Mt. Kailash claimed to be the pinnacle of the Hindu religion is also one of the highest mountains in Tibet at 22,022 feet, and Lake Mansarovar at 14,950 feet is said to be the highest fresh water lake in the world. Certainly a difficult region to reach due to the variable and extreme weather conditions. The distance from Lhasa for example is approximately 2,000 km.
Only during the last few years have ordinary and not so ordinary travelers, been able to experience this region. Road conditions are difficult much of the time and we have to make many preparations to ensure that we have a reasonable chance of reaching Kailash. We need to bring our own food and camping equipment. Basic lodges and tea-houses can be found but the plateau is so remote that it is possible to travel for several days without finding available food.
To travel for days on this remote plateau with the chance encounters of nomads herding their sheep or yaks is to be transformed into another way of life, to see and become part of such a devout pilgrimage as shown by pilgrims around Mt.Kailash and Lake Mansarovar is to put some aspects of our western way of life into proper perspective.
Following is an example of our most popular tours
TIBET ON 4 WHEELS
8 DAY TRIP – Drive from Kathmandu to Lhasa and spend 3 nights in Lhasa, before flying back to Kathmandu.
Please contact us for details and departure dates at email@example.com
DRIVE KATHMANDU – LHASA, FLY LHASA – KATHMANDU
Surrounded by 4 of the world’s highest mountains, Tibet with an average altitude of 3500 m. can truly be described as the roof of the world. Bordering Nepal, India, Bhutan and Myanmar, much of the country is high altitude desert with a total area of 1.2 million sq. kilometer that is rich in Buddhist culture and breath-taking mountain scenery. It indeed is a remarkable place to visit.
On this trip, we will drive to Lhasa from Kathmandu either in a bus or in 4WD Toyota Land cruiser Jeep depending on a group size. The road, Friendship Highway stretches 865 kilometers from Kathmandu to Lhasa. There will be English speaking Tibetan tour guide, driver and vehicle accompanying this trip from the Nepal/China border until your departure from Lhasa. We have chosen the best possible hotels in Tibet and standard in Lhasa. Hotel accommodations will be on twin sharing room that will have attached bath with running hot and cold water. Breakfast will be served at the hotel as well as dinner (if booked).
During this tour we will pass small Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen wandering across the wide arid plains and awe-inspiring mountain peaks. To name few would be, Mt. Cho Oyu (8201 m.), Mt. Everest (8848m.) and more.
You will spend 3 nights at hotel in Lhasa right in the city center, which will allow easy access to the city’s main attractions – the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple & Barkhor market. Inspiring landscape and mountain views combined with rich Buddhist history and culture, make visiting Tibet a truly unforgettable experience.
Day 01: Kathmandu – Zhangmu (2300m.) – 123 km.
After breakfast early morning, drive Kathmandu to Kodari (the border). After completing immigration and custom formalities in Nepal, cross the friendship bridge, go through Chinese immigration process then drive uphill to Zhangmu. A short customs check will take place before you settle in at the hotel which is at a walking distance from the check point. – O/nt. Zhangmu Hotel.
Day 02: Zhangmu – Xegar (4050m.) – 244 km
Today’s drive takes us from the lush green lower hills into the dry, arid landscape of the Tibetan plateau. En-route, we cross several high passes including the Lalung La (5050m.) from where (weather allowing) there is a magnificent panoramic view of the Himalayan range including Mt. Everest (8,848 m.), a matching backdrop to the vastness of the Tibetan plateau. – O/nt. Hotel Qomolangma (Everest) in Xegar.
Day 03: Xegar – Xigatse (3900 m) – 244 km
Today’s Journey continues the drive along friendship highway, passing by lonely monasteries and the camps of nomadic herders of Tibet. Crossing the Highest pass the Gyamtso La (5220m.) of this journey, we descend once more to the barren splendor of the Tibetan plains. Finally, we will arrive into the second largest city in Tibet, Xigatse. – O/nt. Hotel Manasarovar or Wutse.
Day 04: Xigatse-Gyantse (3950 m.) – 90 km.
Before setting off on a relatively short drive to Gyantse, an early morning visit to Tashilunpo monastery, one of the largest functioning monasteries of Tibet for a sightseeing tour in Xigatse. We then head for Gyantse which is located in the Nyang-Chu valley. After the checking in process at the hotel, we will explore the Pelkor Chöde (also known as “Palcho”) Monastery and the famous Gyantse Khumbum, the largest chorten in Tibet with its many chapels housing an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. – O/nt. Hotel Gyantse or Wutse.
Day 05: Gyantse – Lhasa (3660m.) – 261 km.
Today’s journey will take us over the spectacular Karo La (5045m.) where the awesome sight of huge glacier sliding down to, within a few hundred meters of the road. After this we will come across a small developing town of Nangartse and then the road follows the bank of beautiful turquoise lake, Yamdruk Tso. When the road on the bank of the lake ends, we will climb uphill towards Kamba La (4794m.), where a view of stretching lake and mountain at the background can be seen. Then the road continues downhill to Chusul and finally to Lhasa – O/nt. Hotel Dhoodgu / Kyichu / Gorkha.
