This amazing join-in trip through Tibet takes you right across the Himalayas to the roof of the world. From Kathmandu (Nepal) you travel to the famous Friendships Bridge by car or minivan. From here, you walk through Tibet and pass many passes, unique trade settlements and sky-blue holy lakes. You will get to know the Tibetan people and their remarkable culture. Tibetan Buddhism is still the most important aspect of life for the deeply religious Tibetans.
You travel in an international group of at least 3 and at most 8 people.
By dividing the costs for transport, driver and guide with each other, this
trip can be realized at a low price. In addition, you do get to keep the
freedom as an individual traveler. In the countryside of Tibet, the hotels and
sanitation can be pretty simple. The closer you get to Lhasa, the better the
hotels will be. That is why this trip is only suited for the real travelers.
You have to be in Kathmandu at least 5 days before departure to Tibet. This is due to the permit and visa application for Tibet. Of course we can offer you an attractive itinerary for those couple of days in Nepal if you want.
Interested or any questions? Please contact us as soon as possible, because: first comes first goes!
Day 1: Kathmandu to Nyalam (3750m)
Travel time: 8 hours.
In the early morning, get ready for the drive to Tibet. You are expected to be in our local office in Kathmandu (Thamel) at around 06:00 AM. From here you will be transferred to the bus station where you will take the bus going to the Tibetan border. At around 07:00 AM the bus stops at Dhulikel for Breakfast. If the weather is clear, you can get the panoramic view of some of the mountains as well as the lush green surroundings. During breakfast, you can see the snowy peaks of Ganesh Himal and the Langtang range. Here you have the opportunity to switch money (Euro, Rupees, and Dollars) to Chinese Yuan. Via the little city Kodari, you'll reach the famous friendship bridge which forms the border between Nepal and Tibet. Severe border control formalities may take up to 1.5 hours on average to cross the border. Once you arrive at the Tibetan side, the Nepali guide will pass on his responsibility to the Tibetan guide who will escort you through Tibet. In Tibet, the journey continues by bus. You will spend the night in a guesthouse in Nyalam. The facilities are very simple here (Squat toilet, tab with cold water, thermos bottle with hot water).
Day 2: Nyalam to Lhatse (3950m)
Travel time: 6 hours.
After a simple breakfast, we continue our journey through characteristic villages and regularly encounter big yak and sheep herds with the beautiful; desolate, dry and typical Tibetan surroundings. While you travel over 'the roof of the world' you gradually see the beautiful snow covered mountain peaks pop up on the horizon. Yet before lunch we will cross the Thong La pas (5120m): a sight for sore eyes with her prayer flags and magnificent views. Around noon the highest mountain in the world, the Mount Everest (8848m) will come into sight. After lunch in a lively trade settlement, you drive onwards through beautiful surroundings to Lhatse. You will spend the night in a simple accommodation.
Day 3: Lhatse to Shigatse (3840m)
Travel time: 3 hours.
After having your Breakfast, you will leave Lhatse and begin your journey to Shigatse which passes through the Gyatso la pass (5220m) and takes nearly 3 hours. The scenery which you pass through is extraordinarily beautiful. As you arrive in your hotel in Shigatse you will have your lunch and can relax for some times. The hotel has a western toilet and a hot water shower. After lunch, you will visit the remarkable Tashi Lhun Po monastery, founded by the first Dalai Lama in 1447. The monastery is wonderful. You can take your time to look around and see all the sanctuaries and breathe in the spiritual atmosphere. It is delightful to just wander around through the little streets of the monastery and experience and see the daily life of the monks. In front of the monastery, there is a big Tibetan market where they offer all kinds of merchandise.
Day 4: Shitgatse to Gyantse (3980m)
Travel time: 2 hours.
In the morning, we will head for Gyantse. The ride will cross the biggest agricultural area of Tibet. Regularly big herds of sheep will be seen along the road. Gyantse is one of the most characteristic Tibetan cities of the country. The center around the Kumbum - Biggest chorten of Tibet is still mostly Tibetan. It's nice to wander through the little streets of the city. High above Gyantse an impressive dzong stands out. This dzong is an old fortress from the 14th century. For the people who aren't afraid for a little climb: can visit to the fortress which remains open for visitors (not included in the program). In the afternoon you will visit the Pelhor Chode monastery and the famous Kumbum situated here. The monastery has been through some rough times during the Cultural Revolution. Luckily the Kumbum-chorten remained in good order. It is the home of many sacred objects, like Buddha statues and books with ancient religious writings.
