Tibet Encompassed

Day 1: Arrive Beijing
Arrive at anytime during the day and make your way to the hotel.  An evening group meeting is planned followed by dinner.
· Group Meeting and Beijing Duck Dinner 

Day 2: Beijing
Spend the day exploring the impressive Great Wall.
· Mutianyu Great Wall Excursion 

Day 3: Beijing / Sleeper Train
Spend the morning visiting central Beijing's sites with free time in the afternoon until boarding an overnight sleeper train to Xi’an.
· Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City

Day 4: Xi'an
Arrive in the historical Silk Road city of Xi'an and spend the morning visiting the Terracotta Warriors, leaving the afternoon free to wander the old Muslim quarter
· Terracotta Warriors 

Day 5: Trans Tibetan Railway
In the morning board the Qinhai Tibet train and spend the day watching the scenery change as the train travels west and up the arid Tibetan plateau.

Day 6: Lhasa
Arrive in the late afternoon into the mystical Tibetan city of Lhasa just in time to for an evening stroll around the colourful Barkhor market that surrounds the Jokhang Temple.
· Walking Tour of Barkhor Market and Jokhang Temple

Day 7: Lhasa
Spend the day exploring the Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery.
·Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery.

Day 8: Lhasa
A half day tour of Potala Palace.
· Potala Palace

Day 9: Gyantse
Drive to Gyantse stopping for photos at the mountain passes of Khamba La and Karo La and skirt the turquoise lake of Yamdrok Tso

Day 10: Shigatse
A short drive to Shigatse brings you to the home of the Panchen Lama and the renowned Tashilumpo Monastery.

· Gyanste Walking Tour of Dzong Fort and Pelkor Choede Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum

· Shigatse Walking Tour of Tashilumpo Monastery 

Day 11: Sakya / Lhatse
Drive to Lhastse and stop along the way to visit the Sakya Monastery known for its Mongolian style architecture.
· Sakya Monastery 

Day 12: Saga
Follow the footsteps of pilgrims as you drive west along the moonscape terrain of the western plain stopping at the army garrison town of Saga for the night.

Day 13: Darchen
Glimpses of Mt Kailash are visible as you approach the small nomad cattle station of Darchen, populated with guesthouses and restaurants.

Day 14: Mt Kailash
Morning start of the two day Kailash kora a 58km circumambulation around the mountain following the footsteps of devoted pilgrims along the alpine valley. A view of the great north face of Kailash can be seen at the end of the day.

Day 15: Mt Kailash
Start the morning by crossing the challenging Dolma la pass (5600m), then descent the steep and rock-strewn valley to Dzultrul puk before the path levels out.

Day 16: Lake Manasarovar
Spend a night on the holy lake side by absorbing the striking beauties of mystical lake. Hike up to Chiu monastery perching on a small hill offers a breathtaking panorama of the Lake Manasarovar.
· Chiu Monastery

Day 17: Saga
Return back to Saga stopping at local nomad encampments along the way.

Day 18: Rombuk (Everest Base Camp)
Continue driving along the Friendship highway and until the turn off that takes turn travellers up to Everest Base camp. Spend the night in the local guesthouse next to Rongphu Monastery with views of Mt Everest from the windows.
· Rongphu Monastery, Everest Base Camp Trek 

Day 19: Kerung(China / Nepal Border)
Drive down back to the Friendship highway and drive west down to the China/Nepal border and overnight in the colourful and noisy town of Kerung.

Day 20: Kathmandu
Leave the Tibetan Plateau and cross the border into Nepal where you immediately notice the sub tropical landscape. Drive to Kathmandu and end the tour in the bustling crowed Thamel area located close to the Royal Palace.

Day 21: Depart
You are free to depart anytime during the day

Day 1 Beijing (D)
Nihao! Welcome to Beijing, the Capital of China. Upon arrival at the airport, you will meet for your private transfer to your hotel located in the city center. You will have a 6 pm group meeting at your hotel, and there will be more information about the meeting when you arrive at the hotel. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask at reception. Your group meeting will include details about your trip, followed by an orientation walk and included dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Private airport transfer
• Group meeting
Meals Included:
• Peking Duck dinner

Day 2 Beijing (B)
This morning we'll take a private bus to visit Great Wall - Mutianyu Section (approx. 2hrs), one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall with 22 towers winding along the mountain ridges. Spend quality time exploring and learning the history of Great Wall of China as well as enjoy the view at Huairou county the suburban area of Beijing. The great idea is to bring a picnic lunch with you to enjoy at the top the wall during a rest break. We will back to downtown Beijing in the late afternoon. You will enjoy a fantastic acrobatic show in the evening.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Mutianyu Great Wall Excursion
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 3 Beijing (B)
This morning we’ll take a private bus to visit Great Wall - Mutianyu Section (approx. 2hrs), one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall with 22 towers winding along the mountain ridges. Spend quality time exploring and learning the history of Great Wall of China as well as enjoy the view at Huairou county the suburban area of Beijing. The great idea is to bring a picnic lunch with you to enjoy at the top the wall during a rest break. We will back to downtown Beijing in the late afternoon, then private transfer to Beijing railway station and board the overnight train to Xian.

