12 Days Tibet Trekking Tour: Shalu Monastery to Nartang Monastery
This Shalu to Nartang trekking is a good opportunity to get a feel for middle level trekking in Tibet. The two passes Show-La and Char-La are not particularly high or difficult. The trail heads are easily accessible from Shigatse.
Shalu Monastery, situated in the Shalu village of Gyantso district 30 km away from teh southeast of Xigatse cit. It was built in 1000 AD. The monastery shows a special architectural style combining Han with Tibetan style. A lot of treasures, handed down from ancient times, are left int ehmonastery. The mural paintings inside are numerous and delicate which are the rarity of art treasures in Tibet.
Narthang Monastery is a monastery located 15 km (9.3 mi) west of Shigatse in Tibet. Founded in 1153 by one of the disciples of Atisha, Nathang was the fourth great monastery of Tsang with Shalu Monastery, Sakya and Tashilhunpo. Narthang was first famous for its scriptual teaching and monastic discipline. After the fourteenth century it gained great eminence as the oldest of Tibet’s three great printing centres (the other being the Potala and the Derge).
The Fifth Panchen Lama took control of the monastery and it continued printing the Buddhist scriptures the Kangyur and the Tengyur up until 1959. Narrthang’s five main buildings and large chanting hall were razed to the ground by the Chinese in 1966. They had contained priceless 14th century murals possibly painted by the artist scholars of nearby Shalu Monastery. Today only the mud-brick foundations can be discerned although parts of the Mongolian styled high-fortress walls are still standing.
What you can expect
Day 1 - fly to Lhasa, check in hotel, rest for acclimatization Upon your arrival at Lhasa Gonggar airport or Lhasa Train Station, your guide and driver will pick you up with your name sign, and then they will transfer you to Lhasa city safely. Your guide will give a brief introduction for your tour and clear to you with the more detailed arrangements for the tour in the following days. Have a good rest in your hotel for acclimatization, at around 8 pm, you may have a very light walking near your hotel to test your body. Accommodation: 3 stars standard centrally located hotel (or as per your idea)
Day 2 - In Lhasa, visit Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar, Sera Monastery On this second day morning we will take a very easy visit to Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Jokhang temple, the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques, is the most revered shrine in all of Tibet and is constantly bustling with devoted worshippers. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. In the afternoon we will visit is Sera Monastery, a fifteenth century sprawl of golden roofs and whitewashed walls. This well preserved monastery locates 5 km to the north direction of central Lhasa city. Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous. Please be aware of the activities always begin in the afternoon except Sundays.
Day 3 - In Lhasa, visit Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery A trip to Tibet is a big loss if without experiencing the vital Potala Palace. Potala Palace is a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. We will visit those rooms, halls and chapels, another visit is to Drepung Monastery, once the world's largest monastery, housing 10,000 monks, it lies hidden in rocky ridges just beyond the city. Drepung Monastery is about 8km west from central Lhasa. These white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains.
Day 04 Drive Lhasa Lake Yamdrok-Karo-La Glacier-Gyantse. Overnight at hotel Morning time around 08:00am depart from Lhasa, pass Gangbala Mt. which is over than 5000m, then to Yamdrok tso lake which is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet (another 2 is Namtso lake and Manasarovar), then to Gyangtse via Karo la Glacier, visit Gyangtse Pelkhor Monastery and Gyantse Zhong (Governmental office before 1959), far view Zongshan ruins. Overnight stop in Gyantse.
Day 05 Drive from Gyantse to Shalu. Camping After breakfast in hotel in Gyantse around 8 am, we drive to Shalu Monastery (19 km to south Shigatse city), visit this Chinese and Tibetan Style Monastery with green tiled roof. Today we will have lunch box prepared in Gyantse, in the afternoon, we have full relaxation and set up camping, enjoy the loose excursions around this late.
Day 06 Trekking Shalu Monastery to Upper Lungsang, 13 km, about 5 hrs Today we will trek loosely and ascent 200 m. we are going to pass by Ri-Puk Monastery, Phunup village and Showa-la pass [4200m]-Manitinga which we will pass through the village of Lower Lungsang and get to. 30 mins later we will get to Upper Langsang. Set up camping
Day 07 Trekking Upper Lungsang to Ngor Monastery, 8km, 3-4 hrs, 550m ascent Today we will ascent 550m, trek 3-4 hours to get to Ngor Monastery. On the way, the high pass is Char-la pass [4600 m], after we ascend slowly from Upper Langsang to Char-La pass, we will descent down to Ngor Monastery which takes about 50 mins.
Day 08 Ngor Monastery to Nartang Monastery, 18km, 5 hrs, 300m descent, drive to Lhatse From Ngor a motorable road runs down the valley. 15 mins from the monastery is the sizable village of pero. Around one and half hours later, we will see that the rvaley and road bend to the north while the road trade route t oSakya continues west over a saddle. Another one hour later, we will get to the village of Dzong Lugari. Fromm Dzong Lugari, we will continue 2 hours trek to reach our destination of Nartang where our Tibetan driver and the vehicle will wait for us, then we will be transferred Lhatse, o/n in Lhatse Shanghai Hotel, rest.
Day 09 Drive from Lhatse to Rongphu Monastery (about 200 km), trek to Base camp, 8km, camping between Base camp and Rongphu The road from Lhatse to Rongphu is a little bit tough, but our Tibetan driver will transfer us safely to reach to Rongphu Monastery. Then we can take a easy trek of 8 km to Everest Base Camp, complete excursions in Base camp, in the afternoon, we trek or take horse carriages back to Rongphu Monastery.
Day 10 one day excursion in Base camp, later afternoon, we drive to Shigatse city We may not have taken enough pictures of Everest, mostly our guests will return to Base camp and say goodbye to Everest closely and then in the afternoon, we drive back to Shigatse city, o/n in Shigatse Manasarovar Hotel or Gesar Hotel
Day 11 Drive from Shigatse city to Lhasa Today we will visit Tashilhunpo Monastery and then drive 280 km back to Lhasa. We will arrive around 7 pm, hotel as above
Day12 Final departure Leave for airport or railway station, leave Tibet for next destination, hope this trip leaves you wonderful memory.