibetans who are both part of China and apart from it.
Our trip culminates with an epic visit to the Artistic Capital of Tibet – Rebkong, Qinghai which has been inscribed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Enjoy one of the most remarkable rail journeys experience on the planet from Xining to Lhasa. Cross the vast Qinghai – Tibet Plateau with surreal and stupendous landscapes and the source water area of the Yangtze, Mekong and more. Passing the elevated bridges and open steppes against a stunning backdrop of towering snow capped peaks to Tibet’s colourful capital of Lhasa.
Today, things in Tibet have changed – the intrusion of cell phones and the internet come to mind – the most memorable things have not: the spiritual nature and devotion of the people; ancient lamaseries dedicated to piety and the pursuit of learning; colourful ceremonies conducted by magenta – robed monks; and of course, the breathtaking beauty of the majestic Himalayas.
Our in depth visit to Tibet starts from the medieval capital city of Lhasa. We then head to the surrounding towns of Shigatse, Gyantse and Tsedang, through highland hemmed in by beige mountains and a sky whose hue verges on cobalt at this altitude. Visit Drepung, Samye, and Tashlumpo, a few of Tibet’s most historic monasteries. Walk the halls of Potala Palace and Dalai Lamas’ former residence at Norbulingka. Explore the Barkhor, the pilgrimage district surrounding Jokhang Temple.
Wherever we go, we feel as though we have stepped back through time, to the days when reincarnated lamas and ancient dynasties ruled these misty mountain realms, with the most fascinating art, history, spirituality, and grand architecture of the Tibetan culture.
July 31, 2018 Xining (D)
Upon arrival, you will be met and taken to the restaurant for dinner and then check into your hotel.
Sebel Hotel Xining or similar For 2 Nights
Aug 1, 2018 Xining (B/L/D)
This morning, we visit the Museum of China Tibetan Medicine Culture where we can see the world’s largest Tibetan Thangka painting which is over 2,000 feet. This world-renowned Thangka project was created over the course of 3 years by hundreds of artisans from Rebgong, a region known for producing Tibetan traditional arts.
A short drive out of city, we will then tour Taer Lamasery, known as Kumbum in Tibetan. This elegant monastery is actually the holiest shrine for Gelukpa (Yellow Hat) as its founder, Tsongkhapa was born here. We will try to arrange spectating Lama’s debating session late afternoon (subject to confirmation and approval). Return back to the city, if time permits, we will have a quick stop at the Dongguan Mosque.
Aug 2, 2018 Xining – Qinghai Lake (B/L/D)
Today, we will take a very scenic drive along the ancient Tangbo Road towards Sun and Moon Mountain whose 11,500 foot summit offers a superb panorama of prairie and farmland. Like the Silk Road, the Ancient Tangbo Road and Ancient Tea & Horse Road are three historic routes that connecting China with outside world. Your guide will tell you the stories about Princess of Tang Dynasty, her marriage to the Tibetan Empire – King Songtsen Gampo, the names of mountains, rivers and other places that are associated with her long journey to Lhasa.
Arrive Qinghai Lake (Kokonor), China’s largest lake, literally means Indigo Blue water in Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan.
This afternoon, we will enjoy a cruise on the lake followed by a visit to Tibetan herdsman’s family. Balance of the day is at leisure and enjoy stunning views.
More Clouds Farm Lodge for 1 night
Aug 3, 2018 Qinghai – Tongren (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive along the scenic road of upper Yellow River valley to Tongren and en route, we make a stop Kanbula National Forest Park, renowned for its pristine views of the massive lake centred in the park and surrounded by beautiful natural scenery.
Continue to Tongren, often called the Artistic Capital of Tibet where the significant Repkong Art was established in the 15th century. Characterized by a distinctively Tibetan Buddhist religion style and unique regional features, the Repkong arts embody the spiritual history and traditional culture of the region and remain an integral part of the artistic life of people there today. In 2009 UNESCO inscribed Repkong Art as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
We will visit Wutun village, its temples and an artist’s home / workshop.
Rebgon Norbang Travel Inn or similar for 2 nights
Aug 4, 2018 June Festival (B/L/D)
Our visit to Tongren will be culminated with the traditional June Festival or “Lerey of June” in Tibetan which literally means to dedicate song and dance to deities. People in Repkong pray for a peaceful time with bumper harvest, thriving livestock, safety and good health and longevity during the festival. This humane phenomenon presents a strong primitive religious atmosphere, and complex and rich cultural patterns and connotations. The festival includes a series of activities of Shaman worshiping ceremonies, performed by villagers in the format of various dances and rituals.
Spend the day viewing the festival activities and tour different villages and also visit the Repkong Museum, and the Longwu Monastery, one of the leading monasteries in the Amdo.
Lunch will be served at a local villager’s family.
