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Lhasa, Samye and Tsedang

6 days 5 nights

Code TCT77

Category Tibet Classic Tours

  • Difficulty Level 2
  • Rating Popular
  • Highest Altitude 3, 595m (11, 792 ft.)
  • Trip Starts From Lhasa
  • Trip Ends At Tsedang
  • Accommodation Hotels
  • Type Classic Circuits
  • Destination Tsedang Samye Yamdrok Tso Lake Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Dates & Prices


This trip takes you to Lhasa, Samye and Tsedang; the three important places in Tibetan history, culture, and religion. You will fly into Lhasa and drive to Tsedang (138 miles), south-east to Tsedang which is a gateway town to the ancient Yarlung valley, the base from which the Yarlung kings unified Tibet. It was only later that the power center moved to Lhasa when King Songtsen Gambo of 7th century moved his capital to Lhasa.

Samye Monastery is the first Buddhist monastery of Tibet and is the testimony of acceptance of Buddhism in the Bön dominated Tibet.

Lhasa is the capital city and the heart and soul of Tibet. Lhasa is the destination that most travelers visit when they travel to Tibet. In Lhasa, you will visit the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace, Norbulingkha Palaces, the ancient Jorkhang Temple, and two major Gelug Monasteries: Sera and Drepung. You may take a 1-2 hr. hike on the pilgrimage path of the monastery which offers great views of the valley and provides an opportunity to interact with the pilgrims.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~ Flight to Gonggar Airport of Lhasa and transfer to Tsedang (3,100m/10,168 ft.).

Fly into the Gonggar airport in Lhasa .Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our Far & High Tibetan guide and then will be driven to Tsedang (120km/7.5miles, 1.5 hrs. drive). It is gateway town to the Yarlung Valley. The Yarlung Valley is considered the cradle of Tibetan civilization and it was in Yarlung that early Tibetan Kings unified Tibet in the 7th century. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and please rest for the acclimatization to the altitude.

Accommodations at Tsedang Hotel (4*).

Day 02~Visit the attractions of Tsedang and Samye

Today, explore the historical and cultural sights of the Yarlung Valley. Visit the ancient Trandruk Temple (7 km, 4.5 miles) which is one of the earliest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. It is contemporary in comparison to the Jorkhang and Ramoche of Lhasa. At Tradruk, visit the courtyard area, ringed by cloisters, the principal chapel with statues of Tara or Drolma, the 5 Dhyani Buddhas, and the famous Thangka painting of the Drolma in the chapel upstairs.

From Trandruk, you head south to Yumbulgang Palace (6km, 1.8 miles) which is a fine tapering finger of a structure that pops up from a rocky ridge overlooking the patchwork of fields of the Yarlung Valley. Visit the ground floor chapel consecrated to the ancient kings of Tibet and the upper floor chapel with an image of Chenresig (Avalokityaswora) and also see some excellent murals depicting the descent of Nyentri Tsenpo from heaven to Yumbulagang. Walk up along the ridge above the building to enjoy fabulous views of the Yarlung Valley.

In the afternoon, we visit Samye Monastery-the first Buddhist Monastery in Tibet. The monastery is famous for its sacred Mandala design: the central temple symbolizes the legendary Mount Meru, the center of the universe. It is a popular pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists, some of whom travel on foot for weeks to reach this holy shrine.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Drive to Lhasa with detour of Yamdrok Tso Lake

 (Alt. 3,658m/12,193 ft., 183km/122miles, 5 hrs. drive).

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and set off for Lhasa. On the way, we will take a detour of Yamdrok Tso Lake-one of the three holiest lakes of Tibet. The road zigzags up the Kamba La pass (15, 915 ft.) and from the top, we enjoy the spectacular views of the lake and vast Tibetan plateau.

