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8-Day Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour in Saga Dawa Festival

8-Day Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour in Saga Dawa Festival

(TFT004) Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Everest Base Camp - Lhasa

Overview

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. 

After celebrating the festival and visiting Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Drepung and Sera Monastery, you will go to Yamdrok Lake, Perklor Monastery,   Shigatse Tashi Lhunpho Monastery and stay overnight in the Everest Base Camp, the highest mountain in the world.

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.

Optional:
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-Shigatse via Gyantse (360km, B)

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. On the way, drive over the Gampala Pass (4790m), and you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m) .The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance you can have spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar (7191m), the highest mountain near Lhasa .

Later, we will pass and enjoy the Korola Glacier on the roadside. At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang prayer flags at Simila Mountain Pass. Then, we will arrive in Gyantse, historically Tibet's third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse). In Gyantse, we will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy the far view of Gyangtse Fortress.

After one and a half hours driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse, we may visit traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field (in summer).

Stay overnight in Shigatse

Day 5: Shigatse (3900m) to Everest Base Camp (5200m) (B)

In the morning, we will visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. Then, we’ll leave Shigatse after getting your Alien’s travel permit, and then drive to Lhatse, a small town where you can have lunch.

After that, we will pass Tsola Pass (4600m), and Gyatsola Pass (5248m). Shortly after we enter Mt. Everest National Nature Reserve, tourists can enjoy the panorama of Himalaya at Gawula Pass (5198m). Then we drive along the new zigzag road to Everest Base Camp (5200m). You can get closer to gaze at the Mt. Everest peak. The sunset of golden Everest peak if time and weather permit at the lodging area.

Stay overnight at tent or Rongbuk monastery guest house.

Day 6: EBC (5200m) and return to Shigatse (3900m)

In the morning, you can see the sunrise of Everest Peak if weather permits at the lodging area. Then we will visit the Rongbu Monastery - the unique highest monastery with nuns and monks living together. Finally, we will drive back to Shigatse.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 7: Shigatse (3900m) to Lhasa (3650m) 350km (B)

Today, we will drive back to Lhasa by following Yalong Valley. You can stand on the viewing platform and view the vast Yalong River bed. Finally the guide will transfer you back to your hotels in Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 8: Depart from Lhasa (B)

Hotel to airport/train station transfer, end the tour.

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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