Have you already visited the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street? Do you want to see more of local Lhasa and have a free day? Luckily there are many options for you to pick from, here are 3 top suggestions you may want to consider. All of these beautiful places can be easily reached and return to Lhasa, Tibet within a day. Besides, the journey won't cost you a lot, so you can call it a budget Tibet tour!
The first and perhaps the best is Namtso Lake, it is one of the 3 holly lakes in Tibet. It is the highest salt water lake and well known for its' blue sky and crystal clear water. It is a great place place to view either the sunrise or sunset. A visit to Namtso Lake can also provide you a chance to see the many rare animals. The drive from Lhasa is about 220 km. (137 mi.) and we advise our guests that visiting Namtso Lake in the winter is not advised, due to hazardous road conditions over some country side mountain passes.
Second on the list and a spiritual cornerstone of Tibet is the famous Samye Temple located in Tsedang, with over 1,000 year history and historical relics. When you arrive here, the main sanctuary in Samye Temple will present you with a special architectural symbol of Tibet. You will notice that the bottom stories are built in Tibetan style, the middle stories is Han style and in the top is Indian style. This is to different from other temple architecture. It has a 92 m. (301 ft.) long mural that shows the recorded history of the Tibetan culture. Tsedang is just a short 122 km. (75 mi.) drive from Lhasa.
The last place on list is very close to Lhasa 57 km. (35 mi.) and one of the six Gelugpa Sect monastery (also known as the yellow hats). At Ganden monastary you can see pilgrimages and monks wear their traditional yellow hats, enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in the red and white colors of the monastery buildings. If you prefer a more active day there is trekking inside Ganden monastery, which is a popular choice. If you are still planning your travel to Tibet there are more chances for great Tibet trekking, from Ganden monastery to Samye temple is an extremely popular route for hiking lovers.
The prefered time to visit these beautiful places is Spring, Summer and Autumn. Depending on your exact travel dates there may still be some snow in the higher areas so please check with your travel agent. There are transportation is directly to these spots for a day trip.