Kathmandu to Lhasa - The land known as ‘the roof of the world’, Tibet is waiting to be explored. Entering via the ‘back door’ route from Kathmandu, the tour takes a roller coaster like route through high mountain passes and across the highest inhabited plateau on earth, experiencing important religious and trading centres and absolutely incredible scenery, to the spiritual heart and soul of Tibetan Buddhism – Lhasa. From here, you can conclude your tour with a flight back to Kathmandu and connecting flights home – or you can journey on into other parts of China via air or perhaps the new Qinghai-Tibet railroad – the world’s highest rail adventure – ask for details.
Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland 12 Days
Day 1 – Arrive Kathmandu
You will be met at Kathmandu International airport and transferred to your hotel.
Stay two nights at the Hotel Yak & Yeti. (D)
Day 2 – Kathmandu
Embark on a tour of Kathmandu, visiting the Great Bell, Kala Bhairab – a huge stone image of Shiva at his most fearsome, Kasthamandap – a wooden house built in the 12th century, and Kumari Bahal – home to a young living goddess. Travel up to Swayambhunath Temple, set high on a hill with commanding views of the Kathmandu Valley. Visit two World Heritage listed religious sites, the Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa. See devotees taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River. (B,L)
Day 3 – Kathmandu – Zhangmu
Depart early for a scenic drive to Kodari on the Nepal-Tibet border. After clearing border formalities proceed to Zhangmu and a local guesthouse for the night. Take time to rest and acclimatize – altitudes of up to 5,220 m will be traversed in the coming days. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Zhangmu to Shegar
From Zhangmu, drive to Lhatse, a winding route following the Bhote Koshi River valley dotted with waterfalls, and crossing the Tibetan Plateau with breathtaking panoramic views of some of the great mountain peaks of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest (8848m). The road traverses a number of high passes, the highest being Gyatso-la (5220 m). Continue on through Tingri to Shegar for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Shegar to Rongbuk
From Shegar take the Everest access road which winds and climbs its way for 60 or so kilometers to the Rongbuk Monastery. Although there were probably monastic settlements in the area for several hundred years, Rongbuk Monastery was established fairly recently in 1902 by a Nyingmapa Lama. Not of great antiquity, it can at least lay claim to being the highest monastery in Tibet and thus the world, at 4980 m. There were once 500 monks and nuns living here but that number has dwindled considerably. Stay overnight in the monastery in basic but comfortable rooms heated by stoves. Simple meals are available. (B)
Day 6 – Everest Base Camp
Drive to Everest Base Camp from Rongbuk Monastery. The base camp is a dry, barren place, but the views of Everest more than make up for this. Have a photo taken at the base camp marker, then climb a small hill to the left for great views of the world’s highest peak. Return to Shegar for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Shegar to Shigatse
From Shegar continue the drive to Shigatse, Tibet’s second-largest city, for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Day 8 – Shigatse – Gyantse
Visit the Tashilhunpu Monastery, former seat of the Panchen Lama. Built in 1447, the monastery once held 4000 monks. Drive on to Gyantse and visit Gyantse Kumbum and Palkhor Monastery to see the large, image covered stupa. Stay overnight at the Gyantse Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 9 – Gyantse – Lhasa
On the 270km drive to Lhasa, see grand vistas of glaciers, high mountain passes and Yamdrok Yumsto, one of the sacred lakes. Stay three nights at the Four Points Sheraton in Lhasa. (B,L,D)
Day 10 – Lhasa
Today will be spent visiting several of Lhasa’s many monasteries in the company of a guide and interpreter. One of these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best preserved in Tibet. Within its white-washed walls several hundred monks live and study. After lunch visit Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. Pilgrims holding prayer wheels can be seen walking in a clockwise direction around this most sacred monastery. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkor – a maze of narrow cobbled streets which is the central market of Lhasa. (B,L,D)
Day 11 – Lhasa
This morning visit the Potala Palace which dominates the city of Lhasa. A spectacular building, it contains the private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century. A visit to the Drepung Monastery this afternoon will complete a truly awe- inspiring day. Founded in the 14th century, this monastery was once the largest in the world with a population of around 10,000 monks. These days that figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much here of interest. (B,L,D)
Day 12 – Depart Lhasa
The tour concludes this morning with a transfer to either the airport or rail station. Arrangements can be made for flights to return to Kathmandu or to points in China, or for a spectacular journey on the world’s highest railway, the Qinghai-Tibet Railroad, to a variety of destinations in China. (B)
- Make a Booking
- Tour Departure Dates and Prices
Departure Date Twin Share Single Room Sole Traveller Apr 16 – Mar 17 $4250 $5803 $7293
Prices are per person, in Australian dollars. Please confirm prices when booking.
- Price Includes:
- 2 nights in a 5 star hotel in Kathmandu, 3 nights in a 4 star hotel in Lhasa and 6 nights in the best available hotels and guesthouses in between
- 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 9 dinners
- All transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees
- InterAsia travel bag
- Visa fees. The Tibet permit/China visa is approx USD 120 for Australian passport holders and is obtainable in Kathmandu on arrival.
Sole traveller prices apply for one person travelling on their own and staying in a single room. The Single room price applies when two or more people travel together and a single room is required.
In Tibet, travellers need to be prepared to encounter altitude sickness, low grade hotels in remote areas and poor road conditions.
- See devotees taking ritual dips in the Bagmati River
- Breathtaking views of some of the great peaks of the Himalayas, including Mt Everest
- Overnight stay in the highest monastery in the world
- Climb the many steps to enter the revered Potala Palace
- Be amongst the praying pilgrims and enterprising locals in the Lhasa squares