This tour takes you to some of the most significant, exotic and popular cultural sites of Tibet, including the famous Potala Palace in Lhasa but there is a lot more to explore on this trip! Drive in and fly out tour through a circular route from Kathmandu to Lhasa in the heart of Tibet offers you some of the most amazing landscapes on Earth creating a real Adventure trip for travelers on a limit of time and money. The Friendship Highway is an important artery of commerce as it’s also Tibet’s most popular tourist route. Enjoy fabulous mountain scenery, visit mystical Buddhist Monasteries of Tashilungpo at Shigatse, the Kumbum Stupa at Gyantse and drive past the beautiful Turquoise Lakes.
This path gives you a glimpse of both the Tibetan and Nepali culture. We’ll pass small Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen wandering across the wide arid plains and awe-inspiring mountain peaks. Equally as fascinating is the wealth of cultural interest we will have plenty of opportunity to explore this side of Tibet, both in Lhasa and the other towns we pass through on our journey.
Day 01: Arrival at the Tribuwan International Airport in Kathmandu (1,345m)
Our airport representative will welcome you at the airport and transfer to your hotel on a private tourist vehicle. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing around the Kathmandu Valley
After the pre-trip meeting and a hearty breakfast, your sightseeing trip will start at around 9:45am. You will have a private vehicle and a professional tour guide at your disposal. We visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks praying in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. After Boudhanath Stupa we visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. We will also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is a collection of pagoda and shikhara – style temples grouped around a fifty-five-window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is The Lion gate, The Golden gate, The Palace of fifty five windows, Art Galleries, The Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla. The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area near by your hotel. Later, you will be supplied with our Trek Pack and departure information for the next day. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Nepal/China Friendship Bridge, and onto Nyalam (3,750m)
Depart at 5am from the hotel in Kathmandu and drive to the Nepal-Tibet border along the famous Araniko Highway. We stop for a quick breakfast at Dhulikhel and lunch at Kodari. After immigration and custom formalities on both sides (Kodari and Zhangmu) we drive to the small town of Nyalam (3,750m). The total distance from Kathmandu to Nyalam is 125 kms. Overnight at a guesthouse.
Day 04: Drive to Lhatse (4,350m)
Day drive uphill to the highest plateau of the world with the typical view of Tibetan landscape offering sheer feeling of standing on the roof of the world crossing over Laungla (5,050m), from where, weather permitting, breathtaking panorama of beautiful Himalayan ranges including Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201m) and Mt. Xishapagma (8,012m) but dwarfed by the vastness of the Tibetan plateau. From Tingri one can enjoy the magnificence of Mt. Everest (8,848m). Overnight at a hotel.
Day 05: Drive to Xigatse (3,900m)
Continue the scenic drive crossing over Gyatchula (5,220m), the highest pass en route to Lhasa from where the road to Mt. Kailash bifurcates to the west. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 06: Drive to Gyantse (3,900m)
Morning sightseeing to the Panchen Lama’s Tashilhmpu Monastery. Drive to Gyantse and visit the Kumbum Stupa & Phalkor Monastery. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 07: Drive to Lhasa (3,650m)
Full day picturesque drive crossing over Karola (5,010m), Kambala (4,794m), colourful Yamdrok Lake and the Tibetan lifeline river Bramhaputra. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 08: Guided Tour in Lhasa
Sightseeing around Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 09: Guided Tour in Lhasa
Sightseeing tour around the Potala Palace and the Drepung Monastery. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 10: Flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu
Early morning drive to Gongar airport for departure flight to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Leisure day in Kathmandu
You have the option to extend your trip to continue onto Chitwan jungle safari, rafting adventure, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, scenic Everest flight, mountain biking and other activities. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 12: Transfer to the airport for your final flight departure The trip concludes
Our airport representative will drop you to Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.