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Trip Extensions

Beijing Essence Tour

Duration: 5 days

This extension takes you on an exploration of all the major sites in and around Beijing. Visit the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven, all fine examples of exceptional Chinese architecture. See one of the 7 Wonders of the World at th... read more

Nepal Chitwan and Everest

Duration: 6 days

Fly to Kathmandu for a quick taste of the high Himalayas and the fabulous Chitwan National Park where we will explore the most famous tiger reserve in Nepal. You will also get a close up look at Mt Everest from a special flightseeing trip. Extend you... read more

Chengdu Panda Experience Extension

Duration: 4 days

Chengdu is perhaps most famousas the home of China's Giant Panda population and the Panda Reserve Centers that study, breed, and educate the public about these maginifcent creatures. Add this 4-day extension to your trip for the opportunity to volu... read more

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive in tibet

Welcome to Tibet!Welcome to Tibet!

Welcome to Tibet! Upon arrival, you will be met and transfered to your hotel in Lhasa to rest up and begin your acclimatization. (Lhasa is at an elevation 3650 m/ 11,975 ft, and you'll travel up to 4718 m/ 15,475 ft during this trip.) Expect about a 45 minute drive from the airport to Lhasa. 

Meals
Dinner
Lodging
House of Shambhala (or similar)

Day 2: shoton festival

See the Thangka unveiling at DrepungSee the Thangka unveiling at Drepung

Today the Shoton Festival, translated to “Yogurt Banquet Festival,” kicks off. During the festivities, the locals eat yogurt, sing, and dance. This is one of the most important festivals for Tibetans that started around 1250 AD when the monks could not go outside in order to avoid stepping on insects. When they were finally allowed to go outside, the locals would offer them yogurt and ask for blessings. Eventually, the Tibetan Opera was introduced and features performers dressed in colorful masks and costumes who sing, chant, dance, and tell stories of Buddhist teachings and Tibetan history. There is a thangka unveiling at the Drepung Monastery, one of the “Great Three” Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge Tshi Palden, one of Tsongkhapa's main disciples, it was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the Fifth Dalai Lama constructed the Potala. As a main Buddhist educational institute, it is also where many monks study.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
House of Shambhala (or similar)

Day 3: explore lhasa

The impressive Potala PalaceThe impressive Potala Palace

You'll spend the day exploring the heart of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and the center of Tibetan Buddhism for over a thousand years. Literally translated to "Place of the Gods," Lhasa is a city of wonders, with palaces and old town areas that preserve the traditional Tibetan way of life. Visits include: the Potala Palace that soars above the city and has been the winter residence of every Dalai Lama from the fifth to the current 14th; Jokhang Temple, the“spiritual heart” of Lhasa city; Sera Monastery, another one of the “Great Three” Buddhist university monasteries where debating is an important part of the academic learning; and Nechung Temple – the seat of the State Oracle of Tibet. You'll also stroll around Barkhor street and the surrounding old quarters of the town.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
House of Shambhala (or similar)

Day 4: drak yerpa monastery & norbulingka palace

See the opera show in the Shoton FestivalSee the opera show in the Shoton Festival

Embark on a day trip today, with a short (1/2 hour) drive northeast of Lhasa to the Drak Yerpa monastery. This area also includes ancient meditation caves that used to house 300 monks.

After exploring Drak Yerpa, head back to Lhasa for a late afternoon visit to Norbulingka Palace, the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas, as well as a great horticulture park. Here, you'll experience the Tibetan opera performance that is part of the Shoton Festival. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
House of Shambhala (or similar)

Day 5: drive to tsetang and samye

Visit Yumbu Lhakang, the first Tibetan palaceVisit Yumbu Lhakang, the first Tibetan palace

Today you'll head out for a 2.5-hour drive to Samye and the region commonly known as "the cradle of Tibetan Civilization," with plenty of stops along the way including the town of Tsetang (3,100 m/ 10,200 ft), the fourth largest city in Tibet. Nearby is the Yumbu Lhakang Palace, originally built during the second century BC for the first Tibetan King, Nyatri Tsenpo. It became a monastery in the seventh century during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama. There are stunning murals recording the early history of Tibet painted on the walls of the inside of the palace. Not far from here is the Trandruk Monastery, first constructed during the reign of Songtsen Gampo in the early seventh century. Later, it came into possesion of the Yellow Hat Buddhist sect and has since undergone reconstruction. It contains a unique pearl thangka depicting a potrait of Kwan-Yin in a carriage surrounded by clouds, flowers, and birds made of more than 29,000 pearls, 2,000 coral beads, 180 turquoise beads, a few rubies, and a diamond and sapphire.

