Mountains & Monasteries
Take this memorable adventure accross the roof of the word. From the spiritual and economic center Lhasa, you will travel to the plains of Gyantse and Shigatse, then traverse the world's highest mountain range to the highest peak in the world - Mount Everest. Explore deep into the heart ot Tibetan Buddhism, people, culture and spectacular scenery.
Highlights of this tour
Important Notice: Gyirong Port on Tibet-Nepal border, about 89km from Kathmandu and 360km from Mount Everest in Tibet side, is still closed for travelers.
Welcome to Tibet, the holy land of Tibetan Buddhism! Your tour guide will pick you up at the airport arrival hall and escort you to your downtown hotel in Lhasa while you enjoy the stunning views along the Yarlong Tsangpo River.
After check in, the rest of the day is for you to acclimate to the high altitude and weather of Lhasa. Avoid strenuous physical activities during this first day since that may cause high altitude sickness.
Orientation Tips: 1) avoid vigorous activities but do take some leisurely walks in the city to acclimatize to the air and high altitude of Lhasa city (altitude of 3,600m); 2) do not drink liquor in the arrival day, instead plenty of water and fruits are recommended.
After breakfast, start an incredible day of exploration in Lhasa city. The grandiose Potala Palace will be the first site to discover. After more than 1300 years of historical changes, this colossal palace still dominates the skyline of Lhasa city. The Palace is the political and religious center of Tibet and has served as the governance and preaching site for the Dalai Lama. Climbing up the sacred steps to the Red Palace and White Palace you will explore their marvelous interiors full of exquisite Thangkas, numerous Buddha statues, vivid wall paintings, and other works of Buddhist art.
In the afternoon, first visit the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet, Jokhang Temple, where the 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue is consecrated. With a history stretching over 1,300 years, this temple combines the architectural styles of Tibet, China, Nepal and India. As a spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple attracts hundreds of devoted pilgrims to worship there every day. Outside the door of Jokhang Temple is the famous pilgrimage circle, Barkhor Street, where you can join faithful Tibetans in colorful attires walking the circle around Jokhang Temple.
Tips for today: 1) wear suitable headgear and glasses to protect you from strong sunlight, but do not wear any hat while visiting inside the Tibetan monasteries; 2) photography is not allowed inside the chapels of monasteries; 3) have your passport with you all the time.
After breakfast, we start our day with a visit to the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas and also the largest Tibetan garden - Norbulingka Park. The luxuriant trees and flowers, cool ponds and comfortable palaces make Norbulingka the best place for a summer retreat. Then drive about 5 km westward to Drepung Monastery. This monastery has played a crucial role in Tibet Buddhism as the school of the Dalai Lamas. As you walk along, immense temples and chapels leap to your eyes one after another. In its heyday, more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Various Buddhist rituals are performed in the monastery during festivals, most famous being the ceremony of Buddha Display in the annual Shoton Festival.
We will then visit the featured six hundred year-old Sera Monastery, famous for its grand ceremony of Buddhist debating and its beautiful temples with sensational icons, murals and history.
Tips for today: 1) please follow the Buddhist manners - talk in a low voice, always be respectful of others, reflect on the Buddha's teachings in these holy sites, and remain quiet and respectful when visiting temples 2) be sure to carry some water with you.
Today you will be transferred from Lhasa to Gyantse (5.5-hour drive).
After about 1.5 hours driving from Lhasa, you will get to the famous holy Yamdrok Lake. With an altitude of 4,441 meters, Yamdrok Lake is known as one of the "Three Holiest Lakes", also one of the most beautiful lakes in Tibet. The turquoise pure lake overlies among snow-capped mountains. Surrounding the lakeshores are some peaceful Tibetan villages situating in the flat valleys. Looking to instance, you can still see clearly dotted yaks and sheep grazing on the grassland. Then another stop takes you to a Tibetan family where you can chat with common Tibetans and try some their self-made food. Keep driving to next destination – Gyantse, and enjoy the views of the grandiose and vast Karola Glacier.
After arrival in Gyantse, you will take a visit to the landmark of Gyantse – Palcho Monastery. It is a traditional Tibetan monastery which is a fusion of Han, Tibetan and Nepali architecture, and has both temples and stupa. Palcho Monastery’s symbol is its Kumbum Stupa which is famous for having 100,000 figures of Buddhist statue in the chapels, niches and wall paintings of Kumbum. Lastly, go to take some photos of the Gyantse Dzong Fortress on which Tibetan army fought against British army's invasion in 1904. (Gyantse Dzong Fortress now is closed for maintenance. Tourists cannot climb up to the top, but still can enjoy its magnificent appearance from the square at the foot of the Dzong Hill.)
Accommodate at Gyantse City.
Tips of today: 1) pack some food and drinks for long driving of today; 2) wear suitably to protect yourself from strong sunlight, wind and possible cold.
This morning, you will be taken to visit a spectacular site where you will have a clear insight of old living condition a hundred years ago - Pala Manor which was a private manor of Pala Family, a celebrated aristocrat during 17th ~19th century. The hosts lived in bright, large and luxury room, and enjoyed expensive furniture and imported luxuries, such as OMEGA Watch, LV Purse, Wine, etc. While serfs, as the private property of Pala family, did all the farming and raised livestock for hots, but lived in dark crude room and caves. All the houses and rooms of both aristocrats and serfs remains well.
