For more information on this tour, please go to my business website: Plateau Photo Tours or email me at: email@example.com
Plateau Photo Tours, which I co-own, will be hosting an amazing Himalayan adventure from Lhasa, Tibet to Mt. Everest's North Face Base Camp. This 13 day journey begins on April 19, 2015 and ends on May 1, 2015. The overland route connecting Lhasa, Tibet with Everest’s North Face Base Camp is one of the most beautiful and amazing land routes in Asia. Covering a distance of 900 kilometers / 560 miles, this journey will take us from the modern Tibetan capital of Lhasa to pristine high altitude lakes, rivers, glaciers, farming valleys and through the Himalaya’s to Everest Base Camp. At Everest Base Camp, we will get up close and personal with the world’s highest peak. After the Everest Region, we will explore the off-the-beaten-path area of Peiku Lake and Shisha Pangma, the world’s 14th highest peak, as well as other Himalayan giants. We will be visiting the most famous and picturesque monasteries and temples and will spend 13 days experiencing and photographing the uniqueness of Tibetan culture. Join us on the Roof of the World for the adventure of a lifetime!
Here is the itinerary we will be following:
All participants must arrive in Chengdu, China by 3pm on April 19th. Plateau Photo Tours will give you detailed instructions on how to easily get to the hotel we will be staying at. We will eat dinner together during a time of meet and greet at a centrally located restaurant.
In the late morning, we will fly to Lhasa and arrive in the early to mid afternoon. The Tibetan capital sits at 3590 meters and is the cultural and spiritual heart of Tibet. After getting situated in a modern, centrally located hotel, we will explore and photograph the heart of the Old Tibetan Quarter in the heart of Lhasa. The Barkhor is the main shopping market for local Tibetans. It is one of the most interesting markets in all of Asia and is an excellent place to photograph modern Tibetan culture.
After breakfast, we will spend the morning going through the Jokhang, Tibet’s holiest and most famous temple. Each day, thousands of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims work their way through this nearly 1400 year old temple. We will also explore Sangkhung Nunnery and Ramoche Temple. In the afternoon, we will photograph the Buddhist philosophy debates at Sera, one of Tibet’s largest monasteries. The monk debates will be a major highlight during your time in Tibet.
We will start the day by exploring Tibet’s most iconic building, the Potala Palace. Towering above Lhasa with more than 1000 rooms, the Potala Palace served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lama’s for hundreds of years. After this, we will go to Drepung Monastery, formerly the largest monastery in the world. Each day, many Buddhist pilgrims walk the religious kora around the monastery, which is home to over 650 monks. Below Drepung monastery, we will visit Nechung Monastery, which was the former home of the Tibetan State Oracle.
In the morning, we will depart from Lhasa and drive to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake. Yamdrok Lake, during clear weather, is a brilliant turquoise color and is one of the 4 main holy lakes in Tibetan Buddhism. The huge, glaciated 7191 meter Mt. Nojin Kangtsang forms the backdrop of the lake. The lake sits at an elevation of 4441 meters above sea level. Along the way to Gyantse, we will drive by the glaciers of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang, which come down almost to the highway. Gyantse is a small, but modern Tibetan town, that lies at 4025 meters. We will be photographing the Pelkor Chode Monastery as well as the Gyantse Kumbum, the highest stupa (Buddhist pagoda) in Tibet. The drive from Lhasa to Gyantse covers 260 kms (162 miles).
After breakfast, we will photograph the 600 year old Pelkor Chode Monastery. This beautiful monastery lies within a walled complex. The short hike to the top of the wall gives an excellent panorama view of the monastery, town and the high plateau in the distance. After lunch, we will depart Gyantse and drive to Shigatse, elevation 3840 meters. The distance from Gyantse to Shigatse is 95 kilometers (60 miles).
Shigatse is home to Tashilhunpo Monastery and its 600+ monks. This monastery, one of the largest in Tibet, is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second most important lama in Tibetan Buddhism. We will walk around the pilgrim route that goes up and around the famous monastery as well as explore inside the huge monastery complex. In the afternoon, we will explore the walking street and the Old Town.
We will depart from Shigatse in the morning and drive 305 kilometers (190 miles) to the small village of Basum going through small farming villages. Along the way, we will cross the Gyatso La Pass, which rises above 5000 meters and the Pang La pass, which rises to 5050 meters. From the Pang La pass, you get a sweeping view of the Himalaya’s where you can see 5 of the worlds highest mountains, including Mt. Everest. Basum is a small Tibetan village only 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Everest Base Camp. We will stay with a local Tibetan family in their traditional-style home. The elevation of Basum is 4270 meters.
In the early morning, we will drive 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Basum to Everest’s North Face Base Camp. Along the way, we will stop at the the beautiful Rongphu Monastery, the highest monastery in the world at nearly 5000 meters. The small monastery has an amazing view of Everest. We will explore and photograph this region, getting excellent pictures of the world’s highest mountain. After spending several hours in the Everest Base Camp region, we will drive to Old Tingri to stay the night. The distance from Basum to Everest Base Camp and on to Old Tingri is 150 kilometers (95 miles).
This day we will leave Old Tingri after an early breakfast and go to the Lalung Pass and Tong La Pass. Both of these passes are around 5000 meters high and offer excellent views of Cho Oyu (6th highest peak) and Shisha Pangma (14th highest peak). From there, we will go to Peiku Tso, one of Tibet’s most stunning alpine lakes. Along the way to Peiku Tso, we will stop at Shisha Pangma Base Camp and get up close to several other Himalayan peaks that rise over 7000 meters.
