Explore the roof of the World on this 17-day comfortable adventure tour. Travel and stay with locals in a truly amazing experience.
Visit Chengdu, enjoy a morning visiting pandas and tasting what is renowned as being the best food in China - Sichuan Cusine.
We tour Kham a truly local experience staying in family homes and with a once in a lifetime experience to camp out under the stars and wake to a view that will take your breath away.
Travel on to Lhasa the spiritual and traditional capital of Tibet. Awe at the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and the Sera Monastery with its debating monks. Soak in the landscape as we travel to Everest Base Camp and wonder at mountains surrounding you.
Arrive in Chengdu
Arrive in Chengdu. You will be met by our Chengdu guide and transferred to the Traffic Hotel which is our accommodation in Chengdu.
Chengdu Sightseeing and Pandas
After breakfast, we will visit the world famous Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu. The pandas are most active in the morning, so you will have plenty of photo opportunities!! In the afternoon you may like to rest at the hotel or do a couple of hours of supply shopping. We will have our trip orientation and welcome dinner tonight at a well-known Tibetan restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Chengdu - Kangding
Today we fly from Chengdu to Kangding (flight is approximately 45 minutes duration) and then from the Kangding airport it is only less than 2 hours’ drive to Kangding, Kangding is the commercial centre in this area and mixed with Tibetan and Chinese as well as other minorities population, we spend the night in a local hotel and acclimatise, maybe have a short walk to a local monastery in the town. Overnight in Kangding. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Kangding - Bata Dora
This morning drive to Tagong. The beautiful town of Tagong is known for its grasslands, chortens, colourful prayer flags on the surrounding hills and mountains and the beautiful Tagong Monastery. Built in 641, the monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Tibet. It is known as the “small Jokhang.” According to a local legend, Princess Wencheng, the Chinese bride of Tibetan king Songsten Gampo, was in Tagong en route to travelling to Lhasa in the 7th century when a precious statue of Jowo Sakyamuni Buddha dropped off one of the carts in her entourage. A replica of the statue was carved on the spot where it landed, and the monastery built around it. You will be able to see the statue in the hall (the original statue is housed in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa).
This evening the group will enjoy a very special experience, a homestay with a Tibetan family. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Tagong - Bata Dora
If you rise early this morning, you may like to join the local Tibetans on their kora. We will explore the town and will visit the Gomba, (Nunnery) in the area and visit the meditation caves.
We will then travel to Bata-Dora to stay in with a Tibetan family, enjoying the hospitality for which they are famous. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Bata Dora - camping in the nearby hills
Today we will have a hike up on the mountain up behind the Gawa monastery and picnic, then overnight camping on the pass and enjoy rest of day having beautiful mountain views from our campsite. Overnight camping. Option to drive instead of hike. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Bata Dora - Ranaga
Today we will hike or drive back to Bata Dora and then further to Ranaga or Xindouqiao for the night to make our next day drive to the airport shorter and easier. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Fly to Lhasa
This morning we will leave early for our short flight to Lhasa. Tibet’s capital which is situated in a small valley 3,600 m above sea level, making it one of the highest cities in the world. The duration of the flight is approximately 2 hrs.
We will be staying in the centrally located Yak Hotel which is only a few minutes’ walk from the Barkhor. This afternoon it is advisable to take things easy, rest and acclimatise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today we will acclimatize as well as visit some of the important Lhasa sites. Some of the group may also choose to rest and acclimatise, (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
The Jokhang Temple is the spiritual heart of Tibet and is Tibet’s most sacred temple. Pilgrims circle the temple day and night, some of them having traversed the extremes of the Tibetan landscape on foot to get here. The temple
was built here in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo when he moved his capital to Lhasa. The Jokhang was originally designed by Nepalese craftsmen to house a Buddha image brought by a Nepalese queen (the King had three Tibetan wives, a Nepalese queen and a Chinese queen). In 2000 the Jokhang was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as an addition to the Potala Palace. Outside the Jokhang are flagstones where pilgrims gather to prostrate (unfortunately, this area is getting smaller each year). The rooftop of the Jokhang provides excellent views of Lhasa rooftops and the Potala.
