6 days Tibet classic tour
In this tour you will not only visit the World Heritage Sites of the Potala and Jokhang Temples, two of three main Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa - the Drepung and Sera, but you will also see amazing natural landscapes on the two day excursion trip to Gyantse and Shigatse including the holy lake of Yamdrok tso and Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier. In Gyantse, you will visit the historical architectural wonder - Gyangtse Kumbum and the traditional Tibetan old towns of Gyangtse. In Shigatse, the 2nd largest town of Tibet, has the seat of the Panchen Lama - Tashilhunpo Monastery, also the large alive market to explore.
Upon arriving at the Lhasa airport or train station, you will be greeted by your Tibetan guide. From the airport to Lhasa city is 68km - an hour's drive will bring you to the holy city of Lhasa. Driving along the Brahmaputra river and Lhasa river, you will not only be amazed by the spectacular plateau scenery but also see flocks of black-necked cranes, wild ducks and many other kind of exotic birds. If you travel to Lhasa by train, expect to arrive in the late afternoon or evening. A 20 minutes drive will deliver you to your hotel in Lhasa city. Be sure to have a good rest to acclimatize to Lhasa's high altitude. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau. We have arranged for you to tour Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang Temple is Tibet's most sacred shrine. Built-in the 7th century, Jokhang Temple is located at the heart of Lhasa Old Town and is circled by Barkhor Street. Potala Palace is perhaps the most well-known symbol of Tibet. This massive structure contains a small world within its walls. It is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). After sightseeing these amazing places, acclimatize for the rest of the day or you can walk around the Barkhor street. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today we will 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 7,700 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. The rest of the day is for you to freely explore Lhasa old town on your own. Overnight at Lhasa.
Morning drive up to Kampala pass [4794m], you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso and spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance, the turquoise-colored Lake Yamdrok Tso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, the unforgettable vista of pincer-shaped turquoise water of the lake and amazing spectacle of Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar glacier from Karo la pass are the wonders of the day. Then along the Friendship southern Hwy drive to Gyantse, visit the famous stupa - Gyantse Kumbum, one of the most stunning architectural wonders in Tibet. If the time is allowed, explore the old Gyantse town to get in touch with locals' life. Late afternoon drive to Shigatse. Overnight at Shigatse.
Morning visit Tashilunpo Monastery and the spectacular tombs of Panchen Lamas in Shigatse, and do its kora which provides a great view of whole Shigatse city, afterward visit the alive market in the old area of Shigatse, where you can buy the local handicrafts and also other local Tibetan stuff. Afternoon drive back to Lhasa along the friendship highway, have a stop at Nyemo county where you can visit one of local handcraft workshop for hand-made Tibetan Incense and Paper. Overnight at Lhasa.
Your guide and driver will see you off at the airport or train station, end of the trip.