Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Namtso Tour

After sightseeing in Lhasa, head to Tsang via Gyantse and Shigatse. Experience a smorgasbord of ancient Tibetan monasteries and historic towns. Head north to Namtso Lake(elev 4730m) which is the second-largest saltwater lake in China and one of the most beautiful natural sights in Tibet. It is over 70km long, reaches a width of 30km and is 35km at its deepest point. When the ice melts in late April, the lake is a miraculous shade of turquoise and there are magnificent views of nearby mountains. The wide open spaces, dotted with the tents of local nomads, are intoxicating.

Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa.
Our local Tibetan guide will wait you at Lhasa airport or railway station holding your name sign. You will be greeted with a warm Tashidelek(meaning hello with blissing), and be presented with a white Hada(traditional Tibetan ceremonial by give you a white scarf). Then transfer to hotel in Lhasa city.

To rest well on your first arrival in Lhasa(3650m) is essential to ease Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS, also known as altitude sickness). Try your best to resist the temptation of going out. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 02: Lhasa City.
Highlights: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Tibetan Thangka Studio

Potala Palace: Lhasa’s cardinal landmark, Potala Palace is one of the great wonders of world architecture. As has been the case with centuries of Pilgrims before you, the first sight of the fortress-like structure will be a magical moment that you will remember for a long time. Entry to Potala is up two steep access ramps that will soon leave you wheezing in the oxygen-depleted air. Travel light and not to worry abt your water supplies for there are bottled mineral water for sell all along the way up to the top of Potala.

Jokang Temple: also known in Tibetan as the Tsuglhakhang, Jokhang Temple is the most revered religious structure in Tibet. Thick with yak butter, the murmur of mantras and the shuffling of wide-eyed pilgrims, Jokhang is an unrivalled Tibetan experience. In front of the entrance to Jokhang is a forecourt that is perpetually crowded with pilgrims polishing the flagstones with their prostrations.

Barkhor Street: Barkhor is a quadrangle of streets that surroungs the Jokhang complex. It is an area unrivalled in Tibet for its fascinating combination of sacred significance and push-and shove market economics. This is both the spiritual heart of the Holy City & the main shopping district for Tibetans.

Tibetan Thangka Studio: Thangka is a painting on silk with embroidery, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala of some sort. The thankga is not a flat creation like an oil painting or acrylic painting but consists of a picture panel which is painted or embroidered over which a textile is mounted and then over which is laid a cover, usually silk. Generally, thangkas last a very long time and retain much of their lustre. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 03: Lhasa Suburb.
Highlights: Drak Yerpa, Sera Monastery

Drak Yerpa: for those with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism, Drak Yerpa(4885m), abt 16km northeast of Lhasa, is one of the holiest cave retreats in Ü of Tibet. Among the many ascetics who have sojourned here are Guru Rinpoche and Atisha(Jowo-je), the Bengali Buddhist who spent 12 years proselytizing in Tibet. King Songtse Gampo also medicated in a cave, after his Tibetan wife established the first of Yerpa’s chapels.

Sera Monastery: approximately 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera Monastery was one of Lhasa’s two great Gelugpa monasteries, second only to Drepung. Between 3pm~5pm of Monday to Friday, debating is held in the monastery’s debating courtyard, which is a sight so extraordinary and enchanting even you don’t understand a word they’re saying. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 04:  Lhasa > Gyantse > Shigatse.
Highlights: Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum

Yamdrotso Lake: dazzling Yamdro-tso(elev 4441m) is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la(4700m). The lake lies several hundreds meters below the road, and in clear weather is fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang(7191m).

Karola Glacier: Mt Nojin Kangsang stands tall with an elevation of 7,191 m (23,592 ft) between Gyantze County and Nagarzê County, with several snow-capped mountains over 6,000 m (19,685 ft) surrounding it. Mount Nojin Kangsang is the most accessible glacier site on the Tibetan Plateau. The famous Kharola Glacier (elevation 5,560 m or 18,241 ft) is below the south ridge of Nojin Kangsang.

Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum: the sprawling compound in the far north of town houses Pelkor Chöde Monastery and the monumental Gyantse Kumbum, a chörten filled with fine paintings and statues. Both are deservedly top of the list on most travellers’ must-sees. Palkhor lies at the foot of Dzong Hill. It is well-known for its Kumbum, which has 108 chapels in its four floors. The multi-storied Kumbum Stupa was crowned with a golden dome and umbrella, surrounded with more chapels filled with unique religious statues and murals. Overnight in Shigatse.

Day 05: Shigatse > Namtso.
Highlights: Tashihunpo Monastery, Namtso Lake

Tashilhunpo Monastery: it is a real pleasure to explore the busy cobble lanes twisting around the aged buildings. Covering 70,000 sq meters, Tashilunpo is essentially a walled town in its own right. from the entrance to the monastery, visitors get a grand view. Above the white monastic quarters is a crowed of ochre buildings topped with gold—the tombs of the past Panchen Lamas. To the right, and higher still, is the festival Thangka Wall that is hung with massive, colourful thangkas during festivals.

Namtso Lake: Namtso(elev 4730m) is the second-largest saltwater lake in China and one of the most beautiful natural sights in Tibet. It is over 70km long, reaches a width of 30km and is 35km at its deepest point. When the ice melts in late April, the lake is a miraculous shade of turquoise and there are magnificent views of nearby mountains. The wide open spaces, dotted with the tents of local nomads, are intoxicating. Overnight near Namtso.

Day 06: Namtso > Yampachen > Trurphu > Lhasa.
Highlishts: Yampachen Hot Spring, Tsurphu Monastery

Yampachen Hot Spring: Yangbajain is a small town abt 87km north-west of Lhasa. The town lies just south of the Nyainqêntanglha Mountains, in an upland lush green valley surrounded by the tents of nomads with grazing yak and sheep populating the hillside. The area is famous for the Yangbajain Hot Springs(Entrance Fee included), which have been harnessed to produce much of the electricity for the capital Lhasa. Yangbajain hot springs field is at an altitude of 4290–4500m which makes it the highest altitude set of hot springs in China, and possibly the world. The highest temperature inside the drilling hole is 125.5°C. Both indoor and outdoor swimming pools have been set up here, in which visitors can enjoy a bath. (Bathing Fee excluded: CNY 98).

Trurphu Monastery: around 65km west of Lhasa, Tsurphu is the seat of the Karmapa branch of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Black Hats. Tsurphu was founded in 1187 by Dusum Khyenpa, some 40 years after he established the Karmapa order in Kham, his birthplace. Truphu was the third Karmapa monastery to be built and , after the death of the first Karmapa, it became the head monastery for the order. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 07: Departure from Lhasa.
After breakfast at your hotel make the most of the last morning of your tour in Lhasa. Transfer to Lhasa Airport or Railway Station for next destination.
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