Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp

Trip Overview

Tibet – also known as the Roof of the World, and the once Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom, has captured the hearts and minds of travellers from all around the world since ancient times. Here, we offer a spectacular journey from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp. We will pass through high passes, crossing the stark but spectacular Tibetan plateau to Everest Base Camp with amazing views of the massive north face of Everest. We will descend through deep gorges which will lead us into to the lush green valleys of Nepal. Along this route we will enjoys some of the most amazing scenery to be found anywhere in the world. With breathtaking views of some of the highest Himalayan peaks, this is one of the world’s classic road journeys – we will do part of our journey in the comfort of private Land Cruisers. However, crossing the Tibetan plateau is only part of the experience – equally as important will be the landscape and scenery as well as the wealth of cultural interest which Tibet has to offer.

In the inspirational Forbidden City of Lhasa we will find the very heart of Tibetan Buddhism- the Potala Palace and the Jokhang. These are places where the monastic rituals and traditional way of life still are enacted in one of the most fascinating environments on earth. The Buddhist culture, centuries of tradition and their way of life, all combined with the warmth and friendliness of the people make this one of the most truly unforgettable journeys in the world.

Important Note: Your safety is of paramount concern whilst travelling with Griffon Travel. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary as planned. However, as this is adventure travel in a remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters, etc, can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Day to Day Activity

Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Gonggar Airport and drive to Lhasa (3,650m).
Days 02 & 03: Visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang, Sera and Drepung Monasteries
Day 04: Drive to Shigatse (3,900m) via Gyantse:
Day 05: Drive to Xegar (4,450m)
Day 06: Drive to Rongbuk, visit Everest Base Camp (5,200m) and drive back to Xegar.
Day 07: Drive to Zhangmu (2,300m)
Day 08: Drive back Kathmandu,

Note: You will be on B/B Basis throughout the trip.

Trip Highlight

» A spectacular flight across the Himalaya to Lhasa
» Time to explore Lhasa, including the fascinating Potala Palace
» Explore Everest Base Camp and Rongbuk Monastery
» Magnificent landscapes and dramatic high passes
» The epic drive from Lhasa back to Kathmandu

Itinerary
  • Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Gonggar Airport and drive to Lhasa (3,650m).
    2 hours driving.
    We will have an early morning transfer to the airport and there board the plane for the flight over the Himalaya to Lhasa. If the weather is clear we will have a wonderful view of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, plus other peaks en route. On arrival at Gonggar International Airport (which is 90 km. from Lhasa), we will be met by our driver and vehicle. Then we will drive westwards along the broad Yarlung Tsangpo valley. Soon we will cross the bridge over the Tsang Po River and travel through the recently built tunnel and turn north-east up the Lhasa valley. As we near Lhasa we see the great bulk of the Potala looming over the city. Today's drive is a total of approximately 90 km.
    Overnight Comfortable Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast

    Days 2 & 3: Visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang, Sera and Drepung Monasteries;
    We spend these two days sightseeing in Lhasa, the religious, cultural and economic centre of Tibet. One of the highlights will be our visit to the symbol of Tibet; the Potala Palace set high on Red Hill. Until 1959 this was the winter home of the Dalai Lama. The most sacred temple in Lhasa is the Jokhang; people come from all over Tibet to visit and pray in this spiritual heart of the country. It was used as a military kitchen during the Cultural Revolution but has now been beautifully restored, with many statues adorning the chapels, and magnificent gilded roofs. The most holy statue in Tibet is the Jowo Shakyamuni, now housed in the Jokhang temple. We will also visit Sera and Drepung monasteries, two of the great monasteries of the Gelukpa (yellow hat) sect, just outside Lhasa. Other great treasures are the Norbulingka - the wonderful old summer palace of the Dalai Lama as well as the Ramoche temple.
    You will probably also want to spend time wandering around the Barkhor, the old city, in company with the pilgrims. Around the Barkhor there are numerous stalls selling all sorts of handicrafts, brightly coloured boots, fur-lined hats, silver and turquoise jewellery, rosaries, prayer flags and charms, as well as beautiful Tibetan carpets and all manner of ordinary household ware.

    (Please note that the order in which we do the sightseeing depends on when we get tickets to visit the Potala. Since 2006 Potala visiting times have been restricted due to the large number of tourists; only a limited number of tickets are issued every day to each travel agent. Outside the Potala, and walking up to and down from the palace, we can take our time but now all tourists are allowed only 1 hour actually inside the Potala).
    Overnight Comfortable Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast

    Day 4: Drive to Shigatse (3,900m) via Gyantse:
    7 hours driving.
    We re-cross the Yarlung Tsangpo, and then turn upstream for a steep climb to the first pass of Khamba La (4,794m). From here we will see the superb vista of the stunning scorpion-shaped turquoise lake of Yamdrok Tso plus the peaks along Tibet's southern border. The road quickly drops down to the lake, and then follows the shore for a couple of hours. A short climb brings us to the Karo La (5,010m). Here we will be closed to a magnificent hanging glacier near the summit. Then we will climb to our third pass of the day, the Simi La. From there we will descend into a broad flat valley and the town of Gyantse; an important market town and trading crossroads. There are two particular points of interest in Gyantse - the Pelke Chode Monastery and the Kumbum Stupa. We will have time for a short photography break. After that we will continue on driving through a landscape of fields and low hills to Shigatse - Tibet's second largest city at 3,900 m. Here is Tashilunpo monastery, the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, and one of the great centres of Tibetan Buddhism. Unlike most religious buildings in Tibet, the Tashilunpo monastery was largely untouched during the Cultural Revolution. It contains numerous impressive chapels and prayer halls. We will ensure that you don’t miss the giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha that contains 280 kg. of gold. Shigatse also has an interesting local Bazaar, where various traditional items can often be found at more or less reasonable prices. Today’s drive is a total of approximately 350 km.
    Overnight Comfortable Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast

    Day 5: Drive to Xegar (4,450m),
    4 hours driving.
    We will spend the morning sightseeing in Shigatse. After lunch we leave Shigatse climbing steadily to the top of a 4,050m Pass, then follow valleys containing a few small villages before climbing to the Tsuo La (4,500m). From here the road drops steeply down towards Lhatse where the main road from western Tibet comes into town. Another climb, through virtually unpopulated high altitude moorland, brings us to the summit of the Gyatso La (5,220m), the watershed between Tibet and the Indian sub-continent. After a long descent we arrive at Xegar (sometimes called New Tingri) for the night. Today’s drive is a total of approximately 230 km.
    Overnight Simple Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast

    Day 6: Drive to Rongbuk, visit Everest Base Camp (5,200m) and drive back to Xegar.
    8 hours driving.
    After a few more kilometers on the Friendship Highway we will leave the main road and drive along a rough road for some four hours to Rongbuk (101 km). This road was resurfaced in 2008 for the Olympics so it is now an easier drive to Rongbuk. However there may still be slow sections but the scenery is breathtaking as we pass through small villages and then climb to a pass, the Pang La at 5,150m. From here, on a clear day, we have a magnificent panoramic view of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Gyachung Kang and Cho Oyu. Our descent will be along an interesting switch-back road down into the valley to Rongbuk. We may take our lunch break near the Monastery, enjoying the stunning views. Straight ahead is the north face of Everest- the changing colours of the sunset on the mountain are fabulous. In the afternoon we will visit Everest Base Camp, which is 8 km from Rongbuk.

    In 2011 we were allowed to take the jeeps half way to the Base Camp, from where we can take a bus. From Base Camp we get even closer views of the north face of Everest. From the viewpoint we can follow the route that Mallory and Irvine climbed in 1924. There is a memorial to them just to the side of all the prayer flags. We return to Rongbuk then, if we wish, we can visit the monastery and then drive back, by the same route, to Xegar for the night. Today's drive is a total of approximately 228 km.
    Overnight Simple Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast

    Day 7: Drive to Zhangmu (2,300m),
    5 hours driving.
    Today we will head southwest towards the Nepalese border. This will be one of the most spectacular days of the trip. Our drive on the Friendship Highway will take us through old Tingri, an interesting town, usually with a busy market. From here the Himalayas are still very much in view to the south and we should get magnificent views as we cross the barren plains. As Everest recedes from our view we climb steadily to the Tong La Pass (5,100 m). Ahead, awaiting us, are the most amazing panoramic views of the Himalaya; to our right is a splendid panorama of Shishapangma, while to the north is a vast open landscape with range upon range of mountains beyond. Ahead of us the road drops into a gorge between the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the main Himalayan range. A long and sometimes steep descent brings us down to Nyalam. We continue on down the gorge until we arrive at Zhangmu, the final trading town in Tibet. Today's drive is a total of approximately 185 km.

    (Please note that this last section of the road has now been resurfaced however it is prone to landslides and there can be delays. Your leader will have up to date information and will make sure you make the most of your time in this area but be prepared for a late arrival in Zhangmu).
    Overnight Simple Hotel, Included meal: Breakfast

    Day 8: Drive back Kathmandu (1,300m),
    5 hours driving.
    After breakfast we drive through town to the border. After completing the Chinese border formalities, we cross the Friendship Bridge. Once across the bridge, we are in Nepal, and as soon as the immigration formalities are complete, we meet up with our transport. The road to Kathmandu is not that good; be prepared for a bumpy ride in a bus back to Kathmandu. The road follows the Bhote Koshi valley down to its junction with the Sun Koshi at Barabise. We continue down the Sun Koshi past rice terraces, small villages and scrub woodland to Dolalghat. Here we will leave the area of the river and complete our journey to Kathmandu. Today's drive is a total of approximately 130 km. We should arrive to Kathmandu in the late afternoon and our representative will take us to the Hotel.
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Important Note:

    Health & Experience Requirements:
    Usually, the Overland Journey from Lhasa to Kathmandu is planned for those who do not want to walk. Therefore, this itinerary appeals to those who seek the best magnificent view of the Trans Himalaya, Tibetan people and culture. The itinerary also demands 5-8 hours (220km) of driving over 4,000m (13,123ft) everyday. And also we must need a positive attitude and a strong determination. Hence, previous high altitude experience will be preferred and walking is not mandatory on this trip.

