If you are looking for an authentic cultural experience where you will spend your evenings either camping or among the locals in villages and stay at local people's homes, this is the tour for you. This tour is the most popular trekking tour in Tibet. It will take you across two mountain passes, beautiful alpine lakes and local nomads. This is originally a trekking route that pilgrims use, so you will be able to see Tibetans praying on the way. Follow the footsteps of pilgrims to experience their devout hearts. You will trek to Samye Monastery then drive to Tesdang and visit the first palace of Tibet, Yumbulakang and Trundruk monastery.
Note: If you have any questions concerning the requirements or the unique demands for your particular tour package, please feel free to contact one of our helpful Travel Consultants for further information.
It's advisable to have a body check-up or have your doctor's advice before visiting Tibet. Visitors with a record of heart, lung, liver, or kidney problems must seek medical advice before making the decision to go to Tibet Also, people with any of the following problems should not go to Tibet.
High Altitude Sickness is one of the biggest challenges when travelling in Tibet. According to our experience, most people will be fine up to 3500m above sea level, as the altitude go higher up to 4500m, mild symptoms as shortness of breath, headache might occur. Adverse reactions may vary from person to person. In most cases, the symptoms are mild and will subside in several hours to several days as the body acclimatizes.
Mild Symptoms of AMS include:
After arriving at Lhasa on the Day 1, you will go to visit the most classic attractions in Lhasa on Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4, including the grandiose Potala Palace, holy Buddhist sites Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, also the exotic Barkhor Street and quiet Norbulingka, Ganden Monastery.
It takes about 5 days to finish the whole trekking. You will travel 4~6 hours each day. On the Day 9, you will also go to visit the famous Samye Monastery.
After visiting the first place in Tibet Yumbulakang and sacred Trandruk Monastery, drive back to Lhasa.
Today is free for you until your tour guide transfer you to the airport in time for your flight or drop you off at Lhasa train station.
Welcome to the roof of the world! You will be picked up by local tour guide at the airport hall or train station, and then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle.
After arrival at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local areas and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa.
High Altitude Acclimation Tips: 1) go for some leisure walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival; 2) you’d better not have bath, in case of catching a cold; 3) drink more water, and have some fruit; 4) have a good rest.
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Start today’s Lhasa exploration with an exciting visit to the landmark - Potala Palace which is regarded as one of the most beautiful architectural building in the world. You will climb up the palace along the zigzag stone paths with white-and-red walls to the top of the palace where you can not only appreciate the exotic Tibetan-style architecture, but also get a great view of Lhasa’s urban areas, then walk into the inner space of Potala Palace to explore the stately chapels and learn about the history of the palace.
Continuing your exploration, you will then get to Jokhang Temple which is considered as the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Each day, there are thousands of pilgrims coming from different places in Tibet to the temple to worship to the Buddha. This temple is also known as the “house of Buddha” because it keeps the precious Jowo Rinpoche, the life-sized (5 foot/1.5m) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12. The last site for today’s exploration is the famous Barkhor Street. It is a circular and wide street encircling the Jokhang Temple. The local people like to walk on the street for several circles usually in the late afternoon as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handcrafts.
Tips of Today: 1) there are 1,080 steps up to climb to the top of Potala Palace, so don’t walk in a rush, which may cause high altitude sickness; 2) taking photos is not allowed inside the palace; 3) today you will be mainly outside, please bring some water, a hat, sun cream, and sun glasses with you.
After breakfast, you will firstly go to visit the beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the former summer palace of Dalai Lamas in the ancient time, and now is a public park. It is famous for its Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai lamas with grandiose Tibetan architecture style. Next, drive several kilometers to the western outskirts of Lhasa to visit Drepung Monastery. Drepung, in Tibetan, means “prosperity”. Since its establishment, Drepung Monastery has always been one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders used to study here, especially the Dalai Lamas. So Drepung Monastery is also respectfully known as the “Mother School of Dalai Lamas”.
In the afternoon, you will be taken to another famous monastery in Lhasa - Sera Monastery. It is famous for the spectacular “Buddhism Debating”. As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the Buddhist doctrines with supplemented gestures, which is thought to be helpful to facilitates better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study. After enjoying the "Buddhism Debating", you will be transferred back to the city. The rest time is your own free time to rest.
The Etiquette of Visiting Monastery: 1) you shouldn’t wear short and uncover shoulders; 2) taking off your sunglasses and hat before entering the chapels; 3) taking photos is usually not allowed inside the chapels.
