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10 Days Cultural & Spiritual Odyssey- Tibet travel
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10 Days Cultural & Spiritual Odyssey

Is this trip for me?

Price: from 1480 USD Explain>>
1. Based on double occupancy.
2. Comfortable hotels in cities and guesthouses in some remote places.
3. Flight and train are not included.
4. Tour cost is only for reference, please inquire for detailed quotation.
5. The more people, the cheaper cost.
Trip Length: 10 days / 9 nights Trip outline: Lhasa-Samye-Tsedang-Gyangtse-Shigatse-Namtso-Lhasa Activity: Cultural Spiritual Experienc Season: Summer,Autumn,Spring Trip Level:      Explain>>

In order to make it easier for you to choose the right trip, we have graded our trips with certain Trip Level System from 1 to 4 according to the degree of activities and altitude. We have also suggested the most suitable groups or individuals for each Trip Level.
In the Trip Overview of each itinerary there is also a brief description of what the Trip is like.
Our staffs at the Explore Tibet are always happy to answer any questions you have and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests and level of fitness.
1. Easy
Light walking and hiking that is suitable for all level of fitness, generally altitude range between 3500m/9800ft to 4000m/13000ft. Hotels and guesthouses accommodation.
Suitable for family with kids and senior groups.

2. Moderate
May included moderate level of hiking, biking, horse riding and maximum altitude of 5000m/16000ft. Hotels and guesthouses accommodation.
Suitable for family with kids bigger than 12 years, individual having average level for fitness.

3. Moderate to Strenuous
May include high altitude hiking up to 6 hours, long hour driving and sometimes overnight at around 5000m/16000ft, require a moderately high level of fitness, camping and basic lodging facility.
Suitable for adult family, individuals physically fit and have experiences of high altitude trekking.

4. Strenuous
May include high altitude trekking and mountaineering, camping and basic lodging facilities, altitude range from 3600m/9800ft to 6000m/19000ft.
Suitable for adventures and individual with physically fit and healthy.

Inquiry Tailor-Made
This spiritual journey covers most prominent monasteries around Lhasa including first ever Buddhist monastery and historical kings palace in the Yarlung valley which is also known as cradle of Tibetan civilization, your arrival to the holy city will be greeted by the lovely blue sky and impressive glimpse of gigantic Potala palace perched on the red hill, while during the couple of days acclimation and jet-lag alleviation, you will be overwhelmed its prominent historical and religious sites, mystical Potala Palace, sacred Jokahng temple, sprawling Sera and Drepung monastery, walk shoulder to shoulder with devoted pilgrims in bustling Bakhort street. Then spiritual journey extend its feature to the historical buildings and hermitage cliffs around the Yarlung valley, meeting hermits and retreants at Chimpu hermitages is a beautiful hiking through the green bushes within the natural amphitheatre valley, driving along the stunning turquoise color lake Yamdrok and blooming Nyenchen Kangsar glacier under the sunny plateau climate, you will never waste every single minute by discovering new experiences and wonders all the time, last but not the least, visiting Namtso lake and overnight on the Tashi Do promontory complete your exclusive Tibetan experience of culture, religious, natural and nomadic lifestyle
Tour Map Click on the map to enlarge
Day Trip Outline Activity Accommodation
Day 01 Arrival in Lhasa (3680m) Pick up and transfer to hotel, rest at hotel. Yak hotel
Day 02 Lhasa sightseeing Bakhor streetJohkang Temple, Potala Palace Yak hotel
Day 03 Lhasa sightseeing Sera MonasteryDrepung Monastery Yak hotel
Day 04 Lhasa-Samye monastery (3500m), 220km, approx 6hrs Samye monastery Monastery hotel
Day 05 Samye-Chimpu hermitage-Tsedang (3800m), 70km, approx 2hrs Chimpu hermitage, Tsedang Yulong holiday Inn
Day 06 Tsedang-Yamdrok-Gyangtse (3900m), 380km, approx 7hrs Yamdrok LakeKarolaKumbum Jianzang hotel
Day 07 Gyangtse-Shigatse (3800m), 90km, approx 1.5hrs Tashilhunpo Manasarovar
Day 08 Shigatse-Yangpachen-Namtso lake (4600m), 380km, 7.5hrs Lagen pass, Namtso lake Local guesthouse
Day 09 Namtso-Lhasa (3680m), 250km, approx 4hrs Typical nomadic tents Yak hotel
Day 10 Depart from Tibet    

