Itinerary Day by Day
Day 1: Arrival in Beijing, Private pick up from Beijing International airport, transfer to Hotel
On your arrival at Beijing International Airport, a private driver will pick you up, load your luggage, and transfer you to your hotel. There you can rest from the flight, or take in some of the local sights.
Stay overnight in Beijing.
Day 2: Day tour to explore ancient Beijing - Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace
Your guided tour starts with a visit to the famous Forbidden City, which was the Chinese Imperial Palace from around 1420 to 1912. Set right in the center of Beijing, it now houses the Palace museum. The Temple of Heaven is your next stop, which was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century.
Situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing, Summer Palace is the largest and most well preserved royal park in China, and is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens, and palaces. These beautiful attractions show visitors what life was like for the royal household in ancient China, and how the Chinese emperors managed their empire.
Stay overnight in Beijing.
Day 3: Day tour to Mutianyu Great Wall
No tour of China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall, the largest man-made structure on the planet, which can be seen from orbit. This tour shows the great strength of the Chinese Empire, and the wall protected the ancient Chinese from invasion by their enemies from the north. The Mutianyu section of the wall is 2,250 meters long, and includes 22 watchtowers, making it one of the most protected sections of the entire wall. Mutianyu is the longest, fully restored Great Wall section open to tourists.
Stay overnight in Beijing.
Days 4-6: Train from Beijing to Lhasa
On your fourth day in China, you will board the train at the Beijing Railway Station for Xining, and Lhasa. There are two options here, you can get the train straight to Lhasa, or you can get a connecting train to Xining, if there are no available tickets from Beijing to Lhasa, and join a train to Tibet from there.
By day 6, the train moves up to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, as it heads for Lhasa. Traveling along the most scenic railway in the world, you will experience sights that will leave you breathless, and cross a plateau with an average elevation of over 4,000 meters. Do not forget to check out the view as you go over the Tanggula Pass, the highest railway pass in the world at 5072 meters above sea level. There are many sights to see along the route, and the train staff will point them out over the train’s speaker system just before they come into view. The notice and explanation of each sight is given in English as well as Chinese, so you will have no problem understanding.
Some of the best sights to look out for are:
Qarhan Salt Lake – the largest salt lake in China, with flowers made of salt in grotesquely unusual shapes
Yuzhu Peak – at 4,160 meters this is one of the best peaks for entry-level mountaineers
Kekexili Nature Reserve – in one of the least populated areas of China, the reserve is the home to herds of wild Tibetan antelope, wild yaks, wild Tibetan donkeys, and many species of local birds
Tanggula Pass – the highest railway pass in the world, and one of the most spectacular views on the trip
Tsonag Lake – one of the highest freshwater lakes in China, the railway line passes by it only meters away, and you can see the stillness of the water like a huge glass mirror reflecting the mountains around it
Lake Namtso – the second largest saltwater lake in China, and one of the holiest lakes in Tibet
On your arrival in Lhasa, your guide will greet you warmly with the phrase, "Tashi Delek", which means 'wish you all the best'. Your tour guide will meet you at the exit of the station, and a private car will transport you to your hotel to allow you to rest and acclimatize for the rest of the day.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 7: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
The following day your first stop will be the world famous Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Sitting atop Moburi (Red Hill), the palace looks down on the town of Lhasa from its 3,750-meter vantage point. The temple dates back to the 7th century, and houses artifacts and works of art from throughout Tibetan History. The palace also has the gilded burial stupas of the past Dalai Lamas, and below ground lies the ancient meditation cave of the 33rd King of Tibet.
After some lunch, you will head downtown to Jokhang Temple, the primary seat of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built by the 33rd King of Tibet in 647AD, and is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest temple in Tibetan Buddhism. Inside sits the most precious object in the temple, a life-sized statue of Buddha Sakyamuni when he was just 12 years old. Adorned with many precious gems, this gilded statue is the most sacred object in Tibet.
Running around the temple is the famed Barkhor Street. As well as the route of the holy kora, or religious circumambulation, it is also the site of many sellers where you can buy authentic souvenirs from across the region. You can join the pilgrims on their clockwise walk around the temple.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 8: Lhasa tour - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
The next morning you will leave early for a trip outside Lhasa, first to Drepung Monastery, one of the Great Three monasteries of the Gelugpa sect. Sitting at the foot of Gambo Utse, 5 kilometers outside Lhasa, it was founded by Jamyang Choge, one of the disciples of Tsong Khapa, in 1416. The Ganden Potrang, sited in the southwest corner of the monastery, was the former residence of the Dalai Lama, until the move to the Potala Palace.
In the afternoon, you will travel back across the city to the northern suburbs, to visit Sera Monastery, another of the “Great Three” monasteries. Founded in 1419, the name, Sera, means "wild rose" in Tibetan, and was named because of the roses that were in bloom on the hill behind it when it was built. The main attraction of the monastery is the colorful and animated debating of the monks, held under the trees in the debating field every afternoon. Definitely something to watch, even if you do not understand what is said.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 9: Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) via Gyantse
In the morning, our guide will drive you from Lhasa to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. En route to Shigatse you will pass over Gampala Pass, which lies at an elevation of 4,790 meters, and will pass the amazing Lake Yamdrok. At 4,400 meters above sea level, the lake lies nestled between lofty mountains, and you will see the holy mountain, Nyenchen Khangsar, its 7,191-meter peak standing tall in the distance.
