12 Days Classical China Train Tour to Shanghai, Chengdu, Lhasa, Xining and Beijing

  • Tour Code:CTT20
  • Tour Duration: 12 Days
  • Destination:Beijing, Chengdu, Lhasa, Shanghai, Xining
  • Tour overview:A train is a wonderful way to experience China. It allows you to travel with locals and watch the beauty of China pass by your window while you relax in your soft sleeper cabin. On this train tour, you will travel to some truly beautiful locations. You will experience the capital of Beijing with its modern heartbeat and imperial past, Shanghai a true cosmopolitan metropolis that blends Chinese and Western culture, giant pandas in Chengdu, and mysterious Tibet.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival / Shanghai

Transfer via: International flight –on your own arrangement

Upon your arrival in Shanghai, our local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Then you will have leisure time to explore the near streets, or relax and get over the jet lag.

Day 2 Shanghai (B,L)

Sightseeing: Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Yuyuan Market, Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple

After breakfast, we will first visit Shanghai Urban Planning Hall, which is the first kind of exhibition center in China showcasing a city's development. It showcases the past, the present and the future of the development of the urban planning of Shanghai.

Then we will take a stroll through the lovely Yuyuan Garden, one of the best Suzhou-style gardens in southern China, which has many scenic courtyards decorated with baroque rockery, pools and flora, all connected by corridors and passageways. Afterwards, you will get an insight into Shanghai's local life on the Yuyuan Market – taste a pot of tea, shop for unique souvenirs and get a feeling for Old Shanghai.  

Follow us to the Jade Buddha Temple. It is famous for its two rare statues of Buddha carved out of a single piece of white jade. One is a 1,000kg, 1.9 meter-high figure carved from Burmese jade brought to China in 1882, and the other is a sleeping Buddha; The temple receives thousands of visitors and worshipers every day. If you're lucky, you can watch the monks serving a ceremony in a side room.

Day 3 Shanghai / Chengdu (B,L,D)

Transfer via: Flight – on our arrangement
Sightseeing: The Bund, Nanjing Road, Jinmao Tower

This morning, you will take a walk to the famous Nanjing Road and the Bund. They are among the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai and therefore a must-see when visiting Shanghai. Then get a bird’s eye view of Shanghai form the Jinmao Tower.

After the tours, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to Chengdu. Upon arriving in Chengdu, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 4 Chengdu (B,L)

Sightseeing: Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Wuhou Memorial Temple, Jinli Old Street

This morning, we will first go to the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base, which was built to imitate the wild ecological environment of pandas. It covers a space of 92 acres, with a green coverage of 96 percent. The base created a perfect ecological environment for the living and breeding of pandas and other precious and rare wild animals. It breeds over 20 pandas and lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white cranes and others.

After the return to Chengdu we will fist visit Wuhou Memorial Temple. The Temple is dedicated to Zhuge Liang, the Martial Marquis of Shu in the Three Kingdoms. His outstanding intelligence place Zhuge Liang above all emperors, generals, and ministers in history.

Afterwards you will take a walk along Jinli Street which is particularly representative for this city. It is recorded that as already during Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), Jinli Street was the most famous place for baldachin - a rich, ornate cloth. During Shu Kingdom (221-263) it was one of the busiest commercial streets. Hence, it is known as 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'. In order to reclaim the street's prosperity of former days, it was restored with contributions from the Wuhou Memorial Temple and was opened to public in October of 2004.

Day 5 Chengdu / Lhasa (B,L)

Transfer via: Flight – on our arrangement

You will be free until your local guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to your next destination-Lhasa. Upon your arrival at Gonggar airport, you will be met by your local guide and then be transferred to the hotel. Take the rest of the day for free, to adapt yourself to the high altitude or have a first look around the town.

Day 6 Lhasa (B,L)

Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhore Street

We will go on a full day visit of Potala Palace. It is the greatest monumental structure all over Tibet. This ancient architectural complex is considered as a model of Tibetan architecture. Located on the Red Hill in Lhasa, it is 3,700 meters above sea level and covers an area of over 360,000 square meters. The palace has 13 stories, and is 117 meters high. In 641, Songtsan Gambo, ruler of the Tubo Kingdom, built the Potala Palace for Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, whom he was soon to marry.

Then we'll visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The sacred image of Jowo Sakyamuni is the most venerated and beautiful image all over Tibet

After lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit Barkhor Street, which is the oldest street in Lhasa as well as the center of old Lhasa which remains very traditional. Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple. Tibetan people are very proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, this street is also a must-see place.

Day 7 Lhasa (B,L)

Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery

In the morning we will visit the Sera Monastery, around 5 km north of central Lhasa, which was, along with Drepung, one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries. Its once huge monastic population of about 5000 monks has now been reduced to several hundred.

Then we will visit Norbulingka Park; Norbulingka meaning "Jeweled Garden", the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. The gardens are poorly tended and the palaces themselves are something of an anticlimax, especially as most rooms are currently closed to the public.

Our next stop will be Drepung Monastery. It is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered as one of the 'Three Great Monasteries' (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery.

At last we will arrive at a local Tibetan Family. Common Tibetan people will welcome you to their homes; greet you in their traditional way and you will taste their typical food. You can feel Tibetan culture and religion vividly.

Day 8 Lhasa / Xining (B)

Transfer via: Overnight train (soft sleeper class, about 24 hours)-on our arrangement

Free in the day until our local guide escorts you to the railway station for your sleeper train to Xining. You could enjoy the fabulous scenery along your train trip.

Day 9 Xining / Beijing (B,L)

Transfer via: Flight – on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Summer Palace

Arrive at Xining station in the morning and then you will be escorted to the airport for your forward flight to Beijing. Upon arriving at the Beijing airport, your local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel.

Then have a visit to the Summer Palace. Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called 'Yiheyuan' (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. Until nowadays, it is the best preserved and the largest imperial garden in China. You will regret it if you leave Beijing without having visited this grand imperial garden.

Day 10 Beijing (B,L)

Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City

This morning our tour will begin with a visit of the Temple of Heaven, which was completed in 1420, and expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. It was the place where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing.

After lunch, we will go on our city tour to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.

From here we will walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and experience the ancient Emperor's daily life. For 5 centuries Chinese emperors carried out their administration here. With almost 10,000 rooms, it was the centre of the Ming and Qing dynasties, a massive complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens where 24 emperors used to live. Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and in the past it was indeed a forbidden place for commoners. Your tour here will include private access to the Emperor's palace.

Day 11 Beijing (B,L)

Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way

After experiencing the royal lifestyle, today we will be transferred to the surrounding countryside of Beijing and visit the Badaling Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon described it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk one of the best preserved sections of the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views. Bring a jacket and layer- although it is breezy, the climbing is tough. So be in a good shape!

In the afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, which are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, Changping, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13 Ming emperors buried there, this place was called the 13 Ming Tombs. You will walk along the Sacred Way, a road guarded by stone statues on both sides, as the ancient emperors did to hold a memorial ceremony for their ancestors. In addition, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors.

Day 12 Beijing / Departure (B)

Transfer via: flight on your own arrangement

Today will be free for your own purposes, until our guide will escort you to the airport for your next destination.

Tour Price

1. Normally hotels allow a maximum of 3 adults per room with an extra bed, at extra charge. Some hotels will allow three adults and a small child.
2. Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
3. More people more discounts. Please enquire for more details.