9 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

Price:
from $1,589
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Lhasa / Gyangtse / Shigatse / Mt.Everest / Namtso Lake
Travel Length:
9 Days and 8 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-TT-9
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 - Shigatse ( 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. 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, drive about 2.5 hours to final destination - Shigatse for dinner and accommodation.

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.

Yamdrok Lake in GyantsePalcho Monastery and Monks
Day 5 Shigatse - Mount Everest ( B )

Today we will drive about 8 hours to the day’s final destination - Mount Everest. While it seems to be a tough driving day, the plateau landscape along the road is breathtaking and will keep you entranced. You will even have a chance to see four of the highest peaks in the world, all over 8,000 meters - Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu.

After arrival at Rongbuk Monastery (4,980m), you will find all the effort of the trip swept away by the sight of the majestic peak of Everest rising in front of you. You can then rest for a while, then go to visit this world’s highest monastery. Since it is only about 20 km from the peak of Mount Everest, you can appreciate the giant pyramid of the mountain from south, and can see the charming banner clouds in sunny days. Apart from that, Rongphu Monastery is the best place to see the sunrise and sunset for its high location close to the Everest. Also, you can take many great pictures at Marnyi Stones and the White tower outside of the door. Just get your camera ready to capture the wonders.

Accommodation will be arranged at Rongbuk Guest House. (if you visit Mount Everest during May to October, you will accommodate at the Tibetan Tents Camp which is about 4km further from Rongbuk Monastery). Please note that the accommodations at both places are very simple and basic. There are dorms with beds, duvets, heated blankets and hot water provided. You are suggested to bring your own sleeping bag if you have one. There is no running water, sinks or showers. The guest house only offers basic breakfast and dinner without menu. There is no private bathroom in the dorms. Only communal squat toilets are available. Remember to bring your own toilet paper. 

Tips for today: 1) prepare some food and drinks to take with you because there are only some basic foods offered at Mount Everest; 2) pack warm and thick clothes to keep yourself warm all the time; 3) get fully prepared for the high altitude (5100m); 4) the accommodation on Mount Everest is very basic. Only dorm beds are available.

Accommodate in local Tibetan TentsMount Everest - TibetanMount Everest - Rongbuk Monastery

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Day 6 Everest - Shigatse ( B )

Get up early to catch the beautiful sunrise over the stunning landscape around Everest. You can see the Mount Everest appears gradually as the clouds are being blown away by the strong wind. The sleeping pure peak puts on a shining costume that is lit by the orange sun. And then, when the sun all rises up, the mountain shows her bright red face completely like a young girl putting up the best blusher ever, with the red cloud fairies dancing by side.

After watching the sunrise, you will drive about 4km further to Tibetan Tents Camp (altitude: 4900m) where you can enjoy a closer view of Mount Everest. When it is sunny, you will see the grand Mount Everest dominating under the blue sky like a giant. If you are luck, you will have chance to see the famous "flag clouds" which is a famous wonder on Mount Everest. You will see milk white streamer floating above the peak, and flutters toward one side like a banner in the wind. Sometimes, you can see it change the shape, like the huge waves on the sea or the impetuous horses on the ancient battlefield, and so forth. Once in a while, it is lucky to see the plateau eagles flying above the banner cloud, which is especially a particular sightseeing. 

At the end, farewell to Mount Everest, and drive back to Shigatse along the coming way. 

Tips for today: 1) Currently the real Everest Base Camp is not allowd to visit due to environment protection of Mount Everest. Travelers can enjoy the closer views of Mount Everest and take photos of the famous stone tablet of “Mt. Qomolangma Base Camp” at the Tibetan Tent Camp; 2) the sunrise usually starts around 6:30 am to 7am on Mount Everest; 3) keep warm all the time.

Mount Everest - SteleMount Everest - Sunrise

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Day 7 Shigatse - Lhasa ( B )

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After breakfast, you will go to visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the most important monasteries in Tibet, which was built in 1447 during the Ming Dynasty by a disciple of Buddhism, Master Tsongkhapa. The monastery became the Buddhism center of Tsang region and has been the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, one of two most powerful leaders of Buddhists in Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery is surrounded by a 3000-meter-long wall and was constructed against the background of mountains facing to the sun. The Monastery has 58 sutra chapels and about 3600 rooms with many buildings made with golden glazed tiles and interlaced red and white walls.  There is also a Thangka Exhibit Platform. Be prepared to meet many pilgrims visiting this holy place from far places and countries!

We will then leave Shigatse and drive about 5 hours back to Lhasa. Enjoy a good rest in Lhasa.

Tashilumpo Monastery Monks and Building2
Day 8 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 buddhist meditationNamtso Lake
Day 9 Lhasa Departure ( B )

Today is free for you until we transfer you to catch your flight (or train) leaving Tibet. Please check your luggage and make sure everything is packed, then check out your hotel before 12pm.

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