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Take a more profound look at spiritual life in Tibet. You’ll travel through its heart, touring in a loop from Lhasa, along the shores of Yamdrok Tso Lake, through rolling foothills, to Gyantse, Shigatse, and back. At each stop, an adventure, a new facet of Tibetan life to explore.
Meet your WildChina guide in the airport arrivals hall – We’ll have your private vehicle on standby ready to transfer you to your hotel • Acclimatize to the elevation of one of the world’s highest cities and spend the remainder of the day at your leisure • Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant where you’ll indulge in Tibetan flavors and learn about your adventure ahead
Start the day with a guided meditation in a hermit cave, claimed to be one of the earliest known meditation site • Spend the morning meandering through the grand Potala Palace – the political and religious center of Tibet, as well as the former residence of the Dalai Lama. It is Tibet’s defining religious landmark containing more than 10,000 shrines, 200,000 statues, and 1,000 rooms • Visit Jokhang Temple, the oldest and holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple and a sight to see not only for its beautiful blend of Nepalese and Indian architecture, but also for the massive crowds of pilgrims who go there daily to worship • Drink in the local culture in one of the city’s tea houses – popular spots almost always filled with locals, making them the perfect place to get in some people-watching and take life at the speed of Tibet
Be greeted by the phrase “om mani padme hum” as you visit the lesser-known Pabongka Monastery • Hike downhill to Chupzang Nunnery, surrounded by green fields and home to 80 red-robed nuns • Witness monks animatedly debate Buddhist philosophy in the courtyard of Sera Monastery, one of Tibet’s top university monasteries • Meet with a Tibetan opera artist to learn about the history and development of this UNESCO-listed Intangible Cultural Heritage, that is often performed at major religious festivals
Start early today as we drive to Gyantse, following the shores of holy Yamdrok Lake • Check out the scenery as we gently ascend to an elevation of nearly 4,500 meters on the drive • En route, we’ll stop for a picnic lunch on the shores of stunning Lake Yamdrok Tso • Get an up-close-and-personal perspective of Tibetan culture and modern-day life through the eyes of a local farmer as you visit a family home • Arrive in Gyantse and rest for the evening
Pay your respects at Palkhor Monastery, and the famous Kumbum Stupa, built over eight levels and housing 75 chapels adorned with murals revered by art scholars around the world • Hit the road again (2 hours) and arrive at Shigatse • Join locals and admire the massive complex of golden-roofed buildings and traditional white walls that is Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama, the second-highest ranked Lama • Sip yak butter tea with a monk as he offers a window into the intricacies of monastery debates or what daily life is like in a Tibetan monastery
After breakfast, head back to the capital to complete your Tibet circuit • In Lhasa, join a thangka painting master to delve into the religious, social, and political context of these pieces of art • Take what you’ve learned and recreate your very own thangka • Get caught up in the whirl of energy surrounding the Barkhor Street pilgrimage route • Join a farewell dinner hosted in your honor at a local Tibetan home, where you’ll be treated to local delicacies and immerse in Tibetan celebrations
Today your WildChina journey draws to a close • Your guide will take you to the airport to help you check in for your flight to your next adventure.
With unparalleled views of Potala Palace, the St. Regis is inspired by Sera Monastery and pays homage to Tibet’s culture and history.
Located in the center of the ancient city, the Gyantse Hotel, a 2-star local hotel, is the best available accommodation in the city.
Conveniently located, the Qomo Langzong Hotel offers travelers one of the best and comfortable stays in the area.
Dates for This Journey
This trip runs once throughout 2021:
Arrival & Departure
This journey starts and ends in Lhasa, in south central Tibet. The regional airport, Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA), is one of the highest airports in the world and is located about 62 km (39 miles) from the center of Lhasa.
Direct flights to and from Lhasa mostly serve domestic airports, with the only international flights going to Kathmandu, Nepal.
Once considered impossible to engineer, the Qinghai-Tibet railway now connects Xining, in Qinghai Province, to Lhasa Railway Station. Lhasa Railway Station is about 5 km (3 miles) outside of the center of town.
Currently passenger trains run to Lhasa from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Lanzhou, and Xining.
Twin Share: From USD $2,630 per person
Single Traveler: From USD $3,710 per person
Trip Difficulty: Moderate Adventure
This journey is considered a moderate adventure. Moderate adventure includes full days outside the hotel, with drives up to 3 or 3 ½ hours on mainly well-maintained, paved roads. We may spend up to 4-5 hours walking or hiking.
Your guide will arrange the logistics of your trip, including meals, hotel reservations, sites, and activities, as well as providing you with information about the local region. Your WildChina guide is specific to each local region and will be confirmed during booking.
Meals and Water
Meals are included, as listed in your itinerary. We strive to arrange meals that highlight authentic local cuisine in clean, local establishments.
It is safe to drink bottled mineral water, but tap water, even in 5-star hotels, is not safe for drinking. We will provide bottled water, tea, and snacks throughout your journey.
We request guests with severe allergies to consult their physicians prior to traveling and to bring all necessary medicines with them. Inform us ahead of time of specific allergies, such as peanuts or shellfish, or sensitivities to MSG, so that we can do our best to ensure these items are not used in your meals.