Lhasa, Everest Base Camp, Lake Manasarovar, Kailash Trek and Guge Kingdom for 23 days
If you love Tibet, you will love this journey as it has just about everything you could want! This journey will start by exploring the Buddhist holy city of Lhasa, the heart and soul of the Himalaya. You will walk side-by-side with devout Buddhist pilgrims while exploring Lhasa's main Buddhist pilgrimage sites such as Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, the Potala Palace and the infamous Barkhor Street.
From Lhasa, the real adventure begins as you start the epic road trip through Western Tibet. You will start by photographing Yamdrok Tso, one of Tibet's most beautiful lakes. From there, you will get up close to the Karo La Glacier before visiting the quait, historic town of Gyantse and the Pelkhor Chode Monastery. Passing through farming villages, you will then go to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. In Shigatse, you will explore the massive monastery of Tashi Lhunpo. After Shigatse, you will work your way overland to Mt Everest's spectacular North Face Base Camp, where you will get perhaps the single best view of the world's highest peak.
But wait....you are just getting started! After Everest Base Camp, you will continue on to Manasarovar, Tibet's most sacred lake. You will stay the night near the shores of this stunning lake that looks out to the Himalaya. Next, you will go to the small town of Darchen and complete the epic 3 day trek around Mt Kailash, the holiest mountain on the planet. Lastly, you will go to Guge Kingdom, one of the true gems of the Himalaya. This ancient civilization looks out to a massive canyon in one of the most remote regions on earth!
For more information about this journey, send an email to: email@example.com
Mt Everest, Mt Kailash and Guge Kingdom Journey: 28 April—20 May 2017
Here is the itinerary we will be following for this 23 day journey to Everest Base Camp and Mt. Kailash and Guge Kingdom:
All participants must arrive in Chengdu, China by 3pm on 28 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 Gang Gyen Hotel, 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. After this, we will explore Ramoche Temple and more of the Old Tibetan Quarter of Lhasa.
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. 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.
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 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 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 Geu La pass, which rises to 5050 meters. From the Geu 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 our time at Everest Base Camp region, we will drive 75 kilometers to the town of Old Tingri, which offers a fantastic sweeping view of the Himalayas.
From Old Tingri, our next stop will be Shisha Pangma Base Camp. Shisha Pangma is the 14th highest peak on the planet. From there, we will visit the spectacular lake of Peiku Tso, elevation 4585 meters. Giant Himalaya peaks are found along the way to Peiku and there is a good chance of seeing some wildlife! From Peiku Tso, we will continue on to Saga, elevation 4500 meters. The distance from Old Tingri to Saga is 225 kilometers.
In the early morning, we will leave Saga and continue through Western Tibet to Manasarovar, the holiest lake in all of Tibet. The lake is holy to both Hindu’s and Buddhists. This stunning lake lies at an elevation of 4560 meters and is surrounded by spectacular snow-covered Himalayan peaks. We will stay in a guesthouse near Chiu Monastery, which sits atop a small hill overlooking Manasarovar. The distance from Saga to Lake Manasarovar is 485 kilometers.
In the late morning, we will depart Lake Manasarovar and make the short 35 kilometer drive to the town of Darchen, the starting point of our Mt Kailash Trek. In Darchen, elevation 4690 meters, we will finalize preparation for our 3 day trek.
The first day of our trek will take us 20 kilometers from Darchen around Mt. Kailash to Dira Puk Monastery. You will follow this ancient pilgrimage route with Tibetan Buddhist and Indian Hindu pilgrims. You will stay in a small guesthouse near the monastery. The elevation of Dira Puk Monastery is 5080 meters.
The second day of our trek around Kailash will take us up and over the Dolma La Pass, the highest pass on the circuit at 5630 meters. Excellent mountain and glacier views will follow you for most of the day. From the Dolma La Pass, you will descend to Zutul Puk Monastery, elevation 4820 meters. The total trekking distance this day is 18 kilometers
The third and final day of our trek will cover 14 kilometers from Zutul Puk Monastery back to the town of Darchen. After the trek, we will stay at a guesthouse in Darchen.
After breakfast, we will depart for the Guge Kingdom region. Along the way, we will see more of the rugged beauty of the wilderness of Western Tibet. We will stay in a simple guesthouse in Zanda. The distance from Darchen to Zanda is 235 kilometers. The elevation of Zanda is 3745 meters.
