Where Clouds Are Made of Rock
Its the duty of every Nepalese traveller to buy some Tibetan prayer flags that sit in a box under your bed for the next three years. Don't let the team down.
(Was Tibet Overland)
We cannot guarantee this tour to depart on all dates as it is subject to Tibet permits being issued by the Chinese Government.
Day 1-2 - Kathmandu
Rum Doodle Restaurant is a Kathmandu institution. If you've scaled Everest, you get free meals for life and can sign your name alongside Edmund Hillary on the Rum Doodle Wall of Fame. The rest of you can just sit back and enjoy pizza, pasta, steak and live music.
- Arrive at any time and get to know Kathmandu
- Pre-departure meeting for the first part of your tour takes place this evening
- Visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world
- Observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa
- Stop by Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River
- See Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats
- Enjoy free time in Kathmandu for further sightseeing and exploration
- Perhaps wander back into the centre of town, scour the shops in Thamel or just relax in the hotel gardens
- Why not arrange for a taxi to take you out to Bhaktapur, a medieval town in the Kathmandu Valley
Day 3-5 - Lhasa
We reckon the flight to Lhasa is one of the best in the world. Why, you ask? Just look out the window - that's Mt Everest right there. Swing past Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar, Drepung and Sera Monastery.
- Embark on the flight to Lhasa - one of the most spectacular flights in the world
- Follow the high mountain peaks before crossing over the Himalayan chain to the high Tibetan Plateau
- Embark on a long drive to the fabled city of Lhasa
- Spend the rest of the day in Lhasa relaxing to aid acclimatization
- Explore this once isolated city which is now a mixture of old and new
- Visit the fabled Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple plus Sera and Drepung Monasteries
- Spend free time wandering around the city on our own
- Stroll around the markets or arrange a taxi to go out to the Norbulingka (Summer Palace) or the Tibet Museum
Day 6 - Gyantse
Get a massage on the roads (read between the lines: it's a bumpy ride) and feel the love on the Friendship Highway. Try 'momo' (meat dumplings) in Gyantse.
- Follow the Friendship Highway, which traverses high mountain passes and crosses wide plateaus, connecting Lhasa with Kathmandu
- Travel through Tibet’s richest farming areas, before crossing the Brahmaputra River as it winds its way down towards the Bay of Bengal
- Cross the river on a solid suspension bridge and head towards Kamba La
- Enjoy a view over the huge Yamdrok Tso (Scorpion Lake)
- Climb again, this time to the Karo La, before descending to the historic town of Gyantse
- Try the local specialty of 'momo' - which are small meat dumplings
Day 7 - Shigatse
Wear closed-toe shoes when you visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery; toes offend the monks. Founded in 1447 by the First Dalai Lama, it's the big drawcard here in Shigatse. And the town has a nice little buzz thanks to all the Tibetan pilgrims and other visitors who stop by.
- Explore Gyantse before taking a three-hour drive across the Tibetan Plateau in the afternoon
- Head for, Shigatse the second largest city in Tibet
- Visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery - the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama and the most important incarnation for Tibetan Buddhists after the Dalai Lama
- View the monastery's giant statue of Buddha in the Temple of Maitreya as well as the final resting-place of the fourth Panchen Lama
- Enjoy free time in Shigatse and wander through the old town or visit the market place and try one of the many unusual delicacies on offer
Day 8-9 - Shegar - Everest Base Camp - Lao Tingri
You know those old people who have one story they just love to tell over and over? Base Camp will be that story for you. Future grandchildren be warned.
- Drive over rough, dusty roads towards Shegar
- Cross Jai Tsuo Pass with views of the Himalayan peaks to the south
- Stop at the major town of Lhaze and perhaps try a local-style lunch
- Stop overnight in Shegar, a small village of 1500 inhabitants with an interesting fort
- Visit Everest Base Camp
- Overnight in Lao Tingri
Day 10 - Dhulikhel
On this part of the trip you'll see Lhotse Mountain, the 8516m monster. To put it in perspective, the Empire State Building is 301m, Dubai's Burj Khalifa is 829.8m and Usain Bolt is 1.95m.
- Cross the Tingri Plains before ascending to Lalung Leh
- Enjoy spectacular views to the east (weather permitting) of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu and Gauri Shanker
- Descend steeply over 3000 metres to the small town of Nyalam
- Cross the border just past Zhangmu and enter Nepal, following the Bhote Kosi River
- Drive to small hill station of Dhulikhel
Day 11-12 - Kathmandu
On your last day, perhaps head out to Bhaktapur and check out this ridiculously well preserved ancient city. Fill up on 'momo' or treat yourself to a final dinner at Third Eye.
- Travel through populated areas, with lush terraced hillsides rising steeply from the valley
- Arrive back at our hotel in Kathmandu for the final night's activities (which are entirely up to you)
- The trip ends today, but there are plenty of other travel opportunities in the area for those who wish to stay on
What to Know
All tours are led by an experienced regional leader and there are services of local site guides in certain sites. All transport, transfer to airport on Day 3, accommodation and meals as indicated in the detailed Trip Notes. The following sightseeing trips are also included: Lhasa - one visit to Potala Palace.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, all other meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature, laundry and flights unless specified. Some places that we visit charge additional fees if you are entering with a camera or camcorder - your city guide will advise on these and they can be paid for locally. There are times of the year when the road between Lhasa and Kathmandu may not be accessible in our regular mini-bus, due to seasonal rainfall. It may be necessary to use 4WD vehicles in these instances. The additional cost for these will be US$87 per person.
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
There’s no feedback available on this trip yet. If you’ve been on this trip and would like to contribute a review, rating or simply make a comment then please get in touch.