Travelling to Tibet is the opportunity of a lifetime, no wonder it scores high on the bucket list of most travelers. It is often called the Roof of the World, because it is situated on a high plateau north of the Himalayan range in the western part of China. For centuries it was nearly impossible for foreigners to enter, which created a mysterious image of Tibet and its unique culture. Our trip takes you to a memorable adventure, offering you the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Tibet, the serenity and wisdom of its Buddhist culture, and the chance to see how Tibetan people – nomads and farmers – manage to make a living in this harsh environment. Either you plan a spiritual journey, a pilgrimage, a cultural tour or dreaming about seeing Mt. Everest and the Himalayan range, this trip have it all. From the temples and monasteries in and around Lhasa, you will travel through high mountain passes, visit the famous turquoise lake, the soul-lake of Tibet, learn about traditional life in Gyantse, visit the Panchen Lamas residence in Shigatse, and cross the Trans-Himalayan range to visit Everest Base Camp, where climbers gather every year to conquer the highest peak of the world. The current itinerary is based on the recommendations from our experts and feedback from travelers who made this trip with us in the last few years. We hope to welcome you soon on your adventure of a lifetime!
Inspired to go? Have a look at other Tibet trips offered by Royal Mountain Travel
|Day 1||Arrival in Lhasa|
|Day 2||Drepung, Nechung, Norbulinkha & Sera Monastery in Lhasa city|
|Day 3||Potala Palace & Jokhang Temple-Barkhor Including Guide Only|
|Day 4||Lhasa - A Day on your own|
|Day 5||Via Yamdrok Tso – Drive to Gyantse|
|Day 6||Sightseeing in Gyantse & Drive to Shigatse|
|Day 7||Drive from Sakya Gompa to Shegar|
|Day 8||Drive to Rombuk|
|Day 9||Paiko Tso to Lower Kyrong|
|Day 10||Cross Border at Rasuwa Gadi and drive to Trishuli/ Overnight in Hotel Water Tower|
|Day 11||Drive to Kathmandu...End of Services|
1. Beijing (by train Z2/T27 to Lhasa)
2. Chengdu (by flight CA4401 to Lhasa)
3. Kathmandu (by flight CA408 to Lhasa)
NOTE: Due to permit issue, we need all cliRead More...
1. Beijing (by train Z2/T27 to Lhasa)
2. Chengdu (by flight CA4401 to Lhasa)
3. Kathmandu (by flight CA408 to Lhasa)
NOTE: Due to permit issue, we need all clients to be flying into Lhasa by the same flight from China.
Entrance fees required to pay during the tour:
Below are the list of costs of entrance fees and excursion you may have to pay for the tour. Please note that these prices are subject to change during the travel and should be used as guidance only.
• Karo La – CNY 50
• Summer Palace, Lhasa – CNY 65
• Drepung Monastery, Lhasa – CNY 50
• Jokhang Temple, Lhasa – CNY 85
• Potala Palace, Lhasa – CNY 200
• Genden Monastery – CNY 50
• Pelkor Chode Monastery, Gyantse – CNY 50
• Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shigatse – CNY 80
• Sakya Monastery, Sakya – CNY 45
• Sera Monastery: CNY 50
• Rongbuk – CNY 25
Accommodation in Lhasa is on twin share and deluxe rooms. In Gyantse, Shigatse, Shegar and Lao Tingri are available on twin share in the best available hotels in the respective town. Depending upon the availability the bathrooms and restrooms may be either shared or private facilities. Generally in this tour, accommodation will be provided on twin sharing basis and if you do not have single room bookings you may have to share rooms with another fellow passenger. Accommodation is quite basic at Rombuk.
Meals are not included. Please allow Euro 10-15 per person per day for normal meals (Breakfast, lunch & Dinner) In Lhasa there is also quite a variety, although not as extensive as in Kathmandu. Elsewhere in Tibet the variety is much more limited. We would like to recommend must try dishes in Tibet – Tsampa (barley flour mixed with yak butter) & Yak butter tea. An alternative to yak butter tea is Cha Ngamo, a sweet, milky tea. Chinese green tea is also widely available. Chang, a fermented barley beer is the local alcoholic brew. It is generally OK to drink, however may be made with contaminated water.
