This adventurous tour combines the landmark Buddhist attractions in and around Lhasa with a fabulous trek to Namtso Lake by crossing the Kong La Pass (5,150m). The trek begins at Dumxung and passes through scenic valleys and alpine meadows. You can see flourishing grassland, blooming flowers, herds of sheep and yaks, and nomad camps before arriving at Namtso Lake, one of the three sacred lakes as well as the largest saltwater lake in Tibet. You can spend a whole day at Namtso Lake, strolling around Tashi Peninsula, admiring the snow-capped Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain Ranges, and appreciating the lake color deepening from clear turquoise during the day to a sapphire blue at dusk. Then you will trek to Yangpachen Hot Spring and take a relaxing bath there before getting on the car back to Lhasa.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day1 Arrive in Lhasa
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 their way to Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day2 Lhasa Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street (B)
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 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 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.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day3 Lhasa Sightseeing: Drepung Monastery and 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. Situated at the foot of Gebeiwoze Mountain, it was once home to more than 10,000 monks. Here you can see the biggest monastery kitchen inside and then pay a visit to the Buddhist Sculpture Carving Workshop 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 most interesting thing is to see monks debating 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 religious text printing house.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
After finishing the sightseeing, if time allows, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan Handicraft Art Center or Tibetan Traditional Medicine Center. Besides, you can also choose to upgrade your tour to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD).
Day4 Lhasa - Ganden Monastery (B)
In the morning, you will visit Tibetan Museum to get a better understanding about the history of Tibet. Then you will head towards Ganden Monastery at about 60 kilometers northeast of Lhasa. As one of the "Great Three" Gelugpa monasteries of Tibet, it was founded by Great Tsongkhapa in 1409. On the way, you can appreciate the beautiful view of Kyichu River. While driving up to Ganden along winding mountain road, you can catch the far view of splendid monastery complex on the top of the mountain. Then you’ll pay a visit to chapels of Ganden Monastery and the tomb of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelupa order. After Ganden sightseeing, you’ll continue our trip to visit Tibetan farmer's village.
Stay overnight at Ganden Monastery Guesthouse.
Day5 Ganden Monastery - Reting Monastery
In the morning, head for Reting Monastery and have lunch on the way. Established in 1057, Reting Monastery has spectacular cypress forest which is said to have developed from the hair of its founder Drom Toenpa. Besides visiting the monastery, you can walk outside of it, hike along the Lingkhor, or visit villages down the Kyichu River Valley.
Camping around Reting Monastery.
Day6 Reting Monastery - Damxung, start trekking
In the morning, set off for Damxung (4,130m) along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway and start the trekking there. The short trek today offers you a beautiful scenery of meadow, and a monastery will wait for your exploration en route.
Camping around Damxung.
Day7 Trek 7-8 hours
You will traverse the glaciated valleys and reach a herder's camp.
Camping around herder’s camp.
Day8 Trek 6-7 hours
When crossing the Kong La, you can get the enthralling view of Nyenchen Tangla Ranges and Namtso Lake. Then, you will descend to a broad basin and pass through green meadows along the way.
Day9 Trek 7-8 hours to Tashi Dorje and Namtso Lake
After passing through several nomad camps and herds of sheep on the meadow, you will follow the jeep trail to Tashi Droje Hermitage. Namtso Lake is the biggest saline lake as well as one the three holy lakes in Tibet. Locals believe that the holy Nyenchen Tangla Mountain and the holy Namtso Lake are like lovers protecting the vast expanse of Tibetan beauty.
Day10 Namtso Lake
Walk around Tashi Peninsula to appreciate the eroded cliffs and the turquoise Namtso Lake against the backdrop of the snow-capped Nyenchen Tangla Ranges. You can also see piles of mani stones and pilgrims circumambulating around the lake. Then you can pay a necessary visit to the Tibetan nomads who have been living on the pastures between the holy Namtso and Nyenchen Tangla Mountain.
Day11 Namtso - Lhasa
Today you will cross over the Lhachen La and stop at Damxung for lunch. Then you will set off for Yangpachen via Qinghai-Tibet Highway by car. You can take a bath in the well-known Yangpachen Hot Spring to alleviate the fatigue during the trekking days before coming back to Lhasa in the afternoon.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day12 Depart from Lhasa (B)
The driver will take you to airport or train station.
- 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
- One shared big Oxygen tank in the car
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance
- First aid kit
- Chinese visa
- International flight to and out of China
- Domestic train/flight to and out of Tibet. (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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