We decided and chose to travel to Tibet because it seemed a place full of history and we wanted to know its culture and the kindness of its people, and it didn´t disappoint us.
And, in addition, for adventurers like us, seeing Everest, the roof of the world, is an unforgettable and indescribable experience. We also wanted to see the Potala, which we had seen so many times on TV, books and magazines, but we needed to see it live.
David Fernandez's Tibet Tour Video Review
For this reason, we decided to book the tour “7 days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Small Group Tour”.
Successfully Arrived in Lhasa for Tibet Vista’s Professional Tour Arrangement
We arrived by plane from Kathmandu to Lhasa Gonggar Airport. We had previously booked the flight on the Sichuan Airlines website.
From Tibet Vista they managed everything related to the visa and necessary permits excellently in their Kathmandu agency where we had to carry some documents so that they can manage everything.
Once at the Lhasa airport, representatives from Tibet Vista were waiting for us to manage the entrance and take us by minibus to our hotel in Lhasa (approximately one hour from the airport), In this hotel we stayed 3 days, essential to acclimatize to the altitude. Lhasa is at an altitude of 3656 m.a.s.l.
The hotel we stayed in was the Gangjian hotel, near downtown and Potala.
The day we arrived was free for the group, so we decided to take a walk in Lhasa’s main street until we reached the majestic Potala. Seeing it live impressed and excited us.
It was a quiet walk to not force our body too much against altitude sickness. - Learn more of experts’ tips to avoid acute altitude sickness in Tibet.
Couldn’t Wait to Start Our Journey in Lhasa City
The second day we met our guide, Jimme, our driver, Namgar, and the group of people who were going to take part with us in this wonderful experience, and after a brief talk and introductions, we headed to the Deprung Monastery. The site in which it is located and its views are fantastic.
It was very interesting to enter the different rooms and see the daily life of the monks and the people who come, every day, to help them.
The details and paintings full of stories that decorate the walls are beautiful. Our guide told us the story of this temple and solved our doubts, Western mentality, with so much patience and always with a smile.
Sera Monastery monk debate
Then they took us to the Sera Monastery, where we could enjoy and surprise ourselves, in their courtyard, with the curious ritual of the monks debating in pairs. We could also see three colored sand Mandalas made by hand by the monks and visit a printing site of Tibetan religious texts. Although we ended the day tired, it was a gift to go at night, on our own, to see the illuminated Potala.
Potala Palace at night
The third day we went to the Potala to visit the inside of the palace and learn about its history. After going up all the stairs, the views were beautiful.
At the end of the visit, and after lunch, we headed to the Jokhang Temple, located in the heart of the city, where we could also see the pilgrims prostrating in front of the Temple.
At the end of the visit, we walk along Barkhor Street, next to the pilgrims, and explore the old market.
It is worth hanging out in the streets around the temple. There are many shops and good atmosphere.
Venture out from Lhasa to Shigatse, the Gateway to Mt. Everest
On the fourth day we packed up and headed for Shigatse.
On the way, we stopped at the Gangba Pass to see Lake Yamdrok, Mount Naiginkangsang, Korola Glacier, Manak Dam Lake with its flags hanging from the mountain… until we reached Gyantse.
All landscapes are amazing. You may stop every minute to observe each of them, since as the altitude increases, the landscapes are transforming.
When you get to Gyantse the first thing you see is the Gyantse Dzong fortress, which is impressive. We also walked through the old part of the city, where you can see the daily life of the Tibetans.
We arrived in the afternoon at Shigatse, staying at the Manasarovar hotel. It is located in the center of the city, so we decided to take a walk around the area. The next day, on the fifth day, we visited the residence of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery.
Then we headed to the EBC.
Final Leg to Everest Base Camp from Shigatse
On the way we visited the Tsola Pass (4.600m) and the Gyatsola Pass (5.248m) and the panoramic views of the Himalayas at the Gawula Pass (5.180m), driving along the New zigzagging road to Everest Base Camp.
Scenery along the way to EBC
In our case we could not see well the Himalayan views due to the clouds.
And finally we arrived at our lodge near the EBC, Rongpuk Guest House. It is important to wear comfortable, warm clothes for EBC. Wearing a head torch it is helpful.
We were all excited to see Everest, but the clouds prevented us. - Find out the best time to visit EBC in Tibet.
Everest Base Camp
We went out in the van towards the EBC hoping to get to see it, and as we had a very good karma, as at sunset, the sky cleared allowing us to see the top and part of mountain body and its top.
Next to the EBC, it was the Rongbuk Monastery, the highest in the world at an altitude of 5.100 meters. We were able to visit it and get to know the monk and the nuns who lived there.
The complex had a temple, which was underground, like a cave, where it was hot, which was grateful for us at the time.
Then we went to dinner and rest at the EBC guest house.
For altitude sickness, our recommendation is to drink plenty of water throughout the day, not to do exercise or sudden movements. At night, to try to relax and not get overwhelmed if you have trouble to sleep. You can take oxygen if you consider it necessary.
The guide left us some small oxygen sprays in case we needed overnight.
In addition, he measured us the amount of oxygen in our blood before sleeping and told us to let him know if we were feeling bad.
Cross Sino-Nepal Border to Kathmandu
The next day, on the sixth day, we said goodbye to the EBC and headed to Kyrong(Gyirong), where we slept before crossing the border between Tibet and Nepal the next day. Although the road is long, the landscape is beautiful.
We had some mishap to get off the Everest Base Camp. The roads were muddy and, because of the humidity and the rain, we were trapped several times in some areas, but we were not the only ones. It was also a very positive experience. All tours, that we were going along that path, helped each other to manage the situation, between laughter and falls.
Once we arrived at Kyirong we stayed at Gyirong Hotel, where we spent the afternoon having rest. At night, in the same Hotel, we ate the whole group, together with Jimme and Namgar, to take stock of the trip.
The next day we woke up early to cross the border. We had a long way to go to Kathmandu. There, we said goodbye to Jimme and Namgar.
To Sum up of My Epic Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour
In general, as a summary of the trip, we believe that the best is to enjoy the wonderful landscapes but also to take the opportunity to chat with the people of your group, who usually are from other countries and cultures, which will allow you to have another vision. Also to ask and talk with the guide and the driver to better understand the traditions and history of Tibet.
It was an unforgettable trip, with wonderful feelings, although none can overcome when we saw the Potala for the first time, as well as being in front of Everest. Despite all landscapes are spectacular along the entire route, these two views exceeded our expectations by far.
We were also amazed at the local traditions, and the influence that religion has on the daily life of Tibetans.
Sharing the trip with other people, both our fellow travelers, and all the Tibetans we met throughout the tour, made the memories even more unique.
Big Thanks to Our Tibetan Guide Jimme and Helpful Driver Namgar
Throughout the whole trip, Jimme explained to us the Tibetan history and traditions very well and solved all our questions, telling us, in addition, curiosities of Tibetan culture and own experiences.
Namgar, besides being very nice and pleasant, drove very well and correctly, taking into account certain more dangerous areas of the road. He taught us some expressions in Tibetan.
Once we crossed the border, and on the Nepalese land, and with the visas in our hands, we headed to Kathmandu, booked with Tibet Vista in addition to the tour. Drivers hired by Tibet Vista were in charge of taking us.
The trip to Kathmandu is long, and it takes all day long. Nepal's roads are much more austere and difficult compared to Tibet, although the landscape along the entire path to Kathmandu was beautiful. It was an experience…