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10 Days Tibet Discovery Tour Including Everest and Namtso Lake

In-depth Exploration of Both Culture and Nature

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The longer you stay in Tibet, the more memorable experience you will get! Spending several weeks in Tibet is not possible, but 10 days are strongly recommended because you will have enough time to explore different features of Tibet - Tibetan Buddhism, local culture, friendly people, food, custom, mountains, lakes... At the same time, you can travel at the most enjoyable pace from one place to next.

Highlights of this tour

  • Learn about the Tibetan history and Buddhist culture in the Golden Triangle Cities - Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse;
  • Once in a lifetime adventure to the highest peak in the world - Mount Everest;
  • Marvel at the most beautiful holy lake landscape at Namtso.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Lhasa / Gyangtse / Shigatse / Mt.Everest / Namtso Lake
Travel Length:
10 Days and 9 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-TT-10
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Lhasa Arrival

Welcome to Tibet, the holy land of Tibetan Buddhism! Your tour guide will pick you up at the airport arrival hall and escort you to your downtown hotel in Lhasa while you enjoy the stunning views along the Yarlong Tsangpo River.

After check in, the rest of the day is for you to acclimate to the high altitude and weather of Lhasa. Avoid strenuous physical activities during this first day since that may cause high altitude sickness.

Orientation Tips: 1) avoid vigorous activities but do take some leisurely walks in the city to acclimatize to the air and high altitude of Lhasa city (altitude of 3600m); 2) do not drink liquor in the arrival day, instead plenty of water and fruits are recommended.

Lhasa Gonggar Airport

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Day 2 Lhasa ( B )

After breakfast, start an incredible day of exploration in Lhasa city. The grandiose Potala Palace will be the first site to discover. After more than 1300 years of historical changes, this colossal palace still dominates the skyline of Lhasa city. The Palace is the political and religious center of Tibet and has served as the governance and preaching site for the Dalai Lama. Climbing up the sacred steps to the Red Palace and White Palace you will explore their marvelous interiors full of exquisite Thangkas, numerous Buddha statues, vivid wall paintings, and other works of Buddhist art.

In the afternoon, first visit the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet, Jokhang Temple, where the 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue is consecrated. With a history stretching over 1,300 years, this temple combines the architectural styles of Tibet, China, Nepal and India. As a spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple attracts hundreds of devoted pilgrims to worship there every day. Outside the door of Jokhang Temple is the famous pilgrimage circle, Barkhor Street, where you can join faithful Tibetans in colorful attires walking the circle around Jokhang Temple.

Tips for today: 1) wear suitable headgear and glasses to protect you from strong sunlight, but do not wear any hat while visiting inside the Tibetan monasteries; 2) photography is not allowed inside the chapels of monasteries; 3) have your passport with you all of the time.

Golden-roof of Jokhang TemplePotala Palace

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Day 3 Lhasa ( B )

After breakfast, we start our day with a visit to the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas and also the largest Tibetan garden – Norbulingka Park. The luxuriant trees and flowers, cool ponds and comfortable palaces make Norbulingka the best place for a summer retreat. Then drive about 5km westward to Drepung Monastery. This monastery has played a crucial role in Tibet Buddhism as the school of the Dalai Lamas. As you walk along, immense temples and chapels leap to your eyes one after another. In its heyday, more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Various Buddhist rituals are performed in the monastery during festivals, most famous being the ceremony of Buddha Display in the annual Shoton Festival.

We will then visit the featured six hundred year-old Sera Monastery, famous for its grand ceremony of Buddhist debating and its beautiful temples with sensational icons, murals and history.

Tips for today: 1) please follow the Buddhist manners - talk in a low voice, always be respectful of others, reflect on the Buddha’s teachings in these holy sites, and remain quiet and respectful when visiting temples 2) be sure to carry some water with you.

Sera Monastery DebatingNorbulingka

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Day 4 Lhasa – Gyantse ( B )

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Today you will be transferred from Lhasa to Gyantse (5.5-hour drive). 

After about 1.5 hours driving from Lhasa, you will get to the famous holy Yamdrok Lake. With an altitude of 4,441 meters, Yamdrok Lake is known as one of the "Three Holiest Lakes", also one of the most beautiful lakes in Tibet. The turquoise pure lake overlies among snow-capped mountains. Surrounding the lakeshores are some peaceful Tibetan villages situating in the flat valleys. Looking to instance, you can still see clearly dotted yaks and sheep grazing on the grassland. Then another stop takes you to a Tibetan family where you can chat with common Tibetans and try some their self-made food.  Keep driving to next destination – Gyantse, and enjoy the views of the grandiose and vast Karola Glacier.

After arrival in Gyantse, you will take a visit to the landmark of Gyantse – Palcho Monastery. It is a traditional Tibetan monastery which is a fusion of Han, Tibetan and Nepali architecture, and has both temples and stupa. Palcho Monastery’s symbol is its Kumbum Stupa which is famous for having 100,000 figures of Buddhist statue in the chapels, niches and wall paintings of Kumbum. Lastly, go to climb up to the Dzong Fortress to enjoy the panoramic views of Gyantse city. 

Accommodate at Gyantse City.

Tips of today: 1) pack some food and drinks for long driving of today; 2) wear suitably to protect yourself from stong sunlight, wind and possible cold.

