24 Days China Speed Train Tour to Yunnan and Tibet with Mount Everest Adventure

Yunnan, bordering Tibet to the northwest, is usually related with Tibet by tourists. There is no doubt that the overland tour into Tibet from Yunnan is one of the most breathtaking adventure when traveling in China. In this, trip, you will take the high speed train from Shanghai to Yunnan, tour in the modern Shnaghai first and then experience the classic tour in Yunnan, from Kunming to Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La. Then, fly to Lhasa for the hightlights tour in Lhasa. And  finally, you will fly to visit the top 2 historic city in China – Xi’an and Beijing.


  • Experience high speed train in China, feel profound history and modernization development of China.
  • Have a wonderful stay in the flourishing and historical cities in China, including Shanghai, Bejing, Xi’an.
  • Be marveled at the amazing stone view in Stone Forest.
  • Walk and explore in the historical ancient towns, like Dali Old Town, Lijiang Old Town and Baisha Old Town.
  • Experience the ethnic culture of Bai, Naxi, Tibetan minorities.
  • Lose yourselves in Shangri-La, an extraordinary wonderland with Snow Mountain, Buddhist monastery, forest park, and hospitable Tibetan people.
  • Explore the earthly paradise with Tibetan Lama monastery, primitive forest, crystal lakes, hospital people.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Shanghai Arrival
  • Day 2: Shanghai
  • Day 3: Shanghai-Kunming
  • Day 4: Kunming-Dali
  • Day 5:Dali
  • Day 6: Dali-Lijiang
  • Day 7: Lijiang
  • Day 8: Lijiang-Shangri-La
  • Day 9: Shangri-La
  • Day 10: Shangri-La-Lhasa
  • Day 11: Lhasa
  • Day 12: Lhasa
  • Day 13: Lhasa-Shigatse
  • Day 14: Shigatse-Rongphu
  • Day 15: Rongphu-Shigatse
  • Day 16: Shigatse-Lhasa
  • Day 17: Lhasa-Xining
  • Day 18: Xining
  • Day 19: Xining-Xi’an
  • Day 20: Xi’an
  • Day 21: Xi’an-Beijing
  • Day 22: Beijing
  • Day 23: Beijing
  • Day 24: Beijing Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Shanghai
Accommodation: Shanghai
Meals: Lunch

Upon Arrival in Shanghai, meet your tour guide at the airport or train station, then transfer to hotel for check-in.

Day 2 Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities: The Oriental Pear TV Tower, Yunyan Garden, Nanjing Road and the Bund
Accommodation: Shanghai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower which is located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai. Surrounded by the Yangpu Bridge in the northeast and the Nanpu Bridge in the southwest, it creates a picture of ‘twin dragons playing with pearls’. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors all the year round.

Then move to visit Yuyuan Garden. The elaborately crafted halls and pavilions are with great wisdom arranging to join the lotus lake, and the greenery make various pretty images before your eyes. Walking around Yuyuan Market nearby where you can feast your eyes with numerous Chinese arts and crafts in a lively atmosphere. 

Walk aglong the famous Nanjing Road and The Bund. Take Metro Line 2 to the People’s Square Station and the 1599-meter-long Nanjing Road is right there, You may get dazzled by the world of Garment, shoes, jewelry, accessory, snack and souvenirs. Walk about 15 minutes from Nanjing Road, then you have a amazing view of The Bund, the beautiful silhouette of Baroque buildings and the landmark Oriental Pearl Tower.

Day 3 Shanghai-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you will transfer to railway station for the high speed train to Kunming(G1373: 08:55-19:31). Upon arrival, the guide in Kunming will pick you up and transfer to the downtown to check in your hotel.

Day 4 Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Stone Forest, Guandu Old Town, Nanping Street
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Large Stone Forest in Shilin County, Kunming

In the morning, have the tour of Stone Forest. An old local saying says that ‘If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.’ Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan.

Then transfer back to Kunming city, pay a visit to Guandu Old Town, one of the cradles of the ancient Dian civilization and culture in Yunnan. It is located in the southeast suburb of Kunming, about 10 km from downtown. As a famous historic and cultural town, it can be dated back to the Nanzhao Kingdom in as early as the Tang Dynasty. Guandu Old Town had been a big market town and communication center at that time.

Finally drop off at shopping area – Nanping Road, you will stroll around this area.

Day 5 Kunming-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities: Erhai Lake Cruise, Three Pagodas, Zhoucheng Village, Dali Old Town
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Sea gulls are seen flying over Erhai Lake in Dali in Southwest China's Yunnan province

In the morning, take the high speed train to Dali. Your tour guide will wait for you at train station.

After that you’ll cruise  Erhai Lake by the small boat in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in Jinsuo Island. In Erhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. 

Then go to visit Three Pagodas in Chongshen Monastery , which has a history of over 1,800 years. It is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. Later visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can get some special souvenirs with the Bai ethnic style. 

At last, you will visit the Dali Old Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the free time with local people.