NOTE: Hotels can be upgraded or downgraded based on your requirement, please check more hotels a href="http://www.exploretibet.com/Essential-Info/Hotels-In-Tibet/" target="_blank">HERE
Tour Cost Included:

All necessary travel permits to Tibet;

Entrance ticket fees for all the sight spots listed in the program;

Private transportation in Tibet: Ranging from 4WD land cruiser to bus depending on the group size and trip route (car gasoline is included), SEE VEHICLE PHOTOS HERE;

Private guide: English speaking local Tibetan guide;

Lodging: available from 5 star hotels to budget guesthouses, SEE HOTEL PHOTOS HERE;

Pick-up and send-off services at the beginning/end of the tour;

Oxygen canisters: 2 canister for each person;

Lodging ;and meals for guide and drivers;

First aid kit;

Liability travel insurance;

Tour Cost Excluded:
Travel insurance covers trip cancellation and emergency evacuation(recommended);

Expenses of personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.);

International and domestic flight/train.(Note: we accept flights and train tickets bookings in advance, please check the updated cost and ticket availability with your travel consultant);

Meals that are not specified in the itinerary (Averagely a meal in Tibet cost USD5 per person);

Gratuities for the guide and driver:

Day 01 – 03. Our representatives greet your arrival at the airport/train station and it is a short drive to the holy Lhasa city along the Lhasa river within a valley enclosed by barren mountains, far before reaching to the city you will have the first glimpse of tremendous Potala Palace appearing out from the rest of the city by perching on the red hill. Then check in the hotel which is located in the old part of the town and which is also known as Tibetan area that centered by mystical Jokhang temple and the bustling Bakhor street. In the following couple of days we have thoughtfully arranged few but worthy visit to some world heritages and sites of breathing Tibetan Buddhists along acclimation and alleviating Jet-lag, you have plenty of time to walk shoulder to shoulder with devoted local pilgrims in the bustling Bakhor street, it is also a real pleasure to explore the busy cobbled lanes twisting around the aged buildings in the supernatural Drepung and Sera monastery, and our knowledgeable guides enhance your experiences with a thorough historical and cultural explanation. These days are flexible and easy to do on your own exploration around the town and hang around the Bakhor street during your leisure. In addition we do arrange special experiences of short visit to typical Tibetan village family or receive rare scared blessings from high lamas with local pilgrims per client’s interest.
 
Day 04 – 05. We extend to southern Tibet and appreciate the wonders fertile Yarlung valley, along the downstream of braided Brahmaputra river (Yarlung Tsangpo) meandering through dramatic sand dunes and lonely trees, in these couple of days, we will explore within the fertile Yarlung valley which gave its name to the ancient Tibetan kings dynasty as Yarlung kingdom, Tsedang is the largest town in the southern part and it is also known as cradle of the Tibetan civilization, it was the capital of Tibet prior to Lhasa and this area is replete with the most distinguished Samye monastery in its Mandala architecture, it was the very first Buddhist monastery in Tibet and spending a night near the monastery with full afternoon exploration around it. Nevertheless, meeting hermits and retreants at Chimpu hermitages with a beautiful hiking through the green bushes in the natural amphitheatre valley conclude your anxiety about Tibetan Yogis and retreatants, from the newly constructed Chimpu nunnery, we start a short hiking through the solitary caves and tiny trail amidst the scrub bushes, you may get chance to interact with devoted yogis or retreatants in their caves, up from the terrace offers a spectacular views of the Brahmaputra valley below. Then relax the day in Tsedang and have a hot shower in the hotel.
 
Day 06 – 07. Retrace the road back to airport and then drive continue to the west and meet southern friendship highway at the Chushul Bridge, we climb up the Gampa la(4900m) through numbers of switch-backs to Gyantse and Shigatse in the western Tibet, from the pass you will amaze by the breathtaking view of the holy Lake Yamdrok and snow capped Mt.Nyenchen Kangsar in the background, then further following the southern friendship highway along the sprawling lake and bloomy glaciers to Gyantse, the small town of Gyantse is well known as hero’s town since from 1904, the people from the town had defeated British wars at that time, more over, the giant Khubum stupa bounded by an adobe wall is famous for its old murals and architectural miracle. Both Gyantse and Shigatse are well known for its historical and religious value since from ancient time, more over these regions has slightly different culture and tradition than in Lhasa.
 
