Central Tibet Tour

Cultural & Religious Tours

  • Guaranteed Satisfaction
  • Transparent Price
  • No hidden fees
  • Experience of a More than 10 Years
  • Personal Touch & Professional Service

US$ 2,129 P/P

Trip Info

  • Duration

    10 Days

  • Max. Altitude

    3950 m

  • Difficulty

    moderate

  • Starts From

    Kathmandu

  • Trip Ends At

    Kathmandu

  • Transport

    Private Car & Flight

  • Best Season:

    • All Year Round

Central Tibet Tour is an exciting and interesting tour with magnificent trip routes, giving you a true insight into the mystic Tibetan land along with the pristine scenery and landscapes. This tour of 9 nights and 10 days will give you a clear picture of the country with its religion, culture, traditions, hospitality, and inhabitants. The scenery and landscapes are very impressive.

Firstly, Tibet is awarded the world's largest and highest plateau, also known as the "roof of the world". Then the Tibetan myths and mythology provide ecstasy and excitement to all visitors. Tibet is home to the distinctive Tibetan Buddhist culture, spiritual landscape, amazing wildlife, and towering peaks.

While Tibet as a whole is a wholesome country to visit, the Central Part of Tibet is a must-visit place for those travel enthusiast who loves to explore the uniqueness and are interested in mysticism. So, we Himalayan Trekkers have designed a trip to the popular places of the central part of Tibet and named it Central Tibet Tour. It is also believed that the original Tibetan race originated in central Tibet, giving a special flavor to this trip. In addition to that, the Central Tibet Tour really helps you get a greater insight into the nation, its landscapes, its culture, heritage, religion, and inhabitants.

We will have the opportunity to see the renowned places of Tibet like Norbulinkha Palace, Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Market in Lhasa, Samye Monastery in Tsedang, Tashilunpho Monastery in Shigatse, Gyantse Monastery and Khumbum Stupa in Gyantse along with snow-capped mountains of Nyenchen Thanglha, holy lake Yamdrok, authentic Tibetan villages, and nomadic people. 

As this trip starts from Kathmandu, you will also get a glimpse of Kathmandu’s culture, arts, and architecture. You will get to explore the UNESCO World Heritage of the Kathmandu Valley such as Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Swoyambhunath, and Durbar Squares as well as get to gain a hiking experience in one of the most popular and beautiful hills in Kathmandu. 

So, if you are interested to discover this unexplored particular region then pack your back and join us to create some beautiful memories and experiences.

Central Tibet Tour Highlights 

  • Opportunity to get a brief insight into the history, culture, art, and architecture of Kathmandu by visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Experience one of the most adventurous and scenic flight journeys from Kathmandu to Tibet over the Himalayas. 
  • A great chance to explore the “Roof of the World” which is also a “once forbidden kingdom”.
  • Get a better understanding of Tibetan art, culture, tradition, and custom.
  • Visits to numerous, ornately decorated monasteries inspired by Tibetan art and architecture.
  • Enjoy the mesmerizing views of the holy Yamdrok Lake and mountains from the Gampala/Kampala Pass and Karo La Pass. 
  • Explore the well-known central Tibetan cities of Lhasa, Gyantse, and Tsedang along with a day in Shigatse. 

Best Time to do the Central Tibet Tour 

Tibet, which is perched high on a plateau, spends most of the year in cold temperatures and frost. And only during the summers, do daytime temperatures average about 70 degrees. Additionally, summertime has the largest oxygen content, which makes adjusting to the altitude simpler. As a result, Tibet is best visited between June and August.

However, spring and autumn are also great times for Tibet Tours including this Central Tibet Tour. The nights are colder than in the summer months, but you can avoid the summer crowds in these seasons. Also, the weather is mostly bright, blue, and warm enough to reach the double digits and some of the vistas are even better than in summer times. 

Traveling to Tibet in winter can be challenging because the temperature drops quickly and stays low until the beginning of spring. You might have a harder time breathing and some restaurants may close for the season due to snowy roads blocking access to isolated destinations. But, as for the Central Tibet Tour, it is possible to do it in winter too because this trip covers places with permanent accommodations and the road blockade percentages are also low. On top of that, Yamdrok Tso Lake which is a part of Central Tibet is more than outstanding in winter. It is partially frozen, giving you the impression of flowing water, a frozen lake surface, and icy waves against the surrounding snow-capped mountains

Required Permits to do the Central Tibet Tour 

Travelers are required to obtain the following three permits to explore the central part of Tibet. 

