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Ganden Thangka Unveiling Festival Tour

5 Days
From USD1185
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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This tour is suitable for travelers who're interested in Tibetan Buddhist culture. It covers the top three monasteries of the Gelug sect in Tibet: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Ganden Monastery. Among them, Ganden Monastery is the ancestral monastery of Gelugpa. During the Gaden Thangka unveiling Festival, you will see displaying huge thangkas of Buddha images. The festival is held on the fifteenth day of the sixth month of the Tibetan calendar to commemorate the enlightenment of the famous Tibetan religious philosopher, Master Tsongkhapa. If you want, you may have a Lingkor (circle) trek at Ganden Monastery. The most valuable collections are the Great Tsongkapa’s meditation cave and the 25 holiest relics. Also, you will visit the prominent landmarks of the splendid Potala palace, mystical Jokhang Temple and bustling Barkhor Street, where you can taste many Tibetan delicacies and discover the Tibetan way of life.

DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel
2 Lhasa Sightseeing Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
3 Lhasa Sightseeing Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
4 Lhasa - Ganden - Lhasa, 140km, Approx. 3hrs Ganden Monastery
5 Lhasa Departure Send off to the airport/train station

Daily Itinerary


When you arrive in Lhasa, our staff will pick you up at Lhasa Airport/ Railway Station and transfer you to the hotel. From the airport, it takes about 1 hour. From the train station, it only takes 20 minutes. Afterward, it's better to relax and take it easy on the first day to get acclimatized to high altitude and alleviate the jet lag. You might go to the local market and wander around the city on your own but try not to overtax yourself.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Today, you will explore the Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. The most valuable collections here are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. It's best to explore the inside of the Potala in the morning for 2-3 hours. Afterward, you may walk the pilgrimage route around the Potala Palace.

In the afternoon, you will head to the Jokhang Temple, which is well known as the center of Tibetan Buddhism and features Buddhist prayer wheels, reclining deer, and golden sutra streamers, etc. Also, you can see a lot of pilgrims praying in front of the temple and doing kora. After visiting the Jokhang Temple, you will stroll in the old alleys of Barkhor Street, where you can drink sweet tea, chat with locals and even bargain with the street vendors to understand the real life in Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

You'll spend a day exploring two of three ‘Great Three’ Gelug monasteries - Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery.

In the morning, you will head to the Drepung Monastery, which is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries that housed more than 10,000 monks in the past. It was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the great fifth Dalai Lama constructed the Potala Palace. It was known for the high standards of its academic study and was called the Nalanda of Tibet. And then you also can visit the biggest monastery kitchen in the monastery and enjoy a Buddhist sculpture carving workshop near Drepung.

After lunch, drive to the Sera Monastery, which is renowned as the most beautiful Tibetan Monastery. It is famous for the Buddhis debate from 3 pm to 5 pm. You can also appreciate three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Paintings of Buddha in the monastery.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Today you will head to Ganden Monastery, about 60km northeast of Lhasa. It is well known as being one of the “Great Three” Gelugpa monasteries of Tibet, founded by the Great Tsongkhapa in 1409. Here, you will visit the greatest Tibetan master Tsonga's tomb and chapels of Ganden monastery. If the physical condition is fine, you have a chance to trek with a guide around the Gaden along with the amazing view of Lhasa valley.

At noon, you will have lunch in the monastery restaurant with good food and friendly service. Then, you will head to visit the beautiful Tibetan farmer's village nearby. During Ganden Thangka Festival, Monks in colorful robes and headwear walked out with the 25 holiest relics, which are normally locked away.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Your Tibet tour ends today. After breakfast, you will be free in the morning. Our staff will collect you at your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station.
Tour Price and Service

From US$1185 p/p

Based on 3-star hotels for 2 people in low seasons. Price varies according to travel season, number of people and level of accommodation.


  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance tickets fee for tourist attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Experienced local English-speaking tour guide;
  • Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel, or guesthouse. Please tell us your preference;
  • Breakfasts provided by hotels;
  • Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
  • Travel Agency Liability insurance;
  • Government tax;
  • Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
  • Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
  • Oxygen tank for emergency use;
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.


  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese Visa/China Group Visa; (Note: we could help you by providing the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies for your Chinese Visa or the invitation letter for your China Group Visa)
  • Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa; (We can help you book the domestic flight/train ticket at the BEST price. Please contact us for details.)
  • Meals are not included but we will recommend some good ones for you according to your requirements. Usually, it takes 3-10 USD per person for each meal.
  • While the gratuity for guide and driver is NOT mandatory, it is expected. Based on their service, you can tip them on the last day of the tour. Each of you is suggested to tip them 5-10 USD/day in total;
  • All the commission and tax charged by PayPal, Bank, and government when making payment. (e.g. PayPal --- 4.4%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Asked by Mari***

I would like to visit Tibet. I will be traveling on my own. I am interested in some of the Festivals, monasteries and cultural activities. I would like to visit 7-10 days

Answered by Claire

According to your requirement, I pick up two itineraries for you, 10-day-tour and 7-day-tour. Both of the two plans contain some monasteries as the following. I need know some information definitely. When will you arrive in Tibet? Which level hotel would you like to stay overnight? It is easier to choose the best one for you.

Asked by Lori***

To see the area of Lhasa and rural areas that specialize in Thanka or rug making.

Answered by Amy

Dear Lori Ann Fleury, I’m glad to hear that you are interested in taking our 5 Days-Ganden Thangka Festival Tour which falls on 7th Aug 2017.I will email you with detailed itinerary and cost of this tour shortly. 

Asked by Dr B***

I am planning a tour to Lhasa to visit monasteries with my daughter Tara (dob 11.11.2000), ideally 26.3.18 or the week after in the Easter holidays.
I have EDS and can walk but need a scooter fir longer journeyes and can do one slight of stairs. But lifts are preferred wherever possible.
I was ordained into Triratna buddhist order in 2005 and have been a buddhist nearly 40 years. We live 1h from Stansted.

Answered by Penny

Dear Dr Bianca Prasadavajri Best, you'd better visit Tibet after the Easter holidays as the foreign tourists have been not allowing to enter Tibet in March since 2008. According to your situation, I've sent an itinerary to you by email for your reference.

Asked by bria***

Hello, I would like to visit Tibet on this 5 day tour, I am travelling alone and would like a single supplement quote for a 4 star hotel. Would you be able to also quote on the airfare return to Katmandu? Thanks

Answered by Caroline

Dear Brian,

Thank you for sending us an inquiry! Based on the Tibetan calendar, although there is no exact date yet, the Ganden Thangka Festival 2018 will be possibly held during late July or early August according to our experience. Does this time fit your schedule? Please advise!

What Our Customers Say
Paro Dzong

As I return home from my Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet adventures, I owe you a very BIG “ THANK YOU “, for making it one if not the best trip ever! Your thorough planning, flawless execution and above all your willingness to respond to ALL of my questions is most appreciated. I must give a big compl ....

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