Essential Tibet Tour
Private Group Journeys

Essential Tibet Tour

Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Triangle Tour of Tibet

Share This Trip:

This concise tour of Tibet concentrates on the places that are essential part of visiting Tibet.
After spending 3 nights in capital Lhasa, acclimatizing, and exploring the giant Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and strolling in the city’s old quarter, the Barkhor, we drive over 15,700-foot Khampa La, whirl past the blue Yamdrok Tso lake to Gyantse. Once and important trading town, Gyantse has managed to hang onto its small-town charm and laid-back atmosphere. Here we behold the magnificent giant chorten, the Kumbum and drive to Shigatse, the capital of Tsang region. We visit Shigatse’s Tashilunpo Monastery, seat of the Panchen lamas, before returning to Lhasa.

Outline Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa (D) 
Upon arrival at Gonggar airport, meet and transfer to your hotel in Lhasa. Get settled, rest and acclimatize. Overnight and dinner in hotel.

Day 2: Lhasa (B/D) 
In the morning, visit the Tibet’s colossal Potala Palace, a striking thousand-room monument that dominates the Lhasa skyline Potala Palace. Visit the sacred Jokhang, Tibet’s holiest temple and join thousands of pilgrims from all over Tibet and rest of Himalayas on a stroll through Barkhor, a pilgrimage circuit that encircles the Jokhang, lined with shops, restaurants and many tucked away temples and monasteries. This evening enjoy dinner with cultural show in a local restaurant.

Day 3: Lhasa (B/D) 
Visit the Norbulingka the official summer residence for the Dalai Lamas and their families from the mid-18th century. It is a park-like enclave surrounded by trees, ponds, and pavilions on the outskirts of Lhasa. Explore the grounds, which include gardens, fountains, and a small zoo. Afterwards, visit Sera monastery, where you can watch monks debate in the courtyard. And then Kora (pilgrim trail circling a sacred place) that offers a panoramic one-hour walk with views of the Lhasa Valley.
Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 4: Lhasa – Yamdrok Lake – Gyantse (B/D) (268km/5.5hrs)
From Lhasa, drive south, climb up to Kambala pass (4794m) and drive along the shores of Yamdrok Lake, one of the three largest lakes in Tibet, an oasis for migrating wildlife. Islets within the lake are home to flocks migratory birds and grazing land for the nomads. Cross Karo la pass (5010m), which boast spectacular views and descend into Gyantse. In the evening wander the back streets of town, which has a mix of pilgrims, farmers, nomads, pop music, cows, motorcycles, horse carts as true a picture of contemporary Tibetan life.
Overnight in Gyantse Yeti Hotel

Day 5: Gyantse – Shigatse (B/D)
Explore magnificent gold-capped Gyantse Kumbum, a mandala-shaped monastery for a chance to see the mastery of the famed 15th century Newari artisans of Nepal. Tibet’s dry climate has helped to preserve the murals well. Then visit nearby well-preserved Pelkor Chode Monastery, founded in 1418. Later drive across the plains to Shigatse, the commercial and political center of Tsang Province. Later tour in the old Tibetan part of the town.
Overnight in Shigatse Tashi Chudar Hotel

Day 6: Shigatse – Lhasa (B/D) 
Visit Tashilhunpo monastery, one of Tibet’s most vibrant and breathtaking monasteries, the seat of the Panchen Lamas. We explore the elaborate temple and monastery complex and enjoy watching the pilgrim activity around the monastery. Time allowing, join pilgrims in the long circumambulation path around the monastery. Leaving Shigatse, we take the direct road to Lhasa, following Yarlung Tsangpo river valley. Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 7: Departure (B) 
Transfer to Gonggar airport in time for your departure flight.



cultural_tour Trip Type Culture Tours
Activities Included Activities Included
Activities Included
Accommodation Accommodation Choice of 3 or 4 star hotel in Lhasa and best available (3 star) in Gyantse and Shigatse
Meal Meal Daily breakfast and dinner
Best Seasons Best Seasons March to Oct
  • Colossal Potala Palace a UNESCO-listed site with thousand rooms
  • Jokhang Temple, the most sacred site in Tibet since the 7th century
  • Mingle among the pilgrims and swashbuckling traders from eastern Tibet in Barkhor Bazaar
  • Sera Monastery – among the largest Tibetan monasteries.
  • Yamdrok Tso lake one of the three largest lakes in Tibet, surrounded by panorama of mountains with opportunity to see the nomadic herders
  • Gyantse town, a historic outpost that has managed to maintain old town charm.
  • Visit well preserved 15th century monasteries with rich wall frescoes in Kumbum and Pelkhor Chode
  • Shigatse the commercial and political center of Tsang Province
  • Tashilhunpo the seat of Panchen Lamas of Tibet

Cost Information

Independent or Private groups with your own dates

  • 6-7 members: $1075 Per Person
  • 4 to 5 members: $ 1180 Per Person
  • 2 t0 3  members: $1695 Per Person
  • Single traveler (including single room supplement) $3080
  • Single room supplement $295 per single room
  • For larger groups contact us for pricing


  • Accommodations in 3-4 star hotel as listed (option to upgrade in Lhasa)
  • Daily breakfast, and dinner
  • One dinner with cultural performance.
  • All private transfers and transportation by good quality vehicle (Land Cruisers up to 3 pax)
  • Sightseeing with entrance fees
  • Local Tibetan native Guide
  • Tibet Permits

Not included

  • Flights
  • Chinese Visa
  • Lunches
  • All other expenses not listed in included section


Trip Photos


cultural_tour Trip Type Culture Tours
Activities Included Activities Included
Activities Included
Accommodation Accommodation Choice of 3 or 4 star hotel in Lhasa and best available (3 star) in Gyantse and Shigatse
Meals Meals Daily breakfast and dinner
Max Group Size Max Group Size Private with any group size
Best Seasons Best Seasons March to Oct

Route Map

Quick Inquiry

Include Country Code

Make an Inquiry for

Essential Tibet Tour

0 Trip(s) on shortlist