one of the extra-ordinary destinations where indeed adventure lurks around
every corner. Its name the "Roof of the World" is not a mere
statement. The valley bottoms of Tibet are higher than the highest mountains
elsewhere. Adventure on the road is never short on the beautiful Trans
Himalayan drive of over 970 km, through four mountain passes, promising a
panorama of a cultural and scenic diversity unsurpassable anywhere. The
Buddhist monasteries of Drepung, once the largest; the Jokhang - a spiritual
centre, and the awesome palaces of the Dalai Lama - Norbulingka (the summer
Palace) and the Potala (the traditional seat) are some of the highlights of
visit to Tibet.
Lhasa, 11,850 ft) was and still is the
religious, cultural and economic centre of Tibet. The famous Potala Palace,
the 13 storey, 1000 rooms palace of the Dalai Lama; the monasteries of
Drepung and Sera; the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama- Norbulingka; the
Jokhang - the holiest shrine in Tibet are some of the places of interest.
The circular Barkhor Street has innumerable shops and wayside peddlers, who
inter-mingle with devotees, walking clockwise around the Jokhang.
Gyantse, 13050 is a small agricultural town famous for its
wool carpets and the Palkhor Choide Chorten. At the Lamasery and the fort
there is a unique structure built in 1414 of the five stories representing
the five steps of enlightenment, topped by thirteen rings which symbolize
the stages of achieving Buddha hood. There are 108 halls inside, each with
frescoes and Buddha shrines. Before 1959 traders coming from India used to
enter Tibet through Yadong and on through Gyantse to Lhasa.
12600 ft is most famous for its Tashihunpo Monastery, the seat of the
Panchen Lama. The monastery built in 1447 by the First Dalai Lama contains
the relics of Sakyamuni, the Hall of Maitreya and a mind boggling "free"
market at the foot of the ruins of the Xigaze fortress where one can buy
local handicrafts embedded with coral and turquoise is another great
Lhaze, 13100 ft is situated at the crossroads from where the road
turns westwards towards Mt. Kailash and Mansoravar Lake. During the short
summer, the whole valley is covered with green barley fields and
bright-yellow mustard meadows, a welcome change after the barren lands of
the Tibet Plateau. Close-by, there is also a small hot water spring.
Xegar, 13800 ft is a new Chinese commune built 7 km off the
highway, at the food of the ruins of Xegar Dzong. With a population of
barely 3000, it is the centre of a large and remote country and also the
base from where expeditions to Mt. Everest and other peaks are launched.
Zhangmu, 7000 ft better known by its Tibetan name, Khasa, is a small
settlement climbing to a hillside 10 km inland from the Friendship Bridge
across the Bhotekosi. After closure of the China-India border from Gangtok
(Sikkim), Zhangmu has become the major trading route between Tibet and
Nepal. The hills around Zhangmu are heavily wooded with innumerable
waterfalls in the summer and frozen 'icicles' during winter.
Tours ex-Kathmandu :
Season: April to November
Best Season: May to August
Clothings: May to September : Light Clothings October-November : Warm
Clothings Others: A warm jacket or sweater, sunglasses, chap sticks,
sun tan lotion, Swiss knife, water bottle and a small medical kit,
torchlight with batteries are recommended.
: Kathmandu-Lhasa-Kathmandu : Every Tuesday & Saturday
Airfare : Kathmandu-Lhasa or Lhasa-Kathmandu : USD 273
per person on Economy
Booking Conditions: At least
4 weeks prior to your tour with Full Name as per
Passport/Gender/Nationality/Date of Birth/Passport No./Validity/Occupation
and full payment of the tour. Passport should be valid for next 6 months
from the date of entry into Tibet.
Minimum Group Size : As per the Chinese regulations, a minimum
of 5 pax is required to operate a tour. However, individual clients will
have option of joining others individual to form a group of 5 pax. Tibet
Visa: All Chinese visas issued by Chinese Embassy
Overseas have to be endorsed by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu to be valid
for Tibet. The cost for such endorsement will be same as the Visa Fee.
Chinese Embassy requires minimum 4 days to process visa. Therefore, clients
opting to visit Tibet must arrive in Kathmandu atleast 4 days prior to their
travel date and should carry two passport-sized photographs.
Emergency Visa Fee: Should the clients not arrive 4 nights
prior to their schedule departure for Tibet, the visa can still be obtained
by paying an Emergency Visa fee of USD 40 per person.
and Health Tips: While most visitors have minor effects from the
altitude, the people with known heart or jungs or blood diseases should
consult their doctor before travelling. Mild headache, fever, loss of
appetite or stomach disorder can take place in a process of acclimatization.
Our advise is to drink 4-5 lites water daily and do not exhaust yourself so
much and breathe deep for first 1-2 days to get acclimatize.
Accommodation in Tibet: The hotels in Xegar, Zhangmu, Gyantse
and Xigatse are rather simple, cold cement buildings. All hotels provide in
each room a thermos of hot water for tea, comfortable beds with lots of warm
blankets. Although the hotels are wired for electricity, power in some
hotels are limited to few evening hours. Comparatively, Lhasa Hotel
(formerly Holiday Inn Lhasa) is a luxury.
The Chinese guide provided may not speak much English and even may not know
much about the local monastery. Tibet Hand Book by Victor Chan is an ideal
book to take along.
Time: China Time is 2 hours 15
minutes ahead of Nepal time in Winter and 3 hours 15 minutes in Summer.
Daylight does not begin until 8 a.m.