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In Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp we visit beautiful Tibetan cities and towns such as, Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya, Rongbuk and Kyirong. One of the major highlights of this trip is reaching the base camp of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest, which we accomplish on the 8th day of our trip. During our Lhasa to Kathmandu tour, we visit popular Tibetan landmarks like Potala, Norbulingka Palaces, Tibet Traditional Hospital, Barkhor Bazaar and Gyantse Dzong. This trip also includes touring quite a number of spectacular Tibetan monasteries including, but not limited to, Sera, Drepung, Phalkot, Shalu, Tashilhunpo, Sakya and Rongbuk, the world’s highest monastery with the inclusion of the popular Jokhang temple and Khumbum stupa. On the trip, we also visit the 15th century Ganden Monastery and Drayerpa caves, which are still a meditative sanctuary for Tibetan monks. The Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp also allows us to explore the mystical Yamdrok Tso Lake and conquer a few high passes such as the Lalung La, Karo La, Khamba La, and Gyatso La. The major highlights of this trip are reaching the base camp of Mt. Everest in addition to catching a glimpse of the marvelous Rongbuk Glacier, and enjoying the spectacular views of Shishapangma and Cho Oyu peaks.
|Day 01 Arrival in Lhasa and transfer to hotel||3,650m/11,976ft|
|Day 02 Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital||3,650m/11,976ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 03 Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar||3,650m/11,976ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 04 Day Excursion to Ganden Monastery and Drayerpa Caves||3,650m/11,976ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 05 Lhasa to Gyantse via Karo La Pass and Yamdrok Tso Lake||3,950m/12,960ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 06 Gyantse to Shigatse via Shalu Monastery||3,900m/12,796ft||2 hrs|
|Day 07 Shigatse to Rongbuk via Sakya Monastery||5,100m/16,733ft||7-8 hrs|
|Day 08 Rongbuk to Kyirong via Everest Base Camp||5,364m/17,599ft||7-8 hrs|
|Day 09 Kyirong to Kathmandu||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 10 Final Departure||-|
We arrive in Lhasa either by taking a direct flight from Nepal or via mainland China. If we decide to fly from Nepal, then we get to enjoy a beautiful hour-long trans-Himalayan flight that takes us over Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,536m) and other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. If we choose to go to Lhasa via mainland China, we may fly from any of the major Chinese cities or take the world’s highest train route to Lhasa. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will escort us either from the airport or the train station to our designated hotel in Lhasa. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Lhasa.
After breakfast, we begin exploring Lhasa visiting the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, better known as Winter palace and the Summer Palace respectively. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city, and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama. The Norbulingka Palace houses what is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. Next, we visit the Tibet Traditional Hospital, which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
We visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar today. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th century, is the world’s largest monastery and believed to have sheltered around 10,000 monks in the past, but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundred. The history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Tibetan people are strongly concentrated and centered in this marvelous monastery. Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of whitewashed walls and golden roofs. The main attraction to visit this monastery is to see the monks debating which is held from 3-5 pm every day apart from Sundays. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni when he was twelve-years-old. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowds of pilgrims, it is the nerve center of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
Today, we drive 110km to Ganden monastery, Drayerpa Cave and back in Lhasa. Ganden Monastery is located at the top of the Wangbur Mountain (3,800m) in the Lhatse County, around 55km east of Lhasa. It is the oldest and one of the ‘great three’ of the six Gelug Sect monasteries in Tibet. Ganden Monastery has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures. It also keeps a suit of armor decorated with gems, which was worn by Emperor Qianlong and was bestowed to the monastery as an offering to Tsong Khapa, founder of the Gelug Sect. During the afternoon, we drive to Drayerpa Cave, located in a beautiful valley with a stunning landscape. There are more than 30 caves for Lamas who wish to meditate in a silent environment. In the evening, we drive back to Lhasa and spend the night. Overnight in Lhasa
Today, we take a scenic drive to Gyantse. On the way we cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief halt to savor the beauty of the Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and the beautiful Nazin Kang Sang glacier (7,252m). Soon, we come across another pass, The Karo La Pass (5,045m). From our vehicle, we can enjoy views of huge glaciers tumbling down into the road before reaching Gyantse. In Gyantse, we visit the Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong (Fortress), which is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. Overnight in Gyantse.
In the morning, we drive towards Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. On the way, we visit Shalu Monastery. Founded in 1040 A.D, Shalu Monastery is known for its beautiful and ancient mural paintings. Next, we continue to Shigatse. While there, we visit the popular Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the home of the Panchen Lama, which holds both historical and cultural importance for being founded by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama in 1447 A.D. After sightseeing in Shigatse we will have the rest of the day free for resting, which will help us with acclimatization and the next day’s long drive. Overnight in Shigatse
After breakfast, we drive to Rongbuk beginning our journey right through some beautiful villages and getting the first glimpse of Mount Everest from the foot of the Gyatso la pass (5220m).
