Tibet highlights / 10 days
1 Transfer from Lhasa airport or train station to hotel. Free day in Lhasa to acclimatize. Talk a leisurely stroll around the charming Barkhor area. Overnight in Lhasa
2 Visit the Potala palace in the morning and the Jokhang temple in the afternoon. Overnight in Lhasa
3 Visit the Drepung and Sera monasteries. See the monks debating the Buddhist doctrine. Overnight in Lhasa
4 Drive from Lhasa to Gyantse. Visit the beautiful Pelkhor Monastery with its great Kumbum Stupa. Overnight in Gyantse
5 From Gyantse to Shigatse. Visit the Tashilumpo monastery. Overnight in Shigatse
6 From Shigatse to Shegar. On the way visit Sakya monastery. Overnight in Shegar
7 Shegar drive to Rombuk, the highest monastery in the world! Overnight in Rombuk monastery
8 Rombuk is 7 km from Everest base camp. You can either walk or take a pony car up to the base camp. In the afternoon back to Shigatse. Overnight in Shigatse
9 Drive to the holy Nam-tso lake. Camping on the shore of Nam-tso lake
10 From Nam-tso lake back to Lhasa
Day 1: Pick up from Lhasa airport, transfer to your hotel in the center of Lhasa, which is the Barkhor area. This area is actually old Lhasa, a charming bustling market area full of Tibetan goods and souvenirs. Many Tibetans from all over Tibet come to this area for shopping and for sight seeing, so you can see many different kinds of people here, with stunning clothes and head dresses. You are free to take a leisurely stroll around the charming Barkhor area.
Day 2: Your guide will take you to visit the Potala palace in the morning. This was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama but it is now a museum and World Heritage Site. The 5th Dalai Lama started its construction in 1645. In the afternoon you will visit the Jokhang temple. This temple is the most holy and sacred for most Tibetans. The Jokhang temple was first constructed by King Songtsän Gampo probably in 642. Both Bhrituti and Wencheng, the Nepalese and Chinese wives of Songtsän Gampo are said to have brought important Buddhist statues and images to Tibet as part of their dowries, and they were housed here.
Day 3: Car and guide to take you to Drepung and Sera monasteries just outside of Lhasa. The Sera monastery is famous for its daily debating, which attracts many people. It is so special to see the passion with which the monks use the debating system to increase their knowledge of Buddhism.
Day 4: Today we drive to Gyantse. The first thing you will see when approaching Gyantse town is the impressive Dzong Fort on a hill. This fort once housed the city government of Gyantse, now it is abandoned. We will visit the Pelkor Chode, a Gelukpa buddhist monastery. Long ago this walled area contained several monasteries from different buddhists sects. The most famous structure inside this monastery is the fantastic Kumbum stupa, the largest stupa in Tibet. The stupa was built in 1427, it has more than 10.000 murals.
Day 5: Drive to Shigatse where we visit the famous Tashilumpo monastery, with its heavy religious atmosphere. This monastery was founded in 1477 by the first Dalai Lama. Inside this monastery we can see the largest copper Buddha figure in the world, adorned with beautiful precious stones and jewels. The monastery is built in Tibetan style, with elements of Han Chinese architecture.
Day 6: We drive to Shegar, close to the Everest Base Camp. On the way we visit the Sakya monastery, which is quite different from the monasteries we have seen so far. The architectural style is Mongolian. Only one ancient building has survived: the Lhakang Chempo. It was built in 1268, before that it was a cave in the mountainside. The artwork in the monastery is amazing.
Day 7: Today we drive from Shegar to Rumbok. This is the highest monastery of the world, at an altitude of 5050 meters! The view of Everest (8848 m) is spectacular. We stay overnight at the simple accommodation that the monastery offers. Nowadays, there are 50 monks and nuns in residence. A very special experience to be able to spend the night here.
Day 8: The day has to come to climb up to Everest Base Camp at 5200 m. It is a 7 km strenuous climb up from Rumbok and usually takes about 2 hours. If you feel it is too hard to climb, there are pony cars available at a small fee to take you to enjoy the base camp. After fully enjoying this special experience, we head back to Shigatse in the afternoon.
Day 9: We continue our tour to Nam-tso "heaven" lake. The scenery is absolutely spectacular. The lake lies at an elevation of 4718 m, and has a surface area of 1870 square kilometers. It is the highest salt lake in the world, and largest salt lake in the TAR. We camp 1 night on the shore of this vast lake, the camp crew will prepare meals for you and arrange the tents and sleeping gear.
Day 10: We leave the sacred Buddhist lake to drive the 240 km back to Lhasa, where our tour is finished.