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Lhasa and Everest Base Camp Tour -10 Days

Trip Summary

North base camp is in Tibet at an altitude of 5,150 meters (16,900 ft. As of 2010, a visit to the North Tibet side Base Camp required a permit from the Chinese government, on top of the permit required to visit Tibet itself. At this time such permits must be arranged via travel companies in Lhasa as part of a package tour that include hiring a vehicle, driver and guide. The North Base Camp is accessed by vehicle through a 100 km road branching to the South from the Friendship highway near Shekar. The "tourists Base Camp" is located about half-way between Rongbuk monastery and the actual climbers Base Camp at the foot of Rongbuk glacier. Mount Everest Base Camp tour is a very comprehensive tour in Tibet with visits to the cultural, historic and natural attractions of Tibet. The tour includes all the important places of interest in central & southern Tibet including a visit to Rongbuk Monastery and Mt. Everest Base Camp. After flying in to Lhasa from Kathmandu, Chengdu or Beijing, explore the cultural and historic sites of Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyangtse. Afterwards drive overland, in 4-WD jeeps, across the Tibetan highlands and high passes to the fabled Rongbuk Monastery and Mt. Everest Base Camp from where the view of the great North face of Mount Everest is the most spectacular of all. From Rongbuk one can drive along the Friendship Highway through the Himalayas to Kathmandu Nepal.

 

Trip Outline                                                                                  

Lhasa and Everest Base Camp/ 10 days

Day 1: Arrival / Acclimitization

Day 2: Lhasa sightseeing Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery (three star hotel, Dhougu Hotel or Shangbala Hotel)

Day 3: Lhasa sightseeing Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple (three star hotel, Dhougu Hotel or Shangbala Hotel)

Day 4: Lhasa- Yamdrok lake- Gyangtse ( 260 km, over night at 2 star hotel)

Day 5: Gyangtse- Tashi lunpo Monastery-Shigatse (90 km, over night at Tashi Chodar Hotel  star or Manasoravar Hotel 3 star)

Day 6: Shigatse- Sakya Monastery- Shegar (240 km, over night at Tashi Hotel 2 star)

Day 7: Shegar- Rongpuk Monastery (100 km, over night at Local tent or Rongpuk Monastery guest house)

Day 8: Rongpuk Monastery and Explore Everest Base Camp (over night)

Day 9: Rongpuk to Nyalam/Rongpuk to Zhangmu (250 km, over night at Nyalam or Zhangmu 3 hotel )

Day 10: Nyalam to Kathmandu (departure)

 

Tour Iteniray day to day

Day 1: Arrival to Airport/Train station and Acclimitization

Upon your arrival at Lhasa airport or train station, you will be greeted by our Tibetan guide. Then you will be driven from airport to Lhasa city which is 68km and it will take around an hour. During this drive along the Brahmaputra River and Lhasa River, you will not only amaze by the spectacular plateau scenery but also have a chance to see verities of wild birds. Check in hotel in old city, have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude.

 

02 Lhasa: sightseeing visit Drepung monastery and Sera monastery

Since this is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, we have arranged Drepung monastery in the morning and Sera Monastery in the afternoon. Drepung Monastery is founded in 1416, on the outskirts of Lhasa was once Tibet's largest and most influential monastery, with over 10,000 monks. Today, Drepung houses about 700 monks and attracts pilgrims and visitors from around the world. Drepung is especially known as the site of the annual Shoton Festival, with its dramatic unfurling of a giant Thangka painting on the hillside. Sera monastery was founded in 1419 by Shakya Yeshe, a disciple of Tsongkhapa also known by the honorific title Jamchen choje. In its heyday, Sera hosted five colleges of instruction, Sera me specialized in the fundamental precepts of Buddhism; sera Je in the instruction of itinerant monks from out side central Tibet; and Sera Ngapa in Tantric studies. Sera monastery is a few kilometers from Lhasa. You can visit there in the afternoon with the intention of watching the debating monks. Every day (except for Sundays), the Sera Monastery’s monks undertake a one-on-one (or sometimes two-on-one) debate on the philosophies of life. You can wait of monks gather in the courtyard in pairs or teams, and began discussing a particular topic. Usually, one monk was seated on the ground cross legged (or on a mat) with his partner standing above him. The standing monk would pose a question (so it seemed), or make a statement and as he completed his sentence clap his hands whilst at the same time stamping his left foot. It was a fascinating thing to watch, though you have no idea what was being said as it was in Tibetan. Ask your guide if you are curious and lack of understanding what was being discussed as the debate topics were related to their Buddhist studies. you can watch the debates for over an hour, intrigued and at times amused, as some monks were quite intense and serious reasoning mind on Buddhist philosophy which based on observation and reason. It was certainly an interesting afternoon. 

 

Day 03: Lhasa sightseeing visit Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple.

