Snow-covered mountain peaks are coupled with glacial lakes and flowering valleys, including the remote Kangshung valley, often referred to as the valley of flower. After climbing Lingam La, at 5,320 metres (17,454 feet), you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of vast snow covered Himalayan peaks including Makalu, Lhotse Shar, Lhotse and Mount Everest, before visiting Everest base camp itself.
On this adventure you will drive from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, into the mysterious Buddhist kingdom of Tibet to enjoy some challenging yet rewarding trekking through some of the most spectacular scenery found on earth. As well as the 12 days of amazing Himalayan trekking on this adventure you’ll also be driven around this amazing country to experience the fascinating Tibetan culture, meet the friendly people and visit beautiful Buddhist monasteries on an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.
Typical day-to-day Tibet trek itinerary
In order to maximise your enjoyment of your trip to Tibet and trekking in the Kharta Valley, we recommend a trip duration of at least 22 days. There are many tour guide operators or charities you could choose to travel with and each will offer a different itinerary. The Tibet trek itinerary below is an example only and may vary.
Day 1 – Flight to Kathmandu
Day 2 – Rest day Kathmandu
Take a day to relax after your long journey and explore the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Have a meal in one of the many superb restaurants before your adventure begins.
Day 3 – Kathmandu to Nyalam
You will be driven from Kathmandu to pass through the stunning Nepalese countryside for a 76 mile (123 km) drive to the Tibetan border at Kodari. The drive then continues to Nyalam through numerous passes and valleys enjoying the sights of many cascading waterfalls.
Day 4 – Rest day – Nyamlam
Day four is spent resting and acclimatising to allow your body to adjust to the lower levels of oxygen at high altitudes. There is a pleasant walk to the nearby Nyalam Pelgye Ling temple, which is a cave once used by 11th and 12th century poet-lama Milarepa.
Day 5 – Nyamlam to Kharta
Enjoy the drive to Lalung La from where you can see the entire north side of the Himalayan mountain range. The drive then continues across the Tibetan plateau, passing ancient Tibetan villages to reach the Tingri plains where the vast summits of Cho Oyu and Mount Everest first come into view. There is a stop for lunch on the Pang La pass, enjoying views of Mount Everest and much of the surrounding Himalaya as you eat. The drive then descends until finally reaching your overnight accommodation at Kharta.
Day 6 – Rest day in Kharta for further acclimatisation
Day six is another rest day to allow further acclimatization before beginning your trek. Spend a relaxing day exploring in and around Kharta to get your legs ready for the challenge ahead.
Day 7 – Kharta to Lundrubling
Your trekking adventure begins along the banks of the Kharta River following a beautiful trail to reach the Shao La. The days trekking is rewarded by spectacular views of valleys below and snow capped peaks to the east. Finally you reach your overnight campsite in the village of Lundrubling where you are warmly welcomed and enjoy a meal with the villagers.
Day 8 – Lundrubling to Kaamo Tsangpo Valley
After a breakfast of cereal, bread, eggs and tea or coffee, it's time to set off again to climb the Shao La pass… as you climb, Everest looms into view and it is amazing to see this majestic peak surrounded by neighbouring Himalayan giants. The trek continues upwards passing through wonderful traditional Tibetan scenery along the way before reaching Joksam camp, a spectacular place to spend the night surrounded by pine and fir forests in this beautiful valley.
Day 9 – Kaamo Tsangpo Valley to Khangsung Valley
Leaving the Kaamo Tsangpo Valley the trek ascends along a forested ridgeline before being rewarded with spectacular views stretching all the way to Nepal. The trail then passes a number of pristine mountain lakes where Yak herders make their communities. The days trekking ends end with spectacular views of the rarely seen Kangshung face of Mount Everest… it really is breathtaking as you set up camp in the meadows and enjoy the views.
Day 10 – Khangsung Valley to Pethang Ringmo
Day ten is a leisurely day of trekking, giving you a chance to truly appreciate the stunning Himalayan landscape around you. After the short trek to Pethang Ringmo you set up camp in a meadow from where you can explore a nearby sacred lake and cave complete with prayer rooms inside.
Day 11 – Pethang Ringmo to Hoppo
There’s some challenging trekking on steep slopes today before re-joining shepherd trails. Once back on the shepherd route you’ll see beautiful meadows, the panoramic views of Mount Everest and the glaciers of Chomo Lonzo before setting up camp in another Yak pasture.
Day 12 – Trek to Kangshung base camp and back to Hoppo
The morning trek to the foot slopes of Kangshung takes a few hours to reach. But once there you can admire this daunting peak before the return trek and another night at your Hoppo camp.
Day 13 – Trek to Langma La
On day 13 the trek follows a well defined trail down another valley, passing Yak herders’ camps and meeting the welcoming and friendly locals along the way, to reach Langma La and set up camp at the base of the immense pass.
Day 14 – Langma La to Lundrubling
The day starts with a challenging ascent and descent of the Langma La pass but with the views of Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu along the way make this an exhilarating day of trekking, before camp is made in the delightful village of Lundrubling.
Day 15 – Lundrubling to Kharta
This is your last day of trekking on what has been an exhilarating challenge. The walking is more relaxed as you make your way to Kharta where you can celebrate with a meal before a well earned rest in your lodgings.
