Highlights of Explore Tibet Tour
- A breathtaking tour to ‘’the roof of the world - Tibet.
- Iconic religious landmarks exploration in Lhasa, Tibet.
- One of the highest regions on earth with captivating landscapes.
- Remarkable geography and endless mountain chain views throughout the trip.
- An amazing journey to spectacular religious sites and majestic lakes and high passes.
Yet another amazing tour to one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the world - Tibet otherwise known as the ‘’forbidden land’’. This trip takes you on a one-of-a-kind journey that will leave a deep impression on you. This trip is an absolute opportunity to explore the unique culture and simply soak in the beauty. You will witness the untamed beauty and pure spirituality while you walk on the streets of Lhasa and visit the iconic monasteries. The beautiful place is bounded by the Himalayas with unique geography that will surprise you for sure. This tour allows you to explore its untouched and isolated beauty and culture. Tibet, Lhasa is known as the spiritual hub for Tibetan Buddhism and here you can learn and experience things in depth.
Tibet welcomes everyone from around the world with warm hospitality and never-ending peace. People visit Tibet for various reasons some visit for tranquility and spiritual awakening and others to explore the breathtaking beauty that this place holds. Most people visit Tibet for spiritual and religious purposes as it is known as the holy land. From the highest palace to the holiest mountain Tibet has it all. Trips like Kailash Mansarovar and Everest (north) base camp are quite popular in Tibet. Tibet is an isolated place with little exposure to the world meaning you will get to see the authentic and ancient beauties till this date. Most of the religious sites are decorated with vibrant prayer flags and a strong smell of divine traditional incense that marks its territory perfectly. The massive structures might intimate one while claiming the other with their charm. People doing their rituals (Kora) and other traditional rituals are parts of Tibet that reflect its dominant religion and local belief system.
Lhasa which is anciently known as the city of golden roofs boasts shiny pinnacles over their holy monasteries and temples that sparkle in the daylight. You will explore some of the wonderful attractions that include iconic monasteries, temples, and landscapes. Visiting the sites and seeing the place will make you understand and notice the ancient beauty engraved within the monuments. Besides the artificial monuments, you will also visit the gorgeous lakes and high passes to get a panoramic view of the place. The view will leave you speechless, the picturesque place looks like it's out of this world. Explore Tibet for lifetime memories and a unique travel experience.
Attractions of the tour:
Tibet, Lhasa is one of the most iconic cities in the world with extraordinary landmarks and dominant Tibetan Buddhism roots. Tibet is known as the hidden kingdom as it is behind the majestic Mount Everest - The highest mountain on Earth. Tibet is rich in cultural and natural resources from breathtaking landmarks to jaw-dropping landscapes, you will witness the beauty of Tibet. Besides the architectural beauty, you will also witness the daily lifestyle of the natives while your visit to Tibet, Lhasa. Roaming around streets witnessing the peace and experiencing ancient beauty up close creates amazing memories and a lifetime travel experience.
Potala Palace - Iconic Winter Palace of Dalai Lama.
Potala Palace locally known as the winter palace as it is the residence of his holiness Dalai Lama. Potala Palace is the highest elevated palace in the world with majestic architecture. Potala Palace stands strong at and elevation of 3,700m with the dominant religious beacon. The structure is one of the sacred places in Tibet for Tibetan Buddhists all over the world. The portal palace resembles a large walled fortress with its dominant structure that outshines everything around it. The base of the palace is filled with tranquility and the strong smell of incense offered by its devotees. The palace is divided into two parts which are divided into two part red and white. The white part of the palace is used as Dalai Lama’s residence and the red part is used as the Buddhist administrative part where monks learn the Tibetan Buddhist doctrines and practice teachings. The entire architecture combines around 1000 rooms where there are tombs of all 8 Dalai Lamas, numerous shrines, thousands of hand-painted sacred scrolls, murals, and sculptures covered in precious jewels.
Jokhang Temple - The House of Buddha.
