Tsurphu to Yangpache trekking is one of the most popular Tibet trekking that balances cultural and wilderness experiences. Before heading up into the isolated Tsurphu Valley, we will spend a couple of days in Lhasa for acclimation. We will physically prepare for the hike by visiting the mystical Potala palace, divine Jokhang temple, and stupendous Drepung and Sera monasteries around the city.
Then we start the adventure by driving over the bumpy trail within the Drowolung Valley. We meet our yaks and porters at the isolated Tsurphu monastery deep in the alpine valley. The Tibetan Nomadic Trekking begins at the monastery and continues for 4 days. It will be remote into the native nomadic land with beautiful mountain panoramas, closely experience the nomadic lifestyles within the wilderness, camping next to the remote Dorje Ling nunnery is rarely achieved in other places, then drive to stunning Namtso Lake and explore the Tashi Do peninsula. Following the pilgrim’s footsteps around the knoll is a great experience.
Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Lhasa Train Station
3 Hours Before Flight Time
1. Be impressed by the fantastic sunrise and sunset on glittering turquoise Namtso-lakes
2. Enjoy harsh but beautiful high plateau landscapes along the trekking from Tsurphu to Yangpachen;
3. Camping next to the nomad’s villages and nunneries gives you more chances to experience and learn about their culture and daily lifestyle.
4. You can have a bath in the hot spring and get relief after a long day trekking
A short flight to Tibet gives you a panorama of the snowy Himalayan ranges or the days of the train ride over the high plateau by crossing the mighty Thangu la ranges get you to Lhasa with beautiful scenery along the route.
Upon your arrival at Gonggar Airport or Lhasa Train Station, you will be greeted by our Tibetan guide and driver. You will be transferred to your hotel in Lhasa City. From the airport, it is about 70km to Lhasa and takes 1:30 hrs. From the train station, it is only 25km away. Check-in at the hotel and take it easy for the rest of the day to acclimatize and alleviate jet lag. Overnight in Lhasa.
Attractions: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and bustling Bakhor Street.
Today is your first day on the high plateau and some of you may have some headaches which are very common for travelers at high altitudes, so drinking enough water as well as moderate activity for the first few days is highly recommended. In the morning, our guide will meet you at the hotel and visit Jokhang Temple in Old Lhasa City.
Jokhang Temple is the most sacred temple in Tibet and always bustles with pilgrims. After you visit the temple you have time to walk around Bakhor Street which is one of the most devotional circuits as well as a crowded central market of Lhasa since for a long time, in the early days it was the most famous local market but now it is tourist gift shopping center.
In the afternoon we will visit the famous Potala Palace, the cardinal landmark of Tibet, and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. Founder Songtsen Gangpo built it in the 7th century, and later in the 17th century rebuilt by the 5th Dalai Lama. Since then it has been home to the Dalai Lama and his government. Continue acclimatizing and alleviating jet lag for the rest of the day. Overnight in Lhasa.
Attractions: Drepung monastery and Sera monastery.
Today we will visit Drepung Monastery in the morning, once the world’s largest monastery housing more than 10,000 monks. It was a residence of the Dalai Lama prior to Potala Palace, destructions took place at a different time but still, you have lots of things to see. Walking through narrow and twisted lanes through the monk’s apartments is more like a typical village.
The amazing day will be ended with a visit to the Sera Monastery, it is built in the fifteenth century by the Jamchen Choji Sakya Yeshi who is a disciple of Tsongka pa, few different monastic colleges in Sera is home to several hundred monks from different parts of Tibet, the famous Buddhist philosophical debates among the monks are happening every day in the afternoon except Sunday. During the rest of the day, acclimatization continues to progress and jet lag is relieved. Overnight in Lhasa.
Attractions: Typical Tibetan villages and farmland within the valley and isolated Tsurpu monastery.
We will drive to Tsurphu monastery, following the Qinghai-Tibet highway from Tolung Dechen on the east bank of the Tolung-Chu for 26km, then we will cross the river via the Lungpa Zampa(bridge), from there the dirt trail off the main road and an inclined rough road takes about 2 hours to get to the monastery, continues zigzagging through the Drowolung villages and barley farmlands within the narrow valley to find the monastery deep in the valley sits at 4480m.
Tsurpo monastery is the traditional seat of Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu sect, built-in 1187 by Dusum Khyenpa. Continuing driving along the bumpy road within the valley will take us to the final destination Tsurphu Monastery. It is the seat of the Karmapa, and one of the two main strongholds of the Karma Kagyu school in Tibet (the other being at Karma Gon in Lhato). In the afternoon you have time to explore the twisted lanes through the old buildings within the monastery complex. Overnight at Tsurphu monastic guesthouse or camping.
Attractions: Shupshading is a seasonal herder’s camp, located 4700km.
The trek starts to the west following the Kora trail surrounded by trees. The day trek takes 4-5 hrs covering 12km. Walking into the green valley by crossing over the mountain streams and watercourses within the valley, the rocky hills along the trekking route are the home for mountain goats.
But you may find it hard to see them as they are disguised in gray rocks. Later in the day, you will encounter some nomads’ tents scattered around. You may get a chance to stop there and visit their tents to discover what their family tents look like. The crests of the ridges display a number of rock houses that nomads use when they move from one place to another. There are some nomadic families living in black tents in Leten, a nomadic place. This is surrounded by their sheep flock and yak herd.
Attractions: Lasar Pass (5400m) and Damchen Nyingtri (cairn, 5270m).
While walking steeply over the small mountain leads you to a fascinating valley, cairns at the crest are very common on high passes in Tibet. Some believe building cairns on the high mountains will improve your luck and some believe that building a small house like cairns will help you find places to stay after your death, during the Bardo state which is an intermediate period of death and rebirth.
Further walking through the valley, you will experience the beauty of Nomads life on the high plateau, cross over the Lasar la Pass (5300m) which will be the highest point of the day, from there you will have the first view of the Yangpache valley, soon after you will get to the day destination Bartso, it is a small nomads village for about 6 nomad families surrounded by Juniper trees. Camping next to Bartso village.
Attractions: Nyinga Ri (4800m), Dorji Ling Nunnery.
Today is one of the best days of the trekking tour. We will visit the nomad herders and nuns at the Dorjeeling Nunnery later in the day. Continue to follow the wide trail and you will view the Holy Mount Nyenchen Thangla(7111m) from a ridge, Mt. For the wellbeing of all sentient beings, locals pray and hang prayer flags in front of Nyenchen Thangla, one of the holy mountains in the region. After you set up your camp next to the Dorjeeling nunnery, you have time to visit the nunnery and interact with Buddhist nuns at the nunnery. Camping next to the monastery.
Attractions: Yangpachen Monastery, Yangpachen hot spring, Tibet train routes, and holy lake Namtso.
Today is about a 4-hour trek through the green valley and following the Lango River. It will meet the Yangpachen-Shigatse road, and walk two hours through the giant landscape to a steel bridge (4400m) spanning the river. Meeting the northern road to Shigatse, you can reach the Yangpachen monastery established during the 15th century by Shamar Rinpoche. This monastery leads the Kagyupa lamas.
Some of the murals inside the monastery are fascinating. After a long day of trekking, we will stop at Yangpachen Hot Spring and spend some time in the hot spring (Fees at the hot spring are on your own), then drive back to Lhasa late afternoon. Overnight in Lhasa.
After passing up a long steep road to the Lagen pass (5190m) with piles of prayer flags, we will reach Namtso Lake thru Damshung town. The lake is a 3-hour drive from Yangpachen, and the road leads us to the lake via Damshung town. We can see Namtso Lake in the distance. Down within the valley, you can also see nomadic black tents on the vast grasslands. Namtso Lake is the second largest saltwater lake in China with 70km in length and 30km in width. Overnight at guesthouse.
Attraction: Tibetan nomadic family.
We trace the road back to Lhasa along the Qinghai-Tibet train track. En route, we will visit and stop at a nomad family tent, local nomads moving from place to place except in winter, experiencing their home from the inside and spending a while with them and getting to know the plateau nomad lifestyle. Then we will cross the Legen la pass and follow the Damchu River downstream to Lhasa via Tulong. Overnight in Lhasa
Now you are leaving Tibet and a member of our staff will send you off to the train station or Lhasa Airport.