Lhasa- Yamdrok Tso Lake- Gyantse- Xegar- Shigatse- Lhasa

GEOGRAPHICALLY DRAMATIC AND REMOTE, IT HAS AN AVERAGE ALTITUDE OF 13,000FT (4,000M) above sea level and is popularly referred to as “the roof of the world”. For centuries this mysterious Buddhist kingdom, locked away in its mountain fastness of the Himalaya, has exercised a unique hold on the imagination of the West. Tibet offers fabulous monastery sights, breathtaking high-altitude treks, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains and one of the most likeable peoples you will ever meet.
Lhasa, the remote abode of the Dalai Lamas, has the Potala Palace dominating the skyline and Jokhang is the real spiritual heart of the city. One of the more pleasant towns, Gyantse is famed for the Gyantse Kumbum, the largest chörten in Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, the second-largest town has been the seat of the Panchen Lama. Yarlung is considered the cradle of Tibetan civilisation and it was from here that the early Tibetan kings unified Tibet in the 7th century. Drive through the Himalayas with a stop at the Mt. Everest Base camp, a once in a lifetime experience!

Breakfast. On arrival at Gonggar airport, you will be met and driven to Lhasa. Transfer to Hotel. Lhasa, the remote abode of the Dalai Lamas, object of devout pilgrimage and heart and soul of Tibet, is a city of wonders. It is the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining, and at an altitude of 3,490 meters (11,450 ft), Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. The city contains many culturally significant Tibetan Buddhist sites such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang temple and Norbulingka palaces. Rest of the day at leisure to acclimatize to the high altitude. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning tour of Potala Palace, the dominant landmark of Lhasa, rising up to 117 meters above the city below. An immense building, 13 storeys high with walls 3 meters thick, containing over 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues it was both residence of the current Dalai Lama and tomb of the former Heads of state. The entire building is made of stone and wood and covers an area of 130,000 square meters. Also, visit Jokhang, the real spiritual heart of the city. The foremost monastery in Tibet, built in the 7th century AD houses the most prized Buddhist relic, a 1300 year old Sakyamuni Buddha statue. Afternoon, visit the Sera Monastery. It is the main teaching monastery and one of the three great Gelukpa 'Universities' - once housing more than 5500 monks. Here one can see the young novices learning scriptures in the Debating Garden and being rewarded for a correct answer with a resounding hand-clap from their Master. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning tour of the Drepung Monastery and a Carpet Factory. Drepung monastery is situated in the west suburbs of Lhasa city, over the side of a mountain. It was formerly, the largest and richest monastery in the world with 10,000 monks (now 400). From the roof of the monastery, enjoy the natural beauty of the Lhasa valley. Afternoon visit the Norbulignka Palace or the Jewel Park. Covering a total area of 360,000 square meters, the park was originally laid out in the 1750s. There are fountains, pavilions, terraces and stone tablets amidst the numerous kinds of flowers and various colors. Norbulingka is also the site of the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas (8th-14th century). The small palace of the 13th Dalai Lama is an odd mix of traditional Tibetan architecture and modern paraphernalia. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning drive along the Yamdrok-Tso Lake to Gyantse (3,950 meters). The breathtaking view at Khamba La allows one to see all the way to the summit of Nazin Kang Sa. While continuing west we travel over the Karo La, a high pass surrounded by stupendous glaciers. The rest of the day will be spent enjoying the many magnificent valleys and exquisite Tibetan villages we pass through. Gyantse was once Tibet's third most important city, lying in the Nyangchu valley along the main routes from India and Nepal to Lhasa. In former times it was a fort, the centre of Tibet's wool trade and a gateway to the outside world. Afternoon tour of the Palcho Monastery and Kumbum Pagoda. This magnificent tiered structure is the largest stupa in all of Tibet, and is packed with Tibetan sculptures and paintings. Continue on your drive to Shigatse (3990meters). Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning drive to Xegar (4,300 meters). Enjoy some of the most spectacular landscape in Tibet and the views of the desert plateau are breathtaking. After passing through the small town of Lhatse, cross the Gyatmso La pass. The land quickly descends to plains after Gyatmso La. While travelling through the plains we will see many nomadic herders, quiet countryside, and secluded monasteries. Overnight at Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning drive to Rongbuk (4,920 meters). We head south towards the main Himalayan range while passing over Pang La. The view from the top of Pang La is stunning. You are able to see all the way from Makalu to Shishapangma. We descend into the Rongbuk valley and will see views of Mt. Everest. A
 two hour trek from Rongbuk Monastery will lead you to the base of the highest peak on earth (5,200 meters)- The North Face of Mount Everest (8,848 meters), or Mount Quomolangma in Tibetan. We explore Base Camp before returning to Rongbuk and drive back to Xegar. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning drive back to Shigatse. Afternoon visit the Tahilhumpo Monastery, one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet which was also able to last through the Cultural Revolution nearly unscathed. Overnight at Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning drive back to Lhasa. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

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