Once-in-a-lifetime Trip in the Roof of the World

-- Megan's 9-Day Tibet Adventure with Sacred Monasteries, Serene Lakes, and the Majesty of Everest

"Tibet was an incredible experience one I will never forget!" Megan exclaimed to her travel consultant Leo upon completing her solo journey through Tibet.

As an expat residing in Guangzhou, Megan had explored lots of destinations across China. Since 2021, Leo at China Discovery had arranged 4 memorable trips for her, including a Yangtze River cruise and tours to Gansu, Xinjiang, and Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest. Despite these remarkable journeys, Tibet had always held a special allure for Megan. It was this persistent dream that led her to contact Leo for the fifth time, determined to finally embark on her Tibetan adventure.

As we all know, planning a trip to Tibet can be daunting, with concerns about obtaining the Tibet Entry Permit, navigating complex transfers, selecting the right attractions, and more. Therefore, selecting a trustworthy travel agency is not just advisable but essential. Traveling with China Discovery, Megan's journey unfolded as a remarkable odyssey. From the Holy City of Lhasa, she started an unforgettable adventure to Mount Everest via Gyantse and Shigatse before circling back to Lhasa and exploring the captivating beauty of Namtso Lake. Let Megan's journey inspire your own.

Megan's Tibet Travel Route Megan's Tibet Travel Route

Day 1: A Memorable Start at Nyimathang Monastery

Megan was picked up by a local guide and driver upon her arrival at Lhasa Gonggar Airport. Their first destination was Nyimathang Monastery, a small but enchanting sanctuary nestled in Dadong village. Megan was pleasantly surprised by the intricate details and vibrant colors within the monastery.

"My first stop was actually driving through Dadong village and at Nyimathang Monastary. It was on the way into the city from the airport. I think this has been the only place I have been able to take pictures inside. So you can kind of get an idea of the amazing detail and color you see inside of all of these sacred places. One of my favorite things about the Tibetan style buddhas and statues are the clothes on them made of the most beautiful fabric. In Asia you see a lot of buddhas these seriously are the most amazing to me."

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Nyimathang Monastery in Dadong Village

Day 2: Awe-Inspiring Potala Palace

That day, Megan explored Lhasa's most iconic sights, but it was Potala Palace that left the biggest impression on her journey.

"Potala Palace blew my mind. This place is incredible. It stands out from many places in the city. It is so photogenic to. I love that at different times of day and and different angles it was a new surprise. And has the most incredible view from the top and as you walk through certain parts of it. So the white palace was the former home to the Tibetan government before the cultural revolution. The part on the top right where you can see yellow windows was the former home of the dalai lamas. That is the only part you can now tour. The red palace is the religious part. Only two rooms in the red palace are the original rooms from when it was first built. One being the most sacred room in the whole place. I thought it was cool that room has survived. I was so amazed by the stupas where some of the previous dalai lamas were buried. They were incredible. Some of the previous dalai lamas also built some incredible mandalas why meditating. Pictures aren’t allowed inside but it was seriously an incredible experience inside. Now the place is purely for tourism. Only about 30-40 monks live inside and security. It was amazing learning more about Tibetan Buddhism and history."

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Viewing Beautiful Potala Palace from Different Perspectives

Later that day, Megan visited Jokhang Temple, renowned for its unique treasure of world Buddhism: the life-size statue of 12-year-old Jowa Sakyamuni. Outside the temple, she witnessed numerous Buddhist followers performing prostrations, a sight that added to the temple's spiritual ambiance. Megan also marveled at the breathtaking view from the temple's rooftop, taking in the grandeur of its architectural features against the backdrop of the sky.

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Jokhang Temple - the Spiritual Center of Lhasa

Megan then ventured to Barkhor Street a bustling shopping thoroughfare and a route for circumambulation. Megan found herself captivated by the array of shops offering over 8000 different commodities, ranging from religious items like prayer wheels, yak butter lamps, and prayer flags to everyday necessities such as harnesses, snuff bottles, Tibetan shoes, knives, hats, bowls, tea, dried meat, and more.

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Various Kinds of Shops in Barkhor Street

Please note the following guidelines for visiting the palace and other monasteries: 1) Dress appropriately and refrain from pointing inside the palace. 2) Photography is not permitted inside the palace and monasteries. 3) Prepare for climbing stairs, as there are over 1,000 steps to reach Potala Palace.

Day 3: Discovering Lhasa's Monastic Treasures

On that day, Megan delved into the monastic marvels of Lhasa. Drepung Monastery, with its grandeur and rich history, left her utterly awestruck.

"Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet. This place is massive! 300-400 monks live here now but before the cultural revolution it used to have 7,000. It also had an amazing view and was at the foot of some beautiful mountains. It has four different colleges. Each building left me in awe again at the detail and color. Such an amazing place!"

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Grand Drepung Monastery

Afterward, Megan visited Norbulingka Park and witnessed scripture debating at Sera Monastery, gaining deeper insights into Tibetan culture and tradition.

