Tibet Monastery Tour - 9 Days

Cultural & Religious Tours
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US$ 2,149 P/P

Number of Travellers:


US$ 2,149
3%
US$ 2,149

Trip Info

  • Duration

    9 Days

  • Max. Altitude

    4440 m

  • Difficulty

    difficult

  • Starts From

    Kathmandu

  • Trip Ends At

    Lhasa Tibet

  • Transport

    Private Car & Flight

  • Best Season:

    • Summer (May,Jun)
    • Autumn (Mid-Sep - Mid November)

Tibet Monastery Tour Overview

Tibet Monastery Tour is an amazing trip plan that is ideal for the culture vultures and history aficionados. It is a 9 days trip taking you to the roof of the world, in the capital city Lhasa, and the surrounding settlements especially for visiting the monasteries.

Tibet Autonomous Region is one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage and worship destinations in Asia and is home to more than 1,700 Tibetan monasteries and temples. The capital of Tibet, Lhasa is also called the “Land of the God” as it derives its name from two words "LHA" and "SA", where Lha means "God" and SA means "Land" in Tibetan. 

In addition to being called the Land of God, Lhasa is an open museum to study Tibetan Buddhism along with Tibetan culture and tradition as there are many monasteries, gompas, palaces, and ancient statues and paintings that are still very lively. You will see the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, as well as two of the Great Three Gelugpa Monasteries, where you can see the active monk debates and daily life of Tibetan monks. You will also discover Samye, the oldest Buddhist monastery during this short Tibet Monastery Tour. 

This tour provides insight into the religious aspect of life in Lhasa and provides the opportunity to interact with the monks, and the locals. So, join us for this authentic journey and make your soul divine and purified. 

Tibet Monastery Tour Highlights

  • Explore all three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Tibet
  • Visit the two royal tombs of Yumbulakhang and Chamdrok
  • Exploring historic monasteries, palaces, and temples
  • Discover two of the three Gelug Monasteries
  • Opportunity to pay a visit to the oldest Buddhist monastery called Samye Monastery
  • A great chance to make a circuit of the most sacred temple in Tibet named Jokhang Temple
  • Tour around the winter and summer residences of the Dalai Lamas
  • Watch the interesting debates of the monks in the backyard of Sera Monastery
  • Experience the unique and insightful culture and tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

Best Time to do Tibet Monastery Tour 

Tibet, which is positioned high on a plateau, has freezing temperatures and frost throughout most of the year. The only period that midday temperatures are about 70 degrees Fahrenheit is in the summer. Additionally, the most oxygen is present during the summer, making acclimatization to the high altitude easier. Therefore, June through August are the best months to travel to Tibet. 

But other fantastic times for Tibet Tours, like this Tibet Monastery Tour, are spring and fall. Although the nights are colder than in the summer, these seasons are less crowded. Additionally, most days are sunny, blue, and warm enough to reach the temperature of double digits. Some of the views are even nicer than they are in the summer. 

During the spring months of March, April & May, the skies are bright, the weather is predictable, and the temperatures are generally comfortable, making your voyage free of obstacles. 

Everyone enjoys the brisk fall air. Autumn is also a time to visit Tibet due to the relaxed days with clear blue skies, moderate temperatures, and the most comfortable temperature of the year making your Monastery Explorations relaxed. 

For those who love winter, it is the ideal season, while for others, it is the off-season. Due to the bitter cold and lowering temperatures, winter is typically regarded as the off-season in Tibet. The brief but sunny days are ideal for city touring. Winter is also a wonderful season to go if you're on a tight budget because there are discounts available and fewer people. 

Permits to do Tibet Monastery Tour 

Visitors need to obtain the following permits to do the Tibet Monastery Tour. 

1. Chinese Group Visa

It is necessary for travelers who visit Tibet through Nepal to have a Chinese Group Visa with them. This visa is issued on A4-sized paper containing the names and passport numbers of you and your fellow travelers. It is not stamped in the traveler's passport. When your original passports and other necessary documents are delivered to the Chinese Embassy by your authorized travel company, you will receive this visa once you have arrived in Nepal. Getting this visa will take 3–4 working days.

2. Tibet Travel Permit 

The Tibet Travel Bureau (TTB), situated in Lhasa issues the Tibet Travel Permit which is mandatory to enter Tibet. Getting it takes about two weeks. You need to first confirm the Tibet Monastery Tour with an authorized travel agency like us. Then, your scanned passport copies and required documents will be submitted to TTB. After the permit is obtained by your travel agency, it will be handed to you once you arrive in Tibet. 

3. Alien’s Travel Permit 

The Tibet Monastery Trek requires an extra authorization called an Alien's Travel Permit because it travels through some restricted areas of Tibet. After presenting your original passport and Tibet Travel Permission, you can acquire the permit once you are in Tibet.

Itinerary in Details

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

🕑 30 Min Drive to Hotel

Max Altitude: 1350 M

Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, a representative from Himalayan Trekkers will meet you and escort you to the designated hotel in the Thamel area. After your check-in formalities, you can rest and freshen up before we sit for a short discussion session regarding your Tibet Monastery Tour. 

