Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities, entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Potala Palace, along with Jokhang Temple Monastery and Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama's former summer Palace, are all designated as UNESCO world heritage sites for their embodiment of religious and symbolic functions of the Tibetan government. There’s also time to visit Barkhor Market, an important pilgrimage site and bustling market.
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.
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.
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.
Travel onward this morning and go on a breathtaking drive along the Friendship Highway. 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. The main attraction today is Sakya Monastery: a huge 13th-century fortress housing over 84,000 Tibetan artifacts on astronomy, medicine, calligraphy, and history. Afterwards, make your way back to Shigatse.