Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet and an object of devout pilgrimage, is still a city of wonders. "Lhasa" in Tibetan means "the land of gods" and is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region is located between 29o 36'N and 19o 06' E at the north bank of Kyichu river, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, at an altitude of 3650 meters above the sea level. Lhasa has history of more than 1300 years and it's been the center of politics, economy, culture and religion in Tibet since ancient times. Places of interest include the Potala, the 13 storey vast white and ochre fortress of the Dalai Lama, dominates the Lhasa skyline. Once the seat of Tibetan government and the location of the tombs of previous Dalai Lamas, the Potala serves as a symbolic focus for Tibetan aspirations. The Drepung monastery (8 kilometers (5 miles) west of Lhasa under Mt. Gambo Utse)is the largest and richest monastery in Tibet.and the Sera monastery are the most famous. The summer palace of the Dalai Lama, Norbulingka; and the Jokhang Temple, the holiest shrine of Tibet are the major attractions in Lhasa. The circular Barkhor Street with innumerable shops and wayside peddlers intermingle with the devotees. The Ganden Monastery and the Yangpachen are the two most famous place in the surrounding of Lhasa which are a must see for tourists.
Built in the 17th century, the Potala Palace, a pearl on the plateau is one of the architectural wonders of the world. The word "Potala" comes from Sanskrit. In the 7th century, after the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo's marriage with Princess Wencheng of the Tang Court, the Palace was built for meditation. In the mid-17th century, it was re-built by the 5th Dalai Lama to its present size, and ever since it became the Winter Palace of the Dalai Lamas. The construction took fifty years from its beginning to completion.Potala Palace is located on top of a red hill in Lhasa's city centre. It stands at the site of older structures, dating back another thousand years. In the center is the older, red palace, surrounded by the large white palace. With over 1000 rooms, the one storeyed palace covers an area of 10,000 square meters. It witnessed the life of the Dalai Lamas and the important politicaland religious activities in the past centuries. There are grand palaces within palaces. The Palace stands up so high that it resembles a magnificent castle in the heaven. It makes itself a good example of the ancient Tibetan culture and architecture. There also stored the world treasure-the goldhand-written Buddhist scriptures, valuable gifts from the Chinese emperors and a lot of priceless antiques.You will be amazed bythe colorful sculptures and paintings. The Potala Palace deserves the title of art gallery and museum. It is a symbol of the wisdom and power of the Tibetan people. It is a majestic architectural work and the cream Tibetan culture and complex of Tibetan and Han culture. The view from the roof over Lhasa, the valley and to the mountains is just spectacular.
GYANTSE (13,050 ft.):
It is a small agricultural town famous for its wool carpets and the Palkhor Choide Chorten. It is small as cities go (population perhaps 10,000) and largely Tibetan in character - for a change. The town is situated about two small hills which lie east and west, and is united by a saddle; the western hill is further connected with a chain of mountains to the north. On the eastern hill, which is about 600 feet above the surrounding plain, is a large fort, which towers above the village offers a fine view over the valley and on the western hill is a Gomba inhabited by five hundred Dabas. In this Gomba there is a chorten, called Pangon Chorten, which is considered by the Tibetans a most holy place and is notable for its superb Kumbum (10,000 images) stupa. Besides the fort and temple, there are about one thousand dwelling houses on three sides of the double hill. Before 1959, traders coming from Kalimpong and Gangtok (India) used to enter Tibet through Yadong and then to Gyantse, enroute to Lhasa.
SHIGATSE (12,600 ft.):
It is also known as Xigatse, which means "fertile land", is the second largest city in Tibet. It is the seat of Panchen Lama who is regarded as the reincarnation of the Buddha of Endless Enlightenment. This city stands between the confluence of the Yarlong Tsangpo and Nyangchu River, used to be the capital of Tsang and now is the capital of Shigatse prefecture.
Shigatse is most famous for its Tashilhunpo Monastery - the seat of the Panchen Lama. Places of interest within this monastery include the relics sakyamuni, the hall of maitreya and mind-boggling collection of thankas, etc within the Tashilhunpo Monastery. There is also bustling "free" market at the foot of the ruins of the xigaze fortress and one can buy local handicrafts embedded with coral and torquoise, chinese porcelain and yak butter etc. The highlight of Shigatse is surprisingly high snow capped peaks. Most of the highest peaks in Tibet, including Mt. Everest, lie around Shigatse. The other wonderful monastery near Shigatse is the Sakya Monastery and Shalu Monastery.
