Multi-Day Tour

Iconic Tibet Featuring Everest Base Camp (12 days)

Nomadic Expeditions

Chengdu, China To Kathmandu, Nepal

Iconic Tibet Featuring Everest Base Camp (12 days)

Day 8

Shegar, China

Day 9

Everest Base Camp , Nepal

Day 10

Kriyong, Nepal


Day 1
Chengdu, China
Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu None

You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. In the evening you will have an “orientation meeting” with your trip leader – initial talk/discussion on “High Altitude Travel,” “Do’s & Don’t” for Lhasa/Tibet. We will have an early night as we head of to Tibet at the crack of dawn.

Day 2
Lhasa, China
Shangri-la Hotel, Lhasa Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We will have an early start to the day, as we head to the airport for our flight to Lhasa (11,975 ft.). If the weather is clear, the flight (we try to obtain window seats for everyone) from Chengdu to Lhasa will offer spectacularly majestic panoramic views of the eastern ramparts of the Himalayas from either side of the plane. China’s highest mountain peaks, the 24,783’ Minya Konka, and the mighty Namche Barwa (25,439’) loom majestically on the horizon, surrounded by countless snow-capped peaks and high alpine valleys, climbing vertiginously upwards to the high-altitude Tibetan plateau.

Upon arrival at Gongkar, Tibet’s international airport, we will be joined by members of our Tibetan staff for the two-hour drive to Lhasa. We cross the powerful Tsangpo River as we make our way through the beautiful countryside of Ü, the historically rich province of Central Tibet. Winding our way through the stunningly austere Tibetan landscape, we nally enter the environs of Lhasa, Tibet’s most populous city. There before us, standing imposingly upon its lofty precipice, is the staggeringly beautiful and instantly recognizable Potala Palace, its regal red and white façade and glittering golden gables towering over the Kyi-chu Valley.

We will have the next few days to spend in and around Lhasa, the legendary Tibetan capital. The goal of many intrepid travelers and explorers, the “forbidden city” of Lhasa will reveal its unique character and enchanting mystique as we visit many of its most signi cant historical and cultural sites. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, we will check in to our hotel, the Kyi Chu, located in the heart of Lhasa, near to both the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple.

Day 3
Lhasa, China
Shangri-la Hotel, Lhasa Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We have three full days to explore and photograph the historic capital of Tibet, while allowing our bodies to acclimate to the higher altitude. We start with a visit to two of the area’s most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, Drepung and Nechung. We will spend the afternoon exploring the Jokhang and Barkhor area in old Lhasa.

Day 4
Lhasa, China
Shangri-la Hotel, Lhasa Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We have three full days to explore and photograph the historic capital of Tibet, while allowing our bodies to acclimate to the higher altitude. We start with a visit to two of the area’s most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, Drepung and Nechung. We will spend the afternoon exploring the Jokhang and Barkhor area in old Lhasa.

Day 5
Gyantse, China
Yeti Gyantse Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we start our drive along the old trade route over high passes, by the turquoise waters of Yamdrok Lake to Gyantse (12,795 ft). Yamdrok is known as the “scorpion lake,” (photo on page 2 of itinerary) due to its twisting shoreline, which, as the moniker suggestions, resembles a scorpion. Yamdrok is one of the four sacred lakes of Tibet, and is a major pilgrimage site in its own right, with a kora path ringing its shores. The lake will be our companion for a good portion of our drive to Giants and we will stop at various vantage points for photography. From the rushing waters of the Tsangpo to the high mountain passes of Kamba-la and Karo-la, festooned with prayer ags, the drive from Lhasa to Gyantse is a breathtaking photogenic journey.

Early evening we arrive in Gyantse, situated in the fertile and agriculturally productive Nyang-chu Valley with the impressive Gyantse Dzong (fort) sitting stolidly atop its lofty perch. We will check in to our hotel and unwind from the drive, and perhaps take in some of the sites in Gyantse.

Day 6
Shigatse, China
Chomo Langdzong Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The highlight of our time in Gyantse will be a visit to the city’s most famous site, the sublime Kumbum chörten, located at the Pelkor Chöde Monastery. At one time, both the Gelugs and Sakya sects had monasteries at Pelkor Chöde.

As with most of Tibet’s great monastic institutions, Pelkor Chöde suffered greatly during the Cultural Revolution, but is nevertheless enjoying a period of revival. Of course, the highlight of a visit to Pelkor Chöde is the Kumbum, a massive chörten, from which the protective eyes of the Buddha survey the surrounding countryside. The Kumbum (which means “100,000 images” in Tibetan), is blessed with a plethora of amazing Buddhist murals, frescoes and statuary.

