9 days Sichuan and Tibet Exploration Tour
Tibet is one of the most mysterious and the purest places in the world. Every visitor to this vast plateau will make his or her own discoveries. Even the worst photographer and the worst camera can take very beautiful photo in Tibet. The Potala Palace, Jokhang Monastery and Norbulingka have ...Read Full Description
- Trip Length:
- 9 days
- Best Time to Go:
- Any time.
- Recommended for:
Infants (under 2)
Children (2 - 5)
Children (6 - 8)
Children (9 - 11)
Children (12 - 14)
Children (15 - 17)
Adults (18 - 20)
Adults (25 - 29)
Family Trip, Group Retreat, Trip Around the World
Detailed Trip Description
Tibet is one of the most mysterious and the purest places in the world. Every visitor to this vast plateau will make his or her own discoveries. Even the worst photographer and the worst camera can take very beautiful photo in Tibet. The Potala Palace, Jokhang Monastery and Norbulingka have been inscribed to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List as a whole site. Enjoy the intoxicating plateau natural scenery and watch the sunrise at the Mt. Everest. Visit the active Tashilumpo Monastery at Shigatse and enjoying your shopping in the local markets. Enjoy Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, magnificent altiplano natural landscape, Tibetan family, Yaluzangbu River, Tibetan dances and songs and much more in China.
Day 1 - Chengdu
International Flight on your own arrangement.
Upon arrival at Chengdu, you will be met and transferred to the hotel for a rest. Accommodations: Yinhe Dynasty Hotel . Meals: D
Enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan food at a local restaurant. Sichuan Cuisine, known more commonly in the West as Szechuan Cuisine, is one of the most famous Chinese cuisines in the world. Prepared with a wide variety of ingredients and characterized by its spicy and pungent flavors, Sichuan cuisine emphasizes the use of chili and peppercorn. It can be said that one who doesn't experience Sichuan food has never reached China. Savor the flavor of Sichuan, and it is becoming hotter and hotter!
Day 2 - Chengdu
Visit Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Du Fu's Thatched Roof Cottage, Wenshu Temple, Tea houses in Chengdu.
Today you will have a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base first, then Du Fu's Thatched Roof Cottage and Wenshu Temple where you can spend some time sitting in its tea house to enjoy a cup of tea and absorb the special atmosphere of Chengdu.
Giant Panda Breeding Research Base: 18km from the city center, housing 12 pandas in natural environments: it is the best place to see Chengdu's most famous residents and you can get to know more about this precious species in the museum there.
Du Fu's Thatched Roof Cottage: located on the side of the Flower Washing Brook in the western suburbs of Chengdu. It is the former residence of the celebrated Tang dynasty poet, Du Fu (712-770AD) who was born in Henan province. At the age of 20 he left his home to travel within China. He used to be an official for 10 years in Chang'an (present Xian), the capital of the Tang dynasty, and was captured by rebels after an uprising. He then fled to Chengdu where he built this humble cottage and stayed for about four years.
Wenshu Temple: Chengdu's oldest and largest Buddhist temple was originally built in the Tang Dynasty. However, it is now a Qing Dynasty construction with exquisite relief carvings decorating many of the buildings. You can absorb the very atmosphere of Chengdu here: the temple is full of local worshippers burning incense on certain days; the tea house at the back of the complex is a great place to relax yourself and do some people watching, while the streets outside are filled with blind fortune-tellers, hawkers selling joss sticks, paper money and statues, and so on.
Tea houses: Chengdu is one of the few remaining cities in China with a really authentic tea house (Chadian) culture. Thousands of teahouses dotted about Chengdu are hugely popular with locals, especially the elderly. Teahouses throughout the city are still important locations for social gatherings. Its distinct and unique atmosphere will let you get a good feel for Chengdu.
Accommodations: Yinhe Dynasty Hotel. Meals: B,L,D.
Day 3 - Lhasa
Free in the day until our local guide escorts you to the airport for your onward flight to Lhasa.
Upon your arrival at Gonggar airport, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to the hotel in Lhasa city (2-hour drive), and you will view the Stone Giant Buddha engraved in the mountain face en route.
After checking in the hotel, rest in the afternoon to get adapted to the high altitude.
Accommodations: Tibet Hotel. Meals: B
Day 4 - Lhasa
Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street in Lhasa.
Your sightseeing today will include Lhasa's cardinal landmark -- Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and flourishing Barkhor Street.
Potala Palace: the symbol of Lhasa, perched upon Marpo Ri Hill, 130 meters above the Lhasa Valley, it is the greatest monumental structure in Tibet and one of the most famous architectural works of the world. The construction was started in 641 AD and it was rebuilt by the Fifth Dalai Lama in three years, while the Thirteenth Dalai Lama extended and repaired it into what it is now. As the religious and political centre of old Tibet and the winter residence of Dalai Lamas, the palace witnessed the life of the Dalai Lamas and the important political and religious activities in the past centuries. The Potala Palace also houses great amounts of rare cultural relics including the gold hand-written Buddhist scriptures, valuable gifts from the Chinese emperors and a lot of priceless antiques.
Jokhang Temple: located in the center of the old section of Lhasa, built in 647 AD by Songtsen Gampo and his two foreign wives, and later extended by successive rulers. It has now become a gigantic architectural complex and it is the spiritual center of Tibet.
