Taking a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa is the quickest way to reach the holy land, especially if your time is limited. For those who seek a shorter trip, we recommend our 4-day Lhasa Essence Tour from Kathmandu. However, for those who wish to spend more time exploring the region, we offer a Kathmandu to Lhasa overland trip via Gyirong Border with visits to Mount Everest, Shigatse, Yamdrok Lake, and more.
Lhasa is a city unlike any other in China, boasting a unique blend of natural beauty, spiritual significance, and cultural heritage. As one of the highest cities in the world, Lhasa is known as "the Land of Gods" and the spiritual center of Tibet. With a history spanning over 1300 years, Lhasa is a treasure trove of cultural and religious sites, including the iconic Potala Palace, the revered Jokhang Temple, and the bustling Barkhor Street. These landmarks offer visitors a glimpse into the rich and vibrant traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, providing the opportunity to explore a city that is truly one-of-a-kind. Go with us now!
Lhasa (4 Days)
Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Dadong Village, Sera Monastery
On this day, you will catch your flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu. Tashi Delek! Welcome to Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region! Upon your arrival at the airport in Lhasa, the tour guide and driver will meet you at the exit, and then escort you to the hotel in downtown Lhasa (100km, about 1.5 hours’ drive) . You can have a good rest to get used to the altitude (3,650m) in your hotel and get ready to explore Lhasa with your guide the next day.
Kathmandu to Lhasa Flight Latest Info:
At present, there is no direct flight available from Kathmandu to Lhasa. However, we recommend traveling from Kathmandu to Tibet via an overland trip that takes you through Gyirong Border. This scenic journey offers a fantastic opportunity to discover the natural beauty and cultural wonders of Tibet, making it an unforgettable experience.
1. It is good to avoid altitude sickness by slowing down, keeping warm, drinking water frequently, avoiding showers for the first one or two days, taking it easy, and sleeping well.
2. You should always follow your doctor's advice regarding altitude based on your health condition.
3. Be sure to let your guide or the hotel staff know whenever you feel unwell or need help. The people there are always willing to help and are good at dealing with altitude sickness.
Today you will explore Lhasa for its brilliant architectures, culture, and history, then stroll through the famous Barkhor Street with locals and experience the daily kora life of Tibetans.
In the morning, you can walk up to the Potala Palace to explore. Not only is it the landmark of Tibet, but it is also the traditional residence and winter palace of the Dalai Lama (1649-1959). After climbing 365 steps from the gate of the Potala Palace to reach the Red Palace, you will arrive at the highest palace in the world at an altitude of 3,700m, where you can enjoy an excellent panoramic view of Lhasa city. As you explore the principal halls, chapels, and shrines of past Dalai Lamas in the Red Palace, you will be amazed and moved by its remarkable paintings, gorgeous jeweled works, skilled carving, colorful ornamentation, and the mystery stories behind the treasures. Inside the Potala Palace, you will meet many Tibetan pilgrims who come from afar to pray at this sacred site, making it a lifetime destination for them. You can also ask your guide to provide more stories about Songtsen Gampo, the 33rd king of Tibet, who first built the Potala Palace in the 7th century for his marriage to Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty. Please note that the visit order may be adjusted based on the visiting time specified on your Potala Palace ticket. All visitors are required to visit the palace with a tour group and remain inside for one hour. Please be advised that photography is prohibited inside the palace.
After exploring the Potala Palace Museum, move to the 1300-year-old Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet and a world cultural heritage site. It is said that the Jokhang Monastery is built for King Songtsen Gampo's two brides: Chinese Princess Wencheng and Nepal Princess Bhrikuti. "Jokhang" means "House of Buddha", it houses the statue of the life-size 12-year-old Sakyamuni which is the treasure of the Buddhism world. That is why Buddhist pilgrims take it as the holiest destination. The time seems to stand still when you watch them pray in front of the temple during the day and night.
Afterward, take a walk on busy Barkhor Street near the Jokhang Monastery, which was a place for Buddhists to do a kora (pilgrim circuit) in ancient times. Nowadays, it has become a thriving local market where you can drink a pot of yak butter tea, dress in Tibetan clothes for photos, and pick up some local Tibetan, Nepalese, and Indian handicrafts and souvenirs.
Today you will enjoy the culture tour of Lhasa via a visit to two of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, the Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery.
In the morning, drive about 35min (12km) to visit Drepung Monastery which was the largest Tibetan monastery (Gelug Sect, Yellow Hat) in Lhasa. It used to be Dalai Lama’s palace before he moved to the Potala Palace in the 17th century. Now it is famous for Drepung Shoton Festival held each August, people come to offer yogurt to the monks who finished the 100 days’ meditation while enjoying the grandest Buddha (thangka) unfolding ceremony. Besides the unique architecture and amazing buildings, you can watch monks debating in Tibetan Buddhism vibrant and active with expansive gestures, clapping, and stamping. After Drepung Temple, you will have about a 2-hour Tibetan culture tour, which includes an introduction, Tibetan incense making, and block printing.
In the afternoon, drive another 40min (14km) to visit Sera Monastery. Step on one of the most beautiful monastery compounds, and its white stone roads and walkways makes you feel almost Mediterranean. The highlight of Sera Monastery is watch the monks’ debate at around 15:00 - 17:00 (except Sundays). It is an interesting form of debate, you can see one monk, the questioner, standing while the answerer or group of answerers, sitting. The standing monk will ask question and slap his palms and stomp, each action has its special meaning, such as activating wisdom, and are not meant to be aggressive.
After that, be escorted back to your hotel in Lhasa.
It is time to end your 4-day Tibet Lhasa tour from Kathmandu. You will have some free time in Lhasa and explore more on your own till your guide escorts you to the airport/train station for your flight or train to your next destination.
Extension Ideas: If you prefer to travel longer in Tibet, you can extend your trip to other highlighted parts of Tibet, including Shigatse, Gyantse, Everest Base Camp and Mount Kailash.
Thank you for choosing Asia Odyssey Travel for your China tour, and we are always here working for you and hope to see you again for your next trip to China/Asia. Safe journey!
(Based on a private tour for two people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people.)
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