Day 6 Dali-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Xizhou Town, Black Dragon Pool, Lijiang Old Town
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Black Dragon Pool in Lijiang

After breakfast, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture.

After the tour, transfer to Lijiang. Then stroll in Black Dragon Pool, which is located at the foot of the Xiangshan Mountain (Elephant Hill) north of Lijiang City. As the water here is a lucid green color, it gained another name Jade Spring Park (Yuquan Park). There are many distinctive and ravishing sites in the park. Hiding in the lush trees or standing along the liquid pool is the antique and exquisite architectural pieces, which are in the style of Naxi. Finally explore Lijiang Old TownLijiang Ancient Town has a history more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi people.

Day 7 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishui River, Yak Meadow, Impression Lijiang Show, Baisha Old Town and Murals
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive about 30 km to Ganhaizi Meadow, you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visit through the Baishuihe River, then take the chairlift up to visit Yak Meadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cable-way will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around 1 hour in the original forest in Yak Meadow.

After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijang Ethnic Show(regular seat) directed in Ganhaizi Meadow. A cultural show demonstrates the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place in an outdoor theater of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500 meters. The show itself was directed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, a cast of over 500 people, and a number of horses.

Later, you’ll stroll around Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Yunnan town. Visit the Baisha Mural about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.

Day 8 Lijiang-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:the First Bend of the Yangtze River, the Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

From Lijiang, you’ll drive about 60KM to the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, and the Iron Chain Bridge and the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Stone Drum Town. The Town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificient as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying hatstacks. 

Continue to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge(Shangri-La section), the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river.

Afternoon, you’ll head for Shangri-La, the former Zhongdian which is well-known as the paradise destination for every tourist.   

Upon arrival in Shangri-La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys.

Day 9 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities: Shangri-La, Ganden Songzanling Monastery, Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park, Dukezong Tibetan Ancient Town, Guishan Hill, Grand Prayer Wheel
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit the Ganden Songzanling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere. And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park which is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. Although the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.

Visit Dukezong Tibetan Ancient Town in the late afternoon, climb up to the top of Guishan Hill or tortoise Hill, you will see the largest Prayer Wheel of the world and have a panoramic view of shangri-la and Dukezong Ancient Town.

Day 10 Shangri-La-Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Lhasa
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Transfer to Shangri-La airport for the flight to Lhasa. Upon arrival, meet your local guide and transfer to hotel in Lhasa. Then have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. 

Lhasa  is the capital of China Tibeten Autonomous Region. With a history of more than 1,300 years, it is a political, economic, cultural and transport center of the region. Lhasa has an area of 30,000 square kilometers with a population of 400,000. Lhasa is home to the Tibetan, Han as well as other ethnic groups, but the Tibetan ethnic group makes up about 80 percent of the total population.

Day 11 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: The Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor street
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit the famous Potala palace and explore myriad chapels in this region. Its audience halls, the jeweled and Golden burial chortens(stupa Tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, combinations of mandala, figures of the Buddha are all made of precious metal.

In the afternoon, visit the Johkang Temple, which is built during Songtsen Gonpo’s reign by princess Wencheng of tang dynasty, 647 AD. The circular pilgrim route around Jokhang temple is called barkhor and later flourishing, forming the embryo of the city. The barkhor Street itself is the liveliest in whole Tibet, and it is possible to purchase traditional Tibetan artifacts, religious implements, antiques, books, Tibetan music instrument and traditional Tibetan clothes, etc. 

Day 12 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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

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

Day 13 Lhasa-Gyangtse-Shigatse

Sightseeing and Activities:Yamdro-tso Lake, Kubum monastery
Accommodation: Shigatse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Passing by the green farmland of Nyangchu Valley, Yamdro-tso lakes, karo-la glacier roadside at 4960 meters, We move westwards to the second biggest city Shigatse, the area spiritually hosted by Pamchan Lama.

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

Day 14 Shigatse-Lhatse-Tingri (Shegar)-Rongphu Monastery

Sightseeing and Activities: Mt. Lhotse(8516 meters), Mt. Everest(8848 meters), Mt. Qowowuyag(8201 meters), Mt. Mayalu(8463 meters)
Accommodation: Camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drive westwards to Tingri. On the way you will pass the checking point with your TTB permit, travel permit and passport, and purchase the entrance ticket of Everest Base Camp.

There is about 90 km bumpy road from Tingri to Rongphu, road is under construction. From Tingri to E.B.C with the very rough road, you should pass the wild grassland, cross the rapids river and high mountains. If it is in clear whether, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which is 8000 meters high or more, such as, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Everest, Mt. Qowowuyag, Mt. Mayalu. Stay overnight at Rongphu Monastery Tent.

Day 15 Rongphu Monastery-Tingri-Shigatse

Sightseeing and Activities: Rongphu Monastery, the sunrise of Mt. Everest, Mt. Everest Base Camp
Accommodation: Shigatse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Early in the morning, see the sunrise from Rongphu, then visit Mt. Everest. It is fabulous and splendid. Then use half of an hour to Everest Base camp(Or you can also trek to Base Camp around 1.5-2 hours one way. It’s interesting and much warmer, but hard to breathe).

