7 Nights 8 Days Lhasa-Everest base camp Tour
One of the most booked tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa is the 7 nights 8 days tour which includes the Everest base camp. It starts from Kathmandu, goes northeast ward to Lhasa. From the beginning of the tour till end there is plenty of amusement from modern era to the old living, culture, history and people of Tibet. You will first land on the airport of Lhasa then your tour brings you to Gyantse, Shigatse and the base camp of the world’s highest peak Mount Everest. All in all this trip is worth of doing it then just imagining.
From Tribhuvan International Airport you will take a flight to Lhasa in a Chinese Airlines. Upon landing in Lhasa and after you are done with immigration process you local tour guide at the airport arrival hall Welcome to the roof of the world! You will meet local tour guide at the airport arrival hall, after the meet and greet session you will now be transferred to your hotel in the city of Lhasa.
On arriving at your hotel, your local tour guide will give you short information about the surrounding and the starting of program for the next day. After freshen up, you can take short walk around to explore on your own, this is a good way to adjust yourself to the temperature and get used to the altitude.
Tips of the day (High Altitude Acclimatization): Please avoid strenuous activities, drink plenty of water, try drinking a little more than usual, eating fruits which are rich in fiber and water also helps on acclimatization, be on the good mood and take normal walk around. Because of the altitude you will already feel bit cold, taking bath will boost the chances of getting cold. So for that purpose you would better not have bath.
Your day starts after breakfast, first we will visit the beautiful and most awaited landmark of Tibet – Potala Palace, in terms of architecture this is regarded as one of the most beautiful engineering in the world. To get to the top of the palace we will have to climb up the stairs of stones, upon reaching the top you will have the very beautiful view of Lhasa’s urban areas, of course one cannot stay with without praising the Tibetan style of architecture of the Palace. Your guide will explain you the history of the Potala Palace and will bring you inside the palace to explore the inner chambers and stately chaples.
After Potala Palace our tour continues to the the most important site of the snow land country the Jokhang Temple, the credit of the foundation of this very nested-looking temple goes to Shongsten Gampo’s Nepali wife Brihkuti, who brought Nepali architect to build Jokhang Temple. The buzzing of the prayer wheels and the murmurs of the sutras will definitely pull your attentions as you will find several pilgrims who visit the Temple from different part of Tibet, top pay homage to the temple as this is believed to be the spiritual heart of the Tibetan Buddhism. The temple is widely popular as the “House of Buddha “.
Our trip ends in Barkhor street, it is very popular site for exploration. The beauty of Barkhor Street is the circular and wide street encircling the Jokhang Temple. Especially the locals are taking circle of the street as part of their daily pilgrimage tradition. Oh, last but not the least, if you love buying souvenirs then the street has many shops selling large variety of Tibetan handicrafts, traditional and religious items.
Tips of the day: we will climb 1,080 steps to the top of Potala Palace, to avoid headache and short of breath walk in good pace do not rush 2) Photography and video is not permitted inside the Potala Palace, it is always good to ask your guide if taking photo is allowed or not. 3) Carry these items with you: water, dry food, a hat, sun cream, and sun glasses,
Just as the previous day our day begins after breakfast, our first venue is the mesmerizing Norbulingka palace situated on the western side of the town, in the former times Norbulinka was the summer palace of Dalai Lamas, which at present is a tourist destination, public park. Norbulingka literally means “Jewel Park” founded by the seventh Dalai Lama in 1755. Kelsang Potrang is another attraction while visiting Norbuligka, it was used as a summer palace by the eighth Dalai Lama upto the 13th. Our Next destination is the Drepung monastery, which around 8 K.M. on west of central Lhasa. Drepung literally means “prosperity”. Drepung was founded in 1416 by a charismatic monk and disciple of Tsongkhapa called Jamyang Chöje, Ganaden Palace is another attraction on the premises, which was believed to be founded by the second dalai Lama in 1530. This is the palace from where other Dalai Lamas exercised their control over Central Tibet. More than 10,000 monks used to reside as a student in former times, as of today the number of student has gone down to 1000 or so. The place is historically an important and respected as spiritual achievement, it is also known as the “school of Dalai Lamas” as many of the former Tibetan Leaders and Dalai Lamas used to study here. During the noon, we will be visiting another very famous Monastery that is around 5 km. north of central Lhasa – Sera Monastery. It is one of Lhasa’s great Gelugpa monasteries along Drepung. It was once a huge monastic hub with the population of around 5000 monks which has now been reduced to few hundreds. You may find several monks on the courtyard, clapping hands creating louder sounds with supplemented gestures and debating with each other, this is a part of daily routine to facilitate on better learning of Buddhist Philosophy. After the visit of Sera Monastery our trip for the day ends and we will now drive back to hotel. Rest of the day is for you, We will be leaving Lhasa next day so make sure that you do not leave anything behind, specially your travel documents.
The protocol: 1) wear the attire that covers your knees (no short pants and skirts) and shoulders. 2) Before you enter Chaples make ask your guide if photography is allowed normally it is not, make sure you take off your sun glasses and hat.
Your guide will arrive at the hotel as per the time he has scheduled for you to leave the hotel. So make sure you have breakfast and you are carrying all the personal belongings with you. Please, take some bottle of water along with you; our journey to Gyantse will take around 7 hrs. On our way the very first site in the lap of the giant mountains we will reach is the holy Yamdrok Lake, one of the three sacred lakes in Tibet filled with fresh water and surrounded by many mountains in the northern part of the Himalaya, expanded over 72 km long from south to north, fertile pastures filled with Yak and sheeps and some small villages along the shore of the lake is another attraction of the Yamdrok Lake. With in short distance of drive away from Yamdrok Lake, you will see the Karola Glacier towering on the right side of the road.
