Lhasa to Everest Base Camp
The overland route connecting Lhasa, Tibet with Everest’s North Face Base Camp is one of the most beautiful and amazing land routes in Asia. Covering a distance of 800 kilometers / 500 miles, this journey will take us from the modern Tibetan capital of Lhasa to pristine high altitude lakes, rivers, glaciers, farming valleys and through the Himalaya’s to Everest Base Camp. At Everest Base Camp, we will get up close and personal with the world’s highest peak. We will be visiting the most famous and picturesque monasteries and temples and will spend 12 days experiencing and photographing the uniqueness of Tibetan culture. Join us on the Roof of the World for the adventure of a lifetime! To join this amazing journey, send an email to: email@example.com
Here is the itinerary we will be following:
All participants must arrive in Chengdu, China by 3pm on 15 April. Himalaya Journey will give you detailed instructions on how to easily get to the hotel we will be staying at. We will eat dinner together during a time of meet and greet at a centrally located restaurant near our hotel.
In the morning, we will fly to Lhasa and arrive in the late morning/early afternoon. The Tibetan capital sits at 3590 meters and is the cultural and spiritual heart of Tibet. After getting situated in a modern, centrally located hotel, we will explore and photograph the center of the Old Tibetan Quarter in the heart of Lhasa. The Barkhor is the main shopping market for local Tibetans. It is one of the most interesting markets in all of Asia and is an excellent place to photograph modern Tibetan culture. In Lhasa we will stay at the 4 Star Gang-Gyen, which is located within walking distance of the Barkhor.
After breakfast, we will spend the morning going through the Jokhang, Tibet’s holiest and most famous temple. Each day, thousands of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims work their way through this nearly 1400 year old temple. We will also explore Tsamkhung Nunnery, one of the largest nunneries in the Lhasa area. In the afternoon, we will photograph the Buddhist philosophy debates at Sera, one of Tibet’s largest monasteries. The monk debates will be a major highlight during your time in Tibet.
We will start the day by exploring Tibet’s most iconic building, the Potala Palace. Towering above Lhasa with more than 1000 rooms, the Potala Palace served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lama’s for hundreds of years. After this, we will explore Ramoche Temple and more of the Old Tibetan Quarter of Lhasa.
In the morning, we will depart from Lhasa and drive to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake. Yamdrok Lake, during clear weather, is a brilliant turquoise color and is one of the 4 main holy lakes in Tibetan Buddhism. The huge, glaciated 7191 meter Mt. Nojin Kangtsang forms the backdrop of the lake. The lake sits at an elevation of 4441 meters above sea level. Along the way to Gyantse, we will stop by the glaciers of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang at the Karo La Pass, which come down almost to the highway. Gyantse is a small, but modern Tibetan town, that lies at 4025 meters. We will be photographing the Pelkor Chode Monastery as well as the Gyantse Kumbum, the highest stupa (Buddhist pagoda) in Tibet. The drive from Lhasa to Gyantse covers 260 kms (162 miles). In Gyantse, we will stay at the 3 Star Yeti Hotel.
After breakfast, we will photograph the 600 year old Pelkor Chode Monastery. This beautiful monastery lies within a walled complex in the Gyantse Old Town. The short hike to the top of the wall gives an excellent panorama view of the monastery, town and the high plateau in the distance. After lunch, we will depart Gyantse and drive to Shigatse, elevation 3840 meters. The distance from Gyantse to Shigatse is 95 kilometers (60 miles). In Shigatse we will stay at the 4 Star Gesar Hotel.
Shigatse is home to Tashilhunpo Monastery and its 600+ monks. This monastery, one of the largest in Tibet, is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second most important lama in Tibetan Buddhism. We will walk around the pilgrim route that goes up and around the famous monastery as well as explore inside the huge monastery complex. In the afternoon, we will explore the walking street and markets in the Old Town.
