Is this trip for you?
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:
Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple
Basomtso Lake, Ganden Monastery
Yamdrok Lake, Tashilumpo Monatery
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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.
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, drive about 6 hours to Bayi town, the capital of Nyingchi area. The road condition is good. Upon arrival there, visit a huge cypress tree over a thousand years old. Take a break and take a stroll in the surprisingly modern city.
Tips: The view during the drive from Lhasa to Nyingchi is great! Be sure to take breaks to stretch your legs and take pictures. Lhasa to Bayi is about a 5-6 hour drive with some of the best road conditions in Tibet. Nyingchi is a hidden gem. The altitude is lower (at 2,900m) so most people will feel more comfortable there. Tall ancient trees are everywhere. There are many exotic animals and plants that you will be able to see. The area has a unique local climate: Tourists will not suffer from high altitude sickness or feel excessive dryness or cold. They will feel like they're in a warm gulf area.
Visit Basomtso Lake and enjoy the beautiful views there in the morning. Basomtso Lake, 3,500 meters above sea level, originates from Nyching Tangha Mountain and is a dozen kilometers long. Snow-covered mountains, glaciers and trees are reflected upon the lake’s rippling surface. There are small islands in the middle of the lake with Buddhist temples built upon them. Stay overnight in a guesthouse near the lake.
Tips: While not the highest destination in Tibet, be careful not to push yourself too hard, especially if you are not used to high altitudes. Take advantage of the abundant opportunities to take great pictures!
Today, you’ll be driven back to Lhasa. On the way back, we will pay a visit to Ganden Monastery which is the first Gelugpa monastery, and one of the three "great" Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet (the other two being Sera and Drepung monasteries). Founded in 1409, Ganden Monastery was traditionally considered to be the seat of Geluk administrative and political power. The rest of the day you will be free to explore by yourself.
Tips: Within the chapels of Ganden Monastery there is a 20RMB fee for photography.
After breakfast, you are driven to visit the Norbulingka Park,
the former summer palace of Dalai Lama. Explore the beautiful gardens and
experience one of the most holy sites in Tibetan Buddhism while soaking up the
rich history. Next, come to Drepung Monastery, which was once the largest Tibetan
Buddhist monastery housing 10,000 monks in its heyday. Learn about the lives of
Your tour ends at Sera Monastery, where you will get the chance to experience “Buddhism Scriptures Debating”. These debates are unique to Sera and are quite famous. Enjoy the debates!
Tips: Today, you will be driven to the outskirt of Lhasa City. The drive is not long, all within half hour. The road condition is good. A little walking or climbing is involved. Please pack plenty of water with you. Don't forget about your sun glasses and sun-cream.
Today, you’ll be driven to Yangpachen, 110 km away from Lhasa (paved road), and then continue driving to the Namsto Lake, the second-largest saltwater lake in China. It is over 70km long and reaches a width of 30km. In clear weather the water is a stunning shade of turquoise and you will be surrounded by magnificent views of the nearby mountains. The wide open spaces, dotted with tents of local nomads, are breathtaking. Stay overnight at the guesthouse tonight. You will see the sunset and sunrise, as well as a great view of the stars at night!
After seeing the sunrise and walk along the lake to take more pictures. You may also walk along the lake or climb up
the hill near the lake to explore the area. Head back to Lhasa after lunch.
Tips: The guesthouses lack showers. There is only one public toilet in the area which has no light to offer at night. However, if you are able to put up with the discomfort, staying at the guesthouse will allow you to a great view of the sunset and sunrise, as well as a great view of the stars at night! A torch is a must for staying overnight near the lake.
En route, you’ll stop to see Yamdrok Lake, one of three most famous holy lakes in Tibet. For Tibetans, it is one of the four holy lakes of Tibet and the home of the “wrathful deities”. The scenery of turquoise blue water in the lake with the reflection of surrounding snow-capped mountains is awesome. After arrival in Gyantse, you will tour Pelkor Monastery to admire fancy frescoes, statues and sculptures.Overnight at Shigatse.
Tips: The road condition from Lhasa to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake is rough road around mountains. Feel free to ask your driver to stop and have a rest on the road.
After breakfast, you will visit Tashilumpo Monastery, the oldest and largest Gelugpa Monastery in Tibet. Here you will see a giant statue of Future Buddha, the largest one of its kind on earth, decorated with precious pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers. Then proceed to a lively market to experience the distinctive local culture.
Then continue the tour to Tingri and stay there overnight.
Tips: It takes about 5 hours from Shigatse to Tingri. Road condition is mainly good. Altitude in Tingri is 4300m.
Although it's just 100km from Tingri (Shegar) to Rongbuk Monastery (5,100m), it takes about 4 hours since the cracked winding roads demand great caution. But the views are stupendous on a clear day and feature a huge sweep of the Himalaya range including peaks over 8,000m, Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. When you finally get to the Rongbuk Monastery, and get the first sight of the mighty Everest, you will immerse in a solemn ethereal mood and find all the efforts you have made along the long way are not in vain. Located about 5100 meters above the sea level, Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. It is the best location to take some great photos of the front face of Mount Everest. The rest of today is free for you to visit the Rongbuk Monastery and explore surrounding landscape.
