Tibet 'Switzerland Views' refer to the area of Nyingchi where the climate is subtropical, rice and bananas are grown, four seasons are seen in the mountains. It is called 'Pearl of Tibet Plateau' and it was said to be the views of Switzerland by a tourist coming to this area. The itineraries to this area could be shorter or longer. And you could travel through all this area to see views from all over Tibet if you like.
Nyingchi, situated in the southeast of Tibet, meaning 'sun throne' in Tibetan, is named as 'Switzerland of Tibet'. The beautiful Nyingchi is famous with its big Yurlung Tsangpo canyon, the deepest canyon in the world. And the traditional customs make it even more mysterious. The area is wet and warm, yearly average temperature is on the top of 5℃, and abundant in forest resource with the coverage of 34.3%, including plants of economics and pharmaceutical.
Taking the flight into Tibet upon your arrival. Local guide will meet you and transfer you to Lhasa. On the way, you can enjoy the heart-beating highland view along the Yarlong Tsangpo river( the longest river in Tibet). The rest time is free for relax and more oxygen.
The first day of sightseeing starts from Lhasa's cardinal landmark- PotalaPalace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels
In the afternoon, we will drop a visit of the JokhangTemple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Then we will visit Barkhor, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet
About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains.
Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous.
Drive about one and half hours to get to Gandan Monastery for a visit. It is the first Gelugpa monastery. After visit, onward to BasomtsoLake for 370km on a well paved road, taking 5 hours. Basomtso Lake, 3,500 meters above sea level, originates from NychingTanglhaMountain and is a dozen kilometers long. Snow-covered mountains, glaciers and tress are reflected upon the lake’s rippled surface. There are small islands in the middle of the lake with Lamaist temples built upon them.
Visit Basomtso Lake and enjoy the beautiful views there in the whole morning. And then leave for BayiTown, the capital of Nyingchi area. And then continue driving about 2 hours to get to Bayi. Upon arrival there, visit a huge cypress tree of over thousand years old. Rest time you can stroll in the city for the modern city in East Tibet.
Today we will drive back to Lhasa. Rest time is free on your own.
Take flight to Chengdu, tour ends.
Extension optional tours
Namsto Lake: Namsto, approximately 190km north-west of Lhasa, is the second-largest saltwater lake in China. It is over 70km long and reaches a width of 30km. They Nyenchen Tangula range, with peaks of more than 7000m, towers over the lake to the south. Namtso is a tidal lake and the ring marks of earlier lake levels are clearly visible by the shoreline. In clear weather the water is a miraculous shade of turquoise and there are magnificent views of the nearby mountains. The wide open spaces, dotted with tents of local nomads, are intoxicating.
Gandan Monastery: Gandan, just 40km north-east of Lhasa, was the first Gelugpa monastery. If you only have time for one monastery excursion outside Lhasa, Ganden would probably be the best choice. With its stupendous views of the surrounding Kyi-chu Valley and fascinating kora, Ganden is an experience unlike the other major Gelugpa monasteries in the Lhasa area.
Tsurphu Monastery: Tsurphu Monastery around 70km west of Lhasa, is the seat of the Karmapa branch of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapa are also known as the Black Hats, a title that dates back to 1256.
Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, covers an area of 544 square kilometers and is "The Land of Gods" in Tibetan, sits on the north bank of River Lhasa, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangbo River, at an altitude of 3,700 meters. It has a history of over 13 centuries. With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, Lhasa is famed as " the City of Sunshine". It is the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region and the center of Tibet's political, economic, cultural and religious activities. There are many historic sites and famous relics in the city proper and its suburbs, among which the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Ganden Monastery are world famous.
Gyantse was once considered to be Tibet’s third largest town-after Lhasa and Shigatse, but nowadays its status has undoubtedly diminished. Nonetheless Gyantse has preserved much of its old-world atmosphere, and Tibetan rural life continues here, virtually unchanged, against a backdrop of magnificent 14th-15th century fortresses and temples.
Shigatse, commanding the confluence of the Nyang-chu and Brahmaputra rivers, is still Tibet’s second largest city, but it may not remain so for long in view of the recent rapid development of other cities in East Tibet. The city is slightly higher than Lhasa, at 3,900 metres; with an oxygen content of 67 percent and average annual temperatures are 16℃ in mid-summer and -5℃ in mid-winter.
Mount Everest has many names. In Tibetan the name 'Chomolongma' means 'Mother Goddess of the World' in Nepalese the name 'Sagarmatha' means 'The Forehead of the Sky' Its English name, though not nearly as descriptive, connotes similar feelings of awe. At 8850m/29,035ft Mount Everest sits literally at the top of the world, nestled in the HimalayanMountains of Nepal.
Dear Janet, I would like to thank you and your team for a wonderful tour setup. Begging with your professionalism, warm support and willingness to make our group tour successful one.And great thanks to Dhargye our tour guide who took care of whole group and especially myself during a night of vomiting. He and Mr. Namla- the driver were superb. I will send you some photos separately. Feel free to use them on your company's website. Am happy to give references as required.
Dear Janet,We are safe and sound home and are looking back at a very impressive trip to Tibet and Zhangye. We have between us some 3000 pictures – some quite stunning. Yesterday the four of us expressed what an unforgettable trip this has been. We want to share our appreciation for the way the trip has been organised. Like clockwork. All guides appearing at the right time and place. Everything was very well organised. It was a bit double for us when we were in Lanzhou hearing about the earthquake creating havoc in Nepal, but not leaving Tibet unaffected either. Thank you again for a trip to be remembered for a long time.
Dear Nancy,I feel embarrased that I am answering only now but another couple of weeks of travelling and the beginning of the next semester at the university made me really busy. However, me and Olaf wanted to thank you for the amazing trip we had in Tibet! The organization was simply excellent, thank you for a very quick and informative communication from your side. Many thanks go also to our guide, Danluo as well as to our driver; both of them acted very professionally and kindly towards us. It was really great that our guide was of the Tibetan origin, providing us with a unique cultural insight and first-hand information. His English language skills were just perfect and the communication with him very pleasant.