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Tibet Everest Basecamp: A Classic Overland Adventure


Walking to Tibetan Everest Base Camp

Overview

An overland adventure of Mount Everest Base Camp from Lhasa, Tibet.

No strenuous hiking or trekking. You will drive by a comfortable minivan or bus up to Rongbuk Monastery from where Everest Base Camp is lessthan an hour hike away. Roads are now good; all paved, except the last sretch of 47 miles from Xegar to the Base Camp which is a gravel road but well-trodden. You will enjoy an unobstructed views of the highest mountain on earth, from top to the bottom- a sight unseen on the Nepal side even after several days of strenuous trekking from Nepal side. You will also get a close up views of other 8000-meter mountains such as Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, and more, all while enjoying the serene beauty of Tibetan nature.

You will visit the majestic palaces of Dalai Lama, major Buddhist monasteries and temples, traditional markets and Tibetan villages during the trip. Some trips are timed with local festivals. The trip starts and finishes in Lhasa. Flights to Lhasa arrive from Kathmandu, Nepal and other major Chinese cities.

Attractions:

  • Potala Palace, Norbulingkha Palace, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jorkhang Temple and Barkhor Street in Lhasa.
  • Spectacular views of snow capped mountains and vast Tibetan plateau from the high passes.
  • Yamdroktso Lake-one of the holiest lakes of Tibet.
  • Kumbum Stupa, Pelkore Chode Monastery and the fortress in Gyantse-probably the least modernized Tibetan town in Central Tibet.
  • Shalu Monastery and Tashilunbo Monastery in Shigatse-the second largest city after Lhasa.
  • Hike to Shegar Dzong and Shegar Chode Monastery
  • Rongbuk Monastery and of course-the Everest Base Camp-the highlights of this trip.
  • Local markets and villages of Tibetan character.
  • Festivals and events.

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 01 Arrive in Lhasa, Tibet

    • Fly into Gongar airport of Lhasa from Kathmandu or Beijing or Chengdu. Upon arrival, meet your guide and driver and transfer to the hotel in Lhasa City (47 miles, 1 hr). Check into hotel and take rest for acclimatization. Drink plenty of water and consume liquid food that helps avoiding dehydration.

      Accommodation in Dekhang Hotel or similar
      Meals: None
  • Day 02 Visit the attractions of Lhasa.

    • Today, we will visit Drepung Monastery, Norbulingkha Palaces, Jorkhang Temple and the ancient Barkhor Street.

      Drepung Monastery, situated to the west of Lhasa city, was the largest and richest of the three major Yellow Sect monasteries in Lhasa. It owns many splendid murals, elaborate statues and other rich treasures.

      Next, we stop to visit Norbulinka- the summer palaces of the Dalai Lamas. The Norbilinka has three palaces, situated in a beautiful garden. Most visited is the private residence of current Dalai Lama that includes his private chamber, meditation room, the reception room and the throne room.

      In the afternoon, we visit the Jokhang Temple, situated in the center of old Lhasa. It was originally built in 647 AD. It is said the site was chosen personally by the wife of King Songtsan Gampo, the Tang Princess Wen Cheng. It was built by craftsmen from Tibet, China and Nepal and thus features different architectural styles. The Jokhang is the spiritual center of Tibet and is among the holiest pilgrimage site for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims.

      The Barkhor lies in the heart of Lhasa circling the Jokhang Temple. Barkhor means “ a pilgrim’s inner circuit”, and is the earliest street of old Lhasa city. Houses and small inns were built all around the street. As time went on, shops and businesses also set up in the Barkhor, and it slowly became a prosperous area.

      Accommodation in Dekhang Hotel or similar
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 03 Another day In Lhasa for sightseeing and acclimatization.

    • We visit Potala Palace in the morning and afternoon visit Sera Monastery.

      The world famous Potala Palace of the Dalai Lama is located on "Red Hill", to the west of old Lhasa and was the seat of Tibetan government, and with chapesl, cells, schools for religious classes and tombs of Dalai Lamas, it was a self contained world. Kora (pilgrimage path) hike of Potala that encircles the foot of the palaceis a nice walk and a wonderful experience.

      After lunch break, we will head to Sera Monastery, the last of the three principal Yellow Sect monasteries to be built in Lhasa. Sera means” Hailstone” in Tibet, and legend tells that it hailed during the foundation of this famous monastery. Sera comprise a great sutra chanting hall, a college and 32 sections. It once housed nearly 10,000 monks, and is proud of its glorious history during the Ming Dynasty. At Sera, we will take chance to watch the monks debating session.