We will spend a full day exploring the ancient Guge Kingdom region. We will visit the summer and winter palaces, the Lhakang Marpo, the Lhakang Karpo and other sites as well. The distance from Zanda to Lake Manasarovar is 265 kilometers and the elevation of the lake is 4560 meters.
In the early morning, we will leave Zanda and return to either Darchen or the shores of Lake Manasarovar for one final night. We will stay at a basic guesthouse.
From Lake Manasarovar, we will continue the journey back to Lhasa. We will go through the wilderness of Western Tibet to the town of Saga, a distance of 485 kilometers.
In the morning we will leave Saga and drive 350 kilometers to Lhatse going along the Western Himalaya and farming communities. In Lhatse, we will stay in a basic hotel.
In the morning, we will depart Lhatse and drive to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. We will stay at a nice, locally-rated 4 Star hotel near the Old Town in Shigatse.
We will finish the journey back to Lhasa this day, arriving in the Tibetan capital in the late afternoon with enough time to walk the pilgrimage circuit around Jokhang Temple one more time and get those last minute souvenirs.
Dates and Costs
The cost per person is $3999 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)
- All meals from the evening of 28 April until morning of 20 May
- All drinking water
- All ground transportation in Tibet
- All entrance fees
- All Tibet permit fees
- All Everest and Kailash fees
- Local Tibetan guide fees
- Chengdu Airport transfer on morning of 29 April
- Lhasa Airport transfer on morning of 20 May
Not included in the price:
- Passport and Chinese Visa fees
- International airfare to/from Chengdu, China
- Airfare departing Lhasa on 20 May
- Porters for the Mt Kailash trek (porters are available for a small extra cost)
- 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 driver and guide
Each participant will be sent a list of required and recommended clothing and gear for the tour that they will be responsible for as will information on how to obtain a Chinese Tourist Visa.
Accommodations: In Chengdu, we will be staying in a highly rated international hotel. In Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, we will be staying in pleasant 3 and 4 Star Tibetan-owned hotels. Hotels in western Tibet are very basic, but clean. In the village of Basum, near Everest Base Camp, we will stay in a traditional style Tibetan home. In Old Tingri, Saga, Lake Manasarovar, Darchen, Guge Kingdom and along the trek around Mt. Kailash, we will be staying in very basic guesthouses that have shared toilets, no heating and restaurants serving basic noodle and rice dishes.
Meals: For this tour, we will be eating a variety of Western, Chinese, Tibetan and Nepali food. Food in the Everest and Kailash regions are limited to basic noodle and rice dishes with vegetables. 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. The 3 day Mt Kailash Trek is 52 kilometers long (32 miles) reaches a high point of 5630 meters/18,470 feet. Porters are not included in the tour price, but can be hired if needed for an additional cost. Most of this tour will take place in mountainous terrain between 3600 meters and 5630 meters (11,800 feet to 18,470 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 on the Mount Kailash Trek at 5080 meters (16,600 feet). This tour is not recommended for those who have severe asthma, have no trekking experience or who have had problems with high elevation in the past.
This is a combination overland and trekking journey. It is open to anyone who is interested in Tibetan culture and the Himalaya Mountains. Unfortunately, people holding a Norwegian or Indian passport are unable to join this tour due to government restrictions that are beyond our control.
Responsible Tourism: The Land of Snows/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 is from the US (Seattle), but has lived full-time in Tibet for over 14 years working in education, community development and tourism. In addition to traveling over 450,000 kilometers overland across Tibet, Ladakh, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan, Jamin has led and arranged hundreds of tours across the Himalaya’s. 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, DK Eyewitness Travel and Lonely Planet Guidebooks.
Jamin is the owner of The Land of Snows and Himalaya Journey and serves as lead guide on journeys through Tibet, India, Bhutan and Nepal. His goal is to help clients understand, appreciate, and respect the people and cultures they photograph and explore. During each journey in the Himalaya, Jamin gives lectures on different aspects of Tibetan culture and history.
