Lhasa to Everest Base Camp to Lhasa Tour is an 8-day journey that begins and ends in Lhasa with a visit to the Everest base camp. It covers the beautiful Tibetan cities and towns of Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Rongbuk. While there, we visit popular landmarks like Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, the Tibet Museum, Barkhor Bazaar and Gyantse Dzong. We also cross several passes and visit the beautiful YamdrokTso Lake on our trip. Impressive Tibetan monasteries like Sera, Drepung, Jokhang Temple, Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot, Tashilhunpho, Sakya and Rongbuk are ours to admire.
We will be staying at Kyichu Hotel in Lhasa, Yeti Hotel in Gyantse, Gesar Hotel in Shigatse and Rongbuk Monastery Guest House in Rongbuk. 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 an additional US $ 320.
We arrive in Lhasa either from a direct flight from Nepal or via mainland China. If we decide to fly from Nepal, then we get to enjoy a beautiful hour-long trans-Himalayan flight that 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 for about an hour’s drive to our designated hotel in Lhasa. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Lhasa.
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. (B)
Today, we take a scenic drive to Gyantse. On the way we cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief stop 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. (B)
After breakfast, we drive towards Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. 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 Lhasa we will have the remainder of the day free for resting, which will help us with acclimatization and the next day’s long drive. Overnight in Shigatse. (B)
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. (B)
We leave Rongbuk in the morning to visit the Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft). On the way, we enjoy spectacular views of high mountains like Cho Oyu (8,201m/26,906ft), Shishapangma (8,013m/26,289ft) and, of course, the mighty Everest (8,848m/29,028ft) 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 Lhasa our next destination. Overnight in Lhasa. (B)
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.
Our adventure in the Himalayas comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize photographs. If time permits, we can engage in shopping or sightseeing. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport or the train station for our next journey. (B)
The higher the altitude, the less oxygen there is in the air. Our body needs a few days to acclimatize to this less-oxygen environment. During this tour we will be spending the first three nights in Lhasa which will give us plenty of time for acclimatization. We will also be driving in high altitude areas during the rest of our journey. Therefore, exercising or jogging regularly, preferably in high altitude for some weeks prior to the trip is a good idea. Himalayan Glacier still recommends its guest(s), especially those 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.