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15 Days Xi’an to Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, EBC and Kathmandu Tour

Tour Route: Xi’an-Lhasa-Namtso-Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse-EBC-Kathmandu

Trip Overview:

Xi’an, the ancient capital of 13 dynasties, with strong historical and cultural atmosphere, is the first stop of this journey. You can fully explore ancient culture and history of China here. You will marvel at the majestic Terra-Cotta Warriors, experience cycling on top of Ancient City Wall, and wander around the most famous food court in Xi’an.

Then, you will head to Tibet by Tibet train along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. In Tibet, you will first visit the landmarks of Lhasa. After spending leisure time at Namtso Lake and Yangpachen hot spring, you will embark on EBC adventure tour. You can enjoy gorgeous view of Mount Everest at EBC.

Finally, you will get to Kathmandu through Gyirong Border to explore the world-heritage attractions in Kathmandu, such as Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Swayambhunath etc.

  • Tour Code:
    TTO-PT-CTN014
  • Max Altitude:
    3,656 m
  • Tour Type:
    Private tour with private guide and vehicle
  • Phisycal Demand:

    Phisycal Demand Level Guide:
    1. Easy (1 point) - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
    2. Moderate (2-3 Points) - suitable for those having average level for fitness, family with kids bigger than 12 years.
    3. Moderate to Strenous (4 Points) - suitable for those physically fit and have experiences of high altitude trekking.
    4. Strenuous (5 Points) - suitable for adventures and individual with physically fit and healthy.

  • Season:
    springSpringSummerSummerautumnAutumnwinterWinter

Highlights:

  • Get amazed by the majestic Terra-Cotta Warriors.
  • Cycle on the top of Ancient City Wall in Xi’an.
  • Get impressed by the brilliant Potala Palace, revered Jokhang Temple, and more important monasteries in holy Lhasa.
  • Get a taste of the northern Changtang at the turquoise waters, snowy peaks and nomads’ tents of stunning high-altitude Lake Namtso.
  • Enjoy a hot spring in Yangpachen.
  • Marvel at the turquoise waters of Yamdrok-Tso, one of Tibet’s most sacred lakes.
  • Take in the panoramic view of Mount Everest from the north base camp in Tibetan side.
  • Explore the world-heritage attractions in Kathmandu Valley, including Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Swayambhunath etc.

 

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Xi’an

As you arrive in Xi’an, our local guide will be expecting you at the Xi’an airport or railway station. Later, the guide will escort you to your hotel. After you check in, the rest of the day is for you to have a good rest or explore the surroundings yourself.

Stay overnight in Xi’an

Day 2: Xi’an tour: Terra-Cotta Warriors and Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Today, you will visit Terra-Cotta Warriors, which is one of the eight wonders in the world. These terracotta warriors and horses are the size of a real army, and were buried alongside the Emperor in a vast underground palace. Then, you head for Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The Buddhist scriptures and figurines of the Buddha brought by Xuanzang are reserved here.

Stay overnight in Xi’an.

Day 3: Xi’an Tour: Shanxi History Museum, Ancient City Wall, and Muslim Quarter

In the morning, you will head to Shanxi History Museum, where displays a large number of precious historical relics. So, it is a good place to know splendid culture and history of China. In the afternoon, you will have a special experience that is cycling on top of Ancient City Wall. It is the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Later, you will tour Muslim Quarter, the most famous food court in Xi’an. It is a perfect place to eat special snacks, chat with locals, and buy exquisite souvenir.

Stay overnight in Xi’an.

Day 4-5: Enjoy the train journey from Xi’an to Lhasa

Board the train from Xi’an to Lhasa in the morning. The train departs from Xi’an Railway Station. Please arrive in train station at least 1 hour in advance. The train will move on Qinghai Tibet Plateau, and you will pass by Yuzhufeng, which is the main peak of Kunlun Mountain, World Natural Heritage Kekexili Naturel Preserve, Tuotuo River-the resource of Yangtze River, Naqu Grassland and Cuona Lake. In the afternoon (maybe evening, according to the train schedule), the train will arrive in Lhasa. Tour guide will meet you at railway station.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 6: Lhasa Sightseeing - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street

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. It is visible from any distance, with the golden roof shinning in the sun, spend one hour wondering around the inside of this magnificent building exploring the rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and the many Buddhist icons within.

