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5 Days Best of Lhasa and Namtso Lake TourEnquiry

Travel to Tibet to experience the highlights of exotic Lhasa. Visit the Potala Palace and two monasteries as well as a trip to Namtso Lake with its spectacular mountain scenery.

Lhasa – Namtso Lake – Lhasa

Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkor Street, Ganden Monastery, Sera Monastery, Namtso Lake



Itinerary Day By Day

Day 1 – Arrival in Lhasa

Lhasa is the capital of Tibet and is located at an altitude of 3,650 metres. Because of its remoteness it has long been a ‘must see’ place for adventurous travellers. It has over 1300 years of cultural and spiritual history and is a centre for Tibetan and Buddhist culture in China.

Upon arrival at Gongkar Airport you will be met by your local guide and driver. The airport is located 70 kilometres from Lhasa so you will have the opportunity to enjoy some magnificent scenery on the way to your hotel. The remainder of the day is for relaxing and acclimatizing to the altitude. Drink plenty of water and don’t overexert yourself.

Overnight in Lhasa. (3658m)

Meals: No meals provided

Day 2 – Lhasa

Attractions: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

No tour to Lhasa is complete without visiting the Potala Palace and that is where your tour will begin today. The Potala Palace is one of world’s most famous buildings and it is an impressive sight as it towers above Lhasa. The Red Palace contains various chapels and mausoleums for previous Dalai Lamas while the White Palace was the living quarters for successive Dalai Lamas and their tutors. Altogether it is a vast awe inspiring maze of corridors and rooms full of articles pertaining to Tibetan history, religion, culture and arts.

The Jokhang Temple is Tibet’s spiritual centre and the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists. It was originally built in 647AD and has been added to over the years making it a mix of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural styles. You will see many pilgrims prostrating themselves at the entrance.

Finish your day with a lap around the Barkor Street ‘kora’ or pilgrim circuit. It is a photographer’s paradise with marvellous wares for sale to crowds of exotically dressed pilgrims. Spiritual souvenirs and pilgrim accessories line the circuit and you can buy anything Tibetan from yak butter to prayer flags and turquoise jewellery. It is a place you can return to again and again for continually changing experiences. Out of respect for the pilgrims you should always move in a clockwise direction.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 3 – Lhasa

Attractions: Ganden Monastery, Sera Monastery

Fifty kilometres from Lhasa, Ganden Monastery is the largest of the Buddhist Gelupa sect and is three times the size of the Potala Palace. It is located at an altitude of 4,500 metres and offers a fabulous view of the Kyi Chu Valley. One of the highlights of your visit will be the chance to walk the hour long pilgrimage route. Aside from the amazing views you will learn about the Tibetan culture and religion as you pass prayer flags and rock faces rubbed with yak butter offerings.

Your tour of Lhasa concludes at the magnificent Sera Monastery. The main attraction here is watching the debating monks. Every weekday afternoon between 3.00pm and 5.00pm there is a debate about Buddhist doctrines in the shady courtyard behind the main temple. The red robed monks gather in small groups to practice their debating skills in a very dynamic and lively manner. Tourists are welcome to watch quietly and respectfully from the edges.

Optional program: In the evening your guide can take you to enjoy a local Tibetan performance. (Extra cost)

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 4 – Namtso Lake

Attractions: Namtso Lake, Nomad Family Visit

Today you will take a long drive through the countryside to visit Namtso Lake, one of Tibet’s three holy lakes. It is about 250 kilometres from Lhasa and it takes about four hours to get there. On the way you will partly follow the route of the famous Tibet train line as well as gain a distant view of the Nyenchen Thanglha snow mountain range. The last part of the drive climbs steeply up to the Nargen La pass at 5190 metres before descending to Namtso Lake at an altitude of 4720 metres. If you experience discomfort because of the high altitude the guide will have a container of oxygen available. Remember to drink plenty of water and not overexert yourself.

Namtso Lake is the second largest saltwater lake in China and the highest lake in the world with a surface area of more than 500 square kilometres. The water is incredible clear and the distant snow capped peaks provide an excellent backdrop for your photos.

On the way back to Lhasa there will be the opportunity to visit with a local nomad family to get a better idea of the Tibetan culture. If you wish you can try a cup of authentic yak butter tea.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 5 – Depart Lhasa

Today you will have some free time in the morning before being transferred to the airport for your flight to your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel