Tibet -a land so rich in Culture, tradition and steeped in religion along the far flung unique landscape, also called the roof of the world. Let the age old Tibetan Myths & mysteries cast and enchanted spell that holds an every visitor in thrill and excitement.
This overland tour is designed for those who prefer to soak in the sights by driving around. This tour gives you an opportunity to discover the real Tibet. From the bustling old cities to the ancient villages and settlements. This overland tour connects two old capital cities, Lhasa in Tibet and Kathmandu in Nepal. Tibet, which boasts of spectacular mountain scenery and a rich cultural heritage, is a place worth visiting. As you drive across the Tibetan plateau, you will be expertly guided around all the Tibetan monasteries, temples, monuments and important tourist sites by the local Tibetan guide.
This tour offer you most of the popular sightseeing tour in Tibet including Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor market, Namtso Lake, Tashido and Drakyerpa. Leaving Lhasa, you will be driven past picturesque Tibetan settlements where nomadic herdsmen can be seen wandering across the wide arid plateau. This overland journey takes you over several high mountain passes with spectacular mountain views, including those of the majestic Mount Everest, Cho Oyo, Makalu and Shishapangma. Your adventure tour continues to the historic cities of Gyantse and Shigatse.
The tour begins with a comprehensive trip briefing in Kathmandu followed by a sensational Trans Himalayan flight to Lhasa that passes over Mt. Everest and many highest peaks of the world. This is the only Everest flight that flies over Mt. Everest and other highest peaks. If you start your tour in Lhasa arriving from mainland China; Tour briefing will take place in Lhasa.
Day 01: Fly to Gongkar Airport & drive to Tsedang (3510m/11512ft), 65km, 1hr:
You will be met at Gongkar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities take an hour drive passing through barley and wheat fields brings you to the third largest city in Tibet, Tsedang. We visit the Tandruk Monastery and Yumbu Lakhang in Tsedang.
Tradruk Monastery: meaning eagle and dragon in Tibetan, also known as the Changzhug Monastery is the largest and most important of the surviving royal foundations in the Yarlung Valley. Tradruk is said to have been the second of Tibet’s earliest great geomantic temples after the Jokhang. It is believed that famous eminent Buddhists has been cultivated themselves around Trandruk Monastery, including Masters Padmasambhava and Milarepa. This existence of relics is the major sights for the pilgrims. There is a famous bronze bell which is widely known in all through Tibet in Trandruk Monastery. The antique precious potteries and relics are still stored here.
Yumbu Lakhang: Meaning ‘the palace on the leg of a female deer’, located on the east bank of the Yarlong River southeast of Tsedang Town. Yumbu Lakhang, the castle perched dramatically on a pinnacle above the valley, is the oldest known dwelling in Tibet, reputedly the home of the Yarlong Kings. The view from the castle is awesome. O/N at Hotel in Tsedang (BB).
En-route Lhasa to Airport
En-route Lhasa to Airport
Day 02: Visit Samye Monastery (40km) and local market then drive to Lhasa (3600m/ 11811ft) 190km, 4 hrs:
After breakfast you will be briefed about the day’s program. Sightseeing begins as follows:
Samye Monastery: founded in 779 AD, is in a green valley among barren mountains surrounded by a village. Samye Monastery is one of the most imposing sights of Tibet. Built between 763 and 75 AD and modeled on the University of Otantapuri in India, it was planned as a representation of the universe. O/N at Hotel in Tsedang (BB)
Later after lunch we drive to Lhasa for overnight stay. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)
Day 03: Lhasa –Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Market (3600m/11811ft):
After an early breakfast, you will be escorted by your guide to the beautifully landscaped Drepung Monastery, the Jokhang temple and the Barkhor market.
Drepung Monastery: is a beautifully landscaped monastery where you can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses
Jokhang Temple: A seventh-century geomantic temple at the heart of Lhasa is the most sacred temple in Tibet. It is considered to be a Power Place in the Tibetan region. Queen Bhrikuti, a Nepalese princess married to King Songtsen Gampo founded Jokhang Temple, and in recognition of Queen Bhrikuti the main gate of the temple faces west towards Nepal. Princes Bhrikuti was the reason behind the special friendship between Tibet and Nepal till date. The most impressive structure of the Jokhang Temple are the many chapels surrounding the temple.
Barkhor Market (Bazar): The most popular Barkhor Market (Bazaar) is a square where Tibetan handicraft items, Buddhist artifacts, carpets, paintings etc. are all in sale for your delight.At the end of the day your guide will escort you back to your hotel. Lhasa offers variety of Restaurant for both Lunch and
Dinners. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)
Day 04: Lhasa – Potala Palace, Norbukinka and Tibet Museum (3600m/11811ft):
After an early breakfast, you will be escorted by your guide to the majestic Potala Palace, the Jewel Park and the Tibetan Museum.
