Himalaya Tibet Tour - TDH
Number of Days: 25
Our journey begins in the eastern gateway of the Silk Road, Xian, where we visit the famous Terracotta Warriors, discovered by farmers in 1974. We then fly to Xining where we board the unique oxygenated train, ‘The Himalayan Express’, for the historic journey to the capital of one of the world’s most mysterious countries, Tibet. En-route we pass through extraordinary mountain landscapes as the train rolls on to Lhasa. The next leg of our journey takes us into the very heart of the Himalaya as far as Rongbuk, the Everest base supply camp on the remote north face, then on to neighbouring Nepal, another fantastic Himalayan kingdom. Finally we venture to an even less-visited and completely unspoilt nation, the ancient Kingdom of Bhutan – the world’s last Shangri-La!
Fitness Level: ACTIVE
China and Tibet
- See the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors in Xian
- Attend a spectacular Tang Dynasty show
- View Xian from the ramparts of the great city walls
- Visit the superb Shanxi Museum and the famous Wild Goose Pagoda
- Journey through breathtaking landscapes on the world’s highest railway to Lhasa
- Explore the astonishing Potala Palace, former home of the Dalai Lama
- Soak up the atmosphere of Lhasa’s vibrant Bharkour markets
- Watch the incredible spectacle of the monks debating at Sera Monastery
- Visit the former summer home of the Dalai Lama, Norbulinka
- Enjoy a traditional Tibetan folk show
- Picnic in the mountains overlooking the magnificent turquoise waters of Yamdruk Lake
- Explore the old town of Gyangtse, including the impressive Kunbon Stupa
- Visit the local bazaar in Shigatse and enjoy a rickshaw ride
- See magnificent Mt Everest at close quarters – from Everest Base Camp – and visit the world’s highest monastery
- Enjoy a spectacular flight over Everest and the Himalaya
- Exclusive dinner in Kathmandu’s Garden of Dreams
- Visit Kumar Bahal – the house of the Living Goddess
- See the monkeys at Swayambhunath – the religious complex known as the Monkey Temple
- Soak up the serenity of Bhutan – known as ‘the last Shangri-La’
- Explore the beautiful Punakha Valley
- See the breathtaking Taktsang Monastery – the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ – perched on the mountain’s edge
- Walk across the rice fields to the Temple of the Divine Madman
- Visit a local school
- Enjoy a picnic at the edge of a beautiful river
Day1-2 Australia- Xian (D)
Depart Australia from your chosen airport to Singapore. On arrival in Singapore we connect with our flight to Xian via Guangzhou.
Day 3- Xian
Today we visit the extraordinary site of Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Warriors, known as the eighth Wonder of the World. This incredible ‘army’ consists of 6,000 life-size terracotta figures, which were discovered by farmers digging a well in 1974. The visit is an unforgettable experience. After lunch we visit the Huaqinq hot springs that were first recorded during the Zhou Dynasty, more than 3,000 years ago. In the evening we have the chance to experience a cultural show dating back to the Tang Dynasty of more than 1,000 years ago.
Day 4- Xian (BLD)
Today we continue our tour of Xian with a visit to the superb Shanxi Provincial Museum and the famous Wild Goose Pagoda.
Day 5- Xian – Xining – Tibet (BL)
Fly to Xining and explore the city before transferring to the railway station where we board the Himalayan Express for our thrilling journey to Lhasa. The oxygenated train is the first to link China and Tibet and the 1,200-km journey is a truly memorable experience. The track is built largely on permafrost, with four-fifths laid at an altitude of more than 4,000m. The highest point, between Qinghai and Lhasa, reaches 5,072m.
Day 6- Onboard train – Lhasa (D)
Early morning we arrive in Golmud where two enormous locomotives are attached to the front of the train to haul us up to the Himalayan Plateau and on to Lhasa. Treeless plains give way to snow-capped mountains and we pass by the world’s highest lake and through the world’s highest tunnel as our incredible journey continues. Finally, late afternoon, the train pulls into the Tibetan capital at the conclusion of its epic trip. On arrival in Lhasa we transfer to our hotel.
Day 7- Lhasa (BLD)
Above the banks of the Lhasa River at an altitude of 3,760m and surrounded by beautiful landscapes, lies the mysterious city of Lhasa which is dominated by the extraordinary architectural wonder, the Potala Palace. Often referred to as ‘the bright pearl in the roof of the world’, the palace is the traditional winter home of the Dalai Lama. It stands 117m tall, with walls more than three metres thick, and has more than 1,000 rooms. After lunch we visit the old city of Lhasa. This fascinating marketplace is often referred to as ‘the window of Tibet’, as it showcases Tibetan customs and culture.
Day 8- Lhasa (BLD)
Today we visit Norbulinka Park. From the mid-18th century each successive Dalai Lama used the park and palace as a summer residence. All religious and political affairs were carried out here and in 1994 UNESCO granted it World Heritage status. In the afternoon we visit the Lhasa Hospital of Tibetan Medicine where we learn about the use of herbs, plants and root vegetables in this ancient science.
Day 9- Lhasa (BLD)
After breakfast we continue to explore this fascinating city. One of today’s highlights is a visit to the extraordinary Sera Monastery. As a part of their study, lamas here must participate in debates to further their comprehension and proceed to more advanced levels of study. The debating traditions in the Sera Monastery are unique and provide an amazing spectacle. In a battle of words, the lamas supplement their efforts by using a variety of gestures including clapping their hands, pushing their partners for an answer, or plucking their prayer beads to win the virtue of the Buddha.