We will depart from Shigatse in the morning and drive 305 kilometers (190 miles) to the small village of Basum going through small farming villages. Along the way, we will cross the Gyatso La Pass, which rises above 5000 meters and the Pang La pass, which rises to 5050 meters. From the Pang La pass, you get a sweeping view of the Himalaya’s where you can see 5 of the worlds highest mountains, including Mt. Everest. Basum is a small Tibetan village only 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Everest Base Camp. We will stay with a local Tibetan family in their traditional-style home. The elevation of Basum is 4270 meters.
In the early morning, we will drive 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Basum to Everest’s North Face Base Camp. Along the way, we will stop at the the beautiful Rongphu Monastery, the highest monastery in the world at nearly 5000 meters. The small monastery has an amazing view of Everest. We will explore and photograph this region, getting excellent pictures of the world’s highest mountain. After spending several hours in the Everest Base Camp region, we will drive 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the small town of Shegar where we will stay the night at the Snowlands Hotel.
This day we will leave Shegar after breakfast and begin the journey back to Lhasa. We will stop at a couple of farming villages along the way to photograph traditional farming culture. We will arrive in Shigatse in the mid afternoon and stay at the 4 Star Gesar Hotel. The distance from Shegar to Shigatse is 230 kilometers (145 miles).
After breakfast, we will return to Lhasa. We will arrive in Lhasa with enough time to stroll through the Old Tibetan Quarter a few more times. The distance from Shigatse to Lhasa is 260 kilometers (162 miles). In Lhasa we will stay at the 4 Star Gang-Gyen Hotel.
In the morning, we will transfer you to the airport to depart from Tibet.
LHASA to EVEREST BASE CAMP
Dates: April 15—26, 2017
The cost per person is $3250 USD. Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to Chengdu, but we will take care of just about everything else after that! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for this tour or for any questions you may have.
Included in the price:
- One-way airfare from Chengdu to Lhasa
- All accommodations (based on double occupancy; single room supplement available)
- All meals from evening of 15 April to morning of 26 April
- All drinking water
- All ground transportation in Tibet
- All entrance fees
- All Tibet travel permits
- All Everest fees
- Professional Tibetan guide fees
- Professional Foreign guide fees
- Chengdu Airport transfer on 16 April
- Lhasa Airport transfer on 26 April
Not included in the price:
- Passport and Chinese Visa fees
- International airfare to/from Chengdu, China
- Airfare departing Lhasa
- Travel vaccinations
- Insurance (travel, medical, etc)
- Souvenirs or personal items such as laundry, excess baggage fees, snacks, alcohol drinks, etc
- Photography fees inside temples and monasteries
- Gratuities to the Tibetan guide and driver
Each participant will be sent a list of required and recommended gear for the tour that they will be responsible for. A suggested packing list will be sent to participants upon registration and acceptance.
Accommodations: In Chengdu, we will be staying in a highly rated boutique hotel. In Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, we will be staying in pleasant 3 and 4 Star Tibetan-owned hotels. Hotels in other areas of Tibet will be the best available, but be advised that these areas are very remote and undeveloped. Hotels in the Everest Region are basic without heating, but with plenty of clean blankets. Toilets in the Everest Region are usually outside. In the village of Basum, near Everest Base Camp, we will stay in a traditional style Tibetan home, which will be very simple without heating, but with plenty of blankets. All hotels, except for those in the Everest Region, should have internet access.
Meals: For this tour, we will be eating a variety of Western, Chinese, Tibetan and Nepali food. Food for the 2 nights in the remote Everest Region will be limited to vegetable dishes with rice and noodles. If you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, please let us know so we can plan accordingly.
Eligibility: Participants must be in good health and be able to spend each day walking around towns, villages and monasteries while carrying their own equipment. Though we will be doing a lot of walking each day, no trekking is required. Most of this tour will take place in mountainous terrain between 3600 meters and 5200 meters (11,800 feet to 17,000 feet) above sea level. We will spend 1 night in Chengdu and 3 nights in Lhasa for altitude acclimatization before going above 3600 meters. Ascent will be slow and gradual with the highest sleeping elevation being at 4270 meters (14,000 feet). For safety and comfort reasons, we will not be sleeping at Everest Base Camp. This tour is not recommended for those who have severe asthma or who have had problems with high elevation in the past.
