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7-day Overland Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse-EBC-Kathmandu Trip, Global Peak to Kathmandu
Map of Tibet Overland Tour from Lhasa to EBC to Kathmandu

Author: Mirmah Droma of CYTS
Route Code: LEK-7-A
Average Rate: 4/5
 

Distinguishing Features of the Itinerary:
1). Potala Palace in Lhasa, well-known as “the Dazzling Pearl of Qing-Tibet Plateau”;
2). Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet and the capital city of Rear-Tibet Prefecture;
3). Mt. Everest Base Camp, short in EBC, the Global Summit;
4). The path (the Friendship Road) leading to Kathmandu from Zhangmu Town, Nepal-Tibet boarder (You could also inquire us to arrange your Nepal tour with high cost-efficiency and great comfort);
 

Detailed Itinerary:
Day 1: Flying or taking a train ride to Lhasa from a Chinese city or Kathmandu (flight only) and having a rest in the hotel in order to acclimatize to the highland elevation

Tibet Lhasa Gongkar Airport  The outline of Lhasa train station

A limousine or private pick-up from Lhasa Gongkar Airport or train station is always arranged during fixed time buckets, and then travelers will be escorted to your hotel in urban Lhasa. Please calm down and do NOT do strenuous exercise so that you can adapt to the high elevation as soon as possible (1-2 days most of the time). Please avoid taking a shower or bath, keep the window open for better air fluidity when sleeping on the first day upon your arrival so as not to catch a cold. Some effective drugs produced in China are recommended to alleviate altitude stress such as Fenbid (headache killer) and Rhodiola rosea capsule (Nuodi Capsule), etc. Soaking Rhodiola rosea in hot water and drinking the solution have turned out NOT effective enough (according to our tourists). Our Tibet travel consultants can help you obtain the medicines once you ask for.
 
Accommodating in comfortable class hotel in authentic Tibetan style in Lhasa (hot water supply, air-conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi or Ethernet access, showering facilities, English speaking clerks and breakfast the next morning);
 

Day 2: Visiting Potala Palace, Tibet Museum, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar Street
 
The Well Known Potala Palace, the Gleaming Highland Pearl 3 hours of visiting inside
Potala Palace in the morning will be arranged in the first place. Potala Palace had been strongly fortified for decades, but tourists are currently allowed to take photos by paying a certain sum of fee. The Golden Top of Potala Palace is resplendent so is worth a stay there. Intense religious ambience pervades the entire urban Lhasa--numerous effusive followers worship around on bended knees on Potala Square every morning, or circumambulate Potala Palace clockwise for 1, 3, 5 or 7 laps. Initially constructed during Songtsen Gampo’s regime in the 7th century as a profoundly memorable and resplendent groups of buildings (height: 117.9 meters, 13 floors) for marrying princess Wencheng, Potala Palace has became the preaching place of successive Dalai Lamas and the Tibetan center of politics and religion since the 17th century. The great palace, the highest ancient palace buildings constructed in groups, consists of red palace and white palace; the main body of red palace is a spirit tower and various family halls for worshiping the Buddha, where all sorts of Buddhism activities are held; white palace is the site where Dalai Lamas of all sessions live, chant sutras and handle administrative affairs.
 
Tibet Museum PictureLying at the other side of East Norbulinka Road,
Tibet Museum is the first museum which is equipped with modern features in Tibet. A variety of precious cultural relics displayed in the museum represent splendid unique culture and centuries-old history.
 
         Tibet Museum consists of 3 floors—the first floor is tourism shops selling authentic Tibetan souvenirs; the second floor exhibits articles of Tibetan history; the third floor presents visitors specialized and transient exhibition goods such as Thangkas, herbarium (plant specimen), animal specimen and jades etc. The exhibition hall of Tibet museum is comprised of 4 sections of content--prehistoric culture, indivisible history, cultural arts and folk culture.
 
         The gold seal weighing 8.5 kilograms and casted in pure gold is undoubtedly the most important collection to visitors, which was bestowed to the Fifth Dalai Lama by emperor Shunzhi in Qing Dynasty after the Fifth Dalai Lama paid a visit to the imperial palace of Qing Dynasty in order to attain the support from the powerful empire. The impression of seal was carved in 4 languages—Han (former Chinese), Cang (Tibetan), Man and Meng (the latter three are languages of minority nations), meaning “The Seal of Merciful Dalai Lama in Western Paradise”. From then on, Dalai Lamas of all generations were authenticated by the central government of Qing Dynasty.
 
