On our magnificent overland adventure, we carve an arc across the soaring Tibetan Plateau from 8th century Samye, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tibet, to the sheer North Face of Mt. Everest, where the dazzling glaciers of the world’s highest peak seem almost close enough to touch. Along the way, you’ll find Tibet’s immense magic revealed in places like the Barkhor market, where we mingle among pilgrims and swashbuckling Khampa traders, and in remote fortress-monasteries where flickering yak-butter lamps illuminate ancient Buddhist frescoes. At journey’s end, we cross a high pass to descend into Nepal and explore the bazaars of Kathmandu.
This was one of the most memorable trips we have ever taken. The guides were fabulous and, all in all, Tibet touched our souls deeply on so many levels.
— Jane R., Davis, CA
We join pilgrims who gather at the altars of the Jokhang, Tibet’s most sacred temple, and explore the majestic Potala Palace, once the residence of the Dalai Lamas. At sprawling Ganden Monastery (13,700'), we’ll be welcomed in to watch the monks in the great prayer halls and walk the kora (sacred circuit). In Lhasa, we witness a traditional Buddhist festival: Saga Dawa (June departure) or Shoton (August departure).
Tibetan Plateau / Everest Base Camp
From Samye, our journey brings us to Gyantse, with its mandala-shaped stupa, and to turquoise Yamdrok Tso, one of Tibet’s three holy lakes. Shigatse’s gold-topped Tashilhunpo is a vast and active monastery and pilgrimage site. After our explorations at this fascinating place, we head to Rongbuk Monastery (16,500'), below Everest Base Camp, to gaze upon mighty Everest, where the legendary British mountaineers Mallory and Irvine disappeared into the mists of history.
Lalung La / Zhangmu, Tibet / Kathmandu, Nepal
Crossing the Lalung La (16,600'), we feast our eyes on massive Shishapangma (26,397') piercing the sky, and then make our descent along the southern flanks of the Himalaya into Nepal. Our final explorations in Kathmandu’s bustling city bring us to some of the city’s treasures including Bodhnath temple and Durbar Square, with its elaborate architecture. Depart on Day 16.