7 days Tibet cultural tour with Gyantse Fort and Shigatse
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 hours 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 and Sera monasteries. 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.
Morning drive up to Gambala pass at the elevation of 4794m, you will have the first sight of the Turquoise lake Yamdrok tso. Yamdrok tso Lake is the one of the three scared lakes in Tibet, appears like jasper in a dark blue color. Driving along the lake shore and stop to visit one local family and experience the Tibetan lifestyle. Lunch will be at the nearest town Langkazi. After lunch further follow the southern Friendship highway along the sprawling lakes and bloom glaciers to Gyantse.
Gyantse is a small town in Tibet, this typical Tibetan town still keeps its own feature, and it’s a worth for a stop before heading to Shigatse. In Gyantse, you will visit the famous Kumbum Stupa, it is about 35m high containing countless Buddha images, it is truly awe-inspiring and one of the most spectacular monuments in Tibet. Afterwards have a look at Phelkor Monastery with its fine paintings and statues, wander through some narrow lanes of old Gyantse town. Overnight at Gyantse.
Morning after breakfast at hotel, climb up to Gyantse Dzong, an old fort where you will enjoy the breathtaking views of the old Gyantse Town. Carpets made in Gyantse are the best quality in Tibet, you may pay a visit to one of the carpet factory to see how the carpets are woven. Late morning drive about 1.5 hours to Shigatse, it is the 2nd largest city in Tibet. One of the highlights in this city is Tashilhunpo monastery which is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the 2nd most important spiritual leader of Tibet. Walk along the monastery kora where you will have the stunning view of the whole Shigatse city. Afterwards pay a visit to the local living market. Overnight at Shigatse.
Morning after breakfast, drive back to Lhasa along the Yarlung Tsangpo River (about 5 hours). Free explore Lhasa on your own in the afternoon. Overnight at Lhasa.
Your guide and driver will see you off at the airport or train station, end of the trip.