Continue on to Samye, where you'll spend time exploring the monastery, built in 762 under the reign of Trisong Detsen. This is the first official Buddhist monastery in Tibet with a history of over 1,200 years. It is also one of the most influential monasteries in Tibet, once famous for debates between ancient Indian Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism. The monastery's structure is unique, combining Tibetan, Chinese, and Indian styles.

End the day at your comfortable guesthouse in Samye. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Tibetan-style Guest House

Day 6: drive to gyantse

Pass the beautiful Yamdrok LakePass the beautiful Yamdrok Lake

Get your camera ready for today's stunning drive from Samye to Gyantse. You'll be in the vehicle for about seven hours, but with all of the gorgeous scenery, the time will fly by. Along the way, cross over Kamba-la pass (4,700 m/ 15,416 ft) before descending to the magnificent freshwater Yamdrok Lake. This sacred lake contains turquoise water surrounded by snow-capped mountains offering some of the most spectacular scenery you'll encounter along the way. It is also the  only Tibetan Monastery headed by a female re-incarnation, even though it is not a nunnery.

From here, drive up the Karo La pass for an amazing view of the Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier, and then continue to the town of Gyantse, considered the third largest and most prominent town in Tibet.

You'll overnight at the best guesthouse in Gyantse at an elevation of 3,980 m/ 13,054 ft. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Tibetan-style Guest House

Day 7: explore gyantse and drive to shigatse  

Explore the town of GyantseExplore the town of Gyantse

This morning is a chance to get to know Gyantse, with visits to places such as the 15th century Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Gyantse Kumbum. The monastery is a fusion of Han, Tibetan, and Nepali architectural style with the most prominant being the Gyantse Kumbum, a 32 m (105 ft) high structure with nine tiers and 108 gates. It's name also means "10,000 Buddha Pagodas because it once contained 10,000 images and murals of Buddha. Once a complex of 15 monasteries, Pelkor Chode is unique as it houses three Buddhist sects - Sakyapa, Kadampa, and Gelugpa.

When it's time to leave, you'll drive a short distance (two hours) to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. Along the way, stop by and visit Pashual, a traditional Tibetan village, where you can observe the life of the indigenous Tibetan farmers and taste locally made snacks. You'll also visit the Shalu monastery, renowned for its mural paintings and Buddhist scholastic learning and training. Arrive in Shigatse city where you'll stay for the night.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
4 star hotel

Day 8: explore shigatse & drive to dhamshung

Stay at quaint guesthouses and hotelsStay at quaint guesthouses and hotels

After breakfast begin a tour of Shigatse starting with Tashi Lhunpo, the largest Buddhist monastery in the Tsang province of Tibet, and witness the largest gilded statue of Future Buddha in Tibet. Enjoy a stroll through the local market before heading out for today's 7-hour drive along the Friendship Highway, turning at what used to be the ferry crossing point and is now Takdruka village. Continue driving through a stunning valley and cross the Shugu La pass (5,259 m/ 17,250 ft). End in Dhamshung, a small town on the northern nomadic upland, where you'll stay for the night at an elevation of 4,290 m (14,071 ft).

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Tibetan-style 3 star hotel

Day 9: explore namtso lake / drive to lhasa

Stroll around the Jokhang TempleStroll around the Jokhang Temple

After breakfast, head out for a two-hour drive to the beautiful Namtso Lake (Heavenly Lake), at an elevation of 4,718 m (15,475 ft). The holy Namtso Lake is one of the largest salt lakes in Tibet at 70 km (43 mi) long and 30 km (18.5 mi) wide. At one time, at the end of winter, devout Buddhist walked over the frozen lake, bringing enought food with them to last the summer, then return when the lake froze back up. Spend some time relaxing and enjoying in the incredible landscape surrounding the lake and perhaps take a short walk along the lakeshore. 

