#TT2: 6 Days, 5 Nights Lhasa - Shigatse - Namtso Lake
Central Tibet has a mild and pleasant climate that makes it an attractive tour destination any time of the year. This travel route offers the best of Tibet, including snow-capped mountains and sacred lakes, spectacular monasteries and palaces, and visits to ancient unchanged villages with the friendly and hospitable Tibetan people. Road conditions and accommodations have improved dramatically in the past few years which has made this the most popular route for visitors to Tibet. These tours leave from Shanghai but we can arrange your departure from Beijing as well for an additional cost. Important Note: The Potala Palace is limited by the government to no more than 800 people per day - your tour schedule may need to be changed to make sure that you will be able to visit the Potala Palace during your time in Lhasa.
Day 1: Shanghai to Lhasa
Morning flight from Shanghai to Lhasa, where your English-speaking tour guide will greet you at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport for the 1-hour drive into the city of Lhasa itself. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to see the Nie Tang Buddha, which has been carved in stone into the side of a mountain. Upon arrival in Lhasa, your tour guide will help you check into your hotel, where you will have time to rest and acclimatize to the higher elevation.
Day 2: Lhasa
Your first day of sightseeing begins with the most iconic structure in all of Tibet - the Potala Palace. Massive in proportion, it will take at least two hours to visit the rooms, halls and chapels that are accessible to visitors. After visiting the Potala Palace, you will have the opportunity to visit the most revered religious site in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple. Located about 2 kilometers east of the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple is an active temple bustling with worshippers. With its mysterious air and exotic location, visiting the Jokhang is an incredible experience for any traveler. The quadrangle of streets surrounding the Jokhang Temple is known as the Barkhor, part of Lhasa’s most interesting pilgrimage circuit. This area of the Old Town is not only the spiritual heart of Lhasa but also the main commercial district for the people of Tibet. (Breakfast is included this day.)
Day 3: Lhasa - Namtso Lake - Lhasa
This morning features a drive to the incredibly beautiful Namtso Lake, which is located about 240 kilometers from Lhasa. Lying on the vast Qiangtang Plain, Namtso Lake is fed by waters from thawed snow from the gigantic Nyaigen Tanglha mountain range that towers over the lake to the south. The pristine mountain snow that runs into the lake makes the water a miraculous shade of turquoise blue, which reflect the magnificent views of the nearby mountains. The rest of the area surrounding the lake are wide open spaces, dotted with the tents of the local nomad herders, making this a place of unparalleled beauty and an ideal location for photographers and travelers alike. After this breathtaking visit, return to your hotel in Lhasa to stay overnight. (Breakfast is included this day.)
Day 4: Lhasa - Yamdroktso - Shigatse
Yamdroktso is one of Tibet’s three holy lakes, located 110 kilometers outside of Lhasa at an elevation of 4,441 meters. The drive to get there is filled with incredible beauty, climbing over the snow pass at Kambala (elevation 5,030 meters) to see the dazzling lake laid out several hundred meters below the road. The massive Mt. Nojin Kangtsan can be viewed in the distance. After visiting Yamdroktso, journey on to the Old Town of Shigatse, which is great for walking around and absorbing the Tibetan architecture and culture. (Breakfast is included this day.)
Day 5: Shigatse - Lhasa
This morning, as your adventure continues, you will start off with a visit to the Tashilhunpo Monastery, of which you will catch your first glimpse from miles away with the golden tops of the monastery glittering under the strong Tibetan sun. The majestic outside of the monastery is matched in elegance by the religious tranquility and solemn ambiance of the inside. After your visit to Tashilhunpo, enjoy the scenery as the sun sets on the trip back to Lhasa. (Breakfast is included this day.)
Day 6: Departure from Lhasa
Your tour guide will help you check out of your hotel in time for your departing flight from Lhasa.
Cost: 8800 CNY / US$1472 per person based on a group of at least 6 people (you can join in a group with other travelers).
Includes: Foreign visitor traveler permit, Jeep/van for tour transportation, king-sized bed accommodations in 3-star hotels, your personal English-speaking tour guide, entrance fees to those sites mentioned in the itinerary, breakfasts as listed in the itinerary, round-trip airfare between Shanghai and Lhasa.
Not included: Meals not mentioned, personal expenses, customary tips for tour guide and driver.
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