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15 Day Best of Tibet and Nepal Tour with Bhutan Cultural Exploration

Tour Route: Kathmandu - Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Tingri - EBC - Gyirong - Kathmandu - Paro- Thimphu - Punakha - Paro

Trip Overview:

This 15-day Tibet Nepal Bhutan tour combines the essence of Tibet and Nepal with a cultural discovery of Bhutan kingdom. Connected by both flights and road trip among the three places, the tour will first take you to the vibrant city of Kathmandu to explore its Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple. Then flying over the Himalaya to Tibet, you will start the legendary exploration of this unique land, through a classic overland tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu. The highlights include Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Yamdrok Lake, and Everest Summit at the northern base camp etc. At last, after getting transferred to Bhutan from Kathmandu by flight, you will continue to discover the best of Bhutan, and visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, National Library, Punakha Dzong, as well as the world-famous Taktshang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest).

  • Tour Code: TTO-PT-NTB15

  • Trip Level:

  • Tour Type: Private tour with private guide and vehicle

  • Time to Visit:

Highlights:

  • Explore the world-heritage attractions in Kathmandu valley, including Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath etc.
  • Take the epic overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu.
  • Visit the brilliant Potala Palace, revered Jokhang Temple, and more important monasteries in holy Lhasa.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Daily 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: 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.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

 

Day 4: Fly to Lhasa over Himalaya

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 5: 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 6: 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, 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 7: Lhasa - Yamdrok Lake - 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 three holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet.

Afterwards pass by the 5,010 m high Karo La and the Simi La forward to Gyantse (approx. 3.950 m). Visit Pelkor Monastery and Kumbum Stupa (100-Thousand-Buddha Pagoda) nearby, which were 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. In Shigatse, we’ll visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of Tibet's second highest incarnation, the Panchen Lama.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 8: Shigatse to Rongbuk Monastery

We’ll leave Shigatse after getting your Alien’s travel permit, and then drive to Lhatse, it is a small town where you can have lunch.

Then continue 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 whether, 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 9: Everest Base Camp to Gyirong Border

Get up early for sunrise. You could take the local bus to arrive at Everest Base Camp for half an hour, or you also can have a hike to Base Camp around 1.5-2 hours one way. It's interesting and much warmer, but hard to breath. The morning is frigid and as the wind howl your fingers must be frozen trying to take pictures of the iconic mountain but it is worth the pain to view such an amazing site.

After base camp, you can visit Rongbuk Monastery which is the highest monastery in the world (5000m) and then drive to Old Tingri where you can enjoy the beauty of whole Himalaya range.

Then, we will drive to Gyirong Port, taking in the breathtaking vista of Mt. Shishapangma and Pekutso Lake. The road goes past the Ghungtang Lhamo, at 5,236 meters, and you will arrive in Gyirong in the late afternoon.

Stay overnight at Gyirong Guest House.

Day 10: Gyirong to Nepal Border; Transfer to Kathmandu

Our Guide will drop you off in the morning at the border bridge, you are kindly required to walk on your own to cross the border bridge which is 50m long. After crossing the border, our guide from Nepal will meet you and transfer you to Kathmandu. It is a rigorous trip from the Nepal border to Kathmandu, taking several hours. Upon arrival, you can have a good rest in the hotel.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 11: 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 12: Thimphu Sightseeing & 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 13: Punakha Sightseeing & Drive back to Paro

Punakha is a low-lying sub-tropical valley, it served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and still it is home of Chief Abbot in winter months. Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal has played prominent role in civil and religious life of the Kingdom. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now fully restored in its original splendor.

After touring Punakha, we will drive back to Paro. In the afternoon, we will enjoy sightseeing in Paro. First head to visit Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined Fort, which once defended this valley from the Tibetan invasion. This fortress, now a burned shell, was once strategic in Bhutan's defense against the Tibetan invasion. Then visit Ta Dzong, built in 17th century as a watch tower for Paro Dzong. This Dzong was later converted into the National Museum in 1967, and is filled with antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor. Also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend valley against Tibetan invaders. It is now used as an administrative center and home of monastic community.

Stay overnight in Paro

Day 14: 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 15: 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. How to Get the Tibet Travel Permit?

    The Tibet Travel Permit is essential for any Tibet tour. We help to obtain this permit free of charge when you book your Tibet tour through us. Simply send us copies of your passport and China visa at least 20 days in advance. Once we receive your documents, we will promptly process the permit application with the Tibet Tourism Bureau. After obtaining your permit, we will notify you and send it to your hotel in mainland China.

    In exceptional cases, our staff can personally deliver the permit to you at the airport or railway station. With years of experience in handling Tibet Travel Permit, we assure you a smooth visit to Tibet by ensuring the acquisition of your permit.

  • 2. Where to Stay in Tibet?

    Accommodation facilities and services in Tibet might not match those found in the coastal and central parts of China. However, there's a diverse range of hotel options available. However, you can choose from a wide range of hotel options. In big cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, from cheap and clean youth hostels to distinct Tibetan-style 3-star and international 5-star luxury hotels, you will find one that suits your interests and budget.

    As you travel to remote areas of Tibet, such as EBC and the Mount Kailash region, the accommodations tend to be more basic. Some may have air-conditioning in the hotel, while others may only offer electric blankets in the guesthouses. Nonetheless, we always handpick cozy and safe accommodations for you along your itinerary in Tibet, ensuring a pleasant night's stay for your Tibet tour.

  • 3. How about the Guiding and Tipping in Tibet?

    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 monitor your health and provide prompt assistance to you. If you encounter any trouble, please do not hesitate to contact them or our customer service manager.

