Culture tours | Tibet Culture tours | Beijing-Lhasa, the Train Celeste

CUT001-5: BEIJING-LHASA, the Train Celeste



The sky a cobalt blue stretching to infinity on the west of the Tibetan plateau. Tanggula Pass: 5068 meters. Two hundred meters above the highest point of the line linking the Andes to Lima Central Peru. Our diesel locomotive stops a few minutes the passengers, comfortably installed in their cars pressurized, admire the landscape. We are more than 4000 kilometers from Beijing, the starting point for our voyage to China. Approximately 960 km of track of the last section between Golmud in Qinghai, and Lhasa, Tibet, are located above 4000 meters altitude 550 km were built on land set aside permanently.
Since the old ramparts of the Great Wall of China, we traveled a path of initiation, in the footsteps of the Celestial Empire. Shaolin, Zen Buddhist temple and school in front of martial arts, the Longmen Grottoes Buddhist thousands of statues, Xian and his army of terra cotta, and its remarkable Labrang monastery, each of these steps allows us to better understand the complexity of China . The arrival in Lhasa at the foot of the Potala, is the culmination of this journey and amazing contrasts.



Beijing – Lhasa, the Train Celeste

This tour will lead you to hiking on the Great Wall, in Shaolin and its martial arts school. Caves hundred miles Buddhas of Longmen. In Xian, the army of terra cotta. The great Tibetan monastery of Labrang. Tanggula:'s highest railway station in the world (5068 m). Lhasa and Sera Monastery.


Day1: Beijing

Arrival at Beijing airport, transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, visit of historic monuments in Beijing, capital of China for 800 years. Stroll on the vast Tiananmen Square to the gate of the same name, access to the famous prestigious Imperial Palace: The Forbidden City, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1987. Twenty-four emperors have succeeded under the Ming and Qing dynasties. In this huge city, you can admire many palaces, golden roofs and beautiful gardens. If time permits, we climb the hill Coal to admire the panorama of the Forbidden City.


Day2: Simatai-Jinshanling Great Wall

Departure by bus to Simatai, north-east of Beijing (150 km), the most rugged section of the Great Wall. Hiking on the "snake stone", which winds along steep mountains. Visit several castles and pagoda Wanjing. Arrival at Jinshanling, site covering all forms of construction of the Ming period. Back in Beijing.


Day3: Beijing, night train to Luoyang

Visit Beijing. In the morning, the Temple of Heaven (Beijing sympole). His prayer room and its "wall of echo were built without using a single nail: a miracle of architecture! In the afternoon, the Lama temple, Buddhist temple the largest in Beijing. Depending on the time left to us, visit a traditional Chinese pharmacy or the old town with its ancient streets in Beijing. Night train to Luoyang.


Day4: Luoyang

Arrival in the morning, transfer to hotel. Luoyang, an ancient imperial city was the capital of China for nine dynasties (1000 years), from 770 BC City favorite of the Empress Wuzetian - the only empress in China to have founded his own dynasty the Zhou -- , most of the palaces and gardens have been created under his leadership. After breakfast, transfer to Denfeng, until the famous Shaolin Temple, known as "the first Buddhist temple under heaven." The Indian monk Boddhidarma, known in China as Damo, founded the Chan sect famous. For years, the monks gradually created their own martial arts school. Stroll up to the forest of pagodas. Stop the school of martial arts. Back in town. Late afternoon free to wander in the old city.


Day5: Luoyang – Xi’an

A 12 km south of the city of Luoyang, Longmen Grottoes are one of the architectural treasures of China. Comparable to those in Dunhuang (Gansu) and the Yungang (Shanxi), construction of the Longmen Grottoes began in 494, at the time of Northern Wei. During the 400 years that followed, they were subject to adjustments and continual expansion. On both sides of the river Yishui on the walls of a cliff 1,000 meters long from north to south, there are 2100 caves and niches containing 100 000 statues of Buddha. The more than 17 meters high and the smallest is only 2 centimeters! The afternoon train to Xian, capital of Shaanxi Province, where we arrive in the evening. Transfer to the hotel.


Day6: Xi’an

Capital of Shaanxi Province, Xian is known worldwide for its long history and archaeological treasures. The eleventh century BC in the middle of the tenth century, 13 dynasties made it their capital. The terracotta army of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi is one of the most fantastic treasures of Xian. In the afternoon, back to the city center and visit the forest of steles, lapidary museum that brings together the richest collection of steles in China. Finally, the Great Mosque, one of the four largest in China.


Day7: Xi’an – Lanzhou – Xiahe

Long day of travel to the west, towards the Tibetan plateau. The landscape will change profoundly during those few hours. First, flight to Lanzhou, capital of Gansu province, then bus to Xiahe. Tibetan cultural, Xiahe is home to the largest Tibetan monastery outside the Tibet Autonomous Region: Labrang Monastery (Labuleng). Arrival at the hotel at the end of the day.


Day8: Visit the Labrang Monastery

Founded in 1709, is the most important monastery of eastern Tibet and one of the largest schools of Buddhism of the Yellow Hats sect (Gelupka). Many monks come here to study for many years, sometimes throughout their lives. To impregnate the mystery of the place, we must begin by admiring from the outside, from a point of view height. It should then come out of buildings to the fervor of the pilgrims who came in numbers. A full day is barely enough to appreciate this remarkable place.


Day9: Xiahe – Xining, night train to Lhasa

Road through the Tibetan plateau to reach Tongren (2400 m) and Xining (2260 m), capital of the autonomous province of Qinghai. Landscapes of rolling steppes. Each village has a monastery. Depending on road conditions and time available to us, we can make several stops during the day. In the fifteenth century, many artists of the region began to engage in sculpture, religious painting, to embroidery with patches. Their works still adorn the monasteries. Our journey culminates in Sha Qing-Pass (3650 m). We reach the railway line to Lhasa.


Day10: Arrival in Lhasa

Fantastic trip on the train, the highest in the world. At 7 am, you arrive in Golmud, the former terminus of the line. Change of locomotive. The road climbs up the Tanggula station (5068 m), border of the autonomous province of Tibet. Short stop. Few would venture into the vast space stretching out of sight around us. The train continues along the gorges of the Salween to Lhasa. Arrival in the evening, transfer to hotel.


Day11: Lhasa

Day dedicated to the discovery of the Tibetan capital, with a visit to the Jokhang Temple the most sacred of Tibet, which beats to the rhythm of the monks and pilgrims. Then visit the Potala, former residence of the Dalai Lama, overlooking the city from its 13 floors, now a museum. This impressive set includes over a thousand rooms: shrines, libraries, private apartments. The afternoon walk on the spot Jokhang.

Day12: Lhasa
Today, a pleasant hike leads us to the site of Will (3900 m) and its monastery. Many pilgrims follow the same path. From the top of the monastery, a superb view of the city and the Potala. Back to Lhasa by bus ..


Day13: Lhasa – Beijing

Free morning. Transfer to the airport and fly to Gonggan Beijing (one stop in Chengdu). Overnight at the hotel.


Day14: Fly to back to home


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