Explore rural Central Tibet along a road less traveled. Stay within central Tibet and see the different lifestyles and traditions of the nomads along with traditional villagers. Relax yourself in the unrivaled beauty of holy Namtso Lake.
This tour is a less visited route especially designed for those who want to explore Tibet deeper, experience its rural lifestyles and traditions from a different angle. This clockwise loop tour allows you to see various lifestyles from Jangtang nomads at Namtso to typical villagers within the Nyanang valley, unrivaled beauties of the holy lake and Reting monastery are not only the wonderful part of the trip, but soaking in the natural hot spring at Tidrum nunnery will relax your body before the trip end.
8 Days/ 7 Nights Central Tibet
1: Arrival at Lhasa. 3650 m.
2– 3: Sightseeing tours in Lhasa. 3650 m.
4: Drive Lhasa-Tsurphu Monastery-Namtso. 5100 m.
5: Drive Namtso-Reting. 4230 m.
6: Drive Reting-Tidrum Nunnery. 4600 m.
7: Drive Tidrum Nunnery-Ganden-Lhasa. 4500 m.
8: Departure from Lhasa.
Upon your arrival at Gongar airport or train station, you will be met, assisted and transferred to Lhasa city which is 68 km will take about an hour. Driving along the Brahmaputra river and Lhasa river, you will not only amazed by the spectacular plateau scenery but also have a chance to see flocks of black-necked crane, wild duck and many other kind of wild birds, if you are not tired, stop at Nethang Giant Buhhda caving on the way. If you take the train to Lhasa, normally you will arrive in the late afternoon or evening, 20 minutes drive will take you to your hotel in Lhasa city. Rest of the day at leisure to get acclimatized. Overnight at Lhasa.
02: Lhasa City sightseeing, visit Drepung monastery and Sera monastery
Visit Drepung monastery in the morning and Sera Monastery in the afternoon. Both Drepung and Sera monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges. Drepung monastery was the seat of the Government prior to Potala, it was once the world largest monastery in the history with 10,000 monks hailed from different monasteries all over Tibet. Sera monastery is famous for its Buddhism philosophical debate practice (Not available on Sunday), the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are worth to see. Overnight at Lhasa.
03: Lhasa City sightseeing, visit Potala Palace & Jokhang Temple
Visit Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang temple is Tibet's most scared shrine built in 7th century, located at the heart of old town of Lhasa and the circuit around it called Barkhor street. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Overnight at Lhasa.
04: Lhasa - Tsurphu Monastery - Namtso (4,750 m), 300 km, 4-5 hrs drive.
Drive about 70km west of Lhasa to visit Tsurphu Monastery, which is the seat of the Karmapa branch of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Tsurphu Monastery is located in a valley, while you do Tsurphu Kora, you will have the splendid views of Tsurphu valley. Early afternoon retrace back to the main road and continue drive to Lake Namtso. The World highest salt water lake Namtso is one of the three most holy lake in Tibet and it is 60km far from Damshong town. From the top of the Lagen La(5100m) pass, you can have the first view of the Namtso lake. After descending the pass, you will be driving along the most beautiful grassland next to the shore of Namtso lake and finally arrive at Tashi do hermitage. Overnight at Local tent guesthouse.
05: Namtso – Reting (4230m), 293km, 5-6hrs.
Morning you may see the sunrise at Namtso Lake, and walk around at Tashi Dor. Late morning start driving from Namtso Lake to Reting, after 15km driving back towards Lhasa, the rugged country road to Reting Monastery is branched from the main road to the east into Rongchu valley, after hours drive through the valley the Reting Tsangpo (river) meet at Pondo, which is the former Lhundup county, from there follows the Reting Tsangpo upstream for 47km through the beautiful Miggi valley to arrive at Reting, the monastery is located at 4230m high, amidst of remarkable juniper wood on the lower slopes of Mount Gangi Rarwa, you may hike to its retreat chapel which is half locate up on the hillside, remarked with prayer flags around it. Overnight at Reting monastery guesthouse.
06: Reting - Tidrum Nunnery (4600m), 130km, 4hours.
Today drive back to Pondo and continuous trace the road along the Reting Tsangpo, amazing Tibetan villages are lined within the valley one after one. a beautiful lake is encountered before entering the Drigung valley, it is newly formed after a Hydro-electric powerstation was build around it. Then at Nyimachanra the road meet with paved road from Lhasa to Tidrum nunery. Following the road take you straight to the nunery with 4600m high, the nunery is simple mingled with local guesthouses and shops in the basin valley, it is very famous for its natural and mineral rich hotsprings, afternoon soak in the hotspring and relief for the day shaky drive. Overnight at local guesthouse.
07: Tidrum Nunnery (4,600m) - Ganden (4,500) - Lhasa, 180KM, 3 Hours.
Today drive back to Lhasa, enroute visit Drigung Til monastery and Ganden monastery. Drigung Til is the head monastery of the Drigungpa school of the Kagyupa order, right now there are about 270 monks living in. Up to the hill of Drigung Til is one of the holiest sky-burial site in Lhasa region, if you want to see the sky-burial behind the monastery, you need to ask for the permission from the the family of the deceased and the senior lama who conducts the ceremony. If they don't want you to attend, please just forget it and continue you trip to Ganden monastery. Ganden monastery was once one of the biggest monasteries around Lhasa, it is gloriously located on top of the Ganden Wangpo Hill and Lhasa Kichu river is calmly flowing in the valley behind it. Overnight at Lhasa.
Transfer to Gongar airport or train station.