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Tibet highlights plus Holy Lakes Photography Tour

Duration: 12 Days
Lhasa, Shigatse, Rongbuk Kloster, Saga, Ngari(Ali), Saga, Shigatse, Lhasa
Departure date:
As You Prefer
Tour code:

Tour Highlights

“WOW” moment as watching the breath-taking sunrise of the Mt. Everest

Great chance to broaden your horizons with Buddhism temples, castles, soil forest, holy lakes and other natural wonders

Plenty of time to photograph and create your own story of Tibet to tell

Quick View

Day  1  Lhasa  

We’ll meet you at airport or train station, and accompany you to hotel for check-in.
Free time on the rest of today for you to rest and acclimatize.

Travel Tips:
1. Take anti-AMS medicines ahead of a week before your trip.
2. Please avoid strenuous activity for the first few days. For first time visitors, it’s common to get different degrees of high altitude sickness. Drink more waters, have fresh fruit and plenty of rest will help to prevent the sickness.
3. A first aid kit including aspirin, antibiotics and AMS medication is highly recommended.
4. Photographic Gears:
①. Section of Lens: It’s better off choosing zoom lens. The 17-35mm/70-200mm lens is able to meet different photography needs. 50mm standard lens with large caliber can be used to shot portraits or low light scenes, converters to the wild animals, remote snow-capped mountains and glaciers.
②. Please take a backup camera in case of the blackout in some places, due to the poor infrastructures in Tibet.
5. Best time to go:  May - June, September - October

Day  2  Lhasa  

The prime miracle of Tibet – Potala Palace, is your first sightseeing destination without doubt. It’s visible from any distance, with golden roof shinning in the sun. There are many rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and the many Buddhist icons within. Then move to the Jokhang Temple. You’ll find images, both sculpted and painted everywhere. Every inch of wall and celling is brightly painted with images of clouds, beings, mandalas or decorative patterns. Finally, take a relaxing walk at the Barkhor Street, sample local snacks or pick up souvenirs for friends or families.

Shooting Tips:
1. In summer, the best time to photograph Potala Palace is 4:00pm-5:00pm, while in other seasons, morning and night. Shooting from the viewing platform in the white pagoda of the palace, you can get a panoramic images. Potala Palace in the early morning is quite mystery with the heavy aromatic perfumes rising on all sides in spirals of smoke from censers. Additional fee is charged for grabbing photos inside the Potala Palace, where many exquisite chapels and a golden roof stand.
2. Jokhang Temple is the great place to shoot pilgrims worshipping and real Tibetan people. Walk up to the second floor and take images of the golden roof and enjoy the beautiful sunshine of Lhasa. Late afternoon is the best time to photograph.
3. Barkhor Street is the ideal place to take photos of Tibetan people’s “real life”.

Day  3  Lhasa, Shigatse  

After explore Lhasa, you’ll have a chance to get lost in the endless Tibetan landscape. Take a 2-hour (120kms) drive to Yamdrok Tso Lake after breakfast. This dazzling lake is the highest freshwater in the world. And on the way, you can see the remote Karola Glacier. Afterwards, another 2-hour (140kms) will take you to the Palkor Monastery and the splendid Kumbum Stupa nearby, both of them built in the 15th century. Later, drive about 1.5 hours (120kms) to Shigatase, and head to hotel for check-in.

Shooting Tips:
1. Gangbala Yamaguchi (5200 meters above sea level) offers you a panoramic view of the Yamdrok Tso Lake. Wide-angel lens and standard lens are both available for overall views. Long-focus lens can shoot a part of the lake. Kindly note that there’s much wind at the mountain pass, you should erect the tripod stable. The lake road away from Langzika County can help you get close-up photos of the lake.
2. Summer is the best time to shoot Yamdrok Tso Lake. Green grassland, flowers in bossom, along with turquoise blue water display beautiful landscapes.
3. Annual July is the best time to shoot Gyantse. From Karola Glacier to Smila Mountain, harmonious natural scenery in valleys comprised of barley, rapeseed and villages, is along all the way.
4. Nestled at mountains, the red wall of Palkhor Monastery winds ups and downs, seeming to be a curve, creating beautiful patterns of light and shade in the low angle of the sun. Why not snap charming photos in front of the temple? Or explore traditional Tibetan culture in an old street lying on the north side of the temple entrance 50 meters.
5. Zongshan Castle features its steepness and majesty. The best position to photograph is on the highway road from Gyantse to Lhasa. Such as in late summer, the photographic images will be very spectacular, with golden yellow fields of barley as foreground.

Day  4  Shigatse, Rongbuk Kloster  

After breakfast, drive about 8 hours (350kms) to Rongbuk Kloster. Time permitting, try to appreciate the stunning sunset of Mt. Everest. En-route to Rongbuk Kloster, you’ll come across 4 high mountains capped with snow: Mt. Everest (8848meters), Makalu(8463meters),Lhotse(8516meters), Cho oyu peak(8201meters).

Shooting Tips:
1. Rongbuk Kloster is the best place to photography Mt. Everest. As you take photos, you can choose its Kumbum Stupa as foreground, or the river, 3 kilometers from the Everest Base Camp. This camp is 8 kilometers from Rongbu Monastery, only suitable to enjoy the beauty of Mt. Everest.
2. Due to the low temperature around Rongbuk Kloster, 510 meters above sea level, enough clothes to keep warm are highly recommended. Thick sweater and jacket are needed even in summer, down jacket in spring and fall, as well as gloves and hats with ear-covers.

Day  5  Rongbuk Kloster, Saga   ()

This morning, take in the stunning sunrise of Mt. Everest at Rongbuk Kloster. Snap your unique photos! Later, drive about 9 hours(460kms) to Saga. Plenty of photography opportunities en route: charming views of immense prairie, herds of yaks and horses, lakes, snow-capped mountains. Arrive in Saga at dusk and stay overnight there.

Shooting Tips:
1. 6:50am in summer, along with 7:20am in spring and fall, is the best time to photograph the sunrise over Mt. Everest.
2. A firm tripod is necessary as there is much wind around Rongbu Monastery.
3. En route, you’ll have lunch in tavern with Sichuan cuisine or local Tibetan cuisine. Usually, dishes are prepared after you order. So the waiting time for dishes may be a little longer.

Day  6  Saga, Ngari(Ali)   ()

After breakfast, further down to Zhongba County. Along the asplhat road, you’ll be led to the Maquan River – the upper stream of the Yarlung Zangbo River. Move on and you’ll find the real Tibetans. Cross the Mayum La(5216m) and a beautiful lake on the left side of the road will come to you. Continue westbound, and there is Mt. Naimona Nyi and Mt. Kailash. Roam around the Lake Manasarovar nearby and stay overnight at the guesthouse around Lake Manasarovar.

Shooting Tips:
1. There is a shallow lake to the north of highway, 20kms away from Paryang bridge. Here is the manifestation of Ngari wilderness. Better off employing wide-angle lens to snap photos, and the near water plants as foreground.
2. Looking southwards at the center of Mayum La, you’ll find a winding river starting from Mt. Himalaya. Take this river as foreground as you photograph Ngari wildness and snow-capped mountains.
3. The swamp (3kms west of Holzer village), over-grown grass, and remote Na Munani snowy peaks offer you great chances to grab pretty images. Best times to shoot are at dawn and dusk, with wide-angle lens and standard lens.
4. There is a small temple to photograph Lake Manasarovar, the best shooting position. Mani stones stacked neatly and cattle bones help to adorn your shots. In sunset, the returning herds of yaks and horses highlight the image. Sunset at 21:30.
5. No inn or restaurant nearby Lake Manasarvoar, better to carry food and water.

Day  7  Shigatse  

Get up early for today’s tour. First come to the prairie at the foot of Mt. Kailash and get lost in the wild animal world en route: yaks, Tibetan antelope, Mogolian gazelle etc,. Over the Ayila hill, get to singular Zhada Earth Forest. Against the plateau psychedelic light, it seems to be a myth world with, majestic and awe-inspiring, with well-proportion of castles, towers and places. Move on to explore the Guge Ruins, one of the most enchanting historical sites of Ngari. Broken walls of castles blend perfectly with the natural soil forests. Stay overnight in Zhada.

