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October 2018 Tibet Photography Workshop

Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

In mid-October 2018 Himalaya Journey is arranging a high-quality Tibet Photography Workshop led by travel and landscape photographer Ariel Estulin and Tibet cultural expert Ben Cubbage. This 13 day journey will go from the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa overland thru Central Tibet to the North Face Everest Base Camp. Clients will see many of the best places that Tibet has to offer including ancient monasteries, farming villages, Buddhist temples, alpine lakes, glaciers and get up close to to the world’s highest peak at Everest Base Camp.

During this journey Ariel, a professional photographer from Canada, will be giving photography tutorials each day while clients explore Tibet. In addition Ben, an American who has lived in Tibet for nearly 10 years and is an expert on Tibetan culture and history, will be giving lectures each day of different aspects of Tibetan life.

This journey is for those wanting to see the amazing beauty of Tibet, improve upon their skills as a photographer and learn more about the uniqueness of the Tibetan people. This Tibet Photography Workshop will be from October 14—26, 2018 and is limited to only 10 participants. It is open to clients with any photography skill level from beginner to expert with no specific camera gear required.

For more information on this Tibet Photography Workshop or to apply to join, send an email to: info@himalayajourney.com

2018 Tibet Photography Workshop: Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

Dates: October 14—26, 2018 More details at: info@himalayajourney.com

October 14

All participants must arrive in Chengdu, China by 4pm on 14 October. Himalaya Journey will give you detailed instructions on how to easily get to the 5 Star hotel we will be staying at. We will eat dinner together during a time of meet and greet at a centrally located restaurant near the Chengdu Airport.

October 15

In the late morning/early afternoon, we will fly to Lhasa and arrive in the mid to late 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 famous Kyichu Hotel, located within short walking distance to Jokhang Temple and the Lhasa Old Town.

October 16

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.

October 17

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 have some free time to do some shopping and continue photographing Lhasa’s amazing Old Town. NOTE: The exact time for us to visit the Potala Palace will be set by the tourism bureau. It normally is in the morning, but could be in the afternoon.

October 18

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, the best in town.

October 19

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. Along the way, we will stop and photograph some traditional villages along the way to experience rural Tibetan life. The distance from Gyantse to Shigatse is 95 kilometers (60 miles). In Shigatse we will stay at the 4 Star Tashi Choten Hotel.

October 20

Shigatse is home to Tashilhunpo Monastery and its 650+ 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 spend the morning exploring this massive Buddhist complex. After lunch, we will walk around the pilgrim route that goes up and around the famous monastery and up to the recently rebuilt Shigatse Fortress, which sits above the Old Town. This nice hike offers great views above the monastery and above the city of Shigatse. Then we will explore the small Old Town Market located near our hotel.

October 21

This day we will depart Shigatse and continue westward to the town of Sakya, located 155 kilometers (95 miles) away. Upon reaching Sakya, elevation 4330 meters, we will have lunch and afterwards begin exploring this unique area. Sakya is the home of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The main monastery of the the Sakya school is located in this town. Most of the homes in this area are painted gray, red and white matching the colors of the Sakya Monastery. We will explore the small town of Sakya including the large monastery of Sakya and the villages nearby. We will stay at the 3 Star Manasarovar Hotel, the best in town.

October 22

From Sakya we will drive 240 kilometers (150 miles) to the Everest Base Camp Region. Along the way, you will cross the 5231 meter high Gyatso La Pass, the highest point along the journey. From the top of the pass, there is a sweeping view of the Himalayan foothills. From there, you will then go to the Geu La Pass, elevation 5200 meters. From this pass, you can see 5 of the world’s 15 highest peaks, including Mt Everest. This pass offers one of the most impressive panoramic views of the Himalaya’s in Tibet. Next, you will go to Rongphu (Rongbuk) Monastery and stay at a simple guesthouse that looks directly out to the world’s highest peak. We will photograph the sun setting on Everest’s epic North Face.

October 23

We will get up early this morning to watch the sun rise on Mt Everest from near our guesthouse at Rongphu Monastery. October generally offers clear skies allowing for excellent views of Everest. After watching the sunrise, we will travel a few kilometers closer to the mountain and photograph near the Rongphu River, which flows off of the Everest glaciers located further up the mountain. We will spend several hours photographing Mt Everest before driving 115 kilometers (72 miles) to the town of Shelkar where we will stay at the 3 Star Qomolangma Everest Hotel, the best accommodation in the Everest Region.

