In Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp we visit beautiful Tibetan cities and towns such as Tsedang, Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya, Rongbuk and Zhangmu. One of the major highlights of this trip is reaching the base camp of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest, which we accomplish on the 9th day of our trip. During our Lhasa to Kathmandu tour, we visit popular Tibetan landmarks like Potala, Norbulingka and Yambulakhang Palaces, Tibet Museum, Barkhor Bazaar and Gyantse Dzong. This trip also includes touring quite a number of spectacular Tibetan monasteries including, but not limited to, Sera, Drepung, Samye, Phalkot, Shalu, Tashilhunpo, Sakya and Rongbuk, the world’s highest monastery. On the trip, we also visit the 15th century Ganden Monastery and explore the Chim Phu and Drayerpa caves, which are still a meditative sanctuary for Tibetan monks.
We will be staying at Yarlung River Hotel in Tsedang, Kyichu Hotel in Lhasa, Yeti Hotel in Gyantse, Gesar Hotel in Shigatse, Rongbuk Monastery Guest House in Rongbuk and Zhangmu Hotel in Zhangmu. The hotels in Lhasa, Tsedang, Gyantse and Shigatse are 2-3 star hotels but due to their remote location, the hotels in Rongbuk and Zhangmu are very basic. It is also possible to upgrade to a better hotel in Lhasa, but the accommodations in other cities and towns are the best available ones. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost 375 USD.
We arrive in Lhasa, at Gonggar Airport either from a direct flight from Nepal or via mainland China. If we decide to fly from Nepal, we get to enjoy around an hour long trans-Himalayan flight, considered to be one of the most beautiful air routes in the world. It takes us over Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,536m) and other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. If we choose to go to Lhasa via mainland China, we may fly from any of the major Chinese cities or take the world's highest train route to Lhasa. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up either from the airport or the train station and drive us to our designated hotel in Tsedang where we are advised to take plenty of rest for proper acclimatization and the next day’s activities. Overnight in Tsedang.
On the way to Lhasa, we visit Samye Monastery, which is located in the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River among the open farmlands. The monastery was founded in 770 A.D by Guru Rimpoche and is Tibet’s first Buddhist monastery with a 1200-year-old history. Next we visit the Chim Phu caves, which is located above the monastery. These caves are used as a long term retreats by those who wish to meditate in peace. Then we visit the beautiful Yambulakhang palace which is perched dramatically on a pinnacle above the Yarlung river valley and secures great views of the entire region. After touring the palace, we continue to Lhasa to spend the night.
We begin sightseeing in Lhasa after breakfast. Today is the day we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and houses what is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. Next, we visit the Tibet Museum, the official museum of Tibet, which has a permanent collection of around 1000 artifacts related to the cultural history of Tibet. Overnight in Lhasa.
After breakfast we visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th century, is believed to have sheltered around 10,000 monks in the past but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundreds. The history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Tibetan people are strongly concentrated and centered in this marvelous monastery. Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowd of pilgrims, it is the nerve centre of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
Today, we drive 110km to Ganden monastery, Drayerpa Cave and back in Lhasa. Ganden Monastery is located at the top of Wangbur Mountain (3,800m) in the Lhatse County, around 55km east of Lhasa. It is the oldest and one of the ‘great three’ of the six Gelug Sect monasteries in Tibet. Ganden Monastery has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures. It also keeps a suit of armor decorated with gems, which was worn by Emperor Qianlong and was bestowed to the monastery as an offering to Tsong Khapa, founder of the Gelug Sect. During the afternoon, we drive to Drayerpa Cave located in a beautiful valley with a stunning landscape. There are more than 30 caves for Lamas who wish to meditate in a silent environment. In the evening, we drive back to Lhasa and spend the night.
Today, we take a scenic drive to Gyantse. On the way we cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief halt to savor the beauty of the Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and the beautiful Nazin Kang Sang glacier (7,252m). Soon, we come across another pass, The Karo La Pass (5,045m). From our vehicle, we can enjoy views of huge glaciers tumbling down into the road before reaching Gyantse. In Gyantse, we visit the Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong (Fortress), which is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. Overnight in Gyantse.
After breakfast, we drive towards Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. On the way, we visit Shalu Monastery. Founded in 1040, Shalu Monastery is known for its beautiful and ancient mural paintings. Next, we continue to Shigatse. In Shigatse, we visit the popular Tashilhunpo Monastery which holds both historical and cultural importance for being founded by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama in 1447. After sightseeing in Shigatse, we will have the remainder of the day free for resting. This will help us with acclimatization and the next day’s long drive. Overnight in Shigatse.
After breakfast, we leave Shigatse for Rongbuk. On the way, we visit the Sakya Monastery which is the ancestral temple of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After the visit to Sakya Monastery, we continue driving towards Rongbuk. Here, we visit the Rongbuk monastery, which is located at the foot of the mighty Everest and is the highest monastery in the world. While here, we also enjoy the stunning mountainous scenery all around us. Overnight in Rongbuk.
We leave Rongbuk in the morning to visit the Everest Base Camp (5,250m). On the way, we enjoy spectacular views of high mountains like Cho Oyu (8,201m), Shishapangma (8,013m) and, of course, the mighty Everest (8,848m) also known as Mt. Chomolongma in the Tibetan side. Today, we accomplish one of the major highlights of our trip, reaching the base camp of Mt. Everest. We make approximately a 16km round trip around the Everest Base Camp. The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the view of Everest is more than compensating. After spending some quality time at the base of the world’s highest mountain, we make Zhangmu our next destination. On the way, we cross the Lalung La Pass (5,124m), Shung La Pass (5,200m) and Nyalam Pass (3,800m) which offers enchanting views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. We then drive gradually down from the dry Tibetan Plateau towards the verdant and fertile vegetation of Zhangmu on the Nepalese side of the border. Overnight in Zhangmu.
Note that on rare occasions due to bad weather or political riots the local government may close down the road to the Everest base camp for safety reasons and without prior notice.
A few kilometers drive from Zhangmu to Friendship Bridge over the Bhote Koshi River brings us to Immigration Control in Kodari where we are expected to complete some custom formalities. We then depart with our Tibetan guide and walk across the river where a Nepalese staff will be waiting for us. After around 4 hours of driving through deep valleys, we reach Kathmandu.
Tibet is the highest plateau in the world and is widely known as ‘The Roof of the World’. We will be driving in high altitudes that go constantly above 5000m/16400ft during the journey. Driving fast in such an elevation could cause medical conditions (Acute Mountain Sickness) which could be fatal. There is 50% less oxygen compared to sea level in high altitudes like Tibet. The higher the altitude the lesser will be the oxygen in the air. Our body needs a few days to acclimatize to this less-oxygen environment. Although Himalayan Glacier has been providing sufficient information regarding precautions against AMS, it should be understood that if one does get affected by AMS, proper medical care is the only way to treat it.It is important to make sensible plans in order to avoid AMS during the tour. Therefore, Himalayan Glacier would advise guest(s) to do some trekking or altitude activities in Nepal or elsewhere before taking this trip. It is also important that our guest(s), especially one(s) with known heart or lung or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorders are all symptoms of AMS.