This 14-Day Lhasa Tsetang Shigatse EBC Tour is designed for those who are interested in Tibetan religion, culture, art, and natural scenery, and want to see as much as possible in central Tibet. Quite a lot of monasteries are included, some may think after a few they look very much the same, but for the right kind of people, you will see that in Tibet the monasteries represent so much more than just religion, the architect, murals, and Thangka, etc. are a wonder in themselves. Mt Everest Base Camp is also included.
|D1||Arrival in Lhasa||Transfer from Lhasa Airport/Railway|
|D2||Lhasa||Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Norbulingka Park|
|D3||Lhasa||Potala Palace, Zang Gyab Lukhang Park with Lukhang Temple, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|D4||Lhasa > Ganden > Dark Yerpa > Lhasa (160km/3hrs)||Ganden Monastery, Dark Yerpa|
|D5||Lhasa > Samye > Tsetang (255km/6hrs)||Drolma Lhakhang Monastery, Samye Monastery|
|D6||Tsetang||Trandruk Monastery, Yumbulagang Palace, Chongye Burial Mounds|
|D7||Tsetang > Gyantse (310km/6hrs)||Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier|
|D8||Gyantse > Shigatse (95km/2hrs)||Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum, Gyantse Dzong|
|D9||Shigatse > Lhatse > Tingri (240km/4hrs)||Summer Palace of Pachen Lamas|
|D10||Tingri > EBC > Rongbuk > Tingri (220km/5hrs)||Everest Base Camp, Rongbuk Monastery|
|D11||Tingri > Sakya > Shigatse (220km/5hrs)||Sakya Monastery|
|D12||Shigatse > Lhasa (280km/5hrs)||Tashihunpo Monastery, Local Tibetan Family Visit|
|D13||Free Day in Lhasa||(No Guide/Vehicle; No entry of sights by yourself)|
|D14||Departure from Lhasa||Transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway|
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa
Upon your arrival in Lhasa Railway/Airport, our Tibetan guide will be there waiting for you holding your name board with our company logo on it. Based on Tibetan tradition, a white Hada(aka. scarf) will be presented to you as a warm welcome to Tibet. Then transfer to hotel in downtown Lhasa, which is abt 20mins from Lhasa Railway, and 1.5hrs from Lhasa Airport. Guide will help you to check in and set up a pick-up time for the next day before leave. You are free for the rest of the day. But a good rest is highly suggested, as the first day’s well-rest is crucial for you to acclimatize the high altitude of Tibet.
Day 02: Lhasa
Activities: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Norbulingka Park
Drepung Monastery: situated at the foot of Mt Gambo Utse, 5km from the western suburb of Lhasa, Drepung Monastery is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. Covering an area of 250,000 sq meters, Drepung Monastery is the largest-scale monastery among its kind. Seen from afar, its grand white construction gives the appearance of a heap of rice. Thus the name was given, Drepung literarily means collecting rice in Tibetan.
Sera Monastery: located at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa, Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, and built it in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Sera literarily means wild rose in the Tibetan. When the monastery was built, the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom, the name was thus decided. Between 3pm~5pm from Monday to Friday, debating is held in the monastery’s debating courtyard, which is a sight so extraordinary and enchanting even you don’t understand a word they’re saying.
Norbulingka Park: also called Summer Palace, literarily means Treasure Park in Tibetan, Norbulingka Park is situated in the western suburb of Lhasa, at the bank of the Kyichu River, about 1km southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka Park covers an area of 360,000 sq meters, with 374 rooms inside. It is the biggest man-made garden in Tibet.
Day 03: Lhasa
Activities: Potala Palace, Zang Gyab Lukhang Park with Lukhang Temple, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
Potala Palace: it 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 with Lukhang Temple: 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.
Jokang Temple: included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2000 as part of the Potala Palace , the 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.
Barkhor Street: 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 04: Lhasa > Ganden > Dark Yerpa > Lhasa (160km/3hrs)
Activities: Ganden Monastery, Dark Yerpa
Ganden Monastery: abt 50km northeast of Lhasa, Ganden(elev 4300km) was the 1st Gelugpa monastery and has been the main seat of this major Buddhist order ever since. With its stupendous view of the surrounding Kyi-chu Valley and fascinating kora, Ganden is an experience unlike the other major Gelugpa monasteries in the Lhasa area.
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 05: Lhasa > Samye > Tsetang (255km/6hrs)
Activities: Drolma Lhakhang Monastery, Samye Monastery
Drolma Lhakhang Monastery: this significant although small monastery is jam-packed with ancient relics and hidden treasures. As you return from Shigatse to Lhasa, you’ll pass a blue rock carving of Sakyamuni Buddha at the base of a cliff. Drolma Lhakhang Monastery is abt 6km from it. Inside Drolma Lhakhang Monastery, the first chapel to the left is a gonkhang, decorated with severed stags’ heads and arrow holders. As you enter and exit the main monastery building look for the 2 ancient guardian deities, which may even date back to the 11th century at the founding of the monastery.
Samye Monastery: Samye(elev 3630m) is deservedly the most popular destination for travelers in the Ü region. Surrounded by the barren mountains and dramatic sand dunes and approached via a beautiful river crossing the monastery has a magic abt it that causes many travellers to stay longer than they had intended. As Tibet’s 1st monastery and the place where Buddhism was established, Samye is also of major historical and religious importance.
Day 06: Tsetang
Activities: Trandruk Monastery, Yumbulagang Palace, Chongye Burial Mounds
Trandruk Monastery: Trandruk is one of the earliest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, having been founded at the same time as Jokhang & Ramoche in Lhasa. Dating back to the 7th-century region of Songtsen Gampo, it is also one of Tibet’s demoness-subduing temples.
Yumbulagang Palace: a fine, tapering finger of structure that sprouts from a craggy ridge overlooking the patchwork fields of Yarlung Valley, Yumbulagang is considered the oldest building in Tibet.
Chongye Burial Mounds: Tombs of the Kings at Chongye represent one of the few historical sites that gives any evidence of a pre-Buddhist culture in Tibet. Most of the kings interred here are now firmly associated with the rise of Buddhism on the high plateau, but the methods of their interment point to the Bön faith.
Day 07: Tsetang > Gyantse (310km/6hrs)
Activities: Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier
Yamdrotso Lake: dazzling Yamdro-tso (elev 4441m) is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la(4700m). The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather is fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang (7191m). Yamdrotso Lake is 130km long from east to west and 70km wide from north to south with a total perimeter of 250km and the surface area of 638 sq km, average depth of 20-40 meters. It is the largest lake at the north foot of the Himalayas.
Karola Glacier: Mt Nojin Kangsang stands tall with an elevation of 7,191 m (23,592 ft) between Gyantze County and Nagarzê County, with several snow-capped mountains over 6,000 m (19,685 ft) surrounding it. Mount Nojin Kangsang is the most accessible glacier site on the Tibetan Plateau. The famous Kharola Glacier (elevation 5,560 m or 18,241 ft) is below the south ridge of Nojin Kangsang.
Day 08: Gyantse > Shigatse (95km/2hrs)
Activities: Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum, Gyantse Dzong
Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum: the sprawling compound in the far north of 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.
Gyantse Dzong: aka. Gyantse Fortress, Gyantse Castle, is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. It stands high above Gyantse City on a huge spur of grey brown rock. Like most Tibetan towns, Gyantse radiates old-world charm when its whitewashed buildings are viewed from on high. So the stiff 20mins climb to the top of Gyantse Dzong is worth the effort for the great lookouts. In addition to Gyantse, clear views are afforded of the entire fertile Nyang-chu Valley and down into the compound of Pelkor Chode Monastery. Many of the 14th-century fort’s buildings and rooms are open for exploration, and a few have interesting murals and friezes, though most are bare.
Day 09: Shigatse > Lhatse > Tingri (240km/4hrs)
Activities: Summer Palace of Pachen Lamas
Summer Palace of Pachen 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 10: Tingri > Rongbuk > EBC > Tingri (220km/5hrs)
Activities: Everest Base Camp, Rongbuk Monastery
Everest Base Camp: Mt Everest, aka. Mt Qomolangma(elev 8844m), is the highest peak in the world. In Tibetan Qomolangma means the third Goddess of mountain. If you have no plan to actually climb Mt Everest, Everest Base Camp(elev 5150m) is as far as you can reach. Endowed with springs, Everest Base Camp has a couple of permanent structures and a small army base. It’s not possible to go all the way to Everest Base Camp by travel vehicle. All vehicles must stop at the nomad tent camp, abt 4km away from the sightseeing point. From here you can take the environment-friendly shuttle bus, or trek to the final sightseeing point. The way up is gentle and the altitude gain is less than 200m: most people can cover the distance in less than an hour by foot. Along the way you pass scree slopes, jagged ridges, and broad glacier valleys flowing with muddy water. Clamber up the small hill festooned with prayer flags of the final sightseeing point for great views of the star attraction, Mt. Everest.
Rongphu Monastery: Rongphu(elev 4900m) is the main Buddhist centre in Everest region and once coordinated the activities of around a dozen smaller religious institutions, all of which are now ruined. It was established in 1902 by a Nyingmapa lama. While not of great antiquity, Rongbu can at least lay claim to being the highest monastery in Tibet and thus the world. Some of the interior murals of Rongphu are superb. Rongphu and its large chörten makes a great photograph with Everest thrusting its head skyward in the background.
Day 11: Tingri > Sakya > Shigatse (290km/6hrs)
Activities: Sakya Monastery
Sakya Monastery: the immense, grey, thick-walled Sakya is one of Tibet’s most impressive constructed sights, and one of the largest monasteries. Sakya was established in 1268 and is designed defensively, with watchtowers on each of the corners of its high walls. Sakya Monastery is famed as the ‘Second Dunhuang’ due to its colossal collection of numerous Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, murals and Thangkas. There are about 40,000 volumes of scriptures are housed there. Sakya Monastery has many murals and Thangkas. Most of the murals are from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Among them, the most outstanding and precious are the murals which depict portraits of the former Sakya ancestors, Phakpa’s meeting with Kublai Khan (the founder of the Yuan Dynasty) and mandalas. There are over 3,000 Thangkas, from Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties.
Day 12: Shigatse > Lhasa (280km/5hrs)
Activities: Tashihunpo Monastery, Local Tibetan Family Visit
Tashilhunpo Monastery: it is a real pleasure to explore the busy cobble lanes twisting around the aged buildings. Covering 70,000 sq meters, Tashilunpo is essentially a walled town in its own right. from the entrance to the monastery, visitors get a grand view. Above the white monastic quarters is a crowed of ochre buildings topped with gold—the tombs of the past Panchen Lamas. To the right, and higher still, is the festival Thangka Wall that is hung with massive, colourful thangkas during festivals.
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 13: Free Day in Lhasa
Before your departure, you will have today free by yourselves to have a lazy day in Lhasa. Some souvenir shopping or find a café in Barkhor Street to enjoy the sun bathing. But pls note that you re not allow to enter any monasteries without guide presence.
Day 14: Departure from Lhasa
The last day of your tour in Tibet. According to your train/flight time, our guide and driver will come over to your hotel to pick you up then transfer to Lhasa Railway/Airport.
End of service!