Archive for the ‘Tibet Travel’ Category

Drive from Tingri to Mt.Everest Base Camp (Tips, Photos & Map)

Monday, September 12th, 2022
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On August 25, together with other 24 group members on a 35-seat bus, after 5 hours’ bumpy driving for 108km, we successfully reached the Mt.Everest Base North Camp in Tibet ( Qomolangma Base Camp) and saw the unparalleled beauty of the snow-covered peak of Mt.Everest under a clear sky.

I’d like to make a trip report on our exciting trip, which may be helpful for those who have the same dream to view the highest mountain in the world at a shortest distance as a common tourist.

Pelbar (Baibacun) in Tingri is a launch pad for driving to EBC

Basically Tingri County is your starting point to go on with your road trip to Mt.Everest North Base Camp in Tibet. You either drive from Lhasa to Tingri ( via Shigatse ) or from Zhangmu (via Nepal).

We drive all all the way from from Lhasa to Yamdroke Lake, Nagarze, Gyantse, Shigatse and finally Tingri. Of course, Tingri County’s jurisdiction is large and you need to choose a specific place to recharge and prepare for the adventure road trip to Mr.Everest Base Camp.

Pelbar (Baibacun) in Tingri is a launch pad for the Mt.Everest North Base Camp (Google)

We choose the small township by the side of National Highway G318 known as Pelbar ( Baibacun, or Baiba Township). From the township at the National Highway 318 to the Mt. Everest Base Camp it would take 5 or 6 hours by bus for a 108km mountain road mainly due to the poor and bumpy dirt road, but 3 and half hours for a land cruiser.

Prepare for the adventure road trip

Yesterday (on August 24), we had a very easy schedule starting from Shigatse at 11:00am and arriving at Pelbar (Baiba Township) of Shegar Town in Tingri at 3:00pm. Later in the afternoon we either took a break at our lodging hotel – Qomolangma Hotel or wandered on the only street in the Baiba Township, grabbing some snacks and water, or bottled oxygen for the next day’s expedition.

Pelbar ( Baibacun) Township is a one-horse street.

We all agreed to get up early due to the long road trip the next day. To our pleasant surprise, Qomolangma Hotel was very cooperative and ready to provide breakfast or dinner at any time clients demanded. We planned to get up at 4:00am and set the breakfast at 4:30am the next day.

Though in August, in the early morning we all felt a little bit cold because of the day and night temperature difference on the plateau. Some of the tourists had bought bottled oxygen from the shops on the street in the township just in case. Sunglass, sunscreen, sun hats and water were basic for the long and hard road trip at an average sea-level of over 4000m.

Lugongong Police Checkpost in Pelbar

We set off at 5:30am from Qomolangma Hotel in Pelbar Township ( Baiba or Baibacun) in Tingri and it was still a little dark outside.

We left Baiba Township and drove along the National Highway 318 down to the south, then we had to stop for the security check at Lugonggong Police checkpoint. Everybody on the bus must get off and wait in line inside the check building for check one by one.

Lugongong Police Checkpost

After we came back from Mt.Everest Base Camp to Baiba Township, we would have to do the same check again. As a foreigner, you must have two permits – Travel Tibet Permit and Alien Travel Permit.

After finishing the security check and we all got on the bus again, and continued to drive about 7km along the National Highway 318, then we saw a signboard pointing to the special road forking from the main asphalt road to Mt.Everest. Now we knew we were about to be on the bumpy road to fulfil our dream.

Embarking on the road to the Mt.Everest North Base Camp

A signboard pointing to the special road forking from the main asphalt road to Mt.Everest Base Camp. Also a huge signboard stands there welcomging all travelers.

The moment we drove on the mountain road, we realized that why the 100km Everest Base Camp Road would take 5 or 6 hours for a bus trip. The dirt road condition was terrible, tough, harsh, bumpy like a washing board with a corrugated surface and some full of dirt holes!

Embarking on the road to the Mt.Everest Base Camp

Bumpy like a washing board with a corrugated surface and the road condtions are not good.

Not long we had to stop again to have our entrance tickets checked for Qomolangma (Mt.Everest) Nature Reserve at the checkpoint in the first village on our 100km road trip.

