Tibet Explorer

Grade 1 2 3 4 5
Grade 2 – Moderate
Tours in the foothills and the lower middle-hills going up to 10,000'/ 3,000m. Roads are generally good, but at times may involve short "off-road" stretches. Average driving is 3-5 hours a day.
Tour Difficulty Grading

Our Nepal and Bhutan tours are graded easy to moderate, involving activities such as driving, sightseeing, short walks, boating, canoe and elephant rides. They take you to the foothills of the Himalaya, well below 10,000'/ 3,000m, or further down to the lowlands. Where long overland drives are involved, we use 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps for smaller groups and Toyota Coaster minibuses for larger groups. For overland trips between Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan, we use deluxe tourist bus services. The roads may take us up a Himalayan gorge or through the open plains of the Terai. Wherever they take you to, the views are breathtaking; driving through the land offers spectacular pictures of Nepal's diverse landscapes. Tours are graded on the basis of altitude, road condition, driving hours per day, and length of trip.

Grade 1 – Easy
Tours in the foothills staying below 6,500'/ 2,000m. Roads are relatively good, and average driving is 2-3 hours a day.
Grade 2 – Moderate
Tours in the foothills and the lower middle-hills going up to 10,000'/ 3,000m. Roads are generally good, but at times may involve short "off-road" stretches. Average driving is 3-5 hours a day.
Grade 3 – Challenging
Fairly demanding tours, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000'/ 4,000m. Roads can be unpaved and bumpy, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average driving is 5-6 hours a day.
Grade 4 – Demanding
These trips require participants to be in good health. All of them take you into the high Himalaya, altitudes ranging from 9,000'/ 2,800m to often in excess of 16,500'/ 5,000m. Roads venture into sparsely populated or uninhabited high-mountain wilderness. Average driving is 6-9 hours a day.
Note on altitudes
The altitude definitions indicate elevations through the major part of the tour. Tours usually involve side-trips into elevations exceeding the altitude ranges defined for their grades. Grade 3 & 4 tour itineraries are designed to allow proper acclimatization, with acclimatization days when we take exploratory trips to higher elevations.


Tashi Lhunpo monastery
8 days – 3-day drive from Lhasa to Tsedang via Shigatse and Gyantse
  • Tours of the Potala, Norbu Lingka, Jokhang & Barkhor, Sera & Drepung monasteries, Tashi Lhunpo, and Palkor Chode
  • 3-day drive from Lhasa to Tsedang with stops at Gyantse & Shigatse
  • Explore the Yarlung valley – the cradle of Tibetan civilization, visit the historic Samye monastery
  • Flights over the Himalaya between Kathmandu and Lhasa
kumbum-eyes-404x253This popular 8-day journey offers a comprehensive picture of the religious history and culture, breathtaking scenery and awe-inspiring sights of Central Tibet, taking in Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse, and the Yarlung valley.

After three days exploring the sights and sounds of Lhasa, we begin our overland trip taking the northern road along the Yarlung Tsangpo to Shigatse, Tibet’s second-largest city. Here we visit the Tashi Lhunpo – the seat of the Panchen Lama – housing the impressive gilded statue of Maitreya, the Future Buddha. At Gyantse, we visit the Palkhor Chode and the Kumbum stupa, architecturally unique in the world of Buddhism. From here we take a scenic drive along the turquoise blue waters of the Yamdrok Tso and then along the Yarlung Tsangpo to Tsedang, visiting the historic Samye monastery en route. Our last day is spent exploring the Yarlung valley: Trandruk, the oldest monastery in Tibet, Yumbulagang, the oldest building, and Chongye – the valley of the kings – where the first rulers of Tibet were entombed.

This tour will inspire you with the rich religious heritage and spiritualism of the Tibetan people and enthral you with the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Roof of the World.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1  Fly Kathmandu – Gongkar; drive to Lhasa.
Day 2-3  Lhasa: the Jokhang, Potala, Norbu Lingka, Sera and Drepung monastery.
Day 4  Drive to Shigatse along the Yarlung Tsangpo. Afternoon visit Tashilhunpo monastery.
Day 5  Drive to Gyantse. Visit Palkor Chode, Kumbum Stupa, and Gyantse Dzong.
Day 6  Drive to Tsedang, skirting Yamdrok Tso (Lake). Visit Samye Monastery en route.
Day 7  Yarlung Valley: Trandruk Monastery, Yumbulagang, and Chongye valley.
Day 8  Drive to Gongkar airport. Fly to Kathmandu.

Dates and Pricing

Aug 16 - Aug 23
Sep 13 - Sep 20
Oct 11 - Oct 18

Nov 8 - Nov 15
Dec 6 - Dec 13

  Standard Hotels
4 - 5 personsUS$ 1,385
6 - 9 personsUS$ 1,260
10 - 12 personsUS$ 1,165
Single room supplement US$ 290
Airfare Kathmandu - Lhasa - KathmanduUS$ 747
Cost Information
Cost Information

The tour cost quoted is the cost per person, and includes:

  • Hotels: Accommodations on twin / triple room-sharing basis with breakfast.
  • Tours: All sightseeing tours with a certified native English-speaking guide.
  • Transfers: All land transfers by car (Toyota Corolla or similar) or van (Toyota Hiace or similar).
  • Permits, Fees, & Taxes: All applicable monastery entry fees on sightseeing tours, Tibet permit (ATP) fees, and taxes.

Not included in the cost are:

  • Airfare Kathmandu - Lhasa. Airfares quoted are subject to change without notice.
  • China group visa fee (US$ 145 for U.S. nationals, US$ 85 for non-U.S. nationals – subject to change without notice).
  • Meals other than breakfast.
  • Personal clothing & equipment (upon confirmation you’ll receive a clothing & necessity checklist of items we recommend you bring).
  • Personal expenses, bottled / alcoholic beverages, and tips to crew.
  • Insurance: We strongly recommend that all trip participants be covered by their own personal insurance that also covers emergency evacuation.
  • Photography charges Some places may charge for taking photographs.
  • Other unforeseeable expenses that may arise due to factors beyond our control, such as landslides or flight cancellations.
  • Nepal re-entry visa It is advisable to get a double- / multiple-entry visa for Nepal.


  Standard Hotels
LhasaHotel Dhood Gu
ShigatseShigatse Hotel
GyantseGyantse Yeti Hotel
TsedangTsedang Hotel
Suggested Trips