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13 Days Epic Adventure from Kathmandu to Lhasa Namtso and Everest

13 Days Epic Adventure from Kathmandu to Lhasa Namtso and Everest

(KTT004) Kathmandu - Lhasa - Namtso Lake - Damxung - Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Everest Base Camp - Gyirong - Kathmandu

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Overview

One of the best multi-destination trips in the Himalayas, this 13-day epic adventure from Nepal to Lhasa, Lake Namtso, and Everest Base Camp is a great way to explore a little more of the areas of Tibet outside the holy city. Taking you from the beautiful Kathmandu Valley to the City of Sunshine and Mount Everest , this is the best way to visit the best scenery at both sides of Mount Everest.

Beginning in the picturesque Kathmandu Valley, you'll tour iconic sites like Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath, as well as Royal Squares in Patan, Kathmandu, and Bhaktapur. Afterward, a scenic flight takes you across the Himalayas to Lhasa, where you'll discover the grandeur of the Potala Palace, the serenity of the Jokhang Temple, and local monasteries.

Continuing north, you'll visit the sacred Lake Namtso, one of Tibet's Great Three Sacred Lakes, before returning to Lhasa. Then, journey west to explore Shigatse and Everest Base Camp, followed by a border crossing into Nepal at Gyirong Port. Finally, enjoy a scenic drive back to Nepal's captivating capital.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu, you are welcomed by the hospitable meeting and then you will be transferred to your hotel.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Insider Tips:
1. For Chinese Group Visa application, make sure you arrive in Kathmandu in advance and please visit Tibet Vista’s office in Kathmandu at least 4 working days before you go.

2. You need to provide the original passport and pay the visa fee and service fee, so that our staff can apply for the Chinese Group Visa on your behalf.

Day 2: Kathmandu Day Tour - Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath, and Patan City

You will start the day trip with a visit to Kathmandu City and take in the famous Kathmandu Durbar Square. The most famous square in the city, the Durbar Square is the Royal Palace square in the city and is surrounded by ancient buildings from the early 16th century. The magnificent architecture, exquisite decorations, and the intensity of historical items give a great insight into Nepali culture.

Then, you will continue the tour with a visit to the Swayambhunath Pagoda, which is one of the oldest Buddhist sites in Nepal. Swayambhunath is a huge golden stupa festooned with prayer flags that flutter in the breeze, on a hill that overlooks the entire city. Then it is on to Patan City, the second largest city in the Kathmandu Valley area. Patan City has one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Nepal that dates back to the 12th century and is a great place to explore the Buddhist culture of Nepal.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 3: Kathmandu Day Tour - Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur City

In the morning, you will first visit the ancient Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath, one of the largest stupas in Asia, and a focal point for Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Set on the banks of the Baghmati River, Pashupatinath is one of Nepal’s famous UNESCO sites, and the sunset over the temple roofs is spectacular.

After that, you will visit another great place, Boudhanath, located on the ancient trade route. It is a place of meditation and part of the spiritual journey around Kathmandu. With one of the largest stupas in the world, it has been the site of many Tibetan prayers over the centuries. 

Last, you will visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square with its pagoda and shikhara temples strewn around the royal palace. The square really highlights the ancient building arts of Nepal.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 4: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa

Taking direct flight from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport to Lhasa Gonggar Airport.

After arriving in Lhasa, you will meet our friendly Tibetan guide at Lhasa Gongga Airport. The guide and the driver will take you to your hotel in downtown Lhasa. You may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River/Brahmaputra River (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa River.

After settling into your hotel, take some time to rest and adjust to the high altitude.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 5: Lhasa Tour - Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery (B)

In the morning, you’ll explore the largest monastery in Tibet - Drepung Monastery, which was once the home to over 10,000 monks. As you walk through the Coqen Hall, your guide will provide detailed explanations of the worldview of Tibetan Buddhism and introduce notable figures in Tibetan Buddhist history.

Next, you’ll visit the renowned Loseling College (or an equivalent), offering a glimpse into the study and life of Tibetan monks. Explore their dormitories to gain insights into the Tibetan monks' daily routines and living conditions.

