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Tibet is a very popular country for many reasons. Although we cannot say country, as it is formally an autonomous region in China. It is very rich and beautiful destination, located on the highest plateau on Earth at an average altitude over 4000 meter. It is nowadays the South west frontier of China. Within its borders there are more than fifteen peaks above 7000 m. some even over 8000m, like Mt. Everest at the Nepali border in the East. Tibet has a long history and is famous for its Buddhists traditions, for some it is the reason to go there.
There are over 800 settlements in Tibet. Lhasa is Tibet’s traditional capital and the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. It contains two world heritage sites – the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, which were the residences of the Dalai Lama. Lhasa contains a number of significant temples and monasteries, including Jokhang and Ramoche Temple. Shigatse is the second largest city in the Tibet AR, west of Lhasa. Gyantse and Qamdo are also amongst the largest. Tibet has an amazing landscape, some considered the moon on earth, due to the desolate and dramatic views one can encounter on the roof of the world.
From Kathmandu, we can fly or drive to Tibet through the barren wilderness to Lhasa, the capital where many cultural treks and tours start. Himalayandreamteam presents you a few popular programs to visit the roof of the world.
All year, depending on client’s request and availability of permits to visit Tibet
For those who book tours with us, we will arrange for the Tibet Travel Permit. The permit is checked and issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) for free and is usually issued two weeks prior to your entry to the region.
Ultimate sightseeing tour on the roof of the world.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu, o/n in a hotel +D
A staff member of Himalayan Dream Team will pick you up at the international airport for your transfer to the hotel. As a welcome you will have a typical Nepalese dinner with some of the staff members, typical food coming up! And do not forget to try our typical Nepalese drink with great mood of cheers.
Day 02: Sightseeing/free day in Kathmandu, o/n in a hotel +B
After breakfast we will start for the sightseeing tour in the Kathmandu, visit the main temples of Swoyambhunath (Monkey temple), Pashupatinath, the most venerated Hindu temple of Nepal and Bouddhanath, the biggest Buddhist stupa of the world. In the afternoon we show you Durbar square with an orientation tour through lively Thamel.
Day 3: Sightseeing the King’s city of Patan and Bhaktapur, o/n in hotel, +B
Today after breakfast we visit the two other Kings’s cities in the Kathmandu valley. One of them is Patan which has a diversity of a legacy from the medieval culture, both Hinduism and Buddhism. In Bhaktapur also known as the city of Devotees still breaths a medieval charm and visitors think they walk into the past when seeing the myriad wonders of cultural and artistic achievements. The past glory of the Malla rulers continues to be reflected at the Durbar Square. Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. Bhaktapur is especially famous for woodcarving.
Day 04: Kathmandu – Lhasa (3.650 m), o/n in hotel, +B
After breakfast you will be transferred to the International Airport. You will fly over the spectacular Himalaya’s, even seeing Mt. Everest in one hour to Lhasa. From the airport it takes another hour to transfer you to your hotel in Lhasa. At the airport you ll meet our Tibetan guide an driver. Rest of the day is free for acclimatization at this altitude.
Day 05/06: Sightseeing tour in Lhasa, o/n in hotel, +B
The coming two days we will visit the main attractions in Lhasa. Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. The city contains many culturally significant Tibetan Buddhist sites such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang temple and Norbulingka palaces, many of which are located in Chengguan District, the city seat. We will visit Jokhang temple, Bharkkoor Bazaar, Potala palace, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery. The Potala palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. It is now a museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 07: From Lhasa to Gyantse, 93 km, 3.950 m, o/n in hotel +B
After Breakfast we will drive to Gyantse. It is notable for its restored Gyantse Dzong or fort, and its magnificent tiered Kumbum (literally, ‘100,000 images’) of the Palcho Monastery, the largest chörten in Tibet. Between a monastery and fort, we label this unique structure, built in 1414. It consists of five stories representing the five steps to enlightenment, topped by thirteen rings, symbolizing the stages of advancement towards Buddha hood. There are 108 (a sacred number in Buddhism) halls inside, each with frescoes and Buddha Shrines, the frescoes showing a strong Indian influence.
