- Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa by train or air and transfer to downtown Lhasa, 3650mts. Tibet heritage hotel on BB Boutique hotel
Arriving in Lhasa, the ancient holy city of Tibet and Our Tibet travel guide and driver will be welcomed you at the railway station and transfer to the hotel. Rest in the afternoon.
- Day 02: Sightseeing tour in Lhasa, Potala Palace, Jokang temple, Bharkor Bazar. Tibet Heritage hotel
After breakfast, travel to Potala Palace which will take you 10 minutes from your hotel. THE POTALA PALACE is considered one of the great wonders of the world. It is held sacred by Tibetans as the former residence of successive Dalai Lamas, and is one of Tibet's most holy pilgrimage sites. A palace was originally built in the 7 th century by King Songtsen Gampo, and was believed to have been nine stories high, but around the 9th century, it is believed to have been destroyed by a big fire.
The present Potala Palace was constructed by the great fifth Dalai Lama in the 17 th century after he became ruler of Tibet. The Potala Palace is divided into two sections, the White Palace (completed in 1653) and Red palace (completed 1694). It has more than one thousand rooms and is thirteen stories high. The White Palace was secular in nature and mainly used for government administration, whilst the Red palace was mainly used for religious functions and still has numerous chapels, including those containing reliquary stupas of the successive Dalai Lamas which are richly decorated in gold, silver and semi-precious stones. Afternoon, visit Jokang temple and Bharkor.
JOKANG TEMPLE the Jokang is Tibet’s most sacred temple, the main point of pilgrims from the entire Tibetan plateau. Located at the heart of the ancient town of Lhasa, it was built in the 7 th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo’s queen Bhrikuti on a site identified by Queen Wencheng according to her geomantic calculation. The temple is 3 stories high and it is constructed with enormous chapels including the most sacred statue of Budhha Shakyamuni, enshrined. It has around 70 monks nowadays. ANCIENT BHARKOR STREET is the most sacred pilgrimage site in Lhasa and it is full of pilgrims from down till dusk.
There are four huge prayer flags situated in Bhakor street which surrounds the Jokang, known respectively as Gadhen Dharchen in the northeast, Juyak Dharchen in the west, Kelsang Dharchen in the southwest and SharKyaring Dharchen in the southeast. The Bharkor street is the most active market in all Tibet and it is possible to purchase traditional Tibetan artifacts, religious implements, antiques, modern goods, books, music, clothing, spices, fresh meat and vegetable.
- Day 03: Drepung and Sera monasteries. Tibet Heritage hotel
After breakfast, drive to Drepung monastery which will take you 15 minutes drive from your hotel. DREPUNG MONASTERY is the largest monastery in Tibet, built in the 15 th century by Jamyang Choeje who is one of Tsongkapa’s foremost disciple. The monastery is beautifully located up in a hill at the distance of 7 Km from the old section of the city and it is the biggest monastery in Tibetan Buddhism.
The monastery has four main colleges with numerous small chapels and house chapels, known as Khangtsen in Tibetan. There are around six hundred monks nowadays. Afternoon, visit Sera and Norbu Lingka. SERA MONASTERY was founded in around 15th century by Jamchen Choeje who is another famous disciple of Tsongka pa and it is the second largest monastery of Tibet. There are three big colleges with numerous chapels and house chapels. The most attraction to visit this monastery is to see the monks debating which hold from 3-5Pm everyday apart from Sunday. NORBU LINGKA is the first summer Palace which was founded by the seventh Dalai Lama in 18th century and the first Palace Kelsang Podrang was also constructed as the same name as the 7th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso.
The eight Dalai Lama Jampel Gyatso (1758-1804) did more initiated work on the Norbulingka, expending the gardens and digging a lake which can be found south of the new summer Palace. The thirteenth Dalai Lama (1876-1933) was responsible for the three Palaces in the north west corner of the park and the fourteen the Dalai Lama built the new summer Palace in 1956. Nowadays there are some monks who are taking care of the Palace.
- Day 04: Lhasa - Ganden ( 4,500m ), Tridom Nunney (4325Mts ) Nunnery guest house
Today you will be driving to Gaden monastery at the distance of 60 Km. Ganden Monastery is the first monastery of the yellow hat sect, founded in the 14th century by Tsongka psa himself up in a hill . You can see beautiful Tibetan villages and yaks while you are driving up to the monastery from Lhasa . You will continue to Tridom at the distance of 61Km with a very similar scenery including villages.
- Day 05:Tridom - Drigung Thil Monastery (4,150mts) - Reting monastery 4,100mts ( 120km ) Monastery guest house
Today you will be driving to Digung Thil monastery first at the distance of 10Km and Dhigung Thil monastery is the mother monster of Dhigung Kagyupa sect and it has more than 600 years history. After finishing the sightseeing there, you will be driving to Reting Monastery at the distance of around 120Km via Chakla pass and it will take you between 3 and 4 hrs to get there. Reting is the Monastery of the Kadam pa sect in Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Dom Tonpa in the 11th century. The monastery is beautiful located in the sandal wood, like surrounded by a small sandal wood forest.
