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, you are going to drive about 6 hours along the well-paved 318 National Road to Nyingchi, the Switzerland of Tibet. On route, you will take a side trip to the first monastery of Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded in 1409 by the great master Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), which makes the monastery as one of the most important monasteries in Tibet. Ganden, in Tibetan, means "happiness and contentedness". So it is very meaningful to visit this temple. Ganden Monastery is also an architectural masterpiece with many features of traditional Tibetan-style monasteries. It made fully use of colors to create a sense of holiness and solemnity - white paths, red walls, black windows, golden roofs, yellow curtain. From the monastery, one can also enjoy a stunning panoramic view of surrounding mountains and valleys. Besides, there are a lot of infrequent cultural relics and handicrafts kept in the monastery.
After arrival at Bayi Town, you will be transferred to check in your hotel. The rest of today is free for you to explore this peaceful town.
Today will be a pleasant full day of natural vision feast. Driving only about 1.5km out of the town, you will see the most famous and magical tree in Nyingchi area - the King Cypress which is about 50 meters tall and more than 2,500 years old. Leaving the King Cypress, you will move to the next attraction of today – Kading Valley. The highlight is a 200 meters high waterfall rushing out from a narrow valley between two mountains and dropping down rapidly. The most magic wonder is that a scene of Buddha is partly hidden and partly visible in the waterfall.
In the afternoon, you will explore the best highlight of today - Lulang Forest. It is a 15km long, 1km wide narrow valley of wild forests and flowers, grasslands and streams. Lulang, in Tibetan, means “Dragon Valley” or “the place where you won’t be homesick”. On the both sides of the valley are lofty green mountains covered by prosperous spruce, pine trees and brush. At the foot of the mountain are the beautiful meadows and villages. Winding streams flow through among the wooden houses. Wild flowers of different colors dot on the meadows. Look into distance over the valley are enormous snow-capped mountains. All these sceneries make Lulang a dream land.
Today, we will drive back to Lhasa from Bayi Town. The whole journey will take about 7 hours, with a wonderful sidetrip to the beautiful Basum Tso Lake.
The jade lake Basum Tso is called as Cuogao Lake in Tibetan, meaning the green water. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and natural forest, the lake is known for its primitive beauty and tranquility. Covering 26 square kilometers, the dark blue lake surface looks like a mirror, and clearly reflects the tall snow mountains and green plants in the lake, just like a picture. Besides, the lake is also a holy lake for Tibetan Buddhism Nyingma Sect. There are also a sacred Nyingma temple sited in a small island in the central lake for the pilgrims to worship to the Buddha, and a “magical hole” nearby the south shore for people to pray to the Buddha for a child. Combining beautiful scenery and amazing legends, Basum Lake is such a holy and spectacular place to explore!
Today is free for you until your tour guide transfer you to the airport in time for your flight or drop you off at Lhasa train station.
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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