Namsto Lake is the largest lake in Tibet Autonomous Region which is located 5 hours north from the Lhasa. It is called as heavenly lake in Tibet. Namsto is at an altitude of about 4718 meters. The lake is surrounded by the snow covered Nyenchen Tanglha Range, the highest mountain in north Tibet. Namsto is regarded as the holy lake by Tibetan Buddhists. During the year of the Sheep in the Tibetan calendar believers make a pilgrimage to Lake Namsto.
Mount Kailash known in Tibet as Kang Rinpoche or “Precious Jewel of Snow” is the most sacred peak in Tibet. It is located in far western Tibet’s Ngari prefecture, more than 1200 kilometers from Lhasa. At an elevation of 6,656 meters above sea level, snow-capped Kailash gives life to 4 grand rivers: Shiquan River, meaning Lion Fountain, known as Indus in the lower reaches; Maquan River, meaning Horse Fountain, the origin of Yarlung Tsangpo River; Xiangquan River, meaning Elephant Fountain, known as Sutlej in the lower reaches; Konhqu Rier, meaning Peacock Fountain, the origin of Ganges River. There is no other peak in Tibet that is as holy as Kailash, every year thousands of Buddhist and Hindus do the 52 kilometer pilgrimage circuit around the mountain.
Jokhang Temple is located on Barkhor Square, Lhasa and was built in 7th century. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000 AD. In 2001, the State Tourism Administration appraised the Jokhang Temple as 4A-level tourism site. It was built by King Songtsan Gampo for his two brides: the Tang Princess Wencheng and Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti. The temple’s architectural style combines Chinese Tang Dynasty design and Nepali design.
The Ganden Monastery is situated on the Wangbori Mountain which resembles a reclining elephant to the northeast of the Dagze County, the monastery facing east commands an elevation of 3,800 meters above sea level. The Ganden Monastery was built in the early 15th century. The creation of the Ganden Summons Ceremony and the establishment of the Ganden Monastery symbolized the formation of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Together with the Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery which were set up later, they became to known as the “three Large Monasteries in Lhasa”. As Zongkapa himself initiated the Ganden Monastery, acted as its 1st abbot and passed away in the same monastery, Ganden Monastery commands inseparable status among all the Gelung Sect Monasteries.
Lake Manasarovar or Mapaham Tum Tso in Tibetan is Tibet’s most scared lake. It is among the world’s highest fresh-water lakes at an elevation of 4,583 meters and covers 412 square kilometers. The lake is located in the Burang county, 20 km southeast of the Mount Kailash. It is believed that bathing with the water of Manasarovar will drive off avaricious desires, troubled thoughts and past sins; drinking the water will keep healthy and away from disease; whilw circling the lake will bring boundless beneficence to the pilgrims. Throughout the year, numerous pilgrims and visitors are attracted to the holy Mt. Kailash and the Lake Manasarovar.
Potala Palace is a large and impressive building located on the Red Mountain, northwest of Lhasa city. It was built in 637 by Songtsan Gampo and was a Royal Palace. Later in 1645 Lozang Gyatso, the great fifth Dalai Lama reconstructed the Potala Palace and then became the residence of Dalai Lama. 1994, the UNESCO put the Potala Palace onto the World Cultural Heritage List. In 2001, the State Tourism Administration rated it as 4A tourism spot on the national level. It is 117 m high, 13 storied and has 1000 rooms. Different sections of the palace houses a great wealth of cultural and art objects of Tibet. Many parts of the palace, now turned to a museum is open for the visitor.
Why Travel in Tibet?
Roads Less Traveled:
Tibet is the mysterious land for many people as very less travel to Tibet. This provides you with the opportunity to explore the mysterious land with the welcoming hospitality of the Tibetan people.
Tibet offers the spectacular view of snowcapped mountains and beautiful glaciers. As you reach the high elevation you feel sky just above your head and can be touched by hand.
Tibet has remained untainted due to its geography. The environment here is very pleasant and less polluted.
For many travelers, Tibet is the most spiritual place they will ever find in the entire world in their lifetime. Locked away in its mountain ranges of the Himalaya for thousands of years, this mysterious Buddhist kingdom has developed a unique society with its own cultures and religions.
If you are the kind of person that wants to find your physical limits, then Tibet is a clean environment for outdoor exercise. There are many mountains made for hiking.
Most of Tibetans have a strong belief in their religion. So pilgrimage is a level of particular importance in Tibet. Pilgrims believe that walking clockwise around a sacred place is a way to accumulate their merit. Because Tibetan people are so religious and the environment is so pure Tibet can be a place to get away from modern life and contemplate spiritual life.
Tibet is no longer hard to reach as you imagine! Huge improvements in Tibet’s transport infrastructure over the last few years have removed much of the discomfort of getting onto this high plateau.
