An excellent road trip from Kathmandu to Nyalam, Lotingri, Shegar, Everest base camp, Shigatse, Gyantse and finally Lhasa
Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour via Everest Base Camp is a journey to experience the beauty of Tibetan landscape and to understand the rich culture of its people. This 9-day adventure starts from Kathmandu followed by Nyalam, Dingri, Shegar then the base camp of the world's highest peak, Mt. Everest followed by visits to Shigatse, Gyantse and finally to Lhasa. During our Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour via Everest Base Camp, we also explore the mystical Yamdrok Tso Lake, conquer a few high passes, and visit popular Tibetan monasteries like Sakya, Tashilhunpo, Shalu, Sera and Rongbuk, the world's highest monastery, all the while being surrounded by the magnetic allure of the Himalayas.
If we wish to go back to Kathmandu on our way home, Himalayan Glacier advises us to fly to Lhasa instead and make an overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu. This will help us with acclimatization in high altitudes and prevent us from acquiring any AMS symptoms.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: Kathmandu to Nyalam (3,800m/12,467ft): 153 km, 5 - 6 hours
After breakfast, we start our journey along the Friendship Highway for the Tibetan border. Along the way, we pass through some really splendid sights- cascading waterfalls, rivers and hill-side villages. At the border, we have our lunch and pass through the Nepalese side of the customs and immigration. Upon crossing the Friendship Bridge, we will be at Tibet! Then, we take a 30-minute drive from Kodari to Zhangmu where we must pass another immigration checkpoint h. From Zhangmu to Nyalam, we drive on a steep winding road. Overnight in Nyalam.
Day 02: Nyalam to Lotingri (4,050m/13,284 ft): 150 Km, 3 hours
In the morning, we stroll around Nyalam which would help us to acclimatize with the high altitude. We depart for Lotingri after lunch. On the way, we will visit Milarapha Cave and Chamda Hot spring for a little fun-filled afternoon. On our journey we encounter two spectacular passes: Thong La pass (5050m/16,568ft) and Lalung La pass (5082m/16,668 ft). Along with the two passes, we also get to enjoy fabulous views of the high mountains including, Mt. Everest (8848m/29,028 ft) and Shishapangma (8,013m/26,289 ft). We spend the night in Lotingri.
Day 03: Lotingri to Shegar (4,150m/13,615 ft) via Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft): 270 km, 9-10 hours
After breakfast, we drive towards Shegar. The drive from Lotingri to Rongbuk will be adventurous as the roads are coarse and bumpy. In Rongbuk, we visit the Rongbuk monastery which is the highest monastery in Tibet. Then we drive towards Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft) while enjoying views of high mountains like Cho Oyu (8,201m/26,906 ft), Shishapangma (8,013m (26,289 ft) and, of course, the mighty Everest also known as Mt. Chomolongma in the Tibetan side. It will certainly be a great experience to come face-to-face with the greatest mountain on earth. 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 with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above us. Overnight in Shegar.
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.
Day 04: Shegar to Shigatse(3,900m/12,795 ft) via Sakya Monastery: 300km, 5 -6 hours
After breakfast we drive towards Shigatse via Sakya. In Sakya, we visit the Sakya Monastery, which is the ancestral temple of Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The main architectures inside the castle are the Dajing Hall, the Buddhism Hall and the hall where the Sakya archbishop lived. After the visit of the Sakya Monastery whose medieval Mongolian architecture is quite different from temples in Lhasa and Yarlung, we continue our drive to Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 05: Shigatse to Gyantse (3,950m/12,959 ft)via Shalu Monastery: 95km, 2 hours
After breakfast, we visit the popular Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse which holds both historical and cultural importance for being founded by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama in 1447. After touring the Tashilhunpo Monastery, we continue our drive to Gyantse. On the way, we visit Shalu Monastery. Founded in 1040, Shalu Monastery is known for its beautiful and ancient mural paintings. We continue to Gyantse and while there visit Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong (Fortress), which is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. Overnight in Gyantse.
