When referring Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, what will firstly come to your thought? Snow-capped peaks, soaring monasteries, devoted pilgrims? Yes, they are the features of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, but the three kingdoms own much more than that. Located near Himalayan Ranges, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan are blessed with impressive magical nature. The charm of nature always delights travelers with azure lakes, steep gorges, exuberant forests, or colorful flowers. As three Buddhist kingdoms, they also attract numerous tourists with venerated Buddhist sits. Set your foot to these religious sites, you can explore the mysterious Buddhist story and get amazed by the devout Buddhist followers. Besides, there are plenty of world-famed architectures in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, which tell the wisdom of the ancient people. Taking a Nepal Tibet Bhutan tour, you will get a visual feast on many unbelievable wonders.
Things to Do in Nepal Tibet Bhutan 2020/2021
Top Things to Do in Tibet
Soak the Buddhist Culture in Holy Lhasa
Not only the capital of Tibet, Lhasa is also the holy city, tourist distributing center and the treasure grove. Undoubtedly, Lhasa is the must-visit destination if you travel in Tibet. Here you can enjoy most cultural attractions of Tibet, including brilliant palaces, monasteries and pilgrims streets. The surrounding natural landscape is enchanting as well.
Landmarks: High soaring above Lhasa, Potala Palace is the symbol of Lhasa, or even Tibet. You will be attracted by this awe-inspiring structure at your first sight and it will be hard to peel your eyes away. It was the former residence of Dalai Lamas, and they also work and meet guests there. In the palace, you can find many informative collections and honored statues of Buddhist figures. Traveling Lhasa, you can’t miss Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Lhasa, where houses a life-sized statue of Shyakamuni. Many Buddhists pay homage to Jokhang Temple to look up at the venerated statue. In the front gate of Jokhang Temple, you can see the Tibetans making prostration in an endless stream. Dazzling golden roof of Jokhang temple is also marvelous, from which can get great view as well. The Jokhang Temple is surrounded by Barkhor Street, a popular circumambulation for pilgrims. There are many Buddhists kora around Barkhor Street while prostrating themselves or tuning prayer wheels. Travelers are suggested to spend 1 day visiting Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street.
Monasteries: Three greatest monasteries - Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Ganden Monastery, are the highlights of Lhasa as well. Drepung Monastery is home to famous Buddhist schools, even Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas once studied there. Sera Monastery is well-known for the scripture debating, which is an interesting activity for discussing Buddhist knowledge and testing the monks’ study. Ganden Monastery is worthy of a trekking from Lhasa. Apart from these attractions, you can also visit Tsurphu Monastery - head monastery Kargyu sect, Drak Yerpa Monastery - wonder hanging on the cliff, and some other Buddhist sites.
Namtso Lake:Namtso Lake, one of the sacred lakes near Lhasa, is a paradise for shutterbug to shot the picturesque landscape, including turquoise water, snow mountains and multicolored prayer flags.
Appreciate Natural Beauty and Historical Site around Shigatse
Only second to Lhasa, Shigatse also enjoys a great variety of sights and activities. Its landmark must be Tashilhunpo Monastery, the residence of Panchen Lama. From the entrance to the monastery, you will get a grand view of the four red palaces with golden roofs. In these palaces, you can pay homage to the stupa of the former Panchen Lamas. The first palace houses the giant formidable statue of Future Buddha.
Gyantse is an old town in Shigatse. It is called the hero city because Tibetan once stationed in Gyantse and fought with the invaders to guard their homeland. The greatest sight in Gyantse is Palcho Monastery. Palcho Monastery features in its Kumbum Stupa – one of Tibet’s architectural wonders with endless series of mural-filled chapels. A fortress-like building high perched above the center of Gyantse Town is Gyantse Dzong which holds historical significance in Tibet. Climbing to the top affords a fabulous view of Gyantse’s whitewashed old town below. For those travelers who want to life of old noble family in Tibet, you can visit Pala Manor which keeps the traditional architecture and fives an excellent insight to the wealthy landowning people. Beside historical and cultural sites, Gyantse also enjoy great natural scenery. Karola Glacier shows overwhelming charm and gorgeous surrounding views.
Want some excitement? Visit Mount Everest. Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world, reaching to 8,848.43 meters. Covered with layer of snows, it is a dreamland of mountaineering adventures. For tourists, it is also quite attractive. Rongbuk Monastery is the best viewing deck to enjoy the majesty of Mount Everest. If the weather is clear, you will be able to see the breathtaking sunrise, sunset and starry sky over Mount Everest.
Far more than Shigatse City, Gyantse Town and Mount Everest, there are many other sites to visit in Shigatse, like Sakya Monastery, Sakya Ancient Town, Summer Palace of Panchen Lamas etc. Gyantse is located on the road from Lhasa to Shigatse. Usually, travelers start from Lhasa to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake and Karola Glacier, and then travel to Shigatse and Mount Everest.