After visiting Pala Manor, you will drive about 2.5 hours to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. After arrival, go to explore the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery. It was built in 1447 of Ming Dynasty by the disciple of Buddhism master Tsongkhapa, then became the Buddhism center of Tsang region. It has been the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas who is one of two most powerful leaders of Buddhists in Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery is surrounded by 3000-meter-long wall. The whole monastery was constructed against the background of mountain, facing to the sun. There are 58 sutra chapels and about 3600 rooms. In Tashilhunpo Monastery, you can see many erected buildings with golden glazed tiles, interlaced red walls and white walls and Thangka Exhibit Platform. You can also meet these pilgrims from afar.
Accommodate at Shigatse City.
Today we will drive about 8 hours to the final destination - Mount Everest. It seems to be a tough long driving day, but the plateau landscape along the road is breathtaking and will keep you entranced. You will even have a chance to see four of the highest peaks in the world, all over 8,000 meters - Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu at the sightseeing platform of Gawula Pass (5,250).
After arrival at Mount Everest, hop on a park bus and drive about 20km (30 minutes) to the Rongbuk Monastery(5,100 m), the world's highest monastery with an altitude of 5100m. It is the best platform to view Mount Everest. You will find all the effort of the trip swept away by the sight of the majestic peak of Everest rising in front of you. Since it is only about 20 km from the peak of Mount Everest, you can clearly see the giant pyramid of the mountain from south and the charming banner clouds in bright days. Apart from that, Rongbuk Monastery is the best place to see the sunrise and sunset for its high location close to the Everest. Also explore Everest Base Camp where you can see many Marnyi Stones and take photos with the marker of EBC.
Accommodation will be arranged at Rongbuk Guest House. (If you visit Mount Everest during May to October, you will accommodate at the Everest Base Camp near Rongbuk Monastery). Please note that the accommodations at both places are very simple and basic. There are dorms with beds, duvets, heated blankets and hot water provided. You are suggested to bring your own sleeping bag if you have one. There is no running water, sinks or showers. The guest house only offers basic breakfast and dinner without menu. There is no private bathroom in the dorms. Only communal squat toilets are available. Remember to bring your own toilet paper.
Tips for today: 1) the Everest Base Camp has been moved to Rongbuk Monastery area, so was the EBC marker; 2) prepare some food and drinks to take with you because there are only some basic foods offered at Mount Everest; 3) pack warm clothes to keep yourself warm all the time and get fully prepared for the high altitude (5100m~5200m).
Get up early to catch the beautiful sunrise over the stunning landscape around Everest. You can see the Mount Everest appears gradually as the clouds are being blown away by the strong wind. The sleeping pure peak puts on a shining costume that is lit by the orange sun. And then, when the sun all rises up, the mountain shows her bright red face completely like a young girl putting up the best blusher ever, with the red cloud fairies dancing by side.
If you are lucky, you will have chance to see the famous "flag clouds" which is a famous wonder on Mount Everest. You will see milk white streamer floating above the peak, and flutters toward one side like a banner in the wind. Sometimes, you can see it change the shape, like the huge waves on the sea or the impetuous horses on the ancient battlefield, and so forth. Once in a while, it is lucky to see the plateau eagles flying above the banner cloud, which is especially a particular sightseeing.
Last, return to Rongbuk area and drive to Gyirong Town. Though it's a long driving about 360km, but it's necessary and worthy your efforts. You have chance to see the clear face of Mount Shishapangma Peak and beautiful Pekutso Lake. After arrival, check in your hotel.
Tips for today: 1) the sunrise usually starts around 6:30 am to 7am on Mount Everest; 2) keep warm all the time.
After breakfast, drive to the border of Nepal and China - Gyirong Port. Check throgh the port and transfer to Kathmandu. Tour ends.
Tips: Our service will end at the Gyirong border of Tibet and Nepal. If you want, we can arrange transfer pickup from the border of Tibet to Kathmandu for you with extra cost. Some customers choose to hire a private car on the border and share cost with other travelers. It is also possible to start the tour in Kathmandu and come to Lhasa, though the price is slightly higher.
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1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2023.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1=RMB 6.85. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
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There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
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"Just back from our 9-day trip to Yunnan, long planned and waited for. It was our second time with China Discovery Tours. Once again they tailored the tour according to our ideas and interests - and succeeded in surprising us! Thanks to the local guides we learned a lot about history, traditions and customs, and, of course, food. We always felt in safe hands and the organization was just perfect with enough on spot flexibility. Big thanks to Jack who figured it all out so well and to the next time with China Discovery! Johannes (GER) & Elizabeth (GRC)"
Thanks again for an excellent trip, best regards, Johannes&Elizabeth
It's was great, we loved it! Our tour guide Frank was very kind, informative, and funny :) We loved how easy it was and how much we got to see in a day, I will definitely recommend to our friends!
we will be happy to when we get back to Shanghai It was a great trip and Kevin was a wonderful guide!
Absolutely fantastic trip. We enjoyed every moment and the guides were all really good.
I might only have one more year in China and I would like to see more. I believe that the best way for me is smaller trips leaving Thursday evening and returning Sunday.
Thank for our trip. Well organised. Driver & guide were super ! We have been lucky to have a sunny weather and the lantern festival! And not toooooo cold, only if you compare to the week before !
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