After an insightful sightseeing tour in Kathmandu, you will take a flight to Tibet – the Forbidden Land. Tibet, with an average altitude in excess of 3500 meters, is the highest plateau in the world. Lying to the north of the great Himalayan range, Tibet is more or less an untamed land of nomads (drokpas), monasteries and high altitude desert that seem to stretch endlessly. Driving overland past the Tibetan plateau (‘Roof of the world’), you encounter a picturesque mosaic of Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen, ancient monasteries, high Mountain passes, wide arid plains and awe-inspiring mountain views.
After reaching Rongbuk , you prepare yourself for the world’s highest trek, Advanced Base Camp Trek that takes you as close to the summit of Mount Everest as any non-climber can go without using any technical climbing gears and without mountaineering skill. This is an incredible adventure trek along surreally sculpted Rongbuk Glacier to the Advance Base Camp for the north Col route up Mount Everest (8848m). As there won’t be any expeditions during Autumn, the Base Camp and Advance Base Camp of Mount Everest (North side) will be virtually empty, devoid of the usual climbing crowd. It may be just you and your guides trekking alone on the mountain. So savor this special moment of having the entire mountain to yourself!
Note: This trek will be led by an experienced mountain Sherpa guide. If the group is large, a Western guide may lead the trek.
After arrival at the Airport, our representative welcomes you and transfers to Hotel. You will check in to Hotel which will provide welcome amenities. Rest of the day stroll around the historic town of Kathmandu or explore the fun filled lively streets of Thamel on your own..
Pashupatinath: You will begin your sightseeing tour with a visit to Pashupatinath Temple. Pashupatinath temple is dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Shiva and is regarded as the most sacred Hindu shrine in Nepal. Here you can witness cremation ritual of Hindus at ‘Aryaghat’, the cremation area of the temple. Boudhanath: Bouddhanath, a huge dome shaped stupa, stands as the largest Buddhist shrine of South Asia. The ancient colossal chorten is considered to have built in 6th century A.D. It rests on a series of three terraces and from the bird's eye view it takes the relevant shape of a lotus flower which indeed remains a very holy object for all the devout Buddhists round the world. The chorten is surrounded by a circular market, which forms a part of town. The four pairs of the Buddha's eyes give a vivid flash to the four cardinal directions, meaning to keep a vigilant watch over the people and their commitments all day all night. The chorten embraces the authentic philosophy of Mahayana faith popularly known as Lamaism in Sikkim, Ladakh, Bhutan and Tibet. Kathmandu Durbar Square: Listed as one of the eight Cultural World Heritage sites by UNESCO, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets that date back to 12th-18th centuries. The square is known to be the social, religious and urban focal point of the Capital City. The Palace Complex was the Royal residence until the 19th century and was the site of important ceremonies, such as the coronation of the Nepali monarch. The palace is decorated with elaborately-carved wooden windows and panels. It houses King Tribhuvan Memorial Museum and Mahendra Museum. The square has remained as the traditional heart of the old town and Kathmandu’s most spectacular legacy of traditional architecture. .
Swayambhunath: The Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath is situated on the top of a hill, west of Kathmandu. It is one of the oldest religious complexes in Nepal; dating back to 5th century A.D. Swoyambhunath Stupa has a shape of a dome standing on a base which represents the entire World. A pair of big eyes on each side of the dome symbolizes Wisdom and Compassion. They are, in fact, Buddha’s eyes — they give the impression as if he is looking right into you no matter where you stand. The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Lichchhavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. The site has two access points: a long stairway, claimed to have 365 steps, leading directly to the main platform of the temple, which lies in the east direction; and the other way to reach the temple is via a road trip around the hill leading to the southwest entrance. Patan Durbar Square: It is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of its attractions is the ancient royal palace where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided. Durbar Square is a marvel of Newa architecture. The Square floor is tiled with red bricks. There are many temples and idols in the area. The main temples are aligned opposite of the western face of the palace. The Square also holds old Newari residential houses. There are various other temples and structures in and around Patan Durbar Square built by Newa People. Patan is one of the oldest known Buddhist cities. It is a center of both Hinduism and Buddhism with 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples. Most of these structures are in the vicinity of the Durbar Square. .
After your breakfast, you will be transferred to Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Spread over an area of 6.88 sq km, 12 km south-east of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon showcases the splendor of the Golden Age of Nepali art and architecture. Built by King Anand Dev Malla in 9th century, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It has remained a model for heritage conservation since then. At Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you will find many fine examples of sculpture, woodcarving and pagodas dedicated to different gods and goddesses – the Nyatapol & Dattaraya Temples, Golden Gate, Palace of 55 windows etc..
About 1.5 hours’ panoramic flight will take you to Gonggar Airport where you will meet your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3650m). It takes around 45 minutes to reach the old city. After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest and take it easy. Drink plenty of fluids and let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude. Note: There is no fixed program arranged for today. .