Afterwards, return to Lhasa via a four-hour drive where you can rest up at your hotel or take a gentle stroll around the holy Jokhang Temple.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
House of Shambhala (or similar)

Day 10: lhasa cultural experiences

See artists at work at the Handicraft centerSee artists at work at the Handicraft center

Today you'll dig even deeper into the cultural side of Lhasa, with two fascinating glimpses into life in Tibet. In the morning, participate in an inspirational and enlightening talk by a renowned local Tibetan expert. The theme varies between tradition and culture, architecture and festivals, costume and Tibetan symbols. Speakers are experts from Tibet University, Academic of Social Science, Tibetan Traditional Medical Collage or local NGOs.

In the afternoon, visit Shol Dhenpa Handicraft center to see and learn about the extraordinary array of authentic Tibetan traditional and contemporary crafts, like Tibetan pottery, Thangka painting, sewing work, paper arts, and Buddhist statue fabrications. Get an up-close-and-personal look at the selected materials, elaborate design, and color matching strategies. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
House of Shambhala (or similar)

Day 11: depart

PandaPanda

It's time to say good-bye to Tibet. After breakfast, you'll be transfered to the airport to begin your travels home.

Not ready to leave? Ask your Adventure Specialist about extensions in China or Nepal, with options in Beijing, Xi'an, Kathmandu Valley, and Chengdu (home of the Giant Pandas!).

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,950
- $4,800
Group size 2-3: $4800 Group size 4+: $3950 The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$600
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Aug 29-Sep 8, 2019

Need to Know

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
On this tour, you will stay in comfortable and pleasant hotels, Tibetan-owned boutique hotels, and basic Tibetan-owned guesthouses.
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Stair climbing & walking in high altitudes
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Allure and Challenge: Why I Want to Travel to Tibet

Coco Rae is a high school history teacher who has traveled with Journeys many times, including trips with her students. She now leads trips, and will accompany Tibetan Treasures in August …

See the Potala Palace that soars above Lhasa
See the Potala Palace that soars above Lhasa
Meet the villagers of Tibet
Meet the villagers of Tibet
Witness a Buddhist philosophical debate
Witness a Buddhist philosophical debate
Stroll around the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa
Stroll around the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa
Witness the Thangka display during the Shoton Festival
Witness the Thangka display during the Shoton Festival
Visit the Yumbu Lhakhang Palace, from the 2nd century B.C.
Visit the Yumbu Lhakhang Palace, from the 2nd century B.C.
See a Tibetan Opera Show during the Shoton Festival
See a Tibetan Opera Show during the Shoton Festival
Visit the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in the Shigatse region
Visit the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in the Shigatse region
Watch for colorful costumes as part of the Shoton Festival
Watch for colorful costumes as part of the Shoton Festival
See the Gyantse Fort, built in the 1390s
See the Gyantse Fort, built in the 1390s
Explore the Shalu Monastery, renowned for its mural paintings
Explore the Shalu Monastery, renowned for its mural paintings
See artists at work when you visit the Shol Dhenpa Handicraft center
See artists at work when you visit the Shol Dhenpa Handicraft center
Pass the beautiful Yamdrok Lake on your drive to Gyantse
Pass the beautiful Yamdrok Lake on your drive to Gyantse

Tibetan Treasures

Lhasa, plateau villages, palaces and monasteries, plus the Shoton Festival

overview

Satisfy your curiosity about Tibet on this 11-day journey that will fill your spiritual well and leave you wanting more. With visits to Tibetan cities, countrysides, villages, and mountains, plus palaces, monasteries, and handicraft centers, this trip is a cultural, scenic, and engaging feast for the senses. And if you join the group departure in August, top off your trip by participating in the Shoton Festival, the grandest festival in all of Tibet, complete with Buddhist activities, authentic local food and colorful performances. 

Begin in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and explore the historically significant palaces that are at the heart of this city, including the Potala Palace, the Norbulingka Palace, the Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery. While in Lhasa, experience the Shoton Festival (which literally means “Yogurt Banquet Festival"). The event includes a Tibetan opera performance at Norbulingka, the summer palace of the successive Dalai Lamas, and the unveiling of impressive thangkas at Drepung.

