6 days Lhasa and Tidrum Hot Spring Tour
Upon your arrival, your Tibetan guide and driver will be ready to greet you and provide transportation to your hotel in Lhasa. The airport is approximately 68km away, and the journey typically takes around two hours. If you are arriving from the train station, the distance is shorter, about 15km, and the travel time is approximately 20 minutes. It's important to take some time to rest and acclimatize to the high altitude, allowing your body to adjust and alleviate any jet lag. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today is your first day of sightseeing on the Tibetan high plateau, and we have purposely arranged for you to only visit Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace.
Jokhang Temple is the most sacred Temple in Tibet, built in the 7th century and situated in the heart of Lhasa's old town. The Jokhang Temple is particularly significant because it houses the life-sized statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha at age 12, which is considered the most sacred statue in all of Tibet. The temple, with its golden roofs and richly decorated interiors, attracts thousands of pilgrims annually who come to prostrate, pray, and make offerings. The temple's architectural style is a mixture of Indian vihara design, Tibetan and Nepalese design.The circuit around Jokhang Temple, known as Barkhor Street, is one of the most devout circuits and the central market in Lhasa city, an ideal place to buy souvenirs.
Potala Palace, a cardinal landmark globally recognized as a symbol of Tibet. This historic site served as the former seat of the Tibetan government and the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas. The Potala Palace comprises the rooftop White Palace, the Dalai Lama's living quarters, and the central Red Palace, used for religious functions. The Palace now serves as a museum and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Both Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace attract countless pilgrims from all corners of Tibet who display their unwavering faith through circumambulation and prostration. Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Today you will be arranged to visit Drepung and Sera monasteries. Both monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges.
Drepung Monastery, founded in 1416, served as the seat of the Dalai Lama until the 5th Dalai Lama constructed the Potala Palace. Located on the outskirts of Lhasa, Drepung was once the world's largest monastery, housing over 10,000 monks at its peak in Tibetan history. The monastery is renowned for its annual Shoton Festival in August, during which a large Thangka is displayed on the nearby mountains.
In the afternoon, you will visit Sera Monastery, founded in 1419 by Sakya Yeshe, a disciple of Tsongkhapa. Sera grew to become one of the largest monasteries in central Tibet, accommodating approximately 5,000 monks. The monastery is famous for its monk debates, which occur every afternoon at 3:00 pm, except on Sundays. It's believed that these debates foster a deeper understanding of Buddhist philosophy and help monks attain higher levels of comprehension of Buddhism.
Morning enjoy a scenic two-hour drive to Tidrum Nunnery, a famous hermitage linked to Guru Padma Sambhava. This tranquil haven is home to Buddhist nuns who dedicate themselves to meditation and study. The nunnery's serene ambiance and ancient prayer halls preserve Tibetan Buddhist traditions, providing a space for deep contemplation and spiritual exploration.
Even today, you can spot Yogis meditating in the caves around the hill. Take a hike up the hill behind the nunnery, where you can put up your prayer flags and send heartfelt prayers for your loved ones by writing their names behind the flags. Afterward, head back to the guest house in Tidrum and treat yourself to a soothing soak in the natural hot spring.
Tidrum Hot Spring is a popular attraction for pilgrims and visitors alike, known for its therapeutic properties and mineral-rich waters. Each year, numerous Tibetans flock here, dedicating several nights to soaking themselves solely in the rejuvenating hot spring, seeking both physical and spiritual renewal. It's a truly special experience that promises relaxation and rejuvenation for your body and soul.
Take a short half-hour drive in the morning to reach Drigung Til Monastery, the head monastery of the Drigung Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This stunning monastery sits at an elevation of 4150m and has an impressive complex with more than 50 buildings offering breathtaking views of the valley, it is the home for approximately 250 monks. The hike up to the monastery can be a bit steep, but it's totally worth it, especially during festivals when you can meet fellow pilgrims along the way. Follow the local pilgrims and complete the pilgrim Kora around the monastery. One thing to note is that Drigung Til is famous for its sky burial site, but unfortunately, non-Tibetans are not allowed to be present during these private and sacred events that should be respected. If you're lucky enough to visit during Losar (Tibetan New Year), you'll witness the lively gathering of many pilgrims, making the atmosphere even more vibrant and exciting.
Your guide and driver will see you off at the airport or train station, end your Tibet trip.