The Barkhor is a devotional circuit, surrounding the Jokhang Temple, where you will see pilgrims who have often come on foot from remote areas of Tibet to visit the Temple. It provides an excellent introduction to the old town of Lhasa.
The Barkhor also houses a market bazaar where people bargain for Buddha images, woodcarvings, carpets, prayer wheels, clothing etc.
The Potala Palace is one of the highlights of a visit to Lhasa. Perched on Red Hill overlooking the town, this massive structure gracefully dominates the landscape and is a true architectural wonder. The palace was founded in 1645 during the reign of the great 5th Dalai Lama. The Palace is divided into two main complexes: the outer white building that housed the administration, and the Red Fort, where chapels, tombs and the living quarters of the Dalai Lama were located. The Potala was inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List in 1994.
Sera Monastery, 4km north of Lhasa, is famous for its monastic debating. We may be able to watch the debating in the afternoon of our visit (sometimes the debating is cancelled or not open to the public). The monastery was once one of Lhasa’s two great Gelupa monasteries, second to Drepung, housing over 5,000 monks.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Lhasa (3600m) - Gyantse (3900m) - Shigatse (3900m), 350 km, 7hrs.
Attractions; Yamdrok lake, Mt.Nyechen Kangsar glacier, Gyantse Kubum stupa and Pelkhor Choede monastery.
We begin our journey west, by zigzagging up the Kampa la pass (4700m) to get a breathtaking glimpse of the holy Yamdrok Lake with its turquoise waters and snowcapped Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance. Then we’ll continue driving along the lake for few kilometres and stop for lunch at Nagar tse.
The rest of the day will be spent enjoying the many magnificent valleys and Tibetan villages that we pass through. En route we will stop at Karo la (5150m) to see the holy Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier. In Gyantse, we’ll visit the Kumbum Stupa next to the Palkhor Choede monastery. This magnificent multi-door structure is the largest stupa in Tibet and is not only known for its architecture but also its old sculptures and
paintings all around its inner walls. In the late afternoon, we’ll drive to Shigatse and stay overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Shigatse (3900m) – Everest Base Camp (5200m), 350km, 7hrs.
Attractions; Rongbuk monastery and Mt. Everest base camp.
Today we will drive straight to EBC, crossing several passes along the way. Prepare yourself for your first view of the Himalayans at Gyatso La Pass (5400 m). You can actually see Mt. Everest in the distance from the viewing point at the pass.
Few kilometres after the border checkpoint, we’ll turn off the Friendship Highway and zig-zag our way up to Gawu La Pass (5250 m), a great spot for a view of all the Himalayan Range’s mountains above 8000 meters. From left to right you will see Mt. Makalu (8463 m), Mt. Lotse (8516 m), Mt. Everest (8844 m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8201 m)
and Mt. Shishapama (8020 m).
After arriving at Everest Base Camp, we’ll settle into the tent guesthouse. The Rongbuk monastery houses both monks and nuns and is the highest monastery in the world.
In the afternoon you have the option to do a short trek from the tent guesthouses community to the Dza Rongbuk caves. It will take you about 30 min or more depending on your physical condition.
We’ll stay overnight in these tents unless you’re there between November and March when the tent guesthouses close and only Rongbuk Monastery guesthouse is available.
Note: Before leaving Shigatse, your guide will need some time to obtain the Alien Travel Permit from the local PSB. Everyone in the tour group will need this to get past the border check at Shegar. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Rongbuk (5000m) - Shegar- Shigatse, 350km, 7hrs.
Attractions; Rongbuk monastery-world highest monastery, Himalayan ranges.
As we awake the next morning, a striking view of luminous peaks is highlighted by the sun and definitely, it is the best time to get some nice shots of the Everest sunrise, and it is bittersweet to say goodbye to this landscape that we have gotten to know so well. Then we drive all the way back to Shigatse and relax in Shigatse hotel, take a hot shower in the hotel and have a good rest. Overnight in Shigatse (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Shigatse - Lhasa, 280km, 4/5 hrs.
