Take part in rituals and haggle for a bargain in the markets. From modern Beijing, travel back in time across scenic countryside to Tibet on this well-packed overland adventure. Witness the splendour of the Potala Palace and the majesty of remote monasteries and then celebrate the journey to Kathmandu. Wake up to views of Everest and enjoy a window into the heart of this remote land. A local guide and tour leader will show you the region’s hidden gems and make sure your trip burns brightly in your memory long after you've climbed down from the roof of the world.
This is a small group and cannot be customised. However, our Asia Experts can arrange pre and post trips according to your schedule and interest.
Day 1: Beijing
Tonight, the adventure begins. Feel free to explore — but make sure you're back in time to meet your group. After introductions, your tour leader will review the details of your trip.
Day 2: Beijing
Set out early for the Great Wall and climb the rolling hills of Huairou County at Mutianyu, one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall. Enjoy scenic views as the wall winds along mountain ridges and take brag-worthy photos of the wall from any of the 22 towers
Shaolin Monk Kung Fu Show: Watch this moving performance of choreographed martial arts, complete with a story line to follow.
Beijing Opera: Enjoy this form of traditional Chinese theatre that combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance, and acrobatics. Dating back to the late 18th century, this form was extremely popular in the Qing Dynasty court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China.
Acrobatic Show: Marvel at the amazing ability of these world class acrobats. Watch contortionists, tight-rope walkers, and plate-spinners show off their outstanding balance and flexibility. This is a must on a visit to Beijing.
Day 3 & 4: Beijing/Lhasa
Enjoy learning about Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City before using some free time to explore more of the capital.
Explore one of the world's largest public squares, home to the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Great Hall of the People. Also located in the square is the National Museum of China with artifacts such as relics from the First Opium War of 1840.
In the evening, depart on a 48-hr train journey to Lhasa. The train trip is a long, yet rewarding, journey through the heart of northern China then south across the Tibetan Plateau. The spectacular scenery makes this an once-in-a-lifetime train journey.
Day 5: Lhasa
Arrive in Lhasa in the evening. Take an orientation walk around and start acclimatizing to the altitude.
Day 6 - 8: Lhasa
Over three days, explore all Lhasa and the surrounding areas have to offer. Visit Barkhor Square, the Jokhang Temple, the Potala Palace, and either Sera or Drepung Monastery. With free time, opt to visit the local markets or find a teahouse to spend a few hours relaxing with a warm cup of chai.
Jokhang Temple Tour: Enjoy a tour of this beautiful temple, which has been called the spiritual heart of Tibet. Watch prostrating pilgrims circle the temple day and night, some of them traversing the extremes of the Tibetan landscape by foot to come here and celebrate their faith. Make a kora ("revolution" in Tibetan) of the Barkhor, the holiest devotional circuit, which surrounds the Jokhang and houses a market bazaar where people bargain for Buddha images, yak skulls with ruby eyes, woodcarvings, carpets, prayer wheels, and the odd goat's head.
Potala Palace Tour: Enjoy a tour of Potala Palace, a magnificent structure and true architectural wonder built in the 1600s is steeped in history. This is where the Dalai Lamas would meditate, handle affairs of state, and eventually where their burial stupas remain. Check out the golden statues, three dimensional mandalas, ancient cloth bound scriptures, and the devoted pilgrims who circle the palace day and night - this is truly a remarkable place.
Sera Monastery Tour: Visit the Sera Monastery and witness the monks engaged in lively debate, a philosophical practice they have held for hundreds of years.
Day 9: Lhasa/Gyantse
The drive to Gyantse is a spectacular one, crossing three passes over 5,000m (16,404 ft) and skirting the shores of the beautiful turquoise lake, Yamdrok Tso.
Day 10: Gyantse/Shigatse
Visit the Pelkor Chode Monastery, Gyantse Kumbum. Enjoy a visit to these two significant places in Tibetan Buddhism. Pelkor Chode Monastery was founded in 1418 and is regarded as the centre of Gyantse. Gyantse Kumbum (meaning 100,000 images) is an 8 story structure containing a seemingly endless series of tiny chapels full of Buddhist images – Buddhas, demons, protectors, and saints. Continue to the Tashilunpo Monastery, this massive complex is visited daily by hundreds of devotees, armed with yak butter to feed the lamps, who prostrate themselves around the stupas or walk up to the chapel that houses the 26m-high (85ft), gold-plated statue of the Buddha.
Take a short drive to Shigatse, Tibet's second-largest town and the seat of the Panchen Lama, who ranks second in importance to the Dalai Lama.
Visit the Shigatse Bazaar. Stalls selling everything from slabs of yak butter to yak wool, prayer wheels, and rosaries line the streets and Tibetans vie with each other to win a sale. Opt to join the pilgrims on their evening kora (Tibetan for "revolution") around the perimeter of the monastery.
Day 11: Shigatse/Sakya
It is a 4-5 hr trip to Sakya, the base of the once politically powerful Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Its huge fortified walls are testament to the turbulent past of the region.
There is time in the late afternoon or early morning to explore the monastery and the ruins of north Sakya across the river.
Sakya Gompa Visit: The Sakya Gompa is the seat of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, founded in 1073. Its Mongolian architecture is unique and very different from what you'd find in Lhasa.
Day 12: Sakya/Rongpu Si
Take an exhilarating drive to reach Rongbuk — 5,000m (16,404 ft) and a mere 7km (4.4 mi) below Everest Base Camp. The view from here is utterly spectacular.
Enjoy a visit to Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the world. It was first built in 1902 by the Nyingma Lama and originally housed more than 500 monks. Today, only about 50 monks and nuns remain, sharing the same prayer hall but maintaining separate residences. The nuns here are great fun and will be delighted to have you join their evening prayers.
Day 13: Rongpu Si/Zham
Hike (or drive) to Everest Base Camp for a closer view of this magnificent mountain. Continue driving through the spectacular mountain passes, topped with prayer flags and wind-driven prayer wheels.
Start early and drive to Everest Base Camp. If you're keen and the altitude hasn't gotten to you, make the 7km (4.4 mi) hike to Base Camp for a closer view of this magnificent mountain.
For the rest of the group, take the bus to reach this fascinating location.
Continue down to the highway towards Zhangmu.
Day 14: Zham/Kathmandu
Cross the border and travel to Kathmandu. Enjoy some free time to get to know the city.
Day 15: Kathmandu
Depart at any time.