Lhasa to Zhangmu overland / 8 days
1 Transfer from Lhasa airport or train station to hotel. Free day in Lhasa to acclimatize. Overnight in Lhasa
2 Visit the Potala palace in the morning and the Jokhang temple in the afternoon. Overnight in Lhasa
3 Visit the Drepung and Sera monasteries. See the monks debating the Buddhist doctrine. Overnight in Lhasa
4 Drive from Lhasa to Gyantse. Visit the beautiful Pelkhor Monastery with its great Kumbum Stupa. Overnight in Gyantse
5 From Gyantse to Shigatse. Visit the Tashilumpo monastery. Overnight in Shigatse
6 From Shigatse to Latse. Overnight in Lhatse
7 From Latse to Nyalam. Overnight in Nyalam
8 From Nyalam to Zhangmu (border Nepal). Overnight in Zhangmu
Day 1: Pick up from Lhasa airport, transfer to your hotel in the center of Lhasa, which is the Barkhor area. This area is actually old Lhasa, a charming bustling market area full of Tibetan goods and souvenirs. Many Tibetans from all over Tibet come to this area for shopping and for sight seeing, so you can see many different kinds of people here, with stunning clothes and head dresses. You are free to take a leisurely stroll around the charming Barkhor area.
Day 2: Your guide will take you to visit the Potala palace in the morning. This was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama but it is now a museum and World Heritage Site. The 5th Dalai Lama started its construction in 1645. In the afternoon you will visit the Jokhang temple. This temple is the most holy and sacred for most Tibetans. The Jokhang temple was first constructed by King Songtsän Gampo probably in 642. Both Bhrituti and Wencheng, the Nepalese and Chinese wives of Songtsän Gampo are said to have brought important Buddhist statues and images to Tibet as part of their dowries, and they were housed here.
Day 3: Car and guide to take you to Drepung and Sera monasteries just outside of Lhasa. The Sera monastery is famous for its daily debating, which attracts many people. It is so special to see the passion with which the monks use the debating system to increase their knowledge of Buddhism.
Day 4: Today we drive to Gyantse. The first thing you will see when approaching Gyantse town is the impressive Dzong Fort on a hill. This fort once housed the city government of Gyantse, now it is abandoned. We will visit the Pelkor Chode, a Gelukpa buddhist monastery. Long ago this walled area contained several monasteries from different buddhists sects. The most famous structure inside this monastery is the fantastic Kumbum stupa, the largest stupa in Tibet. The stupa was built in 1427, it has more than 10.000 murals.
Day 5: Drive to Shigatse where we visit the famous Tashilumpo monastery, with its heavy religious atmosphere. This monastery was founded in 1477 by the first Dalai Lama. Inside this monastery we can see the largest copper Buddha figure in the world, adorned with beautiful precious stones and jewels. The monastery is built in Tibetan style, with elements of Han Chinese architecture.
Day 6: A very scenic drive where we cross the high Gyatchu La pass 5220m. We reach Latse, town on the vast Tibetan plateau.
Day 7: Todays journey is really a spectacular one. We have great views today: Jugal Himal, Mt. Shisapangma, Mt. Cho-Oyu and Mt. Everest. We cross the Nyalam Pass 3800m and drive through the deep valley of Bhote Koshi where many waterfalls can be seen.
Day 8: We go downhill to the border of China and Nepal at the Friendship bridge where you can finish the border formalities. We overnight in Zhangmu, on the Tibetan side. Tomorrow morning, on the other side of the border, in Nepal, there are many Nepali cars and busses waiting to take you to Kathmandu.