As the Gyirong Port is open for international tourists, it is available to travel overlanding from Kathmandu to Lhasa again. During this 7 days group tour (with fixed departures and budget price), you will start your Tibet trip from Nepal capital - Kathmandu from where you will transfer to Gyirong Port at the border. Then you will travel from Gyirong to Lhasa, via Old Tingri, Shigatse and Gyantse. There are many wonderful attractions and breathtaking high plateau landscape to explore, such as Tashilhunpo Monastery, Palcho Monastery and Yamdrok Lake. While in Lhasa, you will learn much about Tibetan culture and history.
This tour doesn't cover Mount Everest because if you travel from Gyirong to Mount Everest, the elevation will rise increasely from 2,700m to 5,200, which may cause high altitude sickness for many travelers. If Mount Everest is in your plan, you can choose our tour packages whch start from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Mount Everest.
Note: If you have any questions concerning the requirements or the unique demands for your particular tour package, please feel free to contact one of our helpful Travel Consultants for further information.
It's advisable to have a body check-up or have your doctor's advice before visiting Tibet. Visitors with a record of heart, lung, liver, or kidney problems must seek medical advice before making the decision to go to Tibet Also, people with any of the following problems should not go to Tibet.
High Altitude Sickness is one of the biggest challenges when travelling in Tibet. According to our experience, most people will be fine up to 3500m above sea level, as the altitude go higher up to 4500m, mild symptoms as shortness of breath, headache might occur. Adverse reactions may vary from person to person. In most cases, the symptoms are mild and will subside in several hours to several days as the body acclimatizes.
Mild Symptoms of AMS include:
Start you tour at Kathmandu and drive to Gyirong Town for accommodation on the Day 1, then drive to Old Tingri Town on the Day 2. Day 3 is to drive from Old Tingri to Shigatse City.
On the Day 4, you will travel from Shigatse to Lhasa and visit unique Palcho Monastery, imposing Karola Glacier and tranquil Yamdrok Lake on route.
Visit the most classic attractions in Lhasa on Day 5 and Day 6, including the grandiose Potala Palace, holy Buddhist sites Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, also the exotic Barkhor Street and quiet Norbulingka, and depart from Lhasa at Day 7 by flight or train.
After breakfast, our local guide will pick you up, then drive to Gyirong Port (altitude: 1800m) at the border. Though the distance is only about 160km, it takes more than 6 hours to drive to Gyirong Port from Kathmandu because the road is narrow and bumpy. During the rainy season, the road is muddy and may be closed for the landslides.
After arriving at Gyirong Port, you will check through the custom, and be picked up by your Tibetan tour guide, then drive about 25km to today's destination Gyirong Town.
Accommodate at Gyirong Town(altitude: 2600m).
Tip of today: Make sure your Group Visa, Tibet Entry Permit and Border Pass are issued before departing to Tibet.
After breakfast, you will have a long driving to Old Tingri County (about 300km). Though being a long driving of about 7 hours, but the views along the road are stupendous. In clear days, you can see the clear faces of the giants on the Himalaya Range - Mt. Everest(8,848m), Mt. Shishapangma(8,012m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516m), Mt. Qowowuyag (8,201m), Mt. Mayalu(8,463m). The beautiful Pekutso Lake can be seen from the road either in clear day.
Accommodation will be arranged at Old Tingri(4300m).
Wake up in the peaceful morning on the Roof of the World. Today you will drive from Old Tingri to Shigatse which is the second city as well as another spiritual center of Tibet, approximately a driving around 7 hours. There will be no attractions to visit on route, but a lot of amazing landscape to enjoy along the driving. So be free to ask your guide and driver to stop to take photos when you want.
After arriving at Shigatse, you will go to visit the landmark of Shigatse - Tashilumpo Monastery. Tashilumpo Monastery is famous as the seat of successive Panchen Lama who is another leader of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is an interesting sprawling amalgam of traditional Tibetan monastic style halls, chapels and other structures connected by precipitous steps and narrow cobblestone alleys.
Have a good sleep in Shigatse.
Today, you will leave Shigatse for Lhasa. First, drive about 2 hours to Shigatse's sisiter city - Gyantse. Enjoy the fascinating sky and mountain views along the road. After arrival, pay a visit to the characteristic Palcho Monastery. Found in 1436, this monastery is famous for its Kumbum, a magnificent stupa and symbol of the monastery. And the Myriad Buddha Stupa there, consists of hundreds of chapels arranged in layers, housing some 100,000 images of Buddhas.