- Day 06: Reting monastery - Namtso Lake, 4718Mts, 180 Km G.H
Today we will be driving to Lake Namtso , 180Km , takes you there around 4 hrs. You will start the visit to Reting Monastery for an hour starting from 9 Am and then at around 10Am you will head towards to Namtso Lake and get you there around 1 Pm.
- Day 07: Namtso – Nenang monastery-Tsurphu monastesry , 4300 Mts, 215Km Tsurphu monastery guest house
Explore the lake and Tashi Do hermitage with numerous caves that you can visit while walking around Tashi Do hermitage and then drive to Tsurphu monastery.
On the way, you will enjoy the beautiful valley, full of villages and enroute, visit Nenang monastery. Reaching Tsurphu monastery, you will also see your beautiful campsite nearby the monastery. Tsurphu monastery is the seat of the Karmapa and was founded in the 1180's by the first Karmapa Dusum Kyenpa, some forty years after he established the Karmapa order in Kham, the place where he was born and Tsurphu was the third Karmapa monastery to be built.
After the death of the first Karmapa, it became the head monastery for the Sakyapa order. The monastery is composed of one main assembly hall and some chapels. Within the monastery are some very revered relics of the 16 th Karmapa, as well as statues of Amitabha and Shakyamuni. Tsurphu has 300 monks nowadays.
- Day 08: Tsurphu monastery-Samye monastery, 3600m/200Km. Monastery guest house
Morning, visit Tsurphu monastery, interact the monks chanting in the morning and walk around the monastery and then to drive to Samye monastery through Yarlung valley. Afternoon, visit Samye monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet built around 8th century by Padmasavawa and Shatarakshita. It was also the first monastery where they have received first Tibetan monks. It is the mother monastery of red hat school and nowadays, it has around four hundred monks.
Hike to Hepori cave which is the first historical cave where Padmasamvawa used to take meditation and defeated evil spirits. From the top of the cave, you will see a fantastic view of the Samye monastery and it’s whole valley with the village.
- Day 09: Visit Samye monastery and then drive to Langthang Dewachen (3900mts/165Km) Home stay on full board
Morning, visit Samye monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet built around 8th century by Padmasavawa and Shatarakshita. It was also the first monastery where they have received first Tibetan monks. It is the mother monastery of red hat school and nowadays, it has around four hundred monks. After visiting the monastery, you will hike up to Hepori hermitage hill which is the first cave where Pamasamvawa used to take meditation. You will hike to the top hill for around one hour and half and back down for around 40 minutes. You will have the most beautiful view of the whole Samye valley. After having lunch, you will drive along the Yarlung Tsangpo river and reaching Chedishol, the road condition is very good, from Chedishol, turn left and drive on a dusty road for 25 Km but the scenery is more fascinating. Stay in a Tibetan family , visit a Tibetan family and have dinner in a Tibetan family and experience how the traditional family of a farmer village in Tibet and the way of their living.
- Day 10: Langthang Dewachen-Gongkar Choede-Kyarola La-Drilung village-Rido monastery-Kangru monastery,4580Mts / 120Km/4 hrs drive/ 3-4hrs walk Monastery stay
After breakfast, one and half hour walk to Bumthang monastery and around the villages. hike up to Bumthang monastery, visit the monastery and walk down to Shizhol village.
we will drive back to Gongkar county where the airport is, have lunch in Gongkar and then continue towards south west from the airport. Reach Gongkar Choede monastery. We will visit the Choede monastery.
Gonggar Choede monastery, which was built in 1464, belongs to the Zung branch (meaning grey earth ) of the Sakyapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. The principal founder of the Dzongpa Tradition was Dorje Chang Kunga Namgyal (1432–1496). The main monastery of the Dzongpa is Gongkar Chode just south-west of Lhasa on the south side of the Tsangpo River at the distance of 55Km from Lhasa.
In the 16th century, the monastery was beautified with wall paintings of the Khyenri school of Tibetan paintings done by the well-known artist of the times, Jamyang Khyentse Wangchuk
The history of the monastery is traced to the first visit of Jowo-je Palden Atisha (980–1054 CE), Buddhist teacher from the Pala Empire. During his first visit, Atisha had stopped close to the location of the monastery, prostrated in the direction of the monastery and prophesised that one day a monastery would be built at this location, which would become famous. He had marked the location with a mound of white pebbles in the form of a Mandala (this mound got destroyed during the Cultural Revolution). The Dzong was under the stewardship of Dorje-denpa Kun-ga Namgyal also known as Dorje Chang Kunga Namgyal (1432–1496), who was a well-known Guru who had received training in the Sutra, Tantra and Tantric rituals from masters of all traditions. He was the holder of the Dzongpa tradition of the Sakyapa school of Tibetan Bhuddism. When he was sitting on the roof of his house in the Gongkar Dzong, while reciting the religious scripture, the Vajradhatu, a leaf of the scripture was flown away by wind and it fell at a location where the present Gongkar Choede Monastery is located.
