Tibet- Shangri-La, the land of snows is well known as the roof of the World lies on a plateau at an average elevation of 4,000m. Tibet further is the land of ancient Buddhist culture having awesome landscapes, artistic monasteries, and century’s old caravan trails. The holy land is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the north and the Himalayas to the south. Tibet covers an area of 1.2 million Esq. km, and has a population of 2.3 million. Tibet is a sacred land of myths and mysteries inhabited by the ever smiling people. It has not only exerted magnetic spell upon travellers for centuries but also upon spies, missionaries, scholars, geographers, mystics, soldiers and cranks etc, yet, only a few intrepid serious and determined travellers have been able to make it. Tibet being extremely remote and isolated by the most formidable Himalayan ranges, a fascinating world of timeless splendour, unique tradition and breathtaking scenery awaits all travellers.
The bulk of the trip is crossing the arid Tibetan Plateau, which lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas and does not receive much annual precipitation. Our departures during the season are timed to miss the monsoon in Nepal, and we should be guaranteed clear, dry weather for the last step into Kathmandu. The weather on the Tibetan Plateau during the day will be surprisingly mild and warm, while nights will be clear and crisp. Temperatures will range from 20 degrees Centigrade during the day to well below freezing at night. As on any of our routes, though, storms can occur at any time along with a sprinkling of snow.
Tibetans are generally honest and Hotel staff can be trusted not to walk off with our belongings. Pickpockets are virtually unknown and there seem to be no scams aimed at parting us from our money. The situation has eased and Tibetans no longer risk being punished for talking with foreigners. We have to avoid taking photographs of Chinese soldiers.
At Hotel and night welcome dinner with our guest.
DAY 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing
Today after breakfast, we will start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the largest Stupas in the world.
DAY 03: Fly To Lhasa
At the dawn, we take the morning flight to Tibet. This is one of the world’s most spectacular flights, with a one hour flight over the incomparable Himalayas that keeps our eye out for Everest! After landing at Gongkar airport we will be escorted to our hotel in Lhasa’s beautiful Tibetan Quarter. After checking in the hotel, we go for a walk around the Barkhor Square, the spiritual heart of Tibet. Barkhor has a lively market for souvenir shopping.
DAY 04: Sightseeing in Lhasa: Norbulingka, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazar, Drepung Monastery
Foremost, our tour begins with a visit to SERA MONASTERY. An experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter escorts us to this preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Equally adventurous and exciting tempo builds up while touring Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. JOKHANG TEMPLE is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further visit BARKHOR MARKETS where we can view goods of Tibetan culture, custom and tradition. Eventually, the tour for the day concludes as y return to the comforts of our hotel.
DAY 05: Free day in Lhasa
Despite the day is free, we further engage into the experience of strangeness attained in such remote place of the divine world. Its scenic views, cultural traditions and innocence of people at Lhasa make us a thrill.
DAY 06: Sightseeing in Lhasa: Drepung monastery and Potala Palace; Rest free day to explore Lhasa
We experience invaluable insights during our visits to POTALA PALACE and DREPUNG MONASTERY. This 17th-century POTALA PALACE offers an awesome view of entire city and also has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in the 14th century used to shelter around 10,000 monks but as now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundred. Tibetans’ respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery.
DAY 07: Lhasa – Chusul: 97 km
At our full acclimatisation, we take to our bikes or cycle out to the Drepung Monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa. The Freedom Highway then leads us away from Lhasa down the Lhasa Valley and to our guesthouse in Chusul.
DAY 08: Chusul – Nagatse: 105 km
Following breakfast, we move on to tackle the 25km climb up to the pass of Kamba La. This tough climb will take 3-4 hours but the views from the prayer-flag-strewn summit at 4794m are spectacular. We then descend to the turquoise Yamdrok Lake where we will have lunch. After lunch, we make a gentle and scenic road journey to the small town of Nagatse.
DAY 09: Nagatse – Gyantse: 100 km
Following breakfast, there is the opportunity to tackle the first and (fortunately) ‘lowest’ of the high passes – the 5045m Karol La. This climb will take approximately 3hours. The subsequent descent is twice as long and descends over 1000m in altitude to Gyantse in the heart of the Yang Chug Valley. There is plenty to catch including the Palcho Monastery and the magnificent Kumbum Stupa – a fantastic tiered structure that is now unique in the Buddhist world. We will also be able to see the beautifully located Gyantse Dzong – where Lt. Col Francis Younghusband made his infamous first stronghold in 1904.
DAY 10: Gyantse – Shigatse: 94 km
Upon our today’s ride, we traverse through scenic gentle 94 km road across beautiful plains with a dramatic mountain backdrop. At mid-tide, we stop for lunch and then continue across the plains into Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city and home to the controversial Panchen Lama, whose home is traditionally at the Tashilunpo Monastery.