Next visit the Lhoka region, with Tibet's first palace (Yumbu Lhakang) and first Buddhist monastery (Samye Monastery), before traveling to the central western part of Tibet. Along the way, soak in the tranquil and majestic scenery with stops at Yamdrok Lake and the Karo La Glacier.

This trip provides ample opportunities for cultural interactions, with visits to indigenous Tibetan farmers and a micro-talk with a renowned local Tibetan expert focused on tradition, culture, architecture, festivals, costume, and Tibetan signs and symbols. Plus, visit Shol Dhenpa Handicraft Center, an impressive studio for an array of authentic Tibetan traditional and contemporary artists.

Note that this trip is overland, and you'll be in vehicles from one to seven hours at a time as you make your way around Tibet. All roads are paved. 

Join trip leader Coco Rae on the August 9, 2018 staff-led adventure!

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Satisfy your curiosity about Tibet on this 11-day journey that will fill your spiritual well and leave you wanting more. With visits to Tibetan cities, countrysides, villages, and mountains, plus palaces, monasteries, and handicraft centers, this trip is a cultural, scenic, and engaging feast for the senses. And if you join the group departure in August, top off your trip by participating in the Shoton Festival, the grandest festival in all of Tibet, complete with Buddhist activities, authentic local food and colorful performances. 

Begin in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and explore the historically significant palaces that are at the heart of this city, including the Potala Palace, the Norbulingka Palace, the Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery. While in Lhasa, experience the Shoton Festival (which literally means “Yogurt Banquet Festival"). The event includes a Tibetan opera performance at Norbulingka, the summer palace of the successive Dalai Lamas, and the unveiling of impressive thangkas at Drepung.

Next visit the Lhoka region, with Tibet's first palace (Yumbu Lhakang) and first Buddhist monastery (Samye Monastery), before traveling to the central western part of Tibet. Along the way, soak in the tranquil and majestic scenery with stops at Yamdrok Lake and the Karo La Glacier.

This trip provides ample opportunities for cultural interactions, with visits to indigenous Tibetan farmers and a micro-talk with a renowned local Tibetan expert focused on tradition, culture, architecture, festivals, costume, and Tibetan signs and symbols. Plus, visit Shol Dhenpa Handicraft Center, an impressive studio for an array of authentic Tibetan traditional and contemporary artists.

Note that this trip is overland, and you'll be in vehicles from one to seven hours at a time as you make your way around Tibet. All roads are paved. 

Join trip leader Coco Rae on the August 9, 2018 staff-led adventure!

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive in tibet
    Welcome to Tibet!Welcome to Tibet!

    Welcome to Tibet! Upon arrival, you will be met and transfered to your hotel in Lhasa to rest up and begin your acclimatization. (Lhasa is at an elevation 3650 m/ 11,975 ft, and you'll travel up to 4718 m/ 15,475 ft during this trip.) Expect about a 45 minute drive from the airport to Lhasa. 

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    House of Shambhala (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: shoton festival
    See the Thangka unveiling at DrepungSee the Thangka unveiling at Drepung

    Today the Shoton Festival, translated to “Yogurt Banquet Festival,” kicks off. During the festivities, the locals eat yogurt, sing, and dance. This is one of the most important festivals for Tibetans that started around 1250 AD when the monks could not go outside in order to avoid stepping on insects. When they were finally allowed to go outside, the locals would offer them yogurt and ask for blessings. Eventually, the Tibetan Opera was introduced and features performers dressed in colorful masks and costumes who sing, chant, dance, and tell stories of Buddhist teachings and Tibetan history. There is a thangka unveiling at the Drepung Monastery, one of the “Great Three” Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge Tshi Palden, one of Tsongkhapa's main disciples, it was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the Fifth Dalai Lama constructed the Potala. As a main Buddhist educational institute, it is also where many monks study.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    House of Shambhala (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: explore lhasa
    The impressive Potala PalaceThe impressive Potala Palace

