Turquoise the color of the lake Yamdrok Yutso. Tibet by Jan Reurink

Tibet Holiday Express

$2,350 per person

Prices

11 days from $2,350

Seasons

May – October

Trip Style

Cultural Tours

Trip Difficulties

▲▲▲

Service Level

Standard

Avg Altitude

3,700 m (12,139 ft.)

Guaranteed Dep

Minimum 4 Travelers

 

Highlights: Discover ancient monasteries, ruin temples, and enjoy sunrise at Everest base camp in Tibet, once a forbidden land. Exploring unique Tibetan culture via inland drive on the world’s highest plateau will truly make you feel like on top of the world.

Trip Summary: Tibet, once a forbidden land, has an average altitude of 4,000 meters, with amazing mountain views unmatched by other destination. Our trip begins from Kathmandu with mountain flight to Lhasa, spectacular view of Mt. Everest and its sister mountains on a beautiful weather. Three days in Lhasa to acclimatize, we will explore Norbu Lingka (treasure garden) and take tour of world heritage sites, Potala Palace and Jokhang temple and Sera monastery. Experience incredible five days inland drives on the world’s highest plateau, en route we will explore ancient monasteries, ruin temples, small villages and spent a night near Everest Base Camp, (5200m). We will drive through many high passes and incredible gorges (2500m), eventually reaching the border of Nepal, lush green subtropical region. Journey to Tibet with spectacular mountain views and rich Buddhist cultures will inspire you if not enlighten.

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Product Description

Day Summary
1

Arrive in Kathmandu

Transfer to your hotel. Hold evening meeting

2

Kathmandu Sightseeing

Guide tour of World Heritage sites, Swayambhunath stupa and Basantapur Durbar square.

3

 Fly to Lhasa (3,650 m; 11,972 ft.)

Fly to Lhasa from Kathmandu

4-5

Lhasa Sightseeing

Visit Norbu Lingka, Sera monastery, Potala Palace and Jokhang temple in Bakhor square

6

Gyantse and Shigatse

Visit Kumbum Stupa (100,000 holy idol statues) Pelkhe Chode Monastery in Gyantse and arrive at Shigatse

7

Shigatse to Shegar

Tour of Tashi Lhunpo monastery and drive to Shegar

8

Rombuk and Everest Base Camp

Off road drive to Rombuk monastery, and optional short hike to Everest Base Camp

9

Zhangmu (Nepal Border)

Cross high passes, spectacular view of Himalayan ranges, and enter Nepal

10

Drive to Kathmandu

Drive on the narrow road to Kathmandu, free to explore the city in the evening.

11

Farewell

End of tour. Free to leave anytime. We offer 24/7 local customer service.

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300 m; 4,264 ft.)

You will be received by SA representative at the Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu) and transfer you to hotel. SA representative will hold a meeting regarding your trip itinerary and discuss health/ safety information in the evening. You will be given a SIM card (also a phone if needed) and our representative will be available 24/7 should you need further assistance.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Today, after breakfast, we will take a short drive to Swayambhunath stupa, located in the west of Kathmandu City.  Swayambhunath stupa was built by ancient king of Nepal in the fifth century, sits on top of a hill overlooking the city. World heritage Buddhist Stupa is distinctively known as “The Monkey Temple” as there is large population of monkeys around the area. We will climb about 300 stone stair cases to the Stupa while navigating through the monkey trials. The short climb will reward you with panorama view of Kathmandu city. There are Hindu shrines and Buddhists monastery on the premises of the Stupa, excellent showcase of religious coexistence. (B) After lunch, we will head towards the ancient town of Kathmandu, Basantapur Durbar square, at the center of the city. The UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for ancient royal palace, well preserved wooden carved Hindu temples, and open courtyard.  The palace was built in early 11th century by the kings of Malla dynasty and continue serve as one of the palace till the early 19th century by Shah and Rana dynasties.  There is also a small museum showcasing king’s weapons, armor and ceremonial accessories. Another popular site is the Kumari Ghar, tiny house of Kumari (young goddess, believe to be the incarnation of Hindu goddess, Durga). Visitation to the Kumari house is occasionally closed due to goddess religious ceremonial duties. The square is surrounded by souvenir shops and restaurants. In the evening, our guide will help you pick up any supplies or personal items you might need for the trek.

Day 3: Fly to Lhasa (3,650 m; 11,972 ft.)

