This expedition, led by National Geographic Image Collection photographer Sean Gallagher, takes you on one of the most iconic journeys in the world, from Lhasa to Mount Everest Base Camp. Beginning in the mythical capital of Tibet, you will explore and photograph the famed Potala Palace, witness devout pilgrims prostrating through the streets and photograph some of the city’s most sacred sites. We shall journey out of Lhasa through spectacular mountain passes, view alpine glacial lakes surrounded by snow-capped mountains, arriving at Everest Base Camp to witness sunrise over the world’s highest peak. Throughout your journey, Sean shall be at your side to help improve and develop your photography. This once in a lifetime trip will provide unforgettable photographic moments from one of the world’s least travelled regions.
Please read through our ESSENTIAL INFORMATION page for answers to our most frequently asked questions about our expeditions and take a moment to read through some our previous tour and workshop participant’s TESTIMONIALS.
BOOKING DEADLINE – 15th JUNE, 2019 – Email [email protected] to book your place, or ask questions about this expedition.
Day 1 / Sept,1 – Arrival in Lhasa
Guests will arrive in Lhasa, by either train or plane. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted and transferred to our hotel (St Regis or Shangri La hotel in Lhasa, TBC) in Lhasa. In the afternoon guests will meet Sean and have a chance to explore the local neighbourhood to get familiar with the area. A welcome dinner with all guests shall mark the official beginning of our journey to Everest! (Local Restaurant; D)
Day 2 / Sept,2 – Exploring Lhasa
In the morning we will visit the famous Drepung monastery. Founded in the 15th Century, it is located at the base of Mount Gephel and is one of Tibet’s most important university monasteries with 10,000 monks studying there at its peak. We shall then hike down the mountain to Nechung temple, the seat of the State Oracle of Tibet, and then visit the summer palace (Norbulinka ), the traditional summer retreat for successive Dalai Lamas. In the evening, Sean will give a presentation of his work from the region and discuss with participants approaches to photography that will help them during their trip in Tibet. (B, L, D)
Day 3 / Sept,3 – The Potala Palace
The first stop of the day shall be one of Lhasa’s most iconic sights, the Potala Palace. We shall tour the interior of the Palace and then walk the palace Kora and visit Chakpori Hill which offers one of the best views of the Potala Palace and the city. We shall then explore the fascinating Jokhang temple, the spiritual center of Tibetan and where all pilgrims must visit. We shall finish the day with a trip to the Barkhor and Sera monastery. (B, L, D)
Day 4 / Sept,4 – Ganden Monastery
We shall make our first excursion out of Lhasa , driving east from the city to the town of Ganden, famed for its monastery which straddles the side of a mountain. We shall explore the monastery and then trek to a small and traditional village named Hebu, where we will meet up with our driver who shall take us back to Lhasa. (B, L, D)
Day 5 / Sept,5 – The Shungsip Nunnery
A unique day-trip is scheduled to visit the Shungsip nunnery, located nearly 45km from Lahsa. This special religious site is nestled in the mountains on the slopes of Mount Gangri Thokar. We shall visit the nunnery and do a short hike up the main valley, providing spectacular across the nunnery and nearby region. In the afternoon we shall drive back to Lhasa for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 6 / Sept,6 – Journey to Everest Begins
The journey to Mt. Everest begins today! We shall leave Lhasa in the morning and drive south to the town of Samye. Here we shall visit one of Tibet’s most important historical sights, Samye monastery. Located on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, it was Tibet’s first Buddhist monastery, built in 775. We will explore both the monastery and surrounding area. In the afternoon we will drive to afternoon we drive to Tibet’s fourth largest city, Tsethang, and stay the night here. (B, L, D)
Day 7 / Sept,7 – Mountain Passes & Yamdrok Lake
Leaving Tsethang in the morning, we will drive via the stunning Kampala pass which peaks at 4,794 metres (15,728 feet). The pass offers incredible views of the mythical Yamdrok lake, a turquoise expanse of freshwater, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. From here we shall pass by the Norjin Gangsang glacier on our way along the Friendship Highway to the town of Gyangtse. We shall also visit the unique Palchor Chode monastery, including the famous 35m-tall Kumbum stupa. (B, L, D)
Day 8 / Sept,8 – Glacial Landscapes of Shigatse
