To get to know more of the Tibetan Buddhism, apart from Lhasa, you should not miss the second largest city Shigatse. Shigatse, meaning the Best Manor, is one of the largest farming areas in Tibet due to the warm climate and the location of lower valleys. The 6-day tour will not only show you highlights in Lhasa, but also highlights in and around Shigatse, the home of previous Panchen Lamas.
Upon arrival in Lhasa airport, grab your baggage and meet your local Tibetan guide at the arrival hall. They will hold your name sign so you won’t miss them. Get intothe private vehicle, you will head for your hotel in Lhasa city. Enjoy the lake and mountain views outside the windows while listening to the city information. Getting enough rest on the first day is very helpful for you to get used to the high altitude.
Today is not tightly planned considering you still need more time for acclimating to the altitude. Potala Palace is built on Red Mountain (3,700 meters high) making it the highest point in Lhasa city.It provides great opportunitiesto have a bird’s eye view of the city. Follow the crowds along the fixed route to visit the many palaces and halls. Lunch will be served before proceeding to the next scenic spot. Barkhor Street is the busiest business street in Lhasa where you can find all kinds of souvenirs which are good for gifts or for yourself. Try your bargaining skills! Later you will walk a few minutes to get to Johkang Temple. The Temple was built by Tibetan King Sontzen Gampo when he married the Tang Princess Wencheng. After the visit you will be escorted to the hotel for a rest.
In the morning, you will be taken by private vehicle to Drepung Monastery, the most important Gelup monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. A 2-3 hour stay at Drepung Monastery will help you get to know about the Gelup sect. Your tour continues after lunch at a local restaurant. Sera Monastery is famous for its dramatic debates performed by monks living in the Monastery. The last stop of the day is the beautiful, green royal garden-Norbulingka. Take a leisurely walk in the cool, peacefulgarden while imagining the life of previous Dalai Lamas. After that, be transferred back to your hotel.
Have a good breakfast before today’s tour. In three hours along winding hilly roads, you will get through Kambala Pass and arrive at the today’s destination --- Yamdrok Lake. The lake water is from the Nyainqentanglha Mountains and there are no outlets. The water in and out balances amazingly. With the crystal clear water, and with lights reflecting on the water, the Lake presents a wide range of blue colors. A simple picnic lunch later, you will drive alongside the Lake towards Shigatse. Upon arrival at the hotel, rest for the day.
The lama of Tashilhunpo Monastery
On this day you will visit the most famous monastery in Shigatse - Tashilhunpo Monastery. Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the four important Gelup monasteries in Tibet, and it has also served as the residency for Panchen Lama since the 4th generation. The largest copper statue of Qamba Buddha in the world can be found in the main hall. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before being escorted back to Lhasa. On route you will see the green Brahmaputra River winding beside the road. Photo stops are available upon your request.
Enjoy some leisure time before being transferred to the airport for your flight to your next destination. Your guide and driver will make sure that you get to the airport safely and on time.
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