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Expeditions    Touching Tibet 2021

Touching Tibet 2021

Tibet, steeped in Buddhist spirituality, history and culture, is home to scores of sacred monasteries – enough to fill a lifetime of journeys through the region.  Over the course of seven days “Touching Tibet” journey, you will experience Tibet through meaningful engagement with people and places, both through visits to hand-selected ancient and living monasteries, opportunities to join a nunnery’s chanting ceremony, and picnicking by a breathtakingly beautiful lake, as well as through the “free” leisure time built into the trip, when unexpected experiences can also provide special moments that enrich individual travel experiences.


You will return home from Tibet not just having seen Tibet, but truly having “touched”, and been “touched” by the spirit of the land and people.

Itinerary

Day 1, Arrive in Chengdu

Arrive in Chengdu – the capital of Sichuan Province, welcome and transfer to your hotel to check in.  The home of pandas, face changing, and spicy food, Sichuan reflects China’s laid back lifestyle.  Have the rest of the day free at leisure, or watch a Sichuan Opera performance and enjoy the magic “face-changing.”  Studio 60 at The Temple House for 1 night.


Day 2, Chengdu /Lhasa

Visit Chengdu Panda Base in the morning.  Have a close-up look into the life of the adorable Pandas and Panda cubs, alongside other endangered wild animals.

Fly to Lhasa (3,65om /11,975ft), the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.  From the breathtaking Himalayan landscapes emerged the spiritual powerhouse of Buddhism.  Sacred, spiritual, distant, and exotic, Tibet captures the world’s imagination.  The rest of the day is at leisure for you to rest and get acclimatized to the altitude.  This evening, enjoy buffet dinner at your hotel.  Deluxe Room with Potala Palace View at St. Regis Lhasa Resort for 3 nights.


Day 3, Lhasa

Visit the Potala Palace in the morning.  Situated on Red Hill in the centre of Lhasa valley, Potala Palace dominates the city’s skyline and is considered one of the great wonders of world architecture.

After lunch at Pobatsang Restaurant, join the Tibetan pilgrims to visit Jokhang Temple.  Opt to kindle and place your own butter lamp in the temple.  Built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo, Jokhang Temple is the most sacred temple in Tibet and the final destination for Tibetan pilgrims.  The rest of the day is free for you to explore Lhasa’s old neighborhood and the bustling Barkhor Street.


Day 4, Lhasa

Visit the small Pabongka Monastery, one of the oldest sacred buildings in Tibet.  Embark on an easy hike uphill (~1hr), and take in panoramic views of the Lhasa valley.  Visit Chupsang Nunnery, and opt to join the friendly nuns for a private chanting ceremony.  Affiliated with the nearby Sera Monastery, Chupsang Nunnery is set in a peaceful surrounding at the foot of Mt. Tatipu.

For the afternoon, tour Sera Monastery and watch monks practice sutra-debating in the monastery’s courtyard.  Return to your hotel and have the rest of the day to unwind, or go for a leisurely stroll at the peaceful Norbu Lingka Park – once the summer residence for the successive Dalai Lamas.


Day 5, Lhasa /Shigatse

Drive to Shigatse via Yamdrok Tso Lake (~360km /224mi, 6-7hrs).  At Kampala pass (5,000m /16,404ft), take in panoramic views of the picturesque Yamdrok Tso Lake, as well as the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Nojin Kangsang in the distance.  Go for an easy walk along the shores of Yamdrok Tso Lake (4,441m /14,570ft), and picnic for lunch.  Located north of the Himalayas, Yamdrok Tso Lake is one of three holiest lakes in Tibet, and it’s also called Green Jade Lake because of its clear turquoise water.


In Gyantse, visit Pelkhor Monastery and Kumbum Stupa.  Pelkhor Monastery is known for the coexistence of three different sects of the Tibetan Buddhism (the Gelug, Sakya, and the Kagyu sect), and the unique clay sculptures and vivid murals preserved from the 15th century.  If energy permits, ascend the Kumbum Stupa and explore some of its many chapels.  Continue the drive to Shigatse (3,900m /12,795ft), the second largest city in Tibet.  Deluxe Room at Qomo Langzong Hotel for 2 nights.

Day 6, Shigatse

Head to Shalu Village, and visit the secluded Shalu Monastery.  20km /12mi southeast to Shigatse, Shalu Monastery was constructed in a mixture of Tibetan, Han, Indian and Nepalese styles, and it boasts a large volume of well-preserved mural paintings, Buddhist sculptures and precious rock engravings from the 11-14th centuries.


Return to Shigatse, and have lunch at Songtsen Restaurant.  Tour Tashilhunpo Monastery, the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas.  As the Buddhist center of the vast Shigatse region, Tashilhunpo Monastery was founded by the first Dalai Lama in 1447, and expanded by the fourth and successive Panchen Lamas.  Visit the huge statue of Maitreya Buddha, Panchen Lamas’ stupas, as well as all the exquisite murals and numerous ancient relics.

Day 7, Farewell

After breakfast, fly from Shigatse to Chengdu, and connect to your onward flight home.  Farewell.

Trip Map

Dates & Prices

Dates

2021, all year round, with June to September best recommended.


Prices

For a private group of 2 guests traveling together, each guest USD3,600

For a private group of 4 guests traveling together, each guest USD3,000

For a private group of 6 guests traveling together, each guest USD2,610


Internal Airfare

All internal flights of coach class, starting from Chengdu till Chengdu, each guest USD610


All inclusive and fully serviced for your journey duration in China

All hotel accommodation on double occupancy;

All meals;

All transportation;

All tour and event plans, with the service of an English speaking guide and a driver, starting from arrival to departure at the airport of each destination;

Plus proper flexibility and 24/7 immediate support.


Notes

Guests will need to take care of the international flights to and from Chengdu, passport and China visa, travel insurance, personal expenses on trip, and optional gratuities to your guides and drivers.

Star Records

Thoroughly researched and developed to feature the best hotels and experiences available, our expeditions are continuously updated and perfected with the incorporation of new opportunities for you to engage with the places and people you visit.


Touching Tibet 2012


Touching Tibet 2013


Touching Tibet 2014


Touching Tibet 2015


Touching Tibet 2016


Touching Tibet 2017


Touching Tibet 2018


Touching Tibet 2019

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