Shooting Tips:
1.  Zhada Earth Forest: against the plateau psychedelic light, it seems to be a myth world with, majestic and awe-inspiring, with well-proportion of castles, towers and palaces.
2. Guge Ruins: the most enchanting historical sites of Ngari. Broken walls of castles blend perfectly with the natural soil forests.
3. Great chances to snap unique photos such as Buddhism pagoda, towering soil forests and river valley. Buddhism pagoda, Mani stones and prayer flags are the symbols of  the myth and uniqueness of Zhada Soil Forest.
2. 20:00pm-21:50pm, time of sunset, is the great moment to capture Guge Ruins.

Day  8  Shigatse  

Set off to Shiquan river town after breakfast, 255kms from Zhada. Then proceed to Ritu(130kms), and appreciate exquisite petroglyph en route. Afterwards, head to Pangong Tso, the world’s highest bird isle, perched numerous bar-headed geese, brown-headed gulls, crested duck and so on, over 20 species of water birds. Later, back to Shiquan River.

Shooting  Tips:
Pangong Tso is the world’s highest bird isle, perched numerous bar-headed geese, brown-headed gulls, crested duck and so on, over 20 species of water birds.You can hire a boat to explore the lake or seek bird nest, eggs on island, or watch gulls and bar-headed geese. Bird eggs are under protection and cannot be taken away.


Day  9  Shigatse  

Get up early to Zhongba County. En route, you can enjoy the immense enchanting scenery of plateau desert and prairie, grassland. Move in the vast and desolate Ngari, and sense its vicissitudes, charm and myth. It’s must leave you a lift-time memory. Upon arrival at Zhongba, transfer to hotel and check in.

Shooting Tips:
1. Road condition: 280km asphalt road plus gravel road, with great natural scenery alongside.
2. Accommodation in Zhongba County is poor. If possible, we’ll try to stay overnight in Saga, 150kms from Zhognba.
3. You can opt to take a flight to Lhasa at your own expense(not included in this package), and the cost is relative high.

Day  10  Shigatse  

Set off to Shigatse after breakfast. Enjoy the sunshine and appreciate the beautiful scenery along the way. Overnight in Shigatse to erase the tiredness.

Day  11  Shigatse, Lhasa  

This morning you’ll explore the Tashihunpo Monastery, the holy seat of the Panchen Lama, which is essentially a walled town with cobbled and twisting lanes that revolve around a magnificent monastery. Later of this day, drive to Lhasa with spectacular scenery along the way. Overnight in Lhasa.   

Shooting Tips
1. At Tashilhunpo Monastery, you can photograph Buddhist temple and Lama. While no photo inside the hall.
2. Do not skip the chance to photograph brilliantly colored, exquisite Mani Stone and mural, which are scattered along the road behind the temple.

Day  12  Lhasa  

After breakfast, enjoy the free time till our driver and tour guide see you off at airport or railway station for your next destination or home. Hope you have enjoyed your time in Tibet, and Tibet is there for your next come!

Package Details

Tour Package Includes:

 -- Tibet Entry Permit & Tibet Travel Permit: providing for free before your arrival,   freeshipping to you, while excluding Air or Urgent Express

-- Admissions: Entrance fee to all scenic spots listed in itinerary

-- Hotels: Accommodation in Tibet

-- Tour Guide: a local experienced English-speaking guide

-- Car Driver: an experienced licensed driver
-- Vehicle: a private air-conditioned car, offering Round-trip transfers
-- Luggage Transfers: a hand for your heavy luggage
-- Special Assistance: Local guide helps you to overcome any difficulty
-- Insurance: Travel Agencies Liability Insurance
-- Government taxes & Service charges

Tour Package Excludes:

-- Other optional attractions/ tours/ meals and international flights
-- Tips for tour guides and drivers

Tipping Policy in China