12 Days Lijiang Shangri-la Tibet Essence Tour
- stone forest
- lijiang ancient city
- songzanlin lamasery
- potala palace
- mount everest
Visit all the highlights and hidden gem of Lijiang in brief two days, including Jade Dragon Snow Mountain , Baisha Mural Painting, Black Dragon Pool Park, Tiger Leaping Gorge, etc;
Enjoy heavenly landscape and cultural atmosphere in the real Shangri-la - sacred monastery, rugged plateau lakes and forest, etc;
Witness the magnificent power of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet by visiting the most influential monasteries and palace in Tibet - Potala Palace,Jokhang Temple, Palcho Monastsery, etc;
Realize your dream to conquer the world's highest peak - Mount Everest.
- Itinerary Details
Welcome to Kunming! Upon arrival at the airport or train station, your tour guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. For the rest of the day you will be free to walk around in the fascinating spring city on your own.
After breakfast, drive about 85km to the renowned UNESCO World Nature Heritage - Stone Forest, a huge collection of grey limestone pillars. Being weather-beaten for millions of years, the stones turn intricate formations and precious geological relics. There are many interesting legends about Stone Forest. The most famous one goes like that the immortals shattered a mountain into a labyrinth when the lovers who were seeking privacy. In fact, apart from stone forests, the whole scenic area presents various views, including karst caves, waterfalls, underground rivers etc. Walking into the maze and feasting on the natural masterpieces, you will have a compulsive desire to make a complement on uncanny workmanship of nature.
After the sightseeing, drive to the airport to take your High-speed train to Lijiang.
Today, your first stop is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with 13 peaks shaping like a lying jade dragon. It soars to 5596m above the sea and presents breathtaking scenery and pristine glaciers all the year round. On route, you will encounter 2000-year-old Ganhaizi with luxurious sorts of plants. In the mountain, the beautiful Blue-Moon Valley will give you a visual treat by its blue or milky water depending on the weather. For further sightseeing, take the tramway to mysterious Spruce Meadow and get a panoramic view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
After conquering Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, drive to Baisha Town to admire the exquisite Baisha Mural Painting. The mural paintings are an artistic representation of communication between various religion and art sects. It also embodies a kind of life of Naxi people with the satiate structures and abundant colors. Then go to visit the Museum of Naxi Dongba Culture. Built in shape of Naxi quadrangle courtyard, the museum itself is also attractive. In the museum, you will appreciate the cherished relics, and learn more about the attractive folklore & culture of Naxi people. After that, follow your trip to the scenic Black Dragon Pool Park where there are well-proportioned ancient buildings, towers, bridges and arches. These plants in bloom will catch your eyes as well.
Optional Activity: experience the splendid live-action performance Impression Lijiang directed by world-famous director – Zhang Yimou. (12:25, 14:00 in Off Seasons; 12:25, 14:00, 11:10 in Peak Seasons).
Today you’ll be driven to the old town of Shigu (Stone Drum) which is famed for a drum-like stele made by white marble. It enjoys high strategic and traffic significance in China’s history that many troops struggled for. You will take a visit to the Iron Chain Bridge which the Red Army used to cross the river during the Long March in 1930s. Then head to the stunning First Bend of the Yangtze River. Here you can witness the three rivers (Yangtze River, Lancang River and Nu River) traversing through the valleys of Hengduan Ranges, and forming this breathtaking view.
The last place of Lijiang to visit is marvelous Tiger Leaping Gorge - one of the deepest gorge and one of the ten most classic trekking trails in the world. Legend says that it is named after a courageous tiger who jumped across the rushing river to escape from a hunter. Take a little challenging trek to stretch your legs as well as glut your eyes with most naturally picturesque and distinctive landscape.
Later, you’ll drive about 100km to Shangri La. You’ll enjoy the enchanting natural scenes on the way.
1 prepare comfortable b walking shoes, light shirts and warm jackets;
2 bring sun creams to protect you from sunlight;
3 pack with enough water.
Firstly described in the well-known novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton, Shangri-La is a permanently joyous paradise isolated from the earthly world. The people live happily and contently there. Today, you will have a full day to explore its mystery and beauteousness.
After breakfast, pay a visit to the Songzanlin Lamasery – the largest Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in Yunnan. It is reputed as “Little Potala Palace” for its faithful imitation of the Potala Palace. In addition to perfect pattern of architecture, Songzanlin Lamasery also offers fine murals and magnificent Buddhist statues. While prayer flags are fluttering and the bells are tinkling, you will get an otherworldly peace of mind in the lamasery and understand how the simple Tibetan keeps their pure and religious belief in this temporal world.
