Discover Majestic Tibet

Trip Overview

Exploring the ‘Roof of the World’: the north face of Everest, Tibet’s largest holy lake, its ancient forts, monasteries and temple.

Lhasa has traditionally been the main goal for most visitors to Tibet, but this high, wild, magnificent land has much more to offer. Three full days in Lhasa allows plenty of time to explore the Potala Palace, temples, monasteries and market. We also visit the Yarlung Tsang Po Valley, cradle of Tibetan civilisation and home of Tibet’s first monastery. Two off-the-beaten track excursions take us to the great Nam Tso Lake at 4590m, where pilgrims from all over Tibet congregate in the summer, and to the Rongbuk Monastery (4900m) and Everest Base Camp (5200m), boasting beautiful views of the world’s highest mountain. With superb views of the landscape all along the road from Lhasa to Kathmandu, this is a remarkable expedition in a harsh but beautiful land.

Day to Day Activity

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Fly to Lhasa and drive to Tsedang,
Day 04: Visit Samye Monastery and drive to Lhasa.
Day 05/06: Two days Sightseeing around Lhasa.
Day 07: Drive to Damxung.
Day 08: Day at Namtso lake.
Day 09: Return to Lhasa.
Day 10: Sightseeing in Lhasa.
Day 11: Drive to Gyantse.
Day 12: Drive to Shigatse.
Day 13: Visit Sakya Monastery, to New Tingri.
Day 14: Drive to Rongbuk.
Day 15: Everest Base Camp, to Old Tingri.
Day 16: Exit Tibet into Nepal.
Day 17: Drive to Kathmandu.
Day 18: End Kathmandu.

Note: You only get Bed and Breakfast in Kathmandu. You are on full board in Tibet.

Trip Highlight

» A spectacular flight over the Himalaya with views of Everest to Lhasa
» Three full days to explore Lhasa, including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple plus Ganden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries
» Exploring Nam Tso, the largest and one of the holiest lakes in Tibet and a pilgrimage spot for Tibetans during the summer months
» Everest Base Camp, superb views of the north face of Everest from Rongbuk Monastery
» The epic drive from Lhasa back to Nepal

  • Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu,
    Check in to your Hotel (Yak and Yeti) right in the centre of the town, just off Thamel. It’s easy to get all the important sights in Kathmandu valley. CH
    Overnight Exclusive 5 Star Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast,

    Day 02: Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu,

    Today there is a half-day guided sightseeing tour visiting the temples of Bodnath and Pashupatinath. Bodnath is one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world and home to a large Tibetan population, whilst Pashupatinath is the most important Hindu temple in the country. The tour will end at lunchtime and there will be time in the afternoon for individual exploration of the Durbar Square area of Kathmandu or Swayambunath, the Monkey Temple, with it's all seeing eyes of Buddha overlooking the whole valley. There will also be a trip briefing today. CH
    Overnight Exclusive 5 Star Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast,

    Day 03: Fly to Lhasa and drive to Tsedang,

    Early morning transfer to the airport, and board the plane for the flight over the Himalaya to Lhasa. If the weather is clear there is a wonderful view of Everest, Kanchenjunga and other peaks en route. On arrival at Gonggar airport (which is 90 km. from Lhasa), we meet our vehicle and drive east along the broad Yarlung Tsangpo valley to Tsedang (3400m). After checking into our hotel, we drive to what is reputedly the oldest building in Tibet, the Yumbu Lakhang, a beautiful castle-like dwelling and monastery, dramatically perched on a spur looking out over the fertile valley below. (Today's drive is a total of approximately 130 km). CH
    Overnight Comfortable Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

    Day 04: Visit Samye Monastery and drive to Lhasa,
    A short drive along the Tsangpo valley brings us to the ferry that will take us across the river to Samye Monastery. The ferry journey may take an hour or more, as the boatman has to negotiate the sometime stricky currents and sandbanks. Once on land again, we travel in an old bus or the back of a truck (or similar basic transport) the few kilometres to Sammy, Tibet's very first monastery, founded by Trisong Detsen in 779 AD. It was Very badly damaged in the Cultural Revolution, it has now been completely rebuilt, and although the new work is not as fine as the old, this is a magnificent example of Tibetan religious architecture, with wonderful painted wooden roof beams, and typical gilded roofs. Around the main building is a fine cloister, and there is now a substantial body of monks living and studying here. We return across the river, and then travel up the Lhasa valley, where we soon see the great bulk of the Potala looming over the city. (Today's drive is a total of approximately 210 km). Please note that occasionally it is not possible to go by boat to Samye. In this case we will go by road. CH
    Overnight Comfortable Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

