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12 Days Best Family Expedition Tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu

12 Days Best Family Expedition Tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu

(TNT012) Lhasa - Gyangtse - Shigatse - Everest Base Camp - Gyirong Port - Kathmandu

Great News: Lhasa and Kathmandu overland trip is available NOW.

Gyirong Port, the new Sino-Nepal border, finally reopened to International Tourists by the end of Aug, 2017. So instead of taking Kathmandu-Lhasa flight to Tibet, international tourists can again enjoy the adventurous Kathmandu-Lhasa overland journey.


Enjoy an action-packed family adventure from Lhasa to Kathmandu; the 12-day expertly-crafted tour takes you to visit the best highlights from Lhasa to Kathmandu. You may also enjoy the off-the-beaten route to renowned Buddhist retreats and savor the leisurely trek in central Tibet before heading to EBC, etc. The inspiring activities and thrilling discovery will make it a lasting memory for your family.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lhasa (3650m)

• Receive the auspicious White Hada and Tibet Travel guide from our Tibetan guide;
• Enjoy the welcome ceremony at the airport or railway station;
• Get a glimpse of Potala Palace and holy Lhasa city;

Meals: Not Included.

Hotel in Lhasa.

Upon your arrival in Lhasa, our Tibetan guide will be greeting you at the airport or train station with auspicious white Hada. Then you will be transferred to hotels in Lhasa. The guide will briefly introduce the itineraries and remind you about other dos and dont's for newcomers. To quickly get acclimatized to Tibetan plateau, it’s better to have a good rest in the hotel.

Insider Tips:
For the new-comers to Tibet, never rush to visit attractions downtown as your body needs time to get acclimatized to the high altitude on Tibetan Plateau. Slight headache, dizziness, and rapid pulse are pretty common. They will disappear in a couple of days. Or you may use the oxygen bar in your hotel to ease any discomfort due to altitude ascent. Feel anything you need, please feel free to reach your Tibetan guide.

Day 2: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

• Explore the White House and Red House in Potala Palace;
• Enjoy the bird’s eye view of Lhasa city from Potala;
• Visit the sandalwood statue of Sakyamuni in Potala; the life-size statue of Sakyamuni in Jokhang;
• Experience the famous Barkhor Kora;
• Taste Tibetan sweet tea and other local food;

Our first stop is to visit the Potala Palace, the UNESCO world heritage site and the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Walking slowly along the long stone steps to the White and Red Palaces, you can explore the former residence of Dalai Lama and his meeting room and religious chamber. You can see the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. A bird's-eye view of Lhasa city and Lhasa valley from the top of Potala Palace will take your breath away.

After we have lunch and then we will head to holy Jokhang Temple.It's the most sacred Buddhist site in Tibet. Outside the temple, you will witness pious Tibetan pilgrims, young and old, prostrating themselves in front of Jokhang and long lines of Tibetans following the Barkhor circuit. Inside, traveling in dim butter light, you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve,perhaps the single most venerated object in Tibet Buddhism.You may reach the top of Jokhang Temple to enjoy the panorama of old Lhasa city and great vista of Potala Palace.

Then we may do the kora by circling the Barkhor Street with pilgrims and locals and buy some souvenirs. Never miss the chance to enjoy the tasty sweet tea in local tea house and visit Tromzikhang, the famous farm produce market.

Meal: Breakfast.

Hotel in Lhasa.

Insider Tips:
As each traveler only has one hour for visiting Potala Palace, do closely follow our guide’s guidance; walk slowly and take a rest if needed when you hike the Potala Palace;
Dress properly when visiting the Buddhist site and no photo is allowed inside the Buddhist hall.

Day 3: Lhasa Tour - Drak Yerpa Monastery and Sera Monastery

• Climb the enchanting valley around Yerpa Monastery;
• Explore and mediate in the caves of Yerpa Monastery;
• Watch the animated monk debate in Sera Monastery;

Enjoy the scenic ride, 32km from downtown Lhasa; we will arrive at renowned Drak Yerpa hermitage, one of the best off-the-beaten paths for Buddhist exploration. Follow the steps slowly to hike to the monastery; then visit multiple meditation caves used by Guru Rinpoche and King Songtsen Gampo; You may briefly meditate in the caves, if you want.

In the afternoon, you will visit Sera Monastery which is another one of the “Great Three” Gelug Monasteries of Tibet and founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. The highlight is the monks’ debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon.

Meal: Breakfast.