On the way, we visit Sakya Monastery, also known as Pel Sakya, the ancestral temple of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism which provides access to the Buddha’s teachings. After the visit to Sakya Monastery, we continue driving towards Rongbuk. Crossing the Lalung la pass, we reach the Rongbuk Monastery, which is located at the foot of the mighty Everest and is the highest monastery in the world. While here, we also enjoy the stunning mountainous scenery all around us, including the breathtaking views of the north face of Mt. Everest. Overnight in Rongbuk.
Early in the morning, we will drive to Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft.), the foot of the world’s highest mountain. On the way, we enjoy spectacular views of 3 eight-thousander peaks like Shishapangma, Cho Oyu and the mighty Everest, also known as Mt. Chomolongma on the Tibetan side. Today, we accomplish one of the major highlights of our trip, reaching the base camp of Mt. Everest where we get to catch a glimpse of the marvelous Rongbuk glacier. We make a 16km round trip to the Everest Base Camp. After spending some quality time at the base of Mt. Everest, we make Kyirong our next destination. This is the last contact with the Tibetan plateau where pilgrims stop to hang prayer flags, burn incense and throw prayer notes into the air. Overnight in Kyirong.
On completion of the border formalities after breakfast, we travel onward to Kathmandu. The highway connecting Tibet to Nepal via Kyirong passes through the Nepalese towns of Trishuli, Dhunche, Syabrubesi and Rasuwagadi driving along small mountainous road. On the way, we can have glimpses of numerous waterfalls, rivers, gorges and lush forests and enjoy the scenic views. On arrival in Kathmandu, we will be transferred to our hotel, where we can take a rest for a while. Later in the evening, we will enjoy an authentic Nepali cuisine on our farewell dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Our trip comes to an end today. We will be dropped to the airport approximately 3 hours prior to our scheduled flight back home or to onward destination by a representative of Himalayan Glacier. Or, if we feel like seeing more of this marvelous country, we may extend our holidays and proceed for another mind-blowing tour with Himalayan Glacier
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Only breakfasts are included in this trip. We are expected to pay for lunches and dinners on our own. Breakfast will be taken in the same place we stay for the night. Similar arrangements can also be made for dinner. Lunch will be taken en route to the next destination(s). We recommend our guest(s) to budget Yuan 60 to Yuan 100(US$10 to US$16) for lunch and dinner every day. We will mainly eat Tibetan bread, dal (lentil soup), bhat (rice), tsampa porridge and other simple local foods.
We will be staying at Kyichu Hotel in Lhasa, Yeti Hotel in Gyantse, Gesar Hotel in Shigatse, Rongbuk Monastery Guest House in Rongbuk, Kyirong Hotel in Kyirong and Hotel Yatri Suites & Spa in Kathmandu. The hotels in Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are 2-3 star hotels but due to their remote location, the hotels in Rongbuk and Kyirong are very basic. It is also possible to upgrade to a better hotel in Lhasa, but the accommodations in other cities and towns are the best available ones. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost 390 USD.
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Himalayan Glacier provided us with a very personal experience. Their staff (we interacted mostly with Naba and Vidya) were friendly, helpful and very, very flexible. And they added personal touches to our visit such as a celebration dinner for Sharron during our stay in Kathmandu. The guides we had in both Nepal (Sadeep) and in Tibet (Dorge) were knowledgable and very fluent in English. And our drivers were considerate of others and safe (some of the roads are very treacherous). In fact, our guides and drivers became like family to us. Sadeep and Dorge were experts in the history of the region and of the Hindu and Buddhist religions.
Hotels were excellently chosen and, even when we wanted to make abrupt changes in plans, adequate hotels were found for us in different cities. In fact, "flexibility" seems to be cherished by Himalayan Glacier! The welfare and health of the customer comes first with this organization. Particular attention is paid to the high altitude issues - especially to older travelers like us (in our 70s).
I cannot think of anything Naba and his company could have done to make our stay more enjoyable. We appreciate them so much.
Since the main objective of our trip probably was to see Mount Everest from the Tibet side, I am attaching a photo of this majestic once-in-a-lifetime picture. We saw the scenic wonder on a beautifully clear day (after Himalayan Glacier was willing to change our itinerary so that we would arrive in the morning, rather than the afternoon). The trip would have been worth it just for this moment ... but there was much more.
- Phil King (Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A.)
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