12 days / 11 nights
Kathmandu 3 nts; Lhasa 3 nts; Gyantse 1 nt; Shigatse 1 nt; Xegar 1 nt; Zhangmu 1 nt & Bhaktapur 1 nt.
This is a private tour & professionally managed by our wonderful partners Intertours Nepal. The tour combines the essential sights of Kathmandu & the surrounding region with an extended tour of Tibet and crossing back into Nepal by road on the return journey. It is available between late May and early September to take advantage of the short travelling season in Tibet’s summer.
The tour is best commenced in Kathmandu on a Wednesday to fit on with the Air China flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa and allowing sufficient time in Kathmandu to have your China/Tibet visa issued.
This tour can be extended to allow more time in Nepal pre/post Tibet.
Costs below are pout of date and we are awaiting new costs from Tibet anticipated in August 2016. Please contact us for a firm quote in the interim.
Costs below are in US Dollars per person based on twin share rooms. These costs are for all land tour arrangements and do NOT include Air China airfares to Lhasa which are additional and will be confirmed at time of booking – approx US$760 pp one way economy.
Single Traveller: US$3382.00
2-3 Persons: US$2371.00 pp / Single supp US$698
4-5 Persons: US$2152.00 pp / Single supp US$698
6-9 Persons: US$1999.00 pp / Single supp US$698
This tour is based on a 4 star hotel in Kathmandu and 3+ star hotel in Lhasa, 3 star hotels in Gyantse, Shigatse & Bhaktapur and 2 star standard (best available) in Xegar & Zhangmu. It is possible to upgrade to a 4 star hotel, in Lhasa only, on the Tibet component.
- Himalaya Hotel, Kathmandu for 3 nts incl b/fasts.
- Hotel Dekhang, Lhasa or sim for 3 nts incl b/fasts.
- Hotel Gyantse, Gyantse or sim for 1 nt incl b/fasts.
- Hotel Shigatse, Shigatse or sim for 1 nt incl b/fasts.
- Hotel Qomolonguma, Xegar for 1 nt incl b/fasts.
- Hotel Zhangmu, Zhangmu or sim for 1 nt incl b/fasts.
- Hotel Heritage, Bhaktapur for 1 nt incl b/fasts.
- Airport meet & greets & private transfers.
- Touring in air-conditioned vehicles throughout.
- Sightseeing tours as per the itinerary.
- Professional local guides for sightseeing tours.
- Entrance fees except museums in Nepal.
- Air China one way economy fares Kathmandu-Lhasa.
- China/Tibet visa fees of US$85 pp due in cash on arrival.
- Nepal visa fees-US$25 pp due on arrival at KTM airport.
- Personal items – tel calls, laundry, tips, medications etc.
- All meals other than breakfasts.
Day 1 – WEDNESDAY:
Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival at Kathmandu with meet and greet at the airport. Traditional flower garland welcome and private transfer to your hotel. You will be given assistance to complete the China/Tibet visa forms and our partner Intertours Nepal will process these for you over the next 2 days. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu (4 star)
Day 02 – THURSDAY:
Tour of Kathmandu, Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath & Bodhnath (B)
This morning visit the old Kathmandu city with its stone paved lanes, colourful bazaars and the Temple of the Living Goddess – Kumari who is considered to be the incarnation of the “Virgin Goddess”. The old Durbar Square consists of the old palace and innumerable temples of different architecture.
Further visit the Hanuman Dhoka Palace and its museum which has now been opened to the public. The temples, shrines and different sections of the palace are contributions of various dynasties over centuries and epitomize the religious and cultural life of the people.
Continue to Swoyambhunath stupa, situated west of Kathmandu, which is a 2500 years old Buddhist stupa. Located at a top of green hillock the eyes of Buddha painted on its pinnacle overlook righteous behaviour of the valley inhabitants. Around the stupa are hung multi-coloured prayer flags whose every flutter releases holy prayers to heaven.
This afternoon visit Pashupatinath Temple situated on the banks of the sacred Bagmati river. The temple of Lord Shiva,Pashupatinath has a tiered golden roof, silver doors and is famous for its superb architecture. Here you will also witness cremation ceremonies on the banks of the river and the proceedings are best viewed from the terraces on the wooded hill opposite.
Proceed on to Bodnath, the biggest stupa in Nepal and is located on flat land. Set in a pattern of a ‘Mandela’ the stupa is encircled by houses and monasteries where Rinpoches (enlightened Buddhist monks) reside. Around the base of this striking and enormous stupa is a ring of 108 images of the Buddha and 147 insets containing prayer wheels.
Overnight at Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu (4 star)
Day 03 – FRIDAY:
Tour of Bungamati, Khokana & Patan (B)
This morning visit the old Newari twin villages of Bungamati & Khokana which date from the 16th century and are located to the south of Kathmandu along a rough road dotted with Chaityas. Bungamati is the winter home of Lord Rato Machhendranath the protector deity of Patan city. The shrine of Karya Binayak is located between the two villages and at Khokana ancient wooden oil presses can be seen at work in the village homes.
This afternoon visit Patan city also known as Lalitpur or the “city of beauty”. Patan, the oldest city of the valley, is the cradle of arts and architecture. It is well known for its intricately carved temples, narrow lanes and quaint shops. See the intricately stone-carved Krishna Mandir (temple), Patan Durbar Square and Hiranyavarna Mahavihar (golden temple).
Overnight at Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu (4 star)
Day 04 (SAT): Fly Kathmandu / Lhasa (B)
Transfer to airport and fly to Lhasa. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred (1-1.5 hrs) to Hotel in Lhasa for a 3-night stay. Rest of the day is free for acclimatization of the high altitude or explore the local bazaars at your own pace.