In the high altitude of Tibet it is important to drink a much higher quantity of water than you are used to. Always carry drinking water with you and have some nearby at nights, as it is amazing how quickly you can dehydrate, even at rest. Tap water is not safe to drink, however there may be a thermos provided in the rooms. Boiled water is OK for drinking. Bottled drinking water is available everywhere, however we recommend taking water purification tablets or a bottle with an inbuilt filter as these are more environmentally-friendly options than bottled water.
You will be met at Gongkar airport or Lhasa train station on arrival and accompanied in Tibet by an English speaking guide. It is a TTB regulation that you be accompanied by a guide when traveling outside Lhasa. Guides in Tibet are licensed and controlled by the Tibetan Tourist Bureau and vary enormously influence and knowledge. Whilst we maintain a core of trained guides, there may be times when the selection is outside our control. The Physical Reality The remote type of travel that we experience in parts of Tibet can be physically demanding and the effect that this will have on you, both physically and mentally should not be underestimated. Breakdown can occur. The terrain is very mountainous and you may be affected by altitude. It is rare that these occurrences results in more than minor delay or have serious impact on your trip, but the possibility remains.
Tours in Tibet takes you into areas well away from the usual tourist trail and into a world very, very different to that you know. There are places in Tibet, where accommodation is very basic with limited access to running water, no shower for several days, pit toilets, simple food and little spoken or written English. Opportunities to ‘get away’ from the group are limited: patience,
Tolerance and humor will be required by all. All this can and does its toll on people and should not be underestimated– the rewards however are incredible.
Email: Private internet bars can be found in main cities. Alternatively, you can use business centers in China Telecom offices. Some websites have been blacklisted by the Chinese government and cannot be accessed from within China.
Be careful making international calls from hotels as they can be very expensive. Private telecom booths are cheaper and easy to use. To make international calls you will need a phone card bought from inside Tibet. All cities and even smaller towns have mobile phone reception if your phone is enabled with international roaming.
Receiving post is not recommended as we are usually doing something or traveling during the opening hours of most post offices. Allow up to 10 days for mail to arrive at international destinations. Write-in the address in Chinese can help speed delivery.
The most common items you will find are religious item such as prayer flags, prayer wheels, Thankas, shawls and daggers. Traditional clothing and Jewellery are also available. Sometimes you will be able to find beautiful carpets available. Expect to bargain. Being polite while doing so will get you a better deal.
It is best to bring a mixture of cash and travelers cheques in major currencies – USD, CAD, EUR, AUD – and ensure you have a mixture of large and small denominations. Everyone’s spending is different, but as a guide, we suggest USD 20-25 per person per day (if you drink or smoke this could be higher). Shopping is difficult to predict, but most people buy more than they
It is essential that you take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to your trek. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and repatriation and personal liability. We also recommend that it covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
There are no specific health requirements for entry into Nepal or China. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to date information regarding vaccinations, high altitude medication and medications for any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst traveling in Nepal and China. Please be aware that medical facilities are not of the same standard you might expect at home. We strongly recommend that you carry a personal First Aid kit as well as sufficient quantities of any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses).
AMS (acute mountain sickness) is a serious issue. It is the result of the failure of the body to adapt to high altitude and can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness. It usually occurs above 1,800 meters and the likelihood of being affected increases as you ascend. On arrival in Lhasa breathlessness, lethargy and mild headaches are not uncommon and generally decrease
As your body adjusts. Taking it easy at first and maintaining adequate fluid intake is essential. Please advise your guide if you feel more severe symptoms and do not medicate yourself without discussing it with them first.
Tibet is a land of climactic extremes and whilst it is not generally as harsh as expected, it is a good idea to be prepared for cold at any time of the year – it is wind chill rather than air temperature that makes the difference here. In central Tibet weather is usually mild from May through October. Evenings may be cool, particularly early or late in the season. Rain is frequent in July and August. In Western Tibet and at higher altitudes (Rhongphu, Namtso) it can be cold at any time of year if the wind is blowing off the mountains. From December into April travel in Tibet is possible, although you must be prepared for delays if passes become blocked by snow. Trekking is not possible at this time.
