Perhaps it's Tibet's roof-of-the-world elevation, or its creation myth that had it connected to heaven by a rope: Tibet seems to be somehow suspended between heaven and earth, studded with places of worship and mountains that scrape the sky. Despite an intense modernization campaign by the Chinese government, the Tibetan people retain a transcendent spiritual quality that informs every aspect of their lives, which makes their home on the Earth's highest plateau one of the world's most intriguing travel destinations.
With four of the world's ten highest mountains flanking its southern border, Tibet offers some of the world's most spectacular trekking. One of the more physically taxing, yet visually rewarding, things to do in Tibet, you won't find crowds of backpackers out here-these are true adventures in a very remote region characterized by high altitude and climatic extremes. But if you are fit and determined it's possible to trek through valleys inhabited by nomads, or to Mt. Kailash, the holiest mountain in Asia. Tibet treks are guided, and are done luxury expedition-style with tents, porters, cooks and portable toilets.
LHASA/BEIJING BY TRAIN
Numbering among the more leisurely activities in Tibet, see the sights between Lhasa and Beijing in total comfort aboard a luxury train. In 2006 the Chinese completed the Qinhai Tibet Railway, linking Beijing, Chengdu, Xi'an and Xining with Lhasa. This engineering marvel travels across the high Tibetan Plateau, through densely forested mountains above Xining. There are the two different trains plying the tracks, a modest local model and the luxurious Tangula, which can be compared to the Eastern & Orient Express. Tangula's custom built trains feature relaxed elegance, state-of-the-art technology, personal entertainment systems and onboard oxygen facilities, allowing you to travel Tibet in comfort at altitudes of over 16,000 feet. Private soft sleeper cabins feature 24-hour attendant service. Each berth sleeps four passengers (two upper and two lower twin berths). Travel from Xining to Lhasa (or visa versa) takes 24 hours and is the most scenic part of the journey. The entire Beijing to Lhasa route is a five-day/four-night journey, while the Lhasa to Beijing direction is a four-day/three-night journey.