Jokhang, which simply translates to the house of Budhha in Tibetan language is one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered the spiritual heart of Tibet as it houses the precious statue of Buddha from Sakyamuni Buddha. The Jokhang temple was built by Tubo King Srongtsen Gampo in 652 to marry the Nepali princess. He married Princess Bhirkuti now also known as the green Tara in Tibetan iconography. The princess brought several statues of Buddha from the time when as dowry which today sit inside the temple. The architecture of this temple is a bit more unique than other monuments which are inspired by Nepal and Indian architecture. Inside the temple is the precious statue brought by the hr princess covered in a traditional robe and priceless antique jewelry. Outside the temple, you will see devotees doing rituals and Kora which represents the strong belief system of the Tibetan Buddhists.
Barkhor Street - The Holy Path.
Barkhor Street or ‘’Barkhor pathway’’ Khor - meaning related to circumambulation in the Tibetan language. The divine road is located around the Jokhang temple. Barkhor Street is the path surrounding the sacred Jokhang temple. The street is one of the most popular attractions in Lhasa as it is surrounded by local restaurants, cafes, exotic handmade items shops, and street vendors. The road is packed with tourists and locals making it lively and exciting. The street is filled with divine incense smell and hardcore devotees doing their Kora. Tibetan Buddhists are very serious regarding their fate and religion and you can see by the way they commit to it. They lay on the grond on their stomach and get up chanting mantras while repeating the whole process until the circumambulation is completed. This sight is common and you will get to see it almost in every temple and monastery. People walk in a clockwise direction as it is a ritual and do not overtake people as it is considered disrespectful.
Drepung Monastery - The Great Three ‘’Gelug Gompas’’.
Drepung translates to ‘’rice heap’’ in the Tibetan language and is one of the great three Gelug monasteries (Tibetan Buddhist University). It is called the rice heap as people believe it looks like a heap of rice on the hill from a distance. This monastery has a name and another one is Nalanda of Tibet and which means giver of knowledge. It is the biggest monastery in Tibet and the massive monasteries compose of unique architecture and spectacular parts. It is also the formal palace of the Dalai Lama before the construction of the Potala Palace was completed. Drepung is one of the biggest Buddhist monasteries and inside the monastery, there are four largest Drepung colleges. The great colleges are Dratsang, the largest of Drepung’s colleges, Drepung Gomang Dratsang, the second to Loseling College, and Drepung Deyang Dratsang, the smallest college. Drepung monastery also hosts one of the most prominent festivals - the Shoton festival also known as the grandest Buddha unfolding in Lhasa.
Sera Monastery - The Hail Monastery.
Sera Monastery is one of the most beloved monasteries by both tourists and locals. The word ‘’Sera’’ translates to wild roses and it is believed that the hill behind the monastery was covered in multicolor wild roses during the construction of the monastery. The Sera monastery is primarily known for its monk's debate as it is interesting and a unique thing to experience. You can see beautiful architecture and intricate Tibetan art style up close inside the temple. Sera Monastery captures your attention with its tranquil chanting and peaceful environment. Sera monastery is known for its fascinating debate among the monks.in the courtyard of the monastery you will see monks impairs one sitting and another standing one sitting answers the questions asked by the monk standing. They speak in their native language, about the Tibetan Buddhist doctrines. You might not understand what exactly they are saying but you can know who is losing the debate and here's how: if the standing monk claps the hand then you know it’s a crack/wrong answer. They repeat until the evening and call it a day the debate time is 3 PM-4 PM every day except for Sundays.
Yamdrok Tso - The Jade Lake of Tibet.
