China, Tibet and Nepal tour
Description of China, Tibet and Nepal tour
Journey from Beijing to Kathmandu by way of the Terracotta Army in Xi’an and the holy city of Lhasa on this superb small group holiday through China, Tibet and Nepal. Every day brings incredible new sights to enthrall, as you cover the history and traditions of three very distinct countries.
To begin, China. Unmissable highlights include the legendary Forbidden City with its myriad palaces and pavilions, as well as Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace. You’ll watch an amazing Chinese acrobat show, which is a true feat of artistry, and walk a stretch of the Great Wall itself, before moving onto Xi’an with its mighty Terracotta warriors. Besides exploring the big-name locations, you’ll also take a fascinating city tour to get a true flavour of daily life here.
You’ll cross the Tibetan Plateau via Xining, heading to Lhasa – the ‘Place of the Gods’. No visit here would be complete without seeing the Potala Palace, once winter residence for the Dalai Lama, or the immense Drepung Monastery which in the past housed some 10,000 monks. Experience the pilgrim circuit around the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Square, the spiritual heart of Lhasa, before heading over snowcapped Himalayan peaks to Gyantse with its remarkable Kumbum chorten and authentic Tibetan feel.
Admire the 15th century Tashilunpo Monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama, in Shigatse en route to a (literal) high point of the trip – Mount Everest. Though only mountaineers can access base camp, you’ll still enjoy jaw-dropping views as you overnight at the nearby Rongphu Monastery (don’t expect 5-star luxury).
Finally you cross the border into Nepal, and the tour concludes in lively Kathmandu, a city with more than a few attractions of its own.
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PlanetThe natural landscapes we explore are some of the richest, often most challenging, yet at the same time some of the most fragile environments on earth. With education, experienced leadership and appropriate equipment and techniques, it is possible to travel responsibly through these regions. For us, it is critically important that such wilderness travel experiences do not diminish the natural values of the environment.
Travelling in small groups of between 4-16 people ensures our physical presence is minimised. We use well maintained vehicles to ensure they use as little fuel as possible.
Our environmental sustainable principles: True sustainability is a guiding aspect in all aspects of our business planning and operations. Specifically our tour operations should be managed in a way where the natural and cultural values of the host region are undiminished in the long-term.
Where possible, we engage in partnerships with local environmental groups and/or land managers to actively campaign for conservation or promote environmental protection and/or rehabilitation.
Our Responsible Travel Guidebook: Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while traveling.
PeopleOn this trip we invite you to experience the essence of this amazing journey across the Himalaya and immerse yourself in the vibrant and rich cultural history as you go. You will discover a plethora of different cultures and traditions from the Buddhist temples to remote villages and wild open Tibetan Plateau. Many of the communities that we visit maintain their traditions and hold strict religious and sacred beliefs.
Whilst most people are unlikely to rebuke you for unknowingly offending them, you will be carefully guided by our local escorts to the most appropriate behaviour and attire at these various sites. This understanding of cultural differences means that our clients are treated as welcomed guests rather than intruders and this also mean that future visitors will share and equally enjoy this warm welcome.
All our trips in Tibet are run by Tibetans and use local Tibetan guides, native to this region of China, who will heighten your experience by maximising cultural exchange during your visits to smaller communities. Your guide will direct you to where you can purchase local goods to support the community and more importantly advise you on the “do’s and dont’s” of this particular part of China to help you maintain sensitivity to the local customs which vary greatly from other regions of China.
We will stay at locally owned accommodations and eat meals from locally grown produce, which is in excess so we are not taking away from the community. By using these services your money is directly benefiting communities. You will be actively encouraged to buy local produce and handicrafts in the markets to ensure as much money can be returned to the local community.
Our responsible travel principles: Our company aims to maximise the positive benefits of tourism for host communities. This includes training and employment of local staff, using local suppliers and assisting in the development of sustainable local businesses.
We contribute to the welfare of the host community. This is epitomised in our Community Project Travel program where we organise for our travelers to spend time in disadvantaged villages upgrading basic facilities such as health, education and water access.
We strive to educate our travelers about the destination and its local cultures as well as providing guidelines on appropriate behaviour to minimise impact.
No local payments policy: Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. This policy seems to benefit the tour operators more than the local economies or the travelers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the costs and risks of cash handling onto the travelers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices, we have chosen a policy of not asking for such payments.