Tibet Itinerary

Kathmandu to Kathmandu: Photograph the Real Tibet Through Your Lens

I’d love to talk with you about this initial itinerary and how we can work together and design a photo tours just for you!
415-331-3791 or 800-403-7190 (USA/Canada)

Day 01

Arrive in Kathmandu (4,265 ft)

On arrival, you will be met and assisted by our office representative to your hotel (Rooms will be available from 1400 Hrs). Flights typically arrive late evening.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 02

Kathmandu Valley

You will meet Mani Lama and other participants for an orientation at breakfast. After breakfast, we explore the Kathmandu Valley.

We begin with a visit to Kathmandu proper and photograph around Durbar Square, the historic center of Kathmandu in which the Temple of the Living Goddess is located. In this temple a small girl is selected from a particular clan of craftspeople after extensive ritual, and is declared a goddess.

We also visit Hanuman Dhoka, a restored palace and temple complex, devoted to the famous monkey-god Hanuman. By the main entrance to the palace complex is a statue of Hanuman. The figure is shielded by a golden umbrella and his face has been covered with red paste by devotees so that his features are now completely obscured. Inside this large compound are many different courtyards and buildings, both religious and secular.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

After lunch, photograph Pashupatinath temple, a sacred Hindu site and Boudhanath Stupa, the largest Buddhist stupa in the valley. There are ample opportunities to get those great shots!

Sunset shoot followed by an evening dinner.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 03

Kathmandu – Lhasa – Tsedang (11,512ft)

(By flight and by surface 65 km/1 hr)

We are met in Lhasa by our local guide. After immigration formalities, we drive to Tsedang passing through barley and wheat to the third largest city in Tibet. After checking into our hotel, we visit Yumbu Lakhang.

Yumbu Lakhang meansthe palace on the leg of a female deer” and is located on the east bank of the Yarlong River southeast of Tsedang Town. This castle is perched dramatically on a pinnacle above the valley and is the oldest known dwelling in Tibet, reputedly the home of the Yarlong Kings. The view from the castle is fabulous. Photo options abound!

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 04

Tsedang – Samye – Lhasa (11,811ft)

(By surface 40 km/45 minutes – by surface 190 km/4hr)

After an early photo shoot and breakfast, we travel onward along the Tsangpo River to the Samye Monastery.

Samye Monastery was founded in 779 AD and is one of the most impressive sights of Tibet.

After lunch we drive to Lhasa and checkin at our hotel.

Overnight in the Hotel


Day 05


At breakfast we will be briefed about the day’s program which includes photography of the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and the Barkhor Market.

The Potala Palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. It is a 13th storied complex monument which houses 10,000 shrines and over 200,000 images and has about 1000 rooms. We explore the ancient chambers of the palace and see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. We also view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas.

The Jokhang a seventh-century geomantic temple at the heart of Lhasa is the most sacred temple of all Tibet. Queen Bhrikuti, a Nepalese princess married to King Songtsen Gampo, founded Jokhang Temple and in recognition of the Queen the main gate of the temple faces west towards Nepal. The most impressive structure of the Jokhang Temple is the many chapels surrounding the temple.

Sera Monastery, founded in 1419, sits at the base of Mount Purbuchok. It used to be an important center for learning where in the past 5,000 to 6,000 monks resided. Currently about 550 monks are said to be living there. The important structures inside the monastery include Coqen Hall, (the main assembly hall), three Zhacangs (Buddhist colleges) and twenty-nine Khangtsens (monk dormitories).The most intriguing feature here is the nine-meter image of Maitraya which was erected in 1419; here one can also witness the practicing of debate among the monks, who pitch their knowledge against each other.

The most popular Barkhor Market (Bazaar) is a square where Tibetan handicraft items, Buddhist artifacts, carpets, paintings are sold. Great photo options!

Return to our hotel.

Overnight in the Hotel

Note: Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed inside the Potala Palace every day, the order of sightseeing places will be decided upon at that time.

Day 06

Lhasa – Tsurphu (14,104 ft)- Nam Tso Lake (15,475 ft)

(By surface 70km/1hr and by surface 230 km/5 hrs)

Today we drive to Tsurphu monastery and then onward to Namtso Lake.

Tsurphu Monastery served as the traditional seat of the Karmapa. It is located in Gurum town, built in the middle of the valley facing south with high mountains surrounding the monastery complex. Tsurphu was founded by the first Karmapa in 1159 when, he laid the foundation for an establishment of a seat there by making offerings to the local protectors. The monastery grew to hold 1000 monks. It was totally destroyed in 1966 during the Cultural Revolution but was rebuilt in 1980 by the 16th Karmapa.

