8-Day Lhasa and Everest Base Camp Tour
Stay in a Tibetan style guesthouse in the backstreets around the Jokhang Temple and see the local people doing kora under your window
Challenge your breathing limitations — approach Everest Base Camp and feel the thin air
Admire the sacred Potala Palace and count the steps
Observe monks debating at Sera Monastery
Explore the local culture at Tashilunpo Monastery, Shigatse
- Itinerary Details
Ta'er Monastery is the center of Tibetan Buddhism activity in the northwest of China. It has 4 Buddhist colleges for different major study groups.
Butter sculpture, wall painting and barbola are the three arts of Ta'er Monastery.
Train to Lhasa
The most beautiful scenery is from Golmud to Lhasa, the last 13 hours before arrival in Lhasa.
The train will go across the Tanggula Mountains, and the highest altitude you reach will be 5,072 meters. During the journey people might feel altitude stress.
The trains on Qinghai-Tibet railway have oxygen supplying equipment to ensure the passengers have enough oxygen. People can ask for a free air tube to use the oxygen outlet, which is available for each seat and bunk.
In the morning you can wander around the Buddhist Ta'er Monastery to appreciate the architecture and arts in this area that always seem to buzz.
After lunch in a local restaurant, you will board the overnight train on the world's highest railway to Lhasa. The train leaves in the late afternoon, so there will be plenty of time to see the scenery before the night falls.
Your private guide and driver will pick you up at Lhasa's airport or train station and accompany you to your hotel.
Adapt to the altitude:
To prevent altitude sickness, we suggest you have a good rest and do not get too excited. We haven't arranged any activities for the first day of your trip in order to give you time to acclimatize.
There is a chance you might suffer from symptoms of altitude sickness, including abnormal tiredness or headaches. If you need any help, your guide is on 24-hour standby. If you feel good, feel free to explore this gorgeous ancient city on your own. Take it easy and move slowly.
Enjoy some time in the square in front of the Potala Palace at night. It's a good chance to see more of the locals as they like to get together there at night.
Formerly known as the Summer Palace for the Dalai Lamas, it is now a beautiful public park with plenty of plants providing extra oxygen. Due to this, it is the best attraction to visit at the start of your trip.
The highlight of visiting this monastery is watching the monks' debate, which is held at 3:30pm every day except for Sundays.
It is the biggest monastery with the most monks in Tibet. It also has the biggest monastery kitchen, which allows 10,000 monks to have their meals together.
Enjoy breakfast in your hotel and start your day with a trip to Norbulingka. There, you can breathe in the fresh morning air and slowly get used to the altitude. Then drive for 15 minutes to see Drepung Monastery, where you will climb the stairs up to the hill and visit the delicate temples. If you are lucky, you will hear the monks chanting together, which sounds just like singing.
Have lunch in a local restaurant and try some Tibetan food, such as yak butter tea, which will help you to adapt to the altitude.
After lunch, visit Sera Monastery and watch the monks' debate. Guess the meaning of their gestures and grasp the chance to take photos.
General rules for visiting temples in Tibet
Cameras are not allowed in the temples or in the debate field, but taking photos with a cell phone is acceptable.
When entering a temple, please take off your hat and sunglasses to show respect. Your shoulders should be covered and you should not wear shorts.
Walk clockwise when visiting Barkhor Street.
Known as the Dalai Lamas' Winter Palace, it houses countless treasures including eight Dalai Lamas' holy stupas. The most luxurious stupa is the 5th Dalai Lama's, which comprises 3,721 kilograms of gold, 52 tons of silver, and over 15,000 jewels and pearls.
The Potala Palace is composed of a white palace and a red palace, and the walls of the white palace taste sweet! This is due to the coating, which contains milk, honey, and white sugar, and these ingredients make the coating bright and stable.
Before entering the Potala Palace, you will need to climb about 360 steps, which takes about 30 minutes. Take it easy and have a short break if you like, and take some photos on the way.
It is “Mecca” for Buddhists as it preserves the life-sized golden sitting statue of Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old.
This is your third day in Tibet, so you should be physically ready for the Potala Palace, which has a lot of steps. Prepare to enjoy the resplendent chambers and exquisite wall paintings.
After lunch, visit the Jokhang Temple. You will see many pilgrims prostrating themselves near the temple. Take part with the locals in the 20-minute walk with prayer wheels, going clockwise around the Jokhang Temple. Take a stroll around Barkhor Street and see some Tibetan handicrafts.
Colorful Prayer Flags twining on the prayer column: Guess what the black hair on the column is?
Yamdrok Lake:It's one of the top four Buddhist holy lakes in Tibet. It's about 150 kilometers from Lhasa and takes 2½ hours to get there by car.
Taking photos with a yak or Tibetan mastiff by the lakeside costs around 20 yuan per person.
Palcho Monastery:It's one of the top four Buddhist holy lakes in Tibet. It's about 150 kilometers from Lhasa and takes 2½ hours to get there by car.
The most interesting thing in this monastery is the “One Hundred Thousand Buddhas Pagoda”. It has nine floors, 77 chambers, and 108 doors. Each of the chambers has a very low doorframe and people have to bow to enter.
Your adventure will take you southward, all the way to Shigatse. First, you will visit Yamdrok Lake. On sunny days, the lake appears turquoise. If it's good weather, you will enjoy a lakeside picnic including sandwiches, vegetables, and fruit.