DAY 11: Shigatse
we make our rest in Shigatse where we also visit the huge Tashilhunpo monastery complex. During our time in Shigatse, we engage to obtain the necessary permits for visiting Everest Base Camp.
DAY 12: Shigatse – Lhatse: 150 km
Today, we start a gentle ride through rolling terrain across the Shigatse Plains. A gradual but long climb then takes us to the double passes of Tra La (4050m) and Tsuo La (4520m). There is then a fantastic descent which flattens out before we arrive at our guesthouse at Lhatse.
Today will be the judgement day for our legs! We leave Lhatse and ride to the foot of the Gyatso La, before climbing to the summit of the pass at 5248m! This is the highest pass on the Friendship Highway and a steady effort requires to conquer it. The hard effort rewards into the looming sight of Everest, as we gradually approach the Himalayan chain.
DAY 14: Shegar – Tashi Zom: 62 km
After the initial smooth tarmac from the door of the hotel, we then turn south and head off-road for the next few days! For the very fittest there is another pass – this time the 5200m Pang La – where we feast on the extensive views of the Himalayas. On a clear day, the sheer scale of the mountain views throughout is unequalled in the world! The descent from the pass is fast and twisty and brings us down into the Rongbuk Valley and to our overnight stop in Tashi Zom. 90% off-road.
DAY 15: Tashi Zom – Rongbuk: 42 km
Cycling on a vehicle width jeep trail today in full view of Everest’s North Face, we approach both the mountain itself and the Rongbuk Monastery. Taking lunch in the airy tranquillity at this moment will be is one of the attractions of the trip. After lunch, we continue the short distance to our overnight accommodation at the Ja-Rongbuk tented camp. The remainder of the afternoon is free to allow for acclimatisation to the lofty (5200m) altitude. The stunning views of Everest, visible from our campsite, hopefully, make up for the lack of air! 100% off-road. We can see note in accommodation section.
DAY 16: Rongbuk: 8 km
After breakfast, we take our bikes and head slowly up the gravel jeep trail to Everest Base Camp. The route is only 4km, but the stunning views and thin air mean it might well take 90 minutes! The views from Base Camp are stunning and offer a 360-degree panorama of the high Himalaya to put our photographic skills to the test! After enjoying the ambience of Base Camp, we return to our tented accommodation where our cooks will have prepared another amazing lunch! The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the incredible surroundings. 100% off-road.
DAY 17: Rongbuk – Tingri: 70 km
Heading back out of the wide valley, a turn-off takes us over the Nam La pass and along smaller tracks to Tingri, a little town overlooking the sweeping plains. Tingri is bordered by the mighty Himalayas and we will have distant views of Everest, Cho Oyu, as well as the ruins of buildings destroyed in the 18th-century Nepalese invasion of Tibet. 100% off-road
DAY 18: Tingri – Nyalam: 75 km
We usually drive to the first of the double passes of Lalung La (4950m) before riding down and up to the Shung La (5200m), the last pass in Tibet. The high-altitude lunch spot at this juncture offers fantastic with tantalising views of Shishipangma. Lunch is made even more enjoyable for knowing that it is now more than 4000m down to Nepal! We begin our epic descent by thundering down to Nyalam where we will spend our last night in Tibet.
DAY 19: Nyalam – Dhulikhel: 75 km
Today we will not encounter high pass! At Zhangmu, we pass through Chinese customs before continuing down to Nepal, crossing the famous Friendship Bridge at Kodari. We should remember to ride on the left in Nepal! From Barabise we head to Dhulikhel.
DAY 20: Dhulikhel – Kathmandu: 20 km
Today, we are on the eve of our tour. After a fine breakfast at Dhulikhel, we head off through the greenery of the Kathmandu Valley towards our final destination, Kathmandu via the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bhaktapur, where we will have the time to visit the beautiful Durbar square
DAY 21: Departure to airport
What Is Included
- Complimentary welcome dinner in one of the finest Nepalese restaurants in Kathmandu
- Sightseeing in Nepal and Tibet as per itinerary
- Experienced English speaking local tour guides (Tibetan & Nepalese in respective places)
- Accommodation on Bed and Breakfast basis in Nepal and Tibet
- Overland transportation (1 Truck up to 5 pax with cabin for passengers and more than 5 pax jeep and truck)
- All Entrance fees in Tibet and Nepal.
- International airfare to/from Kathmandu
- Kathmandu to Lhasa airfare
- Mountain Bike if on rent
- Lunch and Dinner in Nepal and Tibet
- Trip cancellation and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
- Items of personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, the internet, laundry etc.)
- Excess baggage
- Tips for guides & drivers
- Nepal Visa fee
- Tibet Visa