Central Tibet Tour is an awesome journey that takes you to the wild landscape of Tibet. You can explore the sacred and pristine Buddhist culture in the ancient temple and monasteries of Tibet. Also, fly above the Himalayas to the mystical land of Lhasa. And relish yourself with the picturesque views of mountains like Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Makalu, Mt. Cho-Oyu, and many more as you rise above the heights of these mountains. As you arrive at Lhasa, visit the places of importance like Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, and Sera Monastery.
Nonetheless, Central Tibet tour along with Samye Ganden Trek offers trekking experience along with the best cultural sightseeing tour to the monasteries and temples in Lhasa. Appreciate the wild and high altitude landscape as you walk along the world’s highest and largest plateau that is geographically barren, scenic and arid. Central Tibet tour includes a drive to the Everest Base Camp which is the major highlight of this trek. Admire the northern close-up view of Mt. Everest and other surrounding peaks as you stand tall in front of towering mountains of that region.
After accomplishing our sightseeing tour in Lhasa, we trek to Samye via Ganden. We visit the Ganden monastery of Gelugpa sects founded by Tsong Khapa. This is the oldest and first monastery in Tibet built by King Dristen with the help of holy Guru Rinpoche and holds a history that is dated back to the 6th century. We further visit golden-roofed Tashilumpo Monastery at Gyantse and head towards Rongbuk and Everest Base Camp. After beholding the beauty of wild mountains at the base camp, we drive back to Kathmandu via Old Tingri crossing Thangna-la – pass. The views of mountains ranges i.e. Gaurishanker, Dorji Lakpa, Shisapangma, and Langtang Himalaya along with lush vegetation land with scenic drive bring us back to the buzzing city of Kathmandu. Explore the UNESCO listed heritage sites in Kathmandu once you arrive here.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival by flight, transfer will take place with our local guide to the hotel in Kathmandu. Depending on the arrival time with the group flight or other flights, there is an opportunity for rest and a first stroll through the old town of Kathmandu. The hotel rooms may be available after noon. In the evening we meet for a welcome dinner in the hotel or in a nearby restaurant - a good opportunity to get to know and discuss the things to do in the following days.
Hotel in Kathmandu (B)
Day 2: Kathmandu to Lhasa (3650m)
Fly over the snow peaked Himalayas to Lhasa. As you arrive at the airport in Gonggar, you will be welcomed by our Tibetan crew. We complete the immigration formalities and drive along the road that takes us to Lhasa. Overnight at a hotel in Lhasa.
Day 3: Sightseeing in Lhasa
Once you relish your delicious breakfast, you straightaway make arrangements for your sightseeing tour. Your experienced guide accompanies you to the famous monasteries of Tibet. On your awe-inspiring visit to Sera Monastery, you are introduced to the important aspects of Buddhism. After lunch, you once again continue exploring Tibetan ancient cultures and civilizations as you pay a visit to Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang temple provides yet another exciting tour. Wandering around Barkhor market is another major highlight of the day. Finally, you head back to your hotel for relaxation and refreshments.
Day 4: Sightseeing in Lhasa
Our second day in Lhasa, we get acquainted with the unique culture and art of Lhasa. Early in the morning, after the breakfast, we start of tour with a visit to the beautiful Potala palace. Potala palace is a grand and majestic villa that towers above on the Red hill of Lhasa. The unique, pristine and overwhelming array of intricate Tibetan murals, temples, stupas, and tombs of eight past Dalai Lamas that one can witness in this palace is absolutely amazing. After exploring the palace, we head towards Drepung monastery. It is a big monastery where we can observe number of monks chanting and performing religious chores. After accomplishing the tour, we head to our hotel for dinner and peaceful sleep.
Day 5: Drive to Tsedang (or Tsetang) (3550m) 183 km
After spending some time in Lhasa, you will take a 2-hour drive along Yarlung Tsangpo River through barley and wheat fields to the third largest city in Tibet. In route Tsedang (or Tsetang) you stop at Nyethang (Netang Dromala Lakhang), a temple built in 10th century by Atisa, an India Buddhist. The temple contains interesting artifacts and hold significant importance in Tibetan Buddhism. Another stop before you reach Tsedang is Mindroling, 10th century monastery, rebuilt in 1676 A.D. and highly reputed for its contribution towards astronomy, astrology, medicine and calligraphy. The Murals on the wall have very special significances and shows the typical Tantric arts.
Day 6: Yarlung Valley tour
Today will be spent exploring the Yarlug Valley which is also known as the Valley of Tombs. Ancient Tibetan history boasts that Tibetan civilization was originated from Yarlung valley. You can spot massive burial mounds of Tibetan Kings. Today’s sights include Tandruk (Trandruk) monastery, a 7th century monastery, which holds fantastic wood carved altar, interesting relics and murals. Yambulakang, the castle perched dramatically on a pinnacle above the valley is the oldest known dwelling in Tibet, reputedly the home of the Yarlung Kings. The view from the castle is awesome. The tour continues to the west of Tsedang, crossing the Tsangpo River on a boat to Samye monastery. Samya Monastery, which lies in a green valley among barren mountains surrounded by a village, is one of the most imposing sights of Tibet. Built between 763 and 775 AD modeled on the University of Otantapuri in India and planned as a representation of the universe it has a collection of pagodas and temples.
Day 7: Depart Tsedang
It is 2 hrs’ drive to the airport. Your guide will escort you to the airport in time to catch your flight to Kathmandu.
Day 8: Visit Kathmandu valley
This day is free to travel with your tour guide (optional) or individual trips and to visit the Kathmandu Valley. We recommend visiting Kathmandu Durbar Square and a walk to Swayambhunath. In the evening we can meet for a farewell dinner in a restaurant (optional).