The Treasures of Tibet and Lake Manasarovar Tour is incredible journey takes us to the "Roof of the Religious World"—with an average altitude of over 4,500 m above sea level, providing you with a magical few days to reflect. The Treasures of Tibet and Lake Manasarovar Tour is a classic combination of cultural, natural, and spiritual trekking where you will get to explore the vast Tibetan Plateau, the mighty Himalayas, alpine holy turquoise lakes, age-old monasteries, and the culture and lifestyle of the Tibetan people.
Tibet is known throughout the world for its remoteness and religious fervency, and the The Treasures of Tibet and Lake Manasarovar Tour will appeal to most hardened travelers, especially those interested in Buddhism and what makes Tibet tick. If you are planning a spiritual trek in Tibet, Treasures of Tibet and Lake Manasarovar Tour can be combined with a three-day holy pilgrimage around Mount Kailash. The journey provides a deep insight into the best of Tibet and also provides the opportunity for you to renew your soul at the same time. As we journey across the Tibetan Plateau, we explore monasteries hidden high in the mountains, hike beside dazzling alpine holy lakes, and take in views of the most sacred mountain in Asia.
Mount Kailash is a holy and sacred mountain for four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and the followers of the indigenous Tibetan religion of Bön. For Hindus, Mount Kailash is where Shiva, the destroyer and transformer, and his consort Parvati abide. To Buddhists, Mt. Kailash is the abode of Demchok and his consort, Dorje Phagmo; it is also believed that Mt. Kailash is a natural mandala representing the Buddhist cosmology on Earth.
The Jains believe Kailash is the place where their religion’s founder was spiritually awakened, and the Bonpos believe Mount Kailash to be the place where the founder of the Bon religion landed when he descended from Heaven.
You will require a Tibet visa and travel permit to visit Tibet. The travel permit for Tibet is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau, and the application has to be submitted by a registered travel agency only.
Please note: A Chinese visa is not sufficient to visit Tibet; you will also need a Tibetan permit, which is on paper and not in your passport.
Documents required for the Tibet visa or permit
Note: that it will take a week or two for visa approval, so make sure you apply for a permit 15 days before your tour.
For journalists, professionals, media photographers, diplomats, and government officials, the arrangement of your Tibet travel permit is done by Foreign Affairs.
Tibet Permit and Visa Fees:
Welcome to the roof of the world! You will be picked up by local tour guide at the airport, and then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle.After arrival at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local areas and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa.
High Altitude Acclimation Tips: 1) go for some leisurely walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival: 2) drink more water, and have some fruit; 4) have a good rest.
Start today’s Lhasa exploration with an visit to the – Potala Palace which is regarded as one of the most beautiful architectural buildinsg in the world. You will climb up the palace along the zigzag stone paths with white-and-red walls to the top of the palace where you can not only appreciate the exotic Tibetan-style architecture, but also get a great view of Lhasa’s urban areas, then walk into the inner space of Potala Palace to explore the stately chapels and learn about the history of the palace. We then move on to Jokhang Temple which is considered the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Each day,thousands of pilgrims come from all overTibet to the temple to worship Lord Buddha. The temple is also known as the “house of Buddha” because it keeps the precious Jowo Rinpoche, a life-sized (5 foot/1.5m) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12. The last sitewe visit today is the famous Barkhor Street. It is a circular and wide street encircling the Jokhang Temple. The local people like to circle the street several times usually in the late afternoon as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handcrafts.
After breakfast, you make a visit the beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the former summer palace of Dalai Lamas in the ancient times. It is now is a public park. It is famous for its Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai lamas built in grandiose Tibetan architecture style. From here you drive several kilometers to the western outskirts of Lhasa to visit Drepung Monastery. Drepung, in Tibetan, means “prosperity”. Since its establishment, Drepung Monastery has always been one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks living and and studying in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders have studied there , especially the Dalai Lamas. In fact Drepung Monastery is respectfully known as the “Mother School of Dalai Lamas”.
In the afternoon, you visit another famous monastery in Lhasa – Sera Monastery. It is famous for “Buddhist Debates”. As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the Buddhist doctrines with supplemented gestures, which is thought to help to facilitate better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study. After enjoying the “Buddhism Debating” it is back to the city. The rest of the time is free.
