Day 1: Arrive Lhasa
Welcome to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibetan Autonomous Region. Upon arrival at the airport, you will meet for your private transfer to your hotel located in the city center. You will have a 6 pm group meeting at your hotel, and there will be more information about the meeting when you arrive at the hotel. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask at reception. Your group meeting will include details about your trip, followed by an orientation walk around Barkhor square and an optional dinner at a local restaurant. If you arrive early, take a walk around and start acclimatizing to the altitude.
• Hotel (1 night)
Included transfer and activities:
• Airport transfer
• Lhasa Barkhor Street
• There are no meals included today
Day 2: Lhasa (B)
An excursion just outside the city boundaries to witness monks practice philosophical debates at Sera Monastery and listen to the ritual chanting in the assembly halls of Drepung Monastery. Sera Monastery, a complex of structures with the Great Assembly Hall and three colleges, was founded in 1419. Walk around the massive complex and learn about its architectural features and history of teaching generations of scholars. Witness the monks engaged in Buddhist philosophical debate in the courtyard, an event that occurs daily in the afternoons (except Sundays).
Drepung Monastery locates on western outskirts of Lhasa. 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.”
• Hotel (1 night)
• Sera Monastery
• Drepung Monastery
Day 3: Lhasa (B)
Today we will enjoy a tour of Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace, and the Summer Palace.
Jokhang temple which has been called the spiritual heart of Tibet. Watch prostrating pilgrims circle the temple day and night, some of them traversing the extremes of the Tibetan landscape by foot to come here and celebrate their faith. Make a kora ("revolution" in Tibetan) of the Barkhor, the holiest devotional circuit, which surrounds the Jokhang and houses a market bazaar where people bargain for Buddha images, yak skulls with ruby eyes, woodcarvings, carpets, prayer wheels, and the odd goat's head.
Potala Palace a magnificent structure and true architectural wonder built in the 1600s and steeped in history. It is where the Dalai Lamas would meditate, handle affairs of state, and eventually where their burial stupas remain. Check out the golden statues, three-dimensional mandalas, ancient scriptures, and the devoted pilgrims who circle the palace day and night. It is indeed a remarkable place.
• Hotel (1 night)
• Potala Palace
• Jokhang temple
Day 4: Shigatse (B)
Today we will drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. This afternoon we will visit Tashilumpo Monastery. You can also do a kora around the Tashilumpo Monastery after the guided tour or visit the local market.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama. It is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet.
• Hotel (1 night)
• Guided Tashilumpo Monastery tour
Day 5: Shigatse / Rombuk (Everest Base Camp - North) (B)
A long drive along the Friendship highway up to Everest Basecamp today. Upon arrival, we will check in the Rongphu guest house, refresh ourself; then we will visit the Everest Base Camp.
Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. It was first built in 1902 by the Nyingma Lama and formerly housed more than 500 monks. Today, only about 50 monks and nuns remain, sharing the same prayer hall but maintaining separate residences. The nuns here are great fun and will be delighted to have you join their evening prayers.
• Hotel (1 night)
• Rongphu Monastery
• Everest Base Camp - North
Day 6: Rombuk/ Sakya (B)
After breakfast, we will return down to the highway, then driving to Sakya for the evening.
Sakya school is one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the others being the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Gelug. It is one of the Red Hat Orders along with the Nyingma and Kagyu. We will visit famous Sakya Monastery. It is often known as the “second Dunhuang”, for its huge collection of over 40,000 books. The SakyaKloster is the home of thousands of volumes of sacred Buddhist scripts, and just one single, long bookshelf holds around 10,000 ancient scriptures.
• Hotel (1 night)
• Sakya Monastery
Day 7: Sakya / Gyantse (B)
Today we will drive to Gyantse. Upon arrival, we will visit Pelkor Chode Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. Pelkor Chode Monastery was founded in 1418 and regarded as the center of Gyantse.
Gyantse Kumbum (meaning 100,000 images) is an eight-story structure containing a seemingly endless series of tiny chapels full of Buddhist images – Buddhas, demons, protectors, and saints. We will also take a walk to the Dzong Fort; you will see a fantastic view of Gyantse from the fort.
• Hotel (1 night)
• Gyanste Walking Tour of Dzong Fort
• Pelkor Choede Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum
Day 8: Gyantse/Lhasa (B)
A drive day back to Lhasa; We will stop for photos at the mountain passes of Khamba La, Karo La and skirting the shores of the beautiful turquoise lake, Yamdrok Tso. The drive from Gyantse to Lhasa is a spectacular one, crossing three passes over 5,000m (16,404 ft).
• Hotel (1 night)
• Yamdrok Tso Lake
Day 9: Depart (B)
There is no actvities included today. You are free to depart any time during the day. A transfer will be arranged to either the train station or the airport.
• Airport/Train station transfer
Before You Leave
A visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei who are allowed visa free stays under 14 days. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China.
