This was our fourth trip with Remote Lands...Thank you for making the introductions to a wonderful people and culture in Tibet.
Kristi & Paul, Virginia

Exploring Tibet's Untouched Holy Land

For years, Tibet has been a territory shrouded by mystery. Closed to most of the world and inaccessible to many, a visit to this unique part of the world will be a trip of a lifetime, even if you consider yourself to be among the most intrepid of travellers. After procuring your Tibet visa in Kathmandu, you'll embark on a nine-day tour of Tibet, starting with two days of sightseeing in the administrative capital - and largest city - of Tibet, Lhasa, before hitting the long and winding road to enlightenment. Pass Gyantse, a quaint agricultural town, on the way to Shigatse, famous for its majestic Tashilumpo Monastery. The second half of the trip will take you on to Xegar and Zhangmu, where you’ll venture past some breathtaking mountain gorges, stop off at atmospheric monasteries and visit local villages which have barely changed in in hundreds of years. Please note: Tibet is normally closed to visitors from the middle of February to the end of March. Once open for visitors in April, it is recommended for travelers to plan their trip in after late April to allow time to process local Tibetan permits. The border crossing between Tibet and Kathmandu is currently closed, due to earthquake damage. Therefore, this itinerary utilizes direct flight paths between Tibet and Nepal.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Discover the administrative capital of Tibet, Lhasa, over two days including a visit to the world-famous Potala Palace
  • Admire the gorgeous blue waters of Yamdrok Lake along the mountain route to Gyantse
  • Explore the oldest and largest Gelugpa monastery in the world at Tashilumpo
  • Visit the majestic 13th century Sakya Monastery, home to over 84,000 Tibetan artifacts
  • Take in the spectacular scenery of the Lalung Pass and Shung Pass, both situated over 16,000 feet above sea level
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

Your journey to Tibet begins in Kathmandu, where you will obtain your Tibet visa. As entry into Tibet is highly regulated, based on entry point, it is most convenient to arrange your Tibet engtry visa after arrival in Kathmandu. You can begin the process shortly after arrival with assistance from your Remote Lands guide.  After these formalities, return to your hotel for the night. Remote Lands recommends Dwarika's. A world unto itself, created from reclaimed wood salvaged from damaged temples throughout Nepal, Dwarika's is the usual host to high profile guests from Demi Moore to Prince Philip. Please note: it is best to procure your visa between Monday and Friday, to avoid holidays, which might interrupt the process. 

Day 2

While your Tibet visa is being processed, explore the culture of Kathmandu. A visit to Kathmandu's Old Quarter provides an opportunity to haggle in the street market or to see the ancient architecture of Durbar Square. End the day with a sunset at Boudhanath Temple, where the eyes of Buddha watch the city from the temple's giant dome. 

Day 3

Start an afternoon of touring with a visit to the Bhasmeshvar Ghats, where local Hindus return their loved ones to the river, both mourning their loss and celebrating the passage into a new state of being. Afterward, visit the monasteries of Kathmandu's Monkey Temple, and procure your Tibet visa before returning to your hotel to relax. 

Day 4

After breakfast in in Kathmandu, your guide will escort you in your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Lhasa, the administrative capital of Tibet where you will begin your journey into this fascinating and isolated culture. You'll spend this first day acclimatizing to this rarified air, relaxing in your hotel in preparation for tomorrow's touring.

Day 5

Fill up at breakfast, ready for a full of sightseeing around Lhasa, which lies around 12,000 feet above sea level. High up on the list of must-see attractions is the world-famous Potala Palace, which is perched on a hilltop overlooking the city and has been used as a winter palace for Dalai Lamas in TIbet for centuries. There’s also time to visit the stunning Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Market.

Day 6

Another full day of touring TIbet’s largest city is on the line-up for day three, with highlights including trips to the 15th-century Sera Monastery, as well as the picturesque Norbulingka Monastery, near the Kyichu River. The drives to each stop won’t take you too far out of town (around 30 minutes) and you’ll arrive back at the hotel in good time for a relaxing dinner.

Day 7

It’s time to depart Lhasa and make your way to Gyantse, a small agricultural town popular for its wool industry and notable Buddhist monuments. Along the way, there will be a chance to stop off at the gorgeous Yamdrok Lake and take in the great views of the brilliant azure water against the chiselled mountains stretching far into the distance. Once you have arrived in Gyantse, spend the rest of the day at your own leisure browsing the local market or resting at the hotel.

Day 8

A one-and-a-half hour drive to Shigaste awaits this morning, and there is one stop-off on the way to inspect the impressive Kumbum Stupa. Once in Shigaste, Tibet’s second-largest city, your guide will take you to Tashilumpo Monastery, the oldest and largest of its type in the country. Have a thorough visit of this stunning monument, before exploring the nearby market and then checking into your hotel in Shigatse for the night.