Accommodation:
• Overnight Soft sleeper(First class) train
Included activities:  
• Mutianyu Great Wall Excursion
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 4 Xi’an (B, L)
Upon arrival private bus transfer to hotel. Today we will visit the Terracotta Warriors by private bus. You’ll learn all about this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1976 by farmers digging a well, after being buried for 2,000 years. Three main pits are open for you to view, where just under 2,000 of the total 6,000 warriors – each individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, and even facial expressions – stand in battle formation. The scale is incredibly impressive. After the tour, we will enjoy a lunch in a local village. This afternoon we will visit one of the best-preserved old residences in Xi’an dating back 400 years. The courtyard was once home to seven generations of the Gao family – notable officials of the royal court. To get a taste of traditional local lifestyle through period furniture, pottery, porcelain, and paintings. Then we will take a walk around Muslim quarter, lively markets, and Bell & Drum Tower.

Accommodation:
 • Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Walking tour - Bell and Drum Tower and Muslim quarter
• The Gao's Grand Courtyard
• Terracotta Warriors
Meals Included:
• Breakfast and lunch

Day 5 Xi’an/Lhasa (B)
This morning we will board the overnight train to Lhasa. The train to Lhasa is one of China's greatest engineering feats. It’s the highest railway in the world, traversing some incredibly mountainous and remote terrain.

Accommodation:
• Overnight train - Hard sleeper (1 night)
Included activities:  
• There are no activities included today
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 6: Lhasa
Today we will arrive Lhasa later afternoon. Upon arrival private transfer along the Lhasa river to the city center. After checking in the hotel and refresh yourself, we will go for an orientation walk to Barkhor square. Lhasa’s elevation is 3,940 meters. We have three days here to allow for appropriate acclimatization.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included transfer and activities:   
• Private bus transfer
• Lhasa Barkhor Street
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included today

Day 7: Lhasa (B)
Today we will enjoy a tour of Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery.

Jokhang Temple founded in 647 by King Songtsen Gampo (r.617-49), the first ruler of a unified Tibet, and his two foreign wives who credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. This temple was constructed to house a sacred image of the Buddha, the Jowo Rinpoche, which Queen Wengcheng brought with her from China as a dowry. It is still enshrined in the temple and is the holiest object in Tibet.

This afternoon, we will visit Sera Monastery it is located outside the city boundaries to witness monks practice philosophical debates at Sera Monastery and listen to the ritual chanting in the assembly halls of Drepung Monastery. Sera Monastery, a complex of structures with the Great Assembly Hall and three colleges, was founded in 1419. Walk around the massive complex and learn about its architectural features and history of teaching generations of scholars. Witness the monks engaged in Buddhist philosophical debate in the courtyard, an event that occurs daily in the afternoons (except Sundays).

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:   
• Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 8: Lhasa (B)
Enjoy a tour of Potala Palace, a magnificent structure and true architectural wonder built in the 1600s and steeped in history. Potala Palace is where the Dalai Lamas would meditate, handle affairs of state, and eventually where their burial stupas remain. Check out the golden statues, three-dimensional mandalas, ancient scriptures, and the devoted pilgrims who circle the palace day and night. It is indeed a remarkable place. Free afternoon to explore the city. Optional activities are available.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:  
• Potala Palace
Optional activities:
•Drepung Monastery
•Norbulingka Summer Palace
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 9: Gyantse (B)
Today’s drive to Gyantse is spectacular, offering unforgettable views around every bend.  We will pass several beautiful passes as you twist through dramatic mountains and peaks that tower over the road. Take in the incredible views of Yamdrok Lake, mystically mirroring the sky above in near perfection, climb Khamba La Pass and see yaks plodding along the mountainside. The drive should take around 6-7 hours.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:
• Yamdrok Lake excursion
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 10: Gyantse/Shigatse (B)
This morning you’ll spend the time we will visit Pelkor Chode Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. Pelkor Chode Monastery was founded in 1418 and regarded as the center of Gyantse. Gyantse Kumbum (meaning 100,000 images) is an eight-story structure containing a seemingly endless series of tiny chapels full of Buddhist images – Buddhas, demons, protectors, and saints. Then we will travel to Shigatse about 1.5 hours. After lunch, we will check in hotel then visit Tashilumpo Monastery. You can also do a kora around the Tashilumpo Monastery after the guided tour or visit the local market.

