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TS-C-WE-08 – TSTC
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TS-C-WE-08 Beijing to Kathmandu

BEIJING ► XIAN ► LHASA ► GYANTSE ► SHIGATSE ► EVEREST ► KATHMANDU

12 nights from UK £ 3,045 per person

Price based on 2 people travelling together. These prices are here to give guidance and final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability. Trip possible April to December

Start from BEIJING taking a bullet train to XIAN and the Terra Cotta warriors. Fly on to LHASA, a city of amazing sights including the Potala Palace and sacred Jokhang Temple.

From Lhasa start your overland adventure from LHASA to EVEREST BASE CAMP before descending into Nepal to finish your trip in its culturally vibrant capital of KATHMANDU by which time you will have experienced an amazing variety of climate, landscape & culture.

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Day 1 - Beijing to Xian

Bullet Train on to Xian Home of the Terra Cotta Warriors

NOTE: This trip is designed to follow on from our Trans-Siberian tours which already include time in Beijing.

Free time this morning until a transfer to the station to catch a bullet train. Reaching speeds of over 300 km/hour the overall trip is on a par with flying with the added bonuses of views from the window and being able to stretch your legs.

Late afternoon arrival in Xian, China’s Tang Dynasty Capital and terminus of the Silk Road with a transfer to your hotel to overnight.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 2 - Xian

The Terra Cotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Walls & Muslim Quarter

Today visit one of China’s most extraordinary sights, the Terra Cotta Army built by China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 246 BC. Several thousand of the life-sized soldiers are on display and, with no two soldiers looking alike, make for a truly impressive spectacle.

We also visit a relic of the Tang Dynasty, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, home to some of the most famous Buddhist scriptures in China. It is possible to climb the pagoda – you will need to buy a ticket locally if you wish to do this – for views over Xian. Continue to the 14 km Ming Dynasty City Walls which are up to 18 meters thick at the base and 12 meters in height. It is possible to hire bicycles and ride some sections of the wall – local rental payment required.

Finish the day with a wander through Xian’s vibrant Muslim quarter, including a visit to the Great Mosque, unusually built entirely in the Chinese architectural style. This area is an excellent place to souvenir shop and eat.

Return to your hotel to overnight or ask us about cultural shows we can book.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 3 - Xian to Lhasa

Flight on to Lhasa and Your First Taste of This Extraordinary City

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lhasa. Your guide will have your Tibet Travel Permit and plane ticket. Arrival at Lhasa’s Gonggar airport after what has, cloud cover permitting, been a spectacular flight. Your guide will be meeting you at the airport for the 1 hour drive to Lhasa. Tibet’s capital, at a quite manageable altitude of 3,650 meters (12,000 feet) is a unique city and a real highlight or any trip. The setting, history, architecture, people and contrasts all make for a very special travel experience.

Free time to relax and adjust to the altitude or start exploring the city.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 4 - Lhasa

Drepung Monastery, Nechung Residence, Sacred Jokhang Temple & Kora

Today first head 5 km out of Lhasa to Drepung Monastery, the largest in Tibet located on Gambo Utse mountain. Founded in 1416, it was the principal seat of learning for the Gelugpa school and at its height was thought to contain up to 10,000 monks (now there are 300). About 10 minutes walk from Drepung is Nechung Chok which was the residence of the State Oracle of Tibet. This small monastery was also evocatively known as the ”Demon Fortress of the Oracle King.”

After lunch (own arrangement) visit the Jokhang Temple constructed in 642 AD and considered the most sacred and important temple in all Tibet. It is located at one end of Barkhor Square, a fascinating meeting point for pilgrims from all over the region making for an intense atmosphere infused with incense and devotion. Surrounding the temple is the Barkhor Kora, a 1 km circular walk for pilgrims and locals as well as a fascinating market selling all the goods a pilgrim might need on their travels.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 5 - Lhasa

The Truly Spectacular Potala Palace & Ancient Sera Monastery

Today you visit one of the architectural highlights of China – if not the world – the vast Potala Palace, former residence of Dalai Lamas. Building started in 1645 and has been added to over the centuries. It is 13 stories high and contains over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues. You will see some of the meeting rooms as well as the extraordinary chapels with their vast gold and jewel encrusted shrines to previous Dalai Lamas – the chapel of the 5th Dalai Lama has a stupa coated in 3,727kg of gold and 18,680 precious stones. The Potala dominates Lhasa and the views from the palace stretch out across the city to the surrounding mountains.

Continue to Sera Monastery, spread over 28 acres at the base of Pubuchok mountain and built in 1419. The highlights are the great assembly hall and some of the colleges located within the complex with their wealth of architectural features and shrines.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 6 - Lhasa to Gyantse

Kambala Pass, Beautiful Yamdrok Lake & Norjing Gangsang Glacier

Today we journey to Gyantse, 230 km south of Lhasa. The city is soon left behind as the road winds up the 4,780 meter (15,680 foot) Kambala pass colorfully strewn with prayer flags fluttering in the wind. See spectacular views in all directions before the road descends to the beautiful 72 km long Yamdrok lake with its spectacular backdrop of snowcapped mountains. Follow the lake shore before heading back into the hills passing the Norjing Gangsang Glacier, where we can stop for photos.