    Days 05/06: Two days Sightseeing around Lhasa,
    These two days are spent in Lhasa, the religious, cultural and economic centre of Tibet. One of the highlights is the visit to the symbol of Tibet, the Potala Palace set high on Red Hill, the winter home of the Dalai Lama until 1959. The most sacred temple in Lhasa is the Jokhang, where people come from all over Tibet to visit and pray in this spiritual heart of the country. It was used as a military kitchen during the Cultural Revolution but has now been beautifully restored, with many priceless statues adorning the chapels, and magnificent gilded roofs. You will probably want to spend a morning or afternoon wandering around the Barkhor, the old city, in company with the pilgrims. Around the Barkhor there are numerous stalls selling all sorts of handicrafts: brightly coloured boots and fur-lined hats, silver and turquoise jewelry, rosaries, prayer flags and charms, as well as beautiful Tibetan carpets, and all manner of ordinary household ware.

    (Please note that the order in which we do the sightseeing depends on when we get tickets to visit the Potala. Since 2006 Potala visiting times have been restricted due to the large number of tourists and only a limited number of tickets are issued each day. Outside the Potala and walking up to and down from the palace we can take as much time as we like but all tourists are now only allowed 1 hour actually inside the Potala). CH
    Overnight Comfortable Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

    Day 07: Drive to Damxung,
    We leave Lhasa, heading northwest past the geothermal power station at Yangpachen, which supplies much of Lhasa’s electricity. We are now on the Friendship Highway (northern route), which we follow to Damxung (4420m). We stay in a guest house in Damxung for the next two nights. (Today's drive is a total of approximately 217km). SH
    Overnight Simple Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

    Day 08: Day at Namtso lake,
    We drive to Namtso (55km), where we spend the whole day. A short drive brings us to the top of the Laken La (5190m.), one of the passes which crosses the Nyenchen Tanglha range, from where we get our first breathtaking view of the great Nam Tso, Tibet's largest lake, some 80 kilometres long and at an altitude of nearly 4718m. The Nyenchen Tanglha (Tangula) range, with peaks over 7000m. towers over the lake - it was over these mountains that Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschneiter crossed on their incredible journey to Lhasa. Dropping down towards the lake, considered one of the holiest in Tibet, we spend a day exploring this extraordinary wilderness. Much of this exploration can be done on foot, but there is no compulsion to do a great deal of walking if you do not wish to. At most times of year there are many Tibetan pilgrims here, who take several weeks to circumnavigate the entire lake on horseback or on foot, visiting the various holy places around the lake, including some remarkable rock shrines. In the late afternoon we drive back to our hotel in Damxung. (Today's drive is a total of approximately 110km). SH
    Overnight Simple Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 09: Return to Lhasa,
    We drive back to Lhasa (3600m). If there is time we can visit some of the nomads family whose yak hair tents dot the landscape. We can also visit the geo-thermal hot springs where there are both indoor and outdoor pools (take your swimming costume if you fancy a dip!). It’s a scenic road journey along different valleys where you can view small villages in distance. Sometime you may find celebrating their local festival where you’re always welcome to participate for while. We arrive back in Lhasa late afternoon. CH
    Overnight Comfortable Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

    Day 10: Sightseeing in Lhasa,
    Today we will visit Ganden, the first Gelukpa (Yellow hat) sect monastery, which is 60km away from Lhasa in the morning and Sera in the afternoon, two of the great monasteries of the Gelukpa sect, just outside Lhasa. There is also time to explore Lhasa on your own, perhaps visiting the Ramoche temple (one of the oldest religious buildings in Tibet), a nunnery or the Palaluphuk Temple. Another great treasure is the Norbulingka - the wonderful old summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Or you may prefer to just sit in the Barkhor and watch the pilgrims circumambulate the Jokhang. CH
    Overnight Comfortable Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

    Day 11: Drive to Gyantse,
    We set off down the Lhasa valley and climb steeply to the first of the many passes to be crossed en route to Nepal. The Kamba La (4794m) is traditionally the divide between 'front' and 'back' Tibet. At the top is a splendid panorama with the Yarlung Tsangpo, the great river of Tibet, behind us, while in front is a superb vista of the stunning scorpion-shaped turquoise lake of Yamdrok Tso and the peaks along Tibet's southern border. The road quickly drops down to the lake, and then follows the shore. A short climb brings us to the Karo La (5010m) passing close to a magnificent hanging glacier near the summit. This was the site of the highest of Younghusband's battles in 1904. We then climb to our third pass of the day, the Simi La, before descending to Gyantse (3950m), an important market town and trading crossroads. Gyantse is an attractive town dominated by the great fortress captured and destroyed by the British during their incursion into Tibet in the early years of 20th century. Apart from the fort, there are two particular points of interest in Gyantse - the Pelke Chode Monastery and the Kumbum Stupa. The stupa is reckoned the finest in Tibet and is filled with innumerable manifestations of Buddha, some of which are incredibly old. (Today's drive is at total of approximately 261 km). SH
    Overnight Simple Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

