Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa
Welcome to the roof of the world! You’ll be picked up at the airport/train station and driven to your hotel in Lhasa City. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the Yarlung Tsangpo River. At the hotel, take the day to explore and get acclimated to this elevated city. Let’s uncover the mysterious charm of Lhasa together, away from the crowds.
Altitude sickness: Refrain from engaging in strenuous physical activity upon arrival in Lhasa, and avoid taking a shower that night to prevent catching a cold. Abstain from consuming alcohol. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and consume fruit, but avoid overeating. Take frequent rests. You can bring your own Diamox or health supplements like Rhodiola rosea and Gaoyuanan to alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. Adhere to the instructions provided by travel agency staff and tour guides, and try to avoid going out for activities. Maintaining a calm state of mind and getting sufficient rest is the most effective way to prevent altitude sickness. If you start feeling unwell, seek medical treatment promptly.
Day 2: Lhasa→Kadinggou→Nyingchi
Begin your expedition to Nyingchi by driving along the improved National Highway 318, also known as the “Lhasa Nyingchi Expressway”, and head south beside the charming Niyang River.
Kadinggou, also referred to as a “paradise”, welcomes you as you enter the gorge. The canyon is narrow and profound, and the sound of gentle water accompanies your every stride, creating the sensation of strolling through an untouched woodland. You will encounter towering mountains, deep ravines, unique peaks and rocks, majestic ancient trees, and even bamboo forests in this area.
As a segment of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway and the Yunnan-Tibet Highway, the picturesque Lhasa Nyingchi Expressway showcases the breathtaking natural beauty of the snow-covered plateau. The journey is embellished with snow-capped mountains, forests, and grasslands. Take your time and capture the mesmerizing scenery on your camera!
Day 3: Nyingchi → Sejila Pass → Lulang Forest → Basum Tso
Sejila Mountain is located in Nyingchi County and is part of the Nyachen Thanglha Mountains. Its elevation is 4728 meters above sea level. You can revel in the enchanting view of the ocean of clouds and forests. Moreover, you may additionally get a view top of 7782 meters top mountain, Namchak Barwa. It become named “China’s most stunning mountain”.
Lulang Forest is a scenic spot that boasts a wooded area of clouds, mountains, and misty seas. It is well-known for making human beings experience homesickness. The whole region is picturesque, surrounded with the aid of using snow-capped mountains and plush forests withinside the valley, with the forests searching like they were pruned with the aid of using humans. Additionally, there are stunning meadows.
Day 4: Basum Tso → Jieba Village → Lhasa
Start your day in the stunning Basum Tso picturesque region, encompassed by magnificent mountains, lakes, woodlands, waterfalls, meadows, ancient temples, and other scenic attractions. This 5A-level Forest Park provides a one-hour excursion that is certain to leave you feeling rejuvenated and invigorated.
Discover the awe-inspiring island situated at the heart of the lake. As you stroll around the island in a clockwise direction, admire the sights of the pine tree holding peaches, the former water burial platform, the “alphabet tree” adorned with naturally formed Tibetan characters on its leaves, the holy spring where lotus and peanut cleanse their faces, the breathtaking view of the distant mountains and lake water, and the ancient Tsozong Gompa which showcases the distinctive Tibetan religion-reproductive worship. The temple’s stone stairs feature male and female figures on each side, symbolizing reverence for life.
Explore the captivating Jieba Village, which provides the finest vistas of Basum Tso and the surrounding “The King’s Throne” and “Burning Flame” mountains.
This region remains untouched and devoid of commercialism, allowing nature to take center stage. Encircled by mountains, the crystal-clear river flows leisurely, and the meadows are sprinkled with horses, cattle, and sheep grazing and strolling at a relaxed pace, creating a truly enchanting fairytale ambience.
Day 5: Lhasa city tour Jokhang Temple → Sera Temple → Barkhor Street
The Jokhang Temple blends the architectural styles of Tibet, the Tang Dynasty, Nepal, and India, and has become a timeless masterpiece of Tibetan religious architecture. The scent of incense lingers in front of the temple throughout the day, and the devout worship of believers has left deep imprints of prostrations on the bluestone floor in front of the gate.