Day 9

Hit the road again in the morning for a breathtaking drive along the Friendship Highway, en route to Xegar about 150 miles away. The trip will take you past past the local town of Lhatse as well as the beautiful Gyamtso La pass - a perfect place to stop and take photos. However, the main attraction along the way is Sakya Monastery: a huge 13th-century fortress housing over 84,000 Tibetan artifacts on astronomy, medicine, calligraphy, and history.

Day 10

The 88-mile drive on the seventh day is just as spectacular as yesterday’s, with opportunities along the way to see Lalung Pass and Shung Pass, both situated over 16,000 feet above sea level. The final destination is the town of Zhangmu, which -at 7,545 feet - offers some rather more lush and green surroundings than the previous Tibetan settlements so far on the trip.

Day 11

After breakfast at your hotel in Zhangmu, your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight back to Lhasa. Upon landing in Kathmandu, check in to your hotel and enjoy a well deserved chance to relax. 

Day 12

Have one last breakfast in Kathmandu before checking out of your hotel and joining your Nepalese escort for your private transfer to the international airport. It’s time to say goodbye to this unique part of the world and catch your onwards flight to your next destination of choice.


Suggested Accommodations

Dwarika's Hotel

Dwarika's Hotel

Located just outside Kathmandu, near Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred mountain, Dwarika’s is the recipient of a prestigious World Heritage Award given for outstanding historical preservation. The 74 guest rooms and suites are decorated with intricately carved wood and terracotta work in the traditional Newari style and are equipped with wi-fi access. Krishnarpan, one of the hotel’s two restaurants, offers six- to 22-course authentic Nepali meals, Toran has Chinese and Indian specialties, while Fusion has live blues and jazz in a bar setting. Dwarika’s has no spa, but does offer massage treatments and a swimming pool. The business center is fully equipped with broadband Internet access and secretarial services. The hotel is approximately a 10-minute drive from the airport in Kathmandu.

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa, St. Regis Lhasa

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa

Opened in April 2014, this luxury property is a fitting new addition to the Lhasa hospitality scene. Shangri-La is, after all, the mythical kingdom believed to inhabit the Tibetan plateaus. Located in the city center, this stylish urban retreat allows guests to experience time-honored Tibetan customs - being welcomed with a local drink called chima, for instance, and being presented with a ceremonial khata scarf. Visitors at the Shangri-La Lhasa can enjoy being within strolling distance of this historic city's main attractions, including Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. For those who find Lhasa's high-altitude landscapes literally breathtaking, there's an oxygen lounge and relaxation center at the resort primed for guest recuperation. As with all Shangri-La properties, local culture plays a vital role in both the hospitality and the décor. At the Lhasa resort, this manifests in traditional architecture and design, with contemporary, luxuriously appointed guest rooms accented with local Tibetan textiles and artworks. Guests are also spoiled with far-reaching views of the mountains, the city and the spectacular Potala Palace.  


St. Regis Lhasa

Opened in November 2010, the St. Regis Resort in Lhasa stands on eight acres of land at “the roof of the world," with sweeping views of the Potala Palace. The spacious 162 rooms and villas with marble baths are decorated with carefully sourced artifacts that reflect the richness of Tibetan culture. There are a variety of restaurants to choose from, including the intimate private wine club Decanter by Haut-Brisson and Si Zi Kang, which serves traditional Tibetan cuisine. The health club boasts an indoor heated swimming pool, a yoga and pilates studio, and Iridium, a spa offering refined indulgence with Tibetan flavor. The business center offers 4 meeting rooms, copy and printing services, and faxing services. Other amenities include secretarial service and 24-hour butler service. The St. Regis Lhasa is located just minutes from the Potala Palace, the famous Barkhor area, Jokang Temple, Norbulinka, and is 46 miles from Gongga International Airport.

Gyantse Hotel

Gyantse Hotel

The 3* Gyantse Hotel is the best hotel in Gyantse. It offers a mix of western and Tibetan-style rooms (with hard beds, according to local customs!), all with TV, hot water and en-suite bathrooms. Many of the rooms have fantastic views of the town of Gyantse and the surrounding mountains.
Shigatse Hotel

Shigatse Hotel

The Shigatse Hotel is a modern 3* hotel located in the city centre. It boasts 123 rooms, with a choice of either modern Western-style or traditional Tibetan. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV, pay movies, minibar, hairdryer & telephone. The hotel also has 4 restaurants serving buffet, Chinese, Tibetan and international menus as well as breakfast. There is also a beauty salon, massage, shopping centre, gym, bar and disco.
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