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama. It is a historical and culturally significant monastery in Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet.

Accommodation:
Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities:
•Gyantse - Pelkor Chode Monastery & Kumbum
•Shigatse - Tashilumpo Monastery
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 11: Shigatse/Sakya/Lhatse (B)
Today we will drive to this beautiful Tibetan town Skaya. Sakya school is one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the others being the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Gelug. It is one of the Red Hat Orders along with the Nyingma and Kagyu. We will visit famous Sakya Monastery. It is often known as the “second Dunhuang,” for its huge collection of over 40,000 books. The SakyaKloster is the home of thousands of volumes of sacred Buddhist scripts, and just one single, long bookshelf holds around 10,000 ancient scriptures. After guided Monastery tour, we can go for an optional hike and visit one of the only Noneery of this trip on top of the hill. Then we will drive to Lhatse and overnight in this small town.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:
• Sakya Monastery
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 12: Saga (B)
We will follow the footsteps of pilgrims as you drive west along the moonscape terrain of the plain western stopping at the army garrison town of Saga for the night.  It is a town and township and seat of Saga County in Shigatse Prefecture in southern Tibet. It lies at an altitude of 4,640 meters. Saga is also an important stop-off point for pilgrims and tourists on the way to visiting Mount Kailash is the last town on the southern route with supplies for travelers.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:
• There are no activities included today.
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 13: Saga - Paryang [4,750 m] - Darchen [4,670 m] (B)
Morning drive from Saga to Paryang, you will pass through the small dusty town of Zhongba amidst enchanting panoramic views, dotted nomads tents mingled with their herds of animals on the open plateau. Pass numbers of villages and camps of Yak herders with the distance view of snow capped mountains, cross the Mayun-la pass [5,216 m], if lucky might see many wild animals at the plateau grasslands. Finally, reach the tiny village of Darchen, it is the starting and ending point of the Mt. Kailash trekking.

Accommodation:
• Guesthouse (1 night)
Included activities:
• There are no activities included today.
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 14: Mt. Kailash Kora 1st Day / Darchen - Dirakpuk [5,080 m], 20KM, about 6 Hours' Trekking
The first day's trekking starts from the Sershong and a gradual walk with multitudes of other local pilgrims chanting and praying. From the valley, you can see the Choku Monastery up on the hillside. The trail leads to few ups and downs till you reach the camp at Dirapuk [4,750 m]. You will meet many more Bon pilgrims going in the opposite direction (Anti-clockwise) because Mt. Kailash is being worshiped by four different religions, viz Buddhisms, Bons, Hindus, and Jains.

Accommodation:
• Guesthouse (1 night)
Included activities:
• Mt. Kailash Trekking
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included today

Day 15: Mt. Kailash Kora 2nd Day / Dirakpuk-Drolma La Pass [5,630 m] - Zuktulpuk [4,820 m), 18KM, 7-8 Hours' Trekking
Today your trekking leads to the much higher side of the holy path just beneath the Mount Kailash. It will bring you to one of the highest points at Drolma La [5,200 m]. This pass is quickly descending to the gradual field towards Dzutul-park for the overnight camp, Dzutul Puk in Tibetan and which means mysterious cave, this small monastery is connected to an exciting story of talent competition between Great Yogi Milarepa (Buddhist) and Naropa (Bon).

Accommodation:
• Guesthouse (1 night)
Included activities:
• Mt. Kailash Trekking
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included today

Day 16: Mt. Kailash Kora 3rd Day / Zuktulpuk - Darchen, 14KM, about 3 Hours' Trekking / Lake Manasarovar
The winding gradually comes out of the valley, and the river allows to follow into the Barka plain, the trekking stops at Transfer Trangmar and your car take you to Darchen. Afterward, we will drive to visit the Lake Manasarovar. Manasarovar is the lake of compassion, tranquility, and bliss.

