Highlights of Tibet

Trip Overview

Facts of the trip !

why you shouldn’t join us for this exclusive tour ‘Highlights of Tibet’ ? Which has scenic mountain high passes, beautiful holy Lakes, ancient fortresses, Palaces and peaceful Buddhist monasteries feature in this two weeks exploration of spiritual Tibet. Travelling along the ‘friendship highway’ Mount Everest is always a feature, particularly when we visit the lesser known North Base Camp for this iconic mountain.

Lhasa – Admire the mesmerising Potala Palace, once the residence of the Dalai Lama, soaring above the Tibetan capital- Lhasa. Circumambulate the Barkhor Streets with pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet.

Mountain High Passes – Travel through stunning mountain scenery across remote mountain passes

Tibetan people – Meet local monks, nuns and nomads to learn about their intriguing way of life

Day to Day Activity:

DAY 01: Arrive in Kathmandu,

DAY 02: Sightseeing Tour In Kathmandu,

DAY 03: Explore Kathmandu,

DAY 04: Fly to Gongkar and drive to Tsetang,

DAY 05: Sightseeing In Tsetang; visit Samye Monastery,

DAY 06: Drive via Mindroling Monastery to Lhasa,

DAY 07: Sightseeing In Lhasa,

DAY 08: Excursion In Lhasa,

DAY 09: Drive over the Kamba La and Karo La to Gyantse,

DAY 10: Visit Pala Manor and drive to Shigatse (3890m),

DAY 11: Drive to Shegar (4350m),

DAY 12: Visit Rongbuk Monastery and drive to Old Tingri (4480m),

DAY 13: Drive to Kerung (2800m),

DAY 14: Drive to Kathmandu,

DAY 15: Depart Kathmandu,

Note: Bed and Breakfast are provided throughout the trip.

 

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, Norbulingka- summer Palace and Sera Monastery
» Stunning mountain scenery across remote mountain high passes
» Everest Base Camp, superb views of the north face of Everest from Rongbuk Monastery
» The epic drive from Lhasa back to Nepal

Itinerary
  • DAY 01: Arrive in Kathmandu,

    On your arrival in Kathmandu; you will be welcomed by the busy, colourful and chaotic capital city of Nepal. Thousands of years of history are revealed in shrines, hidden temples and narrow backstreets, and the Himalayas provide a spectacular backdrop to this intoxicating city.

    It is about 30 minutes' drive from the airport to our hotel in Kathmandu. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Kathmandu at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). For those arriving on time your leader will meet you in the hotel reception at 5pm for the initial tour briefing and to collect your passports to obtain the Tibet permit. After this, for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. Should you miss the meeting, your leader will leave you information giving the meeting time for the next day in the hotel reception and will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you might choose to walk into the centre of town which is around 15 minutes from the hotel.

    This evening you might like to have your first taste of Nepalese cuisine. The local dumplings are a good bet. Called momos, they consist of a flour-based dough filled with meat or steamed vegetables. Also worth trying is Dal Bhat, a lentil based soup usually served with rice and vegetable curry. Whatever you try you'll find the cuisine varied, a mixture of influences from around the region, and a riot of colours and flavours.

    Overnight 4- Star Hotel, Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 02: Sightseeing Tour In Kathmandu,

    After breakfast, we'll make a walking tour visiting the bazaars and temples of Old Kathmandu city accompanied by a local Nepali guide. Much of the everyday life of Kathmandu takes place in the local bazaars. There is a fascinating mixture of people selling spices and vegetables; potters spin their wheels to produce small household bowls and containers for temple offerings; pilgrims visit their favourite gods at small shrines dotted along the sides of the alleyways; rickshaw wallahs honk their horns and the ever-present sacred cow wanders among it all.

    On our second day here, a morning's sightseeing tour includes the Temple of Pashupatinath on the Bagmati river - the holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal - and Bodnath Stupa, the largest in the country and a destination for Buddhist pilgrims from all over Nepal. The afternoons are left free for individual sightseeing. There are a multitude of interesting places within easy reach of the Nepali capital. Perhaps you could take in Swayambunath, the monkey temple (a short taxi ride or about 40 minutes walk from the city centre). And there's also Patan, Nepal's one time capital situated just a short taxi ride from Kathmandu or Bhaktapur, one of the three ancient cities of the Kathmandu valley.

    Overnight 4- Star Hotel, Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 03: Explore Kathmandu,

    Today we continue exploring some other spiritual sites of Kathmandu valley.

    Overnight 4- Star Hotel, Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 04: Fly to Gongkar and drive to Tsetang,

    Today we board a flight from Kathmandu to Gongkar in Tibet enjoying views of the Himalaya and sometimes even Everest piercing the clouds. We should arrive early afternoon local time (Tibet time is 2 1/4hrs ahead of Nepal time). After formalities, we'll drive eastwards to Tsetang. If time and conditions still allow, we'll visit Yumbulagang. Reputedly the oldest dwelling palace of the Tibetan kings (5th century), it is erected on the rocky spur of a hill with panoramic views over the entire valley.

    Overnight: Hotel Tsetang (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 05: Sightseeing In Tsetang; visit Samye Monastery,

    After breakfast we cross the Brahmaputra (Tsangpo) River to reach Samye Monastery and village, an oasis of willows in a sandy desert. The monastery, designed to mirror the structure of the Buddhist universe, is built as a Mandala around the main shrine. (A mandala is a concentric symbol which represents Buddhist cosmic and individual psychic forces, sometimes expressed as here in three dimensional architectural form). Then we will visit Yumbulagang if not visited the day before. After our visit we return to our hotel in Tsetang for a second night.

    Overnight: Hotel Tsetang (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 06: Drive via Mindroling Monastery to Lhasa,

    Today we drive westwards along a rugged road to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet which lies at an altitude of 3658m, in a bowl-shaped valley - the name means 'Abode of the Gods'. On our way we stop to visit Mindroling Monastery, one of the most important in Central Tibet and the seat of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. We arrive in Lhasa in the afternoon and check in at our hotel. This evening, there will be time for a short introductory tour of the Tibetan capital.

    Overnight: Kyichu Hotel (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 07: Sightseeing In Lhasa,

    Our next two days are dedicated to extensive sightseeing tour of Lhasa. The city's location is spectacular. Set in a ring of bare mountains (snow covered in winter), the valley is cut through by the gushing Kyi Chu (the Happy River), one of the headwaters of the mighty Indian Brahmaputra. For most of the year the sky above Lhasa is a deep intense blue, and the air is crisp and dry. Weeping willows wave over little streams and lakes, and peach trees blossom.

    Our sightseeing will include the Potala Palace, the former seat of the Dalai Lamas, where the genius of Tibetan architecture finds expression in the glistening white walls that seem to soar directly from every stone and rock face. The present (fourteenth) Dalai Lama, whose title has been carried through the centuries by an unbroken lineage of reincarnations, now lives in exile in India. On one of the days we plan to visit the famous Jokhang Temple, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in the country and an object of circumambulation by devoted pilgrims. We will also spend time at the Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama's former summer palace. You'll also have free time to stroll around the colourful stalls in the market (Barkhor), or just sit back quietly and observe the noisy and jostling crowds of pilgrims and haggling merchants. We will also visit Ani Tsangkung Nunnery (the only active nunnery in Lhasa) and see the monastic university of Sera where the monks practice philosophical debates which take place in the Monastery garden and Gregorian -style ritual chanting in the assembly halls.

    Overnight: Kyichu Hotel (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 08: Excursion In Lhasa,

    Today we continue exploring other important historical sites of Lhasa.

    Overnight: Kyichu Hotel (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 09: Drive over the Kamba La and Karo La to Gyantse,

    Today we drive west across the high plains to Gyantse, one of the most beautiful places in Central Tibet. Our route climbs over the spectacular 4790m Kamba La and then follows the Yamdrok Tso(Turquoise) Lake before climbing the 5045m Karo La, or pass. The whole journey to the old town of Gyantse, including stops takes about 5/6 hours. On arrival we will visit the famous Kumbum Stupa (1440), one of the most magnificent buildings in Tibet. Gold-capped with two bewitching eyes painted on its circular upper wall above the ascending symmetrical storeys, it is built in Newari (Nepalese) style. The monastery walls are covered with extraordinary paintings and sculptures.

    Overnight: Yeti Hotel (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 10: Visit Pala Manor and drive to Shigatse (3890m),

    This morning we visit the old feudal manor house of Pala Manor before continuing to Shigatse. In the afternoon we visit the monastic city of Tashilumpo, the largest and most vibrant religious centre in Tibet. As one of the Great Six centres of the Gelugpa Buddhist sect, it's adherents follow the moral and philosophical teachings of the Master Atisha (982-1054). The sacred red buildings topped by gleaming golden roofs form the spiritual home of the Panchen Rinpoche (Great Precious Teacher). We stay in nearby Tashilumpo for the night. Drive time of approximately 90km (2hrs).

