17 Days Cultural Tour to the Birthplace of Buddha from Tibet

Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Everest Base Camp - Kathmandu - Nagarkot - Pokhara - Chitwan - Lumbini - Kathmandu

From USD p.p

Separated by lofty Himalayas, Tibet and Nepal share incredible bond as to Buddhism. For Buddhists and cultural explorers, this 17-day spiritual tour takes you to trace the birthplace of Buddhism. Not only will you cover epic Lhasa to EBC tour but also explore the subtle different between Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism in both Tibet and Nepal. The soaring Himalayan peaks on both sides of Himalayas and picturesque Kathmandu Valley and stunning lakes in Pokhara, and Safari in Jungles of Chitwan and birthday of Buddha will leave you in awe.

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa

Upon your arrival in Lhasa by flight or train, our Tibetan guide will be expecting you at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or Lhasa Railway Station and greet you with white Hada, auspicious ceremonial scarf for guests from afar. Then, you will be transferred to hotel. On the way you can enjoy the great vista of awe-inspiring Potala Palace and enchanting Lhasa River.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Getting Started:
For newly-arrived tourists, your body needs time (normally a couple of days) to acclimatize to high altitude and thin air on Tibetan Plateau. It’s highly recommended not to exert yourself to visit any attractions right away. You’d better have a good sleep in your hotels to avoid physical discomfort due to altitude ascent.

Day 2: Lhasa Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street (B&D)

Today, you’ll pay a visit to the famous Potala Palace, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1994. 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 you 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 devout 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 you’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.

Finally, you’ll taste Tibetan tea with locals in tea house and enjoy a welcome dinner at night.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

After finishing the sightseeing, if time allows, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center. Besides, you can also choose to upgrade your tour to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD).

Day 3: Lhasa Sightseeing: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery (B)

Today, you will visit two of the three prestigious Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416, Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet. Situated at the foot of Gambo Utse Mountain, Drepung 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 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 highlight is the monk debate held 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 scripture printing house.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 4: Lhasa to Shigatse (360km) (B)

Today, we will travel from Lhasa to Shigatse via Gyantse. On the way, drive over the Gangbala Pass(4790m) to view turquoise Yamdrok Lake and Mt. Naiqinkangsang. Besides, you can also appreciate Korola Glacier on the roadside. At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang pray flag at Simila Mountain Pass.

Then you’ll go to the historic town Gyantse and explore its old street, and magnificent Kumbum Stupa inside Perklor Monastery. On the top of Kumbum Stupa, you can enjoy the great vista of Gyantse Fortress, one of the iconic buildings in Gyantse.

Later, you’ll arrive at Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. And you can visit traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field (in summer).

Stay overnight in Shigatse

Day 5: Shigatse (3900m) - EBC (5200m)(B)

In the morning, you will visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. It is largest monastery of the Gelug Sect in Tsang,Tibet, and the main stage where generations of Panchen Lamas carried out religious and political activities. After getting your Alien’s travel permit, you will leave Shigatse and then drive to Lhatse for lunch.

After that driving over Tsola Pass(4600M), and Gyatsola Pass(5248M). At renowned Gawu La Pass(5198m), you can view top 5 highest peaks of Great Himalayas. Then driving along the new zigzag road to Everest Base Camp and get closer to Mt. Everest peak. You are lucky enough to catch the sunset of golden Everest peak if time and weather permits at the lodging area.

Stay overnight at Rongbuk Guest House or camping site in EBC

Day 6: EBC - Gyirong Border (370km)

Do get up early in the morning to capture the incredible sunrise over the summit of Everest( as long as there is a good weather.). The, we will trek from the lodging area to visit Rongbuk Monastery - the world’s highest monastery in the world, where nuns and monks living separately in the same religious compound. Next, you can keep trekking to monument of EBC(4kms). While gazing at the lofty mountain, never miss the chance to pose for a nice shot at the foot of Mount Everest.

Then, we will head to Gyirong Border from EBC. On the way, you can enjoy the great vista of Mt. Shishapangma and the Pekutso Lake. Shortly after we pass the Ghungtang Lhamo(5236M), you’ll arrive in Gyirong in late afternoon.

Stay overnight in the guest house in Gyirong

Day 7: Gyirong Border - Rasuwagadhi - Kathmandu

Our Tibetan guide will help you exit China and see you off at Gyirong Border. Then, you need to walk across the border bridge, which is 50m long. Then check in at Nepal side. You can get the Nepal visa upon arrival with 30USD, please prepare one photo at passport size to get Nepal Visa.

The next step, the Nepal tour guide will be expecting you on the other side of the Sino-Nepal border and greet you and transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu.Though pretty bumpy and dusty, the road to Kathmandu (around 160km) is filled with deep gorges, rivers all through the way. The drive takes a whole day.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu

Day 8: Kathmandu Valley Half Day Tour and Drive to Nagarkot

After welcome breakfast, we are about to visit two of the most important Hindu temples in Nepal, i.e. Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. Pashupatinath serves as source of Hindu spiritual power. Shiva is worshipped here as Pashupati, the lord of the beasts. You can see the dead of Shiva, being cremated on the banks of the holy river. Don’t forget to take photos with sadhus with outlandish clothes and red tika on the forehead.