1. Chinese Group Visa 

While entering Tibet from Nepal, a Chinese Group Visa is mandatory which is issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. Any kind of visa for China that is obtained elsewhere other than Nepal would be invalid. Also, Individual visitors cannot obtain visas from the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu by themselves. Only those who have reservations for tours from an authorized travel agency are eligible and the agency will obtain it on behalf of the travelers once they arrive in Nepal as to obtain the visa, original passports are required. Also note that it takes 3-4 working days to obtain the visa, so you must be in Kathmandu 3-4 days prior to your departure to Tibet. 

2. Tibet Travel Permit 

Once you confirm and book the trip and travel plan with us, you will need to send us the scanned copy of your passport and photo. Then we send those documents to our Tibet travel partner and they submit those papers to the Tibet Travel Bureau (TTB). Once TTB checks and grants the permit, our Tibet Travel Partner will obtain them. Your Tibetan guide will keep it with him throughout the Tibet trip and he will show it where required. 

3. Alien Travel Permit 

If your trip covers only Lhasa, only the Chinese Group Visa and Tibet Travel Permit are necessary. But when you are traveling to any place other than Lhasa, Alien Travel Permit is mandatory. It is easy to obtain this permit because it takes only 1-2 hours to obtain it after you are in Tibet. But, your guide should be the one to obtain it with your original passport, the Chinese Group Visa, and Tibet Travel Permit. 

Note: All these permit costs’ are included in this package. 

Itinerary in Details

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

🕑 30 Min Drive to Hotel

Max Altitude: 1350 M

Once you land at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be welcomed by one of the Himalayan Trekker’s representatives. Then you will be escorted to the designated hotel and helped with the hotel check-in formalities. Once you feel like you have rested well and freshened up, we will have a brief chat about our Central Tibet Tour.

Then we will proceed for the sightseeing of Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple if your arrival is in the morning time or before noon and you are not having the jet lag effect. 

Also, in case of early arrival, we will collect your passports, signatures, and necessary documents for the Chinese Group Visa applications after you check into your accommodation. But, if your arrival is late, we will pick up those documents on the following day. It takes three business/working days to acquire the visa.
Then in the evening, we stroll around the streets of Thamel to get a glimpse of the lifestyle here.

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 2: Full-Day Kathmandu Sightseeing

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 1350 M

After breakfast, we begin the sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley. We will visit some of the important sites of the valley that are also listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will first visit Boudhanath and Pashupatinath in case we have not explored those sites yesterday. 

Boudhanath is just 30 minutes drive from the center of Kathmandu and is one of the most loved and valued sites in the valley. It is the biggest stupa in the country and is one of the biggest in the world that was built first built in the 6th century and was enlarged in the 14th century on the trade route between Tibet and India. The giant white dome-shaped stupa in the center of the big mandala structure represents Tibetan Buddhism. 

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the four holiest Hindu sites in the world which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main temple of Shiva is closed for the non-Hindus but the temple complex has many other monuments and temples that are open to everyone. Like Boudhanath, it is flocked every day by the devotees. Hindus from all over the world, especially from the neighborhood countries also visit the temple during auspicious occasions like Maha Shivaratri. 

After these sites are covered, we will visit one of the three durbar squares of the Kathmandu Valley. The three cities, Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley, each house a durbar square where you can see similar yet different arts and architectures. The crafts, arts, architecture, culture, and religion in these three sites are all influenced by Newari culture as Newars are the original inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley. 
After discovering these sites, you will be driven back to your hotel for the night. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 3: Acclimatization Hike to Champadevi/Shivapuri Hill

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 1350 M

Today is set aside for a short and easy day hiking to one of the popular hill stations in Kathmandu such as Champadevi with 2285 meters of Shivapuri 2560 meters or any other hills as per the interest. This hike is purposely set for the acclimatization purpose as you will be traveling to an average of 4000 meters altitude when in Tibet. Today’s easy hike will not only help in acclimatizing to the high altitude but also offers some of the best vistas of the Kathmandu valley, the surrounding landscapes, and the snow-clad Himalayas on the backdrop.

However, if you prefer not to do the hike then you can stay on the ground and spend the day as per your interest.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 4: Fly to Gonggar Airport & transfer to Tsedang

🕑 1.15 Hours Flight and Drive

Max Altitude: 3100 M

Your passports and Chinese Group Visas will be collected today during the first office hour. Then in the afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Gonggar Airport. The flight from Kathmandu to Gonggar is really wonderful as you will be flying over the deep wide valleys while viewing the world’s tallest mountains along with other renowned peaks such as Everest, Cho Oyu, Kailash, etc. 

