13 Day Classic Tibet Nepal Bhutan Overland Tour
(TNBT001) Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Tingri - EBC - Gyirong - Kathmandu - Paro -Thimpu - Paro
Escorted by private guide and vehicle; leave 365 days a year!
Easy - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
Trip Level Guide:
- Easy - suitable for all level of fitness, family with kids and senior groups.
- Moderate - suitable for ones with average level fitness, family with kids bigger than 12 yrs.
- Moderate to Strenous - suitable for ones physically fit; have experiences of high altitude trek.
- Strenuous: suitable for adventures and individual with physically fit and healthy.
Covering three separate countries, this 13-day tour includes Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan in an overland expedition to beat them all, as well as a short-hop flight across borders to visit the beautiful country of Bhutan. You can join the shuffling, murmuring pilgrims at the kora around Jokhang Temple, and take in the famous debating monks of Sera Monastery, as they debate frantically and expressively on the philosophy of Buddhism. You will cross the vast expanse of the Tibetan Plateau, the highest plateau in the world, and delve deep into the Kathmandu Valley, to explore Nepali culture, before flying across to Paro, in Bhutan, to take in some of the unique sights of the Bhutanese culture and religion.
At a GlanceDay 1
Arrive in LhasaDay 2
Lhasa tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street (B)Day 3
Lhasa tour - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery(B)Day 4
Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) via Gyantse (B)Day 5
Shigatse (3900m) to EBC (5200m) via Tingri (B)Day 6
EBC to Gyirong Border(370km)Day 7
Gyirong to Nepal Border (B) / transfer to KathmanduDay 8
Day tour in Kathmandu: Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Pantan City (B)Day 9
Day tour in Kathmandu: Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur CityDay 10
Arrival in Paro and Get Transferred to Thimpu (2300m) (2hrs drive)Day 11
Sightseeing in Thimpu and Drive back to Paro (1460m) (2 hrs. drive)Day 12
Day Trek to Taksang Lhakhang (Tinger’s Nest)Day 13
Departure from Paro
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa
When you arrive in Lhasa in the mid-afternoon, our guide will greet you warmly with the phrase, "Tashi Delek", which means 'wish you all the best'. Your tour guide will meet you at the exit of the station, and a private car will transport you to your hotel to allow you to rest and acclimatize for the rest of the day.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 2: Lhasa tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street (B)
The following day your first stop will be the world famous Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Sitting atop Moburi (Red Hill), the palace looks down on the town of Lhasa from its 3,750-meter vantage point. The temple dates back to the 7th century, and houses artifacts and works of art from throughout Tibetan History. The palace also has the gilded burial stupas of the past Dalai Lamas, and below ground lies the ancient meditation cave of the 33rd King of Tibet.
After some lunch, you will head downtown to Jokhang Temple, the primary seat of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built by the 33rd King of Tibet in 647AD, and is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest temple in Tibetan Buddhism. Inside sits the most precious object in the temple, a life-sized statue of Buddha Sakyamuni when he was just 12 years old. Adorned with many precious gems, this gilded statue is the most sacred object in Tibet.
Running around the temple is the famed Barkhor Street. As well as the route of the holy kora, or reli-gious circumambulation, it is also the site of many sellers where you can buy authentic souvenirs from across the region. You can join the pilgrims on their clockwise walk around the temple.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 3: Lhasa tour - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery(B)
The next morning you will leave early for a trip outside Lhasa, first to Drepung Monastery, one of the Great Three monasteries of the Gelugpa sect. Sitting at the foot of Gambo Utse, 5 kilometers outside Lhasa, it was founded by Jamyang Choge, one of the disciples of Tsong Khapa, in 1416. The Ganden Potrang, sited in the southwest corner of the monastery, was the former residence of the Dalai Lama, until the move to the Potala Palace.
In the afternoon you will travel back across the city to the northern suburbs, to visit Sera Monastery, another of the Great Three monasteries. Founded in 1419, the name, Sera, means "wild rose" in Tibetan, and was named because of the roses that were in bloom on the hill behind it when it was built. The main attraction of the monastery is the colorful and animated debating of the monks, held under the trees in the debating field every afternoon. Definitely something to watch, even if you do not understand what is said.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Day 4: Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m) via Gyantse (B)
In the morning our guide will drive you from Lhasa to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. En route to Shigatse you will pass over Gampala Pass, which lies at an elevation of 4,790 meters, and will pass the amazing Lake Yamdrok. At 4,400 meters above sea level, the lake lies nestled between lofty mountains, and you will see the holy mountain, Nyenchen Khangsar, its 7,191 meter peak standing tall in the distance.
The trip to Gyantse passes close by the Karola Glacier, and at Manak Dam Lake you will be able to hang a prayer flag at the Simila Mountain Pass. In Gyantse, you will get to visit the unique Pelkor Monastery, which is rare due to it housing three different sects of Tibetan Buddhism under one roof. You will also get to see the Gyantse Kumbum, a giant architectural stupa that stands 34 meters high.
After another hour and a half of driving you will reach Shigatse, and will be able to visit the traditional barley mill and in summer you can view the spectacular sight of the barley fields in full crop.
Stay overnight in Shigatse.
