A sacred land of myths and mysteries inhabited by the ever smiling people, has not only exerted a magnetic pull upon travelers for centuries but also spies, missionaries, scholars, geographers, mystics, soldiers and cranks, etc. Yet, only a few intrepid, serious and determined have been able to make it.
Tibet was opened to tourism in 1985. Before this, it avoided influence from the West and this country developed its unique culture and religion independently. Since Tibet was governed by the spiritual leaders, monasteries and religious institutions were the backbone of power so the importance and prestige were shown by the size and magnificent architecture of these buildings.
Tibetan Buddhism contains many elements of their older religion,” Bon Po” which worshipped the sky, moon, sun, fire, soil and even evil spirits and this is why a monastery such as Tashilhunpo contains thousands of unique statues, paintings (thangka), religious and historical books that to visit in detail would take weeks. The Monasteries are crowded by pilgrims who often travel long distances to fulfill their vows and wishes and their emotions show that religion still holds a very important place in their daily lives.
TIBET- extremely remote and isolated by the most formidable Himalayan ranges is a fascinating world of timeless splendor, unique tradition and breathtaking scenery awaits all travelers to the Roof of the World.
See Tibet, closed to visitors for long.
See the Forbidden City
See the Mount Everest
See the Potala
Group Size: 5 to 10 per group, first come first served.
Total Distance Covered: 1000 km.
Average altitude: 18,500 ft
Maximum altitude attained: 18500 ft
Terrain: Challenging, cold and stark, but safe.
Thrill level: Extreme
Full name: Tibet Autonomous Region of China
Area: 1.2 m. sq. km
Population: 3 million
In Exile: 300,000
Capital city: Lhasa (Population 200,000)
People: Tibetan & Chinese
Language: Tibeto Burmese, Tibetan and Chinese
Religion: 90% Buddhist, 1% Muslim, 3% bon, 6% others
Government: Occupied by China in 1949/1950
Currency: Yuan (Y 8.15 = US$ 1.00)
Geography: Tibet has border with India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Burma
Climate: Spring (May to June) – Best weather condition, May to Mid September Winter – (October to April)
What to wear: Light weight clothing is recommended for May to June, Warm garments are required from September to April. An umbrella or a raincoat is a must for the summer season.
Voltage: Standard voltage only 220 volts.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, check-in at hotel.
Eve:A brief introduction of the trip and introduction of the participants of the ride followed by a welcome dinner atKathmandu Handle Bar.
After the dinner, transfer to the Hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 02: Free day in Kathmandu (Visa Processing)
Ride around Kathmandu Valley (Ancient Bhaktapur City and Nagarkot). Overnight at the Hotel
Day 03: Ride Kathmandu to The Last Resort (Kodari) – Approx. 100 Km
Negotiate traffic out of the Kathmandu city to the Ringroad cross section – Koteshwor. From here, follow the newly constructed highway to Bhaktapur (Approx. 12 Km from Kathmandu). The ancient Bhaktapur City or the “City of Devotees” situated at an altitude of 1,401 m, 12 kilometers east of Kathmandu. Bhaktapur covers an area of 4 square miles and is shaped like a conch shell. Pottery and weavings are its traditional industries. Continue cruising past Bhaktapur to Dhulikhel (Approx. 18 Km from Bhaktapur) via Jagati, Sanga & Banepa passing road side settlements and terraced farmlands.
Dhulikhel, situated at an elevation of 1550 meters with panoramic view of the Himalayas is a small Newari town and is famous for its scenic beauty and old tradition. It offers magnificent views of the Himalayas from Mt, Karyolung in the east to Mt. Himalchuli to the west the twin crest of Mt. Langtang in the west to the Mt. Everest in the east can be clearly viewed in a clear day. Dhulikhel is ideal for snow-capped peaks, sunrise, sunset and it is different from any other and is one of the best sites to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas.
Later continue ride towards Dolalghat.
After few kilometers from Dhulikhel the highway drops in to the winding road with the beautiful sceneries of terraced fields and forested trails alongside small settlement to “Zero Kilo”. From here road bifurcates. North road leads to Melamchi Bazaar and South road leads to Kodari. Head south and continue ride towards Dolalghat – the lowest point on the entire road at 634m (Approx.25 Km from Dhulikhel). Dolalghat is situated at the confluence of Indrawati and Sunkoshi rivers on the Araniko highway and this place is apparently famous for the fish from its rivers. Cross the bridge and slowly ascend on a winding road for a few kilometers and after 2 kilometers turn a steep right to come up to the ridge. (Note: At the turning, the straight road leads to Chautara so one needs to take the full right turn and continue on the highway). From the ridge, descend to Chehere and continue cruising along with the fast flowing Bhote Koshi River on the right side and beautiful views of terraced fields, forests and small settlements all the way to the Sukute (Approx. 14 Km from Dolalghat). Continue ride another approx. 35 km to the Last resort. Upon arrival at The Last Resort gate, leave the motorcycles at the parking lot and then cross the 50 meter suspension bridge, the launch station for the bungy jump.
The Last Resort is set amidst sprawling terraced slopes, suspended on a high cliff-top gorge above the wild Bhote Koshi River and surrounded by dense jungle and pristine forest. The grounds of the resort are meticulously landscaped. Luxurious safari tents, spaciously set in lush gardens, ensure quiet and peaceful stay in an exotic setting. Uniquely crafted in local stone, wood and slate, the resort has an intimate dining hall with centuries old wood-carving where delicious home style food is served. The well-stocked Instant Karma bar is a great place for having chilled drinks when the day is done and you are left thirsty. Upon arriving on the other side, met by resident manager and assigned the tents.
(Note: Accommodation is in Safari tents with common bathrooms)
(Important note: Accommodation on this day might change depending upon the road as well as weather conditions, since there are a couple of landslide prone areas between Last Resort and the border we might have to stay close to the border if the weather or road conditions are not very favorable). Dinner & Overnight at the Last Resort/Eco Resort
Day 04: Ride to Zhangmu (08 Km) / Nyalam (30 Km)
After leisurely breakfast ride to Kodari on gravel roads and landslip areas. Upon arrival at Kodari, the last border town, complete Nepali Immigration formalities and cross the friendship bridge. Complete Chinese Immigration and met by guide and rider from Tibet. Proceed for China Custom clearance for the motorcycles and after completion, load up the gear on the waiting Landcruiser / Mini Truck and ride20 minutes (8 kilometers) to Zhangmu.
Zhangmu:Located at an altitude of 2300 m and known to Nepali as Khasa, hangs on a cliff face, its boomtown architecture having a temporary look. Even the monastery roofs are sheathed in corrugated iron sheets. Here we obtain travel pass for vehicles from the transport office and then ride for an hour through the Tibetan landscape to Nyalam gaining an altitude of 1450 meters within a short span of 30kms.
Upon arrival, check into the Guest House. Overnight at the Hotel
Day 05: Nyalam / Paikut Tso (4510 m) / Saga (4300m) (232 Km)
With the completion of the road, the ride to Thong la (5126 m) takes about an hour to cover a distance of 55 km. There is a steady gain in altitude and motorcycles as well as we humans face a slight difficulty to adjust to the sudden gain in altitude. We arrive at the Thongla La Pass, (5050 m) marked by prayer flags, rock cairns and chortenslined with yak head skeletons and magnificent views of the Himalayas with Mt. Sishapangma taking the front seat (8013 m). Other visible peaks are Langtang Ri (7205 m), Dorje Lakpa (6966 m), Gauri Shankar (7135 m), Cho Oyu (8201 m) and Mt. Everest (8848 m). Ride further to Laluna-la Pass (5050 m) marked by a stream of prayer flags and then continues further by making a slight descent to arrive at the cross section. From here, leave the Friendship Highway and turn left and continue to the Check post and entry into the Nature Reserve. Entry tickets for tourists and vehicles must be purchased and then we continue our ride by descending to the serene and beautiful Lake Paikut Tso for a much deserved lunch having covered a distance of 100 kilometers. On a clear day, there are scenic views of the Tibetan plateau with grazing livestock, breath taking mountain views and the turquoise color of the lake below.
After lunch, continue to ride through the beautiful Tibetan landscape. We enter a valley and the climb to a pass and then again descend into another valley one after another and each one more scenic than the next. Finally after about 3 ½ hours, we get a glimpse of the mighty Brahmaputra river or locally known as “Tsang Po” and ride along its banks for a while and take the bridge (newly constructed. In the earlier years, all passengers and vehicles had to be ferried across) to arrive at the hustle and bustle of the Saga town.
