Road to Tibet 11 Days

$4,595.00

Take an amazing journey on one of China's newest railways, from Chongqing, through Qinghai province and on to Lhasa. From enjoying China's engineering achievement in constructing a rail line through this isolated and inhospitable landscape, to exploring the marvels of Tibetan culture in Lhasa and beyond, you'll have the privilege of experiencing one of China's less-travelled paths for yourself.

Tour Highlights:

  • Experience the historical sights and unique food culture of Chengdu
  • Experience an unforgettable railway journey through Qinghai province to Tibet
  • Marvel at the enormous Qinghai Lake, the largest lake in China
  • Discover the spiritual capital of Tibet, Lhasa and the surrounding landscape
  • Immerse yourself in the sacred Tibetan culture with visits to intricate palaces, holy monasteries, and sacred temples

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Guaranteed Departure Dates

2017 Price Per Person Single Supplement
17 Sep* 22 Oct From $4,595 $700
2018
Apr 18* Aug 22
May 16 Oct 17

Package Inclusions:

  • Economy class international airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges departing Sydney or Melbourne flying China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines or Air China (subject to availability)
  • Tibet entry permit
  • Internal airfares (operated by a local carrier)
  • 6 nights hotel accommodation (twin share)
  • Daily meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Coach transportation
  • Round trip airport and hotel transfers
  • Entrance fees to scenic attractions
  • English speaking tour guide(s)
  • Soft sleeper class train from Chongqing to Lhasa

Package Exclusions:

  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $80
  • China visa application fees
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Accommodation

Chongqing Hilton Chongqing local rating or similar
Lhasa Express Soft sleeper class
Lhasa The Tibet Cang-gyan Lhasa Hotel local rating or similar
Shigatse VanRay International Resort local rating or similar
Chengdu Chengdu House International Hotel local rating or similar

Tibet Express – Facts and Records

  1. The Tibet railroad is the world`s highest.
  2. The tracks consist of 960+km built across land 4,000m above sea level, with the highest point reaching 5,072m.
  3. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is also one the world`s longest, with a total mileage of 1,956km.
  4. Tanggula Station, also known as Dangla, is the world’s highest railway station at 5,068m above sea level.
  5. The Fenghuoshan Tunnel is the highest tunnel in the world and was constructed over permafrost at 4,905m above sea level.
  6. The Kunlun Mountain Tunnel at 1,686m, is the earth’s longest plateau tunnel built on permafrost.
  7. The maximum speed that the Tibet Train can reach is 100 km/h in permafrost areas, and 120 km/h on non-permafrost areas.
  8. There were 45 stations along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway as of 2012.
  9. The railway is being extended further into Tibet, with construction already in progress.
  10. The average altitude along the Tibet railway is 4,600m with temperatures dipping down to -30C.
  11. The air oxygen content is half of thag at sea level.
  12. The Amdo construction site is the highest railway construction base in the world at 4,704m above sea level.
  13. The Qingshuihe Bridge is the longest railway bridge on the Tibet railway line at 11.7km in length.
  14. This bridge is constructed over the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve which is at 4,600m above sea level.

Oxygen Supply on Tibet Train

Being warmly considerate of oxygen supply, the Tibet Train offers two oxygen supply systems. One is used for increasing the oxygen content in the train when the train to Lhasa enters the high-altitude plateau zone. The other is directly used by passengers through independent ports in the cabins. There are oxygen supply tubes and masks in each cabin for emergencies.

When the Tibet Train heads up to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Zone, oxygen is pumped into the whole cabin by the temperature and air pressure control system. This mostly relieves the difficulty of travelling at such a high altitude, and symptoms like headaches and shortness of breath. The altitude, outside temperature, and the speed of the are shown on each cabin as well.

Private Oxygen masks are provided to every passengers whatever tickets you have. In the sleeping berth car, you can find an Oxygen Supply tube and mask on each cabin for emergency.

The air pressure inside train is automatically controlled to make you feel as if you are travelling at a low altitude. More than these conveniences, the windows of the Tibet Train are designed to anti ultraviolet rays.

Supplementary Information

Different from travelling by air, the Tibet Train does not provide a luggage check-in service. All the luggage you take is required to be carried on yourself, to put them on the top luggage shelf or under the bottom berth. There are some restrictions for carry-on luggage.

