Fully-Guided Tour Highlights:

(Tibetan & Chinese place names shown where applicable for clarity)

Xining | To ease into our acclimation to high altitude, we begin our tour in the city of Xining (8000ft above sea level)

Explore “China’s largest lake,” Tso Ngonpo/Qinghai Lake
Tour the 2000-feet-long Thangka scroll to for an introduction to Tibetan history and humanities
Board the Qinghai-Tibet Railway into Tibet, a once in a lifetime experience where four seasons can be seen in one train ride to the roof of the world.

Lhasa | Spiritual and political capital of Tibet

Potala Palace: To properly appreciate the world’s highest ancient palace, we include a variety of experiences: tour the residences, night view tour, and a panoramic view from our hotel lobby
Jokhang Temple: Tibet’s most sacred temple; observe unique architecture and the immense spirituality and devotion of Tibetans on pilgrimage.

Featured Accommodations

Xining

New Sofitel Hotel: Opened in June 2015, the only Five Star luxury hotel in China’s Northwest

 

Lhasa

Shangri La Hotel Lhasa: Just a 12-minute walk to Potala Palace, the hotel overlooks the Palace

 

 

Culinary Experiences

We take great pride in arranging and sharing great culinary experiences. Our team samples each meal before presenting them to our guests; ensuring you can avoid typical tourist-grade restaurants.

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Japan Classics

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The most complete tour for first time travelers, visit Tokyo, Mt. Fuji Area, Kyoto, Nara & Osaka.

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Immerse yourself in the bustle of Vietnamese life where you'll find rich beauty in every corner.

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Itinerary

DAY1

Depart North America for Xining, China

Have a great flight. See you soon!

DAY2

"Ni Hao" or "Welcome" to Xining

Arrive in Xinning Airpot (XIN)
22 miles, 40mins
Xining Hotel
 
 
 
 


Arriving in Xining (8,000 feet above sea level) allows us to gradually and safely start acclimating our bodies to high altitudea.
You will be greeted by a Supera Tours Representative at the airport.
Airport transfer available for flights arriving XIN between 12:30PM - 8:00PM.

 

 
 
Dinner
Arranged based on flight arrival time
 
Hotel
Sofitel Xining
DAY3

Take it Easy and Acclimate to the Tibetan Plateau

Xining
125 miles, 3hrs
Tso Ngonpo/Qinghai Lake
125 miles, 3hrs
Xining
 
 
 


Our day of touring takes a comfortable pace to help everyone acclimate more safely to high altitudes. Enjoy the serene beauty of the gateway to Tibet.

Tso Ngonpo/Qinghai Lake: Cruise the waters and walk the shores of Qinghai Lake; feel the vastness and holiness of China's largest lake

Breakfast
Hotel Buffet
Lunch
Local Specialties
Dinner
Beef Hot Pot
Hotel
Sofitel Hotel Xining
DAY4

A Once in a Lifetime Experience: Board the World's Highest Train

Xining
1200 miles, 21hrs
Lhasa
 

 
 
 


Xining:
China Museum of Tibetan Medicine and Culture: Tour the 2000-foot-long Thangka scroll to learn about the profound Tibetan culture and folk customs

Bus tour of Xining City

Qinghai-Tibet Railway:
The overnight train to Lhasa won't be the easiest, but it is an extraordinary adventure worthy of superlatives. Once considered “impossible to build” owing to its isolated wilderness, long-distance, and inhospitable environment, the railway is a remarkable feat of human engineering. It holds several records including: the world’s highest railway, highest rail tunnel, and longest bridge on permafrost (Onboard amenities are simple. To help our guests travel more comfortably, we arrange soft sleepers with 4 guests per room).

Breakfast
Hotel Buffet
Lunch
Local Halal Set
Dinner
Dinner Set Aboard Qinghai-Tibet Train
Hotel
Qinghai-Tibet Train (soft sleeper)
DAY5

Crossing the Tibetan Plains to Lhasa!

The Qinghai-Tibet train passes through stunning sections of landscape and wildlife ranging from snow-capped mountains to bright green plains (landscape seen during the day varies depending on train departure time, weather conditions, etc.)

