Be awed by the scenery and spirituality of China and Tibet

Satisfy your sense of adventure and spiritual curiosity on this overland journey. From the capital of China, travel across the vast Tibetan Plateau, through remote villages and into the mountain kingdom of Nepal. Riding the world's highest railway all the way to Lhasa, witness the intense spirituality of the Tibetan people in remote monasteries, high mountain passes, traditional homes and colourful marketplaces along the way. Immerse yourself in atmospheric monastic rituals and marvel at the might of Mt Everest on this extraordinary journey.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016:
As a result of the Nepal earthquake that occurred in April 2015, the Kathmandu-Tibet highway near Lamosanghu remains closed. Unfortunately word from our local suppliers and authorities is that this road will remain closed for the majority of the 2016 season. This means that no overland travel between these two countries is possible in 2016. All CBST trips will be re-routed to fly between Lhasa to Kathmandu resulting in a increase in cost. Trip Notes have been updated to reflect the new itinerary.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this trip will change due to the China/Nepal border remaining closed for the foreseeable future. In order to be able to plan consistent itineraries for 2017 we will end the trip in Chengdu, where there are many international connections, replacing the need to fly to Kathmandu. We will also remove one day in Lhasa leaving us with 4 nights in this location. More details will be published in coming months, with the new itinerary outlined below:

1 Beijing
2 Overnight Train
3 Overnight Train
4 Lhasa
5 Lhasa
6 Lhasa
7 Lhasa
8 Samye
9 Gyantse
10 Shigatse
11 Sakya
12 Everest Base Camp
13 Shigatse
14 Lhasa
15 Chengdu (Flight Lhasa to Chengdu)
16 Chengdu
17 Departure Day


The new code and name for this trip will be CBSC Tibetan Adventure

Start
Beijing, China
Finish
Kathmandu, Nepal
Countries
China,
Nepal
Themes
Explorer
Code
CBST
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
733kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Experience one of the world’s greatest train journeys – the railway to the roof of the world, crossing incredibly mountainous and remote terrain
  • Like everything it does, China’s ancient history is on an epic scale – see it first-hand with hours to explore the Great Wall
  • Explore Lhasa, from the architectural wonder of the former home of the Dalai Lama to the incredible atmosphere of the pilgrim-filled Jokhang Temple, the holiest in the Tibetan Buddhist world
  • Every drive in Tibet seems more stunning that the last. Climb phenomenal passes, twist up thrilling peaks, and take in incredible views of skies and lakes, where the only way to tell their perfect blue apart is the towering mountains that separate them
  • Meet monks at temples and cliff-side monasteries where the scenery will quite literally leave you breathless
  • Stand in the shadow of the mightiest mountain of them all with a trip to Everest Base Camp

Itinerary

Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. The capital of the most populous country on earth, Beijing is quickly shedding its historical face in favour of modernity. However, there are still plenty of places that give an insight into the nation's ancient past, as well as sights that showcase China's contemporary culture. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm today, where your insurance and next of kin details will be collected. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where the meeting will take place – if you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Any free time today in Beijing is at your leisure, so you can start your explorations of this vast and amazing city. Perhaps track down a bargain at one of the many markets, see the hutongs and back lanes of Beijing by rickshaw, or find a great restaurant for Peking duck.