[Jokhang Temple Ticket Reservation Guidelines]:
Real-name reservations are required for Jokhang Temple tickets. Tickets can be booked through the WeChat mini-program “Jokhang Temple Reservation”, one day in advance. No group reservations are available, each visitor must make their own appointment. If unable to book, the travel agency is not responsible. The temple may be closed for religious activities or events.
There will be free time to explore Barkhor Street, which encircles the outer wall of the Jokhang Temple and is known as “Bakhor Street”. This is the path where Tibetans perform the prayer-turning ritual. It attracts worshippers from all over the world, with Tibetans in vibrant traditional attire and humble believers crowded together on the same pilgrimage route, amidst the old streets and alleyways.
As one of the six main monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Sera Monastery is also recognized as one of the three prominent monasteries in Lhasa alongside Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery. The temple houses numerous Vajra Buddha statues, with the most renowned being the “Hayagriva” Vajra statue located in the Dharma Protector Temple of Jey Dratsang. Local residents traditionally place their heads inside a small shrine and touch the base of the statue with reverence.
Sera Monastery is famous for its debating sessions conducted by lamas. They engage in intellectual discussions, using applause and prayer beads to persuade their opponents. The lively debates showcase the devotion and influence of Tibetan Buddhism. Sessions start at 15:00 but it can be cancelled for special events.
Day 6: Lhasa City Tour (Exploring the Holy City): Potala Palace→Tibetan Cultural Experience
Songtsan Gampo spent half his life conquering Tubo and the other half constructing grand palaces and temples. Among the magnificent Buddhist halls, pagodas, dormitories, and passageways, dim lighting, lowered drapes, and the scent of butter pervade. Unknowingly mesmerized by the scriptures and statues in Potala Palace.
Instructions for booking tickets for the Potala Palace:
- The Potala Palace requires a real-name reservation system for ticket purchases, and valid identification documents (such as an ID card, or passport) are necessary for making an appointment. Once a reservation is confirmed, the ticket cannot be reserved again within 7 days of the visit date. The travel agency is not responsible for any issues or consequences arising from the inability to enter the palace. Prior to the tour, tourists must bring their original valid identification documents, and if the name or ID number on their documents does not match the actual certificate used, they will not be permitted to enter the palace. The ticket purchase fee is non-refundable. Thank you for your understanding.
- During peak season, visits to the Potala Palace are restricted, and each travel agency in Tibet has a limited number of group bookings available each day. To ensure a smooth visit for tourists, the travel agency manages bookings through various channels. Due to the special requirements for ticket purchases through these channels, tourists are advised to follow the tour guide’s arrangements. The itinerary provided is only a reference and the actual tour route sequence may vary.
The subsequent scenarios are regular plans:
- Each group can be separated into several minor groups (it may be crucial to segregate the group or the sightseers who reserved together, and there may be circumstances where they join the tour concurrently with other unfamiliar group members).
- Every minor group enters the tour with different escorts.
- In certain cases, due to specific tickets, the tour guides are not allowed to accompany the tour, kindly comprehend.
- The cost for juveniles does not cover the entrance fee for the Potala Palace. By default, minors under 1.2 meters (exclusive) can visit with grown-ups without any charge. Thus, children with a height of 1.2 meters and above must notify the travel agency during registration and pay for the ticket and inclusive fee for the Potala Palace. The travel agency reserves the tickets in advance.
- Failing to notify in advance will result in not being allowed to enter the Potala Palace with the grown-ups. You can only wait in the vehicle. Please understand.
When you visit Lhasa, you can witness authentic Tibetan handicrafts at the Tibetan Culture Experience Center. Here, you can discover the process of making Tibetan incense and even participate in its production. This adds a unique significance to the experience compared to just buying Tibetan incense. Moreover, a skilled teacher will instruct you on writing your name in Tibetan, which will be engraved and printed. You can take home the handmade Tibetan incense and personalized text as a keepsake of your Tibetan cultural encounter.
Tips for Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple:
- To visit the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, it is mandatory to make reservations under real names and carry original valid identification documents. Visitors must strictly follow the appointed time and follow the tour guide’s instructions.
- It is advisable to wear flat shoes while visiting to climb stairs easily. The dress code should be dignified and respectable. Shorts, short skirts, sleeveless tops, and open-toed sandals are not permitted. Hats and sunglasses must be removed upon entering the hall.