Explore Wild Nature and Religious Center in Ngari
When some people say that the western Tibet is the essence of Tibet, they are always taking about Ngari. Compared with Lhasa and Shigatse, Ngari is rather rough and remote, with basic accommodation, limited transportation and an average altitude of over 4,500 meters. However, because of being far away from the modernized city, it remains its original charm. In Ngari, you can enjoy the typical scenery of high plateau, wild animals, and bare mountains. For most travelers and pilgrims, the main attractions are the Holy Mountain - Mount Kailash and the Sacred Lake - Lake Manasarovar. Regarded the center of the world by Bon, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, Mount Kailash dominates the region with the sheer awesomeness of its four-sided summit. Numerous pilgrims spare no pains to visit Mount Kailash and finish a kora around it. Lake Manasarovar is honored as the mother of sacred lakes. Combining with Mount Kailash, it attracts many pilgrims as well. In history, Ngari is the birthplace of Guge Kingdom which disappeared mysteriously. You can trace some foot prints from the remaining Guge Kingdom Site.
Other Places to Visit in Tibet
Moreover, there are many other destinations worthy of your visit as well. In Shannan, you can see Yamdrok Lake – another sacred lake, Yumbumlagang - the first palace in Tibet and Samye Monastery – the first monastery in Tibet. In Nyingchi, you can visit Basumtso Lake - small Sitzerland in Tibet, Midui Glacier - one of China's most beautiful glaciers etc.
>> Read more about What to See in Tibet
Top Things to Do in Nepal
Admire the Architectural Wonders in Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu Valley, with no less than six UNESCO World Heritage sites, contains t three cities - Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan which once were three independent kingdoms in old times. Each of them has Durbar Square in the center city. The three Durbars Squares are the highlights of Nepal. Kathmandu Durbar Square is the sacred center where many festivals are hold there. Patan Durbar can be regarded architectural museum exhibiting various pagodas, pavilions, palaces temples and shrines, which make Patan a city of art. With a great number of architectures as well, Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the birth place of medieval architectures and art. Visiting Kathmandu, you can’t miss Boudhanath Stupa – the Asia’s largest Buddhist stupa and Kathmandu’s holiest pilgrimage sites. The outlook of the stupa is really outstanding with white body and golden dome. The main body has five layers and each stands for one element of life. Swayambhunath, also called Monkey Temple, is a great temple standing above Kathmandu on a lofty hilltop. Just as its nickname suggests, there are many monkeys in the temple. Another highlight of Swayambhunath is that you can get a bird-eye view of Kathmandu City. The Pashupatinath Temple is a Hindu Temple located on the bank of Bagmati River. It serves as the seat of Nepal’s national deity – Shiva.
Enjoy Himalayan Scenery in Pokhara
Pokhara is a peaceful small city surrounded by overlapping peaks. Its natural landscape makes it popular among tourists. In Pokhara, you can get a relaxing journey while immersing yourselves in the spectacular nature. There are various sites to spot in Pokhara. Phewa Lake looks like a mirror clearly reflected the amazing Annapurna Mountains. The colorfully-painted boats on the lake make the scene an attractive picture. Trekking to the World Peace Pagoda delivers you breathtaking views over the Phewa Lakes and the surrounding peaks. Climbing to Sarangkot to enjoy a sunrise is regarded is must-do in Pokhara. The Devi’s Fall and Phewa Lake also worth a short visit.
Have Nature Fun in Chitwan National Park
Literally meaning the heart of jungle, Chitwan is place showing the primitive views. If you visit Pokhara for sightseeing,Chitwan National Park visit is for joining. As the home to sizeable wildlife populations, Chinawan National Park offers you a chance to join the nature activities. You take a jungle walk to the forest and explore the mystery of nature, or ride an elephant to cross the jungle forest. In this heaven of the bird world, you can enjoy the realms of over 500 species of birds. Of course, many other wild animals can be seen in the park.
Visit Lumbini – the home to the Lord Bhuddha
If you want to seek for the mystery of Buddhism, don’t miss Lumbini. It was in Lumbini, the Lord Bhuddha Siddhartha Gautama (Shykamuni) was born. There lots of Buddhist sites you can visit. The first attraction you need to go is Maya Devi Temple, which is built to respect Queen Maya Devi, Shykamuni’s mother. The temple sits on the site of the birth of the Buddha. The sacred pond is believed to be where Maya Devi bathed before giving birth to Shykamuni. Ashoka Pillar is an inscribed sandstone pillar erected in 10th regnal year of Ashoka after Ashoka (the greatest king in Indian history) paid pilgrimages to Lumbini. Now it is a popular attraction as well. In order to carry forward Buddhist culture, many countries built Buddhist monasteries in Lumbini. In the Lumbini Garden, you can find the monasteries in different architectural style, including Chinese Monastery, Royal Thai Monastery and Korean Monastery etc.
Besides, Nepal also provides the greatest trekking routes. If you are a trekking enthusiast, Nepal is the place what you want.
