Explore Himalaya has exclusively designed this central Tibet tour package to assist ardent travelers explore cultural wealth of Tibet. Besides witnessing stunningly well preserved architecture of cultural heritages and historical places, you also find a perfect getaway to cleanse yourself spiritually. As you bask in the grandeur of Potala palace, you bond with Tibetan culture and history. You can stroll along Barkhor markets to observe colorful mosaic of Tibetan arts, culture, custom, tradition, lifestyle and cuisine. Visits to Jokhang temple and Drepung Monastery further heighten your excitement. In the towns of Gyantse and Shigatse you have an exclusive opportunity to explore monasteries and fully immerse yourselves in the Buddhist culture. On this tour, you are in for an experience of a lifetime.
We can arrange your arrival in Lhasa from anywhere. You can either join the trip from Kathmandu and fly to Lhasa or arrive Lhasa from Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian or any nearby hub. You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3650m). It takes around one and half hour to reach the old city. After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest. Drink plenty of fluids and let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude. Note: There is no fixed program arranged for today. .
Once you relish your delicious breakfast, you straightaway make arrangements for your sightseeing tour. Your experienced guide accompanies you to the famous monasteries of Tibet. On your awe-inspiring visit to SERA MONASTERY, you are introduced to the important aspects of Buddhism. After lunch, you once again continue exploring Tibetan ancient cultures and civilizations as you pay a visit to NORBULINGKA, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang temple provides yet another exciting tour. Wandering around BARKHOR MARKETS is another major highlight of the day. Finally, you head back to your hotel for relaxation and refreshments..
On this day you get more acquainted with the mystiques of Lhasa. In the morning after breakfast, you will set off to view majestic POTALA PALACE towering above city of Lhasa. You get to witness unique, pristine and overwhelming array of intricate Tibetan murals, temples, stupas, and tombs of eight past Dalai Lamas from a perfect vantage point. Ancient Tibetan cultures come alive with your every exploration. Later in the noon after lunch, you will visit beautifully landscaped DREPUNG MONASTERY. You can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses. After this religious journey, you eventually return to your hotel for delicious dinner and well-eared peaceful sleep..
After spending some time in Lhasa, you will take a 2-hour drive along Yarlung Tsangpo river through barley and wheat fields to the third largest city in Tibet. In route TSEDANG (or Tsetang) you stop at NYETHANG (NETANG DROMALA LAKHANG), a temple built in 10th century by Atisa, an India Buddhist. The temple contains interesting artifacts and hold significant importance in Tibetan Buddhism. Another stop before you reach Tsedang is MINDROLING, 10th century monastery, rebuilt in 1676 A.D. and highly reputed for its contribution towards astronomy, astrology, medicine and calligraphy. The Murals on the wall have very special significances and shows the typical Tantric arts..
Today will be spent exploring the Yarlug Valley which is also known as the Valley of Tombs. Ancient Tibetan history boasts that Tibetan civilization was originated from Yarlung valley. You can spot massive burial mounds of Tibetan Kings. Today’s sights include TANDRUK (TRANDRUK) MONASTERY, a 7th century monastery, which holds fantastic wood carved altar, interesting relics and murals. YAMBULAKANG, the castle perched dramatically on a pinnacle above the valley is the oldest known dwelling in Tibet, reputedly the home of the Yarlung Kings. The view from the castle is awesome. The tour continues to the west of Tsedang, crossing the TSANGPO RIVER on a boat to SAMYE MONASTERY. Samya Monastery, which lies in a green valley among barren mountains surrounded by a village, is one of the most imposing sights of Tibet. Built between 763 and 775 AD modeled on the University of Otantapuri in India and planned as a representation of the universe it has a collection of pagodas and temples...
It is 2 hrs’ drive to the airport. Your guide will escort you to the airport in time to catch your flight home. .
Tibet is connected by railway line from Chengdu, Beijing, Xian, Xining and Shanghai.
Air China and Sichuan Airlines operate regular flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa. This flight offers spectacular views of Mt. Everest, Makalu and many other Himalayan giants. We will organize your pick up once you reach Lhasa and drive you to your hotel.
For Tibet, we organize a group visa, and in order to do this we will need a copy of your passport at least 30 days prior to the commencement of your trip. Tourism regulations in Tibet are subject to change without prior notice. As per current regulation Chinese Embassy issues visa from Monday to Friday (9am – 11am) in Kathmandu, and it takes 4 days for visa processing. We will need your original passport 1 day before the visa processing day.
VIA MAINLAND CHINA
Those entering Tibet from mainland China (Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian, Guilin etc) have to get Chinese visa from their country (please ask us for the best way of doing it).
