Ride on the Roof of the World is a 10-days tour that begins in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. You can explore the several days here to see the sights, adjust to altitude and acquaint ourselves with our Royal Enfield 500cc ‘Bullets’.then you begin the epic ride across the Himalayan Plateau to Gyangtse, Shigatse, Tingri and Everest Base camp. From here the tour crosses the Friendship Bridge at the Tibet-Nepal border and continues to Dhulikhel, before riding triumphantly into the capital Kathmandu.
Day 1: Arrive Lhasa(D). On arrival in Lhasa we transfer to hotel. Lhasa
Day2: Lhasa (BLD) . Above the banks of the Lhasa River, at an altitude of 3,760m and surrounded by beautiful landscapes, lies the mysterious city of Lhasa that is dominated by the extraordinary architectural wonder, the Potala Palace. Today we collect our Royal Enfield Bullet motorbikes, and after a road brief, take a short ride to Moburi Mountain and the Potala Palace. This enables us to familiarise ourselves with our machines and adjust to riding on the right side of the road with opposite side shift gear and brakes. Often referred to as ‘the bright pearl in the roof of the world’, the Potala Palace is the traditional winter home of the Dalai Lama. It stands 117m tall and has more than 1,000 rooms and its walls are more than three metres thick. After lunch we visit the old city of Lhasa and its fascinating marketplace showcasing Tibetan customs and culture.
Day 3:Lhasa (BLD) . Today we visit beautiful Norbulinka Park. From the mid-18th century each successive Dalai Lama used the park and palace as a summer residence. All religious and political affairs were carried out here and in 1994 UNESCO granted it World Heritage status. In the afternoon we visit the Lhasa Hospital of Tibetan Medicine where we learn about the use of herbs, plants and root vegetables in this ancient science.
Day 4: Lhasa (BLD) . After breakfast we continue to explore this fascinating city. One of today’s highlights is a visit to the extraordinary Sera Monastery. As a part of their study, lamas here must participate in debates to further their comprehension and proceed to more advanced levels of study. The debating traditions in the Sera Monastery are unique and provide an amazing spectacle. In a battle of words, the lamas supplement their efforts by using a variety of gestures including clapping their hands, pushing their partners for an answer, or plucking their prayer beads to win the virtue of the Buddha.
Day 5:Lhasa – Gyangtse (BLD) . After breakfast we leave Lhasa and ride for 280 km, on mostly paved roads, through magnificent countryside to the ancient city of Gyangtse. The ride follows the riverbed of the Kyi Chu River in the Brahmaputra valley until the Yarlung Tsangpo Bridge. We then take the southeast route and gradually ascend to the Kampa La. This pass has the highest continuous ascent of our entire trip, rising from 1,600m to 4,787m, which is effectively almost 1,200m over a distance of 23 km. We ride slowly and take frequent rest stops – a technique that helps us acclimatise to the high altitude. We picnic by the turquoise waters of Yamdruk Lake and, in the afternoon, pass the majestic Kanola Glacier before reaching Gyangtse early evening. Hotel Gyangtse
Day 6:Gyangtse – Shigatse (BLD) . If you have ever dreamt of riding to the ‘roof of the world’, dream no more! After a morning visit to the Kunbon Stupa and Pecho Monastery in the ancient walled town of Gyangtse, we pass a range of snowy peaks and follow the Nyangchu River for 90km before arriving in Tibet’s second-largest city, Shigatse. Meaning ‘fertile land’, Shigatse is more than 600 years old and sits at the confluence of the Yarlong Tsangpo and Nyangchu rivers. It is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama and is an important stop for pilgrims travelling between Lhasa and western Tibet. Hotel Shigatse
Day 7: Shigatse – Tingri (BLD) . Back on the road we head along the Friendship Highway to the remote town of Tingri. En-route we visit the Sakya Monastery, which resembles a castle in typical Yuan Dynasty style. It contains more than 10,000 volumes of Tibetan books on astronomy, medicine, calligraphy and history. This is another day of fantastic scenery as we journey to within sight of Mount Everest and we make many scenic stops before the sun begins to set behind the north face of the world’s highest peak. Hotel Tingri
Day 8:Tingri – Everest Base Camp – Tingri (BLD) . A big day today as we head towards the world’s highest mountain. We ride as far as the Tse-La pass which affords sensational views of Everest and its near neighbours. We then continue by bus to Everest Base Camp itself – 5300m above sea level. In the afternoon we visit Rongbuk, once the largest monastic centre in the region. All mountaineers must pass through this settlement when attempting to climb the treacherous north face of Everest.
Day 9:Tingri – Zhangmu (BLD) . This morning, charged with energy after realising a dream, we head out for another long day’s exhilarating ride. We leave Tingri and drive across the high Tibetan Plateau to the trade-post town of Nyalam at an altitude of 3,500m. We then continue 35 km down to Zhangmu, the border town. It’s worth having an altimeter with you today as we descend an incredible 1,300m in less than two hours’ riding! Hotel Zhangmu
Day 10:Zhangmu – Kathmandu (BLD) . An early morning start today as we descend to the Friendship Bridge that divides Tibet and Nepal. After clearing Chinese border formalities, we ride across the bridge to the Nepalese border town of Kodari from where it is a four-hour ride to Dhulikhel, just above the Kathmandu Valley.