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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)