Hotel / Lodge
Start your journey to Tibet with a spectacular flight over the snowcapped Himalayan mountains like Mt. Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,586m), Mt. Makalu (8,463m) and others. Spending 3 nights in Lhasa in the center of the old city will allow us plenty of time for acclimatization and easy access to the city's main attractions – including Jokhang Temple and the monumental Potala palace of Kings and Dalai Lamas, with its various chapels along with unforgettable roof top views of the holy city.
Leaving Lhasa in our SUV, we travel through this amazing country, staying in the best traditional hotels Tibet has to offer. Thoroughly exploring the towns of Gyantse and Shigatse we visit traditional monasteries and fully immerse ourselves in the Buddhist culture.
Along the Highway we travel through some of the most amazing landscapes on Earth. We pass small Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen wandering across the wide arid plains and awe-inspiring mountain peaks. Equally as fascinating is the wealth of cultural interest and there is plenty of opportunity to explore this side of Tibet, both in Lhasa and the other towns we pass through on our journey back to Kathmandu.
Upon arriving at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be received by our airport representatives who will warmly greet you and transfer to the hotel on a private tourist vehicle. We provide 3-star accommodation in the city and we arrange for a trip briefing with dinner in the evening.
A professional guide and vehicle are provided for a day of sightseeing in and around Kathmandu city. We visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city along with other interesting cultural monuments that dot the valley. These include Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings), along with other popular cultural attractions. We get to observe the lifestyle of Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, fascinating history as well as awe-inspiring architecture.
Early morning transfer to the international airport for the hour-long flight to Lhasa. This stunning flight, on a China Southwest Airlines Boeing 757, takes us right across the main Himalayan range and provides us with magnificent mountain views. After landing at Gongar Airport and meeting our Tibetan guide, it is a further 2-hour drive by Land cruiser to Lhasa. It's advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day due to Lhasa's altitude. Overnight at a hotel.
We spend this day visiting several of Lhasa's many monasteries in the company of a guide and interpreter. One of these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved monasteries in Tibet, within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs, several hundred monks live and study. After lunch we'll visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkor - a maze of narrow cobbled streets that is the central market of Lhasa. Overnight at a hotel.
In the morning, we visit the Potala Palace which is the crown jewel of Lhasa. It is a spectacular ancient building, containing private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a Palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present Palace was constructed in the 17th century. After lunch, we visit the Drepung Monastery, which was founded in the 14th century and was once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. These days that figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much here of interest as it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution. Overnight at a hotel.
The day begins with our overland journey towards Rongbuk valley. We follow the Friendship Highway by jeep, we cross the Khamba La at elevation of 4,794m from which there are stunning views across the waters of Yamdrok-tso Lake to the snowy summit of Nazin Kang Sa (7,252m). As we continue our journey to westwards over another high pass the Karo La 5,045m, we can view the spectacular sight of a huge glacier tumbling down to within a few hundred meters of the road. After few hours, we arrive to Gyantse passing the beautiful valleys and colourful Tibetan villages. Overnight at a hotel.
This morning we visit the Gyantse Dzong. This fort dates back to the fourteenth century and offers some of the most amazing views of Gyantse and surrounding valleys. Before leaving we 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.
Thereby, we continue the trip to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. It is only about a 90 kms drive taking us to Shigatse which is a laid back city that provides excellent opportunity for both relaxation and exploration. Thereafter, exploring the local market we will make a detailed visit to the Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet. Overnight at a hotel.
The views of this desert plateau provide wondrous entertainment as we travel along the Friendship Highway. This stretch is the most spectacular landscape in Tibet. After passing through the small town of Lhatse we will cross Gyatmso La elevation of 5,220m, the highest pass on our journey. The land quickly descends to plains after Gyatmso La. While travelling through the plains we will see many nomadic herders, quiet countryside, and secluded monasteries. Overnight at a hotel.
As we leave Shigatse, we turn off the Friendship Highway and head south over the Pang La (5,150m) towards the main Himalayan range that give magnificent view stretching from Makalu to Shishapangma. Below the pass, as we turn the corner into the Rongbuk Valley, we can watch the charming view of Everest than ever. Overnight at a hotel.
A highlight of the journey for everyone today as you have the opportunity to explore Everest Base camp. The views of Everest are so close making the mountain seem even more impressive than before. It is a truly breathtaking experience to stare up at the sheer North face of this highest mountain in the world, with Mount Everest towering above you in a looming yet magical way.
