Qinghai-Tibet railway (the total length is 1956 kilometers) stretches from Xining in the east and Lhasa in the south, which likes a huge dragon spanning the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Known as the "Sky Road", Qinghai-Tibet railway is also a marvel in the history of human engineering and construction. A section of 960 kilometers of railway is more than 4,000 meters above sea level, and 550 kilometers is permafrost. The highest elevation of the railway across Tanggula Mountains is 5072 meters, and it is a plateau railway with world’s highest elevation, longest distance on permafrost, and world-class difficulty.
*China Orient Express:
Let the world’s unique train—China Orient Express (also known as Shangri-la Express) take you back to the Silk Road dating back to over 1000 years ago, to explore the best attractions of ancient Silk Road in 2020! With the fabulous design and intimate services on China Orient Express , as well as the various haunting sights along Silk Road, we promise that you'll be dazzled!
Lhasa--the capital of the Tiber Autonomous Region. Upon arrival, meet by your guide and represent you a hada, a white scarf which is the Tibetan traditional way to wish you good luck. Then transfer to hotel to take rest for acclimatization of the high altitude. Overnight at hotel.
Following breakfast, we begin our exploration of the famous Potala Palace, perched on the northern side of Mountain. Throughout the ages, it had been the winter palace of Dalai Lamas. Its name means 'sacred Buddhist site' in the Tibetan language. This palace-like complex of buildings was first built in the 7th century AD by King Songtsen Gampo to mark his marriage with the Tang princess Wencheng as well as to house the Buddha images brought by Wencheng and the Nepalese princess Bhrikuti Devi. The palace also houses priceless artifacts and artworks. Continue to Jokhang Monastery, situated in the center of Lhasa. It was first built in 674A'D to celebrate the marriage of King Songtsen Gampo with Princess Wencheng and Bhrikuti Devi, both devout Buddhists. This monastery underwent expansion over the years and today, its four-level main hall sports a gilded roof and a blend of Han Chinese, Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian architectural styles. Proceed to Barkhor Street in the old city, which offers glimpses of traditional Tibetan life. The faithful chant and circumambulate around Jokhang Monastery. In this circular street there are also shops selling a wide variety of crafts such as Tibetan knives, bangles, shoes and more.
Following breakfast, we depart for Xigaze. Along the way, we pass Yamzo Lake, whose name means 'swan lake'. Also known as Baidi Lake, it is wedged between two mountains, hence like a swan spanning its wings. The crystal-clear lake, located over 4,000m above sea level, has an area of 638m2. It is the largest freshwater lake in Tibet, with a depth of up to 59m. Thereafter, we continue to Xigaze.
In the morning,visit the famous Tashi Lhunpo monastery, where you can see the well preserved largest statue of Jampa (future Buddha) in the world. This monastery, whose beauty is on par with that of Potala Palace, is located 2km west of Shigatse. It was founded by the first Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, in 1447AD. Its name means 'all fortune and happiness gather here. The Main Chanting Hall houses the Panchen Lama's throne and several chapels, including a Sakyamuni chapel, Bodhisattva chapel and Tara chapel. Don't miss the Tenth Panchen Lama's Stupa. The Tenth Panchen Lama was a highly respected Tibetan Buddhist leader. We proceed back to Lhasa. On the way, we can enjoy scenic views of the Yarlung Zangbo Gorge/ Bhamaputra River (the Longest and largest river in Tibet).Stay Overnight in Lhasa.
After breakfast, free at own leisure till we onboard the train on the world's highest railway. Thereafter, we begin the scenic train journey through the highest Point in the world. Along the way, we pass magnificent sights: snow-capped mountains such as Yuzhu Peak and Mt Kunlunshan; Kekexili reserve; Tuotuo River, the source of Yangtze River; Fenghuo Mountain Tunnel, the world's highest mountain tunnel; Tanggula Station, the world's highest railway station located at 5,072m above sea level; Qiangtang Grassland and more.
You could enjoy the fabulous scenery along your train trip. Today you will arrive Xining station and visit the Ta'er Monastery, whose name means '10,000 Buddhas'. Its construction began in the Ming Dynasty during the Jiaqing period. In 1560AD it was one of the six principal temples of the Tibetan Buddhist Yellow Sect. Don't miss its three treasures, which are of high artistic value. Buttered figurines, sculpted from colored butter, are lively and realistic depictions of stories, nature and humans, while colorful murals adorn the monastery's walls. The third treasure is satin appliques in the shapes of Buddha and nature subjects, which are filled with cotton or wool and sewn on large fabrics. Thereafter, and then you will be escorted to the hotel for check in.
