Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu. Flower garlands reception at the airport and transfer to hotel. Evening dinner with Nepali folk dance at Nepali Restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Kathmandu Valley Sight seeing.
Breakfast at hotel. Tour of the city which includes Durbar Square, the historic center of Kathmandu in which the Temple of the Living Goddess is located. In this temple a small girl is selected from a particular clan of craftspeople after extensive ritual, and is declared a goddess. She lives in the temple until puberty, after which she is given a life pension and a new goddess is found. The central courtyard of the temple is superbly crafted, with extensive carving on windows and balconies and an elaborate shrine. Also visit Hanuman Dhoka, a restored palace and temple complex, devoted to the famous monkey-god Hanuman. By the main entrance to the palace complex is a statue of Hanuman. The figure is shielded by a golden umbrella and his face has been covered with red paste by devotees so that his features are now completely obscured. Inside this large compound are many different courtyards and buildings, both religious and secular.
Then visit Patan, the second largest city in the Kathmandu Valley. Patan was once an independent Malla kingdom, its origins dating back 2,000 years. The city houses the fantastic 12th century Buddhist Monastery, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, which is among the finest in the country. Its gold-plated roof, courtyard with many prayer wheels and richly decorated three-storied temple are superb. The elaborately-decorated buildings, statues, temples, palaces and shrines found in the Durbar Square here, mostly date from the 17th century, when the artistic patronage of the Malla kings was at its most inspired.
The visit concludes at Swayambunath, a Buddhist temple complex housing a superb stupa set high up on a hill with spectacular views over the Kathmandu valley.Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Sight seeing Kathmandu Valley Bhaktpur.
Breakfast at the hotel.We visit the ancient city of Bhaktapur, or city of Devotees, also known as Bhadgaon, visiting Durbar square, Lion gate, the five storied Nyatopolo Temple, the tallest of its kind in Nepal, and the palace of 55 windows. The film, Little Budha was shot here, among other places in Nepal.
After lunch we visit Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath Stupa.Bouddhanath Stupa lies about six km to the east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the Valley. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design. Bouddhanath, a World Heritage Site, is also known as Khasti, or dew drops, after an account that builders had to use dew to mix the mortar as Kathmandu was suffering from a severe drought during its construction.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred hindu shrines in the world. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva. Chronicles indicate the temple's existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati river flowing beside the temple, also a World Heritage Site.
Day 4: Fly Kathmandu to Lhasa.
Morning transfer to the airport for the hour-long flight to Lhasa. The spectacular flight on Air China Boeing 757 crosses the main Himalayan range and the mountain views are magnificent. After arriving at Gonggar Airport in Tibet, it's a 2-hour drive to Lhasa where we will check in Hotel. It's advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day, due to Lhasa's high altitude.
Day 5: Sightseeing In Lhasa.
Today will be spent visiting several of Lhasa's many monasteries in the company of a guide and interpreter. One of these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Several hundred monks live and study within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs.
After lunch we'll visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkhor - a maze of narrow cobbled streets, which is the central market of Lhasa.
Day 6:Lhasa Tour.
This morning we will visit the Potala Palace towering above the city of Lhasa. This spectacular building contains the private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th centuries, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century.
A visit to the Drepung Monastery in the afternoon will complete a truly awe-inspiring day. Founded in the 14th century, this monastery was once the largest in the world, housing around 10,000 monks. Nowadays the figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much here of interest as it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution.
Day 7: Drive Lhasa - Gyantse.
Today we start our overland cultural journey to Gyantse and Shigatse. Traveling by jeep along the Friendship Highway we cross the spectacular Khamba La pass (4,794m) from which we’ll get stunning views of the snowy summit of Nazin Kang Sa (7,252m) looking across the waters of the Yamdrok-tso Lake. We then continue westwards over another high pass, the Karo La (5,045m), from which you can see a huge spectacular glacier tumbling down to within a few hundred meters of the road. After passing through beautiful valleys and colorful Tibetan villages we arrive in the town of Gyantse. Our overnight accommodation is at the Gyantse Hotel.
Day 8: Drive Gyantse - Shigatse.
Before leaving Gyantse we’ll have time to visit the Gyantse Dzong and Gyantse Kumbum. The Dzong is a fort dating back to the 14th century and it offers amazing views of both Gyantse itself and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. The Kumbum is a large gold-domed stupa and its many small chapels house an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals.
Our Tibet adventure tour then continues to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city, which is about 90km away. After exploring the local market we will make a detailed visit to the Tashilhunpo Monastery. This monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. Afterwards we make our way back to Lhasa, where we will check in Hotel.
Day 9: Drivwe Shigatse - Tsetang.
Today we have long drive to Tsetang, the third largest city in central Tibet. Southeast of Tsetang we can see the mountain Gangpo Ri (4,130 meters). It has a special significance for the Tibetans as it is the legendary birthplace of its people.
Day 10: Visit to the Valley of Tombs.
Today our adventure trip will take us to the Yarlung valley, which is also known as the Valley of Tombs. Yarlung is considered the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Creation myth locates the valley as the origin of the Tibetan people, and it was from Yarlung that the early Tibetan kings unified Tibet in the seventh century. We see the massive burial mounds of these kings in Chongye. Yumbulagang, another major attraction of the area, is perched on a crag like a medieval European castle and is considered the oldest building in Tibet. After a full day’s exploring in the Yarlung valley we return to Tsetang for the night.
Day 11: Fly Lhasa to Kathmandu.
Morning drive (96 km.) to the airport for the return flight to Kathmandu. Arrive Kathmandu. Overnight.
Day 12: Kathmandu to fly Paro.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to airport for flight to Paro, Bhutan. Arrive by Druk air BAE 146-100 series, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by STT rep and transfer to Kichu Resort.
Day 13: Paro Sightseeing - visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. The fort defended the Paro valley from the Tibetan invasion from the north in the early 17th century. On clear weather Mount Chomolhari 7320 meters can be seen towering over the dzong. Proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. The drive to Thimphu is 2 hours and will be a pleasant one mainly due to the luxurious Japanese transportation and well maintained road through out Bhutan. Evening free time. Overnight at Hotel Druk or River view.
Day 14: AM Thimphu sightseeing - visit the Memorial shorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15 century Changangkha monastery and the new Drupthob nunnery temple. PM drive 3 hours to Wangduephodrang crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. The drive from the pass is all the way downhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of lobesa. Visit the Dzong from outside and the market area. Overnight at Wangdi Kichu Resort.
Day 15: Sight seeing Punakha.
in The morning.drive 45 minutes to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Drive 3 hours to Thimphu for lunch and proceed 2 hours to Paro via visiting the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. It now serves as a Buddhist university. Overnight Kichu Resort.
Day 16: Transfer to Paro airport for fly to Bangkok. End of Service.