Day 08- 09. Driving through numbers of peaceful villages and farmlands within the Oyuk valley, we traverse the high peak of Shogula pass(5400m) to Yangpachen and the northern nomadic grassland, this wonderful valley barely hidden in the remote and not known for mass tourism yet, northern Tibet is known as Changthang Drogpa(Northern nomads) with sparse population of nomads in the vast pastures, hundreds of beautiful lakes with abounding wild lives can be found in this region, Namtso lake is one of them and it is one of the holy as well as most gorgeous lake in Tibet, it is also the world highest salt water lake, we will spend a night on the Tashi Do peninsula and enjoy the cold breeze of the mystical lake and breathtaking view of snow capped ranges all around. Then the next day we will drive back to Lhasa and complete the clockwise circumambulation at Lhasa, on this day we will visit a nomad family tent en route, the giant black tent is made up of yak wool and it has a great tendency to preserve heat and resist rain that is totally accommodate the plateau changeable climate, each tent is a whole complex of kitchen, bedroom, seating room and store room for the family, so spending few minutes with the nomad family give you a special experiences of plateau nomad lifestyle, you may wonder when you see piles of Yak dung just outside of the tents, it is the main fuel that nomads and also Tibetans use for cooking and heating the house during the chilly winter season.
 
Day 10. Today it is your last day on the Tibet plateau, we will appreciate you for spending few minutes to evaluate our services for future improvement and you can either leave the feedback form to your guide or just write us an email, at your departure, your guide and driver meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer you to the airport/train station per your schedule. The trip is officially ended then.
Tour Cost Includes:

All necessary travel permits to Tibet;

Entrance ticket fees for all the sight spots listed in the program;

Private transportation in Tibet: Ranging from 4WD land cruiser to bus depending on the group size and trip route (car gasoline is included), SEE VEHICLE PHOTOS HERE;

Private guide: English speaking local Tibetan guide;

Lodging: available from 5 star hotels to budget guesthouses, SEE HOTEL PHOTOS HERE;

Pick-up and send-off services at the beginning/end of the tour;

Oxygen canisters: 2 canister for each person;

Lodging ;and meals for guide and drivers;

First aid kit;

Liability travel insurance;

Tour Cost Excludes:
Travel insurance covers trip cancellation and emergency evacuation(recommended);

Expenses of personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.);

International and domestic flight/train.(Note: we accept flights and train tickets bookings in advance, please check the updated cost and ticket availability with your travel consultant);

Meals that are not specified in the itinerary (Averagely a meal in Tibet cost USD5 per person);

Gratuities for the guide and driver:

Tibet is a country, which is totally different from any other places around the world, just because of its political sensitivity, rich culture diversity and peculiar geographical formation. Although this means it is not the easiest place to travel, which is also what makes it so special.
In order to make your trip worry free and indisputable, here we have carefully collected all the essential information that will give you a clear image of the trip as well as logistics during your stay in Tibet, this also will be helpful for your trip preparation before you leave, so please go through it and make sure you are well prepare for the trip, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our tour consultant or write us on sales@exploretibet.com

Legitimate Claim;
As we mentioned above, Tibet is politically very sensitive and any political activities are restrictedly prohibited, so we always advising our clients to keep away from any political conversations or activities that bound against the policy of People’s republic of China. Your involvement in such activities would influence the whole group as well as future of all your guides, driver and the company. If any one does, then we have the full right to cancel the trip and we are not responsible for so caused hassle and costs.
 
Emergency contacts:
Being a responsible company, we are always available for 24 hours a day, in case if you need any emergency help. It is best to first call your designated travel coordinator or sales person (whose contact numbers are will be listed on your tour agreement), for any reason if you are not able to reach to him/her then please ring us on the below numbers;
Lhasa Head Office: (0891)-6329441 (the area code 0891 is not necessary if you are calling from Lhasa)
Chengdu Office: (028)-86262365
Note: office working time is 9am – 7pm from Monday to Friday.
Sonam Jamphel (Sales Manager) 0158890904080 or 018980810151 (Available for 24 hours a day)
 
Chinese Visa
Every one should have the valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity) and Chinese visa to travel into China and the Chinese visa is also valid in Tibet, generally the Chinese visa is can be applied either by your self or use a visa service agency in your home country, but the visa application and requirements are little vary in different countries, so please check with your regional Chinese Embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements.
NOTE; It is your responsibility to obtain the Chinese visa, so just for your information it is better not to list Tibet as your travel destination on your visa application form, just list Chengdu or Beijing, whichever your in-bound city is as your travel destination. If you enter Tibet from Nepal then you don’t need the Chinese individual visa and please check the next line for what you need.
 