Packing for your Trip:
• Comfortable shoes & Socks
• Fleece jacket or equivalent. It can get cold, even in summer
• Comfortable, informal clothing (shorts & singlet tops are not appropriate)
• Hat – a good idea as the sun is very strong
• Gloves – wool or fleece & Scarf
• Thermal Underwear
• Sarong – a multitude of uses
• Sewing kit & Swiss Army Knife
• Money belt
• Toiletries (including lip slave and moisturizer)
• Torch / flashlight – headlamp style is ideal
• First Aid Kit
• Small Towel
• Small umbrella or rain jacket (June-August particularly)
• Sheet sleeping bag (you may feel more comfortable in some of the more basic guest houses where laundry is not a priority
Royal Mountain Travel is a Nepal-based sustainable tourism operator. We specialize in curating once-in-a-lifetime experiences to showcase indigenous and community based tourism projects. We work with travel agents and tourism companies to help plan travel experiences that highlight authentic, local lifestyles throughout some of the most unique landscapes on earth.
Arrival in Lhasa
Today is the first day of the group tour and we can expect group members arriving at the starting hotel at various times. Depending on how you arrive, you can expect your guide to be waiting for you either at the train station or at Lhasa airport to receive you.
You will be driven to your first Hotel in Lhasa – Hotel Yak where you have the opportunity to meet with other group members. Since we are already at 3650m, we recommend that you take this first day at high altitude with ease.
Drepung, Nechung, Norbulinkha & Sera Monastery in Lhasa city
Drepung means rice-heap which comes from the Sanskrit Dhanyakataka, the name of stupa in south India where the Buddha first taught the Kalachakra Tantra. The monastery is located 8 km west of Lhasa. With an area of over 20,000 sqm, its principal buildings are the Tshomchen, the four main tratsangs, and the Ganden Potrang. Each of these has its own residential units, Khangstens and other functional buildings. The major structures follow a simple architectural plan. Each consists of a courtyard, a large hall and inner chapels. Dominated by a high ridge known as Gephel Utse, Drepung was founded by Jamyang Choje in 1416. This celebrated yellow hat lama was born near Samye to a wealthy family (a childhood friend donated large sums for the building of Drepung). With the contribution of rich families and feudal lords, he announced plans to create a great monastery One year after commencement, the monastery had become home to 2000 monks. By the time of the Fifth Dalai lama (1617-82), its population had grown to a staggering 10,000 monks. Pilgrims move through the complex in a clockwise sequence from the parking lot fronting the main entrance: Ganden Potrang, Tshomchen, Ngagpa Tratsang, Jamyang Lhakhang, Loseling Tratsang, Gomang Tratsang, and the Deyang Tratsang.
The Norbu Linka or Treasure Garden is the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas, a quiet and beautiful garden in the western part of Lhasa. Its construction was started by the 7th Dalai Lama in the second half of the 18th century, and finished by the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas in the 20th century. It is a huge well-kept garden, where you can walk around and enjoy the beauty of high altitude flora, and visit three palaces. The most interesting is the 14th Dalai Lama’s palace, where you can see murals of his audience hall depicting events of Tibetan history, and visit his living quarters. He escaped from this palace to India on March 10, 1959.
Sera Monastery is a famous monastic university of Tibet belonging to the Gelukpa school founded in the early 15th century, about 5 km away from the center of Lhasa. Among its many buildings it is worth to visit the impressive assembly hall where the monks do their daily rituals, and its Hayagriva shrine, as this Tantric deity is the remover of obstacles and its blessing heals headache and altitude sickness. Next to this building is a fenced debating courtyard, where every afternoon the monks test their knowledge of Buddhist philosophy in a spectacular way between 3 and 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
Potala Palace & Jokhang Temple-Barkhor Including Guide Only
The Potala Palace towers over Lhasa and is an enduring landmark of Tibet. Little remains of the original structure built
by Songtsen Gampo other than its foundations. After Lhasa was reinstated as the capital of Tibet in the 17th century, the Great
5th Dalai Lama began construction of the White Palace (built 1645 – 53) employing 7000 workers and 1500 artisans.
Jokhang: The Jokhang Temple is 1300 year old, golden roofed building at the center of the Barkhor Market. The most sacred and
active Tibetan temples, it was founded by Bhrikuti, King Songtsen Gampo’s Nepalese Bride, on a site chosen by his other wife
(a Tang dynasty Chinese princess, Wenchang) as the principal geomantic power – place in Tibet.