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

The Debating Scene and Architecture of Sera Monastery

Day 4: Scenic Drive to Shigatse

Following a three-day sojourn in Lhasa, Megan had acclimated to the high altitude with ease. Leaving Lhasa behind, Megan embarked on a picturesque drive to Shigatse, with captivating stops along the way. She marveled at the beauty of Yajiang River Valley, Yamdrok Lake, and Palcho Monastery, each offering unique scenery and cultural experiences.

"Yajiang River Valley was the first drive up many passes on my way toward Mt Everest. It was incredible scenery and these pictures just don’t show it. But they have many Tibetan mastiff dogs you can take pictures with. They were so cute I couldn’t not take a picture with them. Then the aggressive ladies shocked me with putting lambs on my shoulders. Since I don’t have full functioning arms I get nervous holding animals. But they were cute lambs. And my new friend I made at 4280 meters up!"

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Megan's Photo with A Tibetan Mastifff Dog

"Yamdrok lake is huge! We drove near by it for a long time! It would take 5-6 hours to drive around the whole thing. It’s so beautiful since it’s a holy lake you couldn’t go in the lake. I was really missing my drone here. It would have been an incredible view."

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Yamdrok Lake View from Different Viewing-decks

"Pekor Chode was built in 1418. What I loved about this temple is that it was one of the few that didn’t get destroyed so it felt old. The original paintings are on the walls and it was another amazing place to see. More than 600 years history. While I was there it was kind of cool because the the 10th Panchen Lama’s daughter was visiting. This is an important temple to her father. She currently lives in Beijing. She had lots of security around her and was so kind to the locals who were there to greet her."

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Pelkor Chode (Also Known As Palcho Monastery)

Day 5: Encounter with Mount Everest

Megan's anticipation reached its peak as she caught her first glimpse of Mount Everest at Gawula Pass. Despite the cloudy weather obscuring its peak, Megan was overwhelmed by the majesty of the Himalayas. As she got a close sight of Mount Everest after getting to Rongbuk Monastery, she felt moved with tears.

"My first look at the Himalayas and Mt Everest! It was cloudy and I could only see the base. I couldn’t see Mt Everest peak. The snowy mountains in the back are the Himalayas!I was really hoping at this point I would get to see Mt Everest or as the Tibetians call it Qomolangma. It is the rainy cloudy season so it is often covered. Let’s just say I got really lucky! But from this view point all you see are mountains. Mountains as far as the eye can see."

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

The Scenic Beauty on Driving Road to Mount Everest

Arriving at Rongbuk Monastery and getting a closer view of Mount Everest, she was overcome with emotion, moved to tears by its majestic presence.

"Wow seeing Mt Everest or Mt Qomolangma as the Tibetans say was truly an incredible experience! A few tears shed as I saw this majestic mountain. So grateful for this beautiful earth we live on!"

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Magnicient Mount Everest

Day 6: Final Farewell to Mount Everest

As Megan bid farewell to the Himalayas, she cherished her last moments amidst their breathtaking beauty at Gawula Pass. She spent the night in Shigatse.

"My last look at the Himalayas! As we were driving up the windy road back towards Lhasa the clouds made an opening and you could see the Himalayas popping through! They clouds were moving quickly and the scenery changed quickly but at the top we could see a lot of the Himalayas range. Not all of it and mostly just the peaks but it was incredible. My heart was so happy. So from this view point you can see five peaks that are all above 8000 meters. We were able to see 4. Starting from the left, the tibetian names for them are Mt Makalu, Mt Latse, Mt Qomolangma, and Mt Cho Oyu. My tour guide said I was pretty lucky seeing that this time of year. He showed me a picture he took of the whole range and no clouds during the winter and it was so beautiful! The mountains seem so far in the photos and they were far away but obviously what your eyes see was so incredible. I left feeling so happy and blessed on my journey to the Himalayas."

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

A Distant View of Mount Everest

Day 7: Unexpected Detour and Serene Lake Views

After spending one night in Shigatse, Megan enjoyed a morning exploration of Tashilhunpo Monastery, the official seat of the Panchen Lama.

"Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is the official seat of the Panchen Lama. It has the worlds tallest Maitreya Buddha the future Buddha. And the 4th-10th Panchen Lamas have been buried in stupas here. They again amazed me and are the most incredible pieces of work. The 4th-9th Panchen Lamas are buried in a single one together because they got destroyed during the cultural revolution and the 10th built a new one for all of them to rest peacefully together."

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Magnificent Tashilhunpo Monastery

After Tashilhunpo Monastery sightseeing, Megan went back to Lhasa.

"On the way from Shigatse to Lhasa there are two roads you can take. We took one to get here and we’re supposed to take another to go back. But it rained the night before and there was a mudslide and some damage on the road so they closed it down. So we had to go back on the same road. So I missed out on seeing a river and some incense village where the Tibetan character was made and where they make incense. But I got see this beautiful lake again and it was even more beautiful the second time. The first time it was so cloudy and this time the sun was out so the colors were so beautiful! The blue sky reflecting of the water made the most beautiful color!"

