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We had a wonderful time in Tibet. We have learned a lot about this unique destination because of the wonderful guide Degyi who is so knowledge and always available towards our tours. We stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa, and we would never imagine a Tibet travel could be so nice and amazing without the help of Degyi.

Also, thanks a lot to our Tibetan driver Mr.Wongdun for his safe driving and a good sense of service along the way.

We shall return Tibet in the near future!

P.B. and A. A - Europe
Tibet Travel

June 2018 (Private Tibet Journey from Kathmandu)



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  You are here: Home > Tibet Tours > Tibet Journeys > Tibet Eco and Culture Journey to the Northern Highland
Tibet Eco and Culture Journey to the Northern HighlandTour Name:         Tibet Eco and Culture Journey to the Northern Highland
Tour Code:          M98D177
Duration:            22 Days & 21 Nights
Destination:        Lhasa, Terdrom, Namtso, Baingointso Lake, Serlingtso Lake, Nyima, Dangratso Lake, Gertse, GAR, Tsaparang, Tirthapuri, Mt.Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Saga, Lhatse, Shigatse, Gyantse
Features:            Changtang (Qiangtang) means the Northern Highlands in Tibetan language. Changtang is a high plateau in North and West Tibet, and with an average elevation exceeding 16,500 feet (5,000m) above sea level, Changtang is often be called as the "Roof of the Roof of the world".Although harsh in climate and unsuitable for permanent settlement, Changtang, thanks to its inhospitable climate and remoteness, is home to over 400 species of plants most of which are native, 11 species of endemic mammals, and 53 species of birds, in addition, Changtang is also the natural habitat for some of the world's most endangered animals such as the wild yak, feral donkeys and Procapra Picticaudata (Tibetan gazelle) etc. This journey takes you to see the real wild side of Tibet and the culture aspects of Kailash, Shigatse and Lhasa etc. are also indispensable for any Tibet travels.
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Tour Price:          From $ P.P

Trip Summary

Detailed Itinerary

Dates & Prices

 Tour Dates


 Tours & Services





Arrive in Lhasa, be met and transferred to hotel. Free at own leisure for altitude acclimation. N/A  Lhasa Kyichu Hotel



Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and walk on the holy Barkhor Circuit. B, L  Lhasa Kyichu Hotel



Visit Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka Park and see monk debating at Sera Monastery. B, L  Lhasa Kyichu Hotel


A day trip for the Ganden Monastery and drive to Terdrom Monastery to enjoy therapeutic hot springs. Transferred back Lhasa. B, L  Lhasa Kyichu Hotel

 Lhasa - Namtso

Drive outside Lhasa to Namtso Lake, visit local nomad and walk to Tashi Dor seeing birds and Buddhist sculptures. B, L, D  Camp or Lodge

 Namtso - Serlingtso

Enjoy sunrise over Namtso and drive north to Serlingtso Lake, en route stop at Baingointso Lake for birding etc. B, L, D  Camp or Lodge

 Serlingtso - Nyima

Head to Nyima County, birding and walking at Kanglung Tso on the way. B, L, D  Local Lodge


 Dangratso Lake

One day excursion south to Dangratso Lake at Ombu. Birding and plant hunting on the way. B, L, D Camp or Lodge



Walking at the lake, driven back Nyima in the afternoon. B, L, D Local Lodge

 Nyima - Gertse

Travel westwards to Gertse. Dongtso Lake is worth a break here. B, L, D Local Lodge

 Gertse - GAR

Drive to Gar (Shiquahe), refresh yourself at a good hotel. B, L, D Local Hotel

 GAR - Tsaparang

Transferred to Tsaparang. B, L, D Local Lodge


One day explore at the Ruins of Guge Kingdom and Tholing Monastery. B, L, D Local Lodge

 Tirthapuri - Darchen

Leave for Darchen near Mt.Kailash, visit Tirthapuri and explore the hot spring and visit little temples nearby. B, L, D Camp or lodge


Mt.Kailash Kora. B, L, D Camping Tent


Mt.Kailash Kora. B, L, D Camping Tent

 Manasarovar Lake

Trek back Darchen and end of Kora, transferred to Lake Manasarovar and visit little temples at Lake Manasarovar. B, L, D Camp or lodge


