Seven Days in Tibet: Exploring Tibet in the Summer

someone using a Tibet travel guide

Reading about far-off lands, wonderful people, and their culture is quite an adventure, but exploring a country and experiencing it yourself is a very different kind of adventure! In this bold summer travel series, discover the best summer destinations, starting with this Tibet travel guide, and you don’t need to spend seven years to enjoy it.

(Check out the books first, then go on the adventure–read this Project Bold Life story of adventurous reads.)

The Ultimate Tibet Travel Guide

Tibet, an autonomous region of China, is set on a high-altitude plateau surrounded by tall mountains. It has a unique climate of strong sunshine and low humidity that tourists can appreciate depending on the season they visit. Tibetans recommend their guests visit the place from April to October, as the months offer good weather of little rain, sunny days, and clear skies.

In addition, the Tibetan summer months aren’t as hot, giving tourists cool and comfortable days to explore the plateau. Although the author of Seven Years in Tibet, Heinrich Harrer, spent seven years traveling, learning, and enjoying the Tibetan culture and scenery, modern tourists can still have their version of an enlightening journey in Tibet for seven days with the help of this Tibet travel guide.

a monastery in a Tibet travel guide
No Tibet travel guide would be complete without directing you to visit some elaborate temples!

Exploring Lhasa: Barkhor Street, Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace

The most notable thing tourists should do upon arriving in Tibet is to acclimate themselves. Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, is nearly 12,000 feet above sea level. Due to that, acclimatizing your body to the weather, humidity, and thin air in its capital for the first two days is essential. Starting your journey around Tibet from its capital is one of the best moves when you only have a week to explore the region.

Although there are many sights and sceneries to visit in Lhasa, walking around Barkhor Street, exploring Jokhang Temple, and discovering the wonders of Potala Palace should be at the top of your must-see list.

Barkhor Street, the “Heart of Lhasa,” is Tibet’s most famous pilgrimage street and commercial center. Although it was only a single circumambulation around the Jokhang Temple centuries ago, Barkhor Street now expands into the large old-fashioned neighborhoods surrounding the monastery. Today, the ring road has a circumference of 1,000 meters and 35 backstreets and alleys that preserved the traditional appearance and living of Ancient Lhasa.

Tourists can walk around the street and encounter devout pilgrims with prayer wheels, prostrating and murmuring Buddhist mantras as they walk clockwise around Barkhor. The bustling bazaar also has stores selling the best traditional Tibetan costumes and local handcrafts, including those from Nepal, India, and Bhutan. The street also houses the best Lhasa restaurants, like Makye Ame and Guangming Sweet Teahouse, where visitors can experience Tibetan cuisine.

The Jokhang Temple is one of Tibet’s most important religious sites and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. It houses the statue from when Shakyamuni Buddha lived, making it the most revered temple in Tibet. The main building is four floors high, with small monasteries surrounding it, highlighting the ancient temple’s intricate golden roof.

But touring Lhasa is never complete without exploring Potala Palace. Standing atop Marpo Ri, it’s an architectural marvel and the symbol of Tibetan culture and history. The Potala Palace has been the winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Due to its popularity, tour guides recommend purchasing tickets to the palace in advance, as it only issues 2,300 tickets daily.

someone very welcoming people in Tibet
Visit Tibet, eat some momo dumplings, and chill with some friendly natives.

Enjoying the Shigatse Landscapes and Monasteries: Yamdrok Lake, Rongbuk Glacier, Tashilhunpo Monastery

Shigatse, or Xigatse, is the center of the road network between Lhasa, Nepal, and Western Tibet. Most of the destinations in the area are natural scenic spots like Mt. Everest, the Rongbuk Glacier, and Yamdrok Lake, and grand temples like the Tashilhunpo Monastery and Samding Monastery. In addition to being breathtaking landscapes and architectural marvels, the tourist spots in Shigatse also bear spiritual and religious beliefs, earning them thousands of pilgrims every year.

Yamdrok Tso Lake is a 120-kilometer drive southwest of Lhasa and is one of Tibet’s four largest sacred lakes. The holy lake boasts 72 kilometers of turquoise-colored waters- 14,570 feet above sea level. Yamdrok is closely associated with Padmasambhava, who Tibetans believed introduced Buddhism to the region. In addition, the balance of the lake’s coral waters, the melting snow-capped mountains, and the barren land surrounding it make Yamdrok a perfect representation of a goddess’ transformation. After walking around the lake, tourists can also visit the renowned Samding Monastery, a unique temple that has a female incarnate lead them.

Rongpuk Glacier is the world’s most fully developed and best-preserved glacier, covering 1,500 square kilometers at the foot of Mount Everest. The massive glacial wonder has a serac forest, a glaciated lake, and layers of glacial rocks that look like ancient castles and giant stone columns and towers. The walk around Mt. Everest State Natural Reserve is a worthwhile addition after encountering Rongpuk Glacier and other icy wonders.

The Shigatse prefecture also houses the historic Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the temple that the first Dalai Lama founded in 1447. The fifth Dalai Lama also recognized its Abbot as the reincarnation of Amitabha and gave him the title Panchen Lama, meaning Great Scholar.

In addition, it’s one of the few Tibetan temples that survived the Cultural Revolution and kept most of its ancient buildings well-preserved. Visitors can explore the monastery’s 70,000 square kilometer property and look at the Future Buddha, the world’s largest gilded statue.

Don’t forget the book that lays out the principles of goal-achievement and attaining a Bold Life!

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Through timely and thoughtful articles, the book Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success, and other media, we deliver engaging content that educates, motivates and inspires you to live a Bold Life.
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