Hotel in Lhasa.

Insider Tips:
Walk slowly when visiting Drak Yerpa Hermitage (4,885m) for its high altitude. While meditating in the open air, take precautions against powerful UV light and chilly wind on the lofty mountain passes.

Day 4: Travel from Lhasa to Shalu Monastery via Gyantse (around 340km, 6hrs48min)

• Enjoy the turquoise Yamdrok Lake and vista of snowy Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar;
• Closely explore the Karola Glacier;
• Hang prayer flags at Simila mountain pass;
• Climb the Nepali-style Gyantse Kumbum in Pelkor Monastery;
• Enjoy the vista of magnificent Gyantse Fortess;
• Explore the Lakhang temple and murals in Shalu Monastery;

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shalu Monastery. On the way, drive over the Gampala pass (4790 m), and you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m) .The 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 .

Later, we will pass and enjoy the Karola Glacier on the roadside; At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang pray flag at Simila Mountain Pass; Then, we will arrive in Gyantse, historically Tibet's third-largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse).In Gyantse, we will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy the Far view of Gyangtse Fortress.

Our journey continues to Shalu Monastery, the seat of Buton. Rinchendrub(1290-1346), who was the great master of the Tibetan translations of the Indian Buddhist. We will have a brief visit of Shalu Monastery. It’s also the starting point of the next two days’ scenic trek. move to the best camping site few km away from Shalu; we will have our first camping in here.

Meal: Breakfast.

Camp around Shalu Monastery.

Insider Tips:
If you take photos with well-adorned Tibetan mastiff at Yamdrok Lake or locals at Karola Glacier, they may charge you some money. If you don’t want the hassle, you may refuse for the photo.

Day 5: Shalu (3980m) to upper Lungsang(4060m) (5-6hrs trek, 12km, Camp)

• Pass the Ripu hermitage;
• Enjoy the enchanting wilderness in central Tibet;

We start trekking after breakfast at the camp to Upper Lungsang which is 4060m above sea level. on the way, you will pass Ripu hermitage, flood plain, Phunup village, showa-la pass. In this way, you will experience the Tibetan farmer's countryside life and see how local Tibetans in countryside practicing their Buddhist life.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Camp at upper Lungsang.

Day 6: Trek to Ngor Monastery and Nartang Monastery and Move to Shigatse (5-6hrs trek, 14km)

• Enjoy the Sanskrit and murals in Nartang monastery;

Trek through the farming fields to the Ngor village. The Ngor monastery is renowned for its Sanskrit library and Newar-style(a tribe in Nepal) murals. There were once five assembly halls, 18 colleges and 400 monks. Cross the Char-la pass(4550m), which was once a trade link between Shalu and Sakya Monastery, but now has disappeared.

Need to trek cross a steep slope of raw expanses of rock. Trek from Ngor to Nartang by passing several villages, saddles, and one electric utility. After a brief visit to the Nartang Monastery, we will drive to Shigatse City, the second biggest city of Tibet, also the seat of Pamcham Lama.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch.

Hotel in Shigatse.

Day 7: Shigatse (3900m) to Everest Base Camp (5200m) (7hrs 45min 340km)

• Visit the golden statue of Future Buddha and assembly hall in Tashilunpo Monastery;
• Gaze at top 4 highest peaks at renowned Gawu La Pass (5198m);
• Marvel at the sublime Mt. Everest at EBC;
• Spend the night in traditional Yak tent;

In the morning, we will visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. Then, we’ll leave Shigatse after getting your Alien’s travel permit, and then drive to Lhatse, it is a small town where you can have lunch.

After that,we will pass Tsola Pass (4600m),and Gyatsola Pass (5248m).Shortly after we enter Mt. Everest National Nature Reserve, tourists can enjoy the panorama of Himalaya at Gawula Pass (5198m).Then we drive along the New zigzag road to Everest Base Camp (5200m).You can get closer to gaze at the Mt. Everest peak.The sunset of golden Everest peak if time and weather permit at the lodging area.

Meal: Breakfast.

Tented camps or Rongbuk Monastery guesthouse.

Insider Tips:
Our guide will stop at Lhatse to get travel formalities (alien’s travel permit) for you to visit EBC and the lunch will also be arranged at Lhatse.

Due to the altitude ascent, you may feel shortness of breath or dizziness. Our well-trained Tibetan guide has oxygen supply prepared for you and ensure your travel safety by metering your oxygen saturation sporadically; even the oxygen chamber is ready for treating acute altitude sickness.