Continue your trip from Gyangtse to the holy lake - Yamdrok. En route, you will pass by the imposing Karola Glacier. Yamdrok Lake is known as one of "Three Holy Lakes" but featured in most clearest lake views. The water is as clean as crystal, and the glimmering water will shock you in sunshine. With it being branded as the crystal holy lake, one will always carry a sense of worship when standing beside the lake.
Leaving Yamdrok Lake, drive ahead to Lhasa.
Tips of today: 1. Wear warm clothes to prevent from cold and wild; 2. Prepare some food and drinks in advance because you will spend much time on the road.
After breakfast, go to visit the No.1 attraction in Tibet - Potala Palace. It is known as the highest palace in the world and one of the most famous architectural works in the world. Standing on the Red Hill of Lhasa, the Potala Palace is a treasure house of Tibetan history, religion, culture, and art. The palace is well worth visiting for its artistic value, historic purposes, and cultural awareness.
There are two attractions for you to visit in the afternoon. First, you’ll visit the Jokhang Temple. As the house of the Buddha, Jokhang is the holiest destination for all Tibetan pilgrims; as the spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple is the perfect place for you to experience the devotion of Tibetans. Last activity is wandering around the crowding Barkhor Street. Whether you are there to take part in the religious site, to do a bit of souvenir shopping, to eat Tibetan or Chinese Muslim food or just for simple site-seeing, the Barkhor Street area is one of the most fascinating and colorful places in all of Tibet.
Tips of today: 1. Wear hat and sun glasses to prevent ultraviolet radiation, but remember to take off when visiting in the monasteries. 2. Usually taking photos is not allowed in chapels inside monastery. 3. Remember to bring your passport which is needed to showcase when check in Potala Palace.
After breakfast, your tour guide will pick you up in your hotel. Then drive about 30 minutes to visit the Drepung Monastery. This Gelug monastery has a history of more than 500 years. It used to be the largest monastery in the world with totally 10,000 monks there. Many precious stupa, sculptures, paintings, Thangka...are displayed in the hundreds of chapels. And the annual Shoton Festival is organized here.
In the afternoon, you will visit another famous Gelug monastery around Lhasa city - Sera Monastery, which is famous for its “Buddhism Scriptures Debating”. It is only 3km away from Lhasa city. Enjoy the debating.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Tips of today: 1. Feel free to ask tour guide questions about Buddhism or else; 2. If you don't know where to have meals, restaurant in your hotel is a great choice.
Today is free for you until your tour guide transferr you to the airport in time for your flight or drop you off at Lhasa train station.
Tips of today: 1. Please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charger, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel. 2. If your flight is arranged in the afternoon, please make sure you check out the hotel before 12pm.
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Note: The above departure dates are subject to change, you'd better contact us to comfirm the final depature before your booking.
Please Notice that the tour itinerary is taken as a guideline only, but also is an indication of what the tour should accomplish. The sequence of your sightseeing may be adjusted when something specific requires, such as the weather, the reservation of visiting Potala Palace, and something necessary for better operation. And in case of possible heavy snowy weather or seasonal maintaining, Mt. Everest minght be closed for visiting in Winter. Tibet Discovery will help you customize an alternative itinerary according to your requirements.
(1) The above calendar is not the final calendar, and subject to change. Please make inquiry or contact us to confirm availability. (2) Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.7. The USD quote is based on current exchange rate, it may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will remain the same.
Free airport pick-up service is only available for the flights arriving at Lhasa between 11:00 AM ~ 12:00 AM, 14:30 PM ~15:30 PM. There are two schedules of free airport drop-off vehicles at 10:30 AM and 13:00 PM. Train pick-up/drop-off service is free for all train schedules. If your flight arrive or departure with different time,and need transfer service, we will charge 58$ per transfer.
We offer free transfer between hotels and airport or train station if your flight or train schedule meets our available time, and your hotels in Lhasa is booked with us.
Free Airport Transfer to Hotel in Lhasa
- Around 10:00 pick up travelers who arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport before 09:30 AM
- Around 14:00 pick up travelers who arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport before 13:30 PM
- Around 17:00 pick up travelers who arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport before 16:30 PM
Free Transfer to Airport from Hotel in Lhasa
- Around 07:00 pick up travelers who departs from Lhasa Gonggar Airport between 09:00 ~ 11:30 AM
- Around 09:30 pick up travelers who departs from Lhasa Gonggar Airport between 11:30 AM ~ 14:30 PM
- Around 12:30 pick up travelers who departs from Lhasa Gonggar Airport after 14:30 PM
1. we use shuttle bus to transfer travelers together to or off airport; 2. you may have to wait for other travelers if you arrive at airport much earlier than the designated time; 3. If you miss out our designated time for airport pick up because of flight delay, or prefer a private transfer, you have to pay extra fee.