Day 16 – Drive from Kharta to Rongbuk
From Kharta you will be driven to your campsite near Rongbuk monastery and only 9.3 miles (15 km) from the Everest base camp. Visiting this Buddhist monastery and camping with Everest looming in the sky is an amazing highlight of this adventure.
Day 17 – Everest base camp and drive to Lhatse
Today you are taken to Everest base camp at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall and you might even be lucky enough to meet teams making an ascent of the world’s highest mountain. After leaving base camp in the afternoon you will be driven to Lhatse via the Friendship Highway.
Day 18 – Lhatse to Gyantse
From Lhatse you are driven along the friendship highway, passing Buddhist monasteries and nomadic people along the way to reach Gyamtso La, the highest pass of your journey. The night is spent in comfortable hotel accommodation in Gyantse.
Day 19 – Rest day in Gyantse and drive to Lhasa
In the morning you can enjoy the fascinating trips to the Pelkore Chode and Gyantse Kumbum monasteries, surrounded by many chapels and colourful Tibetan murals.
In the afternoon there is a trip to Yamdrok Tso, a stunning turquoise lake, before ascending the Karo La pass and the Khamba La to cross the Yarlong Tsangpo River and enter the amazing city of Lhasa.
Day 20 – Rest day – Lhasa
In Lhasa it is well worth getting a guide to show you everything there is to see in this amazing city, including the fascinating Buddhist monasteries. Check out the Jokhang temple and Norbulingka.
The Norbunglinka is an astounding piece of Tibetan architecture and was once a summer palace for the Dalai Lama. Lhasa’s central market (the Barkor) surrounds the Jokhang Temple, where you can experience some more Tibetan culture and purchase amazing crafts and souvenirs to take home.
Day 21 – Rest day – Lhasa
On Day 21 you visit the ancient and majestic 17th century quarters of the Dalai Lama at the Potala Palace. After lunch there is a trip to Drepung Monastery, once home to over 10,000 monks. The Drepung Monastery is still a magnificent building that thankfully escaped the widespread damage of the Cultural Revolution.
Day 22 – Fly Lhasa to Kathmandu
This is a very enjoyable flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu as you fly over the majestic, snow covered, Himalayan Mountains. The flight is an amazing end to an exhilarating adventure.
Day 23 – Fly Kathmandu to home
Enjoy relaxing and exploring the amazing city of Kathmandu and celebrate your epic adventure in one of the many fantastic eating venues before your return flight home.
Using a reputable tour operator has many benefits:
- Well-planned itineraries with ideal acclimatisation to the low oxygen levels at high altitudes as well as good en-route accommodation, food and sightseeing opportunities.
- Sleeping overnight in hotels, lodges and campsites with dinner and breakfast provided.
- Well trained and knowledgeable guides.
- An office including staff with first-hand knowledge of the walk.
When booking your trek experience always make sure you know what is and what is NOT included in the price for example visa fees, airport taxes and travel insurance.
All of your camping equipment, food and clothing will be carried by Yaks and your campsites and meals will be prepared by your guides and porters.
Your trek experience will generally include:
- Return flights to Kathmandu
- Departure tax
- All transport costs
- All accommodation
- All meals
- English-speaking doctor
- Local English-speaking trek leader and full support crew
- Luggage transfers
- All group camping equipment and basic medical kits
Who can do this Tibetan trekking challenge?
The Tibetan trekking challenge is a 23-day adventure suitable to individuals who are able to walk for four to five to hours in a day, with a light rucksack. Some of the days are quite long, and the walking can feel more strenuous at altitude, due to low levels of oxygen in the air.
Regardless of your level of fitness, it is always good advice to have a full medical check-up before deciding whether or not to a trekking challenge. Also when you are planning your trip ensure you have had at least one rest day after flying to Kathmandu to recover from any jet lag or travel fatigue.
Always consult your doctor for a list of all the medical requirements for a trip to Tibet for the Tibetan trekking challenge. It is recommended that you take anti-altitude sickness tablets, such as Diamox, before you travel and during your trek. However the best way to prevent altitude sickness is through proper acclimatisation which has been addressed when putting this trek itinerary together.
The table below lists the vaccinations you may require as well as the time you should see your doctor before travelling in order to get your vaccinations:
|Disease||Recommendation||When to see your doctor|
|Typhoid||Vaccination recommended||10 days before travel|
|Hepatitis A||Vaccination recommended||2 weeks before travel|
|Diphtheria||Vaccination recommended||3 months before travel|
|Yellow Fever||Certificate of vaccination may be required||10 days before travel|
|Tuberculosis||Vaccination sometimes recommended||3 months before travel|
|Hepatitis B||Vaccination sometimes recommended||2 months before travel|
|Rabies||Vaccination sometimes recommended||1 month before travel|
|Meningococcal meningitis||Vaccination sometimes recommended||1 week before travel|
|Japanese B encephalitis||Vaccination sometimes recommended||1 month before travel|
If the example trekking itinerary given here sounds like something you would like to do, maybe you should consider taking on the challenge for charity. A charity trek is a great way to raise money for a worthy cause all while taking on the adventure of a lifetime.