Upon arrival check in the guest house. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the town. Overnight at the Hotel
Day 06: Ride Saga / Shakya (4280m) (Approx. 323 km)
Start the scenic ridefrom Saga to Sakya crossing over 5 passes,Heading to Sakya from an elevation of 4600 meters, the trail wends towards the South route. Now, the trail follows a route that brushes past Brahmaputra River. Further ahead, a river valley sprawls over and then traditional picturesque villages come into picture and Namring being one of the biggest. This scenically rewarding ride provides plenty of opportunities for photography.On this long day’s ride over the sandy and rocky landscape of Tibet, other sites like lake, nomads chasing hundreds of yaks and sheep, keep you busy.Upon arrival at Lhatse continue further 26 km to Shakya. Upon arrival at Shakya check in to the Hotel. Overnight at theHotel
Day 07: Ride Lhatse / Gyantse (3950m) (Approx. 250km)
After breakfast visit Sakya Monastery, the centre of the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism, was founded in 1073 by Konchok Gyalpo and during the rule of Sakyapas, the priest patron relationship between Tibet and China was established. Sakyapa rulers reigned over Tibet for nearly a hundred years from 13-14th century. Many of its priceless images, fresco statues, Holy Scriptures remaining today date back to the time of its founding. Later head off for 115 kilometers flat stretch to Shigatse. The route today is scenic with only a small pass of 4300 m. Upon arrival on the outskirts of the Shigatse City, we stop for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, continue on to Gyantse. The 90 kilometer journey seems like hours because of the 40 kmph speed limit imposed by the traffic police. There are regular check posts as well as Patrol cars to strictly implement the rule. Gyantse is a pastoral town and still retains the charm of a traditional Tibetan town untouched by modern expansion. It made world headlines in 1904 when Colonel Young husband, who led British Expedition to Tibet, defeated the Tibetan army there. As a crossroad on the principle trade route to India, it used to be renowned for the excellence of its carpets. The compound, encircled by an impressive wall, once contained 19 monasteries, presided over by the still intact fortress perched atop a nearby mountain. Upon arrival, check into the hotel.
Late PM: Sightseeing tour of Gyantse Kumbum, one of the most unique and magnificent buildings in Tibet consisting of 6 storeys complete with a Buddhists Hall and a prayer hall. It has 112 chapels and its walls are adorned with religious paintings. Built in the 15th century, it has withstood all battles and revolutions since. We also visit the Pelkhor Chode Monastery located near the Khumbum, it was founded in the 15th century. It has been remarkably well preserved and many of the statues and paintings inside it date back to the time of its founding.
Overnight at the Gyantse Hotel
Day 08: Gyantse / Lhasa (3,650m): 261 Km via Lake Yamdrok.
Set out of Gyantse for Nagartse (100 kms) near Lake Yamdrok passing the Simi La (4200 m) and driving on a trail with fantastic views of the turquoise blue waters of the man made lake caused by the dam for the hydro project. Later we also cross the Karo La (5010 m) and the ride to Nagartse, a small village near the Yamdrok lake and an ideal place for a lunch stop. Then ride along the picturesque trail of the colorful Lake Yamdrok, the Tibetan lifeline of the river Brahma Putra (Yarlung Tsangpo). Yamdrok Tso or Turquoise Lake is a lake of a glaring blue that radiates a near mystical charm. It is about 240 kms in circumference and is more like an Island sea. There are Yak herders around and the lake itself supports a population of scale less fish in its non-saline waters. It is about 124 km from Lhasa. Later we ascend to Kamba La (4,794m) and have an opportunity to meet the Yak Herders with their finely decorated Yaks and Tibetan Mastiffs. A great photo opportunity and one can take pictures on a Yak or with a bunch of decorated Tibetan Mastiffs for a fee.From here we descend to the main road head before embarking on the grand finale entrance to the Lhasa City.
Lhasa – capital of Tibet at an altitude of 3650m is situated on the north bank of the Kyichu River in the province of U (central Tibet). Two high craggy hills stand up in isolation from the valley floor. One, Red Hill, is topped by the Potala Palace and the other, Chockpori or Iron Hill, is crowned by a tall antenna. Lhasa in Tibetan means “Place of the Gods” and Potala Palace ” the residence of the Dalai Lama (the god king), is the earthly representation of the celestial Palace of Avaloketswora, the Buddha of infinite compassion whose incarnation in the human form is believed to be the Dalai Lama. As Tibet’s political, religious and cultural centre it is a city truly blessed by the gods, where life is unhurried, is people jovial and yet remaining staunchly independent.
