Super Value Tours - Qinghai + Tibet - 8 Days (by air)_Qinghai Lake, Lhasa旅遊
Qinghai + Tibet - 8 Days (by air) (2020)

Qinghai Lake, Lhasa


A BETTER WAY TO TOUR: To us, 'value' means making a better way to tour. We love to surprise our guests with unique experiences, top-notch service, hidden local delights, & memories of a lifetime. We include only the best highlights and leave out the tourist traps, making this one of the highest-quality tour experiences in Tibet available.  Travel with our world-class guides and explore Tibet in-depth.



(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 a flight into Tibet
  • Lhasa:
    • 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.


Super Value Standard

  • Charismatic and knowledgeable Super Value trained guides.
  • A comprehensive travel insurance plan. Details 
  • High quality headsets to hear our tour guide's presentation clearly.
  • Unlimited bottled water provided throughout the entire trip.
  • Porterage service is provided at most hotels (where available).

 Depart North America for Xining, China


Arrive in China   Xining


  • A Super Value Tours Representative will meet you at the arrival gate and transfer you to our hotel. Airport transfer is available for flights arriving between 12:30PM~8:00PM.
  • Arriving in Xining (8,000 feet above sea level) allows us to gradually and safely begin acclimating our bodies to high altitude.
[D]Arranged according to flight arrival time

Sofitel Hotel Xining


Xining  (125 miles, 3 hours) Tso Ngonpo/Qinghai Lake  (125 miles, 3 hours) Xining【3 meals】

Our day of touring takes an easy pace to help everyone acclimate more safely to high altitude. 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
[B]Hotel Buffet [L]Selected Local Specialties [D]Beef Hot Pot

Sofitel Hotel Xining

Xining【3 meals】


  • 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
    • Visit the Great Mosque of Dongguan, one of the great mosques in Northwest China
[B]Hotel Buffet [L]Local Halal Meal [D]Local Specialties

Sofitel Hotel Xining

Xining sad  ( 800 miles, 2.5 hours) Arrive in Lhasa【3 meals】


  • Take a moment to enjoy our hotel facilities and enjoy afternoon tea time
  • Nightscape of Potala Palace: See unique angles of the Potala Palace from the best viewpoints including Palace Square and Yaowang Mountain
Health Tip: From the moment you step on the Tibetan plateau, please remember (slow, slow, slow), walk slowly, talk slowly, breathe slowly.
Mild headache, dizziness, vomiting, etc. are normal symptoms of high altitude; conditions will usually improve slowly over the course of 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.*
[B]Hotel Buffet [L]Local Specialties [D]Buffet in Hotel

Shangri-la Hotel Lhasa


Lhasa【3 meals】


  • Norbulingka Palace: 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
[B]Hotel Buffet [L]Local Specialty Tea Restaurant [D]Special Mushroom Hot Pot

Shangri-la Hotel Lhasa


Lhasa【3 meals】


  • 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!
[B]Hotel Buffet [L]Featured Local Specialties [D]Featured Local Specialties

Shangri-la Hotel Lhasa


Lhasa   Next Destination 【Breakfast】


After breakfast, you will be escorted to the airport by a Super Value Tours representative. "Kale phe!" (Until Next Time!)

 *Airport send off available from 9:30AM-6:00PM (LXA Airport)

[B]Hotel Buffet

Qinghai Lake/Tso Ngonpo

Located in the Qinghai Lake Basin in the northeastern part of Qinghai Province, it is China's largest inland lake and the largest saltwater lake in China. Formed by a fault between Datong and Mountains, the lake is fed by dozens of rivers. Here, the beauty of the grasslands and the vast calmness of the lake are intertwined, which creates the great beauty of Qinghai Lake. Named "China's Most Beautiful Five Great Lakes" by China National Geographic magazine.

Museum of China Tibetan Medicine Culture

The pinnacle of Tibetan art is the Tibetan Thangka scroll. 

The Thangka housed in the Museum of China Tibetan Medicine Culture is over 2000 ft long and was the longest in the world until 2015. More than 400 top craft artists from Tibet, Mongolia, Han and Tu ethnicities collaborated on it for four years. It uses traditional Tibetan painting techniques, and is crafted with paints from precious materials such as gold powder, jade and coral. The scrolls are based on the Tibetan history and the sects of Tibetan Buddhism, and depict the essence of culture of the snowy plateau. Tour the museum with a docent for a succinct background lecture.

Qinghai-Tibet Railway

The Tibet Railway was completed in 2006 and was one of the four major infrastructure projects in China's new millennium plan. Starting from Xining in Qinghai in the east and terminating in Lhasa in the west, the railway is 1,956 kilometers (1,215 mi) long and connects Tibet to mainland China. Once considered “impossible to build” owing to its isolated wilderness, long distance, and inhospitable environment, the railway is a remarkable feat of human engineering holding several records: world’s highest railway, highest rail tunnel, and longest bridge on permafrost.


Norbulingka means "Treasured Park" in native Tibetan, and is the name granted to the traditional summer residence of the Dalai Lama. The palace itself covers over 360,000 sq meters and more than 374 rooms, but the most remarkable feature of Norbulinka are the grounds which feature the best landscape and most ancient gardens in Tibet, which makes it one of the most popular outdoor spaces in Lhasa.

Monk Debates of Sera Monastery

Built in 1419, Sera Monastery is one of the six main temples of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Together with Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery, it is known as one of the Three Great Temples of Lhasa. Sera Monastery is most well-known for their public debates which are held daily in their courtyard. Here, we can observe philosophical arguments featuring intense gestures and vigorous verbal exchanges. The unique style is eye-opening! 

