Lhasa to Everest and Namtso Lake in 9 Days
The 9 Days Tour from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and then to Namtso lake is one of the most scenic tours in Tibet. It includes visiting the most beautiful natural areas in Central and northern Tibet. You will see Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glaciers, Brahmaputra River, vast grasslands,Namtso lake, and, of course, the stunning Mount Everest. We will also visit historical and religious places: Palaces, monasteries, and temples.
Main Attractions: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monasteries, Yamdrok Lake, Kumbum Stupa, Tashi Lumpo Monastery, Everest Base Camp, Rongbuk Monastery, Namtso Lake, Yangpachen hotspring.
Duration: 9 days
Maximum Elevation: 5,050 m/ 16,570 ft
Best Time to Travel: May through October
Day 1 – Arrival in Lhasa
You arrive at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or the train station. The airport is 62 km/ 39 miles away from the city, and it takes approximately one hour to get to the hotel from there. On the way to Lhasa, you will enjoy beautiful views of mountains. The train station is located in Lhasa, and you will only need a short transfer to the hotel.
Depending on the time of your arrival, you might have some free time to spend in Lhasa. Our guides will be happy to advise you on what you can do with your time in Lhasa. Remember, that Lhasa is located at 3,650 meters/ 12,000 ft above sea level and you will need some time to acclimatize.
After you check in the hotel, you are welcome to explore the city, visit nearby temples, do some shopping, try delicious Tibetan food in one of the local restaurants, or just take a rest.
Walking around Bakhor Street can be an excellent choice for your first day in Lhasa. You will join crowds of pilgrims, local Tibetans, and monks circumambulating the Jokhang Temple.
Most importantly, on your first day in Tibet, be sure to relax, enjoy your day and allow some time for acclimatizing.
Day 2 – Lhasa City Tour: Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple
This tour visits the two most important religious sites in Tibet.
The Potala Palace was the seat of the Dalai Lamas since the 17th century. First, the guide will take you to the Chak Pori Hill to take photos of the majestic Palace. We will then go inside and spend approximately 1.5 – 2 hours there. While there, you will see many of its most famous artifacts.
There will be free time for lunch after visiting the Potala Palace.
Time permitting, you can walk around the Potala Palace and join many of the local Tibetans.
Next, we will walk towards the Jokhang Temple. It was built in the 7th century to display the Jowo Shakyamuni Statue – the statue of the 12-year-old Buddha before his enlightenment. The statue was created at the time when the historical Buddha lived. It is elaborately decorated with gold, jewels, and precious stones.
After visiting the temple, we recommend taking a walk around Bakhor Street.
Day 3 – Lhasa City Tour: Drepung and Sera Monasteries
We are visiting the two most important monasteries in the capital.
We will first visit Drepung Monastery, which once was the largest monastery in the world with over 10,000 monks living there. It was the residence of Dalai Lamas before the Potala Palace was built.
There will be free time for lunch after the Drepung Monastery.
In the afternoon we are visiting Sera Monastery. It was founded by Tsongkhapa’s disciple in the 15th century. Nowadays it is famous for monks debate that you can witness. Debates are a very important part of learning and understanding Buddhism. Monks gather in the courtyard in the shade of the trees to refine their knowledge.
Day 4 – Driving to Shigatse: Yamdrok Lake and Glaciers
Today we will travel on some of the most beautiful roads in Tibet on our drive to Shigatse.
Be prepared to take photos of the breathtaking views as we go up to the highest point of the day – Kamba La Pass (almost 4,800 meters / 15,750 ft).
Our next stop will be at the Yamdrok Lake. It is one of the holy lakes in Tibet, and it is famous for its turquoise colored water.
After that, we will head towards Gyantse. On the way there, we will make a stop to see the spectacular glaciers.
In Gyantse, we will visit the monastery and the biggest stupa.
Finally, we will reach Shigatse late in the evening and stay there overnight.
Day 5 – Driving to the Everest. Rongbuk Monastery.
Today we will be driving through towering mountain ranges, and going through several high passes and Everest viewpoints. We will reach tent camp near the Everest Base Camp in the evening.
Depending on the traffic and weather conditions, we might have time to visit the Rongbuk Monastery – the highest monastery in the world.
We will stay in the tent for the night. You can order dinner and breakfast there as there is an English menu available.
Day 6 – Driving back to Shigatse
Depending on the weather conditions from the previous day, we might finish some of the activities that we were not able to do yesterday. You can take some photos from the tent camp. After breakfast, we will head back to Shigatse.
Day 7 – Shigatse to Namtso Lake
In the morning we will visit Tashilumpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lamas. This monastery was founded by the first Dalai Lama, and it is one of the most important monasteries in Tibet. You can take photos in some of the chapels for an additional fee.
We will first take the Friendship Highway on the way to Namtso lake. On the way, we will make several in order to enjoy the views of the Brahmaputra River. Later, we will take the scenic road towards the lake driving through nomadic grassland area. There will be high mountain passes providing fantastic views. We will reach Namtso lake in the evening. You can spend time, walking on the lake shore and enjoying the views.
Since 2019, there are no guesthouses on the Namtso lake shore to prevent its pristine nature environment. That’s why we will drive to the nearest town Damshung to stay there overnight.
Day 8 – Driving from Namtso Lake to Lhasa
On the way back to Lhasa from Damshung we will stop by the Yangpachen hot springs. The hot springs have two large swimming pools and a number of smaller ones. They are filled with the mineral water that is naturally hot. You can swim in the pools for an additional fee.
Overnight in hotel in Lhasa.
Day 9 – Lhasa to Airport/Train station
Please prepare in advance for your departure. It takes approximately one hour to drive to the airport and around thirty minutes to reach the train station. We will arrive at the airport three hours before your departure flight if you are traveling to Nepal and two hours before any domestic flight.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
TOURS YOU MIGHT LIKE
8 DAYS LHASA TO EVEREST TOUR
A beautiful and exciting journey, starting in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and going to the Everest Base Camp. The tour visits Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera, Drepung and Tashilhunpo monasteries, Kumbum Stupa, Yamdrok Lake and Karola glaciers.
Both group and private tours are available
6 DAYS TIBETAN CULTURAL HERITAGE TOUR
This private tour takes you from Lhasa to Yarlung Valley and Samye Monastery. Yarlung valley is the birthplace of Tibetan civilization. You can see Yumbulakhang, an ancient fort and the first surviving building in Tibet. After that, you will visit Samye, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet.
7 DAYS LHASA TO KATHMANDU TOUR
This tour starts in Lhasa. We will stay there for 2 days to explore the capital and acclimatize. After that, we will head to the center of attraction in the Himalayas – Mount Everest. We will spend a night by the highest mountain on a planet and continue driving through majestic mountain ranges, alongside rivers and waterfalls to the border between Tibet and Nepal.