We rise early and drive through the Nyingchu river valley, which reveals its glacial landscapes on the way to Shigatse. In the afternoon we will visit Tashi Lunpo monastery, one of the most important and founded in 1447. We shall stay the night in Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, and explore the city’s unique local markets. (B, L, D)
Day 9 / Sept,9 – Sakya Monastery
In the a.m. we shall leave Shigatse and head in the direction of Shekar, on the road to Everest. We shall take a detour along the way to see Sakya monastery, famed for its collection of over 40,000 books which has made it a center of study and learning for visiting monks and scholars. At this point, we’re nearly at Everest and will stay overnight here for an early start the next day. (B, L, D)
Day 10 / Sept,10 – Mount Everest
Rising before dawn, we begin our final leg of the journey towards the world’s most iconic mountain mountain. We arrive in time for a sun-rise panoramic view of the Himalayas from Gyawu la pass. At just over 5,000m it is one of the best places to view and photograph Mt. Everest from a distance. From here we’ll drive up to Rombuk which lies at the base of Mt. Everest. We’ll then embark on our highlighted excursion to Everest base camp and Rombuk monastery, the iconic religious site that so many explorers pass on their way to the summit. For us however, this will be as far as we go, but we will have plenty of time to photograph Mt. Everest and soak in this incredible location. We will stay over night in a nearby guest house in Rombuk, allowing you to experience a night near the highest spot on earth. To mark this occasion we shall have a celebratory meal and photo-discussion. (B, L, D)
Day 11 / Sept,11 – Mount Everest to Shigatse
The next morning we shall savour our last moments near Everest and then leave the region in the morning. We shall journey in the direction of Shigatse, taking our time to stop along the way and photograph any locations we missed on the way up to Everest. We will stay overnight in Shigatse and reflect on the previous days journey to Everest. (B, L, D)
Day 12 / Sept,12 – Sacred Namtso Lake
From Shigatse, we shall follow a new path back to Lhasa, following the Northern road which will take us via the characterful town of Yangpachen and onto the stunning Namtso lake, one of the most holy lakes in the region. Located at 4,718m, it is 70km in length and 30km wide. For centuries, its iconic beauty has drawn Tibetan pilgrims from across the region to its shores. We shall stay the night near here in a local guest house. (B, L, D)
Day 13 / Sept,13 – Namtso to Lhasa
Rising early, we shall spend the morning near the lake and witness sunrise over its aquamarine waters. There will be chances to photograph pilgrims visiting the region, or perhaps catching images of migratory cormorants that visit the region each summer. That afternoon we shall begin our drive back to Lhasa and stay in the city. This evening will be our final one as a group and as such we shall have a celebratory dinner, followed by a slideshow of all the participants best photographs from the journey. (B, L, D)
Day 14 / Sept,14 – Depart Lhasa
Our last official day of the tour shall see participants depart Lhasa by either train or plane. Our team shall make sure you reach your departure location safely. (B)
Please note, the organisers reserve the right to change the itinerary from what appears above.
FOOD: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
ACCOMMODATION: In Lhasa, we shall stay at the 5* Shangri-La or St. Regis hotels, TBC. Please note that when we travel to rural regions on our way to Mount Everest, accommodation options are limited, however we shall be staying in high-quality hotels approved by our local support team.
Tour price includes:
– Tibet permits
– Local Tibetan English speaking tour guide
– Entrance fees for the sights on the tour as per itinerary
– Private transfers as per itinerary ( Using Hyundai Hice, maximum 5 passengers including guide each Hyundai Hice) for the overland trip outside Lhasa while in Lhasa and airport we use coaster bus according to the group size
– Hotel and guest house stays with daily breakfast
– Lunch and dinner (local Tibetan and Chinese food)
– Everest national park fee
– Service surcharge
Prices do not include:
International airfare; personal laundry and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary; travel insurance; medical evacuation costs; excess baggage charges; visa fees; gratuities; and any other item not mentioned as included.
Single supplement (if you wish to have your own room in the hotel):
$1,085.00 (Please note that single rooms are not available during guest house stays in Western and Southern Tibet)
Don’t forget to read through our ESSENTIAL INFORMATION page for answers to our most frequently asked questions about our expeditions and read through some our previous tour and workshop participant’s TESTIMONIALS.
To book your place, or if you have any further questions, please send us a message via the ABOUT/CONTACT page. We’re always happy to answer your questions!