China travel map - Tibet Holy Lakes Adventure

Tibet is steeped in history, rich in natural beauty and home to some of the world's most sacred pilgrimage sites. On this 9 days Tibet trip you will gain an insight into this fascinating land under the special guidance of an experienced tour escort. Explore the incredible plateau lakes including Namtso and Yamdrok Lake. And you will visit popular scenic spots like Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Ani Tsankhung Nunnery, Drak Yerpa, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Palkor Monastery, Tashilumpo Monastery, and remote Reting Monastery, Drigung Monastery and Tidrum Nunnery.

Duration: 9 days & 8 nights

Destinations: Lhasa - Namtse - Damxung - Lhasa - Shigatse - Lhasa

Starting Point: Lhasa

Ending Point: Lhasa

Customize Your Tour:
☑  Travel Dates  ☑ Your Interests  ☑ Your Travel Style


Welcome to Lhasa, the one and only Sunlight City in Tibet. Your guide will meet and greet you at the airport/train station with a sign with your name on it. Transfer with a private vehicle to your accommodation. Spend the rest time free at leisure acclimatize yourself to the weather and altitude on the roof of the world.

  You May Want to Know  

  • To better adapt the altitude, it is better for travelers, especially those from low altitude regions, to take a morning flight into Lhasa.
  • If you prefer accommodation in Lhasa with special oxygen supplies, please don’t hesitate to let your trip advisor at ETC know.


Today, you’re visiting word’s highest altitude palace and castle - Potala Palace. The greatest masterpiece of Tibetan architecture, it is famous for its sheer size, grandeur, and collection of incredible Buddhist treasures. Admire the mighty White Palace and Red Palace, and listen to the stories how Potala Palace was built by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo to marry Princess Wencheng, who came call the way to Tibet from the Tang Dynasty. Then witness a unique form of debate – among the lamas at Sera Monastery. They are very active debating by speaking out their views. It is a way to exchange and learn the Buddhist classics. End of the day with a visit of Ani Tsankhung Nunnery, which was also built Songsten Gampo in the 7th century by who used it as meditation chamber.

Meal: B, L

Potala Palace

This morning explore a majestic cliff-side monastery in the suburb of Lhasa - Drak Yerpa, with a history of 1500 years. What’s particularly curious about Drak Yerpa is that it is one of the great four ancient hermitages in Tibet. Different from the surrounding wildness, Drak Yerpa is embraced by vegetation, trees, flowers and even with streams flowing through. There are dozens of ancient meditation caves hidden in the cliff, with mysterious Buddhist glamour.

In the afternoon, through the old town of Lhasa, visit Jokhang Temple, the true sanctuary of Tibetan Buddhism. It is because of Jokhang Temple, Lhasa has been honored as the holy city. You can always see numerous devoted Buddhist, from other parts of Tibet and even Yunnan, Qinghai and Gansu, who make their pilgrimage to Jokhang Temple. Meet 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue here. Then walk briskly around Barkhor Street, a scared road and commercial street, where you can discover traditional Tibetan dwelling and way of living. 

Meal: B, L

Drak Yerpa Monastery

Today go visit some less-known but historically important ancient temples nearby Lhasa. Drive 240km to Lhünzhub County to visit the notable Reting Monastery of Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the seat of the Reting Rinpoche, founded in 1056. On the way, you will also visit Drigung Monastery (Drijung Til Monastery), built in 1179, which used to hold an eminent position in the local political and religious history of Tibet, and was crucial to the glorious ancient road connecting the grassland of northern Tibet with the plain of Lhasa. And visit Tidrum Nunnery, hidden in a beautiful valley. Explore the in the surrounding hills, and you can also find hermitages and caves dating to the 8th Century. The nunnery now homes to about 100 nuns.Overnight at tent by Reing Monastery.

Meal: B, L

Wake up in warm sunlight, then take an enjoyable morning drive to Namtso (240km), a well-known holy lake in Tibet. Namtso in Tibetan means “Heaven Lake”, partly because of its high altitude. Embraced by snow-capped Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains, rolling hills and endless plateau meadows, Namtso looks like a huge mirror embedded in the North Tibet grasslands. Every summer and important Tibetan festival, you may see lamas go on pilgrimage to Namtso and walk the lake in circle. Overnight at Damxung.

Meal: B, L

Namtso Lake

It is a relaxing day, no hurry for anything. Enjoy yourself the serenity and peace. Begin the drive back to Lhasa, through the breath-taking highland scenery along the way, be enchanted by the mighty snow mountains, vast meadows, incredible wildness, remote villages…

Meal: B, L

Depart from Lhasa and head for Shigatse. Pass through the amazing plateau setting and get to Yamdrok Lake, another beautiful holy lake in Tibet. This jewel-like lake is in a shape of coral branch with 21 islands and homes to a variety of migratory birds, such as yellow duck, swan, heron, sand gulls. It is the largest water bird habitat and a paradise for wild birds in Tibet. Take a brisk walk by the Yamdrok Lake and have picnic lunch. Then proceed to Gyantse town, and visit an old Tibetan castle - Gyantse Dzong (Fortress). It was a unity of politics and religion in the feudal times. Standing on the rugged mountain cliff, overlooking the Nianchuhan Plain, Gyantse Dzong looks majestic and magnificent. Then, be further immersed in the timelessness of Tibetan Buddhism as you visit Palkhor Monastery an important monastery founded in 1414. It has beautiful white pagoda, thus also named Baiju Monastery. Later in the afternoon, arrive in Shigatse.

Meal: B, L

Baiju Temple

Visit the famous Tashilumpo Monastery, the seat of successive Panchen Lamas. It is one of Tibet’s great four temples of Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism, with enormous scale, elegant layout and beautiful architecture. Like Potala Palace, Tashilumpo Monastery also has palace wall, winding uphill, as long as 3000m. There are 57 prayer halls, and 3,600 houses, with a plethora of valuable Buddhist relics. Then drive back to Lhasa, taking in the stunning landscape along Yarlung Tsangpo River (Yalu Zangbu River), one of highest elevation rivers on earth, rising from the north of Himalaya. That is why it is called Tsangpo – water flowing from the highest peak.

Meal: B, LAdventure in Tibet

Enjoy your last minute in Tibet, and say goodbye. Transfer to the airport and head for your next destination. End of your 9 days Tibet tour.

Meal: B

What's included

  • 1-on-1 Travel Consultant

    Your China based expert listens to your wishes carefully, provides professional advice, ensures unlimited itinerary revisions before done and 24/7 helpline service while traveling.

  • Private Local Guide and Driver

    Your guides are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and your drivers are professional, polite and patient. They are very flexible to accommodate your personal needs and happy to show you the local attractions, history, culture, foods and real life. 
    Private transfers from hotel to attractions, airport or train station are also included.

  • Accommodation to Suite Your Preference

    In each place, we hand pick hotels ranging from luxury 5 star, superior 4 star to comfortable 3 star. Luxury or cozy boutique hotels and budget guesthouses are also among your choices. You could decide where to stay to meet your taste and budget.

  • Gourmet Meals

    Most of the hotels we select offer both Western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Lunch and dinner included are arranged in selected restaurants to taste authentic Chinese cuisine and local specialties. Thus you may also have a unique food tour.
    Meals specified in itinerary as B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner.

  • Attractions and Activities Listed on the Itinerary

    Our China tour packages have included the (first/main) entry to all attractions and the expenses of activities on the itinerary (except the optional activities).

  • Internal Transportation

    Based on your needs, we could make bookings of internal transportation, including domestic flights, inter-city trains, long-distance bus, etc.

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