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TIBET and NEPAL- Summer

From the sacred peaks of Tibet to lush green Nepalese valleys, explore the best of the Himalaya on this two-week tour. Discover mighty temples and small outposts on a journey that offers incredible vistas at every turn of the trail. In the thin mountain air of Rongbuk, the highest monastery in the world, you'll enjoy unparalleled views of Mt Everest. So make sure your camera is charged—you're going to need it.


Itinerary

June 28 : Kathmandu

Arrive at any time. Group meeting around 6 or 7 PM.

June 29 : Kathmandu (1L)

Take an orientation walk in Durbar Square before visiting the Sisterhood of Survivors Project, a grassroots organization. Meet some of the women and learn how to make Nepalese momos (dumplings) before enjoying an authentic local lunch. In the evening, enjoy free time to explore the fascinating city.

June 30 : Kathmandu/Panauti (1D)

Depart for a community homestay in Panauti. Choose to disembark in Sanga and hike the remaining way to the village or continue via private vehicle. Explore the village then help cook an authentic Nepalese dinner.

July 1 : Panauti/Lhasa

Take an afternoon flight to Lhasa and spend three days exploring Lhasa, adjusting to the altitude, and learning more about the unique culture here.

July 2 : Lhasa

Enjoy an orientation walk around Barkhor Square and guided tour of the Jokhang Temple. In the afternoon explore Sera Monastery.

July 3 : Lhasa

Explore the grounds of Potala Palace where the Dalai Lamas would meditate. Later, visit the Dalai Lama's Summer Palace, Norbulingka.

July 4 : Lhasa/Gyantse

Drive to Gyantse along beautiful Yamdrok Tso.

July 5 : Gyantse/Xêgar

In the morning, visit Pelkor Chode Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. After breakfast, depart for Xȇgar. On the way, make a stop in Sakya and explore the Sakya Monastery.

July 6 : Xêgar/Rongpu Si

Visit Rongbuk, the highest monastery in the world. Hike to Everest Base Camp for a closer view of this magnificent mountain.

July 7 : Rongpu Si/Xigazê

Travel from Rongbuk Si to Shigatse.

July 8 : Xigazê

Enjoy a visit to the Tashilunpo Monastery and opt to complete the surrounding kora. In the afternoon, enjoy free time visiting the local market or exploring the scenic city.

July 9 : Xigazê/Lhasa

Travel back to Lhasa.

July 10 : Lhasa/Kathmandu

Fly back to Kathmandu and enjoy a final evening in the city.

July 11 : Kathmandu

Depart any time.

Detailed Itinerary

June 28 : Kathmandu

Arrive in Kathmandu at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy Nepal's capital. For many, simply the name alone is sufficient to conjure up images of temple pagodas, long-haired saddhus in clouds of hashish smoke and the ever-present Himalayas. Kathmandu is all this and more. Sitting in a bowl-like valley surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains on earth, Kathmandu has been a crossroads of cultures since hundreds of years before Christ, a tradition very much alive today.

Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting (Typically 6 or 7PM). After the meeting, you might like to take the option of heading out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to further get to know your tour leader and traveling companions.

Please make every effort to arrive on time for this welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.

If you have time, GEEO recommends coming into Kathmandu a day or two early or staying a day or two after the trip ends to have more time to explore this amazing city.

June 29 : Kathmandu (1L)

Take an orientation walk in Durbar Square before visiting the Sisterhood of Survivors Project, a grassroots organization.

Visit this G Adventures-supported grassroots organization that is helping to support rehabilitated survivors of human-trafficking. SASANE, our project partners, train women coming out of trafficking to be certified paralegals, so that they are the first point of contact for other women coming out of abuse. Where survivors lack a high school diploma, the minimum requirements to be a paralegal, Planeterra and G Adventures have helped catalyze a hospitality program for these women to be reintegrated into a dignified work environment. The survivors will teach you how to make momos (traditional dumplings) as well as a Nepali lunch. The program helps support SASANE's outreach and education programs, and is completely run by survivors of trafficking.

You will then have the rest of the day and evening to explore this fascinating city.

June 30 : Kathmandu/Panauti (1D)

Depart for a community homestay in Panauti. Take in the stunning views of surrounding rice fields and farmlands. You will have the option of hiking the remaining 11 km to your community homestay in Panauti.

Many families in Panauti Village have come together to establish a homestay program.

Depending on the location, the home offers lovely views across surrounding fields or a post from which to observe street activity. As well as getting to know a local family and exploring this lovely village, you will assist with preparing your evening meal - learning how to cook local dishes - and eat together with your host family.