Notes: As Beijing as so much to offer, arriving a few days early to give you time to explore is highly recommended. In this extra time you could explore Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, wander the Temple of Heaven Park, visit the 798 Art District on a Beijing Art and Architecture tour, cycle round the city, head out to the Summer Palace, watch a performance of ‘The Legend of Kung Fu’, or explore the beautiful Tibetan-style monastery of Yonghegong (the Lama Temple).
No trip to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall. Today you’ll take an early morning visit to one of the best-preserved areas, the Mutianyu section (approximately 2 hours), featuring guard towers dating back to the Ming dynasty. An incredible piece of engineering, the wall stretches 6,000 km westwards from the mountain ridges north of Beijing. It was originally constructed to protect Chinese empires from the 'barbarians' of the north and even though it failed in this purpose, it is still without a doubt one of the country's most remarkable achievements, and an iconic destination. It's a 30-minute climb up some steep steps to the wall itself, but it’s well worth the effort. There’s also the option of taking a chair lift or cable car to the top and back if you’re after a more leisurely experience. It’s possible to feel like you have the whole wall to yourself as spend a few hours strolling, the wall snaking through the hills and seemingly endlessly into the distance. Head back into the city in the afternoon, then this evening take taxis to the Beijing West railway station, one of the biggest and busiest in the world, to board the train to Lhasa (approximately 45 hours). This first night you'll pass through provincial towns, through Xi'an, and plummet directly into the mountains – through tunnels that can last for minutes at a time.

Notes: The wall is quite steep in places so make sure you have some appropriate footwear for this activity.
The train to Lhasa is truly one of China's greatest recent engineering feats. It’s the highest railway in the world, traversing some incredibly mountainous and remote terrain. The journey takes you through the major cities of Xi'an, Lanzhou and Xining, and across the Qinghai Plateau before arriving in Lhasa. Luxuriate in the feeling of accomplishment without having to do anything – go to bed and wake up 1,000 kilometres away. Stop briefly in Lanzhou, the crossroads of journeys along the Silk Road and the Tibet-Qinghai plateau, and head on past the immense city of Xining. On this second night you’ll climb in altitude and your breath with likely be taken away by the landscape outside the windows – snow-dappled black cliffs and mountain peaks illuminated by the moonlight.

Notes: Train travel in China/Tibet may not be entirely luxurious but it's certainly one of the best ways to come face to face with the country and its people, as it's the main form of transport for locals. The Beijing-Lhasa train is one of the newest and best in China. We use hard sleeper class trains for most of our overnight train journeys. These are not as rough as they sound – compartments are open-plan, clean, with padded three-tiered berths (6 to a compartment). Wherever possible, we will group our travellers together, but this will depend on group size and ticket availability. Sheets, pillows and a blanket are provided. We recommend bringing your own sleeping sheet as the quality/cleanliness of sheets may not be what you are used to. Safe, hot drinking water is always available. It is a good idea to bring a mug, spoon, knife and fork if you will be preparing your own hot drinks or food on the train (as these are not provided in cabins). The train has a dining car; meals are of better quality on the first day, as by the second day we are travelling at altitude, which makes cooking difficult! You may wish to purchase extra snacks of your choice before the journey to supplement food available on the train. Basic bathroom facilities with toilets and washbasins are situated at the end of each carriage. As toilet paper isn't always available, it's best to bring an emergency supply. On rare occasions it may be possible to upgrade to a different carriage class once on the train itself (for an additional cost paid to the train conductor), but this cannot be guaranteed and should not be relied on as an option.

WARNING: Much of the train journey takes place at high altitude, including the Tanggula Pass (5,072 metres) and Fenghuahan tunnel (4,095 metres). Altogether, over 80% of the section between Golmud to Lhasa is at elevations of over 4,000 metres. As a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this. Compartments have a oxygen supply for each passenger and there is a doctor on board each train in case medical assistance is required.
The train will travel through a wide, brown grassland complemented by terracotta foothills, with a speckling of grazing yaks, sheep and goats and the occasional punctuation of lakes and streams. This same landscape, only sparsely populated by clusters of brick village houses, treeless and vast, will accompany you nearly all the way to Lhasa, where you’ll arrive some time after lunch. The colourful and historic holy city of Lhasa is situated in a small valley, and for many years it was a mysterious place, virtually unknown to the outside world. Even the most adventurous and hardy of explorers rarely reached the city without being turned away, either by the treacherous terrain or the fierce warrior monks that protected Tibetan territory from intruders. While now welcoming tourists and much modernized, Lhasa remains an intriguing city with a deeply fascinating culture, sights and stories.

