Arrive in Kathmandu
Capital of Nepal
Parallels and Meridians welcome you to the wonderful city of Kathmandu. We hope you had a pleasant flight. The day will be spent at leisure, and you can explore the city at your own convenience and pace. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel before we start exploring the city. The day begins with a visit to the Kumari Bahal. Inside this building resides a living goddess, the Kumari, who lives there until she reaches puberty. Many people wait outside the Kumari Bahal for some time just to get a glimpse of her during the day, such is the sanctity of the Kumari, and photography is strictly prohibited. After this, we will pay a visit to the Swayambhunath stupa, which is on a sacred hilltop, and invariably well-attended by gracefully-attired Buddhist pilgrims lighting butter lamps. We will end our day by visiting the famous Durbar Square, the icon of the city. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu – Lhasa Gonggar Airport - Tsetang
The Roof of the World
This morning we have a flight to Tibet – the Roof of the World. We will leave for the airport after a hearty breakfast. Once we arrive at the Lhasa Gonggar airport, our representative will drive you to Tsetang (100kms/2hrs 30mins). The rest of the day is at leisure for you to get accustomed to the weather and altitude, in order to feel fresh and ready for the promise of tomorrow. Overnight in Tsetang.
Tibet’s largest city
Tsetang is one of the largest cities in Tibet and is also the capital of Shannan province, and we are lucky enough have the entire day to explore it. Let’s start from the Samye Monastery, which was built in the eighth century AD, and was the first Buddhist monastery to be founded in Tibet. The view surrounding this monastery is absolutely spell-binding. From here we will proceed to the First Palace of Tibet, known locally as Yungbulakang Palace. Built in the second century AD upon a hill which commands an impressive panoramic view, many locals can be found here waiting with their horses offering rides to the summit – for a small price – should you not wish to walk. There are several shops selling rings and prayer wheels close to the monastery, in case you want to pick up a few authentic souvenirs as well. Overnight in Tsetang.
Tsetang – Gyantse
Small town charm
After an early breakfast we will drive to Gyantse (310kms/7hrs 45mins). Though it will be a long drive, you can still soak up some local rural culture by observing the traditional Tibetan villages along the way – quite relaxing in itself! The day is at leisure once we reach Gyantse. Overnight in Gyantse.
The historical city of Gyantse
Gyantse is a historical city which has long been a vital hub for traders and pilgrims taking the well-trodden routes between India and Tibet. After a delicious breakfast we will set out to explore it. An easy-going town, Gyantse offers numerous popular places of interest, such as the Kumbum Stupa and Phalkor Monastery, each highly enchanting in their own way. We will visit the Gyantse Fort as well, and wander through the old town to get a feel of this great city that is so rich in history. Overnight in Gyantse.
Gyantse – Shigatse
The seat of Panchen Lamas
This morning, after breakfast, we will drive to Shigatse (93kms/2hrs 30mins). The drive is simply blissful, so let’s imbibe some of this beauty along the way. Once in Shigatse, we shall visit some of the main attractions here, including the Tashilhunpo Monastery, which is one of the six largest monasteries of the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism, and was founded by the first Dalai Lama in the mid-fifteenth century. It is the traditional seat of Panchen Lamas, the second highest lama in the Tibetan tradition. Later, we can enjoy some time shopping in the local markets of Shigatse. Overnight in Shigatse.
Shigatse – Lhasa
Capital city of Tibet
After such an enjoyable time in Shigatse, we will now drive to the capital city, Lhasa (272kms/5hrs 50mins). We will be driving along the Northern Friendship Highway, which offers – as always in this glorious region – a picturesque journey: you need only sit back and wonder at the views. Once in Lhasa, we have the day at leisure. Overnight in Lhasa.
Amidst palaces and temples
Let’s do some sightseeing in spectacular Lhasa today. The Potala Palace, which sits on a hill side and is reached by climbing steps, boasts many historical statues and several outstanding paintings. The pride of Lhasa, it was the former residence of successive Dalai Lamas until 1959. Then we have the Jokhang Temple, which will mesmerise with its aura of intense spirituality. We will end our day by visiting the Barkhor Street, which is the most popular devotional circle for pilgrims and locals. Overnight in Lhasa.