October 24

From Shelkar, we will begin making the journey back to Lhasa. We will drive through the rugged, but beautiful wilderness of western Tibet to Phuntsoling. The monastery at Phuntsoling is one of Tibet’s true secrets. This remote monastery offers both a “newer” functioning monastery as well as the ancient ruined monastery that lies above the current one. We will have lunch at a basic restaurant in the area before exploring the spectacular Phuntsoling Monastery. From there, we will return to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city. We will stay at the 4 Star Tashi Choten Hotel. The distance from Shelkar to Shigatse is 265 kilometers (165 miles).

October 25

Our last full day in Tibet will take us from Shigatse back to the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa. We will drive along the scenic Yarlung River Valley and will be stopping several times to photograph the stunning natural scenery along the way. In Lhasa, we will stay at the Kyichu Hotel, located within a short walk of the Lhasa Old Town. The distance from Shigatse to Lhasa is 270 kilometers (170 miles).

October 26

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Lhasa Airport where you will depart Tibet.

Tibet Photography Workshop from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

October 14—26, 2018

To join this journey or for more details, send an email to: info@himalayajourney.com

Dates and Costs

The cost per person for this high quality, professionally taught photography workshop is $3199 USD. This journey includes MANY extras that other companies do not offer. 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 info@himalayajourney.com  to apply for this tour or for any questions you may have.

Included in the price:

  • One-way airfare from Chengdu, China to Lhasa, Tibet
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy; single room supplement available). Most of our hotels will be locally-rated 3 or 4 star.
  • All meals from evening of 14 October to morning of 26 October (We eat well on this trip!)
  • All bottled drinking water (bottles will all be responsibly recycled)
  • All ground transportation in Tibet
  • All entrance fees
  • All Tibet travel permits
  • All Everest fees
  • Professional Tibetan guide who speaks fluent English
  • Professional foreign guide who is certified as a Wilderness First Responder
  • Professional photography instructor
  • Chengdu Airport transfer on 15 October
  • Lhasa Airport transfer on 26 October

Not included in the price:

  • Passport and Chinese Visa fees
  • Photography equipement
  • 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 (We cover entrance tickets, but you will be responsible for any associated fees for inside photography.)
  • Gratuities to the Tibetan guide and driver

This photography workshop to Everest Base Camp is open to ANY level of photographer from beginner to expert and is limited to 10 participants. No specific type of camera is required. We will be traveling this entire route by vehicle, though we will be doing day hikes around temples, villages and at natural sites each day. No trekking or climbing is required for this journey. 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.

High quality, professionally guided photography workshop: This journey is for clients who want to get the most out of their time in Tibet while improving their skills as a photographer. This journey price includes MANY extras, such as a 5 Star hotel in Chengdu, flight from Chengdu to Lhasa, upgraded hotels in Tibet, all meals at quality restaurants, all bottled drinking water, fresh fruit each day, expert English speaking Tibetan guide, expert foreign guide who is certified as a Wilderness First Responder as well as a professional photography instructor! Each day, clients will learn from our expert guides more about different aspects of Tibetan religion, culture and history so they can fully understand the places and people they are seeing and photographing. Our photography instructor will be there with you each day teaching you the skills take your photography to the next level.

Accommodations: In Chengdu, we will be staying in a highly rated 5 star hotel. In Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Sakya, we will be staying in pleasant 3 and 4 Star Tibetan-owned hotels. The Everest Base Camp Region is very remote and only offers very basic guesthouses or homestays that do not have showers or in-room bathrooms.

Meals: For this tour, we will be eating a variety of Western, Chinese, Tibetan and Nepali food. Food in the Everest region is 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.  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 be in the Everest Region at around 5000 meters (16,400 feet). This tour is not recommended for those who have severe asthma or heart conditions.

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. For more info on why you should travel with us, go to the following link: Why Use Us??

Meet the leaders of this journey!

BEN CUBBAGE: Lead Guide

Ben Cubbage is originally from the US, but has spent nearly 10 years living and working full-time on the Tibetan Plateau. He will be serving as the lead guide on this Tibet photography tour. Ben has a degree in Environmental Science and has spent considerable time over the years teaching organic agriculture and sustainable development in Ghana and Liberia.

Ben has been guiding in the Himalaya and other parts of the globe for a decade. He has completed numerous treks including the 4240 kilometer/2650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, which goes from Mexico to Canada thru the western US, the 3500 kilometer/2200 mile long Appalachian Trailin the eastern US, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal, the Amnye Machen Trek in eastern Tibet and many others. He has been to the Tibet-side Everest Base Camp numerous times and knows that region well. Ben is also a Wilderness First Responder, the respected backcountry medical certification held by guides across the globe.