         Another legend was about the “Witch Figure” on Thangka painting (hex or succubae, but a righteous character in Tibetan Buddhism) depicting the topographic map of Tibet drawn by Wencheng princess. And the witch on the painting lies on her back with monasteries and temples built on 12 positions of her joints and viscera organs. It is pregnant with meaning that Jokhang Temple was constructed right on the position of the witch’s heart.
 
         Various items on display are interpreted in Chinese, Tibetan, English and Japanese. Taking photos are prohibited so that the artifacts are well preserved.
 
Jokhang Temple full of PilgrimsThe visiting duration in
Jokhang Temple will be around 30-50 minutes depending on tourists’ willingness and visitors’ flow rate. Considered by believers as the holy land of pilgrims and the center of Tibetan Buddhism, Jokhang Temple located in the old center of Lhasa City was established by princess Wencheng. Thousands of Buddhists annually congregate in Jokhang Temple by kowtowing 1 time once walking for every 3 steps on the whole way from their hometown thousands of miles away. The purpose of their kowtowing is to pray in front of the 12-year old statue of Sakyamuni (the founder of Buddhism) for blessing.
 
Barkhor Street Surrounding Jokhang Temple in urban LhasaThe periphery of Jokhang Temple is the well known circumambulating path—
Barkhor Street, also famous as the shopping center of Lhasa, where travelers can experience Tibetan ethnic features and exotic customs by purchasing multitudinous artifacts in numerous shops while witnessing the pilgrims from all corners of the world. As regards to authentic Tibetan beverages, Tibetan butter tea at a reasonable price of 4-5 RMB per kettle is highly recommended, but foreign visitors need to be mentally well prepared about its extremely unique taste which some regard as delectable whereas some frown upon it.
 

*Warm NOTE:
1. The accurate time when tourists visit Potala Palace will be in accordance with the appointment as the quota of Potala visitors is limited so that the ancient structure will NOT be overloaded.
 
2. A relatively long time will be spent staying outdoors today, so please prepare sunbonnet (sun helmet), sunglasses, sun screens and potable water.
 
Overnight in comfortable class hotel in authentic Tibetan style in Lhasa (hot water supply, air-conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi or Ethernet access, showering facilities, English speaking clerks and breakfast the next morning);
 

Day 3: Visiting [Drephung Monastery] in the morning, which is the largest monastery among all Tibetan monasteries; in the afternoon visiting another well known monastery of Yellow Sect Buddhism—[Sera Monastery], and then heading to [Norbulinka Summer Palace], the imperial palace for short stays of Dalai Lama’s; the extra optional today is to visit a [Tibet carpet factory] to get to know how the fancy Tibet carpets are manufactured.
 
Monks hanging out a colossal Thangka painting near Drephung MonasteryDrephung Monastery is a monastery where prominent Buddhists originate from and where Dalai Lamas of 1-5 generations resided. During every Shoton Festival (June 30th according to Tibetan calendar), the Buddha Display Ritual is held in Drephung Monastery. On the same day, Buddhists of Drephung Monastery hang out a portrait of Sakyamuni (the founder of Tibetan Buddhism) which is 20 meters wide and 30 meters high on the slope of Mountain Genpewuchi for visitors to appreciate with reverence and admiration.
 
Agitated Buddhist Debate in Sera Monastery Sky-burial platforms and a tiny internal monastery accommodating only 3 monks in
Sera Monastery are the most attractive spots. Early in 1418, the 16th year of Yongle of Ming Dynasty, Sera Monastery was built by Sakyajerzy, one of the 8 primary apprentices of Tsongkhapa who was the establisher of Gulug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The entire Sera Monastery is comprised of 3 Chagcams (economical yards) named Geba, Maiba and Aba and 29 villages with the quota of 5,500 people for clergies to live in.
 

*Warm Tips:
1. Some antique wall paintings (murals or frescos) are preserved in many big halls in Sera Monastery, so it is suggested to bring flash lights.
 
2. There is NO reason to miss the exclusive and spectacular Sera Monastery monk debate that begins at 3 p.m. every day. Quite a few tourists gather and watch the cultural debate. (Please note that he debate is NOT conducted every day in shoulder and low season when there are just few visitors.)
 