Our Tibetan representative will welcome you at the Gonggar Airport and transfer you to Tsedang city which is an hour’s drive from the airport. Upon arrival at the hotel, you can rest and freshen up. The remainder of the day is leisure to rest for the acclimatization purpose to the high altitude.

Note: The reason for driving to Tsedang instead of Lhasa on the first day is the height of these places. Tsedang has an average of 3100 meters altitude while Lhasa has 3660 meters. So, starting the trip from Tsedang seems more comfortable in terms of acclimatization. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Tsedang

Day 5: Sightseeing in Tsedang

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3100 M

Soon after breakfast, we start the exploration of significant places in Tsedang. Our first stop will be Samye Monastery. 
Samye Monastery is the oldest Buddhist Monastery in Tibet was built in the second half of the 8th century by King Trisong Detsen with the help of Guru Padmasambhava. 

The monastery is situated in a stunning location on the northern bank of the beautiful Yarlung Zangbo River. The gorgeous monastery was also the first monastery to teach the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhist Teachings called Nyingma. Utse is the main temple of the monastery which represents Mount Meru. And there are four large white, red, black, and green colored stupas in the four directions from the main temple. 

We will then visit the famous Yambulakhang Palace, Tranduk Monastery, and other historic sites of the town before returning to the hotel for another night in Tsedang. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Tsedang

Day 6: Drive to Gyantse via Yamdok Tso Lake

🕑 5/6 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 4025 M

After breakfast at the hotel in Lhasa, we start our journey to Gyantse. We drive past the Gampala pass at 4790 meters which offers a great vista of the Yamdrok Tso. Then, we will fully explore the Lake area. 

Yamdrok Tso (Lake), also known as Yamdrok Yumtso, is one of the scenic regions in Tibet that reflects the natural beauty giving life to the dry desert-like landscape of Tibet. It is also one of the four most sacred lakes in the country along with Namtso and Manasarovar with many religious beliefs. Yamdrok Lake's distinctive natural setting, which combines hills, grasslands, pasture, wild animals, and flora, the monastery, snowy mountains, and blue sky, is very alluring.

After we spend an ample amount of time at the lake area, we continue on our driving journey to Gyantse via Karo La pass, at 5045 meters. We finally arrive in Gyantse, after hours of driving through gorgeous Tibetan villages. We rest and explore the surrounding streets for the remainder of the day. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Gyantse

Day 7: Gyantse Sightseeing & Transfer to Shigatse

🕑 3 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 3800 M

After breakfast, we proceed on the Gyantse sightseeing tour. Our first stop is the glory of Gyantse, the Gyantse Dzong Fortress which was constructed in the 14th century. The medieval stronghold, sometimes referred to as Gyantse Old Castel, is situated on the west hill of Gyantse and resembles a miniature Potala Palace and has a stunning vantage point from which to see all of Gyantse and the neighboring Nyang Chu Valley. The Anti-British Battery, Amban's Stone Table, Gyantse Dzong Government Meeting Hall, and Rinpoche Hall are some of the key attractions of this fort.

Gyantse also takes pride in its Palcho Monastery which houses the famous Khumbum stupa. The monastery differs from other Tibetan monasteries and combines the structures of three different religious sects: Sakyapa, Kadampa, and Gelugpa. The Palcho Khumbum Stupa with its golden dome is one of the major attractions here. Khumbum is the Tibetan word for 100,000 pictures and this stupa has numerous chapels and Tibetan Buddhist murals which is definitely a sight to behold. 

Following our exploration of Gyantse, we will travel 90 kilometers to Shigatse. On the way to Shigatse, we will stop for a bit to look at the Shalu monastery that was built in the styles of the Han, Tibetan, and Indian cultures. Then we continue driving to Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. When we get to Shigatse, we will go to Tashihunpo Monastery which is one of the biggest active monasteries in Tibet sitting at the summit of Dromali. The monastery was founded by the first Dalai Lama in 1447 and Tibetan Buddhists revere this monastery as the "stack of glory" or the location where "all prosperity and happiness have gathered here." The monastery’s some notable things are the Future Buddha Statue, Panchen Lama's Stupa, Panchen Lama's Palace, Thangka Exhibition Platform, halls, and chapels. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Shigatse

Day 8: Drive to Lhasa City

🕑 7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 3650 M

After breakfast, we travel all day through the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley to return to Lhasa. We travel on the Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway and spend around 6 hours passing via Chusul, Kyi Chu River Valley. After arriving in Lhasa, we settle into our hotel and take a tour of the Jokhang Temple and explore Barkhor Street which surrounds the Jokhang Temple. 

