This was our fourth trip with Remote Lands...Thank you for making the introductions to a wonderful people and culture in Tibet.
At 11,450 feet (roughly 3,489 meters) above sea level, Lhasa is one of the highest cities on the planet. Long a location of great strategic and economic importance, Lhasa has served as the capital of Tibet for many centuries, first of various Tibetan kingdoms and empires, and later of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Lhasa is also the spiritual and cultural heart of Tibet, as its walls contain a large number of palaces, temples, and monasteries - some of which, like the Potala Palace, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In recent years, while development of the city has increased, Tibetans have nonetheless managed to preserve their heritage and landmarks.
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Visit the phenomenal Potala Palace. Once the winter residence of the Dalai Lama, this architectural wonder is now a
museum and treasure trove of Tibetan history, housing magnificent pearls, jewels and antiques.
Explore the vibrant street market of Barkhor Square, where you can haggle with local vendors for goods such as prayer flags, block prints of the holy scriptures, jewelry, and Tibetan boots and incense. Watch as devout Tibetans circle the streets around you, going about their holy pilgrimages.
Thangka Silk Painting
Learn the art of painting thangkas – Tibetan Buddhist devotional artworks
painted on cloth or silk using rich pigments and intricate, perfectly
balanced compositions – from a master artist.
Make a pilgrimage to the Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s holiest temple and host to thousands of devout Tibetan pilgrims from all over Tibet and China. Walk a clockwise kora, or religious path, around the periphery of the temple, and admire the Jowo Rimpoche, a giant, solid-gold statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. Have a private blessing with one of the senior monks and, if you wish, chat with him about his life and beliefs.
Braille Without Borders
Meet with students from Braille Without Borders, a local school started by German expatriate Sabriye Tenberken, who lost her sight while still a teen. She is featured in the documentary “Blindsight,” an inspirational film about a
mountaineering expedition to Mount Everest led by Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to reach the summit.
Visit Sera, a 15th-century monastery that was once home to 5,000 monks of the Gelugpa sect, for an interesting glimpse into Tibetan Buddhism. The temple is famous for its lively debate sessions, held every afternoon, over the finer points of Buddhist philosophy.
See Drepung, another 15th-century monastery – and once the largest monastic institution in the world. Here, you can participate in debate sessions and prayer incantations, or sample yak-butter tea with tsampa, or roast barley. Be sure to visit the Maitreya, a two-story statue of the future Buddha, said to reappear in the world at a later point.
Explore Norbulingka, a park founded in 1755 by the seventh Dalai Lama and home to the summer residence of the Lama lineage. Take a private tour of the Summer Palace, whose meditation chamber and bedroom remain in the exact same condition as 1959, when the present Dalai Lama fled to India.
Tibetan Village Project
Located just outside of Lhasa, TVP is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development while preserving the rich cultural heritage of Tibet. Most of their projects are small-scale initiatives that work directly with Tibetan villagers and with local government. Meet with a representative from the foundation to learn about their projects, and if you wish, discuss ways in which you can help.
Feel a sense of peace on this 5-day Tibetan adventure. Venture into the country’s stunning nature as you walk around Yamdrok Tso Lake. Bargain for authentic goods in Barkhor Square, visit several old-world monasteries and learn the art of meditation, and stay in luxury, world-class hotels to entirely unwind.
Mystical scenes await you on this luxurious 16-day journey through Eastern Tibet and several fantastic locations within China. Not much has changed over the centuries in this world. See for yourself as you visit monasteries and ancient temples, marvel at majestic mountains and watch Giant Pandas at play.
Stroll along one of the world’s wonders, the Great Wall of China, when you embark on this 8-day luxury train journey through Beijing and Lhasa. It’s a step back in time with ancient sites and breathtaking natural features, and a thrilling trip along the world’s highest train journey to the Tibetan Plateau.
This trekking journey to Everest Base Camp is the experience of a lifetime. Trek through stunning mountain panoramas and alongside Tibet’s Yamdrok Lake. Feel a sense of accomplishment unlike any other when you reach the base camp. You’ll switch between camping and luxury hotels like the St. Regis Lhasa.
Explore the world’s most majestic peaks on this 22-day Himalayan adventure. You’ll trek through China, Nepal, Bhutan and India, staying at luxury hotels and lodges like the Amankora or Uma by COMO. You’ll walk along the Great Wall of China, visit the ancient Potala Palace, and search for Bengal Tigers in Chitwan.
This twelve-day guided tour takes you on a journey of enlightenment through one of the world’s most mysterious places: Tibet. Starting from the capital, Lhasa, you’ll pass over breathtaking mountain roads, explore spiritual monasteries and witness quaint, untouched village life that has barely changed over hundreds of years.
Spend 9 days soaking up Tibet’s great outdoors, as you journey from the majestic Mt. Kailash to the fresh waters of Lake Mansarover. You’ll step into Lhasa’s past with visits to its historical sites, sleep in luxury at the St. Regis Lhasa, as well as under the stars, and trek to more than 5,000 feet above sea-level.
Uncover hidden Tibet over the course of 12 memorable days, including an exploration of the capital, as well as an epic three-day overland journey through the Himalayas and another three-days of trekking over spectacular mountains, through remote towns and staying in spectacular hillside monasteries.
Open the doors to your spirituality as you explore Tibet’s religious past and present on this insightful 8-day journey. You’ll visit important Buddhist sites like Potala Palace and the important Jokhang Temple, visit the spiritual Namtso Lake, and witness the plethora of prayer flags in the Tidrum Valley.
Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa
Opened in April 2014, this luxury property is a fitting new addition to the Lhasa hospitality scene. Shangri-La is, after all, the mythical kingdom believed to inhabit the Tibetan plateaus. Located in the city center, this stylish urban retreat allows guests to experience time-honored Tibetan customs - being welcomed with a local drink called chima, for instance, and being presented with a ceremonial khata scarf. Visitors at the Shangri-La Lhasa can enjoy being within strolling distance of this historic city's main attractions, including Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. For those who find Lhasa's high-altitude landscapes literally breathtaking, there's an oxygen lounge and relaxation center at the resort primed for guest recuperation. As with all Shangri-La properties, local culture plays a vital role in both the hospitality and the décor. At the Lhasa resort, this manifests in traditional architecture and design, with contemporary, luxuriously appointed guest rooms accented with local Tibetan textiles and artworks. Guests are also spoiled with far-reaching views of the mountains, the city and the spectacular Potala Palace.
St. Regis Lhasa
Opened in November 2010, the St. Regis Resort in Lhasa stands on eight acres of land at “the roof of the world," with sweeping views of the Potala Palace. The spacious 162 rooms and villas with marble baths are decorated with carefully sourced artifacts that reflect the richness of Tibetan culture. There are a variety of restaurants to choose from, including the intimate private wine club Decanter by Haut-Brisson and Si Zi Kang, which serves traditional Tibetan cuisine. The health club boasts an indoor heated swimming pool, a yoga and pilates studio, and Iridium, a spa offering refined indulgence with Tibetan flavor. The business center offers 4 meeting rooms, copy and printing services, and faxing services. Other amenities include secretarial service and 24-hour butler service. The St. Regis Lhasa is located just minutes from the Potala Palace, the famous Barkhor area, Jokang Temple, Norbulinka, and is 46 miles from Gongga International Airport.
House of Shambhala
Located in a quiet, traditional Tibetan courtyard in the heart of old Lhasa, this boutique hotel is dedicated to architectural preservation and the sustainable development of Tibetan culture. It has six suites and two rooms, all fitted with Tibetan textiles and furnishings and elegant four-poster beds. Enjoy fine Himalayan cuisine in the intimate dining room, tea on the meditation terraces or a meal on the rooftop veranda that has striking views of the Potala Palace and mountains. The House of Shambhala Spa offers massage therapy based on Tibetan Mandala techniques focused on bringing the body into contact with the non-physical world. There is no business center, fitness center or pool. House of Shambhala is about a 90-minute drive from Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA).
The Brahmaputra Grand is an executive hotel of 187 rooms situated in Yangcheng Square, south of holy Lhasa, on the northeastern banks of the Lhasa River. The architecture is Tibetan, though the furnishings are modern, and most rooms have excellent views. Dining at the hotel includes both Chinese and Western restaurants. Facilities available at the Brahmaputra include sauna, business center, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and a fitness center. The hotel is approximately a 90-minute drive from Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA).