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Overland from Lhasa to Kathmandu

Dates: April 15—29, 2018

The 1000 kilometer overland route connecting Lhasa, Tibet with Kathmandu, Nepal is considered one of the most epic and most beautiful road trips on the planet. This 15 day journey will start in Chengdu, China on April 15. The next day, we will fly (flight cost included) to the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa where we will spend 3 days exploring some of the holiest Buddhist sites in the Himalaya. In Lhasa, we will visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and other sacred sites. After our time in Lhasa, we will begin our road-trip to Kathmandu.

From Lhasa, the real adventure begins as you start the epic road trip through Central Tibet to Nepal. You will start by photographing Yamdrok Tso, one of Tibet's most beautiful lakes. From there, you will get up close to the Karo La Glacier before visiting the quaint, historic town of Gyantse and the Pelkhor Chode Monastery. Passing through quiet farming villages, you will then go to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. In Shigatse, you will explore the massive monastery of Tashi Lhunpo and walk the ancient pilgrimage circuit. After Shigatse, you will work your way overland to Mt Everest's spectacular North Face Base Camp, where you will get perhaps the single best view of the world's highest peak. 

But wait....you are just getting started! After Everest Base Camp, you will continue on to Shisha Pangma, the 14th highest peak on the planet and the highest mountain that is completely in Tibet. You will also visit Peiku Tso, one of Tibet's most remote and beautiful alpine lakes. From there, we will begin the descent down to the Tibet border town of Kyirong.

At Kyirong, we will say goodbye to our Tibetan driver and guide and say hello to our Nepali driver and guide. We will then continue on to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. We will spend 3 full days exploring the main sites in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath, a major Hindu pilgrimage destination as well as go to Boudhanath, home to the largest Buddhist stupa (pagoda) in the Himalaya. We'll wander around the old streets of Kathmandu's Durbar Square and visit the famous Money Temple (Swayambhunath). We will then spend a full day exploring the ancient city of Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This well-preserved city is one of the most fascinating places in Nepal to see traditional architecture and culture. Our journey will conclude on the morning of April 29 (Day 15) in Kathmandu.

This journey will be professionally guided by Himalayan expert Jamin "Lobsang" York, who lived full-time in Tibet for 15 years and has traveled the road from Lhasa to Kathmandu dozens of times. Jamin has researched Tibet for BBC, Animal Planet, Lonely Planet guidebooks, the Discovery Channel, Rough Guide, Bradt guidebooks, Frommer's and National Geographic. Jamin will be giving lectures each day on different aspects of Tibetan and Nepali culture and history as well as taking about the climbing history of peaks like Everest, Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma. Joining Jamin will be members of his Tibetan and Nepali support staff.

This high quality, professionally guided Tibet adventure is limited to just 12 clients. For more information about this journey, send an email to: info@himalayajourney.com

Here is the itinerary we will be following:

15 April
All participants must arrive in Chengdu, China by 4pm on 15 April. Himalaya Journey will give you detailed instructions on how to easily get to the 4 or 5 Star hotel we will be staying at. We will eat dinner together during a time of meet and greet at a restaurant near our hotel. 

16 April
In the late morning/early afternoon, we will fly to Lhasa and arrive in the mid afternoon. The Tibetan capital sits at 3590 meters and is the cultural and spiritual heart of Tibet. After getting situated in a centrally located hotel, we will explore and photograph the center of the Old Tibetan Quarter in the heart of Lhasa. The Barkhor is the main shopping market for local Tibetans. It is one of the most interesting markets in all of Asia and is an excellent place to photograph modern Tibetan culture. In Lhasa we will stay at the 4 Star Gang-Gyen or the famous Kyichu Hotel, both of which are located within walking distance of the Barkhor.

17 April
After breakfast, we will spend the morning going through the Jokhang, Tibet’s holiest and most famous temple. Each day, thousands of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims work their way through this nearly 1400 year old temple. In the afternoon, we will photograph the Buddhist philosophy debates at Sera, one of Tibet’s largest monasteries. The monk debates will be a major highlight during your time in Tibet.

18 April
We will start the day by exploring Tibet’s most iconic building, the Potala Palace. Towering above Lhasa with more than 1000 rooms, the Potala Palace served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lama’s for hundreds of years. After this, we will explore Ramoche Temple and more of the Old Tibetan Quarter of Lhasa.

19 April
In the morning, we will depart from Lhasa and drive to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake. Yamdrok Lake, during clear weather, is a brilliant turquoise color and is one of the 4 main holy lakes in Tibetan Buddhism. The huge, glaciated 7191 meter Mt. Nojin Kangtsang forms the backdrop of the lake. The lake sits at an elevation of 4441 meters above sea level. Along the way to Gyantse, we will stop by the glaciers of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang at the Karo La Pass, which come down almost to the highway. Gyantse is a small, but modern Tibetan town, that lies at 4025 meters. We will be photographing the Pelkor Chode Monastery as well as the Gyantse Kumbum, the highest stupa (Buddhist pagoda) in Tibet. The drive from Lhasa to Gyantse covers 260 kms (162 miles). In Gyantse, we will stay at the 3 Star Yeti Hotel.

20 April
After breakfast, we will photograph the 600 year old Pelkor Chode Monastery. This beautiful monastery lies within a walled complex in the Gyantse Old Town. The short hike to the top of the wall gives an excellent panorama view of the monastery, town and the high plateau in the distance. After lunch, we will depart Gyantse and drive to Shigatse, elevation 3840 meters. The The distance from Gyantse to Shigatse is 95 kilometers (60 miles). In Shigatse we will stay at the 4 Star Tashi Choten Hotel.

21 April
Shigatse is home to Tashilhunpo Monastery and its 600+ monks. This monastery, one of the largest in Tibet, is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second most important lama in Tibetan Buddhism. We will walk around the pilgrim route that goes up and around the famous monastery as well as explore inside the huge monastery complex. In the afternoon, we will explore the walking street and markets in the Old Town.

22 April
We will depart from Shigatse in the morning and drive 305 kilometers (190 miles) to the small village of Basum going through small farming villages. Along the way, we will cross the Gyatso La Pass, which rises above 5000 meters and the Geu La pass, which rises to 5050 meters. From the Geu La pass, you get a sweeping view of the Himalaya’s where you can see 5 of the world's 15 highest mountains, including Mt. Everest. Basum is a small Tibetan village only 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Everest Base Camp. We will stay with a local Tibetan family in their traditional-style home. The elevation of Basum is 4270 meters.

23 April
In the early morning, we will drive 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Basum to Everest’s North Face Base Camp. Along the way, we will stop at the the beautiful Rongphu Monastery, the highest monastery in the world at nearly 5000 meters. The small monastery has an amazing view of Everest. We will explore and photograph this region, getting excellent pictures of the world’s highest mountain. After spending several hours in the Everest Base Camp region, we will drive 160 kilometers (100 miles) to Old Tingri. Old Tingri has a great view of Cho Oyu, the 6th highest peak on the planet. In Old Tingri, we will stay at the Kangar Hotel, the best option in town.

24 April

This day we will drive 255 kilometers (160 miles) to Kyirong, the last area in Tibet along the Nepal border. We will get more stunning views of the Himalaya, including Cho Oyu (6th highest), Shisha Pangma (14th highest) and several other peaks that rise above 7000 meters/23,000 feet. We will have a picnic lunch at Lake Peiku Tso, a beautiful high altitude lake not far from Shisha Pangma. We will then spend the night in Kyirong, just a short drive from the Nepal border.

25 April

After breakfast, we will say goodbye to our Tibetan driver and guide, cross the border from Tibet to Nepal and say hello to our Nepali driver and guide. Visas for Nepal (not included in the journey cost) are available at the first town in Nepal, called Rasuwagadhi. After finishing at Nepal Customs, we will drive 130 kilometers (80 miles) to Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, we will stay at the Arya Tara, a boutique-style hotel in Thamel District. 

26 April

We will spend the day visiting some of the main sites in the Kathmandu area. We will start by going to the famous Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, established in the 15th century, located on the banks of the Bagmati River. This is one of the most sacred Hindu temples on the planet. From there, we will then go to Boudhanath, home to one of the largest and most famous stupas in the Himalaya. Boudhanath is home to thousands of Tibetans. Both local Buddhists as well as Buddhist pilgrims visit this holy site each day. In the late afternoon and early evening, you can explore the maze of roads in the Thamel District near our hotel, which sells all kinds of great souvenirs.

27 April

This day we will travel 15 kilometers across the Kathmandu Valley to the UNESCO site of Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is an ancient city that is well preserved and is perhaps the best place in the valley to see traditional architecture and culture. We will spend a full day wandering the ancient streets. We will return to Kathmandu in the late afternoon.

28 April

Our last full day in Nepal will take us to the famed "Monkey Temple" of Swayambhu. This holy site contains another large Buddhist stupa and is revered as a major pilgrimage destination. It is one of the oldest holy sites in Nepal and dates back to the 5th century. In the afternoon, you will have free time to wander around the Thamel area near our hotel to get any last minute souvenirs.

29 April

Our journey will conclude after breakfast on the morning of 29 April. 

Tibet to Nepal Overland Journey

Dates: April 15—29, 2018

The cost per person is $3399 USD. Participants are responsible for their own international airfare to Chengdu, China and from Kathmandu, Nepal, but we will take care of just about everything else after that! Send us an email at info@himalayajourney.com  to apply for this tour or for any questions you may have. 

Included in the price:

  • One-way airfare from Chengdu, China to Lhasa, Tibet
  • All accommodations (Based on double occupancy)
  • All meals from the evening of 15 April until morning of 29 April
  • All bottled drinking water (bottles will all be recycled)
  • Daily fresh fruit
  • All ground transportation in Tibet and Nepal from 16—28 April
  • All meals and accommodations for Tibetan driver and guide
  • All entrance fees per itinerary
  • All Tibet permit fees
  • All Everest fees
  • Professional foreign guide certified and trained as a Wilderness First Responder
  • Expert local guides in Tibet and Nepal

Not included in the price:

  • Passport costs, Chinese Visa or Nepal visa fees
  • International airfare to Chengdu, China or from Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Travel vaccinations
  • Airport transfer in Kathmandu
  • Insurance (travel, medical, etc)
  • Souvenirs or personal items such as laundry, excess baggage fees, snacks, etc
  • Drinks besides bottled water. Bottled water is provided in the journey cost.
  • Photography fees inside temples and monasteries
  • Gratuities to the Tibetan and Nepali drivers and guides

Each participant will be sent a list of required and recommended clothing and gear for the tour that they will be responsible for as will information on how to obtain a Chinese Tourist Visa. Chinese Tourist Visa must be arranged at least 8 weeks before the journey begins. Nepal Visa can easily be obtained at the Tibet-Nepal border at a cost of $25 USD for 15 days or $40 USD for 30 days.

High quality, professionally guided journey: This journey is for clients who want to get the most out of their time in Tibet and Nepal. This journey price includes much more than other journeys from Lhasa to Kathmandu include, such as  4 or 5 star hotel in Chengdu, flight from Chengdu to Lhasa, upgraded hotels in Tibet, all meals at quality restaurants, all bottled drinking water, fresh fruit each day, expert English speaking Tibetan and Nepali guides, expert foreign guide who is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and an expert in Tibetan culture and history and much more! Each day, clients will learn more about different aspects of Tibetan and Nepali religion, culture and history so they can fully understand the places and people they are seeing and experiencing.

Accommodations: In Chengdu, we will be staying in a highly rated 4 or 5 star international hotel. In Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, we will be staying in pleasant 3 and 4 Star Tibetan-owned hotels. Hotels in western Tibet are very basic, but clean. In the village of Basum, near Everest Base Camp, we will stay in a traditional style Tibetan home. In Old Tingri and Kyirong, we will stay in the best places available. For the 4 nights in Kathmandu, we will stay in a highly rated boutique-style hotel in a quiet section of the Thamel District.

Meals: For this tour, we will be eating a variety of Western, Chinese, Tibetan and Nepali food. Food in the Everest and Tibet-Nepal border regions is limited to basic noodle and rice dishes with vegetables. If you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, please let us know so we can plan accordingly. Our clients are always happy with the meals during our journeys!

Responsible Tourism: Himalaya Journey is foreign-owned, but Tibetan and Nepali staffed. All of our guides and drivers are local Tibetans and Nepalis who have been working in tourism for many years. In Tibet, it is a top priority for us to support as many Tibetan-owned businesses as possible. During this tour, all of the hotels we will be staying at in Tibet are locally-owned, as are all of the restaurants we will be going to. The preservation of the culture of Tibet, as well as the protection of the environment of Tibet, are extremely important to us. In fact, when we are not out leading journeys across Tibet, we are working with local Tibetans in numerous eco-tourism and conservation projects.

Take a moment to read more about us and why ethical tourism in the Himalaya is so important to us: Why Use Us?

Jamin “Lobsang” York lived full-time on the Tibetan Plateau for nearly 15 years working in education, community development and tourism. In addition to traveling some 400,000 kilometers overland across Tibet, Jamin has led and arranged hundreds of tours across Tibet and the Himalayan regions of Ladakh (India) and Nepal. He has vast trekking experience across the Himalaya in Tibet and Nepal. Jamin’s expert knowledge on Tibetan culture, history and religion has been put to use for The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, BBC, Frommer’s Travel Guides, Fodor’s Guidebooks, Rough Guides, DK Eyewitness Travel and Lonely Planet Guidebooks. Jamin will be giving detailed lectures on Tibetan culture and history throughout this journey.

Jamin is the owner of Himalaya Journey and serves as the lead guide on professionally-led journeys, treks and photography tours through Tibet, India, Bhutan and Nepal. His goal is to help clients understand, appreciate, and respect the people and cultures they photograph and explore. Jamin is certified as a Wilderness First Responder from NOLS Wilderness Medicine. He is originally from the Seattle area of Washington State in the US.

Joining Jamin on this journey is Lhasa native Nyima Dolma. She has been guiding journeys in Tibet for a decade and is regarded as one of the best cultural guides in the Himalaya. Nyima Dolma, who is fluent in English, is an expert on Tibetan Buddhism, culture and history and will be sharing with clients more about the uniqueness of her culture.

Tashi Delek! I recently went on a 23 day tour with Himalaya Journey, led by Jamin with his amazing staff Phunstok, Tenzin Ngodrup and Anna to the Western Tibet area of Mt.Kailash and the Guge Kingdom as well as Lhasa, Mt Everest base camp and many other memorable places in Tibet. Their sheer dedication, genuine concern for myself and the group’s welfare was displayed unceasingly, and I was very impressed by the team’s professionalism and knowledge. Phuntsok was a careful and considerate driver, Tenzin Ngodrup was a very experienced tour guide who knew the answers to my never-ending questions and Anna was a remarkable intern looking after us all!
 
Being a regular trekker of the Himalayas, I can say this was by far the best trip I ever went on, led by someone who is experienced, knowledgeable but more importantly, someone who made sure everything was fine throughout the journey, from start to finish. Despite the high altitude, Jamin looked after myself, and the tour group members all the time, and ensured our safety was paramount, up to the highest point of 5640m at the Drolma La Pass around Mt.Kailash. I have left Tibet now with unforgettable memories, new friendships and the knowledge that I went through a tour agency that supports the Tibetan people. I am grateful for everything the agency organised for me, both before and after the journey (Jamin personally helped me book and organise a train from Lhasa to Xining, Qinghai) and was still checking up on me to see if I am alright. This speaks alot about a genuine, kind and remarkable human being, helping the local Tibetans, by employing local staff, and staying at local-run hotels and home-stays.
 
Thank you so much for everything Jamin. This was the trip of a lifetime and I have absolutely no regrets at all going through your company, and will highly recommend my friends and family to do so in that amazing part of the world. Rejoice in what you do for the Tibetan people and hope we can travel again together to the Himalayas! All the best! Thujechey.
 
Benny—Australia—May 2017
 
I recently returned from an adventure: I spent 23 days on an amazing journey through Tibet organized by Himalaya Journey. From the very beginning till the departure from Lhasa, everything was perfectly well done. I couldn’t expect any better. Jamin’s passion and knowledge about Tibet, its culture, its history and its people was impressive. That increased our interest towards the real situation of tibetan people. We can not see Tibet and its people the same way we did before. He was always professional and very helpful when asked for. I’d also like to thanks to Ngodup (Tibetan guide), who taught us about Buddhism. As we had a few Buddhists in our group (9 people), it naturally enriched out visits to many temples. After Tibet, I also visited Nepal for a few days and thanks to Ashok (Nepal office manager for Himalaya Journey), everything also went extremely well.
 
I do recommend Himalaya Journey for anyone interested in real Tibet and Nepal. Thanks!
 
Sergio—Brazil—May 2017
 
I returned last month from Himalaya Journey’s May 2017 Lhasa, Everest, Mt Kailash Trek and Guge Kingdom tour. It really exceeded my expectations – the landscape, culture and people of Tibet were amazing, while Jamin and all his crew were tireless in guiding us on this adventure. Touring in such a remote area was often challenging but I’m grateful that I decided to pay a little more and go with Himalaya Journey – I saw many other groups and always felt that we had the best leadership, logistics and accommodations available. Most of all, Jamin’s total passion for Tibet opened up a whole new understanding for me of Tibet and the region generally. I’d recommend this outfit for anyone traveling in the area and hope to do so again with them in the future!
 
Johnny—Canada—May 2017
 

Almost without exception, travels have both an objective and certain expectations that need be met for the outcome to be judged successful. For me a ‘journey’ implies somewhat more than this….there is a sense of challenging the unknown, including one’s own inner self. And then if you add to ‘journey’ the word ‘Himalaya’, one of the world’s most majestic and inspiring regions with landscapes that are often beyond belief, then you have something very, very special indeed.

Prior to October 2016 I had travelled solo, with a guide and transportation, on all my journeys, including the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), giving me the flexibility and freedom to stop at will, modify plans and so on. But having vowed to go back to the far west of the TAR (Ngari) to do the kora of Mount Kailash and visit the Guge Kingdom I was faced with exorbitant costs if travelling alone. I knew I had to find an alternative, and that alternative proved to be Himalaya Journey.

I had been in touch with Jamin York, Himalaya Journey’s Owner and Lead Guide, several times previously with general questions about travelling in ‘Greater Tibet’ and so it somehow seemed natural to approach him regarding making my Kailash dream materialize. One thing led to another and by the time 2015 melted into 2016 I was committed to joining Jamin’s small (10 person) group embarking on a 23-day journey in October which would take us across the TAR from Lhasa slowly westwards via Everest and Shishapangma Base Camps to Lake Manasarovar, Mount Kailash and the Guge Kingdom, and then back…a total land journey of around 4,000km.

My initial concerns about being in a group and having to keep to a strict schedule proved groundless. Jamin was only too willing to stop for sudden photo ops—the appearance of a Tibetan fox, a glorious view, a nomad encampment and so on. He also actively encouraged us to explore on our own when the itinerary permitted: in my case that meant spending special moments wandering through the Barkor in Lhasa and watching sunrise on the shore of Manasarovar.  Only once were we ‘chivvied’ in any sense, and that was during the Kailash kora on top of the Drolma-la. Jamin, with his vast experience of the mountains, was aware not only of the time constraints that day but more importantly that staying too long at that altitude (5,630m/ around 18,400’) was not to be recommended.

From a practical standpoint, everything throughout the journey was seamlessly arranged: we travelled in a small bus which gave us space to spread out and with a driver whose skills made going over 5,000m+ high passes again and again seem effortless! The hotels and guest houses, especially once we got beyond Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, were always the best available: I had paid a single room supplement, fully expecting to have to share in these remote areas, so I was delighted that there were only two nights on which I could not have some much appreciated privacy. The meals were generally of a high standard, and even in Ngari Jamin managed to rustle something tasty up for us or produce snack bars and packets of instant oatmeal out of his proverbial hat.

What also emerged strongly throughout our journey was Jamin’s love for and commitment to Tibet and its people, not to mention his in-depth knowledge.  His assistant on our journey, Nordrup, was himself Tibetan; we frequented Tibetan-owned restaurants, hotels and guesthouses whenever possible; and Jamin, fluent in Tibetan as well as Mandarin, regaled us while we were on the road with both incidents from Tibetan history and his own personal experiences of living there.

It was an unforgettable journey…indeed, although I left Tibet many weeks ago now, my journey is still on-going as I look back at my photos and notebook and try to weave it all into a story on my laptop.

I have the greatest respect and admiration for Jamin both as a person and journey-leader and have no reservations at all in recommending him and his company. Indeed, I hope to join him again in the future on a journey to Ladakh, ‘Little Tibet’: I believe that is the strongest recommendation of all.

Lesley—UK—October 2016

 
I would like to acknowledge and thank lead guide and owner, Jamin York, co-guide Tenzin Ngodup, and staff at Himalaya Journey for a fantastic trip to Far Western Tibet in October 2016. Not able to secure permits in the past to the TAR area of Tibet, I wasn’t confident it would ever happen until I talked with Jamin York.  He assured me and my two travelling companions that he could make it happen, and he did.  I am still on a “Tibet High” after our 23 day journey to Mt. Kailash, the Guge Kingdom and every experience in between! Additionally, because of Jamin’s careful planning of our itinerary and attention to our acclimatization to altitude, we were able to successfully complete the Kora of Mt. Kailash!  The dream of a lifetime!

The trip far exceeded my expectations and I will definitely use Himalaya Journey again.  I highly recommend Himalaya Journey to others who want to experience this hauntingly beautiful place called Tibet!

Sue—USA—October 2016

I took a fabulous and life changing tour of western Tibet with Jamin and Himalaya Journey last October.  Highlights include Lhasa, Everest and Shishapangma Base Camps, a pilgrimage kora around Mt. Kailash, a visit to the Guge Kingdom, and interactions with Tibetan people.  Jamin’s knowledge and passion for the Tibetan people is evident in his descriptions and stories throughout the journey.  He is a master story teller – telling detailed personal accounts of his 14 plus years of experience living in Tibet.   He wants to support the Tibetan people, and he does this by staying and eating in Tibetan run hotels and restaurants and by hiring excellent Tibetan guides whom he trains.
 
Jamin wants you to experience the lives of Tibetans.  During our trip, we made impromptu stops to visit nomads, interact with locals in small villages or on farms, and to experience their passionate religious lifestyle during Pilgrimage walks around the Jokhang, the Potala Palace, Tashilhunpo Monastery, and Mount Kailash.  I was able to interact and hear stories from two of Himalaya Journey’s Tibetan guides – Ngodup and Champa.  They shared so much of their lives and personalities – it was priceless.  At the end of our journey, Ngodup gave us an opportunity to experience a Tibetan nightclub in Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city.  The music, dancing, and hospitality etched a positive image that I will never forget.  During a free afternoon in Lhasa, Champa took me on a souvenir journey to a local Tibetan market (free of westerners) and to the Muslim quarter where you could see wholesalers trading caterpillar fungus known for its medicinal properties.  If you go on a Himalaya Journey trip and Champa offers a shopping or side trip, take it!
 
If you are a photographer, a trip with Himalaya Journey is a must.  Jamin and his guides allow ample time for photos.  Jamin is an accomplished photographer as evident from his website. When the light is just right, our small bus made several stops to capture the moment.  We stopped frequently to photograph wildlife.
 
Finally, Jamin did an amazing job organizing everything and planning our trip.  He’s like a close friend, checking in on how you are doing – how you are dealing with the altitude.  If there are any issues, he deals with them promptly and knowledgably.    Jamin, thank you for such a great trip! 
Tom—USA—October 2016
 

I’d have to use a ridiculous number of superlatives to honestly describe the quality of my recent journey with Jamin York and Himalaya Journey. In the interest of being believable, I’ll try to rein it in, but it will be a task I’m not sure I can manage! For me, this was a journey that I (and a couple friends) have spent many years and two failed attempts trying to accomplish. The permits were just not to be had, and we were beginning to feel that the idea must be abandoned. Then we discovered Jamin’s excellent website and, after a number of emails with him, began to feel confident that it could become a reality. I just completed a 23-day journey, led by Jamin and his wonderful guide Ngodup, that not only fulfilled my hope to complete the kora of Mt. Kailash and a visit to the lost Guge Kingdom, but took us across the length of the Tibetan Himalaya from Everest Base Camp to nearly the Indian border in far west Tibet. He even threw in Shishapangma Base Camp at the request of our group.

Each day, every step of the way, revealed such wondrous gifts, some expected and others a complete surprise. This journey, and the itinerary designed by Jamin and Ngodup, had it all, from monasteries and lost citadels, to landscapes beyond imagination: mountains, badlands, sand dunes, vast plateaus, and sacred lakes. And then there were our “Tibet 101” talks: Jamin and Ngodup each have a deep and personal knowledge which was shared each day as we traveled or walked; they taught us so much about the culture, geology, and history of Tibet and its people; and each shared many personal stories as well. Jamin has a heartfelt love for the Tibetan people that was evident in every way. Jamin cares genuinely and deeply about the quality of the experience his journeys provide, and he makes it his responsibility to see that both the physical and emotional needs of his travelers are met. His attention to detail in all matters was clear to see. I have never before joined a group that was not organized by myself, and I have to say that this was a pleasant surprise. I never felt that we were being herded around and there was, for the most part, enough flexibility in the days and the schedule to allow personal time and space.

I imagine that every traveler in our group felt “heard” and “seen” and that his or her unique expectations for this journey had been fulfilled. I can say that for me, the experience was transcendent. I would recommend Jamin’s Himalaya Journey without reservation to anyone wanting to travel in Tibet – or anywhere he offers to travel!

Karla—USA—October 2016

Jamin York leads a fantastic trip beyond the usual (and including!) sites of Lhasa. He takes great pains to preview routes, lodging and restaurants in person and is careful to limit his group to a comfortable ten. His attention to detail has him preparing contingency plans for any circumstance he can think of. His knowledge of the Chinese and Tibetan languages eased our way through the expected and unexpected. Nothing is sugar-coated as the journey can be rough and uncomfortable at times, but if there was comfort in the area, we had it! Jamin also has the uncanny ability to arrange for perfect weather and the tastiest of Tibetan cuisine.

On advance request he added a side trip to Shishapangma Base Camp which ended up being a popular highlight on a stunning day. The extension to the lost citadel of the Guge Kingdom was the holy grail of photographic opportunities. On second thought, most of the trip was like this!

Even though it can be close to impossible to deviate from “The Plan” due to restrictions, Jamin and Nordrup facilitated spontaneous interactions with Tibetans along the way, from the barley harvesters and millers to the nomads and their yaks.

Nancy—USA—October 2016

Our safety, health, and happiness were always a top priority and Jamin is a top notch tour leader in every sense of the word. I can’t imagine a better person in this role!

I took my dream trip to Tibet and Mt. Everest with Jamin and Himalaya Journey this April. From the minute we landed in Lhasa to the birthday banquet in a Tibetan home restaurant on the last day, his staff and friends surrounded us like a big family.  He is truly their brother.

The photography time was not just for the magnificent and mystified monasteries. It included Himalaya mountain ranges, glaciers, rivers, and villages, etc. We even stopped by a farming field one time and participated in their plowing and seeding activities.

The Mt. Everest sunrise photo experience was a well thought-out plan. Spending the night before in a nearby Tibetan home and mingling with the entire family was quite an experience. We played hide and seek with the neighboring children on the street. We chatted with village shepherds in the field herding their sheep home and showing off their baby sheep. When we headed out to catch the sunrise, the full moon lit up the entire village.

Jamin is a natural when it comes to telling stories. He preps us on the history, religion, culture and politics of Tibet. But what really connects us to this land and its people are his stories of his Tibetan friends, their struggles and triumphs. We also engaged in questioning and debating with gusto, Sera Monastery monk style, ha, ha, ha. 

Ruth—USA/Taiwan—April 2016

I highly recommend travelling with Jamin and his Himalaya Journey team to Tibet. He cares about Tibetans and and he cares about Tibet, a country which has an inherent fascination for many. Jamin has lived in Tibet for many years and has visited the iconic attractions on numerous occasions. He willingly shares his knowledge and insights about their history and cultural significance. Despite his familiarity he brings a fresh approach and willingness to engage. His team are a credit to him, particularly the exuberant Jampa. His staff member Woaber helped me ensure Lhasa has forever a place in my heart and  …… our bus driver was safe and considerate. And let’s not forget the energetic Will, assistant guide on this trip. I didn’t expect to eat as well as I did when visiting Tibet nor did I expect to experience the comfort in the hotels that were used. These aspects were of course a pleasant surprise. The memories of this trip from Lhasa to Everest base camp will be long lasting and thought provoking.

Richard—UK—April 2016

I’ve been a follower of Jamin on Instagram since 2013. Initially, it was my mom’s dream to see Mt Everest, but ended up doing this trip on my own because I knew that Jamin was a professional, trust worthy expert on Tibet. I usually never join small group tours, as I always travel on my own. But, joining this journey made me realize that not all group tours are the same after all. I met people on this journey that I will call my friends for life. Jamin is indeed the best travel coordinator that I have ever met. I went to Tibet to just see Mt Everest, but I came back home not just with great photos and videos, but with a person I can always look up to who is making a huge impact in Tibet by promoting and showing it to the world in an ethical way. I also work in the travel industry, but am still quite young. I am not sure if I can ever be quite like Jamin who does this business not just to make money for himself, but to help the Tibetan people in every possible way he can. He is an inspiration. I finally found my hero in this crazy competitive travel industry.

Angely from Access Tours and Travels—Phillippines—April 2016

Two years ago, I almost gave up my life-long dream of going to Tibet. But it is completely revived when I discovered Jamin’s blog (The Land of Snows) and his Instagram page.

Jamin is a fantastic leader right from the beginning of the trip, when I emailed him, till the very end of this incredible journey. His passion and vast knowledge about the Tibetan culture, history, religion, and the careful planning of the trip, has made this journey an enriching one. And I truly admire his support for the Tibetan community, where we stay and dine in Tibetan-run hotels/restaurants. Last but not least, his great sense of humour and captivating life stories always add colour to every day of our trip!

Our Tibetan guide, Jampa, is also a fantastic guide who passionately shares a lot of knowledge about Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism with us. As a Buddhist, I have learned so much about Tibetan Buddhism from her. She’s just a wonderful, kind and fun person to be with! I am grateful to have her as our Tibetan guide for this trip.

All in all, Jamin and Jampa are two wonderful guides/friends/teachers that I met through this trip. And they are definitely two people that I am glad to have crossed paths with in life.

The ten days spent in Tibet have been truly an adventure of a lifetime, and a spiritually enlightening experience for me. The stunning landscape and unique culture of Tibet is a feast for the eyes, while the devotion of the Tibetans feels like a comforting prayer for the soul. The resilience, devotion and compassion of the Tibetans will stay and go far with me in life. I highly recommend Jamin and his Himalaya Journey team to lead your trip to Tibet. And I already can’t wait to go for another adventure with them! Thank you once again for the most amazing journey of my life.

Adhianto—Indonesia—April 2016

Going on a journey with Jamin, Champa, Tashi or any of his other incredible and highly professional staff is an experience of a lifetime.  As an intern, it was an endless learning opportunity for me.

This is their everyday life. They welcome us all into it and leave you feeling like a part of the family longing to return.  Every action comes from a loving place and the utmost consideration is put into making the challenging geography of Tibet as hospitable and safe as humanly possible.  Everything from the brilliantly arranged itinerary to the random stops and detailed information being shared all along the way demonstrate this.

While on the road between destinations hours turn to minutes with tear-jerking, harrowing, and awe-inspiring stories from Jamin.  I can not imagine a leader with more kindness, strength and flexibility than Jamin.  I owe you my deepest thanks and gratitude Jamin (and Himalaya Journey), thank you for everything.

Will—Canada—April 2016

Having visited almost all of Asia over the years, Tibet was for me the ‘last frontier’ and I found that I had pretty much left the best till last. And I reckon that with Himalaya Journey (Jamin, his offsider Ben and local guide Jampa), I travelled with the best! Firstly, Jamin’s travel planning and attention to detail was exemplary, ensuring not a single snag on the whole trip. Secondly, with all three being long-time Tibetan residents, their knowledge of the Tibetan people, their culture, customs, history, religion etc was second to none, and was often recounted in a most entertaining way. Finally, they were just fun people to be around and made the whole trip most enjoyable. Thanks guys, and good luck with your future endeavours!

Neil—Australia—October 2015

Jamin has 14 plus years experience of living in Tibet and is fluent in Chinese and Tibetan. He has leveraged this experience to provide a carefully thought out, truly unique and unforgettable experience. He clearly has a huge passion for Tibet and its people and that is infectious. His ‘inside knowledge’ of the history, politics and travel bought the beauty and tragedy of Tibet to life. Every day he managed to pull yet another ‘wow’ moment ‘out of the hat’ during the many opportunities to interact with the local farmers and villagers.

Jamin works within the Tibetan community to employ Tibetan Guides, drivers etc and all restaurants and Hotels we stayed at were Tibetan owned. This opens up rarely available employment opportunities to Tibetans and enables them to learn and to develop their skills. The bottom line is, it gives them hope.

The other tour leaders, Ben (USA) and Jampa (Tibet) were wonderful. They seemed to be having as much fun as we were! They were thoughtful, kind and funny and kept us entertained throughout.  All three went above and beyond to make sure that everyone had the best experience possible. I would not hesitate to recommend Himalaya Journey and am already planning my next adventure with them!

Alison—New Zealand—October 2015

Just like for many, a trip to Tibet is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I had saved money for sometime, thinking that I would make sure I go with the experienced group leader who knows Tibet well. When I came across Jamin’s website, I was immediately captivated. The trip offered was a combination of the things I wanted. So my sister and I signed up for the trip for Spring 2015.

Being someone who lives in Jakarta, practically a city only a few meters above sea level with hot weather all year long, I prepared myself to face Tibetan spring weather and the worst during acclimatisation. I found drinking a lot of water (and I mean a lot!)  and resting whenever I needed to helped in the acclimatisation process. So, whenever Jamin reminded you to drink water, please do! And…Tibetan spring sometimes felt like full on winter for me! Luckily I brought enough warm clothes with me. 

Apart from following the itinerary, I truly appreciate the impromptu stops at additional nice spots we saw on the way, whenever possible. When we couldn’t follow our itinerary (due to earthquake in Nepal), Jamin always offered alternatives and made sure our safety is top priority.

Jamin is also very knowledgeable about Tibet. It is very interesting to learn about Tibetan culture from the eye of non-Tibetan who has lived in Tibet for so long. I also appreciate that Jamin deliberately chose to work together with Tibetan guides and driver, we stayed at Tibetan-run hotels and had our meals at Tibetan restaurants. The encounter with the locals made such a difference that the trip did not feel like ‘photo-click-then-go-to-next-spot’ kind of group trip for me. All my expectations checked – above and beyond. I definitely recommend to join Jamin and his team for your tour in Tibet.

Mia—Indonesia—April 2015

Jamin—Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have really made my trip to Tibet truly unforgettable and I already can’t wait to return to explore more of it. Thank you for your limitless patience in answering all my pesky questions about Tibet and for your enthusiasm and passion for Tibet and its people….that was truly inspiring to see. I can’t wait to tell more people to come to this beautiful land to see it for themselves.

Swetha—India—April 2015