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Tibet Private Journey

Sacred Monasteries on the Roof of the World

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6795  
Length: 15 days
Arrive: Kunming, China
Depart: Lhasa, Tibet
Lodging: 7 nights in hotels
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Overland travel, light day hikes, altitudes between 7,000-12,500 feet


  • Lhasa’s sacred temples and stunning monasteries
  • Khampa horsemen of Gyalthang
  • Optional extension to ancient Lijiang, a World Heritage Site

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Enjoy a Private Journey on the Roof of the World! Explore the cultural heartland of Tibet, beginning in the Holy City of Lhasa, home to the magnificent Potala Palace, thought to contain 10,000 temples, and the lively Barkhor Bazaar, where pilgrims jostle with traders. Then head out across the soaring Tibetan Plateau s to the Yarlung Valley, cradle of Tibetan civilization, and visit remote monasteries including  8th century Samye, with its flickering yak-butter lamps illuminating ancient Buddhist frescoes. Flying to Gyalthang, a Shangri La setting on the remote eastern reaches of the Tibetan Plateau, experience the traditional culture of the Khampa Tibetans, once known as swashbuckling horsemen and caravan traders. At journey’s end, we offer an extension to the ancient highland city of Lijiang, with its fascinating Naxi culture.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3

In Tibet’s sacred city, join pilgrims who gather at the candle-lit altars of the Jokhang, holiest of temples, and walk the Barkhor kora (pilgrimage route). Visit with monks at Sera Monastery, explore the extraordinary Potala Palace, and discover the Norbulingka, official summer residence of the Dalai Lamas. Hike with your guide to a hilltop hermitage for spectacular vistas of the Lhasa Valley.

Day 4
Samye, Tsethang and the Yarlung Valley

Tibet’s oldest monastery is 8th century Samye, set between the legendary Tsangpo River and beautiful dun-colored hills. Samye was built to represent the Buddhist cosmos, its 108 chapels surrounding the massive central chanting hall. In the Yarlung Valley, birthplace of the Tibetan dynasty, explore Yumbu Lakhang, Tibet’s first palace, and see a precious thangka painting protected in 7th century Trandruk Monastery.

Days 5-6
Gyalthang, Heart of Kham

Fly to Gyalthang, a historic trading post and enclave of Tibetan culture on the eastern edge of the Himalayas. This is the heartland of the Khampa people, with their age-old traditions as swashbuckling horsemen and caravan traders. Meet the welcoming Khampas in their homes, and walk up to Ringha, a sacred 13th century temple on a hill. At Sumtseling Monastery, join monks for morning prayers, sip tea with a high lama, and enjoy a fascinating guided exploration of this remote monastery including areas typically closed to tourists.

Days 7-8

Join your guide for a stroll in the quaint neighborhood on the shores of Kunming’s Green Lake and savor a dinner of Yunnan specialties. Depart on Day 8.

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 2+, easy to moderate. It is a comfortable hotel and vehicle-based sightseeing trip, with optional hiking and walks. Please note that most of the trip takes place at high altitudes (Lhasa is at 11,830 feet and Gyalthang is at 10,800 feet). Individuals vary widely in both their physical response to high altitude. It is not uncommon to experience mild headaches or sleeplessness for a day or two when you first arrive at high altitude. Most people gradually adjust within a few days, and the three-day stay in Lhasa at the start of the trip will aid in acclimatization. The weather will likely be quite comfortable, with blue skies most days, but nights can be chilly. At high altitude, the weather is unpredictable, and the effect of the wind-chill factor can create very cold conditions.

Explanation of Trip Levels


When to go

May to mid-October

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$6795 (3 members)

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $250 per person
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Accommodations, based on double occupancy
  • All meals included
  • Private guides and drivers
  • Transport by air-conditioned vehicle
  • All admission fees and activities as described in the Full Trip Brochure
  • All airport transfers and land transportation as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, airfare to Lhasa, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, any activities described as optional, standard gratuities for drivers, guides, and support staff, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (liquor, laundry, etc).

Kyichu Hotel

Kyichu Hotel (First Class Option)

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Lhasa, Tibet

Conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor, and Potala Palace, the Kyichu, run by a Tibetan family, is ideally ...
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Four Points by Sheraton Lhasa

Four Points by Sheraton Lhasa (Deluxe Option A)

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Lhasa, Tibet

Within an easy walk of the Jokhang and Barkhor, the 4-star Four Points by Sheraton is one of the newest additions to Lhasa’s growing list of ...
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Brahmaputra Grand Hotel

Brahmaputra Grand Hotel (Deluxe Option B)

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Lhasa, Tibet

This large hotel with comfortable, nicely furnished rooms combines elements of traditional Tibetan architecture with all the modern comforts. ...
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Tse Dang Hotel

Day 4 (1 night), Tsetang, Tibet

In the heart of Tsetang and close to the historical sites, this large, modern, four-story hotel is an ideal base for exploring Tibet’s third largest city. Guest rooms with attached bath feature telephone, cable TV, and air-conditioning. Several restaurants are on the premises, and there is a tranquil garden where we can relax after a day of exploring.

Songtsam Hotel

Songtsam Hotel (First Class Option)

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Gyalthang, Tibet

Set at the foot of Songtsam Lama Temple in Gyalthang, the Songstam is a Tibetan residence that has been renovated into a cozy boutique hotel. Each ...
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Banyan Tree Ringha Resort

Banyan Tree Ringha Resort (Deluxe Option)

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Gyalthang, Tibet

On Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List for 2006, the Banyan Tree Ringha, a spectacular retreat set in the hills outside of ...
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Green Lake Hotel

Green Lake Hotel

Day 7 (1 night), Kunming, China

The Green Lake Hotel, a modern luxury property recognized in 2007 by Forbes Magazine, features recently renovated guest rooms, several ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.