Due to the extreme altitude and remoteness of EBC, the lodging amenities and food are very basic. So, do play down your expectation. The epic view will make it up for your ordeal. You may also prepare some snacks or food in Shigatse before leaving for EBC. Do wear enough down jacket and headwear or other protection for the chilly wind, and only filthy pit toilet is available, so try avoiding it unless it’s necessary.

Tented camps at EBC are available from mid-April to mid-Oct. Other than that, the humble Rongbuk guesthouse is the only option.

Day 8: EBC to Gyirong (Kyirong) Border (370km, 8-9 hrs)

• Enjoy the close-up view of the breathtaking sunrise over Mt. Everest;
• Explore the world’s highest Buddhist compound;
• Receive a certificate for making it to EBC;

Have an early rise for the dramatic spectacle of sunrise over the summit of Mt. Everest; you will find that you are not alone for the long-awaited sunrise over the world’s highest peak, together with dozens of well-equipped photographers. Do bundle up for the biting wind outside.

Later, stroll to tour the legendary Rongbuk Monastery (5154m), the world’s highest Buddhist site where pious nuns and monks coexist. You will also be awarded a certificate for making it to EBC.

Say farewell to the lofty Mt. Everest through the rear mirror as the tour vehicle runs westward to Gyirong County, close to Sino-Nepal Border. The route to Gyirong takes us right past the stunning Lake Peiku Tso, which lies at 4,591 meters above sea level, which is surrounded by the high mountains of the Himalayas. One of those high mountains is Mount Shishapangma (8,012m), the 14th highest peak in the world, and the only peak above 8,000 meters that is wholly inside Tibet.

Meal: Not included.

Hotel in Gyirong.

Insider Tips:
We even prepare binoculars for you to better enjoy the vista of Mt. Everest; the slope of Rongbuk Monastery would be a great vantage point to photograph Mt. Everest. The rest of the tour from Himalayan Range to Kathmandu involves a roll-coaster ride all the way down the south. As the altitude gets growingly lower, more vegetation will give you ample oxygen. While only the guesthouse and 3-star hotels are available at Sino-Nepal border. However, we handpick the best-value hotels for your lodging. You'd better prepare some cash for dealing with travel formalities (such as Nepal Visa) when crossing the border to Nepal tomorrow.

Day 9: Exit China through Kyirong Border(2600m), then drive to Kathmandu (130km, around 7hrs)

• Enjoy scenic valley around Sino-Nepal border;
• Take a peek at the remote Nepali villages;
• Reach the vibrant Kathmandu City;

Follow the guide's advice to go through the customs; our Nepali guide and drivers are expecting you on the other side of the border. Simple leave your luggage and hassles to them and enjoy jeep transfer service to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Meal: Breakfast.

Hotel in Kathmandu.

Insider Tips:
The initial 10km's treacherous mountain road is particularly bumpy. A great suggestion to avoid motion sickness is not to eat too much for the breakfast. Our jeep transfer service will take you directly to your hotels in Kathmandu.

Day 10: Full-day Sightseeing in Kathmandu

• Explore the medieval temples and palaces of Kathmandu Durbar Square;
• Tour the towering Swayambhunath Stupa, ruled by monkeys;

After breakfast, full day valley sightseeing with Kathmandu Durbar Square, the place of the Malla and then the Shah Kings of Nepal, visiting Kumari Temple, house of the virgin goddess, visiting Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), a stupa on the top of hill - from here you can overlook the scenery of Kathmandu, Visiting Patan Durbar Square, the second largest town in the valley, Krishna Mandir, Golden Temple etc.

Meal: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 11: Full-day Sightseeing in Kathmandu

• Visit the famous Hindu temple Pashupatinath;
• Trace the connection between Nepali and Tibetan culture at Boudhanath stupa;
• Visit the Bhaktapur's Dubar Square filled with drying pot and local artisans;

After breakfast, we will take you a glimpse of half day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley; Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most important Hindu temple in Nepal. We keep going for walk to see the huge stupa of Buddha, also known as Boudhanath, the largest stupa in Nepal. Afterward taking a ride to Bhaktapur, a fascinating town, visit Bhaktapur's Dubar Square featuring the Victorian illustrations style with temples and temples complex.

Meal: Breakfast.

Hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 12: Departure

A few hours before your flight out of Nepal, our staff will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the Tribhuvan Airport for the onward flight.

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 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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