Qinghai:
See the mysterious "Lovers Lake" in the Qaidam/Tsaidam Basin

Kunlun Mountain Pass:
Beautiful snow-capped mountains and harsh climate of the Hoh Xil plateau are untouched by man. Here, you can spot an occasional herd of yaks or antelope. 

Origin of Yangtze River - Tanggula Mountain Pass:
Shining glaciers stand in stark contrast to shadowy glacial rock fragments. Pass through the highest rail station in the world - Tanggula Station (train does not stop)

Changtang Plateau:
The largest natural grassland in Tibet, lush with wildlife and untouched vegetation

Nagqu to Lhasa Section:
Majestic Samdain Kangsang Snow Mountain, the central peak of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains, the charming Lhasa River

 

Health Tip: From the moment you step on the Tibetan plateau, please remember (slow, slow, slow), walk slowly, talk slowly, and breathe slowly.

Mild headache, dizziness, vomiting, etc. are normal symptoms of high altitude; conditions will usually improve slowly over a few days. If symptoms become serious, please inform our guide immediately.

*Before you leave, please consult your physician and prepare appropriate prescription medication to alleviate possible reactions to high altitude, making your trip more enjoyable and exciting. Diamox pills are not commonly sold in Tibet.*

 

Breakfast
Aboard Train
Lunch
Train Lunch Set
Dinner
Luxury Hotel Buffet
Hotel
Shangri-la Lhasa
DAY6

Getting to Know Tibet's Spiritual Capital

Norbulingka Palace: 

Visit the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas and home to the grandest gardens in Tibet.

Sera Monastery:
One of six main temples of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Don't miss the public debates here: the unique style is eye-opening!

Nightscape of Potala Palace:
See unique angles of the Potala Palace from the best viewpoints including Palace Square and Yaowang Mountain

 

Breakfast
Hotel Buffet
Lunch
Local Tea Restaurant 
Dinner
Special Mushroom Hot pot
Hotel
Shangri-la Lhasa
DAY7

Visit Lhasa's Holiest Sites

Potala Palace:
Home of the Dalai Lama until 1959, the palace today remains a spiritual sanctuary and haven of art for Buddhists and tourists. Our tour of the palace is an immersive experience.

Jokhang Temple:
The most sacred temple of Tibetan Buddhism. See Tibetans on pilgrimmage and waiting for worship, and witness the power of piety.

Barkhor Street:
Lhasa’s primary market square is a great place to see Tibetan culture firsthand - browse local markets, tour the streets, or try yak butter tea in a local teahouse!

Breakfast
Hotel Buffet
Lunch
Local Tea Restaurant 
Dinner
Special Mushroom Hot pot
Hotel
Shangri-la Lhasa
DAY8

Depart Lhasa for the Airport (LXA)

Airport send off available from 9:30AM-6:00PM (LXA)
After breakfast, you will be escorted to the airport by a Supera representative.

"Kale phe!" or "Until Next Time!" We hope to see you again soon!

 

*If you have more time, extending your stay independently before or after our tour is a great way to explore more. We’re happy to help with hotel extensions or arranging extended return flights; please contact our team for pricing and availability.

 

Breakfast
Hotel Buffet
 
 

Lhasa: Shangri-la Hotel Lhasa

Shangri-La Lhasa is the first luxury city resort in the Tibetan Plateau. To help guests adapt to the high-altitude environment of Lhasa, a lush forest of surrounding trees and flowers are planted to increase the oxygen content. The hotel interprets traditional Tibetan architecture with modern architectural concepts, and the lobby overlooks the Potala Palace, allowing you to fully experience the Tibetan culture and the unique landscape of Lhasa.

Xining: Sofitel Xining

This hotel, officially opened on June 1, 2015, is operated under the Sofitel brand of the French Accor Group and is the only “Platinum Five-Star” luxury hotel in Northwest China. Our rooms combine traditional Chinese hospitality concepts with French daily living artforms, providing guests with a great and elegant living atmosphere.