Your passports and other required documents will also be collected and submitted to the Chinese Embassy if your arrival is early, i.e., before the closing of the day’s office hour. However, if your arrival is late, those papers will be submitted the next day. Please keep in mind that it normally takes 3 working days to obtain the Chinese Group Visa. 

Then, in the evening, we will walk around the Thamel streets where you can get a glimpse of the lifestyle here. Thamel is the commercial neighborhood in the city that has been serving visitors for more than 40 years with its nightlife environment, cozy eateries, nice hotels, best trekking equipment shops, authentic handicrafts, and small monuments and temples on the corner. You can also experience the rickshaw ride here in Thamel. 

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 2: Full Day Kathmandu City Sightseeing

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 1350 M

After breakfast, we will proceed for your full day of guided sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley where we will visit some of the most important sites that are also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. 

Our first sightseeing site will be Boudhanath Stupa, the largest stupa in Kathmandu and one of Nepal's most impressive sights. Due to its significance to Buddhist pilgrims and the community, thousands of Buddhists visit this stupa each year, which is home to a 36-meter-tall Buddha statue. Boudhanath Stupa area is also referred to as Little Tibet as the surrounding is similar to Tibet and Boudhanath Stupa represents Tibetan Buddhism. 

After exploring Boudhanath, we will drive to a Hindu site called Pashupatinath Temple which is located at the bank of the holy Bagmati River. It is one of the four holiest temples in the world for Hindus and is one of the largest shrines to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva in Nepal. The significance of this sacred location dates back 2000 years. One of the main draws of the Pashupatinath temple is the holy men, who are covered in ashes and wear various types of makeup. You might get to witness the open-air cremation ceremony on the bank of the river. 

After lunch, we will drive to Lalitpur district which is one of three cities in the Kathmandu valley. Lalitpur is also known as Patan meaning the city of beauty or the city of fine arts. Since ancient times, Patan has been a Buddhist city where Hinduism also coexists. The Patan Durbar Square, the Patan Museum, the Taleju Temple, the Bhimsen Temple, the Golden Temple, the Temple of 1000 Buddhas, and the Sun Dhara, or golden tap, are just a few of Patan's well-known attractions.
We return to Kathmandu city after all the exploration and spend the remainder of the day as per your interest. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 3: Day Hike to Champadevi

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 2200 M

As you will be heading to Tibet, where the average elevation is 4000 meters, we have added a day climb to 2280 meters high Champadevi Hill for acclimatization purposes. Along with acclimatization, you will get to enjoy a beautiful view of the valley, the surrounding landscape, and, Himalayan peaks like Mt. Ganesh, Mt. Langtang Lirung, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Gaurishankar, and even Mt. Everest on a clear day. 

Note: If you are not interested in doing hikes, you can skip it and opt. for the activities in the city. We can organize it as per your interest. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 4: Fly to Goongaar Lhasa

🕑 1 Hours 30 Min Flight & transfer to hotel

Max Altitude: 3650 M

Our representative will receive your Chinese Group Visa as soon as the Chinese Embassy opens today and hand them over to you before we head to the airport for your flight to Tibet. The flight to Gonggar Airport is considered one of the most dangerous airports in the world as well as one of the most scenic as you will be rewarded with aerial views of the world’s top Himalayas on a clear day and the vast landscape of Tibet Autonomous Region which is also the “roof of the world”. 

Then, upon your arrival at the Gonggar Airport or the train station, one of our representatives from the Tibet side will welcome you and escort you to the designated hotel in Lhasa which is an hour’s drive from the airport. You can rest for the remainder of the day resting and acclimatizing to the higher altitude of Lhasa. 

In the late afternoon, if you feel like looking around, we can make a stroll around Barkhor Street and also probably pay our visits to Jokhang Temple. It will be an introductory visit where you can see the lifestyle here. We will explore these sites to the fullest the next day. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Lhasa

Day 5: Full-Day Lhasa Sightseeing

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3650 M

We start your full-day Lhasa sightseeing after breakfast with the visit to Potala Palace which housed the winter Palace of the Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959. Built by the then-ruler of Tibet, King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, the palace complex is divided into red and white palaces. This architectural masterpiece is the symbol of the unity of the Tibetans. The white palace was the Dalai Lama’s winter residence and the Red Palace became the center, for religious ceremonies. The Potala Palace is known nowadays for allowing guests to browse its enormous collection of religious and cultural artifacts.

After lunch, we will drive towards the Jokhang Temple, the most revered temple for Tibetan Buddhists and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Jokhang temple is located in the center of Lhasa and is revered across the world as a spiritual center of Tibet. A life-size statue of 12-year-old Shakyamuni is among this temple/main monastery's draws. 

After spending some time at the temple, we will walk through Barkhor Street, a traditional old street in Lhasa. The street is bustling with the pilgrims making kora of the Jokhang Temple as this path circles the temple, tourists, many authentic shops, and restaurants. You can also make a kora while taking a look at the handicrafts the shops sell. 
We return to the hotel for the night. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Lhasa

Day 6: Exploring Monasteries in Lhasa

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3650 M

After breakfast, we begin our next full-day excursion at the once-largest monastery in the world, Drepung Monastery, which once housed over 10,000 monks. Prior to the construction of the Potala Palace, it served as the Dalai Lamas' residence. It was constructed in the fourteenth century and is currently one of Tibet's top monastic schools.