It is a short drive (1.5 hours, 45km) from Lhasa to Ganden Monastery, which lies at an altitude of 4,500m. Explore the attractions in and around the ancient town of Ganden, home to the earliest monastery of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Although the monastery is mostly in ruins, it is a fascinating place. Pilgrims arrive in Ganden from all over Tibet to walk around the site of the monastery, and one can observe the rituals they perform on this ‘Kora’ around the monastery.
Tips: The broad paved road is in good condition. As Ganden Monastery is at an altitude of roughly 4,500m, be sure not to strain yourself physicaly, especially if you are still not fully acclimated. Be sure to bring snacks and plenty of water with you!
Trek: 5 hours, 17km
This is a 5 hour trek. From the highest point of the Ganden kora, trek along an ancient trail and take in scenic views of unusual beauty. Walk along a ridge of reach the ancient Hepu village. In the afternoon, you’ll walk through Ani Pagong, a narrow part of the trail that was once home to a nunnery. In the late afternoon, ascend to Yama Do.
Camp overnight at Yama Do.
Trek: 4-5 hours, 10km
This trek takes 4 to 5 hours. Early in the morning, trek from Yamo Do through a steep gully to the banks of a stream. Climb to Shug La pass and begin the descent from there through fields of glacial boulders. Tsotup Chup is actually a large stream that flows through the valley, and we will cross this stream towards the end of the trek. Camp overnight in Tsotup Chu valley.
Tips: Be careful while trekking! Make sure you bring some snacks and plenty of water.
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Go on an exciting 6-7 hour trekk covering 14km. Follow the Tsotup Chu towards the rocky mountain pass of Chitu La. Descend from there into the exquisitely beautiful camping grounds and fields around the tributary of the Tsotup Cho, walking through the picturesque Herder’s camp along the way. Stay overnight at the Herder's Camp.
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Trek from Herder's Camp to Wango (25 km). This is a 6 hour trek. The trail widens and the walking becomes easier. Follow the trail through beautiful rivulets of water and fertile forests. There are many varieties of trees, scrubs, rhododendrons in full bloom, and vistas of meadows that will take your breath away.
There is also a desert not too far away. This part of the trek is really amazing. Along the way, you will pass the village of Changtang, and you can choose to hike to the holy Buddhist meditation site of Yamalung, an ancient hermitage.
Eventually, the trail goes to the Samye valley along a beautiful stream.
Camp at a site near Samye.
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From the camp site a 2 hour trek takes you to
Samye Monastery (14km), with spectacular views from Pisha and the vista
of the Samye valley along the way. From the high point of Dragmar, explore many
temples, and ruins. At Samye itself, explore one of the oldest and holiest Buddhist
sites, Samye Monastery. Its ancient buildings are a Tibetan architectural masterpiece.
Drive from Samye to Tsetang, the third largest city in Tibet. Stay overnight at a hotel in Tsetang.
Tsetang is known as “the cradle of Tibetan Civilization” for two reasons: first, its mild weather and fertile land conceived the great Tibet dynasty; second, it’s the birthplace of the first Tibetans who were said to be the offspring of a monkey and a demoness. Today you will visit the Yumbulakang and Trundruk monasteries.
According to a legend of followers of the Bon religion, Yumbulakang was erected in the second century B.C. for the first Tibetan king Nyatri Tsenpo, who was descended from the sky. Yumbulagang became a shrine and under the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, a monastery of the Gelugpa school. Yumbulakang monastery was severely damaged during the Cultural Revolution, though it has been extensively rennovated since.
According to legend, the site where the Trandruk Monastery lies once was a large lake and an evil dragon with five heads lived in the lake. The evil dragon caused havok for the people living around the lake. In order to defeat the dragon and save the villagers, Songtsen Gampo turned into a roc and fought with the dragon, finally managing to kill it. The Trandruk Monastery was built to commemorate Songtsen Gampo's great deeds. Many pilgrims come to Trundruk monastery to worship.
Drive back to Lhasa to stay overnight.
Today will be free until you are escorted to the airport or train station.
Tips: Please pack your luggage carefully, especially for things like tooth brush, camera, mobile phone, phone charger, towel, wallet. If your flight is arranged in the afternoon, please make sure you check out the hotel before 12pm.
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1. This price is based on a group which has at least 2 adults who will share one room in regular 3-star hotel in lower seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season and group size.
3. This price is only valid to December 31, 2017.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.80. The final quotation will be adjusted accoring to the latest real-time exchange rate.
While the trip of a lifetime is priceless, we know value is a vital aspect for those deciding which tour to choose.
