Tibet is a land of wonders and adventures. Even though it is called the ‘Roof of the World’, Tibet is more than just a land of mountains. It is not only home to the highest mountain in the world; it is also home to warm culture and amazing people. There are many things you can do in Tibet, between the mountains, passes, monasteries, temples, highways, lakes and other attractions there are so many things to do. While it is easy to get lost in the number of tour packages offered in Tibet, as well as budget tour packages for those who want to plan a cheapest Tibet tour, every package is worth the time and has something new to offer. Here are some of the must do activities and must visit attractions in Tibet.
Visit the top three Gelugpa Monasteries in Lhasa
Gelugpa sect or Yellow Hats sect was founded by Tsongkhapa in 15th century. This Tibetan school of thought is considered as the purest form of Tibetan Buddhism. The three main Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet are: Ganden Monastery, Sera Monastery, and Drepung Monastery.
Ganden monastery is the primary monastery for Gelugpa sect. It is said that the founder of Gelugpa sect, Tsongkhapa spent his final days in this monastery. This monastery stands stunningly on the Wangbur mountain side at an elevation of 3,800m. Ganden monastery is 47km from Lhasa and is located near the southern bank of Lhasa River. Ganden is a large monastery with more than 50 buildings. Tsochin hall in the monastery has over 100 pillars. The famous Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp festival is celebrated in this monastery. Sera monastery is built in an area where wild roses bloom everywhere. It was built in the year 1419 and is known for the complex structures, peaceful ambience, and beautiful mountains surrounding it. This monastery is famous for its debate sessions. These debate sessions start at 3pm everyday and happen between monks residing in the monastery. The debate sessions are really interesting and entertaining to watch. There is also a college inside the monastery. Drepung monastery is located on the foothills of Gambo Utse Mountain which is just 5km from Lhasa. Drepung monastery was established by one of Tsongkhapa’s disciple. Drepung was once the largest monastery in Tibet housing around 10,000 monks, today there are only 700 monks. This monastery also houses four academies. Before Potala palace was constructed, this monastery was considered as the political and spiritual centre. All three of these monasteries help you know more about the Tibetan way of life, their history, and more about their religion.
Enjoy the classic 8-day Lhasa to EBC tour
Everest Base Camp is one of the main attractions in Tibet. For those who can’t climb to the top of the Everest, EBC gives a sneak peek into how it would be to climb the Everest. One of the main places to visit in EBC is the Rongbuk monastery. Rongbuk monastery is the highest monastery in the world, seeing the sunrise over the Everest from the monastery is one of the most magical experiences one can experience. The base camp is located at an altitude of 5,200m. During this 8-day tour EBC is not the only attraction in the agenda, you will also get to explore the local attractions of Lhasa and attraction en route to EBC. This is a comprehensive package that lets you experience the spiritual side and adventurous side of Tibet.
This 8-day trip is one of the most popular tour packages chosen by tourists; the journey begins in Lhasa, covers some noteworthy spots and attraction and ends in Lhasa.
Day 1: Arrival at Lhasa (Altitude: 3,650m)
You can arrive at Lhasa by flight or train from any major city in China. Take rest for the day and prepare for the trip that starts next day.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Lhasa-Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar
Visit some local attractions and give a try to local Tibetan food and the famous Tibetan tea in local tea houses.
Day 3: Sightseeing in Lhasa-Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple
Apart from visiting the monasteries, you can witness the monk debate sessions in Sera Monastery and enjoy a Buddhist sculpture carving workshop near Drepung Monastery.
Day 4: Lhasa to Shigatse via Gyantse in car (altitude: 3,950m)
This will be a 360-km scenic drive where you will get to see Yamdrok Lake, Karo La Pass, and Khamba La Pass. In Gyantse you will visit Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum.
Day 5: Shigatse (altitude: 3,900m) to EBC (altitude: 5, 200m)
Visiting Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse; enjoying the panoramic view of Himalaya from Gawula Pass and driving along the wild roads to EBC will be the agenda for the day.
Day 6: EBC to Shigatse
Enjoy the sunrise from Rongbuk Monastery and get back to Shigatse.
Day 7: Shigatse to Lhasa
Enjoy the drive alongside Yalong Valley with views of the Yalong River Bed while getting back to Lhasa.
Day 8: Final Departure from Lhasa
Challenge the ultimate 3-day Kailash Kora with EBC
This package is for those who love mountains, love exploring, and love pushing their limits. As EBC and Kailash tours are both short treks, you don’t have to be an experienced mountaineer. Kora is the act of walking or trekking around any holy place. Mt Kailash Kora is mostly undertaken by pilgrims from all over the world. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Bons consider this a spiritual tour. Taking a dip in the Mansarover Lake is said to wash away all your sins in this lifetime and other previous lives. But many other foreigners also do the Mt Kailash Kora for seeing the beauty of this mountain and to see the beauty of the lake.
Day 1: Arrival at Lhasa
Day 2: Sightseeing in Lhasa
Day 3: Sightseeing in Lhasa
Day 4: Lhasa to Shigatse via Gyantse
Day 5: Shigatse to Tingri to EBC
Day 6: EBC to Saga
Day 7: Saga to Darchen
Day 8: Mt Kailash Kora day 1 (Darchen- Dirapuk Monastery)
Day 9: Mt Kailash Kora day 2 (Dirapuk Monastery- Zutupluk Monastery)
Day 10: Mt Kailash Kora day 3 (Zutupluk Monastery- Lake Mansarover)
Day 11: Mansarover to Saga
Day 12: Saga to Shigatse to Lhasa
Apart from above mentioned activities and attractions, Tibet is also famous for its overland tours and spiritual tours. Visit Tibet to enjoy many different things and experience a new culture in a completely authentic way.