Driving ahead we will arrive to the historical city of Tibet, Gyantse. We will stop by for our lunch. After lunch we will continue our journey to Palcho Monastery/Pelkor Chöde. The interesting side of the monastery is the peaceful co-existence of the three important sects of Tibetan Buddhism under one roof – Sakyapa, Zhalpu and Gelugkpa. Gyantes Kumbum (Kumbum means 100,000 images), the chörten is packed with some exquisite Tibetan mural paintings and rises 35 over four floors surmounted by a gold dome and 77 different chapels. The dome rises like a crown over four sets of eyes that gaze serenely out in the direction of the cardinal points. After the tour inside the Palcho is finished you may want to go up in the Gyantse Dzong Fortress to take some photos of the Gyantse. This fortress was used by Tibetan army against British invasion in 1904s. Close to the eastern entrance to Gyantse Dzong is the beautiful Guru Lakhang. A small chapel with the central statue of Guru Rinpoche.
Tips of today: 1) Due to weather condition wear warm clothes. You may want to stop on the way from Lhasa- Gyantse to take picture and stretch your legs, so do not hesitate to ask your drive to pull over.
Today after our breakfast we are going to the Pala Manor, a well preserved serf manor is located in the Banjorlhanbo village Gyanste county of Shigatse. Pala Manor is 4 Km away from southwest of Gyantse and opened to the public as the evidence and datum for research into the politics, economy and culture of Tibet. Pala Family was one of the four nobles in Tibetan feudal serf society carrying a history of more than 400 years. This Manor had over 100 serfs (slaves) to serve the lord and his family. These serfs made their living by farm labor, animal husbandry, wine production and engaging in knitting, sewing and catering chores. But after the elimination of slavery system, the architecture of Pala manor was preserved and now serves as a learning museum about the living condition and traditional arrangement of old Tibet.
We now drive about 2½ hrs. to Shigatse. After lunch and some rest we continue our journey to the Tashilhupno Monastery, the official seat of Panchen Lama (Great scholar)’s -Tashilhunpo Monastery, it is one of the six great Gelugpa institutions, along with Drepung, Sera and Ganden in Lhasa and Kumbhung and Labrang in Amdo (Gansu and Ginghai provinces, The statute of Furture Buddha (Maitriya Buddha) which is 26.2 m. high and 11.5 m. wide, the statute is combined with percious pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers, probably one of a kind on earth in terms of the size. Overnight in Shigatse
Expected and Does and don’ts : 1) The road to Shigatse is of fair good condition, by this time you might be very familiar what are the Buddhist way of manners and communication, please follow the etiquette while visiting Tashiluphno.
Shigatse – Mount Everest / 350km, About 7hrs’s Driving ( B )
After early breakfast today, we will move from Shigatse for our journey to the World’s highest Mountain – Mount Everest. Our drive today will be of fairly 7½ hrs. During our drive we will have a very pleasant view of few popular mountains which are above 8,000 meters, Makalu, Lhotse, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. Arriving at the Rongbuk Monastery, on clear day we will have our very first sight of grand Everest/Sagarmatha(Nepalese)/Chomolungma(Tibetan). Upon reaching the spot you forget all the hardships and throw yourself into a tuneful environment. If you have already made trek to the Everest base camp in Nepal and saw south face then this is the north face of the Mt. Everest that you are looking into. As you are at the height of 5100 m. above the sea level, you also be amazed to know that the Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world.
Accommodation: During off season (Nov. – Apr.) there won’t be much tourist and the nearby Rongbuk Guest house will be able to accommodate us. But during season (May – Oct.) we will have to spend our night in the Tented camps by local Tibetans. Just not to get carried away with the expectation that the guest house accommodation might have been better, we suggest not to compare it, as accommodation on both sides are basic, only dorm beds with communal squat toilet are available. Duvets, heated blankets and hot water will be provided. It is better to have your own sleeping bags and toilet rolls. Do not expect à la carte, basic type of meal prepared by the locals. Keep yourself warm and do not move fast.
FYI: Due to Chinese government environmental protection policy, E.B.C. is not open for the tourist to visit. However the vehicle will escort travelers to the parking lot 20 km. far away from Rongbuk Monastery, where you need to spend 30 minutes scenic bus park. Due to the policy most of the equipment has been transferred to the spot near to Rongbuk Monastery including altitude marker, a tablet reading “Mt. Qomolagma Elevation Measurment”, you can take picture of these items to capture the memory of your visit. The view of Everest can be seen and enjoyed from Rongbuk Monastery.
Early to rise would be the best thing for today, sunrise is really marvelous on the highest peak. It really looks a special with the light that glows on the snow which covers the top around the year, during the sunrise the snow turns golden, at another time it can look different from the golden color. It is more to see by yourself and capture the view than to explain, right here. As the day brightens up you see clouds flowing eastwards forming different shapes.
Our journey to the Tibetan side of Everest face will come to end and we now drive down to the Kyirung town. The view along the road drive is really the breath taking one, on clear day we can see Shishapangma peak & Pekutso lake. Overnight in Kyirung.
FYI: Sunrise is from 6:15 am to 6:45 am on Mount Everest, waking up early morning means cold and wind therefore keep yourself warm.
China is 2 hrs. and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal. We will drive around 25 K.m. after our breakfast to the Kyirong port and walk through the custom formalities. Our representative will receive you outside of the immigration. Before we begin our drive to Kathmandu we need to present ourselves at the Nepal immigration office as well, in this case our representative will handle most of the process. After all the official formalities we begin our drive of 160 Km. to Kathmandu, which will take us around 6 hrs., because of the road condition.
FYI: During rainy season there is chances landslides which may cause road blockage, in this case if we have to change the vehicle or use the porter to carry your bags then that will be extra charge to you.