    You'll spend the day exploring the heart of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and the center of Tibetan Buddhism for over a thousand years. Literally translated to "Place of the Gods," Lhasa is a city of wonders, with palaces and old town areas that preserve the traditional Tibetan way of life. Visits include: the Potala Palace that soars above the city and has been the winter residence of every Dalai Lama from the fifth to the current 14th; Jokhang Temple, the“spiritual heart” of Lhasa city; Sera Monastery, another one of the “Great Three” Buddhist university monasteries where debating is an important part of the academic learning; and Nechung Temple – the seat of the State Oracle of Tibet. You'll also stroll around Barkhor street and the surrounding old quarters of the town.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    House of Shambhala (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: drak yerpa monastery & norbulingka palace
    See the opera show in the Shoton FestivalSee the opera show in the Shoton Festival

    Embark on a day trip today, with a short (1/2 hour) drive northeast of Lhasa to the Drak Yerpa monastery. This area also includes ancient meditation caves that used to house 300 monks.

    After exploring Drak Yerpa, head back to Lhasa for a late afternoon visit to Norbulingka Palace, the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas, as well as a great horticulture park. Here, you'll experience the Tibetan opera performance that is part of the Shoton Festival. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    House of Shambhala (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: drive to tsetang and samye
    Visit Yumbu Lhakang, the first Tibetan palaceVisit Yumbu Lhakang, the first Tibetan palace

    Today you'll head out for a 2.5-hour drive to Samye and the region commonly known as "the cradle of Tibetan Civilization," with plenty of stops along the way including the town of Tsetang (3,100 m/ 10,200 ft), the fourth largest city in Tibet. Nearby is the Yumbu Lhakang Palace, originally built during the second century BC for the first Tibetan King, Nyatri Tsenpo. It became a monastery in the seventh century during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama. There are stunning murals recording the early history of Tibet painted on the walls of the inside of the palace. Not far from here is the Trandruk Monastery, first constructed during the reign of Songtsen Gampo in the early seventh century. Later, it came into possesion of the Yellow Hat Buddhist sect and has since undergone reconstruction. It contains a unique pearl thangka depicting a potrait of Kwan-Yin in a carriage surrounded by clouds, flowers, and birds made of more than 29,000 pearls, 2,000 coral beads, 180 turquoise beads, a few rubies, and a diamond and sapphire.

    Continue on to Samye, where you'll spend time exploring the monastery, built in 762 under the reign of Trisong Detsen. This is the first official Buddhist monastery in Tibet with a history of over 1,200 years. It is also one of the most influential monasteries in Tibet, once famous for debates between ancient Indian Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism. The monastery's structure is unique, combining Tibetan, Chinese, and Indian styles.

    End the day at your comfortable guesthouse in Samye. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Tibetan-style Guest House
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: drive to gyantse
    Pass the beautiful Yamdrok LakePass the beautiful Yamdrok Lake

    Get your camera ready for today's stunning drive from Samye to Gyantse. You'll be in the vehicle for about seven hours, but with all of the gorgeous scenery, the time will fly by. Along the way, cross over Kamba-la pass (4,700 m/ 15,416 ft) before descending to the magnificent freshwater Yamdrok Lake. This sacred lake contains turquoise water surrounded by snow-capped mountains offering some of the most spectacular scenery you'll encounter along the way. It is also the  only Tibetan Monastery headed by a female re-incarnation, even though it is not a nunnery.

    From here, drive up the Karo La pass for an amazing view of the Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier, and then continue to the town of Gyantse, considered the third largest and most prominent town in Tibet.

    You'll overnight at the best guesthouse in Gyantse at an elevation of 3,980 m/ 13,054 ft. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Tibetan-style Guest House
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: explore gyantse and drive to shigatse  
    Explore the town of GyantseExplore the town of Gyantse

    This morning is a chance to get to know Gyantse, with visits to places such as the 15th century Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Gyantse Kumbum. The monastery is a fusion of Han, Tibetan, and Nepali architectural style with the most prominant being the Gyantse Kumbum, a 32 m (105 ft) high structure with nine tiers and 108 gates. It's name also means "10,000 Buddha Pagodas because it once contained 10,000 images and murals of Buddha. Once a complex of 15 monasteries, Pelkor Chode is unique as it houses three Buddhist sects - Sakyapa, Kadampa, and Gelugpa.