    Day 12: Drive  to Shigatse,
    We spend part of the morning visiting the Pelke Chode Monastery and Kumbum Stupa in Gyantse before driving through a landscape of fields and low hills to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest town at 3,900 m. Shigatse is situated near the junction of the Ngang and Yarlung
    Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) rivers, with many traditional low ceiling, flat roofed, mud brick Tibetan houses, but quite a lot of ugly modern Chinese buildings as well. It is home of the Tashillunpo monastery, traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, and one of the great centres of Tibetan Buddhism. Unlike most religious buildings in Tibet, the Tashillunpo monastery was largely untouched during the Cultural Revolution, and contains numerous impressive chapels and prayer halls. Don't miss the giant statue of the future Buddha Maitreya that contains 280 kg. of gold. (Today's drive is a total of approximately 90 km). SH
    Overnight Simple Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 13: Visit Sakya Monastery, to New Tingri (Xegar),
    Leaving Shigatse we climb steadily to the top of the Tsuo La (4500m.), We then follow valleys containing a few small villages before turning off the main road to drive to Sakya. In the 13th century Sakya was the effective capital of Tibet because of its close links with the Mongols, the most important power in eastern Asia at this time. The monastery is best known for its magnificent statues, as well as several fine silver stupas and some superb wall paintings. After visiting the monastery we drive towards Lhatse. Another climb through virtually unpopulated high altitude moorland brings us to the summit of the Gyatso La (5,220m), the highest pass on the trip. After a long descent we arrive at Xegar (or New Tingri) where we stay tonight. SH
    Overnight Simple Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 14: Drive to Rongbuk,
    After a few more kilometers on the Friendship Highway we leave the main road head off towards Rongbuk. Soon we drive through a small village where we get our permits checked for the Everest National Park. It is about a four hour drive to Rongbuk (101 km). This road is not tarmaced in places, so this can be quite a slow section. However, the scenery is breathtaking as we pass through small villages and then climb to a pass, the Pang La at 5,120m, from where, on a clear day, we have a magnificent panorama of Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Gyachung Kang and Makalu. Dropping down we pass through Tashi dzom (or Chu dzom) and then the road snakes around hillsides until finally the north face of Everest comes into view. We stay in a very basic guest house close to the monastery. At 4,900m Rongbuk is a cold desolate place but the views are stunning. Straight ahead is the north face of Everest and the changing colours of the sunset on the mountain are not to be missed. Monks and nuns from Nyingma sect live at Rongbuk; some speak English, learnt through contact with foreigners, and are generally very friendly. There is time in the afternoon to explore the area and visit the monastery.
    Please note: the accommodation at Rongbuk is very basic, with multi bedded rooms, very basic common toilets and no running water. No single rooms are available in Rongbuk and usually there are 4 beds per room. BH
    Overnight Basic Guest House, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

