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Tibet - Roof of the World

Trip Length

Trip Code

13 days PCTR
Min Altitude Max Altitude
529m 5150m

Maximum Passengers

16 people
Minimum Age
15

Countries Visited

China, Nepal, Tibet

Start City

End City

Chengdu, Sichuan, China Kathmandu
Tibet - Roof of the World

Tales of magic and mystery have long attracted travellers to Tibet and today the lure of this once forbidden land remains strong. Fascinating culture, magnificent monasteries and awesome mountain scenery combine to make this journey one of the most spectacular in the world. We start in Chengdu, in Sichuan province, with a visit to see China's most endearing icon - the giant panda. In Lhasa we explore the magnificent Potala Palace, as well as various monasteries. Continuing across the arid Tibetan Plateau we reach Gyantse, at the head of the old trading route to India, and Shigatse, home to the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery and the Panchen Lama. We travel on rugged and dramatic roads, crossing Pang La (Pass) on our way to Rongphu Monastery and on to Everest Base Camp. The final leg of our extraordinary journey descends through an impressive gorge, then winds through the terraced hillsides of Nepal to Kathmandu.

Why we love it:

Tibet - Roof of the World


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Chengdu

Accommodation: Nanhe Hotel or similar, Chengdu

Activities:

Day 2: Chengdu

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Nanhe Hotel or similar, Chengdu

Activities:

Day 3: Leshan (Giant Buddha) - Chengdu

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Nanhe Hotel or similar, Chengdu

Activities:

Day 4-6: Lhasa

Travel time: approximately 1 hour (65 km)

Meals included: 3 breakfasts

Accommodation: Yak Hotel or similar, Lhasa

Activities:

Day 7: Gyantse

Travel time: approximately 4-5 hours (265 km)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Gyantse Hotel or similar, Gyantse

Activities:

Day 8: Shigatse

Travel time: approximately 1-2 hours (90 km)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Shigatse Hotel or similar, Shigatse

Activities:

Day 9: Shegar

Travel time: approximately 4-5 hours (300 km)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Shegar Hotel or similar, Shegar

Activities:

Day 10: Everest Base Camp - Shegar

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Shegar Hotel or similar, Shegar

Activities:

Day 11: Zhangmu

Travel time: approximately 4-5 hours (300 km)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Chaiyuan Hotel or Similar, Zhangmu

Activities:

Day 12: Kathmandu

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Shangri La Hotel or similar, Kathmandu

Activities:

Day 13: Kathmandu

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Activities:


Your Trip

What to know

An excellent level of fitness is required for this trip given the high altitudes. While this trip is not physical in nature, travel at altitude can be extremely strenuous for those not in good health.

What's Included

Transport

Not Included


What to know

Fitness

An excellent level of fitness is required for this trip given the high altitudes. While this trip is not physical in nature, travel at altitude can be extremely strenuous for those not in good health. Altitude sickness is a possibility. Please consult your doctor before travelling and be aware of the signs of AMS.

Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

China

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.

Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany: Yes - in advance
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Netherlands: Yes - in advance
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
USA: Yes - in advance

MAINLAND CHINA & HONG KONG:

Most nationalities require a visa for mainland China. You must obtain your Chinese visa in advance. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival and Chinese visas can be difficult to obtain outside your country of residence. You may be able to apply for your visa in Hong Kong If you have time here before your trip departs. You will need a Single Entry Tourist for your trip valid for 30 days. Hong Kong is not considered part of mainland China for immigration purposes and most nationalities do not require a visa. Please check with an embassy for specific requirements.

INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:

Itinerary:

Please list the destinations you will visit in China in chronological order on your application form. Do not mention Tibet anywhere on your application form. While these areas are not off limits to travellers, they are considered politically sensitive, so including these on your visa application could lead to significant delays or your visa being denied.

Name of Host/Inviting Organisation:
Intrepid Travel Beijing Co. Ltd.
606 InterChina Commercial Building
33 Dengshikou Street
Dongcheng District
Beijing 100006
+86 10 6406 7328

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:

* Hotel List - this will be sent to you by your booking agent. If you do not receive this please email us with your booking number and trip details. Please tick the hotels in all destinations that your trip visits.
* Official invitation from licensed Chinese tourism company - this will be provided together with the Hotel List to all travellers regardless of whether it is required by the embassy or not.
* Itinerary – please print off a copy of your specific trip itinerary from our website and include it with your application, listing the dates you will visit each destination.
* Photocopy of your passport.
* Passport size photo (up to 4 may be required).
* Please check with the embassy for any other specific requirements.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS

We require you to send the following at the time of booking, or no later than 60 days prior to travel: Clear, colour copy of the personal details page of your passport
Please make sure that this copy is for the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip as well.

Nepal
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent. All foreign nationals (except Indians) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad, the International airport, or on arrival at the India / Nepal border. Getting a visa at the airport can sometimes take time due to long queues. There have been instances when passengers were asked to show return flight tickets. You will also need to provide two passport photos and the following approximate fees in US dollars cash only: - Multi entry visa valid for 15 days - US$25 - Multi entry visa valid for 30 days - US$40 - Multi entry visa valid for 90 days - US$100 Please note if you are staying in Nepal for less than 24 hours while in transit a transit visa can be issued on presentation of your international flight ticket, there is a nominal charge of US$5 and one photo is required. Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after, your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the website: www.timeanddate.com to be very useful.

Tibet
Entry from Nepal Current regulations require that all foreign visitors entering Tibet from Nepal do so on a Group Visa. Your tour leader will arrange for a Single Entry Group Visa in Kathmandu on Day 1 of your tour. Please do NOT obtain a Chinese visa before you travel. Any existing Chinese visa in your passport will be cancelled upon application for the Group Visa. The cost of the Group Visa is approx US$115 per person (US citizens US$200) to be paid in cash to your group leader. We require a clear copy of your personal passport page. Please send these through to your booking agent at time of booking or no later than 60 days prior to your departure so that we can then apply for the permit for your group. This is not a visa, rather a document held by your tour leader and Tibet guide permitting your travel in the region. Passport details Please make sure that the passport details you supply are of the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip as well. This may also cause significant delays in obtaining your Tibet permit so please plan ahead. If we do not receive these documents from you in time, your name and passport details will not be listed on the group permit and you will not be able to board the flight or train to travel to Lhasa with the group. Warning! This is a politically sensitive area of China which has in the past been closed to foreign travellers without warning. A change in the political situation can also lead to unforeseen delays in issuing visas and permits. We aim to keep our travellers as up to date as possible with any changes, however these are often made without any official announcement by authorities and as such are out of our control. All travellers must arrive and depart Tibet as part of the group. Independent travel or extending your stay is not possible. Returning to China If you are planning to travel in China after your tour (ie. flying from Kathmandu to Beijing) you will need to apply for a Single Entry Tourist Visa at the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. Please check with the embassy for any specific application requirements. At time of writing the embassy is open for visa applications on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and may be able to provide same day service.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

China

There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: Wild Swans-Jung Chang The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices-Xinran Riding the Iron Rooster-Paul Theroux From Heaven Lake-Vikram Seth One’s Company-Peter Fleming Red China Blues-Jan Wong Mr China’s Son: A Villager’s Life-He Liuyi China, Renaissance of the Middle Kingdom-Odyssey Guide China-Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrase Book-Lonely Planet. The following are recommended for travellers on the Silk Road: The Great Game-Peter Hopkirk Foreign Devils on the Silk Road-Peter Hopkirk.