Day 06: Lhasa and around
Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet, for centuries the abode of the Dalai Lamas, and object of devout pilgrimage, is still a city of wonders, despite the large-scale encroachments of modern Chinese influence. While the Potala dominates the Lhasa skyline and, as the residence of the Dalai Lamas, serves as a symbolic focus for Tibetan hopes of self-government, it is the Jokhang, some 2 kms to the east of the Potala, that holds the spiritual heart of the city. An otherworldly mix of somber darkness, wafting incense and prostrating pilgrims, the Jokhang is the most sacred and active of Tibet’s temples. Encircling it is the Barkhor, the holiest of Lhasa’s devotional koras, and it is here that most visitors first are attracted.
This day will be spent visiting many of Lhasa’s monasteries together with a guide from Tibet. As it should not be rushed in high altitude, we will start the tour with Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple in the heart of old Tibetan part of city. But before we venture into the Jokhang, we will be strolling through the Barkhor. It is an area unrivalled in Tibet for its fascinating combination of deep religiosity and push-and-shove market economies. This is both the spiritual heart of the Holy City and the main commercial district for the Tibetans. Jokhang, although little remains of its 7th century origins, also known in Tibetan as the Tsuglhakhang is situated within Barkhor which is the most revered religious structure in Tibet where Jowo Shakyamuni is believed to be kept.
If the afternoon, we will visit the Ganden monastery, just 40 km northeast of Lhasa which is the first Gelugpa monastery and had been the main seat of this major Buddhist order ever since. The monastery was founded in 1409 by Tsongkhapa, who was the revered reformers of the Gelugpa order. Ganden means ‘joyous’ in Tibetan and is the name of the Western Paradise (also known as Tushita) that is home to Jampa, the future Buddha. After the tour of Ganden, we will drive back to Lhasa – O/nt. Hotel Dhoodgu / Kyichu / Gorkha.
Day 07: Lhasa and around
Today, we will visit Potala Palace, Lhasa’s cardinal landmark is one of the wonders of Eastern architecture. Marpo Ri, the 130m-high ‘Red Hill’, which commands a view of all Lhasa, was the site of King Songtsen Gampo’s palace during the mid-7th century, long before the construction of the present-day Potala which was built in the 17th century during the reign of 5th Dalai Lama. After seeing the landmark of Lhasa we will then visit Drepung Monastery which was founded in the 14th century. This monastery was once the largest in the world with a population of around ten thousand monks. Dalai lamas used to live here in Ganden Palace until the 5th Dalai Lama built the Potala Palace. Due to it’s strong influence in Tibet, this monastery was the hard hit place by the kings of Tsang, Mongols but left relatively unscathed even during the cultural revolution of 1959. Rebuilding and resettlement continues even these days.
After lunch, we will visit to Sera monastery, 5 km north of central Lhasa and this is one of the best preserved monastery and within its' white-washed walls and golden roofs, several hundred monks live and study. After this tour we will return back – O/nt. Hotel Dhoodgu / Kyichu / Gorkha.
Day 08: Lhasa – Kathmandu
After an exhilarating overland trip of central Tibet, it is time to leave the roof of the world. Early morning drive an hour to Gonggar Airport in Tibet then board the trans-Himalayan flight of Air China for 1 hour 10 minutes that brings us back to Kathmandu.
On arrival in Kathmandu, our company representative will meet you at airport and bring you to your hotel. You have full day to relax at hotel or go out on a shopping trip in Thamel.
Tour cost per person in US dollar: $1,950; single supplement is $250
Cost includes following services:
1. All transfers in Nepal: airport, sightseeing and Kathmandu to border by air-condition coach.
2. 5 nights at The Malla Hotel on twin sharing room with breakfast and dinner.
3. 2 days sightseeing tour in Kathmandu as shown in itinerary above with tour guide.
4. 1 day hiking tour with lunch of Namobuddha in Nepal as shown in itinerary above with tour guide.
5. Entrance fees for sightseeing venue in Kathmandu.
6. 7 nights/8 days tour of Tibet with transfers by coach, driver & 1 English speaking Tibetan guide.
7. Tibet travel permit, visa and airfare for Lhasa – Kathmandu flight.
8. Sightseeing tours in Tibet as shown in itinerary and entrance fee to the venues.
9. Hotels in Tibet on twin sharing with breakfast & dinner: Zhangmu Hotel in Zhangmu (1night)
10.Hotel Qomolongma in Xegar (1 night), Hotel Manasarovar or Wutse in Xigatse (1night), Hotel
11.Gyantse or Wutse in Gyantse (1 night), Hotel Dhood Gu or Kyichu or Gorkha in Lhasa (3 nights).
Cost excludes the following:
1. Nepal entry and re-entry visa.
2. Lunch or dinner in Katmandu and Tibet where not mentioned in the itinerary above.
3. Airport tax at Katmandu’s international airport (Rs.1695 at present ~ approx. US $24).
4. Extra transport or porter in Tibet incase of road blockade due to weather or political unrest.
5. Expenses of personal nature (tel. calls, internet / e-mails, laundry, toiletries etc.).
6. Insurance to cover all travel related matters including trip cancellations.
7. Tips to service staffs.
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