We bring together a small group of like-minded people. During the trip, not only do they gain a memorable and insightful travel experience but also get an invaluable opportunity to interact with each other. On our fixed scheduled departures, group comprises of maximum 12 & minimum 2 persons. You are likely to join a group from different countries. Average age ranges from early 20s to mid 50s.For private trips, no minimum and maximum number apply.
If you would like to travel independently or with your friends, families and colleagues you are invited to choose any of our trips at your convenient time frame for any number of people (min 1 to max 100 at a time).
In Lhasa, you will stay in a 3 star hotel. The hotel is renowned for its hospitality and warm Tibetan ambience. It is conveniently situated in the centre of town, just a few minutes’ walk from the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Square. If you would like to book a single room, please do inform us. A supplement charge will incur in that case. (Up gradation to 4 & 5 star available on request).Elsewhere during the trip, accommodation will be in the available hotels, your guide book the rooms on arrival. If rooms are not available at specified hotel, he will book a room at another similar category hotel. We shall try our best to provide the best accommodation available but please do keep in mind that you are taking an adventure tour, and sometimes the arrangement may be basic. Traveling in Tibet is a fantastic experience but sometimes you have to put up with a bit of discomfort. To enjoy this trip you need to have an adventurous spirit and the ability to overlook minor discomforts.
We use the best 4WD Land cruisers for the overland drive across the Tibetan highland. These vehicles are extremely sturdy, spacious and reliable and they make the journey as comfortable as possible.
After breakfast, we begin our day's drive at about 9am. We'll drive for several hours, stopping along the way for photographs or places of special interest, before stopping for lunch at around midday. After lunch we continue our journey, generally arriving at our destination by 3 or 4pm.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
The Tibetans are classified as belonging to the Mongoloid family of people. They are probably descendents of a variety of nomadic tribes who migrated from the north and settled along sedentary cultivation of Tibet’s river valleys.
The Tibetans living within the borders of present day Tibet are easily identified by their distinctive dialects, social customs and dress. The Topas live in the highland regions (Lato and Ngari), the Tsangpas in the West Tibet (Tsang), the Upas live in central Tibet, the Horpas comes from the north (Nagchu/Jangtang), the Kongpowas from the south, the Khampas live in the east, the Amdowa in the northeast, and the Gyarongwa in the extreme east.
Travelers to Tibet inevitably find Tibetans to be friendly and possessing a great sense of humor. It is appreciated when you try and use Tibetan language when communicating with Tibetans. The further from Lhasa you travel, the more often is Tibetan used.
Religion is extremely important to the majority of Tibetans, and travelers should endeavor to respect their customs and beliefs. Always circumambulate Buddhist religious sites or monastery in a clockwise direction, and when in a monastery do not wear a hat, smoke or touch frescoes. In addition, refrain from climbing onto statues, mani stones or other sacred objects. Tibetans are warm and friendly people. Some speak a bit of English and are happy to have a chat with you. Don't photograph people without permission, and be aware that some locations prohibit photography.
Losar or “New Year” is celebrated in the month of February by the Tibetans. During Losar, Buddhist monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity at monasteries. People exchange various goods and gifts among them. Families organize feasts and perform dances.
Saga Dawa, celebrated on the 15th day of the fourth lunar month, is an occasion for outdoor operas. You can see many pilgrims at the Jokhang Temple and Mount Kailash.
Gyanste Damang (Gyantse Horse Racing and Archery), celebrated in May/June, honors the Tibetan marksmanship while riding at full tilt. Horse riding and archery competitions are held during this festival.
Samye Dholdhe Festival is celebrated in the month of June. Pilgrims and monks from distant monasteries journey to Samye to watch masked dances and obtain blessings of Buddha.
Zabling Chi Sang (World Incense Day) is a special day dedicated to pray for peace in the world.
Ganden Khi-khu (Ganden Thangka Festival) is celebrated in July to honor the founder of the Gelugpa sect.
Karma Durba (Bathing Week) is celebrated in August/ September. During the festival, the Lhasans flock to the waters of the Kyi Chu River which literally means “Changing the stars” in the belief that if they bathe all week, they will drive evil spirits away from their bodies and enjoy good health in the following year.
1) Traveling in Tibet is an adventure. A little bit of flexibility is required from your side. The day to day itinerary can be taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by international or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural calamities etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, Explore Himalaya shall only be responsible for refunds after deducting the expenses already incurred.
2) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of US$ 500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract.
The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
3) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
Dates of Cancellation (Charge incurred)
2 months before departure - loss of deposit (US$ 500)
29 days to 2 months before departure - 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure - 60% of total trip cost
Less than 10 days before departure - 100% of total trip cost
If you still have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours (Sunday to Friday). If you want to book a trip, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us directly by phone: 977-1-4418-100
Our itinerary was great. Not too much walking each day, so it allowed us time to explore each village at night. The trek was absolutely amazing, we loved every minute and wouldn’t change a thing!
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.