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Culture, EBC and Kayaking\ Rafting Trip to Tibet

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February 6, 2021
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Best Season: Sept - Nov , Mar - June
Kathmandu or Pokhara
Pokhara or Kathmandu

Visit the famous Potala Palace where Dalai Lama used to live and the capital of Tibet Lhasa.  Paddle the Tseuphu Chu, Reting Tsangpo , and Drigung Chu, Yarlung Tsangpo, and Rong Chu River. Trek to Mt Everest Base Camp is situated at an altitude of 5200m in Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

Tour Details


Culture, Rafting, and Kayaking

From most descriptions of Tibet, it is hard to believe that Tibet is home to a large number of spectacular rivers. Mt Kailash, in the west of Tibet is the source of the subcontinent’s four greatest rivers: the Ganges, Indus, Sutlej and Brahmaputra. In the east, the forested land of Kham is home to the source of the Mekong and the Yangtse, the 2 largest rivers in East Asia. In the summer months, regular rains swell Tibet’s rivers and the result is a surprising number of world-class rafting and kayaking rivers.

Airborne Adventure Nepal (AAN) have our partners in Tibet to organize all the official permits to operate rafting and kayaking trips. We employ international guides who work alongside our Tibetan guides to ensure a very high standard of safety, service and cultural experience. We also run a variety of trips that combine some of the striking cultural visits in our general catalog with rafting and camping in areas of overwhelming beauty. We also have the ability to suggest, guide and handle logistics for first descents by experienced kayakers or rafters.

Safety and Experience

All our international guides are trained in wilderness first aid and river rescue. Our international rafting guides and safety kayakers have extensive experience running challenging whitewater expeditions in the Himalaya and elsewhere. Expert safety kayakers are used on every whitewater run. Ram Bhandari is your trip leader who has had over 20 year’s experience in guiding, instructing, and managing rafting and other outdoor adventure operations around the world. All clients are provided with international standard safety equipment including a full wetsuit, helmet and buoyancy vest. We use state of the art rafts, kayaks and equipment.
When we design your itinerary, we consider seasonal weather patterns, water levels and temperatures, altitude, accessibility, as well as surrounding scenery and cultural sites to ensure that you have the best possible experience in Tibet.

Travel to Tibet

  • Fly to Chengdu (in China) from your home country and then Chengdu to Lhasa.
  • End of the trip, fly back from Nepal Kathmandu international airport to your home country.
  • Optional: to fly back from Lhasa to Chengdu and Chengdu to your home country.

This is a suggestion if you decide to go through Nepal to Tibet you will need three days extra in Kathmandu before the trip to apply for the Chinese visa and Tibetan permit.
Note: You can buy air tickets from your home country to Chengdu and from to Lhasa and return Kathmandu Nepal international airport. It might be cheaper for people to buy tickets this way. If people are keen to go via Nepal then you need to talk to AHN about the ticket from Kathmandu to Lhasa return because we have to stay three days in Kathmandu get our Chinese visa and Tibetan permit.

Fixed Departure: 18th August to 6th September 2019

Cost Includes

Cost Excludes

  • Tibet entry permit and all Tibet travel permits. (couriered to)
  • All transport from Lhasa airport pick-up to drop-off and throughout the trip using well maintained and safe bus 15 seats or 17 seats. (includes all fuel, maintenance, driver expenses etc.)
  • Local Tibetan guide (good English with excellent cultural knowledge)
  • Twin share (double bed) accommodation (extra added folding bed) with Breakfast
  • All meals outside of Lhasa (as listed in itinerary: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
  • Entry fees to all monasteries and sights as listed in itinerary. (extra sites may be visited; time permitting, at the client’s expense)
  • All camping equipment with 1 equipment truck
  • 1 trekking cook with all cooking equipment
  • Kayak, and raft.
  • First aid kit with oxygen cylinder
  • Lhasa breakfast included only in hotel you are staying
  • Full meals arrangement out of Lhasa and during camping
  • Mt Everest Base Camp Entry Fee
  • 1 or 2 Night accommodation in Kathmandu after we cross Tibetan border
  • Chinese tourist visa. (Must arrange in your home country)
  • Travel insurance (recommended) with rescue helicopter included in your insurance
  • Flight ticket to and from Tibet
  • Items of a personal nature (such as laundry, extra snacks, alcohol etc.)
  • Lunches and Dinners when in Lhasa, snacks and extra drinks throughout trip.
  • Tips to guides and drivers etc.
  • Flight ticket from ether Chengdu to Lhasa both way or Kathmandu to Lhasa Both way.

Arrive in Lhasa

You will arrive in Lhasa to stay in the hotel Yabshi or Kiychu and relax after jetlag. Get acclimatized to the altitude of Lhasa which is around 3600 meters.

We will do sightseeing around Lhasa and have an acclimatization day,

We will do sightseeing around Lhasa and have an acclimatization day, it’s very important that everyone gets used to the high altitude.

Lhasa Sightseeing day

We will visit the famous Patala Palace and a couple of monasteries where all the monks do their meditation and prayer.

Paddle Tseuphu Chu River

We will head to the river today and test out how we feel paddling at the highest point in the world. It’s a fun whitewater paddle only 1 hour from Lhasa. It is a perfect warm-up for paddling in Tibet but it is recommended that you are physically fit and have acclimatized in Lhasa for a few days prior. We will paddle 2 and a half hours on the lower section of Tseuphu Chu.

Drive to the Reting Tsangpo River.

This incredible river was first paddled in 2005. We take a gear boat and say good-bye to the road for four days, carrying our supplies along with us. We access the Reting Tsangpo by its north fork, beginning as a small alpine stream with amazing views of the Nyenchen Thanglha range near Namtso. The north fork enters the main river on day 2 and we paddle big water through incredible alpine juniper forests and past nomad camps. In high water, big volume rapids are interspersed by lazy flat sections and awesome surf waves for kayakers. This is the quintessential Tibetan rafting experience. It’s a wonderful mix of mountains, Tibetan nomads, monasteries and the whitewater is bound to make this a classic.

Paddle Reting Chu

We will have an early morning breakfast and drive to the put-in point and depending on the time when we arrive will determine if we paddle that day. If we arrive on or before lunchtime then we will paddle a couple of hours today, if we arrive after lunch we will stay overnight at the put-in point, driving is 4 hours.

We will Continue paddle Reting Chu

After a lovely breakfast cooked by our personal cook, we will get on the water and paddle for the day and find a nice campsite near the Reting Monastery so we can explore it and surrounding areas.

Less enjoy as much as we can on this lovely river and landscape

Delight in another day of paddling and exploring Tibet, its monasteries and incredible landscape.

Today will be our last on the Reting Chu

This day will be our last full day on the water paddling the spectacular Reting Chu river. Let’s enjoy this as much as we can, as we experience the beautiful views and the way the nomads live their everyday life. Camp and load the van and truck for our next river, the incredible Drigung Chu for the following day.

Drive to Drigung Chu river and Hot springs

After breakfast, we will drive to the Drigung Chu River. Arrive at the relaxing Drigung hot springs and set up camp on the riverside. Head up to visit the hot springs and then prepare for our next paddling day.

Drigung Chu

The Drigung Chu is situated in an exquisite alpine valley about 2 hours from Lhasa. Continuous exciting class III rapids are interspersed with incredible granite gorges and challenging class IV rapids. The 2-day trip has jam-packed whitewater and also includes a visit to the Tidrum Nunnery and hot springs. This run is quite technical so you will be expected to paddle often. This trip is for those looking for an exciting river adventure in a unique environment. Our guides feel this run is the most beautiful river in Tibet.

Hot spring visit and paddle

After breakfast, we will visit the hot springs and nunnery and after lunch, we will do kayaking and rafting and camp at the riverside.

Paddle Drigung Chu and drive back to Lhasa

Today we will have a nicely cooked breakfast prepared by our Tibetan cook and then pack up everything onto our truck or van and then get on the water for another wonderful day paddling on the Drigung chu. After we finish paddling we will drive to Lhasa around 3 and half hours.

Paddle Yarlung Tsangpo River (known as The Brahmaputra River)

After a quick breakfast, we will drive to the Yarlung Tsangpo River which is the biggest river in Tibet in terms of volume and paddle for two days. Enjoy a couple of hours of amazing whitewater in the afternoon. Find a nice camp spot with a sandy beach and enjoy our night out in the Tibetan river environment.

Today we will paddle the spectacular Yarlung Psangpo river

After breakfast, we will pack up all our gear into our truck and van. This will be; anything that we are not going to use on the water apart from our paddling gear. Paddle for a couple of hours until lunchtime and then pack up everything for the last time into the truck including all our kayaks and rafts. Sit back relax and enjoy the scenic drive back to Mt Everest Base Camp, top of the world!

Drive to Mt Everest Base Camp is Situated at an altitude of 5200m in Tibet Autonomous Region of China and Rong Chu River which flows through The Rongbuk Glacier

Today will continue to drive to Mt Everest Base camp and stay overnight in lodge or camping and get ready to explore EBC following day plus paddle one night two days Rong Chu River.

Paddle Rong Chu River.

Visit EBC and paddle Rong Chu all the rafters can do a day hike and explore base camp when Grade 4+ kayaker paddles the Rong Chu river on day 16, As of day seventeen and eighteen the whole group will paddle Rong Chu river.

For many people, the main reason they go to Tibet is to see the amazing view of Everest’s famous North Face. The view of Everest from the Tibet side gives a clear, sweeping view of the mountain.

The view of Everest and the Himalaya from the Geu La Pass is located along the way to base camp. Everest Base Camp (EBC), elevation 5200 meters, is nearly 800 kilometers (500 miles) southwest of Lhasa. We will visit the many amazing sights along the way to EBC such as Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse, Shigatse, and Sakya Monastery. Altogether this is a journey going from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and then we continue through to the Nepalese border after our Everest base camp journey.

This is great opportunity for people to visit the top of the world!

On the Tibetan, no hiking is required to reach base camp. We can drive all the way to Everest Base Camp from Lhasa. Without a climbing permit, this is the closest to the mountain where you can spend the night.

We will visit Rongphu Monastery located at Everest Base Camp.

Though EBC sits at nearly 5200 meters, it is relatively rare to see heavy snow on the ground in the area. While snow does fall in the region, the strong rays of the sun quickly melt away the snow.

Rongphu Monastery with Everest in the background

A common question people have-

Can you see Everest from the main road that connects Lhasa to the Nepal border?

Yes, there are a few places that you can see Everest from the main road, but none of the views are very good. You will only get a very small glimpse of the mountain. In order to really get a good view of Everest, you will need to get to the base camp.

Note: You must be a Grade 4 + paddler to paddle the upper section of the Rong Chu River which is just day and day 2 and 3 rest of the crew can join.

After we have done our one night two days paddling on the Yarlung Tsangpo, we then drive through Shigatse to Rongbuk Monastery toward the Everest base camp and Rong Chu river. After exploring around base camp, we put on the Rong Chu at around 5000m (which may be the highest put-in anywhere in the world). We then spend the next 3 days paddling class 3 and 4 whitewater to the village of Kharta. After that the river enters the infamous Arun River Gorges which flows off the edge of the Tibetan plateau down in to Nepal. This partial circumnavigation of Everest by kayak is a truly amazing journey.

**When the rafters do their EBC sightseeing and an exploration day hike then kayaker will paddle the Rong Chu. **

From Georgia’s previous trip is that the Rong Chu is paddleable from Everest base Camp. The first day is the most challenging whitewater, which only grade 4 kayakers will paddle and day 2 and 3 rest of the crew will join.

Note: Please contact Adventure Hub Nepal directly for this trip. You will need to present us with your paddling experience before undertaking this expedition.

Paddle Rong Chu River

Today we will have to be very flexible due to the water level. If we can’t paddle the Rong Chu we will continue driving to the Nepal border and paddle the Lower Bhote Kosi and Balephi rivers.

Paddle Rong Chu River and Drive to Nepal Border

After breakfast will paddle for a couple of hours and have lunch and then continue to drive to Nepal Border if we have enough daylight we will cross the border today otherwise we will stay the night on the border and drive back to Kathmandu next days.

Drive to Kathmandu and rest day in Nepal

Today will be either a rest day in Kathmandu or drive all day depending on the movement of day 18. If we cross the border on day 18 then day 19 will be a rest day in Kathmandu relaxation and reflection on the whole trip. Write some journal entries about your amazing experiences as well as explore the Kathmandu valley if you feel like. Get ready for a big celebration dinner and party night which is well deserved!

Fly back home or more adventure

Fly home say goodbye to your team members and crew.


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