yamdrok Shangri La Travels, Tibet

Lhasa & Tsurphu-Yangpachen Trek - 9 days


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Trek Tsurphu-Yangpachen (Lhasa-Lhasa)

Arrive Lhasa, meet your guide and transfer to 3* Yak Hotel or similar x4n
Sightseeing: Drepung monastery and Sera monastery
Sightseeing: Jokhang temple and Potala palace
Lhasa to Tsurphu Monastery
Trek from Tsurphu Monastery to Leten
Trek from Leten to Bartso
Trek from Bartso to Dorje Ling Nunnery
Trek Dorje Ling Nunnery to Yangpachen Monastery, then drive back to Lhasa
Transfer to Airport

The Detail

Day 1. Arrive Lhasa
Arrive at Lhasa airport or train station where your guide will be waiting to meet you. Transfer to your hotel and relax and adjust to the altitude.

Day 2. Drepung monastery (8km to the west) and Sera monastery (5km to the north)
Morning, visit Drepung Monastery (rice heap). Drepung monastery was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Cheojee a disciple of Tsong-khapa. It was one of six great monasteries of Gelukpa sect and possibly the largest monastery in the world. Before the construction of the Potala by the fifth Dalai Lama; it was the principal seat of the Gelukpa Sect. There were originally 7 colleges but were consolidated into 4, each with its own abbot and syllabus. The monastery keeps plentiful historical relics, Buddhist scriptures, and arts and crafts.
Afternoon, visit Sera Monastery: one of the three great monasteries of Gelukpa sect in Lhasa-Ganden, Drepung and Sera. Sera monastery means merciful hail'-the origin of the name is thought to derive from the fact that Sera was in constant competition with Drepung ('rice heap monastery') and that the 'hail' of Sera destroyed the 'rice' of Drepung. It was founded in 1419 by Shamchen chejee-a disciple of Tsongkhapa. One of the highlights of a visit to Sera is the debating session from 3pm to 5pm attended by most of the monks. The noise and fervor is exciting even if you can't understand a word they are saying.

Day 3. Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple
Morning, visit The Potala Palace. The original construction dates back to the 7th century, and was built by King Songtsen Gampo. Later in the 17th century the 5th Dalai Lama rebuilt the Potala Palace to its present size with 1500 artisans and 5000 workers. The maze-like structure contains over a thousand rooms and is thought to house 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues. The massive structure contains a small world within it itself with a 13-storey castle rising over 117m high.
Afternoon visit to the world heritage site of Jokhang Temple and explore the bustling bazaar along the Barkhor Street. The Jokhang Temple is the first temple in Tibet and built by King Sontsen Gampo’s wife princess Bhrikuti in the 7th century when he moved his capital to Lhasa. Unlike most temples, the Jokhang is not identified with a particular sect because it houses the holiest statue of Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old and consecrated by Buddha himself.

Day4. Lhasa to Tsurphu Monastery 4300m (overnight monastery gh)
Drive Lhasa to Tsurphu monastery, which is 60 km, away from Lhasa and the altitude will increase up to 4300m. When you arrive you will spend time acclimatizing further and visiting Tsurphu Monastery.

Day5. Trekking from Tsurphu Monastery to Leten, (4 hours, 11km)
The trek begins at Tsurphu, heading west up the valley. Several small nomadic communities camp here for the summer herding months, and you may have a stop into a yak-hair tent for a cup of salt butter tea or some fresh yak milk! Crest the ridge top four hours later, emerging onto a high plateau with a scattering of rock-enclosed huts, and look for a flat area for camping.
Day6. Trek from Leten to Bartso, (5-6 hours, 15km)
Trek Leten to Bartso (5 hours) After 3 hours you will cross the Lasar La and descend into the Yangpachen valley, with its wide open plateaus, and head towards Bartso. The views of Brize (translated as female yak herder) and Tarze (horse keeper) are superb, and you will feel safe in the care of the local mountain god, Nyenchen Tanglha. Camp near Bartso.

Day7. Trek from Bartso to Dorje Ling Nunnery, (4 hours, 15Km)
Leaving the village of Bartso behind, head towards a wide trail leading across the valley and over another ridge from where you will be rewarded with views of Nyenchen Tanghlha (7111 m), the holiest mountain in central Tibet. Emerge at Tajung village, and then climb gently up rolling hills where young nomad boys and girls picnic on the plateaus as they watch their yaks and sheep graze. The vistas are, again, just amazing! Mid-day, you should reach the small Djore Ling Ani Gompa (nunnery), near which you will set up camp. It's possible that these nuns, some of the friendliest in Tibet, will drag you into the gompa's tea-house and pass around a heaping plate of yak meat (use the bowie knife provided to hack a piece off) before getting into the requisite photo session.

Day8. Trek from Dorje Ling Nunnery to Yangpachen Monastery, then Lhasa (4 hours, 14km)
Today walk for three or four hours, following the ox-bow Nyango Chu River snaking its way through the grassy valley, and head for Yangpachen Gompa. This old Kagyupa monastery, with Tibetan mastiffs keeping guard, overlooks part of the Trans-Himalaya range. Your vehicle will be waiting at the monastery to pick up, stop at Yangbachen hot spring on the way back to Lhasa.

Day 9. Transfer to Airport
Departure from Lhasa to airport and fly to your next destination.