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Mount Everest

Between Nepal and China, Mount Everest rises creating an unbreakable link between them. Prayer flags flutter high in the morning air, fulfilling all the wishes made by those who hung them. And, to feel the religious culture, even more, Rongbuk Monastery awaits you at the top of the mountain to show you the principles of Nyingma and its strong beliefs.

On the other side, under the feet of Shishapangma, the Earth cracks and opens a hole in the surface, creating a calm and relaxing place full of greenery. Many take the opportunity to “go around” the peak and receive the best blessings, hoping to meet the hidden forest of ice towers and enjoy the pure air of nature.

Things to do +

See the landscape of Mount Everest (珠峰 ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ)

Description: in Tibetan, its name refers to “Mother Earth.” It is the highest mountain on the surface of the Earth, with an altitude of 8849 meters. It is the main mountain of the Himalayas, which is in China and Nepal. Temperatures are extremely low at the top, with an annual average of -29ºC, usually compared to Antarctica and the Arctic.

At sunset, you can see the phenomenon of “Sun rays on the Golden Mountain”, when sunlight illuminates the peak of the mountains, creating an impressively beautiful landscape. It is said that it brings you luck for a whole year if you are lucky enough to see it with your own eyes. So many people head to the observation deck on the way to Everest Base Camp on Jiawula Mountain. It is the so-called most beautiful observation deck in the world, the only one where you can see 4 mountains of more than 8000 meters of altitude, which are Makalu (马卡鲁峰), Lhotse (洛子峰 ལྷོ་ རྩེ), Everest and Cho Oyu (卓奥友峰).

Right at the entrance of Jiawula, there is an area where you will see many prayer flags hanging. You can choose to put one of your own, since according to people, every time the air moves the flags, it brings luck to the person who hung it. It is a very meaningful way to ask for good wishes.

If you go up by bus from Quzongcun (曲宗村), which is the highest point you can reach by car, you can get off at Rongbuk Monastery (绒布寺 རོང་ཕུ་དགོན་). It is the highest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the world, where Nyingma (宁玛派) is practiced and many monks live. It is, definitely, a place where you can feel the Tibetan culture, religion and tradition. In addition, the views from this point are also impressive.

For those traveling on their own (or who have a choice), they can decide to stay at the Everest Base Camp, which is a rudimentary camping area that is used by climbers for rest when they ascend and descent. So you will be able to experience the most natural stay on the highest peak in the world, just as you will be able to meet many people, both locals and tourists, who may be only making a small visit or who are doing the greatest climb of their lives. The price of a stay per night is ¥80-100 for each person.

At night, people choose to stay on the mountain (just to see the phenomenon mentioned before) to see the Galaxy in the blue sky. Thousands of stars shine on them, and many prepare their tripods with cameras to record and take photos of the nightscape.

In addition, for those who enjoy hiking a lot, Everest has routes with different difficulty, among which we can find:

Tingri (老定日) – 13 km (5 horas) – Longjiang Town (龙江村) – 21 km (8 horas) – Langla Mountain (浪拉山口) – 18 km (7 horas) – Zangpu Town (藏普村) – 22 km (8 horas) – Rongbuk Monastery – 3 km (1 hora) – Everest Base Camp:  it is 70 km long, and along the way you can see snow-capped mountains and you can enjoy landscapes that have not been “commercialized” or affected by globalization, in its most original form. It is an easy route for all those who do not have serious problems with altitude because the roads mostly pass through towns and are wide, flat and safe. Thus, both cars and people can pass, so if there is any problem on the road, people with any problem can be picked up easily. On this route, there is accommodation almost at all points, so it will not be necessary to carry sleeping bags or anything like that.

Youpa Town in Tingri (优帕村) – East Camp on Everest’s East Hillside (东坡大本营): the duration of this route is approximately 8 days. It is a little more difficult than the previous one and it is more recommended for people with experience since the roads are more complicated, so more hours will be spent walking. But it is totally worth it because you will see many of the highest peaks in the world. At the different points you pass through there are no shelters or other types of accommodation, so you have to prepare camping equipment, clothing in case of snowfall, waterproof boots and sunscreen.

The ticket is ¥160 per person. If it is a car that goes up the mountain, the fee is ¥320 if it is a small car and ¥480 if it is a large vehicle. However, by car you can only drive to Quzong Town (曲宗村), where you will have to park and take a bus tour, at ¥120 per person (round trip), and afterward, get to the camp by foot.

