Most people traveling only to Lhasa do so for two reasons: cost or time, of course, Lhasa Tours are popular too but the trip to Tibet is an expensive trip, and it can take a long time to get there. This is especially true when you travel from China to Lhasa by train. And that is on top of your China flight from your home country.
Lhasa, the land of Gods
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Lhasa is really a city worth spending time and money visiting and is the cultural and spiritual heart of this beautiful region. What’s more, Lhasa is not subject to seasonal tourism, except for Tibet’s annual closure to international tourists during Losar, the Tibetan New Year. Lhasa is one of the few places in Tibet that can be visited at any time of the year, from April to January, and where you can really experience the true meaning of Tibetanness.
Time constraints can be a cumbersome obstacle. If you are limited on time, a Lhasa-only tour is one of the most convenient options for a Tibet trip. When time is of the essence, you do not want to take a long train ride. You want to get the maximum benefit out of limited travel time. This is why our Lhasa short group tours are popular with people with a short travel time.
Lhasa-only tours are also suitable if your concern is the trip cost. There are many things that can reduce the cost of traveling to Tibet. Staying in Lhasa is one of them, as it means you do not need the driver and car all the time. You can cover thousands of miles across the plateau. Traveling inside the city can be done by public transport. The only time you need the vehicle is when you travel outside the city to Namtso or other places nearby.
4 Days Lhasa Highlights Group Tour
Our most popular short tour of Lhasa is the 4-day Lhasa Highlights Group Tour. This tour focuses on Lhasa only and does not travel outside the city limits. The tour is ideal for those who want to experience the highlights of this stunning city and the cultural uniqueness of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. As the tour is only four days long, including your arrival and departure dates, it is advisable to book flights or train tickets that arrive early in the morning on the first day and leave as late as possible on the last, to make the most of the time you have in Lhasa.
This short and simple trip, which takes in the stunning sights of the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera, and Drepung Monasteries, and the awesome kora route Barkhor Street, is one of the most popular and intense tours of Lhasa. While you may only have a few days in the city, that is usually enough time to learn more about this unique culture. This is done by staying in the city at the heart of Tibetan culture and religion.
5 Days Holy Lhasa Tour
If you have slightly more time on your hands, an extra day can see the tour take an exciting turn. This is with a trip to Lake Namtso, one of the Great Three Holy Lakes of Tibet. Taking in some of the holiest sites in Lhasa, this unique tour is designed to give you the best holy Lhasa experience.
Ideally suited to those with some more time who want to get out of the city for the day. This is to visit one of the most stunning natural lakes in the world. The world’s highest saltwater lake and the second largest saline lake in China, Lake Namtso lies on the border with Nagqu Prefecture, in Damxung County. This is 180 kilometers north of the Tibetan capital.
As well as the visit to holy Lake Namtso, set in its beautiful countryside and fringed by the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains on one side and the vast Changtang prairie on the other, this tour takes you to the holiest sites in Lhasa, including the Jokhang Temple, the site of one of the oldest statues of Buddha in the world; the Potala Palace, the former site of Tibetan government offices until 1755; and the stunning monasteries of Sera and Drepung, two of the main monasteries of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism.
6 Days Cultural Experience Tour
One of the best tours available to give you a wider experience of the ancient and unique Tibetan culture, this 6-day tour takes you to all of the top spots in Lhasa, from the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor, and Potala Palace to the beautiful monasteries around the city.
Sightseeing in Lhasa is one of the most effective ways to learn more about the Tibetan culture of the city. However, there is much more to explore than the Tibetan capital’s city dwellers. Aside from the delights of the City of Sunshine, this tour gives you the chance to explore even further afield. It heads to the west to visit Gyantse and Shigatse for one night.
Traveling out of Lhasa Prefecture means you will need additional permits, but since it is only as far as Shigatse, and not to some of the restricted areas or places near the border, the Alien’s Travel Permit, which can be obtained easily in Lhasa in just a couple of hours, is all that is needed. And there is no additional cost for the permit.
Once outside Lhasa, you will be driven towards Gyantse, passing the stunning Lake Yamdrok, one of the Great Three Holy Lakes of Tibet. Skirting its northern shoreline, you will get time to stop and explore the lakeshore for a while, before heading on.
Further along the road, you will also stop and explore the lower tongue of Karola Glacier. This is because of its pristine white ice shining in bright sunlight. Then it is on to Gyantse, home to the best stupa in Tibet. Standing 32 meters tall, the Gyantse Kumbum is the only stupa in Tibet. It comprises nine levels that enclose 108 small chapels.
After Gyantse, it is on to Shigatse, where you will stop for the night in one of the delightful hotels this second city of Tibet has to offer. After a good night’s sleep, you will wake up to a delicious breakfast before heading out to visit one of Tibet’s most spectacular monasteries, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
The seat of the Panchen Lama, the second highest incarnation in Tibetan Buddhism, this monastery is one of the main university monasteries for the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built in 1447 by the First Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup. It is one of the sacred Kora sites in western Tibet. It sees regular visits from pilgrims who circumambulate its holy walls. After spending the morning exploring the monastery and the city, it is back to Lhasa, a six-hour drive, for your last night on the plateau.