      Accommodation in Dekhang Hotel or similar
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 04 Drive From Lhasa to Gyantse, En-Route Take a Side Excursion to the Samding and Ralung Monasteries

    • Altitude 13467ft, distance 176miles,5-6 hrs.

      Following breakfast, set out on the high roads of Tibet crossing two high passes the Kamba La (15,700 ft) and Karo La (16,500ft). The passes are marked by the prayer flags offered by the devout Tibetans who pray for the success and safe journey of the trips. Stop at the passes for a while to enjoy the views of the snow capped mountains and the vast Tibetan plains. You can also take a fun ride on decorated yaks. You will enjoy a scenic drive along the shores of Yamdrok-Tso Lake which is one of the holiest lakes in Tibet. Near the shores of the lake, you visit the Samding Monastery which is an unusual monastery traditionally headed by a female incarnate Lama named Dorje Phangmo. The Monastery is situated on a ridge and provides excellent views of the plain and the mountains to the south.

      You will also get to go off the beaten track and make a 4.5 miles detour south to the Ralung Monastery, home to 15 resident monks. The original main structure and the stupa now only exists in ruins.

      You will arrive at the hotel in Gyantse late in the afternoon. Check into the hotel and relax for the rest of the day.

      Accommodation in Gyantse Hotel, the only best hotel in the town.
      Meals: Breakfast.
  • Day 05 Continue drive to Shigatse-the second largest city in Central Tibet

    • 12,785ft, 57miles, 2 ½ hrs

      Visit the highlights of Gyantse such as Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kumbum Stupa. From the stupa, we take rickshaw ride or just walk back to the parking lot and take car ride back to the hotel. We collect your luggage and set out for Shigatse-the second largest city in Central Tibet. Today, you drive to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. The road passes through the fertile Nyanchu Valley with a wide agricultural plain. On the way, you might see the Tibetan farmers with their colorfully decorated yaks and horses tilling the land. About 13 miles before Shigatse, you take the Shalu Monastery turn off to visit the 11th century Monastery which has a great importance in local history and culture as the Monastery is the seat of Buddhist sub-order Buton.

      Retrace the drive to the main highway and continue on to Shigatse. After refreshing at the hotel, you will quickly set out to visit the massive Tashilunbo Monastery which is the principal seat of Panchen Lama whom is Tibet’s second most revered religious leader after Dalai Lama.

      Time permitting, you will visit the Tibetan market in front of the Tenzin Hotel which is a good bargain place for Tibetan handicrafts such as prayer wheels, thangka painting, etc. If you are interested, request that your guide to take you to the Gang Gyen Carpet Factory beside the Gang Gyen Hotel. The factory is woman owned and they only hire and train the underprivileged women to weave the some of the finest Tibetan woolen rugs.

      Accommodation in Shigatse Manasarovara Hotel, a 3 star hotel by local standard.
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 06 Drive from Shigatse to Shegar with a Detour to Shakya Monastery

    • 4050m/13500ft, 182km/121miles, 5 hrs

      The journey involves crossing of two high passes, the Tropu La (16,236 ft) and Gyatso La (17,122 ft) which cuts through several picturesque villages and will have spectacular mountain views all the time.

      About 72 miles after Shigatse, you will take detour to Sakya Village, which is about 17 miles off the main highway and is accessed via a dirt road through a farming land. The main attraction here is the Monastery which is the principal seat of Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism that holds an important place in Tibetan history.

      Upon arrival in Shegar, check into the hotel. You can rest for the remainder of day or take an optional hike to the Shegar Dzong which only exists in ruins now. Along the way up, you have views of Mount Everest and other Himalayan Mountains. You will also stop to visit the Shegar Chode Monastery which is a small 13th century Gelugpa institution.

      Accommodation in Qomolongma Hotel, a 2 star hotel by local standard, the only hotel at the top end.
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 07 Finally to the Rongbuk Monastery and the Everest Base Camp.

    • 4980m/16,600ft, 90km/56miles, 3-4 hrs

      Drive from Xegar to Dza Rongbuk Monastery in the morning. The journey involves crossing over Pang La (5120m/16,794 ft) that rewards you with the views of several 8 thousanders like Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Mount Everest. The journey mostly goes through dirt road, passing through several picturesque villages. Upon arrival at Rongbuk , check in the monastery guesthouse or and after refreshment; take an hour walk trek to the Everest Base Camp (5200m/17,333ft). If the mountains are covered by clouds, we may want to hike the next day morning.

