A surprising fact is that there is hardly any walking involved to reach the base camp of Mount Everest on the North side in Tibet. Many years ago it would have taken you weeks by foot and horse but now with a road right up to base camp you are driven there in a luxury Land Cruiser. Your journey will start in Kathmandu, allowing you a few days to buy those last minute things, to wonder around and explore or to simply relax in your hotel to get over your jet lag, and of course to help you acclimatize to the new altitude.
You drive to base camp will include many stops along the way, you will get the chance to visit monasteries, temples, markets and much more. Also you will have the ever changing scenery and views of the mountains to keep you occupied on your trip.
Most companies that you book your trek with will usually follow this itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1340m)
Arrive at the airport in Kathmandu. You are usually meet at the airport by your expedition representive who will take you to your hotel. The afternoon is your own time to do as much or little as you please.
Day 2: In Kathmandu (1340m)
Sightseeing around Kathmandu, also this will allow you to get use to the new altitude. Kathmandu is a very colourful and lively place with lots to do and see.
Day 3: Kathmandu – Lhasa (3490m)
An early morning call will ensure that you arrive at the Kathmandu airport in time for the one hour flight to Gongar airport. Your Trans-Himalayan flight will take you over Mount Everest and Makalu and is one of the best breathtaking air journeys in the world. A quick transfer to Lhasa will see you in your hotel by mid day. The afternoon is free to do what ever you wish.
Day 4: In Lhasa (3490m)
Sightseeing day in Lhasa will give you the chance to visit places such as the Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and the Norbulingla Palace.
Day 5: In Lhasa (3490m)
Another sightseeing day, this is so that you get use to the higher altitude. Places to visit today would include the Potala Palace, Nāga temple, Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor market.
Day 6: Lhasa to Gyantse (3940m)
Leaving Lhasa behind you will head for Gyantse following the beautiful Yarlong Tsangpo river. The drive will take you over Kamba la (4794m) and Karo La (5010m) with a glimpse of Yamdrok – Tso and stunning views of the Nojin Kangtsang glacier. Once settled at Gyantse you will have the chance to take the short trek to the ruined Gyantse Dzong fortress, which is said to of been built in the 14th century and was believed to of been used by the British during their 1904 invasion.
Day 7: Gyantse – Shigatse (3900m)
Before leaving Gyantse you can pay a visit to Palkor Chode and Gyantse Kumbum. Back on four wheels you then head for Xigatse. Driving out of Gyantse you can get the awesome view of the Gyantse Dzong settled on its rocky outcrop.
Day 8: Shigatse to Shigar (4050m)
A visit to the Tashilumpo monastery will keep you busy for a while. Then it is back in the jeep to continue the drive on to Xigar. En route you will usually stop off and visit the Shakya monastery.
Day 9: Shigar to Rongbuk Abbey (4980m)
Today you take a short drive from Shigar and head for Rongbuk and Mount Everest base camp along a bumpy road. Crossing the Pang La (5120m) you will take in some amazing views of the Himalayan giants, such as Mount Everest, Lotse, Makalu and Cho-Oyu. On the drive to Rongbuk you will pass through many small dusty villages at Dzakar. Once Mount Everest appears dominant in your view you will shortly arrive at Rongbuk.
Day 10: Walk to Mount Everest Base Camp (5200m)
The Rongbuk Monastery sits near the base of Mount Everest and is the highest monastery in the world. From the monastery it is a two hour walk to Everest base camp, nothing too hard but due to the altitude it can be tiring for some. After exploring base camp and taking many photographs you then turn your back on Everest and drive back to Old Tingri.
Day 11: Drive to Nayalam
The drive to Nayalam is in full view of the Himalayas rising from the earth out in front of you. Passing over the Lalung la pass you will get a very impressive and close up view of the sixth highest mountain in the world, Mount Shishapagma (8201m). Dropping down you will stop at a small village and visit the Milerapa Cave before arriving in Nayalam.
Day 12: Nayalam to Kathmandu
Leaving Nayalam behind you take the zigzagging road that past’s many steep walks and high waterfalls and more spectacular scenery to Zangmu. Here you will go through Chinese Immigration before heading on to Tatopani, which is the Nepal Immigration. After a short stop you change over to the Nepal jeep and continue the drive for about another three hours before eventually arriving back in Kathmandu.
Day 13: In Kathmandu
Today is your final day to do as you please before heading home tomorrow.
Day 14: Departure Day
Once you have said all your goodbyes to fellow trekkers and staff you will then be transferred to the airport for your journey home, taking with you, many memories, new friendships and hopefully plenty of photographs!
The price can range anywhere between £700 to £1,200 depending on the time of year you go, if your flights from the UK are included and what type of accommodation is used.
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