One of the most epic journeys one can take in Tibet is the route leading from the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa to the North Face Everest Base Camp and on to Lake Manasarovar, and Mount Kailash.
Along the way there are opportunities to photograph several small farming communities and learn more about how Tibetans can grow crops at such high altitudes.
In the Everest Region, you will go to the famous monastery of Rongphu, the highest monastery on the planet. Rongphu looks out to a stunning view of Everest’s North Face. Next, you will make the short drive to Everest Base Camp, elevation 17,000 feet (5200 meters). This will be as high as you go on Everest, which is plenty high enough!
Led by Art Wolfe
Assisted by Gavriel Jecan
Limited to 8 participants
Transportation and Accommodation
All meals, lodging, and transportation specified on the itinerary are included. You are encouraged to arrive one day prior to the workshop so that there is no worry of flight delays causing any problems.
We have designed a 15-day itinerary to give the group sufficient time in Kailas to photograph the landscape, monasteries, lakes, mountains and wild animals like Pika, Kiang (wild asses) and birds near the lake and the plains bordering it.
May 25 Arrive in Lhasa
Fly from the US to Chengdu. On arrival in Chengdu, our representative will meet the group to help check in for the flight from Chengdu to Lhasa. On arrival in Lhasa, transfer to the hotel. The holy city of Lhasa deserves at least the three days this trip dedicates to it. Its major sights are yours for the exploring, from the age-worn streets of the Barkhor bazaar, where you mingle with pilgrims, monks, traders, and nomads to the seventh-century Jokhang, the principal and holiest Buddhist temple in Lhasa and all of Tibet.
May 26 Visit the Potala Palace and Sera Monastery
Today visit the imposing 13-story Potala Palace, reputed to contain 1,000 rooms and countless brilliant thangkas, frescoes, and images. One of the world’s most extraordinary buildings, it completely covers the mountain it stands upon. Just north of Lhasa stands Sera, a Gelugpa monastery founded in 1419. Its white buildings sit at the base of a rocky hill, and gilded, bellshaped gyamtschens grace the roofs of many of the larger structures.
May 27 Garden Monastery and Norbulingka
Today, tour the architecturally unique UNESCO-listed Norbulingka Summer Palace, from which the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet. Then head to Ganden Monastery, about 25 miles outside of Lhasa. Ganden was almost completely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution but is now being painstakingly restored. Founded in 1409, it was the first Gelugpa monastery and is still considered the main seat of this major Buddhist order (the Dalai Lama’s sect). The views here are spectacular! Walk some of the kora, light juniper, hang prayer flags, and have stunning views of the whole Kyichu Valley.
May 28 Shigatse and Yamdrok Lake
Drive to Shigatse via Khampa La pass. Highlights today include Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse and Shalu Monastery.
May 29 Travel to Rongbuk
Drive to Rongbuk today.
May 30 Everest Base Camp
Today we visit Everest Base Camp and are awed by the amazing views.
May 31 Saga to Dongpa
Drive to Saga and then on to Dongpa.
June 1 Kailash and Manasarovar Lake
Today we drive rive to Darchen near Mt. Kailas and visit stunning Manasarovar Lake and monastery.
June 2 Chuku Gompa
Froom Darchen, drive to Sershong by environmental electric bus (30 minutes) and then walk for approximately one hour.
June 3 Views of Mt. Kailash
We’ll travel to the opposite side of Kailas and take a one hour hike up to a mani stone for early morning photography of Mt. Kailas.
June 4 Monasteries around Lake Manasarovar
Return to Sershong and take the vehicle back to Darchen. Drive to Lake Manasarovar and visit nearby monasteries as well as Rakas Tal (Demon Lake).
June 5 Saga
Drive to Saga today. We’ll spend the night in a local guest house and meals will be cooked by our Sherpa staff in the lodge kitchen.
June 6 Kyirong
Drive to Kyirong. We’ll stop for lunch enroute.
June 7 Drive to Kathmandu
Drive to Rasuagadhi border bridge and the Nepal border crossing. We’ll leave our Tibetan jeeps and board our Nepali jeeps for the drive to Kathmandu. Arrive Kathmandu in the late afternoon. Enjoy a festive farewell dinner tonight.
June 8 Departure
Transfer to the Kathmandu International Airport for your departure flight.
Health and Fitness Requirements
Most people in reasonably good health would be able to make this trek without any injuries or serious sickness/problems. Check with us if you have any questions about your ability to make this tour.
Due to the altitudes we travel in, this tour may not be suitable for people with heart ailments, chronic problems related to lungs and those with high blood pressure related problems. If you have experienced serious altitude sickness in the past that required hospitalization, this tour is not recommended for you. If you are in doubt, please check with your doctor before signing up on this tour.