Home > China Tours > 13-day Colorful Culture Discovery Train Journey

Colorful Culture Discovery Train Journey

13-Day Lhasa (3Days) Shigatse (1Day) Lhasa (1Day)Overnight train (1Day) Xining (1Day) Lanzhou Jiayuguan (2Days)Dunhuang (1Day)Turpan (1Day)Urumqi (2Days)

Enjoy a rail tour with a difference that offers a magical exploration of Tibet, known affectionately as the Roof of the World and home to more Himalayan peaks than anywhere else, before traversing across the grand wilderness of Silk Road through stunning scenery and ancient cities.

  • Tour Type: Group Tour
  • Best Season: Summer
  • Exprience:

From $3,099 USD p/p


  • Experience different colorful culture in Tibet and Silk Road
  • Standing on the one of the highest cities in the world – Lhasa
  • Take train pass through Tangula Pass
  • Taste Xinjiang Roasted Whole Lamb and enjoy Uygur ethnic dancing and local snacks

Sensational Offers – book any of 7+ days China tour by Jan. 31, 2019 and enjoy:

No Cancelation Fee

No service charges even cancel at the day you depart.

Hotel / Room Upgrade

Free upgrades from 4-star to 5-star, or hotel room upgrades.

China SIM Card

One SIM card (CNY50 + 500M for internet access) per group.

Tour Itinerary


Lhasa Arrival

Airport Transfer (Lhasa)

Lhasa--the capital of the Tiber Autonomous Region. Upon arrival, meet by your guide and represent you a hada, a white scarf which is the Tibetan traditional way to wish you good luck. Then transfer to hotel to take rest for acclimatization of the high altitude. Overnight at hotel.

* Note:

  • The quotation price is based on 2 people in one room. Single Occupancy is only for hotels. Single Occupancy on train is on request.
  • Tipping: A service fee of $150/CNY950 p/p must be paid for personal service on board the train. The service fee should be paid to the guide at the commencement of the trip. The guide will ensure that the staff on board the train receive are paid.
  • DAY


    Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

    Following breakfast, we begin our exploration of the famous Potala Palace, perched on the northern side of Mountain. Throughout the ages, it had been the winter palace of Dalai Lamas. Its name means 'sacred Buddhist site' in the Tibetan language. This palace-like complex of buildings was first built in the 7th century AD by King Songtsen Gampo to mark his marriage with the Tang princess Wencheng as well as to house the Buddha images brought by Wencheng and the Nepalese princess Bhrikuti Devi. The palace also houses priceless artifacts and artworks.

    Continue to Jokhang Monastery, situated in the center of Lhasa. It was first built in 674A'D to celebrate the marriage of King Songtsen Gampo with Princess Wencheng and Bhrikuti Devi, both devout Buddhists. This monastery underwent expansion over the years and today, its four-level main hall sports a gilded roof and a blend of Han Chinese, Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian architectural styles.

    Proceed to Barkhor Street in the old city, which offers glimpses of traditional Tibetan life. The faithful chant and circumambulate around Jokhang Monastery. In this circular street there are also shops selling a wide variety of crafts such as Tibetan knives, bangles, shoes and more.



    Our guide and driver will escort you from Lhasa to Shigatse, Yomdrok Lake, The Palgor Chorten

    Following breakfast, we depart for Shigatse. Along the way, we pass Yamzo Lake, whose name means 'swan lake'. Also known as Baidi Lake, it is wedged between two mountains, hence like a swan spanning its wings. The crystal-clear lake, located over 4,000m above sea level, has an area of 638 m2. It is the largest freshwater lake in Tibet, with a depth of up to 59m. Thereafter, we continue to Shigatse to visit the Palgor Chorten.



