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25 Days Best of Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour

Tour Route: Kathmandu - Nagarkot - Chitwan - Lumbini - Pokhara - Kathmandu - Lhasa - Shigatse - EBC - Shigatse - Lhasa - Kathmandu - Paro - Thimphu - Punakha – Paro

Trip Overview:

This 25-day Nepal Tibet Bhutan tour is a legendary one that involves both the cultural highlights and natural wonders of the three different Himalayan regions. You will visit some of the less-frequent places during a regular trip of the kind, like Chitwan National Park and Lumbini Garden etc. During the first 12 days, you will tour around Nepal to explore Kathmandu’s world heritages stupas and temples, Chitwan National Park, the birthplace of Lord Buddha – Lumbini, Phewa Lake in Pokhara etc.

Then transfer to Tibet by flight, you will enjoy a classic overland trip to Everest Base Camp, following the sightseeing in Lhasa. Encounter beautiful Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Tashilhunpo Monastery on the way, before you reach the camp to gaze at the stunning Everest Peak. After that, the tour will take you to another intriguing world of Bhutan. Here the wonderful sites you will not miss include Paro Rinpung Dzong, National Library, Folk Heritage Museum, Tashichho Dzong, Punakha Dzong as well as the world-famous Tiger’s Nest. 

  • Tour Code:
    TTO-NT-NTB25
  • Max Altitude:
    5,200 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:

  • Explore the world-heritage attractions in Kathmandu Valley, including Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Swayambhunath etc.
  • Enjoy full-day safari activities in Chitwan National Park.
  • Visit Lumbini Garden, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
  • Get amazed by the brilliant Potala Palace, revered Jokhang Temple, and more important monasteries in holy Lhasa.
  • Take in the panoramic view of Mount Everest from the north base camp in Tibetan side.
  • Immerse in the Buddhist world of Bhutan to visit famous Paro Rinpung Dzong, Tashichho Dzong and Punakha Dzong.
  • Trek to the holiest temple in Bhutan, Tiger’s Nest.

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

When you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, you tour guide will await you outside the arrival area. Then you will be transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu. (Our local office staff will meet you to collect your passport to apply for Chinese Visa for you, Visa fee is not included in price quotation and you will need pay extra service charge 20 USD/person).

Notice: Chinese embassy requires 3 working days to issue the Visa, we advise you could arrive in Nepal 3 working days in advance before going to Tibet.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 2: 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.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 3: Kathmandu Half Day Sightseeing; Transfer to Nagarkot

After breakfast, we will take you a glimpse of half day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley; 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.

After that, keep the route connecting to Nagarkot.

Stay overnight in Nagarkot. 

Day 4: Nagarkot to Chitwan

In the early morning, take the sunrise view over the Himalayas (weather permitted). After breakfast, we travel overland from Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park. You will experience lots of Safari activities; jungle walks, canoeing, Elephant safaris and so forth. Once the night falls down, we entertain you with cultural performances including bonfire before getting in bed.

Stay overnight in Chitwan.

Day 5: 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.

Stay overnight in Chitwan.

Day 6: Chitwan to Lumbini

After breakfast, drive to Lumbini. Visit Lumbini Garden, the birthplace of Lord Buddha including Buddhist monasteries.

Stay overnight in Lumbini.

Day 7: Lumbini to Pokhara

In the morning, we will drive from Lumbini to Pokhara via Palpa. Afternoon, you may enjoy the relaxing boating at Phewa Lake.

Stay overnight in Pokhara.

Day 8-10: Three Days Trek to Australian Camp

Trekking via Kande to Australian camp offers stunning views of the Central Himalayas. It is one of the best treks from Pokhara. Everything from the mountains to the villages and terrace farms along the trails of this trek is superbly beautiful. Return to Pokhara via Dhampus Village.

Stay overnight at best available teahouses.

Day 11: Pokhara Day Tour

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. Sunrise - subject to weather.

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 centre 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 favourite home base for travelers is the eastern shore You can do some outdoor activities like paragliding, helicopter in Polhara, cost is not included in the package.

Stay overnight in Pokhara.