Lhasa consists of two district parts consisting of different architecture, population and lifestyle. Old Lhasa, the Tibetan section, centers around the Jokhang Temple. Its streets are narrow, between white washed stone houses whose walls slope inward as they rise. Windows are framed in black trapezoids, with protruding fan shaped eaves above. Many houses have brightly painted woodwork. The Chinese section, was built in the last 30 years around the base of the Potala. It is characterized by straight, broad streets and utilitarian buildings that houses Chinese style department stores and all kinds of government houses. In spite of its forced pace of modernization, Lhasa has not lost it’s soul. It is a friendly city where a Tibetan will always return a smile. Overnight at the Hotel
Day 09: Lhasa
Sightseeing tour at Potala Palace: This legendary palace built atop a single hill is synonymous with Tibet. First foremost king, Songtsen Gompo, it was expanded to its present structure during the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama. This 13 storey, 1000 room citadel served as the headquarters of the former “church-state” of Tibet and was home to successive Dalai Lama who, from the latter half of the 18th century, used it as their Winter Palace. In the afternoon, visit the Jokhang Temple: Situated in the heart of old Lhasa, it houses Tibet’s most precious religious relic, a golden Shankyamuni Buddha which was brought as a gift by the Chinese Princess Wen Cheng on the occasion of her wedding to the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gompo. Surrounding the Jokhang Temple is the bustling Barkhor market place, which is the religious and social focus of Lhasa. This, the spiritual centre of Tibet, is also the heart of Lhasa. Overnight at the Hotel
Day 10: Ride Lhasa to Lhatse (Approx. 375 Km)
After breakfast set out for Shigatse via the northern route. The route today is relatively straight forward but scenic at times when we ride along the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River). Upon arrival at Shigatse, we do not enter the city premises but continue on the outskirts and head off for Lhatse passing through Gangchen and Silung, a distance of about 115 kms. Upon arrival check in to the guest house. Overnight at the Hotel
Day 11: Ride Lhatse to Rongbuk (Approx. 255 Km)
From Lhatse we ascend to the Gyatso la pass at 5248 m, the highest pass on this section of the journey, which is marked by a gate adorned with prayer flags. From here we descend to Shegar. It is surrounded by mountains and is another town that lies in the shadow of a great fortress. Even in ruins, it is majestic. Seeming to grow out of the craggy brown rock, it’s sinuous wall bristles with watchtowers like stegosaurus spines. Isolated in 1855 by marauding Nepalese in search of booty, the Gurkhas cut off the dzong’s water supply and settled in for a long siege. Shegar proper has little to recommend, except the highest post office in China.
Note: The main highway to Everest from Shegar is closed for repairs and is expected to re-open only form October 2015. Therefore all vehicles travelling to Everest Base Camp must travel through Tingri and return the same route until the main highway is complete. From Shegar, set out for Tingri but within 4 kilometers we need to stop at an army check post where passports and permits are checked. Everyone is required to present their passport personally and in serial number as in group Visa. After the completion, return back to the vehicles and then ride 60 kms to Tingri. Tingri use to be and important trading post where Sherpas from Nepal exchanged rice, grain and iron for Tibetan wool, livestock and salt. It gives its name to the broad uplandbasin more than 4,500 metres high that is known as the Tingri plain. Shallow, fast-flowing rivers of melted snow water make its grassy meadowland ideal for grazing by livestock.
From here come out on the main road and slowly negotiate traffic to the sign post which points to the Quomolongma (Everest) National park. Take the fork here and proceed to the check post where upon presenting the permits and tickets of the Everest Base Camp, one is let through the barrier. This section of the route to Everest Base Camp is graveled (work is in progress), is dusty and a very rough one. As we ascend and descend from one valley into the other, there are fantastic views of the snow peaked mountains (weather permitting) of the rugged terrain of the high Himalayas. Sulkily breathing dust and leaving a dust trail, we descend to the valley floor and join up with the main trail from Shegar. The construction works for a new paved road is underway and as we follow the Drakar Chu and slowly ascend winding our way up the mountain, we arrive at another check post with views of Mt. Everest peeking above the clouds and then a further climb of about 2 kilometers brings us to a turn in a bend and also to the Rongbuk Monastery and the Lodges of Rongbuk. In the distance, towering above everything else is Mt. Everest – Mother of the earth at 8848 m. Upon arrival, check into the Guest House. Dinner and Overnight at the guest house
Day 12: Excursion around Mt. Everest Base Camp and Ride to Tingri