Notes: Lhasa’s elevation is 3,940 metres. We have five days here to allow for appropriate acclimatisation. Due to Chinese government regulations, an official licensed Tibetan guide must accompany all foreign tour groups in Tibet. Depending on the departure, you will either have a Tibetan Intrepid leader from Beijing to the Chinese border and a Nepalese Intrepid leader after making the crossing (as Tibetans are not permitted to travel outside of China), or a Chinese Intrepid leader for the duration of the trip, accompanied by a local Tibetan guide during your time in Tibet. In this case, while we try to request experienced guides with a good level of English, but please note that we often have no control over which guides are assigned to our groups – some may be very new to guiding or have limited English skills.
Take five full days to explore this once-isolated city, with its monasteries and markets bulging with pilgrims and traders. Start the day with a Tibetan lesson, where you’ll learn some basic greetings, numbers and phrases from your Tibetan guide. Today you will visit the holiest temple in the Tibetan Buddhist world, Jokhang Temple. The spiritual heart of Tibet and one of the region's most active religious sites, the atmosphere amongst visiting pilgrims is much of the temple’s appeal. Surrounded by the smoke and smell of incense, and by the murmuring of prayers from the faithful, explore the ‘House of the Buddha’ and witness the devotion of the pilgrims who spin the mantra wheels and bow around the temple. You’ll then have free time for the rest of the day, and there are many activities to enjoy in this holy city. Just one might be to join the crowds and interact with the pilgrims as they shuffle around the Barkhor pilgrim circuit, and stop to shop for souvenirs at some of the many market stalls. You might want to explore Lhasa's quaint backstreet craft workshops, bakeries, tea shops and tiny alleyways as you wander the Old Town, or relax with a traditional Tibetan massage.

Notes: Inside many of Tibet's monasteries and temples, including the Potala Palace, photography is not permitted. In buildings where it is permitted, this often requires the purchase of a photo permit. Your guide can obtain this photo permit for you for an additional fee.
This morning you’ll travel the short distance out to the base of Pubuchok Mountain to visit one of the most important university monasteries in Tibet. The name Sera means wild rose in the Tibetan language, and the monastery is said to have taken the name because when it was built, the hill behind it was covered in wild roses in bloom. The impressive Sera Monastery is best known for its dramatic daily debates between monks – as part of their training they come together in a central courtyard to contest the finer points of Buddhist learning. Junior monks sit on the floor while senior monks drill them on their knowledge, dramatically slapping their hand in a signal to respond, which makes the temple much livelier and noisier than many others. After Sera Monastery, you will learn how to make momos (steamed dumplings) in a cooking demonstration and class. Momos are one of the staples of Tibetan cuisine, and these delicious little parcels of meat are often served with a tomato-based chutney dipping sauce or a hot sauce called C-momo.
Today you will tour the incredible Potala Palace, the former home of the Dalai Lama that’s perched 130 metres above the city. The palace is divided into two parts, the White Palace (secular and used as offices etc.) and the Red Palace (home to chapels, shrines, and tombs of Dalai Lamas). Although the palace is not freely explored, and a strict guided-viewing schedule must be adhered to, this in no way lessens the impact of seeing what is truly a wonder of the architectural world. As you witness the gold and jewel-filled rooms and take in the views from the roof, you’ll rub shoulders with excited Tibetan pilgrims making offerings at the altars. Please note that this is the most popular attraction in Lhasa, especially among Chinese tour groups, so it can be very crowded and tickets are for a limited time period only. For the rest of the day you can deepen your perspective of Lhasa's holy sites with a trip to the Ganden or Drepung Monasteries. Alternatively, perhaps visit the Norbulingka, the Summer Palace of Dalai Lamas.

