Rooftop of the World, Mt Everest base camp Tibet & Lhasa
“The roof of the world,” as Tibet is often known, has captivated imaginations for centuries. Possessing both dazzling natural scenery and rich religious history, Tibet is a sacred and spectacular land. Ancient Buddhist monasteries are lodged among fierce mountains, and stunningly clear rivers wind their way between snowcapped peaks. The landscape is rife with meaning for Tibetans who make pilgrimages to mountains, as well as the centuries old Buddhist universities perched upon them.
This is one of our most popular itineraries and is perfect for first time visitors who have limited time but don't want to pass up the wonders of Tibet. See Tibetan Buddhism's most revered religious sites, the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple amongst others, learn about classical Tibetan architecture while soaking in traditional culture and food. Climb up the Potala Palace with sweeping views over Lhasa; walk the pilgrimage route of Buddhist Monks toward the Sera Monastery and observe their theological Scriptures Debate, enjoy the bustle of Barhkor Street and the unique crafts perfect for shopping.
If traveling as a couple or family with children - our itinerary is ideal, with lot's of great walks between attractions, well maintained roads and excellent standard drivers and local Tibeten guides make for an easy yet active trip.
Insider Experiences & Highlights:
The Tibetan Capital of Lhasa, Potala Palace, former residence of the Dalai Lama, ancient Himalayan Monastaries including the Jokhang Temple, witness theological debates at the Sera Monastery, enjoy local cuisines and Tibeten Guides all at 3650 metres above sea level!
We stay at the historical and charming House of Shambhala which is a heritage listed lodge and retreat used by pilgrims and climbers for centuries. The food is excellent, the hospitality warm. All guesthouses we use are family run with first rate standards, you'll get the chance to enjoy and mix with wonderful Tibetans.
Accomodation/Hotel, Private Driver Transfers, Private Tour Guides, Museum & Heritage Buildings Entrances, Culinary Excursions with daily lunch and one evening where we have selected restaurants highlighting excellent local cuisine.
Duration: 05 Days
Day by Day: Potala Palace, Buddhist theological debates, ancient snow capped glaciers...
Day 01Welcome to Lhasa! Book into comfort & breathtaking views!
You will be met in Lhasa by a local Tibetan guide who will accompany you to town. On the way, you can enjoy breathtaking views along the Yalu Zangbu River, the longest river in Tibet. We'll then book into the Shambhala Hotel which is steeped in tradition and culture. The 'House of Shambhala' offers guests a unique opportunity to experience traditional Tibetan life at its best. In the afternoon, you are free to relax and enjoy one of the highest, and holiest, cities in the world.
Day 02 The Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar
Enjoy a day of spectacular sightseeing in the Tibetan capital. In the morning, visit Potala Palace. Built as a royal meditation retreat in the 7th century, the majestic palace contains over 1,000 rooms housing over 200,000 statutes. In the afternoon, visit Jokhang Temple, considered by many Tibetans to be the most scared temple in all of Tibet, and stroll through the famous local Barkhor Street bazaar.
Day 03 Lhasa to Lhatse
The day is devoted to travel from Lhasa to Lhatse, a small town 430km west of the capital. Traveling along the Tibet-Nepal Friendship Highway, you will pass Tibet’s second largest city, Shigatse, before arriving in Lhatse in the late afternoon. Located 4,050m above sea level, close to where the road splits to Mt. Everest in one direction and Nari to the other, the region is known for its hot springs.
Day 04 & 05 The Pelkhor Monastery & the Karuola Glacier
In the morning, head 100km east to Gyangtse to visit the Pelkhor Monastery. Built in the early 15th century while power struggles between Buddhism sects were kept in balance, architecturally the monastery melds Han Chinese, Tibetan, and Nepalese features. Head back to Lhasa, stopping to visit the striking Karuola Glacier and gorgeous Yanmdrok Lake on the way.
After a final breakfast we'll bid farewell to our hosts and head to the airport, wrapping up nine days of spectuacular sights and travel through Tibet and to Mount Everest.
Further Details: Accommodation, food, weather, inclusions ...
On this journey we have chosen iconic guesthouses that have played host to venerable monks, some of the best climbers in the world, and weary travellers and pilgrims from around the globe, some date back centuries. The House of Shambhala for instance can be linked to the 13th Dalai Lama and which inner courtyard is still a place of respite for monks today. You'll enjoy reliable, warm hospitality, and good food!
Tibet is famous for its unmatched beauty and ancient history. Due to the extremely high altitudes, and harsh climate, Tibetan culture has had to adapt. Tibetan culture and food reflect the extremely high altitudes, and harsh climate in which they're borne. Tibetan food is not only sustenance, it helps Tibetan people survive these harsh climates keeping them warm, giving them energy, helping them withstand the high altitude with the nutrients essential to the demanding conditions. Due to the high altitude of Tibet, water boils at 90 degrees making cooking with water impossible, and vegetables are scarce at such heights, so the main ingredients are meat, and dairy. The flavours have a strong mix of Indian and parts of Chinese cuisine, but is none the less uniquely Tibetan. Enjoy the home cooking style of seasoned beef and blood sausage, flat breads, barley and rice, yak and sheep cheeses and yoghurts - all surprisingly very tasty so rest assured!
What to pack? What's the weather like?
Tibet weather is cool in the summer, arctic like cold in the winter. The thin Tibetan air can neither radiate nor absorb heat, resulting in temperature extremes during both day and night. We encourage you to pack clothing you can layer to allow you to adjust to changing climates and take advantage of the newest technology in fabrics which are light and increasingly good at keeping us warm yet with material that keep us dry and still circulate the air. Note the local knited fabrics are exquisite, often bright and well crafted in traditional ways.