Destination Himalaya
Sanjay Saxena Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist for India, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka
India, Tibet, Nepal & Sri Lanka

In the days of yore, a trip to Tibet was a forbidding, time-consuming undertaking of epic proportions, assuming of course one could even gain access to the so-called “Forbidden Kingdom.”  With the wonders and convenience of modern travel, however, everyone can now make a Tibetan pilgrimage.  Our QuickEscapes –Tibet itinerary will immerse you in the vivacious culture of the Tibetan heartland, as we explore many of Tibet’s major cultural and historical sites in an incredible 10-day journey. 

In this amazing trip, we will experience an astonishing array of magical places, delving deep into the historical treasure trove that is Tibet.  Yet our QuickEscapes –Tibet itinerary is not at all rushed, and it will allow us the opportunity to truly savor the delights on offer in Tibet’s “Golden Triangle,” comprised of the three major urban centers of Lhasa, Gyantse, and Shigatse.  In the celebrated capital city of Lhasa, the focal point of our Tibetan QuickEscapes, we will take our time as we wander the byways of the Barkhor bazaar and Jokhang temple, meditate with monks in the monasteries of Sera, Drepung, and Nechung, and revel in the splendid grandeur of the Potala Palace. 

In Gyantse, we will see the elaborately adorned white jewel that is the Kumbum, while in Shigatse we will explore the expansive grounds of the monastery at Tashilhunpo.  Indeed, all of the sites on our journey are unforgettable, must-see destinations. For a truly transcendental travel experience, try our QuickEscapes - Tibet excursion as a stand-alone adventure, or combine it with one of our other unforgettable Asian travel itineraries.

Outline Itinerary

Day 1:  Depart USA

Day 2:  Arriving in Beijing, the thriving metropolitan capital of China, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 3: We take off from Beijing and fly across China to Lhasa, by way of Chendgu.  We will be met at Gongkar Airport and will take the beautiful drive into the fabled city of Lhasa, truly a world unto itself, where we will rest, acclimatize, and be treated to a wonderful "Welcome" dinner.

Day 4: Today we will have the opportunity to visit and thoroughly explore the magnificent monasteries of Drepung and Nechung, situated at the foot of the hills just a few miles west of Lhasa.

Day 5: With our third day in Lhasa, we will have the opportunity to visit Sera Monastery, where we will witness monks engaging in their hotly contested daily debates on Buddhist scripture.  We will also spend a good portion of our day at the former residence of the Dalai Lamas, the majestic Potala Palace, with its innumerable chambers, chapels, and memorial chörtens.

Day 6: We will spend the first part or our day by taking an excursion through the Tibetan countryside to the monastery at Ganden, seat of the Gelukpa monastic order.  In the afternoon, we will have ample free time to revisit the Jokhang and mingle with the pilgrims, or perhaps do some shopping in the market stalls that line the Barkhor.

Day 7: We depart Lhasa in the morning, heading south to the shores of the mighty Tsangpo River before changing course to the east and making our way to the city of Gyantse. Once we have arrived and checked in to our hotel, we will set out to photograph the beautiful Kumbum stupa (the Temple of the Hundred Thousand Buddhas), one of the greatest buildings in the Tibetan Buddhist world, renowned both for its religious significance and dramatic architectural splendor.

Day 8: Departing Gyantse, we have a short but scenic two-hour drive to Shigatse, during which time we will pass through the fertile agricultural heart of Tibet.  The striking, walled fortress-like Tashilhunpo monastery in Shigatse has been an important religious institution since the 13th Century, and is the home of the Panchen Lamas.

Day 9: We head out across the wilds of Tibet as we make our way back to Gongkar, where we will catch our return flight to Beijing.

Day 10:  Depart Beijing to arrive in USA on the same day.

Suggested Extensions:
  • QuickEscapes – Kerala
    After a week at high altitude, take in some R&R in the calm and leisurely paced life on the backwaters of the Arabian Sea, enjoy the pristine beaches of Kerala and an Ayurvedic spa. We fly you to Cochin via Kathmandu.

Other itineraries featuring Central Tibet:

Call us toll free at 1-800 MY INDIA (1-800-694-6342) or email us to request a detailed day-to-day itinerary.

Detail of mural showing the Sakyamuni Buddha
Sand mandala
Photo: Gillian Marshall
Potala Palace, Lhasa
Monks debating, Sera
Kumbum, Gyantse
Tashilhunpo, Shigatse
Yamdrok Lake
It's Included:
Medical & evacuation insurance
All hotels, meals, ground transportation, local guides and entrance fees.

Departures: on demand
March through November

Land Cost:
From: $2885 per person

Statue of Maitreya lighted by butter lamps, Drepung Monastery
Potala Palace rooftops

Monk at Buddhist Festival
Kumbum Stupa

Novice monk

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