Entrance tickets checked for Qomolangma (Mt.Everest) Nature Reserve: 180 yuan per person.

Two hours’ ascent  drive to the Gyawula Pass 5210m

Now we began to have about two hours’ ascent drive along the rugged dirt road up to the pass – Gyawula Pass (加乌拉山口). Some crazy climbers would get up in small hours and get to the Pass to catch the sunrise over Mt.Everest! We were very lucky that the sky was clear with a fine day.

We had to endure endless twists and turns, and hairpin bends.

All of us expected to be on the platform on the Gyawula Pass to see Mt.Everest and other high peaks. For this, we had to endure endless twists and turns, and hairpin bends which elevated us little by little towards the azure sky and the pass.

The Gyawula Pass 5210m

Just over the Gywula Pass 5210m, there is an open platform for people to park and view the magnificent Mt.Everest and other peaks. All of us were amazed by the view unfolding before us and couldn’t belive the beautiful views of the snow mountains were real! It was so beautiful!

View Mt.Everest from Gyawula Pass 5210m

At Gyawula Pass (5210m), the entrance of Himalaya, on a find and clear day, you can view the panorama of Himalaya range and see 4 mountains which are over 8000m high, namely Mt. Lhotse (8516m), Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Qowowuyag (8201m) and Mt. Mayalu (8463m).

Gyawula Pass is the most luxuary platform to see the 4 over 8000m high peaks.

We were busy taking pictures of the fantastic beauty of highest mountains in the world. On a find day, people can clearly see Mt.Everest, and other three over 8000m high peaks, 4 of total 14 over 8000m high peaks in the world.

People can clearly see Mt.Everest from the platform on Gyawula Pass.

Drive from Gywula Pass 5210m to Mt.Everest North Base Camp

Now still excited, we started to drive down the pass toward the base. “Hiking up is easy, but hiking down is difficult”. We had to drive slowly along the zigzag roads. The scenery was magnificent with solemn Himalayan hillsides framing here and there on the way.

The magnificent view of Great Himalaya Range

We passed small Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen wandering across the wide arid plains, yaks, wild rabbits, wild sheep, dzopkyos (yak-cow hybrids),  and awe-inspiring mountain peaks – a paradise on earth!

We are passing through Pagsum Hamlet

Checkpoint at the last Village

The checkpoint at the last Village – Quzong Hamlet (Quzong Village) before we reached Mt.Everest Base Camp, we again had to go through the border check at the checkpost at Quzhong Village, the last village on the way to the base.

The border check at the checkpoint at Quzhong Village, the last village on the way to the base.

Rongbuk Monastery 5154m

After Quzong Village, we drove along the valley leading to Rongbuk Monastery. On the way, we saw some travelers rode bikes to the camp. Rongbuk Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Nyingma sect. Now there are some nuns and monks living in the temple. The monastery is located by the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier at 5,154m.

Biking to Mt.Everest Base Camp
The four-wheel driving to EBC

It is the highest religious building in the world. Now it provides some basic accommodations for climbers. Rongbuk Monastery is considered as a gateway to Mt. Everest. From this good location you get breathtaking views of the magnificent Mt.Everest.

We are driving past Rongbuk Monastery 8km north of EBC
We continue to drive and the huge chunk of Mt.Everest is looming over us.

Tent community (Za-Rombuk)

The Mt.Everrest Base Camp is about 8km south of Rongbuk Monastery. In the middle of the way between the Camp and the Monastery, there is a “Tent Community”, also known in the tourist book as “Za-Rombuk”. The “tent community” is set up by locals for 6 months of each year.

Tent community (Za-Rombuk), 4 km north of EBC

You can choose a bed, take some blankets, or use blanket yourself and go to sleep. There is no running tape water, but each tent usually takes water from the local snow-melt stream sand has a barrel in the tent. The toilets are the standard squat over a hole in the ground.

Rows of Tents in the valley of Tent Community

The tents in Za-Rombuk seems cozy and warmer, and friendly. Trekkers and leisure travelers share their temporary home. The tents are windproof, spacious. Heating comes from the stove in the middle of the room which burns yak and goat dung.

