| Overland Lhasa, Gyantse, and Shigatse Tour
Tour Type: Classical Tour
Duration: 8 days
Cost: Inquire Now
North of India, Nepal, and the great Himalayas lies an ancient land unparalleled in it’s beauty and majesty. This land of Tibet, often referred to as the roof of the world, is the largest and highest plateau on earth. Its’ unique Buddhist culture, magnificent wildlife, and grand peaks have been sealed from outsiders for years. You are now given the chance to experience this land of mystery and fantasy!
Our trip will begin with an awe-inspiring five day sightseeing journey to Lhasa. The majority of this trip will be spent traveling the Friendship Highway, home to some of the most breathtaking scenery this side of heaven. All our traveling will be done in four wheel drive Toyota Land cruisers. The informative and welcoming guides will lead you through this amazing country of Tibet. Our route will meander through five days of rugged beauty. Along this journey we will pass through spectacular mountain peaks, numerous Tibetan settlements, and more ancient monasteries than you could imagine. We will have plenty of opportunities to explore this wealth of natural and cultural allure. While in Gyantse and Shigatse we even immerse ourselves in the Buddhist culture.
Once we reach Lhasa, we will spend three days relaxing and exploring this ancient city. This wondrous city is generally regarded as the heart of Tibet and is filled with unparalleled history, culture, and beauty. The Potala Palace dominates the skyline with its powerful and ancient architecture. The numerous temples and monasteries surrounding the city, such as the Jokhang and Drepung, allow travelers to experience Tibetan Buddhism first hand. A visit to these ancient monasteries will leave you with a sense of astonishment for years to come!
Come join us in the roof of the world!
Our group will assemble in Kathmandu in the morning and drive through gorgeous Nepalese countryside for nearly 123 km. Upon reaching Kodari the group will complete visa procedures and border formalities with the help of our guides. On the way to Nyalam we will drive through numerous passes and valleys using a system of steep switchbacks. We will even drive through a mossy gully containing wondrous cascading waterfalls.
The landscape changes dramatically as we ascend from the lush lower hills of Nepal to the arid yet beautiful landscape of the Tibetan Plateau. Our first Himalyan views come into sight as we cross the Lalung La pass. Hopefully, even Mt. Everest can be seen from this high pass. We will spend the night at the Hotel Quomolongma in Shegar.
Day 1 – Drive to the border and on to Nyalam
The beauty of the drive continues as we cross Gyatsmo La, the highest pass of our journey. On the way a string of quiet monasteries and herders can also be seen. The night will be spent at one of two traditional hotels in Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet
Today we only need to drive a short amount so the morning will be spent exploring the Tashilhunpo Monastery. This beautiful place is one of the largest functioning monasteries left in Tibet. Our first true experience of Tibetan culture! Our final destination is the small city of Gyantse. We will be given the opportunity of experiencing more wondrous Tibetan culture as we see the Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum. Expansive views of the valley can be seen from the ancient Dzong fort. The Kumbum is much more than a stupa, as it is surrounded by numerous Tibetan murals and small chapel houses. Even if you are no art connoisseur you will be amazed by these ancient murals and architecture.
The highlight of today is the Karo La pass. At this pass, a towering glacier rises nearly straight up from the road. Much more is seen today as we drive through several small towns and even Yamdrok-tso, an amazing turquoise lake. The day will end in Lhasa at the Dhood Gu hotel.
Haven't you always dreamed of visiting the ancient Tibetan monasteries? Our knowledgeable English speaking guide will show you everything there is to see in some of these renowned sights. First off we will explore the beautifully preserved Sera Monastery. Many of the pictures you see of Tibet are of these buildings with their white washed walls and golden roofs. To this day several hundred monks live and study in this architecture. The afternoon will be spent exploring the Jokhang temple and Norbulingka. The Norbunglinka is another astounding piece of architecture and was once the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang Temple will provide you one of your first sights of devout Tibetans, as hundreds visit this sacred shrine each day. The central market of Lhasa, the Barkor, surrounds the Jokhang Temple. In these cobbled streets you can experience more Tibetan culture and even purchase some amazing crafts.
Day 3 – Drive to Shigatse
To explore some of the ancient quarters of the Dalai Lama we will visit Potala Palace in the morning. Be prepared for astonishment as this grand palace has been around since before the 17th century. To add even more history and culture we will also visit Drepung Monastery. Once home to over 10,000 monks, the Drepung Monastery is still a beautiful sight to see. Miraculously it was one of the few sights to escape the Cultural revolution without widespread damage.
Day 7 – Further Exploration of Lhasa
Experience the wondrous sight of the Himalayas for one last time as we fly back to Katmandu! I am sure your flight will be filled with sadness at the culmination of such a wondrous trip. However, you will have memories which will last a lifetime.
Day 8 – Flight From Lhasa to Kathmandu