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This journey on land-cruisers on the Lhasa – Kathmandu Friendship Highway crosses several major Tibetan towns and villages giving you an opportunity to get a sense of the Tibetan way of life. Though this trip does not involve any trekking, it is still strenuous as you will be crossing several passes – some over 18,000 ft – and will be sleeping and eating in lodges with basic facilities.
The journey begins in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa. Lhasa is the site of the Potala Palace the ancient palace of the Dalai Lamas. In and surrounding Lhasa are many other important monasteries such as the Sera Monastery, the Jokhang temple and the Drepung Monastery. You will visit all these monasteries. From Lhasa you will drive to Gyantse which is the site of the largest stupa in the world, the Kumbum stupa. Continue to Shigatse the site of the very impressive Tashilunpo monastery complex and seat of the Karmapa Lamas. Shigastse is the last of the larger Tibetan cities and past Shigatse amenities are limited. Continue to Everest Base Camp and depending on current regulations, you will either sleep at a make-shift tent at the Base Camp or at Rongbuk. After a day of exploring at the Everest Base Camp, descend to Nepal where you will be met by our Nepali guides at Zhangmu (Nepal and Tibet border).
|Day 1||Arrive in Kathmandu/Beijing||Kathmandu/Beijing||4,300ft/140ft|
|Day 2||Explore Kathmandu/Beijing||Kathmandu/Beijing||4,300ft/140ft|
|Day 3||Explore Kathmandu/Beijing||Kathmandu/Beijing||4,300ft/140ft|
|Day 4||Fly to Lhasa||Lhasa||11,990ft/3,650m|
|Day 5||Explore Lhasa||Lhasa||11,990ft/3,650m|
|Day 6||Explore Lhasa||Lhasa||11,990ft/3,650m|
|Day 7||Drive to Gyantse||Gyantse||13,123ft/3,950m|
|Day 8||Drive to Shigatse||Shigatse||12,467ft/3,900m|
|Day 9||Drive to Xegar||Xegar||14,900ft/4,350m|
|Day 10||Drive to Rongbuk. Visit Everest Base Camp.||Rongbuk||16,400ft/4,980m|
|Day 11||Drive to Gyirong||Gyirong|
|Day 12||Drive to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 13||Contingency day|
|Day 14||Final departure|
Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel. Overnight Hotel. (No meals)
Free day in Kathmandu. Optional sightseeing of Pashupatinath and Bodhnath in Kathmandu. We will apply for and obtain your Tibet permits in the next two days. (Breakfast)
Another day in Kathmandu. Visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square. (Breakfast)
Fly from Kathmandu or Beijing to Gonggar Airport (Tibet). Met on arrival and transfer to Lhasa. Day free. Overnight Hotel. (No meals)
Visit the Jokhang temple at the Barkhor Square. The Jokhang is the most sacred temple for many Tibetans and was built by King Trsong Tsang Gampo. A not to miss experience is to circumbulate the temple along with thousands of Tibetans. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
Visit Potala Palace, the official residence of the Dalai Lama until he fled to India after the Chinese invasion. The palace has over a 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues. Continue to Sera Monastery, one of the three major Gelukpa temples along with Drepung monastery and Ganden monastery. A highlight is watching the monks practicing their debating skills in the monastery courtyard. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
Gyantse is located 159 miles south-west of Lhasa. Traveling on a land-cruiser, cross the Khamba la (15,700 ft.) from where there are stunning views across the waters of Yamdrok-Tsho. Continue over Karo La (16,600 ft.) driving past a road which is within a few hundred meters of a huge glacier. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
In the morning, explore the sites of Gyantse. Gyantse is famous for Kumbum, the largest stupa in Tibet. The Kumbum stupa and the Pelkor Chode Monastery are housed within the monastery compound. The chorten is packed with exquisite Tibetan sculpture and painting and rises 35m over four main symmetrical floors. A clockwise route leads pilgrims and visitors through the six floors.
Continue to Shigatse; a short 56 mile drive on the paved Friendship Highway. After lunch visit Tashilunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama and the largest functioning monastery in Tibet. The monastery is essentially a walled town in its own right with busy cobbled lanes twisting around the ancient buildings. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
Driving on the Frienship Highway towards, from today, you will begin to notice the huge expanse of the Tibetan plateau. On this 150 mile journey, you will cross one of the highest passes Gyamtso La (17,200 ft.) from where you descend to the plains of Shegar. Overnight local lodge. (Breakfast)
Drive to Rongbuk, the site of the famous Rongbuk monastery. From here you have to option to walk to the Everest Base Camp or take a horse cart. Sometimes electric vehicles are operational (costs are extra). Overnight at the Rongbuk Guest House. (Breakfast)
Drive towards the Nepal border. From Shegar it is a 190 mile journey to Gyirong (Tibetan side). Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
After completing immigration formalities, drive to Kathmandu. It is only a 105 mile drive to Kathmandu but the road condition on the Nepal side are bad and thus the journey is longer. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
This is a contingency day in Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel (Breakfast)
Transfer to the airport for final departure. (Breakfast)
Per person price for 2018
2 participants: $3,795 USD per person
3 – 4 participants: $3,495 USD per person
5 or more participants: $3,295 USD per person
Single Supplement: $400 USD
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