Tibet Overland Tour with Kathmandu
Kathmandu has become one of the main stepping off points for Tibet, taking advantage of the Chinese built highway between Kathmandu and Lhasa. This road allows visits to the famous Tasihi Lumpo monastery at Shigatse, the historic town of Gyangtse., the old Bon Po monastery AT Shakya, the wonderful lake of Yaindrok Tso, the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Drepung monastery and Barkhor market. Throughout the drive to Lhasa there are incredible views over this unique landscape, the rolling plateau and its vast open spaces, brown, craggy hills and blue lakes, and the white peaks of Cho Oyu, Everest and many others-the thin, clear air makes everything in front of you look crisper and more vivid. The return from Lhasa is by perhaps the most sensational flight in the world, weaving a way through the 8000m peaks of Kangchenjunga, Makalu and Everest and crossing over the ground covered on our overland journey.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu
You will be greeted with flower garland by our representative at the arrival area and provided hotel transfer. In the evening, we will visit a traditional Nepalese restaurant for a fine meal accompanied by folk music and a cultural program.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing, drive to Dhulikhel, 32 km
While in Kathmandu fascinating Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local traditions are highlighted on our guided tour. We’ll spend the day exploring several of the city’s most famous cultural landmarks like the Bouddhanath – Nepal’s largest and most revered Buddhist Stupa, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square – World Heritage Sites with an extraordinary array of temples, statues and artwork with exquisite carvings. Leave the hustle and bustle of the city and drive countryside to Dhulikhel in time to savor the sunset panorama.
Day 03: Drive Dhulikhel to Lhatse – 4050m, 253 km
We start early on our exciting journey to cross well into Tibet before dusk. It’s 4 hours drive to Kodari (China / Nepal border), then half an hour drive to Zhangmu, where after completion of immigration formalities we drive further to Nyalam following the Bhote Koshi river in a deep valley with waterfalls flowing from its cliffs. It’s a spectacular drive today to cross through the Himalayas. We cross two passes at 3800m then 5050m giving outstanding views of Shishapangma (8013m highest in Tibet), Makalu (8464m), Lhotse (8516m), Cho Oyu (8201m) and Everest (8848m). Overnight in hotel.
Day 04: Drive Lhatse to Shigatse – 3900m, 90 km
We drive on to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city ad visit the famous Tashilumpo Monastery and the seat of Panchen Lama. There are dozens of other beautifully constructed monasteries here too to make a day well spent. Overnight in hotel.
Day 05: Drive Shigatse to Gyantse – 3950m, 90 km
In the morning we’ll visit the main bazaar of Shigatse and soak up the ambiance, then drive to Gyantse 2 hours further. Gysntse is small bustling town 264 km southwest of Lhasa which is steeped in history. In the 15th century it served as the capital of a small Kingdom. We visit Kumbum Chorten which was built around 1400 AD. IT later became the main centre for trade with British India. Overnight in hotel.
Day 06: Drive Gysntse to Lhasa – 3650m, 261 km
It’s a long drive to Lhasa, about8 hours, but the scenery is like a movie set. The road takes us to Lhasa crossing the Karo La Pass (5010m) and Kambala Pass (4794m). The Karo La climbs between two lofty mountains, Nozing Khang Sa(7223m) and Ralung( 6236m). While driving you will see the Yamdrok Tso(Turquoise Lake) which takes approximately 1 hour to drive around. After passing Kamba La, Lhasa valley can be seen to the north. You will also cross the mythical Brahmaputra River. After a long journey, we reach Lhasa and check into hotel. Your guide will reconfirm your onward airline ticket. Overnight in hotel.
Day 07& 08: In Lhasa
For two days you will need to gather all of your energy to explore the wonders (and that is no overstatement) of the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, the ancient Barkhor market, Drepung Monatery and Sera Monastery. There is so much to see and experience in this magical city and your guide will do his or her best to explain, show and enthuse-enjoy your time here! Overnight in hotel.
Day 09: Spectacular Lhasa to Kathmandu flight
In the morning after breakfast it is a 2 hour drive to the airport for the 10am departure (China Standard Time) which drings us back to Nepal around 9 am. The flight is incredible and you will see, when the weather is kind, the Yarlung Tsangpo River, Lake Yamdrok, Kanchenjunga (8586 m) and Makalu (8463m) and Everest (8848m). Rest of the day is set free to explore the city’s source of charms on your own.
Day 10: Final Departure
Take care of any last minute shopping or sightseeing as time permits. You’ll be picked up at your hotel and transferred to airport in time for your departure flight.