After Lunch we get back on Friendship highway and continue our marvellous journey. Overnight at a hotel.
After we leave Tingri, crossing two high passes, Lalung La at altitude of 5,124m and the Shung La at 5,200m. On the way, we are rewarded by the magnificent landscapes of the surrounding peaks including Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar. Then our journey heads towards the arid Tibetan Plateau to Zhangmu on the Nepalese border. As we leave Tibet, it appears an incredibly lush and green. Overnight at a hotel.
Leaving Zhangmu behind, we join the Friendship Bridge passing the Bhote Koshi River and mark the Chinese - Nepalese border. After that short drive, we say good-bye to our Tibetan guide. Then we drive and walk to Nepalese Immigration Control in Kodari, there we have our Nepalese staff, completing the re-entry formalities we'll drive towards Kathmandu, which may take 5 hours, it depends on road and weather conditions. Overnight at a hotel.
This is a leisure and free day in Kathmandu for exploration. You are free to go souvenir shopping, spa and more exploration of the city, or extend your trip to include bungee jumping, rafting, mountain biking, Everest mountain flight and other adventurous activities. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner at Mul Chowk Restaurant’s cozy and elegant dining ambience.
The trip concludes today. You will be dropped at Kathmandu's Tribhuwan International Airport by our airport representative for your flight departure from Nepal.
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Whilst on the trek, the Nepali guides and porters will ensure that you are well looked after. Every trek has an English speaking guide, known as the Sirdar, who is in overall charge. It is his responsibility to organize the trek en route and manage the guides and porters and deal with the local peoples and they are experts in trek organization, as well as being able to discuss the local culture, religion, and landscape. In addition there will be other guides, sometimes referred to by the generic term Sherpa, who will be your walking companions on the trek and will assist the Sirdar in organizing the logistic of the trek. On camping treks there will be full kitchen crew who are responsible for all aspects of catering. And finally there will be porters who are the transportation system of the Nepali mountains. They will carry the duffle bags and other equipment as necessary.
On camping treks, all food is prepared by the trek cook - an expert in preparing delicious camp food. And most importantly, special care is taken to provide well - boiled, purified drinking water. On lodge treks, food is provided in the lodge and this ranges from delicious local specialties to common western dishes. If necessary, bottled water can be purchased from the lodges for a small fee, although many trekkers prefer to use fresh water with the added precaution of a purifying agent. You could bring some Chocolate or special energy drinks for yourself as these are hard to get in the Himalayas.
A typical trekking day
A typical day revolves around the Nepal sunrise and sunset. The day starts with an early wake up call. You then pack up your gear and enjoy a rousing breakfast before starting your morning's walk. The Sirdar will already be organized loads to porters and or animals, and your group will then set off on the trail at a leisurely pace, enjoying the view and stopping to take photographs. After 2-3 hours walk you stop for lunch. This lasts for about 90 minutes which gives you time to relax, or explore the local village. The afternoon's walk is usually shorter and we arrive at the campsite or tea-house in plenty of time to relax and savour the surroundings. Later in the evening dinner is served, giving you an opportunity to sample the delicious food, talk over the day's events, and look forward to another special day on the trails of Nepal.
Health and safety on the trek General
Anyone can be affected by Altitude Sickness. However, our itineraries are specifically designed to minimize the risks associated with trekking to high altitudes by building in acclimatization and rest days. In the event of any symptoms we will ensure that the individual descends to a lower altitude to gain a quick recovery.
And finally……….. It must be stressed that whilst trekking in the Nepal Himalaya is challenging and rewarding, you must be prepared for he occasional inconvenience or discomfort. The correct mental attitude to trekking is as important as being physically prepared.
All equipment and food, and your own personal backpacks are carried by the porters or pack animals. It is only necessary to carry a camera or small daypack ! On camping treks all necessary camp equipment is provided - this includes dining tent, dining table and chairs, toilet tent, foam mattresses, and all cooking equipment. The only kit that you will need to bring is your own personal equipment and clothing.
Recommended Trekking Kit
The following is a list of clothing and accessories that we recommend that you take with you. This is not intended to be a comprehensive clothing and equipment list, rather it is intended to act as a reminder of those items that we feel are essential for your comfort and convenience. However we recognize that you may have your own personal preferences for clothing which may be equally as suitable.
Recommended Mountaineering Kit
In additional to the items mentioned above for trekking the following is a list of the additional specialist items which are required for the trekking peaks.