Travel Information

Health & Safety 

Regardless of where you travel, safety is a top priority and we pay close attention to the safety information of each destination.
In case of any safety concerns caused by force majeure factors such as weather, we will adjust our itinerary according to local conditions.

 

 Passports & Visas

We include the Tibet Travel Permit, but China Visas are required for US/Canadian passport holders entering China. Please see our Visa Information Center for details.  China visa fees not included in the tour fare.

Upgrades

In the spirit of "Travel Happy" we do not believe in hidden fees - no unmarked options are sold on tour.

 
 Dietary Restrictions

It's important everyone has a great dining experience while traveling with us! If you have a particular meal restriction (i.e.,no lamb, etc.), please let us know. We will do our best to oblige, but we regret some dietary preferences may not be available due to cultural differences.

 Luggage Handling

Domestic flights in China have a checked luggage limit of 44lbs (20kg) per person.
Luggage space is limited aboard the Qinghai-Tibet train. Large suitcases should not exceed 25in x 14in x 8in.

 

FAQ

Q Will I experience altitude sickness? If so, what should I do?
A Please see special section on Altitude Sickness for suggestions

 

Q Why shouldn't I go to Tibet if I have a cold? What if I develop a cold in Tibet?
A When you are sick, your body’s immune system is weakened.Thus, it is more susceptible to high altitude-related illnesses such as pulmonary edema, which can potentially be life-threatening and not easily treated. If you develop a cold while you are in Tibet, it is generally not a big concern because your body will already have some adaptability and resistance to the environment.  With proper medical treatment, the symptoms will gradually disappear after 1-2 days.

 

Q Is showering in Tibet convenient?
A Supera has selected the best hotels for our guests which will be equipped with hot water and private bathrooms. However, it is recommended not to shower often when first arriving in Lhasa to avoid catching a cold. Bathing while exhausted may aggravate altitude sickness. Once the body adapts to the higher altitude climate, showering is generally not a problem. Keep in mind the air in Tibet is very dry so many people can skip showering for 1-2 days without feeling uncomfortable.

 

Q What are some of the foods unique to Tibet?
A Local specialties include roasted barley flour, butter tea, yak meat, Tibetan noodles, sweet tea, and barley wine.

 

Q How is the weather in Tibet?
A There is a large gap in temperature between morning to evening. Although most of our activities are concentrated during the day, it is essential to bring warm clothing and layers, especially as we ascend to higher altitudes where the temperature will be cold. The best time to travel to Tibet is during the mild weather months from May to September. The average temperature can range from a high of 77°F during the day to a low of 40°F at night.

 

Q What should I wear in Tibet?
A Due to strong UV rays, make sure to bring sunscreen. Short-sleeve T-shirts and shorts are not recommended. Bring warm all-weather jackets. Hiking shoes or sneakers are a must.

 

Q Cash or credit card?
A Cash is preferred when traveling through Tibet as credit cards are rarely accepted.

 

Q What are some good souvenirs in Tibet?
A Small trinkets such as yak bone bracelets, necklaces, and turquoise bracelets are excellent gift ideas. More valuable items include handmade Gyantse carpets, Medog stone pot, tapestries, Thankga, and Champlain wooden bowls. Tibetan medicines such as saffron, snow lotus, cordyceps are also a popular homeopathic specialty, but we do not recommend purchasing these items due to the possibility of fakes.

    • Please note: security checks in Tibet are strict. It is forbidden to carry sharp objects such as scissors and knives on planes and trains, including small swiss army knives or fruit knives brought from home.

Fares + Dates

 Tour Price (Our pricing is always upfront and all inclusive)

Room Type
(price per person)

 OR 
Twin OR Double


Triple


Single

5/6 - 6/30

$2550

$2550

$3000

8/25 - 9/21

$2750

$2750

$3250

10/1 - 10/31

$2550

$2550

$3000


2021 Travel Season

5/31 - 6/10

$2550

$2550

$3000

9/4 - 9/16

$2750

$2750

$3250

10/6 - 10/10

$2550

$2550

$3000

  • Child no bed room options: contact us for availability
  • International air tickets & tour guide gratuities not included.
  • 2% discount available for payments made by check or ACH deposit. 

