Highlights of Tibet

Discover the Highlights of Tibet – the rooftop of the world, locked away in its Himalayan fortress! Discover enchanting Lhasa – home to the famous Potala Palace and Jokhang Monastery, the spectacular Yam Drok Lake, Gyantse’s Kumbum, Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse and Yumbulakhang, the oldest palace in Tibet.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Lhasa

Lhasa. Arrive at Lhasa Gongkar Airport where you will be receive a warm Tibetan welcome by our representative at the airport. Transfer to Lhasa (approx 70kms), soaking up the wonderful mountain scenery en route. Check into your hotel and spend the remains of the day at leisure, to acclimatise.

Day 2: Potala Palace

Today enjoy a guided tour of the autonomous region’s capital. Sightseeing includes a visit to the beautiful Potala Palace – the dominant landmark of Lhasa, towering 117 meters above the city below. Construction started on the red hill in 1645 under the 5th Dalai Lama. This immense building is a masterpiece in design, 13 storeys high with walls 3 meters thick, containing over 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues, it was both the residence of the current Dalai Lama and tomb of the former Heads of state. The entire building is made of stone and wood and covers an area of 130,000 square meters. The Potala is full of elaborate art work and frescos that tell many stories. Sightseeing also includes the Sera Monastery and Norbulinka monastery – the Dalai Lama’s summer palace which was completed in 1783 under the Eighth Dalai Lama. Set in beautiful grounds with fountains, chapels and pools, Norbulinka is located on the outskirts of Lhasa and it is from here that the present Dalai Lama fled in the 1950’s. Sera Monastery is still a working retreat, 600 years after its foundation as a main teaching monastery and one of the three great Gelukpa ‘universities’ once housing more than 5500 monks.

Day 3: Jokhang Temple

Another full day of sightseeing in the fabled city of Lhasa, visiting the 15th century Drepung Monastery, formerly one of the largest monasteries in Tibet, once housing 10,000 monks and bustling Barkhor Street. The highlight of the day is a visit to Jokhang Temple, the most sacred and important temple in Tibet and also the most captivating. There is an electric atmosphere as crowds of pilgrims travel around the chapels, praying and prostrating themselves.

Day 4: Yamdrok Tso Lake

Lhasa (via Yamdrok Tso Lake) – Gyantse. After breakfast depart Lhasa and journey to Gyantse. En route visit the Drolma Lhakang Temple, associated with the Buddhist teachings of Atisha (a revered Bengali scholar), and we stop at the elevated view point of Kampa La, to soak up the incredible views of the spectacular scorpion shaped Yamdrok Lake. Yamdrok is one of Tibet’s three sacred lakes and according to local mythology, it is the transformation of a goddess. At over 72kms in length, with electric blue water and surrounded by snow capped mountains, it’s an incredible sight to behold. Continuing your journey, drive alongside Yamdrok lake for about an hour to reach Gyantse. Upon arrival spend the remains of the day at leisure at your hotel.

Day 5: Gyantse

Gyantse – Shigatse. Today after breakfast, visit Kumbum and Pelku Chode, two of the prime sightseeing spots in Gyantse. Kumbum was founded in the year 1427 by a Gyantse prince. With a gold dome, and 9 levels, it contains 77 chapels. Pelku Chode is the Monastery inside the same compound of Kumbum. After finished with sightseeing of Kumbum and Pelku Chode, drive on to Shigatse (95kms from Gyantse), Tibets second most important city.

Day 6: Shigatse

Shigatse – Lhasa. After breakfast enjoy a tour of Tashilunpo Monastery, founded in 1447, it is the largest Yellow Hat sect monastery in Tibet and the seat of the Panchen Lamas. Tashilunpo contains chortens, temples and the Panchen Lamas palace. At its peak, Tashilunpo had more than 4,000 monks in its 4 monasteries. The monastery is a striking red, white and black Tibetan structure with a golden roof. Within the monastery there is a 5 story temple, which contains a 26 meter high sitting statue of the Maitreya Buddha, cast from 6,700 ounces of gold and over 115,000 kg of copper, making it the biggest copper Buddhist statue in the world. After the sightseeing and strolling around the free market, journey back to Lhasa.