Lhasa Train Station pick up and drop off are free for all train schedules of arrivals and departures.
While the trip of a lifetime is priceless, we know value is a vital aspect for those deciding which tour to choose.
When comparing tour prices, be sure to compare like to like. Our tours are designed to ensure that our customers experience all the culture, history, and beauty that Tibet has to offer, and at a reasonable price.
A great way to enjoy the lowest possible price is to invite more people to join your trip to share the travel experience as well as the tour expense. The more people in a group, the lower the price per person. (We recommend you join our group tour if you are traveling alone. Please contact our travel consultant for more information)
Booking early is also an easy way to ensure the best rate! We highly recommend you contact us at least 1 month before your planned departure date.
Save money, make lifetime friends on the way!
Getting more people in the group is a great way to save money. Our group tour is very suitable for solo travelers and students. When inquiring, please ask our travel consultants if there are other people also travel alone and indicate if you would mind to travel with like-minded people.
Our group tour is a join-in tour. You will travel with other visitors from all over the world. You will share the costs of hiring vehicle, guides and accommodation with other visitors.
Our group size is from 2-20 people. To make sure the tour guide is able to take good care of everyone in the tour, there will be less than 8 people for most of our group tours. We had handled tours only had 3-4 peoples, which is like a private tour.
For clothing, we suggest casual style and layered clothing because temperatures in Tibet vary greatly during a day. Down coat is necessary if you go beyond Lhasa and Shigatse to remote areas, e.g. the Everest Camp or further to Mt.Kailash. Sun glasses, sun block,moisture cream are necessary too.
For food, 2L of water each day, and some snacks. We also find the energy drink Red Bull is a great energy boost while traveling in Tibet.
For medicines, we suggest that you take some pain-killer pills with you and enough medicine for colds, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment andthroat-moistening pills will be of great help for those who are sensitive tochilly weather conditions. Please consult your doctor prior to your travel toTibet. Medicine is a must for travelers to Tibet.
We will take care of all necessary Tibet permits in all of our Tibet tours. It is included in the price quotation and it is part of our tour services. It's advisable to apply for your travel permits at least 10 days prior to your entry date. The earlier, the easier for us to get a permit for you.
Please tell us your real occupation when applying a tibet travel permit. Journalists and people involved with political matters (such asdiplomats and government officials) require more complicated procedures to beissued a permit.
Breakfast: If you are staying in a star hotel, breakfast is usually included. If you are staying in a guesthouse or tent, breakfast is not included.
Lunch and Dinner:
We don’t usually include lunch and dinner in our tour itinerary. We do arrange lunch or dinner for you at your request though. However, we prefer to give you the freedom to choose the food you want and pay on the spot. From our previous customers' responses, we find that most of our clients prefer to leave the dinners open on their own so that they can enjoy some time to themselves. They can choose either to go to a local restaurant for a little adventure or to have a simple dinner in the hotel where they stay. They may also prefer to choose a restaurant which appeals to their own unique tastes.
We have created a list of our favorite restaurants in Tibet and hand-picked some local restaurants to recommend to our customers. In Lhasa, you can choose Chinese food, Western food, Tibetan food as well as Nepalese food and Indian food. In "off-the-beaten-road" destinations, choices are limited. Our tour guide will be more than happy to recommend good restaurants for you and take you to the restaurants available according to your tastes and preferred style of dishes. Soon you’ll develop your favorite Tibetan dishes!
Acclimatize: We suggest that you take it easy for your first few days in Tibet. Don't push yourself physically since your body will require some time to get used to the high altitude.
Photography: When photographing Tibetans, please be sure to get their permission first. Also, when inside the religious sites, please be aware that if photography is permitted. It is not allowed to take pictures while inside the halls of Potala Palace and JokhangTemple. Make sure you bring a flashlight if you want to see the inside of the monastery, though please ask for permission when taking pictures in the monastery. Some Monastery might charge visitors a 10-30RMB fee for taking pictures. Please ask your tour guide if you are not sure.
Free time: During the free time of your trip, like the rest of the first day and the last day before departure, you can walk around on your own and do some shopping if you wish.
Anxiety is the common cause of mountain sickness. Our customers age range from 20 years old to 70 years old, there is no evidence that suggests that age has anything to do with the occurrence of mountain sickness.
Taking a Tibet tour with Tibet Discovery, our tour guide will take care of you and give advice on how to avoid high altitude sickness on arrival. A bottle of oxygen will be prepared for each person for emergency use when the tour includes visiting places like Mt. Everest, Lake Namtso, Mt. Kailash and activities like trekking and biking. Always remember that if you have any problems or feel uncomfortable, please tell your guide immediately or contact our travel consultant.
Tibet Discovery’s Service and
Travel Insurance: We provide a limited Accident/Casualty Insurance in Tibet through China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance which only covers accidents that occur within Tibet. This policy’s indemnity is relatively low, so if you would like a more inclusive plan, then it is best to purchase one in your home country before your departure.
Refund Policy: Cancellations made…
30 or more days prior to departure result in a 90% refund
29-15 days prior to departure result in an 80% refund
14-7 days prior to departure result in a 70% refund
6-2 days prior to departure result in a 50% refund
Less than 2 days prior to departure or a no show result in no refund.
Note: Additional cancellation fees, if applicable, imposed by the service providers other than Tibet Discovery tours (i.e. flight ticket booking, train ticket booking, hotels reservation, etc.) will be deducted from the money refunded. While this is the official policy, in cases where our customers face unexpected and unavoidable problems, we can sometimes offer a more generous refund.
Before the trip: Before your trip, feel free to contact our Travel Consultants for any further information you need. All of our tours are fully customizable, so if you are not satisfied with any part of a tour pakage, just let us know and our expert Travel Consultants will do their best to design the perfect tour for you.
During the trip: If you have any questions or concerns during your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your Travel Consultant will do his or her best to resolve any problems you have and ensure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible.
After the trip: Once you have returned home and have had a chance to settle back in, we’d love to hear from you. We welcome your comments, suggestions, pictures, and whatever else you want to share with us about your trip. We are always striving to improve our customers’ experiences, and also love to hear about their adventures!
Best time to go:
Peak Season: June, July,
August, September (June to October 15th )
In July and August, the crowds will be considerably larger and the costs for vehicle, food, accommodation, and tour guides are higher. June-August generally has great weather, though during July and August, Tibet tends to be extremely crowded as many Chinese travel there for their summer vacation. As July and August is the peak season to travel to Tibet. We highly recommend you avoid those two months to reduce the costs.
Best Value: April, May,
and Late October to November (April 16th to May 31st)
Late April to Early June, late October to November is the best value time to go, as the weather still nice and the cost is considerably less. The tour costs between this time is usually a few hundred dollars cheaper than peak season.
Shoulder Season: Late November
December, January, February, early April (Nov 16th to April 15th)
December-February tends to be a slow period for travel to Tibet. The weather is generally quite cold, though there will be no crowds like there are during the peak season. Another benefit to traveling during the shoulder season is that prices are considerably lower. The view might not be as vivid but you can enjoy another side of Tibet.
Note: Above information applies to most Tibet tours. For specific best travel time, please contact our travel consultant.
Thanks for your patience waiting for my feedback.
In terms of guides that you arranged, I most enjoyed the company of Ge Sang in Tibet, possibly because we were with him the longest period and got to know each other a bit better. He was knowledgeable, spoke very good English, explained what we were doing and was flexible when Carey wasn’t feeling well enough to visit some sights. He also helped Carey find medicines. He shared some interesting information about how Tibetans live day-to-day which added to our experience. Similarly, but to a lesser extent, I enjoyed Jessie’s company in Kunming. Again we were together long enough to know a bit about each other. She was very capable, good English and knowledgeable. Unfortunately we only spent a few days with Kesang and Alice so it was a very professional interaction. They were competent with reasonable English.
In terms of the drivers, we really didn’t get to interact much with them. Only Ge Sang and Jessie bothered to introduce us to them. Their vehicles were generally safe and clean. Because I like to take lots of photos of what I see (to share with my family back home) I would have preferred a normal sedan so that I could open the windows as we travelled to take clear pictures. I didn’t want to stop the car each time I saw something interesting.
