In addition to the star attractions from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp, this 9-day in-depth EBC tour blends the exploration of different sects of Tibetan Buddhism with more interactions with local Tibetans. You can enjoy traditional Tibetan carpet making and have more time to discover intriguing local customs and historical cities from Lhasa to Gyantse and Shigatse. Then mind-blowing alpine lakes and magnificent Buddhist stupas and jaw-dropping Himalayan vista are worth every penny.
Upon your arrival in Lhasa, our Tibetan guide will be greeting you at airport or train station with auspicious white Hada. Then you will be transferred to hotels in Lhasa. The guide will briefly introduce the itineraries and remind you about other dos and dont’s for newcomers. To quickly get acclimatized to Tibetan plateau, it’s better to have a good rest in the hotel.
Stay overnight in Lhasa.
Our first stop is to visit the Potala Palace, the UNESCO world heritage site and the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Walking slowly along the long stone steps to the White and Red Palaces, you can explore the former residence of Dalai Lama and his meeting room and religious chamber. You can see the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas and meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. A bird’s-eye view of Lhasa city and Lhasa valley from the top of Potala Palace will take your breath away.
After we have lunch and then we will head to holy Jokhang Temple. It’s the most sacred Buddhist site in Tibet. Outside the temple, you will witness pious Tibetan pilgrims, young and old, prostrating themselves in front of Jokhang and long lines of Tibetans following the Barkhor circuit. Inside, traveling in dim butter light, you can see the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve, perhaps the single most venerated object in Tibet Buddhism. You may reach the top of Jokhang Temple to enjoy the panorama of old Lhasa city and great vista of Potala Palace.
Then we may do the kora by circling the Barkhor Street with pilgrims and locals and buy some souvenirs. Never miss the chance to enjoy the tasty sweet tea in local tea house and visit Tromzikhang , the famous farm produce market.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
In the morning, we are going to visit Drepung monastery which was the largest of the “Three Great ” Gelug monasteries in Tibet founded in 1416 by Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa’s main disciples. As you hike along the mountain steps, you can see mysterious Buddhist painting on the rock face. During Shoton Festival, locals swarm to Drepung Monastery to enjoy the gigantic Thangka Buddha being unfolded on the Gambo Utse mountain. Then we will stop by the nearby carpet factory, where you can enjoy the Tibetan artisans make traditional carpets with great skills.
After having lunch, we will head to Sera Monastery. It’s also one of the must-visit Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa. The highlight is the vibrant Monks debate at around 3 – 5 in the afternoon. By yelling at each other, slapping hands and rolling mala, two monks make a pair to debate on philosophical issues. We may also enjoy the delicately-made Mandala, Tibetan sanding painting and massive Buddhist scriptures, etc. inside Sera Monastery.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Today, we will drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. On the way, passing over the Gampala pass (4790 m), you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso (4400m) .The Lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and in the distance, you have spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar, (7191m) the highest mountain near Lhasa. Later, we will pass and enjoy the Karola Glacier on the roadside; At Manak Dam Lake, you can hang pray flag at Simila Mountain Pass;
Gyantse was historically known as the Tibet’s third largest city (after Lhasa and Shigatse). In Gyantse, we will visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Nepali-style Kumbum stupa. The Kumbum has nine floors and each tier has unique chapels. It is considered the largest stupa in Tibet.
Stay overnight in Gyantse
In the Morning, we drive towards Shigatse. In Shigatse, you will visit the famous Tashi Lhunpo monastery where you can see the well-preserved largest statue of Jampa (future Buddha) in the world. This monastery is the seat of Tibet’s second highest incarnation, the Panchen Lama.
In the afternoon we drive to the Sakya County where tourists can visit the famous Sakya monastery. It was founded in 1073 and was the principal monastery of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Sakya monastery has an invaluable collection of sacred Buddhist scripts. It’s a treasure house of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture and history.
Stay overnight in Sakya
The distance between Sakya to Rongpuk is neither too long nor short, and the road is under construction. From Tingri to E.B.C, the team has to drive on the rough road, pass the wild grassland and cross the torrent and lofty mountains. If the weather is fine, on the way down to shegar you will view the Mt, Everest in the distance. After around 4 hours’ drive, then you will arrive at Rongbuk monastery but on the way, you will pass the famous Gawu La Pass (5198m) where you will view the top 4 highest peaks in the world. Try not to drop you jaw upon seeing awe-inspiring Mount Everest at Everst Base Camp(5200m).
Tips: Our well-trained Tibetan guides will closely follow each client’s response to altitude ascent and provide timely help when needed.
Stay overnight at Rongpuk Guest House or Tent
In the morning, you can see the sunrise appearing on the top of Mt Everest, and have a full view the magnificent Mt. Everest standing like a snow-capped pyramid in front of you at Rongpuk, which is the vantage point for watching Mt. Everest. Tourists can also tour Rongphu Monastery which is the highest monastery in the world (5000m) and belongs to Nyingma sect. After that, drive back to Shigatse.
Stay overnight in Shigatse
Today, we will drive back to Lhasa on the friendship Highway. The whole distance is almost 280km and it takes 6 hours along the Yarlung Tsangpo River / Bhamaputra River (the Longest and largest river in Tibet).
Stay overnight in Lhasa
The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station and help you get on board.
- Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
- All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
- Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
- Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
- All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
- Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
- All meals listed in the above itinerary;
- Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
- First aid kit;
- International flight to and out of China;
- Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
- Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
- Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.
Frequent Asked Questions
This itinerary is based on the classic 9-day tour itinerary with EBC and Sakya monastery included. Tourists can see the difference between White and Yellow religious sects and Sakya town which used to be served as the capital of Tibet.