Lhasa and Shigatse Tour will take you on an epic odyssey to Tibet's three most fascinating cities; Lhasa, Gyantse, and Shigatse. The major highlight of this land journey is riding through the Tibetan golden tourist route from Lhasa to Shigatse, the second-largest city of Tibet. It's one of the stopovers en route to Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour on the Tibetan side. This tour perfectly blends the most classic Lhasa tour with a spectacular drive to Shigatse, which is truly icing on the cake.
Moreover, Lhasa and Shigatse overland tour covers the major historic sites of Lhasa city and a delightful ride to Shigatse city and visit Tashi Lhunpo Monastery- the seat of Panchen Lama. Further, a day trip to Shigatse also includes exciting stops at Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Monastery, and Gyantse Kumbum. Thus, this comprehensive tour offers a unique overview of Tibet, featuring an exciting mix of profound Tibetan culture, history, and unrivaled nature.
This fascinating 6-day itinerary begins with exploring Lhasa city, the current political and religious center of Tibet. Here you'll tour around the most iconic and sacred sites, including Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor street, Drepung, and Sera Monastery. In addition, you'll embrace the unique Tibetan architecture, religion, culture, and history with a visit to these landmarks.
Next, you'll embark on the road journey to Shigatse, another salient feature of this beautiful Lhasa and Shigatse Tour. The exhilarating ride will take you through G318 National Highway, famously known as the Friendship Highway that connects Lhasa to Nepal Border. It is one of the most traveled roads on the Tibetan plateau and offers some astonishing scenery in the world. Relish the breathtaking view of turquoise Yamdrok Lake, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. From the Kamba La Pass (4,790m/15,715ft), the lake view is spellbinding! For a moment, soak in the picturesque beauty of the surreal beauty of Tibetan landscape and mighty Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar (7,191m/23,590ft) in the distance.
Moreover, the exciting drive leads you through sublime Karola Glaciers and Simila Pass (4,200m/13,780ft). While crossing the Simila Pass, you'll get eye-pleasing vistas of undulating terrains, and you can even feel the cool mountain breeze. Among the must-visit sites of Gyantse, Pelkor Chode (Palcho) Monastery and Kumbum Stupa are the most popular. While exploring both monasteries, you'll get a chance to admire the unique architecture, an ancient mural painting and enlighten yourself with Tibetan Buddhism. Likewise, you'll also enjoy the captivating distant view of the Gyantse fortress.
Afterward, you'll continue your voyage to Shigatse. Undoubtedly, the most famous tourist site of this city is Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the home of the Panchen Lama. Erected by the first Dalai Lama in 1447, this monastery has a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, also called the Future Buddha. Precious jewels and stones decorate this biggest gilded statue of Buddha. Many pilgrims rub their prayer beads along the flank of this statue. You can even spend some amazing time around the lively market near the monastery.
Leaving behind the beautiful city of Shigatse, you'll get back to Lhasa city. The soothing breeze, along with the picturesque Tibetan landscape, will make your trip even more special. On the way back, you can reminisce the lovely memories you made during the Lhasa and Shigatse Tour. Officially your 6-days tour ends with a final flight to your next destination!
|Day 1||Arrival in Lhasa, Tibet (3,650m/11,980ft)|
|Day 2||Lhasa Tour- Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|Day 3||Lhasa Tour- Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery|
|Day 4||Lhasa to Shigatse (3,800m/12,470ft) via Gyantse (4,000m/12,470ft)- 360 kilometers|
|Day 5||Shigatse to Lhasa|
|Day 6||Departure from Lhasa|
Tashi Delek! Welcome to Lhasa, the sacred land of Tibet!
Arrive at Lhasa airport, and your Tibetan guide will welcome you and drive you to the hotel in the main city. After taking a straight drive to Lhasa city, your guide will assist you in a smooth transfer to the hotel. Completing the check-in formalities, you can take a rest in your room.
Since it's your first day, you can take it slow and allow yourself to acclimatize to the high altitude of Tibet.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
After the filling breakfast, leave the hotel for an exciting sightseeing tour of Lhasa city. You will pay a visit to Potala Palace, which sits on the 130 m high Marpo Ri (Red Hill) in Lhasa city. The massive palace contains 13 stories with over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and 200,000 statues. The palace is composed of a complicated layout with different halls, chapels, and libraries. The largest hall inside the palace is Great-West Hall, where you will admire beautiful ancient murals.
