16 days Beijing to Tibet Kathmandu tour plus trekking adventure
This Lhasa to Kathmandu tour balances an overland trip and a trekking experience in Tibet. Endless scenery await to be discovered as you travel across the highest plateau in the world. Stop at the Everest Base Camp to witness the majestic Mount Everest and much more. Drive along the Friendship Highway, exploring the different culture between Tibet and Nepal is the highlight in this tour.
Beijing, the capital city of China, is the first destination that should not be missed in your 16-day tour to Tibet and Kathmandu. Upon arrival at the airport or railway station, be warmly greeted and assist to the downtown hotel by your local guide and driver, have the rest of the day to relax and adjust on your arrival China. It is also a great chance to walk around this city on your own, our Travel Advisor and guide will be a pleasure to offer excellent suggestions on where to go and what to see around your hotel.
Start today with a guided visit to Tiananmen Square on your way to the Forbidden City. The square lies on the historical central axis going through the Forbidden City, an imperial palace used to be the dwelling place for 24 emperors during Ming and Qing dynasties. With grey-white bases, red-painted walls and roofs covered with golden glazed tile, the palaces in Forbidden City appear extremely spectacular and rich in artistic value. Spend 2 to 3 hours to visit numerous palaces here and learn about the prosperous life of Chinese ancient imperial courts.
Afterward, head to the Temple of Heaven located in the southern part of Beijing city. It used to be a sacrificial complex for only imperial use during Ming and Qing dynasties. The main architectures were designed based on ancient Feng Shui requirements, representing the Heaven and the Earth with round halls and square bases. Your last sight today is the Summer Palace, a classic royal garden which is famous for its awe-inspiring landscape design and elegant buildings.
After breakfast, drive to the Shixiaguan Wild Great Wall in 83 km. (52 mi.) north of Beijing city. Compared with other famous section to have a glimpse of the unforgettable Great Wall, Shixiaguan provides a more unspoilt and natural way for those who like hiking and adventure. Upon arrival, spend 3 to 4 hours to hike along the wall and explore the ancient splendor of this monumental feat of engineering.
In the afternoon, drive back to your hotel to take a break in the rest of the day.
This morning take the flight to Lhasa, it will take over 5 hours on the flight. Upon arrival, get settled into the hotel near Potala Palace in Lhasa city with the assistance of your local guide and driver. Notice the spectacular plateau scenery on the way from airport to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and start acclimatizing the high altitude, your trekking tour in Tibet will start tomorrow.
Today visit the two most important highlights in Lhasa city, Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, both of which are regarded as the cardinal landmarks of Lhasa. Potala Palace is a magnificent 13 stories fortress which served as the religious center of Tibetan Buddhism for centuries, soaring 117 m. (384 ft.) on top of the Marpo Ri Red Mountain. The central and top part of Potala is called the “red palace” from its crimson color, which distinguishes it from the rest white buildings. It contains the main halls, chapels, and shrines of past Dalai Lamas.
Then you will visit Jokhang Temple, which is one of the most sacred shrines to Tibetan Buddhists. The main architecture of the temple is a 4 storied building, with roofs covered with gilded bronze tiles. It is a great experience to stand atop the roof to have a glimpse of Potala Palace in distance. At the entrance of the temple, you will see many pilgrims prostrating themselves, do not bother them while visiting. The street around Jokhang Temple is a famous Kora in Lhasa, local people call it Barkhor. It is also one of the most important shopping streets for visitors.
Make an excursion to the Drepung Monastery about 8 km. (4.97 mi.) west of central Lhasa in the morning. Listed as one and the largest among the great three Gelugpa Sect monasteries in Tibet, Drepung Monastery holds an important position in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. The building complex in the monastery is designed to be centered on two splendid white pagodas. While walking around here, you will see many natural caves were rebuilt to serve as the ashrams for monks.
Drive to Sera Monastery, another famous Gelugpa Sect Monastery in the afternoon. This monastery is famous for the unique debating tradition. As one part of learning Buddhism scriptures, the monks need to involve themselves in debates to further their comprehension and proceed to more advanced levels of study. In Sera Monastery, all the visitors are welcome to witness the debate every afternoon.
Morning drive over 60 km. (37 mi.) eastwards to Ganden Monastery, which is the first one that was built by the founder of Gelugpa Sect himself. Walk along the famous Kora path which leads to the top of the Ganden Wangpo Hill and sees many pilgrims offering prayers, rubbing holy rocks and prostrating themselves along the way. Atop of the hill, you will have a bird's eye view of Kichu Valley which is behind Ganden monastery.
The next 4 days you will have a trekking tour to Tsedang, so your guide will prepare for tomorrow's trekking in the afternoon. Spend the night at Ganden Monastery guesthouse or camping at nearby villages.