You will be received by SA representative at the Gonkar International Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Lhasa. Lhasa, ancient city is the largest and biggest city of Tibet. It is the epicenter of trade, cultures and historical importance of Tibet. SA representative will introduce to your guide and will hold meeting regarding the itinerary and discuss health and safety information. Altitude sickness is major concern for most travelers and the following two days tour of Lhasa will give you time to acclimatize. (B)

Day 4-5: Sightseeing In Lhasa

These two days of sightseeing in Lhasa will give travelers time to acclimatize and also to visit many UNESCO world heritage sites. In the morning, we will visit Norbu Lingka, summer palace of Dalai Lama. Norbu Lingka (Treasure garden) built in 18th century is the largest man made garden in Tibet and said to be highest in the world. The park features five small palaces (private quarters with shrine, chapels and meditation room and Buddhist artifacts), vast garden, small lake and zoo. We will roam around the park admiring the beautiful palace and lush green garden. The park is local popular picnic spot and dance show venue during summer season. After lunch, we will drive up to Sera monastery, the 14th century Buddhist universities of the Gelugpa sect, located just on the outskirts of Lhasa. We will watch the monk’s heated debates over Buddhist philosophy. As you walk around the monastery, you will encounter various assembly halls, shrines and chapels. (B) The next day we will be visiting the Potala Place, founded in the 7th Century by King Songtsen Gampo and later completed by the fifth Dalai Lama during the 16th century. This breathtaking structure serves as the main residence of the Dalai Lamas. A giant fortress-like palace, the Potala sits atop the red hill, about 1,000 feet above the valley floor, overlooking the capital city. The Potala Palace is a living museum, housing hundreds of Buddhist artifacts. A short scenic walk from the Potala Palace will take us to the Jokhang Temple. It is located in Barkhor Square in the old part of the city. The Jokhang is the heart of Tibet and its’ devoutly Buddhist people. It is the most sacred temple in Tibet, housing a statue of Jowo Shakyamuni Buddha, which was originally brought to the temple as a dowry by princess Wangchen of China. Barkhor square is also a Mecca for shoppers. There are endless small shops and stalls featuring everything from handicrafts, clothing and kitchen wares to fake antiques. It is the busiest and the most crowded square in Tibet, given the importance of the Jokhang Temple and its large open-air market area. (B)

Day 6: Gyantse and Shigatse (3,900 m; 12,792 ft.)

You will leave Lhasa in the morning. Three hours drive from Lhasa; you will reach Gampa-La (4,794 m; 15,728 ft.), the first of three mountain passes. You will make a rest stop at the top of the pass, which overlooks the Yamdro tso (Yamdro Lake). Yamdro Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. You will cross another two passes, Karo- La (5,010 m; 16,437 ft.) and Simi- La (4,330 m; 14,206 ft.), before reaching Gyantse dzhong, a small town on the outskirt of Shigatse. Gyantse dzhong is a 13th century built fortress that stretches three kilometers in length and was once briefly invaded by the British in the early 20th century. In Gyantse, you will take a tour of the famous Kumbum Stupa (containing one hundred thousand holy idol statues) in the Pelkhe Chode Monastery. This 14th century stupa is 115 feet high with nine levels, containing thousands of images of Buddhas and other deities. You will spend the night at Shigaste, a short two hour drive from Gyantse. Sighatse is Tibet’s 2nd largest city and the main shopping hub for western Tibet. (B)                     Estimated Travel time: 8 hours.          Approximate Distance: 340km (212. mile)

Day 7: Shigatse to Shegar (4,500 m; 14,760 ft.)

Today you will visit the 15th Century Tashi Lhunpo monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama (the 2nd highest lama in the Gelugpa sect after the Dalai Lama). Much of the monastery was untouched during the Cultural Revolution due to the strong influence and importance of the Great Panchen Lama. The monastery features a gigantic 26 meters (85.3 ft) high statue of Maitreya (the future Buddha), which is gilded with 279 kg (615 lb) of gold. You will tour the numerous chapels and prayer halls of the monastery. You will also take a walking tour of the bustling city with its’ vibrant small markets. Shigatse is an important trade center for western Tibetans and the Zhamgu people of the Tibetan/Nepali border area. Our guide will facilitate the Everest Entrance Permit while you enjoy lunch. We will continue our journey on the Friendship Highway towards Shegar (also known as New Thingri), a small town 60km (37.5 mile) northwest of Everest Base Camp (EBC). We will make a rest stop at the 2nd highest pass of our entire journey, Gyatso-La (5,200 m; 17,056ft.) and enjoy spectacular views of the Himalayas. We will spend the night at Shegar town before continuing on to Everest Base Camp.                     Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours.           Approximate Distance: 240 km (150 mile)

Day 8: Rombuk (4,980 m; 16,334 ft.) and Everest Base Camp (5,200 m; 17,056 ft.)

The drive to EBC is both majestic and thrilling. Part of the drive is on rough roads and it will take about 4 hours to reach Rombuk monastery (4,980 m; 16,076 ft.). We will come across small villages and make a stop at Gyalwu La (5,100 m; 16,732 ft.). Enjoy immersing yourself in this unmatchable panoramic view of the north face of Mt. Everest and its sister mountains. Rombuk monastery was built during the early 20th century and is the highest monastery in the world. From Rombuk camp station, we can either hike for 120 minutes or take the 15 minutes government bus ride to Everest Base Camp (EBC). Here you will have a fantastic close-up view of the north face of Mt. Everest. We will return back to the guesthouse in the evening. [Please note, accommodation at Rombuk guesthouse is an ultra basic.] It has dormitory style rooms, an unattached toilet and no bathing facilities. We will do our best to make it comfortable.

