This itinerary is newly designed by our company since Qinghai railway completed in 2007. Amdo is home to the 14th Dalai Lama and is also the birth place of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism. Traversing the expansive grasslands of Amdo, we visit the famous Labrang and Kubum monasteries, one of the most important Gelukpa monasteries in the Tibetan world. We also visit Kokonor Lake, the largest salt water lake on the Tibetan high plateau and the bird island. From Xining by (Train)Shangrila Express to Lhasa, the forbidden city and the ultimate pilgrim destination for Tibetan Buddhist all over.
Day 1: Beijing fly to Lanzhu (1520 m). The capital city of Gansu province and an important trading post on the ancient Silk Road. Visit the Gansu Provincial Museum. O/N Hotel.
Day 2: Lanzhu to Xiahe (Labrang). With an elevation of 2900 m above sea level, Xiahe is located at the edge of northeast Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Most of the residents are Tibetan. You'll visit the most siginificant Lamaist Monastery in the northeast of Tibetan civilization - Labrang Monastery. The monastery is one of the 6 leading Gelukpa monasteries in the Tibetan world, as well as you can visit Ganja Natural caves and Songkok grassland which is far away from town 15 km.
Day 3: Xiahe to Xining via Xunhua (140 + 110 km) 3000 m. Drive to Xining. En route visit Xunhua, birthplace of 10th Panchen Lama. Xining, is the provincial capital of Qinghai, a city with the majority of the inhabitants Tibetans.
Day 4: Xining to Koko Nar Lake, 200 km. On the way to Koko Nor Lake you'll stop to visit Kubum Monastery. The monastery is one of the six leading Gelukpa Monasterieis in the Tibetan world. It is also the birthplace of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelukpa School. You'll reach Kokonor lake after pass over the Riyue mountain (sun and moon mountain). We will also visit the Bird Island on the western side of the Lake Kokonor.
Day 5: Koko Nar Lake to Xining, 190 km. You'll have a short trekking along the lake in the morning. The lake is the largest inland salt water lake in China and covers an area of 4500 sq km, and 3193 m above sea level. Then drive back to Xining in the afternoon.
Day 6: Xining to lhasa (3650 m), 90 km. Transfer to Train Station 24hrs to Lhasa (by Shangri La express)
Day 7: Lhasa Train Station (Meet the local guide and transfer to Hotel).
Day 8: Sightseeing. We will have two full days in the holy city of Lhasa to make excursions to the following places: the Jokhang Temple, the principal Buddhist temple in Lhasa. The temple, known for its large gold image of Sakyamuni Buddha, was first constructed in the 7th century. The Norbulingka, a richly decorated complex located in a beautiful garden setting, is the traditional summer palace of the Dalai Lamas. Drepung Monastery, is one of the largest Tibetan monastic universities. The Monastery used to have 8,000 monks who were taught in the traditions of Vajrayana, Mahayana and Sutrayana, the three vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism. We will also visit the Barkor bazaar, the bustling market in Lhasa, a colorful congregating place for Tibetan merchants. Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama, is reputed to contain 1,000 rooms, and is considered as one of the world's most remarkable buildings. Sitting at top of a mountain overlooking Lhasa, the Potala contains hundreds upon hundreds of magnificent thangkas, frescoes, and images.
Day 9: Lhasa to airport. Early morning breakfast at hotel and transfer to Gongar Airport to connect flight to Kathmandu/Chengdu/Xining. Those going via overland to Nepal border will continue with the trip as follows:
Day 10: Lhasa - Gyantse (3990 m), 350 km. Drive via Yamdrok, the Turquoise Lake to Gyangtse across Kampa la pass 5050 m and Karo la (5045 m)passes. Visit Kubum stupa and Pelkor Chode Monastery.
Day 11: Gyantse - Shalu - Shigatse (3860 m), 90 km. Drive to Shigatse. En route visit Shalu Monastery. Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lama who is the 2nd in the Buddhist religious hierachy and Shigatse Market.
Day 12: Shigatse - Sakya - Shegar - Dingri (4350 m). Drive to Shegar across Tsoula pass (4500 m) and Gyatso la pass (5220 m). En route visit Sakya Monastery.
Day 13: Shegar - Rongbuk (5050 m). Drive via Pangla pass (5200 m) to Rongbuk Monastery, world's highest monastery situated at 5200 m. O/N Rongbuk Guest House.
Day 14: Everest Base Camp. We have the option to hike or drive to Everest Base Camp. Rongbuk Guest House.
Day 15: Nyalam. After watching sunrise over Everest, we drive on to Nylam. Nylam Guest House.
Day 16: Nyalam - Zhangmu - Kathmandu. Drive to Zhangmu and on to Kathmandu. En route visit Milarepa Cave.We descend from the high arid Tibetan plateau into the lush greenery of Nepal.
- Duration: 16 days
- Destination: Beijing, Lanzhu, Labrang Monastery, Xining, Nagqu, Lhasa
- Maximum altitude: 5350 m
- Best season: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, Aug, Sept,Oct
- Photo spot: Beijing, Labrang, Koko Nar lake, Damxong, Lhasa.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Tibet Local Culture Cultural Journey