Day 1: Beijing. Transfer from airport to centrally located five-star hotel. Afternoon Summer Palace tour, followed by welcome dinner in local restaurant.
Day 2: Beijing. Full day touring Beijing, including Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Afternoon dedicated to seeing the Great Wall at Badaling. Lunch and dinner in the city.
Day 3: Beijing. Morning visit to Temple of Heaven. Afternoon departure of the Shangri-La Express.
Day 4: Luoyang. Morning arrival in ancient capital of Luoyang in the Yellow River Valley. Visit the local museum, which contains many relics from Luoyang’s days of glory, including artifacts recovered from tombs, such as sculpted horses and camels. Explore Longmen Caves, one of China’s most important artistic sites and a UNESCO World Heritage site, with over 100,000 statues.
Day 5: Xi’an. Morning arrival in the ancient city of Xi’an. Morning dedicated to visiting the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, discovered by peasants just over 30 years ago. The 6,000+ Terracotta figures, arranged in row after row of warriors and horses, are one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. Afternoon city tour to Great Mosque, the eight-mile city walls, Drum and Bell Towers and Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Enjoy Tang Dynasty dinner show before a late evening departure.
Day 6: On board. Full day on board, relaxing and enjoying the passing scenery. Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining car.
Day 7: Golmud-Lhasa. This morning we disembark the Shangri-La Express and switch to the regular service, high-altitude train that will take us the 14 hours to Lhasa over the world’s highest railway line. Travel through varied landscapes—mountains, plains, lakes—while spotting yaks and antelope. Cross Tangula Pass—the highest point on the line at 16,640 feet—before descending to Lhasa. Transfer to Brahmaputra Hotel for four-night stay.
Day 8: Lhasa. Lhasa is located in a small basin surrounded by mountains, and it literally means “place of the gods.” At an altitude of around 11,975ft (3,650m), it is one of the highest cities in the world. Today is at leisure to allow time for acclimatization to the high altitude.
Day 9: Lhasa. Full day exploration of Lhasa’s many holy sites. First, we visit 13th-century Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s holiest shrine and the spiritual home for almost all Tibetans. Next we explore the adjacent Barkhor market. Afternoon at 17th-century Potala Palace, former seat of the Tibetan Government and the Dalai Lama’s former winter residence. Perched upon Marpo Ri hill, it contains thousands of rooms and dominates the city skyline.
Day 10: Lhasa. Morning visit to colorful and tranquil Norbu Lingka, the Dalai Lama’s Summer Palace. Afternoon at leisure followed by farewell dinner.
Day 11: Lhasa. Transfer to Lhasa airport.
Price Details: In order to keep rates as low as possible, we do not build in a cushion to cover possible increases due to currency fluctuations or fuel costs. As currencies fluctuate around the world and fuel-cost increases may occur, it may be necessary for us to initiate a rate surcharge at any time before departure. In trips where U.S. dollar rates are estimated, the exact tour cost will be dependent upon the value of the dollar on the date payment is due.
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Asia Tibet China Local Culture Railway Trips Cultural Journey