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Embark on a journey of extremes, striking across the starkly beautiful landscapes of Tibet, on the roof of the world, before descending into the verdant and chaotic valleys of Nepal under the ever watchful gaze of the mighty Himalayas.
- Visit the world famous Panda Conservation Centre in Chengdu
- Immerse yourself in the mysticality of Jokhang Temple
- Gaze at Mount Everest at the North Base Camp
- Jump into a riot of colours, chaos and culture in Nepal's capital
- Most meals
- International flights and current taxes
- Domestic transportation
- 3* plus – 4* accommodation
- Touring with guides and entrance fees
- Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
Days 1-2: Fly to Chengdu
Fly overnight to Chengdu. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 3: Giant Pandas
A visit to Chengdu's most famous Panda Conservation Centre allows you to see China's celebrated bears up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Stroll through People's Park to Matchmaker's Corner, where parents come to look for suitors for their children and visit a traditional teahouse.
Day 4: Lhasa
Fly to Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet. The afternoon is free to relax and acclimatise to the altitude.
Day 5: Debating Monks
Lhasa is a modern city but among the old streets at its core you will feel a million miles from the modern world. Venture inside Jokhang Temple where queues of people worship in the flickering light of yak butter candles. Wander around the Barkhor where the streets are lined with stalls selling trinkets, religious relics and exquisite jewellery and where traditionally dressed locals and pilgrims are plentiful. There will also be a visit to Sera Monastery to witness the debating monks. In the evening, try yak burgers for dinner.
Day 6: The Potala Palace
The Potala Palace is an architectural wonder towering over the city. The former winter palace of the Dalai Lama, it houses thousands of rooms filled with old treasures. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Tibetan dance performance.
Day 7: Shigatse
Travel across Tibet's stark plains to Shigatse. Dominated by a fort reminiscent of the Potala, Shigatse is Tibet's second city and the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama. Take a stroll through the local market and browse the wares on sale.
Day 8: Tashilhunpo Monastery
Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, the hilltop complex that is the monastic seat of the Panchen Lama. From here, drive to New Tingri, also known as Shegar. When crossing the Gyatso-la Pass, admire small Tibetan villages and ruins of ancient dzongs along the way.
Day 9: Mount Everest
Rise early to make the final assault across the Gue-La Pass to Rongbuk, a monastic village festooned in colourful prayer flags. With the Himalayas dominating the horizon, stop en route at the world's highest post office, then continue to Everest Base Camp Boundary Monument. Situated under the gaze of Everest's north face, the views of the world's highest peak are unsurpassed (weather permitting). A total of 4-5 hours will be spent on foot today.
Day 10: Gyantse Kumbum
Drive to the pleasant town of Gyantse which was once an integral stop on the historic trade route between India and Tibet. Located inside the Pelkor Monastery, visit the Gyantse Kumbum which is home to the largest chörten in Tibet and houses exquisite sculptures and paintings that rise 35 metres over four floors. Stay overnight in the town.
Day 11: Yamdrok Lake
Drive back to Lhasa, making a stop to admire the colossal Karuola Glacier, stretching down the side of Mount Simila towards the road. Also stop to admire the breathtaking turquoise-blue waters of the sacred Yamdrok Lake, backed by the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 12: Into Nepal
Fly to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The tiny Kingdom of Nepal sits atop the Himalayas wedged between India, Tibet and China. Upon arrival, meet your Nepalese guide and transfer to Dhulikhel to see the traditional Nuwari houses and browse the local market.
Day 13: Bhaktapur
Take a visit to Changu Narayan Temple before taking a hike to Telkot through the forest landscapes, admiring the stunning Himalayan scenery. Drive to Bhaktapur and see the Old Houses and meet a local Newari family before enjoying a traditional Nepalese lunch. This afternoon wander Bhaktapur's cobblestone streets where you will stumble across many old courtyards, temples and artisans busy at their craft. Visit the Golden Gate and the Palace of 55 Windows on Durbar Square.
Days 14-15: Pokhara
Drive to Pokhara. The town sits on the verdant banks of Phewa Lake with virtually uninterrupted views of the majestic Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. Take a walking tour, admiring the views. The next day, visit the Old Bazaar, Bindyabasini Temple, Gupteshwor Cave and Devi's Fall before looking around the International Mountain Museum.
Days 16-17: Chitwan National Park
Rise early to visit a Hindu Temple before departing for Chitwan National Park. The next day, take an early morning nature walk and visit the elephant stables. Later, enjoy a serene trip down the Rapti River to view the animals on the riverbanks. Observe an elephant bath and this evening enjoy a traditional Tharu Stick dance performed by local farmers.
Day 18: Daman
Drive to Daman which has one of the most spectacular outlooks over the Himalayan range of anywhere in Nepal. Continue to Kathmandu.
Day 19: Lama Blessing
Essentially a suburb of Kathmandu, Patan was once the capital of an independent kingdom, something that is noticeable in its distinctiveness. See the UNESCO World Heritage Royal Palace and the sights of Patan's Durbar Square. Returning to Kathmandu, visit the Bodhnath Stupa and Monastery for a very special Lama blessing. Continue to Pashupatinath Temple.
Day 20: Swayambhunath
Kathmandu is a city of many layers – a modern day assault on the senses, a hub of cultural and artistic heritage and a monument to the medieval era. Today's visits include Swayambhunath Temple, Durbar Square, the Kumari Temple and Thamel Market.
Day 21: Fly Kunming to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
Active tours combine the key sights with more energetic pursuits such as hiking and cycling. This allows us to explore more and discover the destination in greater depth. These tours are designed to provide a wide range of activities to ensure a varied and culturally immersive experience.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don't include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment's notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
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