Stone Genital Sculpture Shot in Norbulinka Park in LhasaNorbulinka Park is the summer palace where Dalai Lamas of all previous generations relieve summer heat and manage government affairs. After expanded for over 200 consecutive years, the whole park occupies 360,000 square meters with a variety of buildings mainly in the styles of Gesang Phobrang, Golden Phobrang and Dadengmingo Phobrang, which ranks the top in terms of scale, scenic beauty and the number of historical sites among Tibetan artificial gardens. The sole Tibetan zoo is located in Norbulinka Park.
 
         The open time of Norbulinka is 9:00-12:00 and 15:00-19:00 with an interval of 3 hours in the midday. Tibetan dramas are performed at 11:00 in Norbulinka Park, which visitors could view as an extra option.
 
If travelers still have some excessive time today, a
Tibet carpet factory in urban Lhasa is worth visiting as tourists coming from distinctive cultures can take a good chance to see how the exquisitely decorated Tibet carpets in various colors are processed.
 

*Remark:
At night, the Youth Road (Qingnian Road) full of BBQ stalls offering distinctive flavors is a good place to stroll. And people who are bar addicts also have quite a few choices; however, 1-6 a.m. is the only prime time.
 
Lodging in comfortable class hotel in authentic Tibetan style in Lhasa (hot water supply, air-conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi or Ethernet access, showering facilities, English speaking clerks and breakfast the next morning);
 

Day 4: Lhasa-Yamdrok Yamtso Lake-Gyantse County-Shigatse by vehicle
 
Yamdrok Yamtso Lake in Nagarze County (Langkazi)The tour today is to drive to [Shigatse] by throwing over Gambala Mountain Pass and the highlights are on the way successively--the third largest Tibetan holy lake named
Yamdrok Yamtso, where travelers will experience its infinite beauty and far-see the antique spectacular Kora Glacier. Subsequently we will head to [Gyantse County] which is the live-action location of the famous film “Red River Valley” and view Gyantse Fortress, also called Gyantse Dzong Ruins. Finally, we will arrive in Shigatse City in the evening.
 
Accommodating in Shigatse (hot water supply, air-conditioning in summer and winter, TV, internet access, showering facilities and breakfast the next morning);
 

Day 5: Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse--Great Figure of Buddha or Rinca--Rongbuk Monastery
 
Great Figure of Buddha in Tashilunpo Monastery  Picture of Tashilunpo Monastery

The primary target today is the giant monastery in Shigatse city—Tashilunpo Monastery, the preaching place of Panchen Lama who is the most prestigious Tibetan leader in vast Shigatse Prefecture. Tashilunpo Monastery is one of the four famous monasteries of Gelugpa Sect where travelers can look up at the tallest copper statue of Great Figure of Buddha with reverence. Memorial photos can be taken at the gate of the giant monastery.
 
         The alternative choice for those not interested is to ramble in
Rinca Area (free of charge), the exclusive relaxing place in Tibet where travelers will have the chance to view Brahmaputra sightseeing, grasslands in desert, sand dunes and Tibetan incense workbenches.
 
         In the afternoon, we will drive to the border checkpoint so as to run some instant procedures, and then we are darting to the worldwide highest monastery--Rongbuk Monastery which is 5,100 meters above sea level. The unique features of Rongbuk Monastery are white erecting towers and floating colorful silk pieces.
 

*Tips for watching Mt. Everest:
1. It is globally accepted that the south face of Rongbuk Monastery is the vantage point for viewing Mt. Everest.
 
2. Afterwards, we are leaving for [Everest Base Camp] (EBC), the ultimate land altitude-8,848 meters. Travelers will look up with your own eyes how Mt. Everest varies visually from far and near.
 
3. Dusk will be soundlessly approaching. Crowds of colossal mountains are engulfed by irresistible darkness except Mt. Everest peak that is glittering with the goddess golden crown endowed by the reflected sun shine.
 