Continue along the road stopping at villages and scenic spots before reaching Gyantse (3,977 meters / 13,050 feet), Tibet’s third largest city. Free time to explore and if you have the energy the walk up the Dzong (fortress) that dominates the city is recommended for both views and acclimatization.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 7 - Gyantse to Shigatse

Palcho Monastery & Kumbum & Vast Tashilhunpo Monastery & Market

This morning visit Gyantse’s main monastery, the Palcho or Pelkhor Choede in Tibetan. The sprawling monastery complex dates back to the 9th century. It is most famous for the Kumbum, a 32 meter high 9 floored shrine which contains 108 unique chapels and is the largest of its kind in Tibet.

It is a 100 km drive to Shigatse at (3,840 meters / 12,600 feet) where we visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery founded in 1447 by the first Dalai Lama and has since been the traditional seat of the “Tashi” or Panchen Lama. The monastery is fascinating as is the walk around the Kora which stretches up the hillside behind the monastery offering good views of the complex and Shigatse itself. We can also visit the local market.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 8 - Shigatse to Shekar

Sakya Monasteries Before Journeying Deeper Into Tibet

Drive on 127 km to Sakya monastery, the seat of the Sakyapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery’s architecture is very different to others in Tibet as it is Mongolian in design dating back to 1268. Continue deeper into Tibet stopping when you wish before reaching the remote town of Shekar (New Tingri). Try to get a good nights rest in preparation for Everest Base Camp tomorrow.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 9 - Shekar to Everest Base Camp

The Superb Gyawu Pass View of the High Himalaya & Drive to Everest Base Camp

Depart Shekar stopping at the Gyawu pass for a breathtaking panoramic view of the highest peaks of the Himalaya. Drive on to Rombuk Monastery, the gateway to Everest. From Rombuk the hike to Everest Base Camp (5,200m / 17,000 feet) takes 2 hours although there is often a national park bus in service if you do not want to walk. The sunset on Everest is sublime as well as the mountain under a star or moonlit night – pray to the mountain Gods for no clouds! Rough and ready high altitude night at either Rombuk Monastery or up at Base Camp itself where there is seasonal tented accommodation run by local nomads (approximately May to October).

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 10 - Everest Base Camp to Zhangmu

Sunrise at Everest Base Camp & the Amazing Drive on to the Border

Despite the inevitable cold it is well worth trying to get up just before dawn to catch the sunrise on Everest. The morning is spent exploring the area around camp before driving on late morning to Zhangmu (2,300 meters / 7,500 feet) on the China-Nepal border. Stop at Old Tingri before starting the spectacular descent 1,000 meters off the Tibetan Plateau and down towards the valleys of Nepal. The scenery rapidly changes as the altitude decreases, greening up and becoming lush and by the time the border town, perched on the steep mountainside, is reached. The world looks a very different place to what it did this morning as you prepare for your last night in Tibet.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 11 - Zhangmu to Kathmandu

Entering Nepal, the Lush Kathmandu Valley & Change of Culture

After breakfast say goodbye to your Tibetan driver and guide, pass through China immigration and walk across the short stretch of no mans land to Nepalese immigration where your driver will be waiting for you. If you need to obtain a Nepal visa now is the time to do that. The 115 km 5 to 6 hour drive down to Kathmandu is initially through stunning lush mountain scenery which steadily becomes more tropical and couldn’t be further removed from the dry Tibetan Plateau.

Far more India than China, Kathmandu makes Chinese cities look exceptionally well ordered! Life appears frantic and chaotic here. Long a travellers mecca for Himalayan trekking, Kathmandu has mastered the art of providing creature comforts to the weary traveller. The city is culturally rich and beyond it the rest of Nepal and the sub-continent awaits! Your driver will drop you at the hotel in Kathmandu with the rest of the day free.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 12 - Kathmandu

Highlights of Kathmandu Including Durbar Square, Boudhanath & Pashupatinath

Today we cover the highlights of the capital starting with the central Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka with its many old palaces, temples and pagodas. Continue to the Temple of Living Goddess “Kumari”, and the Kasthamandap Temple, believed to be constructed from the wood of a single tree and from which the city derives its name. On to the huge in size and importance Buddhist Boudhanath Stupa before finishing at the Hindu Pashupatinath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and located on the bank of the holy Bagmati River. Return to your hotel with a free evening perhaps relaxing in the cafes and restaurants of popular Thamel district.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 13 - Depart Kathmandu

Free Time to Explore the Sights of Kathmandu Before Onward Travel

Free time in Kathmandu until a transfer to the airport for your flight out of Nepal. If you prefer to stay longer in Nepal we can book additional hotel nights for you as well as some short tours around the Kathmandu Valley or longer excursions through the country – click here for more options.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Hand-picked Accommodation for this Trip

The hotels & accommodation used for this trip are from our hand picked selection and all are excellent for their class. We also offer upgraded hotels in most locations. If you would like to explore additional hotel options please the button below and let us know of any changes you wish to make.

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Destinations Visited on this Trip

Click on any of the destinations below for more information.

READ OUR CHINA PLANNING GUIDE

What is included?

Air and / or train transport as described.

All accommodation as specified under the accommodation tab

All private transfers and any other transportation as described

All meals as specified in the itinerary

All tours as specified in the itinerary

All entrance fees to sights toured in the itinerary

24 hour emergency assistance

Visa Paperwork you need in order to obtain the visas

Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected

Our exclusive 200+ page trip guidebook, personalised to your trip

 The necessary Tibet Travel Permit

What is not included?

International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request

The Chinese & Nepalese visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we recommend ABTASure (UK residents only)

Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment

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LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCIAL PROTECTION
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