Day 01: After breakfast you will be transferred to the International airport to connect the flight Kathmandu/Lhasa by SZ 408.
The flight is one hour ten minutes and it is one of the most beautiful flights in the World. First the flight follows east approaching Dorje Lakpa, the Jugal Himal, Gauri Shankar, Choyu, Lhotse, Mt. Everest and Makalu. Then after flying to the north on the left side of the aircraft, we see the Chomo Lihari (7315 m) of Bhutan including the whole of the Kanchenjunga Massif, Makalu and east face of Chomolungma (Mt. Everest). The flight takes a sharp from north wards and flies over the mountain range of nozin khang sa and lake yamdrok and follows the yarlung Tsangpo river on the east.
Upon arrival at Gonggor airport (ETA 1400 hrs), Lhasa. Meet, assist and transfer, and drive to Lhasa along the banks of the Brahmaputra, past yak-skin boats and giant carved Budhas, through Tibetan villages and then into the Lhasa valley itself for your first glimpse of the golden roofs of the Potala Palace.
LHASA, the campital city of Tibet at an altitude of 3650m, is situated on the north bank of the kyichu River. Lhasa in Tibetan means ‘Place of the Gods’ and ‘Potala Palace’, the residence of the Dalai Lama (the God king), is the earthly representation of the celestial Palace of Avaloketeswora, the Buddha of infinite compassion whose incarnation in the human form is believed to be the Dalai Lama. As Tibet’s political, religious and cultural center it is a city truly blessed by the god, where life is unhurried, its people jovial and yet remaining staunchly independent.
Overnight at the Hotel Lhasa.
Day 02: A.M. – visit to SERA MONASTERY: 5 km (3 miles) north of Lhasa. Sera setting is one of Lhasa’s prettiest. Once a community of more than 5000 monks, it was virtually extinguished by the Chinese. The restored monastery sits below the brow of a hill on which Tsongkhapa built a hermitage and spent several years meditating. One of the monks disciples began building Sera in 1419, completing it a few years later.
Later on visit JOKHANG TEMPLE: Situated in the heart of old Lhasa, it houses Tibet’s most precious religious relic, a golden Shakyamuni Buddha which was brought as a gift by the Chinese Princes Wen Cheng on the occacion of her wedding to the Tibet King, Songtsen gompo, Surrounding the Jokhang Temple is the bustling Barkhor market place which is the religious and social focus of Lhasa.
Overnight at the Hotel Lhasa.
Day 03: A.M. – This morning you will have time to explore the famed Potala Palace, the former winter residence of the Dalai Lamas. The Potala is a magnificent building of over 1000 rooms that towers over the Lhasa valley. Completed in 1693, it is still considered to be one of the architectural wonders of the World.
There after visit DREPUNG MONASTERY: Drive 8 kms west of Lhasa to Drepunt Monastery. Said to be the largest monastery in the world housing over 10,000 monks, it was founded in 11416 by disciple of Je Tsonkhpa, founder of the yellow hat Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The second, third and fourth Dalai Lamas lived and were entombed here. Drepung in Tibetan means ‘rice mound’.
Then visit THE NORBULINKHA: The ‘Jewel Park’ as it is known in Tibetan, was built in the 18th century and served as the summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. This colorful garden landscape was the site of picnic and public gatherings. The palaces are richly decorated, creating an atmosphere of peaceful repose.
Overnight at the Hotel in Lhasa.
Day 04: Lhasa/Gyantse:
Drive Lhasa – Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake. Gyantse is small bustling town steeped in history. It lies 264 kms southwest of Lhasa on the northern bank of the Nyang Chu river. In the 15th century it served as the capital of small kingdom. The beautiful Kumbum chorten, built around 1400 AD and the huge reined castle bear witness to the powers that ruled then. It later became the main center for trade with British India and the focal point of young husband's British Expedition to Tibet in 1904 when his soldiers defeated some 5000 Tibetans and destroyed the fort by cannon fire.
Then it can be very rewarding to have a look around the fascinating typically Tibetan town or even climb to the top of the fort (but first the gate must be opened). There are restaurants and shops in the main street and closer to the hotel, as well as the usual hotel restaurants. Try eating traditional momos, balls of meat encased in dough and chung – a “beer” made from barley.
PM: VISIT KUMBUM: It is one of the most unique and magnificent buildings in Tibet consisting of 6 storeys complete with a Buddhist Hall and a prayer hall. It has 112 chapels and its walls are adorned with religious paintings. Built in the 15th century, it has withstood all battles and revolutions since.
Overnight at Gyantse Hotel.
Day 05: Gyantse/ Shigatse:
A visit to Tashilumpo is today’s main highlight. It is the big monastery housing the biggest Maitreya, which is about 26 mts in height. It was founded by the disciple of Tsongkapa called Genden Drup in 1447 AD. Ganden Drup was later named Dalai Lama. He is enshrined in Tashilumpo. Thus it was the starting point of Dalai Lama Chapter. The monastery standing rocketed, however, when the 5th Dalai Lama declared his teacher – then abbot of Tashilumpo, to be manifestation of Amitabha. Thus Tashilumpo became the seat of an important lineage line The Panchen Lamas second only to Dalai Lama.
Day 06: Xhigastse – Tingri (Xegar):
Drive to Tingri. On the way our first destination is Sakya monastery. The Sakapa has a history of over 900 year. It was the undisputed ruler of the Tibet for the second half of the 13th century. Its collection of Buddhist text is very impressive. Sakya North on the north bank of the Trum, was founded by King Chogyal Pho, whose famly goes back to the time of King Trisong Detsen, Sakya south was built by the Saka Panchen Sakya Zongpo, on orders from the famous Sakya Patriarch, Phagpa. (1235-80).
After our visit of the Sakya monastery we return to the highway and drive to Tingri.
Overnight at the Hotel Quomolongma.
Day 07: Xegar – Zhangmu:
Today is our first Everest day, permitting the weather is clear. We stop at Old Tingri for Photograph of the Everest and other mountains. We head to our last pass Lalung-La (5050m.). After crossing the pass we descent to the Indian plains. We get to see a lot of waterfalls, flowers and pine trees after Nyalam a small village. In the evening we reach our last stop a small town called Zhangmu (border town).
Day 08: Zhangmu – Kathmnadu:
Drive to Kodari to enter Nepal. Clear customs, change the vehicle and continue drive to Kathmandu (114 kms – 4 hours).