Jokhang: The Jokhang Temple is 1300-year-old, a golden-roofed building at the center of the Barkhor Market. The most sacred and active Tibetan temples, it was founded by Bhrikuti, King Songtsen Gampo’s Nepalese Bride, on a site chosen by his other wife (a Tang dynasty Chinese princess, Wenchang) as the principal geomantic power – place in Tibet.
Lhasa - A Day on your own
Today is free day in Lhasa and you may want to wander around the town on your own. But to enter any temple, monasteries or sites, you need to have your guide with you. In addition, we would like to recommend that you take this free day opportunity to visit Ganden Monastery. Your guide in Tibet would the best person to talk to for this optional activity.
Via Yamdrok Tso – Drive to Gyantse
Gyantse (3950m) is 254 km from Lhasa. The drive is long, yet the most scenic drive in Tibet. After stopping at a water burial place, the road winds up to the Kamba la, a high pass of 4794 m, from where you get a stunning view of the Yamdrok tso, the soul lake of Tibet. Then the road winds around the lake and after a stop in Nakartse we will cross the Karo la, another mountain pass of 5045 m, where we can take photos of a huge retreating glacier. In the afternoon we will arrive to Gyantse, a once an important trading town that retained the charme of old Tibet, and by walking around in its backstreets you can experience the way Tibetan farmers lived in the last few centuries.
Sightseeing in Gyantse & Drive to Shigatse
In the morning, visit Gyantse’s Monastery – Pelkor Chode. The main temple of Pelkor Chode, the Tsuklakhang was built 1418– 1425 AC by the 2nd prince of Gyantse. It was an eclectic academy with 16 dralsang (colleges) belonging variously to Sakya, Butonpa, Geluk and Kagyu schools. All the dralsang buildings have been destroyed, however the main assembly hall was preserved along with its remarkable (15th images and Murals). The top chamber is decorated with fantastic mandalas in Sakya tradition.
We continue our drive to Shigatse which stands at the confluence of Nyangchu and Brahmaputra Rivers. Shigatse is Tibet’s 2nd largest city. In Shigatse, we visit Tashilumpo Monastery which was founded in 1447 by a nephew and disciple of Tsongkhapa who was retroactively named the first Dalai Lama.
Drive from Sakya Gompa to Shegar
We continue our journey towards Shegar via Sakya town. Sakya is the principal seat of Sakya School and as such played dominant role in the political and religious history of Tibet in the 13th and 14th century.
Drive to Rombuk
After leaving Shegar, we will turn off the friendship highway for a stunning drive through Qomolangma National Park to reach the tiny Ronghphu Gompa at 5000m. In the afternoon time we will descend into the Rombuk valley and Everest will jump quickly into the view, which would be first chance to catch a glimpse of this inspiring mountain.
Everest Base Camp excursion (5090m), a 02 hrs trek from Rombuk will lead you to the base of the highest peak on the earth. The North Face of Mount Everest (8848m) or Mount Qomolangma in Tibetan. Now the authorities provide transportation from the tented camps all the way to Everest Base Camp. You may choose the option of driving all the way to Base Camp too but if you avail this service, you need to pay for the transportation charge directly. Cost of the same is CNY 25.00 per person for both way (price may change during the time of your visit).
Paiko Tso to Lower Kyrong
We continue our drive towards Lower Kyrong via Paiko Tso Lake
Cross Border at Rasuwa Gadi and drive to Trishuli/ Overnight in Hotel Water Tower
Today we will continue our drive towards border of Nepal & Tibet. Kyrong or Gyirong Port (Rasuwa Port on Nepal side) is located about 160 km from Kathmandu, capital of Nepal and about 820 Km from Lhasa. At the border, you walk across the bridge joining Nepal and Tibet. Then after necessary immigration formalities in Nepal part, we continue our journey towards Trishuli. The road connecting the border and Trishuli town is adventurous and we can expect to have a bumpy ride.
Drive to Kathmandu...End of Services
Today we will be driving towards Kathmandu. Once in Kathmandu, you will be dropped at your booked hotel.