Staying at Everest Base Camp or Rongbuk Monastery?
To preserve the environment around Mt. Everest, no hotel is allowed to open close to the mountain foot. You have two choices: staying at Everest Base Camp (in your own tent or a tent hostel) or Rongbuk Monastery. Do not expect too much of the accommodation.
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Tent Hostels at EBC
Everest Base Camp (EBC) is a real camp site with flat ground surrounded by hills, where you can see Mount Everest from afar on clear days. From April to November, tent hotels are put up for travelers. They are taken down in winter because of the bad weather.
- Location: 19 km (11 mi) north of Mount Everest
- Altitude: 5,200 m (17,060 ft)
- Tent hostels available: April to November
Facilities of Tent Hostels
- Beds: Each tent hostel has 10 beds with extra 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 yak dung are used to keep warm (without a bad smell). Due to the high altitude, it's freezing cold and the wind is strong, especially at night. Bring enough warm clothes to keep warm.
- 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.
Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. When Mt. Everest was found to be the highest mountain and with the development of Tibetan tourism, Rongbuk Monastery now provides rooms for travelers. You can only see Mt. Everest through a valley between mountains.
- Location: 6 km (4 mi) north of EBC, 25 km (16 mi) north of Mount Everest
- Altitude: 5,100 m (16,730 ft)
Facilities of Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse
- Beds: there are about 30 rooms and more than 100 beds are available. It's very hard to get a bed around the monastery in peak season.
- Shops and restaurant: Though poor quality, every guest can have hot noodles, rice, or some instant food. The price is higher than in Lhasa because of the transport fee.
- Public toilets are squat pits, and quite terrible (bring toilet paper yourself).
- Hot water is available, but no showers.
- Keeping warm: Though yak-dung stoves are available, it's still very cold at night. You are suggested to bring a warm sleeping bag if you are particularly hygiene conscious, because some beds and quilts haven't been washed for a long time.
- Electricity and phone signal: there is little electricity at Rongbuk Monastery, so you'd better get your phone and camera charged at your (Dingri/Shigatse) hotel before you go (or you can bring a car charger). At Rongbuk monastery, previous visitors report that the China Mobile signal allows calls and texts, but not Internet access.
Tips from China Highlights
Medicine: Most experience altitude sickness at EBC and the nearest hospital is in Dingri, 6 hours away. Bring your own oxygen and medicine to fight altitude sickness.
Where to stay: If you don't want to sleep in tents with more than 8 people, consider staying in the Monastery Guesthouse.