Yamdrok Tso (Lake) is one of the holy lakes in Tibet which is one of the most beautiful landscapes. The lake is located on the south bank of the Yarlung Zangbo River on the way to Shigatse. The Yamdrok is known as the Jade Lake for its enchanting turquoise color. It is the sacred lake also being the most beautiful one. This wonderful lake is a perfect place to visit for those that admire the breathtaking beauty of Tibet’s natural landscape away from the hustling and bustling city area. The lake is surrounded by a landscape of mountains and plains that perfectly frames the lake for gorgeous photos, including snow-capped mountains, Himalaya glaciers, and numerous small islands around the lake. You will drive through a high pass called Gampala Pass at an altitude of 4,790m above sea level. You will get a stunning view of the entire lake along with the surrounding landscapes from the Pass. you can get close to the lake and take pictures with animals such as yaks and Tibetan massifs beautifully decorated by the locals for pictures however, keep in mind that taking pictures with these animals will charge you some money.
Palcho Monastery - Lucky and Happy Monastery.
Palcho Monastery is located in Gyantse town of Shigatse in west Tibet and is also known as Palcho Monastery or the Shekar Gyantse, which is the main monastery in the village of Nyangchu River in Gyantse county. It is a large and complex structure of monastic structures composed of monasteries, fortresses, and temples. Palcho means lucky and happy in the Tibetan language. The Palcho monastery gains its popularity from its unique structure which is a combination of Han, Tibetan, and Nepali Buddhists. The significant reason for its high status in Tibetan Buddhism is that it houses three prominent sects of Tibetan Buddhism which are Gelug, Sakyapa, and Kadampa together. The Palcho monastery composes of a temple, monastery, and fortress. The most astounding monastery is a symbol of Gyantse i.e. the Bodui Dagoba (Tibetan name Pelkhor Choede) popularly known as ‘’Kumbum’’. Kumbum is the 3-D representation of Mandala which is very different than any religious structure you will find in Tibet. Inside the monastery, there are ancient statues, murals, and carvings that represent the high-standard art and teachings and doctrines in the form of art. Besides the architectural and religious beauty, you will get to see the semi-arid landscape with snow-capped mountains from the location.
Tashilhunpo Monastery - The Heap of Glory.
Tashilihunpo monastery which is locally known as the Heap of Glory is situated in Nyiseri mountain in the west of Shigatse city built in 1447 by Gedun Drupa, the first Dalai Lama. Tashilihunpo monastery largest monastery in the Tsang area which is also the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lama, Tibet’s second-highest incarnation. It is also one of the great six Gelugpa monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism. Another five are Derpung, Sera, Ganden, Kumbum, and Labrang monasteries. The monastery attracts lots of tourists as it has a very unique architectural structure that includes Caqen Hall, Chapel of Jampa, four great Dratsangs, 56 sutra halls, and 64 Kamcuns with a spectacular view of the landscape. Pilgrims pay homage by going around the site in a clockwise direction which is called Kora, you can participate in it as well.
Arrival in Lhasa, Welcome!!
Tashi Delek !! Welcome to the holy ground of Tibet. Upon arrival at Lhasa Gonggar Airport, your tour guide will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Lhasa.
Lhasa, Tibet is one of the highest-elevated cities in the world situated at an elevation of 3,650m /11,975 ft. The city will take your breath away, quite literally. You will feel the air being a bit thinner than in your regular place to spend the rest of the day acclimatizing to the high altitude. Acclimatization is an essential aspect of any high-altitude tour, and it's necessary to give your body time to adjust to the decreased oxygen levels. Acclimatization helps you avoid altitude sickness, which can be life-threatening. It's essential to take it easy, drink plenty of water, and get a good night's sleep. In the evening have your dinner at the hotel and rest well.
Have your breakfast at the hotel and get ready to explore Lhasa and its popular attractions. Start your sightseeing in the morning, and visit the Potala Palace, the iconic symbol of Tibet and the winter residence of the Dalai Lama—Marvel at the stunning architecture and intricate artwork. The majestic landmark will blow your mind at first sight. You will notice the massive Potala Place from a distance with its unique architecture and red and white colors and the most common thing in Tibet i.e. vibrant prayer flags.
