Bordering ten of the world's tallest peaks, the Tibetan plateau is certainly deserving of its "Roof of the World" nickname. See the sky-high sights for yourself on this 11-day adventure. You'll journey to Lhasa on part of the world's longest railway, visit the famous Everest Base Camp, visit lakeside monasteries adorned with colorful Buddhist prayer flags, and more.

Highlights

  • Journey to Lhasa along the world's highest railway
  • Visit Tibet’s iconic landmarks, including Potala Palace.
  • Take an unforgettable excursion to Everest Base Camp

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Beijing Beijing
Day 2 Beijing Full Day Tour Beijing
Day 3 Train Beijing to Lhasa Train
Day 4 Arrive in Lhasa Lhasa
Day 5 Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street Lhasa
Day 6 Norbulingka, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery Lhasa
Day 7 Lhasa – Gyangtse – Shigatse Shigatse
Day 8 Shigatse – Tingri Tingri
Day 9 Tingri –Mt. Everest Base Camp - Tingri Tingri
Day 10 Tingri – Gyirong Gyirong
Day 11 Chinese/Nepal new-opened border  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

Forbidden City in Beijing
Forbidden City in Beijing

Arrive in Beijing by international flight—you'll be picked up from the airport and transfer to our hotel. TIme and energy permitting, you can take a guided evening visit to Wangfujing Street, a vibrant shopping area home to one of Beijing's famous night markets.

Day 2: Beijing Tour

Great Wall
Great Wall

Today you'll pay a morning visit to the fascinating Mutianyu Great Wall with a one-way cable car.  Afterward, visit Tiananmen Square, where most national ceremonies are held. From the square, you can walk to the splendid Forbidden City. Upon arrival at the largest imperial palace, travelers are always impressed by the high red walls and a large number of buildings with golden roofs. In the evening, you'll hop aboard a comfortable overnight train to Lhasa.

Day 3: Beijing - Lhasa

Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake

Spend your third day traversing the “spine of the world” by train. Extraordinary scenery awaits—especially the section between Golmud and Lhasa. Enjoy the views as you journey past snow-capped mountains, Gobi desert, the Northern Grassland, high mountain lakes, and more. Keep your eyes peeled for famous attractions like Qinghai Lake, Mt. Tanggula, and Mt. Kunlun.

Day 4: Lhasa

Potala Palace
Potala Palace

Today you'll arrive in Lhasa, the provincial capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region—commonly dubbed the “Roof of the World.” With an average altitude of 4,900 meters above sea level, Tibet is the highest region on earth. Disembark at Lhasa Station in the early afternoon, head to your hotel, and have dinner in town.

Day 5: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple

Start by visiting one of the most charismatic structures ever built in Tibet, the Potala Palace. Seeing the winter residence of the Dalai Lama is an awe-inspiring experience. After lunch, you can visit Jokhang Temple which is located in the heart of the old town, built in the mid-7th century CE, and ramble around Barkhor Street to give you more time getting to know the atmosphere and local culture of this historical town.

Day 6: Norbulingka, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery

Norbulingka
Norbulingka

Visit Norbulingka, the summer palace of Dalai Lamas. It was constructed in the 1740s and covers an area of 0.36 square meters after more than 200 years expansion. It is the largest artificial garden in Tibet with beautiful landscapes and rich historical relics.

After that, pay a visit to Sera Monastery, which is noted for its Buddhism scripture debating. Sera means wild rose in Tibetan, it was constructed by a famous disciple of Tsongkhapa in 1419. We will have the chance to watch the monks debating in the monastery, which is a tradition for them to express their different comprehensives of the doctrines. After that, we will visit one of the three great monasteries of Gelug Sect – Drepung Monastery. There were more than 10000 Buddhists in the monastery at its heyday. It covers an area of 0.2 million square meters with an altitude of 3800 meters.

Day 7: Lhasa – Gyangtse – Shigatse 

Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Lake

Leaving Lhasa, we head for an amazing day of exploration deep in the Tibetan highlands. Our destination today is Gyangtse, Tibet’s fourth largest city, located at the junction of the major trade routes between China and Sikkim, India. Stop for a view over Yamdruk Lake, home to many kinds of waterfowl, and enjoy the roadside Karola Glacier en-route to Gyangtse.

Arrive in Gyangtse and visit Palcho Monastery, built in the early 15th century and still decked out with original wall paintings and Buddha statues. Drive from Gyantse to Shigatse through the Nyangchu Valley, one of the three fertile valleys in central Tibet. Once you get to Shigatse—the second largest city in Tibet—visit the Tashi Lunpo Monastery and spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.

Day 8: Shigatse – Tingri

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery

In the morning after breakfast, visit Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. The seat of the Panchen Lama, one of Tibet’s spiritual leaders, Tashi Lhunpo was initially constructed by the first Dalai Lama in 1447 in honor of his teacher. Explore a local market before leaving Shigatse, stopping in the small town of Lhatse and driving over the Gyatso La Pass on your way to Tingri. This is where you'll spend the evening: in a charming huddle of Tibetan homes overlooking a sweeping plain, bordered by towering peaks of Everest and Cho Oyu. 

Day 9: Everest Base Camp

Mt. Everest Base Camp
Mt. Everest Base Camp

The day offers us one of the highlights of the entire trip: weather permitting, you'll visit the base camp for Mt. Everest. You'll be driven to Gyawula Mountain Pass for your chance to get a glimpse of the world's highest peak, locally known as Qomolangma ("The Mother Mount"). Today you'll also visit the world’s highest monastery, Rongbuk Monastery of the most ancient sect of Tibetan Buddhism at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier. In the afternoon, drive back to Tingri for the night.

Day 10: Tingri – Gyirong

Sunrise over Mt. Everest
Sunrise over Mt. Everest

Today you'll make the 7-hour drive to Gyirong, passing spectacular mountain scenery and local villages. Mid-way, make a stop for lunch at Peygutso Lake, a beautiful highland lake at the foot of Mt. Everest. Enjoy the last night of your journey in Gyirong.

Day 11: Depart Tibet via the newly-opened Nepal border

Gyirong
Gyirong

Pass over the Gyirong Border and say farewell to Tibet. From here, you'll head back to Kathmandu and onward to your international flight.

Map

Map of Tibet Train Journey & Everest Base Camp - 11 Days
Map of Tibet Train Journey & Everest Base Camp - 11 Days
Alice
Written by Alice Fu, updated Mar 18, 2019