Archive for the ‘Lhasa Travel’ Category

Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa, Top 10 Things to Do in Lhasa

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
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 There are so many great places to see in and around Lhasa that it’s important to check out the most popular attractions for your short Lhasa Tour.

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

The top 10 Lhasa attractions are listed below in order of popularity based on the visitor in latest available numbers. If you have more time after visiting these great attractions,  you still have many more things to do during your stay in Lhasa.

Top #01:  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, Potala Palace wasthe 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.

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.

Check out the link: Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

Lhasa Potala Palace

Top #02: Jokhang Temple
The Jokhang Temple is located within the Barkhor Street in the downtown of Lhasa city. The temple was first constructed during the reign of king Songsten Gampo. It was founded to please Bhrikuti – the Nepalese princess. 

It was recorded that many Nepalese artists came to build the temple.For most Tibetans Jokhang Monastery is the most holy and important temple in Tibet.

Jokhang Temple

 

Now Jokhang Temple was under the control of the Gelug school.In 2000, Jokhang Temple was added to the list as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Potala Palace, a spiritual centre of Lhasa.

Top #3: 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 #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 coming 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 #5: 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.

 

Sera Monastery


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 #6: 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 buired 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 #7: 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 #8: Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake is located at the sea level of over 4000 meters with a surface area of 1,920 square kilometres. 

Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa


The salt lake is the kargest lake in Tibet.Namtso Lake boasts of fice islands of different sizes. The weather at Namtso Lake is prone to abrupt sudden change. Snowstorms are very common in this region.

Top #09: Yangbajing
Yangbajing is a town about 90km north-west of Lhasa city. The town is located in a green valley just south of the Nyainqêntanglha Mountains.This area is famous for the Yangbajing hot springs, which have been used to generate much of the electricity for the city of Lhasa. There is a thermoelectric power plant on the edge of the Yangbajing hot springs area.

The thermoelectric power plant was founded in 1977. It is the first plant for development of geothermal power not only in Tibet but in the whole China.The Yangbajing hot springs field is at the sea level of 4290–4500 meters. It is the highest altitude plant of hot springs in China.  The water feels at 30 degrees, which is above the boiling point at that sea-level.

 

 Yangbajing

Yangbajing

Top #10: Ramoche Temple
Ramoche Temple is a buddhist monastery, regarded as an important temple just after Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. It is located to east of the Potala Palace and north of the Jokhang Temple.It is often called “Minor Jokhang Temple”.As the sister temple to the Jokhang Temple,  Ramoche temple was completed about the same time as Jokhang Temple.

Ramoche Temple


T
ip : Hassle-free Lhasa  Guided Tours

06611If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Lhasa guided tours:

4 Days Lhasa City Tour  Starting RMB 2500
5 Days Lhasa Namtso Lake Tour  Starting RMB 3390 p/p
6 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Tour  Starting RMB 3950 p/p
8 Days Lhasa Mt.Everest Kathmandu Tour  Starting RMB 5540 p/p
9 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Everest Namtso Group Tour  Starting RMB 6110 p/p
8 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt.Everest Tour  Starting RMB 5230 p/p

Further Readings


Any questions, just drop  a line.

Lhamo – Tibetan Art and Wisdom

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
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Lhamo, literally, “sister goddess”,  refers to Tibetan folk opera. The Tibetan Opera combines dancing, singing and chanting and songs. Its repertoire comes manly from three parts – folk dances; folk dialogues and songs; Buddhist rituals and arts.

Tibetan Lhamo has a history of over 600 years, back to in the 14th century when it was founded by Thang Tong Gyalpo,  a Lama of Kagyu sect and a bridge builder. He aspired to build bridges over the rivers in the Tibetan Plateau for the benefit of the all.

He recruited 7 beautiful girls who were good at singing and dancing and organized a troupe for the performances to raises the funds for the bridge construction. These performances resulted in the making of the original Tibetan Opera, popularly known as “Lhamo” – the 7 beautiful girls.

Tibetan Folk Opera was greatly developed in the 17th century thanks to the support by the 5th Dalai Lama. It gradually formed a primary set dominated by singing and coupled with reciting, dancing and acting, incorporated into folk singing and dancing and routine life performances. On May 20, 2006, Lhamo ( Tibetan Opera ) was listed as China’s first group of National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

 

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Tibetan Folk Opera (Lhamo)

Plan your Lhasa tour, don’t miss the chance to watch Lhamo, the Tibetan Folk Opera!

All photos from Internet. For any question, just drop a line.