After breakfast, you will be briefed on the day’s program. An experienced guide will take you on a tour to Sera Monastery, Norbulingka and Barkhor Square. At the famous Sera Monastery, you will get an insight into the important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. You will also pay a visit to Norbulingka, the summer retreat of Dalai Lama. Completed in 1956, the handsome building is ornately decorated with Tibetan carvings and paintings. Jokhang temple provides yet another glimpse of the rich Tibetan cultural heritage. You will also get the chance to stroll around the busy Barkhor Square, the nerve centre of Lhasa. After the day’s tour, you will be escorted back to your hotel..
After an early breakfast, you will be escorted by your guide to the majestic Potala Palace. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas. Later in the day you will visit the beautifully landscaped Drepung Monastery where you can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses. After the day’s tour is over, you are escorted back to your hotel for a well- earned rest. Note: Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed inside the Potala palace every day, the order of sightseeing places will be decided upon by your guide. .
Moving along the Friendship Highway, you will drive past Khamba La, at 4794m, with a brief halt to savor majestic views of Yamdrok-tso Lake and Nazin Kang Sa, standing at 7252m. On turning westwards, you will come across another pass, Karo La at 5045m. If you look at the road, you can see huge glaciers tumbling down. After driving 261 km, beautifully landscaped Tibetan villages become visible as you enter the town of Gyantse..
Gyantse prides on Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum. Gyantse Dzong, a 14th century historical fort, overlooks the entire Gyantse and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. Kumbum has a large gold-domed stupa and houses several chapels and Tibetan Buddhist murals. After exploring Gyantse, you take a 90 km drive and arrive at Shigatse (3900m), the second largest Tibetan city. Tashilhunpo Monastery, being one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet is the major attraction of Shigatse..
Today you will traverse along the Friendship Highway amidst picturesque landscape driving past small town of Lhatse and Gyamtso La pass at 5220m. As the route opens into plains, many monasteries and camps of nomadic herders become visible en route to Shegar. At Shegar, you will be accommodated at a comfortable local hotel..
Away from Shegar, you will drive to the south crossing Pang La pass at 5150m. Along the drive you can bask in the splendor of majestic views of snow-capped peaks from Makalu to Shishapangma. After driving for 68 km, you eventually reach Rongbuk at 5000m. You can then view spectacular sight of Mount Everest. You have the opportunity to explore Everest Base Camp (5200m.) The Base Camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest more than compensates for it. It truly is an awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above you. .
You will spend two days at the Base Camp to acclimatize and explore around..
You will spend two days at the Base Camp to acclimatize and explore around..
Trekking through the surreally sculpted Rongbuk Glacier, you will walk away from Everest Base Camp to Camp I for two and half hours or more. Camp I lies amidst moraine hills under picturesque yellow-orange granite cliffs. In the beginning the trekking route skirts the east side of the Rongbuk Glacier and opens into a flat area at 5270m. On the Southwest, Pumori at 7145m nestled next to Kala Patthar comes into picture. After arriving at Camp I, you may wish to explore snout of the East Rongbuk Glacier lying just 20 minutes away from the camp..
The trail overlooks glacier-topped mountain as it roll from gravel mounds, mud plain to rocky moraine. Lying directly across from Far East Rongbuk glacier, Interim Camp can prove very beneficial for further acclimatization and supper vantage point prior to trekking up to Camp III..
A rest day for preparation to climb higher up or you may wish to explore around..
As you march towards Camp III, you trek along moraine following the glacier to the right around the eastern flank of Changtse. Further ahead, you ascend a succession of hills as the glacier softens into smooth snowy ice fields carpeting the approaching ridges. En route you may spot several tent sites and discarded oxygen bottles. 1480m straight up from Camp III lies the Pinnacles challenging trekkers to explore its mystiques. Its complexity has kept the northeast Ridge unclimbed for a long time. North Col lies at 7066m in the West connecting Everest’s Northeast Ridge and Changste. .
You can see spectacular sight of striated rock summit of Everest extending above the Pinnacles to the southeast little more than 2400m higher than Camp III. Beyond Camp III there are gravel hills beside the glacier and you may trek along this trail for one hour. Finally, you conclude your trek by journeying back to Camp III. .
You retrace your steps and descend to Base Camp, a long day trek down to comfortable lower altitude. .
You will drive past the enchanting views of the surrounding peaks of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar. After driving for 246 km, you find yourself in Kerung at 2450m meter. This is your last point in Tibet. .
Today, you will part with your Tibetan guide and driver and cross Nepal-China border. Then after, you will meet your Nepali representative who will escort you to Kathmandu. It will take about 7/8 hours to reach Kathmandu (175km)..
