15 days Beijing Xi'an and Tibet adventure tour to Kathmandu
Travel from Beijing to Kathmandu, visit to these two capital cities of China and Nepal, and explore the different cultures between the two countries. This tour involves an overland trip in Tibet, along with a fascinating hiking to Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. Gain a lifetime spiritual experience as you immerse yourself in the unique cultures of Tibetan Buddhism and splendid landscape.
Be greeted by your local guide and driver at Beijing airport or railway station, and head to the hotel. The rest of today is left free and flexible for you to explore this city on your own. Beijing is the capital of China, as well as a diversified city which mixes modern city life and ancient cultures, and it holds abundant tourism resources including the natural landscape and historical relics.
This morning, be arranged to visit Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in world. Tiananmen Square is regarded as the symbolic center of China since it was the place where many historical events have taken place. The famous Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) is located at the north end of the square, and you will have a chance to witness it during your visit.
Next up with a visit to the Forbidden City, which is the largest and most completed imperial palace and ancient building complex in China. Regarded as a masterpiece of Chinese, even world, architectural history, the buildings in Forbidden city fully embody the artistic features and styles of ancient Chinese palace design. In the following days you will visit another world-famous palace in Lhasa, Potala Palace, the holy shrine in Tibetan Buddhism culture where you will get a different experience compared with Chinese traditional culture.
In the afternoon, make an excursion to the Temple of Heaven, a temple of Chinese religion used for imperial ceremonies for five centuries. The layout of the Temple of Heaven is according to strict Feng Shui requirements, and every building in the temple holds its symbolic meaning. Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the north end of the park is the main temple building. This magnificent round building is made entirely of wood without the use of a single nail, and the unique appearance which involves round hall and square bases symbolize the heaven and the earth in Chinese culture.
On your way back to hotel, take a short visit to the Freshwater Pearl Market for a good bargain. After having dinner, we will offer an interesting Kong Fu Show.
Take 2.5 hours' drive to the world-famous Mutianyu Great Wall in early morning, and enjoy 2 to 3 hours of walking along the wall. It is a great experience to stand on the watchtowers and view the wall winding across mountains, the scenery is breathtaking and magnificent. If you don't feel like walking up you no problem you can ascend and descend via a cable car or slide your way down in a toboggan.
On the way back to Beijing city, stop at the Ming Tombs, the final resting place for 13 emperors in Ming Dynasty and take a visit to the largest and best preserved one, Changling. Here you will get an understanding of Chinese imperial funerary art, and be astonished by the layout of Chinese ancient royal tombs, which was so strict in tomb locations selection, unique in designs, delicate in constructions, and meticulous in materials using.
Start today's tour with a visit to the Summer Palace, a royal garden for the emperors during Qing Dynasty. The garden is covered by Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, surrounded with many artistic architectures which are in masterly design. While walking in the park, you will feel like visiting a garden museum that most completely reserved with richest landscapes and concentrated buildings.
After lunch, head to Shichahai Area of old Beijing and explore the ancient Hutong culture. Take one hour to visit a 300 years old courtyard and learn about the history and layout of the old courtyard in old Beijing. Then have about 1.5 hours rickshaw tour to experience the local life, two people share one rickshaw. Drop off at the Silver Ingot Bridge (Yinding Bridge) and walk along the 800 years old Yandai Xiejie (Tobacco Pipe Lean Street) to the Drum Tower, visit the tour and have a great view of the surrounding hutongs and courtyards.
In the evening, drive to the railway station and say farewell to your local guide. Take the overnight train to Xi'an.
Arrive at Xi'an railway station in the morning, check in the hotel with the help of your local guide. You can take a break and wash up from the train ride in the morning. After lunch, start your journey in Xi'an with a visit to Shaanxi History Museum, one of the largest state museum with modern facilities, as well as the best place to know the Chinese history in China. Xi'an was the capital of 13 Dynasties starting over 2,000 years ago so it is no wonder the museum here holds such a wealth of history that needs to be protected and displayed to the world.
Afterwards, head to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the most famous landmark of Xi'an. First built in 652 during Tang Dynasty, the pagoda was used to preserve the Buddhist sutras brought back from India. Atop of the pagoda it offers a bird's eye view of Xi'an city.
As you visit Xi'an City Wall with your guide in the afternoon, you will have a chance to walk along the oldest and best preserved city wall in world. After that, take a walk along Shuyuan Men, a cultural street which is famous for selling the delicate traditional art crafts.
Today make an excursion to see the world-famous Terracotta Warriors in the northeast countryside of Xi'an. This life-size army of thousands has stood guard over the soul of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang for over 2,000 years, and even now you can see their distinct facial expressions and positions orderly arranged in battle formations, presenting a real scene of war in ancient China.
