Tibet Exploration Tour
13 Days / 12 Nights
The tour includes most of the important places of interest in central & south Tibet. We have three full days in Lhasa which gives us ample time to see the most important sites and soak up the feeling. Trek from Tsurphu Monastery to Dorjeling Nunnery, enjoy the view of the holy Namtso Lake and visit the Everest Base Camp at the end of the tour. The quiet and colorful Namtso Lake, rugged valleys and mountainsides, eye-opening wildlife, the resplendent monasteries and breathtaking view of Mt. Everest from the Base Camp will make you remember this journey for a life-time. Note: All the durations and distances shown in the itinerary are approximate and indicative only, depending on the weather and local road conditions.
Hiking: 4-5 hours per day for 3 days
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience China with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Lhasa (altitude: 3,670m) (-/-/-)
Upon your arrival, you will be warmly welcomed with a pure white katak scarf (prayer scarf). Then drive to Lhasa, 100kms away from the airport. On the way you may enjoy the heart-beating highland view along the Lhasa River and stop occasionally for pictures of local villages. The rest of the day is free to relax and adjustment to the altitude. Enjoy a welcome dinner with local characteristics.
Day 2. Lhasa (B/-/-)
Today's highlights are Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. Potala Palace is a structure of massive proportions which itself contains a small world within it. Your first sight of the Potala will be an awe-inspiring moment. After lunch visit Jokang Temple, the most scared shrine and the spiritual centre of Tibet. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to venture around Barkhor street, where you will feel you are right at the heart of Tibet.
Day 3. Lhasa (B/-/-)
This morning, our tour begins with a 20km-drive out of Lhasa to one of the holiest cave retreats in Tibet, the Drak Yerpa hermitage. Here we will visit some meditation caves once used by famous figures. Next we will visit Sera monastery. Sitting at the foot of the mountains, it is one of the three greatest Gelugpa monasteries. The structure is imposing and picturesque with a splendid decoration in green and gold. It is a typical Tibetan structure.
Day 4. Lhasa - Tsurphu Monastery (altitude: 4,480m) (B/-/-)
After breakfast, set off to Tsurphu Monastery for acclimatization. We are going to ascend to the altitude of 4,480m. Tsurphu Monastery is the seat of The Karma branch of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built in the middle of the valley facing south with high mountains surrounding the monastery complex. As the birthplace of the Reincarnation System of the Living Buddha, this, over 800-year-old spiritual hub still pulsates with religious activities.
Day 5. Trekking from Tsurphu Monastery to Leten (altitude: 5,105m) (B/-/-)
11km/4-5hrs hiking; ascent 500m;
A spectacular first day of trekking ascending up in a green valley crisscrossed with mountain streams. Several small nomadic communities camp here for the summer herding months. Stop at a yak-hair tent for a cup of salt butter tea or fresh yak milk. Arrive at the ridge top around noon, where a high plateau with sweeping panoramic views will emerge. Arrive in Leten, the 'highest village in the world'. The scenery is refreshing and stimulating, classic Tibetan landscape.
Day 6. Leten - Bartso (altitude: 4,474m) (B/-/-)
15km/5-6hrs hiking; ascent 300m; descent 600m;
Cross the first small pass, descend into a magical valley of lichen-coated boulders, meandering streams and expansive sky. Arrive at the Lasar La, the highest pass of this trek (5,300m), and descend into the Yangpachen valley, with its wide open plateaus, spiky grass hummocks and tundra-like parched, cracked patches of earth. Then another 3 hours walk to Bartso. Surrounded by the juniper used for incense all over the Tibetan world, this nomad village of 5 homes with permanent sources of water is a good place to camp.
Day 7. Bartso - Dorje Ling Nunnery (altitude: 4,474m) /
Drive to Namtso (altitude: 4,720m) (B/-/-)
15km/4-5hrs hiking; ascent 150m; descent 150m;
Continue the hike over another ridge with views of Mount Nyenchen Tanglha (7,111 m), the holiest mountain in central Tibet. Emerge at Tajung village (4,660m), where young nomadic boys and girls picnic on the plateaus as they watch their yaks and sheep graze. Reach the Djore Ling Nunnery (4,474m) where where these nuns, some of the friendliest in Tibet, might drag you into the gompa's tea-house and pass around a heaping plate of yak meat before getting into the requisite photo session. After that we will drive to Namtso Lake for overnight.
Day 8. Namtso - Lhasa (altitude: 3,670m) (B/-/-)
Appreciate the sunrise and beautiful scenery at the Lake of Namtso, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, the second-largest saltwater lake in China and the highest lake in the world. When the weather is clear, the water is a stunning shade of turquoise and we will be surrounded by magnificent views of the nearby Mount Nyenchen Tanglha range with peaks of more than 7,000m. The wide open spaces, dotted with tents of local nomads, are breathtaking. Explore the area then drive back to Lhasa.
Day 9. Lhasa - Gyangtse (altitude: 3,900m) (B/-/-)
Morning drive up to Kampala pass (5,030m), you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok Tso Lake on the way and spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Tanglha in the distance, which are wonders of the day. Continue to Gyantse, visit the famous Gyantse Kumbum, and Pelkor Monastery. It occupies an important place in the history of Tibetan Buddhism and features a mixture of pagoda and monastery architecture. The most symbolic piece in the monastery is the Kumbum Stupa, which is composed of nine layers and 77 temple halls with numerous Buddha statues in halls and murals.
Day 10. Gyangtse - Tingri (altitude: 4,200m) (B/-/-)
We will spend most of the day on the road driving (about seven hours). On the way, you will cross the Gyatsola Pass at 5,220m. You will also visit Sakya Monastery and see Mt. Everest in the distance. Located in Sakya County southwest of Shigatse, the Sakya Monastery is the principal monastery of the Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Tingri or rather Lao Tingri is the last stop before your Everest Base Camp Tour.
Day 11. Everest Base Camp (altitude: 5,150m) (B/-/-)
It takes about 5 hours from Tingri to the Everest Base Camp. The views are stupendous on a clear day and feature a huge sweep of the spectacular Himalaya ranges, especially when you cross the Gawu La Pass at 5,250m. When you finally get to Everest Base Camp, the first sight of the mighty Everest simply leaves you speechless. The afternoon is free for you to wander around, then drive back to Tingri.
Day 12. Tingri - Shigatse (altitude: 3,836m) (B/-/-)
After breakfast, drive about 300km to Shigatse and have lunch. Then, we will visit Tashilunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama, which houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha and the Stupa-tomb of the Tenth Panchen Lama, which contains masses of jewels and gold and is the most splendid mausoleum built in China since the 1950s. Just close to Tashilhunpo is the Old Town of Shigatse, a great place to wander around: nicely decorated Tibetan houses and an interesting market and bazaar will give you a vivid picture of local people's life.
Day 13. Shigatse - Lhasa - Departure (B/-/-)
Early in the morning leave from Shigatse to Gonkar airport in Lhasa. The drive takes about 5 hours.
Board your flight towards the UK.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
PRICES AND INCLUSIONS
13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS FROM £2,620 per person + flights
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
12 nights medium range hotel accommodation with breakfast in a twin/double room
3 star hotel in Lhasa, Gyangtse and Shigatse. the best lodging places in small villages, camping as indicate in the itinerary.
Air conditioned private vehicle with driver for the full duration of the tour as described in the itinerary
All tours mentioned in the itinerary with private English speaking guide
All entrance fees and permissions to the sites visited
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Lhasa
Anything not specifically mentioned above
Visa fee for China and Tibet
Tips to the guide and driver
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
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