Immerse yourself in the heat of Lhasa-the Barkhor streets and walk with many Tibetan pilgrims from all over Tibet. The easy tour begins with Jokhang Temple, Barkhor streets and Sera monastery on the first day. After the proper high altitude acclimatization in the first two days, you will slowly climb up the many stairs to visit the landmark of Lhasa-the world famous Potala Palace on day 3. And you will have the opportunity to visit the the summer palace of Dalai Lama-the Norbulinka. This 5 day Lhasa Lake Yamdrok journey covers the top highlight tourists attractions but you do not visit monasteries one after another. This sets it apart from any other similar tours and it is absolutely one of the best 5 days group tour.
Monday/Thursday Day 1: Arrival with scheduled pick up
Upon arrival, your guide or driver will greet you and transfer you to the hotel of your own arrangement for better acclimatization (Fixed pick up from airport to hotel: 9:30 am; 1:30 pm; 4:30 pm, Pick up from train station: varied depending on customers’ arrival time. If your arrival schedule differs, you will need to take an airline shuttle bus at CNY 30-35 per person by yourself). Relax for the rest of the day or stroll along the area at your leisure.
Tuesday/Friday Day 2 (Breakfast): Lhasa: Tour of Jokhang Temple, Barkhor streets and Sera Monastery
Your English speaking Tibetan local guide will meet all group members at the lobby of Yak Hotel at 9:25 am with all group members name lists to be checked and reconfirmed one by one. And all clients should get to this hotel lobby at least 5-10 minutes in advance. Your Tibetan local guide will take all group members to leave at 9:30 am on time and walk together slowly to visit the must see attraction of Jokhang Temple and Barkhor streets in the whole morning between 9:30 am and 12 o’clock. Jokhang Temple was founded in the 7th century by the first great Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo. As the most sacred temple in Tibet, Jokhang is situated in the heart of Lhasa city and attracts many pilgrims from around Tibet to worship and walk around. The walking around Jokhang Temple following pilgrims from all over the Tibetan plateau is a must-needed experience.
The Barkhor Street market is a must see cultural highlight for tourism in Tibet, comprising of a series of circular streets that encompass the Jokhang temple along with numerous merchants and vendors offering a wide variety of local Tibetan arts, crafts, and tasty cuisines.
The Barkhor street market provides tourists a pivotal insight in multiple aspects of Tibetan culture by the vast assortments of authentic Tibetan products easily available to purchase at the visitors discretion. The Barkhor market is constantly alive and thriving with activity as the countless vendors and shops present a utopia of local Tibetan arts, crafts and cultural specialties.
Meet your guide at Yak Hotel lobby at 2:55 pm, your van/mini bus driver, your guide and all of you will leave at 3 pm for Sera Monastery. Sera Monastery is one of three great universities of Gelugpa Sect. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here every afternoon except for Sunday and this is distinctive from the other famous monasteries.
Wednesday/Saturday Day 3 (Breakfast+Dinner):Lhasa: Summer/Winter Palaces of Dalai Lama: Norbulinka and Potala Palace
You will start the day by exploring the Potala Palace, Tibet’s most iconic building. Towering above Lhasa with more than 1000 rooms, the Potala Palace served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas for hundreds of years. Another visit is to Norbulinka. Norbulinka which means ‘treasure garden’ in Tibetan language, is located in the west side of Lhasa, a short distance from the southwest of Potala Palace. It is marked as the world’s highest, largest and best-preserved ancient artificial historical and cultural garden. As part of the ‘Historic Ensemble of Potala Palace’, it is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While the Potala Palace is known as the winter palace of Dalai Lamas, the Norbulingka Palace is known as the summer palace. Despite the title of World Heritage Site and natural scenery, people also take it as a unique historical attraction in Tibet. The construction of Norbulingka began in 1755 by the 7th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso. The primary function of Norbulingka Palace is to cure the health problems of the 7th Dalai Lama. Then it became the summer residence of Dalai Lamas. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Norbulingka complex suffered from terrible damage.
Enjoy a welcome Tibetan group dinner together. Guided sightseeing tour ends today.
Thursday/Sunday Day 4:(Breakfast) Lhasa-Lake Yamdrok-Lhasa (260 kms beautiful landscape journey)
Yamdrok Lake, also called Yamdrok Yumtso, is a lake with two long arms of water, making it look like a scorpion from the sky. This shape means you can never see its shape from around it. From Gyantse, you can see one arm, and follow it until it disappears around a bend in the shore which makes it difficult to estimate the size of the lake. Yamdrok Lake is one of Tibet’s three sacred lakes and the largest lake in southern Tibet. The other two famous and holy lakes are Namtso Lake and Lake Manasarovar. It is also called Coral Lake, or Green Jade Lake. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and it is a natural wonder that you shouldn’t miss in Tibet.
Friday/Monday Day 5: (Breakfast) Depart Lhasa
Scheduled drop off by shared vehicle to airport at 6:30 am; 8:30 am; 12:30 pm. To train station: depending on customers’ departure time.