Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa
Upon disembarking from the aircraft, our guide will greet you with a traditional Khada. Once you reach the plateau, it is recommended to reduce your speed and unwind. We will arrange for your transportation to the hotel where you can take a complete rest and gradually acclimate to the high-altitude environment. Known as the “Sacred Land” in Tibet, Lhasa is a sanctified city for locals and a utopia for tourists. Let’s embark on a journey to discover its enigmatic allure since the inauguration of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
- High altitude sickness: Avoid strenuous exercise on the day of arrival in Lhasa and refrain from taking a bath that night to avoid catching a cold. Do not consume alcohol. Drink plenty of water and eat fruits, but avoid overeating. Rest more and bring Diamox or health care medicines such as Rhodiola rosea and Gaoyuanan to alleviate altitude sickness. Follow the instructions of the travel agency staff and tour guides, try not to go out for activities, and maintain a stable state of mind. Adequate rest is the best way to prevent altitude sickness. If you feel unwell, seek medical attention promptly.
Day 2: Lhasa→Kadinggou→Nyingchi
Commence your journey to Nyingchi in the early morning. Travel along the upgraded National Highway 318, also called “Lhasa Nyingchi Expressway“, and head south alongside the picturesque Niyang River.
Kadinggou, also known as a “heavenly place”, greets you as you enter the canyon. The gorge is narrow and deep, and the sound of trickling water accompanies your every step, making it feel like you’re walking through a pristine forest. You’ll come across lofty mountains, deep valleys, peculiar peaks and rocks, towering ancient trees, and even bamboo forests here.
As a segment of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway and the Yunnan-Tibet Highway, the scenic Lhasa Nyingchi Expressway boasts the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the snow-covered plateau. The journey is adorned with snow-capped mountains, forests, and grasslands. Take your time and capture the stunning scenery on camera!
Day 3: Nyingchi → Sejila Pass → Lulang Forest → Basum Tso
Sejila Mountain is situated in the eastern part of Nyingchi County and is a part of the Nyachen Thanglha Mountains. Its elevation is 4728 meters above sea level. You can enjoy the mesmerizing view of the sea of clouds and forests. Moreover, you can also get a view height of 7782 meters height mountain, Namjagbarwa. It was named “China’s most beautiful mountain” by the Chinese Magazine of Geography and Humanities.
Lulang Forest Sea is a scenic spot that boasts a forest of clouds, mountains, and misty seas. It is famous for making people feel homesick. The entire area is picturesque, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush forests in the valley, with the forests looking like they have been pruned by humans. Additionally, there are beautiful meadows.
Special Local Food – Stone Pot Chicken
Stone Pot Chicken is a well-known delicacy in the Nyingchi region of Tibet. It is made by stewing local chicken and ginseng in a stone pot, which gives it a unique flavour. The soup has a mild fragrance of medicinal herbs, and the chicken is tender and bouncy. The stone pot used for cooking the chicken is carved out of a mica stone known as “soapstone.” This stone is only found in Methok. The entire piece of stone is meticulously carved by hand, and even manual force is required during the process. If one is impatient, the soapstone may break, which is why the price of this stone pot is quite high. The dark green mica stone pot is particularly good at retaining heat and is said to be rich in 17 types of mineral trace elements, including magnesium and iron.
As the Basum Tso Scenic Area has limited accommodation capacity, in case the hotels within the area are fully booked, you may have to modify your itinerary and relocate to Nyingchi City. Please note that there will be no reimbursement for the price difference. However, the overall cost and the scheduled attractions will remain unaffected. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your understanding.
Day 4: Basum Tso → Jieba Village → Lhasa
Begin your day in the beautiful Basum Tso scenic area, surrounded by stunning mountains, lakes, forests, waterfalls, pastures, ancient temples, and other scenic attractions. This 5A-level Forest Park offers a one-hour tour that is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
Explore the breathtaking island located at the centre of the lake. As you walk around the island in a clockwise direction, take in the sights of the peach-holding pine, the former water burial platform, the “alphabet tree” with naturally formed Tibetan letters on the leaves, the sacred spring where lotus and peanut wash their faces, the stunning view of the distant mountains and lake water, and the ancient Tsozong Gompa which showcases the unique Tibetan religion-reproductive worship. The temple’s stone steps feature male and female figures on either side, symbolizing respect for life.
Visit the enchanting Jieba Village, which offers the best views of Basum Tso and the surrounding “The King’s Throne” and “Burning Flame” mountains.
This area remains undeveloped and free from commercialism, allowing nature to take centre stage. Surrounded by mountains, the clear river flows slowly, and the pastures are dotted with horses, cattle, and sheep grazing and strolling leisurely, creating a truly magical fairytale setting.
Day 5: Lhasa city tour: Jokhang Temple → Sera Temple → Barkhor Street
The Jokhang Temple blends the design elements of Tibet, Tang Dynasty, Nepal and India, and has become a timeless masterpiece of Tibetan religious architecture. Fragrant smoke wafts in front of the temple throughout the day, while the sincere adoration of devotees has left indelible impressions on the blue stone floor in front of the entrance. Countless butter lamps continuously illuminate the area, bearing witness to the passage of time and the arrival of pilgrims. Here, the veneration of the divine never ceases.
Guidelines for Booking Jokhang Temple Tickets:
To visit the Jokhang Temple, it is mandatory to reserve tickets under real names. The WeChat mini-program “Jokhang Temple Reservation” allows ticket booking for the following day from 7:00 to 23:59 daily until the reservations are full. Therefore, it is recommended to book tickets at least one day in advance.
As group reservations are not available, each visitor must book their own tickets. The staff or tour guide will inform the tourists about the appointment time and method beforehand. If visitors fail to book tickets to the Jokhang Temple and cannot visit, the travel agency holds no responsibility for the consequences.