The tents in Za-Rombuk seems cozy and warmer, and friendly.

A glympse of one of the tents in the Tent Community

The Tent community is also a parking lot as well a leisure place for relaxation. We parked our bus in the tent community area. From the “Tent Community”, we had to take the local  shuttle bus (environment protection bus ) to the real Camp, about 4km south of the Tent Community.

Change for the local shuttle bus for the last 4 km getting to Qomolangma North Base Camp
We are approaching Mt.Everest North Base Camp

Mt.Everest North Base Camp 5200m

When we reached the Mt.Everest Base camp, everybody again had to go through security check lining up at the small room by the entrance to the base camp. Once inside the compound of the base, people were allowed to ascend a hill to have a clear view of the magnificent Mt.Everest.

Again going through another security check at the Base Camp

Normal tourists were not allowed to go down the hill to climb Mt.Everest. It was not the best time for Mt.Everest climbing, so there were no tents here in the base camp. Now it is in August, not a perfect time for Mt.Everest climbers, so there are no tents in the Qomolangma North Base Camp.

This is the Mt.Everest North Base Camp Site ( No tents due to the non-climbing season)

March to Mary, September and October are the best season for Mt.Everest climbing. The Rongbuk river flows through the valley, constituting an amazing view of water, peaks, blue sky…

Mt.Qomolangma (Mt.Everest) 8844.43
People were crazy about Mt.Everest.

Tingri Overland to Mt.Everest North Base Camp Travel Tips:

1. Better for a small group using a land cruiser instead of bus tour
2. Ready for Bottled oxygen if you are not confident about your health
3. Water and snacks
4. Sunglass, sunscreen, altitude sickness medicine
5. Good sleep the day before
6. Suggested to stay in Tingri for overnight
7. Alien Travel Permit for Mt.Everest Base Camp
8. Clothes for temperature difference

9. Best time: March, May, September and October

Hassle-free Lhasa & Tibet Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Lhasa and Tibet:

Lhasa Tour
Tibet Travel
Lhasa Tibet Group Tour
Lhasa Tibet Private Tour
Beijing Lhasa Tour
Lhasa China Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Lhasa
Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa
Lhasa Tourist Traps, Tourist Scams Lhasa
Where to stay in Lhasa
Makye Ame Lhasa Restaurant – Your Kitchen in Lhasa
Lhasa Airport, Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience, Xian Lhasa Flight
Lhasa Railway Station Transportation, Taxi, Public Bus
Get around in Lhasa with Pedicab or Trishaw
lhasa Taxi
Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

4-Wheel Drive Trip from Lhasa to Ranwu
Tips for Visiting Drak Yerpa (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Pilgrim Kora in Lhasa, Lhasa Pilgrim circuits
How to Visit Sera Monastery in Lhasa
Beijing Road in Lhasa
Lhasa River in the City of Lhasa (Tips, Photos & Map)
Lhasa Great Mosque, the Mosques in Lhasa
Lhasa Yamdrok-Tso Lake Road Trip

Qushui Bridge in Qushui County, Tibet (Tips, Photos & Map)
Nagarzê County and Scenic Road Trip to Gyantse
Gyantse County and Road Trip to Shigatse
Shigatse Trip (Tips, Photos & Map)
Shigatse Lhatse Tingri Road Trip
Drive from Tingri to Mt.Everest Base Camp
Gangkar Town ( Gangga Town ), Tingri County
Tingri County (Tips, Photos & Maps)
Nyalam Town & Nyalam County (Tips, Photos & Maps)
Zhangmu Port & Zhangmu Town (Tips, Photos & Maps)

Any questions, just drop a line.

Tips for Visiting Drak Yerpa (Tips, Photos & Map)

Thursday, August 11th, 2022
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Plan your Lhasa Tour? In addition to including such stereotyped visits covering Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Temple, Norbulingka and so on, don’t forget to add an excursion to Drak Yerpa Monastery, which is located about 30km northeast to the city center of Lhasa.

