Starting from the hometown of the cute Giant Pandas, this 16-day Chengdu Tibet Nepal tour will take you to explore the mysterious Buddhist world of Tibet and Nepal together in one single trip. Taking the Tibet train to Lhasa after the sightseeing in Chengdu, you will enjoy a two-day visit in the holy city, before travelling overland to Kathmandu. On the way, you will take in the fascinating plateau landscapes including Yamdrok Lake, Mount Everest etc. Then crossing the Gyirong border to enter Nepal from Tibet, you will spend several days travelling amid Kathmandu, Nagarkot and Pokhara, discovering the world-heritage relics and unique natural scenery at the foot of the Himalayas.
- Have a close contact with Giant Pandas in Chengdu.
- Experience the world-miracle Qinghai-Tibet Railway by Tibet train journey.
- Discover Lhasa city with all its best, including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor Street.
- Lhasa to Kathmandu overland tour via EBC.
- Reach to the Everest Base Camp to enjoy the marvelous view of the top of the world.
- Travel across Nepal to explore the Buddhist culture.
- Enjoy the magnificent Himalayan ranges at the best viewpoint in Nagarkot.
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu
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: Visit Chengdu Panda Breeding and Board Overnight train to Lhasa
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 (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) via Gyantse
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 5,010m 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 Rongbuk.
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: EBC to Gyirong Town
In the morning, if the weather is good, tourists can see the sun rise on the top of Mt Everest, after visiting the base camp, drive to Tongla pass to see the panoramic view of Himalaya mountain range. Then driving down to Kyilong, where is surrounded by forest with ice-capped mountain background. The altitude is 2600m at the border.
Day 10: Gyirong to Kathmandu via Gyirong Border
Tour Guide will assist the clients to exit China. And see clients off at Gyirong border. After you enter the Nepal territory, our Nepali guide will be expecting you on the Nepali-side border and transfer you to the hotel in Kathmandu. The distance between Kathmandu and Sino-Nepal border is around 130km. And the entire ride takes around 7-8 hours. On the way, you will enjoy cliff-side Nepali villages and terraced farmland and vibrant vegetation, etc.
Stay overnight in Kathmandu
Day 11: Day tour to Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Patan City
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. the last site we visit for today is Patan City which is the second largest town in Kathmandu valley.
Patan's central Durbar Square is entitled in the World Heritage Site and absolutely packed with temples, the Golden Temple which is the unique Buddhist Monastery was founded in the 12th century, is a large rectangular building has three roofs and a copper gilded facade with the images of Buddha and Avalokitesvara where there are Buddha images and illustrations on the walls.
Day 12: Day tour to Pashupatinath, Bodhnath and Bhaktapur City
Pashupatinath the most important Hindu temple in Nepal, the old buildings on the site were destroyed by Moslem invaders in the 14th century, its stone linga smashed to dust, but it rose again behind their retreating backs. Succeeding monarchs reinstated the temple and the images.
Bouddhanath is among the largest stupas in South Asia, and it has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead. The stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet, and Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers here for many centuries.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal.
Day 13: Nagarkot - Pokhara (230 kms, 6-Hours Drive)
Have breakfast at Hotel. Appreciate the sunrise and spectacular view of snow-capped mountains and drive from Nagarkot straight to Pokhara by private car and stay overnight in Pokhara.
Nagarkot: Situated about 35 km east of Kathmandu city, Nagarkot is the nearest panoramic view point and from here one can see the beautiful view of the Himalayan peaks. Nagarkot is located between Kathmandu valley in the west and Indrawati in the east. The top of Nagarkot commands accelerating views in all directions. The altitude of Nagarkot is 2229-m/7133m above sea level. Eve: Walk around Nagarkot for 1-2 hours. Sunset view over the Himalayas – if the weather permits.
Stay overnight in Pokhara
Day 14: Leisure time at Pokhara
Early morning excursion to Sarangkot to view the spectacular scene of the sun rising out of the mountain peaks. At an elevation of just under 1,600 meters, Sarangkot is perched on a high ridge to the northwest of Pokhara and has panoramic mountain views from Dhaulagiri and across the Annapurnas to Manalsu, as well as south over the Pokhara Valley.
In the morning we do the Sightseeing tour in Pokhara City, The World Peace Pagoda can be seen on top of a hill on the southern fringe of Phewa Lake. It has four images of the Buddha facing the four directions. The dome-shaped pagoda is an impressive sight, and its hilltop location commands a great view. It is a great vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna.
In the afternoon, we do the Boating at Phewa Lake. The center of attraction in Pokhara is the Phewa Lake - 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 travellers is the eastern shore.
You can do some outdoor activities like paragliding, helicopter in Polhara, cost is not included in the package.
Day 15: Pokhara to Kathmandu (200 kms, 5-Hours Drive)
Drive back to Kathmandu after breakfast. Transfer to hotel and stay overnight.
Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 16: Kathmandu Departure
You will be transferred to the International airport to connect onward flight.
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.