High Road to Lhasa

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A stunning overland journey through Tibet with a visit to the historic Everest Base Camp


Duration: 13 Days
Starts in: Tibet
Group Size: 5-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.


Arrive Chengdu, China

You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the hotel. Remainder of the afternoon/evening at leisure. Your Tibetan Travel Permit will be held at reception, please ensure you collect this here as you will need it tomorrow to check into your your flight to Lhasa. Overnight Chengdu Jaho Forstar Wenshuyuan, Chengdu

Fly to Lhasa (3600m), Tibet

This morning we are transferred to the airport for the flight to Lhasa. On arrival at Lhasa Airport you will be transferred to the city – a drive that takes around two hours. Due to the high altitude, you need to take it easy when you arrive in Lhasa. (Chengdu to Lhasa flights not included in trip cost.) A briefing will be given around 5pm by your guide, where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Overnight hotel.

In Lhasa (3600m)

Today we will allow ourselves to appreciate the rich cultural history Lhasa. We include visits to the Jokhang, the Norbulingka (the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama), and the famous Potala Palace. We also include visits to the nearby monasteries of Drepung and Sera. Overnight hotel.

Drive to Gyangtse via the Khamba Pass (4900m) and Karo La (5200m) (7-8hrs.)

From Lhasa we drive down the Kyichu Valley to the Yarlong Tsampo (Brahmaputra) before ascending to the Khamba La (Khamba Pass) at 4900m. The views are outstanding – in the foreground is the vast freshwater Yamdrok Tso or Turquoise Lake, while to the south the snow-capped ranges merge with the main Himalayan range. We drive around the lake before crossing the Karo La (5200m) to reach Gyantse. Overnight hotel.

In Gyangtse, drive to Shigatse (2hrs.)

Gyantse is a remarkable place that has escaped much of the Chinese influence evident in other major Tibetan towns. It is dominated by the ancient fort that was besieged by British forces in 1904 during the famous Younghusband Expedition. We also visit the remarkable octagonal chorten, the Kumbum (or Pango Chorten)- built in 1444 on a series of four levels, each of which contains separate chapels. In the afternoon we drive to Shigatse. Overnight hotel.

Drive to Shegar (5-6 hrs.)

The drive to Shegar can be completed in half a day, which allows time this afternoon to visit the Shegar Fort and Monastery. Overnight hotel.

Drive to Rongphu Monastery (5000m) via the Pang La (5150m) (7-8 hrs.)

The drive over the Pang La (5150m) affords our first views of the north face of Everest (8848m). From the pass we descend to the village of Phadhruchi, before driving up the Rongphu Valley to Rongphu Monastery and unrivalled views of the mountain's north face. At Rongphu we stay in the small lodge attached to the monastery, which has recently been reconstructed following the excesses of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Nowadays there are about twenty monks in attendance. Please note that there are no “5-star” hotels at Rongphu, and facilities at both the lodge and the nearby campsite are very basic, but any discomfort is more than compensated by the views in this spectacular location!

At Rongphu Monastery. Drive to Old Tingri (5-6 hours)

Access to Everest Base Camp used by the famous interwar British expeditions is currently restricted to mountaineers with the necessary permits. That said the view of Everest from the monastery is definitely worth the trip as it dominates the valley carved by the glacier originating from the mountains northern flank. In the afternoon we will commence our drive to Kathmandu and the town of Old Tingri. Overnight hotel.

Drive to Kerung (4-5 hours)

Continue our drive to Kathmandu. Today we are heading for the border town of Kerung. Following the 2015 earthquake the former friendship highway was badly damaged resulting in its continued closure. This new route was opened initially to ensure that trade between Nepal and China could continue. In 2017 the border post was opened to tourists allowing for travel along this legendary overland route to recommence. This road is sure to add to the sense of adventure as it traverses parts of both Tibet and Nepal new to tourism. Road conditions along this route are changeable as improvements to the road continue to ensure that it can accommodate the traffic using it. Overnight hotel.

Drive to Kathmandu (5-6hrs.)

Today we complete the final stage of our journey from Lhasa via the earthquake ravaged Langtang region. It is a fitting conclusion to an epic overland journey and the comfort of the Radisson Hotel will no doubt be welcomed with open arms. Overnight Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu

Morning sightseeing in Kathmandu

This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. The remainder of the day is yours to perhaps do some last minute shopping or sightseeing.

In Kathmandu, trip concludes

After breakfast, your trip concludes.

Additional Information

This is our classic Tibetan journey - a rugged crossing of the Tibetan Plateau linking the fabled city of Lhasa with the bustling and vibrant Kathmandu. In the company of our Tibetan speaking guides we include the cultural highlights of Lhasa including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang temple, the Norbulingka plus the Drepung and Sera monasteries, with visits to Gyantse (the Kumbum chorten) and Shigatse (the Tashilhunpo). A highlight of the journey is our visit to the famous Rongphu Valley to see Mount Everest's north face from the historic base camp used during the expeditions led by Mallory in the 1920s - an experience shared by only a handful of dedicated travellers each year on this remarkable journey through Tibet.


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