There are two popular Tibetan verses in relation to Drak Yerpa. One verse says that “While Tibet‘s holy place is in Lhasa, Lhasa’s holy place in Drak Yerpa”. Another verse goes like that “Visiting Lhasa without going to Drak Yerpa is just like making a new clothe without adding the collar”. These two verses pinpoint the importance of Drak Yerpa in the hearts of the common Tibetan pilgrims.

I’ve done a little research about Drak Yerpa’s origin. The Drak Yerpa Monastery was first built as one of the meditation temples by Songtsen Gampo for his Nepalese Princess, Bhrikuti. The monastery was named after the valley where it was situated. Later many buddhist masters came here for meditation including the masters from India. Now Drak Yerpa has become one of the four meditation areas in Tibet.

Drak Yerpa Monastery is a hermitage built on a hillside of the mountain at the altitude of 4885 meters. The hermitage is composed of many meditation caves. Some say there are now still 80 meditation left on the hillside. Some houses were built to accommodate the caves, hence cave temples. So actually Drak Yerpa is a cave monastery. Many buddhist statues in the house or the temple were caved from natural rocks.

Drak Yerpa located about 30km northeast of Potala Palace

This morning we set off eastward at 9:30am from Lhasa city center along Nachan Road. It is a scenic drive with Lhasa River on our left side. Lhasa River is one of the important tributaries of Yalu Tsangpo, the mother river of Lhasa.

It is a scenic drive with Lhasa River on our right side

Since Drak Yerpa is located at the sea level of 4885 meters while the city of Lhasa at the altitude of 3600 meters, the big altitude difference means that we have to drive upward along the zigzag mountains.

About half hour later we drive through the Nachanla Pass at the alititude of 4500 meters. The pass is decorated with numerous prayer flags.

Drive through the Nachanla Pass at the alititude of 4500 meters

Crossing the pass, we drive down to the Yerpa Village where we are going to turn to the northeast and drive in the Yerpa Valley up towards to Drak Yerpa Monastery.

So at the Yerpa Village, we have to goodbye to Lhasa River running east to Lhasa.

We have to goodbye to Lhasa River running east

This is the Yerpa Village, a Tibetan village, which is located along the Yerpa Valley.

Later we are told that many monks are from Yerpa Village. The monks are fed by their families down in the village.

This is the Yerpa Village, a Tibetan village

At the main road forks in the Yerpa Village, we branch off the main road leading to Lindrup County, we turn left into the Yerpa Valley for another 15km mountain road drive to our destination – Drak Yerpa.

There is a signboard at the fork indicating the direction to Drak Yerpa with distance and altitude information.

There is a signboard at the fork indicating the direction to Drak Yerpa

The 15km mountain road is divided into two sections – the first 5 km road built with asphalt while the rest 10km road is poorly paved with gravels and crushed stones, the macadam pavement. 

The 15km drive is accompanied by the stunning views on the both sides. We still see some village houses located in the valley sparsely.

The first 5 km road built with asphalt

The Drak Yerpa is in sight! It is located on the hillside of the mountain in the northeast side of the Yerpa Valley with the peaks covere by white clouds accompanied by huge number of prayer flags to its west.

The Drak Yerpa is in sight!

We are closing in on the Drak Yerpa and high on the winding mountain road.

I turn my head and catch a beautiful view of the valley we have just passed and the distant Lhasa River. The barley fields are formed in the beautiful terraces.

Catch a beautiful view of the valley

A mountain of five coloured prayer flags.

A mountain of five coloured prayer flags.

We are approaching the parking lot of Drak Yerpa. A signboard standing by the parking lot tells we are near our destination.

We are approaching the parking lot of Drak Yerpa

People begin to get off the bus and are amazed by the stunning views on the all directions.

People begin to get off the bus and are amazed by the stunning views on the all directions.

I stand on the parking lot and take this picture. High on the hillside dotted by brilliant house temples and caves. Also we find lots of collapsed houses.

People can imagine that in its prime period, there would be more caves and temples accommodating more monks in Drak Yerpa.  

High on the hillside dotted by brilliant house temples and caves

The temple houses are built on the hillside accommodating the caves.

The temple houses are built on the hillside accommodating the caves.

More temple houses clung to the hillside.

