1 612 869 8502 

Lhasa and Drak Yerpa Hermitage

5 days 4 nights

Code TCT120

Category Tibet Classic Tours

  • Group Size 2-10 pax Person
  • Difficulty Level 1
  • Rating Popular
  • Highest Altitude 3595 m( 11, 792 ft.)
  • Trip Starts From Lhasa
  • Trip Ends At Lhasa
  • Accommodation Hotels
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Lhasa Drak Yerpa
Dates & Prices
Please, contact us for the price and the dates for this trip


This short trip takes you to Lhasa and the Drak Yerpa-a rural area but no so far from Lhasa. You will visit the former palaces of the Dalai Lama and the major Buddhist monasteries of Tibet. A short drive out of Lhasa brings you to Drak Yerpa, where you will have opportunities to visit the ancient meditation caves of hermits in the limestone cliffs. You will enjoy the scenery and rural areas of Tibet.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrival in Lhasa

Flights to Lhasa arrive from Kathmandu (Nepal), Beijing and other mainland Chinese cities. Upon arrival at Lhasa’s Gongaar airport, you will meet by your local guide and then transfer by a private vehicle to your hotel in the town (75km/47 miles, 1 hr.). About 17km (11 miles) before Lhasa, you will stop to see a small but a significant monastery of Drolma Lakhang, associated with Bengali scholar-Atisha, known as Jowo Je by Tibetans. The temple is full of ancient relics and hidden treasures. About 4 miles before the city proper, again, you will stop to see the blue rock engraving of "Medicine Buddha" at the base of a cliff.

Today, after you check into the hotel, you may want to take rest for acclimatization.

Overnight hotel in Lhasa.

Day 02~Visit Drepung Monastery, Nechung Monastery, Sera Kora and Pabonka Monastery.

Following breakfast, set out with your guide and driver to explore the attractions of Lhasa. First, we drive about 5 miles in the outskirt of the city to visit Drepung Monastery. It is the largest, most luxurious, and the most powerful of the three major "Yellow Hat" Sect monasteries of Tibet. Drepung commanded the administration of Tibet before Potala Palace rose as the power center. At Drepung, we visit the Ganden Palace, the main Assembly Hall, and some of the colleges of Buddhist studies. Drepung Monastery also commands a marvelous view of the city. From Drepung, we descend to Nyechung Monastery, which is 10 minutes' walk downhill. It was the seat of state oracle until Dalai Lama’s departure in 1959.

Our next destination is the Sera Monastery-other major Gelugpa monasteries of Lhasa. If you are hiking enthusiast and well acclimated, you can join the local pilgrims on an hour-long hike on the pilgrimage path, known as "kora" (pilgrimage that goes around the monastery). Along the trail, we will see the rock paintings and hermitages of Tsongkhapa (Founder of Gelugpa sect).

As we conclude the kora hiking, we enter the monastery and visit its main assembly hall and some of its several Buddhist colleges. We will also take a chance to attend the debating session of the monks. We also have the option of hiking to Pabonka Monastery, which takes about one hour from Sera. Pabonka is one of the most ancient Buddhist sites in the Lhasa region and unfrequented by tourists.

Overnight hotel in Lhasa.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Visit Potala Palace, Norbulingkha Palae, Jorkhang Temple and Barkhor Street.

Today, we begin the day from Potala Palace- which is undoubtedly the principal attraction of Lhasa. The massive architecture, situated atop the red hill in the city center, served as the residence of Dalai Lama and hence was the power center of Tibet until he fled to India in 1959. The original palace was believed to have been built by King Songtsen Gampo of the 7th century, but the current structure dates back to the mid-17th century. The palace has two parts. The red palace for the religious purpose that enshrines the tombs of eight Dalai Lamas, the monks' assembly hall, numerous chapels and shrines, and libraries for Buddhist Scriptures. The white palace for the administrative purpose containing living quarters, offices, the seminary, and the printing house.

From here, we head to Norbulinkha Gardens to see the summer palaces of the Dalai Lama. Of all the palaces, the palace of the 14th Dalai Lama (the current Dalai Lama) is a major attraction. We visit his private chambers and audience hall.

In the afternoon, we head to Barkhor- the old Tibetan town where we will have a lunch break (lunch not provided). After lunch, we will visit the ancient Jorkhang Temple. It was built by King Songtsen Gampo in the  7th century to house the image of Buddha brought to Tibet by his Nepali wife Bhrikuti as part of the dowry. After that, we will take a relaxed stroll on the pilgrimage path of Barkhor that goes around the Jorkhang Temple. Barkhor area has authentic Tibetan characteristics with Tibetan shops lining up on either side of the street. We will see devout Tibetans walking and spinning the prayer wheels or counting the holy beads and uttering the sacred Buddhist mantras-'Om Mane Padme Hum!'

Overnight hotel in Lhasa.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Excursion of Drak Yerpa Cave Hermitages

After breakfast, we are off to the Drak Yerpa Hermitage. It is situated about 12 miles from the city. Many Buddhist teachers, including Guru Rinpoche and King Songtsen Gampo meditated here, so, the cave hermitages here are among the holiest hermitages in Tibet. They say there are 108 holy cave hermitages. So, depending on your interest, we can spend a few hours here or spend the entire day exploring the holy caves where Buddhist saints and Dalai Lama meditated. While the sites have a religious significance, Drak Yerpa is also known for its natural beauty. The place is peaceful with stunning views and an experience of rural Tibet that is away from the crowds of Lhasa.

