High Road to Tibet
THE TOUR AT THE GLANCE
This is our classic Tibetan journey - a rugged crossing of the Tibetan Plateau linking the fabled city of Lhasa with the bustling and vibrant Kathmandu. In the company of our Tibetan speaking guides we include the cultural highlights of Lhasa including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang temple, the Norbulingka plus the Drepung and Sera monasteries, with visits to Gyantse (the Kumbum chorten) and Shigatse (the Tashilhunpo). A highlight of the journey is our visit to the famous Rongphu Valley to see Mount Everest's north face from the historic base camp used during the expeditions led by Mallory in the 1920s - an experience shared by only a handful of dedicated travellers each year on this remarkable journey
EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR JOURNEY
- Potala Palace, Norbulingkha Palace, Jorkhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Barkhor Street in Lhasa.
- Spectacular drive across Kambala and Karola passes and along the shores of Yamdrok Tso Lake.
- Inspiring landscapes, super mountain views, rich Buddhist history and culture.
- Comfortable transportation/hotels with Tibetan character wherever possible
- Experience the Tibetan cultural capital of Lhasa,
- witness monks in debate and prayer, explore rural villages and lunar-like landscapes, Reach 5000m and a mere 7km below Everest Base Camp,
- Enjoy stunning views while travelling overland from Tibet to Nepal.
- From the sacred peaks of Tibet to lush green Nepalese valleys,
- explore overland the best of the Himalayas on this two-week tour. Discover mighty temples and small outposts on.
- In the thin mountain air of Rongbuk, the highest monastery in the world,
- Enjoy unparalleled views of Mt Everest. So make sure your camera is charged
- Gyantse Kumbum and Pelkore Chode Monastery.
- Shalu Monastery and Tashilunbo Monastery in Shigatse.
- Tradruk Temple, Yambulakhang Palace, and ancient Samye Monastery.
- Meet the local Tibetan families.
- Enjoy stunning views while travelling overland from Tibet to Nepal.
VIEW FULL ITINERARY
Arrive Kathmandu/Nepal: You would be met by our representative in the arrival hall who would assist in all formalities to complete the immigration and visa requirements and transfer to hotel - arrive and check in.
Afternoon at leisure / independent activities.
Evening walk experience the hustle and bustle of the ancient markets of Asan Tole and Indra Chowk
Morning visit Kathmandu Durbar Square in the heart of old city Kathmandu.Visit Swoyambhunath - a UNESCO World Heritage site, believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago and now an important Buddhist learning site
Later visit Pasupatinath “Nepal’s most important Hindu temple stands on the banks of the holy Bagmati River”.
Afternoon Heritage walk to Boudhanath. The Stupa is located in the area of ancient trade route to Tibet where the Tibetan merchants used to rest and offered prayers for many centuries.
Visit a Buddhist Monastery near Boudhanath and experience a glimpse of Buddhism and watch the monks pray. Have an interactive session with a High-Monk (depending upon availability).
Later take a Rickshaw ride from Kathmandu Durbar Square to Thamel passing through the old Kathmandu city and local bazaars filled with local people.
Optional: Welcome dinner at the Krishna Arpan Restaurant at the Hotel Dwarika served in a traditional Nawari style and cuisine.
This morning,transferred to the airport for the flight to Lhasa.. On arrival at Lhasa Airport you will be transferred to the city – a drive that takes around two hours. Due to the high altitude, you need to take it easy when you arrive in Lhasa.
A briefing will be given around 5pm by your guide, where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Drive: 65km, ~2hrs Altitude: 3,670m)
Today, you will visit the significant historical and cultural attractions of Lhasa, which includes the Drepung Monastery, Norbulingkha Palaces, and Jorkhang Temple. And later, conclude the day with a relaxed stroll in the Barkhor Street.
Drepung Monastery, situated to the west of Lhasa city, was the largest and most prosperous of the three principal Yellow Hat Sect monasteries in Lhasa. Once the most powerful of the “Gelukpa” monasteries, Drepung had seven colleges and, at its height, housed over 10,000 monks. It owns many splendid murals, elaborate statues, and other precious treasures.
The next stop will be at Norbulinka Palaces- the summer residences of the Dalai Lamas. The Norbulinka has three palaces, situated in a beautiful garden. Most visited is the private residence of the current Dalai Lama that includes his private chamber, meditation room, the reception room, and the throne room.
We will have a lunch break in the Barkhor area (Pay on your own), and after that, we visit Jokhang Temple- situated at the center of old Lhasa. Originally, built-in 647 AD, the temple site was believed to have been chosen personally by the wife of King Songtsan Gampo, the Tang Princess Wen Cheng. The temple is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims.
Now, we will go for a relaxed stroll in the Barkhor street that encircles the Jokhang Temple. Barkhor means “a pilgrim’s inner circuit,” and it's believed to be the earliest street of old Lhasa city. It dates back to the foundation of the Jokhang and is an essential pilgrim route. Houses and small inns were built all around the street. As time went on, shops and businesses sprung up in the Barkhor, and it slowly became a prosperous area.
Today, you will visit two exciting destinations; visit the magnificent Potala Palace in the morning and the Sera Monastery in the afternoon.
The world-famous Potala Palace of the Dalai Lama is located on "Red Hill," to the west of old Lhasa. Architecturally, it is considered to be one of the wonders of the world, and thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit the palace every day.