More temple houses clung to the hillside

A close look at a hillside temple

A close look at a hillside temple

Due to high altitue and limted travel time, we decide to climb up to visit only one nearest temple. The entrance fee for Drak Yerpa is RMB30 per person.

We start to climb the steps up to the temple, a few local Tibetan vendors waiting for us on the path selling prayer flags to be hung high up on the prayer area to the west of the dotted temple houses.

They charge RMB 25 for a dozen of prayer flags. They will have the prayer flags hung people have just bought to the prayer flag area.

a few local Tibetan vendors waiting for us on the path selling prayer flags

We are climbing on the steps leading to the first temple clung to the hillside. People have to walk slowly because of the high altitude.

We are climbing on the steps leading to the first temple

People are turning the prayer wheels clockwise and walking toward the unknown temple.

People are turning the prayer wheels clockwise

People are entering the red and white temple house.

People are entering the red and white temple house

The visit to the unknown temple turns out to be a very good experience.

The monk in charge of the small cave temple allows us to take photos inside and have a nice talk with all the people visiting his temple.

People are having a nice talk with the monk
We are allowed to take pictures insde the cave temple
Rock carving statue inside the cave temple

After finishing the visit to the temple, we start to enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains – Alpine meadows.

Alpine meadow on the mountain opposite the mountain where Drak Yerpa is located.
Alpine meadow on the mountain

Before we walk down to the parking lot and finish our Drak Yerpa tour, we have a final look at the valley viewed from high on the hillside.

we have a final look at the valley high on the hillside

Drak Yerpa Travel Tips

During tourism peak season in Lhasa, there are public buses going to Drak Yerpa with the bus terminal near the square of Jokhang Temple. If you visit Drak Yerpa in winter, you are able to enjoy the snow view on the mountains.

Hassle-free Lhasa Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Lhasa:

Lhasa Tour
Lhasa Tibet Group Tour
Lhasa Tibet Private Tour
Beijing Lhasa Tour
Lhasa China Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Lhasa
Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa
Lhasa Tourist Traps, Tourist Scams Lhasa
Where to stay in Lhasa
Makye Ame Lhasa Restaurant – Your Kitchen in Lhasa
Lhasa Airport, Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience, Xian Lhasa Flight
Lhasa Railway Station Transportation, Taxi, Public Bus
Get around in Lhasa with Pedicab or Trishaw
lhasa Taxi
Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

4-Wheel Drive Trip from Lhasa to Ranwu
Tips for Visiting Drak Yerpa Monastery
The Pilgrim Kora in Lhasa, Lhasa Pilgrim circuits
Monks at Sera Je College at Sera Monastery in Lhasa
Beijing Road in Lhasa
A Fun to Walk along Lhasa River in the City of Lhasa
Lhasa Great Mosque, the Mosques in Lhasa
Lhasa Yamdrok-Tso Lake Road Trip

Qushui Bridge in Qushui County, Tibet (Tips, Photos & Map)
Nagarzê County and Scenic Road Trip to Gyantse
Gyantse County and Road Trip to Shigatse
Shigatse Trip (Tips, Photos & Map)
Shigatse Lhatse Tingri Road Trip
Drive from Tingri to Mt.Everest Base Camp
Gangkar Town ( Gangga Town ), Tingri County
Tingri County (Tips, Photos & Maps)
Nyalam Town & Nyalam County (Tips, Photos & Maps)
Zhangmu Port & Zhangmu Town (Tips, Photos & Maps)

Any questions, just drop a line.

Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa (Tips, Photos & Map)

Friday, January 7th, 2022
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Plan your Lhasa tour? The listed top 10 attractions in Lhasa are solicited from the visitors we’ve escorted in the past. If you have more time available in Lhasa after visiting these big draw attractions, you are bestowed with many more things to do during your stay in Lhasa.

Lhasa Tourist Map

It’s always good to have some advice and recommendations from friends who have visited Lhasa.

Top 1:  Potala Palace

The Potala Palace is located in the middle of Lhasa city. The name of the palace was taken from Mount Potala, the living place of the Goddess of Mercy. The palace was first built by King Songtsen Gampo in 637 for the purpose of greeting his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty in China.

