Today, arrival in Lhasa (3650 m), the capital of Tibet, transfer to hotel. Stay at the hotel to acclimatize to the high altitude. For the first few days, try to drink some water regularly. Overnight at 3*Thangka Hotel
Day02 Lhasa BL In the morning, visit of the Potala, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and used as the Dalai Lamas’ winter residence and as the religious and political center of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims, the innumerable and magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures put altogether create a dense religious and artistic atmosphere that impresses every visitor. In the afternoon, visit of Jokhang monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist believers, where thousands of pilgrims come to worship every day. The temple, built in 647, is the oldest wood-and-masonry structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big market selling local specialities. Overnight at 3*Thangka Hotel
Day03 Lhasa BL In the morning visit of Drepung monastery, the sacred land of Gelug Sect., which was established in 1416, and the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama once resided in (place of living). After the visit of Norbulinka, the Dalai Lamas’summer residence. In the afternoon, visit of Sera monastery, which was built in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As roses are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild roses”. Today 200 lamas still live there. The "Buddhism Scriptures Debate" in Sera is very famous. Overnight at 3*Thangka Hotel
Day04 Lhasa – Gyantse – Shigatse BLD In the morning drive to Gyantse along the Kyichu River. On the Kamba La (4.796 m) we have a fantastic view of Yamdrok Yumtso holy lake (4441 m), one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. On one of the peninsulas of the spear-shaped lake lies the holy Mt. Donang Sangwari (5,340m), and the snow peaks of Nojin Gangzang (7,191m) and Jangzang Lhomo rise in the distance. The lake and the Yarlungtsangpo River (3570) are separated by a mountain and the shortest distance between them is only 6 kilometers. The 800m difference in height contributes to provide rich water resources to this region. Many Tibetans believe that life of in Tibet will no longer continue if the lake dries up. Pass by the 5.010 m high Karo La and the Simi La to Gyantse (approx. 3.900 m). In the afternoon visit of Pelkor Chode Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, both of them built in the15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse. This typical Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the only large building complex in Tibet. That old monastery and stupas are completely preserved and characterized as a monument. It is recorded 14,000 kilograms of copper were used to make the 8-meter-high sitting statue of Sakyamuni Buddha housed in the grand hall of the temple. The 8-storey stupa is 42m high and 62m in diameter contains a total of 76 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world. In the afternoon, drive of about 90 kilometers to Shigatse, (3880m), the second largest city in Tibet with 40,000 inhabitants and the traditional capital of the Tsang. Overnight at 3*Manasarovar Hotel
Day05-07 Shigatse – Lhatse – Saga – Paryang BLD In the morning visit Tashilunpo monastery of Gelug Sect, the seat of the Panchen Lama, built in 1447 and one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet. The monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya (Buddha of the future) in China, and the grave of the 4th Panchen Lama containing masses of jewels and gold. In Tibet Buddhism, Panchen Lama is the reincarnation of Maitreya Buddha. Today 600 monks live in the monastery. After the visit, drive along the south route to enjoy wonderful landscapes on the way. In the south, the snowy magnificent Himalaya range rises, in the north line up the summits of the Trans Himalaya range. We may see Kiangs and Antelopes running on this highland. The first day we reach Lhatse, the second day Saga and the third day Paryang. Overnight in 2*Shanghai Hotel in Lhatse, in simple guesthouse in Saga and Paryang.
Day08 Paryang – Manasarovar Lake BLD Drive to holy lake Manasarovar. The fresh water lake is 4,588 meters high over sea level and covers an area of 330 square kilometers. The depth of the lake is 81.8 meters. The lake is situated between two snow-covered mountain ranges is extremely beautiful. It is very Important for Tibetans pilgrims to travel along the lake and take a bath in it. Overnight in tent near the Chiu Gompa in the north bank of the Lake. The small monastery Chiu Gompa standing on rocks, offers a splendid view over the lake. Walking along the holy lake. Overnight in tent or in simple guesthouse.
Day09 Manasarovar Lake – Darchen BLD In the morning walking and sightseeing by the holy lake Manasarovar. In the afternoon drive to Darchen (4800 m), which is 6 km to the north of the main street. Here we will get prepared for the Kailash tour. The Kailash is a holy place for four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jains and Bon. It might be the holiest place in the world. Overnight at simple guesthouse or in tent.
Day10-12 Trekking around Kailash, drive to Paryang BLD Trekking begins with the company of carriers and yaks. On the first two days we travel across about 20 kilometers per day and on the third day only 8 kilometers. Pass by numerous stupas and mani stones we walk into the broad valley at the west of the mountain. We will pass by the famous prayer flags and the former meditation caves alongside Tibetan and Indian pilgrims. After about 7 hours of trekking we reach the first mani stone piles at the altitude of 5,100 m. The second day is the most important stage, as we will reach the holiest place, the 5,600-meter Doelma La Pass. On the pass there are many prayer flags. The Kailash is a holy place for four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jains and Bon. It should (might) be the holiest place in the world. The Hindus believe that the divinity Shiva live with his wife Parvati on the mountain; the Tibetan Buddhist believers believe that the divinity Demchog lives here. Walking around the kailash is not only about being released of all your sins, but also about reincarnation. From the big mani stone piles we need to trek 3-4 hours to the Doelma La pass. After the pass we come over the Thuji Zimbo Lake, which is called as Gauri-Kund by the Hindus and regarded as a holy place. Trek down along the slightly steep but good path. In total we need to walk about 10 hours. On the third day we pass by many mani stones, which are usually marked with pictures or characters. Early in the afternoon we reach Darchen. Drive back to Paryang. Overnight in simple guesthouse
Day13 Paryang – Saga – Lhatse BLD Drive back on the same way to Lhatse. Overnight at 2*Shanghai Hotel
Day14 Lhatse - Shigatse – Lhasa BL In the morning continue to drive back to Lhasa. Overnight at 3*Thangka Hotel
Day15 Leave Tibet B Transfer to the airport or the railway station, leave Tibet.
This journey is an adventure and only succeeds if you show understanding, patience and flexibility for the possible delays and program changes or imponderable situations. It requires the participants to have the sense of community and a cooperative spirit, and be ready to face very simple living conditions. Despite the careful planning, the program might change, sometimes in a short term, which may result in possible program modifications and the cancellation of some visits. Of course, the best for both our team and you is to respect the intented program. Besides we would like to point out that you are responsible for your own for all the possible dangers during the journey.
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