After breakfast,we visit Zhongshan Bridge, also called the first bridge over the Yellow River. In the year 1907, under the proposal of local officers in Lanzhou and Gansu and the help of a Germany businessman, the Qing Government began to build this first iron bridge over the upper reaches of the Yellow River. All materials, even the rivets, were transported from Germany to China using ships, trains, carts and any other means possible. The bridge was completed in two years, and named 'Lanzhou Iron Bridge over the Yellow River'. And then,we drive to Lanzhou after a visit to the Waterwheel Garden. Originated from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the waterwheel is the oldest irrigation tool in Yellow River area of Lanzhou. The Waterwheel Garden is a theme garden exhibiting the waterwheel culture. Here, you could appreciate the waterwheel driven by the flowing water all year round to collect water from the river or cofferdam. At 22:30pm, we take the‘China Orient Express’train to Jiayuguan . Have a nice night on the train with wonderful evening and morning views of local countryside.
After breakfast, have a visit to the Jiayuguan (Jiayu Pass), the western end of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. It is known as 'the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven', and best preserved and most magnificent military fort in China. Then we drive 7 miles away for the Overhanging Great Wall. It got the named for riding on a mountain ridge that is 45 degrees from vertical and resembling a huge dragon.
After a pleasant breakfast, take this deluxe train to Dunhuang at 10:00am. We specially arrange Dunhuang experts and professors who'll introduce this exotic city in detail to you. After arriving in Dunhuang, we visit beautiful Crescent Lake & Singing Sand Mountains. The Crescent Lake is an oasis Gobi desert, surrounded by numerous sand dunes, reaching a relative height of 250 meters (820 feet). The Mingsha Shan is so named for the sound of the wind whipping off the dunes. After dinner, we move to Dunhuang Night market - bustling Shazhou Night Market. Never miss its tasty snacks, local specialties, and crafts etc.
After breakfast, let's visit the world famous Mogao Grottoes, which was designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO for its 1600 years accumulated cultural, architectural, and art treasures. There remains 492 cave temple and 45000 square meters of frescos. According to Tang Dynasty records, a monk had witnessed onsite a vision of thousand Buddhas under showers of golden rays. Thus inspired, he started the caves construction work that spanned ten dynasties. Mogao Caves are commonly known as the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. At 17:00hr, we embark the 'China Orient Express' Charter Luxury Train to Turpan.
It’s a day for Turpan sightseeing! Visit Karez irrigation system to witness the wisdom of Uygur people. The irrigation system is especially designed for desert. If connecting all these underground channels, the total length will reach more than 5000 km, so it is regarded as one of the three engineering miracles of ancient China, along with the Great Wall and the Jinghang Grand Canal. Thereafter, we move to Flaming Mountain, well known by Chinese people because of the legendary story 'Journey to the West'. It is regarded as the hottest place in China. Then We drive to Jiaohe Ancient City, an island-shaped plateau situated at Yar Town. It is the largest, oldest and well preserved earth-structured city in the world, with a history of 2000-2300 years. Train to Urumqi
After breakfast, visit Heavenly Lake on Tianshan (boat tour). The Mountain Lake stands 1980 meters above sea level and features picturesque scenery of snowcapped peaks. It a great pleasure to boat travel Heavenly Lake, with a layer of magical color covering the lake, and hearing many beautiful myths and legends. Lastly, visit Xinjiang International Bazaar.
Today is the day of farewell to your memorable Silk Road trip and the unique China Orient Express. After a pleasant breakfast, free at your own leisure till the assemble time for the transferring to airport for the flight back to your hometown or next destination. Bon voyage!
Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Private transportation through out the itinerary. SRT will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure based on your flight info.
Shared accommodations in well located, tourist to superior class hotels include breakfast, service charge and government tax.
All entrance fees(shuttle bus) sightseeing; excursions and activities as per the itinerary
Domestic flights and 2nd class express train listed in the itinerary
Private friendly and professional English-Speaking guides (French, Italy, Russian, German can be arranged per your request)
Visa support letter for you to apply Chinese visa easily.
Travel and health insurance when travel with us.
8, A 24/7 helpline while you are traveling.
International and domestic flights not indicated.
Food, Lunch or dinner not specified
Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Personal expenses and the other tours or activities not mentioned
We will upgrade trains to 1st class where available if book the tour 5 months in advance of departure.
There is no problem to travel Silk Road during Ramadan.
Complimentary 2 bottles of water each person on daily use.
We will use business MPV to luxurious coaches and trains.
All the hotels we selected are 4-5star well-located in the city center with good and proper breakfast for our clients.
Our guides are very friendly, knowledgeable, helpful. And our group tours will be escorted from SRT.
Generally speaking Mid March—End Oct are the best time to visit Silk Road. And we strongly suggest you come in May, June, October to avoid the heat and crowd. No need to worry about high altitude along the Silk Road. We will prepare Oxygen bags if the package includes Xiahe, Qinghai Lake and Taxkorgan County.
We offer beneficial Cancellation Policy to our customers.