Lodging in Rongbuk Guesthouse or tent hostel (This is the only available way of accommodating tonight due to simple conditions; hot water bags in order to keep warm; sleeping bags if necessary; breakfast the next day);
 

Day 6: Everest Base Camp to Tingri (or to Old Tingri)
 
Rongbuk Monastery near EBCEarly in the morning before sun rise, you can have a full view of the magnificent Mt. Everest standing like a snow-capped pyramid in front of you at Rongpuk Monastery which is the highest monastery in the world and one of the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries of the Nyingma sect. This monastery is 5,800 meters above sea level. Standing erect in the severely chilly air, it is the monastery of the highest altitude on the planet and it is officially reported that there are totally 30 Buddhist monks and 30 nuns living in the monastery. However, some local people unveiled there were only about 20 nuns and 10 monks; anyway, there used to be about 500 monks and nuns. To Everest Base Camp, you can trek unilaterally for 4 kilometers from tent site to base camp or take the mini bus.

Overnight at Tingri or Old Tingri Guesthouse or hostel (hot water supply at night and in the morning, hot water bags to keep warm when necessary, showering facilities and breakfast the next morning);
 

Day 7: Tingri or Old Tingri to Zhangmu then to Kathmandu

Driving along the Road at Tingri County in Shigatse Prefecture in Tibet  Friendship Bridge at Nepal-Tibet Boarder

In the early morning we are heading to China-Nepal border – Zhangmu Town. On the way to Zhangmu again you will have to skip over a high mountain pass called Nyalam Tong La Pass (5,150 meters) in Tibet and arrive at Matsung Tsangpo-Phung Chhu Watershed where the Friendship Highway connects Tibet and Nepal. The condition of the road to Zhangmu is not awful but the altitude and the atmospheric temperature change rapidly. Zhangmu Town is characterized by subtropical climate at the altitude of 2,300 meters (7,546ft.).
 
         At noon, about 1pm, you will arrive in Zhangmu, the border town, and leave Tibet. Our Guide will drop you off at the border bridge, and you are kindly required to hike on your own to cross the border bridge which is 50 meters long, and then check in Nepal side. You can get your Nepal visa upon arrival by paying 30USD. Please prepare one photo in the size of the photo on your passport to obtain Nepal visa. Afterwards, you need to find a car or bus riding you to Kathmandu. 50 meters ahead from the border bridge, crowds of cars or buses are always ready there with immense hospitality to offer their riding service to travelers—3,000 Nepali Rupee for a private car ride to Kathmandu (50USD) or 50 Nepali Rupee (approximately 1USD) for a bus seat. At this moment, the pleasurable Tibet overland tour is accomplished at Nepalese Border.
 

Services Included:
1. Accommodations: 3-star comfortable hotels in Lhasa and Shigatse for 4 nights (hot water supply, air-conditioning in summer and winter, independent bathroom, double room or twin room, WIFI access; breakfasts; single room supplement is NOT included in the quote); Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse or tent hostel at EBC for 1 night (hot water, water bags, sleeping bags if necessary, breakfast the next morning); Tingri or Old Tingri Guesthouse or hostel for 1 night (hot water, water bags, breakfast the next day);
2. Meals: 3-star comfortable hotel service covering buffet breakfasts in Lhasa and Shigatse (Breakfasts served at Rongbuk tent guesthouse and Tingri are not buffets);
3. Transport in Tibet: 4 wheel land cruiser for round trip between Shigatse and Mt. Everest; tour bus or mini bus in urban Lhasa;
4. English speaking local Tibetan travel guide;
5. Insurance included for duration in Tibet (according to the local law).
 

Services Excluded:
1. Meals except breakfast because you can choose what you are fond of on the spot;
2. Entrance fees of all resorts (You can also include this item in the package by inquiring our Tibet travel consultants);
3. Transports out of Tibet such as trains to and from Tibet as well as flights;
4. Other items not mentioned in “Service Included” above.
 

*Kindly Reminders:
1. The route above applies to international travelers and those from Hong Kong and Taiwan EXCEPT those whose occupations are journalists, soldiers, government officials and members of special agents.
 
2. The actually implemented Tibet travel route is mostly carried out firmly based on the one elaborated above. However, in some rare situations, certain regions in Tibet are temporarily closed to international travelers even to Chinese domestic visitors due to unpredictable natural disasters and temporary change of local tourism policy.
 
3. All tour packages are optimized in order to give considerations to both cost-efficiency and comfort level. Moreover, the price does NOT include airfares, train fares, personal consumptions and casualty insurance with high compensation (But we do buy travel insurance for our travelers according to the local tourism policy which currently offers very limited maximum compensation). So please make sure that you do purchase an accident insurance in your own country before getting started the trip.
 