Notes: As the majority of the cultural and historical sites in Tibet are temples and monasteries, it’s advisable to both choose carefully which activities you do in your free time, and pace yourself in order to enjoy the sites group-visited as much as possible. Tibetan Buddhism is a fascinating part of the region's culture, however some travellers find that they get ‘templed out’ quickly with so much information to take in. Take your time, ask your local guide about what interests you most, and if you’d prefer your own time rather than visit a religious site with the group, please let your leader know.
Today you’ll climb up to an altitude of 4,800 metres when you visit the majestic Drak Yerpa Monastery. You’ll get away from the crowds when you travel to this lesser-visited monastery, 30 kilometres northeast of Lhasa (approximately 1 hour). Drak Yerpa, known variously as Brag Yer-pa, Yerpa, Dagyeba, Dayerpa or Trayerpa, is one of the holiest cave retreats in Tibet, the “life tree” of Lhasa. As the saying goes, “Lhasa is the shrine of Tibet, Drak Yerpa is the shrine of Lhasa. Not seeing Drak Yerpa in Lhasa is just like making a dress without the collar.” It’s located in the spectacular limestone cliffs of the Yerpa Valley, with stunning views of prayer flag-covered mountains. Noted Tibetan Buddhism practitioners have long visited and meditated in the caves of this peaceful place, including Atisha (a Buddhist leader who inspired the religion through the country) and the founder of the Tibetan Empire, Songsten Gampo. Here you can explore some of the caves, including ones where pilgrims sip holy water or slip through a small gap in the rock, and perhaps talk with the few remaining monks that live there. Monks have begun to return to Yerpa, but numbers are strictly controlled by the government, which carries out regular patriotic study sessions. Return to Lhasa for the night.
Travel deeper into Tibet to Samye today (approximately 5 hours). The walled temple complex of Samye sits at over 3,600 metres on the north bank of Yarlung Tsangpo River, and is the oldest and one of the most enchanting monasteries in Tibet. It has withstood centuries of invasion and other threats to remain standing, imposing and immense beside the river. The building was constructed in line with Buddhist cosmology, with towers, walls and gates representing continents, oceans, mountains and the centre of the Tibetan Buddhist universe. Explore the magical structures that make up the Monastery, with your local guide explaining the complicated religious symbolism and rituals. Go through the statue-filled assembly hall and continue to the Jowo Khang inner chapel. Some of the murals here are amazingly vivid and detailed, although you'll need to purchase a permit to take photos. The entire Samye complex is huge, so you can take some time to make your own discoveries, or continue to walk with the guide if you’d prefer. In the afternoon, perhaps make the 30-minute climb to the top of one of Tibet’s four sacred hills, Hepo Ri, complete with prayer flags and a spectacular view of Samye. You’ll spend the night in Samye, in a hotel with private bathroom facilities. Please note that hot water is available, but only at certain times.

