Mountains & Monasteries

There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014. View later Mountains & Monasteries.

Trip Map


Trip Validity

  • 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31

Be awed by scenery and spirituality in China and Tibet

Satisfy your sense of adventure and spiritual curiosity on this overland journey. From the great capital of China, travel across the vast Tibetan Plateau, through remote villages and into the mountain kingdom of Nepal. Ride the world's highest railway all the way from Beijing to Lhasa and witness the intense spirituality of the Tibetan people in their remote monasteries, high mountain passes, traditional homes and colourful marketplaces. Sample yak cheese and fresh bread at an organic farm in Shigatse, visit chaotic Kathmandu and immerse yourself in the atmospheric monastic rituals along the way. Complete this epic tour with a view of Mt Everest for an extraordinary real life experience.

  • Discover Nepalese culture in Kathmandu
  • Hike the Great Wall of China
  • Mingle with pilgrims at Potala Palace in Lhasa
  • Soak up the spiritual atmosphere of Lhasa
  • Spend a night near Everest Base Camp
  • Stay at Tibet's oldest monastery, Samye Monastery
  • Take the world's highest railway from Beijing to Lhasa
  • Visit an organic farm in Shigatse

Mountains & Monasteries Summary

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Days 1-2 Beijing

Beijing has a long and colourful history and this rapidly modernising city is an amazing whirl of ancient sites, modern buildings, bicycles, people, shops and eateries. Snaking over the landscape for 8,851 km, the building of China's Great Wall started in the 5th century BC with the aim of protecting China's northern borders from invading Mongolian hordes.

Day 3 Train to the Roof of the World

The Train to the Roof of the World connects China's cities to Lhasa in Tibet and is the highest train in the world. Stretching nearly 2,000km, the views are phenomenal.

Days 4-8 Lhasa

Colourful, historic and with a deeply fascinating culture, the holy city of Lhasa is situated in a small valley high on the Tibetan Plateau.

Day 9 Samye

Samye is famed for having the oldest Buddhist monastery in Tibet, which was built in the shape of a mandala and is full of Tibetan relics and art.

Day 10 Gyantse

Gyantse is an agricultural town set in the Nyang-chu Valley, famed for its wool carpets and the Pelkhor Chode Temple complex.

Days 11-12 Shigatse

Sitting at the confluence of two rivers, Shigatse is a bustling, dusty city home to some fantastic monasteries, fortresses and palaces.

Day 13 Sakya

Located in a valley off the Friendship Highway, Sakya is a small town with unique architecture and a beautiful monastery.

Day 14 Everest National Park

The site of the world's highest monastery, Rongphu is home to around 50 monks and nuns who live and worship in this stunning location. As one of the world's big challenges, Mount Everest evokes visions of beauty, danger, awe and triumph. Standing close to this mountain is certain to leave you breathless.

Day 15 Zhangmu

Clinging perilously to the sheer mountainside, Zhangmu separates Tibet from Nepal by a cascading river that spans the famous Friendship Bridge.

Day 16 Dhulikhel

Peaceful Dhulikhel has been an important trading route between Nepal and Tibet for centuries and has staggering views of the surrounding mountain peaks.

Days 17-18 Kathmandu

Kathmandu is like an alluring whirlwind of sights, sounds, smells and colours. Almost overwhelming, its charm and history peaks out from the most unexpected places rendering most visitors enamoured.