Visiting Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and the former abode of the Dalai Lamas, is travelling to the heart and soul of Tibet. The Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace form the spiritual heart of Lhasa, the Holy City. Here open hearted friendly Buddhist Tibetan pilgrims welcome you they encircle their sacred buildings over medieval pilgrims circuits. In the eastern part of the city you find the authentic Tibetan quarter with small hidden shrines, protector halls, a cosy nunnery with very friendly nuns, loads of yak butter, tea- and souvenir shops. Though the city knows modernization it remains a fantastic cultural hybrid with its streets bustling with colorful people. In the nearby Gelupga monasteries of Sera and Drepung you taste the grandeur of the great monastic Buddhist traditions and culture where Tibet is so reputed for.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Day 03: Flight to Lhasa
Day 04: Lhasa – visit Barkhor Bazaar, Jokhang Temple and Nunnery
Day 05: Lhasa – visit Drepung and Sera Monastery
Day 06: Lhasa – visit Potala Palace
Day 07: Fly Back to Kathmandu
Day 08: Free day in Kathmandu
Day 09: Fly 0ut Kathmandu
Pick-up at Tribhuvan International Airport, meeting with your guide and transfer to the hotel. First impressions of Kathmandu (1,350 m) – walk to medieval Kathmandu Durbar Square and explore the beautiful complex of palaces, temples, shrines and courtyards built by the ancient Nepali kings between the 12th and 18th centuries. We bring you to our office and Thamel – the vibrant tourist area with hotels, restaurants, bakeries and outdoor shops. We get to know each other over a welcome dinner, check formalities and equipment and discuss your itinerary. Overnight in 2 ** hotel.
Today we discover the highlights of Kathmandu and the valley. We adapt the programm to your interests and desires and what you have seen before. Usually, we go to Pashupatinath on the bank of the Bagmati River, where the most important Hindu temples and burning ghats of Nepal are situated. In Boudhanath we circumambulate together with Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist pilgrims the whitewashed stupa. Our sightseeing usually ends in Patan, the city of Beauty, an astonishing center of fine art and Buddhist and Hindu culture. Overnight in 2** hotel.
We drive to Tribhuvan Domestic Airport to connect our early morning flight to Lhasa. With beautiful weather you enjoy wonderful panoramas over the Everest, Kanchenjunga and other Himalaya ranges. We meet our Tibetan guide and driver at Gongkor airport and make the 60 km long drive to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet situated 3,500 m above sea level. We check in at the hotel and head to the Barkhor Square and the Jokhang Temple, which is encircled day and night by prostrating pilgrims. From the surrounding rooftops you have wonderful views over the Potala Palace, the pilgrim circuit and the market bazaar where vendors sell woodcarvings, statues, carpets, jewels and prayer wheels. Overnight in 2** hotel.
In the morning we discover the exquisite interiors of the Jokhang Temple. The temple is bustling with awed pilgrims paying respect to the Jowo Sakyamuni statue. In the afternoon can you make a walk around the kora, visit the friendly nuns of the nearby Ani Nunnery or go to the the summerpalace of the Dalai Lama, the Norbulinka Palace. Overnight in 2 ** hotel.
Today we visit two majestic monasteries of the Gelukpa sect, Drepung and Sera, just outside Lhasa which were once the home to over 15,000 monks. The Drepung monastery holds huge numbers of white monastic buildings including Ganden palace from where the earliest Dalai Lamas ruled, chapels with exquisite interiors, colleges and the Nechung oracle. Afternoon debating sessions with the monks in the courtyard of Sera monastery is an experience not to be missed. Overnight in 2 ** hotel.
We climb the nine – story high winter home of the Dalai Lama, the Potala Palace from where the Dalai Lamas executed their political and religious power over Tibet from 1645 till 1959. Perched on a hilltop, the winter palace offers brilliant views over the city. Inside you explore several throne rooms, assembly halls, bedrooms, libraries and chapels with tombs of the Dalai Lamas. Back at the foot of the Potala you can follow the pilgrim path leading to rock paintings and prayer halls or visit more highlights in the city like the Norbulinka Palace, the Ramoche Temple or the Ani Sangkhung Nunnery. Overnight in 2 ** hotel.
You conclude your journey with more sightseeing in the vibrant capital of Nepal, relaxing or shopping.
Overnight in 2 ** hotel.
Free day in Kathmandu. Overnight in 2 ** hotel.
Transfer to Tribhuvan Airport. We hope you enjoyed your journey!
If you wish to stay longer in Nepal: Traveltimes Treks can offer you plenty of suggestions, we can arrange treks, rafting and safari trips, helicopter flights, mountain biking, multi-day tours to the old historical city of Bhaktapur, the mountain stations of Nagarkot & Dhulikhel or retreats in the serene monasteries of Namobuddha and Kopan.
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