Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, rich in culture and religion. After arriving at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our enthusiastic guide with a very smiling face, then be transferred to check in your hotel in downtown by a air-conditioned private vehicle. The rest of today is your free time to take rest or walk around.
Today’s activities start with a wonderful stroll around the grand Kathmandu Durbar Square, which is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. With the complex made between the 12th and 18th centuries by the ancient Malla Kings of Nepal, it provides many interesting things to see, like Taleju Temple, Kal Bhairab (God of Destruction), Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell, Big Drum and the Jagnnath Temple etc. Then you will visit the Kathmandu’s most ancient and enigmatic holy shrine - Swayambhunath, also known as “Monkey Temple”. It lies 2km west of Kathmandu City. On the clear days, you are able to see a line of Himalayan Ranges. From its hilltop setting, you can get a fine view over Kathmandu of and the valley.
After that, move to see the giant Buddhist stupa - Bodhanath, the largest stupa in Kathmandu Valley at about 131ft (40km) high and one of the largest and most important Buddhist stupas in the world. The all-seeing red, white and blue eyes of Buddha are painted on all four sides of the stupa, similar to Swayambhunath, and surrounded by hundreds of fluttering prayer flags, prayer wheels and small images of Buddha. Leaving Bodhanath, you will drive about 34 km northeastward to Nagarkot. With an altitude of 2,715 meters, this place is an ideal place to enjoy the grandiose views of Mount Everest and some other high peaks over 7500m on the Himalaya Range. It time is right, you will catch up with the breathtaking sunset.
Get up early in the morning to catch the precious moment to watch the breathtaking sunrise over Mt. Everest from Nagarkot, then get back to your hotel to have breakfast.
After having the fantastic time in Nagarkot, you’ll be transferred to another sister city of Kathmandu and Patan - Bhaktapur which is one of three medieval city-states in the Kathmandu Valley as well as the best preserved one with an altitude of 1,401 meter. With three different styles square - Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square and Dattatreya Square, it is the best place to explore traditional Nepalese architecture and local life and custom, also the best place to witness the great achievements of arts and crafts created by the famous Nepal's Malla Dynasty (1201–1769). Bhaktapur is also famous as the Town of the Devotees. There are many devout Hindus and Buddhists living in the city.
After the Bhaktapur visit, you will head to next destination - Patan, once a glorious independent kingdom, but now almost a suburb of Kathmandu city. It is known for the crowding Patan Durbar Square which is honored as the finest collection of temples and palaces with exquisite carvings in the whole of Nepal. It also attracts tourists with the treasures and souvenirs in the various shops around the square. The square consists of three main chowks, or courtyards - the central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Main Keshab Narayan Chowk.
Leaving Patan, you will return back to Kathmandu city to visit Pashupatinath which is one of the world most sacred places of worship for the Hindus delicated to lord Shiva. This temple has a reputation of “the Temple of Living Beings”. Every day you will find hordes of people from all over Nepal and India pilgrimaging to the Pashupatinath Temple in order to give worship to Pashupati. They start off this process early in the morning where they are blessed by Lord Shiva. Each year there is a formal celebration called Shivaratri, which means “night of Lord Shiva”, that is attended by thousands of people.
Today will be free until be escorted to the airport and take a flight to Lhasa. Upon arrival at Lhasa Gongga Airport, you will be picked up by local tour guide at the airport hall, then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the local areas and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa.
High Altitude Acclimation Tips:1) go for some leisure walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival; 2) you'd better not have bath, in case of catching a cold; 3) drink more water, and have some fruit; 4) have a good rest.
Start today’s Lhasa exploration with an exciting visit to the landmark - Potala Palace which is regarded as one of the most beautiful architectural building in the world. You will climb up the palace along the zigzag stone paths with white-and-red walls to the top of the palace where you can not only appreciate the exotic Tibetan-style architecture, but also get a great view of Lhasa’s urban areas, then walk into the inner space of Potala Palace to explore the stately chapels and learn about the history of the palace.
Continuing your exploration, you will then get to Jokhang Templewhich is considered as the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Each day, there are thousands of pilgrims coming from different places in Tibet to the temple to worship to the Buddha. This temple is also known as the “house of Buddha” because it keeps the precious Jowo Rinpoche, the life-sized (5 foot/1.5m) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12. The last site for today’s exploration is the famous Barkor Street. It is a circular and wide street encircling the Jokhang Temple. The local people like to walk on the street for several circles usually in the late afternoon as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handcrafts.
Tips of today: 1) there are 1,080 steps up to climb to the top of Potala Palace, so don’t walk in a rush, which may cause high altitude sickness; 2) taking photos is not allowed inside the palace; 3) today you will be mainly outside, please bring some water, a hat, sun cream, and sun glasses with you.
After breakfast, you will firstly go to visit the beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the former summer palace of Dalai Lamas in the ancient time, and now is a public park. It is famous for its Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai lamas with grandiose Tibetan architecture style. Next, drive several kilometers to the western outskirts of Lhasa to visit Drepung Monastery. Drepung, in Tibetan, means “prosperity”. Since its establishment, Drepung Monastery has always been one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders used to study here, especially the Dalai Lamas. So Drepung Monastery is also respectfully known as the “Mother School of Dalai Lamas”.
In the afternoon, you will be taken to another famous monastery in Lhasa - Sera Monastery. It is famous for the spectacular “Buddhism Debating”. As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the Buddhist doctrines with supplemented gestures, which is thought to be helpful to facilitates better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study. After enjoying the "Buddhism Debating", you will be transferred back to the city. The rest time is your own free time to rest.
The Etiquette of Visiting Monastery: 1) you shouldn’t wear short and uncover shoulders; 2) taking off your sunglasses and hat before entering the chapels; 3) taking photos is usually not allowed inside the chapels.
Today is free for you until your tour guide transfer you to the airport in time for your flight or drop you off at Lhasa train station.
Tips of Today: 1) please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charger, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel; 2) if your flight is arranged in the afternoon, please make sure you check out the hotel before 12pm.
Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
Private vehicle and Luggage Transfers.
All necessary Tibet travel permits.
All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis. Guesthouse or tent in remote areas.
Meals noted in the itinerary as "B,L,D".
Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary.
Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
Meals not listed in the itinerary.
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
Excess Baggage Charges.
Single room supplement.
Additional tour service and/or activities.
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