Day 7: Yumbulakhang Palace

Lhasa – Tsedang. Today after breakfast you will drive to Tsedang via Samye Monastery. Samye Monastery was founded in the 8th century during the reign of King Trisong Detsen with the help of the Indian Buddhist masters Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, whom the king had invited to Tibet to help spread Buddhism. The first Tibetan monks were ordained here after examination, and are referred to as the Seven Examined Men. Over the centuries Samye has been associated with various schools of Tibetan Buddhism and today Tibetans of all traditions come to worship here. Continuing on to Tsedang, visit Yumbulakhang the oldest palace in Tibet. It was believed that King Nyatri Tsenpo descended from heaven to build this palace in 2nd century BC and myths says it is the founding of Tibetan civilization. Yumbulakhang is constructed at the perfect crest of the hill divided into three different components; the tower, the chapel and monks quarters. Not very far from Yumbulakhang, is Tandruk Monastery, situated at the road side. It’s said that renowned figures in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, such as Padmasambhava and Milariba, had practised Buddhism nearby after it was built and the remaining relics are sacred land for the devotees. Enjoy a tour of the monastery and overnight in Tsedang.

Day 8: Depart Lhasa

Tsedang – Lhasa. After breakfast transfer to Gongkar Airport in Lhasa for your onward flight.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Lhasa Daily between
1st July - 30th September:
From $3,475.00From $4,200.00
Inclusions 
Meals:14 7 breakfasts
Transport:Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation:7 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Kailash Manasarovar & Guge Kingdom Exploration Tour

This 17 day Kailash Manasarovar & Guge Kingdom Exploration Tour will show you the best parts Tibet has to offer including a 3 day pilgrimage of Kora, protecting you from misfortune and providing you with merits on your journey towards enlightenment. A once in a lifetime experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself within the lifestyle of the Buddhists in Tibet as well as the visits to a various amount of monasteries in the area.

Thick the Everest Base Camp of your bucket list, share the atmosphere of achievers as there are many tourists climbing this mountain and witness the sun rising from the top of Mount Everest. Soak yourself into the water of Lake Manasarovarm, get fascinated by the unceasing natural beauties of Tibet and explore the Zanda Valley with its magnificent sights.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrival in Lhasa

After arriving in Lhasa, you will be met by a local tour guide who will welcome you at the airport/train station after which he will transfer you to the hotel. You will be able to see the Yarlung Tsangpo River/Brahmaputra River which is the longest and largest river in Tibet and the Lhasa river on your way to Lhasa. Here, you have the chance to acclimatize the high altitude. If you feel like exploring Lhasa a bit more, you can go to the Potala Square where you will enjoy the fountain with different colors. Make sure to get plenty of pictures at Potala.

Day 2: Lhasa

Your tour today will begin from UNESCO World Heritage site – Potala Palace, which is also the winter palace of Dalai Lama. It’s situated at 12,139 feet above sea level and is a 13-story high building that contains over 1,000 rooms, various statues, stupas, murals and artefacts.

Then continue onwards to Jokhang Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a spiritual centre for Buddhists in Tibet. Next to the temple there is Bakhor Street, filled with pilgrims and street vendors, selling traditional Tibetan items such as prayer wheels and jewellery. After the tour through Lhasa, you will be taken back to your hotel for your overnight stay.

Day 3: Lhasa

In the morning, you are going to visit Drepung monastery which was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1416. Ganden palace is used as Dalai Lama’s palace in the Drepung before moving to the Potala palace.

In the afternoon, there will be paid a visit to the Sera Monastery—It was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1419. The highlight is the Monks debating at around 3 – 5 in the afternoon.

Day 4: Lhasa – Gyantse – Shigatse

Today, you will leave Lhasa and head out to Gyantse where you will admire the Gampala pass (4790m) on the way and get a glimpse of the Yambrok-tso (4400m), which is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains. Later, you will pass and enjoy the Korola Glacier on the roadside; at Manak Dam Lake, you will be able to hang up a prayer flag at the Simila Mountain Pass.

Then, continue driving west towards Gyantse where you will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. After a one and a half hour drive, you will arrive in Shigatse; the second largest city in Tibet. Here, you will have your overnight stay.

