We designed a very special tour for you. It will satisfy your curiosity about Tibetan culture, landmarks, and natural beauty. At the same time, we will travel to the most peaceful and special places where the greatest Buddhist Lamas have been meditating for years. We will spend time in the meditation caves, away from the busy world, make stops by the most impressive natural sightseeing spots, and, of course, visit the most important monastic centers.
MEDITATION TOUR ITINERARY
Main Attractions: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Yamdrok Lake, Kumbum Stupa, Tashi Lumpo Monastery, Everest Base Camp, Samye Monastery, Rongbuk Monastery.
Maximum Elevation: 5,200 m/ 17,060 ft
Best time to Visit: April through November
Day 1 – Arrival in Lhasa
You arrive at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or the train station. The airport is 62 km/ 39 miles away from the city, and it takes approximately one hour to get to the hotel from there. On the way to Lhasa, you will enjoy beautiful views of mountains. The train station is located in Lhasa, and you will only need a short transfer to the hotel.
Depending on the time of your arrival, you might have some free time to spend in Lhasa. Our guides will be happy to advise you on what you can do with your time in Lhasa. Remember, that Lhasa is located at 3,650 meters/ 12,000 ft above sea level and you will need some time to acclimatize.
After you check in the hotel, you are welcome to explore the city, visit nearby temples, do some shopping, try delicious Tibetan food in one of the local restaurants, or just take a rest.
Walking around Bakhor Street can be an excellent choice for your first day in Lhasa. You will join crowds of pilgrims, local Tibetans, and monks circumambulating the Jokhang Temple.
Most importantly, on your first day in Tibet, be sure to relax, enjoy your day and allow some time for acclimatizing.
Day 2 – Lhasa City Tour: Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple
This tour visits the two most important religious sites in Tibet.
The Potala Palace was the seat of the Dalai Lamas since the 17th century. First, the guide will take you to the Chak Pori Hill to take photos of the majestic Palace. We will then go inside and spend approximately 1.5 – 2 hours there. While there, you will see many of its most famous artifacts.
There will be free time for lunch after visiting the Potala Palace.
Time permitting, you can walk around the Potala Palace and join many of the local Tibetans.
Next, we will walk towards the Jokhang Temple. It was built in the 7th century to display the Jowo Shakyamuni Statue – the statue of the 12-year-old Buddha before his enlightenment. The statue was created at the time when the historical Buddha lived. It is elaborately decorated with gold, jewels, and precious stones.
After visiting the temple, we recommend taking a walk around Bakhor Street.
Day 3 – Lhasa city tour: Pabongka and Sera Monasteries
The morning we are going to visit Pabongka, We start the day by going up to the mountain to visit Phabongka monastery. We can spend some time in meditation caves dating back to 7th century. After visiting Phabongka we hike around the mountain.
We will stop for lunch at the tea house run by nuns.
In the afternoon we are visiting Sera Monastery. It was founded by Tsongkhapa’s disciple in the 15th century. Nowadays it is famous for monks debate that you can witness. Debates are a very important part of learning and understanding Buddhism. Monks gather in the courtyard in the shade of the trees to refine their knowledge.
Day 4 – Drak Yerpa Hermitage
Drak Yerpa is a complex of monasteries and caves nested on the mountain connected with narrow paths. This is the best place to take meditation and after that, we will go up the mountain to visit it and later we will walk the kora around the area. There are magnificent views from the top of the hill. We will come back to Lhasa to prepare for our journey to Everest.
Day 5 – Driving from Lhasa to Tsedang. Visiting Samye, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet
It takes approximately 3 hours to drive to Tsedang from Lhasa. We will make a stop on the way by the bank of Brahmaputra River. After applying for the permit in Tsedang, we will head towards Samye monastery. It is the first monastery in Tibet. the monastery complex is designed in a shape of the mandala to resemble the structure of the universe.
After visiting the monastery, we will go up the Hepo Ri Hill, where centuries ago Padma Sambhava subdues the demons and helped to establish Buddhism in Tibet. From the hill, there is a splendid view on Samye, Brahmaputra river, and surrounding valley.
Day 6 – Driving to Shigatse: Yamdrok Lake and Glaciers
Today we will travel on some of the most beautiful roads in Tibet on our drive to Shigatse.
Be prepared to take photos of the breathtaking views as we go up to the highest point of the day – Kamba La Pass (almost 4,800 meters / 15,750 ft).
Our next stop will be at the Yamdrok Lake. It is one of the holy lakes in Tibet, and it is famous for its turquoise colored water.
After that, we will head towards Gyantse. On the way there, we will make a stop to see the spectacular glaciers.
In Gyantse, we will visit the monastery and the biggest stupa.
Finally, we will reach Shigatse late in the evening and stay there overnight.
Day 7 – Driving to the Everest Base Camp: Night by the Everest
Today we will be driving through towering mountain ranges, and going through several high passes and Everest viewpoints. We will reach tent camp near the Everest Base Camp in the evening.
Depending on the traffic and weather conditions, we might have time to visit the Rongbuk Monastery – the highest monastery in the world.
We will stay in the tent for the night. You can order dinner and breakfast there as there is an English menu available.
Day 8 – Driving back to Shigatse
Depending on the weather conditions from the previous day, we might finish some of the activities that we were not able to do yesterday. You can hike to the Everest Base Camp or just take some photos from the tent camp. After breakfast, we will head back to Shigatse.
Day 9 – Shigatse to Lhasa
In the morning we will visit Tashilumpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lamas. This monastery was founded by the first Dalai Lama, and it is one of the most important monasteries in Tibet. You can take photos in some of the chapels for an additional fee.
We will take the Friendship Highway on the way back to Lhasa. It is the most direct route and usually takes around six hours to reach the capital. We will make several stops on the way in order to enjoy the views of the Brahmaputra River. In the afternoon, you might have some free time to prepare for your departure the next day.
Day 10 – Lhasa to Airport/Train station
Please prepare in advance for your departure. It takes approximately one hour to drive to the airport and around thirty minutes to reach the train station. We will arrive at the airport three hours before your departure flight if you are traveling to Nepal and two hours before any domestic flight.