Our guide and driver will escort you from Lanzhou to Xiahe, Labrang Monastery
- Labrang Monastery (2 hours): Labrang Monastery, is one of the six important temples of Gelukpa or the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and the most important temple outside Tibet. It’s now home to over a thousand monks who have come to attend one of the six institutes of learning.
To tour the monastery, you must be accompanied by an English speaking monk from the monastery. The service is only available twice a day at 10:15am and 3:10pm. The guide will usually show you 6 halls. One of the most interesting stops is an exhibit of colorful sculptures — made of yak butter! The brightly colored sculptures, some more than 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall look more like Fimo clay than butter. They take two to three weeks to make, and are used in parades to celebrate Tibetan New Year.
Our guide and driver will escort you from Xiahe to Tong ren, Longwu Monastery
- Longwu Monastery (2 hours): It is one of the leading monasteries in Amdo with 800 lamas. Longwu Temple is one of the Gelukpa (Yellow Hat) sects and is known as a center of Tibetan Thangka painting. It was founded in 1301 and is the largest Gelukpa temple in the Qingnan Area covering about 100 hectares.
Wutun Monastery, Our guide and driver will escort you from Tong ren to Xining
- Wutun Monastery (1.5 hours): There are two monasteries in Wutun village; one is upper Wutun Monastery, another is lower Wutun Monastery. These Monasteries is famous throughout Tibet for its beautiful artwork of Buddhist art of Thangka. Upper Wutun Monastery is magnificently decorated, and the surface of the entire assembly hall has been carved and painted with traditional Regong designs. Lower Wutun Monastery is just about 10 minutes' walk from the upper village. It boasts a much livelier monastery as the location for ceremonies and festivities that draw crowds of local worshippers.
Qinghai Lake, Qinghai Lake Cruise, Our guide and driver will escort you from Xining to Qinghai Lake
- Qinghai Lake (2 hours): Qinghai Lake, China's largest inland salt water lake is at 3200 meters above sea level and is situated at the east of Qinghai province, around 2.30 hours drive from Xining. The ellipse-shaped lake looks like a huge poplar leaf sitting on the alpine prairie. Scenery in Qinghai lake varies according to seasons. Summer and autumn are the most comfortable weather conditions and the lake's scenery is most beautiful during these seasons.
- Qinghai Lake Cruise (20 minutes): A popular way to appreciate the lake. The cruise takes around 30 minites.
Train station Transfer (Lhasa)
- Sera Monastery (3 hours): Located in the northern suburbs of Lhasa, The Sera Monastery is a complex of 4 structures; the Great Assembly Hall and three colleges. It was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey of Sakya Yeshe of Zel Gungtang (1355–1435), a disciple of Tsongkhapa. 'Sera' means wild roses and was called this because the monastery was surrounded by wild roses. One of the three main monasteries of Lhasa, it is here that the monks "famous daily debates" take place.
Tips: Every day (except Mondays) at 15:00, there is a debate about Buddhist doctrines among the monks at Sera Monastery. The debating is held in the grounds and is a necessary way of learning sutras and scriptures. Visitors can watch the debate, but it is advised to keep quiet.
- Norbulingka (2.5 hours): Norbulingka means "Jeweled Garden". Constructed as a summer palace for the Dalai Lama, it later served the whole government administration. It was built by the 7th Dalai Lama and served both administrative and religious purposes.
- Drepung Monastery (3.5 hours): Drepung Monastery lies in west of Lhasa under Mt. Gambo Utse, clustered round by the black mountain, its white grand buildings shining under the sunlight. Built in 1416, it is considered as one of the largest monasteries in the six principle monasteries of Gelu Sect in China. Drepung Monastery used to be the living palace of Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of Potala palace (after the 5th Dalai Lamas was bestowed by Qing emperor Qianlong). The grand Shonton Festival is held in the early part of August every year. That is the busiest day there with crowds of people. It is an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of this festival.
- Potala Palace (1 hour): Former winter home of the Dalai Lama, a vast, awe-inspiring maze of corridors and stairs leading through countless rooms of richly decorated statues, tombs, murals and antiques. You will climb past the White Palace into the Red Palace, where the file of pilgrims offering silk scarves, coins or yak butter to burn in the shrines combine to make this an unforgettable experience. Note: you need to be fit for climbing up the long stairways.
- Jokhang Temple (2 hours): Smaller and more manageable than the Potala, this 4-storey, golden-roofed temple is at the heart of a rich and living Tibetan Buddhism. Many locals pray here regularly; the Temple is surrounded by Barkhor Street and thronged with pilgrims and visitors. Yak butter lamps burn in front of rich statuary that includes the Sakyamuni Buddha brought to Tibet by Princess Wen Cheng in the 7th Century.
- Barkhor Street (2 hours): Built about 1,300 years ago, The Barkhor (pilgrims' circuit) is found in the heart of Lhasa encircling the Jokhang Temple. In the past, it was a designated circumambulation circuit, "a saint's road" in the eyes of Tibetans. Many people call the Barkhor "the window of Tibet" as it exhibits typical Tibetan life. Watch the pilgrims, wearing their local dress from many different parts of Tibet, as they circle clockwise around Jokhang Temple with prayer wheels, or prostrate them near the front gate. Join the locals and visitors to shop for local goods at the colourful stalls, or relax in a coffee shop or tea house to enjoy the passing parade.
Yomdrok Lake, Our guide and driver will escort you from Lhasa to Shigatse, The Palgor Chorten
- Yomdrok Lake (2 hours): Dotted with a dozen islands and abundant in natural resources, Lake Yamdrok has the highest power station in the world, and is also the largest habitat for water birds in Tibet, attracting countless swans and gulls every summer.
- Local Restaurant: The limited restaurant options mean that there is no choice available however our guide will organize the best available based on the season and the surroundings.
- The Palgor Chorten (1.5 hours): Pelkhor Choede (Kumbum), also named Palcho Monastery, is very different from other monasteries. Built as a Tibetan monastery, its structural style is very unique, reputed as the lord of Tibetan stupas. In addition, it is famous for the architecture, sculpture, and mural painting art. It lies about 270 kilometers (168 miles) south of Lhasa and 100 (62 miles) east of Shigatse at the foot of Dzong Hill.
Tashilunpo Monastery, Our guide and driver will escort you from Shigatse to Lhasa
- Tashilunpo Monastery (2 hours): Tashilhunpo Monastery was founded in 1447 by Gyalwa Gendun Drup (1st Dalai Lama) and is a historically and culturally important monastery. Its name means "heap of glory" or "all fortune and happiness gathered here". Painted in red and white, the buildings in the kloster stand closely together in terraced rows, offering a grand and majestic view. Tashilunpo Kloster represents the Tibetan super architecture art in the Last Tibetan spirit.5 story temple which contains a 26 meters (86ft) sitting statue of the Maitreya Buddha (Jamba Chyenmu) inside the grounds of the monastery. The statue was cast from 6,700 ounces of gold and over 115,000 kg of copper, making it the biggest copper Buddhist statue in the world.
Hotel to airport Transfer (Lhasa)