Tales of Tibet

Lhasa, Tsedang, Gyantse & Shigatse

Overview

TOUR CODE: PJTIBET

Tibet is a spiritual haven, once home of the Dalai Lama and the highest region on earth. This trip will introduce you to the kingdom’s magical monasteries and its captivating culture. Start in the renowned Potala Palace rising atop a sacred hill and carry on to Norbulingka, the former summer palace of Tibetan Kings. Witness monks debate on Buddhist doctrines at the magnificent Sera Monastery and see Tibetan dances in a folk show. From Lhasa, we drive along the mighty Yarlung Zangpo River to Tsedang where we will visit the unique 8th century Samye Monastery and the impressive Yumbulakhang Palace.  On our way to Shigatse, we will stop at the Shalu Monastery to observe the beautiful ancient mural paintings. Tour the magnificent Tashilhunpo Monastery before heading back to Lhasa.

What’s Included

  • 1 night in a Deluxe Room at Cordis Hotel Beijing Capital Airport
  • 5 nights in a Deluxe Room at Shangri-La Hotel in Lhasa
  • 1 night in a Standard Room at the Tsedang Hotel in Tsedang
  • 1 night in a Standard Room at the Gyantse Hotel in Gyantse
  • 1 night in a Standard Room at Qomo Langzong Hotel in Shigatse
  • Daily breakfast and 8 dinners
  • Transfers, sightseeing and activities as specified in itinerary
  • Hotel taxes & service charges

Itinerary

DAY 01

ARRIVE BEIJING

We arrive in the Chinese capital and transfer to our hotel located just outside the terminal. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

DAY 02

BEIJING/LHASA (B/D)

This morning, we will return to the airport for our flight to Lhasa, Tibet’s capital and the only major city. Sitting on a plateau on the northern side of the Himalayas, Tibet is an autonomous region of China covers an area 474,300  square miles. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your Tibetan guide at the airport. From the airport, drive into  town along the beautiful Kyi Chu River, taking approximately 60 minutes. After we check into our hotel, enjoy the rest of the day to relax and acclimate to the high altitude at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet above sea level. It is critical to stay well hydrated and avoid over-exertion until you are more used to the altitude.

DAY 03

DREPUNG MONASTERY/JOKHANG MONASTERY/BARKHOR MARKET (B/D)

Today’s adventure features the cliff top of the Drepung Monastery for a panoramic view of Lhasa city. Built in 1416, the Drepung Monastery was the home of the Dalai Lamas before the Potala Palace was built in the 17th century. Resembling a heap of white rice from a distance, it was dubbed “Monastery of the Collecting-Rice” or Drepung Gompa in Tibetan. In the afternoon, tour the 7th century Jokhang Monastery, one of the holiest shrines in Tibet where pilgrims come to bow before the statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha which is lavishly enthroned in silver and gold. Stroll through the Barkhor Market where a maze of streets lined with stalls where all sorts of goods are sold before returning to your hotel for a free evening.

DAY 04

POTALA PALACE/NORBULINGKA PALACE/SERA MONASTERY (B/D)

A delightful morning will be spent at the legendary Potala Palace. With nearly 10,000 rooms and towers rising majestically from the face of the sacred Putuo Hill, this impressive architecture was once the living quarters of the Dalai Lama. Continue to the Norbulingka Palace, the former Summer Palace of Tibetan Kings. Afterwards, continue to Sera Monastery, its name was derived from the Tibetan language “Sera” which means wild rose. The hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when it was built. Debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these imply a style distinctive from those at Lhasa’s other famous monasteries. In the evening, enjoy a Tibetan Folk Show and get immersed to their culture through music and dances.

DAY 05

GANDEN MONASTERY/DRAK YERPA CAVES (B/D)

In the morning, drive 30 miles east of Lhasa to visit the spectacularly situated Ganden Monastery, one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism, located on top of Wangpori mountain. Admire fantastic views of Lhasa valley as you perform kora by walking a full circle around the sacred grounds. On your way back to Lhasa, continue along the opposite side of the Kyi Chu Valley to visit the Drak Yerpa caves, one of the holiest cave retreats in Tibet.

DAY 06

LHASA/TSEDANG/SAMYE MONASTERY/ YUMBULAKHANG PALACE (B/D)

From Lhasa, we drive along the mighty Yarlung Zangpo River to visit the unique 8th century Samye Monastery. Built in the 8th century, Samye Monastery was the first Buddhist monastery to be founded in Tibet. Samye is famed for its sacred mandala design. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent Yumbulakhang Palace, the first building of Tibet that was built as the palace for the first Tibetan king. It is divided into front and rear precincts. The front is a three-storey building while the rear is dominated by a tall tower, like a castle. Enshrined at the palace are the statues of Thiesung Sangjie Buddha, King Niechi, the first King of Tibet, Songsten Gampo and other Tubo kings.

DAY 07

TSEDANG/YAMDROK LAKE/GYANTSE (B/D)

We leave for Gyantse, drive across the Kambala Pass and along shores of the picturesque Yamdrok Lake while marveling at spectacular vistas along the way. En-route, stop at villages, town and nomad camps. You will get the chance to meet a local Tibetan family. Tibet is rich in tradition and many Tibetans still have lifestyles that have changed little over generations. It is also a modern country with urban Tibetans living lives that would be recognizable to most people across the world.  In the late afternoon, arrive at Gyantse, one of Tibet’s most traditional towns noted for its magnificent tiered Kumbum (literally, ’100,000 images’) of the Palcho Monastery, the largest chorten in Tibet.

DAY 08

GYANTSE/SHIGATSE (B/D)

View the famed Gyantse Kumbum that rises on four symmetrical floors and topped by a gold dome. Containing 77 chapels on its six floors, this religious structure is illustrated with over 10,000 murals that show a strong Nepali influence that has remained pretty well intact. Visit the nearby Pelkor Chode Monastery and drive up to the Gyantse Dzong for breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. After lunch, travel to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. En-route, tour the Shalu Monastery. Notable as a center of scholarly learning and psychic training, its mural paintings were considered to be the most ancient and beautiful in Tibet.

DAY 09

SHIGATSE/LHASA (B/D)

In the morning, tour the magnificent Tashilhunpo Monastery. Situated on the foot of Drolmari, the structure is one of the six vast monasteries of Gelugpa in Tibet built by the 1st Dalai Lama in the year 1447. The monastery is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest-ranking tulku lineage in the Gelukpa tradition. After lunch, return to Lhasa.

DAY 10

LHASA DEPARTURE (B)

Transfer to airport for your departure flight.

Meals: B= Breakfast   L= Lunch

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Pricing

Per person, based on double occupancy

    2019Land Only
    Apr 01 - Jun 26$2,999
    Jun 27 - Oct 04$3,399
    Oct 05 - 30$3,299
    Oct 31 - Dec 31$2,799
    2020
    Jan 01 - Feb 20$2,799
    Internal Air from Beijing to Lhasa (Price is approximate and subject to change)$550
    Prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy and subject to availability. This is a land only package without International airfare. Tour prices include hotel taxes and service charges. (AI/10122015/C12)

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