This is a cultural and photography. Any level of photographer (or non-photographer) is welcome to join and no specific camera gear is required. Unfortunately, people holding a Norwegian passport are unable to join this tour due to government restrictions that are beyond our control.
Responsible Tourism: Himalaya Journey is foreign-owned, but Tibetan staffed. All of our guides and drivers are local Tibetans who have been working in tourism for many years. It is a top priority for us to support as many Tibetan-owned businesses as possible. During this tour, all of the hotels we will be staying at in Tibet are locally-owned, as are all of the restaurants we will be going to. The preservation of the culture of Tibet, as well as the protection of the environment of Tibet, are extremely important to us. In fact, when we are not out leading journeys across Tibet, we are working with local Tibetans in numerous eco-tourism and conservation projects.
Jamin “Lobsang” York has lived full-time on the Tibetan Plateau for over 14 years working in education, community development and tourism. In addition to traveling over 350,000 kilometers overland across Tibet, Jamin has led and arranged hundreds of tours across Tibet and the Himalayan regions of Ladakh (India) and Nepal. He has vast trekking experience across the Himalaya in Tibet and Nepal. Jamin’s expert knowledge on Tibetan culture, history and religion has been put to use for The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, BBC, Frommer’s Travel Guides, Fodor’s Guidebooks, Rough Guides, DK Eyewitness Travel and Lonely Planet Guidebooks. Jamin will be giving detailed lectures on Tibetan culture and history throughout this journey.
Jamin is the owner of Himalaya Journey and serves as the lead guide on professionally-led journeys through Tibet, India, Bhutan and Nepal. His goal is to help clients understand, appreciate, and respect the people and cultures they photograph. Joining Jamin on this journey is his professional Tibetan staff. A professional English-speaking Tibetan guide will be along to further explain the uniqueness of Tibetan culture and religion.
I took my dream trip to Tibet and Mt. Everest with Jamin and Himalaya Journey this April. From the minute we landed in Lhasa to the birthday banquet in a Tibetan home restaurant on the last day, his staff and friends surrounded us like a big family. He is truly their brother.
The photography time was not just for the magnificent and mystified monasteries. It included Himalaya mountain ranges, glaciers, rivers, and villages, etc. We even stopped by a farming field one time and participated in their plowing and seeding activities.
The Mt. Everest sunrise photo experience was a well thought-out plan. Spending the night before in a nearby Tibetan home and mingling with the entire family was quite an experience. We played hide and seek with the neighboring children on the street. We chatted with village shepherds in the field herding their sheep home and showing off their baby sheep. When we headed out to catch the sunrise, the full moon lit up the entire village.
Jamin is a natural when it comes to telling stories. He preps us on the history, religion, culture and politics of Tibet. But what really connects us to this land and its people are his stories of his Tibetan friends, their struggles and triumphs. We also engaged in questioning and debating with gusto, Sera Monastery monk style, ha, ha, ha.
I highly recommend travelling with Jamin and his Himalaya Journey team to Tibet. He cares about Tibetans and and he cares about Tibet, a country which has an inherent fascination for many. Jamin has lived in Tibet for many years and has visited the iconic attractions on numerous occasions. He willingly shares his knowledge and insights about their history and cultural significance. Despite his familiarity he brings a fresh approach and willingness to engage. His team are a credit to him, particularly the exuberant Jampa. His staff member Woaber helped me ensure Lhasa has forever a place in my heart and …… our bus driver was safe and considerate. And let’s not forget the energetic Will, assistant guide on this trip. I didn’t expect to eat as well as I did when visiting Tibet nor did I expect to experience the comfort in the hotels that were used. These aspects were of course a pleasant surprise. The memories of this trip from Lhasa to Everest base camp will be long lasting and thought provoking.
Two years ago, I almost gave up my life-long dream of going to Tibet. But it is completely revived when I discovered Jamin's blog (The Land of Snows) and his Instagram page.