Along with Jamin, his good friend and co-guide Tenzin Ngodup will be leading this journey. Tenzin Ngodup has been guiding treks and cultural journeys in Tibet for more than 10 years. He specializes in the far western Tibet regions of Kailash and Guge Kingdom and has completed the Kailash pilgrimage trek over 40 times. He speaks English, Tibetan, Chinese and Hindi.
Almost without exception, travels have both an objective and certain expectations that need be met for the outcome to be judged successful. For me a ‘journey’ implies somewhat more than this….there is a sense of challenging the unknown, including one’s own inner self. And then if you add to ‘journey’ the word ‘Himalaya’, one of the world’s most majestic and inspiring regions with landscapes that are often beyond belief, then you have something very, very special indeed.
Prior to October 2016 I had travelled solo, with a guide and transportation, on all my journeys, including the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), giving me the flexibility and freedom to stop at will, modify plans and so on. But having vowed to go back to the far west of the TAR (Ngari) to do the kora of Mount Kailash and visit the Guge Kingdom I was faced with exorbitant costs if travelling alone. I knew I had to find an alternative, and that alternative proved to be Himalaya Journey.
I had been in touch with Jamin York, Himalaya Journey’s Owner and Lead Guide, several times previously with general questions about travelling in ‘Greater Tibet’ and so it somehow seemed natural to approach him regarding making my Kailash dream materialize. One thing led to another and by the time 2015 melted into 2016 I was committed to joining Jamin’s small (10 person) group embarking on a 23-day journey in October which would take us across the TAR from Lhasa slowly westwards via Everest and Shishapangma Base Camps to Lake Manasarovar, Mount Kailash and the Guge Kingdom, and then back…a total land journey of around 4,000km.
My initial concerns about being in a group and having to keep to a strict schedule proved groundless. Jamin was only too willing to stop for sudden photo ops—the appearance of a Tibetan fox, a glorious view, a nomad encampment and so on. He also actively encouraged us to explore on our own when the itinerary permitted: in my case that meant spending special moments wandering through the Barkor in Lhasa and watching sunrise on the shore of Manasarovar. Only once were we ‘chivvied’ in any sense, and that was during the Kailash kora on top of the Drolma-la. Jamin, with his vast experience of the mountains, was aware not only of the time constraints that day but more importantly that staying too long at that altitude (5,630m/ around 18,400’) was not to be recommended.
From a practical standpoint, everything throughout the journey was seamlessly arranged: we travelled in a small bus which gave us space to spread out and with a driver whose skills made going over 5,000m+ high passes again and again seem effortless! The hotels and guest houses, especially once we got beyond Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, were always the best available: I had paid a single room supplement, fully expecting to have to share in these remote areas, so I was delighted that there were only two nights on which I could not have some much appreciated privacy. The meals were generally of a high standard, and even in Ngari Jamin managed to rustle something tasty up for us or produce snack bars and packets of instant oatmeal out of his proverbial hat.
What also emerged strongly throughout our journey was Jamin’s love for and commitment to Tibet and its people, not to mention his in-depth knowledge. His assistant on our journey, Nordrup, was himself Tibetan; we frequented Tibetan-owned restaurants, hotels and guesthouses whenever possible; and Jamin, fluent in Tibetan as well as Mandarin, regaled us while we were on the road with both incidents from Tibetan history and his own personal experiences of living there.
It was an unforgettable journey…indeed, although I left Tibet many weeks ago now, my journey is still on-going as I look back at my photos and notebook and try to weave it all into a story on my laptop.
I have the greatest respect and admiration for Jamin both as a person and journey-leader and have no reservations at all in recommending him and his company. Indeed, I hope to join him again in the future on a journey to Ladakh, ‘Little Tibet’: I believe that is the strongest recommendation of all.
I would like to acknowledge and thank lead guide and owner, Jamin York, co-guide Tenzin Ngodup, and staff at Himalaya Journey for a fantastic trip to Far Western Tibet in October 2016.
Not able to secure permits in the past to the TAR area of Tibet, I wasn’t confident it would ever happen until I talked with Jamin York. He assured me and my two travelling companions that he could make it happen, and he did. I am still on a “Tibet High” after our 23 day journey to Mt. Kailash, the Guge Kingdom and every experience in between! Additionally, because of Jamin’s careful planning of our itinerary and attention to our acclimatization to altitude, we were able to successfully complete the Kora of Mt. Kailash! The dream of a lifetime!
