Actually, my real favorite thing to do in Tibet is just to drive through it, stopping at unplanned spots, watching the nomads as they set off on their yearly migrations, running through the vast sand-dunes, hanging prayer flags at the many passes, having salt-butter tea at local tea-houses, breaking down in the middle of nowhere and just walking.
I love the close contact with the Tibetan pilgrims from all over Tibet, rubbing shoulders with them, the scent of the juniper from the incense burners while walking around Barkhor Square in Lhasa. It is great to explore the small monasteries inside the Kora, down narrow, dark alleyways that smell of smoke and butter.
Chomolangma (Mt. Everest) National Park with 5 of the world’s fourteen 8000-meter peaks (Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma) within it’s boundaries, this park deserves to be on everyone’s Bucket List.
The Genyen area is isolated, not many people go there. During the trek we meet many different cultures and spend time with the nomad communities. The monasteries in the area are very special since they were founded by the first Karmapa.
Tucked behind the Jokhang in Lhasa is Meru Nyingma temple, the former residence of the Tibetan State Oracle. Few tourists have discovered it; you’ll find yourself in the company of smiling, prayer wheel-spinning pilgrims, welcoming you into this fascinating little temple.
After driving across the vast Tibetan plateau, I think one of the more amazing experiences in Tibet is to climb to the top of the high pass past Kailash and drop into the deep canyons of the Guge Kingdom, completely unexpected, very dramatic, eroded and ochre-colored cliffs spreading as far as the eye can see. And then dropping down to 3500 meters, in Tibet!
My favorite journey is across the Eastern Tibetan plateau; via Gyalthang , Batang, Litang, Ganze, Derge, Shershul, Yushu, Chabcha, Kokonor to Xining, through nomadic grasslands and great centers of Eastern Tibetan culture.
The Eastern peaks and ridges remain virtually untouched and truly isolated. Long valleys lie entrenched within grand peaks, with only nomadic communities dotting the surroundings. It is a space that one local nomad remarked “Wind dictates everything here”.
Drigung is a beautiful alpine valley with small quaint villages, farmland and grasslands. Overlooking the valley is the majestic Drigung Til Monastery – home to one of the most famous sky burial sites in Tibet and home of the famous Drigung Kagyu Buddhist sect.
I love this area because of its incredible diversity of thick conifer forests, raging rivers and snowy high peaks. I’ve spent many weeks exploring the surrounding valleys, hiking trails and rivers. Its not the “Tibet” that everyone imagines – its more like British Columbia, Canada!
This glaciated granite range is incredibly spectacular with spruce clad valleys, alpine lakes, streams meandering through picturesque meadows, long remote valleys, breathtakingly jagged summits, as well as two huge monasteries (Palpung and Dzongsar) and numerous small temples and meditation retreats scattered through the region.
Spend a week visiting local Tibetan and Mongolian nomadic communities and try your hand at milking yaks, herding sheep, and riding horses. At the end of the day, relax while drinking butter tea, eating yak jerky, and swapping stories with the locals.
A 3-day trek up and over a small pass and through Tibetan grasslands, passing traditional Tibetan settlements, walking over spiky tussocks of grass and camping in green pastures or with local Tibetans in their modest houses. It’s as ‘Tibetan’ an experience as you’ll have near Lhasa, with mountains in the distance, yaks grazing everywhere, wide open spaces, and traditional Tibetan dwellings that offer salt-butter tea if you drop in.
Rising like a crystal dome above the surrounding hills, Kailash is a magnificent sight; it’s easy to see why it is the sacred peak for practitioners of four Asian religions: Buddhists, Hindus, Bonpo, and the Jains.
My favorite place is Derge Parkhang, the great ancient printing press where the great Xylographic books were produced for the entire Tibetan plateau as well as the Buddhist world.
We start the camping trip with a visit to the biggest Rongwo monastery and local Tibetan Markets. We will walk along Ganza nomadic area and visit some nomad families and Wecha grasslands.
This is one of the most beautiful walks near Lhasa, a lovely drive through green countryside and traditional villages to get to Ganden Monastery. I always come into contact with the most colorful and friendly pilgrims while doing the half-hour Kora. The views of the checkered fields from the hill are wonderful, with rivers cutting their way through the valleys and mountains providing the backdrop
Yushu was identified as the source of the three rivers head water nature reserve, and the Zhiduo is a region with the highest elevation in Yushu, with an average altitude of 4000 meters. Due to the harsh climate conditions, more wild and fewer people, this area had favorable conditions to become a paradise for wild animals, it is also a great place for us visit the wild animals.
My favorite trek is the pilgrimage circuit around the holy mountain of Khawa Karpo in East Tibet. This shear-sided peak rises into a dramatic glaciated massif, with the Mekong River on one side and the Salween River on the other. The circuit is a dizzying roller coaster of pass crossings, through some of the most extreme terrain to be found.
Many caves in West Tibet have murals from the 11th to 17th century. Most of those caves are still in very good condition and our guides are trained to interpret the art and the history of these sites, including the influence from Indian, Nepalese or Chinese art on Tibet artists. We help the local communities to protect these art and architectural treasures and rich cultural heritage by raising awareness and working with local governments and communities to make sure these sites will still be there to enjoy for Tibet’s future generations.
Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland is one of the world greatest overland journey’s. However despite its fame and the development that has sprung up in the towns along the way it remains a truly incredible trip. I love approaching Shegar and catching my first glimpse of Everest poking its head up above the range, crossing the Pang La with the Himalayan range spread out in front of me as far as I can see and winding down the never ending switchbacks to the Nepal.