Day 06: Gyantse to Lhasa (3,650 m/11,972ft)via Karo La pass and Yamdrok Tso Lake: 200km, 4-5 hours
From Gyantse, we continue to Lhasa crossing the Karo La (5,010m/16,432 ft) and Kamba La (4794m/15,725 ft) passes and Lake Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes of Tibet, also believed to be the transformation of a Tibetan goddess. Furthermore, we cross the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahamaputra) River and see Potala Palace for the first time from a distance. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 07: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital: 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 17century, 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 Traditional Hospital which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 08: 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 14century, 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.
Day 09: Final Departure
Our adventure in the Himalayas comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize photos. If time permits, we can engage in shopping or sightseeing. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport for our next journey. We can either go back to Kathmandu or continue to mainland China on our way home.
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.
Included in the Cost
- All the necessary Tibet travel permits
- Assistance in acquiring Chinese visa
- Pick up and drops from airport(s) and hotel(s)
- Everest National Park admission fee and Grass dame charge
- Transportation on private vehicle(s) (van or Hiace or bus)
- 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
Not Included in the Cost
- Accommodation in Kathmandu
- Chinese visa fee
- International flights to Kathmandu and out of Lhasa
- Travel insurance
- Meals other than breakfast in Tibet
- Tips for guides and driver
- Nepal visa
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.
We will be staying at Hotel Snow Land in Nyalam, Snow Leopard Guest House in Lotingri/Dingri, Qomolangma Hotel in Shegar, Gesar Hotel in Shigatse, Yeti Hotel in Gyantse and Kyichu Hotel in Lhasa. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional US $350.
Due to remote locations, the facilities in hotels en route to Lhasa (in Nyalam, Lotingri/Dingri and Shegar) will be basic. The hotel in Shigatse and Lhasa are centrally-located 3 star hotels. However, it is possible to upgrade to a 4-5 star hotel by bearing additional costs in Lhasa only.
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. Since the places Nyalam, Lotingri/Dingri and Shegar are remotely located, the meal choices in these places will be basic. We will mainly eat Tibetan bread, dal (lentil soup), bhat (rice), tsampa porridge and other simple local foods.
Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements
Himalayan Glacier's tour leaders speak fluent English, know all the complexities and history of the areas they travel in. However since English in not the native language for Tibetans, the guides may not be fluent or provide spontaneous explanation. But, your frequent questioning will encourage him/her to explain well, question by question.
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.
Also, if we wish to go back to Kathmandu on our way home, Himalayan Glacier advises us to fly to Lhasa instead and make an overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu. This will help us with acclimatization in high altitude and prevent us from acquiring any AMS symptoms.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
The Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour via Everest Base Camp involves five to six hours driving per day, but comparatively little walking (in fact, walking is not mandatory) is required. 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.
Pre Trip Meeting
We will have a pre-trip meeting at Himalayan Glacier's office in Kathmandu at least 2 days prior to the tour departure date. On this meeting you are expected to handover your original passport and fill out form(s) for the Chinese Visa. There will also be a final trip briefing meeting a day before the trip at 5:00 pm to share some tour insights in order to better prepare you for your trip.
This tour does not include your stay in Kathmandu but if you wish for Himalayan Glacier to arrange you the accommodation of your choice, airport pick up or your tour to some of the most exotic places in Nepal for any kind of adventure activities of your choice, Himalayan Glacier can also arrange you a tour package upon request.
Visa & Entry Procedure
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.
Best Time to Travel
Spring (April and May), summer (June, July and August) and autumn (September, October and November) are the best seasons for Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour. We can also equally enjoy this trip during winter months but it may get a bit cold.
Equipments & Packing List
The following basic equipment check list should help you with your packing. Please remember that you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.
The documents provided below are a must and should be with you at all times.
- Valid Passport
- Medical Insurance card(s)
- Address book
- Airline tickets, e-tickets, etc.
