You will be greeted by your Tibetan guide once you arrive in Lhasa Gonggar airport or train station, from airport to Lhasa city is 68km, around one hour and half drive will take you to the holy city Lhasa; from the train station it is only 15km and takes 20 minutes by drive. Afternoon have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight at Lhasa.
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 Street, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.
About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung Monastery, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. 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. Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera Monastery. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous.
Morning drive to Tsedang city which is located at the Yarlung Valley, which is reputed as 'the cradle of Tibetan civilization,here you will be arranged to visit the first monastery and first palace in Tibet. Today you’ll first visit Yumbulakang Palace, a medieval-European-castle-like structure built in the 7th century, then drive to Samye Monastery, boasting over 1200 years of history. Nestled in a scenic valley, Samye is an important pilgrimage location shaped like a mandala. Late afternoon drive back to Tsedang for overnight.
After breakfast, drive along Yarlung Tsangpo River back to Chushul, here you will cross Kambala Pass which is 4794m high, kambala Pass will provide you the first sight of the holy lake - Yamdrok tso. Then drive down to the bank of Yamdrok tso Lake, it takes about half an hour driving along the beautiful the bank to the nearest town - Nangartse, normally groups will have their lunch here. After lunch, continue on Southern Friendship Highway towards west, enjoy the spectacular views of the snow capped mountains, valleys and grasslands with the groups of nomads, and you could find Karola Glacier lies near the highway. Arrival at Gyantse in the afternoon, in Gyantse, you will be arranged to visit the famous stupa - Gyantse Kumpum, the most stunning architectural wonder in Tibet. Overnight at Gyantse.
Morning visit Gyantse Dzong where you will see the whole Gyantse city. Afterwards drive to Shigatse, about 90km away from Gyantse, the drive will take about 1.5 hours. Upon arrival at Shigatse, check into the hotel. Afternoon visit Tashilunpo Monastery and the spectacular tombs of Panchen Lamas in Shigatse, and do its kora which provide a great view of whole Shigatse city. Overnight at Shigatse.
Morning visit the lively local market in old area of Shigatse, where you can buy the local handicrafts and also other local Tibetan stuff. Late morning start driving back to Lhasa along the northern friendship way, marvelous landscapes and sceneries along the Brahmaputra River will accompany you all the way back to Lhasa. Overnight at Lhasa.
Meet your guide in the hotel lobby and take a last memorable look at the holy city before being transported to the airport/train station.
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.
What can my wife and I say, it was beyond all our expectations. Firstly your expert knowledge aided us in our decision-making. The hotel in Lhasa was centrally located with so many shops, restaurants...