We have another day to explore some more of Lhasa. We will start off with a visit to the Drepung Monastery, which is located at the foot of the many rocky, yet majestic slopes that surround Lhasa. From here, we then proceed to Sera Monastery where monks gather to have a debate every day around 3 pm – indeed, for many this remarkable intellectual spectacle is the true highlight of this monastery. We can end our day by visiting the local markets. Overnight in Lhasa.
Lhasa - Gonggar – Kathmandu
Fly back to Kathmandu
After spending such an enriching time in Lhasa, it is time for us to head back to Kathmandu. We will be taking a flight from Gonggar airport. Once we reach Kathmandu you have the rest of the day at leisure, either for shopping or resting. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Departure from Kathmandu
See you soon
We hope you have had a wonderful and enjoyable time in Tibet and Nepal and we hope to see you again soon. Have a safe journey home!
(From May 16, 2018 – September 30, 2018)
|01 pers||$ 5,146||$ 5,603||$ 6,279|
|02 – 03 pers||$ 2,907||$ 2,982||$ 3,440|
|04 – 06 pers||$ 1,993||$ 2,211||$ 2,525|
|08 – 12 pers||$ 1,542||$ 1,761||$ 2,075|
(From October 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019)
|01 pers||$ 4,276||$ 4,638||$ 5,222|
|02 – 03 pers||$ 2,476||$ 2,629||$ 2,921|
|04 – 06 pers||$ 1,752||$ 1,905||$ 2,197|
|08 – 12 pers||$ 1,391||$ 1,544||$ 1,836|
* price per person
THE PRICE INCLUDES
- Accommodation in hotels listed in a double room with breakfast.
- Ground transfers by private car with an English speaking driver in an Air-conditioned Car.
- Entrance fees at sites, museums and shows mentioned in the program.
- English Speaking Guide
- All applicable taxes
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- International Flight & Airport taxes (International)
- Flights Kathmandu – Lhasa – Kathmandu
- Lunch & Dinner
- China Visa
- Insurance and visa costs
- Cost Occurred due to the landslide or road blockade
- Expenses of Personal nature
- Camera and Video charges
- Tips to guides and drivers
- Any other Expenses that are not mentioned above
YOUR HOTELS (or similar):
Each destination has a unique character, a story. So we choose the most beautiful destinations, we also choose the most charming hotels for you.
In addition, we will offer you options to choose from depending on the style of travel that suits you.
You will stay in comfortable, deluxe, luxury or ultra luxury hotels depending on your budget.
- Visa and Travel Formalities
- Accommodation and transportation
- Flights & Land Package
- Our guides
- Insurance and Unforeseen Circumstances
Tibet is more than just a beautiful destination. Not only filled with beautiful lakes, sceneries, breathtaking treks and monasteries filled with brightly colored prayer flags; Tibet is a spiritual place with a whisk or mysticism. The Tibetan’s unadulterated culture brings forth a certain kind of vulnerability to their tourists. From their sceneries, culture to the people — a trip to Tibet is a magnificently humbling experience.
Festivals are so integral to a country’s culture and identity. Here are some Tibetan festivals you can plan your trip around :
Tibet Shoton Festival: This is the celebration of monks coming out their meditation and having a feast with yoghurt as the feature. It is celebrated with food, opera and colorful rugs, usually in August.
Tibet New Year Festival: A festival remembering the victory of good over evil, the Tibetan New year festival or the Losar, is celebrated sometime between February to March. It is celebrated with dance, music and a grand feast.
Nagqu Horse Racing Festival: This is the most majestic festival in Tibet, as Tibetan herdsmen and their families all flock together pitching their tents for the duration of the festival in the month of August, a season when the grass is the greenest and tallest. It is celebrated with traditional dances, music, races and food.
Ganden Thangka Festival: This is a special festival also in August, where Buddhists gather around the ruins of the Ganden Monastery, seek blessing, pray and try to catach a glimpse of the displayed thangka. This is a festival to watch out for if you want to see the passion of the religious Buddhists.
Monlam Prayer Festival: This festival lasts for about 11 days, celebrating and remembering all the works and miracles of Buddha. This is celebrated with religious moments at the monatery, merrymaking with music, and lighting of inumerable butterlamps. This is celebrated somtime in November to December.
