8 Days Lhasa, Namtso and RetingTour Itinerary
Prices from $1025
The 8 days tour to Namtso Lake and Reting Monastery will take you to the most beautiful places in Northern Tibet. We will begin the tour in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. In Lhasa, we will visit the most significant and interesting historical and religious places. After that we will head North, to the largest salt water lake in Tibet.
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.
More information about the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple
Day 3 – Lhasa city tour: Drepung and Sera Monasteries
We are visiting two most important monasteries in the capital.
First, we will visit Drepung monastery which once was the biggest monastery in the world with over 10,000 monks living there. It was the residence of Dalai Lamas before the Potala Palace was built.
We have lunch after the visit.
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 trees to refine their knowledge.
Day 4 – Driving from Lhasa to Ganden monastery, Tidrum Hotspring and Nunnery
In the morning we will head East towards Ganden monastery. It is one of the most important monasteries of the Gelug or Yellow Hat sect. It was founded by Tsongkhapa, who was the founder of the Gelug sect in 14th century.
The monastery is build on a mountain, overlooking the vast valley. It is also the starting point for one of the historical routes connecting Ganden with Samye – the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet.
We will visit the most important chapels and the monastery’s Assembly hall.
After visiting the monastery, we will drive to Tidrum Nunnery. We will reach the nunnery in a beautiful natural setting. There is a complex of meditation caves on the hills surrounding the nunnery. Many visitors come here because of the Hotspring.
Day 5 – Driving from Tidrum to Drigung Til monastery and Reting monastery
Today the two highlights will be the important monasteries.
Drigung Til monastery is about 150 km to the East from Lhasa (4,150 meters above the sea level) dates back to the 12th century. It belongs to the Kaguy sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery has a large sky burial site nearby, however, only Tibetans can visit it nowadays.
Reting monastery was founded by Dromton, the main disciple of Atisha, in 11th century. Originally, it belonged to Kadam sect of Buddhism. Later, it became an important Gelug center. Rinpoches from Reting monastery were responsible for the search of successive Dalai Lamas. Reting Rinpoche was also a Regent during the time when Dalai Lama was young.
Day 6 – Driving from Reting monastery to Namtso lake.
Today we will head towards the largest lake in Tibet – Namtso lake. We will take the scenic road towards the lake driving through nomadic grassland area. There will be high mountain passes providing fantastic views. We will reach Namtso lake in the evening. You can spend time, walking on the lake shore and enjoying the views.
Day 7 – Driving from Namtso lake back to Lhasa: Yangpachen hotspring
In the morning we will walk by the Namtso lake, before saying goodbye to it.
On the way back to Lhasa we will stop by the Yangpachen hot springs.The hot springs have two large swimming pools and a number of smaller ones. They are filled with the mineral water that is naturally hot. You can swim in the pools for an additional fee.
Day 8 – Departure from Lhasa
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.
What is Included
Included in Your Tour Cost
- All necessary Travel Permits to travel in Tibet
- All accommodations based on double occupancy. Contact us for a quote on a single room supplement
- Breakfast in hotel
- Assistance with your Chinese visa application
- Airport pick up and drop off
- Ground transportation in a clean and comfortable vehicle or taxi
- English speaking Tibetan guide
- All entrance fees, tickets to the attraction sites and monasteries outlined in the itinerary
Not Included in Tour Cost
- Passport and Chinese visa fees
- International airfare to and from China or Nepal
- Photography fees inside monasteries
- Flight or train tickets to Tibet
- Lunch and dinner
- Travel insurance
- Medical expenses
- Tips for guides and drivers
- Porter fees
- Personal expenses: laundry, shopping, phone calls, etc.
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