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18 Days Spiritual Adventure to Tibet and Bhutan

18 Days Spiritual Adventure to Tibet and Bhutan

(TB--18) Lhasa - Shigatse - EBC - Kailash - Saga - Gyirong - Kathmandu - Paro - Thimpu - Punakha - Paro

Overview

Promising the ultimate spiritual experiences in both Tibet and Bhutan, the action-packed 18-day adventure takes you to visit EBC from Lhasa and further makes it to holy Mt.Kailash, the champion of sacred mountains in Tibet. By following the Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway to Kathmandu, you later fly to Paro and embark on an exciting discovery of pristine landscape and unspoiled Buddhist culture and local customs in Thimphu and Punakha. The epic spiritual odyssey and a physical challenge will push your travel experience to a whole new level.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa

When you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and escort you to your hotel with clean and comfortable tour van. Never miss the chance to capture the Yarlung Tsangpo River - the Longest and largest river in Tibet and Lhasa River on their way to Lhasa.

For the new-comers of Tibet, having a good sleep in your hotel is a good option. It helps you get acclimatized to Tibetan plateau quickly. Do not rush to visit attractions inside Lhasa city. Your guide will give you a briefing about tomorrow’s tour arrangement.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 2: Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Johkang Temple, and Barkhor Street (B, D)

Today's tour will first bring you to the Potala Palace which is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It was put to use since the 7th Century by the 33rd great king of Tibet. The most valuable collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.

Then after lunch, tourists head to Jokhang temple which was founded by the 33rd great king of Tibet in the 7th century. 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.

Besides, We can taste Tibetan tea with locals in tea house; The welcome dinner will also be arranged accordingly;

Optional:
With time permitting, you may go with your tour guide to visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center. You can upgrade your service to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD)

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 3: Lhasa Tour - Drepung and Sera Monastery (B)

In the morning, you are going to visit Drepung monastery which is one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet, founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. You can visit the biggest monastery kitchen inside the monastery and enjoy Buddhist Sculpture Carving workshop near Drepung.

In the Afternoon, Tourists will visit Sera Monastery which is another one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet. The hot attraction is the Monks debate at around 3 - 5 in the afternoon. In addition, you can tour the Tibetan religious scripture printing house; inside the monastery, you can see three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 4: Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse(3900m) via Gyantse (B)

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. 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 Korola 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.

After one and a half driving, we arrive in Shigatse, which is the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse, we may visit traditional Barley Mill and view the landscape of Barley Field (in summer).

Stay overnight in Shigatse

Day 5: Shigatse (3900m) to EBC (5200m) via Tingri (B)

In the morning, you will visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. Then, leave Shigatse after getting your Alien’s travel permit, and then journey 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 gazt at the Mt. Everest peak. The sunset of golden Everest peak if time and weather permits at the lodging area.

Stay overnight at Rongbuk monastery guest house.

Day 6: EBC - Saga (450km)

In the morning, we can enjoy the sunrise of Everest Peak at lodging area if weather permits; then As we head to the saga, you can view of the worlds’14th highest peak Mt.Shishapangma (8012m), and Turquoise Lake Peiku tso (4590m). If you are lucky enough, you are very likely to see wild animals like a wild donkey, wild antelope etc.

Stay overnight in Saga Xibuyizhan Hotel or Mu Linsen hotel

Day 7: Saga to Darchen, via Lake Manasarover (450km)

On the way to Darchen, you will have a chance to appreciate the stunning view of the Saga valley between the Gangdise Range and Himayala Range. Meanwhile, the beautiful grassland and local's villages can also be seen. As we cross the Mayoral Pass (5112m), you can enjoy the spectacular vista of Mt. Naimonanyi (7694M). Then we are supposed to pass by the holy Lake Manasarovar and finally arrive at the southern foot of Mt.Kailash, the holiest mountain in Tibet.

Stay overnight in Tarchen Chongqing Hotel

Day 8: Darchen - Drirapuk (driving 7km, Trek 13km)

In the morning, we are supposed to take eco-bus from Darchen to Sarshung valley. Then we will meet Yaks and porters at Sarshung village. (the cost of hiring yaks, horses, and porters are not included in the package) After that, we can begin the trek (Around 13km) from Sarshung to Drirapuk Monastery along the Lachu valley and rivers. You can enjoy both west and north face of mountain Kailash today. Finally, we will visit Drirapuk Monastery.

