Travelling across the mighty Himalayan mountains, this 17-day Tibet Nepal tour from Chengdu by train will let you explore two different but equally enchanting Buddhist destinations, and enjoy a fascinating train tour from Chengdu to Lhasa at the same time. The tour starts from Chengdu, the home of the Giant Pandas, and a perfect gateway to Tibet by train. Then in Lhasa, you will visit the sacred monasteries and temples of this sunlight city before enjoy an overland tour to Everest Base Camp via Shigatse and Gyantse. After appreciating the glorious Everest peak, you will travel to Nepal across Gyirong border. Then in the ancient kingdom of Nepal, you will go on to visit the wonderful sites like Kathmandu’s Durbar square, Phewa Lake, Chitwan National Park etc., before the tour ends.
- Date with the adorable Giant Pandas in Chengdu.
- Experience the Sky Train, the world’s highest train ride from Chengdu to Lhasa.
- Fully explore the sunlight city Lhasa with its well-known palace of Potala and holy monasteries of Jokhang, Sera and Drepung.
- Gaze upon the awe-inspiring summit of Mt. Everest.
- Explore the world-heritage cultural sites like Kathmandu’s Durbar Square and Swayambhunath.
- Admire the stunning view of Phewa Lake in Pokhara.
- Fully day safari in Royal Chitwan National Park to discover amazing creatures
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu and Chengdu Sightseeing
Upon your arrival in Chengdu, our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area of the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
Then, you can take a leisure stroll along Jinli Street. It is a famous commercial pedestrian street in the City, boasting rows of old-style buildings, delicious local snacks, interesting handicrafts and elegant restaurants. Later, drive to Wenshu Monastery to have wonderful taste of the vegetarian food for dinner. Another alternative is to enjoy the cultural show - Sichuan Opera in the evening.
Stay overnight in Chengdu.
Day 2: Tour Chengdu Panda Breeding Center and Board Chengdu-Lhasa Train to Tibet
In the morning, you will have a special date with the adorable giant pandas in Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. You could also learn more about the life and habits of the national treasure of China. The remainder of the day is free for you to have a good rest or explore the city before taking the train to Tibet.
You will board the train from Chengdu to Lhasa in the evening. The Tibet Railway offers a stunning alpine scenery full of snow caped mountains, lakes, vast plateau plains littered with nomads, yaks, Tibetan antelope and many other wild life elements. Tibet Railway is the world’s highest Railway. The rail line expands a vast highland area with an average altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level, the highest being 5,068 meters.
Overnight on the train.
Day 3-4: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Sightseeing by train; Arrive in Lhasa
The train will move on Qinghai Tibet Plateau, and you will pass by Yuzhu Peak, which is the main peak of Kunlun Mountain, World Natural Heritage Kekexili Natural Preserve, Tuotuo River-the resource of Yangtze River, Naqu Grassland and Cuona Lake.
Upon arrival on the next day, you will be greeted by local guide at the train station and be presented with traditional Tibetan White Scarf to wish you good luck! After group photo at the station, board on the vehicle and transfer back to hotel, you will enjoy the spectacular scenery and the typical Tibetan villages on the way.
Stay at the hotel after arrival for adapting to the high attitude. It is helpful to take things easy for the first few days and try to drink some water.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 5: Lhasa Highlights Escorted Tour
After breakfast, we go to the Potala Palace, a golden feather upon the roof of the world, which Tibetans proudly claim to be the prime miracle since the creation of this world. With the golden roof shinning in the sun, it is visible from any distance. You can spend one hour wondering around the inside of this magnificent building and exploring the rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and many Buddhist icons within.
In the afternoon we go inside of the Jokhang. The Jokhang, like most of the larger temple structures having numerous individual temples within it, dedicated to specific enlightened beings, protectors, high lamas, or saints. Images, both sculpted and painted, are everywhere. Every inch of wall and ceiling is brightly painted with images of clouds, beings, mandalas, or decorative patterns. Colorful silk banners, three stories high, hang in various places. Color, pattern, and images crowd in around you. The central image inside the building is a 30-foot-high gilded image of Maitreya Buddha.
Then stroll around the back alleys of the Barkhor area of Old Lhasa. The streets smelled of yak butter and incense while hordes of pilgrims shuffled along the main Kora (circumambulations) around Jokhang Temple.
Day 6: Lhasa - Drepung and Sera Monastery
In the morning have a tour for Drepung, the ever-largest monastery with more than 10 thousand monks. Buddhist debates often occur there. Seen from afar, its grand, white construction gives the monastery the appearance of a heap of rice. As such, it was given its name which, in the Tibetan language, means Monastery of Collecting-Rice. Learn about the lives of Tibetan monks there.
You can spend the afternoon touring Sera Monastery and have a little hike for the beautiful valley scenery nearby and picnic there. Sera monastery was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As roses are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 lamas live in there. Catch the famous debate session of the monks before returning to Lhasa.