After one and half day of acclimatization in the high altitude of Lhasa city, today you will be arranged to visit Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace. The Potala Palace  in Lhasa was the primary residence of the Dalai Lama until 1959. Today the Potala Palace is a state museum, a popular tourist attraction, and a UNESCO world heritage site. It was also recently named one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" by the television show Good Morning America and the newspaper USA Today. Built on a rocky hill overlooking the city of Lhasa, the Potala Palace has a sturdy fortress-like appearance. It contains more than a thousand rooms spreading over an area of 1,300 feet by 1,000 feet. The stone walls are 16 feet thick at the base, but more finely constructed (without the use of nails) in the upper stories. The palace is fronted by a great plaza at the south base of the rock, enclosed by walls and gates. A series of fairly easy staircases, broken by intervals of gentle ascent, leads to the summit of the rock. It is important to become acclimated to the high altitude of Lhasa before making the climb. The Potala Palace is made of two main parts, easily distinguished by their color: the Red Palace and White Palace. The two are joined by a smaller, yellow-painted structure that houses the sacred banners hung on the exterior for the New Year festivals. The rooms inside the palace are identified by numbers as well as names. Jokhang Temple (House of the Lord Buddha) in Lhasa is the holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism, attracting crowds of prostrating Tibetan pilgrims and curious foreign tourists every year. It hosts the annual Great Prayer Festival, as well as all ceremonies of initiation for the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lamas. Tourists can only tour Jokhang Temple in the afternoon; the morning is reserved for pilgrims. The best way to experience the temple is to arrive at 8am to watch the pilgrims perform their devotions, then visit the interior in the afternoon. The temple is relatively quiet then, for the presence of Tibet local tour guides. Barkhor Street is a very important pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists. Pilgrims come from all corners of Tibet, usually on foot and often performing austerities for penance along the way. The most devout pilgrims cover the last several miles prostrate on the ground. More prostrations are undertaken in the plaza in front of the temple. Before entering, most pilgrims circumambulate the temple on the Barkhor, a sacred path that is also lined with market stalls selling yak butter and jewelery. 

 Day 04: Lhasa-Yamdrok Lake and Gyangtse 

In the morning drive up to Gambala Pass which is 4794m high, you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok Lake there. It is one of the three most holy lakes in Tibet. Then along the Lake for few kilometers via Friendship southern Highway to Gyangtse, short stop at Karo La pass (5100m) which is overlooked by Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier. Visit the famous stupa in Gyangtse, the most stunning architectural wonder in Tibet. You will visit to the Palkhor Chorten which was built in 15th century and is situated west of Gyangtse Town with mountains enclosing it on the east, west and north sides. Its uniqueness is that the four school of Buddhism – Sakya, Nyingma, Khagyu and Gelug were able to exist in harmony under one roof. Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is over 72 km (45 mi) long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. The lake does have an outlet stream at its far western end. Around 90 km to the west of the lake lays the Tibetan town of Gyangtse and Lhasa is a hundred km to the northeast. According to local mythology, Yamdok Yumtso Lake is the transformation of goddess. Gyangtse is a small agricultural town is at 13, 050 ft above sea level and is famous for its wool carpets and palkhor choide chorten. The Pachoe Monastery built in 1427, is notable for its superb Kumbum (10,000 images)stupa, which has nice tiers and, according to the Buddhist tradition, 108 chapels. The lower tiers contain excellent murals. 

Explain of Gyangtse Kumbum: "One hundred thousand holy images", is a multi-storied aggregate of Buddhist chapels in Tibet. It forms part of Palcho monastery. The first Kumbum was founded in the fire-sheep year 1427 by a Gyantse prince. It has nine lhakangs or levels, is 35 meters (115 ft) high surmounted by a golden dome, and contains 77 chapels which line its walls. Many of the statues were damaged during the Cultural Revolution but have since been replaced with clay images, though they lack the artistic merit of the originals. The 14th century murals showing Newari and Chinese influences, survived much better. The Kubum, great Gomang (many-doored) choerten at Gyantse is a three dimensional mandala, meant to portray the Buddhist cosmos. The Kubum, like other mandalas, which are portrayed by a circle within a square, enables the devotee to take part in the Buddhist perception of the universe and can depict one's potential as they move through it. Mandalas are meant to aid an individual on the path to enlightenment. The Kubum holds a vast number of images of deities throughout its structure with Vajraholder the cosmic Buddha, on the top. The Lhakangs of the nine levels of the Kubum, decreasing in number at each level, are structured according to the compendium of Sakya tantras called Drubtab Kantu. Thus each lhakang and each level creates a mandala, and the entire Kubum represents a three-dimensional path to the Buddha's enlightenment in terms of increasingly subtle tantric mandalas. 

Day 05: Gyangtse- Shigatse

Today you will travel 90Km to Shigatse which is the second largest city in Tibet. It is also the home town of the Panchen Lama. In the afternoon you will visit "Tashilumpo Monastery" which sprawls on the slops of Mount Niser, southwest of Shigatse. The monastery grounds cover an area of approximately 300,000 square meters. There are many priceless and rare historical articles in the monastery. En route you will visit Shalu Monastery. Shigatse ( is a county -city level and the second largest city in  with a population of 92000, about 250 km (160 mi) southwest of Lhasa and 90 km (56 mi) northwest of Gyantse . It is the administrative centre of the modern shigatse of a region. The city is located at an altitude of 3,840 metres (12,600 ft) at the confluence of the yarlung Tsanpo  (aka Bhramaputra ) river and the Nyang River (Nyang Chu or Nyanchue) in west Tibet and was the ancient capital of U-province . It is also the name of the surrounding county.