When comparing tour prices, be sure to compare like to like. Our tours are designed to ensure that our customers experience all the culture, history, and beauty that Tibet has to offer, and at a reasonable price.
A great way to enjoy the lowest possible price is to invite more people to join your trip to share the travel experience as well as the tour expense. The more people in a group, the lower the price per person. (We recommend you join our group tour if you are traveling alone. Please contact our travel consultant for more information)
Booking early is also an easy way to ensure the best rate! We highly recommend you contact us at least 1 month before your planned departure date.
Private Tibet Tour Package means you will have your own private local tour guide, private vehicle and private driver for your group. You don't have to share the vehicle with others. You tour guide will take care of only your group. With the help of your private tour guide, you will see more in Tibet, communicating with locals to learn about Tibetan lifestyle and culture.
You have the flexibility to arrange the group activities accorddingly, such as changing the visiting order of attractions or extending the visiting time of certain place. You can also stop on the road as you need.
If you are traveling with your family or a group of friends, a private tour for your group is ideal. As you have more people in the group, the price won't be much higher than a join-in group tour. It is a good way to save money and enjoy ultimate service.
In Tibet, the overall accommodation situation is not as good as many other parts of China. There are only a few star hotels available in Tibet. In remote areas like Mt. Everest base camp, Mt. Kailash, only guesthouse or tents are available for travelers.
We hand-picked the hotels in each city and areas for you to ensure you have reasonable places to stay while traveling in Tibet. They are in convenient locations and are as comfortable as the local can provide. We also tend to use hotels with unique Tibetan features.
In 3- or 4-star hotels in cities and towns like Lhasa, Tsetang, Shigatse and Gyangtse, you do not need to worry about sanitation. Though, it is a fact that traveling in Tibet is a bit hard. If you are going to remote areas like Mt. Everest or stay near the lakes, it is best to bring a sleeping bag to ensure that you have a nice sleep en route.
For trekking and cycling tours:
1, Stay in local hotel or guesthouse.
2, Stay in tent. (Camping facilities will be provided)
3, Stay in local Tibetan’s family
Breakfast: If you are staying in a star hotel, breakfast is usually included. If you are staying in a guesthouse or tent, breakfast is not included.
Lunch and Dinner:
We don’t usually include lunch and dinner in our tour itinerary. We do arrange lunch or dinner for you at your request though. However, we prefer to give you the freedom to choose the food you want and pay on the spot. From our previous customers' responses, we find that most of our clients prefer to leave the dinners open on their own so that they can enjoy some time to themselves. They can choose either to go to a local restaurant for a little adventure or to have a simple dinner in the hotel where they stay. They may also prefer to choose a restaurant which appeals to their own unique tastes.
We have created a list of our favorite restaurants in Tibet and hand-picked some local restaurants to recommend to our customers. In Lhasa, you can choose Chinese food, Western food, Tibetan food as well as Nepalese food and Indian food. In "off-the-beaten-road" destinations, choices are limited. Our tour guide will be more than happy to recommend good restaurants for you and take you to the restaurants available according to your tastes and preferred style of dishes. Soon you’ll develop your favorite Tibetan dishes!
Meals arrangement in trekking and cycling tours:
Service one: (recommended if you only have 1-2 people in your group and the trekking day is less than 3 days)
Our tour guide will take you to a local supermarket to buy the food you need for the trekking. You will need to bring some cash with you. We recommend energy bars, chocolate, water, fruit, and cookies. If the trekking length is less than 3 days, bringing food along can be a good way to lower the costs.
Some of our tour guides are able to cook for customers for a little bit extra service charge. You can contact our travel consultants to see if it is possible to arrange this service for you. It can be difficult to arrange this service for you in peak season, so we can’t guarantee this service at the moment; however, we will try our best to provide this service for you.
Service three: (recommended if you have 5-6 people in your group)
We highly recommend you hire a cook for the trekking tour. As you will trek for average 5-6 hours per day which requires lots of energy, it is important to have proper meal during the trekking section. If you like, we will hire a chef to follow your tour and cook for you during the trekking. They can make sure you have hot food during trekking. They will carry all necessary cooking items and equipment including stove and utensils with them. Some cooks will teach you how to cook as well and make cakes with the group on the last day.
You can communicate with your cook and let them know what kind of meal you prefer. You may prescribe the menu for cooking and tell the cook whatever requirements you have.
