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Classical Tour
Friendship highway tours
Tour Type: Classical Tour
Duration:  8 days
Cost: Inquire Now

On these trips, we will travel in Landcruisers 4WD, following the Friendship Highway through some of the most amazing landscape on Earth and staying in the best traditional hotels Tibet has to offer. 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 and 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.


These trips will operate on fixed departure dates, which means you are likely to be joining a group of people from many different countries. However, for a group of 5 or more people, a private departure can be arranged. The price given is on a twin share basis, although a single supplement is available and all of our departures have a maximum group size of 12 people. To run each trip, we need a minimum of 5 people and we are confident that this figure will be achieved for the majority of our advertised departures. However, in the unlikely event that we don't have enough people booked on your chosen departure, we will do our utmost to make the best possible alternative arrangements for you.


The road between Lhasa and Kathmandu stretches for 920 km and is known as the Friendship Highway. It can at times become quite rough and impassable for many vehicles, so for this reason we use Landcruiser 4WDs. These vehicles are extremely reliable and will make the journey as comfortable as possible.
Landslides can at times affect overland travel in Tibet. Occasionally the road may become impassable and it will be necessary to find alternative transport.
Unfortunately, we cannot cover the extra cost of this and, in such circumstances, you may be asked to pay some additional amount. However, any such cost will be covered by your travel insurance and we will be more than happy to provide you with any necessary documentation. The section of road between Kathmandu and the Tibetan border can also be affected by landslides and mud during the monsoon, so the transport on this section will also be by Landcruiser 4WD.
Throughout your time in Tibet you will be accompanied by a knowledgeable Tibetan guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide a valuable insight into the Tibetan way of life. Accommodation in Lhasa will usually be at the Dhood Gu /Dhoodgu or Nordo Khangsar Hotel which are all renowned for their hospitality and warm Tibetan atmosphere. If you wish to stay at the Lhasa Hotel it can also be provided for an extra supplement. Elsewhere along the route, accommodation will be in the best available hotels. Meals will either be in the hotel or at a restaurant of your choice [where available]. Whilst on the road, lunch will be at one of the many Chinese teashops along the way, which generally serve a variety of noodle and vegetable dishes and meat where available.


After a shower and breakfast, we begin our day's drive at about 9am. We'll drive for several hours, stopping along the way for photographs or places of special interest, before stopping for lunch at around midday. After lunch we continue our journey, generally arriving at our destination by 3 or 4pm.


Despite the high altitude of the Tibetan Plateau, the daytime temperatures are actually quite mild. Between April and November the average temperature ranges from 15 - 25 degrees Celsius and the skies are generally clear and blue. From July to August, though, a brief shower can be expected during the day. The nights, however, can become very cold with temperatures dropping below 0 degrees Celsius. During the day, a light shirt or jumper and light pants will be suitable, but a warm fleece or down jacket is suggested for night-time wear.


For this trip you will need a multiple entry visa for Nepal which can be obtained either from your nearest Nepalese consulate or on arrival in Nepal. For Tibet, we will organise a group visa, and in order to do this we will need a copy of your passport at least 15 days prior to the commencement of your trip, followed by your actual passport 4 days before the trip. If this is not possible, a group visa can be arranged in 1 day, but this service incurs an extra charge of US$25 per person.


Our tours are based on entry and exit from Kathmandu. However, you can also enter from parts of Mainland China, i.e. Beijing, Chengdu etc. A separate shall apply subject to change in entry/exit points.


Vaccination requirements change frequently, so we suggest you consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to your trip. We also recommend that each person carry a basic first aid kit. The main health consideration in Tibet is altitude related illness or Acute Mountain Sickness [AMS]. You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days.Hotels in Lhasa are equipped with oxygen. Doctors will also be available on call basis. A supply of bottled oxygen is carried in the vehicle at all times should it be required.


The Chinese currency is known as Renminbi [RMB] or 'The People's Money'. The exchange rate for RMB is approximately 8 RMB to 1 US$. You can change money at the hotels in Lhasa and in the Bank of China in Lhasa, Shigatse and Zhangmu. American Express and VISA cards are accepted in the same places. When we are travelling upcountry, try to get your money in small donominations: RMB 100 and RMB 50 bills are sometimes hard to get rid of in rural Tibet.


Tibet is 8 hours ahead of GMT. Note Tibet is linked to Beijing time so when you cross the border to or from Nepal the time change is considerable. Nepal is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of GMT.


Tibetans are generally honest and Hotel staff can be trusted not to walk off with your belongings. Pickpockets are purse and snatchers are virtually unknown and there seem to be no scams aimed at parting you from your money.
The situation has eased and Tibetans no longer risk being punished for talking with foreigners. Avoid taking photographs of Chinese soldiers.

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