      Accommodation will be in a basic guest house with share toilet.
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 08 Retrace our drive to Shigatse (B)

    • 272 km/ 170 miles, 8 hours.
      Hike up to the Everest Base Camp again for the morning view of the Everest which is generally the best. In the afternoon, we retrace drive to join the main highway and continue a long drive to Shigatse.

      Accommodation in Shigatse Manasarovara Hotel
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 9 We arrive back in Lhasa today.

    • 260 km/163 miles, 5-6 hrs

      Drive to Lhasa via Northern Friendship Highway that follows the Yarlungdzangbo River. En route, we may visit Yungdrungling Monastery of Bön-the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet. Before we arrive at Lhasa, we may also stop to visit Drolma Lakhang Temple and Blue Rock Carving of Buddha.

      Accommodation in Dekhang Hotel or similar hotel in Barkhor area.
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 10 Departure

    • Transfer to airport for flight to your next destination or extend your trip. (Ask us for extension ideas.)
      Meals: Breakfast

Trip Info

Cost Includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing
  • Daily Breakfast
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private air conditioned car or coach
  • Sightseeing admission fees
  • English speaking Tour Guide
  • Tibet Travel Permit

Cost Does Not Include

  • International and internal air fare
  • Airport Taxes
  • Chinese visa fee
  • Lunch and dinner except as indicated
  • Drinks, tip and other expenses of personal nature
  • Travel & Health Insurance
  • All extra expenses caused due to nature or unforeseen events. Excess baggage charges
  • Optional tipping to local staffs, hotels etc.
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone etc.

Passport and visa

Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel and there should be enough blank pages for entry and departure seals.

Entering Tibet via mainland China:

You will need to apply Chinese visa at your nearest Chinese embassy. We will help you with the form and necessary supporting documents. Please, plan to apply minimum 2 months before the trip date. Once you obtain Chinese visa, we will apply Tibetan Entry permit separately. We need your passport and visa scan at least 4-weeks prior the travel date. A origincal copy of the permit will be shipped to your local contact address (e.g. hotel) in the gateway city such as Beijing or Chengdu. You are required to present this permit when you check in flight to Lhasa.Your Guide will be holding all other necessary permits required for this trip.

Entering Tibet from Kathmandu Nepal:

In this case, you don't need to obtain Chinese visa beforehand. We will obtain visa invitation letter for you from Tibetan tourism bureau. Once you arrive in Kathmandu, we collect your original passport, have you complete the visa application form and submit the documents to Chinese embassy for you while you are enjoying sightseeing. Please, bring a passport size photograph with you. Visa fee varies based on the available processing time. We will invoice you for Chinese visa cost.

You can obtain Nepal visa beforehand from Nepalese embassies or consulates in your country or you can wait until you arrive at the port of entry to Nepal. Visa fee costs US$ 25 for 15 days and US$ 40 for 30 days multiple entry. Please, bring one passport size photo for Nepalese visa.

Accommodation

In Lhasa, we will book a mid range tourist standard hotel in Barkhor Area. Our choice of hotels are Dhekhang, Kyichu or Gorkha Hotel located in the old Tibetan quarter of Lhasa. These are locally managed mid-size properties with adequate comfort level. There are a few 4 star and 5 star hotels such as 4-Points By Sheraton, Shangrila Hotel, St. Regis etc and we can book them for you on additional cost. In Gyantse and Shigtase, the top-end hotels are 3 star properties by local standard and we book them for you. Accommodation in Shegar is claimed to be a 2 star hotel but its basic.

Accommodation in Rongbuk is very basic, which are simple dorms but we make sure you have a private room for 2 persons. They have Tibetan style squat toilet that you will share with other guests. If hot shower is available, they charge extra. Hotels in Tibet have limited supplies of toiletries and so please, bring your own set. They may not also have hair dryer, iron and ironing boards. If preferred hotels listed above are not available at the time of booking, we will obviously pick the next best available.

Most hotels in Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse provide with WiFi but some hotels may charge some nominal fee for using the WiFi.

Food

The trip cost includes breakfast only. The hotels cater Chinese, Tibetan, Indian, Nepali and western style breakfasts. Lunch and dinners are not included in tour cost. You can expect to spend US$ 10-12 per meal in regular tourist standard restaurants. There are wide ranges of Chinese, Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian and Western dishes served in the restaurants. You may want to bring some dry fruits, chocolates, energy bars, vitamin supplements etc.

