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18 Days Tibet and Nepal Culture and Nature Tour

Tour Route: Lhasa - Tsedang - Gyantse - Sakya - EBC - Gyirong - Kathmandu - Chitwan - Lumbini - Pokhara - Kathmandu

Trip Overview:

This 18-day Tibet and Nepal culture and nature tour starts from Lhasa. After visit the landmarks of Lhasa, you will head for Tsedang. You can sightsee the first building in Tibet and the second of Tibet's earliest geomantic temples.

Then you will leave for Gyantse and Sakya. You can enjoy nature beauty of Yamdrok-tso and Karola Glacier, and see the world’s largest gold gilded bronze statue of future Buddha in Tashilhunpo Monastery. Besides, you will drive to EBC. If the weather is good, you can appreciate stunning scenery of sunset and starry night sky.

Finally, after crossing Gyirong, you will embark on your Nepal tour. You can visit some famous temples in Kathmandu, stroll in tropical jungle in Chitwan, explore the birthplace of Sakyamuni in Lumbini, boat at Phewa Lake in Pokhara, etc. This epic Nepal and Tibet trip will bring you to experience the two similar regions with their own characteristic culture and nature together. 

  • Tour Code:
    TTO-PT-NT018
  • 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:

  • Discover Lhasa city with all its best, including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor Street.
  • Marvel at the turquoise waters of Yamdrok-tso, one of Tibet’s most sacred lakes.
  • Visit Yambu lakhang Palace, the first building of Tibet which is built in the 2nd century for Tibetan Kings.
  • Climb the dazzling Gyantse Kumbum, a monumental chorten with mural-filled chapels.
  • Sleep in nomad tents and gaze upon the north face of Mount Everest.
  • Travel across Nepal to explore the Buddhist culture.
  • Enjoy full day Chitwan Jungle activities including Elephant Safari, Jungle walk etc.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa

Welcome to Tibet! Upon arrival, be greeted by our local guide at airport or train station and be presented with traditional Tibetan White Scarf to wish you good luck!

After group photo at airport, you will board on the coach and transfer to your 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 just and now.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 2: 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 3: Visit Drepung 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 4: Lhasa (3650m) to Tsedang (3100m) and visit Samye Monastery

Today, you will drive to Samye monastery along the Brahmaputra. Samye monastery is the first Buddhist monastery to be founded in Tibet, and it is the first monastery houses three Buddhist jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Then you will head for Tsedang, which is the political, economic, cultural and transportation center of Shannan Prefecture.

Stay overnight in Tsedang.

Day 5: Tsedang Tour:Yumbu Lakhang and Trandruk Temple

Tsedang is reputed as "the cradle of Tibetan Civilization". You will firstly visit Yumbu Lakhang. It is said that Yumbu Lakhang was the first building in Tibet and the palace of the first Tibetan king. Then you are going to Trandruk Temple, which is the second of Tibet's earliest geomantic temples after the Jokhang.

Stay overnight in Tsedang.

Day 6: Tsedang (3100m) to Gyantse(3950m)

Today, you will leave for Gyantse from Tsedang. There are many attractions to see along the way. Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains. According to local legend, Yamdrok Lake is the incarnation of the goddess. You can see magnificent Karola Glacier by going westward along the lake. At last arrive in Gyantse, the was third largest city of Tibet.

Stay overnight in Gyantse.

Day 7: Gyantse (3950m) to Sakya (4300m)

In the Morning, after sightseeing the famous Gyantse Kumbum in Gyantse, you will departure to Shigatse to visit Tashilhunpo Monastery. It is the largest temple in Shigatse, and you can see the world’s largest gold gilded bronze statue of future Buddha in there. In the afternoon, you will head for Sakya county to sightsee Sakya monastery. It is surrounded by high black colored walls with watch towers on all four corners.

Stay overnight in Sakya.

Day 8: Sakya (4300m) to EBC (5200m)

Today you will drive from Sakya to EBC. You will pass through the grassland, torrent, and mountains. If the weather is clear, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which are 8000m high or more, such as: Mount Lhotse (8516m), Mount Everest (8848m), Mount Qowowuyag (8201m), Mount Mayalu (8463m).

Stay overnight in Rongbuk Guest House or local Tibetan Tent.

Day 9: 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 10: See you off at Nepalese Border

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 11: 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 12: Kathmandu to Chitwan

We get up early in the morning to catch tourist coach to Chitwan. If you take flight, it only takes 35 minutes. While the driving takes 6 hours. As soon as you arrive in Chitwan the trip briefing will be given with welcome drink. You will be doing Elephant safari; Jungle walk and at evening Tharu cultural show in Chitwan.

Stay overnight in Chitwan

Day 13: 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 14: Chitwan to Lumbini

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

Stay overnight in Lumbini.

Day 15: Lumbini to Pokhara

Today, we will drive from Lumbini to Pokhara via Butwal, Palpa and Syangja. On the way, you will visit Tilaurakot, which is the homeland of Siddhartha.

Stay overnight in Pokhara.

Day 16: 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 metres, 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 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu

Today, you will drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara. On the way, you will explore Damauli bazaar.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 18: Departure from Kathmandu

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

What’s included?

All Tours in Kathmandu and Lhasa

* 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 choose best value 3 star hotels with good location for you. All hotels include breakfast.

Travel Documents

* Tibet Travel Permit, Alien's Travel Permit.

* Chinese Visa Invitation letter Application service

Others

* Airport-Hotel pick up and drop off service in Lhasa and Kathmandu

What’s excluded?

Some Meals

* Meals except breakfast are not included, check the meals plan

Flight Tickets

* Round way flight tickets Kathmandu - Lhasa - Kathmandu flight tickets

Chinese Visa

* Chinese Visa fee paid to Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu is not included

* Chinese Visa application agent service at Kathmandu, 20USD/person is not included

Others

* Additional single supplement for requiring single room for yourself

* Gratuities to tour guide and driver

* Other personal expenses

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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