12 Days Chengdu and Tibet Train Tour

This 12 days Chengdu and Tibet Train Tour connects Chengdu in southwest and Tibet, is the best itinerary recommend for tourists from Southeast Asia. Chengdu is the bestgateway city to Tibet. After explore the highlights of Chengdu like Giant Panda and Leshan Giant Buddha. You will take the most beautiful railway- Qinghai-Tibet Railway to Lhasa with snown mountains, tranquil lakes, shimmering rivers, Tibetan villages and rare animals passing by out of your window. You will then experience the Tibetan Buddhism in the main monasteries in Lhasa and Shigatse, and drive to visit the holy Namtso Lake.

Highlights:

  • Meet cute pandas in the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base and visit the city highlights of Chengdu.
  • Meet snown mountains, tranquil lakes, shimmering rivers, Tibetan villages and rare animals out of your window on the train.
  • Experience the Tibetan Budddism in the main monasteries in Lhasa and Shigatse.
  • Visit the tranquil holy lake-Namtso Lake.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Chengdu Arrival
  • Day 2: Chengdu
  • Day 3: Chengdu
  • Day 4: Chengdu-Lhasa
  • Day 5: Lhasa Arrival
  • Day 6: Lhasa
  • Day 7: Lhasa
  • Day 8: Lhasa-Namtso
  • Day 9: Namtso-Lhasa
  • Day 10: Lhasa-Shigatse
  • Day 11: Shigatse-Lhasa
  • Day 12: Lhasa Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Chengdu Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:Chengdu Arrival
Accommodation:Chengdu
Meals:None

When international flight lands in Chengdu, meet your local tour guide and driver and then transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day free for you to be on your own. Overnight in Chengdu.

Day 2 Chengdu-Leshan-Chengdu

Sightseeing and Activities:Chengdu Panda Research Center, Leshan Giant Buddha, Lingyun Temple
Accommodation:Chengdu
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, the guide will pick you up to visit Chengdu Panda Research Center. Morning is pandas’ feeding time, you will visit both adult and baby pandashouses and watch them eating fresh bamboo. In the afternoon, drive about 2 hours to Leshan, where you can visit biggest sitting Buddha sculpture in the Lingyun Temple. The Grand Buddha was completed in 803 of Tang Dynasty after 90 year’s construction and enjoys the fame of the biggest sitting stone sculpture in the world, about 71- meter in height. Either watching the Buddha by hiking or by cruise. After the tour, drive back to Chengdu, end the tour at Tianfu Square. Please take taxi to your reserved Hotel

Day 3 Chengdu

Sightseeing and Activities:Jinli Street, Wuhou Temple, Jinsha Museum
Accommodation:On the train
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy your free time in Chengdu to visit some tourist attractions like Jinli Street, Wuyou Temple, Jinsha Museum, etc. Board the train in the late afternoon to Lhasa. The Tibet Railway offers a stunning alpine scenery full of snow caped mountains, lakes, vast plateau plains littered with nomads, yaks, Tibetan antelope and many other wild life elements. Tibet Railway is the world’s highest Railway. The 1,956 kilometers rail line expands a vast highland area with an average altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level, the highest being 5,068 meters. Overnight on the train.

Day 4 Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Sightseeing by train

Sightseeing and Activities:Yuzhufeng, Kunlun Mountain, Kekexili Naturel Preserve, Tuotuo River, Naqu Grassland, Cuona Lake
Accommodation:On the trian
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today the train will move on Qinghai Tibet Plateau, You will pass by Yuzhufeng, which is the main peak of Kunlun Mountain, World Natural Heritage Kekexili Naturel Preserve, Tuotuo River-the resource of Yangtze River, Naqu Grassland and Cuona Lake. In the afternoon (maybe evening, according to the train schedule), the train will arrive in Lhasa. Tour guide will meet you at railway station.Overnight on the train.

Day 5 Arrive in Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Sightseeing on the trian
Accommodation:Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

After arrive in Lhasa, transfer to the hotel for rest and acclimatize. If you feel to go out, then you can go to the Potala square, where you will enjoy the fountain with different color and get amazing photos of the Potala and around. Stay overnight in Lhasa. 

Day 6 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Barkhor Street
Accommodation:Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It has been used since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collection are the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.  