The soft sleeper class of the Tibet train is the most expensive ticket you can purchase. This class is also considered “first class”. There are 12 compartments with locking private doors. Each compartment has four beds and a small table.

There is a central kitchen on each train, next to the soft sleeping berth car, to supply 3 meals a day for the hundreds of passengers on the train. Attached to this kitchen, a restaurant for 40-50 passengers with wide widows to view the landscape is the favourite place for travellers to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the Qinghai Tibet Railway while having lunch, breakfast, or dinner. Compared with the narrow sleeping berth compartments, the restaurant car is a comfortable place to see the view. Beyond lunch or dinnertime, you are required at least to buy a beer or a cup of tea to sit there, otherwise, you will be sent back to your cabin.

Board an overnight connecting flight via an intermediate city to Chongqing.
Upon arrival, you will be warmly greeted at the airport by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel. This evening you will be a feast of sumptuous Sichuan cuisine.
Enjoy a short tour of the city’s historic sites, including the Residence of General Joseph W. Stilwell, People’s Assembly Hall, and Hongya Cave. You will be transferred to the train terminal this afternoon for your 3 day 2 night Qinghai-Tibet Rail trip. The 40-hour trip is a great opportunity for the group to get to know each other. It is also fun trying to communicate with some of the locals on board. The passenger carriages used on Qinghai-Tibet line trains are specially built and have an oxygen supply for each passenger. Every passenger train has a doctor.
The train will pass Xi’an, Lanzhou and Xining today. Qinghai Lake: The lake is about the size of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, though Qinghai Lake is not nearly as salty. Its waters support a variety of fish which, in turn, support a variety of birds – many of which call on Qinghai Lake during their bi-annual migrations. Cormorants, geese, cranes, and swans are plentiful here. The summer months bring herds of yak. Over twenty rivers and streams flow into the lake but there’s no outflow; evaporation maintains its level.
The train will pass Golmud, Qaidam Basin, Tsonag Lake today. You train arrive this afternoon and you will be warmly greeted by our local tour guide. Golmud: The city’s economic mainstays are its burgeoning mineral, oil, and chemical industries. But to the visitor Golmud’s main function is as a transportation hub. Through here traffic funnels from China’s eastern and northern cities to the lone highway (and now, the lone railroad) leading southwest to Lhasa. To many visitors passing through, Golmud’s surrounding landscape presents an almost lunar look; at more than 3000 metres in elevation, the region is virtually treeless.
The first sign that you are entering the capital of Tibet is the sight of the red and white Potala Palace, home to Tibet’s spiritual and political leaders – the Dalai Lamas – since the 17th century. Then visit Tibet’s oldest temple, Jokhang Temple. All Tibetan Buddhists aim to visit Lhasa as they are drawn by this sacred temple, which forms the heart of the Tibetan quarter. In the afternoon, explore the captivating neighbourhood, Barkhor Street. This is a traditional shopping street situated in the centre of Lhasa and a place where Tibetan culture, economy, religion, and arts assemble.
This morning, travel by coach to Yamdrok Lake, Yamdrok Yumtso in Tibetan, one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather is fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin (7191m). The famous Kharola Glacier is below the south ridge of Nojin Kangsang. Then we visit the Palkhor Monastery, a huge temple with a unique history and a wealth of Buddhist art. It is notable for its superb Kumbum, the largest and spectacularly well-preserved chorten in Tibet, crowned with a golden dome and still containing thousands of wonderful murals.
Visit the Tashilunpo Monastery. Tashilunpo means in Tibetan “all fortune and happiness gathered here”. The monastery is well known for its large gilded copper sitting Amitabha Buddha. Travel back to Lhasa in the afternoon. On the way back, we will visit the Norbulingka, it was used as a Summer Palace for successive Lamas but has been turned into a park open to the public.
Fly to Chengdu this morning. Upon arrival, explore the dynamic folk custom street Jin-Li, and experience the life style of Old Chengdu.
After breakfast, transfer to Chengdu airport to board your overnight connecting flight via an intermediate city to Australia. The trip may be over, but the experiences and memories will certainly last a lifetime.
Arrive home this morning