10 days Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and Namtso Lake
Upon your arrival at Lhasa airport or train station, you will be warmly greeted by your Tibetan guide. Around an hour drive will take you from airport to the holy city Lhasa. Driving along the Brahmaputra river and Lhasa river, you will not only amazed by the spectacular plateau scenery but also have a chance to see many kinds of wild birds. If you travel to Lhasa by train, a 20 minutes drive will deliver you to your hotel in Lhasa city. Be sure to have a good rest to acclimatize to Lhasa's high altitude.
Today is your first sightseeing day in Lhasa, you will be arranged to visit two renowned monasteries: Drepung Monastery in the morning and Sera Monastery in the afternoon.
Drepung Monastery was once the world's largest and the governmental seat before the Potala Palace, historically housed up to 10,000 monks. It's renowned for its significant role in Tibetan culture, religion, and education.
Sera Monastery is another the great Gelug university monasteries of Tibet. Renowned for its lively monk debates between 3 pm to 5 pm (daily except on Sunday) on Buddhist philosophy, the monastery is an important center for learning and culture.Your guide will provide a detailed explanation of how Tibetan monks participate in debates to acquire knowledge and progress in their academic studies.
You will have a welcome dinner with your fellow group members tonight.
In the morning start your Lhasa city highlight tour to visit Potala Palace. It is most renowned as the residence of the lineage of Dalai Lamas (Avalokiteshvara), though the massive structure contains a small world within itself. It was first built by 33rd ruler of his dynasty, King Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century, but still is in surprisingly good repair because of continual rejuvenation projects.
Then proceed to visit Jokhang temple, it is the most scared building in Tibetan Buddhism, located in the heart of Lhasa old town. It is the most sought after pilgrimage destination for all Tibetans.
The Barkhor Street, a renowned Kora (holy walking path) encircling the Jokhang Temple, is constantly bustling with Tibetan faithful. Visitors will discover the unique experience of mingling with local pilgrims along Barkhor Street. It also serves as a vibrant shopping district, offering the perfect opportunity to purchase gifts for your loved ones.
Following your sightseeing adventures, join your guide at one of Lhasa's most vibrant Tibetan sweet tea houses. Here, you can enjoy sipping traditional Tibetan sweet tea while sitting among local Tibetans. Your guide will provide valuable insights into Tibetan social dynamics and daily life, offering a deeper understanding of the culture.
Make your first day's drive towards Everest, with today's highlights including Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, and Gyantse ancient city.
Yamdrok Lake, one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, is easily accessible from Lhasa. Upon reaching Gampala Pass (4790m), you will get your first glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m). The lake is encircled by numerous snow-capped mountains and offers breathtaking views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar (7191m), the tallest mountain near Lhasa. You will drive along the lakeshore for about half an hour, during which time you can step out of the car to touch the lake's blue waters and take photos. At the end of the lake, enjoy your lunch at a local Tibetan family.
Karo La Glacier, at an altitude of 5,100 meters, provides a stunning overlook of Mt. Nyenchen Kangsar glacier. A brief stop is scheduled here for an excellent photo opportunity.
Gyantse ancient city, referred to as the 'Hero City', is a historically significant town in Tibet, renowned for its well-preserved ancient architectural wonders. You will spend some time taking photos of Gyantse ancient city.
Enjoy a beautiful drive along the Tibetan barley fields and farmland from Gyantse to Shigatse. Check into Shigatse, the 2nd largest city in Tibet.
Today, you'll undertake an exciting drive to reach Mount Everest Base Camp, immersing yourself in the stunning landscapes of valleys and mountains in the western part of Tibet, including the spectacular Himalayan range.
Start early to drive towards Shegar. En route, weather permitting, you'll catch your first glimpse of Mount Everest at Gyatsola Pass [5,280 m]. Lunch will be in Shegar, the last town before heading to Mount Everest.
In the afternoon, as you enter Mount Everest National Nature Reserve, the winding road takes you to Gawula Pass [5,250 m]. Here, you'll experience breathtaking panoramic views of the Himalayas, including a remarkable view of Mount Everest, which stands at 8,844 meters. You'll also see four other majestic peaks over 8,000 meters: Mt. Makalu (8,463 m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201 m), and Mt. Shishapama (8,020 m).
