Trip to Tibet is a fantastic, special and adventurous experience. It is ancient Tibet and modern China in the process of blending together. It is one of the most remote parts of the world. Most of Tibet, including Lhasa, is at an elevation of more than 3658 meter (12000 feet). The sight of pilgrims prostrating themselves in front of Jhokang must be seen to be comprehended. Tibetans from remote part of the country makes their pilgrimage to Lhasa. It is pilgrimage of their lifetime. As you go around Jokhang temple, Lhasa’s cathedral, you come across with pilgrims prostrating themselves, tall Khampas with red braids in their hair, Chinese tourists, and traders selling goods that you cannot imagine.
The flight over the Himalaya makes spectacular crossing rarely seen anywhere in the world. The lush green colour in Nepal slowly fades away and arid and dull gray plateau appears which in turn turns into blue sky as you land at Lhasa. The highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest, and another 8000-meter peak of Mt. Makalu dominates the breathtaking view.
The distance in Tibet is very wide and the road is rough. So schedules are often disrupted by mechanical problem, floods, or landslides. To tackle the problems that arise out of these unforeseen circumstances you would certainly need spirit of adventure and patience. In fact your journey to Tibet would be a rewarding and unforgettable experience like the one Tibetan pilgrim get once they are in Lhasa.
Eight-day overland journey to Lhasa is extended to include a side trip to the famous Rongbuk monastery and Everest base camp from Tibet side. Yamdrok Lake, Tashilumpo monastery at Xigatse, seat of Panchen Lama, lies en-route to Lhasa. The highway on the plateau that runs almost parallel to the Himalayan range offers dramatic view of the landscape. Four WD drive Toyota Land cruiser is used for the journey.
We arrange a private tour on your suitable and convenient dates. We also customise a tour or a trek to suit your exact requirements and dates. We will make every effort to make your trip smooth and hasselfree.
Night in Kathmandu before the tour: We suggest at least 2 to 3 nights in Kahtmandu to allow sufficient time to process your China/Tibet visa.We visit photogenic Potala palace, Drepung and Sera monastery. This is a wonderful tour to experience and see insight of Tibetan life, their philosophy and religion. Fly back to Kathmandu, stay overnight and leave Kathmandu next day.
Potala Palace was built in 1645 and completed in 1693. It dominates the landscape in Lhasa. The palace is the former winter residence of the Dalai Lama. It used to be the official residence of 13 Dalai Lamas. The magnificent building has over 1000 rooms. Inside there are many chambers; you can see brilliant frescoes paintings and great view of Lhasa. Jokhang Temple has valuable relics of Buddha and magnificent statues related to Tibet Buddhism. Often you come across devotees, who have come from far flung of Tibet, prostrating in and around. The sight of pilgrims prostrating themselves in front of Jhokang must be seen to be comprehended. This is something you can never see elsewhere. Jokhan temple in Lhasa is the spiritual center of Tibet where in the summer nomads meet other pilgrims on their way to the high pasture.
Sera monastery is one of the three important monasteries. It was built in 15th century. Once upon a time it used to have 5000 monks. It belongs to Gelugpa order known as Yellow Hat. The other important monastery around Lhasa is Drepung monastery. It used to have 8000 monks. They are thought in the tradition of Vajrayana, Tantra and Sutra.
Visit to the historical place of Zedang involve a long drive. It is 190km to the east of Lhasa in the Yarlung valley which is linked with the birth of Tibet's history. It would be very interesting to visit Samye monastery which is one of the oldest monastery in Tibet. The monastery is simply breath taking and inspiring.
Trip to Tibet is a fantastic, special and adventurous experience. It is ancient Tibet and modern China in the process of blending together. It is one of the most remote parts of the world. Most of Tibet, including Lhasa, is at an elevation of more than 3658 meter (12000 feet). The sight of pilgrims prostrating themselves in front of Jhokang must be seen to be comprehended.
You travel for days on this remote plateau with chance encounters of nomads herding their sheep or yaks. When Tibet was widely opened for outsiders in 1980, it brought a tremendous boost in its economic development and phase of modernization; naturally the cultural degradation lead to a long gap between the old people and youngsters within the country, in the way of their speaking, attitude, clothing, belief, manner and so on, but the Buddhism philosophy and practice has deeply rooted in their day to day life of all Tibetans, intensively celebrate religious festivals and making pilgrimages to distant monasteries, holy mountains and lakes are becoming indispensable part of their life.
Please plan to arrive at least 2 nights before the trip to access you visa.
Note:The above itinerary and schedule is guideline only. It is subject to change due to logistic, local, technical, weather and other condition beyond our control.
*Additional charge is applicable specially during peak season
Day 01: Arrive Lhasa (3660m). Transfer to Hotel.
Upon arrival you will be received by the Tibetan guide who will transfer you to your hotel in Lhasa. It is about 45 minutes to reach the old city. Check in at your hotel, free day for acclimatization. There is no set program arranged for today.
