Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Tour -10 days
Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Tour adventure leads you into exotic Tibet. You will begin your journey in lush green Nepalese valleys before crossing the ‘Roof of the World’ and finally arriving in Lhasa, the heart of Tibet. Travel across the Tibetan plateau to explore more sacred places and experience incredible Tibetan culture. Enjoy unparalleled vistas of Mt. Everest from its base camp. Enjoy Tibet’s main sights and superb scenery, followed by a spectacular journey to charming Lhasa from Kathmandu.
Day 1 Kathmandu – Tibet border – Zhangmu drive
You will be picked up from your hotel in Kathmandu and drive to Tibet-Nepal Border ( approx 4 ½ hrs drive -115 km) in a private vehicle. Upon arrival at the Tibet/Nepal border, our guide from Lhasa will meet you and pick you up at the Chinese side of Friendship Bridge. You’ll drive to Zhangmu and check into your hotel. Today is free at your own to prepare for the lifetime overland trip.
Day 2 Zhangmu – Old Tingri
Today we’ll drive to Old Tingri and stay there overnight. It takes about 4-5 hours. Have a good rest and prepare for your Mt. Everest trip. Stay overnight in Old Tingri. After you arrive at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local area and become acclimatize to the altitude.
Day 3 Old Tingri – Mt. Everest Base Camp – Tingri
After several hours on the road you will finally arrive at Rongbuk Monastery which is located at the foot of Mount Everest and has earned the title of the world’s highest monastery standing at 4,980 meters high.
Take a shuttle bus or hike to Mt. Everest Base Camp (about 5,200m). You can appreciate the spectacular Himalaya and the highest mountain in the world. Then driver to Tingri for overnight.
Day 4 Tingri – Shigatse
Today you’ll drive to Shigatse and stay there overnight. En route visit Sakya monastery. In the 13th century, the monastic town of Sakya emerged as an important center of Buddhist scholarship. With Mongolian military support, the Sakya lamas became rulers of all Tibet. Sakya Monastery, built in 1268, is a massive fortresslike compound with high defensive walls in the southern section of the monastery. There are a lot of historical articles in the monastery, among them are: Imperial certificates, gold signets, crowns, and clothes given by the Yuan Dynasty emperors. Sakya monastery has over 84,000 Tibetan scriptures and books on astronomy, medicine, calligraphy, and history.
Day 5 Shigates – Gyangtse
Today, before driving to Gyantse from Shigatse, visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lama and one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet. Admire the beautiful frescoes, statues and sculptures. Here you will see a giant statue of Future Buddha, the largest one of its kind on earth, decorated with precious pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers. Stay overnight at Gyantse.
Day 6 Gyangtse – Yamdrok Lake- Tsetang
After a drive of about 100km, you will get to appreciate the Holy Lake of Yamdrok, one of three most famous holy lakes in Tibet. For Tibetans, it is one of the four holy lakes of Tibet and the home of the “wrathful deities”. The scenery of turquoise blue water in the lake with the reflection of surrounding snow-capped mountains is awesome.
Next, head to Tsetang, which is known as “the cradle of Tibetan Civilization” for two reasons: first, its mild weather and fertile land conceived the great Tibet dynasty; second, it’s the birthplace of the first Tibetans who were said to be the offspring of a monkey and a demoness. Visit Yumbulagang the first palace in Tibet.
Also, take a look at Trandruk Monastery. According to legend, the site where the Trandruk Monastery lies once was a large lake and an evil dragon with five heads lived in the lake. The evil dragon caused havok for the people living around the lake. In order to defeat the dragon and save the villagers, Songtsen Gampo turned into a roc and fought with the dragon, finally managing to kill it. The Trandruk Monastery was built to commemorate Songtsen Gampo’s great deeds. Many pilgrims come to Trundruk monastery to worship. Stay overnight in Tsetang.
Day 7 Tsetang – Samye Monastery – Lhasa
In the morning we drive to Samye monastery with spectacular views from Pisha and the vista of the Samye valley along the way. From the high point of Dragmar, explore many temples, and ruins. At Samye itself, explore one of the oldest and holiest Buddhist sites, Samye Monastery. Its ancient buildings are a Tibetan architectural masterpiece. Samye monastery was the first Buddhist monastery erected in Tibet. The first floor is Tibetan style, the second is Han style, and the third is Indian style. Head to Lhasa.
Day 8 Lhasa
Take the challenge of climbing up to Potala Palace (3,650m above sea level) and get a great view of Lhasa’s urban areas. Great photographic opportunities along the way up as you will have a great view of the traditional Tibetan architecture. Hear the story of the Dalai Lamas and see chapels that the Dalai Lamas studied, rested and worked in. Pass former Dalai Lamas’ graves which are decorated with treasure beautiful treasures.
Continue your tour to Jokhang Temple, which is within walking distance from Potala Palace. It is considered the spiritual center of Tibet. You will see many pilgrims worship within or nearby the temple. Enter the first floor of the temple and absorb the religious atmosphere, you will see pilgrims are donating butter oil to keep the lights burning for the Buddha. While learning about more Buddhas and Lamas than you can possibly remember you will gain a feeling for the vast history of Tibetan Buddhism. You might also hear red-robed Lamas praying. Walk up to the roof of the temple, take some pictures of the gold roof and enjoy the beautiful sunshine of Lhasa while observing pilgrims praying in front of the temple.
Finally, join locals in a traditional pilgrimage route by taking a relaxing walk in a large circular path around Jokhang Temple at Barkor Street. The street is filled with pilgrims taking part in religious activities and street venders selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods and religious items. If you like you can also ask your tour guide take you to visit a Thangka workshop to marvel at the fabulous Thangka art work. There are cafes along the street as well. You can relax and enjoy the life in Lhasa in a lazy afternoon.
Day 9 Lhasa
After breakfast, you are driven to visit the Norbulingka Park, the former summer palace of Dalai Lama. Explore the beautiful gardens and experience one of the most holy sites in Tibetan Buddhism while soaking up the rich history. Next, come to Drepung Monastery, which was once the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery housing 10,000 monks in its heyday. Learn about the lives of Tibetan monks.
Your tour ends at Sera Monastery, where you will get the chance to experience “Buddhism Scriptures Debating”. These debates are unique to Sera and are quite famous. Enjoy the debates!
Day 10 Lhasa Departure
Today is free for you until your tour guide transfer you to the airport in time for your flight or drop you off at Lhasa train station.
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