Whether you arrive in Lhasa by train or by plane, your tour guide will meet you at the train station or at the airport to take you to your hotel and help you get checked in. Along the way into downtown Lhasa from the airport, you will be able to see the Yarlung Tsangpo/Bhamaputra River along the way – the largest and longest river in Tibet. Once you are at your hotel, you will have time to rest and relax to become acclimatized to the higher altitude, or, if you are ready to get started sightseeing, you can visit Potala Square with its different colored fountains and fantastic views of the Potala Palace.
Today we will start off with the fantastic Potala Palace, which historically served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. It was first used in the 7th century by the 33rd king of Tibet. The most valuable collections in the Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of the former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. After lunch, we will move on to the Jokhang Temple, which was also founded in the 7th century by the 33rd great king of Tibet to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni as he was at the age of twelve – this is perhaps the most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can perform the “Kora” (a religious circuit around a sacred building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals. The Barkhor market is also a great place to pick up locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.
This morning we will visit the Drepung Monastery – one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge, on Tosngkhapa’s main disciples, the Drepung Monastery is home of Ganden Palace, which formerly served as the Dalai Lama’s palace before later moving on to the Potala Palace. In the afternoon we will move on to see another of the great three of the Gelug monasteries in Tibet – the Sera Monastery. Founded in 1419 by another main disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Chojey, the main attraction of this monastery is the lively scene of the monks debating Buddhist scriptures in the courtyard behind the monastery in the afternoon.
With this option, in the morning we will have a beautiful drive from Lhasa to Lake Namtso, one of the four holy lakes of Tibet. Along the way we will see the spectacular Nyenchen Thanglha mountain range with its scenic snow-capped mountain peaks. We will also see numerous tents of nomads who live on the mountainsides with their grazing yak and sheep. Namtso Lake is known as the Heavenly Lake, and it is the highest altitude salt lake in the world. We will have time this afternoon for some relaxing trekking along the lakeshore and to explore Tashi Island. We will spend the night at the lake with the opportunity for some fantastic stargazing if the skies are clear (they usually are).
This morning we can spend some time on the lakeshore with additional time to explore Tashi Dor Island to explore its meditation caves if we didn’t get there the night before. We will drive on to Dumxung to enjoy a nice lunch before driving on to Yampachen. Here you can find the Yangpachen hot springs where they have both indoor and outdoor pools filled with hot springs water. If you like, you can enjoy the hot springs at your own expense. Afterward we will drve on to Lhasa where you can have some free time to enjoy your last night in Tibet.
Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel to escort you on to the Lhasa airport or train station and help you make sure that you find the right place to board your flight or train for your departure from Lhasa.
Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
Private vehicle and Luggage Transfers.
All necessary Tibet travel permits.
All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis. Guesthouse or tent in remote areas.
Meals, as noted in the itinerary.
Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary.
Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
China visa, all air tickets and train tickets to and from Tibet.
Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
Meals not listed in the itinerary (all lunches and dinners).
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
Excess Baggage Charges.
Single room supplement.