Jokhang Temple is one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Tibet and is greatly valued by Tibetans. It is also the oldest temple in Lhasa that was built by then Tibet ruler/King Songtsen Gampo to reside the life-size statue of 12-year-old Jowa Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism that was brought by his Chinese wife, princess Wencheng as a dowry.

After walking through every corner of the temple, we will stroll around Barkhor Street which is also known as the “holy path”. This 1000 meters long street is a circle circling the Jokhang Temple where we can see a traditional/real side of Lhasa. 
We return to the hotel after visiting these important sites of Tibet. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Lhasa

Day 9: Full Day Sightseeing in Lhasa

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3650 M

Today’s Lhasa sightseeing covers important places such as the Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace, and Drepung Monastery. 

The magnificent Potala Palace, which still dominates the skyline of Lhasa, will be our first stop. The palace was constructed in the seventh century by King Songtsen Gampo and added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. The palace complex is renowned across the world for its magnificent architecture, allure, and enormous collections of precious artwork. Since the 17th century, the Dalai Lamas' winter residence, offices, and places of devotion were in the Potala.

When we are finished exploring the Potala, we will travel to Norbulingka Palace, which used to be the Dalai Lamas' summer home. The palace comprises 374 rooms, and the palace complex also has Norbulingka Park, popularly known as the "Jewel/Treasure Park," which is the largest man-made garden in the nation. Norbulingka is the perfect place for a summer vacation because of its lush flora and cool ponds. 

Then, will go to Drepung Monastery which was built by Chojey Tashi Palden in the 14th century. It is one of the holiest monasteries in the nation and was formerly referred to as the mother of monasteries. Drepung is the largest of the three greatest Gelugpa sect monasteries. It comprises four departments, the largest of which is Loseling, also known as "The Hermitage of the Radiant Mind," which can house up to 15,000 monks. It is now one of Tibet's top institutions for monastic instruction. We return to the hotel after finishing the day in Drepung. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Lhasa

Day 10: Depart from Lhasa Tibet

🕑 1 Hour Drive to Airport and Onward Flight

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your planned trip to Nepal or mainland China. If you prefer to travel to your home country via mainland China, you can take a flight from Lhasa to Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Beijing and take a connecting flight. 

Also, you can opt. to fly to Kathmandu after the trip ends in Lhasa. In case you fly back to Kathmandu, you will arrive in Kathmandu around noon. As a result, you can catch the late noon or evening flight to your onward destination from Kathmandu. 

However, if you want to spend overnight in Kathmandu, we can customize it at an additional cost and prior information.

Meals: Breakfast

Includes

  • All airport transfers in a private vehicle
  • 3* Standard category hotel accommodation on a twin/double sharing basis in Kathmandu
  • 3* Standard Category hotel accommodation on a twin/double sharing basis in Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse & Tsedang
  • All required ground transportation in a private vehicle
  • Airfare (Kathmandu-Lhasa-Kathmandu)
  • Permits and Visa Applications for Tibet
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • All heritage entrance fees
  • Welcome/farewell dinner
  • All government/applicable taxes and office service charges

 

Excludes

  • Any International Flights
  • Nepal Visa Fee 
  • Meals (Lunch & Dinner)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips and gratitude
  • Personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, tips to guide and driver, liquor, etc.)
  • Any costs occurred under unavoidable circumstances (flight delay or cancellation, road blockade, illness, etc.)
  • Anything not mentioned in the INCLUSION section

 

Accommodation during the Central Tibet Tour 

Himalayan Trekkers offers clean hygienic and comfortable accommodations for our valuable guests. We provide 3-star standard category hotels/resorts with breakfast on a twin/double sharing basis in Kathmandu and Lhasa. However, if you prefer to have a single supplement or upgrade the hotel category, we can manage them at an additional cost if we are informed prior. 

Meals during the Central Tibet Tour

Except for all the breakfasts and one welcome/farewell dinner, we have not included the lunches and dinners in this trip package as the cities mentioned in this itinerary have a broad variety of restaurants and eateries, and menus. 

Various levels of restaurants can be seen in Kathmandu serving Nepali, Indian, Chinese, Western, Continental cuisines, etc. Similarly, there are many different types of menus available in the cities of Lhasa, including western cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Nepalese cuisine, and Tibetan cuisine. As a result, you may easily access places to dine and drink.

However, we can recommend to you the best places to dine in as per your style and menus those serving healthy and hygienic foods. You can go for authentic traditional menus or eat continental or western cuisines. The choice is up to you.

© 2021 Himalayan Trekkers. All rights reserved.