How to Get to Old Tingri Town
Old Tingri Town is the starting point of the trek to Everest Base Camp. It is located in the remote southern Tibet along the Sino-highway, one and a half days’ driving from Kathmandu, Nepal. While, currently the most popular way is to drive to Old Tingri from Lhasa even though it needs two days because the border between Nepal and Tibet is closed due to earthquake. The only way to get to Tibet from Nepal is flight.
Lhasa to Tingri
Old Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trekking
During this trek, you will walk in the shadow of giant Mount Everest, which will give you an exciting mixture of solitude, wildlife seeing as well as physical and mental challenge. This route takes you to traverse from the vast plain of Tingri, along a motorable track, to the wild Ra-chu Valley, then enter pastures of herders and livedock, and go up to the highest point Pang-la (5350m), then walk up and down along isolated valleys to reach the final destination – Everest Base Camp.
The shortest driving distance from Lhasa to Old Tingri is about 560km, completely following the Sino-highway (Lhasa – Shigatse – Lhatse – Old Tingri). It is less scenic as another route which takes the road passing the beautiful lake Yamdrok and Gyantse Palcho Monastery with a driving distance around 645km. For most travelers who visit Tibet for the first time, the latter route is strongly recommended (Lhasa – Yamdrok Lake – Gyantse – Shigatse – Lhatse – Old Tingri). Well, it is not a problem if you will return back to Lhasa after the Everest trek. Both two routes cost 2 days to get to Old Tingri – day 1 from Lhasa to Shigatse (via Gyantse) and day 2 to Old Tingri from Shigatse. For those who had visited Lhasa, you can also directly fly to Shigatse and then transfer to Old Tingri to start the Everest trek.
Kathmandu to Tingri
Before the Nepal earthquake in 2015, there were many travelers traveled directly from Kathmandu to Everest by land. After the earthquake, many parts of the road from Kathmandu to Zhangmu Border are damaged, and the reconstruction hasn’t complete yet. The border is supposed to be reopened in the end of 2017 when travelers can directly have land driving to Everest to enjoy a trek. If you want to go to Tibet from Nepal, you can take flights from Kathmandu which usually offer one or two daily flights to Lhasa each day during tourism peak months (May to October).
Permits for Old Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trek
If you just trek the route from Old Tingri to EBC, you only need following permits as a regular Mount Everest trip requires:
Firstly you will need a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) which is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. This permit is the most important permit because you will need to take flight/train to Tibet. And it will also be checked in Tibet. Secondly you have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit which allows you to visit other prefectures in Tibet, such as Shigatse, Mount Everest, etc. Thirdly you will have to apply for a Border Pass because Mount Everest is located near the border between China and Nepal. Tibet Travel Permit must be obtained before your trip while the Alien Travel Permit and Border Pass will only be checked when you are already in Tibet.
Trek Beyond Everest Base Camp
According to local regulation, to trek beyond Everest Base Camp to Camp II, Camp III…, one has to apply for special permit and register in Lhasa General Administration of Sport. That’s right. It is not related to travel. Besides, one has to be quite fit and get fully trained.
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