Day 08: From Gyantse to Shigatse, 245 km, 3.900 m, o/n in hotel, +B
After breakfast we have a long drive ahead to Shigatse. It is a county-level city and the second largest city in the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is also the place of the famous Tashilumpo Monastery. Shigatse contains the huge Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama. It was built in 1447 , inside this monastery are relics of Sakyamuni, the Hall of Maitreya, and a vast collection of Tibetan Thangkas. A thangka is a painting on cotton, or silk appliqué, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala of some sort. Outside there is a bustling ‘free’ market at the foot of the ruins of the Shigatse Fortress where one can buy local handicrafts embedded with coral and turquoise, Tibetan daggers and so on.
Day 09: From Shigatse to Old Tingri, 257km, 4.270m, o/n in teahouse
Tingri is an old Tibetan settlement with typical clustered Tibetan styled housing at the foot of small hillock. It is often used as a base by mountain climbers preparing to ascend Mount Everest or Cho Oyu. Tingri used to be an impimportant trading post where Sherpas from Nepal exchanged rice, grain and iron for Tibetan wool. livestock and salt. A short exploration in the settlement can expose you to a typical remote Tibetan lifestyle. Right from the roadside of Tingri, you can see the Mt. Everest towards the southern direction.
Day 10: From Tingri to Zhangmu, 219km, 2.300m, o/n in hotel, +B
Today’s drive provides you with the most spectacular scenery ever. We drive over the breathtaking Tibetan plateau on the Friendship Highway. Zhangmu is a small settlement clinging to a hillside. We see the Bhotekoshi river as a natural border. Since the closure of the China/India border from Gangtok, Zhangmu has become the major trading point and border between Tibet and Nepal. The climate is completely changed in just a few hours. The green hills around Zhangmu are heavily wooded with many waterfalls in summer and impressive ice formations in winter.
Day 11: From Zhangmu to Kathmandu, o/n in hotel, +B
After breakfast we will cross the border to Kodari. Here the driver and guide will change and we say farewell to our Tibetan colleagues. Another scenic drive awaits us to Kathmandu and we will stop shortly at The Last Resort, the famous bridge for bungee jumping and have lunch at Dhulikhel, where we have another nice panorama on the Himalaya’s we just returned from. In Kathmandu we will drop you off at your hotel.
Day 12: Chitwan National Park, 5 hrs drive, hotel, +D
We departure from Kathmandu to Chitwan where you will check into our hotel. Chitwan has a tropical monsoon climate that is so different from our Tibetal adventure. The wide range of vegetation types in the Chitwan National Park is haunt of more than 700 species of wildlife and a not yet fully surveyed number of butterfly, moth and insect species. Apart from King Cobra and Rock python, 17 other species of snakes, starred tortoise and monitor lizards occur. The Narayani-Rapti river system, their small tributaries and myriads of oxbow lakes is habitat for 113 recorded species of fish and mugger crocodiles. In the evening you can visit Tharu village and the National Park’s visitors’ center. Sun set view from the riverbank. Dinner with Tharu dancing program and a slide-show on the wildlife program the next day. Overnight in bungalow/lodge.
Day 13: Chitwan National Park, hotel, +B+L+D
After breakfast a special dugout canoe trip followed by a Nature Walk program or visit to the Elephant Breeding Farm and elephant bathing program. Take an ox-cart ride or jeep drive back to the hotel. Also there is an elephant safari ride and during dinner we will enjoy the Tharu dancing program. The Tharu people themselves say that they are a people of the forest. In Chitwan, they have lived in the forests for hundreds of years practicing a short fallow shifting cultivation. They planted rice, mustard, corn and lentils, but also collected forest products such as wild fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants and materials to build their houses; hunted deer, rabbit and wild boar, and went fishing in the rivers and oxbow lakes.
Day 14: Chitwan National Park, hotel, +B
After a cup of tea or coffee, you will go for bird watching tour. After a delicious breakfast we drive back to Kathmandu.
Day 15: Free day in Kathmandu, o/n in hotel, +B
The free day in Kathmandu either will be for leisure to rest or for perhaps some shopping before going home or explore any sights we missed during our first day in Kathmandu.
Day 16: Transfer to International Airport, +B