It is mentioned that between Gongkar and Tsetang there are seven gompas of the Sakyapa sect, including the Gongkar Dorjeden, known as Gongar Choede, the pillar of Sakyapa power, to the south of the Tsongpo valley.
Gonggar Choede monastery is three storey’s high and the assembly hall is dedicated to the old paintings and three big statues of Sakya Pendita, Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche. The monastery survived many beautiful old wall painting date back to the 16th Century. It is worthwhile to spend some time with torch to explore the wall painting both in the main assembly hall and on the second floors.
The Gongkar Choede monastery also became famous because it was here that the artistic Central Tibetan painting of Kyenri originated.
After visiting the monastery, we will continue our journey to Yamdrok lake through some beautiful villages and Kyarola pass, 4900Mts on the top of the pass. From the top of the pass, you can have a beautiful view of another arm of Yamdrok lake which usually rarely are seen by other tourists and a beautiful village called Drilung located near by the lake. If the weather is good, you can also have a fantastic view of Noejing kangsang snow capped mountain in the distance.
you will continue your journey and drive across the Chogong la pass,4800Mts above sea level. From the top of the pass, you will again see another arm of Yamdrok lake and the beautiful Tongra village.
We will drive to the foot of Rido monastery which is located on a small sacred hill where it is believed to be the abode of Tara. A few years back, the hill where the monastery was a small island but within the last couple of years, the water of Yamdrok lake has been decreased very much so now the island is appeared on the dried area. You will trek up to the monastery, visit the monastery, have a fantastic view of the Yamdrok lake and Noeking kangsang in the distance. Walk down to the parking site and then continue the journey to Kangru monastery via Kangmar and Kangru village. You will visit the monastery and have some tea in the monastery and talk with the monks to share their monastic experience and lives.
- Day 11: Drive from Kangru monastery to Rimpo grassland and Yamdrok lake shore-trek along the Yamdrok lake for around 2 hours, again drive to Kha village. 4480Mts 2 hrs drive 3 hrs walk. Tibetan home stay
After breakfast, drive down to Rimpo, trek two hours across Gyole la and along the Yamdrok lake shore, meet the vehicle and drive through Yamdrok Karmaling grassland and finally reach Kha village during your lunch time.
Have lunch in the family and then walk around the village for around one hour. Early afternoon, you will have a simple Tibetan cooking class for the afternoon, join the family to prepare the dinner and learn how to make Tibetan Momo ( a traditional dumpling ). You will have dinner with the family members.
- Day 12: Drive from Kha village to Ralung monastery, 4000m/80Km Stay at monastery
After around 100Km drive, you will reach Taklung monastery. On the way, visit Taklung monastery and then continue to Ralung monastery, by crossing Karola pass and it’s glacier. After around ten minutes drive down from the glacier, you will stop for Ralung monastery.
From the main road to Ralung monastery, there are around 4Km which is around 2 hours walk. You will trek from the main road to Ralung monastery and over night in Ralung monastery.
- Day 13: Drive Ralung-Gyantse-Shigatse. (3900mts/ 190Km ) Hotel on B.B
Morning, walk around Ralung monastery, enjoy the beautiful grassland and yellow follower of rape seed, drive down to Gyantse. Gyantse is one of the least modernized town in Tibet and it was the place where they did trade between Tibet and India. Visit Palchoe monastery and Kubum Pagoda stupa. After the sightseeing, You will have your lunch and then continue your journey to Shigatse by passing one of the biggest farming land in Tibet where people grow barley, wheat, different kinds of vegetables.
- Day 14: Drive from Shigatse to Lhasa (3650Mts/ 280KM ) Hotel on B.B
Morning, visit Tashi Lhunpo monastery and old market of Shigatse. Continue your Tibet tour to Lhasa and drive along the Bharmaputra river with a landscape of sandy hills, villages, and Rulak Yungdrung ling at the otherside of the river. You will have lunch in a small town called Nyenmo which is the border point between Shigatse and Lhasa . Free afternoon for shopping.
- Day 15: Drive from Lhasa to Lhasa Gongkar airport.(3600Mts/ 45Km ) End the trip
Leave Lhasa according to your departure flight schedule. Say good bye to the holy city of Lhasa and the giant Potala Palace, taking one hour drive to Gongkar airport along the Lhasa river which is the tributary of the Bharmaputra river.