Day 7: Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse
After fully explore Lhasa, you’ll have a chance to get lost in the endless Tibetan landscape while you take a short hike along the turquoise waters of Lake Yamdrok, one of the four holy lakes in Tibet. This dazzling lake is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la (4700m). The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and it is shaped like a coiling scorpion. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangstsang (7191m).
Afterwards pass by the 5,010 m high Karo-la and the Simi La forward to Gyantse (3,950m). Visit Pelkor Monastery as well as the splendid Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, both built in the 15th century and situated in the northwestern edge of Gyantse.
In the afternoon drive about 90 kilometers to Shigatse (3880m), the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang.
Day 8: Shigatse to Rongbuk Monastery
Today we have an early start to drive westwards the Friendship way to Rongbuk. On the road the drive is full of magnificent scenery and cross some extremely high passes including Gyatsola (5248m). The road to Everest diverts off the newly paved Friendship highway near the town of Shegar and turns into bumpy gravel trail, which is still 90km to get to Rongpuk.
If it is in clear weather, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which is 8000m high or more, such as: Mt. Lhotse (8516m), Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Qowowuyag (8201m), Mt Mayalu (8463m).
Day 9: Snake down to Gyirong County
Open your eyes, and wake up to the first sunlight shining over the pyramid-shaped summit of imposing Mt. Everest. Grab your camera for an epic shot and stroll to the Rongbuk Monastery, exploring this world’s highest Buddhist compound. If you wish, you can do the meditation and experience the unparalleled tranquility and harmony there. Or you can interact with monks and nuns with the help of guide to learn more of their unique spiritual life.
The temperature can get bitterly cold in the early morning. Do wear enough cloths like your down jacket, scarf and mittens to protect the extreme coldness.
Then in the afternoon, back to Old Tingri and continue go west to Gyirong County. Our Tibetan guide will arrange the proper accommodation for you in Gyirong county and we are about to spend the night here.
Day 10: Exit Tibet via Gyirong Border to Kathmandu
In the morning, our Tibetan guide will escort you to Gyirong border. Then, you are kindly required to hike on your own to cross the border bridge which is 50m long, then check in Nepal side, you can get the Nepal visa upon arrival with US$ 30, please prepare one photo at passport size to get Nepal Visa.
After you get to Nepal side, please find our guide. The guide will accompany you in a comfortable vehicle to the hotel in downtown (7-8hours’ ride) and help you with the check-in procedure. The rest of the day is left for you to have a good rest or to become familiar with the capital city of Nepal by yourself.
Day 11: Kathmandu Sightseeing; Kathmandu to Nagarkot
Kathmandu’s Durbar Square is one of three durbar (royal palace) squares in the Kathmandu Valley. It is the site of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex, which was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century and where important ceremonies taken place. Swayambhunath the golden spire of the 5th-century Swayambhu stupa is adorned with a colorful fluttering of prayer flags; it crowns a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley and offers fantastic views over the city of Kathmandu. Then it is on to Boudhanath, located on the ancient trade route. It is a place of meditation and part of the spiritual journey around Kathmandu. With one of the largest stupas in the world, it has been the site of many Tibetan prayers over the centuries.
After Boudhanath, you will drive on to Nagarkot, a small town nearby that has great views of eight of the 13 Himalayan Ranges, including Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, and Mahalangur, as well as stunning views over the Kathmandu Valley.
Stay overnight in Nagarkot.
Day 12: Nagarkot to Pokhara
Today, you will drive to Pokhara in the early morning after breakfast. The whole journey takes about 6 hours. En route to Pokhara, you will stop off to visit the spectacular Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a Royal Palace square with pagodas and shikhara temples strewn around the ancient Royal Palace. The square really highlights the ancient building arts of Nepal.
Stay overnight in Pokhara.
Day 13: Leisure time in Pokhara
Today we will do the sightseeing tour in Pokhara city, the most popular destination in Nepal after Kathmandu. In the morning, we do the Boating at Phewa Lake, which is the center of attraction in Pokhara and is also the second largest lake in the Kingdom. It is the largest and most enchanting of the three lakes that add to the resplendence of Pokhara. Here, one can sail or row a hired boat across to the water or visit the island temple in the middle. The favorite home base for travelers is the eastern shore.
Aside from Phewa Lake, we keep visiting the Seti River Gorge - one of the best places to see. You will have an opportunity to take a glimpse to the limestone cave of Mahendra Gufa, used to be well-known for its stalactites.
Stay overnight in Pokhara.
Day 14: Pokhara - Chitwan (160km, 5-6 hours)
Chitwan - From alleys of the Valley to lush greenery, get ready to treat all your senses at Chitwan, the heart of the jungle. From being surrounded by the concrete jungle to entering the real jungle, this package has extremes to get you in adventure mode. From making way through the narrow gallis of Kathmandu and discovering architectural delights, you will be walking or riding through the jungle along with the wild animals you will discover by the Rapti River.
Day 15: Chitwan Jungle Park Exploration
Early morning you visit the Jungle to refresh your spirit of adventure on a guided walk through the national park, returning to the lodge in time for breakfast.
You will follow a full day true jungle experience with the in-house expert naturalists including Bird watching, Elephant bathing and canoeing. You will also visit the small village of Tharu ethnic group to get a sense of what their world and lives are like through interactions with the locals.
A special sundowner can be suggested at the confluence of the Rapti River amidst spectacular sunset view.
Day 16: Chitwan - Kathmandu (185km, 6-7 hours)
Today, you will drive back to Kathmandu, where you can have a nice lunch before heading off to visit the third largest city in Nepal, Patan, located in the south of the Kathmandu Valley. There you can visit the Patan Durbar Square, another of the Royal Palace Squares of ancient Nepali culture, which remains as the finest collection of palaces and temples in Nepal.
Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 17: Kathmandu Departure
Drive back to Katmandu and transfer to airport to take your flight back home.
1.Tibet Entry Permit
2. Comfortable, clean and safe vehicle depending on your group size with reliable local driver;
3. Admission fees of tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
4. Professional English speaking tour guide;
5. Accommodations depend on your preference. Please tell us your preferred accommodation class when submitting the enquiry, and we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
6.All measl listed in the itinerary;
7.Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance
What’s not included?
1. International flight to and out of China;
2. Chinese Visa
3. Domestic flight / train not listed in the itinerary (If you need ticket booking service, please leave your requirements in the Online Inruiry form.)
4.Meals not specified in the itinerary;
5.Tips to driver and tour guide, Tip as you wish
6.Personal expenses, such as laundry, phone call, optional tour activities and so on.
1. Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit is a must for Tibet tour. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for the permit after you book a Tibetan tour with us. Shortly after we get your permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau, we will inform you and mail it to your hotel in China via express.
In some extreme cases, our staff will hand it over to you at the airport or railway station. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
Tibet is never known for its 5-star luxury resorts, though you can find some like Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise, St.Regis Lhasa Resort, Sheraton hotel, etc in Lhasa. Overall, the accommodation facilities and services are not as good as those in coastal and central parts of China. However, from cheap and clean youth hotel, to distinct Tibetan style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotel, you will find one that suits your interest and pocket in Lhasa.
We’ve handpicked cozy and safe hotels in the central area of Lhasa, where you will find Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street are just steps away from you. You can easily experience more of the local life and culture. Normally, as you travel to remote areas in some parts of Shigatse like Tingri, or EBC, Ngari, Nagqu, etc. the accommodation would be much poorer. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel;others may only have electric blanket in the guesthouses. And the food is also very basic.
3.Guiding and Tipping
Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service. Throughout your stay in Tibet, we will minor your health and provide prompt help to you. If you run into any trouble, please do not hesitate to reach them or our customer service manager.
Travelers’s tipping to Tibetan guide and driver is taken as an extra gratitude to their good service, just like what you do in the west. Normally, a tipping of 7 USD/day is acceptable. The basic rule is good service for good pay.
Admittedly, to many western tourists, using toilets in Tibet is the most dreadful experience. So, please down play your expectation. If you take Tibet train to Lhasa, both western toilet and squat toilet are available in the train. If you stay in hotel above 3-star hotels in Lhasa, Shigatse, etc. you will have no complaining using standard western flash toilet.
However, if you visit some of the attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso, EBC outdoor, mostly you will see the smelly and filthy pit toilet.It's better to carry enough toilet paper.
5. Tibet Weather
One of the biggest features of weather on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the dramatic temperature change between day and night. The annual temperature in Lhasa is -2℃-- 12℃(spring), 9℃-- 22℃(summer), 7℃-- 19℃(fall), -7℃-- 9℃(winter). Do wear clothes properly such as thermal tops, fleece jacket, breathable underwear, down jacket, jeans, beanie, etc.
Of course, sun screen, lip balm, sun glasses are essential to shield you from powerful blinding sunlight on the plateau. Do drink more water and eat more vegetable as you travel in Tibet. It can prevent you from dehydration.
6. Acclimatization to the High Altitude
For the first timer to Tibet, either by flight or train, a good rest is a must for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Never rush to tour the street or attractions on your own. Walk slower and do not exert yourself like running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa is a good way to get acclimatized before heading to Shigatse or Namtso. If you have any discomfort, do tell it to your guide,and he will help you out.
7. Other Dos and Don'ts
Normally, taking photos is forbidden in the monastery. If you want to take photos of Tibetan pilgrims, a gentle ask of permission would be appreciated or you can do it from a long distance. Swimming and fishing are not allowed in holy lakes in Tibet; Do not talk about sensitive topics like politics; International tourists are not allowed to travel alone in Tibet according to the policy; Walk clockwise around Barkhor Street; Never venture into the unknown trails; do as much as you can to protect the fragile eco-system in Tibet, etc.
As Tibetan Buddhism is deeply-rooted in every facet of Tibetans' life, always follow and respect the unique customs in Tibet. If you are uncertain about something, it’s advisable to ask your guide before you do it at will.