After lunch, we will drive back to the city and visit the Sera Monastery, which was built in the fifteenth century by a disciple of Tsongkhapa and is undoubtedly the most stunning monastery in the area. One of the main attractions of the monastery is when the monks argue, which is an essential part of comprehending and learning Buddhism. These arguments take place in the monastery's backyard.

If time allows, we will visit Norbulingka, one of Lhasa's three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which once served as the Dalai Lamas' summer residence. The palace has the largest horticulture garden in Tibet and 374 apartments.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Lhasa

Day 7: Drive to Tsedang & visit Yumbulhakhang Palace & Trandruk Monastery

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3650 M

After breakfast, we leave Lhasa and drive towards Tsedang, the third largest city of Tibet which is the capital of the Shannan Prefecture. Once in Tsedang after nearly two and half hours of picturesque ride, we will visit the Yumbulhakhang Palace, the first imperial residence on the rocky hill for a first Tibetan king. The famous, three-story, 11 m high watchtower is the primary feature of this first palace, which was constructed for King Nyentri Tsenpo in the second century. On the first floor, you can see the original murals showing visions of Tsongkhapa. The second floor features a scene from Nyatri Tsenpo. There are also murals showing Shakyamuni with his 16 disciples, 21 Taras, Padma Sambhava and his eight incarnations, and defenders. In addition, the view of the Yarlung Valley from Yumbulhakhang's summit is superb. 

Then, we visit another Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo's Trandruk Monastery. It is one of the first Buddhist monasteries and now has a 1,300-year history. The monastery belongs to the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa School where the figure of Tara, also known as Drolma Sheshema, and five Dhyani Buddhas are the major highlights. The monastery also houses the most valuable pearl Thangka brought by Princess Wencheng. We will enjoy the colorful Thangkas, statues, and beautiful murals that evoke the glory of Songtsen Gampo's rule.
After exploring these masterpieces, we will return to our hotel for the night. 

Note: We have to make a steep walk to Yumbulhakhang Palace. However, you can opt. for a horse ride for an additional price.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Lhasa

Day 8: Day Tour at Samye Monastery & Drive back to Lhasa

🕑 Full Day

After breakfast, we will proceed for a day tour to Samye Monastery which is the oldest Buddhist monastery in Tibet built in the eighth century. We'll come to a tiny red and white chapel that was supposedly constructed beneath a white sandalwood tree. The monastic complex is quite beautiful and is a feast for the eyes and the spirit. It portrays the universe with the Sun and Moon Temples, four continents and subcontinents, and the main temple, Utse, which stands in for Mount Meru. Monks put their knowledge to use on a gorgeous park and a debate courtyard. The roof of this three-story monastery offers an excellent perspective of the monastery. If time permits, we can make a kora to the top of Hepori Hill and take in the breathtaking view of Samye Monastery. After exploring the Samye Monastery to the fullest, we will further proceed on the journey toward Lhasa. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Lhasa

Day 9: Depart Lhasa to Onward Destination

🕑 1 Hours Drive to Airport

With the end of your Tibet Monastery Tour, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to your onward destination after breakfast. Only Nepal and Mainland China have direct flights to Lhasa, so you can either fly from Lhasa to Chengdu, Guangzhou, or Beijing or you can fly back to Kathmandu before catching a connecting flight to your home country. 

Meals: Breakfast

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Includes

  • Airport transfers on a private vehicle
  • All necessary Travel Permits to travel in Tibet
  • 3* standard category hotel accommodations on a twin/double sharing in Lhasa & Tsedang 
  • Flight fare from Kathmandu – Lhasa 
  • All ground transportation comfortable vehicle
  • Professional English-speaking Tibetan guide
  • All entrance fees, tickets to the attraction sites, and monasteries 
  • First Aid Kit
  • Welcome/farewell dinner 
  • Applicable Government Taxes

Excludes

  • International flight fare
  • Nepal Visa 
  • Lunch and dinner 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for guides, drivers
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, shopping, phone calls, bar bills, extra meals, etc.
  • Any extra cost occurring from Unfavorable Circumstances such as weather, road blockade, flight cancellation, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Includes

Accommodation

Accommodations During Tibet Monastery Trek 

For all tour packages, Himalayan Trekkers typically provide 3* standard category lodging in cities. Therefore, during this Tibet Monastery Trek, you will be staying in a 3* standard category accommodation on a twin/double sharing arrangement for your time in Lhasa and Tsedang. However, if you want to stay at a more luxurious hotel or prefer a single supplemental service, we will manage them for you at an additional expense and with advance notice. 

Meals During Tibet Monastery Trek 

While all breakfasts are included in the price, you are on your own for lunch and dinner during this Tibet Monastery Tour. Both Lhasa and Tsedang have many restaurants serving your preferred foods from western, continental, Chinese, or local cuisines.

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