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Tibet & Nepal

Travel to earths' ''third pole'' for a breathtaking adventure!

Book from € 2,199.-
GROUP SIZE: 6-24 | 22 DAYS

Welcome

A journey full of stunning scenery, vast mountains and mythical cultures. You'll see the historical royal cities of Nepal and make a wonderful walk along the edge of the picturesque Kathmandu valley. You travel through the vast plateaus of Tibet, where ancient pilgrimage routes, prayer flags and monasteries are the only signs of human life on this "Roof of the World '. The rugged landscape offers a tranquil travelling environment and gives you the feeling of discovering a hidden world. After centuries of being cut off from the outside world, the traditional Tibetan people are now welcoming their visitors with open arms.

Travel documents

For this trip you will require a visa for Nepal, a group visa for China and a permit for Tibet.

Nepal: The visa for Nepal is to be arranged by yourself. You can contact your local Nepalese embassy to arrange the visa in advance or you can purchase the visa on arrival into KTM International airport. Please check as this information is subject to change. Please note that a 'multiple-entry' visa will be required.

China: The group visa for China is arranged by Shoestring through our local agent. The cost is not included and will be added to your invoice. Please be sure to take one colour passport photo with you.

Costs are: 125 Euros/ £ 105/ USD 130 (prices per person)

Please note that a group visa cannot be issued in Kathmandu if travellers have previously visited any of the following countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan.

Tibet: The permit for Tibet is arranged by Shoestring and is included in the tour price. Please send a copy of your passport to us at info@shoestring.com no later than 4 weeks prior to departure*:

*The passport copy is also required in order to book your flight to Lhasa, again no later than 4 weeks beforehand. You should ensure that you have at least 6 months validity on your passport, beyond your intended return date.

Flightinfo

Disclaimer

Accommodation and transport

Transport
During this journey through Tibet and Nepal we have access to a private bus, so we can stop in beautiful spots along the way. All transfers between hotels are included but airport transfers are not included.

To bridge the distance you take a regional flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

You have a three-day hike in the Kathmandu Valley. Each day you will walk between 4-7 hours. Whilst you carry your own day-pack, the rest of your luggage is transported. There is an experienced mountain guide with you and you stay in small simple hotels/guesthouses.
Note: Those who prefer to skip this part can take a local bus or taxi at their own expense.

Our slideshow gives a good impression of the transportation that Shoestring uses in Nepal and Tibet (see 'Streaming media').

No later than 6 weeks before departure we need to have your correct passport data on record. This is necessary for the reservation of your train tickets. These are reserved by our agent using your names exactly as they appear in your passport. If these are not completed correctly, it can cause problems locally because the tickets are non-changeable and often can not be booked again.

Accommodation

You will stay in hotels or guesthouses in double/twin or triple rooms, usually with private bathroom. In Samye and Rongbuk the facilities are minimal, with shared bathroom. The toilet is sometimes outside (often no more than a hole in the ground). In addition, the bedding is not always 100% so we recommend that you also bring a sleeping bag liner along. Due to the location of these places, choice is limited so it is often not possible to find any better alternative. In Rongbuk you sleep in multiple-bed rooms (dormitory), also with a shared 'bathroom'.

In Panauti you sleep in a 'homestay', I.e "in people's homes". Breakfast and dinner are included in Panauti.

Travellers booking alone will share with a fellow participant. We keep in mind in these cases to pair travellers of the same sex.

You can also choose to sleep in a single room for the whole trip. Please indicate this when making your booking. There will be a single supplement charged. In Samye and Rongbuk it is not possible to book a single room so you will still have to share your room in these places.

A good first impression of the hotels Shoestring uses in Nepal and Tibet, can be found on the slideshow of this trip (see 'Streaming media').


Festivals

HOLI PHAGUA - WHOLE OF NEPAL

The Holi feast of Phagwa or Holi is a colourful Hindu festival that is celebrated annually throughout India (and Nepal). This spring festival is the sign of the beginning of a new season and is known also as the harvest festival. It is also considered a victory party: the victory of good over evil.

The old Hindu story around the festival is about Narasimha, an incarnation of the great Vishnu killing Hiranyakashipu, the great demon king. On the eve of the Holi the scene of burning Holika is re-enacted all over India. Wood fires are lit and a living object such as a plant is given up. Rice is thrown into the fire, which is considered a symbolic expulsion of evil. The ceremony also includes prayer, music and singing.

The next day Hindus return to the scene of their fire and smear themselves with the ash. Then in the afternoon they sprinkle one another with scents, perfumes and dyes with different colours having different significances.

During these holidays there is an atmosphere of freedom and happiness. Make sure you bring some old clothes, because most likely you will not be spared and you too will end up buried under coloured powders!

Guidance

Our tours are led by trained, local English speaking tour leaders. We know that our travellers appreciate being accompanied by these local tour leaders who, compared to their counterparts (living outside of the destination) have more detailed knowledge of their country. He/she knows the area well, can provide background information and ensure that the trip goes smoothly. He/she knows what to do if something were to go wrong, but is not a "walking encyclopedia". Therefore we would like to refer you to study a good travel guide (book) in advance of travel.

Your tour leader understandably expects a tip at the end, if she/he has completed the job well. Shoestring pay the tour guides a wage which is higher than that of most adventurous travel companies. Our guideline for tipping is between € 1, - and € 2, - per passenger per day (the equivalent thereof).

Difficulty

This journey is classified as Category C

The difficulty of our trips varies greatly and the difficulty of any journey is subject to personal perception. To give an impression of the difficulty of a particular journey, we have developed a classification system.

Category A: Light travel for everyone to do. Short distances, good hotels, travel at a slow pace.
Category B: For everyone to do as well. Sometimes long distances. Good hotels and camping facilities, sometimes an adventurous overnight experience, travel at a normal pace.
Category C: Good to do for anyone who prepares themself well and is flexible. There are tougher parts of the journey, such as longer distances or walking tours. Several nights can be spent in basic accommodation.
Category D: A relatively difficult journey, travelling long distances, often primitive accommodation or tents, and challenging walking tours.

The Tibet and Nepal journey falls into category C. This trip can easily be made by anyone with normal fitness levels, but it is important to prepare well and have the right attitude: the travel times are long and the roads in Tibet are very bad and can be worsened by rain or snow. Furthermore the accommodation during some of the days in Tibet is very primitive and you may have to go a few days without a shower (there is a basin in the room). It is dusty on the roads and whilst in Tibet you are at an altitude of 4000 meters on average. The lack of oxygen makes you tired and it is quite possible that the first few days you suffer from a mild form of altitude sickness. Keep in mind you are going through developing countries, with a much lower standard of living than you are used to. It is possible the weather or a lack of proper road maintenance makes roads inaccessible and in such cases we may have to take an alternative route. This makes a flexible and positive attitude more important than physical fitness.
 

Sustainability

We know that travelling to remote corners of this planet has its effects. At Shoestring we really try to make an effort to keep our impact to a minimum. We try to avoid the use of plastic water bottles on our treks through Nepal and we do not dump our litter during our trips through Africa. All of our staff have been trained to take special care to ensure we make as little impact on the environment as possible. 

Furthermore we support a lot of local projects which are mostly related to clean drinking water or making sure that children get vaccinated against illnesses such as tuberculosis. On most tours you will be able to visit some of the projects we support through our local agents. Find out more about the different projects Shoestring are involved with, how you can make a difference and our environmental policies here

Insurance

Travel insurance, including medical repatriation insurance, is mandatory. It is not included with our packages and it is your responsibility to purchase suitable travel insurance. Make sure that it covers all the activities that you are likely to undertake, such as rafting and trekking. Many ‘free’ insurances that come with banking packages, credit cards etc, are quite often inadequate to cover you on our tours, so make sure you check the policy before you travel. You should enter your travel insurance details via your my.shoestring account and you are required to give a copy of your insurance policy to your tour leader upon arrival. Without proper insurance like this, you will not be allowed to join the tour as we will not be able to respond adequately in case of an emergency if you do not have the right insurance.

Address

Shoestring International
Entrada 223
1114 AA Amsterdam-Duivendrecht, The Netherlands.
www.shoestring.com                    

You can call us on number +31 20 6850203 or +44 (0)1306 744797 and email us at info@shoestring.com           

Opening hours Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM (Local times in Netherlands).

Country information

More country information about Tibet

More country information about China

More country information about Nepal

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Tibet

Frequently asked questions about China

Frequently asked questions about Nepal

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