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18 Days Epic Kathmandu to Lhasa Motorcycle Tour Plus Mt. Kailash and EBC

Tour Route: Kathmandu-Mt. Kailash-EBC-Shigatse-Gyantse-Lhasa

Trip Overview:

It is must be an unforgettable experience to take a motorcycle tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa. This 18-day motorbike trip will not only bring you to enjoy the fun and irritation of riding on the plateau, but also can make you explore unique culture and scenery of Nepal and Tibet, including the holy Mount Kailash and Everest.

After visiting some landmarks of Kathmandu, get to Tibet via Gyirong border. In Tibet, you can take a relaxing riding trip along the Lake Manasarovar, do kora with devout Tibetan pilgrims around Mount Kailash, spend a night to enjoy breath-taking view of Mount Everest at EBC. Then, motorcycle to Lhasa from EBC, and there are many beautiful landscapes along the way, such as tranquil Yamdrok Lake, majestic Karola Glacier, and sacred Tashilhunpo Monastery. Finally, tour the essence of Lhasa to learn about mysterious Tibet culture and history.

  • Tour Code:
    TTO-PT-TMT18
  • 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.
  • Join the pilgrims looking to erase the sins of a lifetime on the three-day trek around holy Mt. Kailash.
  • Stay overnight at Everest Base Camp and enjoy superb scenery of the north face of Mt. Everest and the Rongbuk monastery.
  • Climb the dazzling Gyantse Kumbum, and worship before a 26m gold Buddha at Tashilhunpo Monastery.
  • Marvel at the turquoise waters of Yamdrok Lake, one of Tibet’s most sacred lakes.
  • Go down into the bowels of the Potala Palace, the impressive but spiritless citadel of the Dalai Lamas.
  • Join the shuffling, murmuring pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet.
  • Follow monks, mendicants and fellow pilgrims around the Barkhor Street, Lhasa’s fascinating medieval pilgrim circuit.

 

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

Arrive Tribhuvan International Airport, tour guide will await you outside the arrival area and transfer to your hotel. (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).

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 2: 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 3: Kathmandu Day Tour - Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambhunath Stupa

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. Swayambhunath the golden spire of the 5th-century Swayambhu stupa is adorned with a colourful fluttering of prayer flags; it crowns a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley and offers fantastic views over the city of Kathmandu.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 4: Kathmandu to Syabrubesi (137km)

Today, formally start your motorcycle trip. Ride from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi inside Langtang National Park. Be careful when pass through the valley near the Sino-Nepal border, because the road is bit bumpy.

Stay overnight in Syabrubesi.

Day 5: Cross the Sino-Nepal border to Gyirong (75km)

In the morning, go to Gyirong border from Syabrubesi. The whole journey will take about 45min. Then, you will go through the customs to Tibet, and head to Gyirong.

Stay overnight in Gyirong.

Day 6: Gyirong to Saga (102km)

Today, you will drive up to Saga. The whole journey takes about 5-6 hours. On the way, you can enjoy the beautiful Peiku-tso Lake. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and with an open terrain, rich fish resources.

Stay overnight in Saga.

Day 7: Saga to Lake Manasarovar via Paryang (493km)

Today, head to the well-known Lake Manasarovar, the holy lake of both Tibetan and Hinduism. You can a relaxing trip around the lake shore and experience the natural beauty of the Lake Manasarova with snowcapped mountains on the background. You may also see many pilgrims praying and circling around the lake shore.

Stay overnight either in the guest house of Chiu Monastery or camp beside Lake Manasarovar.

Day 8: Enjoy the Sunrise over Manasarovar and Drive to Darchen (60km)

Get up early to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Manasarovar. And you can ride your motorbike along the shore of Manasarovar. Then, drive to Darchen, a small town at the foot of Mount Kailash.  

Stay overnight in Darchen.

Day 9: Darchen to Drirapuk (driving 7km, Trek 13km)

Today, you will firstly take the environment-friendly bus from Darchen to Sarshung village, where your porters are waiting for you. The 7 kilometers’ journey takes about 40 minutes by bus. Then we start to trek. After two hours, we come upon a grassy plain populated by nomads. For this turn in the valley it is another two hours at least before reaching Drirapuk (4920m).

Stay overnight in Guest House.

Day 10: Drirapuk to Dzultripuk (Trek 18km)

Today, start the hardest and most tough circuit with the Dolma-la pass, which is lying 6.4km ahead but 762m above Drirapuk.

After taking a rest at the peak of Dolma-la pass, you will take about one hour from the pass down to Lhachu valley floor, from which there is still four hours trekking to today’s final destination with no shelters on the way. It is better to walk on the right side of the river and finally get to Dzultripuk (with miracle cave of milarepa).

Stay overnight in Guest House.

Day 11: Dzultripuk to Darchen (Trek 7km, driving 5km)

The last trekking day starts from a trip to Milarepa’s Cave, where the temple and shrines have been built around. Then we walk back to Darchen is easy and the exit from the valley can be reached within three hours. At the ending point of the valley, the driver will come to pick you and take you back to Darchen.

Stay overnight in Darchen.

Day 12: Darchen to Saga (490km)

Drive back to Saga from Darchen. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Saga at your leisure.

Stay overnight in Saga.

Day 13: Saga to EBC via Old Tingri (450km)

After breakfast, you will leave for EBC via Old Tingri. The graveled and dusty road can be bite challenging for you. But, along the way you can enjoy the beauty view of Mount Cho Oyu in the distance. Besides, you can visit Rongbuk Monastery, the 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.

Stay overnight in the guesthouse of Rongbuk Monastery.

Day 14: EBC to Shigatse (340km)

Open your eyes, and wake up to the first sunlight shining over the pyramid-shaped summit of imposing Mount Everest. After breakfast, you are about to Shigatse along the famous Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway.

On the way you will pass through three mountain passes, including Tsola Pass, Gyatsola Pass, and Gawu La Pass. You will stay a while at Gawu La Pass to enjoy the stunning view of the 4 highest peaks of Himalayan Range: Mount Everest (8844.43m), Cho Oyo(8201m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8463m). In Shigatse, you will visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of Tibet's second highest incarnation, the Panchen Lama.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 15: Shigatse to Lhasa via Gyantse (375km)

Keep riding from Shigatse to Lhasa. There are many famous attractions along the way. Palcho Monastery, which is a temple where three different religious sects coexist. The famous Kumbum stupa is the part of Palcho Monastery. At the higher levels of stupa, you can see the wonderful views around the Palcho Monastery. Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains. Besides, you can stop at the side of the highway and take photos of the majestic Karola Glacier.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 16: 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 17: 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 18: Depart from Lhasa

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

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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