The tour starts from Kathmandu and ends in Kathmandu. See the three major tourist cities of Tibet with their highlights and no rush. Beginning with flying over Himalaya to Lhasa. Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse formed a cultural triangle in central Tibet Enter the Potala Palace. Not only visit, but walk to explore, the Spiritual Center of Tibetan - the Barkhor Street. Explore the Drepung and Sera Monastery, where hundreds Tibetan Monks live and study. Discover the Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier on the way from Lhasa to Gyantse. Shigatse is the last stop of the tour, where sit the Tashilhunpo Monastery with old Tibetan Traditional Gardens.
- Travel across Nepal to explore the Buddhist culture.
- Go down into the bowels of the Potala, the impressive but spiritless citadel of the Dalai Lamas.
- Join the shuffling, murmuring pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang, the spiritual heart of Tibet.
- Follow monks, mendicants and fellow pilgrims around the Barkhor, Lhasa’s fascinating medieval pilgrim circuit.
- Take in a prayer meeting or some monk debating at Sera and Drepung, two of the largest and most intact of Tibet’s great monasteries.
- Marvel at the turquoise waters of Yamdrok-tso, one of Tibet’s most sacred lakes.
- Worship before a 26m gold Buddha at Tashilumpo Monastery, a walled complex the size of a village.
- Sleep in nomad tents and gaze upon the north face of Mt. Everest.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Arrive Tribhuvan International Airport, tour guide will await you outside the arrival area. Transfer for your stay at Kathmandu. (Our local office staff will meet you to collect your passport to apply for Chinese Visa for you, Visa fee is not included in price quotation and you will need pay extra service charge 20 USD/person).
Notice: Chinese embassy requires 3 working days to issue the Visa, we advice you could arrive in Nepal 3 working days in advance before going to Tibet.
Day 2: Day tour to Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Patan City
Kathmandu’s Durbar Square is one of three durbar (royal palace) squares in the Kathmandu Valley. It is the site of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex, which was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century and where important ceremonies taken place. Swayambhunath the golden spire of the 5th-century Swayambhu stupa is adorned with a colourful fluttering of prayer flags; it crowns a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley and offers fantastic views over the city of Kathmandu.
The last site we visit for today is Patan City which is the second largest town in Kathmandu valley. Patan's central Durbar Square is entitled in the World Heritage Site and absolutely packed with temples, the Golden Temple which is the unique Buddhist Monastery was founded in the 12th century, is a large rectangular building has three roofs and a copper gilded facade with the images of Buddha and Avalokitesvara where there are Buddha images and illustrations on the walls.
Day 3: Day tour to Pashupatinath, Bodhnath and Bhaktapur City
Pashupatinath the most important Hindu temple in Nepal, the old buildings on the site were destroyed by Moslem invaders in the 14th century, its stone linga smashed to dust, but it rose again behind their retreating backs. Succeeding monarchs reinstated the temple and the images. Bouddhanath is among the largest stupas in South Asia, and it has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead. The stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet, and Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers here for many centuries.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal.
Day 4: Fly to Lhasa over Himalaya
Fly to Lhasa in the morning. The air journey is just around 2 hours. You will be shocked by amazing Himalaya mountain range, the mountains which over 8000m are just moving across you, and you cannot see the side of the snow-capped mountains. Arrive Lhasa Gongar International Airport, tour guide will await you outside the arrival area. Transfer for your stay at Lhasa. In the afternoon, you need to stay at hotel to acclimatize the high altitude.
Day 5: Day tour to visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street.
The tour will begin from UNESCO World Heritage site - Potala Palace. It's situated at 12,139 feet above sea level. It's a 13-story high building that contains over 1,000 rooms, various statues, stupas, murals and artifacts.Then continue to Jokhang Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a spiritual center for Buddhists in Tibet. Next to the temple there is Bakhor Street, filled with pilgrims and street vendors, selling traditional Tibetan items such as prayer wheels and jewelry.
Day 6: Day tour to visit two important monasteries in Lhasa, Sera & Drepung
In the morning, tourists are going to visit Drepung monastery which was one of the “three greet” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1416. In the afternoon, Sera Monastery---It was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1419. The highlight is the Monks debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon.
Day 7: Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) via Gyantse
In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), and tourists will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m). The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance clients can have spectacular views of Holy Mount NyenchenKhangsar(7191m), the highest mountain near Lhasa.
Gyantse was historically Tibet's third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse). In Gyantse, tourists will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. After one and a half driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet.
Day 8: Shigatse (3900m) to Lhasa (3650m)
In Shigatse, we will visit Tashilunpo Monastery before driving back to Lhasa. The monastery covers 70,000 sq metres, is now the largest functioning religious institution in Tibet and one of its great monastic sights. The huge golden statue of the Future Buddha is the largest gilded statue in the world. Then we will drive back to Lhasa by following Yalong Valley. You can stand on the viewing platform and view the vast Yalong River bed. Finally the guide will transfer you back to your hotels in Lhasa.
