Qinghai–Tibet railway Railway to Heaven: Ride the World’s Highest Train
Potala Palace Tour the World's Highest Palace in Myriad Ways
Johkang Temple Learn About the Immense Spirituality of Tibetan Culture
Qinghai Lake Explore China’s Largest Lake
Sera Monastery Watch Unique Monk Debates
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)
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.
|2020 Departure Dates||Double Occupancy||Single||Triple|
|May 23; Jun 6, 20||$2550||$3000||$2550|
|Sept 2, 16||$2750||$3250||$2750|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
World’s first railway to Tibet: prior to its opening in 2006, the only overland travel option was driving 3-4 days.
World's longest railway on a plateau: Total length of the entire line is 1,215 miles.
The highest altitude plateau railway in the world: 960 kilometers above the altitude of 4000 meters above sea level, the highest point of 5,072 meters.
World’s highest train station: Tanggula Mountain Railway Station, 16,640 feet above sea level.
World's highest railway tunnel: Fenghuoshan Tunnel, 16,092 feet above sea level.
World's longest railway crossing permafrost (frozen earth): 342 miles across permafrost.
World's longest tunnel built on permafrost: Kunlun Mountain Tunnel - 5,531 feet.
World's longest railway bridge: Qingshui River Bridge, located in the Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve, with a total length of 7.27 miles.
World’s fastest train on permafrost: Top speed on frozen areas: 60mph. Non-permafrost speeds reach 75mph.
Despite extremely harsh conditions, none of the 100,000 workers died of altitude sickness.
In addition to the beautiful Qinghai Lake and the Chinese "Dead Sea" Chaerhan Salt Lake, you can also see the mysterious "Alien Site" and "Lover Lake" in the Qaidam Basin.
Located between Kunlun Mountain and Tanggula Mountain, Hoh Xil is a paradise for wildlife.You may be able to see the elegant posture of the Tibetan antelope or the lightning of multiple colors on the plateau if it’s possible (don't worry, the lightning protection safeguard on the train can ensure your safety).
Through the Hoh Xil,the birthplaces of the Yangtze River, the Yellow River and the Lancang River will be in front of you, and many strange and spectacular glacial features as well. Standing at the highest point of the world railway (Tanggula Railway Station at an altitude of 5,072 meters) to feel the atmospheres of being closest to the sky.
Over the Tanggula Mountain, you will see the vast and wide Qiangtang grassland, covered with a layer of green carpet and straight into the sky.
The majestic Sandan Kangsang Snow Mountain, the main peak of the Nianqing Tanggula Mountain, the holy lake Namco, the charming Lhasa River, these tremendous and spectacular sceneries will be with you all the way to enter Lhasa.
A total of 936 passengers can be accommodated in 15 cars: 392 hard seats, 480 hard sleepers, 64 soft sleepers. There are only two soft sleeper carriages in each train, and each soft sleeper can accommodate 32 people. Each soft sleeper cabin has 4 sleepers with upper and lower bunks.
Super Value Guarantees Quality with Soft Sleepers for Our Guests
Soft Sleeper: Each bed includes slippers and the glass windows are relatively large, so visitors can enjoy beautiful views from the window.
Dining Car: Provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is usually simple with milk, congee, steamed buns and pickles, lunch and dinner are a variety of stir-fry and rice. For personal preferences, we suggest preparing a variety of snacks for long-term travel.