The Jokhang Temple is a sacred religious site, and sometimes it might be closed for essential religious activities or important events. In such cases, visitors are requested to cooperate and understand.
You can utilize your leisure time to explore Barkhor Street, the circular path surrounding the outer wall of Jokhang Temple which is known as “Bakhor Street”. It serves as the traditional route for Tibetans to perform the prayer-turning ceremony and attracts devotees from all around the globe. The old streets and alleys are filled with locals dressed in vibrant national costumes and impoverished believers, all jostling on the same path.
It is advised to exercise caution while purchasing handicrafts from street vendors on Barkhor Street to avoid falling prey to counterfeit or substandard products.
Sera Monastery is one of the six principal monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is acknowledged as one of the three major monasteries in Lhasa, along with Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery. The temple houses tens of thousands of Vajra Buddha statues, including the renowned Hayagriva statue, which is situated in the Dharma Protector Temple of Jey Dratsang. Visitors can observe locals sticking their heads into a small shrine and touching the base of the statue with their heads.
Apart from the temple’s solemnity, Sera Monastery is also distinguished by the debating activities of monks. In the heart of the sutra debate, Monks engage in lively debates, with some using the power of their prayer beads to defeat their opponents while others urge their counterparts to respond with thunderous applause. The Sutra Debating Field is always bustling with activity and vibrant voices. While tourists may not comprehend the Monks’ Buddhist philosophical thoughts, they can experience the faith and influence of Tibetan Buddhism. The debate time typically commences at 15:00. However, if the temple is hosting events such as pujas or receiving special guests, the sutra debate activities may be cancelled, and visitors are requested to understand the situation.
Day 6: Lhasa City Tour (Exploring the Holy City): Potala Palace→Tibetan Cultural Experience
Songtsan Gampo dedicated half of his life to subduing Tubo, while the remaining half was devoted to constructing magnificent palaces and temples. Roaming amidst the dazzling Buddhist halls, pagodas, dormitories, and passageways, the illumination is subdued, the drapes are lowered, and the scent of butter pervades all around, unwittingly entranced by the scriptures, 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.
If you visit Lhasa, you have the opportunity to witness authentic Tibetan handicrafts. Your guide will take you to the Tibetan Culture Experience Center where you can discover how the invigorating Tibetan incense is made. Furthermore, you can join in on the production process, which adds a unique significance to the experience compared to simply purchasing Tibetan incense. Additionally, a skilled teacher will instruct you on how to write your name in Tibetan, which will then 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
Following the journey, you will come across the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley, where you can witness an aerial view of the river. The Yarlung Zangbo River is the widest river in the vicinity of Lhasa and can be reached via Highway 101. Proceed further to the middle of the mountain, through Highway 307, to get another stunning bird’s-eye view of the Yarlung Zangbo River. The picturesque sight is both grand and breathtaking.
At Mount Gambala, you will find the most picturesque view of the Yamdrok Yutso Lake, with the blue sky, and the most beautiful side of the lake. Here, you will understand the true meaning of “angel tears in the sky, turquoise blue Yamdrok Lake” Although many photographers claim that the beauty of Yamdrok Lake cannot be captured in a picture, you can still take pictures with the yaks provided by the Tibetans on Gambala Mountain. Be sure to negotiate the price beforehand to avoid 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, known as “the finest estate” in the Tibetan language, is one of the primary agriculture regions of Tibet. It has been a significant centre for politics, religion, and culture throughout Tibetan history, and it was also the location for the Panchen Lamas’ headquarters. With a history spanning over 500 years, it is currently the second-largest city in Tibet.
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 situated in the middle of the Himalayas, on the border between China and Nepal. It stands tall at 8,848 meters above sea level, making it the highest peak in the world. The peak is perpetually covered in snow, with a distant glacier and a towering silver peak, making for magnificent and surreal scenery.
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 provided at Everest camp is in tents (8-15 people per tent, with bunk beds and limited facilities). While it is generally clean and tidy, it is not comparable to city hotels. Please note that during the period of October to April the following year, due to the cold weather, the tents will be evacuated from Mount Everest camp and replaced with homestays in a nearby village.
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 tenure of the fourth Panchen Lama, successive generations of Panchen Lamas have been residing in this monastery. Currently, the Tashilhunpo Monastery comprises 4 Dratsangs, 56 scripture halls, over 3,600 chambers, and more than 800 monks. It spans an area of 300,000 square meters.
The Tashilhunpo Monastery is recognized as the pride of the Tsang Region and was the residence of the Panchen Lama in the past eras. It is also one of the significant 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: Lhasa → Namtso (Tashi Peninsula) → Lhasa
Climb over Nagenla Mountain at an altitude of 5190 meters to arrive at the “heavenly Lake” Namtso, the first of the three holy lakes in Tibet. At an altitude of 4718 meters, it is the highest saltwater lake in the world and the second largest in Tibet. In the south there is the Nyachen Tanglha Mountains covered with snow all year round, in the north and west there are plateaus and hills, a vast lakeside, grasslands around the lake, and lush water and grass; the lake has high salt content, and the wild animal resources in the watershed are rich, including yaks and goats etc.; there are many wild birds in the lake, which produce fine-scaled fish and scaleless fish; the lake is clear, reflecting the surrounding snow-capped mountains, and the scenery is beautiful like a crystal pearl inlaid on the Changtang Grassland.
Special Remarks: Due to the bad weather in Tibet in winter, if the mountain is blocked by heavy snow in Namtso, resulting in the road being frozen and unable to go, the itinerary will be adjusted as follows:
Day 11 Lhasa → Ganden Monastery (Take a light walk around the temple on the top of the mountain) → Lhasa,
Day 12 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