Tibetan Switzerland Tour Itinerary
This beautiful tour starts in Nyingchi, at the elevation below 3,000 meters. You will easily acclimatize to this elevation. We will spend two days in this gorgeous region, often called “Tibetan Switzerland” for its alpine lakes, dense forests, river canyons, mountains, and glaciers. After that, we will travel to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. In Lhasa, you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites: Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, and the two important monasteries – Sera and Drepung.
Main Attractions: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monasteries, Lulang Forest, Basom Tso lake.
Duration: 6 days
Maximum Elevation: 3,650 m/ 11,050 ft
Best Time to Travel: April through February
Day 1 – Arrival in Nyingchi
Today you guide will meet you at the Nyingchi Mainling Airport. The elevation here is 2,950 meters/ 9,675 ft, making it a great place to start acclimatizing before heading to the higher elevated areas of Tibet.
After you check in the hotel, you can explore the city and try one of the dishes of Tibetan cuisine. Remember to get rest and drink plenty of water to acclimatize.
Day 2 – Visiting Lulang forest
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 – King Cypress.
You will see many small villages along the way. In spring, this area is covered with peach blossom, and it attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Day 3 – Driving from Nyingchi to Lhasa: Basum Tso Lake
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.
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 Lhasa (elevation 3,650 meters), be sure to relax, enjoy your day and allow some time for acclimatizing.
Day 4 – 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 Barkhor Street.
Day 5 – Lhasa City Tour: Drepung and Sera Monasteries
We are visiting the two most important monasteries in the capital.
We will first visit Drepung Monastery, which once was the largest monastery in the world with over 10,000 monks living there. It was the residence of Dalai Lamas before the Potala Palace was built.
There will be free time for lunch after the Drepung Monastery.
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 6 – 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.
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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