After breakfast, follow the dirt road south and the Dzakar Chu (river), now much reduced in volume, is on your right. Soon the valley broadens and the road leaves the river to continue its ascent on the other side, swerving to avoid a rockslide. At the base of the slide is chorten; at its top are the ruins of the Samdrupo Nunnery (a small chapel has been rebuilt). Here is now situated the settlement of Dza Rongphu. The Everest Base Camp settlement has now been moved here. The Everest Base Camp is just beyond some moraine hills. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this area and enjoy this tented town. (Note: The new rules prohibit vehicles from going beyond Dza Rongphu area. Clients need to travel by the Government coach and it costs Yuan 50.00 for a round trip Ride). So board the coach for the 4 kilometer Ride to the Everest Base Camp area. Here we embark and then ascend to a small ridge with prayer flags and with an unobstructed view of Mt. Everest and the open Tibetan plateau leading to the Camp II area. Later descend to the Bus Park and board the bus for the Ride back to Dza Rongphu. Here we can spend some time at the tented city for a cup of tea/ noodle soup or shop for souvenirs or even send a post card from the mobile post office. Later set out of Rongbuk by retracing the route till the 26 kilometer mark and then cross the bridge and head off with a steady climb to Tingri which takes about 4 hours. Upon arrival check in to the guest house. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the town. Overnight at the guest house
Day 13: Ride Tingri to Zhangmu (223 Km)
From Tingri we Ride on the highest t plateau of the world with typical view of the Tibetan landscape offering sheer feeling of standing on the roof of the world. Cross the Lalung La (5,200m) and Thong La (5050 m) from where, weather permitting, here is a breathtaking panorama of beautiful Himalayan ranges including Mt. Everest (8,848m) but is dwarfed by the vastness of the Tibetan plateau. Descend down for about an hour to arrive at a familiar setting, near the Mileapa Cave, where Milerapa is said to have meditated. Continue further for about 30 minutes to arrive at Nyalam. From here continue Ride another 30 Kilometer to Zhangmu. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the town. Overnight at the Hotel
Day 14: Ride Zhangmu and to Kathmandu (Approx. 128 Km)
After breakfast ride down 8 kilometers to Kodari and the Nepal Tibet Friendship Bridge. Here the porters will transfer the luggage to the Nepal side and we bid farewell to our Guide and riders from Tibet. Complete Chinese Immigration and then cross the friendship bridge. Met by representatives from Nepal who will assist to complete Nepal Customs and Immigration and ride 128 Km to Kathmandu. Upon arrival at Kathmandu check in to the hotel. Rest of the Day is free to relax. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel.
Day 15: Final Departure
Free until final departure.
– Arrival and Departure Airport transfer in a private car, accompanied by an English speaking representative.
– 3 nights accommodation on double/triple sharing room in Kathmandu with daily breakfast at Hotel Tibet or Hotel Manaslu or similar (2 night before and 1 night after the tour), and inclusive of all applicable govt. taxes.
– Sightseeing tour of Kathmandu as per the itinerary with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
– Hotels / guest house in Tibet on double/triple bedded sharing room with breakfast and lunch basis and inclusive of all applicable govt. taxes
– Hire bike 500 CC Royal Enfield Motorcycles maintenance charge and spare parts of bikes and Fuel as engine oil top up(Whichever applicable) for the entire trip
– All entry fees to the sites and monasteries for both Motor bikes and members
– Everest Conservation fee for members, bikes, Crews and vehicle
– All necessary Tibet entry and road permits,
– Motor bike custom entry fee at China custom
– Temporary Motor Bike license and driving license,
– 1 Local Tibetan English speaking guide and Nepalese mechanic from Nepal, their accommodation, insurance, meals and daily wages.
– Back up support of a Truck to carry support staff and clients personal baggage/gears, guide from Tibet
– Deposit Amount in Chinese Custom paid by Parikrama Treks
– Oxygen incase needed
– Air ticket and Air tax if needed
– Nepal entry & and re-entry of $ 40.00 for 30 days upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport or Nepal Border.
– Meals as not indicated in Cost include SECTION (Approx 10-18 US$ per meal)
– Photography charges for still and Video cameras at Monasteries in Tibet
– Emergency and Evacuation costs travel / medical insurance / Personal insurance of the riders
– China/Tibet Visa fee US$ 114.00 per person. Extra US$ 95.00 pp for American nationals
– Bank transfer fees, cancellation fee if there is unforced situation, Politically disturbance any region of Visa rejected by Chinese Embassy
– Personal nature such as bar bills, alcoholic beverages, bottled drinks, extra mileage, personal gratuities such as tips to guides, drivers and Mechanics
– Any extra cost in the event of landslides and personal nature expenses
– Personal biking clothing including Helmets
– Costs incurred due to natural calamities, strikes, and break downs and beyond the control and its associates.
Note: Minor Repairs like brake shoe, spark plug, clutch plate, tubes, cable (01 set only) and engine oil has been included in the cost. However if more breakage happen due to rough handling/accidents/theft etc, the clients will have to bear the cost.
Cost for Indian nationals:
Rider: USD 5200
Cost for foreign nationals
Rider: USD 5200