The day time temperature looks pretty fine with warm sun shine but the temperatures at night can drop to freezing point or below. The sunlight has strong ultra-violet rays and it’s very windy particularly in the high passes. The air is very dry. July and August receives much of the rain of the year. So, if you are traveling during these months, you will have to carry rain gears as well. It is best to be prepared for COLD weather, even though much of the time it will be quite comfortable. Because the sun is quite intense at high altitude, a hat, UV protection sunglasses, and sun block (at least SPF 15) are essential.
• 2 pairs of neat, loose pants
• 1 pair sweat pants or fleece pants (optional)
• 1 long, full skirt for women (optional)
• 2 long sleeve shirts
• 2-3 T-shirts
• 1 wool sweater or fleece
• 1 week’s supply of socks (“Smartwool” or “Thorlos” are both excellent)
• Underwear (1 week’s supply)
• 1 pair shorts, for the possible hot springs
• Bandanna or scarf
• Boots, can be lightweight but should be sturdy and comfortable
• Rain jacket (rain pants optional)
• Warm jacket (fleece or down)
• Long underwear (1 set, not cotton)
• Vest (optional)
• Hat(s)-it’s a good idea to bring one warm hat and another for the sun
Other Important Items:
• Travel duffel bag or internal frame backpack. Doesn’t need to be high-tech but should be very sturdy. Best without too many outside pockets
• Day pack
• Sleeping bag (good to 20 Fahrenheit, down recommended but not necessary), and COMFORTABLE sleeping pad
• An adequate supply of any prescription medication
• Camera and film
• Good UV protection sunglasses (this is very important against strong high altitude sun)
• Pepto-Bismol tablets
• Combination padlock (for storing your belongings)
• Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts and plenty of cleaning solution, if used
• Flashlight and batteries (for our many monastery visits and camping)
• Luggage locks
• Small travel alarm clock
• Sun block (at least SPF 15)
• Spiral notebook (small and medium sizes recommended)
• Study journal and pens
• Tampons and/or sanitary napkins
• Water bottle (at least one liter, and be sure to check for leaks)
• Water purification tablets
• Ace bandage
• Acidophilus tablets (yogurt culture) are good non-chemical treatments for stomach problems
• Small first-aid kit (band-aids, ibuprofen, decongestants, tape, etc.)
• Dental floss
• Iron supplements (for women)
• Moleskin-type blister protection
• Novels (bring a few and trade with classmates)
• Swiss Army knife or multi-tool knife
• Tape recorder and batteries (can be invaluable for field work, recording interviews, music, street sounds, etc.)
• Vitamin supplements (available in Lhasa but of lower quality and dosage than those found in the US )
• Plastic bags in varying sizes (‘zip-lock’ bags are useful for storage in dusty/wet environments, plastic garbage bags are useful to protect sleeping bag, etc. from wet weather)
• Supply of “happy food” (favorite chocolate, trail-mix, candy etc.-good after a long day trip)
• Sleeping tents, mess-tent, kitchen equipment, and other “group” camping equipment will be provided on camping trips
Travel insurance is specially recommended in a remote and wild region like Tibet. It is recommended to check whether the policy covers ambulances or an emergency flight home essential in the case of altitude sickness.
It is better to have trip- and flight-cancellation insurance if you are heading to Western or Eastern Tibet as these regions are frequently closed with little to no warning. The announcement for opening is made in March or April each year, but some years the region closes again suddenly after a brief opening, or opens later in the season after a prolonged closure.
Finding the appropriate Travel Agency is certainly a challenging task as you get involved with the agency after your arrival to the airport until you reach safely to your homeland. Here are some points that could help you to detect the suitable agency:
- It is very important to be clear about your wants and expectation before booking any trips. You must know what type of adventure you are seeking and whether the adventure you are seeking fits your budget or not. Then you can choose the itinerary according to your expectation exploring the various travel agencies.
- It is highly recommended to research about the agency whether it has got the registration license and Associations or not. The trekking agency requires registration with Nepal Government, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) to conduct their services. If the trekking agency sells climbing then it is important for them to be registered with Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).
- You can also review the client testimonials about the agency. Some reviews are provided with email address which could help to gain more information about the Travel Agency.
- Before you book any trips it’s better to research the cost and facilities of various travel agencies and then only finalize your decision as the cost and facility varies with the distinct agencies.
- Years of Experience also guides you to choose the appropriate Travel Agency as the experience matters a lot. Although older the company doesn’t mean the better the services, a considerable years of experience will assure the reliable expertise of the agency. Some new trekking agencies opened by experienced guides may also be a good option.
- It is highly recommended to dig the information about the guide if the agency provides you with a valid guide certificates as they are one of the most important factors that determines your experience in your trip.