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4 Facts You Should Know About Mt. Everest Base Camp

mt.everest camp baseMt. Everest Base Camp

North of Mount Everest in Tibet, there is the Chinese Everest Base Camp (EBC). This camp was constructed to protect the environment around Mount Everest and to provide a campsite for climbers and travelers. You can camp there to see the peak of Mount Everest.

  • Chinese: 珠穆朗玛峰大本营 Zhūmùlǎngmǎ fēng dàběnyíng /joo-moo-lung-maa fnng daa-bnn-ying/
  • Location: Tingri County, Shigatse, Tibet; about 19 km (12 mi) north of Mt. Everest, 3.6 km (2.2 mi) south of Rongbuk Monastery
  • Altitude: 5,200 meters (17,060 ft)
  • Activities: camping, trekking, photography
  • Facilities: tent hostels, small shops, post office
  • Best times: spring and autumn

1. You can send a postcard to yourself from the world's highest post office.

Tibet Mount Everest Base CampColorful prayer flags at Mt. Everest Base Camp

Getting a postcard from where you have travelled to can be very meaningful.

There is a simple green tent post office labeled "China Post" at EBC with kind staff. It sends letters, postcards, sells Tibetan stamps and provides a commemorative postmark service. You can send a postcard to yourself from the world's highest post office.

The postcards are quite expensive: 25 yuan (USD 4) each. You can get four postmarks. Postcards are sometimes stolen by "collectors" during delivery, so you are advised to take it home instead of sending it.

2. You can camp to view the stars, sunset/sunrise, and Everest.

starry skyStarry sky of Mt. Everest

An overnight stay will give you a better chance to see Everest. If you come all that way it is worth staying around to see the peak.

It's often uncomfortable and difficult to sleep at night at such a high altitude. If you can't sleep because of headaches, shortness of breath, etc., you can enjoy a spectacular starry sky on a clear night, unblemished by light pollution, and with fewer atmospheres in the way.

Watching the sunrise/sunset the China side of Mt. Everest is a special experience. 

As Everest is south of the base camp, and because sunrise is delayed due to the height of surrounding mountains, the sun rises more in the southeast, and Everest is caught in a golden glow on a clear morning. Likewise with southwesterly Tibet EBC sunsets. 

The closer to winter the better the southerly sunrise effect. In May sunrise is from 7:00 to 7:30. In October sunrise is from 8:00 to 8:30.

3. There is no direct flight, train, or public bus to Tibet's Everest Base Camp.

everest sunriseMount Everest sunrise

From Lhasa you can take a privately hired van to EBC, taking about 2 days. Or take a train from Lhasa to Shigatse and then take a van to EBC (12 hours). 

The road between Tingri Town and EBC is quite bumpy. When you arrive at Rongbuk Monastery, 3.6 km north of EBC, you have to get off the van and get in the shuttle bus or trek to EBC.

See more details about how to get to Everest Base Camp.

4. Tent hostels at EBC only provide basic facilities.

To preserve the environment around Mt. Everest, and because of the harsh conditions, there are no hotels after Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse, 3.6 km (2.2 mi) north of EBC.

Tent hostels are available April to November. The tent hostels are taken down in winter because of the bad weather. Do not expect too much of the accommodation.

Facilities

tentsTent hostel's beds
  • Beds: Each tent hostel has 10 beds with quilts, but in peak season a tent often sleeps more than 10.
  • Toilets are outside the tent hostels in small tents or huts, either chemical or squat pits.
  • Hot water is available, but there are no showers.
  • Chinese food is provided, and maybe instant coffee in the morning. If you don't like Chinese food like fried rice, Chinese noodles, pork, etc., bring enough food with you.
  • Keeping warm: Stoves burning cow dung are used to keep warm (without a bad smell). Due to the high altitude, it's cold and the wind is strong, especially at night. Bring enough warm clothes to keep warm.
  • Limited medical supplies: Most experience altitude sickness at EBC and the nearest hospital is in Tingri, 6 hours away. Bring your own oxygen and medicine to fight altitude sickness.
  • Electricity: Lights go out at midnight when the generator is switched off. There is low voltage at EBC, so you are advised to charge your phone, camera, and flashlight in Shigatse before going to EBC.

Tour Mt. Everest Base Camp with China Highlights

everest base camp

To travel Everest Base Camp, an Aliens' Travel Permit is required, as well as the other mandatory requirements for foreigner entry to Tibet. We can help you arrange this once you arrive in Tibet.

If you are planning a Tibet tour with Mt. Everest Base Camp, please see our popular tour below for inspiration:

Or you can contact us to tailor make a unique tour for you according to your interests.

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