Day 5: Shigatse – Tashilunpo – Saga

In the morning, you will head from Shigatse to Tashilunpo where an excursion to the Tashilunpo Monastery is planned. After this, you will continue your journey with a drive to Saga.

Day 6: Saga – Lake Manasarovar

It will take you around 8 hours on the road to get to Lake Manasarovar. Along the way you will pass the first mountain pass higher than 5.000m and you will witness the first species on the sacred Kailash. Upon arrival at the lake, you will have free time to your own leisure and your overnight stay will be at a guest house near the lake.

Day 7: Manasarovar – Zanda Valley

In the morning, you will be able to soak your body in the waters of Lake Manasarovar and enjoy the view from here of the Tibetan landscape. Afterwards, a visit to the Chiu Monastery is planned after which you will head to the Zanda Valley where you will stay for Tsabrang the night.

Day 8: Toling – Guge – Tsabrang

Today is in the theme of the Zanda Valley and its magnificent sights. First, there will be a visit to the monastery complex called Toling. A few kilometres from the monastery, you can find the ruins of the Toling dating back to before the 17th century. A visit to the Tsabrang city, the capital of the principality of Guge, is planned and located on a beautiful hillside, so make sure to take some pictures. This is the famous cave city Duchy Guge, where monasteries destroyed frescoes of early Buddhist art.

Day 9: Tsabrang – Darchen

After breakfast, you will drive from Tsabrang to Darchen where you will be able to have a good rest and prepare for the Kailash Kora.

Day 10: Kora

Today will be your first day of the pilgrimage of Kora where you will trek to the monastery Dirapuk which is located on 4910m above sea level. It will take you approximately 6 to 7 hours to cover the 20km by foot.

The Kora is a pilgrimage performed as a ceremony of prayer to the gods of Tibetan Buddhism and are a huge part of the Tibetan traditions as Buddhists believe that walking the Kora around a holy place gives them merits on their journey towards enlightenment. It is also seen to be a way to protect themselves from misfortune.

Day 11: Kora

Today will be the most difficult day of the kora. It is the culmination of the day’s crust around Kailash as you cross the pass Dromla-La on a height of 5600m above sea level. Here, you can visit the monastery.

Day 12: Kora – Paryang

It is the final day of the Kora, leading you only one way; downhill. A straight road goes downhill, taking you to Darchen where lunch will be served. After enjoying your lunch and resting a bit, you will be taken back to Paryang.

Day 13: Paryang – Tingri

Today, there is a long journey ahead and your drive from Paryang to Tingri will most likely take up your day.

Day 14: Tingri: Everest Base Camp

After breakfast, you will drive to the Rongbuk Monastery where you will pay a visit to. Then, it is time to commit trekking at the foot of the highest mountain in the world – Mount Everest – past the ruins of the monastery Rong Chung and the Sherab Cheling. Today, you will be able to visit the Everest Base Camp used by Everest climbers as the headquarters for climbing this mountain. Afterwards, you will head back to the Rongbuk Monastery.

Day 15: Ronbuk – Shigatse

Today, you will drive early from Ronbuk to Shigatse where you will have the day off to your own leisure.

Day 16: Shigatse – Gyantse – Lhasa

Early in the morning, you will depart from Shigatse to Gyantse where you will visit the Gyantse Fortress, the Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Kumbum Stupa which is the biggest stupa of Central Tibet. After strolling through Gyantse, you will head back to Lhasa via the Yamdrok Lake along the mountains.

Day 17: Departure Lhasa

It is time to wave Tibet goodbye and head back home.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Lhasa Daily:From $4,166.00Price on Application
Inclusions 
Meals:14 16 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Transport:Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation:16 nights accommodation
Guide:Experienced Local Tibetan private guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Classic Tibet

Tibet is located on the immense Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with the altitude averaging 4,000 metres. Locked in its mountain fortress of the Himalayas, Tibet has long exercised a unique hold on the imagination of people the world over. It’s only recently that outsiders have had open access to visit the holy city of Lhasa.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Tsedang

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Tibet, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day.

