The Classic Tibet Tour begins in iconic Lhasa city, located in the center of the Tibetan Plateau in a valley of the Kyichu River, a tributary of the YarlangZangbo (Brahmaputra). Lhasa is the center of Tibetan commercial and spiritual life, luring merchants and pilgrims from all over Tibet to participate in the trade or religious festivals. The most important cultural sites in Lhasa are the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, the Barkhor market, and the monasteries of Sera and Drepung. Continuing our journey guests will visit the PalkhorChode stupa in Gyantse, the region’s most sacred and impressive architectural achievement. Some of the other notable stops in our trip include TashiLhunpo monastery in Shigatse, which is Tibet’s second largest town and Lake Namtso, the world’s highest salt lake, and Tibet’s most sacred and beautiful place.
Whether you are considering a short visit to Tibet or stopping by as part of an extended trip, the Classic Tibet Trip is perfect for you. As the commercial and spiritual center for Tibetans, the quintessential Tibetan city of Lhasa offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to experience Tibet.
A short flight to Tibet gives you a panorama of the snowy Himalayan ranges. If coming by train, the days of ride over the high plateau crossing the mighty Thangu La ranges gets you to Lhasa with beautiful sceneries along the route. Upon your arrival at the Gonggar airport or Lhasa Train Station, you will be greeted by our Tibetan guide and driver. You will be dropped off at your hotel in Lhasa city, where you will be resting for the rest of the day to acclimatize to the high altitude.
Jokhang Temple is located in the center of the Old Lhasa city. It is one of the most sacred temples of Tibet and is always bustling with local pilgrims from all over Tibet. After that you have time to walk around the Bakhor street, which has been a thriving trade market since the end of the 17th century and also a circumambulation route for the pilgrims. The day will end with a visit to the Sera Monastery, which houses several hundred monks. Built in the fifteenth century, the monastery is famous for its philosophical court yard debates among the monks on the Buddhist doctrine.
The Potala Palace is the cardinal landmark of Tibet. It is a masterpiece of Tibetan architecture and considered a world heritage. The palace was first built in the 7th century by Tibet’s 33rd king SongtsenGampo. Rebuilt in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama, it has been home to the successive Dalai Lamas since then. In the afternoon, we will visit the Drepung monastery, which was once the world’s largest monastery housing more than 10,000 monks. Visitors will enjoy walking through the twists and turns of the narrow lanes lined with small apartment houses of the monks.
Crossing over two high passes, we will reach the historic outpost of Gyantse and visit Lake Yamdrok, one of the three largest lakes in Tibet and a holy site for pilgrims. Gyantse, a small agricultural town at 3,978 meters (approximately 13,050 feet) above sea level is famous for its wool carpets and PelkhorChoede stupa. Nearby the PelkhorChoede stupa is the Palkhor Monastery. It was built in 1427 and is notable for its superb Kumbum (“10,000 statues” in Tibetan) stupa, which according to Buddhist tradition has 108 chapels. After Gyantse, we will continue onward to Shigatse, where we will visit the gold-crowned Tashilhunpo monastery, one of Tibet’s most vibrant and breathtaking site. Overnight in Shigatse.
Visit TashiLhunpo Monastery, founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama, is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet and then drive Shigatse to Namtso via Shangula and Yangpachen. Namtso lake is one of the Tibet’s three most holy lakes and Tibetans circumambulate around the lake as a pilgrimage and it takes about a month. However, we will explore the most sacred part of the lake which includes Tashi peninsula, the TashiDo and Tibetan hermits. Overnight in Namtso.
Enjoy the early sunrise at Namtso Lake (4,718m) and walk by the local nomads camp before we drive back to Lhasa. Since you have been adventuring, you enjoy and appreciate a nicer hotel and more choices of food in Lhasa. There’s no better way to recover from an overland trip than with a massage by these graduates of the Braille Without Borders and be sure to ask your guide to arrange a special treat for yourself. This might give you energy to even enjoy a Tibetan night of a cultural performance with your guide and our friends and family members.
Your Classic Tibet Trip ends today. Free time to rest, shop, prepare for your return or explore streets of Lhasa with our guide. We will drop you off either at Lhasa Airport for your flight or Lhasa Train Station as you have arranged. If you wish to explore other parts of Tibet, China or Nepal, we will be happy to work with you to arrange that. As always, we hope you had a wonderful experience with us in Tibet and be sure to share some of your Tibet’s favorite photos on our Social Media.
Is this not quite what you are looking for? With access to a vast network of Tibetan travel companies and tour guides on the Tibetan Plateau, Conscious Journeys offers an incredible range of experiences with customized trips for everyone. Please take a few minutes and tell us what you want by filling out this Tailor-Made Journeyinquiry form today.