After you take lunch and then head to Jokhang Temple which was founded by the 33rd great king of Tibet in the 7th century, in order to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve, perhaps the single most venerated object in Tibet Buddhism.


Around the temple Barkhor Street where you can do kora (circling the Barkhor street) with pilgrims and locals and buy the souvenirs. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 7 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Drepung Monastery, Carpet factory, Sera Monastery

Accommodation:Lhasa

Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you are going to visit Drepung Monastery which was one of the “three greet” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. Ganden palace is used as Dalai lama’s palace in the Drepung before moving to the Potala palace.



Afternoon, Sera Monastery—It was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1419 by Jamchen chojey, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. The highlight is the Monks debate at around 3 – 5 in the afternoon. Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 8 Lhasa to Namtso Lake 220 km (4200m)

Sightseeing and Activities:NyenchenTanggula Mountain Range, Namtso Lake
Accommodation:Namtso Guest House
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the early morning we will begin our long journey from Lhasa to Namtso. You will see enjoy the NyenchenTanggula Mountain Range and see Nomads in flourishing grassland (in Summer); Besides, on the way you can appreciate the view of Sky-Road Railway with snow mountain background. As we reach the famous Lagenla Mountain Pass(5190m), you can enjoy the awe-inspiring vista of Namtso Lake from above. After we arrived at the lake shore, you will enjoy the leisure trek around Tashi Island and enjoy sunset there. At night, you may enjoy night view of the milky way beside the Lake shore. Stay overnight at Tent Guesthouse of Namtso.

Day 9 Namtso to Lhasa 220 km

Sightseeing and Activities:Namtso Lake
Accommodation:Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, never miss the stunning sunrise view of the Namtso Lake. Then we will head back to Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 10 Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) via Gyantse

Sightseeing and Activities:Yamdrok-tso Lake, Pelkor Monastery, Gyantse Kumbum
Accommodation:Shigatse
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse .On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), and tourists will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m) .The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance clients can have spectacular views of Holy Mount NyenchenKhangsar, (7191m) the highest mountain near Lhasa. Gyantse was historically Tibet’s third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse).In Gyantse, tourists will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery ( also known as Gyantse Kumbum). After one and a half driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet.

Day 11 Shigatse (3900m) to Lhasa (3650m)

Sightseeing and Activities:Tashilunpo Monastery, Yalong Valley
Accommodation:Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In Shigatse, we will visit Tashihlunpo Monastery before driving back to Lhasa. The monastery covers 70,000 sq metres, is now the largest functioning religious institution in Tibet and one of its great monastic sights. The huge golden statue of the Future Buddha is the largest gilded statue in the world. Then we will drive back to Lhasa by following Yalong Valley. You can stand on the viewing platform and view the vast Yalong River bed. Finally the guide will transfer you back to your hotels in Lhasa.

Day 12 Fly to Chengdu

Sightseeing and Activities:Fly to Chengdu
Accommodation:None
Meals:Breakfast

You will fly to Chengdu after tour in Lhasa. The tour guide will escort you to Lhasa airport and see you off. There is only 2 hours flying from Lhasa to Chengdu,you could continue your international flight home in Chengdu.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star
Chengdu Sofis Jinyuan Hotel Celebrity Ruicheng Hotel Rest Hotel
Lhasa Luxury St. Regis Lhasa Resort Lhasa Gang Gyan Hotel Lhasa Xiongbala Hotel
Shigatse / Shigatse Manasarovar Hotel Jiumu Yamei Hotel in Shigatse

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation with breakfast as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide and vehicle for transfers & sightseeing;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  •  Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Two bottles of mineral water each day.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • All optional programs;
  • Domestic air tickets fares with airport tax and fuel extra fee based on economy class mentioned in the program.

Travel Tips:

  1. Tibet Permits

There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)

  1. Available Months to Visit Tibet

Generally speaking, May to early October is the best time to for a Mount Kailash trip. July and August are the peak season and rainy season. It may be too cold to travel in Kailash area from November to March. There is usually heavy snow. The conditions in Namtso Lake and Mount Everest area are quite similar with Kailash. While other places like Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are suitable for travel all year around.

  1. High Altitude Sickness

The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.

  1. How to Go to Tibet

Basically you have two options – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa. Kathmandu also has several flights to Lhasa each week.

If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing(40.5hrs), Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).

  1. Packing and Wearing Ideas

Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended. As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.