Overland across the roof of the world
China, Tibet, Nepal overland | 22 days
This grand tour takes you on an extraordinary journey from the densely populated cities of China, westwards along the old Silk Route, before turning south into the rarefied air of Tibet, one of the most sparsely populated locations on earth. You will be richly rewarded for the long overland drive — not only by your first glimpse of the magnificent 1,000-roomed Potala Palace which dominates old-town Lhasa, but much later, having crossed the 5,000m passes of the Central Tibetan Plateau, by a grand photographic view of Mount Everest with stupas (dome-shaped shrines) and the mani walls (made from inscribed stone tablets) in the foreground.
Day 1: Fly to Beijing
Days 2&3: Beijing’s 15th Century Forbidden City and The Great Wall
Day 4: Fly to Dunhuang
Days 5&6: Explore Dunhuang
Day 7: Drive to Golmud
Day 8: Drive to Tuotuohe
Day 9: Drive to Naqchu
Day 10: Drive to Lhasa
Days 11&12: Lhasa
Day 13: Gyantse
Day 14: Shigatse
Day 15: Tingri
Day 16: Drive to Rongbuk
Day 17: Trek to Everest Base Camp at 5200m
Day 18: Drive to Nyalam
Day 19: Cross border, drive Dhulikhel
Day 20: Drive to Kathmandu
Day 21: Kathmandu
Day 22: Fly to London
guide price £5,495 per person
Fiona’s travel tips
TOP TIP: For those looking for something akin to the Trans Siberian train but without time for the long journey, take the 31 hour journey from Beijing into Mongolia.
TAKE WITH YOU: Patience. Travelling in China can be frustrating due to the language barrier.
DID YOU KNOW: The Great Wall has a total length of around 8,852km (5,500 miles) and comprises sections of actual wall, trenches and natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. The Terracotta Army of warriors and horses dates from 210 BC and was discovered in 1974 by local farmers near Xi’an, Shaanxi province.
BEST TIME TO GO: The best times to visit are spring and autumn.
JOURNEY TIME: 10 hours (direct)
“All in all China was very interesting with beautiful sites and lovely people. I always felt extremely safe. Angkor Wat is of course amazing, I’m so glad I went.”
Mr and Mrs Gene Howard, China and Cambodia, June 2018
Roger and Fiona Hennah, China and Vietnam, May 2016
“We had an amazing and fascinating time, life-changing really! I have nearly 1,000 photos to edit!"
“Everything was extremely well-organised both pre-departure – with helpful visa advice – and at the China end. All our guides were excellent at their jobs, very friendly and welcoming and made the whole experience very enjoyable and really interesting. The wide area of China we visited gave us a good insight into the country.
Ashok and Carole Jethwa, China
“We had a very enjoyable and interesting time thanks, good guide, good services, very interesting things to see. The ethnic side (food, music etc.) was great and the sights were wonderful. The only very minor downside was that the beds at our otherwise fine hotel were harder than any I have ever experienced anywhere else, I think, but we more or less cured that by asking for extra duvets and sleeping on top of some and under others. Also, the agents in Kashgar/Urumqi/Beijing were very helpful in getting us back to Beijing in the face of bad weather, flight delays and cancellations”.
Mr and Mrs George Goulding, Long weekend in Kashgar, China