You will also see many devout pilgrims completing the short kora around the Kumbum, spinning prayer wheels as they circumambulate the mystical Gyantse Kumbum, protected by the ever-watchful eyes of the Lord Buddha. After exploring the Kumbum and the marketplace we head off to Shigatse on the new blacktop road, reaching there for lunchtime.

Founded in 1447 by another disciple of the great Tsongkhapa, Tashilhunpo was the resting place of the 1st Dalai Lama, but since has come to be identi ed with the Panchen Lamas, the second most important spiritual reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism (after the Dalai Lamas). Although the original manifestation of the Panchen Lama was identi ed by the “Great Fifth” Dalai Lama, a rivalry between the two great gures developed over the course of the following centuries. Controversy continues to shroud the identity of the current Panchen Lama, the subject of much speculation and contention over the past several years between the Chinese government and the Tibetan government in exile.

Tashilhunpo is an intriguing place to visit. It is a very large complex and, like Drepung, rewards the visitor who takes the time to explore the wander the monastery’s byways. Tashilhunpo is an active monastery with a fairly sizeable contingent of monks in residence. The highlight of a visit to the monastery is the massive, 75 foot-plus gilded statue of Maitreya.

Day 7
Shigatse, China
Chomo Langdzong Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s main activity will be a 4 hour hike over a 14,000 ft pass, in the environs of Ngor Monastery, in the hills outside of Shigatse, as we take a break from driving to stretch our legs and acclimate to the higher altitude. Ngor sits on a popular trekkers trail between the monasteries at Shalu and Nartang. Ngor was founded in 1429 as a Sakya monastery, and is a beautiful little complex. After dropping us off at the trailhead our vehicle will drive around and wait for us at Ngor monastery.

On our return to Shigatse, we have the late afternoon free to explore the markets and bazaars in Shigatse, the Shigatse Dzong, or possibly a return visit to Tashilhunpo.

Day 8
Shegar, China
Baiba Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Essentially a travel day as we cover a vast distance across the plateau. Leaving Shigatse, we drive due west through spectacular landscapes, crossing the Jia Tsuo La, 17,121 foot high pass before descending to the small town of Shegar at 14,300 ft. Just as the early Everest expeditions took a break at Shegar, so shall we before heading south to Everest’s base camp at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning.

Day 9
Everest Base Camp , Nepal
Monastery Guesthouse Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A pre-dawn departure from Shegar finds us on the top of Pang La (a 17,000-ft pass) at sunrise. Braving the cold we will be afforded an unparallel photographic opportunity as we see the rising sun light up the vast panorama of Himalaya peaks spread in front of us from Makalu (27,817’) to Everest (29,028’) and Lhotse (27,916’) to Gyachung Kang (25,980’), to Cho Oyu (26,714’), and to the west, Shisha Pangma (26,286’). After watching the rising sun light up the summit of Everest we leave Pang-la and snake down to the Zakar River Valley and onto Rongbuk Valley, arriving at Everest’s base by late morning. In Everest 1933 Hugh Ruttledge wrote of coming at last into the storied valley:

“The approach was dramatic. At the moment we were walking up the rough, snow-covered track, in the valley, which seemed to lead to nowhere in particular. At the next moment a last corner was turned and there was the monastery, with its great chorten; and beyond, the wind-torn but still impenetrable mists behind which we knew was Mount Everest.”

The Rongbuk monastery has been largely rebuilt since its almost destruction during the Cultural Revolution and prayer flags again flutter in the shadow of Chomolungma, Goddess Mother of the World. Many other peaks cast their shadows on the exquisitely barren and beautiful valley. Every climber who has gone up to Rongbuk has looked up at the hall of inviting mountains lining the valley and wanted to get up there and begin climbing, for the joy of it, for the unique views, and for the history. Weather permitting, we have the whole afternoon, as well as sunset to photograph Everest.

Day 10
Kriyong, Nepal
Kriyong Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
oday will be another spectacular “landscape” day as we cross the spine of the Himalaya and descent into Nepal. We will wake up early to see Everest at sunrise, before making our drive through the Himalaya, from the barren Tibetan Plateau to the lush foothills of Nepal.

Leaving the Base Camp we rst cross the rolling meadows of Tingri with our last views of Everest, to reach our rst pass of the day Lalung-la (16,564’) offering spectacular views Langtang Peaks that are also visible from Kathmandu. Stopping at Thong- la for views of Shisha Pangma - 26,390’ the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the Langtang Himal, we continue to the new border crossing town of Kriyong.

A steep and dramatic descend we reach the Nepal border by late afternoon. Kriyong is a bustling and colorful border town built on the side of a dramatic Bhotia Khosi gorge.