Attractions; Tashi Lhunpo monastery, Nimo home-made incense factory, Brahmaputra river.
In the morning we will visit the Tashi Lhunpo monastery on our way back to Lhasa. The monastery was built by the 1st Dalai Lama, Gedun Drup, in 1447 and later became the seat of the Panchen Lama lineage. There you will be able to see the tombs of 7 Panchen Lamas, explore the twisting cobbled streets and get a peek into monastic life.
Our route back to Lhasa will take us through a number of local villages. In Nyimo, we’ll stop to visit a local homemade incense village. They use primitive water operated tools to process incense materials and each incense stick is made by hand, sometimes this may be closed during the farming season or when the villagers are busy with their own works.
Arriving in Lhasa in the late afternoon, you will have time to explore Barkhor Street and pick up souvenirs for your friends and family if you wish. Overnight in Lhasa (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Lhasa - Chengdu
Today we fly back to Chengdu. You will be collected from the hotel and transferred to the airport for your short flight back to Chengdu. You will be met at the airport and transferred to hotel. The remainder of the day at leisure. (Breakfast)
Chengdu free day
Today is free to explore Chengdu on your own (or a tour can be arranged if you wish - please just ask) Visit the temples, parks and museums of this very pretty Chinese city - or hit the high streets for some amazing shopping! (Breakfast)
Today we fly home! An airport drop off will be organised for you from the hotel. Saying goodbye to each other is the sad part of the trip! However, you will have made some wonderful friends that you will keep for a long time afterwards. Just think, you will then go home to your own bed, a hot shower and real coffee! (Breakfast)
Customise your dates
Travelling in Tibet
Thousands of people travel to Tibet every year to experience the unique culture and visit some of the highest and most remote areas of the world. One thing you need to consider is the hugely increased altitude on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. This is something that may affect your health and is something to be aware of both in planning and while travelling. There are precautionary measures we take on all tours, and if you have ay specific concerns please speak with us directly.
This itinerary is correct at the time of publishing, however, there are some situations that may change and we cannot guarantee that the itinerary as set out below will be exactly as planned. . What we do promise, is an adventure that you will not forget.
You will be meeting some lovely people, you will be made welcome in people’s homes and you will be travelling to remote places where few westerners have seen before.
Permits are required to travel in most areas of Tibet and the Tibetian Autonomous Region - our tours include all required permits for the itinerary. At times some permits may not be possible and we will discuss other possible arrangements with clients they the need arises.
Minimum Number of travellers - 6
Maximum Number of Travellers - 12
Travelling way into the countryside means we won't always be staying in complete comfort. This journey includes a mixture of 2 and 4-star hotels and one overnight camping.
Bottled water (one bottle every day);
All necessary travel permits to Tibet;
Entrance fees for all the sight spots listed in the itinerary;
Private transportation in Chengdu, Kham and Tibet with experienced local Tibetan driver: comfortable van (car gasoline is included);
Car/accommodation fee for guide and driver back to Lhasa;
Private guide: English speaking local Tibetan guide;
Lodging: Standard hotel in Chengdu, Kangding hotel, local family stay in Kham, Tashi Noda hotel in Lhasa, Gesar hotel in Shigatse, Rooftop the hotel in Shegar and local guesthouse at EBC. (one shared room)
Pick-up and send-off services at the beginning/end of the tour (No hidden cost);
Flight tickets from Chengdu to Kangding, Kanding to Lhasa, Lhasa to Chengdu;
Oxygen cylinder for the group (4L / 7L);
Lhasa Handy Guide booklet (Easy map of hotels, restaurants, ATM, Supper market and hospital around the Lhasa old town).
Meals: full board meals as remarked in the itinerary;
Lodging and meals for guide and drivers;
Travel insurance - a requirement of joining the tour
Expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.);
International and domestic flight/train tickets. Please request a quote
Tips for the guide and driver;