If there is a chance to take in the diverse natural beauty of both Tibet and Nepal, then this trip could work best for you. Covering the most highlighted natural wonders of Tibetan Plataea and Kathmandu Valley, the 17-day tour will take you to see holy Namtso Lake, Yamdrok Lake, Mount Everest, Nagarkot, Chitwan National Park, Pokhara Valley and Phewa Lake and many more. You will first enjoy an overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu after a detour to beautiful Namtso Lake, and then discover the Kathmandu valley with cultural exploration. Then travel further to Chitwan and Pokhara to enjoy the best of the two places have to offer. Definitely a lifetime scenic trip you deserve!
- Discover Lhasa city with all its best, including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor Street.
- Get a taste of the northern Changtang at the turquoise waters, snowy peaks and nomads’ tents of stunning high-altitude Lake Namtso.
- Marvel at the turquoise waters of Yamdrok-tso, one of Tibet’s most sacred lakes.
- Sleep in nomad tents and gaze upon the north face of Mt. Everest.
- Enjoy the magnificent Himalayan at the best viewpoint in Nagarkot.
- Enjoy full day Chitwan Jungle activities including Elephant Safari, Jungle walk etc.
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa
Welcome to Tibet! Upon arrival, be greeted by local guide at airport and be presented with traditional Tibetan White Scarf to wish you good luck!
Then our driver will take you 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.
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 area 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.
Day 3: Lhasa Tour - 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.
After lunch, you are going to visit Sera Monastery, which 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 can have a little hike for the beautiful valley scenery nearby and picnic there. And you may have the chance to see the famous monks debate (usually from 15:00 to 17:00) before returning back to Lhasa.
Day 4: Drive about 5 hours from Lhasa to Lake Namtso
Drive forward to Lake Namtso this morning, set up camp at Tashi Dorie peninsula after arrival and enjoying the glory of sunset over the lake if the weather is clear. By the lake, you can view the peak of Nyianchentangula (7162m). It is said the holy lake and the holy mountain are a couple of lovers, who altogether guard the vast pasture and cattle. The wide open spaces, dotted with the tents of local nomads are intoxicating.
If lucky enough, there is the opportunity to get a peek at the otherwise inaccessible nomadic life.
To spend a night at lake shore is fantastic to see the stars.
Stay overnight in Namtso Guest house
Day 5: Namtso Lake to Lhasa (250km, 5 hours)
Enjoy the clear morning at the lake shore, you can trek along the lake shore to Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves. Drive to Dumxung to have lunch.
In the afternoon, you may enjoy Yangpachen hot spring (Optional) and have both indoor and outdoor swimming pool filled with hot springs water. Finally, head back to Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Day 6: 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 7: 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 Rongpuk.
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 8: Rongbuk - Gyirong
We get up early in the morning to see the sunrise from Rongbuk, then move to view Mt. Everest. After that, we go down from Rongbuk to Shegar. Then you will go west to Gyirong with our tour guide.
We'll pass Mount Shishapangma (26,286 feet) on the way and cross two major passes - the Lalung La (16,811 feet) and the Nyalam Ton La, also known as the "pass to hell at 17,060 feet. Below Nyalam, the road descends steeply into the river valley of the Bhote Kosi. The flourishing border town of Gyirong Port clings to the mountainside with the highway crisscrossing between homes and storefronts.
Stay overnight in Gyirong
Day 9: Gyirong-Rasuwagadhi-Nagarkot
Our guide will drop you off at next morning at the border bridge. You are kindly required to walk 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 30USD, please prepare one photo at passport size to get Nepal Visa.
The next step, the Nepal tour guide will cross the border bridge to China side which is 50m long to meet you, and then you follow the Nepal tour guide to check in Nepal side, and then drive you to your hotel in Nagarkot.
Stay overnight in Nagarkot
Day 10: Nagarkot –Bhaktapur City- Kathmandu (230 kms, 6 hours drive)
Nagarkot: is situated about 35 km east of Kathmandu city, it is the nearest panoramic view point and from here one can see the beautiful view of the Himalayan peaks. Have breakfast at Hotel and see the sunrise and spectacular view of Snow Mountains and drive from Nagarkot straight to Kathmandu via Bhaktapur.
Bhaktapur City is one of three ancient cities of Kathmandu Valley; 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.
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.
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 Pokhara
Drive from Chitwan to Pokhara.
Day 15: 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 16: Pokhara to Kathmandu
Drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara.
Day 17: Departure from Kathmandu
You will be transferred to Kathmandu airport for your flight.
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.
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.
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.
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.