LHATSE (13,100 ft.):
It is situated at the cross roads from where the road turns westwards towards Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar lake
XEGAR (13,800 ft.):
It Is a new Chinese commune built at the ruins of Xegar Dzong , and is 7 kms from the main road . With a population of 3000 , its importance lies in the fact that it is the center of this large and remote country .and also a base from where expeditions to Mt. Everest and other peaks are launched.
Equipment & Accessories:
Note: What ever mentioned above, we can suggest important thing while finalising booking.
MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY OUR CUSTOMERS :
How to enter Tibet?
There are four common routes for visiting Tibet. They are as follows:
Does Moonsun Travel arrange visa and other travel documents for traveling in Tibet?
Yes, we do arrange visa and travel permit for traveling Tibet. You need provide us with the high quality scanned copies of your passport to get permit and visa process. Journalists and people that could be involved in political matters could be revoked.
What are the trips leaders like?
Leaders are carefully selected for their personality, general travel experience and enthusiasm for our style of travel. They facilitate the smooth running of your trip and are there to help you get the most out of your adventure. They are recruited on the basis of their resourcefulness and people skills, rather than for expert knowledge of a destination.
Is independent tour allowed in Tibet?
No. According to China's regulation, individual travel to Tibet is not allowed. You have to join a group and well- known Travel Company.
What is the best season for tour in Tibet?
In general speaking, from April to October is the best season for Tibet tour.
What type of insurance should I have? Can I get there?
Travel insurance is compulsory for all Clients undertaking any tour. It should provide adequate protection for the full duration of the tour to cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter evacuation, loss of luggage, etc.
Could you give me some advice on how to avoid risking Cultural Shock when traveling Tibet?
Tibetan people are very kind and hospitable; you can feel free to talk with them. But there are some rulers you should go by!
What currencies Other than Chinese currency, can be used in Tibet? Can I use my credit card and ATM card?
Chinese Yuan and US dollar are accepted in Tibet however the places which accept US dollars are very few. Visitors can change US dollars into Chinese currency in the Lhasa Central Branch Bank of China or at major hotels. Credit cards are not a recommended mean of payment in Tibet as the acceptance is very limited. Flights and hotels can not be paid using credit cards and they are also accepted at the Lhasa Central Branch Bank of China.
Money Exchange in Tibet
The best place to change foreign currency and travelers checks is the Bank of China. Some hotels may provide exchange service but this is uncertain. If you are travelling to remote areas of Tibet, try to take your cash in small denominations. RMB100 and RMB50 bills are sometimes difficult to change. Coins are not acceptable even for donations.
Credit Cards are not recommended as a method of payment in Tibet. They are only accepted in 5-star hotels or big department stores in Lhasa.
Banks- Bank of China, China Construction Bank and China Agriculture Bank have branches in Lhasa.
Where and how can i get local transportation?
Taxis are easy to find in Barkhor Street area. The taxi fare is by negotiation with the driver. It is a wise way to take a map to show the driver as they are unable to communicate in English. Remember that it is impossible to travel outside Lhasa except when accompanied by a tour guide in an authorized vehicle.
What and Where can i go for Shopping?
The local specialty are Tibetan Tangka, Tibetan silver ornaments, yak wool, Dzi beads, Aweto, milk products, Tibetan liquor and Lhasa sweet tea as well as various handicrafts and Tibetan medicines. The famous shopping places are Barkhor Street and shops around Jokhang Temple Square. Please be aware that Barkhor Street has many fake products. Don’t forget to bargain.
What kind of Accommodation & Food i can get?
Tourism is one of the major industries in Nepal and Tibet. We wish to make your stay as comfortable and memorable as possible. We do provide 2 to 3 stars level hotel for whole tour.
Varying cuisines are available in Lhasa. Indian, Nepalese and Western food can all be found as well as Tibetan, Sichuan cuisine, Northwestern Chinese wheaten food and Northeastern Chinese cuisine are most typical.
Can I travel Tibet with my child?
Tibet may not be an ideal destination for young Children. The climate and generally harsher conditions in Tibet may not be ideal for young children. The sights and attractions are not those which children like to visit and facilities will be very primitive. If you do decide to bring your young child to Tibet please ensure that you bring all your child's daily needs with you.
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