NEPAL AND TIBET WITH OPTIONAL HONG KONG EXTENSION

Nepal/ Tibet Singles Vacation                                            

November 12th - 23rd, 2014

9-days, 9-nights with all tours - $2,750

International air is not included. See below for our group air

This one is sure to be another amazing trip and one that we have been working on for several months to make sure we get it right. We are going during their dry season to make sure we enjoy the amazing views of the Himalayans and even Mount Everest.

Delve into the fascinating world of mountain lore and Tibetan and Nepalese cultures while visiting the fabled cities of Lhasa, Shigatse, and Kathmandu. Take in some of the most magnificent mountain vistas on Earth on this journey of a lifetime. Nepal and Tibet have it all - Buddhist monks, ancient monasteries, spectacular mountain passes and the mighty Mount Everest. Journey beyond cosmopolitan Kathmandu to holy Tibet - 'the roof of the world'. Uncover the world's most holy Hindu temple, the world's highest monastery and the tallest mountain, set amongst spectacular Himalayan vistas and enlightening Buddhist stupas.

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY:

Thursday, November 13th

We depart on Wednesday November 12th and will arrive in Kathmandu on Thursday the 13th. At the airport, your tour guide welcomes you and then transfers you to your hotel.

Friday  November 14th

Kathmandu Durbar Square tour: Situated in the heart of the city, Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the attractive monuments you visit during your trip in Nepal. This complex of temples and old royal palace (Durbar) of the city represents Nepalese art and architecture linking the old with the new ones. This site has played central role in political, cultural and artistic life of the country. The oldest monument dates back to 12th century where Durbar square flourished in the 17th – 19th century during the reign if Malla and Shah Monarchs. In this tour in Nepal, you will get an opportunity to see Kumari, the living goddess. ‘Kumari Chhen’, a building with beautifully carved doors and windows, houses a little girl whom people worship as living goddess of power. People consider that will bring good luck if they get chance to look at her. Get ‘Darshan’ (glimpse) of her and be blessed for your onward trip in Nepal.

Swayambhunath Stupa aka the Monkey Temple tour:

Swayambhunath (the self-existent) is a widely known Buddhist monument on a hillock, to west of central Kathmandu. The shrine is approximately 2600 years old and is still a glorious and eye-catchy for the visitors. Because of the presence of holy and tricky monkeys in the premises of the monument, the stupa is also known as the Monkey Temple. Due to the visit to this site by the famous Indian emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BC, this monument is a historical pilgrimage since ancient time. A common temple for both Hindus and Buddhists in the complex of stupa symbolizes religious tolerance in Nepal.

Saturday, November 15th

Optional Mountain flight to the Everest: Using a modern jet-stream aircraft, enjoy glorious Himalayas from the height of approximately 25,000 feet. This breathtaking journey takes you close to the highest point of the world - Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga (3rd highest peak), Makalu, Cho-Yu, Lhoste, as well as Tibetan plateau. During your flight above the clouds, you will get lifetime approach to the glaciers, lakes, rivers and gorges from your individual window. Enjoy aerial photography capturing magnificent landscapes of Nepal. As an alternative of this one-hour flight, you can have helicopter flight as well.

Nagarkot: Nagarkot tour offers countryside drive after your couple of days in Nepal. Nagarkot, literally known as ‘the fort of the town’, was army training centre in the past. In the recent years, it is developed as resort village. Located 15 Km far from the Bhaktapur main city and 30 Km east of Kathmandu, it is an ideal place to enjoy hide and seek with the sun. Besides sunrise and sunset view, this is also one of the best places to enjoy the glimpse of mountain range if the weather is clear. 

Overnight in hotel club Himalaya- 5 star resort

Sunday, November 16th

Nagarkot to Dhulikhel via Nala

Today, after breakfast we have two options to ride; one is ride downhill on paved road to Bhaktapur and then to Nala and 2nd one is uphill ride to Nagarkot Tower then technical steep downhill to Nala and Dhulikhel. O/N Hotel.

Dhulikhel is 28 km far from KTM, 17 Km from Bhaktapur

Dhulikhel, at 1550m, is a popular, interesting small town to view the Himalayan. There are some beautiful old buildings in this town. The main place to view the mountains is the parade ground on the ridge a little east of the center of town.

There are some good day walks in the area. Many people come here to get warmed up before doing a longer trek. The people in the village are Newars.

In the main square there is the Harisiddhi Temple and Narayan Temple, both Vishnu temples.



The most popular place to watch the sunrise over the mountains is at the Kali Temple on top of the hill in the southeast. You walk to the Panorama View Lodge and keep walking another half-hour. 



Bhagwati Mandir, in the northwest part of town, is a high point in the city and from where there are good views of the mountains.

Monday, November 17th

Bhaktapur Durbar Square tour : This Square is an open museum holding exciting palace, courtyards, royal bath, sculptures, pagodas, Shikhara style temples and Buddhist monastery along with exclusive architecture. In other words, this is the most beautiful Durbar you visit in your Nepal tours. Though 1934 earthquake brought bad luck to its structure, still the remaining monuments are the finest examples of the medieval excellence. Just near the square, you will visit the traditional painting School, the dying art of Nepal which is the best souvenir from Nepal.  Besides palace complex, five storied temple with most appreciated architecture, the Pottery Square, Dattatraya Square and Peacock window are some other things to see in Bhaktapur.

Tuesday, November 18th

Fly to Lhasa CA[masked] (B)

Today we fly to Tibet. This flight is included in your package (makes up $800 of the cost of this trip!). Upon arrival in Lhasa airport, we are met by Tibetan Guide and we are transferred to our hotel in the city. Today, we just take easy to cope with the effects of the altitude. This is free afternoon for complete rest / to acclimatize to altitude.

Tibet lies at the center of Asia, with an area of 2.5 million square kilometers. Encircled by the Earth's highest mountains, Tibet is a vast, arid plateau with an average altitude of 14,000 feet above sea level. The Tibetan plateau has unique and exceptional ecosystems. The headwaters of Asia’s major rivers originate on the Tibetan plateau, which supply 85% of the population of Asia with water—approximately 47% of the world’s population. 

Tibet is comprised of the three provinces of Amdo, Kham, and U-Tsang. Amdo is now split by China into the provinces of Qinghai and part of Gansu. Kham is largely incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan, and U-Tsang, together with western Kham, is today referred to by China as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The TAR comprises less than half of historic Tibet and was created by China in 1965 for administrative reasons. It is important to note that when Chinese officials and publications use the term "Tibet" they are referring only to TAR. Tibetans use the term Tibet to mean the three provinces described above, the area traditionally known as Tibet before the invasion in 1949-50.

Despite over 60 years of Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Tibetan people refuse to be conquered and subjugated by China. The present Chinese policy—a combination of demographic and economic manipulation and discrimination—aims to suppress the Tibetan issue by changing the very character and the identity of Tibet and its people. In 1959 the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s political and spiritual leader, fled into exile in India followed by over 100,000 Tibetans and established the Tibetan Government-in Exile. Today, Tibetans are outnumbered by Chinese in their own homeland.

Tibetan culture is inseparably linked to Tibetan Buddhism. Over the last 1,000 years, Tibet has developed a unique, spiritual and peaceful culture with Buddhism at its heart.

Read more at https://www.studentsforafreetibet.org/about-tibet 

Culture: http://www.freetibet.org/about/society-culture-and-religion

Lhasa: Located at the foot of Mount Gephel, Lhasa is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, and is a city that has captivated the fascination of the west for centuries. Lhasa is basically famous for it is the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama and is a place that is revered by every Tibetan. In the 7th century, a powerful and visionary king called Songtsen Gampo conquered many tribes, united Tibet and moved the capital from Yarlung to Lhasa. Apart from the amazing monasteries that surrounds the city as well as the bustling tourist friendly Barkhor Street, it is the Potala palace that captivates the mind, the eye and the soul. The Potala palace is perched on the top of the Red Hill and dominates the skyline. It was built by Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Later on, the palace became the residence of the Dalai Lamas. It still holds items like murals, Holy Scriptures and sutras that are invaluable to Buddhism. The city has about 2, 55,000 inhabitants and stands at an altitude of approximately 3,650 m. Some of the aesthetically as well as historically important sites in Lhasa are the Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Norbulingka Palaces.

Wednesday, November 19th -  Lhasa Sightseeing 

Visit the World Heritage formidable site of Potala Palace in the morning. In the afternoon, visit Sera Monastery. Towards the late afternoon, visit the 7th century Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s holiest site. In the evening, take a walk in a clock-wise circuit or Kora around the temple grounds, along with the stream of humanity. Stroll through Barkhor market square.

