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Pan No.302965986

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Overland to Lhasa

Overlanding to Lhasa is a great way to see more of this fantastic country and people, and to appreciate the harsh beauty of the Tibetan Plateau.

Our tour begins with the incredible drive along the Friendship Highway across the Himalaya and up on to the Tibetan Plateau. Enroute we grab views of the north face of Mt Everest before arriving in Shigatse and visiting the Tashilhumpo, the seat of the Panchen Lama, and the dramatic Shigatse Dzong (fort) ruins that offer great views over the city. We then head on to Gyantse which is one of the most authentic towns in Tibet and the Palkhor Monastery which contains the superb Kumbum (10,000 images) stupa and is a deeply spiritual place. Towering above the city, the Gyantse dzong (fort) stands sentinel over the town and offers excellent views. Then it is on to Lhasa, the cultural, spiritual and historic capital of Tibet dominated by the massive Potala Palace, once the Dalai Lama’s seat of government. We then have two days to explore this great city; the Jokhang temple, the Barkor market, Norbulingka, Chakpori (Iron Hill), and the nearby beautiful monasteries of Sera and Drepung. As time is limited we will also try to get to the Tibet National Museum and sample some uniquely Tibetan nightlife!

Trek
:
Overland to Lhasa
Duration
:
10 days
Highest Point
:
3950 m
Best Season
:
May-October
Accommodation
:
10 days hotel
Entry Point : Zhangmu
Tour Finish
:
Lhasa
Group Size : Min-4 Max-14


Overlanding to Lhasa is a great way to see more of this fantastic country and people, and to appreciate the harsh beauty of the Tibetan Plateau.

 

Day Route
1 Arrival Kathmandu transfer to Hotel
2 Kathmandu - Zhangmu or Nyelam
3 Zhangmu or Nyelam – Shegar
4 Shegar - Shigatse
5 Shigatse - Gyantse
6 Gyantse - Lhasa
7 Lhasa
8 Lhasa
9 Lhasa - Kathmandu
10 Kathmandu free day shopping
11 Departure from Thamel

 

NOTE: This tour can be run in reverse and sightseeing itineraries are flexible.

 

Package price includes:

All ground transportations
Airport pickup and drove
Tibet visa fees
All Hotels in Tibet + Hotels in Kathmandu
Sightseeing in Lhasa
All ground transportation in Tibet+ All staff wages

Package Price Excludes:

Personal expenses bar bill, laundry and tips
Alcoholic drinks and cold drinks
International air fare and travel insurance
Emergency rescue if you need

Day Route Duration Highest Point/m Grade
 1 Arrival Kathmandu transfer to Hotel  All day  1300  Easy
2 Kathmandu - Zhangmu or Nyelam All day 3750 Easy
Leaving Kathmandu early we drive up the Friendship Highway to the China border at Zhangmu. Depending on road conditions and the border crossing we will either stay in Zhangmu or head on to Nyelam.
3 Zhangmu or Nyelam – Shegar All day 4050 Easy
It will be a full day drive from Zhangmu to Shegar with only a few short stops. However, if we have managed to get to Nyelam the previous evening then we shall be able to take our time and absorb the amazing scenery that surrounds us, and maybe get some great views of Mt Everest!
4 Shegar - Shigatse All day 3900 Easy
Arid rolling hills fringed by snow-capped mountains, high alpine passes adorned with prayer flags, sparsely cultivated valleys and a kaleidoscope of rock colours all pass our window as we drive onward, deeper onto the plateau. We should arrive in Shigatse with enough time to have a stroll around town and meet our first Tibetans.
5 Shigatse - Gyantse All day 3950 Easy
We begin our day with a visit to Tashilhumpo monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama who is regarded as the reincarnation of the Buddha of Endless Enlightenment. The monastery complex was started in 1447 by the First Dalai Lama and includes some important relics of Sakyamuni Buddha, an impressive 26m high statue of Maitreya Buddha, and an incredible collection of thankas, frescoes and statues. If the weather is clear we can climb up to the dramatic Shigatse Dzong (fort) ruins that offer great views over the city, alternatively we can visit the lively market where you can buy local handicrafts decorated with coral and turquoise. It is then a short drive to Gyantse.
6 Gyantse - Lhasa All day 3612 Easy
Gyantse is one of the most authentic towns in Tibet and home to the magnificent Palkhor Monastery. Within the monastic compound is the superb Kumbum (10,000 images) stupa and is a deeply spiritual place. Built in 1414 the Kumbum is 5 storied pagoda containing 108 images of Buddha and 77 chapels, all finely decorated. Towering above the city, the Gyantse dzong (fort) stands sentinel over the town and offers excellent views for those feeling energetic. In the afternoon we leave Gyantse and pass the crystal clear waters in the holy lake Yamdrok Tsho before arriving in Lhasa.
7 Lhasa All day 3612 Easy
Sightseeing of Lhasa as time permits:
Sera Monastery - established in 1419 Sera Monastery is not only famous for its remarkable relics but also the monks' debating practice which is open to tourists. However, please make sure you are not watching the enforced Comprehensive Propaganda Education which is designed to enhance 'patriotic education' - check with your operator for details.
Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar - The Jokhang Temple Monastery is an exceptional Buddhist religious complex, founded in the 7th century, it is the spiritual centre of Tibet. Although its buildings and decoration reflect the high quality of Tibetan art in the 7th century and again in the 15th-16th centuries it is the absolute devotion of the pilgrims in and around the temple that capture your attention. Around the Jokhang is the Barkhor market which is full of Tibetans from every corner of the country as well as an amazing assortment of goods from false teeth, to scriptures, to works of art and day-to-day merchandise.
Norbulingka - built in the 1740's during the reign of the 7th Dalai Lama it was later renovated and enlarged and became the Dalai Lama's summer palace. Essentially a park with a number of palaces it is an ideal place to see Tibetan folk singing and see where Heinrich Harrer lived.
Chakpori (Iron Hill) - once the site of the Tibetan Medicine College it was bombed during the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Now only a few rebuilt stupas remain. It is a poignant reminder of the past.
8 Lhasa All day 3612 Easy
Sightseeing of Lhasa, as time permits:
Potala Palace - the first structure on Marpo Ri hill was built in 637 by Emperor Songtsen Gampo, although the current building started to take shape in 1645 with successive Dalai Lamas adding sections, until now at 13 stories high it dominates the landscape. Not only the former winter residence of the Dalai Lama it was also the seat of government of Tibet with over 1,000 rooms and a monastic centre of learning. The oldest section is within the White Palace where there are two small chapels, the Phakpa Lhakhang and the Chogyal Drubphuk dating from the seventh century. There are also many other shrine rooms and the mortal remains of 13 previous Dalai Lamas, along with countless thankas, frescos, and works of art.
Drepung Monastery - once the largest and richest monastery in Tibet it was founded in 1416 by a disciple of Tsong Khapa and later enlarged by the Fifth Dalai Lama. At its peak it had a registration of more than 10,000 thousand monks many of whom could get into the main prayer hall!
The Tibet Museum - houses many of the artifacts 'liberated' by the Chinese during their invasion of Tibet. Despite the appalling assertions it has some excellent pieces which one day might make it back to where they belong.
9 Lhasa - Kathmandu all day 1300 Easy
Fly to Kathmandu on China Southwest and transfer to hotel.
10 Kathmandu free day shopping
11 Departure from Thamel

 

NOTE: This tour can be run in reverse and sightseeing itineraries are flexible.