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AAST - The Classic Silk Road

A Train Journey Across Tibet

Beijing - Lhasa - Shigatse - Gyangtse - Tsedang - Samye - Xining - Qinghai Lake - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Beijing

About the Program:
Length: 20 days
Min/max: 6/15
Tour type: cultural adventure

Despite China's meteoric rise to modernization there is still a part of the country that has resisted the advancements of the 21st century; known as the Wild West of China.  Travelling overland gives the modern-day traveller a true feeling of the vastness and wilderness of this part of the country and enables one to gain a thorough understanding of its distinguished nomadic culture, spirit and tradition.

The highlights of this journey include the stunning Potala Palace, scenic Qinghai Lake, the tower of the west end of the Great Wall at Jiayuguan Pass, the mystical “Cave of a Thousand Bhuddas” and the romantic “Humming Sand Dunes” and Crescent Moon Springs in Dunhuang.  One other unique highlight of this trip is the opportunity to travel by train along the newly-completed Qinghai –Tibet railway line.

In the Summer of 2006, China unveiled an engineering marvel – a railway across the Tibetan Plateau - which became famous as the highest railway on earth. The train features a high-tech system to stabilize the tracks over permafrost and its cabins are enriched with oxygen to help riders cope with high altitudes.
The views along the ride are unreal: gently rolling plains present a myriad of colors under the plateau’s unique clear sky, strings of sun-bleached prayer flags flutter in a crispy breeze while the golden eagles fly in lazy circles and dark yaks scatter around the endless pasture land…

Upon the completion of this journey, travelers will feel blessed by the opportunity to have explored a unique destination in the remote-western region of China, sharing unforgettable memories along the way.


Start Aug 15
FinishSep 03
Start May 01 / Aug 14
FinishMay 20 / Sep 02

COST (Per Person)
Land only (twin share)USD $3985USD $4185
Single supplement USD $850USD $895

Price includes:

  • Domestic air and land transportation
  • First-class trans-Tibet train (4 people each cabin)
  • Accommodation: first-class and best available in remote areas
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Meals indicated as B, L, D
  • Guided sightseeing
  • Entrance fees
  • Special events and activities
  • Service of English-speaking guides
  • Luggage handling
  • Travel manual
  • Ticket wallet
  • Travel bag
  • Special permit for Tibet

Price Excludes:

  • International flights to/from China
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • China entry visa
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, porters & hotel staff
  • Personal expenses


Day 1, Sat. Depart
Depart hometown for your international flight to Beijing.

Day 2, Sun. Arrive Beijing

Upon arrival, transfer to hotel to rest. Welcom dinner.
D Holiday Inn Lido Hotel

Day 3, Mon. Beijing/Lhasa
Transfer to the airport and board your flight to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region.
Greeting at the airport and transfer to hotel.
B/L/D Shambhala Hotel

Day 4, Tue. Lhasa

A Morning visit the Bokhar Market adn Jokhang Monastery. Afternoon tour to the Tibet Museum.
B/L/D Shambhala Hotel

Day 5, Wed. Lhasa

Morning excursion to the Potala Palace. Afternoon visit Norbulingka Park, the traditional summer residence of the Dalai Lamas.
B/L/D Shambhala Hotel

Day 6, Thu. Lhasa
Morning drive to Shigatse. En route visit the holly lake, Yamdrotso.
B/L/D Shigatze Hotel

Day 7, Fri. Shigatze

Visit the Tashilunpo Monastery, the most important religious building in the city. Founded in 1447, it was home to the Panchen Lama, the reincarnation of the Buddha of Eternal Light. Afternoon spend some time at the local market.
B/L/D Shigatze Hotel

Day 8, Sat. Shigatze/Gyangtse

Drive to Gyangtse and visit the Phalkor Monastery and Kumbum, a spectacular stupa temple.
B/L/D Gyangtse Hotel

Day 9, Sun. Gyangtse/Tsedang
Drive to Tsedang, stopping en route at the spectacular Yalung Tsangpo Gorge.
B/L/D Tsedang Hotel

Day 10, Mon. Tsedang/Samye/Lhasa

Full day visit the Samye Monastery, the first and oldest monastery in entire Tibet. Travel on to Lhasa in the evening. Dinner and cultural show.
B/L/D Shambhala Hotel

Day 11, Tue. Lhasa/trans-Tibet train

Transfer to the train station to board the overnight train northbound to upper Tibet. (Lunch and dinner will be on own in the dining compartment).
B Shambhala Hotel

Day12, Wed. arrive Xining

Upon arrival in Xining, the capital city of Qinghai Province (Upper Tibet), transfer to hotel and rest. City tour in the afternoon.
B/L/D Xining Hotel


Day 13, Thu. Xining
Spend the day touring the Ta'er Monastery and Qinghai Lake.
B/L/D Xining Hotel

Day 14, Fri. Xining/Zhangye
There will be a long but spectacular ride through the mountains to Zhangye. Visit the Giant Buddha Temple if time permits.
B/L/D Zhangye Hotel

Day 15, Sat. Zhangye/Jiayuguan
Drive to Jiayuguan and visit the west-most section of the Great Wall of China.
B/L/D Jiayuguan Great Wall Hotel

Day 16, Sun. Jiayuguan/Dunhuang
Drive to Dunhuang and visit the singing-sand Dune as well the Crescent Lake. (Optional camel ride available).
B/L/D Dunhuang Hotel


Day 17, Mon. Dunhuang
Tour the famous Mogao Grottoes, amazing caves decorated with Buddhist paintings dating back to 366 A.D.
B/L/D Dunhuang Hotel

Day 18, Tue. Dunhuang/Beijing
Transfer to the airport and fly to Beijing. Upon arrival, transfer to a centrally located hotel for two nights.
B/L/D International Hotel

Day 19, Wed.
Enjoy a leisure day in Beijing. Optional tours: Beijing Olympic Site, the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven.
Farewell dinner.
B/D International Hotel

Day 20, Thu. Depart Beijing

Depart Beijing for return flight home.

Silk Road