    Accommodations:
    Seven nights’ accommodation is included in the trip cost and we chose accommodation options based on the following criteria; standard of hygiene, standard of service, location, food standards and cost. Accommodation will be in twin share room with attached bath except in Zhangmu.

    Meals:
    Each day morning meals, of both Tibetan and continental mixed tastes, are included in the trip. These will be served at the lodge, guest house or hotel where we stay. Your leader will find good restaurants for the lunch and evening meals. It is sensible to prepare to pay Yuan 60 to Yuan 100 (US$10 to US$16) for lunch and dinner per day. Often these meals even exceed our expectations. Invariably, meals are cheaper in Tibet.

    Visa and Travel Procedures:
    Travelling to Tibet is a dream of many people. Griffon Travel understands this and would like to assist you to ensure that our Tibet tour is your adventure of a lifetime. Therefore, for the visa rules and Tibet entry procedures we should know in advance before travelling to Tibet. For more info: Contact us

    Equipments & Packing List:
    While packing for Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Tour certain equipment is essential. Please make your comprehensive checklist for this.

    Acclimatisation:
    We are travelling overland to highest plateau in the world where the drive goes constantly above 4000m/13,123ft during our journey except Lhasa (3,650m/11,975ft). Driving fast in such an elevation could cause medical conditions Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) which could be fatal. There is 50% less oxygen compared to sea level in high-altitudes places like in Tibet. The higher the altitude the lesser is the oxygen in the air. Our body needs a few days to acclimatise to this low oxygen environment. Although Griffon Travel assures First Aid trained qualified tour Guide who will provide enough information regarding AMS precaution matters, if we get AMS, we do not have other options to treat it other than medication. Sensible planning would help to minimize AMS during the tour. Thus, Griffon Travel advises its customer to take some trek or altitudes activities in Nepal or elsewhere before boarding such altitude.

    Griffon Travel advises specially the guest(s) who have heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult doctor before travelling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS.

    Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements:
    Griffon Travel provides the best tour leader with good command in English while touring in Tibet. Any trip to Tibet, Griffon Travel operates together with its Tibetan counterpart and hence there will some difference in attitude and customer service in between Nepal and Tibet. Griffon Travel always assures our best and high level of customer service.

Include/Exclude

Price Includes

» Arrival/departure transfer in Tibet
» All necessary Tibet travel permits
» Obtaining Chinese visa
» Lhasa Sightseeing by comfortable vehicle
» Lhasa- Zhang-Mu(near Nepal boarder) transfer by non AC Jeep or mini bus
» Accommodation in Tibet on twin sharing basis with breakfast
» English speaking Tibetan guide
» Sightseeing and Monastery fees as per itinerary
» All applicable taxes and service charges
» Kathmandu- Lhasa flight

Price Excludes

» Nepal visa
» Chinese visa fee {US$ 198, for the US nationals and US$ 114, for other nationals (visa fee is subject to change without prior notice)}
» Accommodation and meals in Kathmandu
» Your travel insurance
» Meals other than breakfast in Tibet
» Tips for staff
» Any additional expenses due to unforeseen circumstances

Equipment List

You can bring your personal clothing if you already have them with you,if not it's worth buying all below mentioned clothing and equipments here in Kathmandu in good rates and your guide will help you with it.You will have plenty of time before the trek to buy stuffs in Kathmandu(thamel). 

 PERSONAL EQUIPMENTS FOR TREKKING 

  • Fleece beanie
  • sun glasses
  • Chap stick / Sunscreen
  • Face mask or Scarf
  • Hand towel
  • Wind stopper / waterproof top and bottom
  • Cold weather down jacket below waist
  • Fleece jacket and trouser
  • Trekking trouser
  • T-Shirts(short or long sleeves) dry fit is better
  • Polypropylene thermal tops and bottom
  • Wind stopper and fleece gloves
  • Socks and under wears
  • Trekking boot
  • Runners
  • Head torch
  • Personal medical kit
  • Water Bottle/Camel Pak
  • Trekking / Ski pole (optional. Handy for anyone with knee problem)
  • Spare batteries for Camera and flash light. Check charging facility along your journey
  • Day pack  Minimum 25L with side pocket for water bottle

 

Latest News
TAAN Pokhara Chapter Explored New Trail
A team of Trekking Agencies'' Association of Nepal (TAAN) Western Regional Association Pokhara has explored a new trekking trail that starts from Kushma of Parbat and ends at Baskharka of Myagdi district.

A 17-member team led by Narayan Sapkota, former president of TAAN Pokhara, started the exploration with a drive to Kushma from Pokhara. From Kushma, the walk started toward Banau (2150 meters) through Ghumti, Bagaicha, Bhatebari, Dhakdhake and Sidhali
Your Guide
01. Hiking
01. Hiking

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02. Camping
02. Camping

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Company Info
Griffon Travel is an adventure company in Kathmandu, Nepal, which has been established by experience people from the Himalayas
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GRIFFON TRAVELS
Address: Minbhawan, Kathmandu, Nepal
Email: info@griffon-travel.com
Phone:+977.1.4115593