Later, you will proceed towards the center of the old Lhasa city to visit Jokhang Temple. It is one of the sacred temples all over Tibet and constantly buzzed with earnest local Tibet pilgrims. It plays a vital role in the development of Buddhism in Tibet. In this temple, the life-size image of 12-year old Jowa Sakyamuni is also well-preserved. Likewise, one of the prominent features of this holy temple is the roof covered with gilded bronze tiles. Throughout the temple, you'll witness the various sizes of Buddha statues and ancient murals.
Afterward, you'll wander around Barkhor Street, which is one of the holy circuits in Tibet. Even though it is now a commercial street, you can still see many pilgrims holding prayer wheels and walking clockwise along Barkhor Street. You get a chance to walk around the famous old market and buy souvenirs like Tibetan handicrafts, heavy Tibetan jewelry, Thangka (the Tibetan scroll painting), etc.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Early in the morning, grab a simple Tibetan breakfast. An exciting day awaits you with your sightseeing tour of Drepung and Sera Monastery. You'll drive about 5km west side of Lhasa city and take an excursion to the Drepung Monastery. It was once the world's largest monastery, with home to 10,000 monks. Around the monastery, you can see the biggest monastery kitchen. Likewise, you can indulge in the grand panorama of Lhasa city and Potala Palace from the top of the monastery.
Next, you'll drop a visit to Sera Monastery. Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje built this monastery in 1,419. The main attraction of exploring this monastery is attending the Monk's debate which is held in the courtyard every day (except Saturday and Sunday) in the afternoon. In addition, you can also visit the Tibetan religious scripture printing house. There are also three sand mandalas and colorful rock paintings of Buddha inside the monastery, which are also worth watching.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Early morning, have a hearty breakfast and get ready for an exciting scenic drive to Shigatse. After an insightful tour of Lhasa city, proceed towards the second largest city of Shigatse in Tibet. The exhilarating ride will take you through the Friendship Highway. Today, you'll get a plethora of opportunities to get lost in the wilderness of the Tibetan landscape.
This beautiful journey leads you through Kamba La Pass at 4,794m. It is also one of the enthralling highest passes in Tibet. After crossing this pass, you'll get the alluring sight of Yamdrok Lake with the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar. It is one of the great three holy lakes of Tibet, along with Namsto and Manasarovar Lake. Yamdrok is a freshwater lake and one of the most popular tourist hotspots that offer splendid views of the breathtaking panoramas.
The road trip continues towards the west and gets to the Gyantse, home to Palcho Monastery. It is the traditional monastery where you can witness the fusion of Tibetan, Nepalese, Han, and Indian architecture. Besides, this monastery is famous for its iconic Gyantse Kumbum. This unique stupa comprehends 100,000 figures of Buddhist statues in the chapels, wall paintings, and murals. In addition, you'll also relish the distant view of Gyantse Dzong. It is also one of the most-conserved dzongs in Tibet.
Further, you'll also get excellent scenery of Karola Glacier and Manak Dam Lake from the highway. Again, you will traverse through the stunning Simila Pass (4,200m) decorated with countless colorful Tibetan flags. Finally, after long hours of drive, you'll arrive in Shigatse. Once you arrive, you'll check in the hotel and get freshen up. Later here, you can explore traditional Barley Mill and see the golden landscape of Barley Field, especially in summer it looks incredible! One of the prominent attractions of Shigatse is an ancient Tashi Lhunpo Monastery which is home to Panchen Lama.
Overnight stay in Shigatse.
Soon after breakfast, proceed from the hotel to undertake an excursion to the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. Exquisite religious murals are a significant feature of this monastery. In addition, the interiors of the halls of the monastery are also beautifully decorated to reflect the tantric ideology. The main features of this monastery are its unique Tibetan architecture, such as hanging thangka on the monastery's wall, the biggest Maitreya Buddha statue, Kelsang temple, the stupa-tomb of the tenth Panchen Lama, etc.
Eventually, after spending a pleasant time in Shigatse, you'll head back to Lhasa along the Friendship Highway. Once you return to the hotel, you can take a rest or stroll around nearby Barkhor Square. Shopping in this old street can also be fun as there are several stalls from where you can shop for Tibetan handicrafts, silver jewelry, thangka, etc.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Ultimately Lhasa and Shigatse Tour ends today! Tibetan guide will help you transfer from the hotel to the airport. On the one hand, with uncountable beautiful memories of this trip, you'll head towards your next destination. While on the other hand, you can also opt to extend your trip to explore other cities of Lhasa as well as neighboring Himalayan countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, and India.