Barkhor Street: a circular street around the Jokhang Temple in the center of the old section of Lhasa, it is the oldest street in a very traditional style in Tibet, where you can enjoy bargaining with the local Tibetan vendors for the handicrafts which are rarely seen elsewhere in the world. Barkhor Street is one of the most important religious paths along which pilgrims walk around Jokhang Temple while turning prayer wheels in their hands. They have been doing this for countless centuries. Buddhist pilgrims walk or progress by body-lengths in a clockwise direction. This walk can continue all day and well into the night.
Accommodations: Tibet Hotel. Meals: B,L.
Day 5 - Lhasa
Visit Norbulingka Park, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery in Lhasa.
Today we will bring you to the Norbulingka Park, the Drepung Monastery and the Sera Mronastery.
Norbulingka Park: Norbulingka means "Jeweled Garden", built in 1751 AD as a summer palace for the Dalai Lama where they handled political affairs and practiced religious activities. It is now a large-scale palace complex and garden in Tibetan style covering an area of 40 hectares. The whole complex 370 rooms of different sizes and lawns shaded by green trees and enclosed by various flowers. Before 1959, commoners had no access to this park. Nowadays, on festivals and holidays, the local people in their colorful costumes come here with food and tents to sing and dance overnight.
Drepung Monastery: the largest monastery of the Gelug Sect in Tibet, standing on the slope of the majestic Mount Gambo Utse; it was built in 1416 AD and is the place where each reincarnation of the Dalai Lama received his training. In its heyday, it had more than 10,000 monks. Now it is home to about 700 monks.
Sera Monastery: Sera means "Wild Rose Garden" in Tibetan because lush wild rose woods once grew around it. The monastery is one of the three largest monasteries in Tibet. Located at the northern outskirts of Lhasa, it was built in 1419 AD by Jamchen Choje (or Sakyayeshe), one of the eight disciples of Tsong Khapa who was the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. The Sera Monastery houses three colleges built in the 15th and 16th centuries, and it is famous for the "Buddhism Scriptures Debating".
Accommodations: Tibet Hotel.Meals: B,L.
Day 6 - Lhasa
Today's drive is from Lhasa to Gyantse (about 256km, 5.5-hour drive). Along the way you will visit Yamdrok Lake and a Tibetan family.
Yamdrok Lake: one of the three largest lakes of Tibet and one of the three holy lakes. It covers an area of 638 square kilometers with a coastline of 250 kilometers. The deepest point is 60 meters. The coast of the lake is an ideal pasture where you can enjoy the intoxicating, picturesque, and natural scenery.
Tibetan Family: where you will be greeted and warmly welcomed by common Tibetan people in their traditional way and entertained with their typical food.
After arrival in Gyantse, you will tour Palcho Monastery. Gyantse is an important wool trading post between Tibet and India in medieval times.
Palcho Monastery: built in 1414 AD, it is unique because three Sects of Buddhism-Sakya, Gedan and Gelug are living harmoniously under one roof. The Palcho Pagoda beside the Monastery has 9 stories, 108 doors and 77 rooms housing some 100,000 statues of Buddha, so it is famed as the "100,000-Buddha Pagoda." The frescoes, statues and sculptures in the monastery are exquisite, succinct and life-like.
Accommodations: Gyantse Hotel. Meals: B,L.
Day 7 - China
After breakfast, drive from Gyantse to Shigatse (about 90km, 1.5-hour drive). In Shigatse, you will visit Tashilumpo Monastery and free market.
Tashilumpo Monastery: built in 1447, it is the oldest and largest Gelugpa monastery in Tibet and is the seat of Banchen Lama. It is painted in red and white and the buildings in the monastery stand closely together in terraced rows. This presents a grand and majestic view. The most amazing image in this monastery is the giant statue of Maitreya (Future Buddha). It is the largest such statue in the world and was erected by the 9th Panchen Lama in 1914. It stands 26 meters in height and is 275 kg in weight. It is covered in solid gold and inlaid with a number of precious jewels such as pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers. The image of the Buddha is kind, generous and vivid.
Accommodations: Shigatse Hotel. Meals: B,L
Day 8 - Lhasa
Today, drive back to Lhasa (280km, about 6 hours driving) along the Yaluzangbu River, enjoy the beautiful view of the valley en route.
Yaluzangbu River: At 2,051 km in length, the Yaluzangbu River turns and twists like a silver dragon from the west to the east into the valleys of South Tibet. It runs through Muotuo County. After a 90-degree turn, the river runs from Tibet into India and empties into the Indian Ocean.
After a rest in Lhasa, the farewell dinner will be arranged at a typical Tibetan restaurant for you to enjoy the local food with Tibetan dances and songs. While savouring typical Tibetan food you will enjoy traditional Tibetan costumes as well as singing and dancing performances. These performances are meant to praise the beautiful scenery and brilliant culture of Tibet and to show the bravery and enthusiasm of the Tibetan people. They demonstrate the Tibetan love of life and pursuit of happiness. You will possibly see a traditional horse-racing festival on the grassland of the plateau.
Accommodations: Tibet Hotel. Meals: B,L.
Day 9 - Chengdu
Free during the day until our local guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to Chengdu airport.You will have free time during the day that you can use to meet your own needs. Upon arrival in Chengdu you will be directed to your international flight for your flight home.
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