Journey Overview

In this mountain kingdom, time seems to evaporate. With chanting monks and fluttering prayer flags providing the soundtrack of your Private Journey, discover the mystery of Tibet. For many people, Tibet is a uniquely spiritual place and your adventure is limitless.  For explorers, Tibet is without doubt one of the most remarkable places to visit. It offers 15th century monastery sights, breathtaking views of the world’s highest mountains and one of the most likeable peoples you will ever meet. The ancient cultures and lifestyles of these lands are still as they have been for centuries—adorned with traditional woven garments, daily prayers and prevalent religious folk dances.

Journey Pace: Active & Challenging

  • Exploring the Yongbulakhang Imperial Palace spouting from the hillside in Tsedang
  • Witness monks debate religion at the Sera Monastery
  • The spectacular golden domes of the Kumbum Monastery


  • Seeing the largest Buddha in the world at the Tashilhunpo Monastery
  • Discovering the 15th century monasteries and fortresses in Gyantse and Xigaste
  • Wandering Lhasa’s colorful and bustling Barkhor Bazaar

Timeless

Tibet

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Journey Itinerary

DAY 1 Arrive Lhasa & Tsedang, Tibet

You are met on arrival in at the Lhasa airport and taken by private car for an approximate two-hour drive to Tsedang (Zedong). This former capital of the ancient kingdom of Yarlong, is the cradle of Tibetan civilization. It sits at the foot of Mount Gongbori, one of central Tibet's holy mountains.

This afternoon, get acclimated to the altitude with a visit to the ancient tombs of the Tibetan kings of the Tubo Dynasty. Visit the splendid Tibetan art exhibit and the local market where Tsedang’s inhabitants buy and sell many of life’s necessities.

Tsedang Hotel, Tsedang

DAY 2Tsedang & Lhasa

The morning visit the Yongbulakhang Imperial Palace. Sprouting from a craggy ridge overlooking the patchwork fields of the Yarlung Valley, this grand palace is reputed to be the oldest building in Tibet. Explore its many ceremonial rooms, winding passageways, and the prominent tower. Tour the 7th century Changzhu Monastery, built along the banks of the Yalong River, it houses shrines and lovely murals, and exudes a feeling of great serenity.

Return to your hotel for a lunch break, and then drive back to Lhasa.

This afternoon, explore Lhasa’s oldest quarter, visiting the great sacred Jokhang Temple. Pilgrims arrive from all over Tibet to worship here, creating a bustling atmosphere, alive with worshippers and redolent with incense and mystery. Its innermost shrine contains the oldest, most precious object in Tibet—the original gold statue of Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha, almost 1,300 years old.

Next, stop at the Sera Monastery, to learn about the education process of Tibetan monks. Visit late in the day to witness the monks gather in the Debating Garden for some heated conversations over the niceties of Buddhist teaching. (B)

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

DAY 3Lhasa

This morning’s drive is a breathtaking ascent to the iconic and lofty Potala Palace, formerly the winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Built in the 17th century, it contains hundreds of rooms, labyrinthine corridors, and lavish decorations provide insight into the glory that was the Tibetan kingdom. Visit the White and Red Palaces, containing the Dalai Lama’s former living quarters, the Great West Hall, and the splendid West Chapel. See the eight gold stupas, which were the tombs of the Dalai Lamas.

In the afternoon, explore the Drepung Monastery, once home, church, and workplace for more than 10,000 monks. Situated dramatically against a sheer cliff, the sprawling buildings now house barely 500 monks. Then make a brief stop to see Nuosenle College with its excellent collection of religious art and ascend to the roof of Tsug-gyeng College for a magnificent view of the Tibetan plateau. (B)

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

DAY 4Lhasa to Gyantse

Today drive from Lhasa to Gyantse, climbing to 17,000 feet to cross the summit of the Kamba La mountain pass, and skirt the long dazzling Yamdrok Tso, a 14,400-foot-high lake fringed with villages. En route, enjoy views of the deep turquoise lake, and the Nojin Kangtsang Glacier.

Arrive in Gyantse and explore the intimate monastery of Baiji, then Gyantse’s crown jewel, the 15th century monastery with a golden roof, called the Kumbum. The spectacular Kumbum stupa rises above Gyantse; a great pagoda with nine tiers and has more than 77 chapels, shrines and chortens (temples). Without a doubt, it is the most stunning architectural wonder in Tibet. Next visit the Dzong Fortress, where the Gyangtse people fiercely fought the invading British at the turn of the 20th century. Enjoy the view from atop Dzong Hill, with houses flying prayer flags dotting the vast landscape. (B)

Gyantse Hotel, Gyantse

DAY 5Gyantse to Xigatse

This morning, drive to Xigatse, the seat of the Panchen Lama and his immense monastery, the wondrous Tashilhunpo.

This afternoon, tour the gorgeous Tashilhunpo Monastery, a landmark, with its soaring gold roofs. Tashilhunpo holds the giant Future Buddha statue—the largest Buddha statue in the world at 86-feet high and 38-feet wide, with thousands of precious stones inlaid in the body. An active monastery, you can witness a chanting service in the Jamba Chyenrnu (Maitreya Hall) or Gudang Main Chanting Hall. Next, enjoy time wandering the bustling bazaar of the old city. (B)

Shigatse Hotel, Xigatse

DAY 6Xigatse to Lhasa

This morning, embark on a full-day scenic drive across the wild Tibetan plateau with its striking landscape of stone, light, and snow. Drive alongside endless fields and pastures, seeing local villages, wildlife, and vista after incomparable vista.

Arrive back in Lhasa this afternoon. (B)

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

DAY 7Lhasa

This morning explore the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas, Norbulingka. Built in 1755, the palace grounds cover more than 100 acres of jewel-like parks, immaculate gardens, wild forests, and stately pavilions.

This afternoon, return to Lhasa to visit the Barkhor Bazaar, where pious pilgrims from all around Tibet gather to offer donations and pray. (B)

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

DAY 8Depart Lhasa

Today you are taken to the Lhasa airport for your departing flight home or on to your next destination.(B)

 

Please note that in order to obtain the Tibet Entry Authorization permit, guests are required to spend at least one night in China (Beijing, Chengdu, or Shanghai) or Nepal (Kathmandu) during a weekday or non-holiday. Transfers and accommodations can be arranged by LARK TOURS.