Enjoy sunrise over the lake, explore Manasarovar Lake by 4WD jeep, and drive to Saga.  B, L, D Local lodge

 Saga - Shigatse

Transfer back Shigatse and explore Phuntsoling Monastery at Lhatse, visit local market in Shigatse. B, L Shigatse Manasarovar Hotel

 Shigatse - Gyantse

Morning visit at Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse, then drive to Gyantse and admire the Pelkor Chode Monastery and impressive Kumbum Chorten. B, L Reti Hotel

 Gyantse - Lhasa 

Leave in the morning for Lhasa, drive along Yamdrok Lake, visit a local Tibetan residence before arrival Lhasa. B, L, D Lhasa Kyichu Hotel


Transfer to airport for departure flight. End of Journey.  B  N/A

Day01 Arrival Lhasa
You will be greeted and received by your Tibetan guide and driver with Hadda (snow white silk ribbon for Tibetan to greet distingue guests). Transferred to your hotel in the city and free at own leisure to acclimatize to the altitude.

Day02 Lhasa (B, L)Potala Palace
Today you will have a full day guided tour in Lhasa. You will first of all visit Potala Palace, which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and later expanded and served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political nexus of traditional Tibet. Then you will admire Jokhang Temple, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where thousands of pilgrims come for worship everyday. Walk on the holy Barkhor Circuit and do some shopping if desired. 

Day03 Lhasa (B, L)Norbulingka Park,Lhasa
Visit Drepung Monastery the sacred land of Gelug Sect, which was established in 1416AD and the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama once resided in. After that you will be transferred to Norbulingka Park, the former Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. Additionally you will be transferred to visit Sera Monastery, which was created in AD1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. Here in Sera, you have chance to see the grand occasion of the Buddhist monk debating at one big courtyard. Lunch served at a good local restaurant and dinner will be arranged at your hotel.

Day04 Lhasa (B, L)Terdrom Monastery,Tibet
This morning you will meet with your guide and be transferred to Terdrom Monastery approx. 150km east of Lhasa. First of all you will reach Ganden Monastery, the seat of Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Terdrom Monastery is a sacred site with a history dating back to the 8th century when Padmasambhava and his consort, Yeshe Tsogyal, meditated here for seven years. The area around Terdrom is full of wonderful sights, including therapeutic hot springs, towering limestone cliffs, remote hermitages, and nomadic yak herders. Later of the day you will drive back Lhasa.  

Day05 Lhasa - Namtso Lake (B, L, D)Namtso Lake,Tibet
Leave in the early morning for Namtso. Pass by the 5,150-meter Lhachen La and reach the Nam Tso or Tengri Nor (heaven lake in Mongolian) along the newly paved way and set up camp at Tashi Dorie peninsula. With an area of 1,940 square kilometers, the Namtso Lake is largest salt-water lake of Tibet. In the lake, there are 3 islands, which is an ideal habitat for all kinds of aquatic life. One of the islands is made of calcareous sandstone. It is characterized by the stone pillars, natural stone bridges and the stalactite caves. The beaches of the lake are a beautiful natural pasture. Wild life is having a good time there. The Tashi Monastery on the Tashi peninsula, which stretches into the lake, is still wreathed by incense and the sound of dawn bell and dusk drum. In the Sheep Year of Tibetan calendar, thousands of pilgrims undergo the hardships to pay their homage to the holy lake. Also visit the nomads in yak hair tents who have been living on the pastures between the holy Nam Tso and Nyenchentangla. You will admire the heavenly lake and visit local nomad camps if possible. Walk to Tashi Dor seeing birds and Buddhist sculptures.

Day06 Namtso Lake - Serlingtso (B, L, D)Birding in Northern Tibet
Enjoy sunrise over Namtso and drive north to Serlingtso Lake, en route stop at Baingointso Lake for birding etc. Baingoin Tso is 4,522m above sea level and attracts beautiful fowls of wild birds hovering here and there.

Day07 Serlingtso - Nyima (B, L, D)Wildlife in Northern Tibet
Today's road takes you to Nyima County. You will have a stop at Kanglung Tso, enjoy your walking and birding experience today.