After driving back to Xi'an city, continue visiting the Great Mosque, one of the largest mosque which blends Chinese and Islamic architecture. Next up with some free time to explore for some souvenirs or antiques in the Bazaar near the Mosque. In the evening after the local specialty - Dumpling Banquet as dinner, enjoy the splendid Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show.
Morning drive to the airport for the flight to Lhasa, the flight will take over 3 hours. Upon arrival, be greeted and assisted to your hotel by the Lhasa local guide. The rest of today is free for you to start acclimatizing the high altitude, if you have any questions, please ask for your guide's assistance.
Start your first day on the highest plateau in world with a visit to the 1,300 year old Jokhang Temple, a place which regarded as the spiritual center of Tibet. The temple is located at the heart of old town in Lhasa, you will see waves of awestruck pilgrims prostrating themselves outside the temple. The circuit around the temple is called Barkhor, it is a popular devotional place for pilgrims and locals. Walk along the street and see if there are some interesting local souvenirs to purchase.
In the afternoon, make an excursion to the Potala Palace, a magnificent building which can be regarded as an architectural wonder even by modern standards. The place includes the White Palace, used for the living quarters of the Dalai Lama, and the Red Palace, used for religious functions. The same with Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace is also a holy shrine to Tibetan Buddhism disciples.
Today will focus on visiting two famous Gelugpa Sect monasteries in Lhasa. First, head to the west of Lhasa and visit Drepung Monastery, which is purportedly the largest monastery in the world. the name "drepung" means rich heap due to the white buildings dotting the hillside. Afterwards, take a visit to Sera Monastery, which is well-known for its unique debating tradition. the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are well worth to see.
Before driving back to the hotel, stop at the Norbulingka Summer Palace, where you can see the residences of different lineages of the Dalai Lama. This pleasant park contains several palaces and chapels, and during the Shoton (Yogurt festival) in August, it will be crowded with picnickers and traditional activities.
Today is free for you to explore Lhasa city on your own. You can easily ask your WindhorseTour Travel Advisor or local guide for some suggestions on where to go and what to see.
Morning head to Chushul from where climb up Kamala to Turquiose lake Yamdrok tso. Yamdrok tso is the one of the three scared lakes in Tibet, appears like jasper in a dark blue color. It takes about half an hour driving along the lake shore to the nearest town Nangartse where you will have an early lunch. Afternoon further follow the southern Friendship highway along the sprawling lakes and bloom glaciers to Gyantse. Gyantse is a small town in Tibet, this typical Tibetan town still keeps its own feature, and it’s a worth for a stop at a trip to Mt. Everest Base Camp. In Gyantse, you will visit the famous Kumbum Stupa, it is about 35m high containing countless Buddha images, it is truly awe-inspiring and one of the most spectacular monuments in Tibet. Afterwards have a look at Phelkor Monastery with its fine paintings and statues, wander through some narrow lanes of old Gyantse town. Overnight at Gyantse.
Morning drive about 1.5 hours to Shigatse, which is the 2nd largest city in Tibet. One of the highlights in this city is Tashilhunpo monastery which is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the 2nd most important spiritual leader of Tibet. Walk along the monastery kora where you will have the stunning view of the whole Shigatse city. The living local market should also not be missed in Shigatse. Afternoon drive to Lhatse, enjoy the beautiful Tibetan high plateau landscape along the way. Overnight at Lhatse.
Early morning, drive to Rongbuk Monastery for witnessing the majestic Mount Everest. Cross over Gyatsola Pass, the first place where you can see the spectacular Mount Everest, the world's highest peak. then stop at Shegar for the checkpoint. Afterwards, cross over Gawu La Pass, which is a good place to see the magnificent peaks which are all over 8,000 m. (26,247 ft.) in altitude in Himalaya Ranges. Stop at the pass as you will have a chance to take some photos.
After climbing down through numerous switchback bends lead to the dry valley of Tashi Zom, you will arrive at the Rongbuk Monastery, which is the highest monastery in Tibet and a good point to see Mount Everest. In the afternoon, have a chance to trek from local tent guesthouses community to E.B.C, and it will take about 2 hours. If you don't like trekking, mininbus is also available
It's a bit cold and windy within the valley, especially during the night, you'd better take your sleeping bag and prepare your own package food for Rongbuk stay. However, the sunrise at Everest will make it all worth the trouble.
Morning after the sunrise at E.B.C, start driving to Zhangmu via Old Tingri & Nyalam, crossing Thongla [5300m] pass, savoring the enchanting views of the surrounding peaks of Shishapangma [8020m], Cho Oyu [8201m], Menlungtse and Gauri, the road driving over the pass of Tongla is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks and it is like a road to the sky. Overnight at Zhangmu.
After breakfast, our guide will help you clear the customs, your Nepalese guide and driver will pick you up there, after you check in at Nepali Immigration office, then drive about 5 hours to Kathmandu city, enjoy the scenery of great white waters along the way. Your trip will end upon arrival at Kathmandu.