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Escorted Tour - pace 2
Escorted Rail Tour Pace 2

The Lhasa Express

China and Tibet

from £3,299 14 2

Including optional travel insurance or a discount of £40 if not required
  • Breakfasts and more All breakfasts and more
  • Small Group < 20 Small Group 20 or less
  • VIP Travel Service VIP door to door
  • Great savings per person* Save £

Combine the very best of China with a trip into Tibet.

Learn the secrets of China's history as you discover Beijing, walk across the Great Wall, explore the Forbidden City and greet the first Emperor's Terracotta Army. Contrast this with the spiritual city of Lhasa in Tibet, before hurtling at high speed through the Tibetan countryside aboard the highest railway in the world, to Xining.

Please note: Due to the high altitudes in Tibet, this tour is not suitable for guests with heart or respiratory problems.


12 nights in hotels, 1 aboard the Lhasa Express and 1 in flight

34 meals: 13 breakfasts (B), 12 lunches (L) and 9 dinners (D)

  • VIP door-to-door travel service
  • Optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a reduction if not required
  • Return flights and transfers
  • Saga tour manager
  • Porterage at all hotels
  • Tourist visa for full British Citizens resident in the UK

Excursions and visits

  • Tour of Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City
  • A Peking duck dinner
  • Visit to the Great Wall and Summer Palace
  • Cruise on Kunming Lake
  • Visit to Xi'an's Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi'an Antiques Research and Protection Institute
  • Guided tour of the Terracotta Warriors and Xi'an
  • Visit to the Panda Research and Breeding Centre and a tea house
  • Guided tour of Potala Palace and Lhasa's Barkhor district
  • Visit to Dalai Lama's Summer Palace and Sera Monastery
  • Traditional Tibetan dinner and yak dance
  • A day and night on the fabled Lhasa Express
  • City tour of Suzhou and cruise on the Grand Canal
  • Sightseeing tour of Shanghai 

What our customers say More information

January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Beijing

After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to Heathrow, depart in the afternoon for your overnight flight to Beijing.

Day 2 Beijing

Beijing at night

Transfer to the New Century Hotel (4Q), where you stay three nights. D

Day 3 Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

Visit Tian’anmen Square before heading to the Forbidden City. Afterwards you can join an optional rickshaw tour of the narrow winding streets. In the evening enjoy a delicious Peking duck dinner. B, L, D

Forbidden City Beijing China Asia Tian’anmen Square

Day 4 The Great Wall

Great Wall of China

Travel to the Great Wall this morning and later explore the Summer Palace and join an included cruise on Kunming Lake (weather permitting). B, L.

The Great Wall of China China Asia Summer Palace Beijing

Day 5 Beijing-Xi'an

Xi'an temple

Fly to Xi'an and join an included excursion to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi’an Antiques Research and Protection Institute where you can see beautiful jade and goldware. Stay two nights at the Grand New World Hotel (4Q). Dinner is included in a local restaurant tonight. B,D,L.

Small Wild Goose Pagoda Xian China Asia

Day 6 Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

Discover the site of the Terracotta Warriors and visit the ancient city wall of Xi'an on included excursions. Perhaps enjoy an optional Tang Dynasty show. B, L.

Terracotta warriors China Asia

Day 7 Xi’an-Chengdu

Giant panda

Fly to Chengdu and stay overnight at the Tibet Hotel (4Q). A highlight here will undoubtedly be an included visit to the Panda Research and Breeding Centre. Later, visit a teahouse in the old town. This evening you may choose to attend a Sichuan opera show. B, L, D

Panda Research and Breeding Centre Chengdu China Asia

Optional excursions

This evening you may choose to attend the traditional Sichuan opera.

Day 8 Chengdu-Lhasa


Fly to Lhasa for a three-night stay at the Four Points by Sheraton (3Q). Spend the rest of the day at leisure. B, L, D

Day 9 Lhasa

Potala Palace

Join an included tour of Potala Palace, former residence of the Dalai Lama. Return to the city centre to explore the bustling Barkhor district and spiritual Jokhang Temple. B,L.

Potala Palace Lhasa Tibet Asia

Day 10 Norbu Lingka

Tibetan monks

Visit Norbu Lingka, the Dalai Lama’s beautiful Summer Palace, before observing afternoon prayers at Sera Monastery. Tonight you can enjoy a Tibetan meal and a traditional local yak dance. B, L.

Norbu Lingka Lhasa Tibet Asia Sera Monastery

Day 11 The Lhasa Express

Lhasa express

Board the Lhasa Express to begin your unforgettable overnight rail journey on the world’s highest railway. You'll travel in a four-berth ‘soft sleeper’ cabin with comfortable upper and lower berths. All meals are included on board. There are shared washbasins and wcs in each 32-berth carriage, along with oxygen pumped in when the train reaches very high altitudes. There is also a personal oxygen supply should you require it. B, L, D

Day 12 Xining-Shanghai

View over Shanghai

Arrive in Xining then fly to Shanghai and travel to the Jin Jiang Hotel (4Q) where you spend the next three nights B, L.

Day 13 Suzhou


Join an included excursion to Suzhou this morning, visiting the Master’s Net garden, Panmen Watergate and the Silk Embroidery Institute. You can also enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal. B, L, D.

Master of Nets Garden Suzhou China Asia

Day 14 Shanghai

Shanghai temples

Visit the waterfront to see Shanghai’s skyline before an included tour of the lavish 16th-century Yu Yuan Garden. You will also have the opportunity to explore the Shanghai Museum, one of the best in China. Travel to Xintiandi, known as the ‘Oriental Paris’, to learn how the city has evolved in recent years. This evening perhaps see an optional acrobatic show. B, L, D

Yu Garden Shanghai China Asia

Optional excursions

The New Shanghai Circus presents their thrilling show at the Magnolia Theatre. It lasts 1½ hours and features Chinese acrobatic skills such as contortionists, foot juggling, hoop-driving and plate-spinning.Five acrobats ride motorcycles within an enclosed iron ball with a diameter of about six metres. You can imagine how crowded it is inside, but they manage to do all kinds of tricks as well as staying on their bikes without crashing into other riders!

Day 15 Shanghai-UK

FLight home

Travel to Shanghai airport for your return daytime flight, arriving in the afternoon for your included UK door-to-door travel service home. B

The Lhasa Express

China and Tibet

from £3,299 14 2

Including optional travel insurance or a discount of £40 if not required