- Visitors must refrain from making loud noises, running, climbing, lying down, spitting, littering, or touching cultural relics in the hall. Photography, videography, and touching of cultural relics, murals, and various scenic spots in the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Sera are strictly prohibited. No liquid drinks are allowed inside the palace, and smoking or using open flames is strictly prohibited.
- As the Potala Palace is situated at a higher altitude, visitors must climb up and down slowly. Visitors are allowed only one hour to visit the Potala Palace, and tour guides cannot stay inside for long and must explain outside in a low voice. Visitors must follow the regulations of cultural relics protection units and travel in a civilized manner.
- The Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple have narrow passages and wooden stairs, and a narrow staircase shared by visitors going up and down. Excessive crowding may pose a safety risk, so visitors are requested to leave promptly after their visit. Visitors must walk in an orderly manner, pay attention to safety, and avoid crowding while ascending and descending the stairs.
Day 7: Lhasa → Yamdrok Yongtso → Karola Glacier → Shigatse
During the journey, you will encounter the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley and have the opportunity to observe an aerial view of the river. This river is the widest in the Lhasa area and can be accessed through Highway 101. Continuing towards the middle of the mountain via Highway 307 will present another remarkable bird’s-eye view of the Yarlung Zangbo River. The sight is truly magnificent and awe-inspiring.
At Mount Gambala, you will discover the picturesque view of Yamdrok Yutso Lake, with the blue sky and the lake’s beautiful side. Here, you will comprehend the true essence of “angel tears in the sky, turquoise blue Yamdrok Lake.” While many photographers assert that the lake’s beauty is indescribable, you can still capture images with the yaks offered by the Tibetans on Gambala Mountain. Ensure to negotiate the price in advance to prevent any inconvenience.
Yamdrok Yongtso is a freshwater lake and one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. The lake water is clear, sweet, and drinkable, and the azure lake is connected to the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Along with the colourful mountains on both sides, the distinctive Tibetan ethnic villages, and the cattle and sheep grazing around, the journey is refreshing.
With a water area of 638 square kilometres, a lake surface of 4441 meters above sea level, and a shoreline of 250 kilometres, Yamdrok Lake is considered the turquoise ear string left by the goddess in the world. From the top of Gangbala Mountain, at an altitude of 4,950 meters, Yamdrok appears like a sapphire embedded among the peaks, and the blue lake reflects the bright blue sky like a mirror.
The Karola Glacier is one of the three major continental glaciers in Tibet, which is gradually disappearing. The glacier is situated at the Nochin Kangsang Snow Mountain, one of the four peaks in Tibet, and extends from the mountain top to the roadside, only a few hundred meters away from the road. Although the glacier is black and white layered due to the influence of dust on the road for many years, the upper half of the glacier shines like a giant thangka hanging on the mountain wall under the sunlight. The glacier gained popularity due to its appearance in the film “Red River Valley,”
Shigatse called “the best estate” in Tibetan, is a primarily agricultural region of Tibet. It has been a significant centre for politics, religion, and culture in Tibetan history, and also served as the headquarters for the Panchen Lamas. With a history of 500 years, it is currently Tibet’s second-largest city.
Aside from the Tibet Entry Permit, foreign tourists traveling to Mount Everest in the same vehicle must also obtain a travel permit in Shigatse. The tour guide will adjust and arrange the itinerary accordingly based on the travel permit’s status. Tourists are requested to comply with the tour guide’s arrangements and actively cooperate.
In the event of an occasional system malfunction or an unexpected surge in tourist numbers during peak seasons, please pardon any delays that may occur while applying for a travel permit.
Day 8: Shigatse → Gyawula Pass → Rongbuk Monastery → Mount Everest
Travel on the most picturesque border road and witness the awe-inspiring snow-capped mountains while catching a glimpse of Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world, Lhotse, the fourth-highest peak in the world, and Rimana Snow Mountain,
Mount Everest is located in the Himalayas, on the China-Nepal border. It reaches a height of 8,848 meters above sea level, making it the world’s highest peak. The summit is always covered in snow, with a glacier in the distance and a majestic silver peak, creating breathtaking and otherworldly landscapes.
Located 22 kilometres away from Mount Everest Road in Tingri County, Shigatse, Tingri Mount Everest Observatory is the only route to the base camp of Mount Everest. The observatory is situated at an altitude of 5200 meters above sea level. From this vantage point, you can see Mount Everest and other snow-capped mountains that are as high as 8,000 meters.
