Whether you arrive in Lhasa by train or by plane, your tour guide will meet you at the train station or at the airport to take you to your hotel and help you get checked in. Along the way into downtown Lhasa from the airport, you will be able to see the Yarlung Tsangpo/Bhamaputra River along the way – the largest and longest river in Tibet. Once you are at your hotel, you will have time to rest and relax to become acclimatized to the higher altitude, or, if you are ready to get started sightseeing, you can visit Potala Square with its different colored fountains and fantastic views of the Potala Palace.
Today we will start off with the fantastic Potala Palace, which historically served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. It was first used in the 7th century by the 33rd king of Tibet. The most valuable collections in the Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of the former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. After lunch, we will move on to the Jokhang Temple, which was also founded in the 7th century by the 33rd great king of Tibet to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni as he was at the age of twelve – this is perhaps the most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can perform the “Kora” (a religious circuit around a sacred building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals. The Barkhor market is also a great place to pick up locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.
This morning we will visit the Drepung Monastery – one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge, on Tosngkhapa’s main disciples, the Drepung Monastery is home of Ganden Palace, which formerly served as the Dalai Lama’s palace before later moving on to the Potala Palace. In the afternoon we will move on to see another of the great three of the Gelug monasteries in Tibet – the Sera Monastery. Founded in 1419 by another main disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Chojey, the main attraction of this monastery is the lively scene of the monks debating Buddhist scriptures in the courtyard behind the monastery in the afternoon.
Today we will take the short drive to the Ganden Monastery, located about 60 kilometers east of Lhasa. The Ganden Monastery is one of the “Great Three” Gelugpa monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1409 by the founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the Great Tsongkhapa. The highlight of the Ganden Monastery is Serdung, which contains the tomb of Tsongkhapa. The monastery is situated on the Wangpori Mountain at an elevation of 3800 meters above sea level. You may want to follow the Lingkor Trek (religious circuit) around the monastery where you can also see Tsongkhapa’s mediation cave, many religious figure statues and a beautiful view across the Lhasa valley. We will return to Lhasa this evening to spend the night.
Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel and escort you on to the Lhasa airport or train station and help you make sure that you find the right place to board your flight or train for your departure from Lhasa.
Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
Private vehicle and Luggage Transfers.
All necessary Tibet travel permits.
All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis. Guesthouse or tent in remote areas.
Meals, as noted in the itinerary.
Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary.
Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
China visa, all air tickets and train tickets to and from Tibet.
Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
Meals not listed in the itinerary (all lunches and dinners).
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
Excess Baggage Charges.
Single room supplement.
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