Discover Tibet (12 days)

specialVisiting Tibet is like entering another world. Tucked away in the Himalaya on the world’s highest plateau, it is a country that has held much mystic for years. In fact, some areas in the Northwestern region are so remote that they still remain uninhabited today. For travelers, Tibet is one of the most fascinating destinations to explore today. Stunning Himalaya views and colorful people make this an incredible journey of the spirit. Cross high mountain passes and trek to the highest monastery in the world and Mt. Everest Base Camp. Discover Tibet gives you a chance to interact with the people who live in this “Land of the Snows”!

Day 1 – Kathmandu
Arrive Kathmandu where you will be met and driven to your hotel. Mid afternoon, visit Durbar Marg temples in downtown Kathmandu and views around the area from the top of Swayambunath, one of the oldest religious sites in Nepal. Swayambunath or “Monkey Temple” is sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus and sits high on a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley.

Day 2 – Kathmandu
After breakfast, tour Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. Pashupatinath, established in the 17th century, rests on the banks of the Bagmati River and is the oldest Hindu temple in Nepal. Travel onward to Boudhanath, one the most religious sites to Buddhists, and see the stupa and surrounding Tibetan community. Afternoon visit Patan, home of Newari craftsmen, and explore the temples of Patan Square named a World Heritage Site. Enjoy a traditional Nepali dinner and a briefing about Tibet.

Day 3 – Kathmandu/Lhasa
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight to Gongar where you will be met and greeted with the traditional white scarf or “kada” welcoming you and driven to your hotel in Lhasa. En route visit Nietang Buddha engraved in a mountain wall. The rest of the day is for you to acclimatize.

Day 4 – Lhasa
This morning you will see the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar and Potala Palace. After lunch drive to Drepung and Sera to explore the monasteries. The Jokhang Temple, built in 642, is the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. Located in Barkhor Square, the temple is most important as a pilgrimage center and the Square, a public meeting area.

Along with the Jokhang Temple, the Potala Palace has been named a Unesco World Heritage site. A huge white fortress dominating the landscape, the Potala was once home to Dalai Lama but is now a museum. It is situated between Drepung and Sera.

Day 5 – Lhasa
Today is free for you to explore as you wish and used as an extra day for acclimatization before exploring the high mountain passes.

Day 6 – Lhasa/Gyantse
After breakfast, drive to the historic town of Gyantse crossing the Kahamba La Pass and the Karo La Pass. En route take a walk at the beautiful Yamdrok Yumtso Lake and view the Karo La Glacier. In Gyantse visit Pelkhor Monastery and Kumbu Stupa. Gyantse is located in the Nyang River Valley and on the trade route between Chumbi Valley, Yatung and Sikkim. It was once a fortress to the Tsangpo Valley.

Day 7 – Gyantse/Shigatse
After breakfast we drive th Tibet’s second largest city, Shigatse. Stroll the town and see ornate Tibetan style houses and a very interesting local bazaar.

Day 8 – Shigatse/Tingri (Shegar)
Morning tour of Tashilumpo Monastery and the new palace of Panchen Lama. Located on a hill in the center of the city, the monastery’s name Tashilumpo means “all fortune and happiness gathered here”or “heap of glory”. It was the home to the Tashi, the person who is second rank to Dalai Lama. Early afternoon drive to Tingri via Gantsola Mountain Pass.

Day 9 – Tingri/Mt. Everest Basecamp/Tingri
The highest monastery in the world is Rongbuk Monastery, 100 kilometers from Tingri. We explore Rongbuk and hike to the Mt. Everest Base Camp which takes about 2 hours. The base camp is at an extremely high altitude but hosts fabulous views of the north face of the mountain and other snow peaks in the range.

Day 10 – Tingri/Shigatse
We begin our trip back to Lhasa overnighting in Shigatse. Afternoon to explore as you wish.

Day 11 – Shigatse/Lhasa
Early morning drive onward to Lhasa. Check into your hotel and enjoy your last day in Tibet.

Day 12 – Depart Lhasa
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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