Explore Lhasa, the shortest possible tour of Lhasa, is very popular amongst international travelers. The tour begins and ends in the heart of Tibet, Lhasa, and covers popular landmarks of this beautiful city such as the Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, the Tibet Museum and Barkhor Bazaar. We also visit a number of impressive Tibetan monasteries in Lhasa like Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Jokhang Temple. They are all amazing monasteries with a history and religious relevance of their own. This trip also takes us further to the outskirts of Lhasa where we visit the 15th century Ganden Monastery and explore the Drayerpa Cave, which is still a meditative sanctuary for Tibetan monks.
We will be staying at Kyichu Hotel which is a 3-star, centrally-located hotel in Lhasa. It is also possible to upgrade to a better graded hotel by paying additional cost. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost 250 USD.
We arrive in Lhasa either from a direct flight from Nepal or via mainland China. If we decide to fly from Nepal, then we get to enjoy a beautiful hour-long trans-Himalayan flight that takes us over Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,536m) and other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. If we choose to go to Lhasa via mainland China, we may fly from any of the major Chinese cities or take the world's highest train route to Lhasa. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up either from the airport or the train station for about an hour’s drive to our designated hotel in Lhasa. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Lhasa.
We begin sightseeing in Lhasa after breakfast. Today is the day we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and houses what is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. Next, we visit the Tibet Museum, the official museum of Tibet, which has a permanent collection of around 1000 artifacts related to the cultural history of Tibet. Overnight in Lhasa.
In the morning, we drive to Ganden Monastery, located at the top of Wangbur Mountain (3,800m) in the Lhatse County, 57km east of Lhasa. It is the oldest and one of the ‘great three’ of the six Gelug Sect monasteries in Tibet. Ganden Monastery has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures. It also keeps a suit of armor decorated with gems, which was worn by Emperor Qianlong and was bestowed to the monastery as an offering to Tsong Khapa, founder of the Gelug Sect. During the afternoon, we drive to Drayerpa Cave located in a beautiful valley with a stunning landscape. There are more than 30 caves for Lamas who wish to meditate in a silent environment. In the evening, we drive back to Lhasa and spend the night.
After breakfast we visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th century, is believed to have sheltered around 10,000 monks in the past but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundred. The history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Tibetan people are strongly concentrated and centered in this marvelous monastery. Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowd of pilgrims, it is the nerve centre of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
Our tour in the beautiful Lhasa City comes to an end today. There is nothing else to do but stroll around the Lhasa streets, shop for souvenirs or just rest in our hotel room. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the Lhasa airport for our onward journey.
The higher the altitude, the less oxygen there is in the air. Our body needs a few days to acclimatize to this less-oxygen environment. During this tour we will be staying in Lhasa for 4 nights in a row which will give us plenty of time for acclimatization. However, Himalayan Glacier still recommends its guest(s), especially those with known heart or lung or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorders are all symptoms of AMS.