Tibetan Escapade

Description

This is a private departure that begins with a magnificent flight across the Himalaya where several days are spent exploring the ‘forbidden’ city of Lhasa, including a visit to the Potala Palace, the winter residence of the Dalai Lama. This is followed by an overland drive across the Tibetan plateau, the highest country in the world, visiting ancient monasteries and seldom-visited villages, to the Nepal-Tibet border. The tour normally begins with a few days in Kathmandu but you may also arrive in Lhasa from Chengdu/Hong Kong if you prefer.

This tour can be extended by a further two days to include a visit to the Rongbuk Monastery and a trek around the North Face Base Camp of Mount Everest. If the optional Everest extension is added, then Sherpa staff will be supplied to take care of you at this high altitude (5200m).

Itinerary

01

Arrival in Kathmandu

Upon arrival in Kathmandu you will be met and assisted by an Escape 2 Nepal representative and transferred to you to the Shivapuri Heights Cottage.

Shivapuri Heights Cottage is located in 2 Acres of land at an altitude of 6,000 feet on the edge of the protected Shivapuri National Park, looking down into the Kathmandu Valley.

The cottage is an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu whilst having the advantage of being only 30 minutes drive plus a short walk away from the city centre.

02

Leisure day in Kathmandu

Leisure day in Kathmandu with own activities.

Optional sightseeing is available on request.

This day will also be used for processing your Tibet visa and for a trek briefing.

Gentle hikes are also available from the Cottage.

Overnight at Shivapuri Heights Cottage.

03

Leisure day in Kathmandu

Leisure day in Kathmandu with own activities.

Optional sightseeing is available on request.

This day will also be used for processing your Tibet visa and for a trek briefing.

Gentle hikes are also available from the Cottage.

Overnight at Shivapuri Heights Cottage.

04

Fly Kathmandu - Tibet

After breakfast transfer for a flight to Tibet Lhasa upon arrival you will be met by your Tibetan representative, & transferred to the Hotel Kyichu. The hotel is one of Lhasa’s better properties with friendly family-style service.

Today is a day to relax and adjust to the high altitude.

Overnight at Kyichu Hotel/ Dhodgu Hotel Or similar Standard Hotel (BB).

05

Exploration of Lhasa

In Lhasa, you spend two days exploring, joining pilgrims who gather at the candle-lit altars of the Jokhang (Tibet’s most sacred temple), walking in the Barkhor, a pilgrimage circuit that encircles the Jokhang, and visiting some of the massive, ancient monasteries of the Lhasa Valley.  Overnight at Kyichu Hotel/ Dhodgu Hotel Or similar Standard Hotel (BB).  Breakfast each day and see our recommendations for a variety of restaurants located close to the hotel.

06

In Lhasa

Lhasa & the Lhasa Valley: Tibet’s enormous Potala Palace is a striking thousand-room monument that dominates the Lhasa skyline. From the roofs of the Potala, the view over Lhasa is unforgettable, and it is on the roof terraces that you can visit the Dalai Lama’s residences and courtyard. Eight Dalai Lamas are buried in this famous building.

The original parts of the Potala date back to the 7th century. Also visit Drepung Monastery, a former Buddhist university cradled in rock ridges five miles west of Lhasa. Drepung was once the largest and most powerful of the six great Gelugpa religious centers in Tibet. The kora (pilgrim trail circling a sacred place) around Drepung offers a panoramic one-hour walk with views of the Lhasa Valley and the monastery grounds. There is always something interesting to observe at Tibetan monasteries and temples, and likely to see monks engaging in ritual philosophical debates or chanting prayers and pilgrims in their devotional activities. Visit the Jokhang, Tibet’s most sacred temple, a place that draws multitudes of pilgrims from all over the country. It houses Tibet’s most revered statue, a magnificent image of Jowo Sakyamuni. Walk in the Barkhor, a pilgrimage circuit that encircles the Jokhang and serves as Lhasa’s central bazaar, where you will find everything from precious Kham amber to prayer flags. One afternoon, visit Norbulingka (“Jewel Park”), official summer residence for the Dalai Lamas and their families since the mid-18th century. Norbulingka is a park-like enclave surrounded by trees, ponds, and pavilions on the outskirts of Lhasa. The current Dalai Lama lived here until he fled to India in 1959 and his residential quarters have been left untouched, remaining furnished they were at that time.

07

Drive from Lhasa - Yamdrok Lake - Gyantse.

