Arrive in Kathmandu
Transfer to your hotel. Hold evening meeting
Guide tour of World Heritage sites, Swayambhunath stupa and Basantapur Durbar square.
Fly to Lhasa (3,650 m; 11,972 ft.)
Fly to Lhasa from Kathmandu
Visit Norbu Lingka, Sera monastery, Potala Palace and Jokhang temple in Bakhor square
Gyantse and Shigatse
Visit Kumbum Stupa (100,000 holy idol statues) Pelkhe Chode Monastery in Gyantse and arrive at Shigatse
Shigatse to Shegar
Tour of Tashi Lhunpo monastery and drive to Shegar
Rombuk and Everest Base Camp
Off road drive to Rombuk monastery, and optional short hike to Everest Base Camp
Zhangmu (Nepal Border)
Cross high passes, spectacular view of Himalayan ranges, and enter Nepal
Drive to Kathmandu
Drive on the narrow road to Kathmandu, free to explore the city in the evening.
End of tour. Free to leave anytime. We offer 24/7 local customer service.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300 m; 4,264 ft.)
You will be received by SA representative at the Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu) and transfer you to hotel. SA representative will hold a meeting regarding your trip itinerary and discuss health/ safety information in the evening. You will be given a SIM card (also a phone if needed) and our representative will be available 24/7 should you need further assistance.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Today, after breakfast, we will take a short drive to Swayambhunath stupa, located in the west of Kathmandu City. Swayambhunath stupa was built by ancient king of Nepal in the fifth century, sits on top of a hill overlooking the city. World heritage Buddhist Stupa is distinctively known as “The Monkey Temple” as there is large population of monkeys around the area. We will climb about 300 stone stair cases to the Stupa while navigating through the monkey trials. The short climb will reward you with panorama view of Kathmandu city. There are Hindu shrines and Buddhists monastery on the premises of the Stupa, excellent showcase of religious coexistence. (B) After lunch, we will head towards the ancient town of Kathmandu, Basantapur Durbar square, at the center of the city. The UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for ancient royal palace, well preserved wooden carved Hindu temples, and open courtyard. The palace was built in early 11th century by the kings of Malla dynasty and continue serve as one of the palace till the early 19th century by Shah and Rana dynasties. There is also a small museum showcasing king’s weapons, armor and ceremonial accessories. Another popular site is the Kumari Ghar, tiny house of Kumari (young goddess, believe to be the incarnation of Hindu goddess, Durga). Visitation to the Kumari house is occasionally closed due to goddess religious ceremonial duties. The square is surrounded by souvenir shops and restaurants. In the evening, our guide will help you pick up any supplies or personal items you might need for the trek.
Day 3: Fly to Lhasa (3,650 m; 11,972 ft.)
You will be received by SA representative at the Gonkar International Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Lhasa. Lhasa, ancient city is the largest and biggest city of Tibet. It is the epicenter of trade, cultures and historical importance of Tibet. SA representative will introduce to your guide and will hold meeting regarding the itinerary and discuss health and safety information. Altitude sickness is major concern for most travelers and the following two days tour of Lhasa will give you time to acclimatize. (B)
Day 4-5: Sightseeing In Lhasa
These two days of sightseeing in Lhasa will give travelers time to acclimatize and also to visit many UNESCO world heritage sites. In the morning, we will visit Norbu Lingka, summer palace of Dalai Lama. Norbu Lingka (Treasure garden) built in 18th century is the largest man made garden in Tibet and said to be highest in the world. The park features five small palaces (private quarters with shrine, chapels and meditation room and Buddhist artifacts), vast garden, small lake and zoo. We will roam around the park admiring the beautiful palace and lush green garden. The park is local popular picnic spot and dance show venue during summer season. After lunch, we will drive up to Sera monastery, the 14th century Buddhist universities of the Gelugpa sect, located just on the outskirts of Lhasa. We will watch the monk’s heated debates over Buddhist philosophy. As you walk around the monastery, you will encounter various assembly halls, shrines and chapels. (B) The next day we will be visiting the Potala Place, founded in the 7th Century by King Songtsen Gampo and later completed by the fifth Dalai Lama during the 16th century. This breathtaking structure serves as the main residence of the Dalai Lamas. A giant fortress-like palace, the Potala sits atop the red hill, about 1,000 feet above the valley floor, overlooking the capital city. The Potala Palace is a living museum, housing hundreds of Buddhist artifacts. A short scenic walk from the Potala Palace will take us to the Jokhang Temple. It is located in Barkhor Square in the old part of the city. The Jokhang is the heart of Tibet and its’ devoutly Buddhist people. It is the most sacred temple in Tibet, housing a statue of Jowo Shakyamuni Buddha, which was originally brought to the temple as a dowry by princess Wangchen of China. Barkhor square is also a Mecca for shoppers. There are endless small shops and stalls featuring everything from handicrafts, clothing and kitchen wares to fake antiques. It is the busiest and the most crowded square in Tibet, given the importance of the Jokhang Temple and its large open-air market area. (B)
Day 6: Gyantse and Shigatse (3,900 m; 12,792 ft.)