 

4-Wheel Drive Trip from Lhasa to Ranwu

Friday, March 8th, 2013
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Lhasa – Bayi – Lulang – Ranwu 4 Wheel Drive Trip
(Total 768km one way drive)

Are you in the process of arranging your Lhasa tour or Tibet tour? Tibet is difficult to explore on a short trip since it is quite huge in size, the second largest provincial-level region in China, just after Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Basically Tibet is officially classified into 6 tourism zones: 1) Lhasa Historical and Cultural Center Tourism Area; 2) Mt. Everest Eco Tourism Area;3) Linzhi (Nyingchi) Forest Eco Tourism; 4) Shannan Yalong River Cultural Scenic Area; 5) Ali Holy Mountains and Lakes Area; 6) Nanqu Grassland Eco Tourism Area.

Just a few words about these officially claimed six tourism zones;

Lhasa Historical and Cultural Center Tourism Area

This area is simply called Lhasa Area. Lhasa Area is the most visited place in Tibet. First time visitors coming to Tibet cannot afford to miss the capital city of Tibet. A general Lhasa tour normally takes you approx. 4-5 days, visiting a handful of impressive attractions such as Potala Palace, Bahkhor Street, Sea Temple…

Mt. Everest Eco Tourism Area

Called Mt.Everest Area for short. Glimpsing the EBC, the Mount Everest Base, is a dream of many tourists. Make an extended tour to Mounta Everest either from Shigatse or from Zhangmu fort bordering Nepal. 2 days are necessary to drive up to the base of Mr.Everest mountain area and back.

Linzhi (Nyingchi) Forest Eco Tourism
Dubbed as “Swiss Landscape”, Linzhi boasts the most beautiful mountain in China – Namcha Barwa or Namchabarwa and the most beautiful glacier – Midui Glacier and Lulang Forest.

Ali Holy Mountains and Lakes Area

Short for Ali Area, this region is a mecca for Tibetan Buddhists. Circling the holy mountain – Mount Kailash is the must-do buddhist event for many local Tibetans.

Nanqu Grassland Eco Tourism Area

Also known as North Tibet Area. This area is famous for its vast and wild area typified by grasslands, lakes and gobi. In this area, most people know more about Namtso Lake than Naqu itsself. You can have a 4-wheel drive day trip to Namtso Lake.

The Linzhi (Nyingchi) Forest Eco Tourism boasts the most scenic travel route of the all the tourism zones where you will see the most beautiful mountain in China – Namcha Barwa in Lulang and the most beautiful glacier in China – Midui Glacier in Ranwu.

We made a 4-wheel drive trip from Lhasa to Ranwu last October and the amazing driving experience still lingers in my mind. Well, follow me to drive cross the dreamland again!

We drive eastwards along the Chuanzang Highway (Sichuan Tibet Highway). Completed in 1958, the Chuanzang Highway is 2115km long starting from Chengdu, which is also part of the 5476km National Highway No.318 starting from Shanghai to Zhangmu Town.

Lhasa River, the mother river of Lhasa, accompanies us on our left side running down from the south side of Nyainqêntanglha range. Lhasa River 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.

The autumn view of the crystal waters of Lhasa River with the bald and dark mountains reflected on the river.

The autumn view of the crystal waters of Lhasa River

The autumn view of the crystal waters of Lhasa River

At the distance of 69km from Lhasa(within Maizhokunggar County), we get off at the site of the birth place of Songtsan Gampo (604 AD – 650 AD), the founder of the Tibetan Empire.
Birth place of Songtsan Gampo (604 AD - 650 AD)

Birth place of Songtsan Gampo (604 AD – 650 AD)

We continue to drive along the Chuanzang Highway (also called National Highway 318).
the Chuanzang Highway (also called National Highway 318)

the Chuanzang Highway (also called National Highway 318)

At the distance of 156km, we reach the Mila Pass (5013m), the highest point on the way from Lhasa to Ranwu.
the Mila Pass (5013m)

the Mila Pass (5013m)

All the passing by travelers stop for a break at the pass. Three statues of Yaks stand high on the platform by the Mila Pass to welcome visitors coming afar.
Three statues of Yaks stand high on the platform by the Mila Pass

Three statues of Yaks stand high on the platform by the Mila Pass

Driving down the pass, we are amazed to see the Tibetans prostrating all the way to Lhasa.
the Tibetans prostrating all the way

the Tibetans prostrating all the way

On the route, we meet quite a few travelers challenging themselves by cycling on the high elevation paved highway.
Cycling on the high elevation paved highway