Potala Palace: Also known as the “winter palace”. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. is a 13th storied complex monument rising to a height of above 117m which houses 10,000 shrines and over 200,000 images and about 1000 rooms.As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas.
Norbulinka Palace: Also called the “Jewel Park”, is a large open area about four kilometers to the west of Lhasa, and referred to as the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Since the time of the Eight Dalai Lama, the park has been used as a summer palace, retreat and recreation area for the successive Dalai Lamas.
Tibet Museum: the official museum in Lhasa, inaugurated on October 5, 1999, it is the first large-sized modern museum in the Tibet Autonomous Region. It has a permanent collection related to the cultural history of Tibet. The museum has a collection of around 1000 artifacts, from examples of Tibetan art to architectural design throughout history such as Tibetan doors and beams. The museum focuses on the different dynastic periods of Tibetan history. The museum has many seals, books, official documents and gifts from Emperors. Tourists can see the original copy of the 17-point agreement signed in 1951 marking Tibet’s re-unification with China.
After the tour your guide will escort you back to your hotel. O/N at hotel in Lhasa (BB)
Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed inside the Potala palace every day, the order of sightseeing places will be decided upon by your guide.
Day 05: Drive Lhasa Tsurphu (4300m/14104 ft), 70km, 1hr to Nam Tso Lake (4718m/15475ft) 230 km, 5 hrs:
Today you will be taken on an excursion to one of the most beautiful places in Tibet. We drive 70km to Tsurphu monastery and then further continue approx. 230 km to Namtso Lake.
Tsurphu Monastery: the monastery which served as the traditional seat of the Karmapa. It is located in Gurum town, 70 km from Lhasa. The monastery is about 14,000 feet (4,300 m). It is built in the middle of the valley facing south with high mountains surrounding the monastery complex. Tsurphu was founded by the first Karmapa in 1159, he laid the foundation for an establishment of a seat there by making offerings to the local protectors. The monastery grew to hold 1000 monks. It was totally destroyed in 1966 during the Cultural Revolution but was rebuilt in 1980 by the 16th Karmapa.
Nam Tso Lake: In Tibetan, Nam Tso means ‘Heavenly Lake.’ It is one among the three holy lakes in Tibet. NamTso lake is the highest saltwater lake in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) at an altitude of 4718 m. It covers a vast area of about 740 square miles. The crystal-clear water of this lake and the scenic beauty of its surrounding are sure to leave you spellbound.
Noted: Opportunity to experience the Yak Ride (Yaks are found mostly over 4000m elevation and is the most important animal in Tibet) and see Tibetan Mastiff Dog in Khampa La pass (extra cost).
Offer “Lungta” and prayers flag (printed prayers for the peace and good health/happiness) together with your Tibetan Guide. Offering Lungta in high passes and temple is believed to bring good fortune and long life in Tibetan culture
After the tour your guide will escort you back to your Guest house. O/N at Guest House in Nam Tso (BB)
highes fresh water lake in Tibet
Day 06: Day trip to Tashi Do:
After breakfast, we shall embark on a day hike toward Tashi Do following shore of Namtso Lake and explore caves, Nomads tented house ride on a Yak and visit monastery. Return to Guest house. O/N Guest House (BB)
Tashi Do temple
Hike around the Namtso Lake to Tashi Do temple
Day 07: Drive back to Lhasa (3600m/11811ft) km, hrs:
After breakfast we drive back to Lhasa. En-route visit Yampachen hot spring pool. O/N Hotel in Lhasa.
Pilgrimage to holy Namtso Lake
Pilgrimage to holy Namtso Lake
Day 08: Day trip to DrakYerpa: Drak Yerpa:
45 km northeast from Lhasa, Drak Yerpa the historic complex of caves and temples.
There are a number of small temples shrines and hermitages and the cliffs contain some of the earliest known meditation sites in Tibet, some dating back to pre-Buddhist times. Among the more famous are those traditionally connected with Songtsän Gampo (604–650 CE), (traditionally the 33rd king of the Yarlung Dynasty and first emperor of a united Tibet). His Tibetan queen, Monza Triucham, founded the Dra Yerpa temple here.
He and his two foreign-born queens are said to have meditated in the ‘Peu Marsergyi Temple’ and in the ‘Chogyel Puk’, and to have discovered ‘self-originated’ symbols of the Buddha-body, speech and mind. Padmasambhava, or Guru Rinpoche (late 8th to early 9th century), meditated and practiced tantric yoga with his yogini Yeshe Tsogyal here, and to have spent 7 months in meditation in the ‘Dawa Puk’, which is considered to be one of his three most important places of attainment.
After this, Yerpa became one of the three most important centres of meditation and retreat in Central Tibet. Several of Guru Rinpoche’s disciples are also said to have meditated here. Atisha (982 – 1054 CE) preached extensively in the valley. Atisha’s hermitage is in ruins but had 300 monks in the 19th century and was the summer quarters for the Ramoche Monastery (the Upper Tantric College).