Under the current guidelines to get a visa you will need to provide the following:
- Letter of Invitation from a Chinese agency
- Copy of Flight tickets
- Hotel booking confirmation
- Travel Insurance (some embassies ask for this document)
In some cases, you may be required to provide further information or documentation and if this is the case we will notify you as soon as possible.
Traveling in Tibet, you need not only China Visa but also Tibet permit. There are 3 kinds of permits, Tibet Entry Permit (TTB permit), Tibet Travel Permit(PSB permit) and Military Permit.
TTB PERMIT - TIBET ENTRY PERMIT
When you fly into Lhasa you will need to show this permit when checking in at the airport. Also, in order to buy a flight to Lhasa in the first place you will need to show this permit. TTB permits are also needed by groups traveling by Land Cruiser, but this will be arranged by the travel agency organizing the trip.
PSB PERMIT - ALIEN TRAVEL PERMIT
If you want to "restricted" areas in Tibet, you will need an Alien travel permit issued by the PSB (Public Security Bureau) of Tibet. The Alien travel permit is also sometimes referred to as the PSB permit.
HOW TO APPLY FOR TIBET ENTRY PERMIT?
All the holders of ordinary passports are required to apply for a Tibet Entry Permit if they plan to travel in Tibet. As a Chinese international travel agency, we can easily obtain travel permits on your behalf. Simply send us the following information:
1) Your full name;
2) Your gender;
3) Your date of birth;
4) Your passport number;
5) Your nationality;
6) The first page of a valid passport;
7) A copy of their Chinese visa by fax or by email;
8) The occupation (Foreign journalists and diplomats are not allowed to go to Tibet as a tourist)
* Foreign tourist must buy tickets and travel in Tibet in a designated tour group.
Booking a Single Room
On this particular tour we are pleased to be able to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Due to the variety of accommodation used on this tour, single rooms are available for a majority of the nightstops, however it would still mean sharing on any overnight trains. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.
Vaccinations and Your Health
We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. At the start of the trip you must provide us with: the name of your insurance company, your policy number, a 24 hour medical emergency contact number, and the expiry date of the policy. You should ensure that your policy covers you for medical expenses and repatriation. If you are unable to provide all this information at the start of the trip you will not be allowed to join the trip. You can purchase insurance easily online by checking our Travel Insurance page.
One main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage – so don’t overload yourself. It is essential that your baggage is lockable; the airline/train authorities insist on this. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.
What to Expect on Tour
The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.
Your accommodation is selected for convenience of location, comfort or character, and can range from a business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. In more remote areas, accommodation may be of a lower standard and may not have all western amenities. Hotels are generally rated as local three to four star standard, but please note that there is no international classification system for hotels and differences in facilities and quality do exist between the US and China. Rest assure that all hotels used by China Adventure Tours are regularly inspected by our staff to ensure that standards meet your needs.
In other cities and large towns the standard is similar although on a lesser scale. In small towns or villages where tourism is less prevalent, the hotels we use are smaller and facilities are more limited, though we generally stay in the best place in town. Rooms will still be en suite but rooms can be basic. Plumbing and electricity supplies can be somewhat erratic and although the welcome is warm, service levels may be less efficient than you may be used to.
Aboard the overnight sleeper train, berths are usually in 1st class ‘soft sleeper’ lockable compartments for 4 which have 2 sets of bunks with clean bedding provided. WC and washbasins are provided for shared use at the end of each carriage. Hot meals and snacks are sold to your berth on all overnight journeys. In times of large demand we may have to travel in 2nd class ‘hard sleeper’ which consists of sectioned off compartments for 6,leading off an open plan carriage.
If you're happy with the services provided then a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. Tipping is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across China and other Asian countries. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Tipping is not common practice at restaurants in China or Tibet.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest CNY10-15 per person per day for local guides.
Porters: In some hotels a porter may offer to carry your bag to your room. We suggest CNY5 per bag for porters.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest that you tip only those more involved with the group (for example those that help you with your bags etc). CNY5-10 per person per day is generally appropriate.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$3-5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip.
Our standard tours are planned to be as fully inclusive as possible. However, from time-to-time your Tour Leader or Local Guide may suggest optional tours/sightseeing in addition to the standard sightseeing planned for that city. Such options are at an additional cost, with prices ranging from 20-200 CNY per person. If you do not wish to take part in any optional extras, you will have the option of enjoying some free time at leisure or to return to the hotel.
You will need to take some extra money to cover drinks, laundry and souvenirs, plus any additional sightseeing that may be offered to you. Based on the advice of previous customers an approximate amount of $250 per week should be sufficient; however for those that can’t resist a bargain, consider allocating a higher amount.
Electricity Supply & Plugs
For China operates on a 220V and uses a combination of US/European and Chinese style plugs in most hotel rooms.