After the scenic Himalayan flight to the roof of the world! You will be picked up by tour guide at the airport hall, and then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle. After arrival at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local areas and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa. Overnight stay in the hotel in Lhasa.
After breakfast in the morning, start today’s Lhasa exploration with an exciting visit to the landmark – Potala Palace which is regarded as one of the most beautiful architectural building in the world. You will climb up the palace along the zigzag stone paths with white-and-red walls to the top of the palace where you can not only appreciate the exotic Tibetan-style architecture, but also get a great view of Lhasa’s urban areas, then walk into the inner space of Potala Palace to explore the stately chapels and learn about the history of the palace. Continuing your exploration, you will then get to Jokhang Temple which is considered as the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Each day, there are thousands of pilgrims coming from different places in Tibet to the temple to worship the Buddha. This temple is also known as the “house of Buddha” because it keeps the precious Jowo Rinpoche, the life-sized (5 foot/1.5m) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12. The last site for today’s exploration is the famous Barkhor Street. It is a circular and wide street encircling the Jokhang Temple. The local people like to walk on the street for several circles usually in the late afternoon as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handcrafts. Overnight stay in the hotel.
After breakfast, you will firstly go to visit the beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the former summer palace of Dalai Lamas in the ancient time, and now is a public park. It is famous for its Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai lamas with grandiose Tibetan architecture style. The beautiful gardens and the architecture of the palace will blow your mind. Next, drive several kilometers to the western outskirts of Lhasa to visit Drepung Monastery. Drepung, in Tibetan, means “prosperity”. Since its establishment, Drepung Monastery has always been one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders used to study here, especially the Dalai Lamas. So Drepung Monastery is also respectfully known as the “Mother School of Dalai Lamas”. In the afternoon, you will be taken to another famous monastery in Lhasa – Sera Monastery. It is famous for the spectacular “Buddhism Debating”. As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the Buddhist doctrines with supplemented gestures, which is thought to be helpful to, facilitates better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study. After enjoying the “Buddhism Debating”, you will be transferred back to the city. The rest time is your own free time to rest. Overnight stay in hotel.
Today after breakfast, you will leave Lhasa and drive about 8 hours to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. It may be a long journey, but there are many things to do along the road. The first site you will reach is the holy Yamdrok Lake. As the largest fresh lake in the northern of the Himalaya Mountains, it spreads about 675 square meters from south to north, like an eardrop lying in the arms of snow-capped giant mountains. Viewing from a distance, you can see fertile pastures full of yaks and sheep, and some small Tibetan villages along the lakeshore. Keeping driving not so far from Yamdrok Lake, you will see the imposing Karola Glacier towering aloft on the right side of the road. Apart from its own overwhelming charm, the surrounding view is also quite gorgeous. There is a little white pagoda standing at the foot of Karola Glacier, with flying prayer flags around. When spring and summer come, the grassland turns green. The flocks of goats and yaks appreciate their feast in this beautiful land. If the weather is good, you can enjoy of unhindered views of Mt. Nojin Kangsang and the opposite mountain range of Mt. Kalurong. There is also a wooden walkway virtually right to the foot of the mountain if you have more time to spend here, which is certainly worthwhile. Continuing your trip, you will get to the historical city of Gyantse. Have a good lunch in the town, then go to visit the mysterious Palcho Monastery. The monks and tradition of three important sects of Tibetan Buddhism – Sakyapa, Zhalupa and Gelukpa, peacefully coexist in this monastery. Its Kumbum, which is 35 meters high and has 76 small chapels with hundreds images of Kriyatantras, is believed to be the largest such structure in Tibet. As a fusion of Han, Tibetan and Nepali architecture, this monastery is a three-storey flattop building complex, consisting of Temples, Stupas, Zhacangs, Fort walls, Wheel-prayer cloister and more religious sites. Cuoqin Hall of over 500 years’ history is the main building and center of this monastery for the monk assembly and other Buddhism issues. By combined the three sects, the Buddha statues here has a different style from other temples here. After the Gyantse sightseeing, keep drive about 3 hours, you will arrive at your hotel in Shigatse. Have a good rest at hotel in Shigaste.
Today, before driving back to Lhasa, you will make a visit to the official seat of Panchen Lama – Tashilhunpo Monastery which is also the largest and most influential Gelug Monastery in Shigatse prefecture. Here you will see a giant statue of Future Buddha, the largest one of its kind on earth ( 26.2 meters high and 11.5 meters wide ), decorated with precious pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers.
Leave Shigatse and head for Lhasa. On the halfway, you will take a visit to Nyemo Tunba which was the home of Tunmi Sangbuzha who invented the Tibetan character as well as the famous Tibetan Incense. Here in Tunba, you also have a chance to witness the process of making Tibetan Incense with water mill. At the same time, the scenery here is fabulous – ancient cypress trees, green willows, murmuring river and many more. Enjoying a superior geographic location by the side of 318 National Highway between Lhasa to Shigatse, Nyemo Tunba still keeps a natural way to make incense and this intact craftsmanship can trace back to 1300 years ago, which is listed into state-level intangible cultural heritage. Walking along streams and bridges, there are many spots for visitors to experience its procedures. Besides, in Tunba village you can also experience a profound humanity atmosphere by visiting the first Tibetan Characters Museum to suck up the local culture and trace back to Sontzen gampo period to enjoy the literal glamour. Afterward continue drive to Lhasa and upon arrival check in to hotel and take a good rest in Lhasa city.
Today you will be transferred to the Danggor airport as per your flight schedule for the flight to onward destination.