Beijing to Chengdu tours, Mountains & Monasteries

“An overland rail adventure from Beijing to Lhasa, which mushrooms into an exploration of Tibet, a hike to Everest base camp and pandas in Chengdu – this is 17 days of spirituality and high-altitude sights in China and Tibet.”

Highlights

Beijing | Mutianyu section of the Great Wall | Train to the roof of the world | Lhasa | Sera Monastery | Drak Yerpa Monastery | Samye | Gyantse | Shigatse | Sakya | Everest National Park | Rongphu Monastery | hike to Everest base camp | Chengdu | Giant Panda Breeding Research Base

Description of Beijing to Chengdu tours, Mountains & Monasteries

Satisfy your sense of adventure and spiritual curiosity on this overland journey, beginning in Beijing, the capital of China. Here, you’ll have a chance to walk on the Great Wall, before boarding the train to the roof of the world, a recently opened rail route from Beijing to Lhasa in Tibet. You’ll spend two nights on the train, travelling past the cities of Xi’an, Lanzhou and Xining, through mountains and up at altitude towards Lhasa, with snow-dappled peaks, grassland with grazing yaks and lakes rolling past.

There are four nights in Lhasa so you can explore this mysterious city, from the beautiful former home of the Dalai Lama to the incredible atmosphere of the pilgrim-filled Jokhang Temple, the holiest in the Tibetan Buddhist world. Then the journey continues into rural Tibet, to get to know some of its villages. Climb phenomenal passes, twist up thrilling peaks and take in incredible views of sky and lakes as you travel and explore, before heading for the Himalayas. Here, take the opportunity to hike up to Everest base camp and spend a night in a tent in the shadow of the world’s highest mountain. A flight then takes you from Lhasa back into China, to visit Chengdu, famous for its spicy Sichuan food and pandas. Here, visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre, which works to understand and protect this endangered animal, before strolling around Chengdu’s People’s Park.

This is a 17-day trip, using public and private bus, with one flight and two nights on the train between Beijing and Lhasa. At every stage there is the chance to meet the welcoming, spiritual people of both countries, meeting monks at temples and cliff-side monasteries where the scenery will leave you breathless. You’ll need a good level of fitness to cope with hiking the Great Wall and Everest Base Camp, and be prepared to experience the affects of altitude, as this trip visits places that are over 3,500 metres above sea level.


Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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07 Apr 2018
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Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Beijing to Chengdu tours, Mountains & Monasteries

This trip is an adventure of a lifetime and challenges people culturally, politically and physically. It is sometimes very exciting and sometimes frustrating as we travel through China and Tibet and Nepal with differing cultures, as we get out there and meet people, listen to them, hear their stories, breathe deeply and notice everything. Our longstanding experiences in these areas and our great local guides help us to negotiate our path.

Environment
Waste and litter is a serious issue in Tibet. We provide all travellers with reusable bags and chopsticks in order to avoid waste. For the train journey, we also encourage our travellers to buy food with less packaging and share more to avoid generating plastic wastes or general waste of food.

We encourage the use of “tea flasks” for drinking water (or tea, like the locals do!) so as not to purchase multiple plastic bottles. Safe drinking water is available in all our accommodation and transport. Any bottles that are purchased are given to the community of waste collectors who rely on this for an income.

Community
With Tibet having one of the highest incidences of blindness in the world, a project that we have been supporting is Braille without Borders, based in Lhasa. Through visit their base in Lhasa, we’ll learn about the great work they’ve been doing for the blind Tibetan people, especially the education and work opportunities they’ve created for them. Our travellers can contribute directly by buying their products like t-shirts, bags etc, or donate through our Foundation to double your donation to them.
Other fun and practical contributions to the employment of Tibetans on our trips have been the introduction of a one hour Tibetan language class for our passengers (try saying Nga, Na and Nye and make them sound different) and also the opportunity to attend a Tibetan cooking class. We’ve also trained Tibetans to be the leaders of these trips so that they can develop their skills and career better.
There are also plenty of opportunities to interact with the locals by doing a family visit in Gyantse, or visit a local nunnery in Sakya – perfect chances for travellers to gain a deeper insight into the Tibetan life and community, a fun and educational experience for both the visiting and the visited.

4 Reviews of Beijing to Chengdu tours, Mountains & Monasteries

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 27 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


All of the holiday was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the train journey from Beijing to Lhasa. The visit to the nunnery was fun. There was nothing on my trip that I didn't enjoy so it's hard to choose 1 thing I enjoyed most.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a total culture shock and just do what the locals do! Immerse yourself in the culture, history and the fabulous landscape.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The trip benefited a local charity for the blind. It did its best to have a environmentally friendly trip but it's not always possible particularly with bottled water.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was one of the best holidays. If you go with a mindset of knowing that living standards are poor as well as the facilities compared to western ones then you will have as much fun as I did.

Reviewed on 08 Jun 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Listening to monks chanting in the Samye Monastery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with an open mind, an attitude of adventure. It is a different country. You
will not find the same facilities as at home. The food is different. But it's all
part of the adventure.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying in a monastery at Emei Shan, one of China's 4 sacred mountains, and being spooked by the candlelit Buddha statues on a midnight toilet trip. Also doing karaoke on a boat trip up the Yangtze with lots of Chinese tourists.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with an open mind and get involved with things.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Uses mainly local transport and hotels which is great - it was a bit of a shock when we went to cafes full of other western tourists to realise we weren't the only ones in town, as we thought. Hard to minimise impacts on the environment when you're travelling such long distances, but the tour operator do try, through using public transport and discouraging e.g. the use of too many small plastic bottles of water.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was very memorable and exciting, and a good idea to go on a tour through a country that would be difficult to navigate alone.

Reviewed on 14 Dec 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


A festival day in Varanasi.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make use of the free time to meet local people.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

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