Daily meal arrangement for your reference:
Breakfast: coffee, milk, eggs, bread
Lunch: rice and vegetables
Dinner: noodles or Spaghetti with vegetables
Local Tour Guides
Our tour guides are born and raised in the regions we visit so they know all the potential difficulties and how to avoid them. They are highly trained, speak excellent English and know the local myths, traditions and history which they will share with you. Wherever you travel, our guides are the key that unlocks each destination and make the trip memorable and unique.
Private Driver and Vehicles
Our drivers have many years of driving experience in the areas and are very reliable. With Tibet Discovery, you can rest assured that we only use the highest quality vehicles available. We use mainly private vehicles, to ensure we get to our destinations as swiftly and smoothly as possible, as well as allowing the freedom and flexibility to stop and look around or stretch your legs.
If the tour is mainly around Lhasa, we usually choose to use a minivan as the road condition around Lhasa is pretty good, and the minivan costs less as well. If the tour is covering places with poor road conditions or the distances are quite far, we also offer 4WD off road vehicles.
Notes: Tipping is not traditional in China and was actually illegal until the 1980s. While Chinese do not expect tips from other Chinese, they have come to expect tips from Western travelers. Due to this, it is highly recommended that you tip your tour guides and drivers as they are aware that it is a “Western custom” and may worry that you were not happy with their service if they do not receive a tip.
For clothing, we suggest casual style and layered clothing because temperatures in Tibet vary greatly during a day. Down coat is necessary if you go beyond Lhasa and Shigatse to remote areas, e.g. the Everest Camp or further to Mt.Kailash. Sun glasses, sun block,moisture cream are necessary too.
For food, 2L of water each day, and some snacks. We also find the energy drink Red Bull is a great energy boost while traveling in Tibet.
For medicines, we suggest that you take some pain-killer pills with you and enough medicine for colds, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment andthroat-moistening pills will be of great help for those who are sensitive tochilly weather conditions. Please consult your doctor prior to your travel toTibet. Medicine is a must for travelers to Tibet.
Note: You don't have to worry about your luggage in trekking tours as we could hire abelly boy and Yak and Yak man to carry your luggage for you during the trekking section of the tour. It is an optional service.
Anxiety is the common cause of mountain sickness. Our customers age range from 20 years old to 70 years old, there is no evidence that suggests that age has anything to do with the occurrence of mountain sickness.
Taking a Tibet tour with Tibet Discovery, our tour guide will take care of you and give advice on how to avoid high altitude sickness on arrival. A bottle of oxygen will be prepared for each person for emergency use when the tour includes visiting places like Mt. Everest, Lake Namtso, Mt. Kailash and activities like trekking and biking. Always remember that if you have any problems or feel uncomfortable, please tell your guide immediately or contact our travel consultant.
All foreign tourists and Taiwan tourists must apply for a Tibet Entry Permit issued by the TTB (Tibet Tourism Bureau) for entry to Lhasa or any other parts of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
We will take care of all necessary Tibet permits in all of our Tibet tours. It is included in the price quotation and it is part of our tour services. It's advisable to apply for your travel permits at least 20 days prior to your entry date. The earlier, the easier for us to get a permit for you.
Please tell us your real occupation when applying a tibet travel permit. Journalists and people involved with political matters (such asdiplomats and government officials) require more complicated procedures to beissued a permit.
A valid passport and a valid China visa is needed when applying a Tibet travel permit. The cost of a Chinese Visa is not included in our tour, so you have to apply for your China Visa in your country by yourself. If you have any question in terms of applying a China visa and filling out the application form, feel free to contact our Travel Consultant.
Acclimatize: We suggest that you take it easy for your first few days in Tibet. Don't push yourself physically since your body will require some time to get used to the high altitude.
Photography: When photographing Tibetans, please be sure to get their permission first. Also, when inside the religious sites, please be aware that if photography is permitted. It is not allowed to take pictures while inside the halls of Potala Palace and JokhangTemple. Make sure you bring a flashlight if you want to see the inside of the monastery, though please ask for permission when taking pictures in the monastery. Some Monastery might charge visitors a 10-30RMB fee for taking pictures. Please ask your tour guide if you are not sure.
Free time: During the free time of your trip, like the rest of the first day and the last day before departure, you can walk around on your own and do some shopping if you wish.
Tibet Discovery’s Service and
Travel Insurance: We provide a limited Accident/Casualty Insurance in Tibet through China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance which only covers accidents that occur within Tibet. This policy’s indemnity is relatively low, so if you would like a more inclusive plan, then it is best to purchase one in your home country before your departure.
