Places to Visit: Kathmandu - Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Shegar - Rongbuk Everest Base camp - Interim Camp - Nyalam - Kathmandu
Start your journey to Tibet with a spectacular flight over the snow capped Himalayan Mountains past Mt. Everest, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. In Lhasa visit the Potala, the famous palace of the Dalai Lama, Norbulingkha, the great Drepung Monastery and the holy Jokhang Temple. Walk amongst the crowded Tibetan market - the bustling Barkhor Bazaar. Drive past the beautiful Turquoise Lake on the way to the historic town of Gyantse with its unique multi-storied Kumbum Stupa. At Shigatse walk through the massive Tashilungpo monastery and visit the memorial 'Chorten' of the late Panchen Lama.
At the high plains of Old Tingri meet up with the trek crew and start trekking to North Everest Base Camp. The trek will take you up the historic expedition route from Old Tingri to Rongbuk Monastery crossing the Langma La pass (16,900 ft). Later hike up to the North Everest Base Camp and explore the Rongbuk glacier set directly below the massive North-Face of Mount Everest.
On the north side of the Himalaya sits the partially reconstructed Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Rongbuk, once the largest monastic center in the region. Rongbuk is the power place through which all seeking the highest peak via the North Face must pass. It is the sacred threshold to Mount Everest, with the most dramatic views in the world. One of the first British explorers to see it, John Noel, described it: "Some colossal architect, who built with peaks and valleys, seemed here to have wrought a dramatic prodigy—a hall of grandeur that led to the mountain." Often shrouded in clouds and mist, the great peak was alternately described as "a preposterous triangular lump" (by Mallory) and "a glittering spire of rock fluted with snow" (by Odell), with "an imposing head of granite and ice," (Noel) and it looms large over the Rongbuk glacier, shining white at its feet.
The Rongbuk monastery, situated half-way up the mile-wide, 20-mile long valley at 16,500 feet, is accessible today by vehicle over an obscure, rough track that crosses frozen streams and deep dry washes. In the days of Mallory and Irvine, it took a five-week walk from Darjeeling, in the Indian foothills of the Himalaya, to arrive at this spot. One gradually gains altitude on the high Tibetan plain and, on crossing the last pass, one's entire view is filled with a panorama of the mythically charged horizon: Shishipangma, Mount Everest, and Cho Oyu are among the great peaks that lie ahead.
After gazing at the world’s highest mountain scenery from Rongbuk drive by way of the amazing Himalayas Highway to Kathmandu in Nepal.
DAY 01: FLY KATHMANDU [1400M]/LHASA [3660M]
After flying a long time to Nepal, you may dread another day of flying. However, this remarkable flight last only an hour while crossing the Himalayan range. You may expect the striking mountain views surrounding the entire time. Once you arrive at Gonggar airport, an easy two hour drive will take you to your final destination of the traditional Dhood Gu Hotel. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing and exploring some of the many sights in Lhasa.
DAY 02: IN LHASA
Haven't you always dreamt of visiting the ancient Tibetan monasteries? Our knowledgeable English speaking guide will show you everything there is to see in some of these renowned sights. First off, we will explore the beautifully preserved Sera Monastery. Many of the pictures you see of Tibet are of these buildings with their white washed walls and golden roofs. To this day several hundred monks live and study in this architecture. The afternoon will be spent exploring the Jokhang temple and Norbulingka. The Norbunglinka is another astounding piece of architecture and was once the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang Temple will provide you one of your first sights of devout Tibetans, as hundreds visit this sacred shrine each day. The central market of Lhasa, the Barkor, surrounds the Jokhang Temple. In these cobbled streets you can experience more Tibetan culture and even purchase some amazing crafts.
DAY 03: IN LHASA
To explore some of the ancient quarters of the Dalai Lama we will visit Potala Palace in the morning. Be prepared for astonishment as this grand palace has been around since before 17th century. To add even more history and culture we will also visit Drepung Monastery. Once home to over 10,000 monks, the Drepung Monastery is still a beautiful sight to see. Miraculously it was one of the few sights to escape the Cultural Revolution without widespread damage.
DAY 04: IN LHASA
This is a day for you to relax, properly acclimatize, and further explore Lhasa. The choices range from enjoying a meal in one of the excellent restaurants to exploring more monasteries or browsing in the town markets. Take it easy and have a great day!
DAY 05: DRIVE LHASA/GYANTSE
In the morning we will depart from Lhasa and travel in Land cruisers along the Friendship highway. Numerous passes, such as Khambo La and Kharo La, provide wondrous views of the Himalayan range. A colossal glacier rises nearly straight up from the road as we pas Kharo La. The drive is no daunting task as we pass through many more beautiful Tibetan valleys and quiet villages along the way. Our final destination is the first class Gyantse hotel.
