TIBET, the very name evokes feelings of awe and mystery. A land of ancient Buddhist culture, awesome landscapes, artistic monasteries and centuries-old caravan trails, Tibet is a destination out of the ordinary.

LHASA
Tibet's capital Lhasa (elevation 3,700 m) is a cultural city with a history going back 1,300 years. The magnificent Potala Palace, former seat of the Dalai Lamas, presides over the city. Built in 1645 at the top of a hill, the palace contains, 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 religious statues. The old city revolves around the Jhokhang Temple and the quaint Barkhor market that surrounds it. The Jhokhang, built in the seventh century, is the holiest Buddhist shrine in Tibet. Its mural paintings, finely worked golden roofs and other artworks are something to see. At a little distance from the old city core, Lhasa is also a modern capital of concrete high-rises, fancy department stores and wide boulevards.

Norbulingka consists of wooded greenery and three palaces once used by the Dalai Lamas as a summer retreat.

The Drepung Monastery lies about 10 km from the city. Built in 1416, it is the largest in Tibet. The Sera Monastery, about 5 km to the north of Lhasa, is another important center of Buddhist learning. It lies amidst serene surroundings.

AROUND TIBET
Shigatse (3,900 m) lies 274 km to the west of Lhasa. It is Tibet's second largest city and has a 500-year old history. The highway runs alongside the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) river passing through narrow gorges and broad river valleys. Farmers plowing their fields with yaks, sheep grazing on the vast plains, awesome sand dunes and rocky hills in the distance are the scenic rewards on the trip.

The Tashilhunpo Monastery, built in 1447, houses a 26-meter high statue of Maitreya (the Buddha to come). Other buildings contain images of Sakyamuni (the Buddha of our times) and embalmed bodies of lamas.

Gyantse (3,800 m) is located 260 km to the southwest of Lhasa. This trading town was a major stop on the legendary India-Tibet caravan route. Gyantse's centerpiece is the Kumbum Stupa which is 32 m high and contains 77 rooms and 100,000 images of the Buddha. Pelkor Chode Monastery and Gyantse Fort (built atop a massive rock) are other major sights here.

The road from Gyantse to Lhasa takes you over three mountain passes; Simala (4,380 m high), Karola (5,045 m0 and Ghampala (4,794 m). The highway skirts the Yamdrok Tso Lake before twisting up the Ghampala pass from the top of which a fantastic view of the lake on one side and the Yarlung Tsangpo river on the other can be had.

Tsedang (195 km from Lhasa to the southeast) is known as the cradle of Tibetan civilization. The ancient town offers a number of side trips that illustrate Tibet's early history. The Valley of the Kings (ancient capital of the Yarlung kings who established the Tibetan nation), the Yumbu Lagang Palace (built for the first Yarlung King), and the Tandruk Monastery (one of the three royal Buddhist temples) are some of the major sights.

Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in western Tibet are intensely sacred pilgrimage sites for the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon faithful - besides presenting an entrancing natural sight. Kailash is 1,257 km over a mountain highway from Lhasa.
 

 

 

I T I N E R A R I E S

 LHASA PALACES & MONASTERIES TOUR
 CULTURAL TOUR
 TIBET OVERLAND
 EVEREST - "CHHOMOLUNGMA' TOUR
 MOUNT KAILASH TOUR

GENERAL INFORMATION

ACCESS: China Southwest Airlines operates direct flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa (one hour). The trans-Himalayan overland journey retraces the old mule caravan route (962 km, three to six days). Lhasa is also connected to Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Chongqing by air.

SEASON: March through October is the best time to visit. Layered clothing is recommended as day and nighttime temperature varies greatly. Down jackets are required from October to March (there is snow). The rainy season is June-September. The mean temperature is 8 degrees Celsius in the south and 0 degrees in the north.

Tour cost includes: Double occupancy accommodation at Lhasa hotel in Lhasa and best available hotels enroute as per the itinerary with daily breakfast. All ground transport, sightseeing tours, monastery entrance and English speaking Tibetan guide, Airfare, Tibet visa fee.

Tour cost excludes: All expenses of personal nature, meals other than breakfast, Airport departure taxes, Nepal re-entry visa fee, extra cost in case of landslides, road blockage, hiring of porters and additional transport resulting thereof, and urgent visa processing charges.


Booking Terms, Condition & Visa Arrangements: A US$100 non-refundable deposit per person is required at time of booking. Balance payment 30 days prior to trip departure. Adventure Tibet will process visa for which we require the following.

