7 Days Central Tibet Cultural Tour
If you are interested in ancient Tibetan history and culture then this is the trip for you as this tour takes you to the heartland of Tibetan plateau. Starting from the old Tibetan capital Lhasa you will be driven to Gyangtse and Shigatse, the two most important cities after Lhasa. As you are driven along the central Tibetan plateau, you will get to see the old forts and citadels of the Tibetan kings, great monasteries with histories as old as Tibet, caves painted with beautiful murals, which were used as retreats by Buddhist monks, and the hardy Tibetans whose faith and belief in Buddhism is woven in their daily life. Scenic vistas like the one at the Yamdrok-Tso Lake and the snowy summit of Nyenchen Kangsang (7252m) will be a treat for sore eyes.
In Lhasa you will get to visit the imposing Potala Palace, the splendid Norbulingka (summer retreat of Dalai Lama), the magnificent Sera monastery, the holy Jokhang Temple and the busy Barkhor square, the nerve centre of Lhasa.
Day1: Arrival/ Acclimatization (3650M, Stay in 3 star hotel or 4 star hotel in Lhasa: Yak, Shangbala, Dhogu, Thangka)
Day2: Lhasa sightseeing (3650M, Stay in 3 star hotel or 4 star hotel in Lhasa: Yak, Shangbala, Dhogu, Thangka)
Day3: Lhasa sightseeing (3650M, Stay in 3 star hotel or 4 star hotel in Lhasa: Yak, Shangbala, Dhogu, Thangka)
Day4: Lhasa to Gyangtse (3980M, Stay in 2 star hotel: Yeti, Jianzang, Trugu hotel)
Day5: Gyangtse to Shigatse (3840M, 90 KM, Stay in three or four star hotel: Manasarovar and Tashi Chodar hotel)
Day6: Shigatse to Lhasa (3650M, 260KM, Stay in 3 star hotel or 4 star hotel in Lhasa: Yak, Shangbala, Dhogu, Thangka)
Day7: Departure from Lhasa Airport/ Train Station (overnight in Lhasa 3 star local owned hotel)
Trip Detail Itenirary from day to day
Day1: Arrival/ Acclimatization (3660m)
You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3650 meters). It takes around 45 minutes to reach the old city. After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest and take it easy. Drink plenty of fluids and let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude. ?Note: There is no program arranged for today.
Day2: Lhasa Sightseeing visit Jokhang temple, Barkhor market, Norbulingka, Sera Monastery
After breakfast, you will be briefed on the day’s program. An experienced guide will take you on a tour to Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor Square, Norbulingka, Sera Monastery. Jokhang Temple was founded in 647 by King Songtsen Gampo (r.617-49), the first ruler of a unified Tibet, and his two foreign wives who are credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. The king's first wife, Princess Bhrikuti (married in the 630s), was the sister of the Nepalese king, while his second wife, Princess Wencheng (married 641), was the niece or daughter of the Chinese emperor. Barkhor Bazaar is the oldest street in Lhasa, as well as the most representative. It is a place full of religious atmosphere and a world of exotic articles. Traditional Tibetan houses and narrow lanes in and around the street whisper the stories of old Lhasa. Norbulingka Palace, situated in the west side of Lhasa is just around a km southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka meaning 'Treasure Park' covers an area of around 360000 sq. m. and is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet. You will be amazed to know that there are more than 370 rooms inside its premises. It is called summer palace because after the 7th Lama, Dalai Lamas used to visit here during summers to hold religious and government related activities. As a part of "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace", UNESCO added Norbulingka in its list of world heritage sites. The Sera Monastery at the foot of Tatipu Hill is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. It is one of three famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung monastery and the Ganden monastery The Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsongkhapa disciples built the monastery in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built. The monastery is magnificent and covers an area of 114,946 square meters (28 acres). Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall, Zhacang (college) and Kamcun (dormitory). Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa's other famous monasteries.
Day 3: Lhasa Sightseeing visit Potala Palace, Drepung monastery
After an early breakfast, you will be escorted by your guide to the majestic Potala Palace. The imposing structure of the Potala palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see the best of Tibetan art. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas. Later in the day you will visit the beautifully landscaped Drepung Monastery where you can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses. After the day’s tour is over, you are escorted back to your hotel for a well- earned rest. Note: Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed inside the Potala Palace each day, the guide will decide upon the order of sightseeing places. Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 by Tsongkhapa disciple Jamyang Choeje. It was the home of the Dalai Lamas before the Potala palace was built in the 17th century. Resembling a heap of white rice from a distance, it was dubbed "Monastery of the Collecting-Rice" (Drepung Gompa) in Tibetan.
Day4: Drive Lhasa-Gyangtse (3950m)
Traveling by jeep along the Friendship Highway you cross the Khamba La (4794m). The drive offers you stunning views of Yamdrok-Tso Lake and the snowy summit of Nyenchen Khangsa (7252m). You continue westwards, over another high pass, the Carola (5045m), where you are treated to the spectacular sight of a huge glacier tumbling down, within a few hundred meters of the road. After passing through beautiful valleys and colorful Tibetan villages you arrive in the town of Gyangtse.
Day5: Gyangtse - Shigatse 90kilometers (3900m)
Before departing from Gyangtse, you will be taken for a guided tour to Gyangtse Dzong and Gyangtse Kumbum. The Dzong is a 14th century fort, from where you get amazing views of Gyangtse and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. The Kumbum is a large gold-domed Stupa. It has many small chapels which houses an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. We move on to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city, which is about 90 km away.
In Shigatse you can visit Tashilhunpo monastery.
Tashilhunpo 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 Dalai Lama in 1447, the monastery's structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. Tashilhunpo Monastery covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters (3,229,279 sq. ft.). The main structures found in the Tashilhunpo Monastery are The Maitreya Chapel, The Panchen Lama's Palace and The Kelsang Temple. Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama since the Fourth Panchen Lama took charge in the monastery, and there are now nearly 800 lamas.
Day6: Shigatse – Lhasa (280 km)
After breakfast, you will be guided to explore the local market and the Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. After a detailed visit of Shigatse, you will be driven back to Lhasa via a shorter route.
You will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your flight home. Tibet warmheartedly welcome you back home forever .we would love to send you all the best wishes for your continue happy journey.