The Soul of Tibet

0
AUTUMN
$2,630
AUTUMN
$2,630
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7 Days
October 1 - 7, 2021
Lhasa
Lhasa
Min Age : 9+
Max People: 12
About this Journey

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.

 
What we love
  • Experiencing monks debating Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in the open courtyard of Sera Monastery
  • Meditating in a hermit cave, claimed to be one of the earliest known meditation sites
  • Sipping 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
  • Getting an up-close-and-personal perspective of Tibetan culture and modern-day life through the eyes of a local farmer by visiting his family's home
Map
Expedition to Tibets West map
Itinerary

Day 1Lhasa

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

Day 2Lhasa

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

Day 3Lhasa

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

Day 4Lhasa to Gyantse

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

Day 5Gyantse to Shigatse

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

Day 6Shigatse to Lhasa

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

Day 7Depart from Lhasa

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.

Hotels

St. Regis Lhasa

5-Star

With unparalleled views of Potala Palace, the St. Regis is inspired by Sera Monastery and pays homage to Tibet’s culture and history.

Gyantse Hotel, Gyantse

2-Star

Located in the center of the ancient city, the Gyantse Hotel, a 2-star local hotel, is the best available accommodation in the city.

 

Qomo Langzong Hotel, Shigatse

4-Star

Conveniently located, the Qomo Langzong Hotel offers travelers one of the best and comfortable stays in the area.

Details

Dates for This Journey

This trip runs once throughout 2021:

  • Friday, 1 – Thursday, 7 October

Fall

Arrival & Departure

Flights

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.

Trains

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.

What’s Included

  • All accommodations based on double-occupancy including breakfasts, as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary, and drinking water
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as indicated in the itinerar
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • Services of an English-speaking WildChina guide
  • Tibet permit

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers

WildChina Landcosts

Twin Share: From USD $2,630 per person

Single Traveler: From USD $3,710 per person

What to expect

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 Guides

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.

Next Steps

How do I secure my spot on this tour?

We will continue to work with you until your trip is perfect.

For international bookings: Once you are ready to book, a USD$500 planning fee, per booking, is required to begin reserving your arrangements. This will go towards your trip costs and will be taken off your final balance amount.

For bookings made in China: Once you are ready to book, a RMB1,000 deposit, per person, is required. This will go towards your trip costs and will be taken off your final balance amount.

What is the payment schedule?

1. Deposit:
A deposit is required to secure your reservation. Once your deposit has been received, we will send your confirmation along with a detailed itinerary and all the information you’ll need to prepare for your journey.

2. Full payment:
Full trip payment should be made 20 days prior to departure. If you’re booking within 20 days of your departure, you may be asked to pay make the full payment straight away.

Payments can be made via credit card, bank transfer, WeChat or Alipay

Is this trip guaranteed to run?

This trip will be scheduled to run once we receive bookings from six (6) passengers. Should the journey be cancelled due to lack of sign-ups or government restrictions, WildChina will fully refund any deposits or fees paid.

Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic

In order to travel around China at the moment (Summer, 2020) you will need to provide your passport, residency permit and, occasionally, proof of employment in China. Your travel designer will explain the exact requirements for your specific trip.

Different sites and regions of China currently have different health and safety requirements. We will let you know in advance what the restrictions are in your destination. We encourage all of our guests to bring their own face mask and wear it whenever possible. We will also have face masks and hand sanitizers available. A province or city-specific green health code is currently required for domestic travel. Your travel designer will talk you through the details of this process. Please note that certain areas also require clear COVID-19 test results.

What is your cancellation policy during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We’ve updated our booking conditions due to the current situation. See our full cancellation policy for more information.

For more information, see terms and conditions for our small group tours.

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