    Travelers' tipping to Tibetan guides and drivers is seen as extra gratitude for their excellent service, much like what you do in the West. Normally, a tipping amount of 7 USD per day is acceptable. The basic principle is rewarding good service with fair pay.

  • 4. How are the Toilets in Tibet?

    Undoubtedly, for many Western tourists, using toilets in Tibet can be a challenging experience. Therefore, it's advisable to moderate your expectations. If you travel to Lhasa by Tibet train, both western-style and squat toilets are available onboard. Staying in hotels rated above 3 stars in cities like Lhasa and Shigatse ensures access to standard Western flush toilets, eliminating any discomfort.

    However, when visiting attractions like Yamdrok or Namtso or outdoor sites like EBC, you're likely to encounter smelly and unclean pit toilets. It's recommended to carry sufficient toilet paper for such occasions.

  • 5. How is the Weather in Tibet? What to Pack for Visiting Tibet?

    One of the notable weather features on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the significant temperature fluctuation between day and night. In Lhasa, the annual temperatures range from -2℃ to 12℃ (spring), 9℃ to 22℃ (summer), 7℃ to 19℃ (fall), and -7℃ to 9℃ (winter). Ensure proper clothing, such as thermal tops, a fleece jacket, breathable underwear, a down jacket, jeans, a beanie, and other essentials.

    Moreover, essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are crucial to shield yourself from the intense, blinding sunlight of the plateau. Staying hydrated by drinking more water and including vegetables in your diet is advisable to prevent dehydration during your travels in Tibet.

  • 6. How to Prevent from Altitude Sickness in Tibet?

    For first-time visitors to Tibet, whether arriving by flight or train, allowing ample rest is crucial for quick acclimation to the high altitude in Lhasa. Avoid rushing to explore the streets or attractions independently. Walk at a slower pace and refrain from exerting yourself by running or jumping. Spending at least two days in Lhasa before venturing to places like Shigatse or Namtso allows for better acclimatization. If you experience any discomfort, inform your guide, and they will assist you.

  • 7. Are There some Dos and Don'ts while Touring Tibet?

    Photography is generally prohibited in monasteries. If you wish to capture images of Tibetan pilgrims, kindly seek their permission or maintain a considerable distance while taking photos. Swimming and fishing are prohibited in the sacred lakes of Tibet. Avoid discussing sensitive topics like politics. According to policy, international tourists are not permitted to travel alone in Tibet.

    While navigating Barkhor Street, adhere to the custom of walking clockwise. Refrain from exploring unfamiliar trails. Take proactive steps to preserve Tibet's delicate ecosystem.

    Given that Tibetan Buddhism profoundly influences the lives of Tibetans, always show reverence and respect for their unique customs. If uncertain about any practice, it's advisable to seek guidance from your tour guide before proceeding.

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What Our Customers Say

  • Once in a life time

    14 days from Beijing to Tibet and Nepal. The reality was beyond my expectations. A trip that I will remember for the rest of my life. The trip was arranged in an exceptional way! Laura Tang did an amazing job! She responded to all my questions immediately, she supported and solved any problems very quickly. The hotels she arranged for me were amazing!! ...More

    Jan 2023 nico k
  • Nice view in winter!

    The view was magnificent. got to see snow and snow capped mountains. Thanks to Gemma Wei for helping with all the planning. Also thanks to Kunchok and Tsering for going accomodating to my needs as i was not used to the altitude. They also helped alot with the trek up the hills! ...More

    Dec 2023 Benjamin X
  • Tibet is beautiful

    The tour was great! We visited amazing places and could feel the sacred atmosphere in all the temples. The nature is breathtaking with beautiful mountain and lake views. Our guide Jingme told us all about the history and showed us great places. All the hotels were much better than what I expected...More

    Nov 2023 Krisyna H
  • Unforgettable Experience

    The 8-day trip with Tibet Vista was remarkable, combining cultural depth with stunning Tibetan landscapes. Our guide Jig Me was really knowledgable, the journey well-organized, and each destination, especially Everest Base Camp, was a highlight. Great value; highly recommended...More

    Nov 2023 George J
  • FANTASTIC!

    Visiting Tibet with Tibet Visa agency is a once in a life time experience! They take care of everything and you just need to enjoy! Our tour guide was AMAZING...More

    Nov 2023 Alberto
  • Exploring Tibetan culture

    Tibet vista made the entry process into Tibet super easy. Jing mei our guide had a wealth of knowledge about all the locations we visited and happily answered questions we had. Also organising a birthday cake for one of the guests showed how thoughtful he was...More

    Nov 2023 Dylan P
  • Lhasa to Kathmandu

    Can't recommend this company enough. We did it very last minute and got our Chinese visas a few days before we flew to Chengdu and got the train to Lhasa. Lycoris our contact was patient and reassuring over the applications. The trip itself was something else...More

    Nov 2023 philgiles
  • Private tour with guide and driver… wow!

    After much research, my wife gave the desired itinerary to the agency rep that she was working with. It covered a huge area from Lhasa all the way West to the Ali area and back along a Northern route. Of course having a private driver and Land Cruiser along with a very experienced guide, the trip was just fantastic... More

    Oct 2023 howardxp1
  • Best trip I have ever had

    I just arrived home this morning after a one-month trip in India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. I have travelled a lot in my life but this trip is the best trip I have ever had. It really stands out by its geographic particularity, historical and cultural knowledge and most of all, its emotional/spiritual impact...More

    Sep 2023 hptranle
  • Unforgetable Tibet

    The trip was great, the view was amazing. Our tour guide, Gijme, is very professional and very knowledgeable about the sites and the history...More

    Sep 2023 Deby Wahyuning H

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