Day 10- Lhasa – Gyangtse (BLD)
Today we begin our amazing journey across the Himalayan Plateau, driving 280 km through magnificent countryside to the ancient city of Gyangtse. En-route we picnic by the beautiful turquoise waters of Yamdruk Lake and in the afternoon, pass the 5000m Kanola Glacier, before reaching Gyangtse early evening.
Day 11- Gyangtse – Tingri (BLD)
After breakfast we drive along the Friendship Highway to the remote town of Tingri. This is another day of awe-inspiring scenery, and we make many scenic stops before getting our first glimpse of magnificent Mount Everest. We arrive at Tingri as the sun begins to set behind her northern face.
Day 12- Tingri – Everest Base Camp – Tingri (BLD)
After breakfast we drive 100 km to Everest Rongbuk Base Camp. The mountain stands before us, soaring 8,848m into the heavens. There are few sights on earth that challenge the imagination in quite the same way. In the afternoon we visit Rongbuk, which was once the largest monastic centre in the region. It is a settlement that all mountaineers must pass through when attempting the treacherous north face of Everest.
Day 13- Tingri – Shigatse (BLD)
Today we drive to Tibet’s second-largest city, Shigatse. Meaning ‘fertile land’, Shigatse is more than 600 years old and sits at the confluence of the Yarlong Tsangpo and Nyangchu rivers. It is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama and is an important stop for pilgrims travelling between Lhasa and western Tibet.
Day 14- Shigatse – Lhasa (BLD)
After breakfast we begin our five-hour journey through stunning landscapes to Lhasa. On arrival in Lhasa we check in to our hotel, and after lunch the afternoon is free to further explore the city and markets.
Day 15- Lhasa – Kathmandu (BLD)
Fly to Kathmandu. Enjoy lunch overlooking the Himalayan foothills before continuing to the bustling heart of the city.
Day 16- Kathmandu (BLD)
The fertile Kathmandu Valley lies at an altitude of 1,200-1,500m. Although small in size, no fewer than seven UNESCO World Heritage sites are to be found within the valley. These architectural wonders are monuments to Nepal’s past prosperity and artistry, which essentially make the whole area a living museum. This morning we take a leisurely tour of Kathmandu and the afternoon is free to continue exploring this extraordinary city.
Day 17- Kathmandu (BLD)
Today is extremely special as we immerse ourselves in Nepalese culture, meeting the Kathmandu locals and attending an extraordinary festival.
Day 18- Kathmandu – Thimphu (Bhutan) (BD)
This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Bhutan. Our flight across the Himalaya to Bhutan is dramatic, to say the least. The views are simply astonishing as we soar above the highest mountains on earth. Often referred to as ‘the last Shangri-La’, Bhutan’s isolation has protected it from western influences, leaving the country blissfully untouched. The sparsely populated kingdom has a rich cultural heritage that is unique in the Himalaya and a visit here is a step into a timeless and magical world. On arrival in Paro we make the beautiful two-hour drive to the capital, Thimphu.
Day 19- Thimphu (BLD)
Today we explore Thimphu, starting with the Folk and Heritage Museum that displays the lives of typical Bhutanese farmers in the medieval period. Bhutan is world-famous for its textiles and later today we visit the Textile Museum. The afternoon is free to explore the downtown area of this charming and relaxing capital.
Day 20- Thimphu – Punakha (BLD)
This morning we drive across the Dochula Pass, which offers spectacular views over the eastern Himalaya. En-route we pass through fascinating villages and rice fields, where farmers still practise traditional methods, before arriving in Punakha, the former capital city of Bhutan.
Day 21- Punakha (BLD)
After breakfast we visit the Temple of the Divine Madman. The 20-minute walk takes us through a fascinating Bhutanese village and picturesque countryside before reaching the hill where the temple is located. The views from here are beautiful. Afterwards we explore the Punakha Dzong, a stunning fortress located on the confluence of the Mo Chuu and Pho Chuu rivers. Originally this fortress housed 600 monks; today it is the winter home of the central monk body.
Day 22- Punakha – Paro (BLD)
We leave beautiful Punakha this morning and drive north, returning to the magnificent Paro Valley.
Day 23- Paro (BLD)
Our final day in Bhutan is an extra-special one: we visit the breathtaking Taktsang Monastery, more commonly known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Clinging to a mountain ledge, this world-famous monastery is steeped in myths and legends. It is said that in the 7th century, Guru Rinpoche flew from Tibet on the back of a flying tigress and established Buddhism in Bhutan here. It is a 90-minute trek up to the monastery with spectacular views all the way. If you wish you can hire a horse to make the ascent, or you can simply stay put and admire this extraordinary construction from the valley below.
Day 24- 25 -Transfer to the airport for our flight to Australia via Singapore (B)
All flights between Australia & China/Bhutan & Australia
All ticketable air taxes (may be subject to change)
All accommodation (twin-share)
All ground transportation and transfers
All meals as specified
Travel Directors tour escort throughout
Expert local guides
All entrance fees in specified sightseeing
All visas and courier fees
All tips and gratuities
- From $15550 per person twin share. Single supplement + $3885