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Tibet discovery 14D/13N

The Highlights

  • Sightseeing Kathmandu
  • Highlights of Lhasa
  • Ganden (4500m) – the first Gelugpa Monastery and the main seat of this Buddhist group.
  • Samye to explore Tibet’s first monastery
  •  Cross the Kampa-La (4,794m) pass towards Gyantse
  • Shigatse, with the 85 foot tall Buddha coated in 275 kgs of gold
  • Xegar, the monastic town of Sakya (4,280 m) and crossing two passes; the Tropu La (4,950 m) and the Lhakpa La (5,200 m).
  • Lhatse, with a two-hour hike up to Everest Base Camp

Description

The Tibet discovery tour takes you to one of the most mystical places on earth. Indulge yourself in the world of Buddhism surrounded by the mountains. We start our journey from Kathmandu in Nepal from where we fly to Lhasa. We’ll visit all the highlights in Tibet, including also a short trek to Mount Everest Base camp.

The beautiful highlands with the mesmerizing views and the Buddhist culture make this journey an unforgettable experience.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

  • Welcome to Kathmandu, a spicy masala of its mixed reputations. The gems of its heritage now contrast with all too typical Asian big city melee and manic traffic. We start arranging the Tibet visa formalities.

  • Meanwhile, we take you for an orientation walk around the town.

  • Overnight stay at a hotel. Hotel Shanker or similar

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu

  • Guided tour of major historical and cultural landmarks of the city:

  • Pashupatinath (a holy Hindu temple dedicated to one of the Hindu trinity Gods and God of Destruction – Shiva and the cremation site)

  • Bodhnath (revered Buddhist pilgrimage site, supposedly the biggest ‘stupa’ in the world influenced by Tibetan form of Buddhism)

  • Swoyambhunath (a.k.a. Monkey temple. Perched on a pedestal high on the hilltop, Swoyambhunath is acclaimed as the oldest stupa in the world and is influenced by both the Nepalese and Tibetan forms of Buddhism, which attracts constant stream of pilgrims from all around Nepal)

  • Kathmandu Durbar Square – the old part of the town famed for its many centuries old temples, market squares, Living Goddess and its myths, legends and stories, including and not to be forgotten the ‘Hippie’ haven of Freak Street.

  • At the end of the tour, take an interesting walk back to the hotel through the vibrant and chaotic back streets and the spice markets.

  • Overnight stay at a hotel. Hotel Shanker or similar
  • Note: Waiting period for Tibet visa for which application submission with original passports is required.

Day 3: Lhasa

  • Morning flight to Lhasa (3,700m). After entry formalities it’s a one-hour 30-minute drive to Lhasa. Especially during the first few days at this altitude, it pays to have moderate activity and take short breaks. And after our first break, we’ll explore Lhasa’s Old Quarter.

    We’ll find the interesting pilgrimage kora (circuit) of Barkhor and watch as pilgrims perform their ritual prostration. Here is also a classic Tibetan market; hundreds of merchants, traders, and craftsmen, all with something to sell to Lhasa’s inhabitants, to innumerable pilgrims and to the likes of you and me

  • Flight: 1hr 10 min flight – probably the most dramatic International flight anywhere, flying over Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and the southern Tibetan Plateau.

  • Overnight stay at Kyichu Hotel or similar

Day 4: Lhasa

  • Visits to the Lhasa Highlights: Potala Palace & Jokhang Temple – the principal landmarks of Tibet. If you’ve pictured Tibet at all, chances are you‘ve pictured the Potala Palace, the most potent symbol for the Tibetan Community worldwide. It’s a treasure trove of traditional culture, an architectural marvel and its World Heritage-listed site. Stroll through its 13 stories, housing 1,000 rooms. No too far from Potala, we also stop by The Dalai Lama’s erstwhile Summer Palace, Norbulingka.Norbulingka is a shady retreat and a short distance from town. It’s a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.

  • In the late afternoon, we’ll visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibetan beliefs. It literally hums with pilgrims murmuring chants and spinning prayer wheels amidst the myriad flickering of yak butter lamps. We’ll also attend the evening prayer recital in the temple.

  • Overnight stay at Kyichu Hotel or similar

Day 5: Lhasa

  • In the morning, travel 5 km north to one of the great monasteries of the Gelugpa, Yellow Hat, order. Founded in 1419, Sera Monastery became famous for its Tantric teachings;  its fame also comes in part from the active role it has played in Tibet’s  politics. At Sera, the monks perform a clapping ritual which is good-natured, boisterous fun, and visitors can also partake.