Day 02: In Lhasa. Sightseeing: Drepung monastery , Jokang temple and Barkhor Bazaar
Visit the Drepung monastery. This is the largest monastery in the world and once housed 10,000 monks and nuns. It was built in 1419 and the second, thrid and fourth Dalai Lamas lived and were entombed here. A visit to the kitchen of this monastery is a must see. Look out for the washing machine in which the monks mix their butter tea. Next stop is Jokhang Temple. This is the holiest shrine in Tibet and houses a golden statue of the Buddha. You then visit to the Barkhor Bazaar outside the Jokhang monastery. This is the bustling flea market where you can buy vouvenirs and meet other tourists
Day 03:In Lhasa. Potala, Norbulingka summer palace and Sera monastery
Visit to the Potala Palace is awesome. The Palace of the Dalai Lama, a treasure of Tibetan culture was, till 1965, the seat of both religion and politics in Tibet. It was built in the 7th century by Tsongtsen Gampo as a fort and later renovated by the 5th Dalai lama in the 17th century to its present specifications. Visit to the Narbulingka, the winter Palace of the Dalai lama built in the 18th century would be the next attraction in your sightseeing tour. Next you will visit to Sera Monastery, a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs
Your sightseeing itineray may be slightly change if there are many visitors on that day as only a limited number of visitors are allowed inside the Potala palace every day.
Day 04: Drive to Gyantse (3950m)- 261 km
Drive through friendship highway, cross Khamba La(4794m), stop sometime for majestic views of Yamdrok-tso Lake and Nazin Kang Sa, On turning westwards, you come across another pass, Karo La at 5045m. After driving 261 km, beautifully landscaped Tibetan villages become visible as you enter the town of Gyantse.
Day 05: Sightseeing in Gyantse & drive to Shigatse(3900m)-90km
In the morning, we begin the scenic drive to Gyantse, crossing the Karo La Pass. The Karo La climbs between two lofty mountains, Nozin Khang Sa and Ralung. The descent leads us to the sacred moraine blue lake of Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake). Our drive concludes in Gyantse, a small bustling town steeped in history, once a capital of a small Kingdom. In Gyantse we make a visit to the Gyantse Kumbum , which is comprised of 16 monasteries representing different sects and schools of Buddhism in Tibet. It is regarded as an outstanding example of tolerance between different Buddhist practices.
Day 06: Sightseeing & drive to Shegar (4050m)- 244km.
Today we drive to Shigatse, explore the fantastic Tashilhunpo Monastery, the official residence of the Panchen Lama and home to over 700 monks. Shigatse on the half-day drive to Chomalungma, passing through Lhatse en route. Lhatse is approximately forty miles south-west of Shigatse. Lhatse (13,284ft) is essentially a truck-stop with a number of good restaurants, shops and guest houses.
Day 07 Drive to Rongbuk (5000m)- 68km
Early this morning, depart Shegar on the drive to Everest Base Camp, and spend the morning enjoying the views of Mt. Everest. Afterwards, you have the option of either hiking (two hours) to Rongbuk, or taking the Environmental Protection Bus which will take about twenty minutes. The walk is very level, but the altitude could have you breathing hard within a few minutes of starting out. Above Rongbuk, the valley expands into a large glacial flood plain, with boulders and glacial debris favoring the left side of the valley. En route to ongbuk, you will come across the Sherab Choling Hermitage. If you like, you may spend some time there.
Day 08: Explore Everest base camp & drive to Tingri (4390m) 65km
This morning you have the opportunity to explore Everest Base Camp (5150m.) The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest more than compensates for it. It truly is an awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above you.(You might have to hire cart)
Day 09: Drive to Zhangmu (2300m)- 181km
This morning, depart Rongbuk on the full-day drive down to Zhangmu, passing through Tingri en route. The small village of Tingri is quite a delight, and fun to explore. Enjoy playing with the Tibetan children as they run around you with amazement. Witness the stunning views of Everest, Cho Oyu and others off in the distance. Be sure to wander off into the farming fields at sunset to see the spectacular alpine glow on these famous massive mountains. Today’s drive and scenery are truly amazing. The road cuts through the Himalayan mountain range. The changes in the vegetation and the landscapes in such a short distance are stunning.
Day 10: Drive to Kathmandu (1400m) - 123km
You will be assisted with clearing Immigrations on the Chinese side, from where you will drive down to the Friendship Bridge, the border of Nepal and China. Here, say goodbye to your Tibetan guide, cross the Friendship Bridge on foot, and arrive to Kodari, Nepal.
The above itinerary and schedule is guideline only. It is subject to change due to logistic, local, technical, weather and other condition beyond our control.
We can customize the tour to suit your requirements.For more comprehensive cultural tour add 2 night that includes Tsurphu Gompa and Ganden Gompa
Tsurphu Gompa is the seat of Karmapa branch of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism, where we will start with a kora of the gompa and a tour of this ancient monastery, with its gilded rooftops and colorful prayer rooms and murals. The region we drive through to get back and forth from the gompa is very traditionally Tibetan, so we have a good introduction to rural life and the countryside of Tibet. We can stop to take photographs en route! We can also take a walk up the valley a ways from the gompa (this is the start of a trek from Tsurphu to Yangpachen, and the valley is stunning, with nomadic encampments en route).
And Ganden Gompa:
The drive to Ganden Gompa is wonderful. It used to be one of the largest and most important gompa (monastery) in the region of Lhasa, Mostly part of the monastery was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. It has been rebuilt. It is a rollercoaster ride up and switchbacks to get to Ganden. It is an exciting journey. We pass through the country side that has small Tibetan villages and cultivated fields.
The inside of the gompa has many interesting things to see. Tibetan pilgrims go around the close by peak with constant prayer for good karma.
Tibetan Medicine and Astrology:
Beside the monasteries extension of the tour would allow you to visit Tibetan Institute of Medicine and Astrology to see painting on silk about the history of Tibetan medicine. There are local arts and crafts centers where carpets are made in traditional methods. Allow another day to add this visit.
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