In late Oct 2009, my friend James and I took a three-week tour in Tibet and Nepal. Generally saying, we didn’t get well-preparation neither from books nor from the Internet for some reasons like busy hours and frequent business trips. But finally we did it! This is a totally different experience from our former ones. We’d like recommend you a professional travel agency running Tibet travel, Nepal travel and Bhutan travel. James is now planning a Nepal tour again; he is always a mountain-seeker. I promise myself that someday will head for Tibet again. Just as someone ever said, “Without traveling in Tibet, you don’t have perfect life”. Although there are so many travel notes about Tibet written by others, we still want to list the main tips and problems for your reference.
Tibet - Nowadays, foreign back-packer style is not allowed in Tibet, this is totally different from days before. All your air-ticket or train-ticket can be done only after you get the Tibet Travel Permit or Tibet Entry Permit, and all of this is on the basis of your bookings with one travel agency - your whole itinerary in Tibet like car-rent, hotel accommodation and entry tickets for any scenic spots in Tibet and you must accompanied by a Tibet tour guide the during the whole tour.
Nepal – You can issue Nepal entry visa on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu, follow the instructions in the airport and do remember to take passport photos with you.
The air route from Lhasa to Kathmandu is the most fascinating one we have ever seen in the world, for it will fly over Mt.Everest.
Lhasa to Kathmandu: F-window. Kathmandu to Lhasa: A-window.
You can book cheap air ticket from www.pan-tibettravel.com , – it seems that this Chinese travel agency has long and firm cooperation with Air China and they always have seats and good tariff even in the travel peak-season of both Tibet and Nepal.
No matter the train from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Golmud to Lhasa, this railway is called Qinghai-Tibet railway. Taking a train to Tibet is also an excited thing, but requires you to book ticket at least 1 month in advance because the seat-availability is so tight there days. There will be some service charge if you book with travel agency, normally from CNY100.0 to CNY300.0.
There are many deluxe hotels in both Tibet and Nepal, when we browse on www.pan-tibettravel.com , we find that they also have good rates in booking hotels in Nepal, so we choose to book The fort resort in Nagarkot.
Day 01: Chengdu / Lhasa
Day 02: Lhasa
Today we visit Potala Palace(Since it is tourist peak-season in Tibet, there is limitation on the number of entry tourists so you need to stand in queue and enter in one by one.). Jokhang monastery – destination of the pilgrims. You may also find out that it’s a good place to communicate with Tibetan people here, what they are thinking, what they are doing, etc…
In fact, you can find pretty hostels in Lhasa yourself, there are many guesthouses offer you budget price.
Day 03: Lhasa to Yamdrok Yumtso
We enjoyed the great view of Yamdrok Yumtso – one of the 3 most sacred lakes in Tibet. This is a must visit place in Tibet located in the southwest of Lhasa with the distance about 100km.
Day 04: Gyantse to Shigatse
Day 05: Shigatse to Tingri
This is last stop before heading for Mt.Everest Basing camp.
Day 06: EBC – Everest Basing Camp. Enjoy the magnificent view of the great Himalayas – Mt.Everest; it’s just close at hand.
Day 07: Tingri to Shigatse
Day 08: Shigatse to Lhasa
Day 09: Fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu (we suggest you stay one more day in Lhasa to visit other famous monuments like Sera Temple, Drepung Temple, two of the 3 greatest temples in Tibet. Lake Namtso is also a worthy visiting and a must visit place, the famous with Lake Yamdrok Yumtso.)
Day 10: Kathmandu – ancient city Durbar Square (royal palace square of former Nepal dynasties) of historical Nepal.
Day 11: Kathmandu to Pokhara – idle hours in Pokhara lakeside, preparing for the 3 nights 4 days Poon Hill trekking tour.
Day 12: Pokhara to Ulleri
Day 13: Ulleri to Ghorepani
Day 14: Ghorepani to Ghandruk – today you will enjoy the breathtaking view of Poon Hill which is with the high popularity among tourists from all over the world.
Day 15: Ghandruk Pokhara by way of Nayapul – Nepalese folk music dinner, wow Nepal~
Day 16: Pokhara
Day 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu(in fact, there are so many domestic air routes in Nepal which makes it convenient for you to go the places where the tourist seldom visit.)
Day 18: Kathmandu to Bhaktapur – Historical capital city of Nepal, a peaceful and clean place where you can get more closer touch with local people, worth taking a free stroll here.
Day 19: Bhaktapur to Nagarkot – we spent two days here to enjoy the great Himalayan sunrise and sunset, hiking, biking, reading and eating sandwiches, do whatever we like.
Day 20: Nagarkot
Day 21: Nagarkot to Kathmandu
Day 22: Kathmandu to Chengdu
Tibet – Enough Chinese Yuan is essential though US$ is also acceptable. Credit card also works in present Tibet.
Before going to Tibet, doctor’s medical advice will tell you what you should pay attention to and how to deal with – this is important.
The highest amount of Chinese insurance is CNY300,000(US$44,117) at most, so choosing a large-scale insurance in your own countries is strongly recommended.
You don’t have to worry about making phone calls with your families either in Tibet or in Nepal. And you can even buy the SIM card in Nepal by providing your passport copy. NAMASTE Telecom SIM is the most frequency one.
Tibet - Normally in Tibet, you will find various Chinese cooking restaurants, and when you are on a trekking trip in Tibet, only Tibetan style food can be provided. Don’t worry about that, it’s always delicious.
Nepal – There are many different kinds of restaurants and bar offering you tasty and palatable food, Nepalese style, Indian style, Chinese cooking, almost anyone you imagine can be found here.
Besides, you need to note other Do’s and Don’ts:
1.Never drink running tap water in either Tibet or Nepal.
2.Always taking some reading materials will be wise choice.
3.Be friendly to everyone you meet in both Tibet and Nepal. NAMASTE means HOW ARE YOU in Nepal language while TASHI DELEK means NICE TO MEET YOU in most cases.
4.Full and well preparation for your onward destination is so important and don’t be like us.
5.Don’t make hard bargains with locals but to be reasonable, or you will lose help and your valuable time.
6.Follow the local traditions and custom.
7.Not to take pictures where it is prohibited.
8.Don’t hesitate to express your appreciation for the well done job of anyone to be at your service.
9.Always remember some important contact information in both Tibet and Nepal in case of emergency which you are able to turn to help.
Trip's date: July 14, (2009)
Submitted date: September 21, (2010)