Day08 Dangratso Lake (B, L, D)Dangratso Lake,Tibet
One day excursion south to Dangratso Lake at Ombu. Enjoy birding and botanical hunting on the way. The local Tibetan at Ombu area has their faith in Bon, Tibet's earliest religion before Buddhism was introduced to Tibet from India. Dangratso is 4500m high and is home to many rare animals such as the feral donkeys and Procapra Picticaudata (Tibetan antelope) etc.

Day09 Nyima (B, L, D)Wildlife in Northern Tibet
Walking at the lake, driven back Nyima in the afternoon. Overnight at local hotel

Day10 Nyima - Gertse (B, L, D)Journey in Northern Tibet
Travel westwards to Gertse. Dongtso Lake is worth a break here. Overnight at local hotel

Day11 Gertse - GAR (B, L, D)Birding in Tibet
Leave in the morning for Shiquanhe whose traditional name is GAR, the capital of Ngari Prefecture in West Tibet a city at the confluence of Indus and Gar. Shiquanhe River the main source of the Indus, originates from the Kailash.

Day12 GAR - Tsaparang (B, L, D)Nomads in Northern Tibet
Transferred to Tsaparang, the former capital of the ancient Guge Kingdom that believed by many to be formed in the 10th century by descendants of Tibetan King Lang Darma. Overnight at local hotel.

Day13 Tsaparang (B, L, D)Tsaparang,Guge Kingdom,West Tibet
Early in the morning we drive to Tsaparang (10km, 3.800 m), the oldest center of Guge Kingdom. A group of four temples surround the lower part of the fortress walls, one fifth of which lie above the remains of the city, the former Summer Palace of the kings. The coffered ceilings and carved bars of the temples are decorated in different designs. Parts of murals are well-preserved and complicatedly decorated. You will also visit ancient Tholing Monastery.

Day14 Tsaparang - Darchen (B, L, D)Tirthapuri,West Tibet
Leave for Darchen near Mt.Kailash, visit Tirthapuri and explore the hot spring and visit little temples nearby. On the way we will traverse the unique landform of the "earth forest" - the canyon erosion landscape of the Sutlej River. Tirthapuri is 2hrs jeep away to Darchen. On arrival you will enjoy hot spring and visit little temple as well as a Kora along the holy track. You will visit the site where Guru Rimpoche once took meditation. Overnight at local guesthouse at Darchen

Day15 Mt. Kailash Kora (B, L, D)Mt.Kailash Trekking,West Tibet
Enjoy sunrise in the morning and then you will start your trekking. You will have your first hour walking to Tarbochen where the annually Saga Dawa Festival takes places and this year it is on 4th JUNE. Keep walking towards Chorten Kangnyi and getting to Chuku Monastery and finally you reach Dira-puk Monastey your first night camp. Camping or stay at local primitive tented guesthouse for the pilgrim

Day16 Mt. Kailash Kora (B, L, D)Mt.Kailash Trekking Kora,West Tibet
Enjoy hot tea and coffee in the morning and get ready for the Day ii trekking. You will cross a bridge and get over Dromla La Pass. This part of the trekking towards Dromla La is hard as you will climb up three steep slopes and altitude rising to 5300 metre above sea level. Have some good views at the pass and then get down to Lham Chukhir Valley and take another 10km walking to Zutul-puk where Milarepa took meditation here. Camping or stay at local primitive guesthouse for the pilgrim

Day17 Lake Manasarovar (B, L, D)Lake Manasarovar, West Tibet
This morning is leisure walking. You trek along Dzong Chu and viewing prayer flags and countless Mani Stone Walls leading you to Darchen and starting and finish point of the Kora. Meet with your driver again and have lunch break at Darchen before transferring to Lake Manasarovar and explore little temples by the lake, Chiu Gompa and Trugo Gompa. The lake is situated between two snow-covered mountain ranges is extremely beautiful. It is an important part for the Tibetan pilgrims to orbit and take a bath in the lake.

