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How to Plan a Mount Everest Tour

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world at 8,848meters (29,030 ft) above sea level. Always snow-capped above 6,000 meters, it is the holy grail of mountaineers and sacred among the Tibetans and Nepalese.

Visiting Everest's north face in Tibet, China is costlier, colder, and starker, but probably safer and more rewarding than in Nepal.

Far fewer mountaineers make expeditions to conquer the world's highest peak from the tougher China side, however, you can visit Mount Everest without climbing.

Everest is not visible from Lhasa, since Tibet's capital is almost 700km (400 miles) away, but you can easily journey to see Everest's summit from China's Everest Base Camp.

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Travel Permits for Mount Everest in China

To enter Tibet and travel around Tibet, travel permits are needed. Besides a Tibet Entry Permit, an Aliens' Travel Permit is required to travel to Everest Base Camp.

Tibet PermitWhat is Tibet Permit

You are not allowed to apply for Tibet permits by yourself or travel to Tibet without a tour guide. You need to find a travel agency to help you arrange Tibet access.

We offer permits (including our assistance in getting all the required permissions)and a top-class private guide service with all our Tibet tours.

Read more on Planning a Tibet Tour and How to Get Tibet Travel Permits.

Contact us for help getting Tibet permits.

Where is Everest Base Camp in China?

In the middle of the Himalayas, Mount Everest is on the border between China and Nepal. The southern slopes of Mount Everest belong to Nepal, while the North Slope is in Tibet, China.

China's Everest Base Camp (EBC) is at the base of the north slope in Qudang Township, Dingri County, Shigatse Prefecture, Tibet.

EBC China is 6 km (4 miles) south of Rongbuk Monastery at altitude 5,150 m(16,900 ft).

See more on Where is Mount Everest? — Interesting Location Effects.

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Location of New EBC

How to Reach Everest Camp in Tibet

Starting from Lhasa, take a bus (10 hours) or train (3 hours) to Shigatse, then private transport to the base camp (12 hours) via Dingri and Rongbuk Monastery (the highest religious building in the world).

People usually reach Lhasa by air from major cities in China or go across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau by railway boarding at Xining or other major cities in China.

If you fly to Lhasa from Kathmandu, Nepal, you may see Mount Everest on the left on a clear Day.

Read more on How to Get to Tibet.

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Traveling to Everest by Road

Everest Base Camp is about 700km (400 miles) from Lhasa, and only a good transport solution will allow you to enjoy a smooth trip.

We don't recommend buses. The most popular and comfortable way by road is to hire a van and a driver.

Our suggested road itinerary from Lhasa to EBC is:

  • Day 1: Lhasa – Yamdrok Lake –Shigatse (7hours)
  • Day 2: Shigatse –Dingri (4 hours)
  • Day 3: Dingri –Rongbuk Monastery – Everest Base Camp (4hours)

If you prefer to go without sightseeing on the way, then skip Yamdrok Lake and head straight to Dingri.

  • Day 1: Lhasa –Shigatse –Dingri (9hours)
  • Day 2: Dingri–Rongbuk Monastery –Everest Base Camp (4hours)

See more about road conditions on How to Get to Everest Base Camp.

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Map of Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Transport

Traveling to Everest by Rail and Road

You can take a train from Lhasa to Shigatse. There are two trains between Lhasa and Shigatse per Day taking about 3 hours.

Train ticket costs are based on the type of seat: US$7 for a hard seat, US$18 for a hard bunk, US$26 for a soft bunk.

From Shigatse Railway Station, you need to continue by road to get to Everest Base Camp, as covered above.

Here is a Lhasa–Shigatse train schedule (for reference):

Route Train Departure Arrival
Lhasa–Shigatse Z8801 08:30 11:25
  Z8803 15:20 17:59
Shigatse–Lhasa Z8804 12:05 14:40
  Z8802 18:40 21:33

Read more on How to Get to Everest Base Camp.

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Things to Do around Mount Everest

Rongbuk Monastery

Rongbuk Monastery, the world's highest Buddhist monastery (altitude 5,154m), and probably the world's highest continuously inhabited place is considered the gateway to Everest Base Camp.

Rongbuk MonasteryPeople around Rongbuk Monastery

Everest Base Camp, Tibet

EBC Tibetis the best vantage point for a view of the imposing snow-capped Mount Everest. Although a little further from Everest than before, the new EBC is close enough for admiring the lofty view.

Base Camp at Rongbuk MonasteryThe New EBC is at the Rongbuk Monastery

You can appreciate the sunrise/sunset at EBC on clear Days. The starry sky at night is also very spectacular. And there is a China Post Office at EBC where you can buy and send your family postcards from Mount Everest.

In January 2019, to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Mount Everest area, the previous EBC site was abandoned and made part of the core protected zone of China's Qomolangma National Nature Preserve (QNNP), and entry to which is forbidden without permission.

Trek to Everest Base Camp

Our recommended 4-Day trek from Old Tingri to EBC does not require mountaineering experience: it is moderately difficult.

The trekking experience is full of Tibetan scenery and villages. Read more details on Everest Base Camp Trek — a Top Tibet Trekking Trip.

Tents along the EBC trekStay overnights during the EBC Trek

Also see Top Things to Do in Tibet.

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Best Times to Visit Mount Everest

The best times to go are late April to early June and late September to early November, as there is little rain and snow and Daytime temperatures are above freezing.