Potala Palace: The Potala palace is perched on the top of the Red Hill and dominates the skyline of Lhasa. The palace can be divided into two sections, the White Palace and the Red Palace. It was built by Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and used it as his centre of meditation. It was however in 1645 under the fifth Dalai Lama, Lozang Gyatso, that the palace took a massive shape as the white palace became complete. The construction of the Red Palace began in 1690 and was completed within a span of 4 years. It was the residence of the Dalai Lamas, until the 14th Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959. Today the palace serves as a state museum of China. The palace has vast inward-sloping walls and has many windows and its roofs are flat at various levels. The central part of this group of buildings is quadrangular. This towering central portion of Potala is called the Red palace. It contains the principal halls and chapels and shrines of past Dalai Lamas. It still holds items like murals, Holy Scriptures and sutras that are invaluable to Buddhism. Today the Potala Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the most visited structures in the world.

Sera Monastery: In 1419 Jamchen Chojey also popularly known as Sakya Yeshe, one of the two principal disciple of Tsongkhapa, founded of a Gelukpa University, which later came to known as the Sera Monastery, and became one of the Great Three Gelukpa Monasteries of Tibet. The Sera university monastery had three basic schools. The first is the Sera Mey Dratsang which was built in 1419 for the purpose of providing basic information on the doctrines of Buddhism and for the orientation of the monks. The second was the Sera Jey Dratsang, built in 1435, which was the largest, and was reserved for itinerant monks. The third one known as Ngagpa Dratsang which was built in 1559 was a school for the teaching of the Gelukpa dogmas. Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa's other famous monasteries.

Jokhang Temple: The Jokhang Temple is the most revered Buddhist temple in Lhasa and of Tibet, built by King Songtsen Gampo in about 642 AD. This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was originally called, Rasa Tulnang Tsuklakang (House of Mysteries). In the 11th century a learned Buddhist monk named Atisha, taught here and it was after that, that the Jokhang temple got recognition. Today the temple covers an area of about 25,000 sq. ft. The Jokhang temple is a fourstoried structure. The style is basically Indian in its approach but has been well blended with Nepalese and well as Tibetan influences. The roofs of the temple are gilded with bronze. The rooftop has statues of two golden deer surrounding a Dharma wheel.

Overnight in Lhasa hotel Kyichu (B)

Thursday, November 20th - Lhasa Sightseeing 

In the morning, visit Drepung Monastery, once the largest monastery of Tibet. Later visit Mentsekhang (traditional Hospital). In the afternoon visit Norbulingkga Palace. The rest of the afternoon is free for rest or stroll around.

Drepung Monastery: The Drepung Monastery is the largest in Tibet. Its foundations were laid in 1416 by Jamyang Chojey, a direct disciple of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelukpa Schools. This beautiful monastery is atop the Gambo Utse Mountain, 5 kilometers from the western suburb of Lhasa. Before the Cultural Revolution of 1959, the monastery housed about 15,000 monks. The ground floor of the monastery is organized on the caves and temples of Jamyang Chojey.  There are also two white pagodas on which the buildings of this monastery rests. In the southwest corner, there is the Ganden Potrang which is a building which was constructed by the second Dalai Lama in 1530. At the centre, there is the Coqen Hall with a large square before it. A wide series of stone stairs will lead to the Entrance Hall. Once you enter through, you can see the Sutra Hall which is supported by 183 pillars. Inside the monastery there are statues of Sage Manjushri Tsong Khapa and Kwan-yin Bodhisattva. The Coqen hall has the conch of Jamyang Chojey.

Norbulingkha Palaces: In 1755, the seventh Dalai Lama builtpark and a modest palace as his summer residence.Later on other structures were added but the most important contribution was made by the present/ the 14th Dalai Lama,who added chapels, gardens, fountains and pools to the east of what the Seventh Dalai Lama has built. This collection of palaces known as the Norbulingka was the winter palace for Dalai Lamas. Norbulingka when translated literally means the Jeweled Park. Among others, the most visited one is the palace of the 14th Dalai Lama which was built in a fusion style of both Tibetan and Western from 1954-1956. The living quarters have a modern touch and included a lot of furniture and a European style bathroom. There is also a zoo at Norbulingka, which was built to keep the animals, offered to the Dalai Lama. The Austrian Mountaineer Heinrich Harrer helped the 14th Dalai Lama build a small movie theatre here in the 1950s. In 2001, UNESCO inscribed Norbulingka on its World Heritage List as part of the "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace". The Norbulingka garden opens for general public everyday at 9 in the morning till 12 noon. It again reopens at 3.pm and closes just an hour after at 4 in the evening.

