The Most Popular Tour in Tibet - 9 Days

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Explore the best scenic locations, famed historical sites, popular monasteries, holy lakes and old towns in this Tibet tour.
Destination: Tibet Trip Cost: $2190 USD
Group size: Minimum 2 people Max-Altitude: 5,010m/16,432ft
Arrival on: Lhasa, Tibet Departure from: Lhasa, Tibet
Meals: Breakfast during the entire tour
Accommodation: Standard hotels

Trip Introduction

“The Most Popular Tour in Tibet” comprises the prime Tibet tourist attractions worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. Your trip will take you past glittering turquoise lakes Yamdrok-Tso, which is one of the 3 largest sacred lakes in Tibet, and Nam-Tso, which is the highest saltwater lake in the world. Besides Potala palace and Jokhang temple, you will visit other major highlights including Samye monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, and Drepung monastery, the largest monastery in the world. You will get a chance to visit the first palace of Tibet, Yumbu Lhakhang, and the largest stupa in Tibet, Kumbum pagoda. You will also visit the ‘electricity town’ Yangbajing, a lush green valley lying at the heart of the world’s highest hot springs, and Chim Phu caves, one of the most sacred retreat sites in Tibet. During your trip, you will cross a few high passes, visit old streets and towns, enjoy scenic, breathtaking mountain vistas and drive on long winding roads.

Tibet is a place that will likely change the way you see the world and it will remain with you for years to come. All the places you visit during your 9-day trip have their own history and religious significances. This popular tour in Tibet offers you a complete tour and merges the country’s most famous landmarks and sacred sites into an ideal Tibet tour package.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa and transfer to Tsedang (3,550m/11,646ft): 95km, 2 hours

We arrive at Gonggar Airport in Lhasa either by taking 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 escort us either from the airport or the train station to our designated hotel in Tsedang. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day for proper acclimatization in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Tsedang.

Day 02: Tsedang to Lhasa (3,650m/11,972ft) via Samye monastery, visit Samye monastery and Chim Phu caves: 190 km, 2 hours drive

After breakfast, we will begin our drive to Lhasa via Samye monastery. Located in the southern part of Lhasa on the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, Samye monastery is the first monastery of Tibet built in the 8th century by the 38th king of Tibet called Trison Detsen and Guru Rinpoche. A unique monastery amidst breathtaking scenery, Samye is a major highlight and one of the most notable and marvelous places to visit in Tibet. Next, we will drive to Chim Phu Nunnery which is the beginning of Chim Phu caves. From here, hiking to the main cave and back takes four hours. It is practically not possible to visit all the caves as they are not all in the same place; they are spread all over the upper valley. So, we will visit only a few caves and retreat back to the nunnery. Then, we will continue our drive to Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.

Included meals:B
Day 03: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital: 5-6 hours

We begin exploring Lhasa visiting the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, better known as Winter palace and Summer palace respectively. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city, and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama. Norbulingka Palace 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.

Included meals:B
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 the world’s largest monastery and 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 whitewashed walls and golden roofs.  The main attraction to visit this monastery is to see the monks debating which is held from 3-5 pm every day apart from Sundays. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni when he was twelve-years old.  We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowds of pilgrims, it is the nerve center of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.

Included meals:B
Day 05: Lhasa to Gyantse (3,950m/12,956ft) via Karo La Pass and Yamdrok Tso Lake: 260km, 5-6 hours.

Today, we take a scenic drive to Gyantse. On the way we cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief halt to savor the beauty of the Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and the beautiful Nazin Kang Sang glacier (7,252m). Soon, we come across another pass, The Karo La Pass (5,045m). From our vehicle, we can enjoy views of huge glaciers tumbling down into the road before reaching Gyantse. Overnight in Gyantse.

Included meals:B
Day 06: Gyantse Sightseeing: Palcheo monastery, Kumbum Pagoda Stupa and Gyantse old town, then drive to Shigatse and visit Tashi Lhunpo monastery, 90km, 2 hours

In the morning, we visit Palchoe monastery (also known as Pelkor Chode Monastery or Shekar Gyantse), founded in the 14th century by the 1st Panchen Lama and local chieftain Kusang Rabten. Then we see Kumbum Pagoda Stupa (hailed as the "King of Pagoda"), which was also built in the 14th century. It is the largest and the most significant stupa in Tibet. Then, strolling around Gyantse old town which consists of old Tibetan traditional houses, we drive to Shigatse. Here, we will visit Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the home of Panchen Lama, which was founded by Gendun Drup, the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447.  The monastery is located on a hill at the center of Shigatse city, the second largest city in Tibet.  Overnight in Shigatse.

