Overview: This itinerary is especially designed for seniors to travel central Tibet at a more leisurely pace but none less adventurous. Seniors can conquer the highland of Tibet no less than young ones but at a different speed. The tour is proceed at a leisurely pace, allowing seniors to explore each location in-depth and still have time to relax. Upon arrival in Tibet, you will have an extra free day in Lhasa (3680m) to acclimatize the high altitude here, and only move to the higher location on Day 5, Gyantse (4040m). By then your body is more or less adjusted to the environment here. We also left Lake Namtso (4718m), the highest site of this tour to the last. Most clients of Tibet4Fun are seniors, and our tour consultants, Tibetan guides & drivers are experienced and have a full understanding of the needs of seniors.
|Day||Route||Distance/Driving Hrs||Daily Activities|
|D1||Arrival in Lhasa||50km/1.5hrs||Transfer from Lhasa Airport/Railway|
|D2||Rest day in Lhasa【3650m】||—/—||No Vehicle; No entry of sights without guide|
|D3||Lhasa【3650m】||50km/1.5hrs||Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery|
|D4||Lhasa【3650m】||50km/1.5hrs||Potala Palace, Zang Gyab Lukhang Park with Lukhang Temple, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|D5||Lhasa【3650m】> Gyantse【4040m】||260km/6hrs||Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier|
|D6||Gyantse【4040m】> Shigatse【3850m】||95km/2hrs||Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum, Local Tibetan Family Visit|
|D7||Shigatse【3850m】> Lhasa【3650m】||280km/5hrs||Tashilump Monastery, Summer Palace of Pachen Lamas|
|D8||Lhasa【3650m】> Ganden【3800m】> Tidrum【4325m】||175km/4hrs||Ganden Monastery, Tidrum Nunnery with hot springs|
|D9||Tidrum【4325m】> DrigungTil【4150m】> Drak Yerpa【4300m】> Lhasa【3650m】||170km/4hrs||DrigungTil Monastery, Drak Yerpa|
|D10||Lhasa【3650m】> Namtso【4718m】> Lhasa【3650m】||500km/8hrs||Namtso Lake, Tashi Dor Island|
|D11||Departure from Lhasa||10km/20mins||Transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway|
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa
Have a panorama of the snowy Himalaya Mountains on your flight to Lhasa. Upon landing in Lhasa Airport, your guide & driver will be waiting at the exit holding your name sign. You will receive a white Hada (scarf) presentation, of which is the tradition & custom of Tibet to welcome extinguished guests. On your way to hotel in downtown Lhasa, you will have a good view of Yarlung Tsangpo River, the Longest and largest river in Tibet and Lhasa River.
Upon arrival at hotel, guide will help you to check in. The rest of the day you are free to wander around the city on your own but try not to overtax yourself. The first day’s well-rest is crucial to acclimatize high altitude. Remember to drink lots of water, eat light, and not to shower if you can help it.
Day 02: Rest day in Lhasa
The extra rest day in Lhasa to help you acclimatize the high altitude of Tibet. A light wander around wont hurt though. Barkhor Street in Lhasa Old Town is within walking distance from your hotel, where there are lots of vendors, cafés, bars and restaurants. In the evening, there are fountains at Potala Square right across street of Potala Palace.
Note: by law of Tibet, foreigners are not allowed to enter any ticket-seeling-sights without the company of guide. If you have any such plan, pls ask guide to accompany you. And Vehicle service isn’t included for the day.
Day 03: Lhasa
Sights: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
In the morning ,you are going to visit Drepung Monastery which is one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. Ganden Palace used to be Dalai lama’s palace in the Drepung Monastery before he moved to Potala Palace.
In the Afternoon, visit Sera Monastery which is another one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. The hot attraction is the monks debating at around 3~5pm.
Day 04: Lhasa
Sights: Potala Palace, Zang Gyab Lukhang Park, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
Potala Palace is the landmark of Lhasa, and one of the great wonders of world architecture. Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley, at an altitude of 3,700m.
Zang Gyab Lukhang Park, situated right behind Potala Palace, Zang Gyab Lukhang Park is a lovely place where locals and tourist hang out, with a lovely lake built during the construction of Potala Palace. And there is a small and little-visited temple in a small island in the lake, called Lukhang Temple.
Included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2000 as part of Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple is located in central Lhasa. With an area of 25,100 square meters (about six acres), it is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Pilgrims. In front of the entrance to Jokhang is a forecourt that is perpetually crowded with pilgrims polishing the flagstones with their prostrations.
Located in the old town of Lhasa, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding Jokhang Temple. It’s said that in 647, the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617-650) built Jokhang Temple. Due to its magnificence, it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. As a result, a trodden path appeared. It was paved by hand-polished stone boards. Though it is not broad, it accommodates thousands of pilgrims and tourists every day. Varied shops stand on its both sides and thousands of floating stands are on every corner.
