Immerse yourself in a 16-day journey through the heart of Asia, commencing in Chengdu and unfolding the treasures of Tibet and Nepal. This trip weaves culture, nature, and spirituality, promising a lifetime of vivid memories.
Encounter the enchanting giant pandas at Chengdu Research Base, delve into the spiritual haven of Lhasa with Potala Palace, and witness the sunrise over Everest. Nepal beckons with cultural wonders in Bhaktapur and Patan, a jungle safari in Chitwan, and the serenity of Nagarkot. Experience the mountain flight, revealing the grandeur of the Himalayas. The adventure concludes with Pokhara’s natural splendors, from Davi’s Falls to serene boat rides.
2. Up-Close Panda Encounter: Witness playful pandas at Chengdu Research Base, gaining insights into their lives and contributing to conservation efforts.
3. Sunrise Over Everest: Greet the day with the surreal sunrise over Everest, casting a golden glow on the world’s highest peak.
4. Nepal’s Cultural Treasures: Explore ancient Bhaktapur and Patan, unraveling the cultural riches of Nepal’s historical squares.
5. Jungle Safari in Chitwan: Immerse in Chitwan National Park’s jungle activities, from safaris to serene canoe rides on the Rapti River.
6. Charming Lakeside Pokhara: Explore Pokhara’s natural wonders – Davi’s Falls, Gupteshwor Cave, and serene boat rides on Fewa Lake.
- Day 1: Welcome to Chengdu
Upon your arrival at Chengdu, our friendly guide and driver will be waiting to greet you at the airport. They will then transfer you to your carefully selected hotel, ensuring a smooth and comfortable start to your journey. Once you've settled in, the remainder of the day is yours to explore the vibrant city at your own pace. Feel free to wander through the streets, sample local cuisine, or simply relax and soak in the atmosphere.
Accommodation: in Chengdu
- Day 2: A Day with Giant Pandas and Cultural DelightsChengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park, Jinli Old Street
This morning, you will be led to visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where over a hundred pandas live. Marvel at these adorable creatures in their natural habitat and gain insight into the conservation efforts aimed at preserving the giant panda species. Expert guides will provide fascinating details about the pandas' lifestyle habits, and you'll have the rare opportunity to observe playful baby pandas up close.
Following the panda encounter, immerse yourself in the tranquility of Wenshu Temple. This ancient Buddhist temple, surrounded by serene gardens, offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Explore the intricate architecture, discover the temple's history, and perhaps take part in a traditional tea ceremony.
Savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, where you can indulge in Chengdu's renowned Sichuan cuisine. Let your taste buds experience the bold flavors and aromatic spices that characterize this regional culinary delight.
After lunch, head to Renmin Park, a charming public space where locals gather to engage in various activities. Take a leisurely stroll, sip a cup of tea at one of the tea houses, and immerse yourself in the slow-paced Chengdu lifestyle. Later in the afternoon, explore the historic Jinli Old Street. This bustling pedestrian street is lined with traditional Sichuan-style architecture, offering a perfect blend of history and modernity. Sample local snacks, shop for souvenirs, and soak in the lively atmosphere.
As the day winds down, consider attending a mesmerizing performance of the Sichuan Face Changing Opera (Optional Evening Activity). This traditional art form, known for its rapid mask changes, will captivate you with its skillful performers and colorful costumes.
Meal: Breakfast + Lunch
Accommodation: in Chengdu
- Day 3: Arrival in Lhasa, Tibet
After a hearty breakfast, take a scenic flight to Lhasa, the heart of Tibet. Upon arrival at Gonggar Airport, your knowledgeable guide and driver will warmly welcome you to Tibet. The journey to your hotel offers the perfect introduction to the region, with the Yarlung Tsangpo River providing a backdrop of stunning landscapes. Take this time to relax and acclimate to the high altitude of Lhasa. It's essential to ease into the change in elevation gradually.
The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Explore the surroundings of your hotel, enjoy a quiet moment to acclimate, or take a short stroll to absorb the unique atmosphere of Lhasa.
Accommodation: in Lhasa
- Day 4: Exploring Lhasa's Cultural TreasuresPotala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
Today begins with a visit to one of the world's most iconic landmarks, the Potala Palace. Marvel at this architectural masterpiece perched atop Red Hill, showcasing a harmonious blend of Tibetan and Han Chinese styles. Your guide will provide insights into the rich history and cultural significance of this former winter residence of the Dalai Lama.
In the afternoon, continue your exploration with a visit to Jokhang Temple, a significant pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists. You can admire the temple's intricate architecture and discover the sacred treasures within. Follow your guide through the bustling Barkhor Street that surrounds the temple, where you'll find colorful stalls selling traditional Tibetan crafts, prayer flags, and more. Note: While exploring the chapels of the monasteries, please be mindful that photography is not allowed. Respect the sacred nature of these spaces and immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance.
The evening is yours to enjoy at your own pace. Consider taking a leisurely stroll around the city, absorbing the unique atmosphere of Lhasa as the sun sets over the surrounding mountains.
Accommodation: in Lhasa
- Day 5: Lhasa's Cultural and Spiritual WondersNorbulingka Park, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
Start your day with a visit to Norbulingka Park, a UNESCO-listed palace and park that served as the summer residence for the Dalai Lamas. Follow your guide and wander through lush gardens, ornate palaces, and vibrant pavilions, immersing yourself in the serenity of this cultural haven. After exploring Norbulingka, drive 5 km to Drepung Monastery, one of the largest monastic institutions in Tibet. Marvel at the impressive architecture and delve into the monastery's rich history. Your guide will provide insights into the significance of this sacred site.
Continue your spiritual journey by visiting Sera Monastery, a six-hundred-year-old temple known for its distinctive debates among monks. Witness the lively and intellectually stimulating debates that take place in the monastery's courtyard. This unique experience offers a glimpse into Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and traditions.
Accommodation: in Lhasa
- Day 6: Drive to Shigatse with Cultural HighlightsYamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Palcho Monastery
Bid farewell to Lhasa as you embark on a picturesque drive to Shigatse. Enjoy the ever-changing landscapes as you travel through the Tibetan plateau. After 1.5 hours, arrive at the enchanting Yamdrok Lake. Take a leisurely walk along its shores, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, and capture breathtaking photos of the pristine turquoise waters against the backdrop of the Himalayas. Continue your journey to admire the awe-inspiring Karola Glacier, a majestic ice formation that adds to the region's natural splendor. Following the morning exploration, stop in Gyantse town for a delightful lunch. Take the opportunity to recharge and savor local flavors.
In the afternoon, visit Palcho Monastery, a unique complex that houses the impressive Kumbum Stupa. You can admire the ancient architecture and intricate artwork as your guide shares the history and cultural significance of these landmarks. Capture the panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
Note: Given the length of today's drive, it's advisable to pack some food and drinks for the journey, ensuring you stay comfortable and energized throughout the scenic road trip.
Accommodation: in Shigatse
- Day 7: Journey to the Roof of the WorldMount Everest, Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp
After a hearty breakfast, embark on an exhilarating 8-hour drive to the awe-inspiring Mount Everest. As you traverse through the Himalayan landscapes, be prepared to be captivated by breathtaking views of towering peaks and pristine valleys. Marvel at the changing vistas along the journey, with each turn revealing a new facet of the Himalayan panorama. The journey itself becomes an integral part of the experience, as you witness the grandeur of the world's highest mountain range.
Upon arrival, take a bus to the legendary Rongbuk Monastery. After a short rest, explore the monastery's sacred halls, adorned with Tibetan artistry. The spiritual ambiance and panoramic views of Everest from this vantage point make it a truly unique experience. Continue your adventure to Everest Base Camp, where you'll encounter Mani Stones, engraved with prayers for blessings. Capture memorable photos with the iconic stone tablet that signifies your presence at the base of the world's highest peak.
If your visit aligns with the period from November to March, you will be arranged to stay overnight at a guesthouse near Everest Base Camp.
