Tibet Overland Tour
This remote land, of culture, of wide open spaces, gilt-roofed temples, and intricately decorated monasteries, is dominated by the ancient holy city of Lhasa. An aura of magic, and mystery awaits you, with majestic views of the spectacular Himalayas, which also includes Mount Everest, visible from the Tibetan side.
This is an Adventure trip for travelers on limited time & Budget. The breathtaking overland route from Kathmandu to Lhasa offers truly spectacular views of the Himalayas, High mountain passes, ancient monasteries, fortresses & culture from a by gone era. This popular tour to Tibet is an 8 day trip, traveling along one of the most spectacular overland journeys on the 920 km stretch of road, known as the Friendship highway, between Kathmandu & Lhasa and fly back from Lhasa Airport.
The trip allows a number of detours to the highlights of the Tsang Province and Lhasa City, and offers a spectacular insight into the life and culture of the friendly Tibetan people - from the ancient monasteries with chanting monks, to the tranquil shores of the Turquoise Lake Yamdrok tso, to the kumbum (literally 100,00 images), the most stunning architectural wonder of Tibet & to the city of wonders, Lhasa. This trip concludes with the breathtaking Trans-Himalayan flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu.
Day 01: Drive Kathmandu to Zhangmu (2,300m/ 7,544ft)
Meeting at NTA's office at 6am, we start with a 5 hour drive to Kodari (China / Nepal border) then onto Zhangmu. On the drive, you will see a variety of landscapes and mountains views as you pass through Nepal to Tibet. As well as the scenery, the Nepali and Tibetan market center of Khasa is of interest. O/N in hotel.
Day 02: Zhangmu to Xegar (altitude - 4050m/ 13,284ft)
Drive from Zhangmu to Nylam through the Nylam passes at 3,800m (12,464ft) and continue via Lalungla pass (5,050m/ 16,564ft) to Xegar. Highlights of this drive are the views of the Bhote Kosi River deep in the valley, waterfalls and the ever-present spectacular mountain scenery. Here you will see the Jugal mountain range, Mt. Xixapangma (8,013m/ 26,282ft), Mt. Makalu (8,463m/ 27,766ft), Mt. Everest (8,848m/ 29,028ft), Mt. Lhotse (8,516m/ 27,940ft) and Mt. Cho-Oyu (8,201m/ 26,899ft). O/N in hotel.
Day 03: Xegar to Xigatse ( 3,900m/ 12,792ft)
This area is famous for the Tashilhunpo and Sakya monasteries.
The Tashilhunpo Monastery does justice to the term monastic city. It was founded in 1447 by Tsong Khapa's nephew and disciple, Gendundrub, who was the first Dalai Lama. Under the fourth Panchen Lama, it was substantially enlarged and became an important cultural and religious site. The main chapel contains a huge, 26 meter-high statute of the future Buddha. The monastery is grandly decorated with arts, ancient scriptures and scroll paintings.
The Sakya monastery originally consisted of two large complexes on either side of the Trum River. Both the north monastery, founded in the 11th century and Sakya south, founded in 1268 by Phagpa, have uniquely significant status with Tibetan pilgrims. The monastery offers you libraries of spiritual books as well as artwork and a chance to see the grand residence of the monks.
Day 04: Xigatse to Gyantse (3,950m/ 12,956ft)
Gyantse, lying 264 km southwest of Lhasa on the northern bank of the Nyang Chu River, is of historical significance. In the 15th century it served as the capital of a small kingdom. Today, Gyantse retains a deeply Tibetan character. The principle structures consist of a castle on a ridge overlooking the town and a walled monastic complex. The monastery includes the massive temple of Palkhor Chode and the great multi-chapel Kumbum Chorten. These religious monuments, part of Gyantse's ancient monastic town, contain some of the most extraordinary works of art in Tibet. Overnight in a guesthouse or hotel.
Day 05: Gyantse to Lhasa (3,650m/ 11,972ft)
Drive from Gyantse through Karo-la pass at 5,010m (16,432ft) and onto the Khambala pass at 4,794m (15,729ft). The former climbs two lofty mountains, the Nozing khang sa (7,223m/ 23,691ft) and the Ralung (6,236m/ 20,454ft). Today you will also see the wonderful Yamdrok Tso Lake (turquoise lake) and the Brahmaputra River as well as the ever-present views of the interesting and unusual landscape. Spend the night in a guesthouse or hotel in Lhasa.
Day 06: Sightseeing in Lhasa
Today we'll visit various Buddhist monasteries including Sera Monastery, one of the best preserved monasteries in Tibet, where several hundred monks live and study within it's whitewashed walls & golden roofs. After lunch, we'll visit the the Jokhang Temple, possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkhor - a maze of narrow cobbled streets, the central market of Lhasa.
Day 07: Sightseeing in Lhasa
This morning, we will visit the Potala Palace which dominates the city of Lhasa. A spectacular building, it contains the private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century.
After lunch, we'll visit the Drepung Monastery, which was founded in the 14th century, & was once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. These days that figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much here of interest as it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution.
Day 08: Fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu
This truly spectacular flight will give you an eyeful of mountains; Mt Kanchenjunga (8,586m/ 28,169ft), Mt. Everest (8,848m/ 29.028ft), Mt. Makalu (8,463m/ 27,766ft) and others.
Day 09: Kathmandu Departure Day
Today we say goodbye, unless you are embarking upon another adventure with us!