Day 09: Drive to Gyantse via Yamdrok Tso (3950m /12956ft) 265km, 4 hrs:
Moving along the Friendship Highway, you drive past Khamba La, at 4970 meter with a brief halt to savor majestic views of Yamdrok-Tso Lake and Mt. Nojin Kangsang, standing at 7191m. On turning westwards, you come across another pass, Karo La at 5045m. After driving 265 km, beautifully landscaped Tibetan villages become visible as you enter the town of Gyantse, an old Tibetan Town against a backdrop of magnificent 14th-15th century fortresses and temples. Here we will visit the Khumbum Monastery and Pelkhor Chode Temple. O/N at Hotel in Gyantse (BB)
Khumbum monastery: is a large gold-domed Stupa and its many small chapels house an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. It is an architectural masterpiece built in the style of 108-sided Mandela. It is the most revered Stupa in Tibet and houses 112 chapels of which only 23 are open to the public.
Pelkhor Chode Temple: which is a fort dating from the 14th century. From there you can enjoy the spectacular views of Gyantse and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley.
Yamdrok Tso Lake
Yamdrok Tso Lake
Day 10: Drive to Shigatse. Visit Shalu enroute (3,900m/12795ft) 90km, 1hr.
After exploring Gyantse, you will take a 90 km drive to Shigatse. Having driven to an average altitude of 3900 m, you find yourself at Shigatse, second largest city of Tibet. Tashilumpho Monastery being one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet is a major attraction of Shigatse. Enrotue to Shigatse we visit the Shalu monastery.
Shalu Monastery: ‘Shalu’ means ‘new bud’ in Tibetan Language. Shalu Monastery, situated 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Shigatse, is a perfect combination of Han and Tibet architectural styles. In 1320, it was administered by Master Purdain Renqen Zhuba, a renowned religious scholar who compiled the Tenjur sutra, one of the classic woks of
. It is said that about 3,800 monks were drawn to his teaching. Therefore, the monastery became a holy site for many worshipers. Since many Chinese artisans were assigned to reconstruction work, it integrated both Han and Tibetan architectural styles.
An interesting anecdote lies behind this interesting name. A monk named Jigzun Xerab Qoinnyai wanted to build a monastery to spread doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism. He consulted his teacher about the construction site. His teachers suggested a site where a shooting arrow fell. The arrow fell in a new bud, hence the name.
Shigatse the capital of Tsang Province was one of the first towns to be visited by westerners due to close distance with the Indian border. Here in Shigatse you will be visiting Tashilumpho Monastery. This monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. There are about 39 amazing chapels inside including the huge Maitreya Chapel coated with gold; its workmanship certainly impresses everyone.After detailed visit of Shigatse, we will visit the local markets for shopping and local sightseeing. O/N at Hotel in Shigatse (BB)
Stupa in Tashilumphu Monastery
Day 11: Drive to Shegar. Visit Sakya en-route (4200m /13776ft) 300 km, 5hrs:
Today you will traverse along the Friendship Highway amidst picturesque landscape driving past small town of Lhatse and Gyantso La pass at 5220m. As the route opens into plains, many monasteries and camps of nomadic herders become visible en route to Shegar. En-route you will Visit Sakya Monastery which is a “must-see” for all the visitors to Tibet. It is the central monastery of Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Its walls were painted in red, white and grey strips, which represent Manjushree, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani respectively. O/N at Hotel in Shegar (BB).
Day 12: Drive to Zhangmu ( Nepali - Tibet border ) (2300m/7544ft) 300km, 5hrs:
Zhnngmmu border Town
Zhnngmmu border Town
You will drive past Tingri crossing Lalung La pass at 5050m and Thong La pass at 5150m. Savoring the enchanting views of the surrounding peaks of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar, Melarapa Cave before Nyalam you descend from the arid Tibetan Plateau to verdant Zhangmu on the Nepali and Tibet border.. After driving for 300 km, you find yourself amidst the lush and verdant vegetation of Zhangmu at 2300m Zhangmu is a small border town teetering on a precipitous hillside. It serves as the main port of entry into Tibet when coming overland to and from Nepal. O/N at Hotel in Zhangmu (BB)
Day 13: Drive to Kathmandu (1300m/4265ft) 123 km, 5hrs:
After breakfast we drive down to the Chinese Immigration, Zhangmu. The Friendship Bridge across Bhote Koshi River brings you closer to Immigration Control in Kodari where you will part with your Tibetan guide and driver and walk across the river to meet your Nepalese escort who will drive you to Kathmandu. After 5 hours of driving for 123 km along Bungy jump site, Dhulikhel you finally arrive in Kathmandu.The Nepali foothills and the greenery will make the drive pleasant and enjoyable.
Note: Offer Prayer flag or Lungta (string of prayer flag) in high passes, temple for good fortune or long life.