Nepal

For good general guides to Nepal, India, Tibet and Bhutan, the Lonely Planet guide-books are very helpful. (They even have phrase-books which are very handy.) There are numerous books written about the Himalaya. Check your local library, new and old book-shops, and also the Internet can provide useful information on books to read. Kathmandu has many excellent bookshops where many of the books below can be found.

Travellers Tales and Guides Nepal Lonely Planet Guide: - (Hugh Finlay, Richard Everist, Tony Wheeler)

Tiger for Breakfast-Peissel-1966 Schoolhouse in the Sky-Hillary-1968

When Men and Mountains Meet-Keay-1977

Kathmandu-Kelly-1989

Many People Come, Looking, Looking Rowell-1980

Natural History Birds of Nepal-Fleming-1976

Forests of Nepal-Stainton-1972

Stones of Silence-Schaller-1980

Heart of the Jungle-Gurung Himalayan Flowers and Trees-Meirow/Shreshta-1978

Mountaineering Into Thin Air-Krakauer-1997

Everest the Hard Way-Bonnington-1976

White Limbo-Hall-1985 Annapurna-Herzog-1952

Ascent of Everest-Hunt-1953

The Climb-Anatoli Boukreev Left for Dead-Beck Weathers

Tibet


Important Information

Local Emergency Contacts

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our Beijing Office can be reached on Tel: +861064067328

Tibet Entry Requirements

In order for our local office to apply for a permit for travel to the Tibet Autonomous Region you must first apply for a Chinese visa. A sample itinerary for visa purposes only (not your actual itinerary) will be supplied to you for your visa application. We require a clear copy of your personal passport page and a copy of your Chinese visa 60 Days prior to departure. Please send these through to your booking agent at time of booking or no later than 60 days prior to your departure so that we can then apply for the permit for your group. This is not a visa, rather a document held by your tour leader and Tibet guide permitting your travel in the region.

Should you wish to return to China after your tour you will need to have obtained a double entry visa in advance. Please contact your booking agent should you require documents for a double entry visa.

As all clients will be entering Tibet on a group permit it is not possible for anyone to leave the group and remain in Tibet individually. By law, all travellers must enter and leave Tibet with a group.

Local travel

While the infrastructure in Tibet has improved greatly in recent years and in general the roads are excellent, the geography and terrain of the region means that at times there can be significant delays due to snow, ice, landslides or poor weather. You'll need to be prepared for things not to run smoothly and then celebrate if and when they do! The level of bureacracy in Tibet is extreme and there have been times when travellers have be prohibited from entering Everest National Park, or even crossing the border into Nepal for unknown reasons and at the last minute. Your leader will keep you up to date with any itinerary changes and we recommend having $400 cash as an emergency fund just in case we are required to depart from Lhasa by air or are delayed unexpectedly.

Facilities
Hotels in Tibet are often poorly maintained and even the best options may not be up to the standard you are used to. Hot water can be sporadic or non existent and heating may at times be inadequate. Please be prepared to "rough" it a little, be flexible and patient and bring plenty of warm clothes. 

Travelling During Holiday Periods

Major holidays in China are Spring Festival (Lunar New Year), first week of May and National Week (first week of October). These are not ideal times to travel in China as literally the entire country is on the move and we schedule less or no tours during these times. There is a major burden on all forms of transport, and despite booking in advance, tickets for planes and trains especially are extremely difficult to obtain. If your tour does travel during this time, plenty of patience and flexibility will be required.

 

In 2014 Chinese New Year day fall on Friday 31st January, ushering in the Year of the Horse. All days from 30th January to 5th February 2014 are designated as public holidays. In 2015 Chinese New Year will be on 19th February (Year of the Sheep) and in 2016 it will be on 8th February (Year of the Monkey).

Photography

Photography in Buddhist monasteries requires permission. You will need to pay a fee, which is normally negotiated in advance and not included in your trip costs.

High Altitudes

High altitudes may be experienced during this trip. Please refer to our Altitude Sickness document for more info.

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

8 August 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 1-800-663-5132
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine