Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
Explore Classic Tibet in this 5-day luxury itinerary. Visit ancient monasteries where monks engage in lively philosophical debate, and haggle for souvenirs in the picturesque Barkhor Square. Enjoy a meditative walk with pilgrims at Jokhang Temple and see some of the oldest buildings in Tibet on a side-trip to the city of Tsetang. Each night of your journey, enjoy the comfort of Tibet’s best available hotels.
After your arrival in Lhasa you’ll embark on the 115 mile drive to Tsetang, one of Tibet’s largest cities. Visit Yungbulakang Palace, which dates back to the 2nd century AD and is said to be Tibet’s first building. After that, pay a visit to the ancient Tadruk Monastery where you’ll see remnants of intricate Buddhist artwork and ornate temple architecture. Tonight, check into Tsetang Hotel for the evening.
Continue your exploration of Tsetang with a visit to Samye Monastery, one of the first temples built in Tibet and the site of the “Great Debate,” that took place during 792-794 between the Indian Mahayanists and Chinese Chan, or Zen, Buddhists. Afterwards, visit the Chimpuk Meditation Caves—100 caves where the faithful practice personal spiritual exploration.
Today you’ll drive back to Lhasa, visiting Yamdrok Tso Lake along the way. Here you can follow one of the hiking trails and enjoy a picnic with far-reaching views over jagged mountains and snow-capped peaks.Return to your hotel in Lhasa tonight – the St Regis is one of Lhasa’s finest hotels.
Visit Potala Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which was once the home of the Dalai Lama. From Potala, head to Norbulingka, a park founded in 1755 by the seventh Dalai Lama and home to the summer residence of the Lama lineage. Afterwards, haggle in the vibrant street market of Barkhor Square, and visit Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s holiest temple. Here, you’ll have the chance to join other pilgrims circumambulating the temple and be blessed by one of the senior monks.
Continue your tour of Lhasa’s holy sights with a visit to the 15th-century Drepung Monastery, one of the largest monasteries in the world. Here, you can taste traditional yak butter tea and witness monks in chanting meditation. Afterward, embark on a 1-2 hour hike, stopping at Sera Monastery, famous for its lively monk debates, where different aspects of Buddhist philosophy are discussed. Five-thousand monks live in this 15th-century building, which is one of three major “Gelupka” universities.
Complete your pilgrimage with Ganden Monastery, the final of the three holiest monasteries in Tibet. Alternatively, visit the beautiful Namtso Lake, a stunning blue expanse extending from the mountains and surrounded by hidden hermitages. In the evening you’ll return to your hotel in Lhasa for the final night of your journey.