Accommodation: at Everest Base Camp
- Day 8: Drive to Gyirong TownFlag Clouds
Get up early to witness the breathtaking sunrise over Everest Peak. The first light of day illuminating the world's highest summit is a sight to behold. If luck is on your side, you may even witness the mystical "flag clouds" dancing around the majestic peak. This magical moment is a highlight of your journey. After enjoying the sunrise, take additional time to explore Everest Base Camp in the daylight. Absorb the unique atmosphere, reflect on the monumental surroundings, and capture any final photos before bidding farewell to this extraordinary location.
After that, you will be transferred to Gyirong Town, where you'll encounter natural views of towering peaks and serene lakes along the way. The journey offers a peaceful retreat, allowing you to relish the memories of your Everest adventure. Arrive in Gyirong Town and unwind after a day filled with exhilarating experiences. Choose to explore the local surroundings, savor a delicious dinner, and reflect on the incredible journey you've undertaken.
Accommodation: in Gyirong Town
- Day 9: Himalayan Transition to Kathmandu
Following a delightful breakfast, we will drive from Gyirong Town to Gyirong Port. Bid farewell to the Tibetan landscapes as you descend from the high altitudes, relishing the journey's transition.
Cross the border into Nepal at Gyirong Port, where your local Nepalese guide awaits. This marks the beginning of your Nepalese adventure, as you transition from Tibet to the vibrant landscapes of Nepal. The guide will transfer you to Kathmandu City, ensuring a seamless and comfortable journey.
Arrive in Kathmandu City, the cultural and historical heart of Nepal. Check into your accommodation and take some time to rest or explore the local surroundings. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Kathmandu, sampling local cuisine or strolling through the bustling streets filled with vibrant colors and sounds.
Accommodation: in Kathmandu
- Day 10: Kathmandu's Cultural TreasuresKathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath
After breakfast, have a cultural exploration of Kathmandu, starting with Kathmandu Durbar Square, a historic site that epitomizes the rich cultural and architectural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley. Also known as Hanuman Dhoka Square, it served as the royal palace complex for the Malla kings and later the Shah monarchs. The square is adorned with intricately carved temples, courtyards, and palaces, showcasing a blend of Hindu and Buddhist architectural styles.
Continue your journey to Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple. Perched atop a hill, this sacred site offers panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley. Observe the playful monkeys and soak in the spiritual ambiance surrounding the stupa and shrines. Then, visit Boudhanath, the largest stupa in the Kathmandu Valley. Explore the vast plaza surrounded by shops, monasteries, and pilgrims. Absorb the peaceful atmosphere as you circumambulate the stupa, observing the colorful prayer flags and spinning prayer wheels.
After the day's exploration, drive 35km to Nagarkot, a hill station known for its stunning views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest. As the sun begins to set, check into your accommodation in Nagarkot, where you'll spend a tranquil night. Witness the breathtaking sunset over the Himalayas from Nagarkot, casting a warm glow on the snow-capped peaks. Enjoy a peaceful evening in this serene setting, reflecting on the day's cultural discoveries.
Accommodation: in Nagarkot
- Day 11: Sunrise Over Everest and Bhaktapur's HeritageBhaktapur Durbar Square
Start your day with an early wake-up call to witness the awe-inspiring sunrise over Mount Everest from Nagarkot. The first light of dawn transforms the Himalayan peaks into a breathtaking panorama. Capture the moment as the sun bathes Everest in golden hues, creating a memory that will last a lifetime.
After experiencing the sunrise, return to your hotel for a delightful breakfast. Following this, embark on a journey to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring stunning palaces, courtyards, and temples, including the renowned 55-Window Palace and the Vatsala Temple. Not only a historical hub, but Bhaktapur Durbar Square also offers a glimpse into daily life, with traditional practices, festivals, and local crafts flourishing amid its well-preserved cultural tapestry.
Post Bhaktapur exploration, your journey continues as you are driven to the picturesque city of Pokhara. Relish the changing landscapes as you travel, transitioning from the cultural richness of Bhaktapur to the serene beauty of Pokhara.