Ben will use his expert knowledge in giving lectures each day on different aspects of Tibetan culture, history and religion.

ARIEL ESTULIN: Photography Instructor

Ariel Estulin is an award winning photographer and photo educator. Primarily interested in landscapes, he travels the world seeking out beauty in those wild and remote places on earth that still remain untouched by civilization and where nature commands ultimate attention. He will be serving as the photography workshop instructor during this journey.

Self-taught as a photographer, he spent time with Freeman Patterson, Canada’s renowned photographer, to learn the art of making great photographs. His training as a graphic designer continually shapes what he sees through the lens in order that elements such as light, shape and colour all work in harmony. His never-ending search for off-beat adventures have led him to explore the Himalayas of Nepal and Ladakh, along with South America’s Patagonia. He feels right at home paddling his canoe or hiking in his backyard, the country of Canada.

As a photo educator, his goal is for students to come away with not just better photographs, but a better understanding of photography, better compositions and most importantly, a skill set they now have and can use on future adventures.

His 3-year old son has accompanied him on numerous trips and has his father’s adventurous spirit. See some of Ariel’s amazing pictures on his website in the following link: Ariel Estulin Photography.

Why I believe Himalaya Journey was the perfect tour operator for us.

1) Flexibility – many tour operators have a schedule and stick to it religiously, but appropriate travel doesn’t work that way. When we wanted to leave Everest early because we had spent such an amazing morning at EBC and preferred to break up the long drive back to Shigatse, our guide and driver were happy to oblige. The ability to create our own group of 4 and build our own schedule was ideal.

2) Pacing – we met several groups along the way that seemed to be racing through Tibet. While the distances in Tibet are not immense in km they are long in time. The pacing your recommended allowed us to EXPERIENCE Tibet, not look at it. Strolling virtually alone in the back alleys of Gyangtse, having my son ‘chat’ with a monk in Sakya, and watching the monks debate in Lhasa were experiences we will never forget.

3) Off the beaten path – the recommendation you and your staff had got us to places where we were literally the only tourists. The hike above the monastery in Shegar (yes, we did glimpse the peak of Everest), the kora in Shigatse, and path above Sakya felt remote and special.

4) Tibetian businesses – the impact of China on Tibet cannot be overstated. Knowing that in our small way we were supporting the Tibetians by staying at their hotels and visiting their restaurants was VERY important to us.

5) You and your staff – Throughout the process you have been so available that I thought there must be two of you! Our driver managed to make the long, bumpy drives comfortable and safe. And our guide was so knowledgeable, kind, spiritual and loving that we all openly wept of joy at our departure.

6) Value – All foreign travelers to Tibet encounter the high cost of visiting Tibet and can’t help but be lured by idea of “saving a few $$” here and there. Somehow you managed to provide an extraordinary trip at a comparable price. You were not the least expensive, nor were you the most expensive. But I can say without hesitation that you provided by far the best value.

And you did a nice job of “under-promising” on our accommodations as they were all high quality, clean, comfortable, and welcoming.

Please feel free to direct any travelers “on the fence” about your services to me and I’ll happily answer any questions they might have.

Tom—USA—June 2017

Tashi Delek! I recently went on a 23 day tour with Himalaya Journey, led by Jamin with his amazing staff Phunstok, Tenzin Ngodrup and Anna to the Western Tibet area of Mt.Kailash and the Guge Kingdom as well as Lhasa, Mt Everest base camp and many other memorable places in Tibet. Their sheer dedication, genuine concern for myself and the group’s welfare was displayed unceasingly, and I was very impressed by the team’s professionalism and knowledge. Phuntsok was a careful and considerate driver, Tenzin Ngodrup was a very experienced tour guide who knew the answers to my never-ending questions and Anna was a remarkable intern looking after us all!
 
Being a regular trekker of the Himalayas, I can say this was by far the best trip I ever went on, led by someone who is experienced, knowledgeable but more importantly, someone who made sure everything was fine throughout the journey, from start to finish. Despite the high altitude, Jamin looked after myself, and the tour group members all the time, and ensured our safety was paramount, up to the highest point of 5640m at the Drolma La Pass around Mt.Kailash. I have left Tibet now with unforgettable memories, new friendships and the knowledge that I went through a tour agency that supports the Tibetan people. I am grateful for everything the agency organised for me, both before and after the journey (Jamin personally helped me book and organise a train from Lhasa to Xining, Qinghai) and was still checking up on me to see if I am alright. This speaks alot about a genuine, kind and remarkable human being, helping the local Tibetans, by employing local staff, and staying at local-run hotels and home-stays.
 
