Early morning, we drive (Approx. 5 hrs) from Kathmandu to Kodari (1,873m/6,140ft). After completing immigration and custom formalities, we drive up hill to Zhangmu (2,300m/75,44ft). This is Tibetan border town. Upon our arrival at the check post, we meet with The Tibetan Guide who will further lead us to Nyalam for overnight. On the way, we make journey through fantastic view of deep valley with some overflowing waterfalls.
The day starts out with an uphill drive to the highest plateau in the world, Tibetan plateau, known also as the roof of the world. We cross over the Lalung-la pass (5,050m) and enjoy the view of the breath taking mountains- Cho Oyu, Shishapgma and the Everest. We then drive to Sakya Monastery located in Sakya Country southwest of Shigatse which contains thousands of statues, paintings, murals, stupas, mandalas, and other holy objects, as well as libraries of scriptures in Tibetan, Chinese, Mongolian, and Sanskrit piled from floor to ceiling. Overnight at Sakya.
We drive from Sakya to Shigatse and visit Tashilunbu Monastery a prominent landmark of the region, located on the southern slope of the Nyima Mountain to the west of the Shigatse city. It is one of the four monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The main structures found here are the Maitreya Chapel, Panchen Lama’s Palace and Kelsang Temple. Tashilunbu Monastery is indeed the seat of the Panchen Lama since the Fourth Panchen Lama took charge over the monastery and now houses nearly 800 Lamas. Overnight at Shigatse.
In the fresh air of morning at Shigatse, we will visit the free bazaar of Shigatse. After lunch we embark on a pleasant drive to Gyantse. Gyantse greeets us with magnificient views of Khumbum Stupa and Phalkot Monastery. Overnight at Gyantsey.
We come across 2 passes, The Karo La (5010m) and Kamba La (4794m) pass and Lake Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake) while driving 7 hours drive from Gyantse to Lhasa. We further cross the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahamaputra) river and see the distant views of the Potala Palace. Overnight at Lhasa.
Foremost, our tour begins with a visit to Sera Monastery in Lhasa. An experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter escorts us to this preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Equally adventurous and exciting tempo builds up while touring Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further visit to Barkhor Market and roam around the city savoring every tiny detail from stall hawkers coaxing their clients to purchase their goods to exhibition of Tibetan culture, custom and tradition. Eventually, the tour for the day concludes as we return to the comforts of our hotel.
Like the previous day, we experience invaluable insights during our visits to Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery. This 17th century Potala Palace offers an awesome view of entire city and also has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in 14th century used to shelter around 10,000 monks but as now there has been quite a declination resulting in only few hundreds. Tibetans'respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery.
Today is our final day of our Lhasa tour. Hence, today onwards we are free and we can either prepare our own itinerary or we can contact at Himalayan Glacier to extend our trip. At this stage, we are responsible for making all the necessary arrangements and return journey to Nepal or towards to mainland China. However, if we would like to fly out from Lhasa to Kathmandu or any other city of mainland China, Himalayan Glacier can manage the air or Train ticket in advance.