For most trips, your passport will be enough. It must be valid for up to six months after your return trip. Passports can be easily obtained from your municipality, although there may be delays during holiday periods and holidays. Note that the passport is also required for children. For some destinations, it will be mandatory to send us a copy of your passport immediately after booking a trip.
Entry to China requires obtaining a visa. Visa-on-arrival is available for several nationalities. You will also be required to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit. For more information please visit http://www.cnto.org/plan/go/visa-info/
We recommend you to get your visa and permit 4 to 6 weeks before your arrival.
Minors traveling with an adult: Parents
When a minor is traveling with a parent, the officials at the airport might ask for proof of documents to confirm your relationship. Some countries require certificates such as a birth certificate. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country of destination regarding the requirements.
Minors traveling with an adult: Others
When a minor is traveling with someone other than the parents or a family member, some countries require a declaration by the relatives to give permission for this trip. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country of destination regarding the requirements.
Each destination has a unique character, a story. So we chose the most beautiful destinations, we also handpicked the most suitable hotels for your comfort. In addition, we offer options to choose according to your budget and travel style that suits you.
We offer three options in MOST of our programs:
Simple and comfortable – These are clean and comfortable hotels. As per P&M standard, they fall into a 2-3 star categorization.
Deluxe – In this option, we offer a mix of charming and deluxe hotels. Some of them are heritage palaces, which are now famous contemporary hotels. As per P&M standard, they fall into a 4-5 star categorization.
Luxury – For the ultimate luxury holiday, we have a collection of rustic, chic and stylish hotels combined with laid back indulgence and unmatched amenities. These international favorites are the best in the destinations.
The the roads to the rural areas are still rugged, road conditions in Tibet has grown better over the years.
Transport is a very significant part of your trip to Tibet. We ensure the quality of the vehicles and the drivers are trained to show you the best landscapes, rural life, by the side of highways, and be attentive to all your requirements. The some parts of the drive may be a little tedious than the others, but you will certainly enjoy the journeys with our expert and hospitable drivers. All our trips are inclusive of transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary contracted and we will not surprise you by asking any additional fees for your small wishes.
The airline and the flight schedules are subject to change. P&M will keep you informed about the latest changes in the schedule, if any.
The price in the website are indicative and may change as per the latest amendment given by the hotels or suppliers. However, P&M will honor the rates once they are offered to you and you have made the payment for the package, even partially. In the case of international or domestic flights, the additional airport taxes that are imposed by local authorities shall be passed to you.
It is also possible to book international flights with P&M. Since we have good connections with several airlines, we will be happy to assist you for your requirements.
These people are our most amazing assets, taking you on beautiful trips with P&M. Who can explain a city or town better than the locals? This is why we always work with the locals carrying a passion for their culture. Their knowledge of destinations is immaculate; eagerly indulging you to experience the journey of the moment. All destinations, most of the cities and towns have English-speaking local guides. These guides are employed by our local agents and get regular training’s pertaining to our requirements. We evaluate their performance after each trip based on your feedback’s.
The services of local guides are included in the program (if opted by you in the package). They not only show you around the city but also purchase the tickets at the monuments. They are available to answer any of your travel related queries.
Although P&M pays them with the standard rates of travel-based companies, they expect a tip at the end of the trip. We recommend a tip of 5 €/ day/ person.
Although our travels are organized with detailed planning, the climate and other factors may change due to some unforeseen events. These however, should not spoil your travel or ruin your fun. In case such circumstances arise, be assured that you have 24/7 P&M support staff ready to offer the most suited solutions to your problems. We do our best to provide the quickest resolutions; nevertheless, we are not responsible for any factor beyond our control.
Tibet has four seaons : Spring (April-May), Summer (June-August), Fall (September-October) and Winter (November- March). Tibet is open from April to October, it is usually closed from February- March because of excessive snowing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following vaccinations for travellers going to Tibet (as well as being up to date with measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations):
- Viral hepatitis A and B
- Typhoid fever
It’s a good idea to consult your government’s travel-health website before departure.
Credit cards & ATMs
ATMs are rare in Tibet, though there are some hotels that accept credit cards and US Dollars; the best option is to have Chinese currency. You can exchange your currencies at the Bank of China.
Mobile in Tibet
The best option for coverage on your cellphone is buying a sim card from Lhasa. You can also use public phones or the International Direct Dial of most hotels.
Tibetan cuisine mainly consists of meat, barley, and dairy products. Due to geography, vegetables are rare and minimal when used. Their cuisine has had a heavy impact on neighboring countries like India and Nepal.
To respect the Tibetan culture, the dress code is something that the traveler should know. Tibetans are conservative in nature, shorts and short skirts are not appreciated. In religious places, people are expected to wear clothes that go beyond the knees.
There is no reason for you not to take your electrical items due to electrical outlets; Tibetan market has adapters.
Most hotels in Tibet have WiFi services. You will also so find plenty of internet cafes, but please note that the connection will be slow.
What makes Parallels and Meridians different?
We believe that holidays should be planned thoughtfully. Hence, we spend a good amount of time planning and offering you products considering your requirements. Amazing journeys begin the moment you contact us for a personalized trip. We design programs exactly as you wish; you will always remain a partner in making it a dream holiday.
What can I expect in a holiday with Parallels and Meridians?
Our trips bring you closer to the local community and culture as you will be taken to some of the places where no tourists have gone before. Our travel experts are always in search of something new, inspirational and entertaining. These ideas are intricately designed around your style of travel, creating a perfect trip for you.
How do you create a style of travel?
People are different, and so are their ways of traveling. We speak to several people from different walks of life, locals, travelers, families, and even bloggers, to get a better idea on the ways they prefer to travel. The styles of travel are created through their contributions and the expertise of our travel designers. It is our success formula in making exceptional trips for you.
Why do you make the trips participative?
In our small endeavor to support the local community, we found this as the most encouraging and heartfelt experience for both our guests and ourselves. We don’t indulge into activities with big charitable organizations, but quietly do our bit with the help of our guests. Our projects are humble and mostly recommended by our guests. For example, teaching basic French to the drivers (while traveling with him) actually came from one of our guest.
What are the different hotel combinations you offer?
Each destination has a unique character and history, so do their hotels. We have selected the best hotels as per your style and budget. We offer 3 options in most of our programs:
Simple and comfortable – These are clean and comfortable hotels. As per P&M standard, they fall into a 2-3 star categorization.
- – In this option, we offer a mix of charming and deluxe hotels. Some of them are heritage palaces, which are now famous contemporary hotels. As per P&M standard, they fall into a 4-5 star categorization.
- – For the ultimate luxury holiday, we have a collection of rustic, chic and stylish hotels combined with laid back indulgence and unmatched amenities. These international favorites are the best in the destinations.
How many beds can we have in a room?
A room will usually have a double bed. Most hotels will be able to add one extra bed.
If we’re traveling as a family, can we have interconnected rooms?
Some hotels offer interconnected rooms. If they don’t have, we ask them to provide two rooms next to each other or on the same floor.
Can I choose my own set of hotels?
Yes, you can. Just send us your wish list and we will do our best to fulfill your requirements.
What is the category of hotels included in the itinerary on the website?
You will have the option to choose the categories of the hotels you want to stay in. There are a few exceptions, however, some places like villages in Rajasthan or hiking tents in Bhutan will not offer you luxury. We will clearly advice you on this.
How does Parallels and Meridians choose the hotels?
We choose hotels based on our personal experiences. We will not recommend a hotel unless we have stayed there ourselves or have it recommended by our contributors.
What kind of vehicle do you provide?
Generally, this depends on the number of people. We provide cars for two people and micro van for three and more people. All our vehicles have air-conditioning.
Can we choose our own type of vehicle?
Yes, you can. Just let us know while sending us the information for your trip.
Are we sharing the car with someone else?
No. The car is for private use and you will share it only the people you are travelling with.
Does the car stay at my disposal every day?
Yes, it does. Our drivers are flexible and will remain at your disposal.
Do we have a guide in every city?
Yes, a guide will be provided to you in each city unless there is no visit scheduled.
How do you select your guides?
We select guides who understand your interests and requirements. They carry a flair for their culture and tradition, offering the best experiences to our clients. All our tour guides are locals, have professional licenses and are known for their passion and knowledge of the destination. We only hire highly rated guides with years of experience.
How do I plan my trip with you?
Once a program is picked from the website and the query form is filled, our travel experts will start working on the program. They will carefully prepare a tailor-made itinerary for you and will present it in details. Your itinerary will be refined and polished until you are satisfied and happy to book with us. As it is very important for us to understand your requirements, please do not hesitate to ask questions and voice your concerns or desires.
I like one of your family programs. Can it be tailor-made for a couple?
Yes, it can. All our programs can be further tailored for your specific requirements. You will be amazed to see the countless possibilities in our programs as per your style.
Can I make my own itinerary?
Yes, you can. Simply fill the form or send us e-mail at email@example.com
How do you decide your pricing?
The itineraries in the website have indicative pricing which may change as per your personalized travel request. We choose the most important sightseeing, destinations, guides and hotels, which makes a great holiday experience for our guests. As we do not want to surprise you with hidden costs, we always include essential costs in the program. Although we are not necessarily the cheapest, we do aim to offer exceptional overall value for money and rely on our clients for repeat business and recommendations for your future dream holidays.
Can I adjust my budget?
Of course, our experts can share plenty ideas with you, fitting your budget. However, we make sure that quality is never compromised. We immediately inform you with our inability to offer you something that is below standard or of low quality. It is always better to say no than to regret a bad holiday experience.
What is included in the cost of your packages?
Our services start the moment you arrive at your destination, where a representative will be awaiting your arrival. All accommodations, transfers, local flights as well as arranged activities, unless otherwise specified will be included. Our trips are on breakfast-only basis except some special meals like welcome lunch or a special farewell dinner.
Why don’t you offer trips on full board?
We could; however, you will agree with us that everybody has different tastes. Moreover, the local cuisine is also an important aspect of your trip. Why should we charge you extra for some meals in hotels and expensive restaurants, when you can enjoy the spontaneity of discovering restaurants on your own? This is why we intentionally refuse to include all meals in our itineraries. If you are on a safari or a trekking trip, all meals are included as these are remote areas without restaurant alternatives. In lieu of this, you will receive a list of recommended restaurants, where you can have a taste of authentic cuisines.
How do I get the assurance of my travel safety?
Having our headquarter in France, P&M provides all necessary financial and legal guarantees to our travelers. You not only get the best travel programs from us but also experience a memorable and safe travel arranged by our local correspondents with 24/24 assistance. To ensure that all our local agents offer best services, quality travel and assurance, we have an office in India supervising all the activities in Asia. In addition, for your peace of mind, we support you with a range of insurances to meet your needs.
Who will be taking care of my trip when I am on the go?
You will have a dedicated travel expert from the first moment of contact. The travel expert will work with you before and during the trip.
What are the different modes of payment you accept?
The different modes of payment we accept are bank transfer and online payment by credit or debit card. You can pay either 30 or 50% at the time of the booking and the remaining, one month prior to your travel.
How secure is my credit card for online payment?
As your trusted partner P&M guarantees secure payment via secure payment platform enabling you to make transactions by credit card or debit card. The credit or debit card details are never reserved with us for your complete peace of mind.
Where can I see the reviews on P&M?
All reviews given by our travellers are regularly uploaded to our website. Furthermore, many of our guests have shared their experiences with P&M at the sites of Trip Advisor and Trust Pilot. We are proud to share with you that; – 98% of our travelers rated our services excellent or very good – 97% of our travelers recommend our agency to their friends – 98% of our travelers would be willing to repeat the experience with P&M.
Traveling with us is the best way to come closer to the daily life of the locals. Impart your knowledge, skills and art with them. If you are an artist, a photographer, a cook or whichever skills you have that can be shared with the local community, please feel free to tell us about them, and we will organize a special activity for you at a right place to support them. In our very first communication with you, we will ask your interest and if you are willing to participate in an activity for even just one hour.
In 2016, our participants have already taught over 400 hours, the equivalent of 17 days!
Our conscious tourism does not end there; we constantly propose new participatory activities:
There are many young kids who aspire to take the job of ‘guide’. We are helping them to speak better English, or teaching them skills and techniques of travel guiding.
Post the earthquake, life is still struggling in Nepal. We are helping some small shops and businesses to get into the mainstream; not by giving money, but improvising some ideas to run their business more effectively.
“In your route, though you choose to take part in any one of these options, your trip will be the same number of days and the price will not change under any circumstances.”
How much do you donate?
Nothing Actually. We just need little bit of your time and involvement.