This day we will begin the journey back to Shigatse. We will stop at a couple of farming villages along the way to photograph traditional farming culture. We will arrive in Shigatse in the mid afternoon. The distance from Baber to Shigatse is 235 kilometers (146 miles).
After breakfast, we will return to Lhasa. We will arrive in Lhasa with enough time to stroll through the Old Tibetan Quarter a few more times. The distance from Shigatse to Lhasa is 260 kilometers (162 miles).
In the morning, we will transfer you to the airport for your departing flight from Lhasa.
Jamin “Losang” Lee has lived full-time on the Tibetan Plateau for nearly 13 years working in education, community development and tourism. In addition to traveling over 350,000 kilometers overland across Tibet, Jamin has led and arranged hundreds of tours across the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal. Jamin’s expert knowledge on Tibetan culture, history and religion has been put to use for The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, BBC, Frommer’s Travel Guides, Fodor’s Guidebooks, DK Eyewitness Travel and Lonely Planet Guidebooks.
Jamin is the co-owner of Plateau Photo Tours and serves as the lead guide on all tours through Tibet, India and Nepal. His goal is to help clients understand, appreciate, and respect the people and cultures they photograph.
Accompanying Jamin will be Jampa Chödzon, a native of the Lhasa region, has been guiding clients through all regions of Central Tibet for the past 7 years. She is fluent in Tibetan, Hindi, English and Chinese and enjoys explaining the uniqueness of her Tibetan culture with others. She is an expert on the overland route connecting Lhasa with Everest Base Camp having traveled this route nearly 80 times over the years. She specializes in explaining Tibetan Buddhism and monastery history. She has an excellent reputation as being one of the best guides in all of Tibet.
The cost per person is $3499: Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to Chengdu and for their flight departing Lhasa, but we will take care of just about everything else after that! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for this tour or for any questions you may have.
Included in the price: One-way airfare from Chengdu to Lhasa, all accommodations (everyone will have their own private room) and meals from April 19 until April 30, all drinking water, all ground transportation costs for the tour duration, all entrance fees, all Tibet permit fees, all guide and driver fees and transfer costs to the Lhasa airport on May 1.
Not included in the price: Passport and Chinese visa fees, international airfare to Chengdu, flight departing Lhasa on May 1, travel vaccinations, insurance (travel, medical, etc), souvenirs, bar beverages, airport transfer from the Chengdu airport to Chengdu city on April 19, excess baggage fees, fees for photographing inside temples/monasteries or personal items such as laundry, snacks, guide/driver tips, etc. Each participant will be sent a list of required and recommended gear for the tour that they will be responsible for. A suggested packing list will be sent to participants upon registration and acceptance.
Accommodations: In Chengdu, we will be staying in a highly rated 5 Star international-chain hotel. In Lhasa and Shigatse, we will be staying in pleasant 4 Star, Tibetan-owned hotels. Hotels in other areas of Tibet will be the best available. They will be clean and comfortable with private bathrooms and showers. In the village of Basum, near Everest Base Camp, we will stay in a traditional style Tibetan home, which will be very simple. Except for the night in Basum village, all participants will have their own private room. You will not need to share a hotel room during this tour. All hotels, except for those in the Everest Region, will have internet access.
Meals: For this tour, we will be eating a variety of Western, Chinese, Tibetan and Nepali food. If you have any food allergies, please let us know so we can plan accordingly. Though Tibetans are often thought of as being vegetarians, relatively few actually are. If you are a vegetarian, also let us know so we can assist you better.
Eligibility: Participants must be in good health and be able to spend each day walking around towns, villages and monasteries while carrying their own equipment. Though we will be doing a lot of walking each day, no trekking is required. Most of this tour will take place in mountainous terrain between 3600 meters and 5200 meters (11,800 feet to 17,000 feet) above sea level. We will spend 1 night in Chengdu and 3 nights in Lhasa for altitude acclimatization before going above 3600 meters. Ascent will be slow and gradual with the highest sleeping elevation being at 4300 meters (14,100 feet). For safety reasons, we will not be sleeping at Everest Base Camp. This tour is not recommended for those who have severe asthma or who have had problems with high elevation in the past.
This is a photography and cultural tour. Any level of photographer is welcome to join and no specific camera gear is required. Unfortunately, people holding a Norwegian passport are unable to join this tour due to government restrictions that are beyond our control.
Responsible Tourism: Plateau Photo Tours is foreign-owned, but Tibetan staffed. All of our guides and drivers are local Tibetans who have been working in tourism for many years. It is a top priority for us to support as many Tibetan-owned businesses as possible. During this tour, all of the hotels we will be staying at in Tibet are locally-owned, as are all of the restaurants we will be going to. The preservation of the culture of Tibet, as well as the protection of the environment of Tibet are extremely important to us. In fact, when we are not out leading journeys across Tibet, we are in the office working with local Tibetans in numerous eco-tourism projects.
With just 8 places for this photography and cultural journey, I expect this tour will fill fast. To apply for this tour or if you have any questions regarding this tour, please email me at email@example.com.
To read more about this amazing journey and to apply to join, please visit my website: Plateau Photo Tours April 2015