This tour of the Tibet Autonomous Region includes visits to some of the most important highlights on this unique high altitude plateau. We begin by driving from Kathmandu to the Tibetan border crossing the famed Gyanchula pass at 5,200 meters (17,060 feet), higher than many airplanes flying above other parts of the world! Then on to Shigatse and the Tashilunpo monastery, home to the Panchen Lamas of Tibet. It’s a short drive to Gyantse where we visit Tibet’s largest chörten, or stupa, the Kumbum, founded 15th cent., replete with “10,000” murals. This structure is very large and has wonderful galleries to explore all the fabulous artwork.
Central Lhasa contains the Potala Palace, once home to Tibet’s Dalai Lamas, the Norbulinka Palace, the summer palace of same and the Jokhang temple, Tibet’s most sacred pilgrimage spot. Around the Jokhang is the Barkhor, a circumambulatory market and traditional bazaar with everything from carpets, antiques and religious paraphernalia on sale. Both Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery, nearby Lhasa, once housed 10,000 monks each. From Lhasa we strike out to Drak Yerpa, a striking valley surrounded by rocky cliffs containing numerous caves once used as retreats for meditators. Some of these sites date to the 7th cent. And the temples, shrines and other edifices are connected with virtually all of the most important figures in Tibetan history, including Guru Rinpoche, Atisa, Songtsen Gampo, Ling Gesar, etc.
We travel south towards the Nepalese border to the town of Tingri, so named because the Buddha is said to have thrown a stone from India that landed here making the sound “ting”! Tingri is the gateway to Mount Everest from the Tibet side and we drive to the Everest Base Camp which is near the Dza Rongbuk Monastery, Tibet’s highest. After taking in the extraordinary view of Mount Everest, it’s back to Kathmandu by automobile, itself an incredible trip.
Arrive Kathmandu (1,300 meters) meet at the airport and drive to hotel. City sightseeing. In the evening join us for a welcome dinner with a typical Nepali cultural dance.Day 2
Full day sightseeing program in Kathmandu and apply for Tibet visa.Day 3
Early start from Kathmandu to border and pass through immigration. Drive to Nyalam (3,700 meters) approximately 150 kilometer trip.Day 4
Drive to Shigatse (3,900 meters) over the Gyanchula pass (5,200 meters) and visit Tashilunpo Monastery.Day 5
Drive to Gyantse (3,650 meters) visit Kumbum Chörten and Phalkor Monastery.Day 6
Drive to Lhasa, visit the Jokhang Temple, Norbulinka Palace, and tour the BarkhorDay 7
Full day sightseeing in Lhasa, visit the Potala Palace, Sera and Drepung monasteries.Day 8
Drive to Drak Yerpa and Ganden Monastery.Day 9
Drive to TingriDay 10
Drive to Mount Everest base camp, walk or ride a horse to Dza Rongbuk Monastery. Overnight in guest houseDay 11
Early drive to Nepal border and continue to KathmanduDay 12
Free day for Shopping and transfer to airport for connecting flight.Costs:
For Two people: U.S.$ 1,750 per person
Three people: U.S.$ 1,600 per person
Four people: U.S.$ 1,360 per person
Three star hotel room with shared twin beds in Kathmandu, including breakfast
Border transfer from Kathmandu to Kodari (Chinese border) and back to Kathmandu
Shared accommodations as per itinerary while in Tibet including breakfast
English speaking guide while in Tibet
All transportation by tourist vehicles while in Tibet as per itinerary
All entry fees of places mentioned in itinerary
All necessary permits plus special Mount Everest permitsPrice Does Not Include:
Tibet Visa Fees
Personal expenses, i.e. telephone calls, drinks, etc.
Gratuities, customarily 15% but all tipping is up to you