Travel to Gyantse
Today you’ll leave Lhasa and drive to Gyantse; a 260km drive of which only the first part is on a paved road. Along the way you’ll see Buddhist monasteries, picturesque villages, camps and nomads roaming with their yaks. After a while you’ll start to see the first pass, the Kamba-La. On top of the pass you’ll have a breathtaking view of the deep-azure blue Yamdrok-Tso, one of the 4 holy lakes.
You’ll have lunch in one of the villages along the way and then continue on to the next mountain pass, the Kora-La at an altitude of 5045m. At the end of the afternoon you’ll reach Gyantse (3950m). Gyantse was once an important trading post on the route between India, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and China. Your hotel is located on main street and you’ll have your own bathroom. If you feel up to it you can go for a walk through town and have a look at the monastery and the outside of the fortress.
Travel to Sakya
Next you’ll visit the Pelkor Choede Monastery and the Kumbum Stupa, which literally means “house with 100,000 Buddha statues” and is one of the most spectacular architectural structures in Tibet. You’ll then continue on to Sakya via Shigatse where you’ll stay in a modest hotel. Sakya is a small town dominated by the Sakya Gompa, one of Tibet’s largest monasteries.
Travel to Rombuk
This morning you and your guide will visit the Sakya Gompa. From the roof you’ll have a view of the surrounding area. Next, it’s time for the real adventure to begin as you leave civilisation and head for Everest base camp. You’ll travel through remote plateaus, past small villages and over some of the world’s highest mountain passes.
At Shegar you’ll leave the Friendship Highway and follow an unpaved road from this point on. The landscape will become flat and barren, the mountain peaks will become whiter and at the end of the day you’ll reach the Rombuk Monastery; at 4980m it is the world’s highest. The Rombuk Guest House lies next to it where you’ll spend the night in a basic room with shared facilities.
Hike to Everest & travel to Shigatse
Brace yourself; this will probably be a tough but unforgettable morning. Today you’ll visit the Tibetan Everest base camp. Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. By experiencing how strenuous it is to simply walk in this area, will give you renewed respect for Everest climbers. If you don’t feel like walking, or can’t walk any further, you can pay 25 Yuan on the spot to take the shuttle bus.
After your adventurous trip to base camp, you’ll return to the civilised world in the afternoon. Via Shegar you’ll drive back to the second largest city in Tibet: Shigatse, where you’ll arrive in the late afternoon or early evening. Tonight you’ll spend the night in a comfortable hotel with en-suite bathroom; a welcoming respite.
Back to Lhasa
Shigatse is known for its Tashilhunpo Monastery, where a gigantic golden stupa marks the 4th century Panchen Lama’s tomb. If you feel active climb the mountain that the monastery is built up against. Many prayer flags left behind by those who reached the top still wave in the wind. Later in the day you’ll drive back to Lhasa where you’ll return to the same hotel.
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