Lhasa and Kathmandu sightseeing tour takes you from the spectacular landscape of Tibetan Plateaus to the verdant hills of Nepal by flying over the majestic Himalayas. The seven-day tour explores the rich tradition and culture of the two fascinating South East Asian cities; Lhasa in Tibet and neighboring Kathmandu in Nepal. The major highlight of the tour is to see how Buddhist and Hindu religions intertwine in the traditions, heritage, and beliefs of the locals living in the two cities. Apart from the cultural sightseeing tour, it offers a trans-Himalayan flight between the cities with a bird's eye view of the highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest.
Lhasa, the heart of Tibet, is known as the land of gods, depicted clearly in the scriptures, paintings, statues, and monuments of the Tibetan Buddhist deities decorated in monasteries and palaces. The streets outrun by the monks covered in crimson robes show devotion to spiritualism and divine power. Similarly, the heart of Nepal, Kathmandu, is the city of temples, justified by the thousands of temples and places of worship scattered across the town dripping in culture and religion. The ancient courtyards, palaces, stupas, and temples are all testament to the age-old belief in Hinduism and Buddhism. Apart from visiting the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the tour offers an opportunity to interact with the humble locals, eat their traditional authentic food, and immerse in their heritage.
The Lhasa and Kathmandu Sightseeing tour Itinerary initiates in the roof of the world, Lhasa, Tibet. Explore the Tibetan Buddhist religion in the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street. Visit the Drepung and Sera monasteries to understand the culture, tradition, and way of life of the Buddhist monks. After the wondrous experience in Lhasa, take a trans-Himalayan flight to Kathmandu, Nepal, while witnessing the awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas, including Mt. Everest. In Kathmandu, get to explore the ancient palaces, courtyards, and monuments of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square in a two-day cultural sightseeing tour. Visit the spiritual and serene stupas of Swayambhunath and Boudhanath in the western and northeastern rim of the city, respectively, and explore Hindu religion in the sacred Pashupatinath temple.
This tour suited for all age groups is the best way to explore the tale of two major cities of Tibet and Nepal.
|Day 1||Arrival in Tibet, Lhasa (3,650m/11,980ft)|
|Day 2||Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street in Lhasa|
|Day 3||Visit Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery in Lhasa|
|Day 4||Trans-Himalayan Flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft)|
|Day 5||Visit Kathmandu and Patan Durbar Square, and Swayambhunath in Kathmandu Valley|
|Day 6||Visit Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square in Kathmandu Valley|
|Day 7||Final Departure from Kathmandu or trip extension|
Welcome to the place of gods, Lhasa, Tibet! Upon your arrival at the airport in Lhasa, you will be greeted with the distant views of barren rolling hills under the clear blue sky. You will be greeted by our Tibetan guide, who will transfer you to your hotel. After arriving at the hotel, take some rest, then head out to the city's streets to enjoy the serenity.
Lhasa is Tibet's religious and administrative capital, which is often referred to as 'the roof of the world' for having the sharply rising Tibetan plateaus surrounding Tibet. The streets are vibrant with uniquely decorated red, white, and golden houses depicting Tibetan Buddhism. The small monasteries and stupas around the city reference the ancient history of Tibetan Emperors and Buddhist gods.
Lhasa is known to be one of the highest cities in the world. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated as you stroll around to acclimatize yourself against the high altitude.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
After having breakfast, the guide will brief you about the itinerary of the tour. It is a day to explore the beauty of Lhasa city and what it offers in terms of geography and culture.
We will first head to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Potala Palace. It is a majestic fortress sitting atop a hill in the west of the main city area. It was the winter palace of the former Dalai Lama before they made it into a museum, so now you can see his meeting room and religious chamber. You will get to witness the Red Palace, which contains the main halls and chapels and the shrine of past Dalai Lamas. The White Palace contains amazing decorative paintings, statues, and artifacts. No building or monument is allowed to be higher than Potala Palace. You can see a bird's eye view of the city and the lush Lhasa River flowing from the palace roof.
After the excursion, we will have lunch, enjoy Lhasa sweets and tea then head southeast to Jokhang temple. This Buddhist temple is situated in Barkhor Square and is considered the most important and sacred temple in Tibet. It was constructed in the seventh century by King Songtsen Gampo for his two wives, Princess Wencheng of China and Bhrikuti of Nepal. The architecture is a combination of Indian Vihara, Tibetan, and Nepalese design. It is a four-storied timber complete with mesmerizing golden rooftop. You will find a Dharma Wheel (Chakra) above the main entrance. The main hall contains a 1300 years old, oldest shrine in the complex. Amidst other monuments, you will find a sandalwood statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, King Songtsem Gampo, and his two queens.
From there, circle clockwise (Kora) the Barkhor/ Pargor Street, a major tourist attraction and commercial hub for locals. It is known as the holy road as it is the only road around the Jokhang temple. You can buy souvenirs like metalwork, small handicrafts to take back home from the shops lined along. Visit Tromzikhang, a popular farm produce market. Then we will return to the hotel.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
On this day, we will visit two of the architecturally and religiously significant monuments in Lhasa, namely the Drepung and Sera monasteries. After grabbing breakfast, head to the northwestern suburbs beyond the city to Drepung monastery. Drepung is the largest Tibetan Monastery founded in the 14th century by the second Dalai lama to impart Buddhist wisdom to the increasing number of followers. It has since become the primary monastery of the Gelugpa School. There once used to be around 10000 monks, and now has about 3000 monks in Drepung at present. You can see the majestic Thangkas, shrines of Shakyamuni and his disciples, a gigantic statue of Jamba, a large Cuoquin hall with 183 pillars, and more. There is also a designated place where monks debate every afternoon; it is an insightful affair.