                    Estimated Travel Time: 4.5 hours.           Approximate Distance: 110 km (68.75 mile)

Day 9: Zhangmu /Nepal Border (2,500 m; 8,202 ft.)

Sunrise at EBC is possibly the best moment of the whole trip. There are no words to describe the beauty of this experience. After breakfast, we will take a long drive (6 hours) to Zhangmu on the Nepal border. This long drive will however be compensated for with spectacular mountain views. Along the route, you will be greeted by the 2nd highest pass, Nylam Tong-La (5,100 m; 16,732 ft.), boasting an amazing 180 degrees view of several mountains including Mt. Shishapangma (8,013 m; 26,282 ft.), the 14th highest mountain in the world. There will be a few local Tibetans willing to brave this altitude for tourist sales and they will try to sell you prayer flags and mineral water. We will drive through many small villages via one of the most incredible gorges in the world thus descending up to 2,500 meters (8,202 ft.) in few hours. Upon arrival at Zhangmu (2,500 m; 8,202 ft.), you will be channeled through the Chinese immigration process and will be greeted by your Nepali guide on the other side. Our guide will help you with Nepali Immigration formalities and take you to hotel at Kodari. (Occasionally, we may have to stay at hotel on the Chinese border side due to unforeseeable reasons).

                    Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours.           Approximate Distance: 220 km (137.5 mile)

Day 10: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300 m; 4,264 ft.)

In the morning, you will drive on a narrow and bumpy road to Kathmandu, passing through small Nepali towns along the Bhote Koshi (Tibetan river in Nepal). Please note, occasionally this trip will be delayed due to landslides during monsoon season. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. Sonam Adventures will host farewell dinner. (B, D)

                    Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours.          Approximate Distance: 85 km (53 mile)

Day 11: Farewell

After breakfast, we will transfer you to Tribhuvan International Airport and bid farewell. You might also decide to stay on and explore Kathmandu for a few days. In this case, you will be provided a SIM card and mobile phone should you need any further assistance during your extended stay in Nepal. We offer 24/7 local and international customer service. (B)

Additional Information

Prices

11 days from $2,350

Seasons

May – October

Trip Style

Cultural Tours

Trip Difficulties

▲▲▲

Service Level

Standard

Avg Altitude

3,700 m (12,139 ft.)

Guaranteed Dep

Minimum 4 Travelers

How do I apply for Tibet visa?

You need to have Chinese visa and the travel agency will facilitate Tibet permit and Alien permit. There is no official visa to Tibet.

When is the best time to travel to Tibet?

During May to Septembr is the best time to travel as the weather is beautiful and mountain views are spectacular.

What problems arise on high altitude?

At an altitude of 3500m (11800ft) , most of the people suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness. At higher altitudes, there is less oxygen in the air; nearly 50% less oxygen than at sea level. Most of the people often complain of headache on their arrival at an altitude of 8,000 feet or more. Other symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia, unusual fatigue and lassitude are also felt.

Are there ATM facilities in Tibet?

Yes, in big cities such as Lhasa and Shigatse, there are ATM machine and International credit cards (Master Card, Visa Card etc) are accepted in almost all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants in Tibet.

Do I need travel medical insurance?

Travel Medical Insurance is included. Emergency medical coverage up to $50,000 and medical evacuation is up to $100,000

Inclusive:

  • Travel medical ($50,000) and emergency evacuation ($100,000) insurance

  • Mobile phone (limited minutes, to be return upon trip completion)

  • Local English speaking guide

  • Entrances fee to all major sites and guided tour.

  • Air ticket (Kathmandu-Lhasa)

  • Airport pick up

  • Meals: 7 Breakfasts and 1 Dinners

  • Accommodation: hotels (6nts), guesthouse (2nts) 1 Basic guesthouse (multi-share with limited facilities)

  • Transportation: Flight, private mini bus/van/jeep

  • Small group (15 maximum travelers)

Exclusive:

  • Not included meals: (Please allow $200-$300 for average meals for the whole trip)

  • International flight (departure and return home)

  • Chinese Visa

  • Mobile phone talk time minutes (limited)

  • Airport drop off

  • Personal toiletries.

  • Recommended 10% courtesy tips

Please contact us should you need more information

Donald TIbet review

In over 30 years of traveling for business and vacation my recent visit to Nepal and Tibet with Sonam was probably the best trip I ever experienced. Whether it was help with flights, suggestions about useful gear, or attention to the large and small daily details, Sonam was on top of everything. I would definitely travel with Sonam Adventures again and am already recommending him to my friends and to professional colleagues.

Donald J. La Rocca
Curator
Arms and Armor
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York