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Tibet - Lhasa, Namtso Lake, Tsurpu 10 Days

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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 and Namtso Lake. 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 Shigatse and Gyantse.

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 (only airport that connects flights to and from Kathmandu (Tribhuwan International Airport) directly 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 Yumbu Lakhang in Tsedang.

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).

 


Nun outside the Samy

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)


yumbhulakhang

Later after lunch we drive to Lhasa for overnight stay. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)

Day 03:  Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Sera Monastery and Barkhor Market (3600m/11811ft): 

After breakfast you will be briefed about the day’s program. Then your guide will take you on a tour to Potala palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and Barkhor Market respectively.

Potala Palace (Red Palace) winter Palace of Dalai Lama: Also known as the “winter palace”. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. It is a 13th storied monument rising to a height of above 117m which houses 10,000 shrines, 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, King and spiritual leaders of ancient Tibet.


Devotee

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.

 Sera Monastery: This monastery is approx. 5km drive away from Lhasa. Sera Monastery was founded in 1419. It sits in the prettiest and most charming atmosphere at the base of Mount Purbuchok. Sera Monastery used to be an important center for learning where in the past approx. 5,000 to 6,000 monks resided. Currently about 550 monks are supposed to be living there. The important structures inside the monastery include Coqen Hall, (the main assembly hall), three Zhacangs (Buddhist colleges) and twenty-nine Khangtsens (monk dormitories).The most intriguing feature here is the nine-meter image of Maitraya which was erected in 1419; here one can also witness the practicing of debate among the monks, who pitch their knowledge against each other.

Barkhor Market (Bazaar): 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)

be decided upon by your guide.

Day 04:  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.


Namtso Lake 4700m

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) above sea level.  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)

Day 05: Drive back to Lhasa. Visit, Norbulinka Palace (3600m/11811ft), 230 km, 5hrs: 

After breakfast we drive back 230 km to Lhasa and visit the Norbulinka Palace or the ‘Jewel Park’.

 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.

At the end of the day your guide will escort you back to your hotel. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB).


Norbulinka

Day 06:  Drive to Gyantse (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.


Gyantse

Day 07:  Drive to Shigatse (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.


Tashilumphu Monastery

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 (Tomb of Panchen Lama, second highest spiritual leader of Tibetan). 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)

Day 08:  Drive to Shegar (4200m/13776ft) 300km, 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. O/N at Hotel in Shegar (BB)

 

Day 09: Drive to Zhangmu ( Nepali - Tibet border ) (2300m/7544ft) 300km, 5hrs: 

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)


En-route high pass

Day 10:  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.

SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Twin sharing accommodation as per the itinerary on bed & breakfast (BB) basis.
  • English speaking Tibetan Guide.
  • Transportation as per the itinerary by necessary vehicle.
  • Monastery entrance fee.
  • Tibet Travel permits.
  • Trip briefing by Tibet expert & entertain question.
  • Emergency mineral water in the vehicle.
  • Emergency portable oxygen cylinder in the vehicle.
  • Service of Porterage while crossing Friendship Bridge into Nepal (Nepal-China border).
  • Trip Information pack.
  • Gift pack (prayer flag or string of flag & paper prayer Lungta). or Lungta (string of prayer flag) in high passes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SERVICES EXCLUDED:
  • Tibet Visa Fee (Acceptable in US$ cash only).
  • Airfare: Kathmandu – Lhasa (Fare as per availability).
  • Travel insurance.
  • Expenses during any rescue operation.
  • Transportation: Kodari - Kathmandu or vice versa.
  • Nepal re-entry visa fee.
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Alcoholic beverages & bar bills.
  • All expenses of personal nature, phone calls, laundry etc.
  • Gratuity to staff.
  • Services of Porterage and other vehicles in between in case of landslides and other natural calamities beyond our control and expenses incurred during rescue services.
  • Additional portable oxygen cylinder (US$ 20 per bottle).
  • Services not mentioned herein.

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Basanta Adventure
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