After having your lunch, the next stop is the Sera Monastery, located to the northeast. It is one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet and is also known as 'Wild Rose' Monastery, which once covered the hills behind the monastery. There are around 3000 monks currently residing in Sera. The main hall consists of scriptures written in gold powder. In the great assembly hall, there are images of Maitreya, Shakyamuni, and other gods. The complex has many three colleges and four nunneries. The most significant aspect of visiting the monastery is to witness the monks' debate session in the courtyard starting at 3 PM from Monday to Friday. The locals annually celebrate the Sera Bengquin Festival in February and Sho Dun Festival in August. Head back to the hotel after the wonderful exploration
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Your final day in Lhasa, Tibet, is here as you will be heading to Kathmandu, Nepal. You can get from Lhasa to Kathmandu via a one-hour flight. You can enjoy some last-minute shopping after having breakfast. We will transfer you to the airport and bid farewell to our Tibetan guide. The flight is mesmerizing as the bird's eye views of the Tibetan plateau seem to fade away, the green hills and snow-covered mountains will come into view. The major highlight for today is the views of the tallest mountain, Everest, from your flight.
Upon landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport, complete your customs and head to the terminal, where our Nepali guide will greet you. We will then transfer you to your hotel in Thamel, just 5 km away from the airport. Take some much-needed rest in your hotel, freshen up, then head out to the streets of Thamel for exploration.
You can visit the souvenir shops with Thangka paintings, handicrafts, handmade Nepali caps, dreamcatchers, and more on display. Later enjoy some authentic Nepali dinner with staple food to relish the authenticity of Nepal.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Exploring Kathmandu is always a wholesome experience as there are numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit. After breakfast, head to the Kathmandu Durbar Square, located south of Thamel in Basantapur, also famously known as Freak Street. The courtyard hosts temples and the Hanuman Dhoka Museum, which was once the palace of the ruling Shah dynasty. You will also spot a tall white tower called Dharhara, reconstructed after its destruction in the 2015 earthquake.
After the cultural exploration, you can have lunch then head to Patan Durbar Square, located further south in Lalitpur District. The old royal palace has 55 major temples, 136 Buddhist monasteries, and amazing wooden and metalwork. Also, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Patan Museum was once the palace of the reigning Malla dynasty. The most important festival celebrated here is Rato Machhendranath Jatra, displaying an elaborate and tall chariot.
After witnessing ancient art, head to the city's western outskirts with the Swayambhunath Stupa sitting peacefully atop a hill. Also known as Monkey temple, after the legend of a group of monkeys living in the complex for years, the stupa brings peace and religious harmony all over Nepal. From the top of the stupa, witness the bird's eye view of the entire city. The holy shrine is important for Buddhism and is flocked by tourists all year round. After the fun-filled day, head back to your hotel for dinner and well-deserved rest.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Today is yet another exciting cultural sightseeing day where you will get to witness art, religion, and culture intertwined in World Heritage sites scattered across the city. Head to the Pashupatinath temple located in the east of the town on the banks of the Bagmati river. It is one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world, revered by pilgrims. Although tourists are not authorized to enter the main temple, the views of the golden pagoda roof and the golden bull statue are visible from the outside, a majestic sight. Be filled with spirituality as the fragrance of flowers and incense sticks take over when you explore the vicinity. Pashupatinath was built in the 5th century in dedication to Lord Shiva, the creator, protector, and destroyer. There are around 492 temples, 15 shrines of Lord Shiva, and 12 phallic shrines.
After the exploration, visit the Boudhanath temple to the northeastern rim of the city. Boudhanath stupa, known anciently as Khasti Mahachaitya, is a massive mandala and is one of the largest stupas in Nepal and the world. The eyes of the Boudhanath look over the city from all directions. There are many prayer wheels in the stupa where visitors must circle the stupa clockwise. Prayer Flags handing all around add to the charm of the stupa. You can have local delicacies and a warm cup of coffee at one of the many cafes.
From there, we head to the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, located in the east of Kathmandu, in the smallest Bhaktapur district. It is a historical place as it once had the Royal palace of the reigning Malla Dynasty. Now, it is the epitome of Newari culture, ancient art and craft, and unique architecture. You can visit the famous 55 window palace, Vatsala temple, tall Nyatapola temple, Mini Pashupatinath Temple, Golden Gate, and hundreds of other temples. The 2015 earthquake badly hit it, but there have been renovations going on since then. Enjoy local thick curd called 'Juju Dhau' among other local savory culinary.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Your final day in Nepal is here as you will be packing your luggage and heading back home. You can do last-minute shopping after having breakfast, depending on your flight time. We will drop you off at the international airport for a homeward return after a hearty farewell. On the way back home, you will remember the amazing time you visited the temples and palaces in the Tibetan Plateau of Lhasa and the cultural sightseeing tour in the serene Kathmandu city.
If you wish to further extend your trip to other parts of Nepal, like the city of lakes, Pokhara, or the wilderness of Chitwan, then feel free to let us know. We will manage a similar adventurous and amazing journey for you.