Day 05: Lhasa > Gyantse
Sights: Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier
On the way from Lhasa to Gyantse, drive over Gampala Pass (4790m), and you will have a glimpse of Yamdroktso Lake (4400m) .The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance you can have spectacular views of holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar (7191m), the highest mountain near Lhasa .
Later, we will pass and enjoy Korola Glacier on the roadside. At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang praying flag at Simila Mountain Pass (at your own expense); Then, we will arrive in Gyantse, Tibet’s third largest city after Lhasa and Shigatse.
Day 06: Gyantse > Shigatse
Sights: Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum, Local Tibetan Family Visit
The sprawling compound in the far north of Gyantse town houses Pelkor Chöde Monastery and the monumental Gyantse Kumbum, a chörten filled with fine paintings and statues. Both are deservedly top of the list on most travellers’ must-sees. Palkhor lies at the foot of Dzong Hill. It is well-known for its Kumbum, which has 108 chapels in its four floors. The multi-storied Kumbum Stupa was crowned with a golden dome and umbrella, surrounded with more chapels filled with unique religious statues and murals.
Later, have a far view of Gyangtse Fortress. And have a Local Tibetan Family Visit, the hospitality of Tibetan people is legendary. Local Tibetans need little excuse to have a party, and having guests over is always a call for celebration. Their houses are extremely colourful, full of Tibetan flavored design. You’ll be entertained with local snacks and yak butter tea, and often barley wine. It is a matter of honor for Tibetans to make their guests enjoy themselves at their household. What a better way to experience Tibet than this?!!
Day 07: Shigatse > Lhasa
Sights: Tashilump Monastery, Summer Palace of Pachen Lamas
Tashilunpo Monastery is one of the Six Big Monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in Tibet. Also called the Heap of Glory, the monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara’s Mountain), Shigatse. Founded by the First Dailai Lama in 1447, the monastery’s structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. It covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters. The main structures found in the monastery are Maitreya Chapel, Panchen Lama’s Palace and Kelsang Temple. Tashilhunpo is the seat of Panchen Lama since the Fourth Panchen Lama took charge in the monastery, and there are now nearly 800 lamas.
Though it ranks far below Tashilunpo, but Summer Palace of Pachen Lamas still worth a drop-by. This walled palace complex built in 1844 by the 7th Pachen Lama on the south end of Shigatse is a strange blend of Buddhist temple and Victorian-era mansion with marvelous wall murals covering every surface of the rooms in vibrant colours and fantastic images.
Day 08: Lhasa > Ganden > Tidrum
Overnight: Tidrum, Guesthouse (dorm bed)
Sights: Ganden Monastery, Tidrum Nunnery with hot springs
In the morning, drive about 60 km eastwards to visit Ganden Monastery which is one of the “Great Three” Gelugpa monastery, founded by the Great Tsongkhapa in 1409. You can trek Lingkor(circle) around the monastery and see the crack of rock which was magically made by Great Tsongkapa and his meditation cave with the spectacular bird’s-eye view of Lhasa valley.
In the afternoon, drive to Tidrum. It has a great location in a narrow gorge at the confluence of two streams. You can have the famous medical hot-springs there and visit Tidrum Nunnery.
Day 09: Tidrum > DrigungTil > Drak Yerpa > Lhasa
Sights: DrigungTil Monastery, Dark Yerpa
Today firstly drive to Drigung Til Monastery which stands at an elevation of 4150m. You will get a stunning view of Drigung Valley. Drigung Til Monastery is the leading monastery of the Drigungp, a school of the Kagyupa order. Up to the hill of Drigung Til, there is the holiest sky-burial site in Lhasa region. Please note that watching Sky-burial ceremony is forbidden.
Afterwards drive back to Lhasa, en route visit Drak Yerpa. For those with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism, Drak Yerpa (4885m), abt 16km northeast of Lhasa, is one of the holiest cave retreats in Ü of Tibet. Among the many ascetics who have sojourned here are Guru Rinpoche and Atisha (Jowo-je), the Bengali Buddhist who spent 12 years proselytizing in Tibet. King Songtse Gampo also medicated in a cave, after his Tibetan wife established the first of Yerpa’s chapels.
Day 10: Lhasa > Namtso > Lhasa
Sights: Namtso Lake, Tashi Dor Island
In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Namtso Lake, one of the four holy lakes of Tibet and also the highest saline lake in the world. On the way, you can see snow-capped Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain Ranges and lots of nomads and their tent with grazing yak and sheep densely-populated on the flourishing grassland in summer. Besides, you can enjoy the view of Sky-Road Railway with snow mountain background; while standing at the famous Lagenla Mountain Pass (5190m), you can view the stunning vista of holy Namtso Lake. Then we can do leisure trek around Tashi Dor Island. Afterwards drive back to Lhasa.
Day 11: Departure from Lhasa
Guide & drive will drop you off at Lhasa Airport/Railway. End of service.