Palcho Monastery and MonksYamdrok Lake in Gyantse
Day 5 Gyantse – Shigatse ( B )

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This morning, you will be taken to visit a spectacular site where you will have a clear insight of old living condition a hundred years ago - Pala  Manor which was a private manor of Pala Family, a celebrated aristocrat during 17th ~19th century. The hosts lived in bright, large and luxury room, and enjoyed expensive furniture and imported luxuries, such as OMEGA Watch, LV Purse, Wine, etc. While serfs, as the private property of Pala family, did all the farming and raised livestock for hots, but lived in dark crude room and caves. All the houses and rooms of both aristocrats and serfs remains well. 

After visiting Pala Manor, you will drive about 2.5 hours to Shigatse, the second larglest city in Tibet. After arrival, go to explore the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery. It was built in 1447 of Ming Dynasty by the disciple of Buddhism master Tsongkhapa, then became the Buddhism center of Tsang region. It has been the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas who is one of two most powerful leaders of Buddhists in Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery is surrounded by 3000-meter-long wall. The whole monastery was constructed against the background of mountain, facing to the sun. There are 58 sutra chapels and about 3600 rooms. In Tashilhunpo Monastery, you can see many erected buildings with golden glazed tiles, interlaced red walls and white walls and Thangka Exhibit Platform. You can also meet these pilgrims from afar.

Accommodate at Shigatse City.

Pala ManorTashilumpo Monastery Path
Day 6 Shigatse – Mount Everest ( B )

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Today after breakfast, you will drive about 8 hours to the highest peak in the world - Mount Everest, which seems to be a tough driving but the plateau landscape along the road is breathtaking. You even have a chance to see four of the highest peaks in the world all of which are higher over 8,000 meters - Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. After arrival at Rongbuk Monastery, you will find all the efforts and harshness sweep away from you once you see the tremendous peak of Everest standing in front of you. Rest for a while, then go to visit this featured monastery of Nyingma sect.

Accommodate at Rongbuk Guest House or local tents.

Tips of today: 1) prepare some food and drinks because there are only some basic foods are offered at Mount Everest; 2) pack warm and thick clothes for the coldness; 3) get fully prepared for the high altitude(5100m).

Rongbuk Monastery and Mt. Everest
Day 7 Everest - Lhastse ( B )

Get up early to catch the beautiful sunrise over the stunning landscape around Everest. The morning sunlight shining on the highest peak of the world makes it appear like a golden pyramid. On clear days, you also have a chance to witness the God-given sight of “flag clouds”.

After watching the sunrise, you will take the eco-bus to Everest Base Camp (EBC), located about 8km from Rongbuk Monastery. EBC is the most important base for mountaineers planning to climb even further to the top of Mount Everest. Take a closer view of Mount Everest from the Base’s elevated sightseeing platform with its many colorful Buddhist prayer flags waving in the breeze to witness the clear face of giant Mount Everest in all of its glory.

At the end of this visit return to the Rongbuk area and drive back to Lhatse County along the road you arrived on. After arrival at the day’s destination, check into your hotel. The rest of the day is for you to take a good rest and explore on your own.

Mount Everest - EBC

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Day 8 Lhatse - Lhasa ( B )

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Wake up from the peaceful atmosphere in the early more. After breakfast, go ahead to visit the famous monastery of Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism – Sakya Monastery. It is the ancestral monastery of Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. Sakya, in Tibetan, means gray and white earth. So you can see many temples and walls painted in gray and white. Sakya Monastery is known as the “Second Dunhuang” because of its rich collection of arts, historical relics, including more than 24,000 Buddhism books, 3,000 Thangkas, Buddha statues, porcelains, wall paintings, etc.

Leave Lhatse, and drive about 3 hours to Shigatse where you will have lunch and short rest. Then keep driving about 5 hours on well-conditioned highway back to Lhasa.

Sakya Monastery Grey Soil Tower
Day 9 Lhasa - Namtso - Lhasa ( B )

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Only exploring the exotic culture of Tibet is not enough, you also have to enjoy its natural beauty. So today, you are going to visit the picturesque Namtso Lake which is about 220km from Lhasa city. 

Namtso Lake, in Tibetan, means “the Heaven Lake”. It covers more than 1,920 square kilometers shaping lake a rectangle, and locates about 4,718 meters above the sea level, which makes Namtso the highest lake in the world. The pure water waves slightly under the pure and blue sky. Along the shore are enormous well-proportioned Mani stones. The colorful prayer flags hanged on the hills and monasteries make Namtso Lake holy and mysterious. A lot huge stones have existed along the Namtso for thousands years, and are related to some beautiful Tibetan stories. Namtso Lake is also the heaven for animals. It is natural pasture for nomads of northern Tibet. You have chance to see the sheep and yaks grazing leisurely on the grassland. Famous as one of three holy lakes in Tibet, Namtso lake is also a popular place for pilgrimage and meditation. It is honored as the holy lake both for Tibetan Buddhism and Bön. 

After the sightseeing, drive back to Lhasa. (Optional: if you want, you can spend a night there to watch amazing sunset and sunrise. But this arrangement needs you add one extra day to your tour.)

Tips of today: 1) Get well prepared for the high alitude(nearly 5,000m); 2) The weather is changeable. Rains, hail and snow usually come unexpectedly. So bring both thick and portable clothes with you. Also bring sunglasses and sun cream to prevent from strong sunlight and ultraviolet ray.

Namtso LakeNamtso buddhist meditation
Day 10 Lhasa Departure ( B )

Today is free for you until we transfer you to the airport in time for your flight.

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