DAY 06: DRIVE GYANTSE [3950M]/SHIGATSE [3900M] 90KM
We will be given the opportunity of experiencing more wondrous Tibetan culture as we see the Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum. Expansive views of the valley can be seen from the ancient Dzong fort. The Kumbum is much more than a stupa, as it is surrounded by numerous Tibetan murals and small chapel houses. Even if you are no art connoisseur you will be amazed by these ancient murals and architecture. We continue on with a short drive to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. Not a minute is wasted as we have a full afternoon of exploring the local markets and monasteries. It is very intriguing to see how ancient Tibetan culture compares to the modern day culture we will experience. There are endless amounts of sights, both modern and ancient, to see around this city.
DAY 07: DRIVE SHIGATSE/SHEGAR [NEW TINGRI]
Once more we will drive along the Friendship Highway and immerse ourselves in the wondrous views of the Tibetan plateau. Along the way we will cross our highest pass of the journey, Gyamtso La, as well as numerous nomadic herders. The night will be spent in the comfortable Hotel Quomolongma.
DAY 08: DRIVE SHEGAR [4050M]/RONGBUK
We will leave Shegar in the morning and cross the Pang La pass. The view from the top is truly awe-inspiring as nearly the entire Himalayas are laid out before you. This may be your first real glimpse of Everest.
DAY 09: RONGBUK EVEREST BASE CAMP
Our ninth day will be spent enjoying the barren yet awe-inspiring surroundings of the Everest Base Camp. It is a life changing experience to stare up into the world's largest mountain. We will slowly begin to acclimatize.
DAY 10: RONGBUK EVEREST BASE CAMP
To be safe, another day must be spent properly acclimatizing in Rongbuk. You can relax during the day and explore the area even further.
DAY 11: TREK FROM EVEREST BASE CAMP TO CAMP 1 [5460M]
Our first challenging trek will be made to Base Camp 1. Along the way we can explore the Rongbuk Glacier and surrounding areas. The views around this massive glacier are some of the best in the world. We will take a trail that rises to the east side of this ice cap and heads toward the peak of Mt. Everest. The hike is fairly short, but the high altitude may still be hard for many, so relax That day and enjoy exploring this amazing area.
DAY 12: TREK TO INTERIM CAMP [5760M]
Our trekking trail today will meander over gravel hills to the west of the glacier. Another scenic day awaits us as we spend the night at the interim camp. Ice pinnacles surround us in all directions. Get yourself ready for an amazing experience!
DAY 13: REST DAY IN INTERIM CAMP
The thirteenth day is another day to rest and properly acclimatize. We then will be at extremely high altitudes, and must take all necessary safety precautions. Small excursions can be taken today and wonderful pictures abound.
DAY 14: TREK TO CAMP 2 [5970M]
The following day is even more challenging as we ascend even farther into the intricate maze of ice as we meet up with the Changste glacier. It is such an incredible experience to be hiking on the world's highest mountain! Today our camp is even more beautiful than past sites. We are surrounded on all sides by varying glaciers and hanging ice. The Serac Highway protrudes a gravel point into the center of these amazing ice formations
DAY 15: TREK TO ABC [6340M] AND RETURN TO CAMP 2
It is completely up to you today whether you want to spend the night at Base camp 3 or simply hike there during the day and return to Base Camp 2. The walk will be much more enjoyable tomorrow if we stay at the second Base Camp. However, if you wish we can spend the night at an even higher altitude and impressive location. Camp 3 lies in the center of flattened gravel mounds next to the glacier. Today we can observe many of the challenging pinnacles, ridges, and even the rock summit of Everest. Camp 3 is only 2400 meters from the top. What a sight it is to finally arrive at nearly the highest point in the world!
DAY 16: RETURN TO BASE CAMP
This day is a long day as we cruise downhill back towards the first base camp. Wonderful sights abound as we leave this amazing peak.
DAY 17: DRIVE RONGBUK/NYALAM
On our second to last day we will rejoin the Friendship Highway and experience another amazing drive through Tibet. Once again we will cross two high passes with magnificent Himalayan view. Towards the end of the day we will descend from the Tibetan plateau and arrive in Nyalam. It is a huge relief for many to arrive back in this lush town with showers and beds.
DAY 18: DRIVE NYALAM/KATHMANDU
This is the last day of our journey. In the morning we will cross the Friendship Bridge and head back into Nepal. We must bid a fond farewell to our Tibetan guide and go through all the necessary border paperwork. Our Nepalese staff will meet you on the other side and take you your last five hours into Kathmandu.
Cost does not include:
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