Tsedang is said to be the cradle of the Tibetan civilisation. The city has been a regional capital since ancient times having been the seat of the ancient Tibetan emperors. As such, it is a place of great significance within Tibet.

Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day exploring the town and acclimatising to the Tibetan Plateau altitude.

Your guide will provide restaurant suggests for this evening. Consider trying some of Tibet’s staple cuisines, like tsamba (roasted barley husks) with butter, enjoyed with Sichuan tea. Other common foods include sausages, yoghurt and stews. Tea and barley beer, called chang, are the most popular drinks.

Day 2: Tsedang

Your first full day in Tibet starts with a visit to the Trandruk Temple, one of the first Buddhist Temples built in Tibet. Afterwards visit the Yumbulagang Palace, the first palace of Tibet. This castle-like building rises on the spur of a hill, commanding an impressive view of the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley.

Day 3: Tsedang to Lhasa

After breakfast travel along the mountain roads to Lhasa, stopping on the way to visit Samye Monastery. Located to the west of Tsedang across the Yarlung Tsangpo River, Samye is the oldest monastery in Tibet. A stunning ferry across the Yarlung Tsangpo River brings you to this ancient monastery.

Arrive in Lhasa in the afternoon. Your guide will introduce you to this mysterious city, and help you check in to you hotel.

Mountain locked and remote, Lhasa has a thousand years of cultural and spiritual history. The Tibetan capital is surrounded with a romance and mystique that captures the imagination like few other cities in the world.

Day 4: Lhasa

Start your day with a visit to the golden-roofed Jokhang Monastery where you witness prostrating pilgrims shrouded with incense smoke in the half light of this ancient monastery. Later we visit Barkor Street, the fascinating Tibetan style stock exchange, a hive of market activity.

In the afternoon visit the Potala Palace. Imposing yet precarious on the top of Red Mountain, the palace was once the centre of the Tibetan government and the winter residence of the Dalai Lama.

Day 5: Lhasa

This morning embark on a guided tour of Norbulingka, the former summer Palace of the Dalai Lama. The highlight today is a visit to the largest monastery in the world, the Drepung Monastery, that today houses up to 700 monks. In the afternoon we tour the Sera Monastery, built in the 15th century and one of the great Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet.

You will learn the history of these monasteries and their part in the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, when the monasteries were heavily shelled by the Chinese military. Many Tibetan rebels were killed with the surviving monks fleeing with the Dalai Lama into India and exile.

Day 6: Lhasa to Shigatse

Visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery with its bejewelled golden roof. The official seat of Panchen Lama, second in importance to the Dalai Lama. In the afternoon we continue our scenic road tour to Shigatse.

Shigatse is Tibet’s second city and an important spiritual centre. Your guide will introduce you to Shigatse, and accompany you to a restaurant and introduce you to more of the local Tibetan delicacies.

Day 7: Shigatse to Gyantse

Visit the Pelkor Monastery, notable for its superb Kumbum stupa reaching high into the sky. The Pelkor Monastery was one of the few ancient buildings in Gyantse that was preserved from Chinese dismantlement following the 1959 Tibetan uprising. In the afternoon, you will continue onwards to the plateau town of Gyangtse.

Gyantse is located in the fertile Nuang river valley at just under 4,000 (13,150 ft) metres in altitude. The town is easy to walk around and notable for its prominent fort, or Gyantse Dzong, and the Phalkor Monastery which we visit tomorrow. Gyantse is the last major town in China on the trade route to Kathmandu in Nepal, on the Friendship Highway.

Your guide will organise dinner for you again this evening.

Day 8: Gyantse to Lhasa

Today you travel along mountain roads passing Tibetan nomad camps with herds of yaks and sheep. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Tibetan Plateau, surrounded by snow capped mountains and the pristine Yamdrok Lake with its many small islands. Residing at an altitude of 4,400 metres (14,400 ft) the lake is sacred to Tibetan people.

We drive back to Lhasa in the afternoon.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Tsedang Daily:
Superior OptionFrom $2,922.00Price on Application
Deluxe OptionFrom $3,395.00Price on Application
Inclusions 
Meals:14 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches
Transport:Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Flights: Flight Ticket: Kathmandu / Lhasa / Kathmandu
Accommodation:8 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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