Afternoon, we retrace our drive to Lhasa. The rest of the day is open for you to pursue your interests.

Overnight hotel in Lhasa.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Depart Lhasa

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for the flight to your next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in a mid-range hotel.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Airport arrival and departure assistance and all sightseeing by private vehicle.
  • English speaking local Guide.
  • Tibet entry permit.
  • Sightseeing admission fees.
  • Service of internal airfare reservation.

Trip Does Not Include

  • Lunch and dinner ( Please allow $10-15 per meal approximately).
  • Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tipping, laundry, etc.
  • Extra expenses caused due to nature and unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, road blockade, illness, accident, etc.
  • Travel health insurance.
  • International and international airfare.

Chinese visa and permits

The remaining validity of your passport must be a minimum of six months after the trip.

Traveling via China:

You should apply for a Chinese visa in your country itself. For some good reason, DO NOT disclose your Tibet intention; otherwise, the visa procedure becomes tedious. Once you have a Chinese visa done, we need a copy of it, and we will take care of the rest of the formalities. Passport and Chinese visa copy should reach us a minimum a month before your travel date.
You will collect Tibet Entry Permits at our contact offices in gateway cities: Beijing or Chengdu before your flight to Lhasa. Your Guide will be holding all other necessary permits required for this trip.

Traveling via Kathmandu, Nepal

If you are going to Tibet via Kathmandu, Nepal, you don’t have to obtain a Chinese visa in advance. We will apply the Tibet permit and Chinese visa for you in advance, but final visa work is pro once you are in Kathmandu. So, you should allow one full business day in Kathmandu for visa works before you depart for Lhasa. Bring a passport size photo with you when you come to Kathmandu.


In Lhasa, we offer your choice of standard, first-class, or deluxe properties. Our preferred standard hotel is Dekhang Hotel that lies in the Barkhor area. All rooms have a private bathroom with running hot and cold water, but at times, the hot water supply may be disrupted due to an electric outage. We use Four Points By Sheraton in the first-class category and Shangrila or St. Regis. Toiletry supplies are limited, and your rooms may not have hair dryers or iron and ironing board. There are friendly local staffs in the hotels, but except receptionists and wait staff, others may speak little or no English. Our hotels have restaurants serving Tibetan, Chinese, and Western foods.


Tour cost includes breakfast only. Hotel restaurants offer Chinese, Tibetan, Indian, Nepali, and western-style breakfasts. There will be no lunch and dinners added. So you should allow US$ 8-9 per meal in regular tourist standard restaurants and a few dollars more if you eat in your hotels. We can arrange set meals for groups on your request. Restaurants in town offer wide ranges of Chinese, Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian and Western dishes. You may want to bring some extra foods like dry fruits, chocolates, energy bars, vitamin supplements, etc.


We provide you with 4500 model Toyota Land Cruiser, or Japanese made micro or minibusses for all tours and transportation, depending on your group size. Drivers do speak little or no English, but they are experienced and know the Tibetan roads.


You will be accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable English speaking Tibetan Guide throughout the tour. Besides guiding you on the journey, your guide helps you check in the hotel and buy admission tickets in the monasteries and deals with check posts and bureaucracies. The guide and driver are not the same people.

Health Issues

There is no mandatory vaccination required to travel to Tibet. But you may consider vaccination against rabies, and Hep A. Travelers with cardiac-pulmonary issues or any other medical conditions are recommended to consult their physician. The primary health consideration in Tibet is altitude-related illness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea, and sleeplessness, but these should lessen within a few days. Doctors will also be available on call. You should start some physical exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking, and aerobics about several weeks before the trip. It helps you keep fit and lessen the chance of getting altitude sickness. You should have a good sleep the night before you fly into Lhasa and take complete rest on the first day. It's also advisable to drink 3-4 liters of water daily and consume liquid food.


During the day, a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be suitable, but we recommend a warm fleece or sweater for the evenings and mornings. Night temperatures can fall below freezing point even in summer.

  • Warm fleece top.
  • Thermal underwear (top and bottom).
  • Cotton shirts (short and long-sleeved).
  • Warm and cotton trousers.
  • Sun polarized sunglasses.
  • Beanie or warm woolen hat and gloves.
  • Scarf (to keep out dust as well as cold).
  • Sandals (flip-flops).
  • Towel.
  • Rain and windproof jacket.
  • Potent sun cream and lip protector.
  • Moisturizer.
  • Water bottle.
  • Camera (and plenty of films and spare batteries).

Note on Itinerary

Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed, it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Booking, Payment, and Cancellation

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking. The internal flights are the key factor in determining whether your trip can be realized or not. We request a deposit of US$300 on land plus the cost of domestic airfares along with the complete trip application form and passport copies.

Balance payment is due 90 days before your departure. Depending on the number of applicants, we may set an early payment date.

Cancellation fee

  • Ninety days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • Sixty-Eighty Nine day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Forty-five days to Fifty-Nine days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Thirty days to Forty-four days before departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than Thirty days: 100%.

Travel Protection Plan

We plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless. But there still may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage, etc. It may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip, putting your hard-earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation, or medical transportation when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High's trip cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses. So we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.


A (3*)

Dekhang Hotel

B (3-4*)

Bramhaputra Hotel or Four Points By Sheraton

C (5*)

Shangri-La Hotel

*Hotels subject to availability.



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 1 612 869 8502

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