Upon your arrival at the Lhasa airport or train station, you will be greeted by your Tibetan guide and escorted to your hotel in Lhasa. It only takes about a half an hour for the drive from the airport to the city center of Lhasa via the Lhasa-Gonggar Airport Highway. Along the way you will be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the Brahmaputra River. You will have the rest of the afternoon or evening (depending upon your arrival time) to rest, relax and become acclimatized to the higher altitude of Tibet.
Today we will start off with the fantastic Potala Palace, which historically served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. It was first used in the 7th century by the 33rd king of Tibet. The most valuable collections in the Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of the former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. After lunch, we will move on to the Jokhang Temple, which was also founded in the 7th century by the 33rd great king of Tibet to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni as he was at the age of twelve – this is perhaps the most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can perform the “Kora” (a religious circuit around a sacred building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals. The Barkhor market is also a great place to pick up locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.
This morning we will visit the Drepung Monastery – one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge, on Tosngkhapa’s main disciples, the Drepung Monastery is home of Ganden Palace, which formerly served as the Dalai Lama’s palace before later moving on to the Potala Palace. In the afternoon we will move on to see another of the great three of the Gelug monasteries in Tibet – the Sera Monastery. Founded in 1419 by another main disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Chojey, the main attraction of this monastery is the lively scene of the monks debating Buddhist scriptures in the courtyard behind the monastery in the afternoon.
Today’s schedule features a bike ride of approximately 53 kilometers to the east to visit the Ganden Monastery – the largest of the six main monasteries of Gelugpa. The most difficult part of our ride today will be climbing up Mt. Wangpo, with its peak elevation of 3800 meters. If you still have the energy, you can perform the “Kora” here by bicycle, taking a 90-minute circuitous ride around the religious sites. On a clear day you will have stunning views of the peak of Mount Nyenchen Thangla and the Kyi-chu Valley below. We will stay overnight in Ganden tonight.
Today we will make the return trip to Lhasa by bicycle, with free time for you to explore Lhasa in the afternoon and evening.
Today we will begin our 3-day bike ride, first taking us northwards from Lhasa to Namtso with the beautiful sight of Nyenchen Thanglha accompanying us along the beginning of our trip as we head out of Lhasa. In the summer (May to August), the sheepherders and their families move to the grassland and set up their tents, so we will be able to see not only the green grasslands but also herds of sheep ad yaks as well as the nomad’s tents alongside the road. Finally we will reach the incredibly beautiful Namtso Lake – a heavenly lake known as one of the three holy lakes of Tibet and also as the world’s highest salt lake. Situated at an elevation of 5000 meters, Namtso Lake lies on the highest plateau in the world. We’ll enjoy a memorable stay at the lakeshore on this 8th night of your biking tour.
While enjoying the beautifully clear morning at the lakeshore, you can trek along the shoreline to Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves. After a morning of exploration, we’ll begin the journey back to Lhasa with a bike ride over the Lagangla Pass to Yangpachen. Yangpachen is famous for its geothermal power station and the nearby hot spring, where we can relax in the natural hot spring before retiring for the night.
Today we will enjoy the final leg of our bike tour as we ride back to Lhasa from Yangpachen. We will be on the same highway as before, and we’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop for photos. After arriving back in Lhasa you will have free time the rest of the afternoon and evening to relax.
This morning we will bike on towards the Samye Monastery, located about 200 kilometers from Lhasa. The Samye Monastery is the first temple built in Tibet and the first to contain the three Buddhist jewels of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. With these unique features, this splendid temple has become an attraction for visitors from all over the world. It is one of the most popular holy places in all of Tibet, where you can see the ancient monastery and palace that demonstrate the ancient tradition of the Tibetan people and their kings.
Today we will bike to Tsetang along the amazing Brahmaputra River, and then on to visit the Trundruk Monastery and Yumbulagang Palace. Trundruk is one of the earliest founded Buddhist monasteries in Tibetan history. Yumbulagang Palace was built for the first Tibetan King, Nyatri Tsanpo, in the 2nd century B.C., serving as the palace for all succeeding Tibetan kings.
For these two days, we will have a scenic and pleasant bike ride along good roads on our way to Lhasa from Tsedang. After arriving in Lhasa, you will have free time to relax and recover from our long journey and to prepare for your trip on to your next destination.
Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel to escort you back to Lhasa Gonggar Airport or to the Lhasa train station for your departing flight or train.