In terms of hotels, all were generally good but would have appreciated slightly better breakfasts. The range of food was reasonable but nothing in the trays was hot, leaving us to wonder if it was left over from yesterday. Hotels that cooked eggs while you wait were our favourites as we knew it was fresh. Also there was little fresh fruit available (which is understandable in Tibet). The hotel in Shigatse didn’t provide bottled water so luckily we had some in the car each day. The Rongbuk Guesthouse was far more comfortable than I expected.
In terms of sights, we probably saw too many monasteries in Tibet. I appreciate they were important to Tibetans but to me there was a fair bit of repetition. Unfortunately Namco Lake was not on the itinerary due to season. The drive to Everest and back from Lhasa was long but interesting (even better if I could have taken pictures as we travelled). But Everest was definitely worth it – the highlight of the tour. The sights in Tibet were generally less commercial than elsewhere in China, making them much more enjoyable.
The sights in Yunnan were generally good, especially Shudu Lake, Tiger Leaping, Yangtze First Bend, Black Dragon Pool and Stone Forest. These were natural attractions and no doubt they were genuine. To me, many of the other sights, like Shangri-La old town, Lijiang old town and Naxi villages, seemed fake. I know Chinese builders can do an excellent job in making something to look ancient. (We saw a lot of attractions during our Silk Road tour that definitely were fake and that made us a bit sceptical.) Also many attractions were overwhelming, clearly geared for huge crowds in the high season and offering a complete package of activities (camel rides, quad bike rides, helicopter rides, dress up in traditional clothes, etc). This reminded me of Disneyland, which is definitely not real.
The train journey from Xi’an to Lhasa was long (32hrs) but interesting scenery along the way (at least what I could see through the dirty windows). We had the cabin to ourselves most of the way but it was full overnight, despite there being empty cabins around us. Rachael (not Bruce) who met us at Xi’an got us onto the train without any fuss, which we appreciated.
While I am not particularly fastidious about toilets, I did appreciate there being lots of public toilets throughout China. However, most were very basic, devoid of toilet paper, hand wash and paper towel. This made me very cautious about my diet as I didn’t want to risk having diarrhoea in such toilets. This meant that I probably missed out on some interesting foods.
After being part of a 36-person tour on the Silk Road, I definitely appreciated having a private tour. We had flexibility to amend things a bit as we went, the days were not too long and we had some free time on the transfer days. Definitely worth the money!
No doubt you now think I am a fussy traveller. I have travelled extensively over the past decade and know what I like and generally what to expect. So please don't take any offence from my comments above.
I know I probably annoyed you with my many questions leading up to the tour and I really appreciated your patience and your timely responses. The itinerary you provided was clear and helpful. You delivered what you promised so I am happy to recommend your company to my family and friends.
Below are a few photos, we had a very good time in Lhasa, and Pippo was a good guide. We did all the visits planned, and were lucky with the weather so we are happy.
The very good thing was the communication with you, you were always responding very quickly to all our questions, so very big plus for you Vivien!! Especially since it is so difficult to get into Tibet, you really helped us.
The only little negative is the price, although you were one of the best one with regards to the price for all the visits we had included, so I guess it really is getting into Tibet that is expensive, because it was really only 2 days of visits, with the transport to and from the airport also, and we paid a lot less for a lot more in other countries... aside from that, we were happy. Thank you again Vivien!
Julie (from France) and Guide Pippo at front of Potala Palce in Lhasa, Tibet
Julie Visited Jokhang Temple in Lhasa
For sure my friend, I Will write very good things about your job and the job of the company, bacause it was incredible, and the service of everybody was Just really perfect.
I Will say to you thanks for all the excellent attentions that you have for us, thanks for always answering everything about the tour, all the question and everything.
I Will strongly recommend the travel agency to anyone of my family or friends coming to China.
Really very happy for what we had Just live, for the persons we met and everything. We had Just a great experience, with great food and great sights. I am very happy for look up at this agency, and hope to be soon once again at china.
Thanks also for the present we Just received, was really great and an excellent detail. Thanks for the letter and the present.
I think I Will out also something like this in the TripAdvisor, and well thanks once again for everything.
Finally my friend, my best wishes to you, and hope everything Will be great with your carreer and the company. I am sure you Will be very successfull. Also a great person you are, so you have everything to be a great great professional or whatever you want to be. My we chat ID is marco_osorio, and if you we can continue also in touch by that way.
My best regards from your mexican friend:
Escorted by a skilled driver and companied by a professional local tour guide to organize all the activities, all you have to do is to enjoy your fantastic Tibet journey.Following are some other recommended Tibet group tour packages that you may be interested in. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want..
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