Thank you so much for everything Jamin. This was the trip of a lifetime and I have absolutely no regrets at all going through your company, and will highly recommend my friends and family to do so in that amazing part of the world. Rejoice in what you do for the Tibetan people and hope we can travel again together to the Himalayas! All the best! Thujechey.
 
Benny—Australia—May 2017
 
 
I recently returned from an adventure: I spent 23 days on an amazing journey through Tibet organized by Himalaya Journey. From the very beginning till the departure from Lhasa, everything was perfectly well done. I couldn’t expect any better. Jamin’s passion and knowledge about Tibet, its culture, its history and its people was impressive. That increased our interest towards the real situation of tibetan people. We can not see Tibet and its people the same way we did before. He was always professional and very helpful when asked for. I’d also like to thanks to Ngodup (Tibetan guide), who taught us about Buddhism. As we had a few Buddhists in our group (9 people), it naturally enriched out visits to many temples. After Tibet, I also visited Nepal for a few days and thanks to Ashok (Nepal office manager for Himalaya Journey), everything also went extremely well.
 
I do recommend Himalaya Journey for anyone interested in real Tibet and Nepal. Thanks!
 
Sergio—Brazil—May 2017
 
I returned last month from Himalaya Journey’s May 2017 Lhasa, Everest, Mt Kailash Trek and Guge Kingdom tour. It really exceeded my expectations – the landscape, culture and people of Tibet were amazing, while Jamin and all his crew were tireless in guiding us on this adventure. Touring in such a remote area was often challenging but I’m grateful that I decided to pay a little more and go with Himalaya Journey – I saw many other groups and always felt that we had the best leadership, logistics and accommodations available. Most of all, Jamin’s total passion for Tibet opened up a whole new understanding for me of Tibet and the region generally. I’d recommend this outfit for anyone traveling in the area and hope to do so again with them in the future!
 
Johnny—Canada—May 2017
 
On my bucket list for a long time, I am really glad I chose to fulfill this dream with Jamin and his team. It was well planned, organized and eye opening. But what I enjoyed most about it were the friendships that resulted from this short overlap in time and space. I would whole heartedly recommend Jamin and his agency to anyone who wishes to travel in Tibet.
 
Madhav—India—April 2017
 
 
From my first contact with Himalaya Journey they could not have been more helpful. They provide a first class and taylor made service. They not only matched us to the perfect Tibetan guide for our trip, they also provided us with assistance in Nepal pre and post our organised trip.
 
Kerri—Australia—April 2017
 

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Nepal that was organized by Himalaya Journey. They did a fantastic job of making sure that every detail was taken care of and did a wonderful job of planning and organizing everything. I would strongly recommend this company to anyone planning a trip to Nepal. Ashok and Dipesh were both attentive to all my needs and were so extremely helpful. Thanks guys for a great job.

Ed—USA—February 2017

All I can say is I feel VERY fortunate to have found Ashok and Himalaya Journey before I traveled to Nepal and Bhutan. I only had 3 weeks from the time I booked my ticket until the day I landed in Kathmandu – this was a last minute trip to a place I had never been to and had very little knowledge of. Turns out it was one of the best trips, if not THE best trip, I have ever taken (I’ve been to 20+ countries).

Ashok listened to my every request and delivered great results in a very short amount of time, gave sound advice and accommodated last minute changes I requested. EVERYTHING was managed for me – flights, hotels, taxis, permits, passes, tours, treks, safaris, etc. in both Nepal and Bhutan. For my 30 days there he put together the right mix of various types of locations, durations and activities – from various cities to remote villages to the jungle along with days with nothing planned which were needed and appreciated.

All of this was done professionally, with courtesy, at a very fair price. What more can you ask for? Do yourself a favor and save yourself some time and contact Ashok and tell him what you are looking to get out of your trip of a lifetime… and let him help you achieve your travel goals.

Tim—USA—January 2017

Did a tour with them for Bhutan! Excellent service. Information was really clear and my trip was amazing. I always got fast responses when I asked them questions and they did the most to make my stay and trip amazing.

