Lhasa is the capital city of Tibet, located at an altitude of 3,656 meters above sea level. It is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the unique culture and history of Tibet. One way to explore Lhasa is by taking a jeep tour, which offers a thrilling and adventurous way to see the city and its surroundings. Here is a guide to a Lhasa jeep tour.
The tour typically starts from your hotel in Lhasa, where you will meet your tour guide and driver. The jeep used for the tour is usually a four-wheel drive, which can handle the rough terrain of the Tibetan Plateau. Before starting the tour, the guide will brief you on the itinerary and safety precautions.
The first stop on the tour is usually the Potala Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic landmarks in Tibet. The palace was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the Tibetan uprising in 1959. The Potala Palace has 13 stories and over 1,000 rooms, including chapels, halls, and libraries. The palace is built on a hill, so it offers a panoramic view of Lhasa.
After visiting the Potala Palace, the jeep will take you to the Jokhang Temple, which is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most sacred temple in Tibet. The temple was built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo and is dedicated to the Buddha. The temple is located in the heart of Lhasa and is surrounded by colorful market stalls, where you can buy traditional Tibetan souvenirs.
The next stop on the tour is the Barkhor Street, which is a famous pilgrimage circuit around the Jokhang Temple. The street is lined with shops selling Tibetan handicrafts, such as prayer flags, singing bowls, and thangkas (religious paintings). You can also find local food stalls selling traditional Tibetan dishes, such as momos (dumplings) and thukpa (noodle soup).
From Barkhor Street, the jeep will take you to the Sera Monastery, which is one of the three great Gelug university monasteries of Tibet. The monastery was founded in 1419 and has a history of more than 500 years. The Sera Monastery is known for its debates between the monks, which are held in the courtyard every afternoon. The debates are an important part of the Tibetan Buddhist education system and are open to the public.
The last stop on the tour is the Norbulingka Palace, which is a summer palace of the Dalai Lamas. The palace was built in the 18th century and has beautiful gardens, ponds, and pavilions. The Norbulingka Palace is a peaceful retreat from the bustling city and is a great place to relax and take in the scenery.
Overall, a Lhasa jeep tour is a great way to explore the city and its surroundings. It offers a unique perspective on the culture and history of Tibet and allows you to see some of the most iconic landmarks in Lhasa. However, due to the high altitude and rough terrain, it is important to take precautions and listen to your guide’s instructions.
The tour starts with an early morning drive from Kathmandu to the Nepal-Tibet border at Rasuwagadhi. After completing the immigration formalities, you will cross the border and drive to Kerung, a small town on the Tibetan Plateau. The road to Kerung is winding and offers stunning views of the Himalayas.
After breakfast, you will start your drive to Tingri, a small town on the way to Everest Base Camp. The road passes through the beautiful Tibetan Plateau, offering stunning views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, and Shishapangma.
After breakfast, you will drive to Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. On the way, you will visit the Rongbuk Monastery, which is the highest monastery in the world, located at an altitude of 4,980 meters. You will also drive past the Pang La Pass, which offers breathtaking views of Mount Everest.
After breakfast, you will drive to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. On the way, you will visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery, which is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second-most important spiritual leader in Tibet. You will also drive past the Yarlung Tsangpo River, which is the longest river in Tibet.
You will spend two days exploring the city of Lhasa, visiting the iconic landmarks such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Sera Monastery, and Norbulingka Palace. These sites offer a unique insight into the culture and history of Tibet and are must-visit destinations for any traveler to the region.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport or train station for your onward journey. This marks the end of the Lhasa jeep tour from Kathmandu to Kerung.