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Lhasa Tsetang Shigatse Namtso Tour

10 Days
From USD1881
Lhasa – Tsetang – Gyantse – Shigatse – Lake Namtso – Lhasa
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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This is an excursion that focuses on exploring Tibet culture from the natural and historical spots. Tourists travel from Lhasa, Tsetang, Gyantse, to Shigatse, almost the mighty cities of Tibet. The world-known attractions, like the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, and the holy lakes Yamdrotso, Namtso, are all included in this itinerary. Besides, tourists can enjoy the bath in hot spring at a high altitude. Overall speaking, this is a relatively easy route compared with others in Tibet because there is no trekking in it.
DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel.
2 Lhasa Sightseeing The Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
3 Lhasa Sightseeing Drak Yerpa, Sera monastery
4 Lhasa Sightseeing Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka
5 Lhasa – Samye(3556m) - Trandruk (4400)- Yumbulagang(3700) – Tsetang(3560), 280km, Approx 6hrs Samye Monastery, Trandruk Monastery, Yumbulakang Palace
6 Tsetang – Chongye(3800) – Gyantse(4040m), 300km, Approx 6hrs Yamdroktso Lake, Chongye Burial Mounds, Karola Glacier
7 Gyantse-Shigatse(3840m), 96km, Approx 2hrs Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum, Gyantse Dzong, Shalu Monastery
8 Shigatse-Namtso lake (4600m), 380km, Approx 7.5hrs Namtso Lake, Tashilunpo Monastery
9 Namtso – Yampachen(4300m) – Tsurphu(4300m) – Lhasa(3650m), 250km, Approx 5hrs Tsurphu Monastery
10 Lhasa departure Send off to the airport/railway station

Daily Itinerary


This is the first day in Tibet. Your guide will greet you at Lhasa Gonggar Airport/Railway Station and transfer you to your hotel. It usually takes around 1.5 hours to drive from Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa and takes about 20mins from Lhasa Railway Station. Tourists could have a look at the Yarlung Tsangpo River, the largest and longest river in Tibet on their way to the hotel. After check-in, you can have a good rest first. And if you feel like going out, you can wander around the city. But just remember that don't take too much stuff, try to go with a light pack. Meanwhile, drink some more water, do not move strenuously. It’s really useful to get acclimatized to the high altitude.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

After rest one night, today you will recover sufficiently to launch your Lhasa city tour, with close contact with Lhasa, which is the political, economic, cultural, communication and tourism center of Tibet with a history over 1300 years.

At first, you will go to the Potala Palace, which is the symbolic place of Lhasa and also the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It was built by the 33rd great king of Tibet - Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century. The gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king are the most worth seeing in Potala Palace.

After lunch, you are going to Jokhang Temple, which was founded at the same time and by the same king as Potala Palace. From outside, you can see many pilgrims making prostrating in front of the temple. From inside, you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at his age of 12.

Barkhor street is the next destination that women love a lot. Because it’s a famous busy walking street where they can go shopping. There are many distinctive shops and stalls that sell different Tibetan stuff, like handicrafts, Thangka, and so on. Except for shopping, tourists can also join the Kora with pilgrims and locals, to explore Tibetan religious culture more deeply.


You can go to visit the Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center if time is enough. You can also watch the Tibetan Culture Show in the evening for USD60 per person at your own expense.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

The entrance of Potala Palace
Three Tibetan women at the gate of Jokhang Temple.

In the morning, you are heading to Drak Yerpa, a place maybe not that famous but with its advantage. It consists of a monastery and several ancient meditation caves. Some arrow holes on the cliffs are believed to prove that the legendary hero Ling Gesar had visited this valley.

In the afternoon, you will pay a visit to Sera Monastery, which is one of the "great three" Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Monks debate from 3pm to 5pm. It's exciting, even if you don't understand what they are talking about at all. If the debate is not your type, you can also see the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha inside the monastery. Besides, the sight in the Sera monastery is splendid because you can see roses around. That's why people also call it "the court of wild rose."

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Known as the shrine of Lhasa, Drak Yerpa has monasteries and famous ancient meditation caves.
Sera Monastery is reputed as the most beautiful Tibetan monastery.

In the morning, you are heading to Drepung monastery, which means Monastery of Collecting Rice in the Tibetan language. It's a white magnificent construction that looks also like piles of rice heaps in the distance. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where lived more than 10 thousand monks before Tibet liberation.

