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This morning we will collect you from your hotel in Kathmandu (Fuji Hotel - night of the 16th October a complementary stay) and transfer you to the airport for the flight to Lhasa (flight included). Welcome to Tibet! Arriving into Lhasa airport our local team are on hand to transfer you to your hotel.
Today enjoy a guided tour of the autonomous region's capital. Sightseeing includes a visit to the beautiful Potala Palace - the dominant landmark of Lhasa, towering 117 meters above the city below. This immense building was both the residence of the current Dalai Lama and tomb of the former Heads of state. The Potala is full of elaborate art work and frescos that tell many stories. Sightseeing continues with Jokhang Temple, the most sacred and important temple in Tibet and also the most captivating with crowds of pilgrims travel around the chapels, praying and prostrating themselves. We also visit Barkhor Market.
Sightseeing in Lhasa continues today with a visit to the 15th century Drepung Monastery, formerly one of the largest monasteries in Tibet, once housing 10,000 monks. Sightseeing also includes the Sera Monastery 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.
Today we will drive to Tsedang via Samye Monastery. Samye Monastery was founded in the 8th century during the reign of King Trisong Detsen with the help of the Indian Buddhist masters Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, whom the king had invited to Tibet to help spread Buddhism. The first Tibetan monks were ordained here after examination, and are referred to as the Seven Examined Men. Over the centuries Samye has been associated with various schools of Tibetan Buddhism and today Tibetans of all traditions come to worship here. Overnight in Tsedang.
Departing Tsedang we follow the southern road to Gyantse. The journey is incredibly scenic crossing mountain passes and spectacular vistas. Gyantse is the 3rd largest town in Tibet but mostly influenced by Chinese attractions.
Spend the day at leisure exploring the city. We recommend you head out and visit the Kumbum stupa and Phalor Monastery.
After a leisurely morning, at around midday we continue our journey to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city. Arriving here, spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
After breakfast enjoy a tour of Tashilunpo Monastery, founded in 1447, it is the largest Yellow Hat sect monastery in Tibet and the seat of the Panchen Lamas. Tashilunpo contains chortens, temples and the Panchen Lamas palace. At its peak, Tashilunpo had more than 4,000 monks in its 4 monasteries. The monastery is a striking red, white and black Tibetan structure with a golden roof. Within the monastery there is a 5 story temple, which contains a 26 meter high sitting statue of the Maitreya Buddha, cast from 6,700 ounces of gold and over 115,000 kg of copper, making it the biggest copper Buddhist statue in the world. Enjoy some time strolling around the free market.
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). (OVERNIGHT IN XEGAR - BASIC HOTEL)
This morning drive the Pangla pass to the Rongbuk; at 4930metres above sea level, it is the world’s highest monastery and the spectacular views of Everest’s north face are well worth the arduous journey. The Himalayas boast eight out of the ten highest mountains in the world and extend across 2400 kilometres. The mighty Mount Everest has the world’s tallest peak and today we visit it’s famous base camp; the starting point of many intrepid expeditions to reach its lofty summit. We spend a few hours exploring the area before taking a short drive south to the town of Old Tingri (via the stunning Lamna pass), where we spend the night.
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. Crossing the border back into Nepal we stop at a border resort for the night where bungee jumping and rafting are available to book locally if you’re feeling adventurous! Overnight - Zhangmu - borderland hotel
Zhangmu - our arrangements end today after breakfast.