Upon your arrival at the Lhasa airport, your tour guide will greet you and escort you to your hotel and help you get checked in. You will have the rest of the day and evening to rest and relax to become acclimatized to the higher altitude of Tibet.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the incredible Potala Palace – the highest palace in the world. As we climb to the entrance gate, you will have a spectacular view over all of Lhasa. After exploring the numerous interesting chapels and learning about the traditional culture and history of the palace and the city, we will move on to the spiritually significant Jokhang Temple, one of the most important temples in Tibetan Buddhism. To see the “real” Lhasa, we’ll stroll through Barkhor Street with its thriving local market where you can pick up some local Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian handicrafts and souvenirs.
Today features visits to 2 of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism – the Drepung and Sera Monasteries. Drepung Monastery is located on the hillside west of Lhasa – at one time the world’s largest monastery with about 10,000 monks living there. A pleasant walk up the hill leads to the solemn ambience inside the monastery’s many halls and chapels. After Drepung, we will move on to the Sera Monastery. The main highlight of the Sera Monastery is watching the crowd of monks debating inside the shady courtyard behind the main temple.
Every day except Sunday, hundreds of red-robed monks assemble in small groups and practice their debating skills – a very impressive sight to behold, as the monks are very animated in their debates about the various attributes of Buddhist scriptures.
This morning we’ll take a drive up to the Kampala Pass (elevation 4797 meters) where you’ll have a glimpse of Yamdrok Lake down below as well as spectacular views of the holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance. You will want to have your camera at the ready for the turquoise waters of Yamdrok Lake, which is one of the three holy lakes of Tibet, and the beautiful Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar glacier as seen from the Karola Pass. Later on we’ll be able to visit the Karola Glacier before continuing along the southern Friendship Highway to Gyantse, where you will be able to see the famous Gyantse Kumbum, one of the most stunning architectural wonders in Tibet. Late in the afternoon we will continue on to Shigatse where we will spend the night.
After breakfast we’ll set out towards the peak of the world – Mount Everest. Departing from Shigatse and traveling via Lhatse and Tingri, you will see some of the most beautiful and unique scenery in the world – incredibly blue skies, floating high clouds, endless grasslands and the highest mountain peaks in the world. We’ll also stop by the Rongbuk Monastery – the world’s highest altitude monastery before spending the night at the Everest Base Camp.
Enjoy a breathtaking sunrise at the Everest Base Camp before we journey back through the spectacular scenery to spend the night again in Shigatse.
We will get an early start today to visit the Tashilunpo Monastery, which was founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama. After visiting this ancient monastery, one of the most important sites in Tibetan Buddhism, we will take the train Z8804 (12:05 – 14:40) back to Lhasa.
Today you will have free time until your tour guide escorts you to the Lhasa train station or airport for your departing train or flight from Lhasa. This will end your tour services in Tibet.