If You Enter Tibet From Nepal
If you enter Tibet from Nepal, then the permit and Chinese visa formalities are slightly different, to enter from Nepal, you don't need the Chinese individual visa and instead you should obtain the Tibet group visa from Chinese Embassy in Nepal, you can’t apply it directly and you should have a local Nepalese agency to apply for it, so our Nepalese partner agency will assist you for that application, normally the application takes 2 to 5 working days for different cost and it only can be applied when you arrive in Nepal, because your original passport is needed along the application. More about the Tibet Group Visa and cost please check here
 
Tibet Travel Permit and Its Process
Tibet travel permit is compulsory for all the travelers to visit Tibet and it can be obtained within 15 days prior to the trip starting dates, once you have booked the tour with us, we will obtain it for you which is included in the tour package. We need clear scan copies of your Chinese visa and passports to apply for the permit.
For more detail and latest permit updates, please check here
 
Etiquettes and Taboos:
Cultural Considerations: Be aware that your cultural values may differ from those of locals. These may include different concepts of time, personal space, communication, etc., which are not wrong or inferior, just different. Making the extra effort to respect local customs and cultural differences will enhance your interactions with locals during your time in Tibet and contribute to building mutual respect between locals and tourists.
Appropriate attire: Most Tibetans are pretty conservative from our western perspective so it is always polite to wear long pants at all times (guys and girls). If you wear shorts in rural villages or in the Bakhor district in Lhasa you will definitely get stranger looks than normal! Women should wear long pants or skirts. Shirts should not be revealing and bras should be worn. Unfortunately, many tourists ignore these cultural norms and can be seen in towns and villages wearing shorts and revealing summer attire; while it may be comfortable, it is not appropriate, especially when visiting monasteries. Don’t be shy to inform other tourists of the proper dress for monasteries; perhaps they are not aware of the cultural considerations and etiquette.

Itinerary Disclaimer
Generally we adhere to the original itinerary that we described but sometimes little alterations can be born due to the situations that are beyond our control. On the other hand, in order to make our trip for your personal experiences and flexible, we allowed our clients to make minor changes by discussing with us (office staff) and guide (field staff). The trip detail itinerary is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destination or activities is by no means of guarantee that they will be encountered or carried due to the local circumstances and climate.
 
Keeping in touch with folks at home
If your family members or colleagues or friends want to connect with you during the tour, then you can either provide your guide mobile number to reach you during the trip or if you don’t know your guide number at the time, please don’t feel hesitate to provide our company contact numbers listed in the Emergency Contact section and we can find a way to reach you through guide mobile.
 
Meals
In order to provide you the maximum flexibility of what, where and when to eat, we generally doesn’t include meals in the tour cost except breakfast included at the hotels, but our local guide will suggest you good local restaurant per your requirements. In the cities like Lhasa, Tsedang, Gyantse, Shigatse and Zhangmu you can find good restaurants serve wide range of Tibetan food, continental food, Nepalese food, Indian food and Chinese cuisine, but in Tingri, EBC and in remote places, there is a limited choice for noodles and pan cakes. Approximate cost of a meal in Tibet is USD3 – USD10 per person/meal depending on your individual requirement.
 
Destination Guide Recommended Reading List:
Tibet is a unique travel destination with some special considerations. It is highly recommended that you undertake some background reading before travel to Tibet. The more you learn about your destination, the more rewarding your travel experience will be. While we include a recommended reading list, which you can refer to for in-depth information, the following is a recommended reading list that might be helpful for you.
Tibetan History | Tibetan Culture & Arts | Tibetan Religion |
 
Lhasa and the TAR:
  • Tibet: The Lonely Planet Country Guide
  • Trekking in Tibet: A Traveler's Guide by Gary McCue
  • Tibet Handbook: Moon Travel Guide
  • Fodor's Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan: Expert Advice and Smart Choices: Where to Stay, Eat, and 
Explore On and Off the Beaten Path
  • To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron
  • The Mount Kailash Trek by Constance Roos/Sian Pritchard-Jones
  • Trekking Tibet by Gary McCue/George Schaller
  • The Heart of the World, A Journey to the Tibet's Lost Paradise by Ian Baker
  • My Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-Neel 
 
