Discover Tibet: Top 10 Tips for Traveling to Everest Base Camp

Discover Tibet: Top 10 Tips for Traveling to Everest Base Camp

by Extravagant Yak October 26, 2018 0 Comments

Everest. It’s a household name and an icon of the belief that all things are possible. Are you looking to join the exclusive group of people who have beheld the highest point on planet earth? We’ve compiled our top ten tips gained from introducing over 1,000 travelers to Tibet's most iconic destinations.

1. Travel to Everest Base Camp in the right season

Late April and May are the best times to view Everest’s peak in the spring. October to early November are the peak viewing months in the fall. You'll want to avoid making travel plans for February and March as Tibet is closed to foreigners at this time. While it’s possible to travel in winter (November-January), which typically has crystal clear skies, the weather is very COLD. The bonus of visiting Tibet in winter is you will encounter very little tourism traffic.

2. Take time to acclimatize

Most people experience minor symptoms of high altitude (headaches, shortness of breath, and trouble sleeping). To mitigate these symptoms, we recommend spending a couple of days in Lhasa to acclimatize before beginning your journey to higher elevations at Everest. Consult your doctor if you have heart-related issues, high blood pressure, or are pregnant.

3. Drive the Old Friendship Highway from Lhasa to Base Camp

Lhasa is the main port of entry for foreign tourists visiting Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side. The journey along the Old Friendship Highway is around 800 km and takes roughy two days to drive. It's well worth it! You will pass many photo-worthy sights before standing face to face with this unparalleled mountain. Enjoy sweeping views of quintessential scenic Tibet like the turquoise waters of mystical Yamdrok Lake and Karola Glacier. You can also visit Tashilhungpo Monastery and the ancient Tibetan fortress in New Tingri.

The turquoise waters of Yamdrok Lake

4. Dress in layers 

Regardless of season, it’s always chilly at Everest Base Camp. Remember, it’s 5,200 meters (17,000+feet) above sea level. Temperatures range between highs around 5 degrees Celsius and average lows of negative 10 degrees Celsius for most of the travel season (not taking into account wind chill factor). Everest’s northern Base Camp experiences year-round winds, so windproof outer layers are also highly recommended. At the warmest time of year, you’ll need a thick, winter coat at Base Camp and could be wearing t-shirts in Lhasa (but only in the sunshine).

5. Have your camera (and extra batteries) ready

Some of the most spectacular views happen in the early morning hours. You will have a hard time putting your camera down as Everest awakens to the changing shades of sunlight. Some of the best views of the North Face can be captured from Rongbuk Monastery before taking a park bus to get up close past Base Camp. You may also want to pack a tripod to capture the Milky Way on a clear, star-filled night. Keep in mind that lower temperatures can affect battery life, so bring extras and make sure they’re charged and ready to go. Don’t forget to pack additional memory cards, too.

Ready. Aim. Shoot.

6. Pack snacks from home or purchase in Lhasa

Options for snacks around Everest Base Camp are very limited. Think simple Chinese dishes, instant noodles, and Tibetan tea. We recommend you pack snacks from home or stock up in Lhasa before you hit the road.

7. Bring your debit card and use ATMs to get cash

Don’t expect to be able to use your international credit card in China or Tibet. ATMs are available in Lhasa and most people can easily withdraw cash with their debit card, although cards from smaller banks are sometimes rejected. Bring USD cash as a back-up measure. Converting currency is always possible, though it can take time. Don’t count on ATMs beyond Lhasa, make sure you have cash before you hit the road to Base Camp.

8. Respect the culture by following customs

Refrain from engaging in political discussions. Remove your hat when entering monasteries. Avoid revealing clothing and displays of affection with the opposite sex, as both are considered inappropriate. On all topics, be respectful and sensitive in sharing your views, and enjoy the seat of a learner on a cultural journey.

9. Educate yourself with books and movies

Half the fun of planning a trip is the anticipation of your upcoming adventure. Get your adrenaline pumping from home by reading High Adventure by Sir Edmund Hillary, High Exposure by David Breashears (head of Everest IMAX project), and by watching the IMAX film Everest

The highest point on earth

10. Plan the rest of your Tibetan adventure

Create your own trip or join one of our upcoming Lhasa and Everest adventures:

  • Dec 27 - Jan 3 New Years 2019 (Booking Deadline Nov 15th)
  • April 28 - May 5 (Booking Deadline March 15th)
  • May 14- May 21 (Booking Deadline March 31st)

At Extravagant Yak, we also specialize in creating custom tours and are always happy to discuss making your dream adventure a reality.

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Extravagant Yak
Extravagant Yak

Author

Western-owned and locally-operated, Extravagant Yak's specialty is providing rich and authentic, personally-crafted travel experiences in Tibet.




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