Refund Policy: Cancellations made…
30 or more days prior to departure result in a 90% refund
29-15 days prior to departure result in an 80% refund
14-7 days prior to departure result in a 70% refund
6-2 days prior to departure result in a 50% refund
Less than 2 days prior to departure or a no show result in no refund.
Note: Additional cancellation fees, if applicable, imposed by the service providers other than Tibet Discovery tours (i.e. flight ticket booking, train ticket booking, hotels reservation, etc.) will be deducted from the money refunded. While this is the official policy, in cases where our customers face unexpected and unavoidable problems, we can sometimes offer a more generous refund.
Before the trip: Before your trip, feel free to contact our Travel Consultants for any further information you need. All of our tours are fully customizable, so if you are not satisfied with any part of a tour pakage, just let us know and our expert Travel Consultants will do their best to design the perfect tour for you.
During the trip: If you have any questions or concerns during your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your Travel Consultant will do his or her best to resolve any problems you have and ensure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible.
After the trip: Once you have returned home and have had a chance to settle back in, we’d love to hear from you. We welcome your comments, suggestions, pictures, and whatever else you want to share with us about your trip. We are always striving to improve our customers’ experiences, and also love to hear about their adventures!
Best time to go:
Peak Season: June, July,
August, September (June to October 15th )
In July and August, the crowds will be considerably larger and the costs for vehicle, food, accommodation, and tour guides are higher. June-August generally has great weather, though during July and August, Tibet tends to be extremely crowded as many Chinese travel there for their summer vacation. As July and August is the peak season to travel to Tibet. We highly recommend you avoid those two months to reduce the costs.
Best Value: April, May,
and Late October to November (April 16th to May 31st)
Late April to Early June, late October to November is the best value time to go, as the weather still nice and the cost is considerably less. The tour costs between this time is usually a few hundred dollars cheaper than peak season.
Shoulder Season: Late November
December, January, February, early April (Nov 16th to April 15th)
December-February tends to be a slow period for travel to Tibet. The weather is generally quite cold, though there will be no crowds like there are during the peak season. Another benefit to traveling during the shoulder season is that prices are considerably lower. The view might not be as vivid but you can enjoy another side of Tibet.
Note: Above information applies to most Tibet tours. For specific best travel time, please contact our travel consultant.
Just wanted to let you know I had a wonderful experience in Tibet and thank you for organizing this for me! Everything went well and the guides were nice too.
1. The travel consultant did a very good job answering my emails and trying to solve all my requests and problems.
2. About the tour guides, my first guide i don't remember his name, was ok, nothing to complain about and very professional, but i preferred a bit more the second guide who got me back to Lhasa from Shigatse, i think her name was something like Chin'me. And i also like very much my third guide who took care of my on my last free day in Lhasa, Tenzin i think was his name. They all had good knowledge about buddhism, i really liked that they could explain many things in the monasteries.
3. Yes, i would recommend your company. The services were flawless and the accommodation and vehicles very nice, everything was good quality with a good price.
Ioana Camelia Achim
My tour guide Lobsang and driver were fantastic! So helpful and willing to share information.
Actually it was mentioned in our group that we felt lucky to have them as other tour guides we saw did not seem as helpful or nice.
Plus we felt very safe with our driver.... Especially on the 122 switch backs near everest! So nice and cautious!
Overall it was a lovely trip.... Just wow so much driving time! Did not realise how far away Everest was!
The entire tour itinerary was well planned-out and complete, as we got to see many attractions and experienced a new culture and foods. Also, there was sufficient free time to further explore Tibet on our own. Our tour guide (Dzunju) was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Buddhism, which is vital to understand more fully Tibetan history and culture. We would strongly recommend your services to our friends and family who would be interest in traveling to Tibet or mainland China.
Two suggestions: (i) with regards to Day 8 (Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse), we suggest to stay overnight at Gyantse to have more time to visit the Palkor Monestary and castle; and (ii) with regards to Day 10 (Everest Base Camp, EBC – Sakya - Shigatse), instead of returning and staying overnight at Shigatse, we would suggest to stay overnight at Sakya in order to have more time to visit the Sakya Monastery.
If I come to China again, most definitely I would use your service again.
The following pictures were shared by Winnie.
Potala Palace in Lhasa
Winnie's Great Tibet Tour
Hiking on EBC in Shigatse
Winnie with Our Professional Tibet Consultant
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Tibet has too much to offer. And ou aim is to bring you the best experience in Tibet. Following are some other recommended Tibet tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.
Please tell us more about your travel plans within just a few simple steps. We'll get back to you with a quotation in 0.5~23.5hrs.
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