Jamin is a fantastic leader right from the beginning of the trip, when I emailed him, till the very end of this incredible journey. His passion and vast knowledge about the Tibetan culture, history, religion, and the careful planning of the trip, has made this journey an enriching one. And I truly admire his support for the Tibetan community, where we stay and dine in Tibetan-run hotels/restaurants. Last but not least, his great sense of humour and captivating life stories always add colour to every day of our trip!
Our Tibetan guide, Jampa, is also a fantastic guide who passionately shares a lot of knowledge about Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism with us. As a Buddhist, I have learned so much about Tibetan Buddhism from her. She's just a wonderful, kind and fun person to be with! I am grateful to have her as our Tibetan guide for this trip.
All in all, Jamin and Jampa are two wonderful guides/friends/teachers that I met through this trip. And they are definitely two people that I am glad to have crossed paths with in life.
The ten days spent in Tibet have been truly an adventure of a lifetime, and a spiritually enlightening experience for me. The stunning landscape and unique culture of Tibet is a feast for the eyes, while the devotion of the Tibetans feels like a comforting prayer for the soul. The resilience, devotion and compassion of the Tibetans will stay and go far with me in life. I highly recommend Jamin and his Himalaya Journey team to lead your trip to Tibet. And I already can't wait to go for another adventure with them! Thank you once again for the most amazing journey of my life.
Going on a journey with Jamin, Champa, Tashi or any of his other incredible and highly professional staff is an experience of a lifetime. As an intern, it was an endless learning opportunity for me.
This is their everyday life. They welcome us all into it and leave you feeling like a part of the family longing to return. Every action comes from a loving place and the utmost consideration is put into making the challenging geography of Tibet as hospitable and safe as humanly possible. Everything from the brilliantly arranged itinerary to the random stops and detailed information being shared all along the way demonstrate this.
While on the road between destinations hours turn to minutes with tear-jerking, harrowing, and awe-inspiring stories from Jamin. I can not imagine a leader with more kindness, strength and flexibility than Jamin. I owe you my deepest thanks and gratitude Jamin (and Himalaya Journey), thank you for everything.
Having visited almost all of Asia over the years, Tibet was for me the ‘last frontier’ and I found that I had pretty much left the best till last. And I reckon that with Himalaya Journey (Jamin, his offsider Ben and local guide Jampa), I travelled with the best! Firstly, Jamin’s travel planning and attention to detail was exemplary, ensuring not a single snag on the whole trip. Secondly, with all three being long-time Tibetan residents, their knowledge of the Tibetan people, their culture, customs, history, religion etc was second to none, and was often recounted in a most entertaining way. Finally, they were just fun people to be around and made the whole trip most enjoyable. Thanks guys, and good luck with your future endeavours!
Jamin has 14 plus years experience of living in Tibet and is fluent in Chinese and Tibetan. He has leveraged this experience to provide a carefully thought out, truly unique and unforgettable experience. He clearly has a huge passion for Tibet and its people and that is infectious. His ‘inside knowledge’ of the history, politics and travel bought the beauty and tragedy of Tibet to life. Every day he managed to pull yet another ‘wow’ moment ‘out of the hat’ during the many opportunities to interact with the local farmers and villagers.
Jamin works within the Tibetan community to employ Tibetan Guides, drivers etc and all restaurants and Hotels we stayed at were Tibetan owned. This opens up rarely available employment opportunities to Tibetans and enables them to learn and to develop their skills. The bottom line is, it gives them hope.
The other tour leaders, Ben (USA) and Jampa (Tibet) were wonderful. They seemed to be having as much fun as we were! They were thoughtful, kind and funny and kept us entertained throughout. All three went above and beyond to make sure that everyone had the best experience possible. I would not hesitate to recommend Himalaya Journey and am already planning my next adventure with them!
Alison—New Zealand—October 2015
Just like for many, a trip to Tibet is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I had saved money for sometime, thinking that I would make sure I go with the experienced group leader who knows Tibet well. When I came across Jamin’s website, I was immediately captivated. The trip offered was a combination of the things I wanted. So my sister and I signed up for the trip for Spring 2015.