Top Things to Do in Bhutan
Step into the Peaceful Capital City
As the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu is the most modernized city where a traditional Buddhist atmosphere carefully embraces global development. National Memorial Chorten is a huge Tibetan stupa which will catch your eyes at the first site. In fact, it is monument dedicated to the former third king of Bhutan. In the daytime, many pilgrims will come here, whirl the big prayer wheel and then visit the inside shrine. In Timphu, there is a college set with 4 ~ 6 years’ course of 13 traditional arts and crafts. People call it Traditional Painting School. In this school, you can see the students drawing the religious pictures on the Thangka or furniture, doing wood-carving, waving textiles etc. The splendid Trashi Chhoe Dzong is the backdrop of Thimphu’s famous Tshechus Festival. The fifth king of Bhutan was crowned there as well. A wandering in its peaceful yard will be interesting. Don't miss the national animal Takin, Bhutan's sacred anmimal with a unique looking animal with the head of sheep and body of cattle. If you happen to visit Thimphu on weekends, plunge into the bustling Weekend Market. On the food section, you can see some food ingredients, like dried fish, chilly, red rice etc.. Cross the footbridge over the Wang Chhu River, you get to the stall selling handicrafts, textiles and some other funny stuff.
In addition, there are many other theme museums displaying interesting collections, including Folk Heritage Museum showing the local countryside lives, National Institute of Traditional Medicine showing various precious medicines, National Textile Museum showing weaving techniques, styles, features etc.
Get a Crash Course in Bhutanese Culture in Paro
Lying on the two banks of Paro Chhu River, Paro is a charming town with brightly painted wooden shop. Paro Valley is fascinated with luxury trees and whited-painted farm houses. Almost in every corner of Paro Valley, you can easily see Paro Dzong, also called Rimpung Dzong which is translated as the fortress on a heap of jewels. Paro Dzong was praised as the essence of Bhutanese architectures. It has also witness that the Bhutanese thwarted the nearby invader. Close to Paro Dzong, is the Bhutan National Museum, which once was the watchtower. Divided into Nature History Gallery and Culture Heritage Gallery, this museum exhibits many informative and collections. There is a Sunday Market in Paro. Although much smaller than the Weekend Market in Thimph, it offers travelers a great chance to learn many agricultural products in the market. Perched on the cliff of Paro Valley, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger Nest Monastery) is the focal point of Bhutan. The climbing to the monastery is not easy but very worthwhile, and you will catch a tantalizing sightseeing of the monastery.
Explore the Picturesque Dzong in Punakha
Before Thimphu became the capital of Bhutan, Punakha had been the government site for over 300 years. Punakha Dzong is praised as the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan. It features in its three docheys while others have only two. The first courtyard is for government business, the second is religious site, and the last one is a huge scripture hall erected with 54 huge pillars. The ornament on the pillars is rather delicate.
Take One Hike in Bumthang
Bumthang is the residence of the immortals in Bhutanese heart. There are four valleys in Bumthang, namely Chokhaor, Tang, Ura and Chhume. Most of the important attractions are centered in Chokhor Valley. Jampey Lhakhang was built by Songtsen Gampo in 659. When Guru Rinpoche came to Bumthang, he visited this temple. The nearby Kurjey Lhakhang also holds great significance in Bhutan. Guru Rinpoche also visited this temple and the cave where he mediated remains there.
How to Plan a Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour
There are so many things to do in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, and a Nepal Tibet Bhutan tour will help you visit some or all of them. You are suggested to stay 7 ~ 8 full days in Tibet. Tour in Lhasa first, and then head to Mount Everest via Gyantse and Shigatse. After the memorable Everest sightseeing, cross the Gyirong port and take an overland driving to Kathmandu. Then, you could admire the architectural art in Kathmandu, or extend your tour to Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini. The Nepal tour takes 4 ~ 10 days. As you Nepal tour ends, take a one hour’s flight to Bhutan – the pure, sacred and peaceful land. You could spend 4 ~ 8 days there.
Some tourists choose to start a Nepal Bhutan tour from Nepal first because of its convenience to get into. Some other tourists also travel from Bhutan first, but it is only available for those who have already in India, Bangladesh, Singapore or Thailand, because Bhutan is only directly connected with these countries by flights. Read more about How to Plan a Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour or check more Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tours>
Essential Nepal Tibet Bhutan Travel Guide
Recommended Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour PackagesFollowing are some of our most recommended Nepal Tibet Bhutan tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our tour packages are classic itineraries, and can be tailor-made to meet your personal requirements. You can get more Bhutan Nepal Tours, or contact us to customize a trip if you want.
Lhasa / Gyantse / Shigatse / Everest / Gyirong / Kathmandu / Paro / Thimphu / Punakha / Tiger's Nest / Paro
Kathmandu / Pokhara / Lhasa / Gyantse / Shigatse / Everest / Gyirong / Paro / Thimphu / Punakha / Paro
Lhasa / Everest / Kathmandu / Pokhara / Paro / Thimphu / Punakha / Phubjikha / Trongsa / Bumthang / Paro
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