Accommodation: in Pokhara
- Day 12: Pokhara's Natural Wonders and Spiritual SitesDavi's Falls, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, Bindhyabasini Temple, Tal Barahi Temple
Today is filled with the highlights of Pokhara, starting with Davi's Falls. Witness the cascading water creating a beautiful spectacle. Next, explore Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, an ancient cavern with a sacred atmosphere. Marvel at the natural formations and the spirituality that envelops this mystical cave.
Continue your Pokhara exploration with a visit to Bindhyabasini Temple, perched atop a hill and offering panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Immerse yourself in the cultural and spiritual ambiance of this revered temple. Conclude your Pokhara highlights with a visit to Tal Barahi Temple, located on the serene Fewa Lake. Enjoy a boat ride to the temple, surrounded by the tranquility of the lake and the majestic Annapurna Range in the background. Explore the temple and absorb the peaceful surroundings.
The evening is yours to enjoy at your own pace. Consider strolling along the Lakeside, sampling local cuisine, or simply relaxing by the serene Phewa Lake.
Accommodation: in Pokhara
- Day 13: Journey to Chitwan
Begin your day with a leisurely breakfast before embarking on a scenic journey to Chitwan, a region known for its rich biodiversity and wildlife. The road takes you through picturesque landscapes, offering glimpses of rural life and the natural beauty of Nepal.
Upon reaching Chitwan, check into your accommodation, designed to immerse you in the tranquil ambiance of the surrounding nature. Take some time to relax and refresh before the evening's activities. As the day winds down, head to the Narayani River to witness the enchanting sunset. Board a boat and cruise along the river (at your own expense), enjoying the serene atmosphere as the sun paints the sky in warm hues. This experience offers a perfect introduction to the natural beauty that Chitwan has to offer.
Accommodation: in Chitwan
- Day 14: Jungle AdventureChitwan National Park
Start your day with a hearty breakfast surrounded by the natural beauty of Chitwan. Fuel up for a day of jungle exploration and wildlife encounters.
Embark on a thrilling adventure in Chitwan National Park, a sanctuary for endangered species, including the one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal tiger, and Gangetic dolphin. You can engage in jungle activities, including a safari that provides opportunities to spot diverse wildlife, such as elephants, crocodiles, deer, and various bird species. Experience the thrill of being in the heart of the jungle, surrounded by lush vegetation and the sounds of the wilderness. Enjoy a relaxing canoe ride on the Rapti River. Drift along the calm waters, appreciating the serene surroundings and the chance to spot wildlife along the riverbanks. Your guide will share insights into the flora and fauna that call Chitwan home.
Accommodation: in Chitwan
- Day 15: Return to Kathmandu and Explore PatanPatan Durbar Square
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the serene surroundings of Chitwan, we will drive drive back to Kathmandu. As you travel, reflect on the diverse landscapes and experiences that Nepal has offered throughout your journey. Upon reaching Kathmandu, indulge in a delicious lunch at a local eatery, savoring the flavors of Nepalese cuisine one last time. Use this time to relax and reminisce about your adventures in the Himalayan nation.
Following lunch, venture to Patan, one of the three ancient cities in the Kathmandu Valley. Explore the historic Patan Durbar Square, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the intricate architecture, ancient temples, and traditional Newari craftsmanship that adorn the square. Your expert guide will give insights into the rich history and cultural significance of this ancient city. After exploring Patan, return to Kathmandu for a leisurely evening. Consider strolling through the vibrant streets, shopping for souvenirs, or enjoying a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation: in Kathmandu
- Day 16: Departure from Kathmandu
For those seeking a breathtaking finale to their Nepal adventure, consider an optional early morning mountain flight. Board a scenic flight that takes you close to the world's highest peaks, including Mount Everest. This experience provides a panoramic view of the Himalayas, a fitting end to your journey.
After the optional mountain flight, your guide will pick you up and transfer you to the airport in time for your scheduled departure. Take this opportunity to bid farewell to Nepal, a land of mountains, culture, and warm hospitality. Your journey comes to an end, leaving you with lasting memories and a sense of the remarkable diversity that defines Nepal.