Our driver and airport representative will drive you to the airport in time for your flight back home. We ensure you that you will leave Kathmandu with cherishing memories and an experience of a lifetime..
A highlight of this trip is the visit to Everest Base Camp and the trek to Camp 3 at 6340m with excursion to Advanced Base Camp (6400m)/the base of the North Col via the East Rongbuk Glacier, from where you get to view the sheer grandeur of Everest's north face. This adventure considered as the highest trek in the world is a strenuous trek. This trek takes you as close to the summit of Everest as any non-climber can go. It is physically challenging, likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities. From Lhasa you take an adventurous drive on a sturdy and comfortable 4WD land cruiser across Gyantse, Shigatse and Shegar, with an English speaking local Tibetan guide.
Tibet is connected by railway line from Chengdu, Beijing, Xian, Xining and Shanghai.
Air China and Sichuan Airlines operate regular flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa. This flight offers spectacular views of Mt. Everest, Makalu and many other Himalayan giants. We will organize your pick up once you reach Lhasa and drive you to your hotel.
For Tibet, we organize a group visa, and in order to do this we will need a copy of your passport at least 30 days prior to the commencement of your trip. Tourism regulations in Tibet are subject to change without prior notice. As per current regulation Chinese Embassy issues visa from Monday to Friday (9am – 11am) in Kathmandu, and it takes 4 days for visa processing. We will need your original passport 1 day before the visa processing day.
We bring together a small group of like-minded people. During the trip, not only do they gain a memorable and insightful travel experience but also get an invaluable opportunity to interact with each other. On our fixed scheduled departures, group comprises of maximum 12 & minimum 2 persons. You are likely to join a group from different countries. Average age ranges from early 20s to mid 50s.For private trips, no minimum and maximum number apply.
If you would like to travel independently or with your friends, families and colleagues you are invited to choose any of our trips at your convenient time frame for any number of people (min 1 to max 100 at a time).
Besides Chinese Yuan, only US dollars can be accepted in Tibet. Also shops that accept American currency are very limited and you might not be able to get a good deal for an exchange rate. Credit cards can only be used at some hotels. The Bank of China also accepts credit cards. ATM is not widely available. Exchanging your money to Chinese currency will be the best option for you, which can be done at the Bank of China. While changing money at the local money exchange centers, please make sure that you are accompanied by your guide and do consult him as you may easily be duped with counterfeit notes.
Tibet is becoming more expensive every year. There are many shops in Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse that sell traditional Tibetan handicrafts. We recommend you to bring extra money to spend on souvenirs.
Tips are appreciated by your support team, after completion of the trip. The amount you give depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. For this you can allocate around 5% of your total tour cost.
In Lhasa, accommodation will be at a 3 star hotel. This hotel is renowned for its hospitability and ethnic Tibetan ambience. It is centrally located, just a few minutes’ walk from the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Square. Elsewhere along the route, accommodation will be at the available hotels. If you would like to book a single room, please do inform us. A supplement charge will incur in that case.
We shall try our best to provide the best accommodation available but please do keep in mind that you are taking an adventure tour, and sometimes the arrangement may be basic. Traveling in Tibet is a fantastic experience but sometimes you have to put up with a bit of discomfort. To enjoy this trip you need to have an adventurous spirit and the ability to adapt to minor discomforts.
Tented camps supported and catered by Nepali Sherpa crews shall be provided during the trek (from Day 12 to Day 19).
Throughout your time in Tibet you will be accompanied by an experienced English speaking Tibetan guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide valuable insights into the Tibetan way of life. While trekking, you will be supported by the experienced Nepali Sherpa trekking crew.
All breakfasts are included in our package. Your guide will help you find good restaurants with reasonable price. You can try ethnic Tibetan cuisine. Have some momos or gyantok, and wash it down with a cup of salted Tibetan butter tea. Meals will either be in the hotel or at a restaurant of your choice (where available). While on the road, lunch will be at one of the many Chinese tea shops along the way which generally serve a variety of noodle and vegetable dishes and meat where available. Expect to spend around 25-30 US$ per day for meals.
Apart from when you are staying in hotels, during the trek ,your cook will provide 3 tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelette, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads. After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals.
We use as much fresh producs as possible and our cooks and kitchen crew maintain exceptional standards of cleanliness and food preparation hygiene. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for.
After breakfast, we begin our day's drive at about 9am. We'll drive for several hours, stopping along the way for photographs or places of special interest, before stopping for lunch at around midday. After lunch we continue our journey, generally arriving at our destination by 3 or 4pm.
This trek is fully catered by our qualified and experienced crew from Nepal and a professional English speaking Tibetan guide. A typical day begins with a hot cup of tea brought to the tent at about 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. After packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the morning's walk. All you need to carry is a small daypack containing a water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain-jacket and a warm jumper, just in case.