We will have a “farewell dinner” with our Tibetan guide and drivers as tomorrow we will be picked up by our Nepalese staff for our drive to Kathmandu.

Day 11
Kathmandu, Nepal
Yak & Yeti Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As all of China is on Beijing time (here we’re three normal times zones away from the Chinese capital), as we cross the Friendship Bridge to Nepal, it will be two hours forty- ve minutes earlier! We pass through customs/immigration just before the bridge and then walk across to Nepal, while our porters will carry our baggage. Once we have cleared the entry formalities on the Nepal side, we will make the drive to legendary Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city.

Like Tibet, the legendary locale of Kathmandu conjures images of the ultimate mysterious and exotic travel destination. Located in Central Nepal, the Kathmandu area is the center of Nepali cultural and political life. Indeed, the Kathmandu Valley has been a hub of civilization for over two millennia. Kathmandu is living history, where the modern and ancient continue to mingle.

It is an unforgettable experience to wander the mysterious bazaars of old Kathmandu.

“Namaste” is the greeting you will receive from the friendly Nepalese people, a traditional Hindu greeting, derived from Sanskrit, which means “I salute the soul (God?) within you.” We will check in to our hotel, the classic Yak & Yeti, before spending the afternoon taking in some of the sites of Kathmandu, including Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka, the ancient palace of the Gorkha Kings and the old bazaar.

This evening we will gather for a special Farewell Dinner, as we bring our incredible journey to a close.

Day 12
Kathmandu, Nepal
None Breakfast


We will be transferred to Kathmandu’s airport in time for our ights to our respective Asian transit cities for connecting return ights to the USA and Europe.

Tour Features


  • Adventure
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing
  • Wildlife & Nature


This itinerary is designed to touch the deep spiritual, natural, and cultural beauty and history of Tibet. Our journey through the highest Himalaya begins with four days exploring Lhasa, the magical capital of Tibet. Here, we visit the majestic Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor bazaar and secluded monasteries. Leaving Lhasa, we explore the turquoise waters of holy Yamdruk Lake on our way to Gyantse where we visit historic Kumbum chörten. Continuing via Shigatse and the monastery at Tashilhunpo, home of the Panchen Lamas, we reach Everest’s North Base camp. We spend two nights at Everest’s base camp in a small lodge, visiting the local temple and enjoying sunset and sunrise on Everest, before driving down a dramatic gorge to the border of Nepal. From here, we travel to the colorful city of Kathmandu, Nepal, where we end our tour.

About Us

Nomadic Expeditions is an award-winning tour operator that has been crafting trips of a lifetime to Mongolia, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, China, Myanmar, Siberia, Sri Lanka, and India for 25 years. Founded by Mongolian-American Jalsa Urubshurow, Nomadic Expeditions pioneered luxury adventure travel to Mongolia shortly after its democratization in 1990. As developers and owners of the Three Camel Lodge, Nomadic Expeditions continues its commitment to providing exceptional experiences coupled with sustainability in this hidden corner of the world.

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Terms & Conditions

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Nomadic Expeditions. Cancellation charges are based on the number of days from the date we receive the written cancellation notice until the main trip departure date.

Cancellation charges:

  • 90 days or more Full Deposit
  • 89-60 days 25% of land
  • 59-30 days 50% of land
  • 29-0 days No refund
  • After trip departs - No refund

In addition, any unrecoverable charges or fees imposed by suppliers or vendors on advance payments will be assessed. Airfares are refundable in accordance with the policy of the airline carrier being used, subject to a $50 handling charge. If full payment is not received 90 days prior to departure, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to consider this a cancellation. A Late Payment Fee will apply to all payments made less than 90 days prior to departure. Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to cancel or postpone any travel services prior to departure for any reason, including insufficient number of participants. In the event that a trip cannot depart on the dates specified due to unforeseeable events that render the itinerary inoperable or inadvisable, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to postpone services until such time as it is deemed appropriate by Nomadic Expeditions. Trip payments will be held by Nomadic Expeditions, and subject to the same conditions as for the original scheduled trip. Nomadic Expeditions is not responsible for any unrecoverable expenses incurred by trip participants due to trip cancellation or postponement, including non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses and visa fees, or additional arrangements, made either through Nomadic Expeditions or another provider, purchased to coincide with this scheduled departure. This trip is subject to the cancellation, refund, and other policies set forth on our Departure Guide. We urge you to read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions.

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Highly Recommended

By: CW

Reviewed on: 02 May 2014

The tour group offered helpful advice about Mongolia and organized a VIP immigration service on arrival in Ulaanbaatar. The guide was experienced and very friendly and worked hard to get me to see all the sights I wanted to see (quite a feat as I tend to want to see everything).
Travel Advisor:  Ilana Valo