Accommodation:
• Guesthouse (1 night)
Included activities:
• Mt. Kailash Trekking
• Lake Manasarovar
· Chiu Monastery
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included today

Day 17: Lake Manasarovar - Paryang - Saga
Today drive back to Saga retracing the same route; you will have the last view of the Mt. Kailash on the way. ( 520KM, 9 Hours' Drive)

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:
• There are no activities included today.
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included today

Day 18: Rombuk (Everest Base Camp - North)
A long drive along the Friendship highway up to Everest Basecamp today. Upon arrival, we will check in the Rongphu guest house, refresh yourself; then we will visit the Everest Base Camp.
Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. It was first built in 1902 by the Nyingma Lama and formerly housed more than 500 monks. Today, only about 50 monks and nuns remain, sharing the same prayer hall but maintaining separate residences. The Nuns here are great fun and will be delighted to have you join their evening prayers.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Included activities:   
• Rongphu Monastery
• Everest Base Camp - North
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included today

Day 19: Rombuk - Kerung Border (D)
A long drive from Rombuk to border town Kerung. Kerung is a customs town and port of entryon the Nepal-China border.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included:
• Dinner

Day 20: Kathmandu (B)
This morning after breakfast, we will cross the border from China to Nepal. Namaste! Welcome to Nepal.

Explore this alluring city on a walking tour with your local leader. Check out the Newari architecture at Durbar Square, the vast plaza opposite the old Royal Palaces.

Accommodation:
• Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included today

Day 21: Depart Kathmandu (B)
Your adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.

Meals Included:
Breakfast






Before You Leave

Visas - A visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei who are allowed visa free stays under 14 days. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China.

Under the current guidelines to get a visa you will need to provide the following:

- Letter of Invitation from a Chinese agency

- Copy of Flight tickets

- Hotel booking confirmation

- Travel Insurance (some embassies ask for this document)

In some cases, you may be required to provide further information or documentation and if this is the case we will notify you as soon as possible.

 

Booking a Single Room - On this particular tour we are pleased to be able to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Due to the variety of accommodation used on this tour, single rooms are available for a majority of the nightstops, however it would still mean sharing on any overnight trains. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.

 

Vaccinations and Your Health - We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years.

 

Insurance - Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. At the start of the trip you must provide us with: the name of your insurance company, your policy number, a 24 hour medical emergency contact number, and the expiry date of the policy. You should ensure that your policy covers you for medical expenses and repatriation. If you are unable to provide all this information at the start of the trip you will not be allowed to join the trip. You can purchase insurance easily online by checking our Travel Insurance page.

 

Luggage - One main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage – so don’t overload yourself. It is essential that your baggage is lockable; the airline/train authorities insist on this. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.

 

What to Expect on Tour

Itinerary Disclaimer – The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

 

Accommodation - Your accommodation is selected for convenience of location, comfort or character, and can range from a business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. In more remote areas, accommodation may be of a lower standard and may not have all western amenities. Hotels are generally rated as local three to four star standard, but please note that there is no international classification system for hotels and differences in facilities and quality do exist between the US and China. Rest assure that all hotels used by China Adventure Tours are regularly inspected by our staff to ensure that standards meet your needs.

 

In other cities and large towns the standard is similar although on a lesser scale. In small towns or villages where tourism is less prevalent, the hotels we use are smaller and facilities are more limited, though we generally stay in the best place in town. Rooms will still be en suite but rooms can be basic. Plumbing and electricity supplies can be somewhat erratic and although the welcome is warm, service levels may be less efficient than you may be used to.

 

Aboard the overnight sleeper train, berths are usually in 1st class ‘soft sleeper’ lockable compartments for 4 which have 2 sets of bunks with clean bedding provided. WC and washbasins are provided for shared use at the end of each carriage. Hot meals and snacks are sold to your berth on all overnight journeys. In times of large demand we may have to travel in 2nd class ‘hard sleeper’ which consists of sectioned off compartments for 6,leading off an open plan carriage.

 

Tipping - If you're happy with the services provided then a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. Tipping is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across China and other Asian countries. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.

The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

Restaurants: Tipping is not common practice at restaurants in China or Tibet.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest CNY10-15 per person per day for local guides.

Porters: In some hotels a porter may offer to carry your bag to your room. We suggest CNY5 per bag for porters.

Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest that you tip only those more involved with the group (for example those that help you with your bags etc). CNY5-10 per person per day is generally appropriate.

Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$3-5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip.

 

Optional Extras - Our standard tours are planned to be as fully inclusive as possible.  However, from time-to-time your Tour Leader or Local Guide may suggest optional tours/sightseeing in addition to the standard sightseeing planned for that city. Such options are at an additional cost, with prices ranging from 20-200 CNY per person. If you do not wish to take part in any optional extras, you will have the option of enjoying some free time at leisure or to return to the hotel.

 

Personal Expenses - You will need to take some extra money to cover drinks, laundry and souvenirs, plus any additional sightseeing that may be offered to you. Based on the advice of previous customers an approximate amount of $250 per week should be sufficient; however for those that can’t resist a bargain, consider allocating a higher amount.

 

Electricity Supply & Plugs – For China operates on a 220V and uses a combination of US/European and Chinese style plugs in most hotel rooms.

21 Days