The experience of crossing the immense Tibetan plateau with awesome views of the world’s most famous mountains is perhaps only equalled by cresting one of its many 5,000m passes. The Tibetan struggle against more than 50 years of Chinese occupation is well known internationally, but has not changed much of the culture or history of this Himalayan ‘Shangri-La’. Behind the Han Chinese facade, Tibet is still a land of red-robed monks and lamp-filled monasteries, sky burials and desolate-yet-dramatic landscapes that have bred a fiercely independent people faithful to the Buddhist tradition. There is no need to be a hardy trekker to appreciate Tibet’s charms, peaceful monasteries and breathtaking mountain: the vistas are accessible to everyone.
We specialise in multi-country itineraries combining Nepal and Bhutan with Tibet so do call Fiona to discuss the options.
“Unarmed, save for the elegant but far from lethal sword, which is worn with full-dress diplomatic uniform, Younghusband rode at the head of his Mission through the city-gates. Above them, now for the first time in full view, towered the fabulous bulk of the Potala, golden-roofed, white-walled, taller than St Paul’s Cathedral. Its central building, the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, was painted a deep crimson. Sanctuaries were shrouded by yak-hair curtains, eighty-feet long and twenty-five feet wide, which cascaded down the precipice-like walls. Upon its terraces and stairways hundreds of monks, dwarfed by the height, perambulated or lounged, scratching themselves, in the sun”.
Fiona’s travel tips
FOR THE ACTIVE: Try mountain biking across the Tibetan Plateau — you’ll need to be fit!
MY FAVOURITE PLACE: Sitting among Tibetan monks listening to early morning chanting.
READ: The Epic of Mt. Everest by Frances Younghusband; Trespassers on the Roof of the World by Peter Hopkirk and Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer by Patrick French.
BEST TIME TO GO: April to October
JOURNEY TIME: 15 hours (indirect)
“Could I please pass on my thanks to my excellent guides both in Kathmandu and Lhasa. I took a great food tour in Kathmandu which involved nipping around the back streets on Vespa scooters! The food was great. I had lassi, samosas, sweet Tibetan food, water buffalo Mo Mo (dumplings) and traditional Newali food. The Mo Mo were out of this world, I loved them, could eat them all day!
Bring on Mustang next year! I spoke to many guides who had been there, it sounds brilliant.”
Ian Stubbs, Nepal and Tibet, September/October 2017
“Far Frontiers Travel really does offer a tailor-made service. We contact Fiona with a list of what we want to do and see, and she somehow makes it all work. Nothing is ever a problem, and she always creates the itinerary that is exactly what we want. Considering we like to travel independently and really experience the culture of the destination, that is no mean feat.”
Chris and Jean Betts, Nepal and Tibet