In Tibetan, Nam Tso means “Heavenly Lake”. Nam Tso Lake is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. It is the highest saltwater lake in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and covers a vast area of about 740 square miles. The crystal-clear water of this lake and the scenic beauty of its surrounding provide many photo options.

Overnight in the Guesthouse

>Day 07

Nam Tso Lake – Lhasa

(By surface 230 km/5 hrs)

After breakfast we drive back to Lhasa and check in to our hotel. In the afternoon we dicover the Norbulinka Palace.

Norbulinka Palace, also called the “Jewel Park”, is a large open area about four kilometers to the west of Lhasa, and referred to as the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Since the time of the Eight Dalai Lama, the park has been used as a summer palace, retreat and recreation area for the successive Dalai Lamas.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 08

Lhasa – Gyantse (12,956 ft)

(By surface 265km/4 hrs) 

We drive the Friendship Highway past Khamba La, with a brief visit to shoot majestic views of Yamdrok-Tso Lake and Mt. Nojin Kangsang. Heading west, we come across another pass, Karo La. We see beautifully landscaped Tibetan villages as we near the town of Gyantse, an old Tibetan Town against a backdrop of magnificent 14th-15th century fortresses and temples. Here we will visit the Khumbum Monastery and Pelkhor Chode Temple. Ample photo opportunities,

Khumbum monastery is a large gold-domed Stupa and has many small chapels with an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. The monastery is an architectural masterpiece built in the style of 108-sided Mandela and is the most revered Stupa in Tibet. Out of the 112 chapels only 23 are open to the public.

Pelkhor Chode Temple is a fort dating from the 14th century From here we enjoy the spectacular views of Gyantse and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley.

Overnight in the Hotel

>Day 09

Gyantse – Shigatse (12,795 ft)

(By surface 90km, 1 hr)

After more shooting around Gyantse, we drive to Shigatse, the second largest city of Tibet. We explore Tashilumpho Monastery, one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and a major attraction of Shigatse.

There are about 39 amazing chapels inside including the huge Maitreya Chapel coated with gold; its workmanship certainly impresses everyone. Afterwards, we will photograph the local markets.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 10

Shigatse – Shegar (13,776 ft)

(By surface 300km/ 5 hrs)

Today you will traverse along the Friendship Highway amidst picturesque landscape driving past small town of Lhatse and going over the Gyantso La pass. As the route opens into plains, many monasteries and camps of nomadic herders become visible enroute to Shegar. There are many photo options.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 11

Shegar – Zhangmu (7,544 ft)

(By surface 300km/ 5 hrs)

We drive past Tingri crossing Lalung La pass and Thong La pass shooting the enchanting views of the surrounding peaks of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar as we descend from the arid Tibetan Plateau to Zhangmu on the Nepalese border. We find ourseves amidst the lush and verdant vegetation of Zhangmu, a small border town teetering on a precipitous hillside. It serves as the main port of entry into Tibet when coming overland to and from Nepal.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 12

Zhangmu – Kathmandu

(By surface 123km/5 hrs)

After breakfast we drive to the Chinese Immigration Office in Zhangmu. The Friendship Bridge across Bhote Koshi River brings is closer to Immigration Control in Kodari where we walk across the river to meet our Nepalese escort who will drive us to Kathmandu. The Nepali foothills and the greenery makes the drive scenic. Options to shoot.

Farewell dinner

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 13

Depart Kathmandu

Transfer to the airport for your international flight onward.

NOTE: Maximum altitude for this tour is 17,122ft


Important Note Regarding Airport Transfer Service:

The airport transfers are included only on the official start day of the tour and on the official departure day of the tour, otherwise, guests can either take a cab or we can arrange airport transfer service at an additional cost for 1 to 4 people.






Hyatt Regency Stupa View – Deluxe Room
Tsedang Hotel – Standard Room
B, L, D
Sheraton Four Points – Standard Room
B, L, D
13 – 14 Sep 16
Nam Tso Lake
Guest House – Basic
B, L, D
Sheraton Four Points – Standard Room
B, L, D
Hotel Yeti – – Standard Room
B, L, D
Hotel Mansarover – Standard Room
B, L, D
Shegar Hotel – Standard Room
B, L, D
Hotel Zhangmu – Standard Room
B, L, D
Hyatt Regency Stupa View – Deluxe Room
B, L, D

Prices depend on dates, travel season and number of travelers.

Let’s talk soon about a photo tour customized for you and fellow travelers: 415-331-3791 or 800-403-7190 (USA/Canada)

Email us directly: A Different Perspective

FOR DEPOSIT ONLY Reserve Your Space Today

A deposit of $625.00 per person is required along with the Booking Form and the below signed Terms/Conditions Agreement Form to confirm a space on this tour. If there are two travelers on one form, the person signing assumes full financial responsibility.

Deposit Per Person: $625.00

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