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10 Magical Things to Do in Tibet During Winter 2019

Time: 23-08-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Though many tourists have been in Tibet numerous times or have traveled to many parts, Tibet still amaze its travelers every single time. From exploring the majestic palaces to seeing the pilgrims at Jokhang temple, making a circuit around Barkhor street or watching monks’ debate at Sera Monastery, travelers will soon realize why Tibet is known to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. If you are planning to travel in Tibet in winter for a few days or weeks, here are the best 10 best things to do in Tibet in winter.

Top 1. Explore the Potala Palace
Top 2. See the Pilgrims at Jokhang Temple
Top 3. Join the Barkhor Kora
Top 4. Watch Monks Debate at Sera Monastery
Top 5. Visit Samye Monastery - the Birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism
Top 6. Gaze at the Beauty of Lake Yamdrok
Top 7. Take a Bath in Yangbajain Hot Spring
Top 8. See Migratory Birds in Lhasa
Top 9. Celebrating Tibetan New Year (Losar) Festival
Top 10. Watch the Princess Wencheng Live show

Top 1. Explore the Potala Palace

Situated at an altitude of 3,750 meters (12,300 feet) above sea level, the Potala Palace is known to be the highest ancient palace in the world. This 1,300-year-old structure was originally built as a symbol of love - Tibetan king Songtsen Gambo and his wife - Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. With more than thousand rooms, 10,000 painted scrolls, 698 murals, numerous shrines, and thousands of exquisite statues made from precious alloys and jewels, this palace has become the number one must-see attraction in Tibet. Winter is the best time for visiting because there are very few tourists. If you want to experience the culture and history of Tibet, don’t miss the Potala Palace!

The Potala Palace in winter 
The Potala Palace in winter

  • Location: 35 Beijing Middle Rd, Chengguan District, Lhasa, China; or 2km west of Jokhang Temple
  • Type: World Heritage Site, Architecture, Religious Site.
  • Altitude: 3,750 m (12,300 ft)
  • Opening Time: 09:30—15:00
  • Entrance Fee: 200CNY/person (May to Oct.),100CNY/Person (Nov to Apr); Children below 1.2m free entrance
  • Best Season: All year round

Detailed Lhasa Holy City Tour >

Top 2. See the Pilgrims at Jokhang Temple

Located in the central Lhasa in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple is the most popular winter pilgrimage destination in Tibet. Rolling prayer wheels, practicing prostrations, or chanting Buddhist mantras, the Buddhist pilgrims have various ways to express their belief to Buddha. If you travel to the Jokhang Temple in winter, you will be impressed by those devotional pilgrims.

The Jokhang Temple
The Jokhang Temple

  • Location: Central Lhasa City
  • Area: 25,100 square meters (about six acres)
  • Built in: Tang Dynasty (618 - 907)
  • Type‎: ‎Religious Sites, Sights & Landmarks
  • Opening Time: 11:30-17:30 (opened to all tourists)
  • Entrance Fee: 85 Yuan. Please note that tourists should buy a photograph permit (90 Yuan) before they take a picture inside the hall of the temple.
  • Recommended Visiting Time: Within one hour (20 minutes in Courtyard of Thousand Buddha Corridor, 10 minutes in the central hall and 20 minutes for photographing the Gold Top on the terrace).

Top 3. Join the Barkhor Kora

Barkhor Kora, a devotional pilgrim circuit around the exterior of the Jokhang Temple, is one of the most sacred pilgrim routes for Tibetan Buddhists in Tibet. Each day, numerous pilgrims gather at this street to do a pilgrimage kora. Some of them prostrate themselves along the road, while others walk and chant mantras. For travelers, join the Barkhor kora is the best way to get a taste of the religion culture of Tibet. When you walking around the Jokhang Temple, remember to move in the clockwise direction. Additionally, Barkhor street is also a commercial and commodity-distributing center that should never be missed by tourists who like shopping.                                   

The Barkhor Street in winter 
The Barkhor Street in winter

  • Location: Around Jokhang Monastery, Chengguan District, Lhasa, Tibet, China
  • Opening Time: 24 hours
  • Type: Walking Street, Religious Sites, Historical Buildings
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 hours

Top 4. Watch Monks Debate at Sera Monastery

Watching monks debating at the Sera Monastery is one of the must-do things while traveling in Tibet. That is a unique experience for travelers to learn the importance of tradition. Each afternoon except Saturday monks gather at the Sera Monastery courtyard and debate on various topics. The debates are intense, with lots of gestures and expressions. It may seem strange and ridiculous to travelers; However, for monks it is an important practice and training, which aim to defeat misconceptions.

Monks Debate at Sera Monastery 
Monks Debate at Sera Monastery

  • Location: 6 km (4 mi) north of Jokhang Temple, 20 minutes’ drive
  • Built in: 1419
  • Altitude: 4,000 meters (13,000 feet)
  • Highlights: monks debating, thangka unveiling, and Bengqin Festival
  • Opening Time: 9am - 4pm
  • Recommended Visiting Time: 2 hours
  • Entry Fee: Peak season (April - October): 50 yuan (8 dollars); Low season (October - April): 25 yuan (4 dollars)

Detailed To be Tibetan Tour >

Top 5. Visit Samye Monastery - the Birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism

Samye Monastery is the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. It is famous as the site of the “Great Debate” (792-794) between the Indian Mahayanists and Chinese Zen Buddhists. In the heart of Tibetan Buddhists, it is a sacred and popular pilgrimage destination. Apart from this, this three-floor building is also known for its unique architectural design. Each floor of this monastery is built in different styles of Tibetan, Chinese, and Indian Buddhism. For that, it is also called the “Three-Style-Monastery”.

Samye Monastery 
Samye Monastery - the Birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism

  • Location: Zharang County, Shannan Area
  • Built in: 8th century
  • Type: Religious Site, Historical Architecture
  • Altitudes: 3,580 meters above sea level
  • Opening Time: 09:00am - 16:00pm
  • Entrance Fee: RMB 45.00 per person

Top 6. Gaze at the Beauty of Lake Yamdrok

Yamdrok Lake, also known as Yamḍok Yumtso, is the third largest holy lake in Tibet. This holy lake usually freezes over during winter. Surrounding mountains are covered with snow, which makes it look like a dream world. Besides, various migrant birds (particularly geese and gulls) will migrate to Yamdrok Lake to spend winter, which makes this lake more charming. If you travel to Lake Yamdrok in winter, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Lake Yamdrok 
Lake Yamdrok

  • Location: Nangartse County, Shannan Prefecture
  • Distance from Lhasa: 170 km (110 mi) southwest
  • Maximum length: 72 km (45 mi)
  • Type: freshwater lake
  • Altitude: 4,441 m (14,570 ft)
  • Highlights: photography, bird watching, Samding Monastery, hiking
  • Opening Time: All day
  • Entrance Fee: 40CNY/Person (all year round)

Detailed Hiking along the Holy Lake Yamdrok >

Top 7. Take a Bath in Yangbajain Hot Spring

Yangbajain is the world’s highest hot spring surrounded by snow mountains. It is divided into three types: the outdoor swimming pool, indoor swimming pool, and indoor hot spring room, among which the outdoor swimming pool is highly recommended. From the outdoor pool you can see the beautiful sky and majestic snow mountains. The beautiful natural scenery will eliminate your fatigue of tour. Anyway, don’t miss the Yangbajain hot spring if you travel to Tibet in winter. It is really an ideal place for travelers to forget the fatigue of journey.

Yangbajing Hot Spring  
Yangbajing Hot Spring

  • Location: 90 km northwest of Lhasa, Damxung County, Tibet Autonomous Region
  • Opening Time: 9:00-21:00
  • Type: Outdoor swimming pool, indoor swimming pool, indoor small hot spring room.
  • Price: ¥98 - ¥160 per person

Top 8. See Migratory Birds in Lhasa

Winter is the best time for travelers who love birds to see migratory birds in Tibet. When winter comes, various migratory birds flock to Tibet for the winter. The best place to see migratory birds is Tibet’s Dragon King Pool park, which is home to migratory birds in winter. Watching migratory birds is a unique and unforgettable experience that should never be missed when you travel to Tibet in winter.

See Migratory Birds in Lhasa  
See Migratory Birds in Lhasa

Top 9. Celebrating Tibetan New Year (Losar) Festival

Tibetan New Year refers to Losar, which starts on the first day of the first month of the Tibetan Calendar. As one of the most widely celebrated Tibetan festival, the Tibetan New Year is the most important and grand festival in Tibet. Usually it lasts three days. On the first day, people will greet their respective gurus, cook barley wine, prepare a dish, and visit the local monastery to offer prayers and attend sermons. The second day is King’s Losar when the revered Dalai Lama exchanges greetings with national leaders. On the third day, offerings are given to various gods and protectors on Choe-kyong Losar.

Celebrating Tibetan New Year (Losar) Festival  
Celebrating Tibetan New Year (Losar) Festival

Top 10. Watch the Princess Wencheng Live show

Lhasa-Princess Wencheng Live Show is absolutely a must-see show in Tibet. You are strongly recommended to spend a day exploring some of the world’s best show - Princess Wencheng Live show, which is a nightly outdoor performance that presents an ancient Chinese and Tibetan history of “Princess Wencheng’s marriage to the emperor of Tibet”. This is more than an operatic romanization of ancient history, it is a tale of how China brought civilization to its wild west. Remember to wear a winter jackets, since it would be very cold during the production.

Princess Wencheng Live show 
Princess Wencheng Live show

Act Schedule: Monday - Sunday 21:30-23:00
Frequency: About 180 scenes every year
Ticket Price: 380/480/580/880/1280 CNY
Address: Princess Wencheng Theatre, China Tibetan Culture and Tourist Creative Park, Cijiaolin Village, Chengguan District, Lhasa, Tibet, China.

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Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Ms. Ho*** from: When to get my Tibet permit

Hello, we are considering to travel in Tibet in summer. We are a family of 5, two adults and three kids, age 13(then), 10, 8. We are interested in the 10 days Mt. EBC & Namtso Lake Group tour. We are US citizens with valid 10-year Chinese multiple entry visa, which we have applied when we went to Beijing in 2019. We are currently living in South Korea.  

Questions:

1. Are kids suitable (or even allowed) for this tour?  

2. If kids can join, are there any discount deals for kids?

Answered by Helen

Dear Ms. Ho***,

    Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour and welcome you to join our 10 days Mt. Everest & Namtso Lake group tour. For your questions: 1. Your kids are suitable for this tour. Travelling in Tibet is as safe for kids as it is for their parents. While the high Tibetan plateau may be the highest place on the planet, very often, the kids that visit this region are more adaptable and have fewer problems than their parents. We also have arranged wonderful Tibet tours for many families with kids such as a tour to EBC for a family with a 3-year-old son, a 9-year-old girl and a 11-year-old boy, they did have fun in Tibet and there is no problem for them. Or you can take some medicine under the guidance of doctor to prevent high altitude before enter Tibet. 2. If kids travel with you, we'll offer some discount for them, please check your email and find more detailed information. Thanks & Regards

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