Top 20 Authentic Tibetan Travel Experiences

The use of the words “authentic Tibetan Experiences” in the title is deliberate. Tibet’s tourism development officials seem to revel in contriving experiences for visitors, resulting in concrete-poured pavilions called “Tourist Leisure Centers” and newly built or heavily renovated “ancient” temple complexes and old towns. Is this really authentic? Perhaps Not. Here we share our top 20 must-try and “Authentic Tibetan travel experiences”.

For us, the most engaging and touching moments are those that showcase the real lives of Tibetan people carving their way through daily life. And call us nostalgic, but moments that genuinely speak to bygone eras are satisfying, too.

The following are top 20 Authentic Tibet travel experiences.

1. Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage Kora
Gangs Rin-po-che is the Tibetan name of Mount Kailash (means precious snow mountain)which is considered as a sacred place in four regions: Bon Religion, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

2. Potala Palace
Potala Palace is located in the capital city of Lhasa, Tibet. It is one of the most spectacular and amazing places you can discover in the whole world.

3. Jokhang Temple
The Jokhang Temple is a Buddhism Temple in Barkhor Square, Lhasa, the heart of Tibet. It is not only one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites

4. Mt. Everest
Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain (8,844.43 meters) is located in the international border between China and Nepal, one of the top attractions in Tibet.

5. Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery, Tibetan’s first monastery and first college, is located in Shannan Region, Tibet.

6. Qinghai-Tibet Railway
Taking Qinghai Tibet train travel is probably once a lifetime experience for westerners. Since its completion in early 2006, the railway has become an increasingly popular Tibet tour option that offers stunning views of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Those looking for in depth cultural experiences will love taking the train; it provides opportunities to meet people from all over Tibet and China! Tibetan and Chinese will be excited to meet travelers on the train.

7. Butter Tea and Sweet Tea
Yak Butter Tea (which is called Su You Cha in Chinese) is the favorite drink of Tibetan people and people drink it everyday. Tea plays an important role in Tibetan people’s daily life. Yak Butter Tea is made of boiled brick tea and ghee. Ghee looks like butter. It is a kind of dairy product of fat abstracted from cow milk or sheep milk. Tibetan Sweet Tea is a Tibetan’s favorite daily hot drink in Tibet area, and the raw materials of this sweet tea are milk, sugar and black tea.

8 Tsamba
The staple food of Tibetan people is Zanba, a kind of dough made with roasted highland barley flour and yak butter with water. The process to make Zanba: Firstly grind the roasted Highland Barley into flour, and mix it with ghee. It is similar to parching wheat flour in northern China.

9. Drepung and Sera monasteries
Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet which is located at the foot of Mount Gephel, 5km from the western suburb of Lhasa city. Sera Monastery is 5 km to the north of Lhasa. This is one of the three Gelug University monasteries of Tibet.

10. Guge Kingdom
About 300 years ago the mysterious Guge Kingdom had gone for good in one night, left only the ruins that recorded the splendid culture and artistic achievements of Guge Kingdom.

11. Ganden Gompa
Ganden Gompa, considered as the seat of Geluk administrative and political power, is among the three university monasteries, Drepung, Sera and Ganden.

12. Ganden-Samye Trek
In past Tibet tour seasons, the trek from Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery has been gaining popularity. Tibet Travel Expert Service tour company has recently upgraded it’s Ganden to Samye Monastery trek to include a visit to Yarlung Valley, the cradle of Tibetan Civilization. Along the trek, travelers will enjoy varied remote Tibetan scenery from forestland to rocky landscapes and have the opportunity to learn about Tibetan Buddhism.

13. Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake (heaven lake in Tibetan) is located in Tibet Autonomous Region center, which is the highest lake in the world and the 2nd largest lake in Tibet.

14. Gyantse Kumbum
The giant chorten at Gyantse is unique in the Himalayas. As you spiral around and up the nail shell-shaped building, you pass dozens of alcoves full of serene painted Buddhas, bloodthirsty demons and unrivaled Tibetan art. Finally you pop out onto the golden eaves, underneath all-seeing eyes, for fabulous views of Gyantse fort and ancient town.

15. Tibetan Home Visit
A Home Visit tour to a Tibetan family for cultural exchange and local food enjoyment. Instead of having lunch or dinner in a fancy restaurant, with professionally perfect services, tourists can choose to visit a typical imperfect Tibetan local family with us, enjoying the atmosphere of a Tibetan traditional home, having un-adjusted Tibetan traditional food, getting to know about the culture of Tibetan people, and gain exposures to the casual lives of normal Tibetan.

16. Offer your prayer flags to a high pass
In Tibet, you can see colorful prayer flags on mountain passes, monasteries or other residential buildings. Why not add your prayer flags to a high pass? This is meaningful and hope it brings you “good luck”.

17. Barkhor Street
Incense that burns in giant chimneys wafts through the bustling bazaar. Vendors sell everything from arts and crafts to food and household items. Barkhor Bazaar is a great place to try out bargaining skills while picking up souvenirs for friends and family back home.

18. Country and village tours
As one Lhasa based professional Tibet tour organizer, we offer many unique Tibetan village and country tours. These Tibet country and village tours packages deliver a list of best-selected travel packages for travelers to experience unique Tibetan rural life of ethnic tribes. We would be happy to show you the real Tibet country.

19. Overland tour between Lhasa and Kathmandu
It is one of the most popular overland routes for travel to and/or from Tibet, with satisfying sense of journey and giant slice of adventure. Read more Tibet overland tours!

20. High Altitude Lakes
Tibet is not short on spectacular, remote, turquoise alpine lakes. The 3 main holy lakes of Yamdrok, Manasarovar and Namtso are among the top attractions in Tibet tourism.

Tony authored this post. Tony works in local Tibet travel agency since 2000 and gained lots of Tibet tourism working experiences and has a strong sense of Tibet travel pricing and tour designing. Welcome to explore Tibet with Tony’s pure Tibetan service team.

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Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor
Tony-Tibet TripAdvisor


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