Day 5: Shigatse (3900m) to EBC (5200m) via Tingri (B)
Before leaving Shigatse, you will get to visit the seat of Tibet's second highest spiritual leader, the Panchen Lama, at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
After obtaining your Alien's Travel Permit, which is needed to tour this area, you will leave Shigatse for Lhatse, a small town where you can get a nice lunch. On the drive on to Shegar, weather permitting, you will get your first look at the amazing sight of Mt. Everest, or Mt. Quomolangma as it is called in Tibetan.
The route will go over the Tsola Pass, at 4,600 meters, and the Gyatsola Pass, which is higher at 5,248 meters. On entering the Mt. Everest National Nature reserve you will be able to enjoy the amazing panoramic view of the Himalayas as you travel over Gawula Pass, at an elevation of 5,198 meters. After arriving at Rongbuk you will be able to rest from the long drive, ready for the trip to EBC.
Stay overnight at Rongbuk Guest House.
Day 6: EBC to Gyirong Border(370km)
In the morning you will first visit Rongbuk Monastery. The highest monastery in the world, at 5,000 meters above sea level, it is part of the Nyingmapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and is unique in that both monks and nuns live together in the same monastery. From there it is a short hike of 4km to EBC, where you can take photos of the peak from the best vantage point, the closest place to Everest it is possible to get.
After EBC, you will drive to Gyirong port, taking in the breathtaking vista of Mt. Shishapangma and Pelkutso Lake. The road goes past the Ghungtang Lhamo, at 5,236 meters, and you will arrive in Gyirong in the late afternoon.
Stay overnight in a Gyirong Guest House.
Day 7: Gyirong to Nepal Border (B) / transfer to Kathmandu
In the morning, your guide will assist you to exit China, and will see you off at the border with Nepal. On the other side, our guide from Nepal will meet you and transfer you to Kathmandu, and your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to look around the area, or just rest in your hotel after the rigorous trip across Tibet.
Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
Day 8: Day tour in Kathmandu: Kathmandu City, Swayambhunath and Pantan City (B)
The day starts with a tour of Kathmandu City, and takes 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 gives a great insight into Nepali culture.
You then 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 9: Day tour in Kathmandu: Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Bhaktapur City
You will also get to go further afield in Nepal, to 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.
Another great place to see is 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. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the last place to visit for the day, 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 10: Arrival in Paro and Get Transferred to Thimpu (2300m) (2hrs drive)
Welcome to Bhutan, the land of the “thunder Dragon”. We’re sure you must get amazed at the stunning vista of majestic Himalayas, esp. the lofty Mt. Jumolhari and Jichu Drake Peaks during your flight from Kathmandu. However, they are only a small appetizer. Upon your arrival in Paro internatonal airport, our Bhutan guide and driver will be expecting you and later transfer you to your hotel.
After a brief rest at your hotel, in the afternoon, with time permitting, we may visit the Kyichu Lhakhang (also known as Kyerchu Temple), the oldest and most beautiful temple in Bhutan. Surrounded by the fields, flowers and hills, Kyichu Lhakhang is home to the eight-year-old Buddha statue of Sakyamuni, historic relics, elaborate paintings and numerous Buddhist scriptures, etc. And Later explore the Paro Rinpung Dzong. Located at the suburb of Paro City, Rinpung Dzong is a fortress built in the 17th Century to protect Paro valley, which offers you picturesque scenery and a sense of inner peace.
In the evening, we will head to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan and spend the night there.
Stay overnight in Thimphu
Day 11: Sightseeing in Thimpu and Drive back to Paro (1460m) (2 hrs. drive)
As the capital city of Bhutan, Thimpu is devoid of stereotyped skyscrapers and huge traffic. Instead, surrounding by rolling mountains, Thimpu is known for its picturesque Bhutan dzong, fresh air and loveable local people. Today’s tour begins with a visit to Late King's Memorial Chorten, and explore the National Library, Folk Heritage Museum and Hand-made Paper Factory, and the School of Arts and Crafts, where you will have a panoramic view of Bhutan history and learn more of textile and the handicraft making in the most traditional way.
Of course, the highlight comes as we tour the Tashichho Dzong (Thimpu Dzong), one of the most beautiful Bhutan dzongs as well as the headquarters of Bhutan government. Later, we will driver back to Paro.
Stay overnight in Paro
Day 12: Day Trek to Taksang Lhakhang (Tinger’s Nest)
Getting up in the fresh morning, we’ll start today’s trek to Taktshang Goemba (also known as Tiger's Nest).Standing on the cliff of Paro Valley, Taktshang Goemba (3120 meters) is the landmark of Paro as well as the holiest temple in Bhutan. It’s said that Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) had flied here on the back of a tigress and meditated in the caves on the cliffside for three months. From here, you can catch a panoramic view of Paro Valley.
After lunch, we move to visit the National Museum of Bhutan, which looks like a round watchtower. You can trace back to the ancient Bhutan history and explore the diverse wild lives as well as splendid local culture and arts. Finally, we drive to visit Drukgyel Dzong, where you can enjoy enchanting village lying at its foot.
Stay overnight in Paro
Day 13: Departure from Paro
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport, and help you with checking in for your flight home from Bhutan.
- 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;
- International flight to and out of China;
- Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
- 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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