This 14-day central Tibet biking tour is tailor-made for tourists who love cycling and want to experience the unique Tibetan culture at the same time. The tour involves the major cultural attractions and scenery sites around Lhasa, with excellent road conditions along the route. Except the first two days of sightseeing in Lhasa, the rest days are for you to enjoy a pleasant ride. You will first ride to Ganden Monastery, one of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet; then explore the holy Namsto Lake, the Heavenly Lake with amazing views; and finally cycle along the Yarlong River to the source of Tibetan culture – Samye Monastery.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1 Arrive in Lhasa
When you arrive in Lhasa by train or flight, your tour guide will hold a board with your name on it at the exit to welcome you. Then you will be transported to your hotel. You may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa River on the way to the hotel.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Tips: If this is your first visit to Tibet, you will need to acclimatize to the increased elevation, to prevent altitude sickness. This is best done by resting in the hotel and minimizing any physical exertion.
Day 2 Lhasa Tour: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street
Today, you’ll pay a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the world culture heritage. You can explore its audience halls, the jeweled and Golden burial chortens (stupa Tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, Thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc.
Then tourists will head to the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple, built during Songtsen Gampo's reign by princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty, 647 A.D. Here you can observe sincere pilgrims making prostration in front of Jokhang Temple. While entering inside the temple, you can see the holiest statue of Buddha. Around the monastery is the famous Barkhor Street, where you can do the kora with pilgrims and locals. And then we’ll go to explore the old market and you may have chance to see the traditional jewelry trading between people from different part of Tibet.
Finally, you’ll taste Tibetan tea with locals in tea house and enjoy a welcome dinner at night.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
After finishing the sightseeing, if time allows, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center. Besides, you can also choose to upgrade your tour to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD).
Day 3 Lhasa Tour: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery
Today, you will visit two of the three prestigious Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416, Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet. Situated at the foot of Gambo Utse Mountain, Drepung was once home to more than 10000 monks. Here you can see the biggest monastery kitchen inside and then pay a visit to the Buddhist Sculpture Carving near Drepung.
After having lunch, you’ll continue to visit the Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The highlight is the monk debate held in the courtyard at around 3-5 in the afternoon. Besides, you can also see the colorful Rock Painting of Buddha and the three sand Mandalas and then visit the Tibetan scripture printing house.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 4 Bike to Ganden Monastery (53km)
Today, we will cycle eastwards to Ganden Monastery, one of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet. You may see stunning peak views of Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains on the way if the sky is clear. It will take 3 to 4 hours for us to complete this 53km trip. The most challenging part is climbing through Wanpo Mountain (3800m). After arriving, you can take a kora around Ganden Monastery for one or two hours.
Stay overnight in Ganden Monastery.
Day 5 Ride back to Lhasa (53km)
Today, we will follow the same road and ride back to Lhasa. Upon arrival, the rest of day in Lhasa is your free time. You can get prepared for our next destination - Namtso Lake.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 6 Bike from Lhasa to Damxung (155km)
Today, we will cycle from Lhasa to Damxung along Qinghai-Tibet highway. The road is well-paved and smooth. We will first arrive in Yangpachen and have a rest there. After lunch, we will go on cycling to Damxung.
Stay overnight at Damxung.
Day 7 Bike from Damxung to Namtso (75km)
As the road extends forwards, the snow-capped mountain views of Nyenchen Thanglha appear in front of you. The most challenging part of today is climbing over the Mt. Nagenla Pass which is 5190m above sea level. If you need help, the travel bus can take you and your bike to pass the mountain pass.
As long as you pass through the mountain, you could see the green grassland dotted with sheep, yaks and nomad tents by the roadside. As one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, Namsto Lake is the highest salt lake in China, with an altitude of about 5000 meters.
Stay overnight by the lake.
Day 8 Bike from Namtso to Yangpachen (123km)
In the morning, you can trek along the lakeshore towards Tashi dor Island, where you can explore the meditation caves. Then we will cycle back to Yangpachen to have a relaxing time in the hot spring.
Stay overnight at Yangpachen.
Day 9 Bike from Yangpachen to Lhasa (75km)
Today, we will return to Lhasa from Yangpachen along the same way we came.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 10 Bike from Lhasa to Samye (135km)
Today, we will start another route towards Samye Monastery, which is 135 km away from Lhasa. Being reputably called the first monastery built in Tibet, Samye Monastery is famous for its sacred mandala design. It is the place the tradition of the Tibetan people and Kings emerges.
Camping around Samye Monastery.
Day 11 Bike to Tsedang, Visit Trundruk and Yumbulagang (65km)
Along the Yarlung Tsangpo River, we continue ride to Tsedang from Samye. It is a short ride of 65 km only. After arrival, you will visit the Trundruk Monastery and Yumbulagang Palace. Trundruk is one of the earliest and largest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Yumbulagang Palace is the first palace in Tibet, built for the first Tibetan King, standing on a hill on the eastern bank of the Yarlung River.
Camping around Yumbulagang Palace.
Day 12-13 Bike to Lhasa from Tsedang (162km)
During the following two days, you will ride back to Lhasa from Tsedang along the well-paved highway. You can have a good rest in the hotel after arrival.
Day 14 Depart from Lhasa
On the last day of your tour, our guide will transfer you to the airport or train station, and help you with checking in and boarding.
- Tibet Travel Permit and all other necessary permit to Tibet
- All lodging listed in the itinerary. If you travel individually, you will need to share one room with another tourist. If you prefer to stay in one room by yourself, you will have to pay the single room supplement
- Meals listed in itinerary
- Entrance fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
- Local Tibetan English-speaking guide
- Local tour transfer, comfortable tourist vehicle according to group size
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance
- First aid kit
- Chinese visa
- International flight to and out of China
- Domestic train/flight not listed in the itinerary. (We offer domestic train/flight ticket booking service, please contact our travel experts for the details.)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
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