Day18 Lake Manasarovar - Saga (B, L, D)Camp by Lake Manasarovar,West Tibet
Enjoy sunrise over the lake, explore Manasarovar Lake by 4WD jeep, and drive to Saga.

Day19 Saga - Shigatse (B, L)Tibetan pheasant,West Tibet
Drive on the newly paved South Route to Shigatse. And in Lhatse we will visit Phuntsoling Monastery which was built as early as AD1615, belongs to a Gelupa tradition, in its peak time it once had 35 chapels and one huge assembly hall with 3300+ monks. On arrival Shigatse, we can explore and shop around at a local free-market in town.

Day20 Shigatse - Gyantse (B, L)Pelkor Monastery,Central Tibet
In the morning visit Tashilunpo monastery of Gelug Sect, the seat of the Panchen Lama built in 1447. The monastery is the biggest Gelugpa monastery in the Tsang regions of Tibet, sprawls on the slope of Mt. Niser, south-west of Shigatse. Tashilhunpo is associated with the Gelugpa order and is one of the six great Gelugpa institutions along with Drepung, Sera and Ganden in Lhasa and Kumbum and Labrang in Amdo. It is probably the largest functioning monastic institution in contemporary Tibet and is an impressive place to explore. Then you will drive to yantse and explore the Pelkor Chode Monastery and the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) close by. Built in the15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse, Pelkor Monastery is the only one large building complex in Tibet that old monastery and stupas are completely preserved and characterized as a monument. It is recorded 14,000 kilograms of copper was used to make the 8-meter-high sitting statue of Sakyamuni Buddha housed in the grand hall of the temple. The 8-storey stupa is 42m high and 62m in diameters contains a total of 76 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world. Kumbum Stupa opens 8 doors, which are decorated with relief sculptures of lively flying dragons, running lions and walking elephants. It is a master-piece of the joint efforts of the Nepalese, Tibetan and Chinese.

Day21 Gyantse - Lhasa (B, L, D)Yamdrok Yumtso Lake,Tibet
Leave for Lhasa today. On the Kamba La (4.796 m) have a fantastic view of the holy lake Yamdrok Yumtso (4441 m), one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. The Yamdok Yumtso, one of the three largest lakes of Tibet, lies about a hundred kilometers' distance to the southwest of Lhasa, is within Langkamu county, with an area of 638 square kilometers and a coastal line of 250 kilometers. The deepest point is 60 meters. To the interior of the lake ten or so hilly islands stand independently one from the other which give homes to flocks of wild ducks. A lot of colorful ducks and geese are swimming on the surface of the lake. There is also plenty of natural fodder for the fish in the lake. The lake has a fish reserve of about 300 million kilograms. That is why it is called "the Fish Store of Tibet". The coast of the lake is an ideal pasture. All these make an intoxicating quite picture. You will also visit a local Tibetan family to observe what their today's life is.

Day22 Depart Lhasa (B)
Transfer to airport for your departure flight. Journey ends.

Tour costing varies upon group size, travel season and hotel accommodation levels etc. For price details please email us at info@splendidchinatours.com.

Price inclusions:
01). All accommodations based on two persons sharing one room (single occupancy is subject to supplement);
02). China internal flights with airport tax or train as stated in the program;
03). Round-trip transfers between airports or railway stations, hotels, and scenic spots in each city by private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced licensed drivers;
04). All admission fees and activity expenses as listed in the itinerary;
05). Daily meals as specified in the itinerary: B denotes breakfast, L denotes lunch, and D denotes dinner (SD signifies special dinner);
06). Services of a local English speaking guide in each city (other languages can be arranged upon request, supplement may apply);
07). Tibet local travel permits such as Tibet Entry Permit (TTB), Alien's Travel Permit (PSB) and Military Permit etc. when applicable;
08). Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour;
09). Governmental taxes and fees.

Price excluded:
01). International airfare to/from China;
02). Chinese Visa fees;
03). Expenses of personal natural such as laundry, telephone, drinks, mini bar etc;
04). Personal shopping, optional activities and excess baggage charges;
05). Gratuities for local tour guides, drivers and hotel bellboy etc;
06). International travel insurance;
07). Services and activities that are not mentioned in the itinerary.

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