Winter Special Offer
4-Day Lhasa Highlights, with Shangri-La Hotel Upgrade
Winter is the slack season for Tibetan farmers. Travel to Tibet in winter and you will see more local pilgrims in the old city, even some nomadic families with all their worldly possessions. Stay in one of the top hotels (the Shangri-La) for less, and meet fewer crowds on the tour.
- Walk the pilgrim's path in Lhasa's old town
- Visit Tibet's iconic Potala Palace — with fewer crowds
- Upgrade your accommodation to a deluxe room in the Shangri-La Hotel
- Observe the lives of local people in Norbulingka
- Enjoy Premier Club service: in-car Wi-Fi and oxygen bag, unlimited bottled water and soft drinks during the day
Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa
Morning flights to Lhasa are reliable and likely to be on time. We suggest you take a morning flight as then you can rest more in the afternoon.
Your local private driver and guide will be ready and waiting for 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.
Good to know:
- To preempt altitude sickness, we suggest you have a good rest and do not get too excited. We haven't arranged any activity for this first day of your trip, in order to give you time to acclimatize.
- Shangri-La's Restaurant: This is a good, comfortable and traditional Tibetan restaurant, serving Tibetan, Nepalese, and Chinese food. There are shows every evening, featuring Tibetan song and dance.
Meals: breakfast & lunch
Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Hotel
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. Here you can appreciate the beautiful gardens and see some local people going about their daily lives.
Enjoy a visit to Drepung Monastery, the living quarters of the Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of Potala. The huge Shoton Festival is held here at the beginning of August every year.
In the afternoon, visit Sera Monastery, comprising a great sutra-chanting hall, a college and 32 sections. Watch the monks' daily debate, held at 15:00 (except Sundays); a way for the monks to learn sutras and scriptures.
Meals: breakfast & lunch
Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Hotel
After breakfast at the hotel, your guide and driver will be waiting at your hotel lobby. You will visit Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Watch religious pilgrims prostrating themselves near the front gate. Take part in clockwise circuit-walking round the temple, with prayer wheels. Stroll around Barkhor Street, then visit a small Thangka workshop, and view some local art works.
Explore Ani Tsankhung Nunnery — a quiet but active convent, where females study Buddhism. Have a chat with the nuns to find out more about their lives.
Have lunch at a local restaurant, which is famous for its Tibetan and Nepalese food.
In the afternoon, you will journey up to Tibet's most famous landmark — Potala Palace. Enter the palace and 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
General rules for visiting temples in Tibet:
- Cameras are not allowed in the temples or in the debate field, but taking photos with a cell phone is ok.
- When visiting a temple, your shoulders should be covered, and you should not wear shorts. Walk clockwise when visiting Barkhor Street.
Good to know:
- We arrange the Potala Palace visit on the 3rd day because of the many steps to climb, to give you maximum time for acclimatization.
- There are 1,080 steps up to the entrance of the palace. Climbing these steps on the plateau is not easy, and typically takes about an hour. Your tour guide will adapt to your pace, and introduce local history on the way.
Our Service Includes:
- One-to-one consultancy with our travel expert
- Versatile and knowledgeable local guides
- Your own chauffeur and comfortable vehicle
- Hand-picked hotels to suit your preferences
- Hotel buffet breakfasts and local restaurant lunches
- Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
- The booking of internal transportation per your preferences
- A 24/7 helpline while you are traveling
1. Tibet Travel Permit
You will need a Tibet Entry Permit. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
We've selected heritage hotels in the more traditional area of Lhasa, near Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street, so that travelers can experience more of the local life and culture. If you prefer to stay in a hotel with special oxygen supplies, other hotels in Lhasa are recommended (as above).
The accommodation in Dingri is poor (see above).
Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service.
Enjoy local Tibetan, Western Chinese and Nepalese food on the tour.
You will have standard western hotel breakfast in Lhasa, and specially prepared breakfasts outside of Lhasa: including butter, bread, coffee, tea, etc.
After the first day, lunch is included every day. Your guide can recommend some good local restaurants for dinner. Outside Lhasa, we suggest you have dinner in the hotels where you are staying.
5. Altitude Sickness
Before your trip, ask your doctor for any suggestions in relation to altitude sickness and bring some medicine just in case. The most popular altitude medicine among foreigners is Acetazolamide/Diamox.
We recommend that during the first two days after arriving in Tibet, visitors should keep warm, not take a bath, not smoke or drink alcohol. Drink plenty of water (>4 litres per day) before going and at altitude, and eat lots of vegetables and carbohydrates. Slow down, even if you feel energetic. Moving slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness.
If you don't feel well after entering Tibet, go and see a doctor as soon as possible. There are doctors in major hotels in Lhasa, and you can call your tour guide for help at any time. We offer a free oxygen bag in the car.
6. What to Pack
Seek medical advice about altitude effects and pack any medicine you might need. Sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block, walking boots, and down jackets are all recommended.
Comfortable private cars/vans with experienced drivers will be arranged for you. All our vehicles meet the requirements of the Tibet Tourist Bureau, and are equipped with GPS and speed-limiting equipment.
Take into consideration the time you need to apply for your Tibet Entry Permit. It's best to book a tour with us at least 30 days before your tour starts.
Deposit: If you book a Tibet tour 30 days or more before departure, you are required to pay 10% deposit in advance; if you book within 30 days of departure, you are required to pay in full at the time of booking.