Roads and Transportation

Now the roads in Tibet are in good condition! They are all paved except the 55 miles of stretch from the main road to the Rongbuk monastery but 4WD vehicles are no longer required! Depending on the final group size, we use a minivan or coaster bus all transfers and tours. Bring a protection mast for your nose to avoid inhaling dust! Driver may or may not speak English but he knows the Tibetan roads and will be experienced one.

Guide

You will be accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable English speaking Tibetan Guide whom you meet on arrival in Lhasa airport. Besides guiding you on tour, your guide will be also responsible in dealing with check posts and local bureaucracies and complete necessary paper works. Guide and driver are different persons.

Altitude sickness and health Issues

There is no mandatory vaccination required for traveling in Tibet but you may consider vaccination against rabies and Hep A. Travelers with cardiac-pulmonary issues or any other medical conditions are recommended to consult their physician. The main health consideration in Tibet is altitude related illness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and sleeplessness, but these should lessen within a few days. A supply of bottled oxygen is carried in the vehicle at all times should it be required. Hotels in Lhasa are equipped with oxygen. Doctors will also be available on call.

You should start some physical exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking and aerobics about several weeks ahead of the trip that keeps you fit and lessens the chance of getting altitude sickness. You should have a good sleep the night before you fly in to Lhasa and take complete rest on the first day. Its also advisable to drink 3-4 liters of water daily and consume liquid food.

Clothing & Packing List

During the day a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be suitable, but a warm fleece or sweater is recommended for the evenings and mornings. Night temperatures can fall below freezing point even in summer.

  • Warm fleece top
  • Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
  • Cotton shirts (short and long sleeved)
  • Warm and cotton trousers
  • Sun polarized sunglasses
  • Beanie or warm woolen hat and gloves
  • Scarf (to keep out dust as well as cold)
  • Sandals (flip-flops)
  • Towel
  • Rain and wind proof jacket
  • Strong sun cream and lip protector
  • Moisturizer
  • Water bottle
  • Camera (and plenty of film and spare batteries)

Note on Itinerary

Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed; it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Booking and Cancellation

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking. A deposit of US$300 is requested along with completed trip application form and passport copies. If you need us to book the airfare to Lhasa, we will give you the exact quote after the reservation is booked and inform you the ticketing deadline. Deposit can be charged on credit card. Balance payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. Balance payment on credit card attracts additional 3.5% fee.

Cancellation Fee

  • 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%

Travel Protection Plan

While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Highland Asia’s Tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.

Dates & Prices

Apr-Jun 2017

  • US$ 2570 (2 persons)
  • US$ 2028 (3-5 persons)
  • US$ 1517 (6-7 persons)
  • US$ 1368 (8-9 persons)
  • US$ 1278 (10-15 persons)
  • US$   302 (PrivateRoom Supplement)

Jul-Oct 2017

  • US$ 2846 (2 persons)
  • US$ 2220 (3-5 persons)
  • US$ 1638 (6-7 persons)
  • US$ 1465 (8-9 persons)
  • US$ 1360 (10-15 persons)
  • US$  320 (PrivateRoom Supplement)

Note:

*Return airfare to Lhasa will be extra.

** Tour cost is subject to change.

*** Online booking invoices the group price but actual tour cost is adjusted on the final invoice.

Please ask for a special price for a private group or family tour.

Small Group Departures

Start Dates End Dates Size Price (per person) Remarks Availability Booking
May 15, 2017 May 24, 2017 2-16 people USD 2150 - Open Book Now
Jun 05, 2017 Jun 14, 2017 2-16 people USD 2150

Trip overlaps with Saga Dawa Festival

Open Book Now
Jul 02, 2017 Jul 11, 2017 2-16 people USD 2730

Trip overlaps with Tashilunpo Monastery festival

Open Book Now
Aug 20, 2017 Aug 29, 2017 2-16 people USD 2730

Trip overlaps with Shoton Festival

Open Book Now
Sep 18, 2017 Sep 27, 2017 2-16 people USD 2730 - Open Book Now
Oct 10, 2017 Oct 19, 2017 2-16 people USD 2730 - Open Book Now

Trip price may vary depending upon the group size.

Open

This trip is OPEN for booking

Request On Request: You can book this trip on REQUEST
Closed SOLD OUT and no further booking is possible for this date

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