We head further to the historic outpost of Gyantse, crossing two high passes and visiting Yamdrok Lake (“Jade Lake”), one of the three largest lakes in Tibet and an oasis for migrating wildlife in certain seasons. There are dozens of islets within the lake on which flocks of birds roost. During some seasons, herders ferry their sheep across to these islets for safe grazing, since there are no predators on the islands. Yamdrok is a holy lake and a site of pilgrimage, so one of the islets contains a small monastery. We continue to Gyantse for overnight in a simple hotel.BLD

08

Explore the Gyantse & then drive to Shigatse

This morning we explore Gyantse Kumbum, the town’s famous mandala-shaped monastery for a chance to see the mastery of the famed 15th century Newari artisans of Nepal. Because of Tibet’s cold, dry climate, the murals are well preserved, whereas in Nepal, the monsoon and humidity has damaged many of them. Magnificent and gold-capped Gyantse Kumbum has two mysterious eyes painted on its circular upper walls. Nearby is the well-preserved Pelkor Chode Monastery, founded in 1418. Later we drive across the Tibetan Plateau passing through high plains where nomads tend herds of yaks. There are ancient, ruined forts perched on distant hilltops and we see an occasional small villages with colorful prayer flags fluttering from atop the houses. We arrive at Shigatse, the commercial and political center of Tsang Province. We have the late afternoon free to explore the local market, filled with Tibetan artifacts, jewelry, cloth, and leather. Overnight at hotel in Shigatse.BLD

09

Visit the Tashilunpho Monastery & then drive to Old Tingri.

A long drive but spectacular scenery. Road conditions might allow us to detour to one of Tibet’s oldest and most important Bon Po monasteries at Sakya. In the afternoon cross the a 5000m pass before reaching Xegar.

With good weather there are great views of Everest and Cho Oyu across the plains.

10

Drive via the Lalung La to Zhangmu & Khasa to Nepal.

This has to be one of the most spectacular drives in the world. The road follows a gradual ascent up to the Lalung Lha at about 5000m – where the Himalayan giants seem close enough to touch. We feast our eyes one last time, enjoying particularly fine views of massive Shishapangma (26,397'), the planet’s 13th highest peak, just 50 miles north of Kathmandu as the crow flies. It was the last of the world's 8,000-meter peaks to be climbed and is the only one entirely within Tibet.

The road then descends again before a crossing of the Nyalam pass is required that provides spectacular views of the Jugal Himal before finally descending through the Himalaya range and down into the beautiful, deep valley of the Bhote Khosi . We then continue our winding descent into the welcoming greenery of Nepal, passing through the immigration formalities at Khasa, crossing the “friendship bridge” across the Sun Kosi.

We spend tonight at the Last Resort Tented Camp where, for those interested, they even have Asia’s highest Bungy Jump (!).  The camp is quite basic but offers a very pleasant environment in which to reflect of the past 8 days in Tibet and is a much better alternative to spending a night at the border town of Zangmu/Khasa.

11

Drive to Kathmandu

We continue driving along the twisting road through the Sun Kosi Valley to the Kathmandu Valley. This is a beautiful drive through traditional farms and across rushing rivers. Arriving in Kathmandu in time for lunch we settle into the hotel in Kathmandu. 

Note: Road conditions between Nepal and Tibet may deteriorate at certain times of the year resulting in routings having to be revised which may entail additional costs.

12

In Kathmandu

Leisure day in Kathmandu.  Overnight at the Hotel.

13

International departure

Transferred to the airport for your onward jouney.

Dates

Price Guide & Trip Facts

  • From
    $3935

    price shown is per person based on a sharing basis and a minimum of 2 persons in the final group. US$ 945.00 single supplement for those person preferring not to share

 

Cost Includes

  • X5 nights accommodation in Kathmandu
    Hotel in Tibet accommodation on twin sharing/bed and breakfast basis as per the itinerary
    Private 4-wheel drive vehicle throughout with an English speaking guide.
    All monasteries entrance fees/All the necessary permits.
    All sightseeing as per the itinerary.
    One way Airfare for the sector of Kathmandu/ Lhasa.

 

Cost Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner arrangements in Kathmandu and Tibet
    Personal insurance
    Price rises beyond our control (e.g.; increase in permit fees, airfares)
    Charges for unexpected expenses such as landslides at the border which may result in additional expenses to hire porters etc
    Personal expenses such as gratuities, laundry etc
    Personal clothing and equipment
    International airfare
    Nepal and Tibet visa fees

 
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