This itinerary combines the classic 8-day EBC tour with Sakya Monastery, the principal monastery of the Sakya Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After visiting Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monastery in Lhasa, you will head to EBC via Gyantse, Shigatse, and Sakya. Along the way, you can appreciate Yamdrok Lake and Karola Glacier, visit Pelkor Monastery and Nepali-style Kumbum Stupa. After visiting Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse, you will explore the famous Sakya Monastery to experience the difference between Gelug and Skaya Sect. Last but not least, you will visit EBC and stay overnight there to appreciate the breathtaking scenery of Mt. Everest and visit the highest monastery in the world, Rongbuk Monastery before heading back to Lhasa.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa (3650m)
When you arrive in Lhasa, your tour guide will hold a board with your name on it at the exit to welcome you. A private car will take you to the reserved hotel. You may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River/Bhamaputra River (the longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa River on the way from airport to Lhasa. Then, you can take a good rest at hotel to acclimatize to Tibetan plateau environment.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 2: Lhasa tour: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street (B)
Today, you’ll pay a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the world culture heritage and the winter palace of Dalai Lama. You can explore its audience halls, the jeweled and golden burial chortens (stupa tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, meditation cave of the 33rd Great King of Tibet, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc.
Then you will head to the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple, built during Songtsen Ganpo'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 statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve. On the top of Jokhang Temple, you can enjoy the panorama of old Lhasa City and great vista of Potala Palace.
Then you can do the kora with pilgrims and locals by circling the Barkhor Street around the temple, buy some souvenirs, and taste sweet tea and local snacks in local tea house. Later, you can take your family to explore farm products like yak butter in Tromzikhang, the famous farm produce market.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 3: Lhasa tour: Drepung Monastery, carpet factory, Sera Monastery (B)
Today, you will visit two important monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Drepung Monastery, the largest monastery in Tibet, was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416 and used to be home to more than 10,000 monks. Hiking along the mountain steps, you can see Buddhist painting on the rock face. During Shoton Festival, locals and pilgrims swarm to Drepung Monastery to celebrate the gigantic Thangka Buddha unveiling ceremony on the Gambo Utse Mountain. Then you will stop by the nearby carpet factory to appreciate the Tibetan artisans make traditional carpets with great skills.
After having lunch, you will visit Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The most interesting thing is to see monks debating in the courtyard at around 3-5 in the afternoon. By yelling at each other, slapping hands and rolling mala, two monks make a pair to debate on philosophical issues. You can also appreciate the delicately-made Mandala, sanding paintings, and massive Buddhist scriptures inside Sera Monastery.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 4: Lhasa to Gyantse (3950m) (B)
At first, you will pass over the Gampala Pass (4790m) and have a far view of Yamdrok-tso (4400m) at the viewing platform there. Then at the lake, you can see many snow-capped mountains surrounding it and and have spectacular far view of the holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar (7191m), the highest mountain near Lhasa. Later, you will stop by the Karola Glacier on the roadside. When arriving at Simila Mountain Pass, you can hang auspicious prayer flags on the mountain pass and view Manak Dam Lake.
Then you’ll go to the heritage Gyantse, Tibet's third largest city after Lhasa and Shigatse. In Gyantse, you can visit Pelkor Monastery and Nepali-style Kumbum Stupa, with nine floors and unique chapels in each tier, this stupa is considered the largest one in Tibet.
Stay overnight in Gyantse.
Day 5: Gyantse to Sakya (4300m) (B)
In the Morning, take the car ride to Shigatse. There, you will visit the famous Tashi Lhunpo Monastery where you can worship the well-preserved largest statue of Jampa (Future Buddha) in the world. As the largest monastery of the Gelug Sect in Rear Tibet, Tashilunpo Monastery is the seat of Tibet's second highest incarnation, the Panchen Lama.
After lunch, you will head to Sakya County to visit the famous Sakya Monastery. Founded in 1073, Sakya Monastery was the principal monastery of the Sakya Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and has an invaluable collection of sacred Buddhist scripts.
Stay overnight in Sakya.
Day 6: Sakya to Everest Base Camp (5200m) (B)
You will cross Tsola Pass (4600m), Gyatsola Pass (5,248m) and Gawula Pass (5180m) on the way to EBC. At Gawula Pass, you can view the top 4 highest peaks in the world, namely, Mt. Everest (8844m), Cho Oyo (8201m), Lhotse (8516m), and Makalu (8463m).
Continue to traverse along the new zigzag road to Everest Base Camp and get closer to Mt. Everest peak. You are lucky enough to catch the sunset of golden Everest peak if time and weather permits at the lodging area.
Tips: Our Tibetan guide will pay close attention to your response to altitude ascent and provide timely help when needed.
Stay overnight at tent or Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse.
Day 7: Everest Base Camp to Shigatse (3900m)
You can watch the sunrise over the top of Mt. Everest if weather permits. After having a full view of the magnificent Mt. Everest, you will visit Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the world before heading back to Shigatse.
Stay overnight in Shigatse.
Day 8: Shigatse to Lhasa (3650m) (B)
Today, you will take car ride back to Lhasa along the Friendship Highway. The whole ride is about 280km and takes 6 hours along the Yarlung Tsangpo River/Bhamaputra River (the longest and largest river in Tibet).
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 9: Depart from Lhasa (B)
The guide will pick you up from your hotel, transfer you to Lhasa Gonggar Airport or Lhasa Railway Station, and help you get on board.
- Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
- All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
- Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
- Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
- All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
- Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
- All meals listed in the above itinerary;
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
- First aid kit;
- International flight to and out of China;
- Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
- Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.
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