Board the Shangri-La Express, the finest private train in China, for a fascinating exploration of Tibet and traverse of the wilderness of western China. Begin in the capital of Lhasa, then travel along the world’s highest railway from Lhasa to Golmud via the 16,640 feet high Tanggula pass. Continue east into China’s remote western provinces and discover ancient Silk Road cities, the sands of the Gobi desert, the caves of Dunhuang and the legendary Great Wall of China.
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Fly from the UK to Beijing. (N)
Arrive in Beijing and transfer to the Regent Hotel Hilton Beijing Capital Airport Hotel for a 1-night stay. A Golden Eagle representative is based at the hotel and will hand deliver your Tibet travel permits to you at the hotel. (N)
Transfer to the airport and fly direct to Lhasa. On arrival in Lhasa, you will be met and transferred to the luxurious St Regis Lhasa Resort for a 3-night stay. Lhasa is located in a small basin surrounded by mountains, and it literally means "place of the gods". At an altitude of around 11,975 feet above sea level, it is one of the highest cities in the world; it is also the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama and the holiest centre of Tibet with over a thousand years of cultural and spiritual history. A welcome dinner will be served in the hotel this evening. (D)
Today you will begin an escorted tour of Lhasa, including a visit to Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama’s summer palace. There will also be free time to wander through Lhasa and soak up the atmosphere, or to take an optional excursion to visit a local village. (B, L, D)
Visit the 13th-century Jokhang temple, Tibet’s holiest shrine and the spiritual home for almost all Tibetans. Continue to the adjacent Barkhor market, the oldest market in the capital and a well-trodden route for the many pilgrims who make their way to the temple. A local lunch is accompanied by traditional folk music. Afterwards, you will make a memorable visit to the 17th-century Potala Palace, former seat of the Tibetan Government and the Dalai Lama’s winter residence before he fled to India in 1959. It contains thousands of rooms and dominates the city skyline. (B, L, D)
Leaving Lhasa today you will board the high altitude train for an extraordinary 14-hour daylight journey along the 1,142km ‘Roof of the World’ line to Golmud, cresting the 16,640 feet high Tanggula pass. This is the world’s highest railway pass, reaching an astonishing 16,404 feet above sea level. On arrival in Golmud, transfer to the waiting Chinese private train, the Shangri-La Express, to continue your rail journey to Xining. (B, L, D)
Located on the eastern edge of Qinghai province, Xining’s history can be traced back 2,100 years to antiquity, and is home to an incredible 37 different nationalities. The first stop today will be at the Buddhist Kumbum (Ta’er) monastery, founded in 1583 in a narrow valley close to the village of Lusar in the Tibetan cultural region of Amdo. In the afternoon, there is time to explore Shuijingxiang market, where more than 3,000 fixed stalls sell everything from lotus roots and wild rice stems to seafood from the coast. (B, L, D)
Today you will visit a remote section of the Great Wall of China at Jiayuguan pass, one of the largest and most intact passes of the Great Wall. Jiayuguan was an important military fortress and also a vital traffic fort along the ancient Silk Road. Here, you can also see the Overhanging Great Wall, which was constructed in the year of 1539 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), from where you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of endless Gobi desert, a couple of oases and snow-capped mountains. (B, L, D)
Discover the vast natural beauty of the desert around Dunhuang, travelling by camel through the towering sand dunes. In the small oasis city of Dunhuang, visit the fascinating Magao Thousand Buddha cave complex, which encompasses almost 500 grottoes carved between 700 and 1,700 years ago. These are home to beautiful sculptures and murals depicting the evolution of Buddhist religious art. (B, L, D)
Arriving into Turpan, the Flaming mountains come into view for the first time, creating a magnificent backdrop. Visit the ancient ruins of Jiaohe city, one of the best preserved archaeological cities in China, and the famous ancient underground irrigation system at Karez that has successfully fed the rich orchards and vineyards for centuries. End the day with a visit to a Uyghur family home to watch traditional Uyghur ethnic dancing and sample local snacks. (B, L, D)
In the evening, arrive into Kashgar, where you will leave the train for a 1-night stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar. Kashgar has a rich history dating back more than 2,000 years, and was at the crossroads of the Southern and Middle Silk Roads. (B, L, D)
Early morning visit to the Kashgar Sunday Bazaar, a weekly market during which the city population is thought to swell by 100,000, partly due to the limited shopping facilities in an area the size of western Europe. Return to the train afterwards for your final night onboard, en route to your final destination of Urumqi. (B, L, D)
Arrive this afternoon into Urumqi, the largest city in north western China and the gateway for those arriving from the east. Visit the renowned Xinjiang Autonomous Regional Museum, home to famous mummies of Caucasians who lived in the region between 1,500 and 4,000 years ago. This evening, stay at the Hilton Urumqi hotel (or similar), and enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. (B, L, D)
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Shanghai, then overnight at the luxury Fairmont Peace Hotel. (B)
Fly from Shanghai to the UK. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is led in each destination by a local tour escort. Optional privately escorted tours in Shanghai must be booked in advance.