Stay overnight in Guest House

Day 9: Drirapuk - Dzutrpuk (Trek 18km)

Today, we will trek over Dromala pass(5630m), the highest pass of the Kora. On the way, you can have a rest in a teahouse. All the way, you can see locals Tibetans prostrating in the Kora path and beautiful Kadoe Lake when walking downhill. We may also visit Zutulpuk Monastery.

Stay overnight in Guest House

Day 10: Dzutripuk - Darchen (Trek 7km, driving 5km)

On the day three of the kora. you will trek 7km to Zongto where you can take a bus to Darchen. Along the Kora, you can see piles of Mani Stones. We will end the Trek around noon, rest in the lodging place.

(Optional): Taking a bath in Lake Manasarovar and enjoy hot spring

Stay overnight in Tarchen Chongqing Hotel

Day 11: Darchen - Saga (450km)

Drive from Darchen to Saga via Lake Manasarovar

Stay overnight in Saga Xibuyizhan Hotel or Mu Linsen hotel

Day 12: Saga to Gyirong County (107km, 5-6hrs)

Keep traveling to Zongga town in Gyirong County and spend one night there for crossing Gyirong border to Kathmandu, the next day.

Stay overnight in Gyirong County

Day 13: Cross Gyirong Border and Keep Driving to Kathmandu (around 212km, 9-10hrs)

Follow the rollercoaster ride all the way down to Kathmandu. The treacherous mountain roads and enchanting gorges and peaceful countryside scene in Nepal make up much of the bitter and sweet experience of the last ride to Kathmandu.

Your Tibetan guide will assist you to exit China via Gyirong border. For On Arrival Visa Nepali visa, you need to prepare at least 25USD for 15 days’ single entry. The initial 10km’s drive after crossing Sino-Nepal border can be exceedingly bumpy and treacherous. However, no worries! Our experienced Nepali drivers will ensure your travel safety and arrive at your hotel in Kathmandu, safe and sound.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu

Day 14: Fly from Kathmandu to Paro and Get Transferred to Thimphu (2300m) (2hrs’ drive)

Fly to Paro. Welcome to Bhutan, the land of the “Thunder Dragon”. Do choose the left window seat for the stunning vista of majestic Himalayas, esp. the lofty Mt. Jumolhari and Jichu Drake Peaks during your flight. However, they are only a small appetizer. Upon your arrival in Paro international airport, your Bhutan guide and driver will be expecting you and give you a pleasing ride 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 15: Sightseeing in Thimphu and Travel to Punakha (1250m) (3-4hrs’ 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), the most beautiful Bhutan dzong as well as the headquarters of the Bhutan government. Later, we will travel northeast to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. On the way, we will stop at scenic Dochu La Pass (3,100m) for a refreshing tea. The perfect vantage point brings you the unobstructed vista of Great Himalayas.

After lunch at Wangduephodrang (1,350m), we keep driving to Punakha.

Stay overnight in Punakha

Day 16: Sightseeing in Punakha Dzong and Drive back to Paro (1460m) (4 hrs’ drive)

Get up in the morning to visit Punakha Dzong, widely believed to be the most beautiful Bhutanese Dzong, built at the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers. Never miss the Punakha festival around mid-Feb if you come at the right time.

After touring Punakha, we are about to drive back to Paro. In the afternoon, we head to 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. Then we drive to visit Drukgyel Dzong, where you can enjoy the enchanting village lying at its foot.

Stay overnight in Paro

Day 17: Day Trek to Taktsang 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, you may opt for a stone bath or enjoy free exploration nearby.

Stay overnight in Paro

Day 18: Departure from Paro

Today, our tour guide will transfer you to Paro International Airport for your next destination. Tour service ends.

(Optional: To facilitate your Himalayan journey, you may also choose to visit Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan together, we are ready to free hassle-free service for you.)

Service Guide

What is Included

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits for travel within Tibet
  • Accommodation - Twin share (tourist standard hotel "A" grade wherever available)
  • All applicable transfers & sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All Sightseeing entry fee for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
  • All meals in Bhutan, breakfast listed in the itineraries in Tibet
  • English speaking local interpreter/guide
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance in Tibet
  • First aid kit

What is not Included

  • Bhutan Visa Fee
  • International flight to and out of Tibet and Bhutan
  • 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.)
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, postage, and laundry, etc.
  • Travel insurance in Bhutan
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Costs arising from unforeseen events

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