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Yamdrok Lake in Good Weather

Day 8: Namtso Lake - A Gem of Tibet

That day, a beautiful lake awaited Megan's exploration. Namtso Lake, one of the three sacred lakes in Tibet, unfurled before her in all its splendor, leaving her utterly captivated by its breathtaking beauty.

"Namtso Lake is such a stunning lake! It is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. It is a salt water lake and is the highest salt water lake in the world. It was a bit hard to capture its beauty with a phone camera. I was missing my drone again. The mountains seem so far in the photos but in real life they were gorgeous. They were snow capped mountains and many different colors. As you looked to the right it was water as far as the eye could see it was beautiful! In tibetian nam means sky and tso means lake. So it is named sky lake. They sky definitely reflects off the beautiful clear water. Such a beautiful and peaceful lake. "

9 Day Solo Travel to Tibet

Namtso Lake

Day 9: Departure from the Mystical Land of Tibet

As Megan's journey in Tibet drew to a close, she prepared to bid farewell to the awe-inspiring landscapes and rich cultural heritage that had left an indelible mark on her soul. Boarding her flight from Lhasa to Guangzhou, Megan reflected on the myriad experiences she had gathered during her nine-day adventure.

The memories of majestic monasteries, serene lakes, and towering peaks danced in Megan's mind as she gazed out of the airplane window one last time. The vibrant tapestry of Tibetan culture, with its colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind and melodious chants echoing through ancient halls, remained etched in her memory.

Helpful Tips for a Tibet Travel

Tibet Travel Permits Assured

Tibet Travel Permit issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa is a must for all Non-Chinese passport holders who want to visit Tibet. Only Chinese travel agencies such as China Discovery can apply for this permit on behalf of tourists. It is essential to obtain the permit before commencing your tour, as it will be checked prior to boarding your flight or train to Tibet. Simply confirm a tour package with us and submit your passport and Chinese visa copies at least 15 to 20 days before your tour, and we will handle the rest.

Best Months to Visit Tibet

April to October generally offers the most favorable conditions for visiting Tibet. July and August mark the peak. Winter tends to be snowy and cold, making it unsuitable for visiting regions such as Mount Everest, Namtso, and Mount Kailash. However, places like Lhasa, Gyantse, and Shigatse remain accessible year-round.

High Altitude Adaptation

Tibet's average altitude hovers around 4000 meters above sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m), which may initially lead to symptoms of High Altitude Sickness, especially for those lacking experience at high altitudes. However, acclimatization typically occurs within 2 to 3 days. We recommend undergoing a physical examination and consulting with your doctor before the trip. Additionally, carrying preventive medications is advisable. While in Tibet, maintaining warmth, avoiding strenuous activities, staying hydrated, and consuming ample vegetables and carbohydrates are essential. It's advisable to refrain from showering during the first two days after arrival.

How to Get to Tibet

There are two primary transportation options: flight and train. Flights to Lhasa are available from Beijing (4.5hrs), Xi'an (3.7hrs), Chengdu (2.5hrs), Chongqing (3hrs), Kunming (3hrs), Kathmandu (1.5hrs), among other cities, with Chengdu and Xi'an offering more frequent connections. Alternatively, if you prefer train travel, routes to Tibet are available from Beijing (40.5hrs), Xi'an (32hrs), Chengdu (43hrs), Shanghai (47hrs), Chongqing (42hrs), Lanzhou (25hrs), Xining (22hrs), and Guangzhou (54hrs).

Packing and Attire Recommendations

Ensure you have your passport and Chinese visa. It's advisable to carry a large backpack along with a smaller one for daily activities, as well as any necessary medications. Essential items such as sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, and sunscreen are recommended. Dressing in layers, including both thin and thick jackets, is advised. A down jacket is essential in Spring and Autumn. Additionally, sturdy and comfortable shoes are a necessity.

Travel Tibet with China Discovery

Seeking a stress-free and immersive Tibet experience? Choose China Discovery as your travel companion! Our comprehensive Tibet tour packages offer peace of mind by including everything from permit arrangements to flexible itineraries, accommodations, English-speaking guides, skilled drivers, and more. Whether you prefer the personalized touch of a private tour or the camaraderie of a group adventure, we cater to your needs. If you're eager to meet like-minded travelers or aiming to save on costs, consider joining our group tours. Alongside Megan, numerous travelers have entrusted us with their Tibet journeys, like Jack from America who have visited Tibet 6 times. Read Jack's inspiring story here, or contact us to unveil your Tibet travel story directly.

Tibet Travel Photos

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Travel Consultant

Hi, I'm Leo, Megan's travel consultant. Are you interested in her 9 days Tibet tour? Want to know her trip itinerary, accommodation, transportation or other arrangements? Feel free to contact me, and I will be glad to tell you more stunning stories about the places she visited. Or, if you want to customize a tour on your own, I'm always ready to help at any time. Just like you, I love to travel and my favorite is riding on the road. So I'd like to invite you to Tibet and China's other destinations and help you work out a perfect travel plan. Come to join us and I'm just here waiting for you.

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