Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp-8 days
The Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp begins from Lhasa and ends in Kathmandu. In between, we visit beautiful Tibetan cities and towns such as 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 7th day of our trip. The Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp also allows us to explore the mystical Yamdrok Tso Lake and conquer a few high passes. This tour also takes us to popular Tibetan landmarks like Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Tibet Museum, Barkhor Bazaar and Gyantse Dzong. We also visit quite a number of spectacular Tibetan monasteries including but not limited to Sera, Drepung, Phalkot, Shalu, Tashilhunpo, Sakya and Rongbuk, the world’s highest monastery.
Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
What Is Included
- All necessary Tibet travel permits
- Pickups and drops from airport and hotel(s)
- Everest National Park admission fee and Grass dame charge
- Use of private vehicles (van or Hiace or bus) for transportation
- Accommodation in Tibet on twin-sharing basis with breakfast
- English-speaking, trained and experienced Tibetan guide
- All fees for sightseeing and visits to monasteries as outlined in the itinerary
- All applicable taxes and service charges
What Is Not Included
- Train ticket from China to Lhasa
- Chinese visa fee which is US$ 175 for the US nationals and US$ 85 for other nationals (visa fees are subject to change without prior notice)
- International flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa or from China to Lhasa
- Accommodation in Kathmandu
- Travel insurance
- Meals other than breakfast in Tibet
- Tips for guides and driver
- Nepal visa
We will be staying at 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, 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 300 USD.
Only breakfasts are included in this trip. We are expected to pay for lunches and dinners on our own. Breakfast will be taken in the same place we stay for the night. Similar arrangements can also be made for dinner. Lunch will be taken en route to the next destination(s). We recommend our guest(s) to budget Yuan 60 to Yuan 100(US$10 to US$16) for lunch and dinner in a single day. Our food will include Tibetan bread, dal (lentil soup), bhat (rice), tsampa porridge and other simple local foods.
Day to Day Itinerary
Arrival in Lhasa (3,650 m/11,972ft)
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 then we get to enjoy around an hour-long trans-Himalayan flight, considered to be one of the most beautiful air routes in the world 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.
Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Museum: 5-6 hours
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.
Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar: 5-6 hours
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 hundred. 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.
Lhasa to Gyantse (3,950m/12,956ft) via Karo La Pass and Yamdrok Tso Lake: 325km, 5-6 hours
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.
Gyantse to Shigatse (3,900m/12,795ft) via Shalu Monastery: 95km, 2 hours
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. While there 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 rest of the day free for resting, which will help us with acclimatization and the next day’s long drive. Overnight in Shigatse.
Shigatse to Rongbuk (5,000m/16,400ft) via Sakya Monastery: 355km, 8-9 hours
After breakfast, we leave Shigatse for Rongbuk. On the way, we visit the Sakya Monastery which is the ancestral temple of 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.
Rongbuk to Zhangmu (2,300m/7,544ft) via Everest Base Camp: 257km, 5-6 hours
We leave Rongbuk in the morning to visit the Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft). On our 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 Mt. Everest we make Zhangmu our next destination. On the way, we cross the Lalung La Pass (5,124m/16,068ft), Shung La Pass (5,200m/17,056ft) and Nyalam Pass (3,800m/12,464ft), which offers enchanting views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. We further drive downwards towards the verdant and fertile vegetation of Zhangmu in the Nepalese 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.
Zhangmu to Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft): 153km,4-5 hours
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, walk across the river where a Himalayan Glacier representative will be waiting for us. After around 4 hours of driving through deep valleys, we reach Kathmandu. In the evening, we enjoy authentic Nepalese food on our farewell dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier to celebrate the successful completion of our journey. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Cost of staying in Kathmandu not included)
Health and Experience Requirements
This Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp involves five to six hours driving per day, but comparatively little walking (indeed, walking is not mandatory). However, it is all at very high altitude, which will take a physical toll. There are no special physical requirements, but high altitude experience is a plus.
Visa and Travel Procedures
We at Himalayan Glacier would like to assist you in making your Tibet tour an adventure of a lifetime as well as trouble free. Therefore, please visit this page
for information on Tibet entry procedures and other things you should know about before travelling to Tibet.
Equipment and Packing List
While packing for Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp certain equipments are essential.
Please Click here
for this trip's comprehensive checklist.
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.
Since we will be staying in Lhasa for 3 nights in a row at the beginning of our Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp, we will have plenty of time to be properly acclimatized. However, 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.
Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements
All Himalayan Glacier's tour leaders speak fluent English and know all the complexities and history of the areas they travel in. All Himalayan Glacier's Tibet trips are run in cooperation with company's Tibetan counterpart. So we can be assured to have authentic local touch. Himalayan Glacier can run this tour for as few as two people and up to eight people. However if visitors would like to make a group booking for more than eight people it can easily be arranged and we can choose the dates that best suit for us.
Spring (March and April), summer (May, June and July) and autumn (August, Sept and Oct) are the best seasons for this wonderful Trans-Himalayan overland journey.
Trip Start Dates and Price
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us.