Cycling on the high elevation paved highway

The Mila Pass is the division line between the Lhasa River and the Nyang River. The Nyang River is 307.5 km long and originates at 5,000 meters above the sea level from the Cuomuliangla, west of the Mila Mountain. The river meets the Yarlung Tsangpo in Cemeng, Nyingchi. So from Mila Pass, the river on our left side is not Lhasa River, instead, it is the beautiful Nyang River.
Escorted by Nyang River and colored by the autumn leaves, we continue to drive to our destination today – Lulang Town.
Escorted by Nyang River and colored by the autumn leaves

Escorted by Nyang River and colored by the autumn leaves

At the distance of 262km (within Gongbogyamda County), we get off at the sight of the massive Rock Pillar ( sea-level 3600m ) in the middle of the Nyang River. The Rock Pillar has a beautiful Chinese name – 中流砥柱 which implies a mainstay or a tower of strength.
At the distance of 410km, we pass by Bayi Town (Bayi or Bayizhen),  the capital of Nyingchi County. It lies on the Nyang River at an altitude of 2994 metres. It is a characterless new town built on the ancient village of Drakchi.

Nyingchi, which literally means “throne of the sun” in Tibetan has a relatively lower altitude bestowed with the green mountain slopes, snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear rivers. Nyingchi is dubbed as “Switzerland of Tibet”. The county boasts  the Namjiagbarwa Peak, and the Yarlung Zangbo Great Canyon, and the abundant nature resources.

At the distance of 457km in the late afternoon, we reach the Serjila Pass (the Seche La Pass) at the elevation of 5020m where we are lucky to see the golden summit of Namcha Barwa Mountain (or Namchabarwa and the Namjiagbarwa Peak). Namchabarwa (7787m) is selected as the most beautiful mountain in China.

The Serjila Pass, or the Seche La Pass (5020m)

The Serjila Pass (5020m)

The Serjila Pass (5020m)

The golden summit of Namcha Barwa Mountain
The golden summit of Namcha Barwa Mountain

The golden summit of Namcha Barwa Mountain

At the distance of 482km, we get to Lulang Town. Today we stay overnight at Lulang Town. Lulang is a two-horse town, nestled between the mountainous peaks with the vast expanse of trees (dubbed as Lulang Forest Sea). The so called town is a handful of basic houses and bungalows lined along the Chuanzang Highway.

Early next morning, we have a stroll around the two-horse town before continuing to drive to our destination of Ranwu today.

Lulang is a two-horse town

Lulang is a two-horse town

From Lulang Town to Ranwu Town, we have to pass through the most dangerous road on the way – Tongmaitianxian (Tongmai Dangerous Road), which is very dangerous with the average width ranging from 6m to 7m, difficult for two vehicles to pass in opposite directions. We successfully drive along the death road – Tongmaitianxian.
We successfully drive along the death road - Tongmaitianxian.

We successfully drive along the death road – Tongmaitianxian.

We choose the Tongmai Town for lunch. Tongmai is a booming town teeming with inns and restaurants.
Tongmai is a booming town teeming with inns and restaurants.

Tongmai is a booming town teeming with inns and restaurants.

After lunch, we continue to along the National Highway 318 from Tongmai to Bomi, and further to Ranwu Town – our final destination. This is a scenic and sightseeing driving road.

The landscape along the roadside is particularly beautiful. The scenic highway boasts the far snow mountains, glaciers, primitive forest, pristine villages and crystal rivers.
The landscape along the roadside is particularly beautiful

The landscape along the roadside is particularly beautiful

About 30km to the west of our final destination of Ranwu, we turn to the south driving along the mountain road, then change for a horse ride and get to the foot of the most beautiful glacier in China – Midui Glacier with various styles and beautiful conformation. It is a rare natural wonder.

The most beautiful glacier in China – Midui Glacier

the most beautiful glacier in China - Midui Glacier

the most beautiful glacier in China – Midui Glacier

Midui Glacier is a rare natural wonder
Midui Glacier is a rare natural wonder

Midui Glacier is a rare natural wonder

Before we reach our final destination of Ranwu Town at the distance of 768km from Lhasa, we visit the Ranwu Lake which has the reputation of “Swiss Landscape”,  It is wonderful combination of the Swiss Alps snow peaks and glaciers. The melted snow and ice is the water source for the lake.
Ranwu Lake

Ranwu Lake

Stay overnight in Ranwu Town at the distance of 768 from Lhasa.
Any questions, just drop a line.