Please note that you are using a browser that is no longer supported. Please consider viewing this website on another browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Skip to main content
Call us: +44 (0) 1453 844400Email us:

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • Local, English-speaking leader in Nepal and Tibet
  • Free hire of a down jacket, 4 season sleeping bag and fleece liner (supplied in country)
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Single, timed group airport transfers...

Ancient Kingdoms of Tibet Adventure Special

Walking & Trekking

Tibet | Walking & Trekking

Ancient Kingdoms of Tibet
  • Grade:


  • Duration: 22 days from the UK
  • On trek: 5 days Walks on: 6 days
  • Private Departures Available

Call +44 (0)1453 844400 for more details

Visit the kingdoms of Guge and Shangshung in Western Tibet, and the pre-history cave dwelling cities in the Sutlej river valleys beyond Mount Kailash.


  • Take a three day acclimatisation trek in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal
  • Tour the fascinating sights of Lhasa and visit the cave hermitage of Drak Yerpa
  • Fly 800 miles across Tibet and past Mount Kailash to land at the airport of Ali, giving easy access to the ancient kingdoms west of Ali
  • Explore the mysterious kingdoms of Guge and Shangshung
  • Enjoy walks to visit cave dwellings, remote monasteries and ruined castles and visit the holy hot springs at Tirthapuri
  • Drive west to east across just part of the great Tibetan plateau, using the new road to Kathmandu from Tibet driving past Kailaish and through Kyirong and part of Langtang


I returned to the region with friends in June 2019 and we explored so many amazing places. Very few westerners have seen this area as yet, but now it is made all the more possible as there is a daily flight from Lhasa to Ali in the far west. This enables relatively easy access which would otherwise have taken almost a week's driving from Lhasa, and the new road back out to Nepal provides a...

Steve Berry, MD, Mountain Kingdoms


Due to various complications with obtaining visas for Tibet at this time, we are regrettably unable to offer departures for this trip. We are monitoring the situation with our partners in Tibet closely and hope to be able to offer trips again before too long.

Beyond the holy mountain of Kailash in the far western corner of remotest Tibet, are a handful of amazing and mysterious kingdoms. Many of them existed long before the days of the Dalai Lamas, including the almost mythical kingdom of Shangshung, which was the centre of the animalistic religion of the Bonpo. Around the 9th century AD, after the assassination of the Tibetan anti-Buddhist King Langdarma, part of the Tibetan royal family fled to the western end of Tibet and set up another larger kingdom called Guge, which had its capital at an extraordinary place called Tsaparang.

Our trip starts with a pretty three day trek in the Nepalese Himalayan foothills for acclimatisation, followed by an in-depth exploration of the best sights in Lhasa. We then fly west to the small Tibetan town of Ali and start our trek, exploring Shangshung and Guge, long-abandoned kingdoms with crumbling castles and temples, before finally driving out past Mount Kailash back to Kathmandu.

To create this incredible journey our Managing Director, Steve Berry, followed in footsteps of the Tibetan explorer Peter Van Ham, and this fabulous trek, unique to Mountain Kingdoms, is the result of his summer 2019 reconnaissance.

Private Departures

Kirsty and Adam on Kala Pattar close up 800x750

Ancient Kingdoms of Tibet - Private Departures

If you would prefer to travel just with your partner, friends or family, we can arrange a private departure of this holiday. You follow the same itinerary, but travel on dates that suit you. Alternatively we can include elements of this holiday in a bespoke Tailor Made itinerary. Contact our friendly team for details and prices, and to make a booking.

At a glance



Duration: 22 days from the UK

On trek: 5 days Walks on: 6 days

Max. Altitude: 5,211m/17,096ft. Drive over Mayum La, Day 18

Private Departures Available

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Accommodation types: Hotels, Camping

Meal arrangements: All meals included from breakfast on day 3 to breakfast on day 21, departure day.

Itinerary overview
Day Activity
1-2 Fly to Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel in Bhaktapur.
3-5 Circular trek from Bhaktapur via Namo Buddha Ridge, Balthalli Village and Panauti Bazaar.
6 Fly from Kathmandu to Gonggar in Tibet. Drive to Lhasa.
7 Sightseeing in Lhasa including visits to the Potala Palace, Barkhor Market and Sera Monastery.
8-9 Visit Drak Yerpa and Ganden. Return to Lhasa. Day at leisure.
10-11 Fly to Ali. Drive to Tholing. Full day at Tsarparang with walk. Return to Tholing.
12-13 Drive to Xapuk and explore caves. Drive to Dunhang and view monastery. Trek to Chiwang.
14 Visit Shaye Ko Castle and rock formations at Shangze. Return to Tholing.
15 Drive to view Dawa Dzong. Continue to Khyunglung.
16 Explore the Kingdom of Shangshung and walk up the Red Canyon.
17 Drive to Tirthapuri Hot Springs via Guru Gem and walk to ancient hill fort.
18-19 Drive to Drongpa past Mount Kailash, then to Saga and Kyirong.
20-22 Drive to Kathmandu. Overnight flight to London.
Leader: Local leader, Tibet

Our treks in Tibet have an English speaking Nepalese trekking leader appointed by our agents in Kathmandu. Your leader will be experienced in Tibet and will travel with the group from Kathmandu back to Kathmandu. Their job is primarily to look after the group, liaise with the local crew, handle hotel and airport and check-ins, and in fact do all the little jobs that will help make your holiday trouble free.

Local leader, Tibet

Holiday Itinerary

Download a detailed itinerary
Day 1 - Fly London to Kathmandu

Depart London on your overnight flight to Kathmandu.

Overnight icon Overnight: In flight

Day 2 - Arrive Kathmandu. Group transfer to the hotel.

On arrival in Kathmandu you will be met and transferred to the Heritage Hotel, Bhaktapur.

Your Tibet permit will be finalised while you are in Kathmandu, so our local agents will ask you for your passport and Tibet Visa payment.

Overnight icon Overnight: Heritage Hotel, Bhaktapur

Day 3 - Drive to Dhulikhel - approximately 1 hour. Walk up to Namobuddha, 1,985m/6,512ft, - approximately 3-4 hours.

You will leave this morning by vehicle to Dhulikhel and it will then take about 4 hours to hike to the ancient Namo Buddha Monastery, 1,750m/5,751ft. For centuries this has been a famous Buddhist pilgrimage site where the reincarnated Buddha offered his body to a hungry tigress in order to allow her to feed her cubs. Along the way you will see fantastic mountain vistas with the many Buddhist stupas on the hilltops. There are also beautiful views throughout the walk of terraced fields of rice, mustard and millet. You will also be surprised by the number of temples, the variation in landscapes and diversity of people living in harmony.

Overnight icon Overnight: Namo Buddha Resort Or Similar, Namo Buddha

Day 4 - Walk to Balthali village, 1,730m/5,676ft - approximately 5 hours.

After breakfast, you will start your walk to reach Balthali village, offering excellent mountain views along the way at an altitude of 1,730m/5,676ft. We then visit a typical Tamang village called Dada Gaun, a very traditional Buddhist Community untouched by the modern world, with people and animals still living side by side. You will then walk to Pada Gaun (2,100m/6,889ft), taking in extremely good views of the whole Himalayan range to the north and the beautiful green forest of Mahabharat. You will then walk on to Karnali, and follow the banks of the Ladku River back to the Balthali Village.

Overnight icon Overnight: Balthalli Resort Or Similar, Balthalli Village

Day 5 - Walk to Khopasi - approximately 1½ hours and to Panauti Bazaar, 1,400m/4,593ft - approximately 1 hour. Drive to Bhaktapur - approximately 1 hour. Afternoon tour of Bhaktapur.

After breakfast you will walk down to Khopasi (approximately 3km) where you will be picked by private vehicle for the return trip to Bhaktapur.

On the return journey, you will stop at Panauti to take a leisurely walk to the thriving Newari village which is rich in culture. You will also visit the Indreshwor Mahadev Temple, which some authorities believe is the original structure that was built in 1294 AD. You will then continue your journey back to Bhaktapur, where you will have a tour of the town centre.

Overnight icon Overnight: Heritage Hotel, Bhaktapur

Day 6 - Fly from Kathmandu to Gonggar, Tibet, 3,600m/11,811ft – 1½ hours. Drive to Lhasa – 60km, 1½ hours.

You will transfer to the airport for the flight to Gonggar in Tibet. In Gonggar (the airport for Lhasa) you will be met and will drive to Lhasa. Nowadays the road passes through three short road tunnels through the mountains so the drive takes just one and a half hours. Lhasa is today a very modern looking city but your first sight of the Potala Palace as you drive into town will still take your breath away. On arrival in Lhasa you will check in to your hotel which is situated in the centre of town. On arrival remember that you are now at altitude - 3,600m/11,811ft - so it is best to take it very easy for the afternoon.

Overnight icon Overnight: Kyichu Hotel or Similar, Lhasa

Day 7 - Morning sightseeing at the Potala Palace, and afternoon Sera Monastery.

Please note that the schedule for the next two days' visits may be adjusted depending on events and ticket availability for the Potala, as bookings can only be made with your passports once you arrive in Lhasa, and sometimes it can be pretty busy.

However, the plan is that in the morning you will visit the Potala Palace. Luckily the Potala remained largely undamaged throughout the years of the Cultural Revolution. Songtsen Gampo was the first Tibetan ruler to establish a palace on this outcrop, the 'Red Hill', but construction of the grand palace that you see today began in 1645 during the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama. The palace is named after Mount Potala, a sacred mountain in South India, and has served as the home of successive Dalai Lamas and their monastic staff. You will start your tour by climbing up the steps at the south side of the building, take your time doing so. There is even an oxygen station half way up for those who are struggling with the altitude! You then work your way up through successive storeys and through a maze of rooms - through the living quarters of the Dalai Lama and through numerous highly decorated chapels and colourful assembly halls. Walls are decorated with intricate murals and hung with painted thangkas. One of the most awesome rooms in the Potala is the Chapel of the Dalai Lamas' Tombs, which contains the massive golden stupa of the Fifth Dalai Lama and smaller stupas containing the relics of other Dalai Lamas. When you have completed your tour you will come out at the roof level where the views are stunning, and will walk down on the northern side, where you will join the Kora path, and as there will be many Tibetan pilgrims making their Kora (circuit) right around the building, you may like to do the same. Please note that although photography is not permitted inside the Potala, you may take photos on the approach up the steps, and once you emerge at the rear.

In the afternoon you will drive 40 minutes to Sera Monastery, one of the three great Gelukpa monasteries near Lhasa. This monastery dates back to the 15th century and was formerly a monastic township housing over 5,000 monks. Although many of the outlying buildings have been destroyed the principal buildings were left relatively intact and nowadays the monastic population is again over 300 monks. Sera is particularly famous for its great monastic debates and monks can still be seen debating in the debating courtyard. More prosaic but equally fascinating are the large monastic kitchens where monks prepare industrial quantities of food in huge copper cauldrons. It is quite a sight to see Tibetan tea being blended with a mixer the size of a road drill! Please note that cameras are not allowed to be used in the debating courtyard itself, but bizarrely taking photos with cell phones is perfectly acceptable! So we highly recommend you bring a phone with you to photograph this interesting experience. Please also note that imitating a monk is also strictly forbidden, so please watch them but don't copy!

Overnight icon Overnight: Kyichu Hotel or Similar, Lhasa

Day 8 - Drive to Drak Yerpa Hermitage, 4,885m/15,929ft - 16 miles/26 km, approximately 2 hours. Drive to Ganden Monastery - 1 hour drive. Return to Lhasa.

Today you drive from Lhasa to Drak Yerpa Hermitage, 4,800m/15,750ft located in a wonderful site with great views. There are meditation caves built in the mountainside. These shrines and hermitages in the cliffs are some of the earliest known meditation sites in Tibet, some dating back to pre-Buddhist times. Anybody who was anybody in Tibet meditated here! So for instance, Songtsen Gampo, and his two queens meditated here as did Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche). Also the very famous legendary hero, Gesar of Ling, is said to have visited the valley. The holes his arrows left in the cliffs are believed to be evidence of his presence. After the visit, you continue driving for another hour to Ganden Monastery, 4,300m/14,100ft, which is another of the three most important monasteries in Lhasa (along with Sera and Drepung). Ganden sits high on a mountain ridge. You explore the monastery prayer halls, then hike around the ruins at the base of the mountain and do a kora (circumambulation) around the monastery. Ganden has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures. The most important and valuable arts here are the paintings of Buddha.