We arrive in Lhasa late in afternoon. Check into the hotel and after some rest, you can take a self-guided walking tour of Barkhor Street and Jorkhang Square.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Visit Potala Palace, Sera Monastery and Jorkhang Temple

Today, you will explore the major highlights of Lhasa. Begin the tour from the magnificent Potala Palace which is the symbol of wisdom and power of the Tibetan people. This is a 13 story, 1000 room citadel which served as the headquarters for the former "church-state" of Tibet and was home to the successive Dalai Lamas whom the latter half of the 18th century used it as their winter palace. The gigantic palace serves as landmark of Lhasa and can be spotted from far away.

Now we will drive about 5-6 km north of Lhasa to visit the Sera Monastery. It is one of Lhasa’s most beautiful monasteries. Once a community of more than 5,000 monks resided here .The restored monastery sits below the brow of hill on which Tsongkhapa built a hermitage and spent several years meditating. The Sera Monastery may not be as grandiose as the Drepung, but is more far more serene as it is surrounded by many small temples. You may also get the chance to attend the 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in the Sera Monastery which is a very interesting part of this visit.

In the afternoon, you will visit Jorkhang Temple. It is the holiest and most sacred site in Tibet where many devout Buddhists make their pilgrimage. Jorkhang has always been an important pilgrimage destination for Tibetans. We will also take chance to visit the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute (Mentsekhang). It is a center for the treatment, training, research, and production of Tibetan medicine.

You will spend the rest of the day wandering about Barkhor Street and the Barkhor Square. The street circles of the Jorkhang Temple have been an essential pilgrimage route since the foundation of the temple. Buddhist pilgrims can be seen throughout the day and night walking or prostrating themselves clockwise along Barkhor Street spinning their prayer wheels and chanting sutras. Barkhor Street is also a popular place to find handicraft bargains.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Visit Drepung Monastery and Norbulingkha Gardens

After breakfast, you will head towards the Drepung Monastery, which is 8 km west of Lhasa. You will leave the vehicle behind at the foot of the hill and take a pleasant hike to visit the white monastic buildings of the monastery which was once was the largest Buddhist monastery and housed over 10,000 monks. It was founded in 1416 by the disciple of Je Tsonkhapa, who was also the founder of the Yellow Hat Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The Drepung was the residence of the second, third, and fourth Dalai Lamas and the power center of Tibet-until the 5th Dalai Lama shifted to the Potala Palace.

If you are well acclimated, you can hike (1 ½ to 2 ½ hrs.) on the pilgrimage path around the monastery.

From Drepung, return to the city and visit the Norubulingkha Gardens with the summer retreats of Dalai Lamas. Among others, the most visited is the palace of the 14th Dalai Lama. The palace is a fusion of both Tibetan and Western style. We will have access to the private chamber and audience hall of Dalai Lama.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 06~Departure (55 miles, 2 hrs. drive)

Transfer to the Gonggar airport for your flight to the next destination.

Service ends.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Cost Includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing.
  • Daily Breakfast.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private air conditioned car or coach.
  • Sightseeing admission fees.
  • English speaking Tour Guide.
  • Tibet Travel Permit

Cost Does Not Include

  • International and internal air fare.
  • Airport Taxes.
  • Chinese visa fee.
  • Lunch and dinner except as indicated.
  • Drinks, tip and other expenses of personal nature.
  • Travel & Health Insurance.
  • All extra expenses caused due to nature or unforeseen events. Excess baggage charges.
  • Optional tipping to local staffs, hotels etc.
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone etc.).

Passport and visa

Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months more at the time of travel and there should be enough blank pages for entry and departure seals. You will apply Chinese visa at your nearest Embassy but do not disclose your Tibet intention, or they will direct you to apply for a group visa which has more disadvantages than advantages. Chinese visa validity is usually 90 days from the date of issue that means you have to enter China within 90 days from the date of issue and they will allow 30 days stay from the date of entry. We advise you apply Chinese visa at least one and half month ahead of the trip and provide us a clear scanned copy of the passport and visa in mail or by email at least a month ahead of the trip for smooth Tibet permit processing. We will provide you a copy of permits by fax or e-mail about 7-10 days ahead of your travel date or you can collect it from our contact person in Beijing or Chengdu. Your Guide will be holding all other necessary permits required for this trip.

