Lhasa is the cultural, religious and historical centre of Tibet, one of the world's most fascinating regions.

Journey in through the surrounding mountains, delve through the Chinese shell in which Lhasa is wrapped and plunge into its traditional old town and you will find a city still quintessentially Tibetan, in the face of so much recent trauma. Red flags might fly atop the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple, but no amount of Chinese exhibitions can mask the smell of burning incense, nor the flutter of colourful prayer flags or the aroma of sweet tea as it is downed by monks and locals alike in the city's bustling teahouses.

Watching the extraordinary devotion with which Tibetans from across the region file into the Jokhang Temple, having first circled the Barkhor Street, spinning prayer wheels or prostrating themselves along the floor, is a genuinely moving experience. Seeing the empty rooms of the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, vacated by the Dalai Lama and his followers in 1959, is a rather more melancholy and deeply-thought provoking one.

Head to the well-preserved Sera Monastery and you can see the resident monks take to the courtyard for their famous debating sessions, perhaps after completing a scenic half-day hike for deeper exploration and some fine views. Venture further out and you'll find more isolated monasteries, Nomadic people living traditional yak-herding lives and flourishing rivers ripe for rafting on.

Lhasa is the gateway to the rest of the Tibetan region, a starting point for a round trip to Mount Everest Base Camp and the final destination for the scenic 22 hour sleeper train from Xining.

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" Potala Palace " by Will De Freitas - licensed under CC BY

The Tibetan Discovery Tour - Holidays to China

China

Tibetan Discovery Tour

16 Nights from £5,191 €5,329 $5,748

Venture into Tibet to admire historic monasteries, lavish palaces and breathtaking landscapes and discover how this mysterious and holy land is adapting to…

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16 Nights from £5,191 €5,329 $5,748

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Welcome to Beijing

    Day 2 - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven

  2. Day 3 - Great Wall & Ming Tombs

  3. Day 4 - Beijing Summer Palace

  4. Day 5 - Bullet Train to Xi'an

    Day 6 - Xi'an City Tour

    Day 7 - Terracotta Army

  5. Day 8 - Transfer to Tibet

    Day 9 - Jokhang Temple & Drepung Monastery

    Day 10 - Potala Palace, Norbulingka & Sera Monastery

  6. Day 11 - Yamdrock Lake & Gyantse

    Day 12 - Tour of Shigatse Monastery & Palace

    Day 13 - Return to Lhasa by road

  7. Day 14 - Overnight scenic train to Xining

    Day 15 - Xining & Qinghai Lake

    Day 16 - Transfer to Beijing

    Day 17 - Return flight to UK

  8. Extend your trip

  9. Two night extension to Mount Everest Base Camp

The Mandarin Tour - Holidays to China

China

Mandarin Tour

22 Nights from £6,939 €7,426 $8,020

Journey across China and back to culturally-rich cities and storybook landscapes. Marvel at the Terracotta Army and Great Wall and see a giant Buddha and a…

The Mandarin Tour
Tours in China

22 Nights from £6,939 €7,426 $8,020

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Welcome to Beijing

    Day 2 - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven

  2. Day 3 - Great Wall & Ming Tombs

  3. Day 4 - Beijing Summer Palace

  4. Day 5 - Bullet Train to Xi'an

    Day 6 - Xi'an City Tour

    Day 7 - Terracotta Army

  5. Day 8 - Transfer to Tibet

    Day 9 - Jokhang Temple & Drepung Monastery

    Day 10 - Potala Palace, Norbulingka & Sera Monastery

  6. Day 11 - Transfer to Mount Emei

    Day 12 - Mount Emei tour

    Day 13 - Leshan Giant Buddha

  7. Day 14 - Panda Research Center

  8. Day 15 - Transfer to Longsheng

    Day 16 - Longji Rice Terraces

  9. Day 17 - Li River Cruise

    Day 18 - Hiking or cycling in Yangshuo

  10. Day 19 - Transfer to Shanghai

    Day 20 - Highlights of Shanghai

    Day 21 - Shanghai at leisure

  11. Day 22 - Suzhou's Classical Gardens

    Day 23 - Return flight to UK

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