You will leave Lhasa in the morning. Three hours drive from Lhasa; you will reach Gampa-La (4,794 m; 15,728 ft.), the first of three mountain passes. You will make a rest stop at the top of the pass, which overlooks the Yamdro tso (Yamdro Lake). Yamdro Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. You will cross another two passes, Karo- La (5,010 m; 16,437 ft.) and Simi- La (4,330 m; 14,206 ft.), before reaching Gyantse dzhong, a small town on the outskirt of Shigatse. Gyantse dzhong is a 13th century built fortress that stretches three kilometers in length and was once briefly invaded by the British in the early 20th century. In Gyantse, you will take a tour of the famous Kumbum Stupa (containing one hundred thousand holy idol statues) in the Pelkhe Chode Monastery. This 14th century stupa is 115 feet high with nine levels, containing thousands of images of Buddhas and other deities. You will spend the night at Shigaste, a short two hour drive from Gyantse. Sighatse is Tibet’s 2nd largest city and the main shopping hub for western Tibet. (B) Estimated Travel time: 8 hours. Approximate Distance: 340km (212. mile)
Day 7: Shigatse to Shegar (4,500 m; 14,760 ft.)
Today you will visit the 15th Century Tashi Lhunpo monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama (the 2nd highest lama in the Gelugpa sect after the Dalai Lama). Much of the monastery was untouched during the Cultural Revolution due to the strong influence and importance of the Great Panchen Lama. The monastery features a gigantic 26 meters (85.3 ft) high statue of Maitreya (the future Buddha), which is gilded with 279 kg (615 lb) of gold. You will tour the numerous chapels and prayer halls of the monastery. You will also take a walking tour of the bustling city with its’ vibrant small markets. Shigatse is an important trade center for western Tibetans and the Zhamgu people of the Tibetan/Nepali border area. Our guide will facilitate the Everest Entrance Permit while you enjoy lunch. We will continue our journey on the Friendship Highway towards Shegar (also known as New Thingri), a small town 60km (37.5 mile) northwest of Everest Base Camp (EBC). We will make a rest stop at the 2nd highest pass of our entire journey, Gyatso-La (5,200 m; 17,056ft.) and enjoy spectacular views of the Himalayas. We will spend the night at Shegar town before continuing on to Everest Base Camp. Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours. Approximate Distance: 240 km (150 mile)
Day 8: Rombuk (4,980 m; 16,334 ft.) and Everest Base Camp (5,200 m; 17,056 ft.)
The drive to EBC is both majestic and thrilling. Part of the drive is on rough roads and it will take about 4 hours to reach Rombuk monastery (4,980 m; 16,076 ft.). We will come across small villages and make a stop at Gyalwu La (5,100 m; 16,732 ft.). Enjoy immersing yourself in this unmatchable panoramic view of the north face of Mt. Everest and its sister mountains. Rombuk monastery was built during the early 20th century and is the highest monastery in the world. From Rombuk camp station, we can either hike for 120 minutes or take the 15 minutes government bus ride to Everest Base Camp (EBC). Here you will have a fantastic close-up view of the north face of Mt. Everest. We will return back to the guesthouse in the evening. [Please note, accommodation at Rombuk guesthouse is an ultra basic.] It has dormitory style rooms, an unattached toilet and no bathing facilities. We will do our best to make it comfortable.
Day 9: Zhangmu /Nepal Border (2,500 m; 8,202 ft.)
Sunrise at EBC is possibly the best moment of the whole trip. There are no words to describe the beauty of this experience. After breakfast, we will take a long drive (6 hours) to Zhangmu on the Nepal border. This long drive will however be compensated for with spectacular mountain views. Along the route, you will be greeted by the 2nd highest pass, Nylam Tong-La (5,100 m; 16,732 ft.), boasting an amazing 180 degrees view of several mountains including Mt. Shishapangma (8,013 m; 26,282 ft.), the 14th highest mountain in the world. There will be a few local Tibetans willing to brave this altitude for tourist sales and they will try to sell you prayer flags and mineral water. We will drive through many small villages via one of the most incredible gorges in the world thus descending up to 2,500 meters (8,202 ft.) in few hours. Upon arrival at Zhangmu (2,500 m; 8,202 ft.), you will be channeled through the Chinese immigration process and will be greeted by your Nepali guide on the other side. Our guide will help you with Nepali Immigration formalities and take you to hotel at Kodari. (Occasionally, we may have to stay at hotel on the Chinese border side due to unforeseeable reasons).
Day 10: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300 m; 4,264 ft.)
In the morning, you will drive on a narrow and bumpy road to Kathmandu, passing through small Nepali towns along the Bhote Koshi (Tibetan river in Nepal). Please note, occasionally this trip will be delayed due to landslides during monsoon season. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. Sonam Adventures will host farewell dinner. (B, D)
Day 11: Farewell
After breakfast, we will transfer you to Tribhuvan International Airport and bid farewell. You might also decide to stay on and explore Kathmandu for a few days. In this case, you will be provided a SIM card and mobile phone should you need any further assistance during your extended stay in Nepal. We offer 24/7 local and international customer service. (B)