  • Also just outside Lhasa stands Drepung, once the largest of all monasteries. Within the periphery lies the Ganden Palace, home to the Dalai Lamas from the time it was founded by the 2nd Dalai Lama until the 5th built the Potala.a.m.

  • Overnight stay at Kyichu Hotel or similar

Day 6: Lhasa

  • Drive 40 km’s north-east of Lhasa to Ganden (4500m) – the first Gelugpa Monastery is the main seat of this Buddhist group.

  • Take ‘low kora’ walk then proceed to the cave-dotted religious landmark of Drak Yerpa which has gained much of its fame for being a meditation retreat for great Tibetan Buddhist figureheads – Guru Rinpoche & King Songsten Gampo.

  • It’s also nice to take a low ‘kora’ (ritual circumambulation) walk around Ganden to witness the sky burial site and take in the stunning sight of Kyi Chu Valley

  • Overnight stay at Kyichu Hotel or similar

Day 7: Samye

  • Drive to Samye, crossing the broad Yarlung-Tsangpo River (known to us as the Holy Brahmaputra) to explore Tibet’s first monastery, Samye Monastery.

  • Later in the day, you can explore the vicinity or partake in a ritualistic ‘kora’ circumambulation around the village.

  • Built in the 8th century, Samye Monastery compound is modeled to resemble the Buddhist conception of the universe and all the temples in the courtyard are cosmological symbols.

  • Overnight: Guesthouse

Day 8: Gyantse

  • This morning, we have one more opportunity to enjoy the ferry crossing which gets us back to our vehicle for our day’s road journey.

  • The route to Gyantse (3,950m) crosses the Kampa-La (4,794m) pass, from where you can get the first glimpse of the stunning beauty of Yamdrok-Tso (Turquoise) Lake, one of the four holy lakes of Tibet, and Karo-La (5,010m) pass.

  • Stroll around the old settlement later in the afternoon/ evening.

  • Overnight: Gyantse Hotel or similar

Day 9: Shigatse

  • Planned in this morning is a visit to the massive fortress, Kumbum, and Pelkor Chode Monastery at Gyantse. Moving further afield from Gyantse, we drive for 1.5 hrs approx to reach Shigatse (3,900m), the city in Tibet 2nd only to Lhasa in size and prominence.

  • En route, we can also pull stop at Shalu monastery which dates back to 11th century. Of particular interest there are the 14th-century murals in the monastery, clearly influenced and eagerly inspired by Chinese, Mongol and Newari genres.

    While in Shigatse, we visit the foremost attraction of the city – Tashilhunpo Monastery which has three main buildings that are worth exploring at length. These include the Chapel of Maitreya, which is home to an 85 foot tall Buddha coated in 275 kgs of gold, and the Palace of the Panchen Lama.

  • The Pelkor Monastery has a particular influence, for here there is rare unity of Gelugpa, Sakyapa and Bhuton, the three sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The centerpiece of Phalkhor and the pride of the city, is Kumbum, the largest stupa in Tibet. It is a fine example of 15th-century Newari art which speaks of strong Himalayan ties with Nepal.

    For photogenic views of the monastery (or for those wanting to earn some karma), do a kora of Tashilhunpo, but be mindful of your pilgrimage, do it in a clockwise direction, as the world turns, so as not to offend the Buddhist ethos.

  • Overnight:  Tashi Choeda Hotel or similar

Day 10: Xegar

  • Our principal point of interest for the day is the monastic town of Sakya (4,280 m), reached in 3hrs approx after crossing two passes; the Tropu La (4,950 m) and the Lhakpa La (5,200 m). Clearly now The Himalaya stand ahead of us on the horizon of the plateau, like icebergs in a sea of sand.

  • The highlights of Sakya are its two monasteries, located on either side of the Trum-Chu River. After our deviation to Sakya, take the road turning off the Friendship Highway and head west for Xegar, a rather decrepit little town.

  • Sakya, which takes its name directly from the Buddha’s original Indian name, rather oddly suffered little from the familiar dismemberment of Tibetan Culture and intrusive influence of the modern Chinese state. (Perhaps the dollar-signs of tourism saved it!)

  • Overnight at Qomolongma Hotel

Day 11: Lhasa

  • Driving through photogenic villages with Himalayan vista to die for, we reach Rongphu. The latter part of the day – a two-hour hike up to Everest Base Camp provides an unobstructed view of the peak, and from Camp, the enormity of the mountain is utterly overwhelming. After hiking back down from Base Camp to the road, prepare to travel to Lhatse.