Rongbuk Monastery is situated at an altitude of approximately 5,100 meters above sea level, with an elevated and frigid terrain that boasts breathtaking scenery. The new Everest Base Camp is in close proximity. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Mount Everest banner clouds, which float like the fire of life.
The accommodation at Everest camp consists of tents housing 8-15 people. The tents have bunk beds and basic amenities. Although they are generally clean and tidy, they do not match the standards of city hotels. Please be aware that from October to April of the following year, the tents are removed from Mount Everest camp due to the cold weather. Instead, homestays in a nearby village are arranged.
On this day, the food and accommodation may be basic, and the altitude and temperature will be high. Please take precautions to protect yourself from the cold and ensure your safety, and be aware of the risk of altitude sickness. In the summer, the temperature drops to around 0-8 degrees Celsius in the evening, so please bring warm clothes. Alternatively, you can rent a down jacket at the base camp for approximately 100 yuan per piece per night (please note that prices may vary).
Day 9: Nine Mount Everest → Gyatsola Mountain Pass Observation Deck → Shigatse
In the morning, it is important to be well-prepared. The temperature at the mountain pass can drop below 0 degrees Celsius before sunrise, and strong winds may be blowing, so warm clothing is essential. Standing at the top of the world, facing the rising sun and looking up at Mount Everest, with its year-round snow-capped peak and distant glaciers, is a breathtaking and holy sight. Please note that the visibility of the sunrise is subject to weather conditions and other factors.
Friendly Reminder: The visibility of the sunrise is subject to weather conditions and other factors, and cannot be guaranteed.
Gyatsola Mountain Pass is the only route to the world’s highest peak – Mount Everest. The pass is located at an altitude of 5252 meters and is the highest point on the China-Nepal Highway. From here, you can enjoy a stunning view of Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu, and Shishabangma.
Day 10: Shigatse → Tashilhunpo Monastery → Lhasa
The Tashilhunpo Monastery, also referred to as the “Fortunate Monastery”, is the most extensive monastery in the Shigatse vicinity, and it is one of the six prominent temples of the Gelug sect, such as the Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, and Gandan Monastery in Lhasa, Kumbum Monastery in Qinghai, and Labrang Monastery in Gansu. It was established by the first Dalai Lama Gendun Drub, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, in 1447. During its peak, the monastery boasted over 3,000 chambers, more than 5,000 monks, more than 50 subordinate temples, and over 30 manors and pastures.
Since the fourth Panchen Lama, each generation of Panchen Lamas has resided in this monastery. Presently, the Tashilhunpo Monastery consists of 4 Dratsangs, 56 scripture halls, over 3,600 chambers, and more than 800 monks. Its total area is 300,000 square meters.
The Tashilhunpo Monastery is the pride of the Tsang Region and used to be the residence of the Panchen Lama. It is also one of the notable temples in Tibet, along with the three primary temples in Lhasa.
The Jamba Buddha Hall houses bronze Buddha statues that are adorned with 231,400 jin of brass and 6,700 jin of gold. The Buddha statue’s eyebrows alone are embellished with over 1,400 diamonds and pearls. The temple houses an exquisitely designed Panchen Lama tomb stupa that is crafted using numerous materials such as gold, silver, copper, silk, coral, pearl, agate, turquoise, etc.
Reminder: This tour group comprises of individual passengers. The travel agency may arrange for a direct trip to Damshung from Shigatse on the same day, followed by a visit to Namtso the next day. Please understand the itinerary when returning from Damshung to Lhasa after visiting Namtso.
Day 11 Leaving Lhasa – airport or Train Station
Following breakfast, it is advised to schedule a flight after 10 o’clock to allow for an hour’s drive from the airport to the urban area, concluding the enjoyable trip.
Fee Description: Included Items
- Due to the limited capacity of Tibet, the tourist vehicles provided by the authorities are quite old and not as well-maintained as those in urban areas.
- As Tibet is situated at a high altitude, many tourist vehicles do not have air-conditioning or do not use it to avoid slowing down the vehicle. Additionally, extreme temperature changes may cause tourists to fall ill.
- To comply with road regulations in Tibet, we will make unscheduled stops for rest breaks. Please be aware of this and plan accordingly.
