Central Tibet Cultural and Historical Group Tour - 8 Days


Tibet Yumbulagang Palace
Trip Code: 
Length of Trip: 
8 Days
Group Size: 
Maximum of 12 people.
Tour Highlights: 
Lhasa - Tsedang - Yamdrok tso - Gyantse - Shigatse
  • Group Tour
  • Culture & Heritage
Central Tibet Tour Route
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa
Day 02: Lhasa City Sightseeing
Day 03: One Day Tour to Ganden and Sera monastery
Day 04: Lhasa / Samye / Tsedang
Day 05: Tsedang / Yamdrok Lake / Gyantse
Day 06: Gyantse / Shigatse
Day 07: Shigatse / Lhasa
Day 08: Departure from Lhasa
Tour Features: 

Join in a budget Tibet group tour to explore the mysterious snow land, enjoying the spectacular landcape around Yamdrok Lake, listen to pilgrim chanting as you cross Lhasa city. New friends, exploring the unique Tibetan history and more awaits.

Tour Itinerary: 
Day 01:
Arrival in Lhasa [3658m]
Spectacular scenery of the Tibetan plateau along the way from airport or train station to your hotel

Your Tibetan guide will greet you at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or Lhasa railway station, and transport you to your hotel in the city. From the airport to Lhasa is 68 km (42 mi), roughly an hour drive to your hotel. The drive from the train station is only 15 km (9 mi) and takes 20 minutes. During the course of the ride, you will not only be amazed by the spectacular scenery of the Tibetan plateau, the scattered Tibetan villages, but certainly by the hospitality of your guide and driver, as well! After checking into the hotel, you will have the remainder of the day to rest and acclimatize to the high altitude.  

Day 02:
Lhasa City Sightseeing (B=breakfast)
Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Lhasa Old Town

Potala Palace is the best known cultural landmark in Tibet. It is most renowned as the residence of the lineage of Dalai Lamas (Avalokiteshvara), though the massive structure contains a small world within itself. It was first built by 33rd ruler of his dynasty, King Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century, but still is in surprisingly good repair because of continual rejuvenation projects.

Jokhang temple is the most scared building in Tibetan Buddhism, located in the heart of Lhasa old town. It is the most sought after pilgrimage destination for all Tibetans.

Barkhor Street is a popular Kora (holy walking path) which surrounds the Jokhang Temple. Always full of Tibetan faithful, visitors may find mingling with local pilgrims around the Barkhor Street uniquely engaging. It is also a popular shopping district where you can buy gifts for your family and friends.

Lhasa old town gives a glimpse into the daily life of Lhasa Tibetans, which has remained largely unchanged for centuries. You can visit the outdoor markets and specialty stores of handmade bags, carpets, etc.

Day 03:
One Day Tour to Ganden Monastery and Sera Monastery(B=breakfast)
Small hike at Ganden monastery and famous monks detate at Sera monastery

Ganden Monastery is the largest of the six major monasteries of Buddhism's Gelugpa sect. In addition to its magnificent architecture and religious importance, there is an extremely fabulous view on top of the Ganden Wangpo Hill. Kichu Valley is behind Ganden monastery, and we suggest visitors hike around the monastery and for an exquisite bird's-eye view of the valley.

Sera monastery's famous debating monks go back and forth in their debates every day between 3 pm to 5pm (except on Sunday), a performance well worth seeing. After lunch at Ganden monastery, the tour visits Sera.

Optional program: In the evening, your guide can take you to enjoy a local Tibetan performance (price is not included).

Day 04:
Lhasa / Samye / Tsedang, 290KM, 3-4hours' drive (B)
Tibet's first monastery and first palace, as well as the beautiful scenery on the way

Scenery on the way: Driving along the Tibetan plateau with high mountains on one side and the brilliant blue lake on the other, and further along, you will see many different animals grazing in the fields or even walking on the road near your car.