If you are entering Tibet from Nepal, then you don’t have to worry about Chinese visa and Tibet pemits as we will take care of this. Chinese visa and Tibet permits will be pre-processed by us and final visa work is done once you are in Kathmandu.

International and Internal Airfares

Flights to Lhasa come from Kathmandu (Nepal), Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian, Chongqing and other major Chinese cities. We are able to book airfare into Lhasa for you and airfare is separately billed.

Accommodations and facilities

There are all kinds of accommodations in Lhasa but limited in Tsedang. We use the best hotels in each category. We offer hotels in three variations. Variation A hotels are 3 star hotels by local standard. We offer 4 start and 5 star hotels in variation B and C respectively. All hotels provide en suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. Hospitality industry in Tibet is still underway and so Tibetan hotels do not meet western standard. 


The trip cost includes breakfast only. The hotels cater Chinese, Tibetan, Indian, Nepali and western style breakfasts. Lunch and dinners are not included in tour cost. You can expect to spend US$ 8-10 per meal in regular tourist standard restaurants. There are wide ranges of Chinese, Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian and Western dishes served in the restaurants. You may want to bring some dry fruits, chocolates, energy bars, vitamin supplements etc.


Based on the group size, we use Buick or Hyundai minivans and mini buses for all transfers and sightseeing. Vehicles are good conditioned, clean and have heating and cooling options.

Expert Local Guides

You are escorted by a local Tibetan Tour Guide who will be knowledgeable, experienced and professional. Besides showing you wonder you'd never find on your own, he or she will make sure that everything goes smoothly and safely without a hitch. Guide makes sure that you have all the permits for the trip and he will deal with local check posts and bureaucracies By the way, you should know that, unlike in some countries, driver and guide is different person.

Trip Activity Level

The trip is mostly motor vehicle based sightseeing with optional hikes and village visits. When we are driving, we drive about 4-6 hours daily. The itinerary is slow paced to allow you plenty of time for independent exploring.

Altitude and Health Concerns

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 main 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. A supply of bottled oxygen is carried in the vehicle at all times should it be required. Hotels in Lhasa are equipped with oxygen. Doctors will also be available on call.

You should start some physical exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking and aerobics about several weeks ahead of the trip that keeps you fit and lessens the chance of getting altitude sickness. You should have a good sleep the night before you fly in to 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 a warm fleece or sweater is recommended 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 wind proof jacket.
  • Strong sun cream and lip protector.
  • Moisturizer.
  • Water bottle.
  • Camera (and plenty of film 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 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. A deposit of US$300 on land plus the cost of internal airfares is requested along with complete trip application form and passport copies.

Balance Payment

Balance payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. Depending on the number of applicants, we may set an early payment date. If balance of payment is not received by the requested date, we reserve the right to cancel your booking without prior notice.


  • 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%.

Travel Protection Plan

While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there 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. that 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 get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Our trips do not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.

You are able to get quote and purchase the policy online via Travel Insured.


A (3*)

Kyichu or Dhodgu or Dekhang Hotel

Snow Pigeon, Tsedang

B (4-5*)

Four Points By Sheraton, Lhasa

Tsedang Hotel, Tsedang

C (5*)

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

Tsedang Hotel, Tsedang


*Hotels subject to availability.



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1 866 838 5818
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612 605 4428 (t)

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Minneapolis, MN 55423
Tel: 1 612 605 4428
Fax: 612 807 1137


Kapoordhara, Samakhusi, Kathmandu
Tel (977 1) 4351780, 4381823
Fax +977-1-4381369


KMT Building, Nordzin Lam, Thimphu
Tel (975-2) -329098 / +975-77204087
Fax (+975) 2 337004


B5-1-2, B3 dong, Renchen garden,
No 13 Jiangsu road Lhasa Tibet China.
Tel: +86-(891)-6836609,
Fax: +86-(891)-6836619

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