    Tashilunpo Monastery, Our guide and driver will escort you from Shigatse to Lhasa

    In the morning we will visit the famous Tashi Lhunpo Monastery where you can see the well preserved largest statue of Jampa (future Buddha) in the world. This monastery, whose beauty is on par with that of Potala Palace, is located 2km west of Shigatse. It was founded by the first Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, in 1447AD. Its name means 'all fortune and happiness gather here. The Main Chanting Hall houses the Panchen Lama's throne and several chapels, including a Sakyamuni chapel, Bodhisattva chapel and Tara chapel. Don't miss the Tenth Panchen Lama's Stupa. The Tenth Panchen Lama was a highly respected Tibetan Buddhist leader.

    We proceed back to Lhasa. On the way, we can enjoy scenic views of the Yarlung Zangbo Gorge/ Bhamaputra River (the Longest and largest river in Tibet).Stay Overnight in Lhasa.


    Lhasa to Overnight Train by Train No. T224/T221 (Lhasa Railway Station - Xining Xi (west) Railway Station) Dep 10:00 - Arr 09:15

    , Hotel to Train station Transfer (Lhasa)

    After breakfast, free at own leisure till we onboard the train on the world's highest railway. Thereafter, we begin the scenic train journey through the highest point in the world. Along the way, we pass magnificent sights: snow-capped mountains such as Yuzhu Peak and Mt Kunlunshan; Kekexili reserve; Tuotuo River, the source of Yangtze River; Fenghuo Mountain Tunnel, the world's highest mountain tunnel; Tanggula Station, the world's highest railway station located at 5,072m above sea level; Qiangtang Grassland and more.



    Train station Transfer (Xining), Taer Monastery

    You could enjoy the fabulous scenery along your train trip. Today you will arrive Xining station and visit the Ta'er Monastery, whose name means '10,000 Buddhas'. Its construction began in the Ming Dynasty during the Jiaqing period. In 1560AD it was one of the six principal temples of the Tibetan Buddhist Yellow Sect. Don't miss its three treasures, which are of high artistic value. Buttered figurines, sculpted from colored butter, are lively and realistic depictions of stories, nature and humans, while colorful murals adorn the monastery's walls. The third treasure is satin appliques in the shapes of Buddha and nature subjects, which are filled with cotton or wool and sewn on large fabrics. Thereafter, we embark on our night train to Lhasa. And then you will be escorted to the hotel for check in.


    Lanzhou to Jiayuguan by Train No. Shangri-La Express 01 (Lanzhou Railway Station - Jiayuguan Railway Station) Dep 20:35 - Arr 09:30

    Our guide and driver will escort you from Xining to Lanzhou, Waterwheel Garden, Zhongshan Iron Bridge, Train station Transfer (Lanzhou)

    After breakfast,we will visit Zhongshan Bridge, also called the first bridge over the Yellow River. In the year 1907, under the proposal of local officers in Lanzhou and Gansu and the help of a Germany businessman, the Qing Government began to build this first iron bridge over the upper reaches of the Yellow River. All materials, even the rivets, were transported from Germany to China using ships, trains, carts and any other means possible. The bridge was completed in two years, and named 'Lanzhou Iron Bridge over the Yellow River'. And then,we will drive to Lanzhou after a visit to the Waterwheel Garden. Originated from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the waterwheel is the oldest irrigation tool in Yellow River area of Lanzhou. The Waterwheel Garden is a theme garden exhibiting the waterwheel culture. Here, you could appreciate the waterwheel driven by the flowing water all year round to collect water from the river or cofferdam. We will take the ‘China Orient Express’ train to Jiayuguan at 16:30pm. Have a nice night on the train with wonderful evening and morning views of local countryside.



    The Great Wall on the Cliff, Jiayuguan Pass

    After breakfast, have a visit to the Jiayuguan (Jiayu Pass), the western end of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. It is known as 'the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven', and best preserved and most magnificent military fort in China. Then we drive 7 miles away for the Overhanging Great Wall. It got the named for riding on a mountain ridge that is 45 degrees from vertical and resembling a huge dragon.