Later you will drive to Potatso National Park and intoxicate yourself with the primitive landscape, including wetland, meadow and rare flora and fauna. Take a leisurely walk beside the beautiful Bitahai which is the highest lake in Yunnan Province. With captivating snow-mountain, green forest and bluish sky reflected in the water, Bitahai looks like a magical mirror. After feasting on the good views, walk to Shudu Lake where you can see scads many flocks and herds grazing in the field.
In the evening, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people.
1 dress modestly, behave with good manner and ask for permission if you want to take pictures of monks or pilgrims;
2 the altitude of Bitahai is 3,538m, and avoid strong activity to avoid high altitude sickness;
3 you can choose to take a boat sailing on Bitahai or Shudu Lake for a more relaxed sightseeing.
After breakfast, your local guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to Lhasa (about 2 hours flight). Remember to look out the window! Along the way you'll be treated to breathtaking views of Tibet's snow-capped mountains.
Welcome to the roof of the world! You will be picked up by local tour guide at the airport hall or train station, then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle.
After arrival at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local areas and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa.
High Altitude Acclimation Tips:
1 go for some leisure walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival;
2 you'd better not have bath, in case of catching a cold;
3 drink more water, and have some fruit;
4 have a good rest...
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.
Tips for Visiting Potala Palace
1. The number of visitors to the palace is strictly limited to 2,300 per day. Visitors can only visit during the time specified on the admission ticket.
2. Admission tickets to visit the Potala Palace are sold out almost every day, so it is strongly recommended to book your tickets several days in advance.
3. There are many steps at the Potala Palace, so it’s best to take it slowly to avoid possible altitude discomfort.
4. Visitors should respect the rules while visiting. Do not wear hats, wear revealing clothes or step on thresholds as these actions violate local customs.
5. Photography and the taking of videos are forbidden inside the Potala Palace.
6. A security search will take place at the entrance to the palace. Explosives, flammables, knives, lighters and
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, you will leave Lhasa and drive about 8 hours to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. It may be a long journey, but there are many things to do along the road. The first site you will reach is the holy Yamdrok Lake (altitude: 4,400m). As the largest fresh lake in the northern of the Himalaya Mountains, it spreads about 675 square meters from south to north, like an eardrop lying in the arms of snow-capped giant mountains. Viewing from a distance, you can see fertile pastures full of yaks and sheep, and some small Tibetan villages along the lakeshore. Keeping driving not so far from Yamdrok Lake, you will see the imposing Karola Glacier (altitude: 5,045m) towering aloft on the right side of the road.
Continuing your trip, you will get to the historical city of Gyantse. Feel hungry? Have a good lunch in the town, then go to visit the mysterious Palcho Monastery (altitude: 4,040m). The monks and tradition of three important sects of Tibetan Buddhism - Sakyapa, Zhalupa and Gelukpa, peacefully coexist in this monastery. Its Kumbum, which is 35 meters high and has 76 small chapels with hundreds images of Kriyatantras , is believed to be the largest such structure in Tibet.
After the Gyantse sightseeing, keep drive about 3 hours, you will arrive at your hotel in Shigatse (altitude: 3,800m). Have a good rest!
Tips of today:
1 wear warm clothes to prevent from cold and wild;
2 pack some food and drinks with you because you will spend much time on the road.
Today, you will leave Shigatse for the final destination of your Tibet trip - Mount Everest. Though being a long driving of about 7 hours, but the views along the road are stupendous. In clear days, you can see the clear face the Himalaya range including several famous peaks over 8,000 meters, such as Makalu, Lhotse, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. When you finally get to the Rongbuk Monastery, and get the first sight of the mighty Everest, you will immerse in a solemn ethereal mood and find all the efforts you have made along the long way are not in vain. Located about 5100 meters above the sea level, Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. It is the best location to take some great photos of the front face of Mount Everest. The rest of today is free for you to visit the Rongbuk Monastery and explore surrounding landscape.
Accommodation: if you visit Mount Everest during off season (November to April), you will accommodate at Rongbuk Guest House near the Rongbuk Monastery; if you visit Mount Everest during the peak season (May to October), you will accommodate at the Tibetan Tents Camp which is only run between May and October by local Tibetans. It is near Rongbuk Monastery as well. Please note that the accommodation at both places is very simple and basic, only dorm beds with communal squat toilets are available. Duvets, heated blankets and hot water will be provided, and you are suggested to bring your own sleeping bag and toilet paper. There is no running water, sinks or showers. The dining room just offer basic breakfast and dinner without menu. Remember to dress warmly all the time.
