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5 Days Lhasa Winter Tour from Nepal by Air

Tour Route: Kathmandu - Lhasa

Trip Overview:

This is a 5-day short winter tour to Lhasa city starting from Kathmandu, Nepal. Enjoying the quick and convenient flight to Tibet from Kathmandu across Himalaya, you will get to the holy snowy land in a breeze. With cozy sunshine warming the capital city, you will sightsee the popular must-sees in Lhasa, including Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Norbulingkha Palace etc. Besides, a day visit to the nearby Ganden Monastery will add more fun to this journey.

  • Tour Code:
    TTO-TT-TWT05
  • Max Altitude:
    3,650 m
  • Tour Type:
    Private tour with private guide and vehicle
  • Phisycal Demand:

    Phisycal Demand Level Guide:
    1. Easy (1 point) - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
    2. Moderate (2-3 Points) - suitable for those having average level for fitness, family with kids bigger than 12 years.
    3. Moderate to Strenous (4 Points) - suitable for those physically fit and have experiences of high altitude trekking.
    4. Strenuous (5 Points) - suitable for adventures and individual with physically fit and healthy.

  • Season:
    springSpringSummerSummerautumnAutumnwinterWinter

Highlights:

  • Enjoy the only one international flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu, with chances to Himalayan peaks en route.
  • Enjoy the gorgeous view of the valley while doing the kora around Ganden Monastery.
  • Go down into the bowels of the Potala Palace, the impressive but spiritless citadel of the Dalai Lamas.
  • Join the shuffling, murmuring pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet.
  • Nice visit to the Norbulingkha Palace, to see the iconic beautiful Tibetan garden.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa over Himalaya

Take the flight from Kathmandu 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.

After arrive in Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, your tour guide will await you outside the arrival area. You will be transferred to your stay at Lhasa. In the afternoon, you need to stay at hotel to acclimatize the high altitude.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 2: Lhasa Tour to Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street

The tour will begin from UNESCO World Heritage site - Potala Palace, which is also the winter palace of Dalai Lama. 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 Barkhor Street, filled with pilgrims and street vendors, selling traditional Tibetan items such as prayer wheels and jewelry.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 3: Lhasa Tour to Visit Norbulingkha Palace, Tibet Museum and Sera Monastery

After breakfast, we will head to visit the Norbulingkha Palace, the summer palace of Dalai Lama. It is a representative of Tibetan garden with pavilions and ponds. And there are many rare and valuable treasures in Norbulingkha Palace. Then we will go to the Tibet Museum nearby Norbulingkha Palace. There you can learn the customs of Tibetan people, and Tibetan history, culture and so on.

In the afternoon, you will visit 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.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 4: Day Tour to Ganden Monastery

Today, we will drive about 60 kilometers east of Lhasa to the Ganden Monastery, which is one of the “Great Three” Gelugpa monasteries of Tibet. It was founded by the Great Tsongkhapa in 1409, and there is the tomb of Tsongkhapa in the monastery.

You can trek Lingkor (circle) around Ganden Monastery to see the Great Tsongkhapa’s meditation cave and many religious figure statues, as well as the beautiful view of Lhasa valley.

In the afternoon, drive back to the Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 5: Depart from Lhasa

Our guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.

What’s included?

1. Free shuttle between airport/train station and Lhasa City (3 times a day)

2. Excellent local Tibetan English-speaking tour guide

3. AC tourist vehicle all through the trip in Tibet

4. All permits application service, and delivery the permit to your hotel in China before getting into Tibet

5. Drinking water provided daily

6. Welcome dinner at local Tibetan restaurant

7. Admission fee of all tourist attractions listed in Itinerary, including Potala Palace ticket booking service

8. Tibet tourist map & eco-friendly drinking bottle

9. Special dedicated authentic local custom experience: visit local teahouse, stone caving market. etc

10. Charge of handing all services in your tour, government tax

What’s excluded?

1. International flight to and out of China

2. Domestic flight / train to and out of Lhasa (If you need ticket booking service, please leave your requirements in the Online Inquiry form.)

3. Meals (Tour guide will organize the dinning for you but please pay on site for around 3-5 USD per meal.)

4. Accommodation in Lhasa (You are high recommended to book your favorite hotel in Lhasa online, or choose our hotel package from only 8 USD a night)

5. Tips and gratitude to the guide and driver. If you are satisfied with their service, you may consider tipping them at an amount you find it suitable

Trip Notes:

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.

2. Accommodation

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.

4. Toilet

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.

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