6 days Tibetan Cultural Heritage Tour to Yarlung Valley
At your arrival your Tibetan guide and driver will pick you up and transfer to the hotel in Lhasa, it is only 68km and two hrs from the airport, from 15km which take 20 minutes. Take rest to acclimatize and alleviate jetlag. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, so we have purposely arranged only to visit Jokhang temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang temple is the most scared shrine in Tibet which was built in 7th century and located at the heart of old town in Lhasa, the circuit around it called Barkhor street, which is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Both of them are the focal points of pilgrims from entire Tibetan world, multitudinous pilgrims are circumambulating and prostrating in their strong faith. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today you will be arranged to visit Drepung monastery in the morning and Sera monastery in the afternoon. Both Drepung and Sera monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges. Drepung monastery was the seat of the Government prior to Potala, it was once the world largest monastery in the history with 10,000 monks hailed from different monasteries all over Tibet. Sera monastery is famous for its Buddhism philosophical debate practice, the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are well worth to see. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today you will head to visit Tsedang, a town nestled in the scenic Yarlung Valley. Located in one of the most fertile regions of the Yarlung Tsampo River basin, Tsedang is often referred to as the 'cradle of Tibetan civilization'. Here you will explore the first Palace and the first monastery in Tibet.
Morning drive about 2-3 hours from Lhasa to Tsedang in Yarlung Valley along the Brahmaputra river. Upon reaching Tsedang, your guide will arrange the necessary travel permit and proceed to visit the historic Yumbulakhang Palace, known as the first palace in Tibet. It is the oldest extant building in Tibet and the first fort that later transformed into a monastery. To visit Yumbulakhang Palace, you can either walk up the hill or rent a horse. Part of the road is paved and has stairs, part of it is a natural dirt road. Climbing up can take 15-25 minutes. From the top of the hill, you will get a grand view of Yarlung Valley.
Afterwards have about 1 hour drive to Samye Monastery, which lies on the other side of the Brahmaputra River, it is known as the first monastery in Tibet build in the 7th century. The monastery's unique architectural design follows the shape of a mandala, symbolizing the cosmic structure of the universe. After visiting the monastery, if time is allowed, hike up the Hepo Ri Hill, from the hill, there is a splendid view of Samye monastery complex, Brahmaputra river, and surrounding valley. Overnight at Samye monastery guest house.
Today, set out on a day hike to the Chimpu Hermitage Site, which is one of the most well-known meditation sites in Tibet. Located approximately 16km northeast of Samye Monastery, this labyrinth of caves served as a meditation retreat for Guru Rinpoche. The hermitage holds deep spiritual significance and is a popular destination for travelers visiting Samye Monastery.
During the hike, you will venture up the hill, exploring the hermitage caves where monks and nuns meditate. Along the way, you will come across a small monastery that was built around Guru Rinpoche's original meditation cave. Take your time to explore this sacred site and follow the footsteps of pilgrims as you visit the meditation caves and scattered chapels throughout the area. The entire hike usually takes around 4-5 hours.
As you ascend to the upper level of the mountain, you will be rewarded with incredible views of the hermitage site, the Yarlung Valley, and Samye Monastery in the distance. The serene atmosphere and breathtaking vistas make this hike a truly memorable experience for both spiritual seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. Later in the afternoon, we will drive back to Tsedang, where you can relax and enjoy a refreshing hot shower at the hotel. Overnight at Tsedang.
You will be transferred to Lhasa airport for your departure flight, marking the end of your journey in Tibet.