Aug 5, 2018 Tongren – Xining – Lhasa (B/L/D)
Today is the last day of the festival. We will tour a bit more of Tongren before head to xining later this afternoon. After dinner, board an overnight train to Lhasa, one of the most remarkable rail journeys experience on the planet. Sit back as the train travel westbound crossing grassland and entering acid Qaidam basin toward Golmud.
Soft sleeper on the train
Aug 6, 2018 Across Qinghai/Tibet Plateau to Lhasa (D)
Your morning starts with surreal and stupendous landscapes of source water area of the Yangtze, Mekong and more. Passing the elevated bridges and open steppes against a stunning backdrop of towering snow capped peaks. Early this afternoon, we arrive in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, lies on the Lhasa River’s north bank in a valley of the Himalayas and transfer to the hotel to rest.
Four Point by Sheraton Hotel or similar
Aug 7, 2018 Lhasa (B/L/D)
Begin our exploration of this Tibetan “Holy City” at its hallmark structure: the immense Potala Palace. Thirteen stories high and purportedly comprised of more than 1,000 rooms, the palace contains the Dalai Lama’s former residences, immense tombs, numerous prayer halls and storage areas. This afternoon, visit the heart of Lhasa and its most important pilgrimage site, the Jokhang Temple, founded in 642 and now a World Heritage site. Explore the Barkhor, a vibrant and exotic market/bazaar that surrounds the Jokhang Temple.
Aug 8, 2018 Lhasa (B/L/D)
Opened to foreigners only since 1984, Tibet is a profoundly spiritual place where Buddhism has infused all aspects of life for 13 centuries. Another full day in Lhasa allows us the opportunity to visit the great Drepung Monastery, where approximately 800 monks reside. Continue to Sera Monastery in the afternoon to watch the monks’ lively debating sessions.
Aug 9, 2018 Lhasa (B/L)
This morning, visit the Norbulingka Summer Palace, Tibet Museum, which displays an extensive collection of Tibetan scrolls and the gold seal of the fifth Dalai Lama. On the way to our hotel we stop to visit with a Tibetan family in their home.
Revisit the Barkhor Market area today and Tsang Kung Nunnery located just next to the Barkhor Street, so for those who want to take advantage of free time to explore one of the world’s most enigmatic and ancient cities, also your hotel is within walking distance from the Barkhor
Aug 10, 2018 Lhasa – Shigatse (B/L/D)
A two and half hour train ride brings us to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city and the spiritual home of the Panchen Lama, second only to the Dali Lama in the hierarchy of the Gelugpa “Yellow Hat” sect, the largest and most influential of Tibetan Buddhist denominations.
Explore the impressive complex of temples, prayer halls and residences at the Tashilumpo Monastery, where the 86-foot-tall Maitreiya Buddha figure sits covered with over 600 pounds of pure gold, gems and precious stones and walk along the pilgrim route before sunset.
Shigatse Hotel or similar
Aug 11, 2018 Shigatse – Gyantse (B/L/D)
Enjoy breathtaking vistas across vertiginous, snow-capped mountains as we drive to Gyantse. En route, we visit Shalu Monastery, founded in 1040 by Chetsun Sherab Jungnay, for centuries it was renowned as a centre of scholarly learning and psychic training and its mural paintings were considered to be the most ancient and beautiful in Tibet.
Arrive in Gyantse, with a visit to Pelkor Chode Monastery, which includes the Kumbun Chorten complex, one of Tibet’s great pilgrimage sites. Kumbum Chorten houses 108 chapels, each of which is elaborately decorated with historic frescoes
Gyantse Hotel or similar
Aug 12, 2018 Gyantse – Tsedang (B/L/D)
Drive over Kamba La Mountain pass and skirt the turquoise Yamdrok Lake tucked amongst the mountains of the Tibetan Plateau where we will have a picnic lunch if weather permits.
Today’s stunning drive affords many dramatic views of the harsh mountain landscape, studded with alpine lakes and immense melting glaciers, as we make our way to our hotel in Tsedang.
Tsedang Hotel or similar
Aug 13,2018 Tsedang (B/L/D)
Visit Samye Monastery, the oldest monastery in Tibet, and a unique combination of Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian architectural styles.
Walk a steep path lined with thousands of prayer flags to Yumbu Lakang, an ancient palace and reputedly Tibet’s oldest building dramatically posed over the fertile Yarlung Tsangpo Valley.
Aug 14, 2018 Tsedang – Lhasa Airport (B)
Transfer to Gongkha airport or onward flight.
Based on 10 or more Guest
- Double Occupancy USD $4050 | CAD $ 5150
- Single Supplement USD $1250 | CAD $ 1595
Based on 6-9 Guest
- Double Occupancy USD $4650 | CAD $ 5895
- Single Supplement USD $1250 | CAD $ 1595
Call 1-888-887-1688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to arrange the international flights for this journey from your home city.