Kham and Amdo regions:
  • Footprints Tibet Handbook by Gyurme Dorje
  • Lonely Planet China (See Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu Provinces)
  • Bradt Guide Tibet by Michael Buckley
 
Domestic Flights and Trains to Tibet
There is only one international flight to Tibet, which is from Kathmandu (Nepal), and then there are lots of flights from different cities in Mainland China like Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai and so on. Please Check Flight Schedule and Cost Here
There is no international train to Tibet and all the trains are from Mainland China like Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Xining and so on. Please Check Train Schedule and Cost Here
 
Responsible Tourism Initiative: 
Tourism has the potential to have positive and negative effects on the local environment and peoples. Making a conscious decision about how you travel can make a difference. Whether you are traveling to the Amazon rainforest or to Mt. Everest Base Camp, taking the initiative to reduce negative impacts and help sustain local communities is the responsible thing to do. Read more how we practice Responsible Travel
 
How & What To Pack
It is important to pack light and effectively, specially when you travelling to a new place, you need to know some necessary items should be carry with, depending on the length of your trip and where you go, you can get away with a minimal amount of clothing. One medium-large backpack or rolling duffle and a day pack should be just right for a 2-4 week trip. We suggest you to check our packing guideline here

Complaint & Feedback
We are always trying to provide the best service that can achieve a memorable Tibet tour for you, but sometimes you might be dissatisfied with some arrangement as different people has various aspirations and requirement, so please let us know instantly and we will try to solve everything right away to avoid repeating mistakes unknowingly. As we are looking for every single opportunity to improve our services, so your valuable suggestions and constructive complaints are very much appreciated. 

“We enjoyed our trip and the experiences were above expectations. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!”

 ---From Paola Erba & family (Italy) , traveled on 8th August, 2012.

 

“Our guide and driver were excellent always glad to help, went out their way to make our experience the best”. 

----From Alberto Zuniga (Costa Rica), traveled on 24th May, 2012.

 

“Visiting Tibet was a dream comes true for us, and particularly for Colin, who has wanted to visit the Potala Palace since he was a child. We've been to other Buddhist countries and regions -- Sikkim, Nepal, and all over Southeast Asia -- but Tibet seems particularly remote and starkly beautiful. We don't know anyone else who has been to Tibet."

-- From James & Colin (USA). Traveled in Oct 2012. 

 

“We were extremely pleased with our guide and itinerary, our guide gave us good suggestions for activities when we were on our own, responded well to our requests and was adaptable, and was good company for these few days. he talked with local people and monks to give us more interesting experiences.”
----From Ruth Rosenfeld and her son (USA), traveled in May, 2011.

 

“Overall very enjoyable experiences, thanks to our knowledgeable and caring guide. We look forward to coming back next time.”

----From QuynhTien Cao & Gia Chan Vuong (Australia), traveled in December, 2011.

 

“Base camp was very nice. The stay with a Tibetan family very interesting. “

----From Silke Neumann (Germany), traveled on 15th May, 2012.

 

“Overall had a great trip and were very happy with the driver and the guide. Especially Phurtse was always available to help and was very knowledgeable, especially on the monasteries and temples. Greatly enjoyed the personal touch on my birthday from Phurtse and Explore Tibet. Thank you.”

----From Janie Neumann (Germany), traveled on 15th May, 2012.

 

“We had a wonderful time travelling in Tibet and i thank you for making our trip so fabulous.”

----From Margaret (Australia), traveled in April, 2012.

 

“We had a wonderful time traveling in Tibet and i thank you for making our trip so fabulous. You are an amazing and special man Sonam Jamphel.”

 ----From Amon Clerc  (Australia), traveled in April, 2012.

Chimpu
Drepung-moanstery
Gyantse-Kumbum-stupa
Jokhang-temple
Monks-debate-at-Sera-monast
Potala-palace
Samye-monastery
Shepherd-at-Yamdrok
Souvenir-stalls-in-Bakhor-s
Tashi-Lhunpo-monastery
Yumbu-Lakhang

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ADD:4-5 House Namsel NO.3, Doudi Road, Lhasa, Tibet (Explore Tibet Head Office)
Mobile: 0086-13398000993 or Tel: 0086-891-6305152 (Lhasa), +128 1742 2243(USA)
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am - 7:00pm (GMT +8)

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