- Before departure, FIT group members will collect other tourists from various hotels. Please be prompt and cooperative, as the seating arrangements will be based on the number of people. If a tourist decides to cancel their trip, the fare will not be refunded.
- To ensure a comfortable journey, each person is allowed one 26-inch suitcase and one carry-on backpack. Any excess luggage can be stored at the front desk of the Lhasa Hotel, as too much luggage can affect the speed and comfort of tourist vehicles. The tour guide will inform you of this in advance.
The hotel provides a basic double room (standard room). In the case of single men and single women in the group, the travel agency reserves the right to allocate triple rooms or have them share rooms. Tourists can also choose to pay the difference for a single room, depending on the actual situation.
Breakfast is included in the hotel package and Lhasa Welcome Special Tibetan Meal. Please note that you will need to arrange your own meals for the rest of the day. If you choose to skip a meal for personal reasons, the meal fee will not be refunded. If you are not used to Tibetan cuisine, you can bring your own food.
Tour Guide Service:
The tour guides can speak Chinese, English, or both languages. For individual travellers joining the group, the travel agency will decide on the tour guide based on the actual situation.
The tour package includes tickets to the first major attractions listed in the itinerary, including Kadinggou, Lulang Forest, Basum Tso, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Potala Palace, Tibetan Culture Experience, Yanghu Lake, Karola Glacier, Rongbuk Monastery, Everest, Everest Eco-car, Tashilhunpo Monastery, Namtso, and Namtso Eco-vehicle. All tours are guaranteed, but in case of emergencies, tourists can negotiate with the agency to exchange the attractions.
The calculation of travel expenses during the off-season is based on the annual winter ticket discounts. There will be no refund for ticket fees or price differences. If there are any sudden changes in the preferential policies, no additional price difference will be charged.
The travel agency will handle the necessary documents such as the Tibet Entry Permit, Travel Permit, Military Area Certificate, etc. Some scenic spots require border certificates, and the staff may inform Chinese tourists to apply for these certificates in advance at the local public security bureau before departure, depending on the changing conditions in Tibet. Please note that Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace require real-name reservations, and tourists can reserve their spots through their own WeChat app one day in advance, following the tour guide’s instructions.
Included in our services are travel accident insurance, travel safety insurance, and travel agency liability insurance.
Pick-up and drop-off:
Our agency offers complimentary pick-up and drop-off services for individual passengers arriving and departing from Tibet via trains and planes within a specific time frame, which is from 07:00 to 22:00.
We provide free pick-up and drop-off services on the day of the tour’s departure and end date. However, if tourists need to arrive in Lhasa before the scheduled departure date or leave Tibet after the end date, they will need to pay an additional fee for separate pick-up and drop-off services.
For tourists arriving in Lhasa between 22:00 and 07:00 the next day, a separate pick-up fee will be required.
This itinerary is designed for individual passengers joining a group. When picking up and dropping off at the airport, guests with similar schedules will be grouped together. There may be a waiting time of approximately 2 hours for the guests. One day prior to the tour, our staff will confirm the pick-up time with the tourists. In case tourists are unwilling to wait, they can notify our agency one day in advance to arrange separate pick-up and drop-off services at their own expense.
We offer free portable oxygen (1 small bottle per person) and 2 small bottles of mineral water (300ml) per person per day. Additionally, a spare emergency medical oxygen tank (4L) is provided with the vehicle.
Our service fee includes the cost of the travel agency and Potala Palace ticket reservations.
The cost does not include:
Hotels default to double occupancy rooms. If guests prefer to stay in a single room, they will need to pay an additional fee to cover the difference in cost.
Due to the full payment of the room, the room fee caused by the change of the itinerary is at your own expense
Laundry in the hotel, telephone, fax, pay TV, drinks, snacks, tobacco and alcohol and other personal consumption
Due to irresistible objective reasons and non-travel agency reasons (such as natural disasters, wars, strikes, epidemics, etc.) or airline flight reasons, insufficient number of applicants and other special circumstances, the travel agency has the right to cancel or change the itinerary, and the travel agency has the right to an additional charge
Tips for driver guide: It is recommended that tourists give 30 yuan to the driver and tour guide per person per day
Large transportation costs to and from Tibet, The air ticket or train ticket fee is not included in the group fee, if a travel agency is required to book it, the fee will be charged separately