    Overnight: Manasarovar Hotel (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 11: Drive to Shegar (4350m),

    Today we have a long drive along the 'Friendship Highway' to Shegar, also known as New Tingri. Leaving Shigatse we climb steadily to the top of the Tsuo La at 4,500 m pass, continue on towards Lhatse and then another climb through virtually unpopulated high altitude moorland brings us to the summit of the Gyatso La at 5,220m, one of the highest pass in Tibet. After a long descent we arrive at Shegar where we reach a height of 4,350m above sea level for our stay tonight.

    Overnight: Shegar Hotel (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 12: Visit Rongbuk Monastery and drive to Old Tingri (4480m),

    This morning we leave the main highway behind and drive via the Pang La (5,120m) to Rongbuk where we will visit the ancient Buddhist Monastery very close to Mt. Everest. Here we will have lunch and explore the monastery. On the way today, we enjoy the spectacular views of the peaks over 8,000 meters like Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Lhotse and the mighty Everest, also known as Mt. Chomolongma on the Tibetan side. If we are allowed from the local authority we may get chance to visit Everest Base Camp sometime before or after lunch.

    Please note: tonight's accommodation will be in a very basic guest house which is the only accommodation available here.

    Overnight: Snow Leopard Hotel (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 13: Drive to Kerung (2800m),

    Today we have a long day's drive towards the Nepal border. Heading north up the Dzakar Chu valley on the very bumpy base camp road through villages and terraced mountain sides, we cross Gya-u La (5,090m) from which on a clear day we can see the panoramic views of all the main peaks of the Himalayan range. Rejoining the Friendship Highway for few kilometres, we head west towards to Mt. Shisapangma and Peiguo Tso Lake then to south towards the Kerung, our last night stop in Tibet, after a drive of approximately 6/7 hours.

    Overnight: Phuntsok Rabsal Guest House (or similar), Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 14: Drive to Kathmandu,

    We continue our journey today following a series of steep switchbacks to the sub-tropical landscapes of the Nepali border. (Depending upon road conditions and landslides, we may have to walk for several hours on the way down- porters will carry our luggage.). We cross the border before driving on to Kathmandu through the Langtang National Park. (The drive is approximately 7-8hrs but as this is a new border crossing there can be delays due to extra security checks).

    Overnight 4- Star Hotel, Meals included: Breakfast,

  • DAY 15: Depart Kathmandu,

    The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kathmandu. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Kathmandu at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM).

    Meals included: Breakfast,

    Accommodation:

    You will be staying at 4-star comfortable Hotel in Kathmandu, Hotel Tsetang in Tsedang, Kyichu Hotel in Lhasa, Yeti Hotel in Gyantse, Manasarovar Hotel in Shigatse, Shegar Hotel in Shegar, Rongbuk Monastery Guest House in Rongbuk. All accommodations are on well-graded hotels and resorts but due to remote location, the Guest House in old Tingri is very basic, but it is still the best available one. Also, all of the accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 690.

    Meals:

    Breakfast will be served throughout the trip. We recommend our guest(s) to budget USD15 to 20 for lunch and dinner every day. Breakfast will be taken in the same place we stay for the night. Similar arrangements can also be made for dinner. Lunch will be taken en route to the next destination(s). There will also be welcome and farewell dinners hosted by Griffon Travel Pvt Ltd.

    Acclimatization:

    We will be spending 5 nights in a row in Tsedang and in Lhasa as soon as we enter Tibet which will give us plenty of time for acclimatization. However, we still recommend our customer(s), especially those with known heart or lung or blood diseases, to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite or stomach disorders are all symptoms of AMS.

    Best Time to Travel:

    April to October are the best time for this Trans-Himalayan Journey. If a guest(s) can withstand colder temperature, then this journey can also be made in November/ December.

    Additional Information:

    Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by e-mail http://www.griffon-travel.com/contact-us/ If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: +977.98490 30727

Include/Exclude
Price Includes:

» Pick ups and drops from airport and hotels

»  Accommodations on Standard hotels on twin sharing basis

»  Breakfast in Kathmandu and Tibet

»  Welcome and farewell dinners

»  Comfortable private vehicle for transportation

»  All sightseeing and adventure activities as per the itinerary

» English speaking, trained and experienced local tour guide

» Assistance in acquiring Chinese visa and Tibet Travel permit

» Company services and all applicable taxes

Price Excludes:

» International airfare(s) to/from Nepal

» Chinese visa fee

» International flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa

» Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Tibet and any meals not mentioned in the itinerary

» Cost for pursuing any adventure activity not mentioned in the itinerary

» Nepalese visa fee

» Excess baggage charges

» Travel and rescue insurance

» Personal expenses e.g. phone calls, laundry, bar bills and extra porters

» Tips for guide(s) and driver(s)

Equipment List
Equipment List:

The following basic equipment check list should help you with your packing. Please remember that you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

Documents:

The documents provided below are a must and should be with you at all times.