Accommodation: if you visit Mount Everest during off season (November to April), you will accommodate at Rongbuk Guest House near the Rongbuk Monastery; if you visit Mount Everest during the peak season (May to October), you will accommodate at the Tibetan Tents Camp which is only run between May and October by local Tibetans. It is near Rongbuk Monastery as well. Please note that the accommodation at both places is very simple and basic, only dorm beds with communal squat toilets are available. Duvets, heated blankets and hot water will be provided, and you are suggested to bring your own sleeping bag and toilet paper. There is no running water, sinks or showers. The dining room just offer basic breakfast and dinner without menu. Remember to dress warmly all the time.
Tips of today: 1) currently Everest Base Camp is not open for tourists for environmental protection and the Everest landscape can be also enjoyed at Rongbuk Monastery - closest place to Mount Everest tourists can reach; 2) the vehicles and buses can only escort travelers to the Parking Lot which is about 20km away from Rongbuk Monastery, and then you need to take a 30 minutes' scenic park bus there; 3) the Everest altitude marker, a tablet reading "Mt. Qomolangma Elevation Measurement" has been transferred near Rongbuk Monastery and you can take a photo to commemorate your wonderful adventure tour; 4) bring a warm coat for low temperature in Everest and avoid strenuous activity to prevent from high altitude sickness.
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After viewing the sunrise over Mt. Everest, drive about 3 hours (100km)
on a fairly rough road back to Tingri (Shegar). Have lunch there, then
drive to Lhaste, arrive in the afternoon. Tonight you will stay in
Lhaste. You can have an interesting night here soaking in the local
culture and relaxing after visiting the stunningly beautiful Mt.
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While heading back to Lhasa (roughly a 400km trip) today, the surrounding scenery is quite nice. You will be able to see the Yarlung zangbu river along the way. Please feel free to ask the driver to stop any time you'd like to get out and stretch your legs or take pictures. You may even be able to see pilgrims praying along the way.
Tips: The altitude is over 4,000m in some places, so while you should feel free to get out to stretch your legs and take a break, try to keep excercise to a minimum. The road is a wide paved road, so the condition is relatively good.
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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.
click to enlarge the map
To discover Tibet at its full photographic potential, this well designed photo tour will take you to the right place at the right time and explore Tibetan monasteries, alpine lakes and majestic mountains. Experience the Switzerland-like mountain ranges of Tibet in Nyingchi area; counting the brightest stars you ever seen near Lake Namtso; marvel at sunrise and sunset of Mt. Everest in Himalayan range.
This itinerary can be designed to give you a flavour of what is possible.
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.
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.
Sorry for the late reply. I got sick coming back from the China tour. Below are my answers:
1. I am actually really impressed with Wonder's response time to my emails. He always reply within the same day and with answers. In fact, this is one of the thing I told my friends when I made the recomme nation about your company. Wonder is just wonderful.
2. The tour guide is great during my trip at Hangzhou.
3. I have already recommend a few of my friends to contact Wonder for their future trips.
This is my review.
Exceptional experience for architecture students in Tibet!
As the travel coordinator for a graduate school at a major US university, I work with travel industry professional daily. I can honestly say that the service provided by Riley Guo and Tibet Discovery was the best I have ever encountered. From the moment we decided to reserve a tour for a group of our graduate students and faculty until the day the group returned, Riley Guo was exceptional. We had less than thirty days to organize passports to China, travel permits to Tibet and the trip itself. Many experienced travel professionals told me that it would be impossible to organize a group to travel to Tibet in that short time period. Well, they haven't met Riley or worked with China Discovery. Because we did it! And our group had an unbelievable time.
Riley was involved every step of the way. She advised us on visa requirements, the flights, tour details, how to prepare the students for what they would encounter in Tibet. Every e-mail I sent to her (and I probably e-mailed her daily for the entire month of planning) was promptly answered and every question answered. She was the model of efficiency and a treasure-trove of knowledge. We never could have organized this trip without her. She even provided the faculty traveling with the students with her personal cell phone number because she was going to be away on holiday during the time the group was in China/Tibet and urged them to contact her during her own vacation if they needed assistance during the trip. Honestly, where else can you find that level of service??
The students and faculty had a remarkable visit. They saw sights that will stay with them forever. The hotels were perfect. The food was great. The tour guides instructive and knowledgeable. The travel plan went without a hitch. Everything promised was provided and then some. Our group was traveling for educational purposes (they are architecture students) and not simply on a tour and the tour guide made every effort to create a program that would meet the educational goals of the trip and highlight areas that would be of interest to our students.
I can't praise China Discovery or Riley enough. I will definitely use them again for future trips. I wish all tour companies operated like this company. Everything was perfect! Thank you China Discovery!
Date of experience: October 2019
Globally, the participants were very satisfied of the trip
Everything was on time and organization without any problem
The guides were very good more specially in Lhasa and Beijing they know very well the story and are very good in description of the visited sites and very thoughtful for all the domestic aspects of the trip
Planes and train were on time ...............no wasted time!
The hotels were very good in Xi'an good in Beijing and Lhasa : good situation and good service the one in Xining was a little bit under expectation : far from the center and service only average
The visits were well organized and very interesting
Of course, the timing was tight as we stayed only 12 days but I think that it gave a good image of the various aspects of your country
Thank you for all the work that you did for our pleasure
I shall recommend your agency if some other people want make a tour in China
I shall send some pictures in another mail
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