This tour begins in Lhasa on
6 October 2017. The next departure is scheduled
for spring 2019 – please ask for details. There
are no departures in 2018 but a similar itinerary
using public trains is possible.
Prices are based on Heritage Class cabins with shared bathroom facilities. Upgrades to Diamond Class cabins with an en suite bathroom are available on request. Hotels in Lhasa and Shanghai are 5-star.
This tour will have transfers and excursions shared with one or more other parties who may or may not be Cox & Kings clients. Cox & Kings is acting as an agent on behalf of Golden Eagle Luxury Trains Limited and its cancellation conditions will apply.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards in Shanghai, to discuss flight options or to add an extension to explore more of China, please call 020 7808 6788 or email email@example.com
The Fairmont Peace Hotel has been lovingly restored to its former glory as one of Shanghai's legendary landmarks, the Cathay Hotel, which served as a glamorous playground of the elite during the 'Golden Age' of the 1920s and 1930s when Shanghai was considered the Paris of the East. Located on Shanghai's famous waterfront, the Bund, the hotel features 270 luxurious guestrooms and suites beautifully furnished in fine materials. Facilities include an indulgent spa with an extensive selection of treatments, a health club, and a selection of dining venues and bars. Highlights include the legendary Jazz Bar, Classic Afternoon Tea served in the Art-Deco surrounds of the Jasmine Lounge, Weekend Brunch on the Bund in the Cathay Room and the rooftop bar with sensational city views over the Huangpu...
The Hilton Beijing Hotel is located 20 minutes from Beijing Capital International Airport, in the heart of Beijing's Chaoyang business and diplomatic district. The hotel has comfortable contemporary guestrooms and features a health club and spa, indoor heated pool, and business centre. There is a range of bars and restaurants serving local and international...
The Hilton Urumqi hotel is located in the Hongguang Hill Central Business District. The hotel mainly caters to business travellers, but has a range of leisure facilities and is a good base for exploring the city and surrounding area. The hotel's three restaurants serve a mix of Chinese, Lebanese and western cuisine,
Features: 383 rooms, Wi-Fi, 3 restaurants, bar, gift shop, fitness room, swimming pool.
Room amenities: Television, safe, air conditioning, tea & coffee...
The Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar is arguably the best hotel in the city, conveniently located within 20 minutes' drive of Kashgar airport, the railway station and the celebrated Sunday bazaar. The communal areas and guestrooms are all decorated in a contemporary style. For Business Class and suite guests, an exclusive, top-floor lounge serves a complimentary breakfast, all-day refreshments and evening drinks.
Features: 261 rooms, Wi-Fi, 2 restaurants, lobby lounge, gym, swimming pool, beauty salon.
Room amenities: Television, iPod docking station, safe, air conditioning, Nespresso coffee machine,...
The St. Regis Lhasa Resort offers 162 stylish and comfortable rooms, featuring a plasma television, high speed Internet access, spacious marble bathrooms and 24-hour butler service available throughout your stay. The resort has three restaurants, a wine bar and tea room, serving local and international cuisine, and the Iridium Tibetan Spa. Located only minutes away from the Potala Palace, Norbulingka and Jokhang Temple the resort provides the perfect haven when visiting the "Roof of the...
The Shangri-La Express is the best available private train in China, offering accommodation in two different cabin types. Diamond Class cabins are 7 sq metres, featuring a large double bed (length 2.03 metres), individual desk with freestanding chair, a large picture window and a double wardrobe. Diamond Class cabins also benefit from a private, en suite wet room with washbasin, toilet and shower. Heritage Class cabins are more compact, at 3.45 sq metres, featuring two lower berth single beds (length 2.03 metres), a large picture window and luggage storage above the door. The toilet and showering facilities for Heritage Class cabins are available at each end of the sleeping carriage. The shower room features a separate shower cubicle, hairdryer and separate changing area. In both cabin types towels, robes and slippers are provided, in addition to tea, coffee and mineral water, availabl...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
TTJ2017: 13 Nights
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At an altitude of 3,683 metres. Lhasa is one of the world’s highest cities, and the heart and soul of Tibet.
Shanghai has in recent years become one of the world’s most dynamic cities, which can be...