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19 Day itinerary

Kathmandu - Lhasa - Drigung Til Monastery
Tidrum Nunnery- Reting Monastery - Lake Namtso -
Gyangtse - Shigatse - Kathmandu

Tour starts: 3rd September 2011

>>>   download detailed dossier   <<<

For many centuries Tibet remained for westerners a mysterious and forbidden land cut off from the rest of the world by the mighty Himalayas in the south and the Kunlun Mountains to the north. Only a handful of brave and resourceful travellers ever managed to breach the country’s snowy mountain fastness and reach its fabled capital Lhasa. Those that did returned with stories of an exotic and intriguing land of monastic cities and mountain passes, where nomads grazed huge herds of yaks, hermit monks spent years in meditation and pilgrims prostrated themselves over vast distances to achieve their religious goals. In recent years there have been many changes to the Tibetan world but its staggeringly rich, and easily misunderstood, culture remains resilient and continues to fire the imagination of the Western mind. Moreover Tibet is no longer the inaccessible land that it once was, and although  travel there is by no means always comfortable, with all its rewards, it is well within the grasp of today’s adventurous traveller.

This fascinating journey takes in all the most important sites in Tibet as well as going off the beaten track for a glimpse into a magical Tibet of bygone days. After an unforgettable mountain flight across the Roof of the World we have ample time to explore the sights of Lhasa before setting off in search of the remote hot springs and hidden monasteries that lie in the beautiful countryside to the north of the capital. We then spend time amidst  nomads and pilgrims on the shores of the vast and magical Lake Namtso. After more time to explore Lhasa we set off on one of the most incredible overland journeys in the world travelling south through the heart of the mighty Himalayas. With time to explore the important towns of Gyantse and Shigaste en route we then travel, in the shadow of Mount Everest, over majestic mountain passes back to the bustle of Kathmandu.


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Day 1 - Kathmandu

Tour begins in Kathmandu. (Hotel)

Day 2 - Kathmandu Organised city sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley. (Hotel)
Day 3 - Kathmandu Free day in Kathmandu for exploration. (Hotel)
Day 4 - Lhasa

Fly to Gongkar Airport. Drive to Lhasa. (Hotel)

Day 5 - Lhasa Full tour of Lhasa including the Jokhang temple, Potala Palace and Sera Monastery. (Hotel)
Day 6 - Lhasa Morning visit to Drepung Monastery. Free afternoon. (Hotel)
Day 7 - Drigung Til Drive to Drigung Til Monastery. En route visit stunningly located Ganden Monastery, headquarters of the Gelukpa ('Yellow Hat') sect. (Guesthouse)
Day 8 - Tidrum Explore Drigung, respected site for 'sky burials',  then drive or optional trek to Tidrum Nunnery. Enjoy a medicinal hot spring bath at Tidrum!  (Camp or guesthouse)
Day 9 - Tidrum Full day to explore the delightful surroundings of Tidrum Nunnery  to relax at camp or undertake a choice of easy or more difficult hikes. Visit remote Dranang monastery. (Camp or guesthouse)
Day 10 - Reting Following the 'laughing' Kyi River we drive to the historically important monastery of Reting, set in hills of fragrant juniper. (Camp or guesthouse)
Day 11 - Lake Namtso We continue our drive via the town of Damxung to Tashi Do Monastery on the shores of the breathtakingly beautiful Namtso Lake. Experience at first hand the delights and rigours of nomad life. (Tent encampment)
Day 12 - Lhasa After more time to explore Namtso Lake we drive back via Yangbaijain to Tibet's capital. (Hotel)
Day 13 - Lhasa

A full day in Lhasa to explore the town or make an excursion to the nearby Drak Yerpa Cave Hermitage, one of the holiest retreats in Tibet . (Hotel)

Day 14 - Shigatse Leave Lhasa for Shigatse via the Khamba La pass, skirting the turquoise waters of Scorpion Lake. en route visit the impressive Gyangtse Kumbum monastery and view the ancient Gyangtse fort. (Hotel)
Day 15 - Xegar Morning visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, traditional seat of the Panchen Lama. Continue to Shelkar. (Hotel)
Day 16 - Nyalam Continue on past Tingri and over the Lalung Pass with dramatic views of Shishapangma and the rest of the Himalayan massif. Drop down via Milarepa’s cave to Nyalam. (Hotel or guesthouse)
Day 17 - Kathmandu Drive down via Dram (Zhangmu), across the border and on to Kathmandu. (Hotel)
Day 18 - Kathmandu

Free Day (Kathmandu)

Day 19 - ends Caravan concludes...


Tibet map


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Lhasa Area Map.JPG (69777 bytes)

Land only dates

Starts Kathmandu 3rd September 2011 - ends Kathmandu 21st September 2011

Accommodation & Meals

In Kathmandu we stay in a well appointed four star hotel. In Lhasa we stay in a very central three star hotel. Elsewhere we stay in the best available accommodation. At Drigung we stay in the monastery guesthouse. At Tidrum and Lake Namtso we will camp although the option to stay in a guesthouse is available. At Lake Namtso we will stay in a 'tent hotel'. All breakfasts in Nepal and all meals in Tibet (except in Lhasa) are included. No single surcharge. Single supplement available at GBP285 (price to be confirmed). 

Mode of travel

Please note that while in Tibet this tour will be using good quality 4WD Toyota 4500 Landcruisers, important for dealing with the occasionally rough road conditions between Lhasa and Kathmandu. For sightseeing days while in Lhasa we may occasionally use a minibus.


Escorted by Tibet veteran and Chief Caravaneer Phil Colley assisted by  Tibetan guide in Tibet, local guide in Kathmandu and drivers throughout.

Group size

Minimum 6 Maximum 12.

Flights & Insurance

For information on flights, visas and insurance please contact The Oriental Caravan. Chinese visas are arranged by us on on arrival in Nepal; Nepalese visas are available on arrival in Nepal.

Price Includes...

All transportation as per itinerary; all accommodation (on a twin share basis); full services of Tour Leader, local guides and drivers; sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary; all meals in Tibet apart from meals in Lhasa; breakfasts in Kathmandu; airport and border transfers.



* Please note that, unless instructed otherwise, we will be donating an optional 1% of the proceeds of this tour to
the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children (

>>>   download detailed dossier   <<<

Monastic wall relief, wrathful deity




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             Revised and last updated: November 20th 2013. Links