13 Days Kathmandu, Lhasa, Xi’an and Beijing Train Tour

The 13-day Kathmandu, Lhasa, Xi’an and Beijing trip is from Kathmandu Nepal. Firstly drive along Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway to Lhasa, and visit Tibet highlights on the way in Sakya, Gyantse and Shigatse. Finally,  go to Xi’an and Beijing by the highest  railway in the world. Go sightseeing in Xi’an and Beijing. The tour ends in Beijing. 


  • Explore two greatest ancient capital cities in China – Beijing and Xian, and marvel at their world famous Heritage Sites, such as Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, etc;
  • Discover the best highlights in the Golden Triangle Destinations in Tibet – Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, such as Potala Palace, Barkhor Street, Palcho Monastery, Tashilhunpo, etc;
  • Enjoy the magnificent plateau landscapes on the Roof of the World- tranquil Yamdrok Lake, majestic Mount Everest, vast plain..

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Kathmandu to Rashuwaghadi 130km

Day 2 Gyirong to Tingri 300km

Day 3 Tingri to Shigatse via Sakya 360km 

Day 4 Shigatse to Lhasa via Gyantse 375km 

Day 5 Potala Palace,Jokhang Temple,Barkhor street

Day 6 Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery,Drepung Monastery

Day 7-8 Leave Lhasa to Xian by Qinghai Tibet Train

Day 9 Xian Day Tour-Terracotta Worriors and Horses

Day 10 Xian to Beijing by Bullet Train

Day 11 Beijing Tour – Great Wall at Badaling, Ming Tombs – Changling

Day 12 Beijing Tour – Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Day 13 Leave Beijing and end the tour

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Kathmandu-Kodari-Zhangmu(8 hours driving,155km)

Sightseeing and Activities:Kathmandu,Kodari,Zhangmu(8 hours driving,155km)

Drive from Kathmandu to Nepal-Tibet border (Kodari) by private vehicle in early morning. After finishing immigration formalities both Nepal & China side, you will cross the steep, winding mountain road to Nyalam. Due to the rough road condition in Nepal, the 155km distance would take you about 7 hours.

Day 2 Zhangmu-Lhatse(380km, 8 hours)

Sightseeing and Activities:Zhangmu to Lhatse(380km, 8 hours)

Our next destination is Lhatse. Visit Milarepa Cave on the way. This cave-monastery is the site of the celebrated philosopher’s meditation, located only 10 minutes (on foot) from the road. The trip continues across the Tibetan plateau with spectacular mountain views from Lablung-La pass (5050m). Passing through the old town of Tingri, it is possible for you to see Mt. Everest and Cho-Oyu.

Stay overnight in Lhatse

Day 3 Lhatse-Sakya Monastery-Shigatse(240km,5 hours driving)

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhatse-Sakya Monastery-Shigatse(240km,5 hours driving)

Set off for Shigatse in the morning. On the way, make a detour to Sakya to visit Sakya Monastery. The Sakya tradition is one of the four main Buddhist schools in Tibet. It was from here that the whole Tibet was governed during the period of Sakya hegemony and even now there are buildings of historic importance. You can see the largest book in the world in Sakya’s great library written in gold. Sakya is situated just 25 km off the Friendship Highway.
Shigatse is the second largest city of Tibet. The famous Tashilhunpo Monastery is situated in Shigatse, which is the home to the official throne of Panchen Lama.
Stay overnight in Shigatse

Day 4 Shigatse -Lhasa via Gyantse(375km,7 hours driving)

Sightseeing and Activities:Shigatse to Lhasa via Gyantse(375km,7 hours driving)

The most important attraction for today is Yamdrok Lake and Kubum Monastery in Gyantse. From the top of the kangpa-la pass at 4700m high in clear weather, you can see the fabulous shade of deep turquoise, and Yamdro-tso Lake is shaped like coiling scorpion with deep blue in color. Kubum monastery, means 100,000 images in Tibetan, is the town’s foremost attraction. The 35m-high chorten (stupa) with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and its crown-like golden dome, is awe-inspiring. You can visit every chamber in the monastery. In late afternoon, arrive in Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 5 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Potala Palace,Jokhang Temple,Barkhor street

In the morning, visit the famous Potala Palace and explore the grandest of its myriad chapel, its audience halls, the jeweled and Golden burial chortens(stupa Tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, thangkas, combinations of mandala, figures of the Buddha, made of precious metal.
In the afternoon, visit the holist temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple, built during songtsen gonpo’s reign by princess wencheng of tang dynasty, 647 A.D. The inner circuit is also situated inside the temple and is lined with prayer-wheel and murals outlined in gold on red background, which depict the thousand buddhas, interspersed with stupas and relief-images. Johkang is circuit.
The circular pilgrim route around Jokhang temple is called Barkhor Street and later flourished, forming the embryo of the city. The barkhor market itself is the most active in all Tibet, and it is possible to purchase traditional Tibetan artifacts, religious implements, antiques, books, Tibetan music instrument, Thangkas, and tradition Tibetan clothes etc.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 6 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery,Drepung Monastery