The day tour will be fully guided and your licensed guide will provide you with all the necessary information about the palace, history, and dos and don'ts making sure you won’t get in trouble. You will see people doing Kora around the holy palace as a ritual and as you get closer to the place you will notice the beautiful smell of the traditional incense and butter from all the butter lamps. You will witness some of the finest and most intricate architecture and authentic Tibetan art forms.
(you are not allowed to take pictures and videos inside the temple, palaces, and other attraction sites)
After the Potala Palace, head to Jokhang Temple considered the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Jokhang temple is just 2 km far from the Potala Palace. Jokhang has lots of statues and valuable historical art pieces from Nepal as it is literally called the house of Budhha from Nepal. Also, you will witness pilgrims prostrating themselves in devotion around the temple. Inside the monastery, you will see murals and hand-painted Thangka demonstrating Buddhism.
Last, but not least Barkhor Street is a lively marketplace surrounding the Jokhang Temple. Around the street, you can find authentic Tibetan street food and lots of eye-catching things. Have Lunch at the market and also shop for souvenirs, sample local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the local culture. There are many things to see and experience here as it is filled with locals, tourists, and pilgrims. Roam around the market area and enjoy the nightlife of Lhasa before going back to the hotel. Once at the hotel, enjoy the dinner at the hotel and rest well for the next day.
Lhasa Monastery Sightseeing
Start your day with breakfast at the hotel and light breathing exercises. Today you will visit two great Buddhist universities and two of the three great Gelug monasteries in Tibet Drepung Monastery. The monastery is located northwest of Lhasa within an 11 km distance which you can cover in just 30-35 mins by drive. Once at the monastery, you will smell the strong scent of traditional incense and tranquility. Explore the beautiful architecture of the monastery along with arts and a peaceful monastic ambiance. Some things to witness are the sand Mandala, authentic artwork of the monastery, view of the spectacular landscape, and doctrinal debate of the monks at the courtyard at 2:30 PM.
(Drink plenty of water to avoid getting high altitude sickness. You can have lunch at the restaurant in Lhasa after the sightseeing /your guide will help you choose restaurants according to your preference)
Visit Sera Monastery, this is the place where you can see the finest debate. The distance between Drepung monastery to Sera monastery is around 14 km which is just 45 mins drive. Once at the monastery, you will have several monks in pairs, one sitting, and the other standing. What they're doing is asking questions and answering from their learning (Tibetan Buddhist doctrine). The debate is held in the afternoon at 3-4 PM every day except for Sundays. One sitting is answering the question and the one standing is asking questions. If you see them being a bit aggressive that's normal and clapping the hand means the answer is wrong. After sightseeing, return to your hotel and check-in and end check in with a delicious dinner at the hotel.
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse
Today you will start your day with a warm breakfast and a scenic journey toward Shigatse. Today you will drive towards Shigatse which lies in the Samzhubze district around 365 km west of Lhasa. On the way, you will come across glorious natural attractions as well as the most sacred monasteries.
Start your comfortable journey via a scenic drive to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake, one of Tibet's three sacred lakes. Before you reach the beautiful lake you will cross a high pass called Gampola Pass situated at an altitude of 4,790 m.
The striking turquoise lake is surrounded by green hills making a perfect background for some amazing pictures. Not only the lake but you will notice yaks beautifully decorated beside the lake, yes you can take pictures with them but you will be charged a certain amount of money by the locals. Enjoy the breathtaking views and the turquoise waters and move on to Shigatse.
Before that visit the Palcho Monastery also known as Kumbum Stupa in Gyantse, an architectural marvel featuring 108 chapels within its nine levels. This magnificent place is surrounded by massive walls and Dzong that are centuries old. This place is full of authentic Tibetan art styles, some of which feature amazing architecture, murals inside the monastery, sculptures, and other forms of art. The temple has quite a unique structure which is the 3-D representation of a Mandala, which you will notice as soon as you lay your eyes on it.
