This tour combines the popular outer circle and off-the-beaten inner circle of Yamdrok Lake. If you are keen on the beautiful lakes in the Tibetan plateau but are a little worried about the high altitude, this is the perfect choice for you. Cycling along the picturesque lakeshore, you can appreciate the snow-capped mountains in the distance, and discover the diverse tinge of the turquoise water ignored by hurrying tourists. You can also explore the hidden beauty of Yamdrok Lake by visiting islands, small temples, and villages around it. With the car support service and proper itinerary adjustment provided by ChinaTibetTrain.com, you can save your time and energy, and enjoy the cycling thoroughly.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1 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.
Day 2 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 parts of Tibet.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 3 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 pm 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).
Day 4 Lhasa to Dongla Village via Gangbala Pass (116km driving, 33km biking)
In the morning, take a car ride to Gangbala Pass. On the way, you can see the roaring Yarlung Tsangpo River and enjoy a perfect panoramic view of Yamdrok Lake at the viewing platform of Gangbala Pass (4800m). Have a rest in Zhamalong Village at noon, jump on your bike and clycle along the lakeside until arrive at Dongla Village.
Tips: We can make adjustment to above itinerary if necessary. However, this arrangement can assure you adapt to altitude better and prepare you for the following cycling days.
Day 5 Dongla Village to Gamalin Prairie via Tsayu Village and Zhangda Village (60km biking)
Today you will take an off-the-beaten path and ride through a very scenic part of the Yamdrok cycling route. You will cycle to Tasyu Village to appreciate the hidden beauty of Yamdrok Lake, you can also see migratory birds around the lake in winter and the floral rapeseed fields in summer. Then you will visit the small Tsayu Temple with only 4 monks.
Keep cycling ahead, you will find a small island temple close to the lakeshore before arriving at Zhangda Village. Setting off from Zhangda Village, after climbing over a small mountain pass, you will see the Gamalin Prairie stretching in front of you with the grazing yaks, sheep, and horses dotted on it.
Day 6 Gamalin Prairie to Duoque Village via Gongbuxue Village (65km biking)
Today, you will enter the most core part of Yamdrok Lake. This is the most uninhabited area of the cycling tour, you are able to enjoy the most pristine alpine views of the whole tour.
Day 7 Duoque Village to Zhagang Village via Dalong Town and Nagarze County (90km driving, 64km biking)
Today’s journey is relaxing and you will take car from Duoque Village to Dalong Town and visit Dalong Temple there. Dalong Temple is a protected Sakya temple and is famous for its wooden carvings.
After that, continue your car ride to Arza Township. Here you can visit the scenic Rongboduo Island and cycle half the distance of the inner circle of Yamdrok Lake. You will stay overnight in Zhagang Village.
Tips: The inner circle of Yamdrok Lake route is dirt road. If you want to adjust the itinerary according to your actual physical status, please feel free to let us know.
Day 8 Zhagang Village to Lhasa via Baidi Village (40km biking, 158km driving)
Today is the last cylcing day. Enjoy the splendid sunrise of Yamdrok Lake and the far view of Gampala Mountain along the way. Keep cycling along the rest of the inner circle until arriving at Xueqing Village. Then you can get on the car waiting there and come back to Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 9 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
- 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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