Today, you leave Lhasa for the drive around 8 hours to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. It may be a long journey, but the journey is broken up with visits along the way. The first site is the holy Yamdrok Lake,the largest fresh lake north of the Himalayas. It spreads about 675 square meters from south to north, like an eardrop lying in the arms of snow-capped giant mountains. Viewed from a distance, you can see fertile pastures full of yaks and sheep, and some small Tibetan villages along the lake. Not so far from Yamdrok Lake the imposing Karola Glacier towering aloft on the right side of the road is clearly visable.
Continuing on we reach the historical city of Gyantse. This is a good place for lunch. You visit the mysterious Palcho Monastery. The monks and tradition of three important sects of Tibetan Buddhism – Sakyapa, Zhalupa and Gelukpa, peacefully coexist in this monastery. Its Kumbum, which is 35 meters high has 76 small chapels with hundreds images of Kriyatantras , it is believed to be the largest such structure in Tibet. After Gyantse sightseeing, we have a further three hours before arriving at the hotel in Shigatse for a deserved rest.
Drive from Shigatse to Saga, which is about 450 kilometer’s driving takes about 9 hours. Enjoy the natural scenery through meadows, along rivers, and some glorious views of snow-capped mountains. Accommodation at Saga Town.
After breakfast, we have another long drive about 550 km from Saga to Darchen (4,575m), a small village located at the starting point of the walking kora around holy Mount Kailash. During the auspicious pilgrimage times, Darchen will be flooded with Pilgrims with hundreds of tents all over the small village.
The best highlight of today is the holy lake Manasarovar that you will visit before reaching Darchen. Like Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar is a holy place of pilgrimage, attracting religious people from India, Nepal, the neighboring countries and Tibet. Believers bathe in the Manasarovar Lake and drink its water as it is believed to cleanse all sins. Every summer, pilgrims from Tibet, India and Nepal cluster to make circumbulation and bathe in the lake. Returning home with samples of the holy water to give to family and friends as precious gifts.
Accommodation at local Guest House in Darchen.
Drive through the windswept territory passing many villages and camps of Yak herders, and back to Saga. There are many opportunities to take great pictures!
Driving from Saga to Shigatse (450km, 9 hours). Stay overnight at Shigatse. The drive today is quite long but interesting. Please don’t hesitate to ask the driver to stop so you can get out and stretch your legs or take pictures of the beautiful surroundings
Today, before driving back to Lhasa, you visit the most important monastery in Shigatse region – Tashilunpo Monastery where we spend about 2 hours. Tashilhunpo Monastery is the seat of successive Panchen Lamas, also one of the six Gelug monasteries. Founded by the First Dalai Lama in 1447, its name means “all fortune and happiness gathered here” or “heap of glory” in Tibetan. Covering an area of nearly 150,000 square meters, the monastery has more than 57 halls and 3600 rooms. Among them, the Coqen Hall can hold 2000 people chanting at the same time. Featuring an interesting sprawling amalgam of traditional Tibetan monastic style, those halls, chapels and other structures are connected by precipitous steps and narrow cobblestone alleys. The interplay between the golden roofs and the white, red and black exterior walls creates a striking composition.On arrival in Lasa transfer to your Hotel.
A day to catch up and just enjoy perhaps revisit a place or two or go shopping.
You will be driven to the airport for your flight back to Kathmandu,On your arrival one of us from Himalaya heart will meet you for the hotel transfer.
It is time to move on we hope you have had an enjoyable journey.One of our team will transport you to the airport or assist you with your onward arrangements.arrangements
To the Tibetan people and to foreigners familiar with Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, Tibet encompasses the entire Tibetan Plateau where the Tibetan people are native to. This includes all counties of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), 95% of the land area of Qinghai province, southwest Gansu, northern Sichuan, western Sichuan and far northwest Yunnan. Traditionally Tibet was divided into specific regions such as U, Tsang, Kham, Amdo, Ngari, Kongpo and Gyarong. In all of my writings, I refer to all of the Tibetan Plateau as being “Tibet” as that is what the majority of Tibetan people do as well.
Yes, there is a major difference in these two terms. The term “Tibet” refers to the entire Tibetan Plateau where the Tibetan people are native to. This includes all of the different regions listed above in #1. The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) refers to only 50% of the land mass of the Tibetan Plateau. Parts of Tibet are spread across 5 provinces and regions of southwestern China. Don’t let the lines of a Chinese map confuse you. Tibet is a much, much larger area than just the TAR. Roughly 60% of the Tibetan people live outside of the TAR in other regions of Tibet. The terms “Tibet” and “Tibet Autonomous Region” mean two very different things.
All areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region require all foreign travelers to be part of an organized tour with a Tibet travel agency, that includes travel permits, a tour guide and a private vehicle with a driver (no private vehicle needed if you are just staying in Lhasa). The Tibetan prefectures found in Qinghai, northern Sichuan, western Sichuan, southwest Gansu and northwest Yunnan are (usually) open and do not require travel permits or a tour guide.
You can’t. Unless you are a student at the Tibet University or have a work permit and resident visa for the TAR, you cannot go to the TAR without being on an organized tour. There are NO exceptions! Foreign travelers MUST be part of an organized tour that includes permits, a tour guide and a private vehicle with a driver.
Yes, absolutely. Before the events of March 2008, foreigners did not need a tour guide if they were in Lhasa or traveled along the route connecting Lhasa to Mt. Everest Base Camp and the Nepal border. Since March 2008, major changes have happened regarding travel regulations for foreigners in the TAR. Now, everyone MUST have a tour guide each day, even when in Lhasa.
No, once you separate the facts from the fiction regarding travel to the TAR, arranging travel is actually very easy.Himalaya Heart actually does almost all of the work arranging your tour.If you want us to organise a customised tour all you do is decide the route you want to take and exchange emails with us.
No, your travel permit is only valid for the duration of your tour. Once your tour is completed, you have to leave. Normally, the travel agency that you use will either book your flight/train ticket departing Lhasa or will ask for you to show your outgoing ticket. If you decide to lie and stay in the TAR after your tour is over, you could cause the agency you used to get in huge trouble. They could even lose their business license forcing everyone out of work. Read the following link for more details:
In years past, the most common vehicle used in the TAR was the Toyota Land Cruiser. However, the past 8 years many of the roads in the TAR have improved dramatically so that full-sized vans are also commonly used. Most of the roads in the Yarlung Valley as well as the Friendship Highway are now entirely paved. Even the road to Mt. Kailash is now paved over 98% of the way. Now, more and more travel agencies are using more fuel-efficient vans and smaller 4 Wheel Drive vehicles.
Tibet, including the regions of Kham and Amdo, is a huge area covering over 1/4 of the land mass of China. It is larger than most countries. Because of its size, Tibet has varying climates and temperatures. Some areas of Tibet indeed are extremely cold, while others can actually be quite mild during the summer. Winter time is generally quite cold across Tibet with some regions, parts of Amdo in particular, being deathly cold.
In general, most travelers to Tibet go between April and October. During this time, most of Tibet is relatively mild. Most people are surprised with how warm (and even hot) Lhasa and the Yarlung Valley can get during the summer time. In early September 2010 I took the train to Lhasa and in my compartment, there were 3 Chinese tourists going to Lhasa for the first time. They were all convinced that Lhasa was going to be -10C with heavy snow!! They were all wearing clothes as if they were going to summit Everest! You can only imagine the look on their faces when we arrived in Lhasa and it was +25C with lots of sunshine!! Tibet is a cold place, especially in the winter, but it is still probably warmer than you think. The region in and around Lhasa is one of the mildest regions in all of Tibet.
The main seasons for trekking are the spring (Mar to May) and autumn (Sep to Nov) when you’ll have clear skies and superb mountain views. The winter (Dec to Feb) is also a great time to visit— these months offer a unique experience and fewer crowds but lower altitude treks are better at this time of year as its cold at night.
(Jun to Aug), Most of Nepal experiences heavy rain for a few hours each day. It’s humid, wet, and the trails in the lower regions (Ghorepani, Ghandruk, Langtang, etc) can be quite muddy. If you don’t mind the rain you’ll have the trails to yourself, the skies often clear up in the morning, and certain treks offer stone-paved trails that drain the rain and make for easy trekking. Also, certain regions, like Mustang and the upper reaches of Everest, lie in the rainshadow of the Himalaya and receive little rain but views however are still likely to be restricted.
Enjoy the popular trekking and tour packages in Nepal Himalayas. 2023.
TibetTibet Overland Tour: 07 Nights 08 Days Drive In Drive Out Tour