Overnight at Hotel Dekhang or similar
Day 05/06: Lhasa (3,650m) (B)
These two days will be spent discovering Lhasa – its magnificent palace residences, Monasteries, & quaint bazaars. You will see the famous Potala Palace, Norbulinka-HH Dalai Lama’s summer Palace, Sera & Drepung Monasteries as well as the Jokhang Temple. Walk through the narrow lanes of Barkhor, the old market place of Lhasa.
Overnight at Hotel Dekhang or similar.
Day 07: Drive Lhasa / Gyantse (3,950m) (4-5 hrs) (B)
After breakfast, drive to Gyantse, a small bustling town seeped in history. Drive along the Yarlung Tsangpo River and then over a high pass Khamb-La pass (4,794m) before descending to the Turquoise Lake, Yamdrok Tso. Then ascend along a winding road to cross the Karo-La pass (5,045 m) and then descend to the Gyantse valley. In Gyantse visit Kumbum Chorten & the Pelkhor Monastery.
Overnight at Hotel Gyantse or similar.
Day 08: Drive Gyantse / Shigatse (3,900m) (45 mins-1 hour)
visiting Shalu monastery en-route (B)
After breakfast, depart for Shigatse. En-route visit Shalu monastery. Upon reaching Shigatse, visit Tashilumpo Monastery, the largest & most magnificent amongst all Monasteries in Tibet. Also visit the temple of future Buddha that is 26 m high & gilded with gold.
Overnight at Hotel Shigatse or similar.
Day 09: Drive Shigatse / Xegar (4,350m) (5-6 hrs)
visiting Shakya monastery en-route (B)
This day you will drive along the flat Tibetan plateau via a few small settlements such as Lhatse & Lulu, which are typical Tibetan villages. Cross Lhakpa-La pass (5,220m) which serves as an excellent view-point to see the mighty Himalayan peaks to the south.
En-route visit Shakya monastery.
Overnight at Hotel Qomolonguma.
Day 10: Drive Xegar/Zhangmu (2,500m) (244Km / 6hrs) (B)
After breakfast, drive to Zhangmu. The drive from Xegar to Zhangmu is picturesque & offers one of the best views of the world’s tallest peaks. Cross Lalung-La pass (5,050m). As the road approaches Zhangmu, it follows the deep Gorge of Bhotekoshi River with high and spectacular waterfalls. If time permits, visit Milarepa Cave en-route.
Overnight at Hotel Zhangmu or similar.
Day 11: Drive Zhangmu / Bhaktapur (4-5 hrs) (B)
Drive down from Zhangmu to the friendship bridge where you will be met by your vehicle from Kathmandu for the onward drive to Bhaktapur. Upon reaching Bhaktapur, check in at your hotel. Rest of the day is free.
Overnight at Hotel Heritage.
Day 12: Tour of Bhaktapur. Departure transfer (B)
Morning, visit the ancient Bhaktapur city. Entering the Durbar Square through the Royal Gate, the sparseness of the temple is immediately apparent, compared to the profusion in the Durbar Squares of Kathmandu and Patan cities. Visit the main square which contains innumerable temples and other architectural show pieces: the Lion Gate, statue of Bhupatendra Malla, the Palace of 55 windows, Bell of the barking dogs, the Batsala temple, the five-storied Nyatapola temple & the replica of Pashupatinath temple.
Later transfer directly to Kathmandu airport in time to connect your outbound flight.
Goodbye & Namaste!
Tibet Visa: Intertours will process your Tibet entry permit in advance and obtain your China Visa (special visa for Tibet) on your behalf upon arrival in Kathmandu. Please note a normal mainland China Visa secured abroad is not valid to enter Tibet from Kathmandu. This special visa can only be obtained from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.
Please note anybody of any country carrying a passport with which they have earlier travelled to China as a “journalist” can travel to Tibet only after receiving a clearance from the China Internal Affairs Ministry from Beijing. The above procedure in para 1 (applicable for tourists) will not be valid for such journalists or for clients who are “journalist” by profession. Diplomatic passport holders will also have to seek prior permission through official channels in their country of origin. Please ensure that you send passport details of your ordinary passport only – NOT any diplomatic or other passport type.
Once clients arrive in Kathmandu, Intertours will assist them complete the China visa application form and collect their original passports and China Visa fee (in US Dollars cash). Please note clients will get their original passports, and loose-leaf Chian visa back only the same morning that they fly to Lhasa.
In order to process for Tibet permit, we require colour passport copies of all clients which can be scanned and emailed to Intertours from advance. Further all passports should have a “validity period of minimum six months” beyond the intended date of departure from Tibet. Also your “profession detail” is required for all clients requesting a Tibet permit.
Passport Photos: We urge clients to carry at least 4 passport sized photographs for their for Nepal and Tibet Visas.
Air China operates flights Kathmandu/Lhasa several days a week (depending on months/demand). However, Saturday (and sometimes Tuesday) flights are the most reliable flight days and hence we have formulated the above tour program keeping departure for Lhasa on a Saturday.
Cancellation policy on Air China air tickets KTM/Lhasa:
Cancellation policy on Air China tickets after ticket issuance. This is based on current policy and hence subject to changes and is applicable whether cancellation is made by traveller OR or when we have to cancel the air seats due to change in visa entry regulations to Tibet by the Government of China.
Within 15 Days from travel date:
US$ 185 per person per sector.
Once issued and till 16 days from travel date:
US$ 120 per person per sector.