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6-Day Lhasa to Lake Namtso Tour in Saga Dawa Festival

6-Day Lhasa to Lake Namtso Tour in Saga Dawa Festival

(TFT002) Lhasa - Namtso Lake - Yampachen - Lhasa


Combining the highlights of the classic Lhasa tour with an excursion to picture-postcard Namtso Lake (4718m), the 6-day Lhasa to Namtso tour is a perfect choice for you to celebrate the Saga Dawa Festival and explore the life of hardy Tibetan nomads beside the serene Namtso Lake, the highest saline lake in Tibet.

Falling on the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, the one-month long Saga Dawa Festival honors Shakyamuni and is regarded as the holiest festival in Tibet. While April 15th (5 June 2020, Fri), which is said to be the date of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and mahaparinivana, is regarded as the most significant and special day in Tibetan Buddhism.

Pilgrims from all directions gather in Lhasa to celebrate this festival and express their deepest gratitude to the Buddha by doing Kora around Jokhang Temple, offering donations to the poor, releasing captured animals, making Saga Dawa Festival the most merciful day in Tibet.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lhasa (3650m)

When you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and take you to your hotel. Tourists may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River/ Bhamaputra River (the longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa River on their way to Lhasa.

After arriving in Lhasa, you can take a rest and get acclimatized to high altitude. If you feel to go out, then you can go to the Potala Square, where you will enjoy the fountain with different colors and get amazing photos of the Potala and around.

Insider Tips:
For the new-comers of Tibet, to get acclimatized to the high altitude in Tibet, having a good sleep in your hotel is a good option. Don not rush to visit attractions inside Lhasa City.

Stay overnight in Lhasa (3-Star Hotel)

Day 2: Lhasa Tour - Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Drepung Monastery (B, D)

Today, you will head to the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple. As the center of Saga Dawa Festival in Lhasa, Jokhang Temple is the best place to feel the festival atmosphere. Pilgrims from all directions arrive at this temple in the morning to worship the image of the 12-year-old Buddha, and do Kora inside the hall of Jokhang Temple or around the temple by circling along Barkhor Street.

Beggars and poor pilgrims gather around Jokhang Temple and wait for their donations peacefully, making Saga Dawa Festival also know as “the Poor’s Day”. With a belief that all good deeds are multiplied thousand fold during this festival, people are more generous to offer donations.

Jokhang Temple was founded by the 33rd Great King of Tibet in the 7th century. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve. Outside, you can see pilgrims making prostrating in front of Jokhang Temple. Around the temple is Barkhor street, where you can do kora (a religious circle of a building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals, and explore the old market.

Tips: There is no limit to the donation amount, It will be better for you to prepare changes in advance.

We will also visit Drepung Monastery which is one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. You can visit the biggest monastery kitchen inside the monastery and enjoy Buddhist Sculpture Carving Workshop near Drepung.

Besides, We can taste Tibetan tea with locals in tea house. The welcome dinner will also be arranged accordingly.

With time permitting, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan Handicraft Art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine Center. You can upgrade your service to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD)

Stay overnight in Lhasa (3-Star Hotel)

Day 3: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Sera Monastery (B)

Today's tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace which is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It was put to use since the 7th Century by the 33rd Great King of Tibet. The most valuable collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and Meditation Cave of the 33rd Great King of Tibet.

In the afternoon, we will visit Sera Monastery which is another one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet. The hot attraction is the Monks Debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon. In addition, you can tour the Tibetan religious scripture printing house. Inside the monastery, you can see three Sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha.

Stay overnight in Lhasa (3-Star Hotel)

Day 4: Lhasa to Namtso Lake, drive back to Dunxumg or to Yampachen (approx. 350km) (B)

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Lake Namtso, one of the four holy lakes of Tibet and also the highest saline lake in the world. On the way, you can see snow-capped Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain Ranges and lots of nomads and their tent with grazing yak and sheep densely-populated on the flourishing grassland ( in summer). Besides, you can enjoy the view of Sky-Road Railway with snow mountain background. While standing at the famous Lagenla Pass (5190m), you can view the stunning vista of holy Namtso Lake.

Then we can enjoy our time to do leisurely trek around Tashi Dor Island and along the lakeshore. Drive back to Dumxung or Yampachen. (For environment protection, the Lakeshore guesthouses were closed by the government.)

Stay overnight in Dumxung or Yampanchen Town

Day 5: Yampachen to Lhasa (approx. 90-120km )

Drive to Yampanchen and enjoy the natural hot spring bath here. (Please prepare your own swimming suit.) The famous Yangpachen lies on the southern slope of the Nyenchen Tangula Mountains and is famous for its geothermal scenery. Every year, Yangpachen Hot Spring emits heat equal to that of 4.7 million tons of standard coal. Lying in a plateau basin, Yangpachen’s geothermal field covers 40 square km. To take advantage of geothermal field, resorts were built here, giving tourists a chance to enjoy the outdoor natural hot spring spa. After having thoroughly relaxed in the spa, we head back to Lhasa. On the way, we will visit Chimelong Nunnery (Phyirmil Lung Nunnery) and have a far view of a sky burial site nearby.

Stay Overnight in Lhasa.

Cultural Tips: Sky burial is a funeral practice commonly seen in Tibet. The corpse will be disposed of and later devoured by vultures. In Tibetan Buddhism, sky burial is believed to represent their wishes to go to heaven. Only family members of the dead can attend the funeral.

Day 6: Depart from Lhasa (B)

The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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