Itinerary in brief:
- 4 nights Lhasa
- 1 night Gyantse
- 1 night Shegar
- 1 night Rombuck
- 1 night Shigatse
- 1 night Lhasa
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa
Arrive into Lhasa and begin to get used to the altitude in the ‘Land of the Gods’, Tibet.
You will join your group today; the trip is based on private transport throughout and you will be accompanied by a guide, have permits provided and stay in twin share accommodation. (Single supplement available on request)
The road from the airport drives along the Yarlung Tsangpo, the largest canyon in the world with a depth of 5,382m.
Day 2: Explore Drepung, Norbulinkha and Sera Monasteries
Today you will begin to explore Lhasa, beginning with the stunning Drepung Monastery, founded in 1416 and which once housed nearly 10,000 monks. The colourful Assembly Hall is a highlight, with kaleidoscopic hangings covering every surface and chanting monks praying as one.
You’ll walk the beautiful grounds of the Nobulinkha Palace, set in a 40 hectare park in the west of Lhasa and built as a summer residence for the Dalai Lama in the 18th Century. Next you’ll discover the Sera Monastery, so named for the wild roses that bloomed where the complex was originally built, is dedicated to the Gelupka branch of Tibetan Buddhism and is combined of many different buildings built into the sunny hillside just north of Lhasa.
Day 3: Visit Potala and Jokhang Monasteries
Another day to enjoy Lhasa’s pretty architecture, beginning with its most famous building, the Potala Palace, residence of the Dalai Lama until the 1959 uprising when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. The magnificent structure towers over Lhasa and while little remains of the original structure, the current palace built in 1645 is one of the most beautiful in all of Tibet.
After enjoying the impressive Potala Palace, move on to the Jokhang Temple where the golden roof glints in the sun! At 1,300 years old it remains one of the most active and sacred Tibetan temples set in the middle of the Barkhor Market. You’ll wander amongst the stalls and teahouse, where the products sold are unlike anywhere else in the world.
Day 4: Free day in Lhasa
Day at leisure to explore the city.
Day 5: Drive to Gyantse
Today you’ll be driven to Gyantse, 254km from Lhasa. Although a long drive, the journey is very scenic and you travel across the Khamba La and Kora La Passes before winding along the shores of Lake Yamdrok Tso, where the deep blue water reflects the sky above. Gyantse was once an important trading town and when you arrive you’ll see a glimpse into Old Tibet.
Day 6: Visit Pelkor Chode Monastery - Via Sakya to Shegar
After breakfast, you’ll visit Gyantse’s monastery, Pelkor Chode. The Tsuklakhang, the main temple was built in 1418 and although much of it has been destroyed, the main assembly hall was preserved, decorated with beautiful madalas in Sakya tradition. If there is time, you’ll also visit the dzong (fort) that towers above the town below.
Day 7: Drive to Rombuk
Today you will head to the Rongbuk Monastry which lies near the base of the north side of Mount Everest and is thought to be the highest monastry in the world, for Sherpas living on the south slopes of Everest in the Khumbu region of Nepal this is an important pilgrimage site.
Day 8: Return drive to Shigatse
Today you will drive to the city of Shigatse located within the historical Tsang province of TIbet.
Day 9: Visit Tashilumpo and drive to Lhasa
Today you’ll visit Tashilumpo, the seat of the Panchen Lama, second only in importance to the Dalai Lama. Walk the numerous halls that contain a 22 metre wooden statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha as well as an elaborate, jewel encrusted chorten. After lunch you’ll drive to Sakya, the seat of political power in Tibet for 400 years where the fortified monastery is still one of the most important schools of Tibetan Buddhism. After this you will journey onwards to Lhasa for the night.
Day 10: Departure to the airport
Today is your final day in Tibet, you will be transferred to the airport to connect with your onward flight.