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Huan Ying Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! On arrival into Beijing International Airport you will be met by an On The Go Representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Today we set out to sight-see the nation's capital, starting with Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square - home to the Monument of the People's Heroes and many important events in Chinese history - most notably the 1989 Student Protests. The Forbidden CIty - so called as it was only visited by people on Imperial business up until 1911 - is a vision in grandeur with yellow roofs, vermilion walls and the innermost sanctum of Beijing. We take an afternoon rickshaw ride navigating the old back lanes and courtyards of Beijing’s Hutongs. This evening, enjoy an eye boggling Chinese acrobatic performance followed by a dinner of Peking Duck at a city restaurant.
Take to the skies with a flight to Lhasa where you will be receive a warm Tibetan welcome by our representative at the airport. Transfer to Lhasa (approx 70kms), soaking up the wonderful mountain scenery en route. Check into your hotel and spend the remains of the day at leisure, to acclimatise.
Enjoy a guided tour of capital which includes the beautiful Potala Palace - the dominant landmark of Lhasa, towering 117 meters above the city below. This immense building is a masterpiece in design, 13 storeys high with walls 3 meters thick, containing over 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues, it was both the residence of the current Dalai Lama and tomb of the former Heads of state. Continue on to the Sera Monastery, which is still a working retreat, 600 years after its foundation as a main teaching monastery and Norbulinka monastery - the Dalai Lama's summer palace. Set in beautiful grounds with fountains, chapels and pools, Norbulinka is where that the present Dalai Lama fled in the 1950's.
Another full day of sightseeing in the fabled city of Lhasa, visiting the 15th century Drepung Monastery, formerly one of the largest monasteries in Tibet, once housing 10,000 monks and bustling Barkhor Street. The highlight of the day is a visit to Jokhang Temple, the most sacred and important temple in Tibet and also the most captivating. There is an electric atmosphere as crowds of pilgrims travel around the chapels, praying and prostrating themselves.
After breakfast depart Lhasa and journey to Gyantse. En route visit the Drolma Lhakang Temple, associated with the Buddhist teachings of Atisha (a revered Bengali scholar), and we stop at the elevated view point of Kampa La, to soak up the incredible views of the spectacular scorpion shaped Yamdrok Lake. Yamdrok is one of Tibet's three sacred lakes and according to local mythology, it is the transformation of a goddess. At over 72kms in length, with electric blue water and surrounded by snow capped mountains, it's an incredible sight to behold. Continuing your journey, drive alongside Yamdrok lake for about an hour to reach Gyantse. Upon arrival the remains of the day is at leisure.
Today after breakfast, visit Kumbum and Pelku Chode, two of the prime sightseeing spots in Gyantse. Kumbum was founded in the year 1427 by a Gyantse prince. With a gold dome, and 9 levels, it contains 77 chapels. Pelku Chode is the Monastery inside the same compound of Kumbum. After finished with sightseeing of Kumbum and Pelku Chode, drive on to Shigatse (95kms from Gyantse), Tibets second most important city. Overnight Shigatse Zanglong Hotel
After breakfast enjoy a tour of Tashilunpo Monastery, founded in 1447, it is the largest Yellow Hat sect monastery in Tibet and the seat of the Panchen Lamas. Tashilunpo contains chortens, temples and the Panchen Lamas palace. At its peak, Tashilunpo had more than 4,000 monks in its 4 monasteries. The monastery is a striking red, white and black Tibetan structure with a golden roof. Within the monastery there is a 5 story temple, which contains a 26 meter high sitting statue of the Maitreya Buddha, cast from 6,700 ounces of gold and over 115,000 kg of copper, making it the biggest copper Buddhist statue in the world. After sightseeing and strolling around the free market, journey back to Lhasa.
Today we drive to Tsedang via Samye Monastery. Samye Monastery was founded in the 8th century during the reign of King Trisong Detsen with the help of the Indian Buddhist masters Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, whom the king had invited to Tibet to help spread Buddhism. Over the centuries Samye has been associated with various schools of Tibetan Buddhism and today Tibetans of all traditions come to worship here. Continuing on to Tsedang, visit Yumbulakhang the oldest palace in Tibet and Tandruk Monastery, situated at the road side. Enjoy a tour of the monastery and overnight in Tsedang.
Return to Lhasa today where the rest of the day is at your leisure to explore independently.
Today we take a day trip to the picturesque Lake Namtso, the largest lake in Tibet and the highest salty water lake in the world. Continue on to Yangbajing Hot Springs where there will be time to have a swim before returning to Lhasa.
Your tour with us comes to an end today you will be transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight.