An epic 14-day trip across China to the far capital of Nepal, this outstanding tour will leave you breathless with wonder. Explore the sights that made Hong Kong one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia, before heading off to visit China’s most beautiful karst landscapes and enjoy a cruise along the beautiful Li River. Explore the small local country villages of China’s rural communities, and discover the beauty of the center of China’s most popular cuisine.
Then head to visit pandas in Chengdu and move to Lhasa to climb up to the highest capital city on the planet. Explore the heights of the Red Hill, and the depths of Tibetan Buddhist philosophical debates, and find your way to the sacred temple of the oldest known statue of Buddha. Then cross the plateau to the massive Mount Everest, drive down to the border with Nepal through the plateau’s most beautiful valley, and discover the multicultural Kathmandu Valley and is plethora of temples and shrines.
- Visit the ancient natural karst formations of Guilin and take a cruise along the Li River.
- Explore small local rural villages along the river and hike the Five Tigers, Nine Dragons, and Seven Stars.
- See the beauty of China’s most endangered species and learn of its ancient mysticism in the Imperial Courts.
- Discover the depths of philosophy and theology in Tibetan monastic debating.
- Gaze in awe at the sheer size of the world’s highest mountain, 3.5 kilometers above your head.
- Explore the temples and shrines of the world’s most exotic city in the Himalayas.
Day 1: Arrive in Hong Kong
When international flight lands in Hong Kong, please take a taxi by yourself to our reserved hotel. The rest of the day free for you to be on your own.
Stay overnight in Hong Kong.
Day 2: Hong Kong Day Tour: Aberdeen Harbor, Repulse Bay, Victoria Peak
Today, you will enjoy the sightseeing in the international city of Hong Kong. First visit the floating community of Aberdeen. Aberdeen is well-known for the floating village and floating seafood restaurants. It’s advisable to hire Sampans (small boats) to enjoy the Aberdeen Harbor. Strolling along Aberdeen Promenade is also a great choice for photographers.
Then you will go to Repulse Bay, beautiful beach without bustle and hustle as well as one of the most expensive residential areas in HK. At sunset, we are about to reach the foot of Victoria Peak and gradually ascend (by tram or hiking) to reach to peak to enjoy the stunning panoramic view of HK harbor from the hill.
Stay overnight in HK.
Day 3: Hong Kong to Guilin by High Speed Train
In the morning, you will be transferred to the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station to take the bullet train from Hong Kong to Guilin. It takes about 3.5 hours to get to Guilin.
Upon arrival, your local guide will meet you at the train station and then escort you to the hotel. The rest of the day is for you to have a rest or explore the surroundings.
Stay overnight in Guilin.
You can also take a flight from Hong Kong to Guilin (about 3 hours). Please feel free to tell us your preferred way to go. We can arrange the transfer according to your needs.
Day 4: Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo
In the morning, you will take a cruise tour along Li River down to Yangshuo where picturesque scenery comes into view all the way: numerous hills and peaks flank along the river and reflect the shadows on the crystal water, while patches of fields decorate the banks on both sides. Upon arrival in Yangshuo, check in the hotel for a two-night stay. After a short rest, continue your visit to the West Street which is a 1,400-year-old traditional Southern Chinese street but shows the unique international flavor because of the large number of foreign residents here.
A country road bicycle tour is specially arranged for you to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of Yangshuo. Or we can also transfer you there instead of riding bicycles. On the way, you will stop over at a villager's home to learn more about the local farmers' life. Tips: We recommend you take a hearty breakfast at the hotel this morning. The cruise arrives at terminal Yangshuo around 13:30 to 14:30 according to the different water flows. There are plenty of coffee shops ashore for your choice.
Stay overnight in Yangshuo.
Day 5: Yangshuo to Longji Terraces in Longsheng
Today, you will first enjoy a 4-hour drive from Yangshuo to one of the most beautiful sights in China – the Longji terraces in Longsheng County. You can visit some local villages along the route. In the villages, women usually have hair of more than 1.5 meters long.
After arrive in Pingan Village, you will start to explore the stunning views from the terraces above the village. The rice terraces have paths through them which you can hike along to reach the spectacular lookout points of Five Tigers, Nine Dragons, and Seven Stars with the Moon. The stunning views from these points are breathtaking, and it takes around half a day to hike around them all.
Stay overnight in Pingan.
Day 6: Longsheng Sightseeing and Flight to Chengdu
The rice terraces of Longsheng County are a spectacular sight, and you will have most of the day to explore them more. In the months from June to August the rice fields are a verdant green with the growing rice, but from late September to early November, they turn a golden yellow as the rice ripens ready for harvest. You can take some time to wander around the area and get to speak to some of the locals and learn more about this beautiful land, and it is a great place for photographers.
Later, you will get from Longsheng to Guilin airport, to catch your flight to Chengdu, in Sichuan Province. The flight takes around 2 hours, and your local tour guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Stay overnight in Chengdu.
Day 7: Chengdu Day Tour
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.
Then, head to visit the Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park and Jinli Street. As the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu, Wenshu Temple is famous for its exquisite gardens and halls. Renmin Park is a beautiful city park often filled with locals, and you can enjoy a cup of tea to experience the slow life of Chengdu there. In the end of today, you will walk along the Jinli Old Street to fully appreciate Sichuan’s customs and folk arts.
Stay overnight in Chengdu.
Day 8: Fly from Chengdu to Lhasa
Take a morning flight to Lhasa, and upon arrival our guide will welcome you with a warm Tibetan style greeting and present you with Hada (traditional Tibetan scarves). Then you will be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city at the comfort of your own private vehicle.
For most of the way, you follow the Kyichu River, you could see Tibetan homes with their trapezoid shaped windows and fluttering prayer flags, and Tibetans walking beside the roads wearing their distinctive national costumes. One of the first buildings you could see as you enter the city is the Potala Palace, sitting majestically on a hill dominating Lhasa.
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 more water.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 9: Lhasa Day Tour to Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
The tour will begin from UNESCO World Heritage site - Potala Palace, which is also the winter palace of Dalai Lama. It's situated at 12,139 feet above sea level. It's a 13-story high building that contains over 1,000 rooms, various statues, stupas, murals and artifacts. Then continue to Jokhang Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a spiritual center for Buddhists in Tibet. Next to the temple there is Barkhor Street, filled with pilgrims and street vendors, selling traditional Tibetan items such as prayer wheels and jewelry.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 10: Lhasa Day Tour to Visit Two Important Monasteries in Lhasa, Sera & Drepung
In the morning, tourists are going to visit Drepung Monastery which was one of the “three greet” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1416. Ganden palace is used as Dalai Lama’s palace in the Drepung before moving to the Potala palace. In the afternoon, Sera Monastery---It was one of the “three great” Gelug monasteries of Tibet and was founded in 1419. The highlight is the Monks debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 11: Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse
After breakfast, start your journey to Shigatse via Gyantse. You will 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 of them built in the15th 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. Upon arrival, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the Tashilhunpo Monastery, the holy seat of the Panchen Lama, which is essentially a walled town with cobbled and twisting lanes that revolve around a magnificent monastery.
Stay overnight in Shigatse.
Day 12: Shigatse to Rongbuk Monastery
Today we have an early start to drive westwards the Friendship way to Rongbuk. Along the road 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 13: Snake down to Gyirong
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 Gyirong. The road snaked ever downward. After a few switchbacks you will find yourselves in a lush ravine with waterfalls bursting from the mountains on all sides and flowing to a raging river far below.
Day 14: See you off at Nepalese Border
Our Guide will drop you off in the morning at the border bridge, 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. Next step, you need to find a car or bus towards Kathmandu, 50m ahead from border bridge, dozens of car or bus are parking here to pick up travelers.
Tour ends at the border in Tibet side.
Optional Service: Our company provides private transfer service from Nepal border to Kathmandu, if you need, please ask it from your travel advisor.
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.