Norbulingka Park, Lhasa
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa
After arrival at Lhasa Gonggar Airport, which is 3,650 meters above sea level and one of the highest airports in the world, you will meet your local guide after going through the baggage claim area. Private transfer takes you to the hotel and no activity is arranged for the rest of the day. You may have some rest to acclimatize yourself to the high altitude.
Day 02: Lhasa
A big breakfast and a pair of comfortable shoes are suggested today as you will need to climb up a little hill to visit the Drepung Monastery in the morning. When it is the Shoton Festival, hundreds of thousands of believers, local Tibetan people and visitors from all over the country will come and have the honor to see the display of the Tangka (a kind of inwrought scroll painting) of the Sakyamuni Buddha which is 20 meters wide and 30 meters long. Proceed to visit the Carpet Factory. The Tibet Museum, Norbulingka Park are scheduled this afternoon. The Tibet Museum is the first modern museum in Tibet. And Norbulingka was built in the mid 18th century and functioned as the “Summer Palace” of Dalai Lamas. It is the biggest garden in Tibet with the best scenery where Dalai Lamas used to live and work in the hot days. (B+L)
Sutra-debating at Sera Monastery, Lhasa
Day 03: Lhasa
Visit the Potala Palace and the Sera Monastery in the morning. The Potala Palace was originally built in the 7th century AD for the King Songtsen Gampo and his queen, Princess Wencheng from Tang Dynasty. The gloria and the luxury of this 9-storey building with a thousand rooms were admirable. But when the Tubo Kingdom was ruined, most of the palace was destroyed by the war. The present Potala was a reconstructed work by the 5th Dalai Lama in 1693. After years of expandedness and creation by successive generations of Dalai Lamas, it is now a priceless palace of art contains precious cultural relics and Buddhism artworks. And the Sera Monastery was established in 1419 and is one of the three major monasteries in Lhasa. The reason we arrange this site in the afternoon is that the Debating of Buddhist Doctrines which is the highlight of this monastery is on every afternoon from Monday to Friday. This is the discussion of sutras between Lamas and also their unique way of study. Through this vehement asking and answering activity with each other, Lamas learn different ways of observing and understanding the sutras and the world. After lunch, we take you to visit the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street and the Tibetan Traditional Hospital. It is said that the Jokhang Temple is even older than the Lhasa City and a must-see of every believer who come to the city. It has a history of 1400 years and worships the life-sized statue of 12 years old Sakyamuni which is one of three designed by himself. The Jokhang Temple is the center of the Lhasa city, not only geographically, but also socially, and also the center of Tibetan people’s the circumambient prayer course. During your visit to the monastery and the Barkhor Street around it, you can see pilgrims kowtowing and praying along the street again and again. If time permits, you can buy some little gifts and souvenirs in the street. Have a stop at the Tibetan Traditional Hospital and a doctor there will give a brief introduction of the mysterious Tibetan medicine. (B+L)
Day 04: Departure from Lhasa
In the morning, visit a Tibetan family, you can enter their home, get to know their life status and even chat with them with the help of your guide. If you like, you may bring some candies or pencils as gifts to the kids. Then private transfer takes you to the airport for the flight to your next destination. (B)
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