(No pictures are allowed inside the monasteries, temples, and monks without asking for permission. Also, keep yourself well hydrated as you will be at a high elevation)
Continue your trip to Shigatse and check into your hotel. Your guide will help you by passing on all the necessary information during your sightseeing. Have dinner at the hotel and rest well for the next day.
Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, Drive Back to Lhasa
Have early morning breakfast at the hotel and drive to Tashilhunpo. Today you will visit Tashilhunpo Monastery (4,300m/14,108 ft), the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, the second highest-ranking figure in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is enclosed by the mountains in the background. The monastery is as important as the Potala palace and holds equal religious importance. Inside the monastery, you will see a massive statue beautifully decorated in precious metals along with pictures of the Panchen Lamas. After you explore the monastery drive towards Lhasa, passing through as road as you came. The Total distance between Shigatse to Lhasa is around 278 km which takes around 5 hours to 6 hours to reach. Once you reach Lhasa check in at your hotel and relax for a while.
After exploring the market join your guide for dinner with the cultural program (Tibetan dance with a folk song). Your amazing tour ends today, enjoy the meal and great ambiance of the spiritual center. End your tour with a memorable dinner in total Tibetan style.
Kah-leh phe! After breakfast, your guide will transfer you to the airport or train station for your departure three hours after the airport formalities. Your Best of Lhasa Tibet tour comes to an end, but the memories will last a lifetime. Have a safe home return!!
The information given about the Explore Tibet Tour is in-depth, feel free to contact us 24/7 for any kind of assistance through Email or WhatsApp. You can write an email if this trip doesn't fit your vacation schedule and requirements. We aim to offer the best possible travel experience to the customers. Depending on the needs of the visitors and the group size, we customize each vacation package. We will put together a bespoke itinerary just for your private group.
Travel insurance: Travel insurance is essential before traveling to a new place especially when you are traveling for adventure. Travel insurance covers risks such as loss of personal belongings and unexpected expenses. Travel insurance also covers sudden medical emergencies such as accidents. It also covers high-altitude emergencies. Travel insurance is not compulsory but highly recommended.
Medical emergency: If you face any medical emergency such as high altitude sickness your professional guide will help you and transfer you for medical attention. Tibet lies at an elevation above 3000 and high altitude sickness is a possible medical condition. For such a situation, your guide carries a well-equipped first aid kit along with portable oxygen, ensuring nothing happens to you.
High-altitude sickness: During the Tibet tour you will stay above 3,000m. Tibet is the only city located at this altitude, increasing the chances of getting altitude sickness. Noticing a lower oxygen level is normal and you will acclimatize on the first day before you start your tour. Altitude sickness is unpredictable; it can happen to anyone despite being physically and mentally fit. As you gain altitude, the chances of altitude sickness increase slightly. To avoid getting altitude sickness you should drink 5-6 lt water per/day and food with high carbohydrates. Sauntering and acclimatizing decrease the chances of getting altitude sickness. Focus on your breathing and maintain your walking pace.
Do’s and Don’t:
Select the ideal time to travel.
Select a reputed trekking/ travel organization.
Training and getting ready for any kind of situation are necessary.
Carry all the essential paperwork (Tibet entry permit).
Maintaining body hydration is important while traveling to high elevations.
Don’t take pictures and videos inside the monasteries, temples, or any religious sites.
Hire a licensed tour guide to get information about the place such as its history, and importance.
Wear appropriate clothing during the monastery visit.
Respect the culture and people of the area.
Travel for experience and not for the sake of traveling.
Don’t litter, put trash in its place.
Why with Altitude Himalaya: Altitude Himalaya is one of Nepal’s growing travel companies providing excellent service to its clients. We believe in providing quality experiences and memories. We are concerned about maintaining and following our standard service, including a private transfer, at least a 3-star hotel accommodation in urban areas, the best available lodges/tea houses at the trekking trails, and dedicated personalized assistance. Additionally, we also operate our trips in Bhutan and Nepal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Tibet located?