The first day of trekking begins at the highest point of the Ganden Kora. From here walk along a saddle trail. After leaving this trail with wondrous views traverse the west side of the ridge before passing through an ancient Hepu village. Later in the day pass through Ani Pagong, a narrow bottleneck in the trail and former site of a nunnery. End the trekking today with an ascent towards Yama Do, a few nomads families used to dwell their tents in this area for whole summertime.
The trekking today involves a great chance to witness the breathtaking scenery in the valley and precious experience to explore the daily life of local nomads families. It will take 5 to 6 hours on the road, after that, take a rest in the camps near Yama Do to prepare for the next day.
Continue the trekking tour in Tibet today. This morning you will leave the valley and hike through a stream bank. Next up is a climb over the Shug La, the views on the mountain are very spectacular and breathtaking. Later, walk through a boulder field to get to Tsotup Chu, a large stream winding through the valley floor. Your destination today will be the Chitul Gang, which is located 10 km. (6 mi.) from Yama Do. A comfortable camp will be set up in one of the many herder fields upon arrival at Chitul Gang.
Follow the Tsotup Chu down through its tributary and hike towards the Chitu La Pass this morning. stop at an impressive lake located behind the pass and spend some time to walk around the lake. Afterward, descend down through several twisted curves to get to the valley, you will find some nomads settlement on your way within the valley. In the afternoon, your guide will help you find a beautiful place surrounding the stream to camp in.
The trekking today will get easier and wider as you will walk through scrub forests in the main valley where breathtaking streams and lush forests surrounded. In the next few hours of hiking, you will be amazed by numerous type of scrub trees, blooming rhododendrons, and vast meadow. Then get to Changtang, the first permanent village after leaving Hepu. Take a short break in the village and then walk another 1.5 hours to get to Yarmalung Heritage, which is almost the final destination of your 4-day trekking tour in Tibet. Your driver will meet you here and drive to visit Samye Monastery. Regarded as the oldest Buddhist monastery built in Tibet, Samye Monastery was designed based on the ideal universe described in the Buddhist scriptures.
Afterward, drive to Tsedang along the beautiful Yarlung Tsangpo River. End your amazing trekking tour with a good sleep in Tsedang.
This morning, visit the attractions in Tsedang before heading to Gyantse. Tsedang is the ancient capital of Tibet prior to Lhasa since the Yarlung Valley near Tsedang is considered to be the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Yumbulakang Palace is one of the attractions not to be missed in Tsedang. It is standing on the top of a hill in the hinterland of the Yarlung Valley, offering a spectacular view of grand valley scenery.
Afterward, drive to Gyantse for your further exploration in Tibet. You will stop at the Yamdrok Lake, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, to witness its beauty. The lake is a fabulous shade of deep turquoise-blue in clear weather. Upon arrival at Gyantse in the afternoon, visit the Kumbum, a majestic white building which has 9 tiers and over 100 chapels, before getting settled into the hotel in Gyantse.
Spend 1.5 hours to drive from Gyantse to Shigatse and enjoy the scenery along the way in the morning. Visit Tshilhunpo Monastery and Old City Market in Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery, regarded as the Tibetan Buddhism center in Rear Tibet, was once the seat of Panchen Lama. The monastery is well known for the Stupa tomb of the tenth Panchen Lama, covered with gold and countless jewels and precious stones. Locals believe that the corpse of this Panchen Lama had no signs of decomposition for years. During your visit, walk along the Kora path leading to the place where you can have an excellent view of the whole Shigatse city.
Afterwards, head to the Old City Market in Shgatse city. Compared with Barkhor Area in Lhasa, the souvenirs in this market tend to be much cheaper. Walk around here and see if there are anything you want to buy before driving to Shegar. The whole drive takes over 4-5 hours, enjoy the typical Tibetan plateau landscapes and you will catch the first sight of Mount Everest after Gyatso la pass. Overnight at Shegar.
The most exciting part of your tour is coming today since you will see the magnificent Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. Early morning start driving to Rongbuk Monastery, cross over Gawu La Pass (Pang-la), which is a good place to see the magnificent peaks of Himalaya Ranges.
Arrive in Rongbuk Monastery, which is the highest monastery in Tibet and a good point to see Mount Everest, enjoy the splendid sunset if the weather permits. Stay in Rongbuk Monastery guest house or local tent guest house.
Depending upon the weather, you will have a chance to witness the sunrise at Everest in the early morning. Afterward, say farewell to Mount Everest and start driving to Gyirong via Old Tingri and Peiku-tso lake. Driving along the road which is surrounded by these snow-capped peaks will give a sense that you are walking a road leading to the sky. Upon arrival at Gyirong, get settled into the hotel to prepare for your last day in the tour.
Your Tibetan guide will help you clear the customs, your Nepalese driver will pick you up there, after you check-in at Nepali Immigration office, drive about 7-8 hours to Kathmandu city, enjoy the scenery of great white waters along the way. Your trip will end upon arrival at Kathmandu.