Beijing to Kathmandu tours, Mountains & Monasteries

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Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Beijing to Kathmandu tours, Mountains & Monasteries

This trip is an adventure of a lifetime and challenges people culturally, politically and physically. It is sometimes very exciting and sometimes frustrating as we travel through China, Tibet and Nepal with differing cultures, as we get out there and meet people, listen to them, hear their stories, breathe deeply and notice everything. Our longstanding experiences in these areas and our great local guides help us to negotiate our path.

Along the way between Beijing and Kathmandu, we have the opportunity to contribute as travellers to the local Tibetan community in the Thangkor nomad area, where the average income per year is about 1500 Chinese Yuan (£100) per family.

Here, along the banks of the Yellow River, access to education has been rare and difficult, due to the expenses of sending children to school and the traditional nomadic culture, however enrolments have started to increase in the last few years, due to the local Tibetan elders starting an education association, encouraging enrolments and offering full board to the Tibetan nomad children.

However with such increases in school population many resources are needed – basic things such as warm bedding and adequate meals to sports equipment and musical instruments for cultural activities.

In 2005 some of our groups donated world maps to the bare walls of 45 classrooms, and 10 Damye (traditional Tibetan guitars) to the music group. In 2006 the school is hoping to establish some vocational training for older students and the beginnings of a computer centre to help bridge the gap between basic education and more modern styles of learning and eventually help open up future employment opportunities for their young people. We can visit the school and play some basketball at lunchtime with school children who still dress in their traditional Tibetan clothes.

With Tibet having one of the highest incidences of blindness in the world, another project that we have visited for the past 4 years is Braille without Borders, based in Lhasa. Our groups have contributed by in varying ways: carrying parcels of difficult-to-find Braille paper from eastern China, frequenting the schools vocational massage clinicians, and making direct contributions. Many of our passengers take up the option of visiting the centre and view it as a highlight of their trip.

Other fun and practical contributions to the employment of Tibetans on our trips have been the introduction of a one hour Tibetan language class for our passengers (try saying Nga, Na and Nye and make them sound different) and also the opportunity to attend a Tibetan cooking class.

Reviews of Beijing to Kathmandu tours, Mountains & Monasteries

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


All of the holiday was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the train journey from Beijing to Lhasa. The visit to the nunnery was fun. There was nothing on my trip that I didn't enjoy so it's hard to choose 1 thing I enjoyed most.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a total culture shock and just do what the locals do! Immerse yourself in the culture, history and the fabulous landscape.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The trip benefited a local charity for the blind. It did its best to have a environmentally friendly trip but it's not always possible particularly with bottled water.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was one of the best holidays. If you go with a mindset of knowing that living standards are poor as well as the facilities compared to western ones then you will have as much fun as I did.

Reviewed on 08 Jun 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Listening to monks chanting in the Samye Monastery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with an open mind, an attitude of adventure. It is a different country. You
will not find the same facilities as at home. The food is different. But it's all
part of the adventure.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying in a monastery at Emei Shan, one of China's 4 sacred mountains, and being spooked by the candlelit Buddha statues on a midnight toilet trip. Also doing karaoke on a boat trip up the Yangtze with lots of Chinese tourists.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with an open mind and get involved with things.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Uses mainly local transport and hotels which is great - it was a bit of a shock when we went to cafes full of other western tourists to realise we weren't the only ones in town, as we thought. Hard to minimise impacts on the environment when you're travelling such long distances, but the tour operator do try, through using public transport and discouraging e.g. the use of too many small plastic bottles of water.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was very memorable and exciting, and a good idea to go on a tour through a country that would be difficult to navigate alone.

Reviewed on 14 Dec 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


A festival day in Varanasi.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make use of the free time to meet local people.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

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