If you are concerned about getting altitude sickness and keen on the picturesque glaciers and lakes in Tibet, this is the best choice. After visiting Lulang Forest, Midui Glacier, and Ranwu Lake in Nyingchi, you will go to Tsedang to visit the famous Yambulakhang Palace and Samye Monastery via the turquoise Darksum-tso. Afterward, take a car ride to Yamdrok Lake and cycle about 33km around the lake before taking car ride to Lhasa. After visiting Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monastery in Lhasa, you will take a flight to Kathmandu to visit the Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Patan City.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1: Arrive at Nyingchi Airport (3100m)
Nyingchi Mainling Airport is about 50km from the downtown. Upon your arrival, our Tibetan guide will welcome you at the airport with auspicious Hada, transfer you to hotel in Bayi Town (2800m) by private car, help you to check in, and give you a brief introduction about tomorrow’s tour itinerary.
Stay overnight in Bayi Town, Nyingchi.
Tips: With an average altitude of 3100 meters and dense forest, Nyingchi Prefecture has the lowest elevation across Tibet and is an ideal place to acclimatize altitude in Tibetan plateau.
Day 2: Nyingchi (3100m) to Bomi (2750m): Great Cypress Nature Reserve Area and Lulang Forest (228km, B)
In the morning, you will visit the Giant Cypress Nature Reserve, you can see the over-50-meter-tall and about-2500-year-old King Cypress there. Then take car ride to Sekyim La Pass (4720m) and enjoy the great view of Mt. Namjia Bawa (7,700m) in the distance.
Continue your trip to Lulang Forest (3700m). Lulang Forest is a typical highland meadow strip with dense bushes, spruce trees, and pines. You can appreciate the distant clouds and the snow-capped mountains, the endless pines and the quiet pastoral scene there. After that, head for Bomi and stay overnight there.
Stay overnight in Bomi.
Day 3: Bomi (2750m) to Rawo (3900m): Midui Glacier and Ranwu Lake (137km,B)
Today, you will visit Ranwu Lake. On the way, you will stop at Midui Village to visit Midui Glacier famed as the most beautiful glacier in China. You can also appreciate the primitive forests between the two ice falls which converge the glacier.
Continue driving for about 50km to Ranwu Lake, the main headstream of the Yarlung Tsangpo River confluent. Ranwu Lake consists of upper, middle and lower lakes, you can enjoy the scenic view of snow-capped mountains, forests, and lakes there.
Stay overnight in Rawo.
Day 4: Enjoy the sunrise of Ranwu Lake and drive from Rawo to Nyingchi (365km, B)
Get up early to enjoy the splendid sunrise of Ranwu Lake, and then drive back to Bomi via G318 China National Highway. Along the way, you can encounter one of the most beautiful parts of Sichuan-Tibet Highway from Rawu to Palongzangbu of Bomi and take great photos. Then drive back to Nyingchi and take a good rest.
Stay overnight in Bayi Town.
Day 5: Journey to Darksum-tso and Tsedang (608km, B)
Follow the scenic ride westward to Darksum-tso which is about 360km east of Lhasa. Darksum-tso, also known as Basum Tso Lake, looks like one crescent inlayed in the valley, it is about 12km long and hundreds of meters wide. This is one of the only lakes in Tibet surrounded by snow mountains and green forest with lower altitude as compared to many lakes in Tibet, the altitude of the Lake is 3,700m. You can also visit the small islands in the middle of the lake and the temples on it.
After exploring the turquoise Darksumtso, keep traveling to Tsedang, the capital city of Shannan Prefecture as well as "the Cradle of Tibetan Civilization".
Stay overnight in Tsedang.
Day 6: Day tour in Tsedang: Yambulakhang and Tradruk Temple (B)
Today, we will enjoy a full day tour in Tsedang, the cradle of Tibetan civilization.
After breakfast, we will first visit Yumbulakang Palace, which is the first Palace in Tibet. Since the palace is situated at the top of a hill, you can reach the palace either by walking or a horse ride.
Then, we will visit Tradruk Temple, one of the earliest Buddhist temples in Tibet, to appreciate the valuable Thangka painting that make of precious pearls.
Stay overnight in Tsedang.
Tips: You can pay extra to take the horse ride to Yambulakhang Palace if you don’t want to walk.
Day 7: Tsedang Tour: Samye Monastery (B)
Today, we will visit the famouse Samye Monastery. Built in the 7th century, Samye Monastery is the first Buddhism monastery in Tibet. Different from the typical Tibetan monastery, the architecture style of Samye Monastery is combined with three different styles of Tibetan, Hans and Indian. Along the way to Samye Monastery, you can also enjoy a stunning view of the Yarlung Tsangpo River.
Stay overnight at Tsedang.
Day 8: Cycling around Yamdrok Lake and moving to Lhasa (278km+33km biking)
Take the car ride from Tsedang to Yamdrok Lake. On the way, you can appreciate the picturesque Yarlung Tsangpo River. When arriving at the Gangbala Pass (4790m), you can enjoy a panoramic view of Yamdrok Lake and Mt. Naiqinkangsang at the viewing platform.
Have a rest in Zhamalong Village at noon. Then, you can ride on the mountain bike offered by us, cycle along the turquoise Yamdrok Lake to Dongla Village before taking the car ride to Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Tips:The cycling route is suitable for travelers of all ages and escorted by our professional guide.
Day 9: 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 10: 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.
Tips: Only cell phone camera is allowed in the debate courtyard of Sera Monastery.
Day 11: Take the flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu (B)
Our Tibetan guide will pick you up at your hotel and drop you off at Lhasa Gonggar Airport for your flight to Kathmandu. Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, you may apply for the tourist visa on arrival. Our Nepali Guide will wait for you and transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu.
Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 12: Day tour to Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Patan City (B)
The day starts with a tour of Kathmandu City, and takes in the famous Kathmandu Durbar Square. The most famous square in the city, the Durbar Square is the Royal Palace square in the city, and is surrounded by ancient buildings from the early 16th century. The magnificent architecture, exquisite decorations, and the intensity of historical items gives a great insight into Nepali culture.
You then continue the tour with a visit to the Swayambhunath Pagoda, which is one of the oldest Buddhist sites in Nepal. Swayambhunath is a huge golden stupa festooned with prayer flags that flutter in the breeze, on a hill that overlooks the entire city. Then it is on to Patan City, the second largest city in the Kathmandu Valley area. Patan City has one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Nepal that dates back to the 12th century, and is a great place to explore the Buddhist culture of Nepal.
Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 13: Depart from Kathmandu
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in a private car, take you to Tribhuvan Airport, and help you with your luggage and checking in for your flight from Nepal.
- 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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