Houses in Panauti are generally fairly narrow, multi-storey buildings with a central stairway - participating households have set aside a room for guests with comfortable beds and clean bathroom facilities (some en-suite, all on same level) on the 2nd or 3rd floor of their homes. Although simple, rooms are clean, comfortable and typical of the households in which you are staying.

Estimated travel time: 1 hr by private vehicle.

July 1 : Panauti/Lhasa

Drive back to Kathmandu then take an afternoon flight to Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The center of the Tibetan Buddhist world for over a millennium, Lhasa (literally means the 'Place of the Gods') remains largely a city of wonders. Your first view of the red and white Potala Palace soaring above the Holy City raises goosebumps and the charming whitewashed old Tibetan quarter continues to preserve the essence of traditional Tibetan life. It is here in the Jokhang, an other-worldly mix of flickering butter lamps, wafting incense and prostrating pilgrims, and the encircling Barkhor pilgrim circuit, that most visitors first fall in love with Tibet.

These days the booming boulevards of the modern Chinese city threaten to overwhelm the winding alleyways and backstreet temples of the Tibetan old town, but it is in the latter that you should focus your time.

With a relaxed pace to allow for the effects of altitude, explore this fantastic city on 'the roof of the world' over three days. Make sure you take it easy this first day at altitude!

Estimated travel time: 1 hr by private vehicle. Then 1.5 hr flight.

July 2 : Lhasa

Enjoy an hour long orientation walk around Barkhor Square and learn more about Lhasa.

Then tour the Jokhang Temple, a beautiful temple, which has been called the spiritual heart of Tibet. Watch prostrating pilgrims circle the temple day and night, some of them traversing the extremes of the Tibetan landscape by foot to come here and celebrate their faith. Make a kora ("revolution" in Tibetan) of the Barkhor, the holiest devotional circuit, which surrounds the Jokhang and houses a market bazaar where people bargain for Buddha images, yak skulls with ruby eyes, woodcarvings, carpets, prayer wheels, and the odd goat's head.

In the afternoon visit the Sera Monastery and witness the monks engaged in lively debate, a philosophical practice they have held for hundreds of years.

Afterwards you will have free time to explore Lhasa.

July 3 : Lhasa

Enjoy a tour of Potala Palace, a magnificent structure and true architectural wonder built in the 1600s and steeped in history. This is where the Dalai Lamas would meditate, handle affairs of state, and eventually where their burial stupas remain. Check out the golden statues, three dimensional mandalas, ancient scriptures, and the devoted pilgrims who circle the palace day and night. This is truly a remarkable place.

Then, visit the Dalai Lama's Summer Palace, Norbulingka. Be sure to check out the beautiful flowers in the botanical garden.

July 4 : Lhasa/Gyantse

Today we drive to Gyantse, crossing three passes over 5000m (16404ft) and skirting the shores of the beautiful turquoise lake, Yamdrok Tso. Great for photography, prepare to stop at Khambala Pass, Karo La Pass, and Yamdrok Tso to take in the stunning views.

Estimated travel time: 8 hrs by private vehicle.

July 5 : Gyantse/Xêgar

We start the day with a a visit to Pelkor Chode Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. Pelkor Chode Monastery was founded in 1418 and is regarded as the center of Gyantse. Gyantse Kumbum (meaning 100,000 images) is an 8 story structure containing a seemingly endless series of tiny chapels full of Buddhist images – Buddhas, demons, protectors, and saints.

After breakfast, depart for Xȇgar. On the way, we make a stop in Sakya where we will take in the stunning views of one of Tibet's oldest monasteries and the surrounding landscape.

Estimated travel time: 8 to 9 hrs by private vehicle.

July 6 : Xêgar/Rongpu Si

Take an exhilarating drive to reach Rongbuk – 5000m (16404ft), a mere 7km (4.4mi) below Everest Base Camp. The view from here is utterly spectacular.

Enjoy a visit to Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the world. It was first built in 1902 by the Nyingma Lama and originally housed more than 500 monks. Today, only about 50 monks and nuns remain, sharing the same prayer hall but maintaining separate residences. The nuns here are great fun and will be delighted to have you join their evening prayers.

Travel by bus from the Rongbuk Monastery to Everest Base Camp, a 7km (4.4 mi) trip. Soak in the gorgeous scenery. If you're up for adventure and feeling well enough, hike the 7km (4.4 mi) to get a tiny taste of what it's like to scale this magnificent mountain.

The monastery's guesthouse offers very basic accommodation, but the views that surround it more than compensate. Lie in bed and watch the moonlight illuminate the mountain.

Estimated travel time: 4 to 4.5 hrs by private vehicle

July 7 : Rongpu Si/Xigazê

Travel from Rongbuk Si to Shigatse. Settle in and enjoy the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Estimated travel time: 10 hrs by private vehicle.

July 8 : Xigazê

This morning we will visit the Tashilunpo Monastery. This massive complex is visited daily by hundreds of devotees, armed with yak butter to feed the lamps, who prostrate themselves around the stupas or walk up to the chapel that houses the 26m-high (85ft), gold-plated statue of the Buddha. Lined with prayer wheels, follow the pilgrims on their kora around Tashilunpo Monastery. This sacred walk provides stunning views of the monastery and town below.

In the afternoon, enjoy free time visiting the local market or exploring the scenic city. We recommend a visit to the Shigatse Bazaar and walk down streets lined with stalls selling everything from slabs of yak butter to yak wool, prayer wheels, and rosaries. Watch as Tibetans vie with each other to win a sale.

July 9 : Xigazê/Lhasa

Travel back to Lhasa.

Estimated travel time: 8 hrs by private vehicle.

July 10 : Lhasa/Kathmandu

Fly back to Kathmandu and enjoy a final evening in the city.

Estimated travel time: 2 hr flight.

July 11 : Kathmandu

Depart Kathmandu at any time.

Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).

If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!

Stuff You Need to Know

Terms and Conditions

It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.

We want to emphasize the cancellation policy:

All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to jesse@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.

* Cancellation 60 days or more prior to departure = Deposit is kept on file for future use and all other program fee payments are refunded

* Cancellation between 30 and 59 days prior to departure = 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use

* Cancellation within 30 days of departure = No refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use

Trip Notes

Like all of GEEO programs, this Tibet itinerary is adventurous. This program in particular is one of our more demanding. Before signing up for this trip read the below very carefully.

ALTITUDE: While there aren't any long mandatory treks, you will be traveling at altitudes of up to 16,404 ft above sea level. In order to help you acclimatize, we start this trip in Kathmandu, which is 4,593 ft above sea level. Lhasa is at 12,000 ft above sea level, which is a large jump. You should definitely take it easy your first day in Lhasa. We spend three days there to give you plenty of time to acclimatize for the rest of the program. Chances are you will suffer from minor symptoms of altitude sickness. Please report severe symptoms to your tour leader so they can determine whether you need medical attention. It is very, very unlikely that you will suffer anything worse than shortness of breath, lethargy, headaches and nausea beyond the first few days.

There are preventive measures to help curb altitude sickness:

1. Diamox. Should start before your travel, consult your doctor;

2. Hydration; Dehydration make situation worse;

3. Oxygen. A small bottle of oxygen sold on your way to/in Lhasa will last you 10-30 min but ties you over during the worst transition period.

4. Relax. Physical assertion can make the symptoms worse.

Tolerance for high altitude is genetically determined, so your age and physical conditioning have little to do with how you will react.

HOTELS: Accommodation in western Tibet (particularly at Everest Base Camp) is extremely basic - only multishare rooms may be available and little or no running water. There will be basic pit toilets

THE SUN: The sun is intense - hat and sun screen are essential as well as drinking plenty of water as altitude exacerbates dehydration.

DRIVING TIME: This program has several really long driving days. The scenery will be amazing, but you will be in a vehicle for long stretches on winding roads. If you get car sick, we recommend taking the "less-drowsy" version of Dramamine.

DRONES: Another note... drones and the flying of drones are prohibited in Nepal. If you violate these regulations the police may take you into custody.

POLITICS: Avoid placing any Tibetan at risk by discussing political matters or associating with other pro-Tibetan anti-Chinese foreigners / guides / agencies - this includes anything about the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Do not bring any photos of the Dalai Lama or any other books/materials that might cause problems with Chinese border agents/police.

Service Level

Standard:

Step out of the normal tourist mind-set and truly experience the world. Most nights will have you staying in a simple yet clean twin-share hotel or lodge rooms with private facilities, complete with running water and electricity. Occasionally you may have a multi-share night at rustic local guesthouses, with communal bathrooms and the sporadic cold shower. Transportation will be a combination of public transport, private buses and some private vehicles.

Physical Grading

4:

May include high altitude OR hiking of up to 8 hours/day or other activities that require a moderately high level of fitness.

Minimum/Maximum Group Size

This program is confirmed to run and will have a maximum of 14 participants.

Group Leader Description

All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure's group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.

While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Packing List

We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as you are expected to handle your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking) and up and down stairs. Luggage space is limited so again, smaller is better.

Most travelers carry a large multi-day backpack or rolling suitcase of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!). In general you want a bag that has a capacity of around 40 to 65 liters. If you are asking us for our suggestion, we would recommend a backpack over a rolling suitcase. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like smartphones.

There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this program. Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.

Suggested Checklist

•Windproof/waterproof jacket or umbrella
•Scarf, gloves, warm hat
•Warm Fleece or sweater
•Thermal underwear (Long Johns) top
•Sun hat
•Personal clothing for warm (up to mid 80s F) to cold weather (down to the 40's F)
•Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
•Personal Electronics such as iPhone, iPad, MP3 player, etc.
•Camera
•Sunblock (A must at high altitude! Use at least 50 SPF)
•Sunglasses (A must at high altitude! Make sure they have 100% UV protection to filter both UVA and UVB rays.)
•Toiletries
•Watch or alarm clock
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
•Headlamp
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•USD cash (small denominations preferred, see personal spending money and FAQ)
•Diamox for altitude sickness (talk to your Dr!)

Optional Checklist

•Travel pillow
•Silk sleep sack
•Walking Poles
•Money belt
•Water bottle
•Phone/Tablet for internet (Most hotels have WiFi)
•Chargers for electronics as well converters/adaptors if needed (See FAQ)
•Packing cubes (These are awesome)
•Ear Plugs (Hearos Xtreme Protection 33 decibel ear plugs are a life-saver if you have a snoring roommate)
•Snacks (Packing a few granola bars is a good idea. You can buy snacks when you get there too, so don't go crazy here.)
•Ziplock bags for wet clothing
•Reading/writing material
•Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
•Hand Sanitizer/Baby wipes
•Travel size hair dryer

Document Checklist

•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit and/or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas, additional passport photos or vaccination certificates required (Check our FAQ to see if you need them)
•GEEO Classroom action plans for your group (This is sent 10-30 days before departure)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Single Travellers

Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. If you do not have someone that you are traveling with that you would like to room with, GEEO will find you a roommate of the same gender. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. Most of our trips have a "My Own Room" option, also known as a "Single Supplement" which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email jesse@geeo.org. To see the price for the "My Own Room" option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.

Money

Spending Money

Every traveler is different and therefore spending requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, and tipping. Please look at our “Costs” tab when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. Cash is the best method of money in China. We recommend bringing some Chinese Yuan. There are some ATM machines that accept Visa but these are limited to major cities and should not be relied on as a source of funds. We recommend the use of cash and traveler's checks in major currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, HKD). Make sure any USD or Euro you bring to exchange is in perfect condition as they won't accept older money or any money with rips or tears. Major credit cards are accepted in a few shops, but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Changing money in China is difficult so it is best to use an ATM to get your money locally.

Medical Forms

GEEO travel programs bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, at minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage. While our tour leaders work hard to ensure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings above for more information. Please make sure you have read the notes section for this trip which goes into more details about the physical challenges of this program.

Optional Activities

Please note: All optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance which activities you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.

Kathmandu

Durbar Square – USD10
Patan – USD10
Mountain Flight 1 hour (from) – USD 200

Lhasa

Evening Debate Session with Monks- 55 CNY
Day trip to Ganden- ?

Costs

Please keep in mind this trip is designed to give you the freedom to do whatever interests you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and keep in mind these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. Very few meals are included on this trip, giving you the opportunity to eat on your own budget. The prices below are in US dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.

Tour Company Fee

$3,229 USD

Non-Educator Fee

$100 USD (Educators do not have to pay this fee)

Optional Activities

$80 USD, See optional activities tab to get a better idea of your budget.

International Airfare from USA

Roughly $1300-$2000 USD, See our FAQ for flight advice.

Insurance

$26-$200 USD
Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
See our FAQ for advice on Travel Insurance.

Tipping

About $100 total. We recommend $60 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget about $40 for your driver and local guides, hotel maids, etc.

Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary

Allow $375-$500 USD for the meals that are not included

Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.

(Make sure you budget for these types of expenses)

Vaccines

$0-$???? USD (Check with your doctor to see what you will need and what is covered by your insurance)

Visa

$45 USD for 15 day multi-entry the Nepal visa ($60 for 30 day visa if you are staying longer in Kathmandu), $198 USD for the Tibet Region of China visa

Souvenirs

$0-????

FAQ

What should be my expectations for this GEEO program?

Before you decide on traveling with GEEO it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. To summarize, our programs are quite adventurous.

• The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury as we are trying to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible. Accommodation in western Tibet (particularly at Everest Base Camp) is extremely basic - only multishare rooms may be available and little or no running water. There will be basic pit toilets

• We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.

• You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack. We recommend using a large backpack along with a smaller daypack, which is typically the most comfortable way to carry your possessions.

• Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities.

• We recommend always carrying snacks with you because sometimes meals can be far apart.

• Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.

• We try to set up either a school visit or a meeting with local teachers. Sometimes this is not possible due to time constraints, summer vacations, etc. Please understand this is not a guaranteed part of the program.

Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!

Do I need a Passport? Do I need a visa?

All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Many countries require that your passport not expire within six months of your arrival in that country. Please take the time to look up the passport validity requirements for the country/countries you are visiting on this trip by clicking here.

If you have a U.S. passport, but it has expired, or will expire within 6 months of trip departure, click here for information on how to get it renewed. If you have never been issued a passport or have lost your passport, please click here. Processing time for US Passports is 4-6 weeks so please start this process immediately.

As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.

NEPAL -

You can read more about the Nepalese visa here: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/nepal/visas

It is important to note:

1. They sell visas for 15, 30 or 90 days. If you aren't spending extra time in Nepal, you can probably get the $25 15-day visa. If you are spending extra time in Kathmandu please get the $40 30-day visa.

2. You will need a double entry visa. It costs $20 extra. Make sure you request that when filling out the visa form.

3. Speaking of which, to obtain a visa upon arrival by air in Nepal you must fill in an application form at one of the automatic registration machines, which will also take your digital photo. You can save some time by filling in the form beforehand online at http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa and uploading a digital photo, but you must do this less than 15 days before your arrival date.

4. It’s a good idea to keep a number of passport photos with your passport so they are immediately handy for trekking permits, visa applications and other official documents.

Please note that if you are planning an additional trip to China after The High Road to Tibet tour you will need to apply for a Chinese visa at the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. This can only be done once the High Road trip is finished so please allow for additional days in Kathmandu after your trip if you need a new Chinese visa. (Please check with your Chinese embassy prior to travel as this is subject to change)

CHINA - G Adventures local agent in Nepal will arrange a group visa for China. This is the only way groups may enter China from Kathmandu. If you already have a China visa the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu will cancel it and issue you a group visa that is valid for this trip only.

The cost of the visa is NOT included in the trip. You must pay it separately on arrival in Kathmandu at the group meeting. The visa fee will be the following for each nationality:

American: 198 USD
Canadian: 178 USD
All other nationalities: 114 USD

These permits are issued from the Chinese government and it is at their discretion as to who is eligible for a permit. G Adventures can not guarantee that you will be granted a permit to Tibet, but they are very rarely denied.

Please be advised Norwegian passengers are currently not allowed entry into Tibet.

Is it OK if I am traveling alone? Do I have to have a roommate?

Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. If you do not have someone that you are traveling with that you would like to room with, GEEO will find you a roommate of the same gender. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. Most of our trips have a "My Own Room" option, also known as a "Single Supplement" which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email jesse@geeo.org. To see the price for the "My Own Room" option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.

What is group travel like?

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. Your fellow travelers will probably come from all across the US and beyond and are likely to be of a variety of ages too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group. Patience with your fellow travelers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Is it possible to get references for GEEO?

Over 2000 educators have traveled with GEEO since we ran our first programs in 2008. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the quality and value of the life changing experiences that we provide.

To read comments from past travelers, please feel free to visit a website that reviews non-profit organizations called Great Non-profits. Please click here for those reviews.

Please contact us if you would like to communicate with some of our former participants for a reference.

Who travels with GEEO?

GEEO participants are mostly made up of American K-12 teachers. Each group tends to have a good mix of educators in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. About half of our participants are coming alone and do not know anyone in the group prior to the trip. We group single travelers of the same gender together as roommates unless a participant prefers to pay an additional fee for their own room. If we have an odd amount of one gender we will rotate the single room for free among the participants.

GEEO trips are open to all Kindergarten to University teachers, school staff, school administrators, and soon-to-be teachers pursuing their teaching certificate. Our programs are also open to retired educators. Non-American educators are welcome on our trips.

Each educator who participates in our programs is permitted to bring along up to three friends or family members who are not teachers. Each participant must be of adequate fitness level for their chosen trip. If you wish to bring a guest under the age of 18 GEEO will consider your request, but typically we only allow participants over the age of 18.

What vaccinations do I need for this trip?

We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. GEEO recommends contacting Passport Health, (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/) who have travel clinics throughout the US. Please take this seriously!

Where do I meet the group? What happens when I arrive at the airport?

Our groups meet at the hotel we use for the first night of the trip. Your tour leader will leave a note for you at the hotel's front desk with the introductory meeting time and location.

Some of our programs have an optional airport transfer that can be paid for in advance. If you book the airport transfer someone will meet you at the airport with your name on a sign and will take you to the hotel. To see the price for an airport transfer, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.

If you have not purchased an arrival transfer, when arriving into Tribhuvan Intl Airport it is only 7km from the downtown area and the only way to get there is by taxi. You can arrange a prepaid taxi from the counter outside of the baggage hall run by the Airport Queue Taxi Service Management Committee for about 200-250 Rupees (approx 3-4 USD). Please be aware of people wanting to help you with your bags as they will ask for money once you get to your taxi.

If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.

Where can we get a list of hotels for this trip?

Other than the first hotel our partner G Adventures does not provide hotel lists for any of their trips.

The reason for this is sometimes hotels change at the last minute. G Adventures does not want to give out incorrect information because in an emergency that can only cause more issues. Instead, we give you 24-hour emergency phone numbers where you and your family can reach staff in the country that you are travelling to or in Canada at G Adventure's headquarters. This way at any time your loved ones can call the emergency contact who can immediately put them in touch with your tour leader no matter how plans have changed.

What are the hotels like?

A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guest houses in stunning locations - rooms are small and simple and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers. A sleep sheet/bag is recommended as whilst there is plenty of bedding and (in most cases) it does get washed, it can be dusty.

Is it OK if I arrive a few days early or stay a few days late?

You may want to arrive a few days early at the start of the trip or stay a few days extra at the end of trip. Please feel free to do so.

We will send out an email to all participants roughly 90 days before departure with information on which hotels we will be using for the start and end of the trip as well how to go about booking them.

What type of transportation do we use on this trip?

We use a private vehicle for transportation between almost all of the locations. Typically this is a van or mini-bus. There also two internal flights.

When should I purchase my flights?

This program is confirmed to run so you may purchase your flights whenever you wish.

What cities/airports should I book my flight in and out of?

Your trip begins and ends in Kathmandu. Please double check our itinerary for the date on which you must arrive in Kathmandu by. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, however we strongly urge you to arrive by 6 PM on Day 1 for our group meeting. You can depart from Kathmandu anytime on the final day of the trip.

Where can I purchase flights?

We recommend using www.kayak.com or www.google.com/flights/ to see what is out there in terms of flights.

You may also want to take a look at the prices at www.flyforgood.com or call 1-877-359-4466 to speak to a person. They get humanitarian rates from airlines and GEEO is registered with Fly for Good as a non-profit. If you purchase a humanitarian rate flight, you will need a supporting document from GEEO. Please request this from us after you purchase the tickets. Note that humanitarian rates are not available for all flights to GEEO destinations and are sometimes higher than tickets found on Kayak, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia etc. Often the layovers are long and sometimes impossible to navigate. Look very carefully at the offer before purchasing your ticket.

Where can I purchase travel insurance?

Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers emergency medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. Regular health insurance plans almost never include emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance, so you will almost certainly need to purchase a separate TRAVEL health insurance plan.

You are welcome to use any travel insurance company you like. In order to receive your trip vouchers you must enter your insurance information into our tour operator’s online check-in system, Good To Go. You will receive a login to the Good to Go system roughly two months before departure.

The least expensive travel health insurance plan that we have found is the International Teacher Identity Card, better known as the ITIC Card. They have a $25 BASIC card that includes the amount of travel medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance you need for our trip, plus other trip insurance benefits. The card will also get you discounts and benefits in over 125,000 locations, including many museums and hotels. Another great thing about the ITIC Card is that it covers you for an entire year and can be used for all your international travel during that period. They also have a $99 PREMIUM card which has more generous coverage.

While not required, we recommend purchasing cancellation insurance. Instead of the $25 or $99 card, you may want to consider the $199 EXPLORER ITIC Card, which comes with $3000 of cancellation insurance in addition to the enhanced coverage provided by the Premium card. This cancellation insurance is valid for multiple international trips within a one year period, which means you can use it on other trips outside of the country even if they aren't with GEEO. Please note that the EXPLORER level of coverage is not valid for sale in the following U.S. states: New York, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, and South Dakota. If you live in those states you can instead get the Basic or Premium level card.

GEEO has reached an agreement with the makers of this card to pre-approve all GEEO travelers, so you do not need to submit paperwork proving that you are a teacher. Also, non-teachers who are traveling with GEEO can get this same card, which normally is only for teachers.

To sign up for the card please follow this link:

www.myisic.com/orders/GEEO

The ITIC cards are for American residents. If you are not American or are an American living abroad, you will have to find another option.

Will I be eating on my own? With the group? Why aren't all meals included?

Eating is a big part of traveling. Traveling with GEEO you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is affordable. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your group leader will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Is the water safe to drink?

Unless your tour leader tells you differently, only bottled water should be drunk, and this is readily available for purchase. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled, washed in boiled water and in the case of the latter, well cooked. Meat and fish should also be fresh, well-cooked and hot, to avoid possible infection.

What is the weather like?

July is the rainiest month in Tibet, but also one of the warmest. In Lhasa, the minimum temperature it gets down to 10 °C (50 °F), and the maximum temperature is 23 °C (73 °C). It rains about 20 of the days of the month, mainly at night. It will be cooler at higher elevations so make sure you are prepared for all types of weather.

Kathmandu in July can also be rainy and temperatures can get up into the mid-80's F.

Is there Internet access? Should I bring a computer? Mobile phone?

Many of the hotels we use have WiFi (often free, sometimes not). There are internet cafes in most of the places we visit and many of the hotels also have computers that can be used. Expect to be able to check your email every two to three days. You can also bring along your mobile phone if you choose. Make sure you check with your phone company before you leave to find out the rates for calling back to the US and if they have any special international plans that are worth taking advantage of. International roaming rates can be extremely high, so you don’t want to be surprised. You can bring a laptop/tablet/smart phone if you wish, but remember, GEEO and G Adventures are not responsible for the damage or theft of your valued items.

Is there clothing that is considered inappropriate that I should not bring?

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites. If you want to be sensitive to the cultural norms, even outside of temples we recommend covering your shoulders and not wearing short shorts.

Do I need plugs and current converters for my electronic devices?

There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.

For the most part, electrical sockets (outlets) in Tibet uses mostly the "Type I" plug and sometimes the "Type C". The voltage is 220V. Nepal mostly uses the "Type D" Indian socket and sometimes the "Type C". The voltage is 230VU.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an "Input" line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, "Input: 100 - 240V" means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can't handle the different voltage, you'll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.

Why are some activities included in the price of the trip and others are not?

We have found paying locally for activities allows our participants to save money. Not every activity is appealing to everyone and we don't want you to pay for services you might not use. Perhaps you feel sick one day and would prefer to rest. This allows you to decide on the spot what you want to do each day with your free time and at the same time control your budget.

How much money in US cash should I bring?

This is entirely up to you, but we think it is critical for you to bring along $250 USD in cash for emergencies. This is what GEEO's executive director Jesse does in regards to money while traveling:

"I do not exchange any money before traveling to a country but instead bring somewhere between $200-300 USD in cash. I go to a bank before I leave the US and take out the cash there rather than an ATM. I make sure each bill is in great condition with no rips or tears. I like to have mostly 20's, but in some countries you are better off with 50's and 100's. In some countries, it is also good to have about 20 singles for when you have no small bills in local currency. I divide this money between a money belt, my main backpack, and my daypack.

I also bring an ATM card and a credit card. Before I leave the country I call the bank and credit card companies to let them know I am traveling abroad so they don't think the foreign transactions are fraudulent and cancel my cards when I am most reliant on them. Having a second bank account and bank card is pretty handy so that just in case one card doesn't work at an ATM or is lost, you always have a backup account. It's also important to check with your credit card to see if there is an international transaction fee. Some cards charge up to 4% extra for any transactions made out of the US. My Capital One visa card doesn't have any international transaction fee. I just use this card for traveling so if it gets stolen and I have to cancel it I won't have to worry about recurring automated payments. I like to split up my cards between my money belt, wallet, and one emergency one hidden in my main bag.

When I arrive at the airport I make sure to go to an ATM before leaving the airport and typically take out the equivalent of $150 USD in the local currency. I find that ATMs give the best exchange rate so throughout the trip I will use the ATM card to draw out my spending cash. I will ask our tour leader for an estimate on how much I will need if I am close to leaving a country so this way I do not draw out too much money.

I try not to use the US cash I brought with me so that I can use it in an emergency. Typically I will come back to the US with most of that US cash unspent. On a recent trip, I lost my ATM card and was able to get cash by paying for our group dinners with my credit card and having people pay me their share in local currency. I NEVER take cash advances on my credit card as they charge you an arm and a leg.”

Do you have advice on tipping?

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your tour leader will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1-$2 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-30 USD per person, per week can be used.

What is expected from me from an educational stand point?

Please take a look at the "Sharing your Adventure section of our website by clicking here.

Is there any safety advice we should know about?

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' checks, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home - you won't need it while travelling.

Always keep an eye on your belongings especially in major cities, bus and train terminals.

Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your tour leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your tour leader will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your tour leader will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is G Adventure's policy not to allow our tour leaders to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

What happens if it becomes unsafe to travel on this trip?

Your safety is our utmost priority and we will cancel a trip if we do not feel our participants will be safe. If GEEO or G Adventures cancels your trip we will issue a full refund of any payments you have made including the deposit. If YOU decide to cancel your trip you will have to abide by the rules of our terms and conditions.

What are the emergency contact numbers for this trip?

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so that they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office,

If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications at Tribhuvan Internartional Airport please call our local G Adventures Transfer providers directly at:
Mr. Rajju Maskey
From outside of Nepal: +977 98 0201 4444
From within Kathmandu: 98 0201 4444
From within Nepal, but outside Kathmandu: 098 0201 4444

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures South Asia Manager, Rishab (Delhi, India)
Emergency number:
From outside of India: +91 99 7179 5447
From within Delhi: 99 7179 5447
From within India, but outside Delhi: 099 7179 5447

G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +66-02-3815574

If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with the 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

What is the relationship between G Adventures and GEEO? Who is running this trip?

GEEO is an independent non-profit organization that helps teachers travel. GEEO has chosen to work with the tour operator G Adventures. We discount their prices for our participants so they are even more affordable for teachers. GEEO also is able to get our participants humanitarian rate airfare and discounted travel health insurance. GEEO customizes these trips for teachers. GEEO provides educational materials to teachers before and after the trip to help bring the participating teachers' experience into the classroom. GEEO provides each participant with a Professional Development Certificate. For more about GEEO, please see our mission statement.

G Adventures is a tour company that GEEO has partnered with to run our trips. For over 25 years, G Adventures has been sending hundreds of thousands of people abroad and today they are the largest adventure travel company in the world. They design the trips, provide expert tour leaders, ground logistics, and work hard to make sure you have an excellent experience.

How long have we been running this program?

GEEO was founded in 2007 and our inaugural trips were run to Peru and India in the summer of 2008. 2018 will be the first time we offer this Tibet program. G Adventures, who actually handle the logistics of the trip, have been running trips all over the world for many years so you can have faith that your trip will be safe and well run.

Is the itinerary exactly as described on this website?

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Is there any advice for finding funding for this program?

The first thing we recommend you do is speak to your school's principal and/or professional development coordinator. They may know of grants that your school district or state offers. Often schools reimburse teachers for professional development expenses. You can also try contacting your school's PTA or professional organizations that you belong to.

We also recommend applying for a Fund for Teachers grant, www.fundforteachers.org. These grants can be used on GEEO trips. If you want advice on applying for an FFT grant, please email us and we will send you a document that you will find helpful.

3229.00 USD

International Airfare not included

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This program is confirmed to run and will have a maximum of 14 participants.

What's Included

  • Sisterhood of Survivors Project visit
    Panauti Homestay
    Rongbuk Monastery Visit and Stay
    Kathmandu orientation walk
    Lhasa orientation walk
    Potala Palace entrance
    Sera Monastery visit
    Jokhang Temple entrance
    Pelkor Chode, Gyantse Kunbum, and Tashilhunpo Monastery visits
    Everest Base Camp entrance and hike
    Border crossing support
    Internal flights
    All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

  • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout, local guides

  • All transport between destinations and to/from including internal flights

  • 1 lunch, 1 dinner (Allow USD $375-$500 for meals not included.)

  • Hotels/guesthouses (12 nts), very basic guesthouse (1 nt, limited facilities)

What's Not Included

  • International air

  • Incidentals

  • Travel Health Insurance

  • Applicable visas

  • Airport Taxes

  • Tips or gratuities

  • Beverages

  • Meals not mentioned above

  • Optional Tours or optional admissions

  • Airport Transfers, unless otherwise mentioned in inclusions.

  • Cancellation Insurance