One of the most popular overland journeys in the world, the Kathmandu to Lhasa trip allures travelers worldwide but challenges them with altitude sickness caused by the sharp altitude increase. Given the situation, this tour leads you to Lhasa without visiting the high altitude EBC (5200m). During this tour, our Nepali guide will pick you up at your hotel in Kathmandu and assist you to pass Gyirong Port. Then your Tibetan guide will pick you up at China side and leads you to visit Sakya, Tashilunpo, Pelkor Monastery and Yamdrok Lake along the way. Last but not least, you will spend 2 days to visit the iconic attractions in Lhasa like Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple to get an impressive and comprehensive understanding of the mysterious Tibetan plateau.
Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1: Kathmandu to Rashuwaghadi (130km)
In the morning, our Nepali guide will pick you up at your hotel in Kathmandu and take you along the narrow mountain road to the border at Nepal side. You will appreciate waterfalls, rivers, gorges, forest along the way.
Stay overnight in Rashuwaghadi (2700m).
Tips: The transfer from Kathmandu to Rashuwaghadi is optional and costs 300USD/car.
Day 2: Gyirong to Tingri (300km)
After crossing Gyirong Port, you can find our Tibetan guide and car waiting for you. Traversing along the well-paved asphalt road, you can appreciate the lush green Gyirong Valley and take a glimpse of the stunning Himalaya Mountain Range when crossing Tongla Pass (5100m). Finally, you will arrive at Old Tingri (4300m).
Stay overnight in Tingri.
Day 3: Tingri to Shigatse via Sakya (360km, B)
Today, you will visit the famous Sakya Monastery and appreciate the magnificent murals and biggest library of Buddhist scriptures in Tibet. Along the way, you can enjoy the epic vista of Mt. Everest and the vast plain of Shigatse.
Stay overnight in Shigatse.
Day 4: Shigatse to Lhasa via Gyantse (375km, B)
In the morning, you will visit Tashilunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism. Then, you can explore the traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field in summer. When arriving in Gyantse, you can enjoy the stunning vista of Gyangtse Fortress, tour Gyantse old street, visit Perklor Monastery and the Nepali-style Kumbum Stupa.
When arriving at Manak Dam Lake, you can hang prayer flags at Simila Mountain Pass. After that, you can appreciate Karola Glacier on the roadside and the panoramic view of the turquoise Yamdrok Lake and snow-capped Mt. Naiqinkangsang at Gangbala Pass.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 5: Lhasa Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street (B)
Today, you’ll pay a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the world culture heritage. You can explore its audience halls, the jeweled and golden burial chortens (stupa tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc.
Then tourists will head to the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple, built during Songtsen Ganpo's reign by Princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty, 647 A.D. Here you can observe sincere pilgrims making prostration in front of Jokhang Temple. While entering inside the temple, you can see the holiest statue of Buddha. Around the monastery is the famous Barkhor Street, where you can do the kora with pilgrims and locals. And then we’ll go to explore the old market and you may have chance to see the traditional jewelry trading between people from different part of Tibet.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 6: Lhasa Sightseeing: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery (B)
Today, you will visit two important monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Drepung Monastery, the largest monastery in Tibet, was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. Situated at the foot of Gebeiwoze Mountain, it was once home to more than 10000 monks. Here you can see the biggest monastery kitchen inside and then pay a visit to the Buddhist Sculpture Carving Workshop near Drepung.
After having lunch, you’ll continue to visit the Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The most interesting thing is to see monks debating in the courtyard at around 3-5 in the afternoon. Besides, you can also see the colorful Rock Painting of Buddha and the three sand Mandalas and then visit the Tibetan religious text printing house.
After finishing the sightseeing, if time allows, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan Handicraft Art Center or Tibetan Traditional Medicine Center. Besides, you can also choose to upgrade your tour to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD).
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 7: Depart from Lhasa (B)
The driver will pick you up from your hotel, and drop you off at Lhasa Gonggar Airport or Lhasa Railway Station, and assist you to get on board.
- Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
- All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
- Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
- Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
- All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
- Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
- All meals listed in the above itinerary;
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
- First aid kit;
- International flight to and out of China;
- Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
- Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.
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