This Everest Base Camp Tour gives you a relatively slow entry to Tibet, and allows a more reasonable path to Everest Base Camp than the 8-day trips which do it too quickly.
Since no independent travel is allowed to Tibet and you must work with a travel agency, you want to be sure to choose a Tibetan-owned agency, which hires Tibetan guides only. The simplest way to do this is ask us to connect you to a reliable Tibetan-owned travel agent to plan a great trip for you that also supports the local Tibetan economy and culture. (Note to our Indian friends: Our agents in Tibet cannot help Indian nationals.)
|Day||Trip Activities||Sleeping Elevation||Elevation Gain or Loss|
|1||Fly to Xining. Overnight Xining. (Doesn’t matter where you fly from.)||2275 m 7486 ft||Variable|
|2||Day trip to Tibetan monasteries around Xining. Depart evening train to Lhasa.||Highly Variable (on train)||Unknown|
|3||On train. Arrive Lhasa.||3658 m 11,975 ft||Unknown|
|4||Visit Barkhor Street, Johkhang Temple, Ani Tsankhung||—||—|
|5||Visit Drepung Monastery, Ramochen Temple||—||—|
|6||Visit Potala Palace, Potala Lingkhor, Sera Monastery||—||—|
|7||Lhasa – Kamba La Pass– Yamdrok Lake – Karo La Pass – Gyantse||4040 m 13,255 ft||+ 390 m 1,280 ft|
|8||Gyantse – Shigatse||3836 m 12,585 ft||– 204 m 670 ft|
|9||Shigatse – Sakya Monastery – Lhatse – Gyatso-La pass – Shekar||4300 m 14,107 ft||+ 463 m 1,522 ft|
|10||Shekar – Pang La Pass – Everest Base Camp||5050 m 16,568 ft||+ 750 m 2461 ft|
|11||Everest Base Camp – Shigatse||3836 m 12,585 ft||– 1,214 m 3983 ft|
|12||Shigatse – Lhasa||3650 m 11,795ft||– 186 m 790 ft|
How to Take this Trip
Even the best Tibetan travel agents are not quite up to speed on providing pre-made group tours that allow you the best chance of adjusting safely to Tibet’s high altitude. If you’d like to take this trip, you should plan to fly or train to Xining (it doesn’t matter which), stay there for two nights for acclimatizing. You can use the day in town to visit some of the beautiful smaller Tibetan monasteries in the area, or go to Kumbum, an important monastery that is unfortunately overrun with tourists. You can do this on your own, but for the smaller monasteries it’s by far easier to do with a guide and driver — you can ask your Tibetan agent to arrange for you. After two nights in Xining, plan to take the train (on the evening of your third day) to Lhasa, and then you can take either a private or a group tour to EBC. The most popular tours are 8 days, which are too fast in terms of altitude sickness prevention. So best to ask for a slower 10 or 11 day tour, as lined out above.
We can help you connect you to a reliable Tibetan-owned travel agent to plan this trip. Fill out the form at the link, and in the comments section write something like “I want to spend 2 nights in Xining, see some local monasteries in Xining, then take the train to Lhasa and take a slower tour to EBC, for adjusting to the altitude sickness. Please give me some tour options that cover the whole trip, including Xining.”
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