Arrive in Lhasa (3650 m/11972ft), transfer to Tsedang: 95 Km
We will be at Lhasa either from Nepal or from the mainland China. Upon our fligh from Kathmandu, we will relish the astonishing views of the Himalaya, including Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and the Tibetan valleys. We will be greeted at Gonggar Airport by the company's Tibetan guide who escorts us to Tsedang (2 hr). At Tsedang we check into our hotel. Thrughout the day, we acclimatize.
Morning visit Changzu Monastery, afternoon drive to Samye Monastery: 130 Km
Our encounter with Tibet begin with a visit to the palace of Yambulakhang which was built by the first Tibetan king Nyatri Tsenpo in the second century BC. Local folklore has it that the king was descended from heaven. Next, we will visit Chedruk Temple to round off our visit to Tsedang, afternoon drive 65 Kms to Samye Monastery (5050 m) which is on hill. Overnight at Yalung River Hotel.
Morning Sightseeing and afternoon drive to Lhasa (3650m/11,972 ft): 90 Km
At morning, visit Tibet King's Tomb, we drive for Lhasa. At en-route we visit the famous Mindrolin Monastery which covers a large area of over 100,000 square meters (approx. 119,599 square yards). It is one of the six most famous Tibetan Buddhism monasteries of the Nyingmapa Sect. The monastery was originally built in the late 10th century and has been renovated several times. Overnight at Kyichu Hotel or Similar hotel in Lhasa.
Sightseeing in Lhasa
Our tour begins with a visit to Sera Monastery. An experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter escorts us to this preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Equally adventurous and exciting tempo builds up while touring Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Further, we visit to Barkhor Market which can be quite a change from other visits. As we roam around the city savoring every tiny detail from stall hawkers coaxing their clients to purchase their goods to exhibition, we also have views of Tibetan culture, custom and tradition. Eventually, the tour for the day concludes as we return to the comforts of our hotel.
Sightseeing in Lhasa
Like the previous day, today we experience invaluable insights during our visits to Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery. This 17th century Potala Palace offers an awesome view of entire city and also has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Further, ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in 14th century used to shelter around 10,000 monks but as now there has been quite a declination resulting in only few hundreds. Tibetans' respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery.
Drive to Gandan Monastery via Drayerpa Cave, Drigung Tel & Terdrom Hot spring (4400 m/14,432 ft)
After breakfast, we drive to Mozugongar County via Drayerpa Cave where we visit the Gandan Monastery. At this juncture, we take the lunch and drive to Drigung Tel Monastery. From the monastery we continuous our drive to Terdrom hot-spring (75 Kms, off road) for overnight stay in Basic guesthouse.
Drive to Reting Monastery (4100m/13, 450 ft): 180 Km
Today, we further drive to Damxung county via Reting Monastery (180 Kms, off road). The monastery is the special temple for high Lamas like as Dalai lama`s teacher. Upon our complete excursion at around the monastery, we again drive for Dangxung County (80 Km). It is China's Tibet Autonomous Region where can see the north Tibet Grass view. Overnight at local Guesthouse.
Drive to Namutso Lake (4700 m/ 15,416 ft): 160 Km
After breakfast we drive to Namutso Lake. Namutso is the highest lake in the world and is 4,71m above sea level. It is 72km long from east to west and 30km wide from south to north. It has an area of 1,940 square kilometers. Some 60km to the northwest of Damxung County seat, it is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and receives high respects among the local people. On the Tibetan year of sheep, pilgrims from faraway come here to walk around the lake. It takes more than 10 days to circle the lake once. At afternoon we walk around the lakeside and enjoy one of the highest and more beautiful Lake in Tibet. Overnight at lakeside guesthouse.
Morning explore in Lakeside, then back to Lhasa via Yabachen Hot spring: 220 Km
Today, we visit the famous hot spring, and take shower if we are interested. At this moment we view the scene of accross North Tibet Grass and great Nianchentangula Snowing Mt. Further, we lunch at Yangbachen small town. At noon we again back to Lhasa. Overnight at Kyichu Hotel or Similar hotel in Lhasa.
Drive to Gyantse via Yamtso Lake, visit Pekhor Monastery: 265 Km, 5 hrs
Today, we start our overland journey by jeep along the Friendship Highway. On our trip we cross the Khamba La (4794m) from where we can see the stunning views across the waters of Yamdrok-tso Lake to the snowy summit of Nazin Kang Sa (7252m). We continue westwards drive over Karo La (5045m) Pass. At the pass, we will have the spectacular sight of a huge glacier tumbling down to within a few hundred meters of the road. After passing through beautiful valleys and colorful Tibetan villages we arrive in the town of Gyantse. Either on same day evening or the next day morning we visit the famous Pekhor Monastery. Overnight at Gyantse Hotel.
Drive to Xigatse (3900m/12797ft), en route visit Shalu Monastery: 112 Km, 2 hrs
Before leaving Gyantse, we have time this morning to visit the Gyantse Dzong and Gyantse Kumbum. The Dzong is a fort dating from the 14th century from where we can view amazing views of both Gyantse itself and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. The Kumbum is a large gold-domed stupa and its many small chapels house an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. We then continue on to Shigatse with a short drive of 90kms. Upon arrival at Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet we take the lunch. After lunch, we explore the local market and make a detailed visit to the Tashilhunpo Monastery. This monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. Overnight at Shengkang Hotel or Manasarover Hotel in Xigatse
Drive to Rongbuk (5,050m/16,564ft), visit Everest Base Camp: 360 Km, 6 hrs
At dawn, we drive from Xigatse to Sakya and till noon time we reach in Shegar. After lunch in Shegar, we further drive to the south crossing Pang La pass at 5150m. Along the drive we can bask in the splendor majestic views of snow-capped peaks from Makalu to Shishapangma. After long driving, we eventually reach Rongbuk at 5000m. We can then view spectacular sight of Mt. Everest. We further have the opportunity to explore Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft) [At this juncture, no tour vehicles, apart from expeditions and trekking, are allowed beyond Rongbuk so we have to walk around 16km round trip or take local minibus to visit Base Camp]. The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest compensate it. It is a truly awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above us. Overnight at Everest View Hotel in Rongbuk.
Drive down to Zhangmu (2300m/7, 544ft): 245 km, 4-5 hrs
Today, we will drive past Tingri crossing Lalung La pass at 5124m and Shung La pass at 5200m. Savoring the enchanting views of the surrounding peaks of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar, we descend from the arid Tibetan Plateau to verdant Zhangmu on the Nepalese border. After driving for 181 km, we find ourselves amidst the lush and verdant vegetation of Zhangmu at 2300m. Overnight at hotel Caiyuan in Zhangmu.
Drive to Kathmandu (1350m/4428ft): 123 km, 4-5 hrs
We cross the Friendship Bridge at the Nepal-China border across Bhote Koshi River and engageg in some customs formalities. Then after we continue drive to Kathmandu. About 4 hours drive through deep valleys takes us to Kathmandu. At evening, we will be in the calm of the hotel. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Note: If visitors want to get back to Lhasa, Himalayan Glacier drives Lhasa from Everest Base Camp on Day 13, and on Day 14. Travelers can make departure from Lhasa to their onward journey.
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