In the afternoon, you’ll head to Sera Monastery, another of the  ‘great three’ Gelug monasteries of Tibet, to witness the famous Tibetan Monks Debate (15:00 - 17:00, from Monday to Saturday). Your guide will intricately explain how Tibetan monks engage in these debates to acquire knowledge and advance in their academic degrees.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 6: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street (B)

After breakfast, your first stop is the Potala Palace, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Lhasa Old Town. Discover the lives and stories of the Dalai Lamas through history within the palace, and the extraordinary treasures it holds. The most valuable collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.

After touring the Potala Palace, you will visit Longwangtan Park at the foot of the Potala Palace. Here, you can appreciate the majestic Potala Palace from a different perspective and engage in local Tibetan folk activities.

In the afternoon, you will head to the heart of Tibetan religion - the Jokhang Temple. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve. Outside, you can see pilgrims making prostrating in front of Jokhang Temple. Around the temple is Barkhor Street, where you can do kora (a religious circle of a building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals, and explore the old market.

Next, follow your guide to one of the liveliest indoor Tibetan tea houses in Lhasa. Sip traditional Tibetan sweet tea alongside local Tibetans as your guide shares insights into Tibetan social dynamics and daily life.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 7: Lhasa - Namtso Lake - Damxung (B)

This is the day of holy Lake Namtso!

In the morning, heading north from Lhasa, you’ll pass through the vast prairie in Damxung, where you can see the closest nomads area to Lhasa, with herds of yaks and sheep. Besides, you can also enjoy the view of the Qinghai-Tibet railway against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

While crossing the snow-capped Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain Rainges, pause at the renowned Lagenla Pass (5190m) to marvel at the stunning vista of holy Namtso Lake from a distance. Descend the road to reach today’s destination, Namtso Lake, one of the ‘Three Holy Lakes’ in Tibet.

Upon reaching the lake, you can enjoy your time doing a leisurely trek around Tashi Dor Island and along the lakeshore. For a panoramic view of Namtso Lake, climb to the top of the hill on Tashi Dor Island, where the circular lake resembles a boundless blue sea surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Marvel at the magical stone pillars and peaks, and explore meditation caves and Buddhist holy sites on the island with your travel guide.

After visiting Namtso Lake, you will return to Damxung via the mountain pass.

Stay overnight in Damxung.

Insider Tips:
1. If you are interested in witnessing the beautiful sunset at Namtso Lake, you can stay longer for the sunset. Please tell your travel consultant or your travel guide before departure.

Due to the higher altitude of Lake Namtso, standing at 4718 meters above sea level, it tends to be colder than Lhasa. It is advisable to bring a warm jacket with you for today’s visit.

Day 8: Damxung to Lhasa via Chimelong Nunnery and Tsurphu Monastery

After breakfast, you will first visit Chimelong Nunnery (Phyirmil Lung Nunnery), the largest nunnery near Lhasa. Roam over the peaceful nunnery and get an idea of different Buddhist studies in Tibet, you may also spot a sky burial site (Tibet funeral site) in the distance.

Then, head to Tsurphu Monastery, the oldest monastery in Tibet. It is the seat of the Karmapa branch of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism and is also the birthplace of the system of reincarnated living Buddhas in Tibet. Here, you can learn more about the ‘Black Hats', the Karma Kagyupa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

At the end of the day, return to Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 9: Lhasa to Shigatse via Gyantse 360 km (B,L)

In the morning, start the overland journey from Lhasa to Shigatse, which includes visits to Tibet's most beautiful lake, glacier, and charming Tibetan villages.

First, drive over the Gampala Pass (4790 m) to catch a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m). The Yamdrok Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance you can have spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar (7191m), the highest mountain near Lhasa. Continue to explore the lakeshore from various viewpoints, and at the end of the lake, you could visit a local family in the village and have lunch with the locals.

Next, you will pass and enjoy the Korola Glacier on the roadside. It is the largest glacier in Tibet. As you see the ice tongue of the glacier climb the entire hillside, you will feel the magical power of nature.