Maura—Netherlands—January 2017

My husband and I recently returned from an absolutely amazing journey through Tibet and briefly to Nepal with Himalaya Journey. We really could not speak highly of the wonderful service provided by Jamin’s team, particularly our fabulous guide Nyima who taught us so much about the Tibetan culture. We would highly recommend Himalaya Journey to anyone who is considering a trip to Tibet/Nepal. From the first contact made, we found the communication very prompt, professional and we were confident that our holiday was in good hands! Our journey went just as smooth and we cannot thank Jamin and his team enough for all their hard work to make our trip a memorable one. Thanks again!

Meaghan and Matt—Australia—December 2016

All I can say is I feel VERY fortunate to have found Ashok and Himalaya Journey before I traveled to Nepal and Bhutan. I only had 3 weeks from the time I booked my ticket until the day I landed in Kathmandu – this was a last minute trip to a place I had never been to and had very little knowledge of. Turns out it was one of the best trips, if not THE best trip, I have ever taken (I’ve been to 20+ countries).

Ashok listened to my every request and delivered great results in a very short amount of time, gave sound advice and accommodated last minute changes I requested. EVERYTHING was managed for me – flights, hotels, taxis, permits, passes, tours, treks, safaris, etc. in both Nepal and Bhutan. For my 30 days there he put together the right mix of various types of locations, durations and activities – from various cities to remote villages to the jungle along with days with nothing planned which were needed and appreciated.

All of this was done professionally, with courtesy, at a very fair price. What more can you ask for? Do yourself a favor and save yourself some time and contact Ashok and tell him what you are looking to get out of your trip of a lifetime… and let him help you achieve your travel goals.

Joseph—USA—December 2016

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.

Lesley—UK—October 2016

 
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!

Sue—USA—October 2016

I meet Jamin a couple of years ago at Xining, after I had to resign one of their trip at 2013, because I had to back home early from China. After our meeting at 2014, and talking about my trips to Tibet, I told him that I would love to join some group to Kailash Mountain. And in the end of 2015 I wrote him  to join a group on a long trip to Kailash and Guge Kingdom in 2016. After a big change at my life, I decide to go, and really was a very special trip for me due the past months. To do the Kailash Kora or Pilgrimage was a long dream and this was the year, and Jamin was our tour leader. Everything was perfect!!!! And really you can feel that how he loves the Tibetan people and all the knowledge that he has about it, and share with you when you are traveling with him.


Thanks a lot for to do of that trip the best of my life in Tibet !!! and I had been five times before at Tibet. Hope to back again in some groups, but….. do not forget Patagonia, is waiting for you!!! All the best!!!

Alex—Chile—October 2016

I took a fabulous and life changing tour of western Tibet with Jamin and Himalaya Journey last October.  Highlights include Lhasa, Everest and Shishapangma Base Camps, a pilgrimage kora around Mt. Kailash, a visit to the Guge Kingdom, and interactions with Tibetan people.  Jamin’s knowledge and passion for the Tibetan people is evident in his descriptions and stories throughout the journey.  He is a master story teller – telling detailed personal accounts of his 14 plus years of experience living in Tibet.   He wants to support the Tibetan people, and he does this by staying and eating in Tibetan run hotels and restaurants and by hiring excellent Tibetan guides whom he trains.
 
Jamin wants you to experience the lives of Tibetans.  During our trip, we made impromptu stops to visit nomads, interact with locals in small villages or on farms, and to experience their passionate religious lifestyle during Pilgrimage walks around the Jokhang, the Potala Palace, Tashilhunpo Monastery, and Mount Kailash.  I was able to interact and hear stories from two of Himalaya Journey’s Tibetan guides – Ngodup and Champa.  They shared so much of their lives and personalities – it was priceless.  At the end of our journey, Ngodup gave us an opportunity to experience a Tibetan nightclub in Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city.  The music, dancing, and hospitality etched a positive image that I will never forget.  During a free afternoon in Lhasa, Champa took me on a souvenir journey to a local Tibetan market (free of westerners) and to the Muslim quarter where you could see wholesalers trading caterpillar fungus known for its medicinal properties.  If you go on a Himalaya Journey trip and Champa offers a shopping or side trip, take it!
 
If you are a photographer, a trip with Himalaya Journey is a must.  Jamin and his guides allow ample time for photos.  Jamin is an accomplished photographer as evident from his website. When the light is just right, our small bus made several stops to capture the moment.  We stopped frequently to photograph wildlife.
 
Finally, Jamin did an amazing job organizing everything and planning our trip.  He’s like a close friend, checking in on how you are doing – how you are dealing with the altitude.  If there are any issues, he deals with them promptly and knowledgably.    Jamin, thank you for such a great trip! 
Tom—USA—October 2016

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!

Karla—USA—October 2016