Day 1: Depart the US
Depart on your overnight flight from the US to China.
Day 2: Arrive Chengdu
Upon arrival in Chengdu, we are met and transferred to our hotel.
Day 3: Chengdu
Sightseeing today begins with a visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding with a chance to see some of the animals up close. Drive to one of the most spectacular sights of Sichuan, the Grand Buddha of Leshan.
Day 4: Chengdu to Lhasa
Today, fly to Lhasa and as we approach the city, see the high walls of the Potala Palace soaring above the city. The remainder of the day is free at leisure to acclimate to the altitude.
Day 5: Lhasa
Sightseeing begins at the Jokhang Temple, built by the first King of Tibet. The Barkhor, which encircles the Jokhang, is the holiest of Lhasa’s pilgrim circuits. Take a short drive into the low lying hills to the Sera Monastery.
Day 6: Lhasa
Tour the Potala Palace today, the official winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Its grand scale and dominance over the city’s skyline reflects the Dalai Lama’s former position as the center of the Tibetan faith and politics.
Day 7: Lhasa to Shigatse –Day Tour to Gyantse
Travel to Shigatse, stopping to visit the Gyantse Kumbum, the largest shrine in Tibet. Continue on to Shigatse, famed for its ancient buildings and skilled carpet weavers.
Day 8: Shigatse to New Tingri (Shegar)
Today, a visit to the Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the six monasteries of the Yellow Hat Sect. From here we drive to Shegar, passing small Tibetan villages and ruins of ancient dzongs along the way.
Day 9: New Tingri–Day Tour to Mt Everest Base Camp
Rise early and cross the Guela Pass with its panoramic views of the eastern Himalayas. Continue driving to Pasum, visiting the monastic village of Rongphu. Enjoy an excursion to the Mt Everest Base Camp to experience breathtaking views and see the Rhongpu Glacier.
Day 10: New Tingri to Zhangmu
An early start today, continuing on toward Bhaktapur via Zhangmu, the last stop before you cross the border into Nepal.
Day 11: Zhangmu to Bhaktapur– Day Tour to Dhulikhel
Drive to the Friendship Bridge, crossing into Nepal. Continue on to Dhulikhel and visit an assembly of fine Newari houses. Later, transfer to the 16th century town of Bhaktapur.
Day 12: Bhaktapur
Tour Bhaktapur today, the third of the ancient royal capitals. At Durbar Square, visit the Golden Gate and the Palace of 55 Windows, weaving through to the Taumadhi Tole Square and the Changu Narayan Temple. Later, travel to the small village of Thimi, known for its local pottery and manufacturing of masks.
Day 13: Bhaktapur to Pokhara
Drive to Pokhara, the finishing point for the famous Annapurna Circuit trek. Tour this small town and absorb the scenery of the Himalayan Region.
Day 14: Pokhara
Visit the International Mountain Museum housing artifacts from various attempts to climb Mt. Everest. Later this evening, enjoy a boat trip on the Phewa Lake.
Day 15: Pokhara to Chitwan National Park
Rise early to visit the Baharai Hindu Temple then drive to Chitwan National Park, one of the last refuges of the one horned Indian rhino.After a briefing from a naturalist guide, we begin the lodge’s program of activities which include elephant safaris, junglewalks, canoe rides, elephant bathing and bird watching.
Day 16: Chitwan National Park
Embark on an early morning nature walk, followed by a visit to the elephant stables and a crash course in riding and leading. A traditional dug-out canoe takes you on a silent trip down the Rapti River to observe the unique elephant bath. Enjoy a Tharu Stick dance, where farmers of the nearby villages show some of their traditional skills followed by dinner around the campfire.
Day 17-18: Chitwan National Park to Daman to Kathmandu
Drive to Daman and walk through the rhododendron and pine forest to the local monastery and Shiva Shrine. The following morning, we depart Daman and drive to Kathmandu. The remainder of the day at leisure to further explore the city on your own.
Day 19: Kathmandu–Day Tour to Patan
Visit Patan and the UNESCO listed Royal Palace. On to the BodhnathStupa and Holy Pashupatinath Temple.Entrance to this temple is permitted to Hindus only, however we will be able to clearly see the temple and the activities performed in the premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River.
Day 20: Kathmandu
Tour the Swayambhunath Temple, commonly known as Monkey Temple due to the large number of monkeys that call it home. Visit Durbar Square, the site ofHanuman Dhoka Palace which was the Royal Nepalese residence until the 19t hcentury. Visit Thamel Market for some last minute shopping.
Day 21: Depart Kathmandu
Fly to the US, arriving home later the same day or the following morning depending on flight schedules.