Day 9: Private transfer to Lhasa Gongga Airport, fly to Kathmandu.
Private transfer to Lhasa Gongga Airport, fly to Kathmandu.
All Tours in Kathmandu, Lhasa, the Loop trip Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse in Tibet
* Pick up from hotel before the tour
* Drop off to hotel after the tour finish
* All Entrance Fees of tourist attractions listed in the itinerary
* One Dinner included in Lhasa
* Local English Speaking Tour guide
* AC comfortable tourist Vehicle
* All Hotels in the tour are included. We choose best value 3 star hotels with good location for you. All hotels include breakfast.
* Tibet Travel Permit, Alien's Travel Permit.
* Chinese Visa Invitation letter Application service
* Airport-Hotel pick up and drop off service in Lhasa and Kathmandu
* Meals except breakfast are not included, check the meals plan
* Round way flight tickets Kathmandu - Lhasa - Kathmandu flight tickets
* Chinese Visa fee paid to Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu is not included
* Chinese Visa application agent service at Kathmandu, 20USD/person is not included
* Additional single supplement for requiring single room for yourself
* Gratuities to tour guide and driver
* Other personal expenses
1. Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit is a must for Tibet tour. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for the permit after you book a Tibetan tour with us. Shortly after we get your permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau, we will inform you and mail it to your hotel in China via express.
In some extreme cases, our staff will hand it over to you at the airport or railway station. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
Tibet is never known for its 5-star luxury resorts, though you can find some like Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise, St.Regis Lhasa Resort, Sheraton hotel, etc in Lhasa. Overall, the accommodation facilities and services are not as good as those in coastal and central parts of China. However, from cheap and clean youth hotel, to distinct Tibetan style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotel, you will find one that suits your interest and pocket in Lhasa.
We’ve handpicked cozy and safe hotels in the central area of Lhasa, where you will find Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street are just steps away from you. You can easily experience more of the local life and culture. Normally, as you travel to remote areas in some parts of Shigatse like Tingri, or EBC, Ngari, Nagqu, etc. the accommodation would be much poorer. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel;others may only have electric blanket in the guesthouses. And the food is also very basic.
3.Guiding and Tipping
Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service. Throughout your stay in Tibet, we will minor your health and provide prompt help to you. If you run into any trouble, please do not hesitate to reach them or our customer service manager.
Travelers’s tipping to Tibetan guide and driver is taken as an extra gratitude to their good service, just like what you do in the west. Normally, a tipping of 7 USD/day is acceptable. The basic rule is good service for good pay.
Admittedly, to many western tourists, using toilets in Tibet is the most dreadful experience. So, please down play your expectation. If you take Tibet train to Lhasa, both western toilet and squat toilet are available in the train. If you stay in hotel above 3-star hotels in Lhasa, Shigatse, etc. you will have no complaining using standard western flash toilet.
However, if you visit some of the attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso, EBC outdoor, mostly you will see the smelly and filthy pit toilet.It's better to carry enough toilet paper.
5. Tibet Weather
One of the biggest features of weather on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the dramatic temperature change between day and night. The annual temperature in Lhasa is -2℃-- 12℃(spring), 9℃-- 22℃(summer), 7℃-- 19℃(fall), -7℃-- 9℃(winter). Do wear clothes properly such as thermal tops, fleece jacket, breathable underwear, down jacket, jeans, beanie, etc.
Of course, sun screen, lip balm, sun glasses are essential to shield you from powerful blinding sunlight on the plateau. Do drink more water and eat more vegetable as you travel in Tibet. It can prevent you from dehydration.
6. Acclimatization to the High Altitude
For the first timer to Tibet, either by flight or train, a good rest is a must for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Never rush to tour the street or attractions on your own. Walk slower and do not exert yourself like running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa is a good way to get acclimatized before heading to Shigatse or Namtso. If you have any discomfort, do tell it to your guide,and he will help you out.
7. Other Dos and Don'ts
Normally, taking photos is forbidden in the monastery. If you want to take photos of Tibetan pilgrims, a gentle ask of permission would be appreciated or you can do it from a long distance. Swimming and fishing are not allowed in holy lakes in Tibet; Do not talk about sensitive topics like politics; International tourists are not allowed to travel alone in Tibet according to the policy; Walk clockwise around Barkhor Street; Never venture into the unknown trails; do as much as you can to protect the fragile eco-system in Tibet, etc.
As Tibetan Buddhism is deeply-rooted in every facet of Tibetans' life, always follow and respect the unique customs in Tibet. If you are uncertain about something, it’s advisable to ask your guide before you do it at will.