The trip far exceeded my expectations and I will definitely use Himalaya Journey again. I highly recommend Himalaya Journey to others who want to experience this hauntingly beautiful place called Tibet!
I’d have to use a ridiculous number of superlatives to honestly describe the quality of my recent journey with Jamin York and Himalaya Journey. In the interest of being believable, I’ll try to rein it in, but it will be a task I’m not sure I can manage! For me, this was a journey that I (and a couple friends) have spent many years and two failed attempts trying to accomplish. The permits were just not to be had, and we were beginning to feel that the idea must be abandoned. Then we discovered Jamin’s excellent website and, after a number of emails with him, began to feel confident that it could become a reality.
I just completed a 23-day journey, led by Jamin and his wonderful guide Ngodup, that not only fulfilled my hope to complete the kora of Mt. Kailash and a visit to the lost Guge Kingdom, but took us across the length of the Tibetan Himalaya from Everest Base Camp to nearly the Indian border in far west Tibet. He even threw in Shishapangma Base Camp at the request of our group.
Each day, every step of the way, revealed such wondrous gifts, some expected and others a complete surprise. This journey, and the itinerary designed by Jamin and Ngodup, had it all, from monasteries and lost citadels, to landscapes beyond imagination: mountains, badlands, sand dunes, vast plateaus, and sacred lakes. And then there were our “Tibet 101” talks: Jamin and Ngodup each have a deep and personal knowledge which was shared each day as we traveled or walked; they taught us so much about the culture, geology, and history of Tibet and its people; and each shared many personal stories as well. Jamin has a heartfelt love for the Tibetan people that was evident in every way.
Jamin cares genuinely and deeply about the quality of the experience his journeys provide, and he makes it his responsibility to see that both the physical and emotional needs of his travelers are met. His attention to detail in all matters was clear to see.
I have never before joined a group that was not organized by myself, and I have to say that this was a pleasant surprise. I never felt that we were being herded around and there was, for the most part, enough flexibility in the days and the schedule to allow personal time and space.
I imagine that every traveler in our group felt “heard” and “seen” and that his or her unique expectations for this journey had been fulfilled. I can say that for me, the experience was transcendent.
I would recommend Jamin’s Himalaya Journey without reservation to anyone wanting to travel in Tibet – or anywhere he offers to travel!
Jamin York leads a fantastic trip beyond the usual (and including!) sites of Lhasa. He takes great pains to preview routes, lodging and restaurants in person and is careful to limit his group to a comfortable ten. His attention to detail has him preparing contingency plans for any circumstance he can think of. His knowledge of the Chinese and Tibetan languages eased our way through the expected and unexpected. Nothing is sugar-coated as the journey can be rough and uncomfortable at times, but if there was comfort in the area, we had it! Jamin also has the uncanny ability to arrange for perfect weather and the tastiest of Tibetan cuisine.
On advance request he added a side trip to Shishapangma Base Camp which ended up being a popular highlight on a stunning day. The extension to the lost citadel of the Guge Kingdom was the holy grail of photographic opportunities. On second thought, most of the trip was like this!
Even though it can be close to impossible to deviate from “The Plan” due to restrictions, Jamin and Nordrup facilitated spontaneous interactions with Tibetans along the way, from the barley harvesters and millers to the nomads and their yaks.
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've been a follower of Jamin on Instagram since 2013. Initially, it was my mom's dream to see Mt Everest, but ended up doing this trip on my own because I knew that Jamin was a professional, trust worthy expert on Tibet. I usually never join small group tours, as I always travel on my own. But, joining this journey made me realize that not all group tours are the same after all. I met people on this journey that I will call my friends for life. Jamin is indeed the best travel coordinator that I have ever met. I went to Tibet to just see Mt Everest, but I came back home not just with great photos and videos, but with a person I can always look up to who is making a huge impact in Tibet by promoting and showing it to the world in an ethical way. I also work in the travel industry, but am still quite young. I am not sure if I can ever be quite like Jamin who does this business not just to make money for himself, but to help the Tibetan people in every possible way he can. He is an inspiration. I finally found my hero in this crazy competitive travel industry.
Angely from Access Tours and Travels—Phillippines—April 2016
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.