Our favorite trip is 8 days Best of Everest Base Camp Trip. This trip is one of the best selected Tibet trip and it provides incredible highlights of Tibet from its rich cultural authenticity as well as breathtaking views of great Himalayan mountains. The trip starts from Holy Lhasa city by visiting Potala palace and other historical sights, then gradually ascend towards the great Himalayan ranges and spend a night at the Mt.Everest Base Camp, from there you will have a magnificent view of the world highest peak.
Easy choice, as the Jokhang in Lhasa is oldest temple in Tibet, founded in the 7th century, and may well be the most atmospheric temple to be found anywhere in the world. No Tibetan pilgrim would come to Lhasa without making at least one visit here, much like pilgrims going on the Haj to Mecca.
During the trip you meet and stay with five different minorities including Naxi, Bai and Tibetan communities and visit the beautiful sacred mountain Khawa Karpo
Want to do something really wild? Really off the beaten path? Trek along through the mountainous range of Nyenbo Yurtse and its chain of shark-like peaks. Get lost in this veritable geo-park, sculpted by glaciers inching through remote highland.
Journey along the rushing Halong River, ford the river on horseback, trek to the imposing Amnye Machen mountain, and travel up to the Tamchok Gongkar pass to witness a vast landscape of snow-covered mountains amid bubbling springs and grassland valleys. Meet local nomads along the way, enjoy views of the Rikar Thongshang Glacier, and visit an isolated monastery nestled within this breathtaking terrain.
The Nangchen king historical evolution can be traced back to the mid-12th century. During the reign of the King, Nangchen is the center of economic culture and the political, therefore left behind rich cultural and historical resources.
Sho’la Pass for as long as anyone can remember, has ushered caravans and pilgrims to and from northwestern Yunnan into – and onto – the eastern flanks of the Himalayas, often taking a terrible toll on life and limb. At close to 5,000 meters it has long been known for its ‘two faces’: one a pristine protector and guide for travelers, and the other, a pass of raging blizzards and pummeling winds.
An incredible valley system nearly as large as the Lhasa Valley but far less developed, and similar to what the Lhasa Valley would have been like when Heinrich Harrer arrived in 1946. Small picturesque villages, vast fields of barley and yellow-blooming mustard, and nearly 50 monasteries, temples and retreats dot the valley floors and mountain sides
A motorbike ride on the roof of the world is not simply a holiday or a getaway tour – it is an incredible adventure as we traverse the world’s highest roads and remote valleys. It is a spectacular tour to Tibet and Nepal, riding across the magnificent Himalayan Plateau.
My favorite trek is the outer kora (circuit) of Risumgompo with the sacred mountains of Chenrezi, Jambeyang and Chana Dorje. There is an immense beauty of nature, both small and large: the alpine flowers and the symmetry of three sacred mountains and oracle lakes.
The villages in the surroundings of Gyalthang, Nishi, Punzera and Dechen – as well as in the southern parts of Yunnan, are the best to explore local life, trade and traditions.
A real gem is Yilung Latsho, a holy lake in the Kham region of East Tibet. Surrounded by forests with the glaciated summits of the Trola Range rising straight up from the lake, you’d think you were in Switzerland except for the herds of yak grazing in the meadows beside the lake.
Travel in Eastern Tibet and learn how to identify medicinal plants with the help of a local herbal healer (Amchi) and learn how Tibetan traditional medicine heal the indigenous people for hundreds of years. Travel with locals and have a chance to experience the Tibetan nomadic and farming daily life.
The Litang Horse Festival is a spectacular show of horsemanship and experience of local nomadic people.
In the hills just to the north of Lhasa is an ancient pilgrimage circuit that starts at Phabongkha, a temple dating from the 7th century and perched upon a huge boulder that is said to be the residence of a tortoise. The views below are incredible, with the back side of the Potala Palace dominating the valley floor.
Starting at the famous Lake Namtso we camp away from the normal tourist site, sharing our camp with nomads and yaks. We work as a team with local nomads and villagers to set up our camp, hire their yaks to carry our bags and equipment, or maybe just go in to their tent to have an interesting conversation. After all we want you to not only have a good experience in our land, but learn about us.
Travel to the shores of a stunning turquoise lake, visit nomads herding yaks and sheep, and picnic in blooming yellow flower fields. Take short hikes to catch breathtaking views of the natural scenery and watch herds of wild antelope gallop across the plains. Visit remote monasteries nestled in the sides of mountains and travel to the holiest and most beautiful snow mountain in Amdo.
This is one of the most obvious Tibetan experiences, but still amazing if you leave your group and choose a group of Tibetans to walk with, hiking up to the monasteries for the smaller Koras and following them as they perform the many rituals along the way.
Just to the west of Martok, a lonely outpost town on the Qinghai-Tibet Highway that leaves a lot to be desired, is a very desolate, barren looking area. However, looks can often be deceiving—the area is actually home to a great deal of wildlife. It is a great place to look for kiang (wild ass), gazelle, fox, wolf and more. Good luck with your search!
Explore the major sights in Central Tibet in a different way. The trip starts in Lhasa and travelers can learn first-hand the art of Tibetan cooking during a hands-on culinary class. The following day travelers cycle to Drak Yerpa Meditation caves for the day, where they meditate and view the heavenly vistas. The trip continues to Namsto Lake where the travelers make a trekking kora around Tashi Island.