During the reign of The Fifth Dalai Lama, the rebuilding of Potala Palace was started in 1645. Later the Dalai Lama and his government moved into Potala Palace in 1649. Today the Potala Palace has been turned into a museum. The Potala Palace was listed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.

Read my another article Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa for more information about finding a good angle to shoot the palace.

Potala Palace

The palace is 400 metres wide from east to west and 350 metres from north to south. It has the sloping stone walls with average 3 meters thick, and 5 meters thick at the base. There are 13 stories in the palace buildings, which accommodate more than 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues.

Top 2: Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple, the fist Buddhist temple in Tibet, is located in the center of Lhasa city. Jokhang temple was built during the reign of King Songsten Gampo to celebrate his marriage with Princess Wencheng of Chinese Tang Dynasty. For most Tibetans it is the most sacred and important temple in Tibet.

The Jokhang Temple, a massive building consisting of three floors and an open roof all filled with chapels and chambers, has undergone extensive reconstructions and additions since the 7th century.

On the open roof of Jokhang Temple

The architectural style is based on the Indian design, and was later extended resulting in a blend of Nepalese and Tang Dynasty styles. The main hall of the temple houses the Shakyamuni Buddha Statue, besides there are also famous statues of Chenresig, Padmsambhava and King Songtsan Gambo and his two famous foreign brides, Princess Wencheng of China and Princess Brikuti of Nepal.

Now it has been the most popular attraction in Lhasa and part of the UNESCO World Hentage Site “Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace” and a spiritual center of Lhasa

Top 4: Barkhor Street 

Barkhor Street is a historical and religious street surrounding Jokhang Temple and located in the downtown area of Lhasa. Barkhor Street is the most important and popular devotional kora(circuit), actually a pilgrim circumambulation.

Barkhor Street

Everyday local Tibetans come all part of Tibet to pray and walk around the Jokhang Temple. Most of them come from the remote villages or mountainous areas. They come here once a year.

Top 4: Norbulingka

Norbulingka is a park-style park the west of Lhasa city. Its construction was started in 1755. It was used as a summer resort as well as administrative centre and religious centre for the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s till the 14th Dalai Lama’s self-exile in 1959.

Norbulingka

In 2001, Norbulingka is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.It is a unique showcase of Tibetan palace architecture. Norbulingka park is regarded the first and best park in Tibet. Summer and autumn are at its best, becoming hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities.

Top 5: Namtso Lake

Namtso Lake literally means “the heavenly lake”, a mountain lake perched on the north of the Nyainqêntanglha range with a sea-level of 4,718m and a surface area of 1,920 square kilometres.

It is often quoted as the second largest salt lake (after Qinghai Lake) in China and the highest salt lake of the size in the world. Accompanied by the massive Nyainqêntanglha range, Namtso Lake appears like a charming lady, the most stunning body of water in Tibet.

 Namtso Lake

The best season to visit Namtso Lake is between June and September. Normally starting from October and November, Namtso Lake will be closed to tourists due to heavy snow. You may hire a SUV car with the help of the staffers from your hotel or inn. The cheapest way is to join in a shared coach organized by the local travel agencies.

Top 6: Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery is one of the three most important Gelukpa temple. It is located 2km north of Lhasa. The other two Gelupa temples are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery.” Sera” literally means wild rose in bloom, telling the fact that the temple was built on the hill covered with wild roses.Now there are over 3,000 monks living in Sera.

See my another article Monks at Sera Je College at Sera Monastery in Lhasa for more information.

The monks put on yellow hats

Sera is most well known for the lamas in the temple engaged in debating activity each afternoon starting from 3:000pm. The Sera Monastery is subject to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, established by Tsong Khapa.

Top 7: Drak Yerpa

In addition to including such stereotyped visits covering Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Temple, Norbulingka and so on, don’t forget to add an excursion to Drak Yerpa Monastery, which is located about 40km northeast to the city center of Lhasa.

There are two popular Tibetan verses in relation to Drak Yerpa. One verse says that “While Tibet‘s holy place is in Lhasa, Lhasa’s holy place in Drak Yerpa”. Another verse goes like that “Visiting Lhasa without going to Drak Yerpa is just like making a new clothe without adding the collar”. These two verses pinpoint the importance of Drak Yerpa in the hearts of the common Tibetan pilgrims.