In the afternoon we go inside of the Jokhang Temple. The Jokhang, like most of the larger temple structures have 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 Street of Old Lhasa. The streets smelled of yak butter and incense while hordes of pilgrims shuffled along the main Kora (circumambulations) around Jokhang Temple. If someone just walked at a normal pace, one kora would take about 15-20 minutes.

Stay Overnight in Lhasa.

Day 7: Lhasa Sightseeing - Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery

In the morning, you will have a tour for Drepung Monastery, 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.

In the afternoon, you are going to visit Sera Monastery, 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 rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called “the court of wild rose”. Today still 200 lamas live in there. You may have the chance to watch the famous Monks Debate (usually from 15:00 to 17:00) before returning to Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 8: Lhasa to Namtso Lake, drive back to Dunxumg or to Yampachen

In the morning, you will head for Namtso Lake. Namtso Lake is located between Dangxiong County and Bange County, renowned as one of the three Holy Lakes in Tibetan Buddhism. You can enjoy your time to do leisurely trek around Tashi Dor Island and along the lakeshore. In the afternoon, you will go to Dunxumg or Yampachen.

Stay overnight in Dumxung or Yampanchen Town.

Day 9: Yampachen to Lhasa

Yangpachen is famous for its geothermic hot spring, so you can have a bath there. After having thoroughly relaxed in the spa, you will drive back to Lhasa. You can see a far view of a sky burial site on the way.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 10: Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m)

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), and tourists will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m). The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance, clients can have spectacular views of Holy Mount NyenchenKhangsar, (7191m) the highest mountain near Lhasa. Gyantse was historically Tibet's third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse). In Gyantse, tourists will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. After one and a half driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse, tourists will visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of Tibet's second highest incarnation, the Panchen Lama.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 11: Shigatse (3900m) to EBC (5200m)

Drive to Lhatse, it is a small town where tourists can have lunch. Then, head to Shegar and if the weather is clear enough then on the way down to Shegar tourists will view the Mount Everest in the distance. After 4 to 6 hours’ drive, tourists will arrive at Rongbuk monastery but on the way, they will pass one of the highest Passes in Tibet (pang la pass height 5050m) from that’s pass they will view the whole five highest peaks in the world.

Stay overnight in Rongbuk Tent Guest house or local Tibetan Tent.

Day 12: EBC (5200m) to Gyirong (3900m)

Open your eyes, and wake up to the first sunlight shining over the pyramid-shaped summit of imposing Mount 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.

Then, you will head for Gyirong, where you will leave from China. On the way, you can enjoy the stunning scene of Himalaya and Gangdise Mountain.

Stay overnight in Gyirong.

Day 13: 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.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 14: Kathmandu Day Tour - Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, 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.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 15: Depart from Kathmandu

Our guide will transfer you to the airport and help you get on board.

What’s included?

All Tours in Beijing, Xian, Lhasa, Kathmandu

* Pick up from hotel before the tour

* Drop off to hotel after the tour finish

* All Entrance Fees of tourist attractions listed in the itinerary

* One Dinner included in Lhasa

* Local English Speaking Tour guide

* AC comfortable tourist Vehicle

All Accommodation

* All Hotels in the tour are included. We chose best value 3 star hotels with good location for you. All hotels include breakfast.

Train Tickets in China

* Beijing to Xian Overnight Train ticket, Sleeper berth. All domestic train will be included and booked by us in advance.

Travel Documents

* Tibet Travel Permit, Alien's Travel Permit.

Others

* Airport pick up and drop off in Lhasa and Kathmandu

What’s excluded?

Flight Tickets

* Flight ticket Xian to Lhasa, appro. 200-260 USD/person

* Flight ticket Lhasa to Kathmandu, appro. 320-400 USD/person. (Sometimes, if you book international air tickets along with domestic air with same airline, you can get cheaper price; we can also book it for you if required)

Shuttle Service

* Price does not include airport/train station pick up or drop off in Beijing and Xian, it is easy to arrange a taxi by yourself with minimum cost.

Some Meals

* Some meals are not included, check the meals plan.

Others

* Some options might to be recommended to guests like Kongfu Show in Beijing, those options are chosen by your wish and pay on sites.

* Additional single supplement for requiring single room for yourself

* Gratuities to tour guide and driver

* Other personal expenses

* Nepal Visa, approx. 25 USD/person

Trip Notes:

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.

2. Accommodation

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.

4. Toilet

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.

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