Tour Yamdrok Tso Lake, conquer a few high passes and reach the Everest Base Camp on an exotic drive across Tibetan towns
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 Traditional Hospital, 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.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa and transfer to hotel. (3,650m/11,972ft), 60km, 1 hour
We arrive in Lhasa either by taking 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 escort us either from the airport or the train station 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.
Day 02: Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar: 5 - 6 hours
We visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar today. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th
century, is the world’s largest monastery and 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 whitewashed walls and golden roofs. The main attraction to visit this monastery is to see the monks debating which is held from 3-5 pm every day apart from Sundays. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Inside you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni
when he was twelve-years-old. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowds of pilgrims, it is the nerve center of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 03: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital: 5 - 6 hours
After breakfast, we begin exploring Lhasa visiting the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, better known as Winter palace and Summer Palace, respectively. Built in the 17th
century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city, and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama. Norbulingka Palace 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 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 05: Gyantse to Shigatse (3,900m/12,795ft) via Shalu Monastery: 95km, 2 hours
In the morning, we drive towards Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. On the way, we visit Shalu Monastery. Founded in 1040 A.D, Shalu Monastery is known for its beautiful and ancient mural paintings. Next, we continue to Shigatse. While there, we visit the popular Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the home of the Panchen Lama, which holds both historical and cultural importance for being founded by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama in 1447 A.D. 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.
Day 06: Shigatse to Rongbuk via Sakya Monastery (5,000m/16,400ft): 390km, 7-8 hours
After breakfast, we drive to Rongbuk beginning our journey right through some beautiful villages and getting the first glimpse of Mount Everest from the foot of Gyatso la pass (5220m).
On the way, we visit Sakya Monastery, also known as Pel Sakya,
the ancestral temple of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism which provides access to the Buddha’s teachings. After the visit to Sakya Monastery, we continue driving towards Rongbuk. Crossing the Lalung la pass, we reach 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, including the breathtaking views of the north face of Mt. Everest. Overnight in Rongbuk.
Day 07: Rongbuk to Kyirong (1,895m/6,217ft) via Everest Base Camp: 335km, 7-8 hours
Early in the morning, we will drive to Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft.), the foot of the world’s highest mountain. On the way, we enjoy spectacular views of 3 eight-thousander peaks like Shishapangma, Cho Oyu and the mighty Everest, also known as Mt. Chomolongma on the Tibetan side. Today, we accomplish one of the major highlights of our trip, reaching the base camp of Mt. Everest where we get to catch a glimpse of the marvelous Rongbuk glacier. We make a 16km round trip to the Everest Base Camp. After spending some quality time at the base of Mt. Everest, we make Kyirong our next destination. This is the last contact with the Tibetan plateau where pilgrims stop to hang prayer flags, burn incense and throw prayer notes into the air. Overnight in Kyirong.
Day 08: Kyirong to Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft): 130km, 8-9hours
On completion of the border formalities after breakfast, we travel onward to Kathmandu. The highway connecting Tibet to Nepal via Kyirong passes through the Nepalese towns of Trishuli, Dhunche, Syabrubesi and Rasuwagadi driving along small mountainous road. On the way, we can have glimpses of numerous waterfalls, rivers, gorges and lush forests and enjoy the scenic views. Arrival at Kathmandu marks the end of our trip. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Cost of staying in Kathmandu not included)
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.
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 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
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Physical Condition & 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 & 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 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 4)
- All necessary permit(s)
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 and 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