 Day 06: Shigatse-Sakya-Shegar

Today after visiting the Tashilhunpo monastery we will drive across Tsola and Gyatso la pass as we are moving to Shegar. Shegar is a town nearest to the Mount Everest in Tibet. Sometimes people also call Shelgar as New Tingri or Palbar. There is a monastery and on the road there are hot spring, before getting to Shegar en-route to Sakya monastery. Overnight at Shegar.

 A Brief History of Sakya Monastery

In the Manjushri Root Tantra, Buddha had prophesied that a Sakya monastery would cause his teaching to flourish in the Land of Snows. The site of this monastery was also prophesied by Guru Rinpoche (in Tibetan language) or Padmasambhava (in Sanskirt). Several stupas had been buit at the monastery's future location, when Atisha (982-1053) stopped there in 1040. He saw on the mountainside a syllable called "Hrih" which means seven, "Dhih" means one and "Hung" and prophesied that an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, seven of Manjushri and one of Vajrapani would grace this site.
Sakya monastery (White Earth or Pale Earth) is a Buddhist monastery situated 25km southeast of of bridge which is about 127km west of Shigatse on the Friendship Highway. The seat of the Sakyapa school in Tibetan Buddhism, was founded in 1073 by Kun Kunchok Gyalpo (1034-1102), originally a Nyingmapa monk of the powerful noble family in Tsang prefecture and became the first Sakya Trizin. Its powerful abbots governed Tibet during the whole of the 13th century after the downfall of the kings until they were eclipsed by the rise of the new Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Its a Mongolian architecture with an unique styles and totally different styles in temples or monasteries in Lhasa or Shigatse. The only surviving ancient building is the Lhakang Chempo or Sibgon Trulpa. Originally a cave in the mountain side, it was built in 1268 by Sakya Sangpo in 1268 and restored in the 16th century. It contains some of the most magnificent surviving artworks in all of Tibet, which appears not to have been damaged in recent times. The Gompa (monastery in Tibetan language) grounds cover more than 18,000 sq.m while the huge main hall covers some 6,000sq.m.
A huge library contains of 84,000 scrolls were found sealed up in a wall which is 60m long and 10m high at Sakya monastery in 2003. It is expected that most of them will prove to be Buddhist scriptures although some of the works include literature, history, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and art. They are thought to have remained untouched for hundreds of year and examined by the Tibetan Academy of Social Science.
Day 07: Shegar-Rongbuk monastery
Drive over rocky terrain on 4WD Land Cruiser to the village of Dza Rongpu or Rongbuk over Phangla pass to Rongbuk monastery that locates next to the giant North Face of Mt. Everest. Rongbuk monastery was built by a local Lama in 1899, enables a mystery site for viewing the Summit from a distance. Climbers must pass through Rongbuk in order to reach the highest peak from Tibet side. It has been described as having some of the most dramatic views in the world, presenting a panorama of the Shishabangma, Cho Yu, Summit itself and Macalu. In previous times, the monastery became very active with the teachings at certain times of the year. It was and is the only destination for all the Buddhist peoples where annual ceremonies are held for spectators coming from as far as Nepal and Mongolia. These ceremonies were shared with the satellite monasteries across the Himalayan also founded by the Rongbuk Lama. Overnight monastery guesthouse.
Day 08: EBC or Everest Base Camp
EBC is famous for its spectacular mountain peaks, the loyalty and the friendliness of its inhabitants. While many of the routes through the mountains are arduous, there are ample places to rest and enjoy a meal along the way to EBC. Furthermore, your local Tibetan guide will take you for a short hike if you prefer to do so as many of tourists like to do this short trek as along the unpaved road there are many of wild animals to see.
Day 09: Rongbuk-Nyalam
Today we drive to Nyalam about 215km by crossing the wild and nomadic places through a valley which leads us back to the Friendship Highway crossing the Namla pass. We will stop for lunch on the way to Tingri where we have last time to see the Summit from a distance. Further away amidst the stunning views of Everest and Cho Yu we will also cross the Lalungla pass stands at an altitude of 5050m and Thongla pass at 4950m above sea level. Then number of many zig-zag road lead us to the Nyalam town which is the second nearest town to Nepal border. Overnight at Nyalam.
Day 10:  Departure Nyalam-Kathmandu
Heading away from Nyalam, we will drive for one hour wot the lush and verdant vegetation of Zhangmu at 2300m by crossing the most amazing the greenish part of Tibet with various waterfalls and lengthy zig-zag roads. Few kilometers from last town from Tibet side leads us to the Friendship bridge along Bhote Koshi River to Immigration Control in Kodari. So its time to wave each others hand in air to say goodbye to Tibetan guide and driver. 5 hours of driving lead you to Kathmandu. The trip officially ends here. 

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