Tibet Lhasa and Yarlung valley cultural exploration journey: Travelers looking for a Tibet tour focused on culture, without sacrificing opportunities to see beautiful scenery, will want to spend most of their time in this region. Escape Lhasa to delve into the history of Yarlung Valley, cradle of Tibetan civilization and learn Tibetan Buddhism and special cultures. Enjoy the fascinating cultural and explore the ancient history of Tibet.
7 Day Tibet Yarlung Cultural Cradle Discovery Journey details
Day 1 Arrive in Lhasa, rest for acclimatization
Your Tibet native English speaking guide and the driver will meet you at Ghongkhar Airport or train station, and transfer you to downtown Lhasa, check into hotel, rest for acclimatization.
Day 2: Lhasa: Jokhang Temple, Barkhor streets, Sera Monastery
You will explore the Jokhang Temple, the holiest Buddhist temple in the Himalaya’s. Founded in the 7th centrary, Jokhang Temple houses the most sacred statue of Buddha. You will work your way through this fascinating temple alongside Buddhist pilgrims from the faraway regions of Tibet. The sound of pilgrims chanting mantras fills the air as does the smell of yak butter candle offerings. In the afternoon, you will go to the 600 year old Sera, one of Tibet’s largest Buddhist monasteries. Each weekday afternoon starting at 3pm, Tibetan monks engage in Buddhist philosophy debates and this is really fun to take photos or videos.
Day 3: Lhasa: Potala Palace, Norbulinka Palace (Winter and summer palace of Dalai Lamas)
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. Situated at an elevation of 3650 meters above sea level, Norbulingka palace holds 374 rooms. It contains a large collection of Italian chandeliers, Ajanta frescoes, Tibetan carpets, and many other artifacts. Besides, it is also a natural garden with kinds of flowers, trees, animals and even herbs and some rare plants.
Day 4 Lhasa-Yamdrok Lake-Tsetang (Yumbulagang Palace)-Tramdruk Monastery-Tsetang
In the morning, we are going to visit the Yamdrok Lake, also called Yamdrok Yumtso. It 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. The lake is fan shaped and features numerous bays and inlets and nine islands. The lake has a number of different names. It is called Coral Lake, or Green Jade Lake. The lake received the name Coral Lake, because it is shaped like a piece of coral, and the name Green Jade lake comes from it calm surface and beautiful green color. Then your guide and driver will take you to Tsetang, in the center of the Yarlung valley between the Himalayan and Gangdise belts. And Tsetang is one of the largest cities in Tibet. Tsetang is 183 km southeast of Lhasa in Nedong County of Lhoka Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region of China (TAR). Tsetang has been the capital of Yarlung since ancient times and it was the seat of the ancient emperors of Tibet thus it played a big role in the history. In the 19th century it is said to have some 1,000 houses, a bazaar, a gompa and a fort. This tells why Tsetang is regarded as the cradle of Tibetan civilization. After applying alien’s travel permit in PSB (Public Security Bureau) in Tsetang, we will ride horse or hike up to visit the oldest Palace-The Yumbulagang Palace (on the roof top of the Palace, we will have stunning view to the farmland in the Yarlung valley. Then we will drive to visit Tramdruk Monastery which takes about 1 hour and 30min, finally we will drive to back to the stay in the mordern city of Tsetang.
Day 5 Tsetang-Samye-Chimpu Hermitage-Yarlung Valley Cultural Discovery tour-Tsetang
Tourists travelling in Tsetang region can take visit to Samye Monastery which is on the bank of Yarlung River. After early breakfast, we will spend about one and half hours to visit Samye Monastery, then we leave for the hiking trip in Chimpu Hermitage. One of the highlights for visiting Tsetang is that tourists can have some unique hiking experience. With a beautiful hiking through the green bushes in the natural amphitheatre valley, from the newly constructed Chimpu nunnery, tourists can start a short hiking through the solitary caves and tiny trail through the thorn bushes, then they can interact with devoted Yogis or Meditative Retreats in their caves, up from the terrace it offers a spectacular view of the Brahmaputra valley below. Special travel tip: foreign tourists may not be allowed to visit Chimpu Hermitage according to local travel regulations. This is subject to change. Anyway tourists must obey the local instant rules which is beyond any agents or individuals. In this case, tourists can do the hiking in Hepori Mountain which is close to Samye Monastery. hotel as above
Day 6 Tsetang-Drak Yongdzong-Dorjidrak Monastery-Lhasa
Drak Yongdzong, complex of caves located in Dranang County south of Lhasa, is associated with Padmasambhava, whose Buddha-body is represented by these caves. According to tradition, Padmasambhava sent two of his newly ordained disciples, Nubchen Sanggye Yeshe and Nanam Dorje Dudjom to meditate at the caves. The site was also an important place for treasure revelation, with both Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyel both concealing treasures there.
Day 7 Final Departure for next stop
All participants will have to leave Tibet today. You will be transferred to the airport or train station to depart Tibet for your next destination.