    When it's time to leave, you'll drive a short distance (two hours) to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. Along the way, stop by and visit Pashual, a traditional Tibetan village, where you can observe the life of the indigenous Tibetan farmers and taste locally made snacks. You'll also visit the Shalu monastery, renowned for its mural paintings and Buddhist scholastic learning and training. Arrive in Shigatse city where you'll stay for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    4 star hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: explore shigatse & drive to dhamshung
    Stay at quaint guesthouses and hotelsStay at quaint guesthouses and hotels

    After breakfast begin a tour of Shigatse starting with Tashi Lhunpo, the largest Buddhist monastery in the Tsang province of Tibet, and witness the largest gilded statue of Future Buddha in Tibet. Enjoy a stroll through the local market before heading out for today's 7-hour drive along the Friendship Highway, turning at what used to be the ferry crossing point and is now Takdruka village. Continue driving through a stunning valley and cross the Shugu La pass (5,259 m/ 17,250 ft). End in Dhamshung, a small town on the northern nomadic upland, where you'll stay for the night at an elevation of 4,290 m (14,071 ft).

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Tibetan-style 3 star hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: explore namtso lake / drive to lhasa
    Stroll around the Jokhang TempleStroll around the Jokhang Temple

    After breakfast, head out for a two-hour drive to the beautiful Namtso Lake (Heavenly Lake), at an elevation of 4,718 m (15,475 ft). The holy Namtso Lake is one of the largest salt lakes in Tibet at 70 km (43 mi) long and 30 km (18.5 mi) wide. At one time, at the end of winter, devout Buddhist walked over the frozen lake, bringing enought food with them to last the summer, then return when the lake froze back up. Spend some time relaxing and enjoying in the incredible landscape surrounding the lake and perhaps take a short walk along the lakeshore. 

    Afterwards, return to Lhasa via a four-hour drive where you can rest up at your hotel or take a gentle stroll around the holy Jokhang Temple.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    House of Shambhala (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: lhasa cultural experiences
    See artists at work at the Handicraft centerSee artists at work at the Handicraft center

    Today you'll dig even deeper into the cultural side of Lhasa, with two fascinating glimpses into life in Tibet. In the morning, participate in an inspirational and enlightening talk by a renowned local Tibetan expert. The theme varies between tradition and culture, architecture and festivals, costume and Tibetan symbols. Speakers are experts from Tibet University, Academic of Social Science, Tibetan Traditional Medical Collage or local NGOs.

    In the afternoon, visit Shol Dhenpa Handicraft center to see and learn about the extraordinary array of authentic Tibetan traditional and contemporary crafts, like Tibetan pottery, Thangka painting, sewing work, paper arts, and Buddhist statue fabrications. Get an up-close-and-personal look at the selected materials, elaborate design, and color matching strategies. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    House of Shambhala (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: depart
    PandaPanda

    It's time to say good-bye to Tibet. After breakfast, you'll be transfered to the airport to begin your travels home.

    Not ready to leave? Ask your Adventure Specialist about extensions in China or Nepal, with options in Beijing, Xi'an, Kathmandu Valley, and Chengdu (home of the Giant Pandas!).

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,950
- $4,800
Group size 2-3: $4800 Group size 4+: $3950 The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$600
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Aug 29-Sep 8, 2019

Need to Know

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
On this tour, you will stay in comfortable and pleasant hotels, Tibetan-owned boutique hotels, and basic Tibetan-owned guesthouses.
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Stair climbing & walking in high altitudes
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Beijing Essence Tour

Duration: 5 days

This extension takes you on an exploration of all the major sites in and around Beijing. Visit the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven, all fine examples of exceptional Chinese architecture. See one of the 7 Wonders of the World at th... read more

Nepal Chitwan and Everest

Duration: 6 days

Fly to Kathmandu for a quick taste of the high Himalayas and the fabulous Chitwan National Park where we will explore the most famous tiger reserve in Nepal. You will also get a close up look at Mt Everest from a special flightseeing trip. Extend you... read more

Chengdu Panda Experience Extension

Duration: 4 days

Chengdu is perhaps most famousas the home of China's Giant Panda population and the Panda Reserve Centers that study, breed, and educate the public about these maginifcent creatures. Add this 4-day extension to your trip for the opportunity to volu... read more

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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