Lhasa, Tibet (PRWEB) October 11, 2012
Songstan Travel, a locally-owned agency based in Lhasa, now offers an 8-Day overland tour along the Friendship Highway.
The Friendship Highway runs from Kathmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, in the heart of Tibet. It goes over three 5,000-meter plus mountain passes, skirts the world’s highest mountain, and runs through dozens of the most important Tibetan historical and cultural sites. The scenery is spectacular, the views are unforgettable, and the experience is once-in-a-lifetime.
“Tibet has fascinated travelers for centuries and a drive over the vast dry plateau provides a chance to meet its people allow understanding the Tibetan lifestyle,” Songstan travel said.
On the overland journey travelers will visit ancient Buddhist monasteries and remote villages untouched by modern civilization. From the Nepal border to the first stop travelers will have stunning views Mt. Everest and the surrounding Himalaya and Trans-Himalaya mountains.
In the town of Shigatse travelers can stop to visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery, historic seat of the Panchen Lama (the second-highest position in Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama). The tombs of the former Panchen Lamas are here, and the monastery contains many ornate and beautiful chapels.
From Shigatse the Friendship Highway heads towards the city of Gyantse, the site of the famous Kumbum Stupa. This is the largest stupa in Tibet, with countless chapels and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
From Gyantse travelers make their way to Lhasa, the center of Tibetan life. The Potala Palace dominates the skyline with its striking white and dark red colors and prominent position atop Red Hill at the center of town. Potala is the historical seat of Tibetan power and the location of the tombs of previous Dalai Lamas; it also serves as a symbol of Tibetans’ religious aspirations.
Lhasa contains many important cultural sites. Jokhang temple, 2 km to the east of Potala Palace, has become the spiritual hub of the country. The temple contains important ancient relics, and pilgrims walk the Barkhor Circuit—a kora route around Jokhang through the bustling streets of Barkhor market.
Near Lhasa are the Sera and Drepung Monasteries, important in Tibet’s religious and scholarly tradition. The summer palace of the Dalai Lama, called Norbulingka, contains a large public park worth strolling through on a sunny summer day.
Songstan Travel is a Lhasa-based tour operator with more than 20 years of experience leading Tibet tours. The agency uses part of its proceeds to provide education to disadvantaged children. Songstan Travel seeks to promote Tibetan culture and help Tibetans improve their livelihood.