Overland Tour - 11 Days
Places to Visit:
KATHMANDU - LHASA - GYANTSE - SHIGATSE - SHEGAR
- RONGBUK - TINGRI - ZHANGMU - KODARI - KATHMANDU
DAY 01 FLY KATHMANDU [1400m] - LHASA [3660m]
the morning we will convene at the Kathmandu airport for the spectacular hour
long flight to Lhasa. A China Southwest Airlines Boeing 757 will fly us over
much of the magnificent Himalayan range providing us with mountain views the
entire way. Once landed at Gongar airport the tour group will meet with our
Tibetan guide. We must travel two hours by Land cruisers to reach the actual
city of Lhasa. It will take some time to acclimate to Lhasa's high altitude
so we recommend that you relax and rest in the uxorious Hotel Dhood Gu.
DAY 02 IN LHASA
On this second day a guide and interpreter will lead you through several of
Lhasa's many monasteries. The first one we will visit is Sera Monastery, a fifteenth
century sprawl of golden roofs and whitewashed walls. This well preserved monastery
is located just a few miles North of Lhasa and is home to several hundred monks.
In the afternoon we will visit the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, Norbulingka,
as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is the most revered shrine in all
of Tibet and is constantly bustling with devout worshippers. We will also be
given the opportunity to shop in Barkor, the crowded central market of Lhasa.
DAY 03 IN LHASA
A trip to Tibet would not be complete without experiencing the vital Potala
Palace. This palace is Lhasa's cardinal landmark and is a wonder of Eastern
architecture. Your first site of this massive structure will be a magical moment
remembered for years to come. It has been a palace since the fifth or sixth
century and was once home to the Dalai Lama. This truly amazing day will ended
with a visit to the Drepung Monastery. Once the world's largest monastery, housing
10,000 monks, Drepung monastery lies hidden in rocky ridges just beyond the
city. Surprisingly much of the building was left untouched throughout the Cultural
DAY 04 IN LHASA
This last day in Lhasa will be one of leisure, exploration, and relaxation.
The members of the tour group will have many choices of what to do. Many choose
to explore Lhasa further, revisit their favorite monastery, tour additional
monasteries, or simply relax around Lhasa. There are many wonderful cafes and
shops throughout Lhasa. This is the last chance for acclimatization before we
depart so once again we recommend you take it easy.
DAY 05 DRIVE LHASA/GYANTSE [3950m] 261 km
Today we finally began our overland journey culminating in Kathmandu, Nepal.
One of the first sites we will see while traveling along the majestic Friendship
Highway is the Khamba La. The breathtaking view at Khamba La allows one to see
all the way to the summit of Nazin Kang Sa. Truly an amazing view! While continuing
westward we will travel over the Karo La, a high pass surrounded by stupendous
glaciers. The rest of the day will be spent enjoying the many magnificent valleys
and exquisite Tibetan villages we pass through. The day will end in the town
of Gyantse. We will spend the night in a hotel in this historical city.
DAY 06 DRIVE GYANTSE [3950m]/SHIGATSE [3900m] 90km
First thing in the morning we will visit Gyantse Dzong. This fort dates back
to the fourteenth century and offers some of the most amazing views of Gyantse
and the surrounding valley. Before leaving we will also visit the famed Gyantse
Kumbum. This magnificent tiered structure is the largest stupa in all of Tibet.
If the exquisite gold dome is not enough, this stupa is packed with Tibetan
sculptures and paintings. The drive today, only 90 km, takes us to the second
largest city in Tibet. Shigatse is a laid back city that provides excellent
opportunity for both relaxation and exploration. As a group we will explore
the local market and the Tahilhumpo Monastery. Tahilhumpo Monastery is one of
the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and was able to last through the
Cultural Revolution nearly unscathed. It is a great pleasure to spend some time
exploring the busy cobbled lanes twisting around these ancient buildings. At
night we will relax and rest in the Shigatse Hotel or Shandond Mansion.
DAY 07 DRIVE SHIGATSE [3900m]/SHEGAR [NEW TINGRI] [4050m] 244km
The views of this desert plateau provide for wondrous entertainment as we travel
along the Friendship Highway. This stretch is some of the most spectacular landscape
in Tibet. After passing through the small town of Lhatse we will cross Gyatmso
La, the highest pass on our journey. The land quickly descends to plains after
Gyatmso La. While traveling through the plains we will see many nomadic herders,
quiet countryside, and secluded monasteries. The night will be spent in Hotel
Quomolongma in Shegar.
DAY 08 DRIVE SHEGAR [4050m]/RONGBUK [5000m] 68km
After leaving Shegar we will travel only a short while before turning off the
Friendship Highway. Our four wheel drive vehicles will takes us South towards
the main Himalayan range while passing over Pang La. The view from the top of
Pang La is truly stunning. One is able to see all the way from Makalu to Shishapangma.
In the afternoon we will descend into the Rongbuck valley and Everest will jump
quickly into view. This is your first chance to catch a glimpse of this awe-inspiring
mountain. We will spend the night at the Gompa Guest House.
DAY 09 DRIVE RONGBUK [5000m]/TINGRI [4390m] 65km
This morning is the highlight of the trip for many. You are given the opportunity
to explore the Everest Base camp. The views of Everest from so close make the
mountain seem even more impressive than before. It is a truly breath taking
experience to stare up at the sheer North face of this highest mountain in the
world. Mount Everest towers above you in a looming yet magical way. After Lunch
we will get back on the Friendship highway and continue our amazing journey.
We will spend the night at the high class Snow Leopard Lodge in Tingri.
DAY 10 DRIVE TINGRI [4390m]/ZHANGMU [2300m] 181km
Continuing along the Friendship Highway we will leave Tingri and cross the Lalung
La and the Shung La, two more incredible passes. The views from these passes
are breathtaking once again. While standing on these passes one is surrounded
by grandiose mountains such as Shishpangma, Cho Oyu, Gauri Shankar, and many
more. In the afternoon we begin descending from the arid Tibetan plateau to
a small town of Zhangmu. Zhangmu is much lower in elevation and as a result
is much more lush and green than what we have experienced so far. The Zhangmu
Friendship Hotel provides great rooms to relax and rest on one of our last nights.
DAY 11 DRIVE ZHANGMU [2300m]/KODARI/KATHMANDU [1400m] 123km
We will leave Zhangmu in the morning and head to the Nepalese border. The Friendship
Bridge lies at the Border of China and Nepal and is only a few kilometers from
Zhangmu. It spans the impressive Bhote Koshi River. Sadly we must say goodbye
to our Tibetan guide and driver at this point. Our Nepalese staff will meet
you at the immigration Control in Kodari and help with all the reentry formalities.
The city of Kathmandu, our end destination, lies only five hours to the south.
Boy, what an amazing journey this is!
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