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Journey Across the Tibetan Steppe TOP007_13

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  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Rates
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Journey Across the Tibetan Steppe

This adventure takes you on a stunning journey across the Tibetan steppe and into the heart of this mysterious land.  There is nothing standard about these 16 days as you travel across the breathtaking Himalayas, past stunning glacial lakes, and over highland plateaus.  You’ll have every opportunity to see how the Tibetan people live in these remote regions before arriving in the capital of Lhasa.  

Highlights:

  • See the sunrise over Chaka salt lake
  • Discover the mystical city of Lhasa
  • Experience stunning views from mountain passes
  • Visit Everest Basecamp
  • Cross the Kunlun Pass with its extraordinary vistas
  • Visit both former residences Tibet’s Dalai Lama

Tibet is a magical land that is defined by its rugged and often inhospitable landscape.  Largely isolated from the developing world there remains much tradition and ancient culture to experience. You’ll start out in the northern Qinghai province, in what is often referred to as Greater Tibet. Visit the Ta’er Monastery, or Kumbum, and the Dongguan Mosque and compare Islamic and Chinese architecture.

Cross the Kunlun Pass with its extraordinary vistas and the grasslands of Amdo, with its nomads and yaks, giving way to rolling hills, which build into snow capped mountains covered in Tibetan prayer flags. These panoramas are rarely seen by foreigners.

The second week begins by exploring Tashilunpo, a sprawling monastic city before a visit to Mount Everest base camp.  A rare and impressive sight. You’ll also be able to see the highest temple in the world, Rongbuk, standing at 5000m.

The tour ends with two and half days in Lhasa.  Visit the Potala Palace, Ganden Monastery, the Norbulingka or ‘Jewel Park,’ Barkhor Square, Drepung Monastery, and Jokhang Temple – the heart of the city for Buddhist pilgrims.

This is your opportunity to discover the history, culture, and spirituality of this remarkable country.  Enquire today.

Day 1: Tour starts in Xining
Tour starts in Xining. Depending on arrival times you may have time for a stroll around the city.

Day 2: Xining – Huangzhong – Xining
Today we visit Huangzhong to view the splended Tibetan architecture of the Ta’er Monastery or Kumbum counterpoised by the Chinese and Islamic architecture of the Dongguan Mosque in Xining.

Day 3: Xining – Chaka
Heading into the Sichuan Province we visit the Qinghai and Chaka salty lake.

Day 4: Chaka – Golmud
We enjoy sunrise over the Chaka Salty Lake before heading into the geographically diverse Yadan landscape arriving in Golmud late afternoon.

Day 5: Golmud – Tuotuohe
Continuing the Qinghai National Highway we move through more mountainous terrain over the Kunlun Pass with breathtaking vistas of lakes and rivers to Tuotuohe.

Day 6: Tuotuohe – Nachu
We see the headwaters of the Yangtze River originating from the glaciers of the Tanggula Mountains and cross the Tanggula pass through to more traditional Tibetan territory with antelopes and ‘kiang’ or wild donkeys to Nachu.

Day 7: Nachu – Yangbajing
Today we pass Namtso Lake or ‘Heavenly Lake’ over a number of mountain passes to Yangbajing with it’s geothermal hot springs and geysers.

Day 8: Yangbajing – Shigatse
Following the path of the Yarlong Tsanpo or Brahmaputra River we head to Shigatse – home of the Pachen Lamas.

Day 9: Shigatse – Shegar
This morning we visit the immense monastic city of Tashilunpo before heading on to Shegar, the gateway of Everest base camp.

Day 10: Shegar – Rongphu
Rongbuk Monastery is the highest temple in the world standing at 5000m with fantastic views over to Everest base camp which is our destination for this afternoon.

Day 11: Rongphu – Sakya
We have one more chance to view the majestic peak of Everest this morning before travelling on to Sakya which is home to one of the older monasteries in Tibet, where monks were once famed for their sorcery and drinking!

Day 12: Sakya – Gyantse
This morning we continue on to Gyantse, once a major trading post between India and Tibet. Today it offers some sspectacular examples of traditional Tibetan architecture in the form of the fortress, the Kumbum and the Pelkor Chode Monastery.

Day 13: Gyantse – Lhasa
Our journey today will take us passed the beautiful Yamdruk Tso Lake and over the Kamba La and Karo La pass to our final destination – the fabled city of Lhasa.

Day 14: In Lhasa
The Potala Palace is the iconic symbol of Lhasa and we will start our day here before moving on to Drepung Monastery, the Barkhor square and the Jokhang Temple – thevery heart of the city for all Tibetan pilgrims.

Day 15: Lhasa – Ganden – Lhasa
This morning we head outside Lhasa to visit the spectacularly located Ganden Monastery before returning to see the Norbulingka or ‘Jewel Park’, the former summer palace of the Dalai Lama.

Day 16: Tour ends in Lhasa
The tour ends today in Lhasa after breakfast.

More Details

Accommodation:
As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip.

On this particular trip we will be staying in a combination of good hotels as well as some simple guesthouses. At Rongbuk near Everest base camp we have 8-bedded tented accommodation with basic facilities outside.

Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

Transport:
On this tour we will use minibuses throughout.

Climate:
Springtime in Tibet is a pleasant time to travel when the weather is starting to get warmer and it is dry with average daytime temperatures around 15 degrees, but it can be a little windy. Temperatures at night can drop to around 5 degrees. The weather around the Mount Everest region tends to be clear so hopefully a good time to get views of the world’s highest peak.

Additional Comments:
Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians can be catered for but the selection and variety may be limited.

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional.

There are some very long overland journeys some of which are at altitude, some basic accommodation, but the stunning scenery will more than compensate for this. The highest point reached will be 5230m.

   

Departure dates:

  • 10th June 2016 (16 days)
  • 12th August 2016 (16 days)
  • 9th June 2017 (16 days)
  • 11 August 2017 (16 days)

Price:  from 3,295 GBP

Start point: Xining, China

End point: Lhasa, Tibet

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • Full services of a Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
  • Meal plan with drinking water as required with the majority of meals being taken in local restaurants where viable
  • All transport as outlined in the itinerary.
  • All accommodation
  • All entrance fees, as per itinerary

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?

  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Local airport taxes
  • Tips (always optional, but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information pack you’ll receive after booking)
  • Beverages other than drinking water & any costs of a personal nature
  • International flights to/from the start/finish of the trip
  • Airport transfers (unless booking suggested flights through the tour operator office)

Operator

This operator is a multi-award winning adventure travel company specialising in small group tours and tailor made holidays to some of the most extraordinary destinations across the Indian sub-continent, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and Europe.

We love their unique, original itineraries – whether they are for small group travel or individually created for tailor made clients – allowing you to take journeys that venture beneath the surface of the region. This operator concentrates on the locations they know and love but refrain from running the same tour over and over (thus creating a ‘tourist circuit’, spoiling an untouched region). Instead, they rarely run any group tour more than a couple of times a year and they are on routese they have discovered for themselves, to give a truly authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience.

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