"Roof of the World, Land of Snows or Shangrila".......however you describe Tibet it has always held the outsiders fascination. Locked away deep in the mighty Himalayas it offers fabulous monasteries, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains and follows the old pilgrimage route overland from Nepal to Tibet.
The ride across the “Roof of the World” has been listed as one of the world’s greatest rides…….and now that the road from the Nepal border to Lhasa has been completely sealed it makes the ride so much easier and better.
Mt Everest Base Camp. It’s now possible to ride to the Mt Everest Base Camp ( 170 km detour from the main road ). This is a great ride into the high Himalayas and is one of the many highlights of the tour.
Motor Bikes - The motor bikes provided are Royal Enfield Bullets - 500 cc. The Enfields were originally produced in Britain. After WW2 the factory was transferred to Chennai where they are still in production today. An experienced motor bike mechanic will accompany the tour. All fuel, maintenance and repairs are included.
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu. Met at airport and transferred to hotel. Taken on an orientation tour of the Thamel area. The hotel is centrally located in the Thamel area of Kathmandu which is renowned for its many restaurants, shops, bars, and nightclubs etc which cater for the tourists. The hotel has a nice swimming pool to relax in after a hard days sightseeing! Kathmandu is situated at 1400 m or 4500 ft and is nestled in a fertile valley. Kathmandu has always evoked mystique amongst travelers. Ancient temples, exotic festivals and the blending of the Hindu and Buddhist religions, all complimented with the mighty Himalayas as a backdrop. A walk down the narrow, cobbled streets with overhanging balconies and delicately wrought carved windows, is like taking a stroll back through time.
Day 2: Kathmandu. Optional Mt Everest scenic flight if you want. Sightseeing tour. Walk through the cobbled streets of Kathmandu to Durbar Square which is the spiritual centre of Kathmandu and has many fine temples and imposing buildings. After Durbar Square go to Swayambunath (commonly known as the Monkey Temple) which is perched high on a hill overlooking Kathmandu. Soak up the atmosphere of this magical place - chanting Buddhist monks, beating drums, Tibetan horns, shops selling artifacts and listen to the 1000's of fluttering Tibetan prayer flags sending their prayers to the heavens. A leisurely stroll through the back streets of Kathmandu to the hotel.
Day 3: Kathmandu. Sightseeing tour. Visit Pashupatinath - the holiest Hindu place in Kathmandu. The Hindus cremate their dead here and the ashes are sprinkled into the river which flows into the Mother Ganges river in India. See many Sadhus who are holy Hindu men who have renounced all worldly possessions and roam the sub continent going to the various holy Hindu sights. After Pashupatinath go to the Buddhist temple at Boudanath which has the largest Stupa in Nepal. This is the spiritual and exile home for the many Tibetans who fled after the Chinese invasion. Close by are many Tibetan Monasteries teaching the Buddha's philosophy on life. Enjoy lunch overlooking the magnificent Stupa.
Day 4: Kathmandu. Free day or go white water rafting ( optional extra ). In the afternoon collect the motor bikes and have a briefing and practice.
Day 5: Kathmandu - Daman (2300 m or 7600 ft) 80 km Start Motor Bikes. Start riding the mighty Enfields to Daman which is situated on a ridge offering spectacular views of the Himalayas.
Day 6: Daman - Kathmandu (80 km). Return to Kathmandu to collect your passports and the Tibet entry permits.
Day 7: Kathmandu - Enter Tibet - Zhangmu (2500 m or 8200 ft) 120 Km. The ride across the "Roof of the World" begins! After 90 km cross the Friendship Bridge and enter Tibet. The ascent to Zhangmu provides an amazing change in vegetation and scenery.....the lush, green scenery of Nepal is left behind and the stark, barren landscape of the Tibetan Plateau begins. Zhangmu is located 10 km from the "Friendship Bridge". This small town contains a mixture of Tibetans, Chinese and Nepalese.
Day 8: Zhangmu - Tingri (4400 m or 14400 ft) 210 Km. A great days ride through one of the remotest regions in the world. Tingri is a small village located in a broad, sweeping plain and provides magnificent views of the Himalays including Mt Everest. There are various names for Mt Everest - in Tibet it's called Qomolangma ( "Goddess Mother of the Universe" ) and in Nepal it's called Sagarmatha. The English name comes from the chief surveyor of India - Sir George Everest. Tingri is a base for the many expeditions to Everest and other peaks.
Day 9: Tingri - Mt Everest Base Camp - Shegar (4000 m or 13100 ft) 170 Km. Ride to Rongbuk Monastery and the Mt Everest Base Camp (5550 m or 18200 ft)
Day 10: Shegar - Lhatse (4000 m or 13100 ft) 80 Km. More spectacular riding across the high Himalayas through small rural communities that haven't changed for centuries. Lhatse is a small town which serves the many isolated communities and villages nearby.
Day 11: Lhatse - Shigatse (3900 m or 12800 ft) 150 Km. More spectacular riding through the high Himalayas. Shigatse is the second largest town in Tibet and the district Capital of the Tsang region. There are many sights including the Shigatse Dzong, Tashilhunpo monastery (home of the Panchen Lama) and the bright and colourful Tibetan market.
Day 12: Shigatse. Sightseeing day to visit the many sights in this picturesque town.
Day 13: Shigatse - Gyantse (3950 m or 13000 ft) 90 Km. More great riding through the small towns/villages and rural Tibet. Gyantse is located in the Nyangchu valley. Its main attraction is the Gyantse Kumbum which is the largest Chorten in Tibet. A Chorten ( also called a Stupa ) is a "Spiritual Monument" which represents the Buddha's body, speech and mind and is filled with relics and holy objects. Other attractions include the Pelkor Chode monastery and the Gyantse Dzong ( fortress ).
Day 14: Gyantse - Lhasa (3600 m or 11800 ft) 260 Km Finish Motor Bikes. A spectacular ride through rural Tibet and past some beautiful lakes. Lhasa is the heart and soul of Tibet and for centuries was the abode of the Dalai Lamas. It's dominated by the Potola which is a vast palace/fortress rising above the city and was the home of the Dalai Lama. The Jokhang is the spiritual heart of the city and many prostrating pilgrims are to be found here. Encircling the Jokhang is the Barkhor which is the holiest of Lhasa's devotional circumambulation circuits. Other sights include the Norbulinga (summer palace of the Dalai Lama) and the important monasteries of Sera and Drepung.
Day 15: Lhasa. Sightseeing tour.
Day 16: Lhasa. Sightseeing tour.
Day 17: Lhasa - Kathmandu. Transfer to the airport and return to Kathmandu.
Day 18: Kathmandu. Transfer to airport for departure.
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