Notes: Samye’s elevation is 3,700 metres. As per the local laws, for the Tibetan part of the tour a local guide must accompany the group. As foreigners are not permitted to travel by public transport in this region, you will have a private van and driver for the journey. Driving times will vary and any times listed are approximate only. While much of the infrastructure in Tibet has been improved in recent years, it still lacks regular maintenance, and so travel time will rely heavily on weather and road conditions. The distances that we travel are large and police speed checks have been implemented to ensure safety of tourist vehicles, so most days are long travel days. As we have our own vehicle it may be possible to make some stops along the way for photos, meals or to chat with locals, however we need to aim to complete our drives before nightfall for safety reasons. Accommodation in Tibet outside of Lhasa can be of a very basic standard, and with limited options. The region is still hurting from the riots in 2008, which lead to tourism practically being halted for over a year, and many hotels and other businesses are still struggling with the financial loss, unable to pay for regular maintenance or sufficient staff to keep things in good condition. Hot water, when available, can be sporadic and in some destinations, hot water and showers are not available at all. Many hotels have shared bathroom facilities and unreliable plumbing. Most places we stay will have twin-share rooms, although on occasion we'll stay in multishare rooms on a same gender basis.
The drive to Gyantse today is spectacular, with unforgettable views around every bend. You’ll cross over several stunning passes, twisting through the thrilling mountains as the peaks dramatically tower over the road. You’ll enjoy incredible views of Yamdrok Lake, a mystical perfect mirror of the sky above, climb Khamba La pass (4,794 metres) and see yaks plodding along the mountainside. Pass sheep herder villages scattered along the lakeside and be confronted by the soaring Noijin Kangsang, the peak of the Lhagoi Kangri mountain range. Stop at the town of Nangartse for lunch before climbing up to the Karo La pass (4,960 metres), and then descending down to the town of Gyantse. The drive should take around 6 hours. Gyantse is a small agricultural town set at 3,950 metres above sea level, and is famed for its wool carpets. While there’s still a feel of tradition and life continuing much as it has for centuries, Gyantse is also a great place to see contemporary Tibetan life in the backstreets, where pilgrims, pop music, cows, “cowboys” on motorbikes, kids and monks all mingle in a lively mix of cultures. There are a number of interesting buildings in the town, including the Pelkhor Chode Temple complex, a unique structure built in 1414 that brought together 15 monasteries and three different orders of Tibetan Buddhism.

Notes: Gyantse’s elevation is 3,980 metres.
This morning you’ll spend time in the unique Gyantse Kumbum, an impressive layered stupa designed as a kind of 3D mandala (symbol that represents the universe) as well as a model of the Buddhist universe, with each storey representing a step to enlightenment. If you have a head for heights you can wind your way up the pilgrim circuit, passing dozens of tiny painting-filled chapels, the passages steadily getting narrower as you get higher and the air becoming more and more intoxicating with incense and smoke from yak butter lamps. You will then drive to Tibet's second-largest city, Shigatse (90 kilometres, at least 2 hours). Encircled by mountains and whose name translates to ‘all fortune and happiness gathered here’, Shigatse is a busy, buzzing and dusty city that’s rapidly modernising. There are still strong reminders of Tibetan culture though, like the Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the few in Tibet to have come out of the Cultural Revolution virtually unscathed. With its expansive territory inside thick stone walls, it’s almost like a town in itself; you’ll visit with your local guide. In the evening you could perhaps join the pilgrims on their kora (prayer circuit), spinning prayer wheels on a 1-hour walk around the perimeter of the monastery and taking in the great views and atmosphere.

Notes: Shigatse's elevation is 3,850 metres.
Continue west to the town of Sakya, (approximately 3-4 hours). Sakya's monastery and town buildings are quite unique. Originally, there were two monasteries in Sakya – the Northern and the Southern – but the former was completely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The Southern Monastery is built in a medieval 'Mongolian' style, and rather than being whitewashed, the secular buildings are painted in red and while stripes. With its high imposing walls, the monastery is sometimes nicknamed the ‘Great Wall of Tibet’. You’ll have time to explore inside the Sakya monastery. At first the halls may seem similar to other monasteries you’ve visited, but spend some time here and soak in the atmosphere, and you'll soon realise that Sakya has a subtle ancient beauty that is unlike any other. After the monastery tour, you can choose to climb the hill through the Tibetan Village to see what's left of the original Northern Monastery complex. Make sure you pick your way through the ruins and remaining buildings in a clockwise direction as this is a kora route (a circumambulation around a sacred site). You can also hike a little further to visit the friendly nuns at the Nunnery high on the hill overlooking the town. Tonight for dinner, why not try some spicy food at one of the little restaurants run by Sichuanese immigrants.

