Enjoy Everest / 13 days

 

 

Daily schedule

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 Sakya. Overnight in Sakya

7 Sakya via Rumbok to Mt Everest Base Camp. Overnight  at Base Camp

8 Whole day at Mt Everest Base Camp. Overnight at Base Camp

9 From Mt Everest Base Camp to Old Tingri. Overnight in Old Tingri

10 From Old Tingri to Shigatse. Overnight in Shigatse

11 Shigatse to Tsetang. Overnight in Tsetang

12 Visit Yambulakhang and Samye Monastery. Overnight in Tsetang

13 Drive back to Lhasa


Itinerary:
 

Day 1: Pick up from Lhasa airport or train station, 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 Sakya and 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 up to Everest Base Camp. Great views of the mountain range already greet us. Amazing! We say in a simple tent guesthouse belonging to local Tibetans. Take it easy today, since the base camp is at 5200 m.

Day 8: The Tibetan name of Mt Everest is Qomolangma, which means Mother Goddess of the Universe. Today you will have the whole day to enjoy the Everest. You can climb up a small hill full of prayer flags, for great views of the Everest Peak. Have your own picture taken at the Base Camp maker stone, which says: Mt Qomolanga Base Camp. Wander around the base camp, which is a tiny town in itself with some tea houses, some tent guesthouses and always other climbers.

Day 9: Today we ascent to Old Tingri at 4342 m. On the way we still have great views of Shishapangma, Cho-Oyu, and Everest. This is a one street town with a population of about 500 people, surrounded by Tibetan nomad tents.

Day 10: Full day drive to arrive in Shigatse. Walk around in the old town of Shigatse and visit the antique flee market.

Day 11: Whole day drive through the rugged Tibetan landscape to reach the cradle to Tibetan civilization: the Yarlung valley. It is said this is the first place where Tibetans started to do farming, in this way establishing themselves as an organized and civilized society. Tsetang is the second-largest town in the Ü region with a population of about 52,000.

Day 12: In the morning we visit Yambulakhang, the first palace as well as one of the earliest construction in Tibet. Since it is on top of the Tashitseri hill, you can enjoy a bird's eye view of the whole beautiful Yarlung Valley. The Yambulakhang was built as a palace for Nyatri Tsenpo, the first king of Tibet. After that we visit the Samya monastery, the first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet, constructed in approximately 775 AD under the patronage of King Trisong Detsen of Tibet who sought to revitalize Buddhism. We have to go by simple boat, crossing the Yarlung river to reach this secluded monastery.

Day 13: We return to Lhasa.

 

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© 2014 by Clary van Meijel.