In the afternoon, tourists will go to Norbulingka. It is 360 thousand square meters that make it become the largest artificial garden in Tibet. With its gorgeous scenery, it’s also the summer palace of former Dalai Lamas.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Drepung Monastery
As the summer palace of Dala Lama, Norbulingka means precious garden in Tibetan language.

Today you will leave Lhasa and head to the next city. After Samye, Trandruk, and Yumbulakang, finally, you will arrive Tsetang and spend one night there.

Samye Monastery was founded in the 8th century. That time was called “the Tubo Dynasty” in Tibet. And it’s the first monastery that tonsured monks lived in.

Trandruk Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibetan history, was founded by Srongtsen Gampo and Wen Cheng princess. There is one priceless treasure in this monastery. It’s a Tangka that made of pearls and gems, attracts Buddhists come to worship.

Yumbulakang Palace, with a history more than 2100 years, is the first palace in Tibet. It stands on the slope of a hill and was reputed to be the palace of Tibetan first king, Nyatri Tsanpo.

Stay overnight in Tsetang

Samye Monastery is a good place for monks to study. If you travel there, you may have a chance to observe the monks‘ study and feel all the ritual and their sincerity.
Trandruk Monastery is the first Buddhist hall in Tibetan history.

Today you will go to Gyantse via Chongye.

Chongye Burial Mounds is located in Chongye county, there are only 9 mausoleums you can see now. The most famous one is the mausoleum of Srongtsen Gampo. Chongye county has a moderate climate and good scenery, and it was Srongtse Gampo’s hometown. People believed that’s why Srongtsen Gampo chose here to sleep forever.

On the way to Gyantse, you can have a glimpse of Yamdroktso Lake. This is the holy lake surrounded by plenty of snow-capped mountains. And special views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar ( 7191m)---the highest mountain near Lhasa, comes out later soon.

You will see the Karola Glacier when we pass it on the roadside. After hanging pray flag at Simila Mountain pass, we will arrive at Gyantse, the third largest city in Tibet after Lhasa and Shigatse.

Stay overnight in Gyantse

The greatest Tibetan king Tsongsang Gampo also lies in Chongye Burial Mounds.
Yamdroktso Lake is a freshwater lake in Tibet

After breakfast, we shall visit Pelkor Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum and then see the Gyantse Fortress from a distance.

Gyantse Dzong, the hero city that witnesses the history of the fierce fighting. It was 1904, British troops started to attack China here, and Tibetan people defended for their homeland with simple weapons. The bloody war lasted for more than three months. This is also the basic story of the famous movie named "Red River Valley".

The last spot of the day is Shalu monastery, the only monastery in Tibet that combines Tibetan and Chinese styles in its design.

Then we will start to go to Shigatse. It normally takes one and a half hours to drive from Gyantse to Shigatse, where we may visit the traditional barley mill and have the unique sights of barley field (in summer).

Stay overnight in Shigatse

Pelkor Chode Monastery
Gyantse Dzong

In the morning, tourists will visit the famous Tashilunpo Monastery, the home of Panchen Lama. It’s a typical Gelugpa Temple.

After that, you are going to see Namtso lake, one of the three most holy lakes in Tibet. It’s also the third largest salt lake in China and the highest lake in the world. The name of Namtso means “lake from heaven” in the Tibetan language. And the gorgeous landscape is really like from heaven. You can enjoy one night here, and please get up early to feel the special sunrise the next day.

Stay overnight in guestroom at the lakeside

“Tashilhunpo” means “Auspicious Sumeru” in Tibetan language
Namtso attracts many tourists from home and abroad with its unique charm.

Today may be the most relax day during this journey because tourists are going to Yampachen. Located 92km from Lhasa city, Yampachen is rich in geothermal energy and is known for hot spring bath. People enjoy the blue sky and white cloud when taking a bath in therapeutic hot spring. How romantic the feeling is!

After the bath, you will go to visit Tsurphu Monastery, the last attraction in your tour. It’s the main monastery of Karma Kargyu. And the remarkable system of Tibetan Buddhism reincarnation was originated from there.

Then after driving about 2 hours, you will get back to Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

A stream flows past Tsurphu Monastery.
Your tour ends today. Our guide and driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station for your next destination.
Tour Price and Service

From US$1881 p/p

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

  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB) 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;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • 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;
  • Sleeping bags;
  • 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 --- 4.2%. 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 juli***

Hello I am traveling to Kathmandu in September to do the Everest Base Camp, after that, I would like to visit Tibet. I have 10 days available from the 16th Oct to the 25th to travel to this destination from Kathmandu. Whats the best "bugdet" tour you could offer me? Many thanks in advance Juliana

Answered by Nance 2018-07-11

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to do our 10 days Lhasa Tsetang Shigatse Namtso Tour, which is a private tour. For people less than five, we usually suggest you join our small group tours to keep the cost down. So I suggest you join our 10 days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Everest Namtso Group Tour on October 16th. Here is the brief itinerary, 

Asked by Jess***

Lhasa Tsetang Shigatse Namtso Tour

Answered by Caroline 2018-01-27
Day Route Attractions & Activities 1 Arrival in Lhasa (3680m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel. 2 Lhasa sightseeing The Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street 3 Lhasa sightseeing Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery 4 Lhasa- Drigung Til – Lhasa, 150km, approx. 3hrs Norbulingka, Drigung Til Monastery 5 Lhasa - Basumtso - Nyingchi Basumtso Lake, Bayi Town 6 Nyingtri - Lulang - Nyingchi Lulang Forest 7 Nyingtri – Tsetang, 600km, approx. 10hrs. 8 Tsetang - Trandruk - Yumbulagang - Tsetang Trandruk Monastery, Yumbulakang Palace 9 Tsetang – Chongye (3800) – Gyantse(4040m), 183km, approx. 3hrs Yamdroktso Lake, Chongye Burial Mounds, Karola Glacier 10 Gyantse-Shigatse(3840m), 96km, approx. 2hrs Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum, Far view of Gyantse Dzong, Shalu Monastery 11 Shigatse-Namtso lake (4600m), 380km, approx. 7.5hrs Namtso Lake, Tashilunpo Monastery 12 Namtso – Yampachen(4300m) – Tsurphu(4300m) – Lhasa(3680m), 250km, approx. 5hrs Yampachen Hot Springs, Tsurphu Monastery 13 Lhasa departure Send off to airport/railway station

Asked by Anne***

Tashi delek, Due to cancellation of group tour, group coming from Nepal, I need to make new arrangements. I am looking at your tour MO5. Lhasa Tsetang Shigatse Namtso Tour What would it cost? I arrive September 28. Fly out on Oct. 8. 10-day tour could be: September 29 to October 8. Hope to hear from you soon Annemieke Vermeer

Answered by Amy 2017-09-18

Dear Annemieke Vermeer,

If you are still planning to enter Tibet from Nepal, please kindly note: you are required to apply for China Group Visa in Kathmandu with our assistance as long as you enter Tibet from Nepal(if so your individual China visa will be useless), but have you heard that Chinese embassy in Kathmandu is closed from 18th Sep to 28th Oct? It will be open again on 29th Oct, so I hope you could postpone your travelling date a little bit and start our 10 Days Lhasa Tsetang Shigatse Namtso Tour in earlier Nov, this is a private tour. 

Asked by Lanh***

Dear Great Tibet Tour I travel alone. I intend to visit Tibet in May Below is some of my requests: 1. Single room at hotel 2* 2. I also think about group. With this tour, do you have group tour? How many pax is for group tour? 3. Visa to Tibet: is your service including visa/ support to get visa? Fyi: i'm Vietnamese. 4. Tour guide: English speaking. 5. Visit Duration: 7-10 days 6. Tour theme: culture and landscape 7. If you have other offers, please suggest me. I'm looking forward to your reply and this trip Thank you very Kind regards

Answered by Beatrice 2017-02-16
Dear Lanhnguyen, Thanks for sending us your inquiry! 1. Yes. We can arrange single room at hotel 2* for you as your requirement. 2. We do have group tour. But we don't have the same itinerary as the private tour you mentioned. We have group tour to go to Lhasa-Shigates-Namtso instead. Here is the itinerary, For group pax, 12 travellers maximum per group. 3. If you join our tour, we will arrange Tibet Permit for you. 4. And, of course, we will provide English speaking guide. 5. The tour itinerary I listed above is for 7 days. Please let me know what do you think of it. 6. The itinerary is mainly about culture and landscape as you mentioned. Best regards, Beatrice
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