The trip to Gyantse passes close by the Karola Glacier, and at Manak Dam Lake you will be able to hang a prayer flag at the Simila Mountain Pass. In Gyantse, you will get to visit the unique Pelkor Monastery, which is rare due to it housing three different sects of Tibetan Buddhism under one roof. You will also get to see the Gyantse Kumbum, a giant architectural stupa that stands 34 meters high.
After another hour and a half of driving you will reach Shigatse, and will be able to visit the traditional barley mill and in summer, you can view the spectacular sight of the barley fields in full crop.
Stay overnight in Shigatse.
Day 10: Shigatse (3900m) to Everest (5200m) via Tingri
Before leaving Shigatse, you will get to visit the seat of Tibet's second highest spiritual leader, the Panchen Lama, at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
After obtaining your Alien's Travel Permit, which is needed to tour this area, you will leave Shigatse for Lhatse, a small town where you can get a nice lunch. On the drive on to Shegar, weather permitting, you will get your first look at the amazing sight of Mt. Everest, or Mt. Quomolangma as it is called in Tibetan.
The route will go over the Tsola Pass, at 4,600 meters, and the Gyatsola Pass, which is higher at 5,248 meters. On entering the Mt. Everest National Nature reserve you will be able to enjoy the amazing panoramic view of the Himalayas as you travel over Gawula Pass, at an elevation of 5,198 meters. After arriving at Rongbuk, you will be able to rest from the long drive, ready for the trip to EBC.
Stay overnight at Rongbuk Guest House.
Day 11: Everest (5200m) to Gyirong Town (2600m)
In the morning, you will first visit Rongbuk Monastery. The highest monastery in the world, at 5,000 meters above sea level, it is part of the Nyingmapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and is unique in that both monks and nuns live together in the same monastery. From there it is a short hike of 4km to EBC, where you can take photos of the peak from the best vantage point, the closest place to Everest it is possible to get.
After EBC, you will drive to Gyirong port, taking in the breathtaking vista of Mt. Shishapangma and Pekutso Lake. The road goes past the Ghungtang Lhamo, at 5,236 meters, and you will arrive in Gyirong in the late afternoon.
Stay overnight in a Gyirong Guest House.
Day 12: Gyirong to Nepal border (B) / Transfer to Kathmandu
In the morning, your guide will assist you to exit China, and will see you off at the border with Nepal. On the other side, our guide from Nepal will meet you and transfer you to Kathmandu, and your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to look around the area, or just rest in your hotel after the rigorous trip across Tibet.
Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
Day 13: Day tour to Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Patan City
The day starts with a tour of Kathmandu City, and takes in the famous Kathmandu Durbar Square. The most famous square in the city, the Durbar Square is the Royal Palace square in the city, and is surrounded by ancient buildings from the early 16th century. The magnificent architecture, exquisite decorations, and the intensity of historical items gives a great insight into Nepali culture.
You then continue the tour with a visit to the Swayambhunath Pagoda, which is one of the oldest Buddhist sites in Nepal. Swayambhunath is a huge golden stupa festooned with prayer flags that flutter in the breeze, on a hill that overlooks the entire city. Then it is on to Patan City, the second largest city in the Kathmandu Valley area. Patan City has one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Nepal that dates back to the 12th century, and is a great place to explore the Buddhist culture of Nepal.
Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 14: Day tour to Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur City
You will also get to go further afield in Nepal, to visit the ancient Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath, one of the largest stupas in Asia, and a focal point for Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Set on the banks of the Baghmati River, Pashupatinath is one of Nepal’s famous UNESCO sites, and the sunset over the temple roofs is spectacular.
Another great place to see is Boudhanath, located on the ancient trade route. It is a place of meditation and part of the spiritual journey around Kathmandu. With one of the largest stupas in the world, it has been the site of many Tibetan prayers over the centuries. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the last place to visit for the day, with its pagoda and shikhara temples strewn around the royal palace. The square really highlights the ancient building arts of Nepal.
Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 15: Kathmandu Departure, Private transfer to Kathmandu airport
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in a private car, take you to the airport, and help you with your luggage and checking in for your flight home from Nepal.
- Tibet Travel Permit and all other necessary permit to Tibet
- A hard sleeper train ticket from Xining to Lhasa
- All lodging listed in the itinerary that based on 4-star standard. If you travel individually, you will need to share one room with another tourist. If you prefer to stay in one room by yourself, you will have to pay the single room supplement
- Meals listed in itinerary
- Entrance fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
- Local Tour Transfers according to group size
- Local Tibetan English-speaking guide
- One shared big Oxygen tank in the car
- Chinese visa
- International flight to and out of China and international flight out of Nepal
- Domestic train/flight out of Tibet.(We offer domestic train/flight ticket booking service, please contact our travel experts for the details.)
- Meals not specified the itinerary
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and drive
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
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