Everest & The Mysteries Of Tibet

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Run by: Veloso Tours

Reference number: yak

From: £4342.00

Highlights

  • Our special in-depth cultural Tibet tour
  • Journey through China's dynastic past and understand its modern society in Beijing
  • Explore the mighty Forbidden City and walk on the Great Wall of China
  • Take the epic 22 hour train to Lhasa, passing mountain scenery
  • Visit the former residences of the Dali Lama in the Holy City of Lhasa
  • Venture further into Tibet to Shigatse, via sacred lakes and mountain passes
  • Discover Buddhist monasteries and palaces, full of fascinating tales of the past
  • Enjoy a once in a lifetime encounter with Mount Everest
  • See baby pandas and the 71m high Giant Buddha at close quarters
  • Choose to extend your trip to Shanghai or Hong Kong
  • Includes all flights, trains, transfers, hotels, excursions & meals as shown
  • Click to get a tailored quotation based on this tour

Beijing & Great Wall - Day 1 - 5

Day 1-2 - Welcome to Beijing - The private tour departs on a direct overnight flight from London, or via an alternative route at one of the major regional airports in the UK if you prefer. Arrive in Beijing in the morning and be welcomed upon arrival for transfer to your hotel. You will receive a walking orientation tour around your hotel with our guide, familiarising you with the surroundings and answering any questions you may have. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax, or you may prefer to add an afternoon tour.

Day 3 - Special tour: Beijing's Past & Present - Our special tour gives you an in-depth view of the the city's history, culture and modern life. We start amid the Communist-style buildings of Tiananmen Square and walk into the mythical Forbidden City, home to 24 Chinese Emperors. Here you can learn about China's dynastic past, before climbing Coal Hill for an overview of the central Beijing landscape. After lunch in a traditional hutong, enter the Confucius and Buddhist temples to understand China's two most important belief systems and their role in daily life. (B,L)

Day 4 - Temple of Heaven Park & Hutongs - We start at the Temple of Heaven, considered by UNESCO "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design", to learn about Chinese philosophical beliefs, cosmogony, art, dynastic politics and sacrificial rituals. We visit early to gain wonderful insights into local life, as large groups of elderly Beijingers gather to take communal exercises, sing, socialise and play musical instruments. We take lunch at a family hutong home and then survey the traditional streets from the back of a rickshaw and on foot. Enjoy some cultural activities like calligraphy or paper cutting or perhaps attempt to cook the Chinese way by making some local dumplings. (B,L)

Day 5 - Hike the Great Wall - We drive two hours north of Beijing to access the iconic Great Wall of China to hike a wild section away from the crowds. Here we can truly appreciate its full majesty and savour stunning views of the surrounding mountains, taking the cable cars down from the restored part at Mutianyu, allowing you a look at the Wall in its original state. (B,L)

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Scenic train to Xining - Day 6 - 7

Day 6 - Summer Palace, Art District & Fly to Xining- Today you will fly west from Beijing to Xining, capital of the Qinghai province. A late afternoon flight allows for more exploration of Beijing, and so we will visit the Summer Palace and the 798 Art District in the northern parts, en-route to the airport. Upon arrival in Xining you will be met by your guide and taken to your hotel for the night. (B)

Day 7 - Overnight scenic train to Lhasa - The 22 hour scenic train to Lhasa departs at around 2pm, leaving this morning free to buy some supplies in the local area. You will be collected from your hotel and taken to the train station in plenty of time. During the epic journey you will enjoy a soft sleeper berth, the most comfortable available and which gives you a great vantage from which to watch the mountain scenery roll-by. Not long after departure you will pass the glistening Qinghai Lake, the largest inland lake in China.

Please note that the train is not considered to be luxurious and cabins are arranged in groups of four. Hot food and drink is available on board, though it is a good idea to come prepared with your own snacks.

You will have a soft sleeper bed reserved, offering a higher level of comfort and privacy, though cabins are arranged in groups of four beds, so you may have to share with other travellers unless you prefer to book the whole cabin. Hot food and drink is available from the on-board restaurant. (B)

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Lhasa - Day 8 - 9

Day 8 - Welcome to Tibet & Summer Palace - This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lhasa in Tibet. Here you will be met on arrival by your local guide and driver who will welcome you to the city and get you settled in to your hotel. You will now be at high altitude so it is best to take it easy and drink plenty of water to help your body acclimatise. As a gentle introduction to Lhasa, we will visit the Norbulingka, the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama, set within relaxing landscaped parkland on the outskirts of Lhasa. Following lunch at a local restaurant you will have the afternoon free to relax and wander around the charming old town. (B,L)

holidays to Tibet - Lhasa

Day 9 - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple & Sera Monastery - We start the following day with a tour of the Potala Palace, the defining symbol of Lhasa and Tibet. The winter home to ten Dalai Lama's, the huge 17th century structure is one of the most poignant on the planet, telling the story of life here before the Dali Lama was forced to flee to India. The roof terraces house the former residences of the Dalai Lama and afford sweeping views of the city.

We then drive into the very heart of the old town and the centre of the Tibetan religious universe. The colourful Jokhang Temple is the most sacred place in Tibet, a destination for pilgrims from across the Buddhist world. It is encircled by the lively Barkor Street, around which pilgrims walk in a clockwise directions, spinning prayer wheels as they go or prostrating themselves fully along the ground. Watching their incredible devotion is a privileged experience for any visitor.

Tibet holiday - Lhasa old town

After lunch we will conclude the day at the Sera Monastery, arriving in time for a guided tour, before the monks take to the courtyard for their afternoon debating sessions. Watching them express themselves so spectacularly, even without understanding the language, is a memorable experience. (B,L)

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holidays to tibet - sera monastery monks

Tibetan Heartland - Day 10 - 11

Day 10 - Sacred lake, glacier & Dzong architecture - To truly appreciate the beauty and rural culture of Tibet, we will head out of the city and take the scenic route through the mountains towards Shigatse. On the way we will stop at the beautiful and sacred Yamdrock Lake, stopping for photos at a lookout point and by the shore. We continue through high altitude mountain passes, giving us a spectacular view of the Karola Glacier, a brilliant white mass which tumbles down the mountainsid...

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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