1.Name 2.Sex 3.Date of birth
4.Profession 5.Nationality 6.Passport number

Cost of visa varies according to nationality. A normal visa fee is applicable if visa is processed in 3 days and US$ 30 additional fee is charged by the Chinese embassy for processing within a day. The Chinese embassy is open for visa purposes every Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 10-11 am.

Cancellations: There will be a cancellation charge of US$ 100 per person for cancellations received between 7-10 days prior to trip departure. No refunds for cancellations received less than 7 days before departure; for no shows or delayed arrivals, whatsoever the reason.

Altitude Sickness: As Tibet lies at over 12,000 ft., you are likely to experience some of the minor symptoms and discomfort of altitude sickness (headache, mild nausea, loss of appetite) until your body adjusts to the elevation. This can take from a few hours to a couple of days depending on the individual. Do not exert yourself and drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids.

Clothing: Casual wear and comfortable walking shoes are the rule for Tibet. Be sure to bring warm clothing for cold conditions as the night and early mornings can be quite chilly and downright cold during the winter months. Bring all your films, medicines, cosmetic, personal toilet items that you will need from home as these are difficult, it not impossible to obtain in Tibet. A personal first aid kit is also recommended. More detailed information on clothing and related matters will be provided upon booking our tour.

Insurance: Full travel insurance coverage fc, medical evacuation, loss of belongings and trip cancellation is strongly recommended.

Currency: Banks in TIBET/CHINA are closed on SATURDAY & SUNDAY. So, you are kindly requested to carry about USD 100 per person in Lhasa to cover your extra expenses for main meals and others en route until Lhasa. If it is cash dollars, even local people help you to get them exchange in Chinese Yuan. Travelers Cheques & credit cards are very difficult to be cashed outside the banks especially out side Lhasa.

If any of the clients pay for Tibet tour in TC you are kindly requested to accompany the guide to the bank in Lhasa for about 15 minutes and please make an extra counter signature on the TCs you have paid. Your direct presence and counter signature ensures immediate encashment of the TCs to our agent in Lhasa. Otherwise, it may take months. Your kind co-operation in this regard will be highly appreciated. The unit of currency is the Renminbi or Yuan. A US$ is equivalent to 8Yuan approx. Money can be exchanged at the Bank of China branches at Zhangmu, Shigatse and Lhasa.

Risk & Liability: Marcopolo will endeavor to make your journey smooth and pleasant as possible. However, all the programs in Tibet are conducted strictly under the rules and regulations of Tibet Tourism Bureau. Therefore, Marcopolo shall not be responsible for any changes in the itinerary due to unavoidable circumstances such as government restrictions, landslide, road blockage, flood, snow, political unrest, cancellation of flight, delays, sickness or accidents. Any extra cost incurring thereof shall be borne by the clients. Most importantly, all traveling in Tibet and kindly requested to bear in mind that Tibet, being extremely remote and isolated by the most captivation but least developed parts in the world with its very short history of tourism [just about 12 years], the facilities for tourist although being upgraded are still at basic and limited scale. So, the visitors are requested not to have high expectation in terms of facilities in Tibet. You can either take this tour as an adventure form every point of view. However, we will always put all our efforts to make your journey as pleasant as possible.

Land Slides: As Tibet tours get operated mainly during the monsoon time, there are high chances of landslides mostly in the Nepalese part [also in early part in Tibet]. In case of landslides, to over cross them and the gap in between, extra vehicle with porters may have to be arranged. In that case, you are kindly requested to contribute nominal charges for porters and vehicle ranging from US$ 8 per person. We wish there will be no hassles as such.

Hotel Enroute: As the facilities in Tibet are very basic hotels, although they look gorgeous, do not have proper facilities even in Lhasa. So in the remote areas, it is obvious that hotels may not have enough double rooms and clients some places. However, we always try to provide twin bedded rooms. Especially in Xegar. Hotels that may not have bathrooms attached and could require you to use common toilet. So, you are kindly requested not to have a high expectation from the tour in terms of the facilities in the hotels.

Guide: we always try to provide a good English-speaking Tibetan Guide. However as Tibetan guides do not get enough exposure to English language in Tibet, please do not expect fluent and spontaneous explanation from him/her. Your frequent questioning will encourage him/her to explain well, question by question.

Airport Tax: Airport tax in Lhasa airport is Yuan 90 (US$ 12)

 

 

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MARCOPOLO WORLD TRAVELS, Tibet Road, Gangtok -737101, Sikkim, India.
Phone : 91-3592-204116/ 229407/ 221723 ; Fax : 91 - 3592 - 205078 ; Email : sikkiminfo@yahoo.com