Upon your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, Freedom Adventures’ representative will greet you. You will be dropped off at the hotel, and after checking in, you could walk around Thamel, a popular tourist hub in Kathmandu. Observing the market and some souvenir shopping will freshen your mind. Dinner at an excellent restaurant will give you a taste of Nepali cuisine. Your trek guide will brief you about the trip and the next day’s sightseeing trip. Overnight at Kathmandu.
After a lovely breakfast in the morning, we start guided sightseeing tour to some most historical and spiritual attraction in Kathmandu. We will be visiting some landmarks which are considered as World Heritage Sites. This Sightseeing will be fully informative and historical. We start our day from Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu temples, followed by Bouddanath, the ancient Buddhist Stupa is one of the largest in the world. Following our day to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, is the plaza in front of the royal place of old Bhaktapur. In the afternoon we visit Kathmandu Durbar Square and explore the old royal place complex which was built on the 14th century. After we finish sightseeing we follow the local market called Ason, crossing the busy local area we reach our hotel at Thamel. Overnight at Kathmandu.
We have a morning flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa (3,700m). Once entry formalities are done, we drive 30 minute drive to Lhasa. Especially during the first few days at this altitude it is advisable to not be too physically active. We’ll explore Lhasa’s Old Quarter today. We’ll find the interesting pilgrimage kora (circuit) of Barkhor and watch as pilgrims perform their ritual prostration. Here too is a classic Tibetan market; hundreds of merchants, traders and craftsmen, all with something to sell to Lhasa’s inhabitants, to innumerable pilgrims and to the likes of you and me. Overnight in Lhasa.
Sightseeing day: Potala palace & Jokhang Temple – the principle landmarks of Tibet. If you’ve pictured Tibet at all, chances are you‘ve pictured the Potala Palace, the most potent symbol for the Tibetan Community worldwide. It’s a treasure trove of traditional culture, an architectural marvel and it’s World Heritage-listed site. Stroll through its 13 storeys, housing 1,000 rooms. No too afar from Potala, we also stop by The Dalai Lama’s erstwhile Summer Palace, Norbulingka, is a retreat a short distance from the town and a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.nIn the late afternoon, we’ll visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibetan beliefs. It literally hums with pilgrims murmuring chants and spinning prayer wheels amidst the myriad flickering of yak butter lamps. We’ll also attend the evening prayer recital in the temple. Overnight in Lhasa.
In the morning, travel 5 km north to one of the great monastery of Gelugpa. Founded in 1419, Sera Monastery became famous for its Tantric teachings; its fame also comes in part from the active role it has played in Tibet’s politics. At Sera, the monks perform a clapping ritual which is good-natured, boisterous fun, and visitors can also partake. Also just outside Lhasa stands Drepung, once the largest of all monasteries. Within the periphery lies the Ganden Palace, home to the Dalai Lamas from the time it was founded by the 2nd Dalai Lama until the 5th built the Potala.
Drive 40 kms north-east of Lhasa to Ganden (4500m) – the first Gelugpa Monastery is the main seat of this Buddhist group. Take ‘low kora’ walk then proceed to cave-dotted religious landmark of Drak Yerpa which has gained much of its fame for being a meditation retreat for great Tibetan Buddhist figureheads – Guru Rinpoche & King Songsten Gampo.
This morning, we’ve one more opportunity to enjoy the ferry crossing which gets us back to our vehicle for our day’s road journey. The route to Gyantse (3,950m) crosses the Kampa-La (4,794m) pass, from where you can get the first glimpse of the stunning beauty of Yamdrok-tso (Turquoise) lake, one of the four holy lakes of Tibet, and Karo-La (5,010m) pass. Stroll around the old settlement later in the afternoon/ evening. Overnight in Gyantse.
Planned in this morning is a visit to the massive fortress, Kumbum, and Pelkor Chode Monastery at Gyantse. Moving further afield from Gyantse, we drive for 1.5 hrs approx to reach Shigatse (3,900m), the city in Tibet 2nd only to Lhasa in size and prominence. En route, we can also pull stop at Shalu Monastery which dates back to 11th century. Of particular interest there are the 14th century murals in the monastery, clearly influenced and eagerly inspired by Chinese, Mongol and Newari genres. At leisure, once we reach our hotel in Shigatse.
Our principle point of interest for the day is the monastic town of Sakya (4,280 m), reached in 3hrs approx after crossing two passes; the Tropu La (4,950 m) and the Lhakpa La (5,200 m). Clearly now The Himalaya stand ahead of us on the horizon of the plateau, like icebergs in a sea of sand. The highlights of Sakya are its two monasteries, located on either side of the Trum-chu River. Sakya, which takes its name directly from the Buddha’s original Indian name, rather oddly suffered little from the familiar dismemberment of Tibetan Culture and intrusive influence of the modern Chinese state. Overnight in Sakya.
Surely one absolute highlight of a journey in Tibet is sight of the world’s tallest mountain. Locally known as Qomolangma, Everest soars above the Rongbuk Monastery (4,980m); highest monastery in the world. When you visit the Rongphu you will be amazed with the view of the world’s highest monasteries.
In the morning, a two hour hike up to Everest Base Camp provides an unobstructed view of the peak; and from Camp the enormity of the mountain is utterly overwhelming. After hiking back down from Base Camp to the road, prepare to travel back to Old Tingri (4,390m). Tingri is the last village having ancient monasteries and classic Tibetan life. We will be staying there overnight and enjoy the great view Mount Everest and a vast landscape. Overnight in Tingri.
Leaving Tibet behind we descend down to cliff hagging town Zangmu. We travel across the border in to the Nepal. It will take some time to get pass through at immigration station of Nepal. We flow with the Arniko highway enjoying the view of Koshi river on the side while driving back to Bhotekoshi, en route Kathmandu. Overnight in Bhotekoshi.
On a short drive back to Kathmandu, we get to enjoy the greenery around and rolling hills that stretch all across the horizon, where peek gigantic Himalayan mountains. If time permits, you can go for some sightseeing or shopping in Thamel.