Explore Lhasa Tour, 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 Traditional Hospital 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.
Route maps are just representation of the trekking routes. This does not represent the exact geographical conditions.Click here for Explore lhasa Tour route map
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa (3,650m/11,972ft)
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.
Day 02: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital: 5 - 6 hours
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 Traditional Hospital which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 03: Ganden Monastery and Drayerpa Cave: 5 - 6 hours
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.
Day 04: Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar: 5 - 6 hours
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.
Day 05: Final departure
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.
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Included in the Cost
All necessary Tibet travel permits
Pickups and drops from airport and hotel
Private vehicles for transportation
Accommodation in Lhasa on twin- sharing basis with breakfast
English- speaking, trained and experienced Tibetan guide
All fees for sightseeing and visits to monasteries as outlined in the itinerary
All applicable taxes and service charges
Not Included in the Cost
Accommodation in Nepal or mainland China
Chinese visa fee
Meals other than breakfast in Tibet
Tips for guides and driver
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.
Only breakfasts are included in this trip. We are expected to pay for lunches and dinners on our own. Breakfast will be taken in the same place we stay for the night. Similar arrangements can also be made for dinner. Lunch will be taken en route to the next destination(s). We recommend our guest(s) to budget Yuan 60 to Yuan 100(US$10 to US$16) for lunch and dinner every day. Our food will include Tibetan bread, dal (lentil soup), bhat (rice), tsampa porridge and other simple local foods.
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.
Visa & Entry Procedures
We at Himalayan Glacier would like to assist you in making your Tibet tour an adventure of a lifetime as well as trouble free. Therefore, please visit this page for information on Tibet entry procedures and other things you should know about before travelling to Tibet.
Best Time to Travel
Spring (April and May), summer (June, July and August) and autumn (September, October and November) are the best seasons for Explore Lhasa Tour. We can also equally enjoy this trip during winter months but it may get a bit cold.
Equipments & Packing List
The following basic equipment check list should help you with your packing. Please remember that you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.
The documents provided below are a must and should be with you at all times.
Medical insurance card(s)
Airline tickets, e-tickets, etc.
Passport size photographs (minimum 4)
All necessary permit(s)
We recommend that you make copies of your passport, visas, permits, airline tickets/schedule, travelers check numbers, etc. Leave a copy with someone at home and put another copy in a separate place in your luggage.
In Tibet, the weather is cool during summer (with cold winds) and excruciatingly cold in winter. Since you will not be staying in one place for long, consider carrying warm, lightweight, hand-washable and quick-drying clothes.
Sweater, jacket, windbreaker
A pair of shorts, mid-thigh or longer
Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)
T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
Undergarments (optimum supply)
Sport bras for women (roads can be bumpy)
Rain jackets and pants
A warm cap and a sun hat with brim and chin strap
Bandanna or scarf
Decent swim suit
Comfortable and sturdy shoes (if possible waterproof)
Tennis shoes or sandals
Comfortable, breathable socks ("Smart wool" or "Thorlos" are both excellent)
Soap, shampoo (2-in-1 shampoo with conditioner is preferable instead of carrying a separate conditioner bottle)
Hairbrush, comb, mirror, nail clippers
Sun-block lotion (at least SPF 15)
Lip balm with sunscreen
Tampons and sanitary napkins
Duffel bag or a suitcase
Day pack bag for daily activities and easy access
Waterproof plastic bags or zip-lock bags (Plastic garbage bags are useful to protect sleeping bags, etc. from wet weather, and zip-lock bags are useful for storage in dusty/wet environments)
Headlamp or flashlight
Camera, lenses, filters, memory disks (you will not be able to download)
Video camera, tapes
Batteries (extra batteries are always a good idea)
iPod, MP3 player
Calculator (for currency conversion) or calculator app
Battery chargers, plugs
Note: It’s always a good idea to keep electronics warm and dry, so storing them in sealed water-proof bags is recommended. Also, note that the electrical current in Tibet is 220v, AC 50 Hz. There are numerous different plug types used in Tibet, so it might be easier to purchase an adapter once you get there.
Medical supplies/ First Aid
Take an adequate supply of any prescription medication(s) you use regularly and consult your doctor before the trip. Most over-the-counter medicines are available in Lhasa but are more difficult to obtain outside of urban areas.