Bumpari Peak Trekking

Beautiful and also the one closest to Lhasa. If you're acclimatized this little peak can be a 5 hour return trip from Lhasa. Bumpari is also famous for being the peak where the Tibetan New Year fires are lit.

Head to Lhasa bridge. When on the southern side of the river, walk left/east. Hordes of prayer flag sellers indicates when to turn off from the main road. Walk over a yard inside a compound and continue up the paths which are lined with hundreds of thousands of prayer flags. There are many paths leading to Bumpari's summit and it's up to you how steep or easy you want to go

Overnight in Lhasa hotel Kyichu (B)

Friday, November 21st - Fly back to Kathmandu

Patan Durbar Square: Located in 7 Km south east of Kathmandu and founded in the 3rd century AD, Patan is the oldest among the 3 cities in the valley. Patan, historically known as Lalitpur  (city of fine arts), has fascinating Hindu and Buddhist monuments with finest craft since time immemorial. The royal palace square, surrounding shrines and courtyards are praiseworthy monuments during your trip in Nepal. The palace, a number of pagodas,  Shikhara style Krishna temple made of stone, classic craftsmanship, nearby five– storied Kumbheshwar temple and the golden temple are some of the main highlights of Patan. Though we can seeancient temples, Stupas and monasteries in the city, Durbar square consists of monuments from 16th and 17th century in general.

Saturday, November 22nd

Pashupatinath Temple: 
Being a Mecca for Hindus of the world, the temple seemed to have its origin away back to the early Kirant period. However, the present structure dates back to early 18th century. The main Shiva temple is most noted for its gold-painted roof and silver coated doors in each four directions. This holy site is also famous for open public crematorium. See the devotion of people to Pashupatinath, dedicated Sadhus- the holy men, post death rituals and the strange monkeys in the premises of the shrine.

Final departure to Airport

OUR GROUP AIR:  $1,688 with departure taxes which are subject to change up until ticketing



HONG KONG EXTENSION

We have formed 2 groups - one departing on November 12th for the original trip and one departing on November 9th that will take in 3-days in Hong Kong. The airline is offering this stopover at no charge so I couldn't resist as I've never been. I will be working on a 3-day itinerary that will include some half-day tours, hotel and transfers. My target price for this extension will be $500 for double occupancy. Please express an interest in this extension when signing up so we know that there is enough interest.



DEPOSIT TO SIGN UP - $200

Single supplement $650

THIS TRIP IS BEING ORGANIZED BY ED REDER FROM SINGLES IN PARADISE. GO TO www.singlesinparadise.com for more information on our company

CALL[masked] TO SPEAK WITH SOMEONE ABOUT THIS TRIP

Cost Includes:

• Accommodation on twin sharing basis in 4-star hotels in both Tibet and Nepal

• Daily breakfast Round trip air from Kathmandu to Tibet

• All ground transfers and sightseeing by Private bus in Tibet and  Nepal.

• English speaking local guides.Sightseeing admission fees.

• Tibet Permit, Tibet Visa processing service

 Cost does not Include

• International Air/Meals other than indicated.

• Nepal Visa - $25 

• Tibet Visa - $180 (subject to change)

• Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tipping, laundry, phone etc.

• All Lunches and dinners.

• Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events such as flight delay, cancellation, trip interruption due to inclement weather, civil unrest etc.

• Emergency medical transportation.

• Travel insurance.

Visas

We will need to have your scanned passport copy and one photograph by scan. Passport should be valid for 6 months beyond our time of travel.Tibet visa and Tibet travel permit are pre-processed by our tour company. If you are going to Tibet from Nepal, Chinese visa must be issued from Nepal.Nepal visa is available at the airport. You need USD 25 cash and one photograph for Nepal visa 15 days multiple entry. for 30 days need USD 40 per person

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