Drepung Monastery is situated at the foothill of a mountain and was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. It was once the home to 10000 monks and Ganden podrang in Drepung is famous as it was the government centre and later moved to the famous Potala palace during fifth dalai lama. By the time you can also visit the Nechung monastery located 1km southeast of Drepung and is the abode of the protector deity pehar and the seat of the state Oracle of Tibet.

In the afternoon, explore the Sera Monastery which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa’s disciple Jamchen Choeje. The most attractive is Monks debating held in the courtyard at around 6-7:30 in the afternoon. Stay overnight in Lhasa (Notice, the sequence of sightseeing of first two days may be adjusted according to the reservation of visiting Potala Palace)
Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 7 Lhasa to Xi’an by Qinghai Tibet Train

Sightseeing and Activities:Leave Lhasa to Xi’an by Qinghai Tibet Train
Accommodation:overnight train

move from  Lhasa to Xian by Qinghai Tibet Train

Day 8 Lhasa to Xi’an by Qinghai Tibet Train

Sightseeing and Activities:Leave Lhasa to Xi’an by Qinghai Tibet Train
Accommodation:overnight train

Leave Lhasa to Xian by Qinghai Tibet Train

Day 9 Xi’an

Sightseeing and Activities:Terracotta Worriors and Horses

In the morning, visit Terracotta Worriors and Horses.This incredible 2000 year-old army of life-sized warriors is part of the underground tomb of the Emperor Qin. This Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum is about 35 km from Xian. After lunch, visit ancient city walls, which stretches round the old city. The City Wall of Xi’an was established in the 3rd year of Hongwu Period of the Ming Dynasty (1370 A.D.) in a rectangular form with a perimeter of 13.79 km and an area of 11.47 km2.
Stay overnight in Xian

Day 10 Xi’an to Beijing by Bullet Train

Sightseeing and Activities:Xi’an to Beijing by Bullet Train

Take new fast bullet train from Xian to Beijing in the morning, takes around 5 hours. Have a rest in Beijing. 
Stay overnight in Beijing

Day 11 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities:Beijing Tour – Great Wall at Badaling, Ming Tombs – Changling

Visit the majestic Great Wall (Badaling section) and the Ming Tombs. You will be taken on a group tourto the Great Wall, the most famous symbol of China and one of the world’s most remarkable architectural wonders. This section was first built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). Then you will visit the Ming Tombs, the burial site of the emperor Wangli, the 13th emperor of the Ming Dynasty who ruled for 48 years until his death in 1620.

Day 12 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities:Beijing Tour – Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

First stroll on the historic Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world and the spiritual heart of China, and the magnificent Forbidden City which used to be the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties with a history of around 600 years. In the afternoon, you will marvel at the incredible Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. Summer Palace was an imperial summer resort of the Qing Dynasty. The Temple of Heaven is a royal sacred site, where prayer for good harvests, prosperity and harmonious life are offered.

Stay overnight in Beijing

Day 13 Beijing Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:Leave Beijing

Your Beijing tour guide will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to Beijing International airport, service ends.

Recommended Hotels

City 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star
Rashuwaghadi / / Rashuwaghadi Guesthouse
Tingri / / Tingri Everest Shanghai Hotel
Shigatse / Shigatse Manasarovar Hotel  Jiumu Yamei Hotel in Shigatse
Lhasa Luxury St. Regis Lhasa Resort   Lhasa Gang Gyan Hotel Lhasa Xiongbala Hotel
Xi’an Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square  Grand New World Hotel Mercure on Renmin Square
Beijing Regent Hotel Beijing  Beijing International Hotel  Redwall Hotel Beijing


Group size(person) 5 Star ($) 4 Star ($) 3 Star ($)

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

Travel Tips:

  1. Tibet Permits

There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)

  1. Available Months to Visit Tibet

Generally speaking, May to early October is the best time to for a Mount Kailash trip. July and August are the peak season and rainy season. It may be too cold to travel in Kailash area from November to March. There is usually heavy snow. The conditions in Namtso Lake and Mount Everest area are quite similar with Kailash. While other places like Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are suitable for travel all year around.

  1. High Altitude Sickness

The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.

  1. How to Go to Tibet

Basically you have two options – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa. Kathmandu also has several flights to Lhasa each week.

If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing(40.5hrs), Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).

  1. Packing and Wearing Ideas

Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended. As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.