Overnight icon Overnight: Kyichu Hotel or Similar, Lhasa

Day 9 - At leisure in Lhasa, 3,597m/11,800ft.

We have included a day here for you to 'do your own thing'. We believe a good tour should be a mixture of free time and guided sightseeing. There is so much to see and do in Lhasa. We suggest, perhaps, an early morning kora of the Barkhor Market. There is also a very nice walk that can be done all around the old quarter of Lhasa, or you might like to hike up the Medicine Hill for grand views of the Potala Palace. This is all excellent acclimatisation before you fly tomorrow to the far western end of Tibet.

Overnight icon Overnight: Kyichu Hotel or Similar, Lhasa

Day 10 - Fly to Ali, 4,411m/14,471ft - 2 hours. Ddrive to Tholing, 3,723m/12,214ft – 200km, 5-6 hours.

There are now daily flights from Lhasa to Ali (also known as Ngari Gunsa) which take about two hours. In this age of flying anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat, we rarely look out of the window. However, this is one flight where you may be glued to it! It is not often you get the opportunity to look out over the Tibetan plateau and get an idea of its vast expanse. As you get closer to Ali, you will see Mount Kailash on the left hand side. The scenery on this flight is otherworldly.

You then drive from Ali to Zanda Xian (Tholing) through grand scenery on a bumpy road, especially at the end when you enter the grand canyons near Tsarparang. Tholing was west Tibet's most important monastery. It was built c.1020 by Rinchen Zangpo, who, together with Atisha from India, led the revival of Buddhism in Tibet. Badly damaged in the Cultural Revolution but worth visiting, Tholing Monastery is 13km from Tsarparang.

Overnight icon Overnight: Zanda Castle Hotel Or Similar, Tholing

Day 11 - Visit Tsarparang, 3,800m/12,467ft – 13 km, ½-1 hour. Return to Tholing.

You drive to the ancient city of Tsarparang, which takes about an hour. Tsaparang sprawls all over the slopes and the top of a ridge bounded to the north by the Sutlej River. Mountains surround it to the east, south, and west, providing a natural and impregnable fortification. The entire ridge is covered with temples, chortens, houses, cave dwellings, all in varying degrees of ruin. Remains of the royal castle and its temples stand at the top, 170m above the valley floor, and can only be reached by a secret tunnel dug within the innards of the mountain. Tsaparang is one of the most important art-historic centres in Tibet, the repository of stunning West Tibetan-style murals and statues. Within the Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Marpo (White and Red chapels) are resplendent Kashmiri-inspired works of art, interpreted in the local artistic idiom. At the end of your day at Tsarparang you drive back to Tholing.

Overnight icon Overnight: Zanda Castle Hotel Or Similar, Tholing

Day 12 - Drive to Pedongpo, 4,300m/14,107ft – 30km, 2 hours. Trek to Barko – 15km, approximately 4 hours.

Drive to Pedongpo. It is about an hour's drive to reach a pass of 4,670m/15,321ft where you may well see wild antelopes and have the most fantastic views over the Tibetan plateau and mountains. You then drop down into canyon land to reach Pedongpo. The oldest West Tibetan wall paintings surviving in present-day Tibet date from the middle of the eleventh century and can be found in numerous mountainside caves in this area. In this little explored part of Tibet, you will have a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the original Shangshung culture. Pedongpo has a decorated cave known to date from the Chidar era and is located south-east of Dungkar in another side valley of the Langcheng Tsangpo. The name Pedongpo means 'stalk of the lotus'. It is an east facing cliff with a considerable number of caves. The main painted cave probably dates to the first half of the 12th Century. If the keyholder can be found, it is worth visiting the Gompa at the village which has a small lump of rock in the shape of Mount Kailash as well as original statues saved from the Chinese Cultural Revolution and hidden away at that time in the mountains. At the time of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama there was a monk here who cured the people of the village of leprosy. His funeral chorten is kept in the Gompa.

You then start your trek to Barko (or Xapuk). From the village you trek up a gorge for nearly 4 hours which gets more and more interesting the further you go. A stream runs in the bottom and you frequently need to bolder hop. You might well see blue sheep on the cliffs. Finally you arrive at a beautiful campsite enclosed by hills. Above the campsite are two caves dating back to the 1100s. Again these are worth visiting if the man with the key can be found. The approach is across quite steep hillsides.

Overnight icon Overnight: Camp

Day 13 - Trek to meet vehicles on road. Drive to Dunhang - 2 hours, and view monastery. Visit Dunhang Caves. Trek to Chiwang.

The small village of Dunkar (Bliss) is approximately 4,100m/13,450ft backing onto a ravine encrusted cliff face that houses scores of manmade caves. Four of the caves date from the early period of the Guge kingdom with wall paintings of exceptional quality and luckily they escaped the destructions of the 1960s and 70s. From camp it is an easy 1 to 1½ hour walk from the campsite up on to the plateau where there should be full views of Nanda Devi and the other string of Himalayan peaks to the south. You may now follow the road to a junction where your vehicles should pick you up. There is then a 2 hour drive to Dunhang. The monastery on the hill is well worth a look before driving a very short distance to visit the Dunhang caves. These are bigger than the Pedongpo caves, with 11th Century murals. It is then less than 2 hours walk through more magnificent scenery to finally arrive at Chiwang. In 2019 the group saw what they thought was either an Argali or Marco Polo sheep (also a type of Argali) with huge curly horns, both species are endangered.

Chiwang is about 5 miles west of Dunkar where the ancient roads divide into those leading north via Ladakh to central Asia, and south via Gartok to India. Behind the small village is an enormous cliff with the ruins of a Sakya Temple in its upper reaches. It is estimated there are over 1000 manmade caves here. Chiwang was probably a minor kingdoms in its own right in ancient times, possibly the largest on the upper reaches of the Sutlej. The campsite is in lovely fields below the village.

Overnight icon Overnight: Camp

Day 14 - Day visit to Shaye Ko Cliffs and Castle at Shangze. Return to Tholing – 40km.

It is worth getting up early for the dawn light on the Chiwang cliffs. It is a great drive across what the Ladakhi people would refer to as the Changtang plateau. On and on with the Himalaya in the background, the plateau is broken occasionally by small inset valleys, lots of great rock formations, mountains and fluffy clouds. It is very beautiful. Reaching the village of Shangze, people direct you onwards to the weird valley containing extraordinary rock formations. In 2019 the group walked for 2 hours in this area to just explore and look at the huge eroded pinnacles. Returning to Shangze, they walked up to the ancient castle which is a 60m ascent with 769 steps to a despoiled cave and castle at 4,345m/14,255ft. Return drive back to Chiwang and then on for another 1¼ hours to reach Tholing.

Overnight icon Overnight: Zanda Castle Hotel Or Similar, Tholing

Day 15 - Drive to Dawa Dzong - 2½ hours. View monastery and castle. Drive to Khyunglung - 3 hours.

With great sadness you are leaving now to drive the long way back to Kathmandu, but before leaving the west there are still several ancient places to see. The first of these is Dawa Dzong which is about 2½-3 hours' drive from Tholing.

Leaving Tholing, you start on the road as though you are going towards Tsarparang but turning left you climb up in a huge valley to the Tibetan plateau and after 45 minutes' drive, there is a fine viewpoint. There are two police checkpoints before reaching Dawa Dzong, which in fact, is quite a large town and sitting up high above it is a castle and some sets of ancient caves. It is a very nice walk up to take a look around. This place must have been massive in its heyday and you may well have a picnic lunch up near the fortress. From Dawa Dzong, it is a further 210 km to Khyunglung. Some of this drive is on an old rough road, but much of it is on new blacktop. You may well see several herds of wild ass in this area. There is one point on the road where you reach a height of 4,955m/16,256ft. There is also a point where you can see Mount Kailash way off in the distance. You spend tonight at an excellent campsite near the extremely important centre of pre-Buddhist Bompo religion.

Overnight icon Overnight: Camp

Day 16 - Explore the kingdom of Shangshung and walk up the Red Canyon.

Until recent times, Kyhunglung was a completely restricted area. It is not far from the hot springs of Tirthapuri and was the capital of the former ancient kingdom of Shanghung. In its day Shangshung would have been a very powerful and large kingdom with a vast array of fortresses controlling the trade routes to India, Kashmir, Gandhara and the Tarim Basin and beyond. Again there are a great many caves and a castle dating back at least from the 11th Century, although probably long before that as well.

From camp it's about half an hour to a bridge. In 2019 there were 3 dead yaks hanging from this bridge, head down. This is an ancient traditional practice done when a yak has died accidentally. There are in fact two bridges, a very ancient bridge and a newer version next to it. Ahead of you now is a cliff of layered colours and furrowed erosion channels. Caves, old buildings and forts pepper the landscape. You can climb up and look at many of these caves. Some with piles of old bones as well as scraps from old prayer books. Some are totally blackened and tarred inside with rudimentary hearths. In 2019 the group found a small chapel cave with ancient paintings of Buddhas and later they found a hermit's cave which had extremely fine paintings. Really the essence of mysticism. Having explored to your heart's content you come back down towards the Sutlej River below, and it is worth exploring a side valley which the 2019 group called 'The Red Canyon'. Go up as far as you dare and have a picnic. You may possibly see wild geese here honking loudly, possibly jack rabbits and herds of yaks. You can spend hours exploring this fascinating area.

Overnight icon Overnight: Camp

Day 17 - Drive to Tirthapuri Hot Springs via Guru Gem. Walk up to ancient hill fort.

Tirthapuri is the third most important pilgrimage site in Western Tibet. The hot water just wells out of the ground here, leaving white deposits. Steam, colourful Tibetans, chortens, prayer flags, various holy caves, all painted ochre and white - all these sights add up to a truly beautiful place, next to the Sutlej River. Watch for huge jackrabbits and wild asses (kiang) along the route.

Only half an hour from the hot springs is the amazing cliff monastery of Guru Gem. It is a Bonpo Gompa and, according to a re-incarnate head lama whom Steve met in 1996, it has stood there for 2,800 years! When Steve's group visited in 1996 the lama told them that he was young at 75 years - his previous incarnation lived to be 250 years old. It may be possible to visit the cliff temple, but certainly the monastery at its foot.

These days permission is needed to actually go up and visit the cliff temple, but the temple at the foot is a very lavish affair, probably built with Chinese money to impress.

Leaving Guru Gem behind, you begin the drive to Tirthapuri and look out for a path on your left shortly after leaving Guru Gem that leads you up to the bare remains of an ancient hillfort. This is well worth the hike as the views from the top are excellent. This minor detour takes about 2 hours walking with a picnic lunch perhaps. From here it is a further half hour drive to arrive at the hot springs of Tirthapuri.

Overnight icon Overnight: Camp

Day 18 - Drive past Mount Kailash. Stop for lunch at Hor County. Drive to Drongpa, 500km, 7½-8 hours.

From Tirthapuri, it is about an hour's drive to the junction that leads east to the town of Darchan. About a quarter of an hour before this junction is a very good photo stop place for pictures of Mount Kailash. The plan is not to visit Darchan as you need a specific permit for this, and there is very little to see there. Therefore, you will carry on for another hour to the end of Lake Manasarorar. Travelling on for another 50 minutes you come to yet another large lake with mountains to its north. This is Toktso Lake, a salt lake where black-necked cranes are migratory inhabitants, flying south in the winter. The road now climbs to cross the Mayum La 5,211m/17,096ft - the highest point on your trip, but by now you will be well acclimatised. Dropping down from here it's about an hour to the bottom of the pass where there is a checkpoint. It is amazing scenery every step of the way.

