The Central Tibet and Namtso Tour of 7 Nights and eight days take you to the major attractions of Tibet. Our trip begins with driving across the Himalaya through the Kodari Border along the Tibet-Nepal border. Along the way, we will visit several Buddhist monasteries in Shigatse before heading towards Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. After reaching Lhasa, we take a sweet amount of time to visit the major highlights of the region, including 1000-rooms Potala Palace, Barkhor Bazaar Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka palace among many others. Potala Palace is the chief attraction in the whole Tibet, and also the core stage of Tibetan heritage.
This journey enables travelers to experience the vast diversity of Tibetan people, such as Tibetans, Monpas, Lhopas, each with their unique traditions from birth, marriage, burial, and other ceremonies. We will also visit lots of holy monasteries, lakes, rivers, and enjoy stunning views of snowcapped mountain peaks, including the giant, Mt. Everest.
Best Months to take this trip
It is possible to visit Tibet all around the year. However, the ideal months to make the trip is from April to October. It is advisable to book the journey between April to October if you want to extend your tour to regions, such as Shigatse, Mount Everest, Namtso, Ngari, etc. The times except these months are freezing with a high probability of snowfall, especially in regions like Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, Namtso Lake, etc. If you can handle cold, then you can take the trip in any month you like.
There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit is the most important one that you have to obtain before your trip as you need to show it in airports or train stations. Tibet Tourism Bureau issues this type of permit. If you don’t want to face the hassle of obtaining the license, you can and send us your Chinese visa and passport about 20 days in advance after you book the trip with us. Then, we will apply for the permit (Travel agency can only apply for the travel permits in Tibet). If you wish to travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc., you have to obtain another license, Alien Travel Permit. If you go to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with an office in Lhasa, always keeps up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. We will guarantee all your permits while traveling with us, as long as you meet all the requirements.)
High Altitude Sickness
The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). There is a higher chance of suffering from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip. It is because most travelers are from low altitude environments and not accustomed to high altitudes. However, you don’t have to worry as you can get accustomed to the environment generally within 2-3 days. Still, it is advisable to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor. And, carry some prescribed medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness throughout the trip. Tibet is a cold region, so you need to keep warm, avoid demanding activities. Drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates while you are here. You should not take showers during the first couple of days of arrival in Tibet. If you don’t feel well, ask for help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.
How to Go to Tibet
You have two options to reach Tibet – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kunming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian offer more frequent flights to Lhasa. You can also take a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa(1.5hrs). Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).
Packing and Clothing
First of all, be sure to bring your passport and Chinese Visa. You must carry at least one large and one smaller backpack. The smaller one can be for daily activities. Also, bring any necessary medications you need. Other stuff like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sunblock is also required.
As for clothes, bring a warm set of clothes. It is advisable to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). A down jacket is necessary for Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes are essential.
Enjoy sightseeing in Tibet
A scenic drive from Lhasa to Shigatse
Visit the Three Great Monasteries of Tibet (the Ganden Monastery, the Sera Monastery, and the Drepung Monastery)
Adore the stunning view of the valley while doing the kora around Ganden Monastery
Visit the insides of the Potala, the imposing but spiritless castle of the Dalai Lamas
Follow monks and fellow pilgrims around the Barkhor, Lhasa’s captivating medieval pilgrim circuit
- All required permits in Tibet
- All entry fee to every spots specified in itinerary
- Meals as specified in the itinerary
- Ground transfer in a comfortable local vehicle
- Highly skilled English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide shared in a group
- Twin-sharing Hotel Accommodations (Single room supplement is not included in the package, so if you want a single room, there will be additional cost)
- Drinking water Provided during the trip
- All government taxes and service charges
- Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant in Lhasa
- Airport Transfer to and from Lhasa
- Tibet Handy Map
- One shared Oxygen tank in the car
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance
- International Flight
- Domestic flight/train (we can provide you best discounted air and tickets for domestic transfer)
- Tips for tour guide and driver
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone calls, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid alcoolic drinks during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc
Arrival in Lhasa
After your arrival at Lhasa airport or stations, our airport representative will welcome and escort you to your respective hotel. On the way, the representative will give you a brief explanation on your further trip of Tibet. Along the way, you will get to enjoy the views of the Brahmaputra river (the longest river in Tibet) and the Lhasa River. After arriving at the hotel, check into the hotel. We have no plan for today, so you can simply relax in your hotel room. However, if you like, you can go to explore this beautiful city. You can visit Potala Palace. Here, you will see a beautiful fountain with various colors. You can capture incredible photos in this spot.
