Day 1 – Kathmandu Arrival
On your arrival at Kathmandu, Tribhuvan Airport, you will be met by a representative of Sacred Himalaya and taken to your hotel in the Thamel district of Kathmandu.
Day 2 – Swayambhunath Temple - Kathmandu Durbar Square
This will be the first of your sightseeing days in Kathmandu. In the morning we will head for Swayambhunath (Monkey) Temple. Swayambhunath is a UNESCO, World Heritage and one of the must see sights of the Valley. We will walk the 365 steps up to the Stupa. There is much to see, not least the three large Buddha statues of Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche. in the park to the rear. In the afternoon we visit the Durbar square in Kathmandu
Day 3 – Kopan Monastery - Bouddhanath Stupa - Pashupatinath Temple
Our second sightseeing day in Kathmandu starts at Kopan Monastery perched majestically overlooking the Kathmandu Valley. Kopan is a little haven of serenity amongst the chaos of the Valley. We will then head for Bouddhanath, the Tibetan area of Kathmandu where the mightily impressive Bouddhanath Stupa is situated. The Stupa is the second largest Stupa in the world. In the afternoon we will make our way to Pashupatinath Hindu Temple.
Day 4 - Kathmandu - Nyalam
We will depart early morning from Kathmandu by 4 wheel drive and head for the border town of Kodari. Once we have cleared customs we will travel across the friendship bridge into Tibet where we will transfer to our Tibetan guides and will go by minibus up the hill to Zhangmu. Once visa formalities are complete we will head on up to Nyalam (3750m) where we stay the night.
Day 5 - Nyalam - Shigatse
Up till recent times it took 2 days from here to reach Shigatse but now with the new modern highways Shigatse is within one days drive. We head on up to high passes over 5000 metres high were you will get the most stunning views of the Himalayan range. For all the days journey we have the Mountains to our right and around the Tingri area we get to see the Majestic peaks of Lhotse (8516m), Everest (8848m), Cho Oyo (8201m), Makalu (8463m). We arrive in Shigatse late afternoon.
Day 6 - Shigatse - Tashilunpo
Tashilunpo Monastery is literally known as "Auspicious Sumeru Temple" and is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, It is situated on the southern slope of the Nyima Hill to the west of Shigatse. It was founded in 1477 by Gendun Drubpain, the first Dalai Lama and a most outstanding disciple of Tsong Khapa. The Tashilumpo Monastery occupies an area of 150,000 square meters, surrounded by more than 3km long walls perched on the Nyima Mountain. The monastery has 57 buildings with over 3600 rooms in it. We take the day exploring all there is to see in the monastery and surrounding area.
Day 7 - Shigatse - Gyantse - Palchor - Kumbum Stupa - Gyantse Dzong
We leave Shigatse and and take the short journey to Gyangtse (3900m) arriving mid morning. Gyantse is a spectacular town with the walled monastery and old town surround. We will visit the Palcho Monastery and Kumbum stupa with its 100 thousand images of buddha. After lunch we can take a walk up to visit Gyantse Dzong , the kings fortress.
Day 8 - Gyantse - Karo La Glacier - Yamdrok Lake - Lhasa
The drive to Lhasa from Gyantse is a spectacular journey. We go via a spectacular resevoir, a valley purposely flooded by the Chinese passed spectacular mountains to the Karo La glacier. After lunch we drive round the stunningly beautiful Yamdrok Lake which is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. After crossing Gangbala Pass which is over 4850m, we ascend rapidly to drive along the Lhasa River and with distant views of the Potala arrive in the holy city of Lhasa (3700m). The rest of the day can be taken at leisure exploring the Barkhor and the Tibetan Quarter.
Day 9 - Potala Palace - Sera Monastery
Our first full day in Lhasa will start with a visit to Tibets most iconic building. The Potala Palace stands majestically overlooking the Tibetan part of the city. Standing 13 stories high this magnificent structure has over 1000 rooms and required the skills of 1,500 artists and skilled workers and 7,000 laborers. It has been the winter residence since the 17th Century from the 5th to the 14th Dalai Lama. After lunch, we take the short drive to Sera Monastery. Sera Monastery was built in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. Sera means "The court of the wild Rose", because of the many roses planted there. Today still 200 Lamas live there. The monastery is famous for the debating sessions of the monks.
Day 10 - Drepung - Norbulingka - Jokhang
Our second full day in Lhasa we
visit Drepung monastery in the morning. Drepung means rice heap in Tibetan language, and lies 8 kilometers west of Mt. Gambo Utse, Drepung Monastery covers more than 200 thousand square meters. Once the largest monastery in the world, it was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Chojey, a leading disciple of Tsongkhapa. From Drepung we will head back into Lhasa via the Norbulingkha, summer residence of the Dalai Lamas. Norbulingka is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, Tibet, built in 1755. It served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until the 14th Dalai Lama's exile in 1959. In the afternoon we will visit the Jokhang Temple. For most Tibetans it is the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. It was founded during the reign of King Songsten Gampo around 642. According to tradition, the temple was built for the two brides of the king, Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang Dynasty and Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal.
Day 11 - Lhasa - Kathmandu
We leave our accommodation early and take the hour long minibus journey to Lhasa Gongar airport to get the China South West Airlines flight back to Kathmandu. This one and a half hour flight is one of the greatest flights you can take with spectacular views of mountain peaks from start to finish with the highlight being the view of Mount Everest from the right side of the plane as we approach Nepal and Kathmandu. The rest of your day can be spent at leisure. In the evening we will take you for a farewell Dinner, to an excellent traditional Nepalese restaurant where we will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal.
Day 12 - Depart Kathmandu
Depending on the time of your flight departure, you may have time for a lttle more sightseeing or shopping in Kathmandu. We will then take you to Tibhuvan airport 3 hours before the departure time of your flight home and see you to your departure terminal where we will say goodbye and hope very much, that you will have enjoyed your time with Sacred Himalaya.