Yumbulakang Palace is located in the center of Yalung Valley, on the top of a rise. It was built by first Tibetan King and has played an important role in the beginnings of Tibetan history and culture, and therefore, Yambulakang Palace is listed as a key cultural relic under special protection of the state. You can ride a horse up to the palace  (about 15 minutes, this fee is not included) or walk up. Standing at the top of the hill, there is an excellent view of the surrounding area and it is a good chance to hang prayer flags.

Samye Monastery is believed to be the first monastery in Tibet, with a history stretching back over 1,200 years. The monastery complex's layout forms a huge mandala, a Buddhist representation of the world. The main monastery is at the center and is surrounded by 4 different coloured stupas (Buddhist shrines) which represent the 4 continents. Around the external wall, there are 1,008 small stupas standing guard.

Day 05:
Tsedang / Yamdrok Lake / Gyantse, 300KM, 6-7 hours' drive (B)
Yamdrok Lake, Karo la glacier, Gyantse Kumbum, Tsampa Workshop

Yamdrok Lake  is one of the 3 holiest lakes in Tibet and the easiest one to reach from Lhasa. The scenery on the way to Yamdrok Lake is fantastic - the road winds through snow-capped mountains and drives along the lake for about half an hour, during which you can get out of the car to go down to touch the blue water and take photographs.

Karo La pass [5100m] overlooks Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier. A short stop is arranged for this great photo opportunity.

Gyantse Kumbum is one of the most stunning architectural wonders in Tibet. A kumbum is a type of Tibetan chapel, and Gyantse's boasts multiple levels and 108 small chapel rooms.

At the Tsampa workshop, you can see how barley is made into Tsampa (the Tibetan staple food) by a series of small machines and water-powered mills.

Day 06:
Gyantse / Shigatse 90 KM about 1.5 hours' drive (B)
Gyantse Dzong, Tashilunpo Monastery and its Kora

Gyantse Dzong (or fortress) was built to resist incursions by the of British and stands like a castle or fort over the city. The hike up is not to strenuous and the view from the top encompasses the whole of Gyanstse city.

Tashilunpo monastery is one of the six prominent yellow hat sect monasteries and is the seat of the Panchen Lama lineage. There is a panoramic view of the whole monastery from the entrance, as well as a massive Jamba Buddha Statue. Around the monastery is another Kora path, which is a leads to a great hike behind the monastery and provides a great view of the whole city of Shigatse.

Day 07:
Shigatse / Lhasa, 280 KM, 5hours' drive
Shigaste local market, landscape and scenery along the Brahmaputra River

In the morning, take the chance to visit the lively market in the old section of Shigatse where you can buy the local handicrafts and also other local Tibetan items.

Late morning, the drive back to Lhasa will start along the Northern Friendship Highway, with marvelous landscapes and scenery along the Brahmaputra River continuing all the way back to Lhasa.

Day 08:
Lhasa Airport or Train Station Send off (B)
Scenery on the way

Your guide and driver will see you off at the airport or train station, concluding the tour.

What's Included
Group Tour Notes: 
Complementary airport pick up and drop off is included.
Our arrival pick up shuttle will depart the airport for Lhasa city at 3:30 pm (for clients arriving on flights scheduled to land before 3:00 pm).
Our departure drop off shuttle will depart Lhasa city at 12:00 pm with arrival at the airport by 1:00 pm (for flights departing after 3:00 pm).

General Inclusions:

  • All required government taxes and fees.
  • All required Tibet permits and domestic travel documents.
  • 3 Stars hotel (shared twin room, private bathroom and daily breakfast)
  • All entrance tickets as noted in the tour's itinerary.
  • Local Tibetan guide fluent in English, Chinese or Japanese that is certified by the state tourism build. (If your native language is not listed please let us know, we are certain we can assist your needs.)
  • Transportation will we be provided via a comfortable and clean car, minivan or tourist bus depending upon the groups size.

General Exclusions:

  • Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, internet access, fax, telephone calls etc.
  • Tips for your guide and driver.
  • Meals that are not specified in the tour itinerary.
  • Optional Attractions that are not specified in the itinerary.
  • Flight tickets or train tickets in and out of Lhasa (Please note: We can offer you train and/or plane tickets in and out Lhasa from all cities within China. Please check the latest price with us via email.)


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