Being someone who lives in Jakarta, practically a city only a few meters above sea level with hot weather all year long, I prepared myself to face Tibetan spring weather and the worst during acclimatisation. I found drinking a lot of water (and I mean a lot!) and resting whenever I needed to helped in the acclimatisation process. So, whenever Jamin reminded you to drink water, please do! And…Tibetan spring sometimes felt like full on winter for me! Luckily I brought enough warm clothes with me.
Apart from following the itinerary, I truly appreciate the impromptu stops at additional nice spots we saw on the way, whenever possible. When we couldn’t follow our itinerary (due to earthquake in Nepal), Jamin always offered alternatives and made sure our safety is top priority.
Jamin is also very knowledgeable about Tibet. It is very interesting to learn about Tibetan culture from the eye of non-Tibetan who has lived in Tibet for so long. I also appreciate that Jamin deliberately chose to work together with Tibetan guides and driver, we stayed at Tibetan-run hotels and had our meals at Tibetan restaurants. The encounter with the locals made such a difference that the trip did not feel like ‘photo-click-then-go-to-next-spot’ kind of group trip for me. All my expectations checked – above and beyond. I definitely recommend to join Jamin and his team for your tour in Tibet.
Jamin—Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have really made my trip to Tibet truly unforgettable and I already can’t wait to return to explore more of it. Thank you for your limitless patience in answering all my pesky questions about Tibet and for your enthusiasm and passion for Tibet and its people….that was truly inspiring to see. I can’t wait to tell more people to come to this beautiful land to see it for themselves.
My trip to Tibet was a long time in the making, but I finally got there. Oh what a wonderful experience it was. Snow blizzards, earthquakes but most of all, we did it. I went with two of my lovely friends from Perth. We had loads of fun. And we have taken away so many humbling experiences from our time there. The people of Tibet were very warm and open. Their dedication towards Buddhism was astounding. Our experience would not have been possible without the hard drive and determination of our tour leader (Jamin) and guide and interpreter (Champa) and let’s not forget our driver. We were in Tibet in the time of the terrible earthquake in Nepal and Tibet. This could of caused lots of issues, but Jamin and team were determined to get us to our destination. And against the odds we made it to within 2km of base camp. Couldn’t go all the ways as the area was closed due to earthquake. I recommend this trip, it’s a trip of a life time.You get to meet great people and see breathtaking views.
The day before we were scheduled to set off to Mount Everest area, the devastating earthquake took place in Nepal which affected the border areas of Tibet. With very limited news about the situation in Tibet, we were clouded with uncertainty and worries whether we should / could go ahead with our itinerary to the Mount Everest base camp. Thanks to Jamin’s relentless efforts to reach out to all his contacts to confirm the safety and the access of the routes, our group managed to see the magnificent Mount Everest as planned.
During the whole journey, we very much enjoyed the stories Jamin shared with us based on his vast knowledge of Tibetan history, life and culture. He is basically a Tibetan himself having spent 10+ years on the Tibetan plateau. We especially admire the business philosophy of Himalaya Journey which supports and partners with Tibetan-owned business in all the tour arrangement including accommodation, meals, guides and drivers.
Our Tibetan guide, Jampa, was always enthusiastic in explaining to us the history and stories of the sight-seeing places we visited and always very caring for each of us. She is a very amiable person and the bond that she formed with all of us in the group and also with our Tibetan driver Gyentse was unforgettable.
Our Tibet trip in April 2015 was truly a once-in-lifetime experience. We were so glad and lucky to have found Jamin’s blog “Land of Snows” and learnt about this cultural photography tour. We would never do this trip differently!
June and Josse—Hong Kong and The Netherlands—April 2015
Jamin is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Tibetan history, culture, and religion. What I appreciate most is his objective perspective. Throughout the journey Jamin is very attentive and addressed any unforeseen issues very carefully and professionally. At the end of the trip everyone became friends and it was very sad to see it come to an end. I could not have asked for a better companion and guide.