Archive for the ‘Tibet Travel’ Category

Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021
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Plan your Lhasa tour? Visiting Potala Palace is one of your highlights in your Lhasa trip. Many visitors would like to take some photos of Potala Palace bringing their memory back home. There are many places to view and photograph Potala Palace sitting on a hill in the heart of Lhasa city.

You may walk around Potala Palace in a clockwise direction, a religion kora (The Pilgrim Kora in Lhasa) and take some pictures of Potala Palace from different angles and spots. Wandering on the path circling Potala Palace takes you approxi. 40 minutes.

There two best places to have an overview of Potala Palace for pictures taking – the Medicine King Hill and Palubuk Rock Temple both to the southwest of the palace. It takes you 2 yuan to take photos on the viewing platform on the hill. The entrance to Palubuk Temple costs you 20 yuan.

Shooting Potala Palace on the Medicine King Hill

This is the entrance gate leading up to the sightseeing platform on the Medicine King Hill to the southwest of Potala Palace, just a few minutes’s walk from the west gate of the palace.

I zoom in and have a clear and bigger picture of Potala Palace standing on a hill slope, which is mainly composed of two parts – the White Palace and the Red Palace. The White Palace is the former residence of the Dalai Lama. The Red Palace accommodates the Spirit Pagodas.

I zoom in and have a clear and bigger picture of Potala Palace

I zoom in and have a clear and bigger picture of Potala Palace from the Medicine King Hill
I zoom out and have a distant view of Potala Palace with its square to the south.

Shooting Potala Palace from Palubuk Temple

To the southwest of the palace, walking a road rimming the west foot of the Medicine King Hill, soon you will see a temple standing the hilllside. This is the Palubuk temple, a kind of temple built on the rock in the hill.

Palubuk Temple was built during the King Songtsan Gampo’s Time, and has a long history over 1200 years. It is said that the statues of Shakyamuni and his disciples were carved naturally from the rcok in the hill.  The King Songtsan Gampo and his two sons all had lived in this temple.

Now we are inside the courtard of the temple and follow the arrow, walk on the steps leading to the different storeys of the temple.

follow the arrow, walk the steps leading to the different storeys of the temple.

Have a clear and overall picture of Potala Palace from the top floor of the temple.

Have a clear and overall picture of Potala Palace from the top floor of the temple

Shooting Potala Palace from its different sides

Walk around the Potala Place gives you the chance to snap the shots of the temple in different angles. Actually if you have the circular walk in a clockwise direction, you step on a perform kora.

In Lhasa, there are four major kora (cirsuits) – Inner Kora, Middle Kora, Outer Kora and Potala Palace Kora.

Shooting Potala Palace from its southeast side.
Shooting Potala Palace from its southwest side.
Shooting from the middle at its south
Doves and the palace

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.

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

Monday, October 11th, 2021
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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.

How to Visit Sera Monastery in Lhasa (Tips, Photos & Map)

Friday, October 8th, 2021
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Plan your Lhasa tour? For many first-time Lhasa visitors, Sera Monastery is one of the highlights in Lhasa. It is located 6km north of downtown Lhasa.

Sera Monastery is located about 6km north of Potala Palace (Google Map)

Brief History of Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery is known as one of the three major monasteries in Lhasa. The other two are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery. Sera Monastery is the last one of the three major monasteries.

The Entrance to Sera Monastery

The Sera Monastery is mainly composed of the Great Assembly Hall and three colleges (Tratsang). Its construction started in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey of Sakya Yeshe of Zel Gungtang (1355–1435) and completed 1434.

The Great Assembly Hall

There are some precious olde murals in the main hall and the buildings around it in Sera Temple. It is best to bring a flashlight or headlamp for easy appreciation.

The Great Assembly Hall

There are also tens of thousands of Vajra Buddha statues preserved in the temple, some locally made and a few brought from the mainland or India.

Sera Je College

Sera Monastery has three colleges (Tratsang), including Sera Me College (Tratsang), Sera Je College and Ngkapa Tratsang.

Monks ready to eat inside the hall at Sera Je College

The Sera Je College is the largest among three.  The Sera Je College (Tratsang) takes an area of over 17,000 square metres. It was originally a three-storey building; a fourth floor was put in the 18th century by protecting the building with a total of 100 columns.

Eating barley porridge

Luckily I was allowed to take photos inside the hall of Je College (Tratsangthe) temple after paying CNY25. To our delight, our visit coordinated with  a large gathering of monks. 

Monks learning at Sera Je College

Theoretically speaking, I could take as many photos as I can. But being afraid of disturbing the statues of the Hayagriva, Chenresig or Avalokiteshwara and more deities, I only took just a few pictures.

Sera Monastery Monk Debate

Sera’s debate has been known in Tibetan areas and the debate itself is a big draw for visitors to come to visit Sera Temple. The ceremony of Sera’s debate is held in the north debate field of the temple.

Sera Monastery Monk Debate

Basically there will be so many people watching the debate that you need to get there a bit earlier to have a good seat or space to watch them.

Sera Monastery Monk Debate

The debate usually starts at three p.m. and ends at five p.m. However, on Sundays and special occasions, there is no debate. The monks tend to sit on the floor and another one is stand on the opposite with exaggerated debate scripture action which looks very interesting.

The Panoramic View of Lhasa

The back of Sera Mountain has a high altitude where you can watch the panoramic of Lhasa on the top of the mountain. It is really a resort for mountain-lovers. Every year at Shoton Festival, the Sunbathing Buddha Festival will be held here

The back of Sera Mountain has a high altitude

The relative height of the mountain is about 500 meters, climbing it will take about four hours, requires a certain physical strength. Visitors who are in poor physical strength or easy to get altitude stress are not recommend to climb to the summit.

The entire circumference of Sera Temple

The entire circumference of Sera Temple is about 1.5 km. The layout of Sera Temple is that the Cuoqin hall is in the center and numerous buildings are scattered around the major hall.

Tibetans in the temple

Different from mainland Chinese Buddhist architecture, Sera is not axial symmetrical layout, but scattered in the mountains.

How to get there & Entrance Fees

Enquiry Phone Number: 0891-6383639
Suggested visiting time: 1-3 hours
Public buese: Take bus no. 6, 16, 24 and get off at Sera Temple Station

Entrance fee: 50 yuan
Opening Hours: 8:30-17:00 (January 1 – December 31, Monday – Sunday)
Address: 1 Salad Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa

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 (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Pilgrim Kora in Lhasa, Lhasa Pilgrim circuits
How to Visit 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

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.