Included meals:B
Day 07: Shigatse to Namtso lake via Tagdruka-Xugula pass-Yangbajing (4718m): 420km, 7 hours

We start our journey driving from Shigatse along the Brahmaputra river with a landscape of sandy hills and villages. From Tagdruk, we will leave the main road and drive off road crossing the Xugu La pass until we reach Yangbajing from where we can have a beautiful view of Nyenchen Thangla mountain. Though not as famous as other scenic spots in Tibet, Yangpachen attracts visitors for its unique resources: hot springs. After a short drive, we finally reach Namtso lake. Overnight in Namtso Lake.

Included meals:B
Day 08: Explore Namtso Lake and walk around Tashi Dor hermitage; drive back to Lhasa, 250km, 5-6 hours

After breakfast, we witness the grandeur of Namtso lake, the world’s highest saltwater lake. The word ‘Namtso’ literally means ‘heavenly lake’. With its deep blue water and the fact that it is surrounded by the amazing Himalayan ranges, we realize that the name given to the lake is indeed a perfect match. We then visit Tashi Dor hermitage and hike around the peninsula, which houses more than 50 hermit caves including some small chapels. Nomadic herders frequently camp on the peninsula, and many species of migratory birds make their home there. Then we drive back to Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.

Included meals:B
Day 09: Final departure

Our adventure in the Himalayas has come to an end today, leaving behind remarkable memories about this popular tour in Tibet. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize photographs. If time permits, we can engage in last minute shopping or stroll around. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport or the train station for our next journey.

Included meals:B

Important Note

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(s)
  • Land Cruiser 4WD Toyota(No AC) or Hiace or bus for transportation
  • Accommodation in Tibet 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

  • All flight and/or train expenses (international or national)
  • Chinese visa
  • Nepalese visa
  • International flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa or from China to Lhasa
  • Accommodation in Nepal or mainland China
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals other than breakfast in Tibet
  • Tips for guides and driver

Travel Insurance

It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.


We will be staying at Yarlung River Hotel in Tsedang, Kyichu Hotel in Lhasa, Gyantse Hotel in Gyantse and Gesar Hotel in Shigatse.  All of the accommodations are at 2-3 star hotels. It is also possible to upgrade to a better hotel in Lhasa by paying an additional cost. All the accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost 470 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 in a single day.


Since we will be staying in Lhasa for 4 nights in a a row during our tour, we will have plenty of time to be properly acclimatized. 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.

Best Time to Travel

Spring (March and April), summer (May, June and July) and autumn (August, Sept and Oct) are the best seasons for this wonderful journey.

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(s) to a minimum.


The documents provided below are a must and should be with you at all times.

  • Valid passport
  • Medical insurance card(s)
  • Address book
  • 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 cheque 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
  • Rain jackets and pants
  • A warm cap and a sun hat with brim and chin strap
  • Bandanna or scarf
  • Belt
  • Pajamas
  • 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)
  • Shaving items
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Hairbrush, comb, mirror, nail clippers
  • Wet-wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sun-block lotion (at least SPF 15)
  • Facial tissue
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Small towel
  • Toilet paper
  • Q-tips
  • Tampons and sanitary napkins
  • Sewing kit
  • Baggage
  • 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, 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
  • Tripod
  • Batteries (extra batteries are always a good idea)
  • GPS
  • Alarm clock
  • 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.

  • Ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Anti-diarrhea pills
  • Iron supplements (for women)
  • Disinfectant, antiseptic cream, antibiotic ointment
  • Band-Aids/plasters
  • Gauze bandages and tape
  • Throat lozenges
  • Vitamin supplements (available in Lhasa but of lower quality and dosage)
  • Anti-histamines
  • Ace bandage
  • Malaria pills (consult your doctor)
  • Anti-biotics (consult your doctor)
  • Water-purification tablets
  • Bottled mineral water and thermoses of boiled water are available for purchase everywhere throughout Tibet.  However, water-purification tablets can be useful during excursions.
  • Steripen
  • Water filter
  • Iodine or chlorine dioxide purification tablets
Miscellaneous Items
  • Good UV protection sunglasses with straps (this is very important against strong high-altitude sun)
  • Eyeglasses or contacts and plenty of cleaning solution (carrying extra eyeglasses is recommended)
  • Binoculars
  • Swiss knife
  • Notebook (small size recommended), pencil and pen
  • Playing cards, games, books, frisbee, football, kite
  • Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
  • Cash, travelers checks, credit cards ($500 or more in cash and/or travelers checks, including some small U.S., Euros, or local currency)
  • Money belt (waterproof is best)
  • Maps, guidebooks
  • Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season
  • Salt and pepper for bland food, flavoring for coffee or water
  • Water bottles and Camelback (useful on bumpy roads)

Additional Information

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684