    Day 15: Everest Base Camp, to Old Tingri,
    It’s worth while to start early this morning for better views. There is the option this morning to walk the 9kms to Everest Base Camp (or you can go by jeep and bus). At Everest Base Camp there is a small hill decorated with hundreds of colourful prayer flags and amazing close up views of Everest. From here we can see the whole of the massive North face of Everest and we can pick out the route that Mallory and Irvine climbed in 1924. There is a memorial to Mallory and Irvine just near the prayer flags. We return to Rongbuk for lunch and then leave in the afternoon. If road conditions and river levels permit we drive back to the main road a different way avoiding the Pang La. This is a spectacular and remote road that crosses a 5000m. pass and takes us through picturesque villages and rolling hills to Old Tingri. On a clear day we have excellent sunset views of many Himalayan giants from Old Tingri. (If the rivers are high and the road impassable we have to leave Rongbuk a bit earlier and return to the main road the same way we came over the Pang La). We stay tonight in Old Tingri (4450m). Please note that Chinese rules and regulations change quickly in this area. In 2010 if you did not want to walk to base camp you could go halfway by jeep and the rest of the way by bus. BH
    Overnight Basic Guest House, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 16: Drive to Zhangmu into Nepal,
    After watching the sunrise over the Himalaya we head towards the Nepalese border. Scenically this is one of the most spectacular days of the trip. Leaving Old Tingri the Himalaya are very much in view to the south and we should get magnificent views of the north face of Everest as we cross barren plains. As Everest recedes from view we climb steadily to the Lalung La (5000 m). Ahead we have the most amazing panoramic views of the Himalaya. A little further on we reach the summit of the Tong La (5100 m). Here we get some of the most spectacular views of the whole trip, to our right is a splendid panorama of Shishapangma, the only 8000m. peak entirely in Tibet and to the north is a vast open landscape with range upon range of mountains beyond, while ahead of us the road drops into a gorge between the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the main Himalayan range. A long and sometimes steep descent brings us down to Nyalam. We continue down the gorge until we arrive at Zhangmu (2300m) near Nepal boarder. After completing the Chinese border formalities, we cross the Friendship Bridge. Once across the bridge, we are in Nepal, and as soon as the formalities are complete we pick up our Bus which will take us to Last Resort. It’ll be a slow drive by bus in Nepal side because of the preety bad road condition. (Today's drive is a total of approximately 210 km). R
    Overnight Last Resort, Included meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 17: Drive to Kathmandu,
    After watching Nepal’s only one incredible Bungee jump here, if one is going on we head towards Kathmandu today. The road follows the Bhote Koshi valley down to its junction with the Sun Koshi at Barabise. We continue past rice terraces, small villages and scrub woodland to Dolalghat where we leave the river and continue climbing steadily via Panchkhal to Dhulikhel, the eastern gate of Kathmandu Valley and complete our journey to Kathmandu. (Today's drive is a total of approximately 100 km). CH
    Overnight Exclusive 5 Star Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast,

     Day 18: End Kathmandu,
    The trip ends after breakfast. You’ll be transferred to the airport for the flight back home.
    Included meal: Breakfast,


Price Includes

» Arrival and departure transfer in Kathmandu
» All sightseeing, entrance fees in Kathmandu and Tibet
» Lhasa flight and arrival transfer
» English Speaking Nepali leader and Tibetan guide throughout the trip
» Sightseeing in Lhasa by private vehicle
» 4WD Landcruiser(s) outside Lhasa to Nepal boarder
» Tibet Permits
» Accommodation in Kathmandu and Tibet as mentioned on twin sharing basis
» All meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner), hot drinks, welcome drinks and snacks sometime in Tibet
» Group Transportation from Kodari to Kathmandu

Price Excludes

» Personal expenses such as soft drinks, beverage, postage, laundry
» Meals in Kathmandu
» International flights to and from Kathmandu and departure taxes
» Visa fees for Tibet and passport fees
» Travel insurance
» Emergency evacuation
» Tips and gratuities
» Photography charges inside monasteries and monuments while sightseeing in Tibet
» Additional expenses which may arise due to circumstances beyond the control of Griffon Travel such as flight cancellations or delays, landslides, strikes etc

Equipment List

You can bring your personal clothing if you already have them with you,if not it's worth buying all below mentioned clothing and equipments here in Kathmandu in good rates and your guide will help you with it.You will have plenty of time before the trek to buy stuffs in Kathmandu(thamel). 


  • Fleece beanie
  • sun glasses
  • Chapstick / Sunscreen
  • Face mask or Scarf
  • Hand towel
  • Wind stopper / waterproof top and bottom
  • Cold weather down jacket below waist
  • Fleece jacket and trouser
  • Trekking trouser
  • T-Shirts(short or long sleeves) dry fit is better
  • Polypropylene thermal tops and bottom
  • Wind stopper and fleece gloves
  • Socks and under wears
  • Trekking boot
  • Runners
  • Head torch
  • Personal medical kit
  • Water Bottle/Camel Pak
  • Trekking / Ski pole (optional. Handy for anyone with knee problem)
  • Spare batteries for Camera andflash light. Check charging facility along your journey
  • Day pack  Minimum25L with side pocket for water bottle
Latest News
TAAN Pokhara Chapter Explored New Trail
A team of Trekking Agencies'' Association of Nepal (TAAN) Western Regional Association Pokhara has explored a new trekking trail that starts from Kushma of Parbat and ends at Baskharka of Myagdi district.

A 17-member team led by Narayan Sapkota, former president of TAAN Pokhara, started the exploration with a drive to Kushma from Pokhara. From Kushma, the walk started toward Banau (2150 meters) through Ghumti, Bagaicha, Bhatebari, Dhakdhake and Sidhali
Your Guide
01. Hiking
01. Hiking

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02. Camping
02. Camping

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Company Info
Griffon Travel is an adventure company in Kathmandu, Nepal, which has been established by experience people from the Himalayas
Address: Minbhawan, Kathmandu, Nepal