- Passport size photographs (minimum of 4)
Note: Himalayan Glacier will organize all the necessary permits. You can get a visa for Nepal upon landing at the Kathmandu Airport. We will also help you acquire a Chinese visa in Kathmandu. However, if you are planning to enter Nepal via Tibet (China), we recommend you to acquire a Chinese visa from your home country. Please visit Tibet Entry Procedures for more information.
We also recommend that you make copies of your passport, visas, permits, airline tickets/schedule, travelers cheque numbers, etc. Leave a copy with someone at home and put another copy in a separate place in your luggage.
In Tibet the weather is cool during summer (with cold winds) and excruciatingly cold in winter. Since you will not be staying in one place for long, consider carrying warm, lightweight, hand-washable and quick-drying clothes.
- Sweater, jacket, windbreaker
- A pair of shorts, mid-thigh or longer
- Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)
- T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
- Undergarments (optimum supply)
- Sport bras for women (roads can be bumpy)
- Rain jackets and pants
- A warm cap and a sun hat with brim and chin strap
- Bandanna or scarf
- Decent swim suit
- Comfortable and sturdy shoes (if possible waterproof)
- Tennis shoes or sandals
- Comfortable, breathable socks ("Smart wool" or "Thorlos" are both excellent)
- Soap, shampoo (2-in-1 shampoo with conditioner is preferable instead of carrying a separate conditioner bottle)
- Shaving items
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Hairbrush, comb, mirror, nail clippers
- Hand sanitizer
- Sun-block lotion (at least SPF 15)
- Facial tissue
- Lip balm with sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- Small towel
- Toilet paper
- Tampons and sanitary napkins
- Sewing kit
- Duffel bag or a suitcase
- Day pack bag for daily activities and easy access
- Waterproof plastic bags/ or zip lock bags (Plastic garbage bags are useful to protect sleeping bags, etc. from wet weather, 'zip-lock' bags are useful for storage in dusty/wet environments)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera, lenses, filters, memory disks (you will not be able to download)
- Video camera, tapes
- Batteries (extra batteries are always a good idea)
- Alarm clock
- iPod, MP3 player
- Calculator (for currency conversion) or calculator app
- Battery chargers, plugs
Note: It's always a good idea to keep electronics warm and dry, so storing them in sealed water-proof bags is recommended. Also, note that the electrical current in Tibet is 220v, AC 50 Hz. There are numerous different plug types used in Tibet, so it might be easier to purchase an adapter once you get there.
Medical supplies/ First Aid
Take an adequate supply of any prescription medication(s) you use regularly and consult your doctor before the trip. Most over-the-counter medicines are available in Lhasa but are more difficult to obtain outside of urban areas.
- Ibuprofen or aspirin
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Iron supplements (for women)
- Disinfectant, antiseptic cream, antibiotic ointment
- Gauze bandages and tape
- Throat lozenges
- Vitamin supplements (available in Lhasa but of lower quality and dosage)
- Ace bandage
- Malaria pills (consult your doctor)
- Anti-biotics (consult your doctor)
- Water-purification tablets
- Bottled mineral water and thermoses of boiled water are available for purchase everywhere throughout Tibet. However, water-purification tablets can be useful during excursions.
- Water filter
- Iodine or chlorine dioxide purification tablets
- Good UV protection sunglasses with straps (this is very important against strong high-altitude sun)
- Eyeglasses or contacts and plenty of cleaning solution (carrying extra eyeglasses is recommended)
- Swiss knife
- Notebook (small size recommended), pencil and pen
- Playing cards, games, books, frisbee, football, kite
- Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
- Cash, travelers checks, credit cards ($500 or more in cash and/or travelers checks, including some small U.S., Euros, or local currency)
- Money belt (waterproof is best)
- Maps, guidebooks
- Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season
- Salt, pepper for bland food, flavoring for coffee or water
- Water bottles and Camelback (useful on bumpy roads)
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 by email
. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684