You will switch to the local sightseeing bus at Tashi Zong Village, and from there, it is another hour's drive before you reach Everest Base Camp (E.B.C.).
Arrive at Everest Base Camp in the late afternoon, just in time to witness a splendid sunset (just depending on the weather).
Stay overnight at the tent guest house at E.B.C or the monastery guest house near Rongbuk.
If the weather is favorable, you'll have the opportunity to witness a magnificent sunrise at Everest, with the first rays of sunlight turning the mountain into a glowing red spectacle.
Morning visit Rongbuk Monastery, the world’s highest buddhism monastery at 5154 meters above sea level where nuns and monks live together.
After a morning of exploration, begin your journey back to Shigatse via Dinggye County, taking a different route from Day 5. Stop at the Dinggye Xilin Viewpoint for a spectacular view of the majestic Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse, the world's fourth highest peak. Witness the vast and beautiful wetland at the foot of Mount Everest, which transforms into thousands of sand dunes in winter, offering a different style of beauty. As you pass through Sakya, take a brief stop to explore the ancient ruins of Sakya. Arriving in Shigatse in the late afternoon, your guide will take you to a local Langma Hall (a traditional Tibetan Dance Hall). Enjoy dinner with your fellow group members while experiencing traditional Tibetan dance and performances, celebrating your once-in-a-lifetime journey to Mount Everest.
Stay overnight in Shigatse.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will visit Tashilhunpo monastery, one of the six great Gelug monasteries, the seat of the Panchen Lama, features grand and magnificent halls that occupy an entire hillside. It is the spiritual heart of the Tibetan people in Shigatse and houses the world's largest statue of Maitreya Buddha.
Afterwards, you will drive back to Lhasa via the northern friendship highway. This scenic route, which runs alongside the Yarlung Tsangpo River, offers a diverse array of landscapes that are sure to capture your attention.
Upon your arrival in Lhasa and check-in at the hotel, enjoy the rest of the day exploring Lhasa. Barkhor Street is a great place to wander for last-minute shopping before you leave Tibet.
Today, your journey takes you northward to the enchanting Namtso Lake, traversing the Northern Tibetan grasslands. In the summertime, these grasslands are alive with sprawling herds of yaks and sheep, beautifully contrasted against the imposing Nyenchen Thanglha snow-capped mountains.
As you approach Damxung, you'll ascend the Nagen-la pass at 5,190 meters, where you'll be greeted with breathtaking views of Namtso Lake. This lake is not only one of Tibet's three sacred lakes but also holds the distinction of being the world's highest salt-water lake. Your descent will lead you to Tashi Dor Island, offering a chance to wander along its shores or climb to its summit for a sweeping panoramic view of Namtso Lake, encircled by majestic snow-covered mountains. This serene island is also a site of spiritual significance, dotted with meditation caves and sacred Buddhist sites, which you can explore under the guidance of your Tibetan guide.
In the late afternoon, you'll return to Damxung to spend the night. However, if your group expresses a keen interest in experiencing the awe-inspiring sunset at Namtso Lake, this can be arranged. While awaiting the sunset, you'll be offered hot coffee or Tibetan sweet tea for your enjoyment.
After breakfast, your first destination will be Chimelong Nunnery (Phyirmil Lung Nunnery), the largest nunnery near Lhasa. Wander through the serene nunnery grounds and gain insights into the various Buddhist studies practiced in Tibet.
Next, proceed to Tsurphu Monastery, the most ancient monastery in Tibet. This monastery serves as the seat of the Karmapa branch of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism and is renowned as the origin of the reincarnated living Buddhas system in Tibet. Here, you will have the opportunity to delve deeper into the Karma Kagyupa school, often referred to as the 'Black Hats', of Tibetan Buddhism.
During the summer months, from June to September, you may opt for a 'Linka outing' (a Tibetan-style picnic) for lunch in a quaint village at the base of Tsurphu Monastery's hill. Alternatively, lunch at the monastery's restaurant is also an option.
Upon returning to Lhasa and check-in at the hotel, enjoy the rest of the day exploring Lhasa. Barkhor Street is a great place to wander for last-minute shopping before you leave Tibet.
Your guide and driver will see you off at train station or airport, end the trip with WindhorseTour.