The mild and pleasant climate in central Tibet makes this area available for tourists year around. This route offers the epitome of Tibet with some of the most impressive visions: snow-capped mountains and holy lakes, splendid monasteries and palaces, original villages and unsophisticated people. With the better road conditions and accommodations along the way, it is now the most popular route.
Lhasa, literally meaning “Holy-Land is the heart and soul of Tibet, has history of more than 1,300 years. It rose to prominence as an important center of administrative power in the 7th century AD, when Songtsen Gampo, a local ruler in the Yarlung Valley, continued the task of unifying Tibet. Songtsen Gampo moved his capital to Lhasa and built a palace on the site that is now occupied by the Potala.
The fifth Dalai Lama also made Lhasa his capital. He built his palace, the Potala, on the site of ruins of Songtsen Gampo’s 7th century palace, Lhasa has remained Tibet’s capital since 1642, and most of the city’s historical sights date from this second stage of the city’s development.
Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, is another political, economic and religious center other than Lhasa. Shigatse has been the seat of the Panchen Lama, who is traditionally based in Tashilhunpo Monastery. Tashilhunpo is one of Tibet’s highlights and is Shigatse’s foremost attraction.
Day01: Arrive in Lhasa. The guide will meet you and transfer you to Lhasa city with about 1 hours' driving (60km). On the way, you'll get greeted by Nie Tang Budda- a Budda image engraved in the mountain face. After arrive in Lhasa, rest and acclimatize. Overnight in Lhasa
Day02: Lhasa. The first day of sightseeing starts from Lhasa's cardinal landmark- Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels. Some 2km to the east of the Potala is the most revered religious structure in Tibet Jokhang Temple. Bustling with worshippers and redolent with mystery, the Jokhang is an unrivalled experience. The quadrangle of streets surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkhor- Lhasa's most interesting pilgrimage circuit. This area of the Old Town is both the spiritual heart of Lhasa and the main commercial district for Tibetans. Overnight in Lhasa (B)
Day03: Lhasa. About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains. Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous. Overnight in Lhasa (B)
Day04: Lhasa-Yamdroktso-Gyantse-Shigatse. Yamdroktso(4441m), one of Tibet's three holy lakes, is located 110km outside of Lhasa. In the fresh morning air, you're on the way to this lake. It's mostly mountain road, winding and bumpy, even thrilling somewhat. After about 3 1/2 hours' driving, climbing over the snow pass of Kambala(5030m), the dazzling Yamdroktso just lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather is a fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang(7191m).Visit Kumkum in Gyantse and drive to Shigatse.Overnight in Shigatse (B)
Day05: Shigatse-hasa. With Gyantse just fades away from your sight, Shigatse becomes clearer cause it's just 1 1/2 hours' driving (98km). Miles away from Shigaste, you can already see the gold tops of Tashilhunpo shinning under the sun. While Tashilhunpo's magnificent outside leaves you gasp in admiration, the inside of this monastery introduces you more religious tranquility and sincerity. Just close Tashilhunpo is the Old Town of Shigatse, a great place to wander around: Nicely decorated Tibetan houses and interesting market and bazaar give you a vivid picture of local people's life.Drive back Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa (B)
Day06: Lhasa-Ganden Kora-Lhasa. Lhasa Sightseeing Ganden Monastery,the first Gelugpa Monastery and remained the main seat of the major Buddhist order ever since. The Gandan Kora also should not be missed. There superb views of the Kyichu valley along the way and there are usually large numbers of pilgrims and monks praying on the way. Some hiking around the Gandan Kora. Over night in Lhasa.
Day07: Leave Lhasa Pack your luggage and get ready for leaving. The guide will transfer you to the airport, and help you board the plane. Say goodbye to Tibet and fly out. (B)
Includes: 1. the Alien's Travel Permit, 2. 1 Non-Ac jeep/van for tour transportation, 3. accommodations based on twin-bed room in 3-star hotels with breakfast, 4. 1 English-speaking guide, 5. monasteries entrance fees, 6. Air fare, Note: 4-star Lhasa Hotel with 500RMB/per/night extra inLhasa. Lhasa Hotel (formerly Holiday-InnLhasa) Currently, Lhasa Hotel is the top one in wholeTibet. It has the South & North wing (Deluxe) and the middle wing (standard). Other than its superior equipment and facility, the hotel also follows former Holiday-Inn’s quality service. Just next door to the hotel is Dailai Lama’s summer palace - Norbulingka. Add: 1 Minzu Rd,Lhasa. E
Excludes: tips, personal expense
Notes: 1. Departure may be advanced one day due to flight schedule re-arrangement. 2. Hotels are subject to change, but will remain the same standard. 3. Potala Palace get a limitation 800 paxs per day to protect the heritage of history. The sequence of sightseeing suppose to be adjust according the situation of entrance permission.