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Welcome to Nepal and the start of your journey discovering all the mighty Himalayas has to offer! You’ll be met at the airport by our friendly local team and transferred to your hotel where you will receive a welcome drink and a briefing about your trip.
Today enjoy guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley. Admire the view from Swayambhunath Stupa, the most ancient of the Valley’s holy shrines. After we visit the large and beautiful Buddhist stupa of Bodhnath, adorned with thousands of candles made with butter. Then explore magical Durbar Square - a complex of royal palaces and temples, and the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. Conclude the day with a visit to the Pashputinath Temple complex which is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu.
This morning our group returns to the airport to catch the flight to Lhasa. Arriving here, our Tibetan team await to drive you to the city of Tsedang where you check into your hotel and spend the remains of the day at leisure, to acclimatize.
The city is located in the Yarlung Valley, and is known as “the Cradle of Tibetan Civilization” You will discover why today as y#our expert guide takes you out to explore the Yumbulakang and Trundruk monastery. Yumbulakang is known as Tibet's first palace. It has a very long history, and boasts many sculptures and paintings from ancient times. While visiting Trundruk monastery, you will see a stunning Tangkha of Pearls decorated with a total of 29,026 pearls. After, we explore Samye, which is the first monastery built.
This morning we depart for the city of Lhasa, enjoy the fantastic scenery along the way. Our first stop today after hotel check in, will be the beautiful Potala Palace - the dominant landmark of Lhasa, towering 117 meters above the city below. We then continue on and explore the 15th century Drepung Monastery, formerly one of the largest monasteries in Tibet, once housing 10,000 monks and conclude the day with a walk in the bustling Barkhor Street.
This morning we explore Norbulinka monastery - the Dalai Lama's summer palace which was completed in 1783 under the Eighth Dalai Lama. Set in beautiful grounds with fountains, chapels and pools, Norbulinka is located on the outskirts of Lhasa and it is from here that the present Dalai Lama fled in the 1950's.
Today we explore Sera Monastery is still a working retreat, 600 years after its foundation as a main teaching monastery and one of the three great Gelukpa 'universities' once housing more than 5500 monks. In the afternoon we visit Jokhang Temple, the most sacred and important temple in Tibet and also the most captivating. There is an electric atmosphere as crowds of pilgrims travel around the chapels, praying and prostrating themselves.
After breakfast we journey to Gyantse. En route visit the Drolma Lhakang Temple, associated with the Buddhist teachings of Atisha (a revered Bengali scholar), and we stop at the view point of Kampa La, to soak up the incredible views of the spectacular scorpion shaped Yamdrok Lake. This afternoon we explore Kumbum and Pelku Chode. Kumbum was founded in the year 1427 by a Gyantse prince. With a gold dome, and 9 levels, it contains 77 chapels, Pelku Chode is the Monastery inside the compound of Kumbum.
This morning we drive to Shigatse (95kms from Gyantse), Tibets second most important city. This afternoon enjoy exploring Tashilunpo Monastery, founded in 1447, it is the largest Yellow Hat sect monastery in Tibet and the seat of the Panchen Lamas.
Be prepared for a bumpy ride driving through the spellbinding Everest Region to Xegar which was once the Capital of the Tingri region. Here we visit the impressive Xegar Dzong (fortress).
Today begin the journey back to Nepal, driving up to the steep Lalung La Pass, where we’ll be treated to some amazing views of the Himalayas and Everest, before our sharp decent along narrow windy roads, through lush forested mountainsides and deep gorges. Continue to the Tibet-Nepal border town of Zangmu and then onward to Bhaktapur, arriving late.
Today we explore this enchanting old town is peacefully traffic free and has retained its centuries old traditions, crafts and trades. Highlight is certain to be Durbar Square, which is home to beautifully carved Malla dynasty palaces and pagodas and the cobblestone streets, temples, shrines and squares are full of character. This afternoon we return to the city of Kathmandu and enjoy exploring Boudhanath and the Shechen monastery.
Spend the last day with our expert guide Dakshinkali and Pharping, here you will see the temple dedicated to goddess Kali, the most bloodthirsty incarnation of Parvati and see the pilgrims mace animal sacrifices and explore the Mata Temple that affords fantastic views of the forest.
Sadly your journey has come to an end, we will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.