 

Fares vary based on origin, seasonality, & availability. We are happy to help find the best balance between price and flight quality for you. You may also arrange your own flights in conjunction with the following arrival and departure times to qualify for our free airport transfers. If you are arriving or leaving outside these timeframes, please go to the designated place to meet on your own expense.

Flight Arrivals
on tour start date

Xining Airport (XIN) 12:30PM - 8:00PM

Flight Departures
on tour end date

Lhasa Airport (LXA) 9:30AM - 6:00PM

Airport transfers for early arrivals/late departures

call for pricing

 

No additional options for this program.

 

Room Type
(price per room)

Period

 OR 
Twin OR Double


Triple


Single

Pre tour: 
Xining Sofitel Hotel 

9/16/2019-6/14/2020

$150

$210

$150

Child no bed room option: $30


Hotel rates are listed per room night. Breakfast taxes, and fees included. A one-time fee of $30 will be charged for cancelled hotel extensions

 

IMPORTANT: All prices above based on USD. Land tour price is shown per person. 
Prices subject to change. We encourage reserving early to ensure availability.
Guests departing from Canada may pay in CAD at the market rate of exchange.

 

Qinghai-Tibet Railway

 

"What's the Big Deal?"

world records & notable facts for the Train to the Roof of the World

  • First railway to Tibet
    Prior to its opening in 2006, the only overland travel option was driving 3-4 days!
  • Longest plateau railway
    Total length of the entire line is 1,215 miles.
  • Highest altitude plateau railway
    960 kilometers above the altitude of 4000 meters above sea level, the highest point of 5,072 meters.
  • Highest train station
    Tanggula Mountain Railway Station, 16,640 feet above sea level.
  • Highest railway tunnel
    Fenghuoshan Tunnel, 16,092 feet above sea level.
  • Longest railway on permafrost
    342 miles across frozen earth.
  • Longest tunnel built on permafrost
    Kunlun Mountain Tunnel - 5,531 feet.
  • Longest railway bridge
    Qingshui River Bridge, located in the Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve, with a total length of 7.27 miles.
  • Fastest train on permafrost
    Top speed on frozen areas: 60mph. Non-permafrost speeds reach 75mph.
  • Despite extremely harsh conditions
    None of the 100,000 workers responsible for building the railway died of altitude sickness.

7 Altitude Unique Features of the Tibet Train

  1. Trains are driven by specially customized high-altitude engines designed and built by GE in Pennsylvania. Train cars designed just for this route were manufactured by Bombardier to help passengers travel more safely and comfortably.
  2. Each carriage includes direct oxygen supply for those who may need it to improve comfort. An atmospheric system is also in place to help maintain oxygen levels in all passenger cars.
  3. Passenger car windows are semi-pressurized with automatic equalization to help passengers feel more comfortable with temperature and pressure changes.
  4. Sealed windows with UV-resistant glass help ensure passengers are protected from strong UV rays.
  5. Each car is equipped with lightning protection to effectively protect power, network and signal line systems.
  6. Enhanced sealing performance is included to protect under-vehicle equipment against damage from sand storms and blizzards. Onboard air-conditioning uses special sand-proof filters and adopts a “closed-air” body structure to keep the air clean.
  7. Every passenger train to Tibet is staffed with a doctor and nurse.

 

What to Expect Onboard

A total of 936 passengers can be accommodated in 15 cars: 392 hard seats, 480 hard sleepers, 64 soft sleepers. There are only two soft sleeper carriages on each train, and each soft sleeper can accommodate 32 people. Each soft sleeper cabin has 4 sleepers with upper and lower bunks.

Supera Guarantees Quality with Soft Sleepers for Our Guests

Soft Sleeper: Each bed includes slippers and the glass windows are relatively large, so that visitors can enjoy beautiful views from the window.

Dining Car: Provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is usually simple with milk, congee, steamed buns and pickles, lunch and dinner are a variety of stir-fry and rice. For personal preferences, we suggest preparing a variety of snacks for long-term travel.