    Jiayuguan to Dunhuang by Train No. Shangri-La Express 01 (Jiayuguan Railway Station - Dunhuang Railway Station) Dep 10:00 - Arr 15:00

    Hotel to Train station Transfer (Jiayuguan), Train station Transfer (Dunhuang), Silk Road Lecture, Dunhuang Night Market, The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring

    Silk Road

    After a pleasant breakfast, take this deluxe train to Dunhuang at 10:00am. We specially arrange Dunhuang experts and professors who'll introduce this exotic city in detail to you. After arriving in Dunhuang, we visit beautiful Crescent Lake & Singing Sand Mountains. The Crescent Lake is an oasis Gobi desert, surrounded by numerous sand dunes, reaching a relative height of 250 meters (820 feet). The Mingsha Shan is so named for the sound of the wind whipping off the dunes. After dinner, we move to Dunhuang Night market - bustling Shazhou Night Market. Never miss its tasty snacks, local specialties, and crafts etc.


    Dunhuang to Turpan by Train No. Shangri-La Express 01 (Dunhuang Railway Station - Turfan Railway Station) Dep 17:00 - Arr 09:00

    Mogao caves, Hotel to Train station Transfer (Dunhuang), Train station Transfer (Turpan)

    After breakfast, let's visit the world famous Mogao Grottoes, which was designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO for its 1600 years accumulated cultural, architectural, and art treasures. There remains 492 cave temple and 45000 square meters of frescos. According to Tang Dynasty records, a monk had witnessed onsite a vision of thousand Buddhas under showers of golden rays. Thus inspired, he started the caves construction work that spanned ten dynasties. Mogao Caves are commonly known as the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. At 17:00hr, we embark the 'China Orient Express' Charter Luxury Train to Turpan.


    Turpan to Urumqi by ExpressBus.

    The Karez Wells, The Flaming Mountain, The Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe, Express bus station transfer (Turpan), Express bus station transfer (Urumqi)

    It’s a day for Turpan sightseeing! Visit Karez irrigation system at 07:00am, to witness the wisdom of Uygur people. The irrigation system is especially designed for desert. If connecting all these underground channels, the total length will reach more than 5000 km, so it is regarded as one of the three engineering miracles of ancient China, along with the Great Wall and the Jinghang Grand Canal. Thereafter, we move to Flaming Mountain, well known by Chinese people because of the legendary story 'Journey to the West'. It is regarded as the hottest place in China. Then We drive to Jiaohe Ancient City, an island-shaped plateau situated at Yar Town. It is the largest, oldest and well preserved earth-structured city in the world, with a history of 2000-2300 years.



    Heavenly Lake, Boat for Cruise on the Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao Market, Night Activity,

    After breakfast, visit Heavenly Lake on Tianshan (boat tour). The mountain Lake stands 1980 meters above sea level and features picturesque scenery of snowcapped peaks. It a great pleasure to boat travel Heavenly Lake, with a layer of magical color covering the lake, and hearing many beautiful myths and legends. Lastly, visit Xinjiang International Bazaar.


    Urumqi Departure

    Hotel to airport Transfer (Urumqi)

    Today is the day of farewell to your memorable silk road trip and the unique China Orient Express. After a pleasant breakfast, free at your own leisure till the assemble time for the transferring to airport for the flight back to your hometown or next destination. Bon voyage!

    Price Per Person in US Dollars

    $ USD
    Departure Price per person Single Room Supplement Availability
    May. 26 - Jun. 7, 2019 $ 3,0993,099 $ 1,3691,369 Book Now
    Sept. 4 - Sept. 16, 2019 $ 3,2993,299 $ 1,4791,479 Book Now

    What's Included & Excluded

    Price Inclusion

    • Entrance fees.
    • Meals listed in the itinerary.
    • Private transfers.
    • Private English-speaking guide and driver.
    • Hotels listed in the itinerary.
    • Service Charge & Taxes.
    • China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance.
    • Luggage Transfers.

    Price Exclusion

    • International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave China.
    • China Entry Visa Fees.
    • Excess Baggage Charges.
    • Personal Expenses.
    • Any meals that are not mentioned in the tour itinerary.
    • Single Room Supplement.