Arrive at the Lhasa Gonggar airport, be greeted and offered a white scarf (called Kada) in a Tibet traditional way which brings you good luck. Then drive to the city proper (3650 m) and transfer to your hotel. Stay at the hotel for adapting to the high attitude. It is helpful to take things easy for the first few days, and try to drink some water just and now, be noted the first day’s acclimation is extremely to ensure you a good health status for the following tour, so please make sure you have yourself lie in bed for all the rest time of the day right after check-in of hotel.
The first day of sightseeing starts from Lhasa's cardinal landmark-Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels. In the afternoon, we will drop a visit of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Then we will visit Barkhor, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.
AMorning, you’ll visit Drepung Monastery, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains. In the afternoon, you’ll have a chance to witness the famous 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' session at Sera Monastery. Overnight in Lhasa.
In the morning we visit the Gandan Monastery and our trek begins from here. The trail gradually ascends for 1.5 hours before reaching a saddle marked by a cairn with views of Kyichu valley to Lhasa. Traversing the west side of the ridge from the saddle, the trail reaches a spur surmounted by a cairn, a spring and then the village of Hepu in 2 hours. 1 hour from Hepu reach Ani Pangong, a small nunnery. The trail climbs steadily for 1 hour through marshy meadows to Yama Do. Camp overnight at Yama Do.
In 2 hours past Yama Do we ascend Shug-la pass (5250m). It takes at least 1.5 hours from the basin negotiating boulders and lumpy ground along the final steep climb to the pass. The route continues over the Shug—la pass following the cairned trail descending gradually and reaching the valley in 1.5 hours from the pass. Cross the Tsotup Chu. Nomad herders with their herd of yaks, goat and sheep can be found here. Camp overnight in Tsotup Chu Valley.
From the Tsotup Chu Valley, follow a small tributary entering from the south—west. The route follows steeply upwards for 30 mins until you reach a large basin. The terrain is not particularly difficult to reach Chitu—la pass (5100m) which is marked by several cairns. A short steep descent will bring you into a basin with three small lakes. The trail at many points is not clearly marked and goes past several seasonal camping sites before it reaches the valley floor. Stay overnight at the Herder's camp.
The trail is now wide and easy to follow and goes through forest of shrubs and rhododendrons for 3 hrs. The trail winds through a series of meadows before reaching Gen Do, a place with a ruined stone structure. The forest thins rapidly and we reach the first permanent village of Chantan (4020 m) after leaving Hebu. In 30-40 mins we arrive at the turn off at Yamalung Valley. Yamalung Hermitage is another 1 hour steep climb from the valley floor. Camp overnight in Yamalung.
From Yamalung Valley it takes 3.5 — 4 hours to Samye. We go past the villages of Nyango, Wango and Pisha. From Pisha the entire lower valley of Samye and the golden spires of Samye Monastery can be seen. Then drive 40 km to Tsetang, the capital of Shannan Prefecture.
In the morning, make a trip in the Yarlung Valley to visit the Yumbulakhang, a medieval-European castle-like structure, reputed as Tibet’s oldest building. It doesn’t take that long to explore Yumblagang, perhaps the best part of the visit is the walk up along the ridge abour the building. There’re fabulous views of the Yarlung Valley. Then have a tour to Trandruk Monastery, where you can see stunning Tangkha of Pearls decorated with a total of 29,026 pearls.
Today, meet your guide in the hotel lobby and take a last memorable look at the holy city before being transported to the airport.
Dear Violet, we had a great tour. Thank you very much for everything. Tenzin did a very good job. Our children were very excited, too. I send some photos of our beautiful adventure. You are welcome to use the photos freely. Best regards and thank you very very much! Marina
We had a wonderful trip to Lhasa, EBC and Namtso lake. Thanks for arranging the trip. Tashi, Tenzin and Lopsung have been very helpful, attentive to our needs and supportive.