 

Visit Jilong Gorge in Shishapangma (希夏邦马峰)

Description: in Tibetan, its name refers to “cold and changeable weather” (气候严寒, 天气恶劣多变). Worldwide, of the 14 mountains that exceed 8000 meters, it is the lowest of all. But in China, it is the only one with this altitude that is totally located in the country, and at the same time is part of the Himalayas.

It has a total of three peaks with similar heights, forming one of the most important centers of modern glaciation in the Himalayas.

Here you can see Jilong Gorge (吉隆沟), which is located at the foot of Shishapangma. It is a kind of “tear” that the Earth suffered when a movement of separation of the Himalayas took place, and the resulting landscape is of an impressive valley, composed of snow, glaciers, forests, lakes, etc.

Shishapangma Base Camp is very different to the one on the Everest. This is because this peak is not “commercially developed”, and there are even no roads to take you to a higher part of the mountain. Therefore, here you can enjoy a much relaxing environment and see the most natural landscapes that the planet can offer you.

Walking approximately 3 hours from the North Base Camp (recommended to those with previous experience or great energy), you will discover a phenomenon called Forest of Ice Towers (冰塔林) located on the north peak and made up of many sharp ice towers very close to each other. It is definitely a rare and uncommon landscape due to the difficulty of its creation.

Being considered a sacred mountain by Tibetans (吉祥的深山), many people travel there to “go around” the peak. It is said that by walking around the mountain once you can wash away the sins of a lifetime; by turning 10 laps you can avoid suffering in hell in more than 500 samsaras; and by taking 100 laps you will be able to ascend to heaven and become a Buddha. Normally, the followers of Buddhism usually make a tour of about 10-13 days around the mountain, taking as a reference the base camps of the southern and eastern peaks. The distance is about 80-100 km, and you will see a lot of snow and mountains 0 m away. The altitude is approximately 5300 meters, and it is better to go early in case the temperatures drop a lot in the afternoon.

Normally, those who are used to doing mountaineering or hiking activities tend to do the route that passes through these points: Lhasa Yamdrok Tso Lake – Shigatse – Lhatse (拉孜) – Tingri – Nyalam (聂拉木) –Xinde Camp nº1 (欣德营地) – South Hillside Base Camp (南坡大本营) – Jigabu Camp (吉嘎布营地) – Gongcuo Camp (贡措营地) – Erexiang (俄热) – Tingri – Lhasa. It usually lasts around 8-10 days, depending on the rhythm you take. It is really a good opportunity to be in contact with nature since you will see glaciers, snow-capped mountains, rivers, forests, sunsets… However, it is very important that participants have experience since there are many days of walking in quite high areas, between 3000-5000 meters. The price is around ¥10000, but the investment will be worth it.

No ticket needed.

 

Fly a drone on Qilinxia Canyon (奇林峡)

Description: it is in Dingjie County, at the northern foot of the Himalayas and on the southeastern edge of Dingjie Wetland. It has a depth of 200 meters, and it is unique in that the Earth suddenly cracks, and in the hole that arises there are piles of sand and land like forests with very varied shapes, creating a stunning landscape. Every year in the months of July and August, the Himalayan snow melts and passes into the canyon, eroding the terrain where there is already a channel and creating very interesting figures.

Do not forget to carry a drone with you, since the images seen from above are impressive. Being long and deep, you will see the “tear” of the Earth in its entirety.

To protect the environment, cars cannot enter, so a bus will drive everyone to the destination, at a price of ¥60. Also, the ticket is ¥80.

Opened every day from 08:00 to 19:00.

How to get +

To get to Mount Everest you have to drive up to Quzong village. In case of non-Chinese visitors, as mentioned above, the travel agency will prepare a bus or tourist car that will take care of the trip. For those national travelers, it is also necessary to rent a car with a driver, due to the difficulty of getting around the rocky roads and the lack of communication by public transport between the different points.

Travel tips +

Visit the mountains in spring and autumn, avoiding the time between June-August, both inclusive. This is because the rainfall at that time is very abundant, which can generate bad weather that makes it impossible to see the peak of Everest in the distance and the starry sky at night.

 

Return to the accommodation before 3 in the afternoon approximately and then watch the sunset there since it can be dangerous to be outside due to the temperature and the altitude, apart from the fact that the journey is quite tiring.

 

The difference in temperatures between day and night is very large, so it is essential to carry enough and varied clothing.

 

There are almost no water sources in the mountains, so it is important to bring water with you from the beginning of the trip. Likewise, there is no electricity current to charge personal devices, so it is also recommended to carry external batteries just in case.

 

We suggest you to rent a car with driver, to have a tour around and go to Yamdrok Tso Lake, Karuola Glacier, the urban area of ​​Shigatse, etc.