“Discovering China and Tibet”: Urumqi - Lhasa 2020

Golden Eagle Express

14 days

Urumqi - Kashgar - Turpan - Dunhuang - Jiayuguan - Xining - train Qinghai-Tibet - Lhasa

FLIGHT INCLUDED

Madrid-Urumqi/Lhasa-Madrid

ACCOMMODATION

On board the train in selected accommodation

TRIPS AND VISITS

Visits and Trips indicated

Itinerary

Golden Eagle luxury trains

Explore the remote regions of China and discover the magic of Tibet. Enjoy a different tour by Shangri La Express train (by Golden Eagle) that crosses the remote desert of China through amazing landscapes and ancient cities before offering a magical exploration of Tibet, affectionately known as the Roof of the World, and home to more summits of the Himalayas than anywhere else.

Day 1: Madrid-Urumqi

Presentation at Madrid-Barajas airport and take a direct flight to Beijing. Night on board.

Day 2: Urumqi

Upon arrival in Beijing, tranship to the flight that goes to Urumqi. Guests are welcomed in your arrival to Urumqi and transferred to the Sheraton Urumqi hotel. This afternoon we will enjoy a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Urumqi

Today, we visit the renowned Provincial Museum in Urumqi, famous for having the artifacts and mummies of Caucasians, who lived in the region between 1,500 and 4,000 years ago; There is also an excellent collection of silk articles and other objects from different historical eras, as well as materials written in different languages. What most people come to see are the mummies and their tools and are exceptionally well preserved. Until two decades ago, this story was little known to historians and archaeologists, and its history and origins still remaining mystery. In the Xinjiang Regional Autonomous Museum houses, the mummies and their tools, are some of the most significant archaeological discoveries in a hundred years and is an excellent place to learn about the history of this region.

Day 4: Kashgar

Today, we will visit the Old City of Kashgar, with a history of more than 2,000 years. People of Uygur have lived here for generations forging a splendid society. The ancient city of Kashgar was the renowned centre at the crossroads of the South and Middle Silk routes in the past. Today, the Old Town of Kashgar remains a cradle of culture, a torch lit for memories of the past and is, without doubt, a step back in the past in which you are a living part. Tonight, we will stay for one night at the five star hotel Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar.

Day 5: Kashgar

Today's special arrangements begin with Kashgar Sunday Bazaar. Its remoteness is what makes the market so extraordinary; Partly due to the exoticism of products for sale, partly because it is the only real place to buy in an area the size of Western Europe. The population of Kashgar is supposedly increased by 100,000 every Sunday thanks to this market, but because of the difficulties to get there, only a small fraction of these visitors are foreigners and, therefore, offers a unique experience on our trip.

Day 6: Turpan

Turpan is the place where the Flaming Mountains create a magnificent background. First, we will visit the ancient city of Jiaohe, which is one of the best preserved ancient cities in China, the ruins of the buildings are divided into temples, civilian homes and government offices, workshops and residential houses on the streets that are still visible. In the afternoon, we will take a fascinating tour of the famous ancient underground irrigation system in Karez, which has successfully fed the rich orchards and vineyards for centuries; The system is considered one of the three major projects in China, the other two are the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. Then, we will visit a Uygur family and enjoy the traditional Uygur ethnic dance and the local snacks, experiencing real life and culture.

Day 7: Dunhuang

This morning, we will explore the immense natural beauty of camel sand dunes, where we will discover Crescent Lake, hidden among the imposing sand dunes and that has sustained life in this region for millennia. In the small oasis town of Dunhuang, we will visit the Magao Thousand Buddha Cave complex. This impressive site has almost 500 caves, carved between 700 and 1,700 years ago. Inside, we will see an incredible collection of beautiful sculptures and murals that represent the evolution of Buddhist religious art over 1,000 years.

Day 8: Jiayuguan

Today in Jiayugaun, we will visit the west end of the Great Wall of China, the Jiayuguan Pass. In conjunction with Shanhaiguan, this is one of the largest and most intact part of the Great Wall. It was an important military fortress and also a vital traffic fortress along the Silk Road, the oldest trade route in the world, connecting China, Central Asia and Europe. Standing in the endless desert with rolling mountains as a background, this isolated path will take you back to the desolation and loneliness of border life in ancient times. After lunch, we head towards the Great Outstanding Wall, which was built in the year of 1539 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The wall was built to support the existing Fort Jiayuguan, which played a key role in the defense mechanism of the area around Jiayuguan. The parts of the wall are steep, so those who manage to reach the top will enjoy a bird's eye view of the endless Gobi Desert, a couple of snow-covered oases and mountains seen from a great distance.

Day 9: Xining

Today, we explore this historical and multi-ethnic region that houses 37 incredible different nationalities. Located at the east end of Qinghai Province, the history of Xining dates back to 2,100 years old. Here, we will experience some of the distinctive traditions and customs of this region. We left our train this morning, stopping first at the Kumbum (Ta’er) Buddhist monastery. Kumbum was founded in 1583 in a narrow valley near the town of Lusar in the Tibetan cultural region of Amdo. In the afternoon we will visit the Shuijingxiang market. At the entrance of two intersecting alleys (each one over 1,100 metres long) with more than 3,000 fixed positions. The market has everything from food and drink to items for daily use. Not only can you find lotus roots and stalks of wild rice, which are products of southern China, but also seafood from the coast.

Day 10: Ferrocarril Qinghai-Tibet

Today we wake up in the early morning in Golmud when we board the high-altitude train (where we have reserved seats) that will take us on an extraordinary and unforgettable 14-hour daylight trip along the 1,142 km Roof of the World line to Lhasa. We summit 5,072m at the Tangula pass. This is the highest railway crossing in the world, reaching an incredible 5 km above sea level. Due to the high altitude, supplemental oxygen is pumped through the ventilation system. Personal oxygen masks are available if necessary. Guests are welcomed upon arrival in Lhasa and transferred to the luxurious five-star Shangri-La hotel for a three-night stay. Its enviable location in the heart of the city offers an excellent base for exploration, as Potala Palace and Norbulingka are nearby. On the fifth floor of the hotel, there is an observation area where you can enjoy a city of Lhasa of 200 degrees, the undulating mountain range and the sacred blue sky without obstacles, the view is really incredible.

Day 11: Lhasa

Lhasa is located in a small basin surrounded by mountains, and literally means "place of Gods". At an altitude of around 3,650m it is one of the highest cities in the world; It is also the traditional headquarters of the Dalai Lama and the most sacred centre of Tibet with over a thousand years of cultural and spiritual history. Today, we visit Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, which was built in the 1740s as a refuge to escape the heat of summer. The 'jewelry garden' or 'beautiful garden', it is still a quiet refuge from the noise of the city and a wonderful place to explore. There will also be free time to walk around Lhasa and enjoy the atmosphere of this picturesque city.

Day 12: Lhasa

On our second full day here, we visit the 13th century Jokhang Temple, the holiest shrine in Tibet and the spiritual home for almost all Tibetans. Next, we explore the adjacent Barkhor market, the oldest market in the capital and a route travelled by the many pilgrims heading to the temple. A local lunch is accompanied by traditional music. This afternoon we visited the 17th-century Potala Palace, the former seat of the Tibetan government and the winter residence of the Dalai Lama before fleeing to India in 1959. It contains thousands of rooms and dominates the city skyline. Located on Marpo Ri hill, 130 metres above the Lhasa valley, the Potala Palace rises 170 metres more, is the largest monumental structure in Tibet and one of the architectural wonders of the world. Tonight, we will enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 13: Lhasa - Madrid

Breakfast at the hotel before departures. Transfer to the airport and flight to Beijing, where we will transfer to the flight to Madrid. Night on board.

Day 14: Madrid

Arrival in Madrid early Thursday morning. End of our services.


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Sangri La Express

Diamond Class Cabin

With 7 m2, the Diamond Class cabins are the most spacious compartments available in the Shangri-La Express, with a large double bed, single desk with separate chair, a large window and a double wardrobe. The Diamond Class cabins have a private bathroom with washbasin, toilet and shower. Towels, bathrobes and slippers are provided. Towels and sheets are changed regularly. Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water in the cabin.

Heritage Class Cabin

Heritage Class cabins are more compact, 3.45 m2, with two single beds, a large window and a space to store luggage over the door. Towels, bathrobes and slippers are provided. Tea, coffee and mineral water, available through your waiter throughout the day. There are toilets and showers available at each end of the car (shared toilet and bathroom). The bathroom has a shower cabin and a hair dryer.


Departures and rates

Departure dates 2020

Urumqi - Lhasa (14 days): 25th September.

Rates per person season 2020

Heritage Class Diamond Class
Double Individual Supplement Double Individual Supplement
10.500€ 4.500 € 13.600 € 5.900 €
Reservation deposit: 1.500 €   Reservation deposit: 2.000 €  

Note: The passenger in "Single Share" will share a cabin on the train with another passenger of the same gender, but will stay in a single room in the hotels. (Ask for budget). Prices shown are per person in double accommodation. In all cases, prices must be confirmed when making the reservation, as they may suffer some variation. We recommend hiring assistance and cancellation insurance. Limited places.

Included

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Notes and conditions

Hiring conditions:

A (non-refundable) payment of 1.500€ for HERITAGE and 2.000€ for DIAMOND is required making the reservation. Minimum total payment 6 weeks before departure.

Cancellation conditions:

180-92 days before the journey 25%
91-42 days before the journey 60%
41-00 days before the journey 100%

Reservations

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