5 Days Lhasa & Holy Lake Namtso Tour

  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Trip Notes

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 group 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
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included today

Day 2: Lhasa (B)
After breakfast, visit the beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the former summer palace of Dalai Lamas, now a public park. It is famous for its Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai Lamas with grandiose Tibetan architecture style. Then continue to see Sera Monastery, a complex of structures with the Great Assembly Hall and three colleges, was founded in 1419.Walk around the large 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). Then we will head out of Lhasa city center drive 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.” You also can do a kora after the Monastery tour; it takes about 1.5 hours, the view is amazing.

• Hotel (1 night)
Included transfer and activities:  
• Norbulingka
• Drepung Monastery

• Sera Monastery

Meals Included: 
• Breakfast

Day 3: Lhasa (B)
Today visit Potala Palace, a 13-story fort complex that overlooks the Lhasa Valley from an altitude of 3,700 meters (12,140 feet). It used to be a residence of Dalai Lama, now a museum and World Heritage Site. There are hundreds of murals, painted scrolls, sculptures, historical and religious documents and other rare objects. Then visit Jokhang Temple at Barkhor Square. The highlight of the temple is a 26 meters (85-foot) tall Buddha along with many Buddhist statues and paintings brought to Tibet as part of the dowries by wives of King Songtsän Gampo. Afterward, visit a Tangka Academy to appreciate this ancient and intricate art form, considered sacred to Buddhist. 

 • Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Potala Palace
• Jokhang Temple
• Tangka Academy
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 4: Lhasa - Namtso (B)
Today we will visit the holy lake Namtso which is about 5 hours driving from Lhasa City. Arrive at Namtso Lake in the early afternoon and be amazed by the incredible landscape of holy lake.  Namtso Lake is the highest saltwater lake in the world with an altitude of 4718 meters, also the second largest saltwater lake in China (after the Qinghai Lake). With the white snow mountains in the background, the crystal blue water, green lakeshore and sheep, yaks and local nomads, the lively daily life spread in front of us. Namtso is a sacred lake for pilgrimage and a paradise for photographers.

• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Namtso Lake excursion
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 5: Lhasa/Departure (B)
There are no activities planned for the final day after breakfast. You may depart at any time as you wish. 

Meals Included:

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.

Tibet Permits
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.

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.

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.

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
Itinerary Disclaimer
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.

Optional Extras
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.

Personal Expenses
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.

5 Days