9 Days Central Tibet Loop
Tour Type: Private tour
Tour Duration: 9 Days and 8 Nights
Best Time: April to September
Overview of 9 Day Central Tibet Loop
9 Day Central Tibet Loop is an attractive tour package. This is a highly recommended classic tour enriched with great attributes of spiritual awakening and sensation. On this spiritual journey, you will have the opportunity to encounter your authentic self, integrity, clarity of mind and true purpose. To this end, the tour covers many of the Tibet’s best-loved sights –such as the Potala and the Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, and Drepung Monastery.
Following the explorations around Lhasa, the trip will take you through a classic route in central Tibet.
You can witness marvellous landscapes and some of the key stunning sites of historic and religious significance.
For example, the Yamdrok Lake, the Karo La Glacier, and the Pelkhor Chode Monastery in Gyantse. Next, you will go to Shigatse, and visit Tashi Lhunpu Monastery, which houses the largest gilded Future Buddha. After Shigatse, you will be travelling back up in the direction of Lhasa, and you will cross over the stunning Nyenchen Tanglha pass to travel toward Nam Tso, Tibet’s largest lake.Namtso Lake, or Heavenly Lake, as otherwise known, which is the largest lake in Tibet.
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Tour Map of 9 Day Central Tibet Loop
Detailed Itinerary of 9 Day Central Tibet Loop
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa Elevation 3590 meters
- Arrive in Lhasa – collection from Lhasa airport or train station
- Escort to hotel for rest and acclimatization
- Freshen up
- Itinerary run-through with tour guide
Day 2: Explorations around Lhasa
- Explore the Jokhang temple, the“spiritual heart” of Lhasa, and the surrounding old quarters
- Visit Sera Monastery, one of the “Great Three” Buddhist monasteries noted for their Buddhist dialectic debate session usually held in the afternoons
Day 3: Explorations around Lhasa
- Take a walk up and visit the Potala Palace, the fascinating landmark building in Lhasa, the winter residence of every Dalai Lama from the fifth to the current 14th
- Trip to and tour around a premier park of horticulture – the Norbulingka Palace – which also served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas
- Time permitting, drive 6 kilometers to the western suburb of Lhasa to visit Drepung Monastery, one of the “Great Three’ Buddhist monasteries in Tibet
- Thereafter, visit Nechung temple, the seat of the State Oracle of Tibet – 15 minutes walk down from Drepung Monastery
Day 4: Lhasa – Yamdrok Lake – Karo La Glacier – Gyantse Distance: 260kms Elevation: 3840m
- Depart Lhasa early in the morning, all day overland drive, transiting through:
- The Yamdrok Lake – a fabulous shade of deep turquoise
- The Karo La Pass – an amazing alpine view of the holy Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier
- Arrive in the town of Gyantse, historically considered the third largest and most prominent town in Tibet
- Overnight stay in Gyantse
Day 5: Gyantse – Shigatse Distance 355kms Elevation 3,840 meters
- In Gyantse, visit the Pelkor Chode Monastery, and the Gyantse Kumbum – a 32 meters (105ft) high structure, a nine-tier building with 108 gates
- Drive a short distance to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet
- Stop by a couple of traditional farming villages en route
- Reach Shigatse, tour around Tashi Lhunpo, the largest Buddhist monastery in the Tsang province of Tibet, to witness the largest gilded statue of Future Buddha in Tibet
- Overnight stop in Shigatse
Day 6: Shigatse – Shugu La Pass – Dhamshung Distance: 325kms Elevation: 4290m
- Leave Shigatse – set off early
- Drive along the Friendship Highway in Lhasa direction
- Turn left at Takdruka village (the ferry crossing point)
- Continue driving through a stunning valley, cross over the Shugu La pass (5259m)
- Reach Dhamshung – a small town on the northern nomadic upland
- Overnight stop in the county seat
Day 7: Dhamshung to Namtso Lake Distance: 65kms Elevation: 4718m
- Set off again – a short drive to Namtso Lake
- Reach Namtso lake – one of the largest salt lakes in Tibet, and throw yourself into the incredible landscape surrounding the lake
- Spend the rest of the day walking along the lakeshore or take a walk the 3.5-kilometer pilgrimage circuit around Tashi Do temple
- Overnight stay in guesthouse in the vicinity
Day 8: Namtso Lake — Lhasa Distance: 225kms Elevation: 3600m
- Leave Namtso lake and head to Lhasa
- Rest, freshen up and undertake any last minute souvenir shopping
- Take a gentle stroll around the holy Jokhang Temple one last time
Day 9: Depart Lhasa
- Transfer to the Lhasa airport or train station
- Depart Tibet
Good to Know about 9 Day Central Tibet Loop
Best Time of Visit
This classic tour can be done anytime from mid-April through to late October. We can arrange this journey for groups of two to ten people. Discounts available for groups of 3 or more persons.