Next comes Boudhanath. The gigantic stupa originally serves as the staging post for businessmen travelling between Lhasa and Kathmandu. Now, the holy stupa is a hot destination, drawing numerous pilgrims, both Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists, to do the kora under the gaze of the Buddha. Monasteries and workshops selling incense, butter lamps, and Tibetan drums and other souvenirs can be found. The strong bond between Tibet and Nepal and historical significance are so palpable.

Then we will drive to Nagarkot, widely known for its best vantage point for the panorama of Himalayas. You can enjoy the stunning sunrise and sunset of Himalayas on your hotel’s balcony.

Stay overnight in resort in Nagarkot

Day 9: Nagarkot to Kathmandu - Durbar Square, Kumari Temple, Swayambhunath

After breakfast, we will drive back to Kathmandu (around 1h40min’s drive). Well, today’s tour begins from the iconic architecture - Kathmandu Durbar Square. Durbar literally means palace, where the former kings ascend the throne and rule the country. You can stroll along the three main parts of Durbar Square and sit on the terraced platform to feel the vibe of Nepali city.

Then we will visit Kumari Temple. Inside the three-story building lives the Kumari, the girl who is chosen as the living goddess of the town. You can enjoy the complex carved windows and explore the courtyard inside the building. Do remember, photographing the living Goddess is strictly forbidden.

Latter, the tour group will head to the renowned “Monkey Temple”-- Swayambhunath. With lovely monkeys jumping around on the gilded spire of the temple, you can see the iconic Buddha’s eye on the stupa. The pious religious worshippers doing kora around the stupa and burning butter lamps and smell of incense draw you back to the similar experience in Tibet. You can enjoy the panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley on the top floor of the temple.

Finally, a great option for you is to enjoy the rickshaw ride to have a Typical Nepalese Dinner at a local restaurant in Thamel.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu

Day 10: Travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Well, in the morning we will board the tour vehicle and enjoy the scenic ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The long ride takes around 5h47min through many historic villages and temples.

Stay overnight in Pokhara

Day11: Pokhara Sightseeing: Sarangkot , Phewa Lake, Annapurna

After breakfast, we will officially enjoy the full-day tour in Pokhara. In the early morning, we are scheduled to visit Sarangkot, on top of which you can enjoy the panoramic sweep of Himalayans peaks.

After than we will drive back to Phewea Lake. Nowhere else can Pokhara’s beauty be better exemplified than the stunning image of Annapurna reflected in crystal-clear Phewa Lake. We can enjoy the boating on the lake and trek up to World Peace Pagoda to enjoy the incredible view of Mount Machapuchare, also known “Fish Tail”.

Stay overnight in Pokhara

Day 12: Travel from Pokhara to Chitwan National Park

After breakfast, we keep moving to Royal Chitwan National Park, which takes around 5-6 hours. Royal Chitwan National Park is widely known as the heart of the jungle and belongs to the former royal Hunter land. In the evening. We can go for a stroll around the hotel.

Stay overnight in Chitwan

Day 13: A Full Day Chitwan Sightseeing

After breakfast, we proceed to enjoy jungle activities, including Elephant Safari to see one horned Rhino and many more dangers and endangers animals and birds. If you are lucky enough, you will see many amazing creatures such as royal Bengal tigers, leopards, monkeys, many types of deer and reptiles. Make sure you bring the right camera gears, preferably with a telephoto lens and you will not miss any shots.

Stay overnight in Chitwan

Day 14: Drive from Chitwan to Lumbini

After breakfast, we travel overland from Chitwan to the Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. In case we reach Lumbini in the late afternoon, we can stroll around in the local market to have a glimpse of local lifestyles.

Stay overnight in Lumbini

Day 15: Full-day Tour in Lumbini - Mayadevi Temple, Ashoka's Pillar, Buddhist Temples

Today our full-day tour in the birthplace of Buddha officially begins. This sacred tourist attraction is packed with monuments, temples, and ancients sites making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

First we visit the Mayadevi temple which is believed to be the exact site of the birth of the Buddha. Then, we move to Ashoka's Pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka (249 BC) on the spot of Buddha's birth which also has the oldest inscription in Nepal. Next, we can explore various Buddhist Temples founded by the devotees from different countries: they include Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese and Burmese, Korean, etc.

Stay overnight in Lumbini

Day 16: Return to Kathmandu from Lumbini

After breakfast, you have free time to see around and drive back to Kathmandu.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu

Day 17: Depart from Kathmandu

Get transferred for the onward flight to next destination. Tour ends.

Service Inclusion

  1. Tibet Travel Permit and all other necessary permit to Tibet
  2. Domestic train/flight tickets as indicated in the itinerary
  3. All lodging listed in the itinerary
  4. Meals listed in itinerary
  5. Entrance fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
  6. Local Tour Transfers according to group size
  7. Excellent local English-Speaking Tour Guide
  8. Government tax and travel agency service

Service Exclusion

  1. Nepal visa
  2. International flight out of Nepal
  3. Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary
  4. Meals not specified the itinerary
  5. Tips and gratitude to tour guide and drive
  6. Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.

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