Altitude Sickness

 

Many people who have not been to Tibet both yearn and worry over the uniqueness of such a trip. While attracted by its open blue skies, holy snow-capped mountains, mysterious religion, and devout faith, many travelers have questions about altitude sickness and how it may affect them. As with many other things, a little preparation will go a long way. With a bit of exercise and preparation, you will be able to protect yourself. Our itinerary is designed to follow a comfortable pace so we can safely and slowly acclimate to the altitude. If you know more about Tibetan ethnic customs, you will definitely have a marvelous and unforgettable time. Here are a few useful tips to help you be informed and prepared for our adventure:

 

Upon arriving on the Tibetan plateau (8000-9000 feet above sea level), everyone may have different degrees of altitude sickness, such as headache, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, etc. due to its low air pressure, lack of oxygen, cool weather, and other climate characteristics. Don't worry, with proper preparation and preventive measures, these symptoms will gradually reduce or disappear after 1-2 days and will not affect your travel.

 

 

How to prevent altitude sickness

 

Understand Tibet and Use Common Sense

Read up on books or websites to understand Tibet's geographical environment, climate characteristics, physical requirements, coping styles, etc., and do some mental and physical preparation in advance. We suggest consulting your physician before booking.

Regular exercise helps overcome altitude sickness

If you already exercise regularly, keep up the good work! For those who do not, it is a good idea to start adaptive exercise one month in advance, such as hiking, long-distance running, load walking, etc., to increase lung capacity and enhance adaptability.

Maintaining a good attitude is most critical

Maintain a good attitude, don't be afraid and the plateau will be bountiful. Experience has shown for people with less anxiety, altitude sickness is less severe. Be too cautious, and your body may exhibit more altitude sickness due to psychological stress.

Get Ample Rest

After entering Tibet, you should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy physical activity. Altitude ascension needs to be carried out slowly so the body can restfully and gradually adapt. When you first enter the plateau, you can even try semirecumbent sleep (sleeping at a 30-45° angle) to reduce pressure.

Ascend gradually

Rather than starting immediately in a high altitude area (15,000 ft or above), ascend gradually to let your body acclimate. Gradual ascension is the most reliable method to help avoid altitude sickness. Choose high-quality transportation to make your journey more comfortable.

Consume high calorie, easily digestible food

Focus your diet more on vitamin-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits, but do not overeat. Drink plenty of water. High-calorie foods high in sugar and protein can help reduce the adverse effects of hypoxia.

Use protection from the sun and dry climate

Tibet has a dry climate and long hours of daylight. By drinking more water and using sunscreen, you can effectively prevent dehydration and increase your resistance.

 

what to do if altitude sickness occurs

If altitude sickness occurs, there is no need to panic. Targeted treatment should be taken depending on the extent of the reaction.

A. If the reaction is light, you can take a rest, drink more water, exercise less, and usually disappear or weaken after some time;

B. If the reaction affects sleep, you can take some medicine to help with the treatment;

C. If the reaction is heavy, a hospital visit is recommended for further treatment. Our 5-star accommodations in Lhasa are also equipped with medical clinics which can treat guests on-site;

D. If symptoms become severely uncomfortable, you will have to return to the mainland by the earliest flight where the general situation can be relieved immediately.

 

other related tips

 

Altitude sickness is reversible

Common altitude sickness is a reversible reaction. For those staying on the Tibetan plateau short term, most symptoms will disappear and will not cause damage to the body.

 

Conditions unsuitable for Tibet travel

1. Any type of heart disease, significant arrhythmia or resting heart rate greater than 100 beats/min, high blood pressure stage II, cerebrovascular disease;
2. Chronic respiratory diseases, moderate to high obstructive pulmonary disorders, such as asthma, emphysema, active tuberculosis, pneumoconiosis, etc.;
3. Unmonitored Diabetes;
4. Travelers suffering from severe cold and upper respiratory tract infection should be suspended into the plateau before he recovers;
5. Anyone with a diagnosis of high altitude pulmonary edema, high altitude cerebral edema, high altitude hypertension, high altitude heart disease, and high altitude polycythemia;
6. Women with high-risk pregnancies.
7. We're sorry, guests in wheelchairs are not encouraged to join this tour due to lack of wheelchair accessibility