The porters or yaks will carry everything else for you. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon's walk is generally shorter and we arrive at camp in time for a nice cup of tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the nearby placess, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. Dinner is usually served between 6 and 7pm and after dinner, the evening is often spent playing cards or talking with the crew – and sometimes there will even be some singing and dancing before heading off to the tent for a well-earned sleep.
We use the best 4WD Land cruisers (Toyota 4500) for the overland drive across the Tibetan highland. These vehicles are extremely sturdy, spacious and reliable and they make the journey as comfortable as possible.
Communication facilities in Tibet have been improved over the past few years. All the hotels we use in Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse have international IDD phone and fax services. Phone calls can also be made from public booth in bigger towns. Internet cafes are also available at bigger towns, check with your guide for the best cyber cafes in each town. These days, mobile phones work fine up to the Everest Base Camp. You can also have a roaming facility added to your mobile phone. If you buy a Chinese SIM card at the border, you could stay in touch with your family and friends most of the time. Please ask us for the latest facilities and schemes on Chinese mobile phones.
The best time of the year to take the Everest Advance Base Camp Trek is from April to October. During these months the average temperature ranges from 15C to 25C, with blue skies and clear weather. The nights, however, can be very cold and temperatures can drop below 0 degree Celsius.
During the day a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be suitable, but a warm fleece or down jacket is recommended for the evenings. Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip.
The Tibetans are classified as belonging to the Mongoloid family of people. They are probably descendents of a variety of nomadic tribes who migrated from the north and settled along sedentary cultivation of Tibet’s river valleys.
The Tibetans living within the borders of present day Tibet are easily identified by their distinctive dialects, social customs and dress. The Topas live in the highland regions (Lato and Ngari), the Tsangpas in the West Tibet (Tsang), the Upas live in central Tibet, the Horpas comes from the north (Nagchu/Jangtang), the Kongpowas from the south, the Khampas live in the east, the Amdowa in the northeast, and the Gyarongwa in the extreme east.
Travelers to Tibet inevitably find Tibetans to be friendly and possessing a great sense of humor. It is appreciated when you try and use Tibetan language when communicating with Tibetans. The further from Lhasa you travel, the more often is Tibetan used.
Religion is extremely important to the majority of Tibetans, and travelers should endeavor to respect their customs and beliefs. Always circumambulate Buddhist religious sites or monastery in a clockwise direction, and when in a monastery do not wear a hat, smoke or touch frescoes. In addition, refrain from climbing onto statues, mani stones or other sacred objects. Tibetans are warm and friendly people. Some speak a bit of English and are happy to have a chat with you. Don't photograph people without permission, and be aware that some locations prohibit photography.
Losar or “New Year” is celebrated in the month of February by the Tibetans. During Losar, Buddhist monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity at monasteries. People exchange various goods and gifts among them. Families organize feasts and perform dances.
Saga Dawa, celebrated on the 15th day of the fourth lunar month, is an occasion for outdoor operas. You can see many pilgrims at the Jokhang Temple and Mount Kailash.
Gyanste Damang (Gyantse Horse Racing and Archery), celebrated in May/June, honors the Tibetan marksmanship while riding at full tilt. Horse riding and archery competitions are held during this festival.
Samye Dholdhe Festival is celebrated in the month of June. Pilgrims and monks from distant monasteries journey to Samye to watch masked dances and obtain blessings of Buddha.
Zabling Chi Sang (World Incense Day) is a special day dedicated to pray for peace in the world.
Ganden Khi-khu (Ganden Thangka Festival) is celebrated in July to honor the founder of the Gelugpa sect.
Karma Durba (Bathing Week) is celebrated in August/ September. During the festival, the Lhasans flock to the waters of the Kyi Chu River which literally means “Changing the stars” in the belief that if they bathe all week, they will drive evil spirits away from their bodies and enjoy good health in the following year.
In addition to Everest Base Camp tour, we can organize trip extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try white water rafting or go on a jungle safari in the deep jungles of Chitwan or take a cultural tour. You may as well take a trip to India or Bhutan, whichever appeals more to you. Please ask us for details or check our website https://www.explorehimalaya.com/
Vaccination requirements change frequently, so we suggest you consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to your trip. The main health consideration in high altitude is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor. A supply of bottled oxygen is carried in the vehicle at all times. Chinese doctors will also be available at places like Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, and Shegar. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and to handle the low oxygen rate. We have been organizing trips in Tibet since 1998, and only negligible numbers have suffered from severe AMS.
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we hope will not happen, you shall be transferred to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses and emergency repatriation.
One should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip that takes you into one of the remotest corners of the Tibetan plateau, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in the itinerary. Depending on the prevailing situation, the itinerary can be modified to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of tour completion should always coincide with the original itinerary.
I wanted to thank you for the great job you have done, in the difficult days in the beginning of October.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.