Day 5: Gyantse to Lhasa (3600m)
Travel time: 6 to 7 hours
Today you will continue your journey through the impressive Himalayans, crossing high mountain passes, through small villages, glaciers and stilled lakes. You might have beautiful view of an intense blue lake from the Simila pas (4300m) and a huge glacier from Khara La pas (5045m). Continuing your walking ahead, you will soon arrive at the immense, unworldly turquoise Yamdrok Tso Lake. Great place to take some pictures. Even from the Khambu La pass (4970m) you can have the beautiful view on the Yamdrok Tso Lake. Once arrived in Lhasa you will Check-in to your hotel. Your hotel in Lhasa is situated in an old Tibetan district and has fine sanitation. Here, you will get plenty of time to roam around in this colourful and remarkable city.
Day 6 and 7: Lhasa
The big Tibetan district of Lhasa is very charming and is decorated in the typical Tibetan Style . The deeply religious life of Tibetan nationals is filled with flavours, colors, sounds and rituals; spinning prayer wheels, youth in jeans throwing themselves to the ground while praying, women wearing colourful chupa's and ingenious beaded braids in their hair, incense, butter lamps and juniper sacrifices, temples with the most amazing colours, monks in red robes, the sound of praying and mutternig people and the deep bass of the religious horns.
Within these 2 days you will visit the famous Sera-monastery, the Drepung monastery, the Jokhang temple and the impressive Potala-palace. In between the excursions you will have enough time to explore the city on your own too.
Lhasa is being dominated by the huge Potala palace of the Dalai Lama. The palace is built high up against a hill and can be seen very well from the old Tibetan center. In total, the Potala palace contains more than 1000 rooms. Many of them are close for visitors. But a number of former private chambers of the Dalai Lama and a few beautiful religious areas can be visited. The atmosphere in the Potala is mysterious and spiritual. However, you will also see the other side of it; the Chinese flag waving above the palace and the empty chair of the Dalai Lama in the prayer hall are a confrontation with the suppression of the Tibetan people.
The Drepung monastery lies at the foot of the mountain Gambo Utse, 5 kilometers away from Lhasa. It is known as the most important monastery of the Gelugpa movement within the Tibetan Buddhism. With a surface of 250.000 square meters, the Drepung monastery is the biggest monastery in Tibet, and is a village on its own when you look at the size. From afar you see a big white construction and get the impression it rises from the mountain, just like rice rises from boiling water. That is why its called Drepung, in the Tibetan language this means 'a collection of rice'. It is very special to see the many pilgrims walk along the Buddha statues. They mutter holy mantras and bring money and yak butter sacrifices. The monks of the monastery are very friendly and very easy to get in contact with by using some non-verbal communication.
The Sera monastery is known for its 'debating monks'. The lessons of the day are being discussed by the monks in the big garden of the monastery. These discussions always include intense dialogues, clapping and big gestures. It's a special to see the debat with your own eyes.
The heart of the city is shaped by the Jokhang temple, the most important pilgrimage in Tibet. From all over the country all sorts of Tibetan minorities come to the Jokhang to pray and bring sacrifices. That's why you will encounter a big variety of pilgrims here. The religious ones walk their prayer rounds (kora's) around the temple all together. Many Tibetans don't only walk, but lie flat on the floor, get up, shuffle a bit forward, lift their hands above their heads and to their hearts, and subsequently lie down on the floor again. Just as long until they have completed a full kora. The Jokhang temple has a very special atmosphere. Many hundreds of butter lamps burn in the semi-darkness. Beautiful Buddha statues and prayer wheels fill up the room.
Day 8: Lhasa to Kathmandu.
In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and brought to the international airport of Lhasa by bus. You will fly back to Kathmandu right over the Himalayas. If the weather is clear you can have magnificent views of the Mountains as well as the mountain ranges from above them.
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, Our representative will be there to pick you up and transfer you to your confirmed Hotel.
• All transport mentioned in the program ( bus from Kathmandu to Kodari, bus from the Nepali border to Lhasa, bus during sightseeing in and around Lhasa, flight Lhasa - Kathmandu economy class).
• All overnight stays from day 1 until day 7 in hotels and guesthouses, 2 person rooms (the first night in Nyalam you possibly sleep in a 4 person room, the guesthouses at the start of the trip are simple, the closer you get to Lhasa the more comfortable the hotels will be).
• Breakfast from day 1 until day 8
• Driver and licensed English speaking Tibetan guide. All meals, overnight stays, salaries, insurances for the driver and guide are included.
• Travel permit for Tibet.
• Visa for Tibet.
• All sightseeing and entree fees as mentioned in the program.
• During the whole trip: local travel guidance available.
• Food and drinks (other than breakfast).
•Tips monasteries/temples (not obliged but appreciated).
• Tips driver/guide (not obliged but appreciated).
• Personal expenses (phone bill, laundry, personal hygiene products, first aid kit, walking sticks, etc).
• Sleeping bag and towel (needed during our stay at the simple guesthouses along the road).
• All personal insurances.
• 2 Way flight home country - Nepal.
• Visa Nepal.
• All expenses which aren't stated at 'cost included'.
Tibet Pilgrimage Tour
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