Tips of today:
1 currently Everest Base Camp is not open for tourists for environmental protection and the Everest landscape can be also enjoyed at Rongbuk Monastery - closest place to Mount Everest tourists can reach;
2 the vehicles and buses can only escort travelers to the Parking Lot which is about 20km away from Rongbuk Monastery, and then you need to take a 30 minutes' scenic park bus there;
3 the Everest altitude marker, a tablet reading "Mt. Qomolangma Elevation Measurement" has been transferred near Rongbuk Monastery and you can take a photo to commemorate your wonderful adventure tour;
4 bring a warm coat for low temperature in Everest and avoid strenuous activity to prevent from high altitude sickness.
Wake up early to enjoy the marvelous sunrise on the peak of the world from Rongbuk Monastery. The top part of the Mount Everest is always covered by snow all the year round, and when the sun shines on the mountain, the peak is like a giant white pyramid, which is one of the most famous sceneries of Mount Everest. In bright days, you can also see a wisp of cloud hanging above the top of Mount Everest. It flies eastward in the fast western wind just like a flapping flag. This unique phenomenon is the spectacular “Cloud Flag”. The cloud will change from surging waves into a thin cooking smoke or from galloping steeds into the mysterious veil of a goddess.
Till now your Mount Everest adventure is about to end. The rest of today is to drive to Gyirong Town. The views along the road are stupendous. In clear days, you can see the clear face of Shishapangma Peak and enjoy the beautiful view of Pekutso Lake.
Tips of today:
1 the sunrise usually starts around 6:30 am to 7am on Mount Everest;
2 keep warm all the time.
Today, you will leave the territory of Tibet. Drive about 25km to the Gyirong Port where you will walk across the custom to Nepal territory and transfer to Kathmandu. Though the distance is only about 160km, it takes more than 6 hours to drive to Kathmandu from Gyirong Port because the road is narrow and bumpy. During the rainy season, the road is muddy and may be closed for the landslides.
Tips of Today:
Our service will end at the border of Tibet and Nepal. If you want, we can also arrange the transfer from the border to Kathmandu for you with an extra charge.
- Tour Cost
The quotation for this trip is per person
1. This price is based on a group of 2 adult travelers who will take our private tour and share one standard rooms in regular local 4-star hotel in lower seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
- Service Included
All necessary Tibet travel permits.
Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
Private vehicle and Luggage Transfers.
All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis.
Meals, as noted in the itinerary.
Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary. Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
China visa, all air tickets and train tickets to and from Tibet.
Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
Meals not listed in the itinerary.
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
Excess Baggage Charges.
Single room supplement.
- Trip Notes
1.Tibet Travel Permit;
You will need a Tibet Entry Permit. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
We’ve selected heritage hotels in the more traditional area of Lhasa, near Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street, so that travelers can experience more of the local life and culture. If you prefer to stay in a hotel with special oxygen supplies, other hotels in Lhasa are recommended (as above).
The accommodation in Dingri is poor (see above).
Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service.
Enjoy local Tibetan, Western Chinese and Nepalese food on the tour.
You will have standard western hotel breakfast in Lhasa, and specially prepared breakfasts outside of Lhasa: including butter, bread, coffee, tea, etc.
After the first day, lunch is included every day. Your guide can recommend some good local restaurants for dinner. Outside Lhasa, we suggest you have dinner in the hotels where you are staying.
Before your trip, ask your doctor for any suggestions in relation to altitude sickness and bring some medicine just in case. The most popular altitude medicine among foreigners is Acetazolamide/Diamox.
We recommend that during the first two days after arriving in Tibet, visitors should keep warm, not take a bath, not smoke or drink alcohol. Drink plenty of water (>4 litres per day) before going and at altitude, and eat lots of vegetables and carbohydrates. Slow down, even if you feel energetic. Moving slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness.
If you don’t feel well after entering Tibet, go and see a doctor as soon as possible. There are doctors in major hotels in Lhasa, and you can call your tour guide for help at any time. We offer a free oxygen bag in the car.
6. What to Pack
Seek medical advice about altitude effects and pack any medicine you might need. Sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block, walking boots, and down jackets are all recommended.
Comfortable private cars/vans with experienced drivers will be arranged for you. All our vehicles meet the requirements of the Tibet Tourist Bureau, and are equipped with GPS and speed-limiting equipment.
Take into consideration the time you need to apply for your Tibet Entry Permit. It’s best to book a tour with us at least 30 days before your tour starts.
Other Recommended Tour Packages
Lhasa,Yamdrok Lake,Shigatse,Mt.Everest,Lake Manasarova,Kailash Trek,Saga