Notes: Sakya’s elevation is 4,280 metres.
With an early start today, travel to Everest National Park, (approximately 5-6 hours). Cross the spectacular 5,050 metre Pangla Pass on the way to Rongphu Monastery. On a clear day, you’ll have giddy views of the Everest range. Rongphu Monastery is the highest in the world. On a clear day you may even get a photo of the monastery's chorten against the backdrop of mighty Everest, or Qomolangma as it is called in Tibetan. A relatively modern monastery by Tibetan standards, Rongphu was built in the early 1900s and originally housed more than 500 monks. Today around 50 monks and nuns remain. Unusually they share the same prayer hall, although they have separate residences. Enjoy a very warm welcome from the monks and nuns here, where it's often possible to join them for their evening prayers. Stretch your legs and lungs on the gentle two hour return hike up to Everest Base Camp. Follow the prayer flags up the slope, and hope for a clear sunny sky for amazing photos (you could even post a picture to social media when you reach the camp. Yes, there's mobile reception even here!).

Notes: Everest National Park’s elevation is 5,150 metres. Please note that Everest Base Camp can close without any prior notice because of political issues and/or bad weather. We will always try and give our passengers prior notice where possible, but please prepare yourself that this can happen without any notice. In these cases, passengers will stay in Old Tingri, where you will still get a view of Everest on a clear day. In the summer months, you stay near Rongphu in the Tent City that lies along the road to Everest Base Camp. Here nomad-style tents accommodate up to seven people with basic mattresses and bedding provided, but a sleep sheet and warm clothes for cool evenings are recommended. There are basic pit toilets nearby. A yak dung stove in the central open area of each tent provides heat. Being so close to the tallest mountains in the world more than makes up for the basic sleeping conditions. In colder months when the Tent City is not operational, you’ll stay in the monastery guesthouse or in a nearby town. Rooms here are quad-share with very simple, shared facilities.
Today you’ll travel a rather beautiful route to Old Tingri (approximately 3.5 hours). Old Tingri is often used as a base by mountain climbers preparing to ascend Mount Everest. You’ll have free time here once you arrive. The town is known for its spectacular views of the Himalayas. Just a handful of kilometres away lie Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Mount Makalu, and Cho Oyu, which make up four of the six highest mountains in the world. Though no photo can truly capture the feeling of standing in the presence of these incredible giants, get your cameras ready and hope for a clear day! Once called Ganggar, Old Tingri has around 100 mud-brick homes clustered together below the hillside. It has a bit of a Wild West feel to it, a place where you can truly experience rural, wild Tibetan daily life, where the streets are filled with horse-carts and prayer-flag decorated tractors.

Notes: Old Tingri’s elevation is 4,300 metres.
Today you will return Shigatse (approximately 7-8 hours), which will feel like a bustling metropolis after the remoteness of the last few days. Today will be a long day of traveling, but the constantly incredible scenery will make the journey worthwhile. There will be plenty of stops along the way for photo opportunities and to stretch the legs. If you have the time and energy when you return to Shigaste, you can head once more to Tashilhunpo and discover the intricate decorations, legends and religious imagery of the monastic buildings. Or perhaps ask your leader for directions to the tranquil Chapel of Jampa and meditate on the world’s largest gilded statue. The courtyard outside of the Kelsang Chapel meanwhile, is one of the best places to observe the pilgrims and monks preparing for ceremonies.

