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Welcome to sensational Tibet. Our local English-speaking guide will greet you at the train station/airport by saying "Tashi Delek" and send you to the hotel in Lhasa. The rest of the day, have a good rest to acclimatize to the high altitude at the hotel and prepare for your exploration tour in Tibet.
After breakfast, start the full-day tour exploring the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa. First, visit the famous attractions include Lhasa's premier landmark, the Potala Palace. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Next, visit the most revered religious structure in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple. The temple was built in 647 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty by the king of Tibet to commemorate his queen. It features a fascinating combination of architectural styles from Tibet, the Tang Dynasty, Nepal, and India. Next on the tour, is the bustling Barkhor Street. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll on this famous street, and glimpse traditional Tibetan customs. Tonight, we will arrange for you a traditional Tibetan-style dinner as the welcome meal for you. After dinner, drive back to the hotel.
Today, continue on the tour with two important monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung Monastery, and the Sera Monastery. Drepung Monastery is situated at the foothill of a mountain and was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. It was once home of 10,000 monks. In the afternoon, you will explore the Sera monastery, founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa disciple, Jamchen Choeje. It is renowned for the sutra-debating amongst the monks, held in the courtyard each afternoon. Afterward, drive back to the hotel.
This morning, you will leave Lhasa and drive to visit the incredible Yamdrok Lake. You can get panoramic views of the fascinating lake, which is the world highest freshwater lake. It is considered one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet. Continue on the tour with the spectacular Karola Glacier, one of the largest continental glaciers in Tibet. We then move westwards to the second-biggest city Shigatse, and in Gyantse to Kubum Monastery, another must-see destination. Overnight at Shigatse.
In Shigatse, you will visit the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery where you can see the well-preserved largest statue of Jampa (a future god) in the world. Next, we travel to world's highest mountain pass, Gyatso-la Pass, at an elevation of 5200m above sea-level. Next, we drive to Tingri, the entrance of Himalayan Nature Reserve. Overnight in Tingri.
This morning, you will drive 2-3 hours from Tingri to Rongbuk Monastery through 90km of the new winding road in the mountains. On the way from Tingri to E.B.C, you can enjoy the stunning mountain scenery, passing through the wild grassland valleys and soaring mountains. If it is a clear day, you can see the vista of the Himalayas. Within the mountain range, 4 mountains are 8000m or higher, such as Mt. Lhotse (8,516m), Mt. Everest (8,848m), Mt. Qowowuyag (8,201m), and Mt. Makalu (8,463m). Stay overnight in Rongbuk GuestHouse, or a local Tibetan tent.
Today, we will take the Old Tingri road to Sagar County. From the Old Tingri, you can see Mt. Everest and Mt. Shishapangma. The main road passes through the desolate plain of Digur Tang, with its enormous sand dunes and the closely neighboring snow peaks of Shishapangma and Langtang to the south. Leaving the Bum-chu basin, it then descends into the depression of Pelkhu Tso Lake (4600m), a cobalt-blue lake. Today, we drive to Saga, a small town 69km from the Phelgutso. Overnight at a local guesthouse in Saga.
Moving towards the Drongpa County, the region around the sources of Brahmaputra River, which is about 167km from the town of Saga. At about 50km from today’s destination Darchen, we will make a small detour to Lake Manasarovar, the holy lake of Tibet and Hinduism. You can relax around the lakeshore and experience the natural beauty. In the summer, flocks of swans gather on the lake, bringing grace and life to the area. You can also see many Tibetans and Hindus praying and circling around the lakeshore. In the late afternoon, we will reach Darchen, a small town at the foot of Mt. Kailash. The tour guide will assist tourists to arrange trekking yaks and porters, and doing some preparations for your 3-day trek around Mt. Kailash. Overnight at a local guesthouse in Darchen.
The traditional pilgrims undertake a 52km trekking circuit around Mount Kailash, commencing at Darchen (4,574m) and crossing the Dolma-la Pass on the second day of the three-day walk. 8 kilometers after leaving Darchen in the environment-friendly bus (40minutes), we get to a village called Sarshung, where porters are waiting for their clients. After two hours, we come upon a grassy plain populated by nomads. From this point, it is another two hours before reaching Drirapuk (4,920m). You need to camp or can rest in the monastery's guesthouse. Stay overnight at the tent or guesthouse of the monastery.
The second day is the hardest, as this portion of the circuit is the most difficult with the Dolma-la Pass lying 6.4km ahead but 762m above Drirapuk. The peak of Dolma-la Pass is about 5630m above sea level, so it is better to set off early in the morning as the sun reaches over the ridges above. After taking a rest at the peak of Dolma-la Pass, you will descend a staircase bringing you to the Lhachu valley floor, taking about one hour from the pass. From here, it is about four hours trekking to today's final destination. It is better to walk on the right side of the river and finally get to Dzultripuk. It is advisable to get there before other groups because limited numbers of rooms are available there in Dzultripuk. Take a good rest in the guest room and prepare for the next morning's departure.
Stay overnight in a tent, or the monastery guesthouse.
Today, we will go through Milarepa's Cave, where the temple and shrines have been built. Next, we trek towards Darchen and exit the valley, which is an easy three-hour walk. At the ending point of the valley, the driver will come to pick you and take you back to Darchen.
Stay overnight at the local guesthouse at Darchen.
Today, you will take the 14-hour drive back to Saga. Overnight in Saga.
For the two days, you will drive 750km to return to Lhasa. Overnight at Lhasa and have a good rest there.
Today, you are free until being transferred to the airport for your departing flight. Thus, ending this breathtaking expedition tour in Tibet.
Ancient Town, Ancient Village, hiking, Monastery, Nature, Outdoor Activity, UNESCO, Walking Tour, World Heritage Site
Attractions: Barkhor Street, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple, Karola Glacier, Kumbum Monastery, Lake Manasarovar, Milarepa's Cave, Pelkhu tso Lake, Potala Palace, Rongbuk Monastery, Sera Monastery, Tashilunpo Monastery, Yamdrok Lake
Cities visited: Darchen, Lhasa, Shigatse, Tingri
Provinces visited: Tibet
Ideal seasons: Winter, Summer, Spring, Autumn
Ideal audiences: Seniors, Singles, Couples, Dating, Family
Religions: Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Taoist, Bahá'í
Type of transportation: Private Car