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Tour Code: XZ-1
Tibet has become a most popular destination for those seeking a truly different cultural and scenic experience. Lhasa, Tibet’s capital is a mystical and mysterious city steeped in Tibetan and Buddhist Culture. This tour covers the highlights in Lhasa including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery.
Note: A Tibet Travel Permit is required to enter Tibet in addition to a China Visa. The Tibet Tourism Administration has recently indicated that they will tighten the regulations which control the issuance of Tibet Travel Permits. Besides now having to enter Tibet in a group of five people or more of the same nationality, the permit will be issued just 4-5 days before arriving in Lhasa. This means that we are unable to guarantee that a permit to travel will be approved. Also the permit will need to be sent to the place of departure in China for Lhasa by express courier. The additional cost will be 300–400 CNY. Your travel advisor will provide additional information. We apologize for this extra cost. However, it is out of our control.
With questions and for further information please send an e-mail using our contact form.
Activities: Airport Transfer (Lhasa)
Activities: Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery
– Sera Monastery: Located in the northern suburbs of Lhasa, The Sera Monastery is a complex of 4 structures; the Great Assembly Hall and three colleges. It was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey of Sakya Yeshe of Zel Gungtang (1355–1435), a disciple of Tsongkhapa. ‘Sera’ means wild roses and was called this because the monastery was surrounded by wild roses. One of the three main monasteries of Lhasa, it is here that the monks “famous daily debates” take place.
Tips: Every day (except Mondays) at 15:00, there is a debate about Buddhist doctrines among the monks at Sera Monastery. The debating is held in the grounds and is a necessary way of learning sutras and scriptures. Visitors can watch the debate, but it is advised to keep quiet.
– Norbulingka: Norbulingka means “Jeweled Garden”. Constructed as a summer palace for the Dalai Lama, it later served the whole government administration. It was built by the 7th Dalai Lama and served both administrative and religious purposes.
– Drepung Monastery: Drepung Monastery lies in west of Lhasa under Mt. Gambo Utse, clustered round by the black mountain, its white grand buildings shining under the sunlight. Built in 1416, it is considered as one of the largest monasteries in the six principle monasteries of Gelu Sect in China. Drepung Monastery used to be the living palace of Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of Potala palace (after the 5th Dalai Lamas was bestowed by Qing emperor Qianlong). The grand Shonton Festival is held in the early part of August every year. That is the busiest day there with crowds of people. It is an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of this festival.
– Steak House Restaurant: Steak House is near the Potala Palace and serves mainly Western and Tibetan cuisine. Surrounded by the alluring landscape, it is a great dining experience while traveling in Tibet.
Activities: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
– Potala Palace: Former winter home of the Dalai Lama, a vast, awe-inspiring maze of corridors and stairs leading through countless rooms of richly decorated statues, tombs, murals and antiques. You will climb past the White Palace into the Red Palace, where the file of pilgrims offering silk scarves, coins or yak butter to burn in the shrines combine to make this an unforgettable experience. Note: you need to be fit for climbing up the long stairways.
– Jokhang Temple: Smaller and more manageable than the Potala, this 4-storey, golden-roofed temple is at the heart of a rich and living Tibetan Buddhism. Many locals pray here regularly; the Temple is surrounded by Barkhor statuary that includes the Sakyamuni Buddha brought to Tibet by Princess Wen Cheng Street and thronged with pilgrims and visitors. Yak butter lamps burn in front of rich in the 7th Century.
– Barkhor Street: Built about 1,300 years ago, The Barkhor (pilgrims’ circuit) is found in the heart of Lhasa encircling the Jokhang Temple. In the past, it was a designated circumambulation circuit, “a saint’s road” in the eyes of Tibetans. Many people call the Barkhor “the window of Tibet” as it exhibits typical Tibetan life. Watch the pilgrims, wearing their local dress from many different parts of Tibet, as they circle clockwise around Jokhang Temple with prayer wheels, or prostrate them near the front gate. Join the locals and visitors to shop for local goods at the colourful stalls, or relax in a coffee shop or tea house to enjoy the passing parade.
– Kechu Hotel: Located near Jokhang Temple,The Kechu hotel and restaurant has a beautiful garden and provides Tibetan and Nepal food.
Activities: Hotel to airport Transfer (Lhasa)