Explore Tibet's rich culture and landscape with tours of remarkable monasteries, exotic caves, cultural sites and the EBC
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 Traditional Hospital, 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.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa and transfer to Tsedang (3,550m/11,646ft): 95km, 1.5 hours
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.
Day 02: Tsedang to Lhasa (3,650m/11,972ft) via Samye Monastery, Chim Phu caves and Yambulakhang palace: 150 km, 8-10 hours
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.
Day 03: 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 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 Traditional Hospital which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 04: 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 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.
Day 05: A day excursion to Ganden Monastery and Drayerpa Cave: 5-6 hours
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.
Day 06: 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.
Day 07: 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. 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.
Day 08: 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 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.
Day 09: 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). 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.
Day 10: 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 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.
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 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
Not Included in the Cost
- Train ticket from China to Lhasa
- Chinese visa fee
- 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
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 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.
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 every day. We will mainly eat Tibetan bread, dal (lentil soup), bhat (rice), tsampa porridge and other simple local foods.
Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements
All Himalayan Glacier's tour leaders speak fluent English and know all the complexities and history of the areas they travel. 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 book for more than eight people it can easily be arranged and we can choose the dates that best suit us.
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.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
This Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp involves five to six hours driving per day, but comparatively little walking (in fact 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 & 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 (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.
Equipments & Packing List
The following basic equipment check lists 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 (at least 6 months of validity)
- Medical Insurance card(s)
- Address book
- Airline tickets, e-tickets, etc.
- Passport size photographs (minimum 4)
- Travel permits (Himalayan Glacier will arrange this for you)
We 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
- 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