  • Overnight at Lhatse Shanghai Hotel

Day 12: Lhasa

  • Return to Shigatse and experience the ride on a train through the vast scenic plateau that is Tibet.

  • The train departs at 5 p.m. and reaches Lhasa in 3hrs approx.

  • Overnight: Kyichu Hotel or similar

Day 13: Kathmandu – Bhaktapur

  • A flight back to Kathmandu. On arrival, a short transfer to the medieval town of Bhaktapur

    As if held in a time-warp, the little city of Bhaktapur amazes everyone. You have entered a time of feudal ways, a place of medieval street-scenes, with a uniquely magical ambiance that defies all that is to modernity.

  • There are some who say that travel is part of going places, part about doing things there and part of ‘just being there’. Well Bhaktapur is definitely – though not only – simply about just being there. To get a low-down on the mysteries and wonders of people and places of this truly remarkable town, we pick up the knowledge of a native guide.

  • Overnight: Milla Guest House/ Hotel Heritage

Day 14: Departure

  • Transfer to the airport for your onward destination. End of the Tibet Discovery tour

Included

Following items are included in the Tibet Discovery Tour:

  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary on a twin-share basis:
    • 2 nights in Hotel Shanker or similar 3* hotel in Kathmandu
    • 9 nights in 3* hotels in Tibet
    • 1 night in a basic Guesthouse
    • 1 night in a boutique hotel in Bhaktapur
  • Meals:  as listed in the itinerary, 13xB
  • Activities:
    • Kathmandu Durbar Square
    • guided tour of Swoyambhunath
    • Pashupatinath
    • Bodhnath
    • Bhaktapur inclusive of applicable entry fees
    • Barkhor market walk
    • Visits to (in Lhasa) Potala, Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka Palace, Ganden, Drak Yerpa, Samye Monastery, Kumbum and Pelkor Chode (Gyantse), Tashilunpo Monastery (Shigatse)
    • Walk to Everest base camp from Rongphu
  • Services of English speaking guide during included guided tours
  • Private transport
  • Airport transfers
  • Flights: Kathmandu – Lhasa – Kathmandu
  • Train:  Shigatse – Lhasa
  • Visa Tibet

Excluded

Following items are excluded from the Tibet Discovery Tour:

  • Travel insurance
  • Any activities/ tours/ visits not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Indicated optional activities
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Photography fee in monasteries in Tibet
  • Any tips/ gratuities if considered earned for guides and drivers

What to bring

SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT LIST FOR THE TRIP – ‘Tibet Discovery Tour’

  • 1 Pair hiking boots
  • 1 Medium / large rucksack / backpack
  • 1 Small day pack with waterproof cover
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 2 – 1-liter water bottles (metallic ones are better suited)
  • 1 Torch / flashlight
  • Spare batteries
  • 1 Medium sized towel
  • 1 Washing kit: include Personal toiletries, toilet paper, wet wipes
  • Any personal medication including a first-aid kit
  • Water purification solutions/ tablets
  • Insect repellant
  • 1 Pair sports shoes/
  • 2-3 Pairs lightweight trousers
  • 2 Pair shorts
  • 1 Light jacket
  • 2 Fleece/warm sweater
  • 2 Sweatshirt/light sweater
  • Thermal inner wear (during the months: Oct-Apr)
  • 3-4 T-Shirts
  • 2-3 Long sleeve cotton (or polypropylene) shirts
  • 4-5 Pairs Socks
  • Warm hats and gloves
  • Cotton Headscarf/bandanna
  • Sunglasses and sunhat
  • Sunscreen Lotion (30-50 SPF)
  • 3 to 4 Plastic Bags (for wrapping clothes)
  • Power adapter with cylindrical pins

Items which can be rented locally

  •  1 Sleeping bag (comfortable to -10°C)
  • 1 Down jacket / all weather Anorak

Optional

  • Money belt
  • 1 Pair Trekking poles, rubber tipped

Notes

The minimum number of participants for this Tibet Discovery Tour is 2 persons.

Before you book this trip always contact us first: info@mundooz.com. VISA regulations tend to change. We might have to change the itinerary accordingly.

There is a Single room supplement charge whether due to odd pax/sex ratio or opted by pax

Please contact us at info@mundooz.com if you have any questions about this tour.

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