4. According to Tibet tourism policy, travel companies and agents are NOT responsible for any indemnity caused by forces majeure such as collapse, earthquake, mud flow, avalanche and flood etc. as well as any delay and cancellation of passenger flights and trains. Anyway, for many years since the beginning of our Tibet travel service, with high efficiency we have been doing the utmost to resolve any trouble that our tourists come across.
 
5. The unconsumed payment can NOT be reimbursed if travelers stop the activities during the process. But the only exception is that the unfinished amount will be accurately returned to travelers if travelers are confirmed being sick during the stay in Tibet.
 
6. Tibet is a unique region with exclusive religious belief so that it is necessary for all tourists to respect their culture and living habit--Do NOT touch the Buddha beads on the necks of statues or sit on the seats of the Buddha especially those in and near temples and monasteries.
 
7. For booking the trips, please go to your local Chinese consulate with your passport in order to get the China visa. And then, we will be in charge of applying for Tibet permit for you. Please notice that the application needs to be done 15-30 days in advance so that your permit can be issued before your planned schedule.
 

*Health Cares for Tibet Travel:
NO.1--Tibet is plateau section, so drugs or health care foods alleviating altitude stress and cold are recommended such as Rhodiola rosea (also pronounced “Hong Jing Tian” in Chinese). People with heart disease, hypertension, asthma or bad cold are suggested NOT travel in Tibet.
 
NO. 2--Due to high altitude, Tibet exposes to intense ultraviolet from the sun and the air is usually dry in some parts, so items like sunglasses, sun blocks, lipsticks and sun bonnets are recommended.
 

NO.3--The annual temperature in Tibet is relatively low and there is obvious temperature difference between daytime and nighttime. In tourism season, the average temperature in Tibet ranges from 5 to 22 Degree Celsius. Travelers are advised to prepare long-sleeve clothes, trousers, woolen sweaters, jackets and so on that fight against cold air--effective method to avoid catching a cold.
 
NO.4--Enough sleep is important to avert or ease altitude stress, and strenuous exercise, alcohol, cigarette and vast food intake are forbidden shortly after your arrival in Tibet. In contrast, it accelerates acclimatizing if you have more rest (try to calm down), drink more water (not strong tea, coffee or sweet drink but mineral water) and eat more fruits. It is normal that most tourists more or less experience altitude stress (headache, chest distress, etc), but nearly all can become adaptable in about 1-2 days (most in 12-24 hours) so long as travelers pay attention to adequate rest and accurate diet. Taking some medicine does help like Gao Yuan An capsule/granule, Rhodiola rosea (Hong Jing Tian) or Nuo Di Kang, etc.. For difficult adapters, it is indeed effective to use oxygen bottles or have an infusion. What is courageous enough is that people will NOT suffer from altitude stress once getting acclimatized during the Tibet trip.
 

NO.5--Easy Tibet travel has the right to adjust the sequences of your planned resorts and scenic spots in condition that the total number of places to visit remains if forces majeure occurred. The headcount of visitors to Potala Palace each day is confined to 2,300 for the purpose of conserving antique Potala, therefore, the exactly time or date to visit Potala Palace could be antedated or postponed.
 
NO.6--Tibet is an inland region, which makes the food provisions a bit special, so the primary meals in Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi and Shannan Area are Tibetan or Sichuan food, but slight adjustments according to individual requirements is also possible. The trip journey in Tibet is long and much time is spent in vehicles, thus having meals unpunctually is inevitable. In this case, travelers need to prepare some snacks and biscuits ahead of schedule.
 

NO.7--Altitudes of main regions in Tibet: Lhasa-3,650 meters, Nyingchi-3,040 meters, Shigatse-3,860 meters, Namtso-4,770 meters, EBC (Everest Base Camp)-5,200 meters.
 
NO.8---It is suggested that you prepare well recharged camera batteries and memory cards so that the Tibetan cultural and scenic attractions can be freeze-framed and will last forever in your lifetime.
 

NO.9--Local Tibetan customs regulate that smoking, stroking statues, turning the Buddhist scriptures, touching decorations of lama statues, and beating drums & bells are forbidden. Please be quiet in temples and monasteries. Do not take the seats of living Buddha’s.
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