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5-Day Lhasa Highlights, with Shangri-La Hotel Upgrade

Fall in Love with the City of Sunlight

Many people have a wrong impression that it is too cold to visit Tibet in winter. Actually, Tibet has plenty of sunshine in winter. You will usually not feel too cold during daytime in the capital city. Lhasa enjoys the reputation of being "the city of sunlight".

Furthermore, winter is a low season for tourism. You will see fewer tourists and more local Tibetans and pilgrims in Lhasa, because it is the slack season for farming/herding. Some say, you will see more of the real Tibet in winter.

During this 5-day private Tibet winter tour, you will experience the must-sees of Lhasa without the tourist crowds, have more chances to interact with local Tibetans, enjoy an exclusive view of a plateau lake with blue ice, and have a free hotel upgrade.

Tour 'Wow' Points

Discover the Stories and the Secrets of Building the Potala Palace

Discover the architectural miracle when you step up into the Potala Palace. Survey the impressive Buddhist artwork housed in the palace and listen to the stories behind it. But also view the palace from a less touristy angles.

colorful Potala Palace
Treasure in the palace

Watch Monks Debate and Take In Rock Thangka Views

Catch a unique study activity of Tibetan monks with a timely visit to Sera Monastery. A monk debate is unlikely to be seen in other monasteries. Explore the hill behind, which is usually unknown to tourists to enjoy the thangka on the big rocks and the monastery outlook.

monks' debate
thangka on rocks

Follow in the Footsteps of Pilgrims at Barkhor Street

Feel the piety of Tibetan people in Jokhang Temple. Experience Tibetan daily life in a local market. Get to know the history of Lhasa as you visit the most famous traditional Tibetan architecture. Enjoy a cup of Tibetan sweet tea in less-touristy Ani Tsangkhung Nunnery.

prayer on Barkhor Street
flowers in Tsangkhung Nunnery

Lie down on the Blue Ice and Enjoy the Sunshine

Hike to see a hidden small lake surrounded by mountains with a huge glacier. Step out onto the blue ice, which is only possible in winter.

the blue ice

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Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1 Arrive in Lhasa (elevation 3,650 m)

Your personal local guide and driver will meet you at Lhasa's airport/train station. You will be transferred directly to the Shangri-La hotel in a comfortable, no-smoking car. Sit back and enjoy a trouble-free transfer, and your guide will assist you with hotel check-in.

DAY 2 Lhasa | The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism

Start your Lhasa tour at Norbulingka, which used to be the summer palace for Dalai Lamas. Nowadays, it's a public park, where many local people come to camp and picnic in summer. The plants there will help you feel more oxygenated at the high altitude.

Enjoy a visit to Drepung Monastery, the living quarters of the Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of the Potala. Learn about the Gelug (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism, which emphasizes the religious discipline the most.

In the afternoon, visit Sera Monastery, comprising a great sutra-chanting hall, a college, and 32 living sections. Watch the monks' lively daily debate, held at 3pm (except on Sundays), which is a way for the monks to learn and analyze sutras and scriptures.

DAY 3 Lhasa | The Holy City and Its People

Step up into Tibet's most famous landmark — the Potala Palace — to see exquisite murals, decorated statues, and antiques. The red and white palace buildings under the pure blue sky constitute the most iconic picture of Tibet.

Enjoy a relaxing city walk in the afternoon, including visiting Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism, and strolling around Barkhor Street to find some interesting and non-touristy corners where the local lifestyle thrives.

Have a chat with the nuns and enjoy a cup of Tibetan sweet tea in a tranquil nunnery at the end of the walking tour.

DAY 4 Lhasa | Lake Yamdrok and Blue Ice

The fourth day will be a long day, but it is worth it for this exclusive experience…

You will drive out of Lhasa to holy Lake Yamdrok. The blue sky shares its color with the lake water. If it snows, it could be a wilderness fairyland picture.

Continue driving to Karola Mountain. There, you will hike about 1 hour to find a small hidden lake, surrounded by the mountains. The lake water is frozen in winter and appears blue if it is sunny. You even can sit and lie on the blue ice in late January and February. A glacier paves the slope of the mountain on the opposite side of the lake.

DAY 5 Lhasa Departure

As your Lhasa trip comes to end, your tour guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport/train station for departure. Your guide will assist you with luggage and check-in, and see you off at the security check-point.

Hotel Selection

—the Icing on the Cake

Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.

lhasa shangri-la hotel
the hotel room with Potala Palace view
FromCNY8,730 / USD1,352p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • Tibet Travel Permits
  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling

Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.

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