  • Valid Passport (at least 6 months of validity)
  • Medical Insurance card(s)
  • Address book
  • Airline tickets, e-tickets, etc.
  • Passport size photographs (minimum 4)
  • Travel permits (Griffon Travel will arrange this for you)

We recommend that you make copies of your passport, visas, permits, airline tickets/schedule, travelers cheque numbers, etc. Leave a copy with someone at home and put another copy in a separate place in your luggage.

Clothing:

In Tibet, the weather is cool during summer (with cold winds on the high passes) and excruciatingly cold in winter. Since you will not be staying in one place for long, consider carrying warm, lightweight, hand-washable and quick-drying clothes.

  • Sweater, 2/3 season jacket, windbreaker
  • A pair of shorts, mid-thigh or longer
  • Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)
  • T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
  • Tracksuits or thermals for the evening
  • Undergarments (optimum supply)
  • Sport bras for women (roads can be bumpy)
  • Rain jackets and pants
  • A warm hat and a sun hat with brim and chin strap
  • Bandanna or scarf
  • Belt
  • Pajamas
  • Comfortable and sturdy shoes (if possible waterproof)
  • Tennis shoes or sandals
  • Comfortable, breathable socks ("Smart wool" or "Thorlos" are both excellent)

Toiletries:

  • Soap, shampoo (2-in-1 shampoo with conditioner is preferable instead of carrying a separate conditioner bottle)
  • Shaving items
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Hairbrush, comb, mirror, nail clippers
  • Wet-wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sun-block lotion (at least SPF 30)
  • Facial tissue
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Small towel
  • Toilet paper
  • Q-tips
  • Tampons and sanitary napkins
  • Sewing kit
  • Baggage
  • Duffel bag or a suitcase
  • Day pack bag for daily activities and easy access
  • Waterproof plastic bags/ or zip lock bags (Plastic garbage bags are useful to protect sleeping bags, etc. from wet weather, 'zip-lock' bags are useful for storage in dusty/wet environments)

Electronics:

  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Camera, lenses, filters, memory disks (you will not be able to download)
  • Video camera, tapes
  • Tripod
  • Batteries (extra batteries are always a good idea)
  • GPS
  • Alarm clock
  • iPod, MP3 player
  • Calculator (for currency conversion) or calculator app
  • Battery chargers, plugs

Note: It’s always a good idea to keep electronics warm and dry, so storing them in sealed water-proof bags is recommended. Also, note that the electrical current in Tibet is 220v, AC 50 Hz. There are numerous different plug types used in Tibet, so it might be easier to purchase an adapter once you get there.

Medical supplies/ First Aid:

Take an adequate supply of any prescription medication(s) you use regularly and consult your doctor before the trip. Most over-the-counter medicines are available in Lhasa but are more difficult to obtain outside of urban areas.

  • Ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Anti-diarrhea pills
  • Iron supplements (for women)
  • Disinfectant, antiseptic cream, antibiotic ointment
  • Band-Aids/plasters
  • Gauze bandages and tape
  • Throat lozenges
  • Vitamin supplements (available in Lhasa but of lower quality and dosage)
  • Anti-histamines
  • Ace bandage
  • Malaria pills (consult your doctor)
  • Anti-biotics (consult your doctor)
  • Water-purification tablets
  • Bottled mineral water and thermoses of boiled water are available for purchase everywhere throughout Tibet. However, water-purification tablets can be useful during excursions.
  • SteriPEN / Water filter

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Good UV protection sunglasses with straps (this is very important against strong high-altitude sun)
  • Eyeglasses or contacts and plenty of cleaning solution (carrying extra eyeglasses is recommended)
  • Binoculars
  • Swiss knife
  • Notebook (small size recommended), pencil and pen
  • Playing cards, games, books, frisbee,
  • Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
  • Cash, travelers checks, credit cards ($500 or more in cash and/or travelers checks, including some small U.S. Dollars, Euros, or local currency)
  • Money belt (waterproof is best)
  • Maps, guidebooks
  • Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season
  • Salt, pepper for bland food, flavoring for coffee or water
  • Water bottles and Camelback (useful on bumpy roads)
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
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GRIFFON TRAVELS
Address: Minbhawan, Kathmandu, Nepal
Email: info@griffon-travel.com
Phone:+977.1.4115593