You will also view the fabulous scenery of Karuola Glacier, one of the top three continental glaciers in Tibet. When you arrive at Gyantse, visit Palcho Monastery.
It was traditionally the seat of successive Panchen Lamas. Its building style is different from the monasteries in Lhasa.
This monastery has a deep breath of life. There are several small villages in this monastery — you will see local women sitting by the roadside and chatting, children running around, and sleepy dogs and cats lying on the ground and enjoying the sun.
Pay special attention to the boots that the monks wear in this monastery — you will notice a big difference!
Visit Tashilunpo Monastery and drive all the way to Tingri. The journey from Shigatse to Tingri takes about 4½ hours by car but you will not get bored; there are stunning views along the way.
Have a good night and be ready for Mt. Everest Base Camp tomorrow.
Monks take off their shoes before enter the hall.
Optional itinerary : If you want to see the stunning sunset at Mt. Everest, and you are used to the high altitude and ready to accept the poor environment, we recommend you spend the night at Mt. Everest Base Camp.
Drive for 4 hours from Tingri and the altitude will reach 5,200 meters. The oxygen in the air is only half as much as in the flatlands, and the accommodation is poor there.
You can choose to stay in a tent or a guesthouse, but they don't have any air-conditioning, private toilets, or showers; only basic bunk beds are provided.
Mt. Everest Base Camp
Everyone who goes there takes a photo with the stone tablet that is engraved with “MT. QOMOLANGMA BASE CAMP” to prove that they have been there.
The monastery is the highest temple in the world, at 5,100 meters.
After breakfast in your hotel, you will take a 4-hour trip towards the roof of the world. Driving along the zigzagging road, you will have many chances to take photos of the Himalayas.
When you reach Mt. Everest Base Camp, you'll see Mt. Everest right there in front of you. With a feeling of excitement and accomplishment, you'll find it's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience; unless of course you return one day to climb the mountain.
Visit Rongbuk Monastery near the base, and see the hard life of the monks and nuns there. Take dramatic photos from different angles at Rongbuk Monastery.
After visiting the monastery, you will be driven back to Shigatse.
Activities: After breakfast in your hotel, you will be driven back to Lhasa. The journey takes about 6 hours but there is marvelous scenery on the way. You'll travel along the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon. You'll see plateau lakes, rivers, snowy mountains, and traditional Tibetan villages. Your guide will know some interesting stops.
Local people mix dung with staw and dry them on the wall for fuel.
Optional itinerary: A train journey from Shigatse to Lhasa takes about 2½ hours, and the view is similar to the road. If you are okay to travel without any photo stops and prefer to save some time for Lhasa, please tell us and we will arrange a train journey for you.
Your guide and driver will take you to Lhasa's airport or train station on time for your departure and will escort you to the correct security gate. Relax and leave any hassles to your tour team.
- Tour Cost
|Dec.1 - Mar.31||Price|
|Apr.1 - Nov.31|
- Service Included
Tibet Entry Permit and other necessary documents
Accommodation with breakfast and Wi-Fi
Private guide service provided by an experienced local English-speaking tour guide
Private transfers between the airport, hotels, and attractions
Entrance to attractions listed in the itinerary
Meals mentioned in the itinerary
International flight to and out of China;
Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price, please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
Lunches and dinners are not included, please pay on site by yourself.; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
Tips to tour guide and driver, you are suggested to tip them 7 USD/day in total.;
Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.
If extra help like Yaks, horses and porters is necessary for some clients, the local guide will help to arrange but clients have to decide the day before the trekking.
- Trip Notes
1.Tibet Travel Permit;
You will need a Tibet Entry Permit. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
We’ve selected heritage hotels in the more traditional area of Lhasa, near Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street, so that travelers can experience more of the local life and culture. If you prefer to stay in a hotel with special oxygen supplies, other hotels in Lhasa are recommended (as above).
The accommodation in Dingri is poor (see above).
Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service.
Enjoy local Tibetan, Western Chinese and Nepalese food on the tour.
You will have standard western hotel breakfast in Lhasa, and specially prepared breakfasts outside of Lhasa: including butter, bread, coffee, tea, etc.
After the first day, lunch is included every day. Your guide can recommend some good local restaurants for dinner. Outside Lhasa, we suggest you have dinner in the hotels where you are staying.
Before your trip, ask your doctor for any suggestions in relation to altitude sickness and bring some medicine just in case. The most popular altitude medicine among foreigners is Acetazolamide/Diamox.
We recommend that during the first two days after arriving in Tibet, visitors should keep warm, not take a bath, not smoke or drink alcohol. Drink plenty of water (>4 litres per day) before going and at altitude, and eat lots of vegetables and carbohydrates. Slow down, even if you feel energetic. Moving slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness.
If you don’t feel well after entering Tibet, go and see a doctor as soon as possible. There are doctors in major hotels in Lhasa, and you can call your tour guide for help at any time. We offer a free oxygen bag in the car.
6. What to Pack
Seek medical advice about altitude effects and pack any medicine you might need. Sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block, walking boots, and down jackets are all recommended.
Comfortable private cars/vans with experienced drivers will be arranged for you. All our vehicles meet the requirements of the Tibet Tourist Bureau, and are equipped with GPS and speed-limiting equipment.
Take into consideration the time you need to apply for your Tibet Entry Permit. It’s best to book a tour with us at least 30 days before your tour starts.
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