This is a trip of highlights, from Lhasa and the eighth wonder Potala Palace to the drive along the Friendship highway to trekking up to the 6380m ABC (sometimes called Camp 3). Then we climb to 7000m on North Col using the fixed ropes of the Everest expeditions. Wow!
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..
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the major highlights of the Valley including the UNESCO World Heritage sites. These days are for visa processing and documentation. .
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..
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..
Shortly after leaving Shegar, we turn off the Friendship Highway and head south over the Pang La 5150m towards the main Himalayan range. The view from the top is incredible with uninterrupted views stretching from Makalu to Shishapangma, and including Everest. Below the pass, Everest initially is hidden from view, but as we turn the corner into the upper Rongbuk Valley it reappears, more impressive than ever..
We rest here for some days to acclimatize; it is important to be well acclimatized prior to trekking to Interim Camp. How often do you get a chance to sit and read and dine with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above us? There are several possible day trips..
We begin in a dusty ablation valley with views of Pumori, Lingtren and even Nuptse then branch off up the East Rongbuk valley. The trail climbs moraine rubble. Nearby, the first ice seracs (ice pinnacles) rise like white sails from the dark debris-laden surface of the glacier..
We spend a day here in the intermediate camp, resting to further acclimatize. This is another good chance to finish that book..
The Rongbuk Glacier is an impressive frozen ocean of ice waves; the views of the glacier and the Himalayan peaks are some of the most dramatic in Tibet. Along the middle moraine of the glacier is the trail that expeditions use to begin their climbs of Everest and this is the trail we are taking. About two hours above the Interim camp the central ridgeline leads into a maze of ice at the confluence with the Changtse glacier, and this is Changtse Base Camp (5970m) which is sometimes called Camp 2; it was the 1920's and 1930's camp 2. The appropriately named Serac Highway continues to extend its unusual gravel arm through the centre of the ice formations. Rounding the corner, first Lakpa Ri Base Camp comes into view, then eventually Everest ABC (The old "Camp 3"), and this last section is always tough..
We have a well-deserved rest, taking a couple of days to acclimatize here at Advance Base Camp (ABC). We meet some of the expeditions here. The summit pyramid of Everest appears phenomenally close; it is little more than 2400 metres higher than ABC. This is the closest non-climbers can get to the top of Everest. With a pair of binoculars, you are almost there.....
We climb to the top of North Col, just over 7000m, for fantastic views across Tibet and into Nepal. Mountains can be seen strewn over the horizon. .
This is a LONG day's trekking down to Base Camp but to much lower, more comfortable altitudes..
This is a spare day that covers bad weather and other unforeseen events. If you are on schedule with the itinerary you might just want to trek to interim camp to break the long trek down.....
You will drive to the bordering town of Kerung. The trail further commands far-reaching views of enchanting Shishapangma, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar, as you leave behind arid Tibetan Plateau. After driving for 246 km, you find yourself in Kerung at 2450m meter. This is your last point in Tibet. .
We wait in line for Immigration. Just ahead is a Bridge that marks the Nepal/China border. We say goodbye to our Tibetan guide and driver and walk to Nepal side, where we will be met by our Nepali staff. After completing the re-entry formalities we continue the drive to Kathmandu which, depending on road and weather conditions, should take about 6/7 hours. It's time to get cleaned up at the hotel, which has abundant hot water...
You can spend this day at leisure- relaxing, shopping for souvenirs or exploring the city..
Our Nepali support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as jungle safari at National parks, multi-activity & cultural tours, etc. - ask us. You are welcome to arrive earlier / stay longer in Kathmandu and we can assist with hotels, tours, showing you around etc..
Hi All, I just wanted to follow up and say thank you to all who helped with our wonderful trip. It is a life event that Carol and I am glad we had the opportunity to partake in.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.