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Nepal / Tibet

I am always amazed at the extensive amount of travel everyone on this forum does so I thought I'd post this question here.

My husband and his hiking buddy are going to Kathmandu and Lhasa in May/June. They want to see the sights and visit all of the obligatory temples, holy sites, Everest base camp, etc. as well as travel the road between these two locations.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a reputable company that can make arrangements for them? They are communicating with two different companies right now but they are not confident that they are going to get the tour of all of the sites they want to visit.

They don't want a group "tour" but want a personal guide that will provide transportation, take them to visit the sites, arrange for visas into Tibet, etc. They have a very specific itinerary they wish to follow.

Thanks so much in advance for any info you can share!

Posted by
1840 posts

Unless they are going to use an American tour company I'm pretty sure they will have to make their own visa applications. There are companies, and you can find them by Googling "chinese visas", that claim to expedite the process. I don't know how they work. I went to Lhasa through Chengdu several years ago on a ten person tour group that was specialized and we had to make our own visa application. At that time the Chinese visa was $140. Its probably more now.

I think that if the boys will do some reasearch online they will find helpful information. Searches such as "Nepal tourism" and "Tibet tourism" would be a start. If they are going in May they had better get to work right away on the visas and guide planning.

The temples aren't obligatory, they are centers of learning and religious practice. Same with some of the religious sites. There probably isn't much need to visit them without an interest in the Tibetan history, culture, and Tibetan Buddhism. The Himalayan mountains lie between Nepal and Tibet. There are roads between the two countries, although some will say that Tibet is China. The point is that's a lot of territory to cover and they will probably have to make separate arrangement in each country. I'm sure if they get to work on planning right now they can make the desired arangements but time is getting short.

Posted by
3391 posts

We have traveled to China and understand how a visa works for mainland China. Tibet is a little different though. One can easily get a visa for Tibet/Lhasa in Kathmandu with a 5 - 7 day waiting period. It's a common itinerary thus the visa is easy to get once there. That's not so much the issue.
I was hoping that someone who has actually used a guide out of Kathmandu could recommend someone whose services they were satisfied with.
I realize that temples are religious sites. My husband and his friend have been students of Buddhism for many years therefore the desire to visit. Not sure why you assumed they weren't interested. By obligatory, I didn't mean to be flippant. I was merely stating that they wanted to see the places that are commonly visited and where those who are interested, are welcome. They are hoping to find a guide who can facilitate this.

Posted by
4637 posts

We did base camp Everest better said Kala Patar (18300 feet) which is on the other side of the valley where is the base camp. From Kala Patar across the valley are gorgeous views of Mt.Everest. You cannot see it from the base camp. We found very reputable trekking agency called Himalayan Waves with the help of a manager of hotel Marshangdi in Thamel (Kathmandu neighborhood). We had very reasonable price (much better than what is offered in the US), excellent guide and porter. We started at Jiri (village at the end of the road from Kathmandu). Most people fly to Lukla and then trek. Starting from Jiri gives you longer and better aclimmatization for high elevation. The manager of our hotel took care of our other trips there. We had our car with the driver (I would not drive there, it's scary) and we saw important temples, holy sites, Chitwan Royal National Park on the border with India and Pokhara (second largest city in Nepal). All of that was unbelievably cheap. Prices arranged from the US were much higher. But it has been 15 years and progress is unstoppable.