From here, we will head to Sera Monastery- the last of the three principal Yellow Sect monasteries to be built in Lhasa. Sera means” Hailstone” in Tibet, and legend tells that it hailed during the foundation of this famous monastery. Sera comprise a great sutra chanting hall, a college, and 32 sections. It once housed nearly 10,000 monks and is proud of its glorious history during the Ming Dynasty. Here, we take a chance to attend the debating ceremony of monks in which the monks discuss their knowledge of Buddhism. It is an ancient method of learning and sharpening their understanding of Buddhism and quite amusing to onlookers as well.
You should have been well acclimated and ready to hit the high roads of Tibet.
Today, travel by road to Gyantse town in central Tibet. While Chinese influences are rapidly engulfing many Tibetan towns, Gyantse still preserves its Tibetan characters.
The journey involves the crossing of two high passes Kamba La (15,700 ft.) and Karo La (16,500 ft.) and then follows the shores of Yamdrok Tso Lake for more than 40 miles. Yamdrok Tso Lake is one of the four holiest lakes of Tibet and has turquoise green water. As we leave the lakeshore behind, the road climbs to Karo La (16,500ft), once again opportunities of breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks and vast Tibetan plateau. We should arrive in Gyantse town in mid-afternoon. We check in the hotel, and after wash and change, we set out to visit the attractions of the city.
Gyantse's major attractions are the Gyantse Kumbum- a magnificent tiered structure that has only one ruined and remote contemporary (at Jonang, 60km north-east of Lhatse ) in the Buddhist world- and the Pelkor Chode Monastery. Kumbum and Pelkor Chode monastery share the same compound which ones contained 15 Monasteries of different faiths.
Depending on available time and your interest, we may take a hike to the historic Gyantse Dzong. There is, of course, history in place, but what attracts most is fascinating views of Pelkhor Chode, the ancient alleyways, and the jagged surrounding peaks. We descend and visit the Tibetan dwellings, and take a peek into their lifestyle.
Today, travel by road to Shigatse. About 20 Kms before Shigatse, we take Shalu Monastery to turn off. Shalu Monastery lies approximately 12 Kms from the main highway. Jetsun Sherab Jungne built this monastery in the year 1000. The architecture of the monastery features completely Chinese Yuan Dynasty's temple, which is a rare and unique work of art, a mixed feature of Tibetan and Han. The monastery enshrines various relics such as religious objects, Buddhist scriptures written on "pattra" leaves, and an essential decree of Pagpa, the Sakya abbot.
Upon arrival in Shigatse, check-in hotel, and after refreshment, we visit the famous Tashilunbo Monastery-the principal seat of Panchen Lama-the second most venerated religious leader of Tibet. The monastery is the landmark of Shigatse and associated with the Gelugpa order and is one of the six great Gelugpa institutions along with Sera, Drepung, Ganden, Kumbum, and Labrang. We also take a chance to visit the vibrant 'free' market of Shigatse, where we can get excellent bargains on local handicrafts embedded with coral and turquoise. There are also Tibetan Daggers, Chinese pottery, and yak butter, and local produce.
Today, Travel from Shigatse to Tingri and visit the Sakya Monastery. The monastery is one of the oldest in Tibet and home to thousands of ancient Buddhist scriptures and many paintings. Gain a fascinating insight into Tibetan history and enjoy the views from this hillside structure.
Take an exhilarating drive to reach Rongbuk – 5000m (16404ft) and a mere 7km (4.4mi) below Everest Base Camp. The view from here is utterly spectacular.
Rongbuk is the highest monastery in the world and its guesthouse offers very basic accommodation, but the views that surround it more than compensate. Lie in bed and watch the moonlight illuminate the mountain.
Today, travel to Kyirong. This border town is known for it's warmer climate and green landscape. Soak in the views on the long but incredibly scenic drive from Rongbuk.
On today's drive, ride alongside Paiko Tso Lake and marvel at its turquoise colour. Reach Kunda La Pass at 5236m, which offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Start the descent through winding roads into Kyirong and feel the change in altitude. See the change in scenery from snowy mountain peaks, to more greenery and blue skies.
Today, cross the border back into Nepal. The overland journey from Tibet to Nepal is considered one of the most stunning drives in Asia. Once across the border, travel to Kathmandu to enjoy a final evening in the city.
Prepare for another beautiful driving day on your way to Nepal. Cross high mountain passes amongst fluttering prayer flags, enjoy jaw dropping views of the Himalayan range, stunning lakes and forest, then begin to descend in altitude towards lush, green Nepal. After immigration, cross the bridge joining Tibet and Nepal by foot. Jump in the vehicle and make the winding, bumpy, yet extremely scenic drive to Kathmandu.
Transfer to airport to board flight back home
End Of Tour
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation for (total 11 nights) sharing double / twin room as per program
- Meals: on Full board basis.(Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner) except in Kathmandu on Bed & breakfast
- Transfers, sightseeing/excursions as per the program by air-conditioned vehicle.
- English speaking local Tibetan Guide in Tibet and local guide in Kathmandu as per program.
- Monument entrance fees as per the itinerary.
- Tibet Travel Permit.
- Visit Bamboo School in Kathmandu
- Company representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
- All presently applicable taxes including all Government taxes.
- Two bottles of mineral water each day during sightseeing.
TOUR COST WILL NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES
- International / Domestic Airfare
- Any new admission fees / taxes / fuel surcharges/ Chinese Visa
- Meals not mentioned
- Travel and medical insurance.
- All personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, trip cancellation and personal insurance, gratuities, excess baggage fees
- Early check-in/late check-out (except as noted)
- Camera/video fees at monuments
- Evacuation charges, damage of any nature.
- Communication costs
- Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or misconnection of flights or last-minute change of timings etc.
- Any other service, which has not been specified as "included".
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