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8 Days Lhasa to Ranwu Tso Lake

This beautiful tour starts in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. We will spend two days exploring the city and visiting the most important historical, cultural and religious places.

After that, we will drive to Nyingchi, the gorgeous region, often called “Tibetan Switzerland” for its alpine lakes, dense forests, river canyons, mountains and glaciers.

We will drive to the Ranwu Tso lake, visit Lulang forest, and see the best mountains, glaciers and views that the region has to offer.

Ranwu lake in Nyingchi, Eastern Tibet

Main Attractions: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monasteries, Lulang Forest, Basom Tso lake, Ranwo Tso lake, Medui Glacier.

Duration: 8 days

Maximum Elevation: 3,650 m/ 11,050 ft

Best Time to Travel: April through February

Detailed Itinerary

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 Nyingchi via Lulang forest

Today we will drive to Nyingchi. The Eastern Part of Tibetan Autonomous Region is often called “Tibetan Switzerland”. Today you will visit some of the most beautiful areas in this region. We will drive to the Lulang forest, the dense forest with tall and old trees. We will also stop by at the oldest and largest tree of the forest – the King Cypress.

You will see many small villages along the way. In spring, these area is covered with peach blossom, and it attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Day 5 – Driving from Nyingchi to Ranwu Tso

Day 6 – Ranwu Tso lake back to Nyingchi

Day 7 – Driving from Nyingchi to Lhasa: Basum Tso lake and Lulang forest

We start our journey to Lhasa from visiting an alpine lake  – Basum Tso. The lake is located in a gorgeous setting of mountains. There is a small island with a temple on the lake. The wooden bridge connects the island with one of the lake shores. We will visit the temple and spend some time by the lake enjoying its beauty.

After that we will continue driving towards Lhasa. Enjoy fantastic views of the “Tibetan Switzerland” on the way.

When we arrive in Lhasa, 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.

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 the 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
  • Personal expenses: laundry, shopping, phone calls, etc.

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