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- All accommodations (based on double occupancy; single room supplement available)
- Breakfast in Tibet
- All ground transportation in Tibet
- All entrance fees per itinerary
- Local Tibetan guide fees
- All Tibet travel permits
- Lhasa airport pickup and drop-off
- Passport, Chinese visa fees
- Lunch or Dinner
- International airfare to Lhasa, Tibet
- Travel vaccinations
- Insurance (travel, medical, etc)
- Souvenirs or personal items such as laundry, excess baggage fees, snacks, alcohol drinks
- Photography fees inside temples and monasteries
- Gratuities to the Tibetan guide and driver
Upon joining, each participant will be sent a list of required and recommended gear for this journey that they will be responsible for.
On this tour, you will be staying in a comfortable and pleasant boutique or 3 Star Tibetan-owned hotels. Accommodation elsewhere will be very basic, as these areas are very remote and poor. Guesthouses have limited facilities. Toilets are usually outside and are not always as hygienic. Showers are often unavailable or only available at local shower house.
Participants must be in good health and physical fit to be able to spend each day walking around towns, villages, and monasteries with their own equipment. Though you will be doing a lot of walking each day, no trekking is required. Most of this tour will take place in mountainous terrain between 3600 meters and 4200 meters (11,800 feet to 17,000 feet) above sea level. You will spend 3 nights in Lhasa for altitude acclimatization before going above 3600 meters. Ascent will be slow and gradual to reduce the risks of altitude-related illness. This tour is not recommended for those who have severe asthma or who have had problems with high elevation in the past.
Tibet Universal Tours and Travel puts great importance on the promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism practices. It incorporated into our day to day base tour service performances. So, we always strive to ensure that our tour service delivery will have a maximum quality. Furthermore, we also strive to the minimum level of negative social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts. Following outlined points are some of our representative measures undertaking in our routine job performances. In addition, these thoughts to be essential for a sustainable touristic development in Tibet.
Whenever and wherever possible, we extend charitable support to disadvantaged groups in remote Tibetan villages. For instance, utilizing the certain percentage of our annual company income we engage in social works. Therefore, we purchase and distribute warm winter clothes for children from rural Tibetan primary schools. As a result, they can keep them warm and happy during cold winter.
Moreover, we believe that every person deserves access to quality healthcare. So, we extend our help on medical expenses to those serious patients who are from remote and rural Tibetan villages. Because they cannot afford to pay their medical treatment when the treatment costs go beyond the local medical insurance coverage.
In support of contributing to the local economy and we give the local population a central role in the touristic economic development of their own territory. Therefore, we always strive to ensure that the economic benefits of tourism should go for local communities. So, poverty alleviation by generating financial benefits for both local people and private industries. For instance, we always use locally owned ground transportation and accommodation (i.e. hotels, lodges, and guesthouses). Furthermore, we also recommend local eateries, restaurants, and stores to our guests.
In addition, we are an indigenous local Tibetan travel agency based in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. 100% of our travel company employees are staffed and escorted by professional local Tibetans including local tour guides and drivers. So, this has created employment and job security opportunities for many educated and inspired Tibetans.
Tibetan Buddhist reality is profoundly ecological, and Buddhism itself is an ecological religion. It powerfully expresses human identification with nature. Buddhists believe that all things, including humans, exist by their interrelationship with all other parts of nature. Therefore, thinking of one's self as isolated from the rest of nature is being unrealistic.
Respect for life and the natural world
Giving the facts that Tibetans love and respect for life and the natural world. Therefore, to minimize the environmental impact created by tourists, we follow environment-friendly policies. So, we maintain the size of tour groups to have minimal impact on flora and fauna in an area. The necessary carbon emissions that we generate by our footprints of travel to the tour destinations cannot be overlooked. Therefore, we regularly actively participate in carbon reduction or offset activities such as tree planting. Our tour guides, drivers, and logistics staff are aware of waste management. Moreover, we advised them to dispose of all rubbish generated by themselves responsibly and recycle wherever feasible.
Safegurds for the Environment friendly tourism
Make the best use of the winter tourist low season, we deliver training workshops on environmental protection. Moreover, the training also includes the preservation and first aid training. So, we arrange it for all our company management staff, tour guides, and drivers in order to increase their knowledge. As a result, they can understand the importance of environmental protection and ecotourism.
Request to Visitors:
- Be considerate of the communities and environment you visit.
- Don’t litter, try to carry your own shopping bag to avoid plastic garbage problem. Many Tibetan local villages do not have environmentally sound garbage disposal systems. Therefore, pack garbage out to a larger town where there is a facility.
- Try to avoid excessive use of plastic bottles. Travelers are requested to bring a reusable water bottle. In addition, we will arrange and supply your drinking water in a bigger container.
- Reduce energy consumption. Unplug your mobile phone charger, turn off the lights
Conserve water. Take shorter showers.
- Always ask before taking photographs. So, if someone says no, respect their wishes.
- Educate yourself about the place you are visiting and the people.
- Respect cultural differences. Moreover, learn from it! People in different places do things differently. So, don’t try to change them. And, enjoy them.
- Support the local economy. Therefore, buy locally made souvenirs, eat at local restaurants. Furthermore, enjoy the local culture.
- Support responsible tourism organizations. Because those travel operators who publicly are aiming to make tourism more responsible.