What you will See & Do
A loop east from Lhasa offers views of snow-capped mountains and deep river gorges. The colours of this region are quite different from other parts of Tibet.
Samye, Tibet's first monastery on the banks of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) and the temples, tombs and forts of the Yarlung Valley.
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa – transfer to hotel
Arriving in Lhasa, visitors will be greeted by the stunning natural beauty of the Tibetan plateau. The city is situated at an altitude of over 3,686 meters above sea level and is home to many significant cultural and historical sites. Transferring to the hotel catch your first glimpse of the city and its unique architecture, which is heavily influenced by Tibetan Buddhism.
Your arrival day is relaxed with no set activities in order to allow your body to adjust to the effects of altitude. A welcome dinner is included this evening.
Day 2: Lhasa Sightseeing – visit Drepung, Nechung & Sera
The university monastery of Drepung is one of the three most important Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet and was founded in the 15th century. It houses a large collection of Buddhist scriptures, artifacts, and artwork, and is known for its beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere.
Nechung is a small temple located nearby and is the home of the Nechung Oracle, a medium who is believed to be possessed by a deity and who offers spiritual advice and guidance. He is the personal oracle of the Dalai Lamas.
Sera is another important Gelug monastery located on the norther foothills of Lhasa and is known for its vibrant debating culture. Monks at Sera engage in lively philosophical debates on Buddhist doctrine, which can be fascinating to observe.
Day 3: Lhasa Sightseeing – visit Potala, Jokhang & the Barkhor
The Potala Palace is a massive fortress-like structure that dominates the Lhasa skyline. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas and contains a complex of chapels, halls and rooms that are richly decorated with frescoes, carvings and sculptures. Explore the many levels of the palace, including the Red Palace and the White Palace, and admire the stunning views of the city from the rooftop.
The Jokhang Temple is considered the spiritual heart of Tibet, located in the heart of Lhasa. It is one of the oldest and most revered temples in Tibet and is known for its impressive architecture and religious artifacts. Amid the many shrines and statues of Buddha witness the daily rituals and offerings made by devotees.
The Barkhor is a bustling marketplace and pilgrimage route that circles the Jokhang Temple. It's one of the oldest and most vibrant areas of Lhasa and is a great place to buy traditional Tibetan goods such as prayer flags, incense and handicrafts. You may also ask your guide to visit a nunnery, Tibetan Medical Institute, art workshops ...
Day 4: via Ganden to Basum Tso (Draksun Tso)
Set out east from Lhasa, first stop the incredibly situated Ganden Monastery. Founded in 1417 Ganden is the seat of the head of the Gelukpa order, the Ganden Tripa. At 4500m you can see for miles across the valleys from here.
Continue on the Tibet-Sichuan Highway via the towns of Medro Gongkar and Gongpo Gyamda, noticing the changing landscape as you go.
Basum Tso is the lake where the spirit of King Gesar resides. There is a small monastery here and it is an important pilgrimage site. Local people consider the lake to be shaped like a dragon - decide for yourself.
One of the most beautiful lakes in Tibet, with a good hotel.
Day 5: Basum Tso
A relaxing day at the lake. This morning visit the small temple on Tsodzong Island, birthplace of Sangye Linpa (discoverer of hidden texts) and with earlier associations with Padmasambhava. Follow the pilgrim circuit around the island and enjoy the scenery and perhaps take a boat ride on the lake.
In the afternoon drive to a small, beautiful village set deep in the valley and climb a small hill for great scenic views.
Day 6: via Nyingchi & Lamaling to Meling
There are many small, yet important temples in this area – which and how many to visit depends upon your interest. The most memorable is Lamaling.
The area is scenically stunning – you will see Bayi Pelri, a holy mountain is associated with the epic battles of Guru Rinpoche against an array of evil forces. A cypress grove includes a tree believed to be 2500 years old – the oldest tree in China and revered by Bonpo especially. Here too is Bonri, the sacred mountain of the Bon.
Lamaling (Zangdok Pelri) was originally main seat of the head of the Nyingmapa until his death in 1987 it was later destroyed. The reconstruction is an exquisite temple & garden complex displaying the best metal casting of Chamdo artisans.
Nearby is Buchu Sergyi The oldest Buddhist shrine in Kongpo and one of the 4 border taming temples built by Songsten Gampo in the C7th.
Chu Jowo Temple contains a much-revered relief image of Jowo Rimpoche in the guise of 4-armed Avalokiteshvara. Jowo Rinpoche is said to have vanished into the stone before returning to Lhasa after appearing in the Brahmaputra to honour a pledge to a devout shoemaker.
Day 7. Departure from Nyingchi Airport
Transfer to Nyingchi Airport (LZY) near Meling for departure.
or continue to Samye, Lhasa, Central Tibet ….