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Welcome to China and the start of your journey! On arrival at Beijing North station, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the railway station for your train to Tibet - 'The Roof of the World'.
Today you spend the day relaxing on the train on your epic journey to Lhasa.
After two full days on the train, you arrive into Lhasa. We will be there to meet you and transfer you to your hotel for the night.
We begin our exploration of this mystical city first heading to Lhasa’s most enduring image, the Potala Palace. The winter home of the Dalai Lamas and a masterpiece in design. The Dalai Lama’s Summer palace; Norbulingka, is our next place of pilgrimage. It is the Jokhang Temple which will be the most enlightening stop of the day. The holiest shrine in Tibet, it houses a solid gold shrine of the enlightened Buddha and it is around which, in varying degrees of exertion, all Tibetans prostrate themselves at some point throughout their lifetime.
Today we journey to the 15th century Drepung Monastery. Formerly one of the central monasteries of Tibet it was torn asunder during the Cultural Revolution and continues to rebuild is walls and status today. Just north of Lhasa is the Sera Monastery, still a working retreat 600 years after its foundation as a main teaching monastery and one of the three great Gelukpa ‘Universities’ once housing more than 5500 monks. Returning to Lhasa we will experience the Barkhor markets which surround the Jokhang temple and sell all things Tibetan.
After breakfast depart Lhasa and journey to Shigatse, Tibet's second most important city. Enroute we stop at the elevated view point of Kampa La, to soak up the incredible views of the spectacular scorpion shaped Yamdrok Lake. Yamdrok is one of Tibet's three sacred lakes and according to local mythology, it is the transformation of a goddess. At over 72kms in length, with electric blue water and surrounded by snow capped mountains, it's an incredible sight to behold. We also visit Kumbum and Pelku Chode, two of the prime sightseeing spots in Gyantse before continuing our drive to Shigatse.
After breakfast enjoy a tour of Tashilunpo Monastery, founded in 1447, it is the largest Yellow Hat sect monastery in Tibet and the seat of the Panchen Lamas. Tashilunpo contains chortens, temples and the Panchen Lamas palace. At its peak, Tashilunpo had more than 4,000 monks in its 4 monasteries. The monastery is a striking red, white and black Tibetan structure with a golden roof. Within the monastery there is a 5 story temple, which contains a 26 meter high sitting statue of the Maitreya Buddha, cast from 6,700 ounces of gold and over 115,000 kg of copper, making it the biggest copper Buddhist statue in the world.
Today we transfer back to Lhasa where the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure.
Today you will be transfered to the airport for your separate flights. For Mr Dayan, your flight will take you to Xi'an where you will be met by our representative and transfered to your hotel. For Ms Dayan, your flight will take you to Beijing. On arrival, you will be transfered to the Beijing Airport Hotel. The rest of the day is free for you both in your respective cities.
We bid Ms Dayan farewell and a shuttle bus from the hotel will transfer you to the airport for her onward journey. For Mr Dayan, the journey continues with a visit to the find of the 20th century. The Terracotta Warriors comprise of more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers which stand in military formation in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. Made of local clay, no two faces are alike. Later today we visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site and a workshop where warrior figurines are made. Later in the day, we spend time in the down town area, with a bike ride along the Medieval Wall and a chance to explore the Muslin Quarter.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Beijing. On arrival in Beijing, you will be met by our representative and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure.
Don some comfortable shoes. Today we drive out of the city to Mutianyu where we walk a section of the Great Wall with your guide. Depending on your fitness level, the walk can be as rigorous or as easy as like.
Today marks the end of your Chinese adventure. After breakfast, we take you to the airport for your onward journey.
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