Tibet is located on the northern side of the Himalayas north of Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Myanmar on the highest region of the Tibetan plateau. It lies on the border of Nepal and China and you can access Tibet directly from Nepal either by flight or drive.
How can I visit Tibet and which is the easiest way?
You can access Tibet in two ways one is directly from China and another is from Nepal which is comparatively the easiest way. One is from China, Mainland, you can either take a flight from Beijing to Lhasa with a stopover in Xining or a direct flight. You can also take the train on the Qinghai Tibet railway which will take around 40 hours to complete the journey. Another way to visit Tibet is from Nepal which is competitively easier than from China. You can take a flight from Nepal to Tibet which is the fastest route. (Flight time 1 hour 45 minutes) The direct flight operates from Kathmandu, Nepal to Tibet, Lhasa which is the best way for those who are short on time.
When is the best time to visit Tibet and why?
The best time to visit Tibet is between May to October when the skies are clear and decent temperature is decent. July to August is the summer season when the temperature is warmer and also in August one of the most important festivals is called Shoton (Yogurt festival). During the winter season, the weather is crystal clear giving you an amazing view of the surrounding landscapes and endless mountain chains.
Do I need to visit China to visit Tibet or is there another route?
Tibet is the autonomous region of China however you don't have to visit China directly to travel to Tibet as you can access Tibet through Nepal with a special permit. You can travel to Tibet either by land or air both from Nepal without having to visit China directly.
Can I travel to Tibet alone?
Unfortunately No, you cannot travel alone in Tibet as it is prohibited by the government. You must hire a government-licensed tour guide throughout the tour. Travelers are only allowed to visit Tibet through a travel agency that will take care of your accommodation, transportation, and permits.
What kind of accommodations can I get during the trip to Tibet?
Tibet has options regarding accommodation from 3-star hotels to luxurious 5-star hotels in the major city area however, there are limited choices in the remote areas. In remote areas, there are tented accommodations with comfortable bedding and basic amenities run by the locals.
What kind of food will I get can I get international cuisines too?
You can get varieties of food during your trip to Tibet from authentic Tibetan cuisine to other delicious international food such as Indian and Nepali food along with your comfort fast food as numerous fast food restaurants serve comfort food in Tibet.
What are the chances of getting altitude sickness and how to prevent it?
Tibet’s average altitude is 3,500 m to 4,000m and the chances of getting high altitude sickness get higher. To reduce the chances of getting high altitude sickness you must acclimatize and adapt to the surrounding environment. Having high carbohydrate food, and plenty of water (4-5 lt) per day helps you prevent any possible chances of getting high altitude sickness.
Do I need to bring oxygen cans for the trip?
It is not necessary to bring oxygen with you during the trip as you can get it in hotels, clinics, and hospitals easily. If you need the oxygen you can purchase it in the hotels directly but we suggest you not to use the oxygen supply and adapt to the altitude by naturally yourself.
What kind of documents do I need to bring to apply for a permit?
You will need a special permit to visit Tibet. Without the Tibet entry permit, you are not allowed to travel to Tibet as per government law. It takes around 8 to 10 days to get the Tibet permit after applying for it. Typically the permit is valid for a maximum of three months. You can get the permits through a travel agency either directly from China or Nepal.
Airport pick up and drop off on a private basis.
A private A/C vehicle for all the mentioned transportation and sightseeing.
All (05 Nights) hotel accommodations are based on double-sharing deluxe rooms.
All mentioned sightseeing entrance fees.
Daily breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
All government and local tourism taxes.
Professional experienced licensed tour guide throughout the tour.
Well-equipped medical kit along with portable oxygen.
Driver and guide’s allowance, salary, fuel cost, and toll/taxes.
Tibet group visa fee
International flight to reach Tibet.
Tips to driver and tour guide. (Not required but recommended)
Services that aren’t mentioned above.
Why Travel With Altitude Himalaya?
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