Hike up to the top of the photo point to take pictures of the splendid Mt. Everest. Then late in the afternoon around 13:00, drop down Everest Base Camp and back to Shigaste by friend-ship highway via Tingri.

Day 16 Shigatse-Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: the Tashilunpo Monastery
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

We will spend about 4 hours to drive back to Lhasa from Shigatse, on the way, visit the largest Monastery in west Tibet, the Tashilunpo monastery, as the last but famous historic sites for your Tibet tour.

Day 17 Lhasa-Xining

Sightseeing and Activities: Train to Xining
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, transfer to railway station for the train to Xining Z166 ( 11:05-09:00+1). Enjoy the view on the way.

Day 18 Xining

Sightseeing and Activities: Qinghai Lake, Bird Island, Mt. Sun & Moon
Accommodation: Xining
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Arrive in Xining, your local guide will pick you up from railway station. You will have one full day tour to Qinghai Lake, the largest salt water lake in China. Cruise in the lake and visit Bird Island. On the way, you will have a stop to see the Mt. Sun and Moonwhere the princess Wenchen threw the mirror down and married into the Tibetan area among the Tang Dynasty. Return to your hotel in Xining.

Day 19 Xining-Xi’an

Sightseeing and Activities: Ta’er Monastery, Qinghai Provincial Museum
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit Ta’er Monastery (Kumbum Monastery) in the Huangzhong county, 26 km south of Xining. It is the birthplace of the founder of the Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism – Tsongkhapa. The temple was later built in 1577. Then move on a 15-minute trip to the North Hill Temple to have a bird’s view of the county.

Finally visit Qinghai Provincial Museum with a few silk road exhibitions and some amazing Stone Age artifacts. Then transfer to train station for the overnight train to Xi’an.

Day 20 Xi’an

Sightseeing and Activities:Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an City Wall
Accommodation: Xi’an
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Upon arrival, you will  transfer 1.5 hours to visit the famous Terracotta Warriors – one of the world’s most important archaeological finds, with troops, horses and carriages in battle formation.

Have lunch near the Terracotta Warriors area, then drive back to the downtown for visiting the Xian City Wall (Optional tour ride biking along the wall on your own), one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. 

After that, drive back to your hotel.

Day 21 Xi’an-Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Summer Palace
Accommodation: Beijing
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, take the high speed train to Beijing. After arrival,  have the tour of  Summer Palace (about 2 hour), the existing largest, best-preserved imperial garden in China.

Day 22 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Changling Tomb, Mutianyu Great Wall, exterior view of Bird Nest and Water Cube
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

At 07:30 am, depart from your hotel in the morning and drive to Changling of Ming Tomb. Among these Ming tombs, the largest one is Changling Tomb, which was built in 1413. It is the burial place of Zhu Di, the third Ming emperor. It is not only the largest one, but the best-preserved one among the thirteen tombs. 

Visit the Mutianyu Great Wall(Optional: take cable up and down on your own) – the section of the Great Wall which is more popular among foreign visitors.

Then drive back to the downtown, have a short stop and see the exterior view of Bird Nest and Water Cube, the amazing architectures that built for Beijing Olympic Games.

After that, drive back to your hotel.

Day 23 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Hutong Tour
Accommodation: Beijing
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit Tiananmen Square (40 min) – the World’s largest urban square, and the Forbidden City, the largest and most complete ancient imperial palace in the world. Then visit the Temple of Heaven (1 hour), which was built in the first half of the AD 15th century. It is located in the royal gardens and surrounded by ancient pines. It is well-preserved Altars buildings. No matter in the whole layout or individual building, it reflects the relationship between heaven and the earth, and this relationship occupied a central position in the ancient Chinese cosmology. At the same time, these buildings reflect the emperors’ unique role in this relationship. Continue the drive to Drum Tower area for taking a relaxing Hutong Tour by rickshaw (Short route, 40 min) – the way to know the Beijing local lifestyle.

Day 24 Beijing Departure

Sightseeing and Activities: Beijing Departure
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Beijing airport for your departure flight. Service ends.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Kunming Sofitel Hotel Jinjiang Hotel Longteng Hotel Tu Tu Inn
Dali Hilton Hotel E-outfitting Hotel Taiheju Hotel Fengxuegucheng
Lijiang InterContential Hotel E-outfitting Hotel Liwang Hotel Flowers Hall Inn
Shangri-La Shangri-La Hotel E-outfitting Hotel Bodhi Boutique Inn Guzang Xiangbala Diannan Boutique Inn

Service Included:

  • Transfers and tours with local English speaking guides in private air-conditioned vehicles;
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation based on basic room type with breakfast as listed;
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • High speed train Shanghai /Kunming, Kunming / Dali, Xi’an /Beijing (the second class seat);
  • Overnight train: Lhasa / Xining/Xi’an (soft berth).

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.