Notes: Shigatse's elevation is 3,850 metres.
Today you’ll make the return trip to Lhasa (approximately 6-7 hours). You’ll drive on the same jaw dropping road that you took a few days ago, allowing you to experience the incredible scenery of Yamdrok Lake and the Khamaba La Pass from every angle and confirm that yes, this amazing view is in fact real and you weren't dreaming. There’ll be stops along the way for lunch and to get those last photos of the mountains. When you return to Lhasa, the rest of the day is free. Take some time to gather up the Tibetan atmosphere in your last stop in this incredible country. Perhaps pace the pilgrim path around the Potala Palace or take photos of the busy scene from the main square. You’ll spend your last Tibetan night here in Lhasa.
Farewell Tibet and travel to Kathmandu with a spectacular flight over the Himalayas. When you arrive, enjoy an orientation walking tour of this amazing city with your leader. Step out into the streets of Kathmandu, whose mixture of ancient architecture and modern development, and rich artistic and cultural heritage, means it remains the legendary destination it has been for decades. Crowded markets and bazaars are the centre of Nepali life and the narrow streets are home to holy men, monks, bicycles, incense, goats and sacred cows. As there's not much free time in Kathmandu on this trip, staying a few extra days is highly recommended. Some great ways to spend your time here include: joining the pilgrims at Bodhnath Stupa, the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It's the centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu and rich in Buddhist symbolism. Perhaps explore Patan's Durbar Square, or see the ancient Swayambhunath stupa, known to tourists as the Monkey Temple, which is Kathmandu's most important Buddhist shrine. Tonight you can enjoy an optional final dinner with your group to celebrate the end of a wonderful adventure.
This Mountains and Monasteries adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
1 lunch
Transport
Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Public bus
Accommodation
Guesthouse (3 nights), Hotel (11 nights), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights), Permanent Tented Camp (1 night)
Included activities
  • Informal Chinese language lesson
  • Great Wall - Mutianyu Section
  • Lhasa - Tibetan language lesson
  • Lhasa - Jokhang Temple
  • Lhasa - Potala Palace
  • Lhasa - Sera Monastery
  • Lhasa - Momo (Tibetan dumplings) Cooking Class
  • Lhasa - Drak Yerpa Monastery
  • Samye - Samye Monastery
  • Shigatse - Tashilhunpo Monastery
  • Sakya - Sakya Monastery
  • Everest NP - Rongphu Monastery
  • Everest NP - Base Camp visit

Dates

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For information about altitude sickness click here


Important notes

1. In order for us to apply for your Tibet entry permit and purchase your train ticket to Lhasa you must provide a scanned, colour copy of the personal details page of your passport and Chinese visa to your booking agent no later than 30 days prior to the start date of your trip.
2. Please be aware that in recent years there have been times when restrictions on nationalities being able to travel on specific departures have been implemented or Tibet has been closed to foreign tourists without warning.
3. Please note this trip has an increased deposit due to non refundable train tickets into Tibet.
4. Due to the demands of travelling at high altitudes a Passenger Self Assessment Form is required for this trip.
5. Please make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
6. Overnight train accommodation on this tour is in 6-berth ‘hard-sleeper’ class. Bedding is provided and wash basins and toilet facilities (usually one with a toilet seat and one squat-style in each compartment) are available on all trains, but there are no showers or baths.
7. Please note while traveling through mainland China you will not be able to access some popular internet websites.
It’s important to let your family and friends know that you might not be able to stay in touch over your usual methods, be it – social media or email. Or let them know if you have set up a new email address in which you can access in mainland China.
The Chinese Government control and restrict certain websites. Websites on the blocked list could change at any time, any site could be restricted at any moment. Here are some of the most popular websites around the world that are blocked in China: Google, Dropbox, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, WordPress, LinkedIn,Yahoo Hong Kong, Yahoo Taiwan, Wikipedia and many more.
8. ** IMPORTANT ITINERARY CHANGE FOR 2016 TRIPS **
As a result of the Nepal earthquake that occurred in April 2015, the Kathmandu-Tibet highway near Lamosanghu remains closed. Unfortunately word from our local suppliers and authorities is that this road will remain closed for the majority of the 2016 season. This means that no overland travel between these two countries is possible in 2016. All CBST trips will be re-routed to fly between Lhasa to Kathmandu resulting in a increase in cost. Trip Notes have been updated to reflect the new itinerary.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Mountains & Monasteries trips score an average of 4.91 out of 5 based on 22 reviews in the last year.

Mountains & Monasteries , July 2016

Mountains & Monasteries , June 2016