The trails of Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trek traverse along the centuries old nomadic territories, fortified villages, alpine valleys, nomadic settlements, barley fields and succession of glaciated mountain passes. South Tibet unveils its rugged beauty in all its glory as you proceed from Tingri to the Everest base Camp at 5200m. But before you head off high into the wilderness of the Tibetan highlands, you shall be expertly guided to the exquisite sights around Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse.
A seemingly infinite series of broad ridge-top paths and alpine meadows leads to Lamna La pass at 5150m overlooking splendid panorama. You can explore rarely-visited areas amid glacier-carved environment. As you near Rongbuk at 5000m, the trek gets more adventurous. The mere thought of Everest Base Camp nestled just a few kilometers away at Rongbuk is enough to heighten any trekker’s adventurous spirit. You are sure to get mesmerized by the surreally sculpted Rongbuk glaciers, on our way up to the Everest Base Camp.
We can arrange your arrival in Lhasa from anywhere. You can either join the trip from Kathmandu and fly to Lhasa or arrive Lhasa from Chengdu, Beijing , Shanghai, Xian or any nearby hub. You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3650 meters). It takes around an hour 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, Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor Square. At the famous Sera Monastery, you will get an insight into the important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. You pay a visit to Norbulingka, the summer retreat of the 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. .
This day is for you to spend as per your wish. Explore and soak in the sights and sounds of the old city, revisit your favorite monastery, go for souvenir hunting in the busy local market at Barkhor Square, or simply sit in a café and watch pilgrims as they circumambulate the Jokhang. There is also the option of an additional tour to places such as the Tibetan Medical Centre, Ganden Monastery and Tsurphu Monastery. But this additional tour will incur an extra cost..
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. .
After breakfast, you will be guided to explore the local market and the Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. After a detailed visit of Shigatse, you will drive to Tingri..
Today is a rest day at Tingri to ensure proper acclimatization before you head into total wilderness of tough Tibetan highlands. Your camping crew will set up a camp little off the friendship highway. You get excellent views of surrounding mountains from a small hillock near your campsite. .
The trail heads away from Tingri plain towards Cho Oyu. As you near the village of Chholung, a small Gompa is visible. Further on, barren plains open up. Amazingly, even in these barren fields local villagers yield good harvest of barley. Mostly, you will find herders in this territory. You can stay at Lung Thang tonight. .
As you ascend to Lamna La pass at 5150m, you may find the trail quite strenuous. But as soon as your eyes bask in the splendor of majestic vistas of surrounding mountain peaks, you will realize that this trek has indeed been very self-rewarding and worthwhile. Enjoying the surrounding atop this pass dwarfs other materialistic pleasures. .
Further away from Langma la pass, you have to take steep descent through verdant vegetation. En route, you encounter yak herders. The trail continues towards the whitewashed walls and barren fields of Zommug village. Amazing vistas of Mount Everest and Gyachung Kang visually rejuvenates you as you enter Zommug. Since lands being infertile are unable to yield agricultural crops, local villages are largely dependent on animal husbandry for livelihood..
As the morning seeps in, you march towards Rongbuk. Within few hours along Rongbuk Glacier, North Face of Everest becomes visible flaunting its unparalleled beauty. Rongbuk Monastery lies ahead 15 kilometers below Everest Base Camp at an elevation of 5000m, at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier. In a way, Rongbuk is regarded as a gateway to Mount Everest. From this outstanding location you get breathtaking views of the magnificent Mount Everest. .
It is a 9 km walk along dirt road to the base of Mt. Everest. The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest more than compensates for this. It is a truly awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above you. .
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)..
If you are planning to arrive in Lhasa via mainland China, you would need to apply for your Chinese visa from the Chinese Embassy in your country.
Once you have the Chinese visa, you will need to scan the visa and email it to us along with the copy of your passport. Both the documents should be clear and readable otherwise it will be rejected by the Tibet Travel Bureau in Tibet (TTB).
Please note that you would not be eligible for the Tibet travelling permit without the Chinese visa.
On the basis of the copies of the Chinese visa and passport, we will apply for your Tibet entry permit from the TTB. With the combination of the Tibet permit and Chinese visa you would be allowed to enter Tibet from the mainland China. Once your Tibet permit is issued, you can collect it from anywhere in mainland China where you are supposed to arrive or have it delivered at your hotel you would be staying while in mainland China at an extra charge for courier.
On the other hand, if you are planning to fly to Lhasa via Kathmandu or go overland via Nepal-China border, you would need to arrive in Kathmandu at least 4 to 6 days before your entry into Tibet.
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. Our operating officer who will be at the airport to receive and transfer you to your respective hotel will collect the passport from you and get the visa.
Do not apply for the Chinese visa in your country if you are intending to travel to Tibet via Kathmandu (Nepal). If you had applied for the Chinese visa in your country prior to arrival in Kathmandu, it would be automatically cancelled when we get the Tibet visa for you here in Kathmandu.
The Chinese/Tibet visa you get in Kathmandu is a "group visa" and is not entered in travelers' passports but on a separate sheet of paper - be it one person or a group consisting of two or more persons.
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).
For your sightseeing tour in the cities, a knowledgeable English speaking guide will accompany you.
On your trek, you will be accompanied by either Nepalese or Tibetan trekking crew. Their aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. They all speak some English and, although it may not be perfect, communication won't be a problem. Under the leadership of the sirdar, the crew consists of several assistants depending on group size who will ensure you don't take the wrong path. There will also be a cook and kitchen crew to keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals. To transport all the gear from camp to camp, we use yaks in Tibet.
A typical trekking crew consists of one guide and one cook and the kitchen crew, porters and yaks. The ratio of trekking crew to group members is generally 1:4. At the end of the trek, it is customary to tip the crew as a sign of your appreciation for the work they've done.
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 products 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.
The roads in Tibet can at times become quite rough and impassable for many vehicles, It can at times become quite rough and impassable for many vehicles, so for this reason we use best Land cruiser 4WDs. These vehicles are extremely reliable and will make the journey as comfortable as possible. As for the trekking and climbing there will be a truck for carrying luggage and trek equipments. 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.
Despite the high altitude of the Tibetan Plateau, the daytime temperatures are actually quite mild. Between April and November the average temperature ranges form 15-25 degrees Celsius and the skies are generally clear and blue. From July to August though there can be the odd shower during the day. The nights, however, can be very cold and temperatures can drop below 0 degrees 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.
The best time of year for overland tours in Tibet is from April to November and for treks and Mt. Kailash tour from April to the beginning of October.
Our all treks and Mt. Kailash tours are fully catered by our qualified and experienced crew from Nepal and a professional English speaking Tibetan guide. Loads are usually carried by Yaks.
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 villages, 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.
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.
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. For trekking you will need walking boots, sleeping bags (3 seasons), waterproof jackets and trousers, fleece jackets, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, suns cream and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip.
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.
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 this trek, 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/
I am not the type of person that would usually take a trip from Beijing to Kathmandu by land. I had no idea what international travel was like or how difficult it can be gaining entry into Tibet. In fact I still don’t because Explore Himalaya made it easy for me.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.