Tibet overland tour is designed for those who prefer to soak in the sights by driving around. This tour gives you an opportunity to discover the real Tibet. From the bustling old cities to the ancient villages and settlements, you get to observe Tibetan lifestyle at close quarters.
This overland tour connects two old capital cities, Lhasa in Tibet and Kathmandu in Nepal. The tour begins in Lhasa and ends in Kathmandu.
Tibet, which boasts of spectacular mountain scenery and a rich cultural heritage, is a place worth visiting. As you drive across the Tibetan plateau, you will be expertly guided around all the Tibetan monasteries, temples, monuments and important tourist sites by expert local Tibetan guide. In Lhasa you explore the Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Norbulingka, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery and the busy Barkhor Square.
Leaving Lhasa on a 4WD, you will be driven past picturesque Tibetan settlements where nomadic herdsmen can be seen wandering across the wide arid plateau. This overland journey takes you over several high mountain passes with spectacular mountain views, including those of the majestic Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Shishapangma. Your adventure tour continues to the historic cities of Shigatse and Gyantse. As you explore the ancient monasteries, forts and citadels you get an insight into the rich Tibetan culture and history. As you leave Zhangmu and cross the Friendship Bridge, you enter Nepal. Your overland tour comes to a finale.
Day 1 Arrive Lhasa (3660 m)
Day 2 sightseeing in Lhasa
Day 3 sightseeing in Lhasa
Day 4 Drive to Gyantse (3950m) 261 km
Day 5 sightseeing & drive to Shigatse (3900m) 90km
Day 6 sightseeing & drive to Shegar (4050m) 244km
Day 7 Drive to Zhangmu (2300m) 181km
Day 8 Drive to Kathmandu (1400m) 123km
Hotel Dhood Gu or similar in Lhasa (3 star) & best available en route with breakfast
Transportation by 4WD land cruiser
English speaking local TIBETAN guide escorting throughout the trip
Sightseeing tours in Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse with all entry fees
Tibet travel permit
Airport transfers & supply of bottled oxygen in car
Kodari to Kathmandu transfer by Jeep and escort
Lunch & dinner (Approx 7-10 USD per meal)
Any airfare (can book, quoted separately below)
Chinese Visa (see below), hotels other then in Tibet (can book), airport tax
Personal clothing & equipments,
Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/road block due any reason
Arrive Lhasa (3660 m)
You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3650 meters). It takes around 45 minutes to reach the old city. After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest and take it easy. Drink plenty of fluids and let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude.
Note: There is no program arranged for today. .
Sightseeing in Lhasa
After breakfast, you will be briefed on the day’s program. An experienced guide will take you on a tour to Sera Monastery, Norbulingka and the Barkhor Square. At the famous Sera Monastery, you will get an insight into the important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. You pay a visit to Norbulingka, the summer retreat of the Dalai Lama. Completed in 1956, the handsome building is ornately decorated with Tibetan carvings and paintings. Jokhang temple provides yet another glimpse of the rich Tibetan cultural heritage. You will also get the chance to stroll around the busy Barkhor Square, the nerve centre of Lhasa. After the day’s tour, you will be escorted back to your hotel..
Sightseeing in Lhasa
After an early breakfast, you will be escorted by your guide to the majestic Potala Palace. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas. Later in the day you will visit the beautifully landscaped Drepung Monastery where you can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses. After the day’s tour is over, you are escorted back to your hotel for a well- earned rest.
Note: Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed to Potala Palace every day, the order of sightseeing places will be decided by your guide..
Drive to Gyantse (3950m)
Following Friendship Highway, you drive past Khamba La at 4794 m with a brief halt to savor majestic views of Yamdrok-tso Lake and Nazin Kang Sa standing proud at 7252m. On turning westwards, you come across another Karo La pass at 5045m. If you glance at the road, you can see huge glaciers tumbling down into the road. After hours of driving for 261 km, magnificently landscaped Tibetan villages become visible as you enter the town of Gyantse.
Sightseeing & drive to Shigatse (3900m) 90km
Gyantse prides on Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum. Gyantse Dzong is a historical fort built in the 14th century and overlooks a mesmerizing view of entire Gyantse and surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. Kumbum has large gold-domed stupa and houses several chapels and Tibetan Buddhist murals. After you enjoy exploring Gyantse, you will take a 90 km drive to Shigatse. Having driven to an altitude of 3900 meter, you find yourself at Shigatse, second largest city of Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery being one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet is a major attraction of Shigatse. .
Sightseeing & drive to Shegar (4050m) 244km.
Today you will traverse along the Friendship Highway amidst picturesque landscape driving past small town of Lhatse and Gyamtso La pass at 5220m. As the route opens into plains, many monasteries and camps of nomadic herders become visible en route to Shegar.
Drive to Zhangmu (2300m) 181km
You will drive past Tingri crossing Lalung La pass at 5,124m and Shung La pass at 5200m. Savoring the enchanting views of the surrounding peaks of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar, you descend from the arid Tibetan Plateau to verdant Zhangmu on the Nepalese border. After driving for 181 km, you find yourself amidst the lush and verdant vegetation of Zhangmu at 2300 m..
Drive to Kathmandu (1400m) 123km
Few kilometers drive away from Zhangmu to Friendship Bridge across Bhote Koshi River brings you closer to Immigration Control in Kodari where you will part with your Tibetan guide and driver, and walk across the river to meet your Nepalese escort who will drive you to Kathmandu. After 5 hours of driving for 123 km, you finally arrive in Kathmandu..
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We came to know about Explore Himalaya through the website. Explore Himalaya was excellent.The Tibetan guide, Penba Puchi, and driver were also excellent. We really appreciated their assistance at the Shigatse Army Hospital for the 36 hrs we were there, especially our guide’s Chinese language skills. We could not have done without her. Tibetan agent was also great.
- Emmathighan & Carl Clotworthy, New Zealand
Explore Himalaya was excellent.The Tibetan guide, Penba Puchi, and driver were also excellent. We could not have done without her.