Mount Kailash Mount Kailash, 6,714m/22,028ft, Asia's most sacred mountain, is said to be at the heart of the ancient Shangshung kingdom, the supposed land of origin of the pre-Buddhist Bonpos. Mount Kailash is their soul-mountain (lari), which they also call Yungdrung Gu Tse, the Nine-story Swastika Mountain. This is the very place where the sect's legendary founder, Tonpa Shenrab, descended from heaven to earth. In the 11th Century, with the revival and ascendancy of Buddhism in Tibet, Milarepa, the poet-saint and patriarch of the Kagyupa sect, was the dominant influence in the area. This came to pass when he defeated his Bonpo arch rival, Naro Bonchung, in a series of magical contests.

Overnight icon Overnight: Yajiangyuan Hotel Or Similar, Drongpa

Day 19 - Drive to Kyirong, via Saga - 350km, 6-7 hours.

Ever onwards and the next big place on the road is the town of Saga. You drop down into this town from the mountains and cross the Yarlung Tsangpo River on the newly built bridge. Saga is a 2½ hour drive from Drongpa. It is here at Saga that you leave the main road leading to Lhasa and turn south on the 'new road' to stop the night at Kyirong.

Overnight icon Overnight: Kyirong Hotel (Gyirong), Kyirong

Day 20 - Drive to border and cross into Nepal. Drive to Kathmandu.

After the earthquake in 2015, the road that was used previously to go into Tibet from Kathmandu, the Friendship Highway, was closed due to landslide damage. However, this 'new road' provides a much better and more direct route to Kathmandu. It crosses the border just west of Langtang and then from the border it is only a few hours into Kathmandu. No doubt you will be very keen to enjoy hot baths, Nepalese food and perhaps a beer or two to celebrate your huge adventure.

Overnight icon Overnight: Nepali Ghar Hotel, Kathmandu

Day 21 - At leisure. Late afternoon transfer to airport for overnight flight to London.

This day has been left free for you to do your own thing, and a late checkout from the hotel will be arranged as the flight home takes off in the evening. Your transfer to the airport will be in the late afternoon.

Overnight icon Overnight: In flight

Day 22 - Arrive London


Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on +44 (0) 1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

Booking your holiday
  • Deposit
    From £400.00

For the majority of our holidays, a deposit payment of £400.00 per person is required to secure your place(s), however a small number of holidays require a higher deposit - please refer to the holiday itinerary for more details. If the holiday departs within 60 days, a deposit of £1,000.00 per person is required.

Book now!
  1. Book your small group holiday securely online – click the ‘Book’ button next to your chosen departure or visit our How to Book page
  2. Complete and return a Booking Form available to download here.
  3. Call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 and one of our travel specialists will talk you through the booking process.

What’s included

  • Local, English-speaking leader in Nepal and Tibet
  • Free hire of a down jacket, 4 season sleeping bag and fleece liner (supplied in country)
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Single, timed group airport transfers for international flights on arrival and departure
  • Flights between Kathmandu-Lhasa and Lhasa-Ali, and airport transfers for those flights.
  • Good standard hotel accommodation (4 star) in Kathmandu, bed and breakfast basis
  • Hotel/lodge accommodation in Tibet
  • All camping facilities and all meals on trek
  • Camp staff to carry out all camp work
  • Costs of all porterage
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • Carbon offsetting with the Ecoan Tree Planting Project (for clients taking our flight inclusive option)
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms kit bag

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Nepal visa fees
  • Tibet permit
  • China visa fees (valid for Tibet)
  • Tips
  • Airport departure taxes, except UK

Extend your holiday

Kathmandu Valley sightseeing, Nepal

Kathmandu valley sightseeing
  • Observe traditional crafts such as pottery, woodcarving and thangka painting
  • Choose from a selection of full and half day guided tours
  • Travel in a private car with a driver and an English-speaking guide
More Details

The Kathmandu Valley has a long and rich history and a vibrant culture and there is much that is worthwhile to see there - crowded bazaars, ancient temples, Buddhist stupas, crumbling shrines and picturesque palaces. The Malla kings who ruled in the valley created three major cities in the valley, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan and each of these cities has buildings that are showpieces for the art and architecture of local Newari craftsmen. We offer a selection of half day trips and full day trips to these sites the valley.

Back to top