Potala Palace

From the Fifth Dalai Lama until exile of the Fourteenth in 1959, Potala Palace has been the home of the Dalai Lamas and is one of the most iconic views of Tibet. Soaring over the city of Lhasa, it was the center of Tibetan politics and religion. The grounds are a large-scale palace-style complex, and the entire palace has a distinctive Tibetan style. In 1994, Potala Palace was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, countless treasures are stored in the palace, which now functions as a museum. 

Chakpori Hill

The name "Chakpori" means "Horn of Mountain", which is 3,725 meters above sea level. 

A prominent medical school from the 1600s once sat on this site, but was destroyed during the Lhasa uprising in 1959. Today, beautiful rock carvings still survive. Its position just south of Potala Palace makes it one of the best angles for viewing the palace. In early morning or twilight hours, photographers often gather here, waiting for the first rays of light or waning sun to illuminate Potala Palace. 

Jokhang Temple

Located in the center of ancient Lhasa, it is the most splendid building from the era of the Tibetan Empire (618-842AD). Built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gambo (the first king of a unified Tibet) to commemorate his marriage to the Chinese Princess Wencheng, it combines the architectural styles of Tibet, China, Nepal and India and has inspired thousands of pieces of Tibetan religious architecture.   With a history spanning 1350 years, Jokhang Temple has supreme status in Tibetan Buddhism.

Barkhor Street

Surrounding Jokhang Temple in Lhasa is Barkhor Street, a lively and popular square full of local shops and cafes. Because it surrounds Jokhang Temple, it is known as the "Holy Road" for Tibetans and many navigate the street in a clockwise direction while they are here on pilgrimmage. Barkhor Street retains the original features of the ancient city of Lhasa; the streets are paved with hand-polished stones and old-fashioned houses are preserved next to them.

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 noble and elegant living atmosphere.

Lhasa: Shangri-la Hotel Lhasa

Shangri-La Lhasa is the first luxury city resort in the Tibetan Plateau. In order 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.

Lhasa: St. Regis Lhasa

Located at the roof of the world in Lhasa, the St. Regis Lhasa is one of the world's top hotels, literally and figuratively. As part of the top-ranking St. Regis brand, the hotel offers tailor-made services in a unique way, adding a privileged experience to the world's most mysterious resort. The sacred place of the peak, the beauty of the peak, and the experience of the peak are not to be missed here.


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 little 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 and customs, you will definitely have a wonderful and unforgettable time. Here are a few useful tips to help you be informed and prepared for our adventure:


Altitude Sickness | Guidelines for Monasteries | Customs | Accommodations & Food | Q&A For Touring Before You Travel



Upon arriving on the Tibetan plateau (8000-9000 feet above sea level), everyone may have different degrees of altitude sickness, such as headache, chest tightness, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, etc due to its low air pressure, lack of oxygen, cool weather, and other climate characteristics. But 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 family 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 that people with less anxiety, altitude sickness is less severe. 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 that the body can rest fully and gradually adapt. When you first enter the plateau, you can even try a semi-recumbent 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 in order 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 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 a period of 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 diseases, 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


Visiting Monasteries


  • Be mindful of the direction you are walking in monasteries. Buddhist monasteries should be circumambulated (walked) in a clockwise direction. In some some Bon monasteries (a religion native to Tibet), the direction of the turn should be counterclockwise.
  • It is customary for some sects of Tibetan Buddhism to avoid garlic, so it is best to avoid consumption before entering some monasteries.
  • Before entering a monastery, you must take off your hat. Do not make any loud noises, litter, or randomly touch Buddha statues in Buddhist monasteries. Photographs and videos may not be taken without permission.
  • Tibetan people love dogs. There are often strays in temples and they may follow strangers. Please do not yell or hit the dogs to drive them away. There is a Tibetan saying “Do not fight the temple dogs, as this will hurt the Lama’s heart.”
  • You may find some Tibetans followed by sheep while they are turning prayer wheels. Please do not harass those sheep with red silk tied to them as they are bought from butchers by religious believers to be set free.
  • Clothing restrictions for monasteries: Respect local customs and do not wear tops with bare shoulders, short skirts, shorts, or open toe shoes. Please note that local civil aviation and railways have embargoes on dangerous items including Tibetan craft knives, Swiss knives, scissors, etc.


Tibetans have many unique customs and habits. Visitors should try to respect these customs.

  • For Tibetans, sticking one’s tongue out signifies a sign of modesty and respect for others.
  • A gesture of palms together means "best wishes to you."
  • If you are presented with a white silk scarf “Hada,” a symbol of good luck, bow or use both hands to receive the gift as a sign of respect.
  • Be mindful when entering a Tibetan home or temples, do not step on the doorsill.
  • When seated, you may sit cross-legged. Do not stretch out your legs with the soles to others.
  • To avoid misunderstandings, it's best not to use Tibetan phrases until you are sure of the exact meaning of the Tibetan language you have learned.

In light of local conditions in Tibet, visitors should be aware of the following before entering:

  • Much of Tibet is still untouched and undeveloped. Under same-star ratings, accommodations and restaurant conditions will be lower compared to other areas around the world. 
  • Due to its isolated location, many supplies in Lhasa are air-freighted from mainland China, so many ingredients and common items are expensive.
  • Most restaurants only serve Chinese or Tibetan cuisine. Popular Tibetan cuisine includes yak steak and yak butter tea.


Q&A For Touring Tibet


Q Will I experience altitude sickness? If so, what should I do?
A Please see information on Altitude Sickness


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 and 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 Super Value Tours 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. 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 worthwhile souvenirs in Tibet?
A Small trinkets such as yak bone bracelets, necklaces, and turquoise bracelets are good 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).



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/Canada passport holders entering China. Please see our Visa Information Center for details.  China visa fees not included in tour fare.


  • 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 special 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.