Then, continue your journey to Gyantse. On the way, you will stop at Simila Mountain Pass, where you can hang prayer flags to pray for world peace and the health of your family.

After arriving in Gyantse, you can spend some time taking photos of the ancient city of Gyantse. From Gyantse to Shigatse, you will pass by green (in summer) and golden (in autumn) Tibetan barley fields and countless farms.

Finally, we will arrive in Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. After checking in to the hotel, you can take a good rest and prepare for the next day’s trip to Mount Everest.

Stay overnight in Shigatse.

Day 10: Shigatse to Everset Base Camp (5200m) (B)

After breakfast, you will head directly to Mount Everest.

First, you will pass Gyatsola Pass (5280m). At Gyatsola Pass viewpoint, you’ll catch your first glimpse of Mount Everest. Hidden behind the mountain range, the Everest resembles a budding lotus flower, a captivating sight along the roadside.

Shortly after we enter Mount Everest National Nature Reserve, you will enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayas at Gawula Pass (5198m). At this viewpoint, you will marvel at the majestic lineup of the five highest peaks in the Himalayas, including Everest at the forefront. This is your second glimpse of Everest.

Then we drive along the new zigzag road to Everest Base Camp (5200m). As you get close to the base camp, the majestic Everest gradually unfolds before you, drawing nearer with each winding turn. This marks your third view of Everest.

Upon reaching Everest Base Camp, the colossal white pyramid peak of Mount Everest stands towering before you. As the day transitions to dusk, witness the golden hues of the sun casting a warm glow on Everest's northern face—your fourth view.

As night falls, the sparkling Milky Way and the snow-white peak of Mount Everest reveal your fifth and final encounter with Everest.

Stay overnight at Everest Base Camp or in the local village near EBC if the EBC tent hotels are closed during the winter season.

Insider Tips:
1. The visibility of Everest is subject to weather conditions and cannot be guaranteed.

2. During the winter season, typically from November to March, the tent hotels at Everest Base Camp close. Therefore, if you’re traveling in winter, your accommodation options are limited to the village near EBC.

Day 11: Everest Base Camp to Gyirong Border

Today, you will reach Gyirong Border, witnessing the breathtaking landscapes changing from 5200 meters to 2800 meters above sea level.

In the morning, before departing from the base camp, you will visit Rongbuk Monastery, the world’s highest monastery, where nuns and monks live together at 5154 meters above sea level.

Then, you will cross the Himalayas and take a drive to Gyirong at the Sino-Nepal border. Across the 380-kilometer journey, marvel at the evolving scenery - from snow-capped peaks towering over 5000 meters to the lush forests and canyon vistas at around 2800 meters above sea level.

As you pass by Mt. Shishabangma (8027 meters), one of the world’s highest mountains over 8000 meters, you can enjoy a close view of the three main peaks of Shigabangma, as well as the golden glow of Pelku Tso Lake beneath the peaks.

Afterward, the altitude drops dramatically. You’ll be mesmerized by forests, waterfalls, and bottomless canyons as you enter the edge of the Himalayas.

When you arrive in Gyirong Valley, what you will see is the dense forest and the snowy peaks above the forests. In Gyirong town, you can breathe in the abundant oxygen.

We will say goodbye to Tibet here.

Stay overnight in Gyirong.

Day 12: Gyirong Border to Kathmandu (B)

After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to your Tibetan guide and driver. Our Nepali staff at the Nepal border port will warmly welcome you, assist you in applying for a Nepal visa, and be responsible for carrying large luggage (at your own expense). We ensure a safe transfer for you to your hotel in Kathmandu with Tibet Vista’s vehicle.

Stay Overnight in Kathmandu.

Insider Tips:
The cost of the border transfer service is not included in the package price and requires an additional fee of 60 USD per person.

Day 13: Depart from Kathmandu

Today marks the end of your tour.

Please make sure to verify your departure flight/train details with our guide in advance. And your guide will take you to the airport or train station.

Tour service end.

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of Nepal and China;
  • China Group Visa (Need to be applied through the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu);
  • Nepal visa;
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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