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20Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comA fter sightseeing in Kathmandu we take a spectacular flight across the Himalaya to Lhasa where we have ample time to visit the iconic Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the streets of the Barkhor. From Lhasa we travel east to Shigatse via Sera Monastery and Drak Yerpa. Then it is on to Gyantse, still one of the most 'Tibetan' of towns, where Kumbum Monastery and Gyanste Fort are the must-see sights. We return via the huge scorpion-shaped lake of Yamdrok Tso and then conclude our tour exploring the Yarlung Valley, known as the 'cradle of Tibetan civilisation'.Each of our tours is timed to visit a Tibetan festival. In June we attend the Saga Dawa Festival at the foot of sacred Mount Kailash and in July we join the festivities in Shigatse for the Tashi Lhumpo Monlam Festival. Finally in August we enjoy the Shotun Festival at the old summer palace of the Dalai Lama, the Norbulingka.Extend your holiday - for those who want to cross the roof of the world by train, we also offer an eight-day pre-tour Train to Lhasa extension. Travelling from the bustling city of Shanghai to the tranquil waters of Qinghai Lake and on to Xining, we board the overnight train and journey across the vast Tibetan plateau into Lhasa; a thrilling start to our cultural tour. Contact the office for further information.Definitive Cultural Tour of Tibet An in-depth exploration of the most important religious and cultural sites in this fascinating Himalayan land.Potala from Medicine hill, Steve BerryLocal LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 14Optional: Single Room £330Insurance: £77 Cultural Tour | Duration: 16 DaysOther Cultural Tours - see pages 12, 13, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58£2,225£2,915Land OnlyFlight IncludedWed 08 Jun - Thu 23 Jun 11Wed 06 Jul - Thu 21 Jul 11Wed 24 Aug - Thu 08 Sep 11Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comTibetLying in the rain shadow of the Greater Himalaya, Tibet is a breathtaking high altitude plateau covering an area the size of Western Europe. It is a country that personifies all that is mysterious and was once known as the 'forbidden kingdom', isolated from the rest of the world. Despite the shock of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and far greater accessibility, Tibet's unique cultural and spiritual identity has been fiercely preserved by its proud people, and the exiled Dalai Lama encourages Westerners to visit his country to experience the true nature of Tibet for themselves.Festival

21telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comB hutan and Tibet are linked by their Buddhist culture but are scenically very different. In Bhutan we visit some of the finest monasteries in the country, including impressive Taksang Temple (the Tiger's Nest), clinging to the side of a cliff, and the magnificent riverside dzong at Punakha. As we travel over high passes we will also enjoy some spectacular Himalayan mountain vistas. We will also attend a colourful Bhutanese festival, a highlight of any visit.In Tibet we travel to Samye Monastery, Tsedang and the cradle of Tibetan civilisation - the 'Valley of the Kings'- before continuing to busy Lhasa. Here we might join pilgrims on a 'kora' around the Potala Palace or join the throng visiting the ancient Jokhang temple. Added to the many treats on this tour is a spectacular flight past Everest and a tour of the main sights of bustling Kathmandu. B efore setting off on trek we have plenty of time to relax in Kathmandu, with visits to the 'Monkey Temple' and bustling Durbar Square, and also in Lhasa where we'll visit Drepung and Sera Monasteries and see the magnificent Potala Palace. This will also assist our acclimatisation. Given its proximity to Lhasa, it is incredible that the beautiful Phenpo Valley has remained one of Tibet's best kept secrets - we're most unlikely to encounter other western tourists on our trek. This agriculturally rich area is scattered with villages, many housing fascinating monasteries and other cultural sights, which we will have ample time to explore. The itinerary has been carefully planned to avoid demanding climbs over high passes but there are dramatic mountain views, an abundance of culture and history and easy walking trails.Cultural Highlights of Bhutan & TibetThis trip has it all - three Himalayan capitals, important cultural sites and high mountain landscapes.Gentle Trekking Tibet Enjoy the highlights of Kathmandu and Lhasa followed by a short trek in the delightful and rarely visited Phenpo Valley.Festival monk, John Turner£2,395£3,050Land OnlyFlight IncludedWed 18 May - Thu 02 Jun 11Wed 03 Aug - Thu 18 Aug 11On Trek: 5 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 9 Camping: 5Optional: Single Room £100 Kathmandu Single Room/Tent £225 TibetInsurance: £95Trek | Duration: 16 DaysGrade: Gentle/Moderate Appointed Leader Ann Sainsbury?John Yost?Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 14/15Optional: Single Room £295Insurance: £132Cultural Tour | Duration: 16/17 DaysGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comAround Lhasa TibetGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients£3,450£3,495£4,150£4,150Land OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedTue 15 Mar - Wed 30 Mar 11?Fri 30 Sep - Sun 16 Oct 11?Other Cultural Tours - see pages 12, 13, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58Festival