Check out my another article Drak Yerpa, My trip to Drak Yerpa Monastery for more information.

High on the hillside dotted by brilliant house temples and caves

Drak Yerpa Monastery is a hermitage built on a hillside of the mountain at the altitude of 4885 meters. The hermitage is composed of many meditation caves. Some say there are now still 80 meditation left on the hillside. Some houses were built to accommodate the caves, hence cave temples. So actually Drak Yerpa is a cave monastery. Many buddhist statues in the house or the temple were caved from natural rocks.

Top 8: Tibet Museum 

Tibet Museum is the provincial museum of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is located in the west of the city of Lhasa, not far from Norbulingka and Lhasa Hotel. Its construction was completed on October 5, 1999. Tibet Museum is the first modern museum in the Tibet Autonomous Region. It has a huge collection relative to the cultural history of Tibet.

Tibet Museum 

With an area of more than 53,959 square meters, Tibet Museum is mainly in Tibet style such as Tibetan doors, beam-decoration, patterns and so on, aimed at creating the atmosphere of authentic Tibetan art.

Top 9: Drepung Monastery

Drepung Monastery is located at the foot of Mount Gephel, 5km northwest of Lhasa. It is one of the three Gelukpa temples in Lhasa with the other two being Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery. Drepung Temple is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries.

Drepung Monastery

At its peak, Drepung Temple was the largest temple in the world with over 10,000 monks. The tombs of the Dalai Lamas from second to fifth are buried in Drepung Monastery.

From 1645, when the Fifth Dalai Lama founded the Potala Palace as Tibet’s political and spiritual center, the bodies of later Dalai Lamas were entombed here instead.

Top 10: Lhasa River

As you know, almost each great city in the world has a great river. Lhasa is no exception. Lhasa River, the Mother River of Lhasa is one of te five major tributaries of Yalong Tsangpo River with a total length of 551 km. Lhasa River passes the south area of Lhasa City from east to west, then runs south and meets Tsangpo River at Qushui.

Read my another article A Fun to Walk along Lhasa River in the City of Lhasa for more information.

Lhasa River

The section of Lhasa River in the city proper of Lhasa appears like a big lake nestled at the mountains in the south of Lhasa City. In the lake like river, there two islands – Sun Island and Xianzu Island. Three north to south bridges connect the downtown of Lhasa, and the two islands are linked by one bridge.

Hassle-free Lhasa Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Lhasa:

Lhasa Tour
Tibet Travel
Lhasa Tibet Group Tour
Lhasa Tibet Private Tour
Beijing Lhasa Tour
Lhasa China Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Lhasa
Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa
Lhasa Tourist Traps, Tourist Scams Lhasa
Where to stay in Lhasa
Makye Ame Lhasa Restaurant – Your Kitchen in Lhasa
Lhasa Airport, Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience, Xian Lhasa Flight
Lhasa Railway Station Transportation, Taxi, Public Bus
Get around in Lhasa with Pedicab or Trishaw
lhasa Taxi
Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

4-Wheel Drive Trip from Lhasa to Ranwu
Tips for Visiting Drak Yerpa (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Pilgrim Kora in Lhasa, Lhasa Pilgrim circuits
How to Visit Sera Monastery in Lhasa
Beijing Road in Lhasa
Lhasa River in the City of Lhasa (Tips, Photos & Map)
Lhasa Great Mosque, the Mosques in Lhasa
Lhasa Yamdrok-Tso Lake Road Trip

Qushui Bridge in Qushui County, Tibet (Tips, Photos & Map)
Nagarzê County and Scenic Road Trip to Gyantse
Gyantse County and Road Trip to Shigatse
Shigatse Trip (Tips, Photos & Map)
Shigatse Lhatse Tingri Road Trip
Drive from Tingri to Mt.Everest Base Camp
Gangkar Town ( Gangga Town ), Tingri County
Tingri County (Tips, Photos & Maps)
Nyalam Town & Nyalam County (Tips, Photos & Maps)
Zhangmu Port & Zhangmu Town (Tips, Photos & Maps)

Any questions, just drop a line.