Day 12: Pokhara back to Kathmandu

After breakfast, take the scenic drive back to Kathmandu.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 13: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa

Fly to Lhasa in the morning. The air journey is just around 2 hours. You will be shocked by amazing Himalaya mountain range, the mountains which over 8000m are just moving across you, and you cannot see the side of the snow-capped mountains. Arrive Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, tour guide will await you outside the arrival area. Transfer for your stay at Lhasa. In the afternoon, you need to stay at hotel to acclimatize the high altitude.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 14: Lhasa Tour - 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 15: Lhasa Tour - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery

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, we will visit Sera Monastery, which 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 16: 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 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 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 17: Shigatse to Everest Base Camp

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. After 4 to 6 hours then you will arrive at Rongbuk monastery.

On the way to Rongbuk Monastery, 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).

Stay overnight at tent or Rongbuk monastery guest house.

Day 18: EBC and drive to Shigatse

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. Finally, jump into our tour vehicle and say farewell to the world’s highest peaks through the rearview mirror of the van. By following the zigzag roads on Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway, we head back to Shigatse.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 19: Shigatse to Lhasa

Today, you’ll take a slightly different route back to Lhasa along Yarlung Tsangpo River, be wrapped again in the endless vistas of the Tibetan plateau.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 20: Fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu

In the morning, you will take the flight from Gonggar international Airport, in Lhasa to Tribhuvan International Airport, in Kathmandu. On arrival, your guide will collect you from the airport and take you to your hotel, where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing, or take in the local sights.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 21: Fly from Kathmandu to Paro, then Drive to Thimphu

During your flight to Paro, you will experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan Peaks including sacred Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by our guide. Then drive for 1 hr 30 min to Thimphu.

In the afternoon, we will head to visit the landmarks in Thimphu, including the Kyichu Lhakhang and Paro Rinpung Dzong. Kyichu Lhakhang is also known as Kyerchu Temple and is the oldest and most beautiful temple in Bhutan. Paro Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century as a fortress to protect Paro valley, offers you picturesque scenery and a sense of inner peace.

Stay overnight in Thimphu.

Day 22: Thimphu Sightseeing and Drive to Punakha

In the Morning, we will continue sightseeing in Thimphu. You will pay a visit to National Library that houses the world’s largest book and many ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, Painting School which is famous for traditional Thangkha paintings, Traditional Medicine Institute where the centuries old herbal medicine is still practiced and the folk heritage museum. And the highlight comes as you tour the Tashichho Dzong, the most beautiful Bhutan dzong as well as the headquarters of Bhutan government.

After lunch, we will drive from Thimphu to Punakha crossing Dochula pass at 3100mtrs where you can see the 108 beautiful chortens built by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. From this pass, on a clear day, you can have a superb view of the highest peaks in Bhutan.

Stay overnight in Punakha.

Day 23: Punakha Sightseeing and Drive back to Paro

Get up in the morning to visit Punakha Dzong, widely believed to be the most beautiful Bhutanese Dzong, built at the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers. Never miss the Punakha festival around mid-Feb if you come at the right time.

After touring Punakha, we are about to drive back to Paro. In the afternoon, we head to the National Museum of Bhutan, which looks like a round watchtower. You can trace back to the ancient Bhutan history and explore the diverse wild lives as well as splendid local culture and arts. Then we drive to visit Drukgyel Dzong, where you can enjoy the enchanting village lying at its foot.

Stay overnight in Paro.

Day 24: Trek to Taksang Lhakhang (Tiger’s Nest)

Today, we will enjoy the wonderful trek to Taktshang Goemba, also known as Tiger's Nest. Perched on the cliff of Paro Valley, Taktshang Goemba (3120 meters) is the landmark of Paro as well as the holiest temple in Bhutan. It’s said that Guru Rinpoche had flied here on the back of a tigress and meditated in the caves on the cliffside for three months. From here, you can catch a panoramic view of Paro Valley.

In the afternoon, you may opt for a stone bath or enjoy free exploration nearby.

Stay overnight in Paro.

Day 25: Departure from Paro

Our guide will pick you up from the hotel and send you to the airport so that you can board the flight back home after this pleasant tour. Tour service end.

What’s included?

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.

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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