It is necessary to rest properly tonight as you have just arrived in a high altitude environment. And, if you do not sleep adequately, got cannot acclimatize properly, making you prone to altitude sickness.
Sightseeing in Lhasa
We begin our Lhasa sightseeing trip after breakfast. First, we head towards Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It was put to use since the 7th century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most precious collections of Potala Palace include the golden burial stupas of previous Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. After visiting Potala Palace, we stop for a short lunch break. After lunch, we head towards the Jokhang Temple. The 33rd great king of Tibet founded the Jokhang Temple in the 7th century. Inside the temple lies the statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha at the age of twelve. Outside the temple, you can see devotees prostrating in front of the Jokhang Temple. Around the temple is Barkhor Street. Here, you can do Kora (a religious circle of a building or mountain) along with pilgrims and locals. Then, you can go to explore the local market in the evening. Besides, we taste local Tibetan cuisine and tea in the tea house. If the time permits, we can go for a visit to Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center.
Sightseeing in Lhasa
In the morning, after breakfast, we go to pay a visit to the Drepung monastery. Drepung Monastery is one of the three great Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Jamyang Choge founded the monastery in 1416. Jamyang Choge was one of the chief disciples of Tsongkhapa. Here, lies the most massive monastery kitchen. You can also see the beautiful Buddhist Sculpture Carving workshop near Drepung. In the afternoon, you will visit the Sera Monastery, another one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. The major highlight of this monastery is the Monks’ debate between 3-5 in the afternoon. Likewise, you can take a tour of the Tibetan religious scripture printing house. In the monastery, you can see three sand Mandalas and lovely Rock Painting of Buddha.
Lhasa to Shigatse via Gyantse
After breakfast, we head out from Lhasa to Shigatse. On the way, we drove across the Gampala Pass. From here, you can get a glimpse of Yamdrok-Tso (4400m). Many snowcapped mountains surround this tranquil lake. You can also get the view of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance. Mount Nyenchen Khangsa is the highest mountain near Lhasa. Later, we will drive towards the Karola Glacier, beside the road. Then, we drive for a while to reach Manak Dam Lake, then to Simila Mountain Pass, where you can hang prayer flags. Eventually, we will arrive in Gyantse. Gyantse is a historic city and the third-largest city of Tibet. In Gyantse, we will visit the renowned Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy the view of Gyangtse Fortress in the distance. Afterwards, we drive for about thirty minutes to reach Shigatse - the second-largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse, if we have enough time, we may visit traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field (in summer).
Shigatse to Lhasa
After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we pay a visit to the home of Panchan Lama, Tashihunpo Monastery. Here, you can see the largest statue of Jampa (future god) in the world. The monastery itself is a permanent place for the successive Panchen Lamas. Then, we follow the Yalong Valley back to Lhasa towards our hotel.
Lhasa to Namtso Lake
We will begin the trip from Lhasa to Namtso Lake in the early morning. You will see the Nyenchen Tanggula Mountain Range and Nomads in lush grasslands during summer, along the way. Besides, we can also enjoy the view of Sky-Road Railway with a snow mountain on the backdrop. As we near the renowned Lagenla Mountain Pass, we can get the gorgeous view of Namtso Lake from above. As we arrive at the lake bank, we enjoy a leisure trek around Tashi Island from where we can relish the beauty of the sunset. At night, you can adore night sight of the milky way at the side of the Lakeshore.
Namtso to Lhasa
Today, we will wake up early in the morning to get the view of sunrise. You can get an enchanting view of sunrise from the Namtso lake. Enjoying the sunrise view, we head back to Lhasa. On the way, we may also come across the Yangpachen Hot Spring, where we can take a bath at the natural hot spring that heals aches and relax muscles.
Day Eight :
Our trip ends today. We will drive you to the airport or station as per your scheduled time.