Mid October to November is perhaps the best time to get views of the peak, as there is the clearest and dry weather then. Photographers may prefer April, as it is the best time to shoot the flag-like cloud floating above the peak.

Mount Everest SummitClear View of Mount Everest Summit

Avoid winter time from November to April due to harsh weather conditions. Also, Tibet is usually closed in February and March.

We don't recommend you to go in summer, because summer is the rainy season in Tibet, especially July and August. The summit is usually covered by mist/cloud and you have less chance of seeing the peak.

Continue to read more on The Best Time to Go to Mount Everest.

Contact us for advice or check out Tibet Weather.

Where to Stay at Everest Base Camp, Tibet

Most people stay in Shigatse before their trip to Mount Everest, though Dingri, 120 km (70 mi) or 3 hours from the base camp, does have a limited number of hotels. Near EBC, you can stay in Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse or a tent hotel.

Do not expect too much of the accommodation.

Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse

About 7 km (4 mi) north of Everest Base Camp, Rongbuk Monastery offers basic facilities: a bed and quilts like the tent hostels, but the rooms will be a bit warmer, and you can have your own bathroom and bedroom and more space.

Tent Hotels

Normally 10 people share a tent, and often more than that in peak season. There are no bathrooms for showering, no heating, and "terrible" communal toilets.

Tent at the Rongbuk MonasteryTent at the Rongbuk Monastery

Camping with your own tent is allowed for a bit of privacy. But you must still camp in the tent area, and you pay the same per person camping fee as for the 10 person tents.

Read more on Staying at Everest Base Camp.

Contact us for more hotel options in Tibet.

How Much Does It Cost to Visit EBC

A trip to visit Everest Base Camp in Tibet costs around US$2,500 per person with us based on a private tour for 2 people.

Prices vary depending on the itinerary, travel dates, number of people, and hotels are chosen.

Our price includes:

  • Tibet Entry Permits and Alien Travel Permits
  • Entrance fees
  • Hotels with free oxygen (Check out Hotels)
  • Daily meals
  • A private local vehicle with air-conditioning and ample space for luggage
  • English-speaking local guide who confirms reservation organizes entrance tickets, handles any problems, and provides knowledgeable answers and commentary.

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How Many Days Does It Take to Visit Everest Base Camp?

8 Days are needed typically (from China). You should not go to EBC on the same day that you arrive in Tibet due to the high risk of acute altitude sickness.

It is recommended to spend three days in Lhasa and Shigatse to acclimate and discover Tibetan culture and arrange your Aliens' Travel Permit, before going above 4,000 meters.

Our recommended itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa (Elevation 3,650 Meters)
  • Day 2: Lhasa: Norbulingka, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery
  • Day 3: Lhasa: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
  • Day 4: Lhasa – Gyantse (4,040 m) – Shigatse (3,836 m): Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Palcho Monastery
  • Day 5: Shigatse–Tingri (4,300 Meters): Tashilunpo Monastery
  • Day 6: Tingri–Shigatse: Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp (5,200 m)
  • Day 7: Shigatse–Lhasa
  • Day 8: Depart Lhasa

For the detailed tour itinerary, see 8 Days Everest Base Camp Tour, or contact us to tailor-make your Tibet tour.

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Packing List

Sun cream: Bring strong SPF sun cream to protect your skin from the strong sunlight.

Sun/snow glasses: The ultraviolet light is very strong when up in the mountains. So, bring sunglasses to protect your eyes, and bring snow glasses to prevent snow blindness if you go to see Mount Everest in the snowy season.

Lip balm and moisturizer: Tibet has a dry and cold climate, so take measures to avoid chapped lips and dehydrated skin.

Down jacket (and warm sleeping bag if camping): It's very cold at night at EBC, even in summer. The quilts in EBC tent hostels may not be enough to protect you from the cold.

Good/spare batteries: There is not much electricity at EBC, so you need to charge your phone or camera and batteries before the final leg of your journey.

The cold will sap battery life, so keep devices/batteries insulated.

Food: Bring enough food with you for the long journey if you can't get used to the local food. There is little choice for food at EBC tent hostels.

Medicine: You may need medicine to reduce altitude sickness or for other conditions like travel sickness.

Also check out What to Pack for a Tibet Tour.

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Avoid Altitude Sickness

Before you visit Mt. Everest, ensure you are in good physical condition. Seek medical advice in advance.

If you have asthma, high blood pressure, or similar conditions you should be advised against going. Do physical training to avoid or reduce altitude sickness before you go.

You should take about three days to acclimate to the high altitude in Lhasa (3,650 m), Shigatse (3,800 m), and Dingri (4,300 m) on the way to EBC (5,200 m).

Avoid strenuous actions, quick movements, and jumping. If you get headaches and dizziness taking bottled oxygen or moving to a lower altitude for further acclimatization can help.

Contact us for advice or see more Travel Tips.

Visiting Mount Everest with China Highlights

If you want to see Mount Everest, but are afraid of the harsh conditions, we can help you make your trip more comfortable.

Touring with us, we will help you arrange Tibet permits, hotels, an experienced driver, a good vehicle, and a knowledgeable local guide.

Recommended EBC tours:

Our other popular tours can be customized to include an Everest visit:

Contact us to tour Tibet according to your interests and requirements.

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