to Everest Base Camp
A soft trek by SUV
Including the Lhasa Express Train Tibet to Chengdu
In November of 2013 our host and associate Rich Blanchette is planning a one-of-a-kind trek from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp. No hikes are involved, trekking sections will be by SUV. We have opened this trip to others to join Rich in this adventure. The itinerary will be roughly as shown below. If you are interested please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
By special arrangement with our partner Joe Zhou of China (B&H International Tours) we have set up this unique, one-of-a-kind tour. The Everest trek is from the less traveled Tibetan side of the mountain. The trek by SUV is combined with a spectacular 2-day train journey from Lhasa to Chengdu. Your host on the tour will be Richard (Rich) Blanchette, a professional wildlife and nature photographer. Rich is familiar with both the hike to Everest Base Camp which however, will by drives instead of hikes. The pictures of Tibet, and the Everest trek on this page were taken by Rich
Day 1 - Depart the USA on your flight to Beijing, China
Day 2 - Arrive in Beijing in the evening.
Day 3 - Today you will fly to Lhasa, Tibet.
Day 4 - Sightseeing in Lhasa (3658M – 12,000 feet).
Today you will be guided through the Potala Palace, the highest palace in the world and the former residence of the Dalai Lama. Your guide will explain the details of the palace and the history of Buddhism. At the top the palace (called the golden roof), you will have a bird’s-eye view of the whole of Lhasa. In the distance are undulating mountain ranges, the beautiful Lhasa River, tracts of fields, tree-shaded villages and the glistening Jokhang Temple. You will visit the Yokhang Temple after lunch. The temple was first built during the period of Sontsan Gambo in the 7th century. You’ll find that many pilgrims pray before the monastery and you may be present for a ceremony within the temple. Later you will have free time to look around or shop at the Barkhor Market near Jokhang Temple. The day will be completed with a visit to a local family. The visit will give you a feel for the real Tibetan’s lifestyle and culture. Dinner this evening is in a local restaurant. Accommodation: Three-star hotel. B L D
Center - tour host Richard Blanchette
Day 5 - Lhasa – Gyantse - Shigatse (3736M – 12,250 feet)
This morning you will be driven over Ganbala Pass and past beautiful Yamdrok Tso (Turquiose Lake) on the road to Gyantse. The drive is around 280kM and travels over several high passes. At Gyantse, you tour the Palkhor Monastery which contains the Kumbu Pagoda. Gyantse is at an elevation of 4040M (13,250 feet.) After a leisurely tour of the monastery, you continue on to Shigatse for the evening. If you arrive with sufficient time (and energy), you may visit the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery home of the Panchen Lama. Shigatse is a 600 year old city.Accommodation: 2 star hotel. B L D
Day 6 - Shigatse - Old Tingri (4300M – 14,104 feet)
The drive from Shigatse to Old TIngri is 240 kM. Your guide will do the necessary preparations for the trek to Everest Base Camp hiring either yaks or horse carts. You will have good views of Mt. Everest (highest), Makalu (5th highest), Gyan Kung, Cho Oyu (6th highest.)Here you will finalize your preparation for the trek to Everest Base Camp, hire yak men and yaks there today.
Day 7 - Drive by SUV to near Tsojan Village (4500M – 14,760 feet)
Day 8 - Drive to Lama La Pass (5100M – 16,730 feet)
The elevation of Lama La Pass is 5100m. As you continue up the valley. Everest disappears behind the mountains
and as the trail turns to the southeast and begins to climb to the pass.
Accommodation: Tents. B L D
Day 9 - Drive to Zemukh (4910M – 16,100 feet)
Day 10 - Drive to Rongbuk (5200M – 17,060 feet)
Day 11 - Rongbuk to Everest Base Camp (6240M – 17,200 feet)
Everest Base Camp to Lhatse.
Day 12 - Lhatse to Lhasa
Day 13 and 14 - Lhasa to Chengdu aboard the Beijing-Lhasa Express TrainThis morning you will be transferred to the train station to board the new Beijing-Lhasa Express Train to embark on the world's newest, highest and most spectacular train journey. Your ride aboard the train will be in first class (referred to by the Chinese as "Soft Class"). Accommodations are in 4 bunk private sleeping compartments. All meals aboard train are included. B L C
Day 15 - Overnight and dinner in Chengdu. B L D
Day 16 - Transfer to the airport to fly to Shanghai. In Shanghai you will take
the fastest train
in the world to Shanghai where you have lunch before being taken to the hotel. The evening is
on your own. B L
Day 17 - Transfer to the airport for your return flight. Extra days in Shanghai are options. B
Volunteering at the Giant Panda Research Center
Day 1 - Chengdu to Bifengxia
Rich helping train an expectant Panda mom to get used to being touched
After arrival in Chengdu in the morning you will be driven to the mountains that form the border of the Sichuan Basin and the Tibetan Plateau. Our destination is Bifengxia where onto the Giant Panda Bear Research Center is located. You will arrive at noon and check into the Bifengxia Panda Hotel. After lunch you attend a lecture given by one of the directors of the center to learn about the role of the Bifengxia Reserve. Bifengxia became important after the earthquake on May 12, 2008 destroyed the Panda Reserve in Wolong. After the lecture you will receive your uniforms which are your passport to go in and out of the research facility as many times as you please, and meet your "Masters" (the keepers at the Center). The Masters are the staff from Wolong which were moved along with most of the pandas to Bifengxia. Some of your chores will be to help sweep and clean the panda bins, take bamboo to the hillsides behind the bins, and best of all feed the pandas. They are gentle creatures and will take a slice of apple from your hand without ever touching it. After a job well done, there is time to relax and take pictures before dinner. B L D
Day 2 - Bifengxia
Playing with the young pandas
Today will be a full day of volunteer work at the center. While volunteering you will have time to visit the Bifenxia Wildlife Preserve where other rare animals live to be studies and the large Nature Garden. B L D
Day 3 - BifengxiaToday is another full day of volunteer work. B L D
Day 4 - Bifengxia
this will be your last day of volunteer work. At the end of the afternoon session you have the special privilege to play with the young pandas in the panda kindergarten. In the evening a "thank you" dinner with your Masters will take place where you will receive a certificate for having been a volunteer from the Center's director. B L D
Day 5 - Bifengxia to ChengduAfter breakfast there is time to go back to the pandas to take pictures and say goodbye to your pandas. You will leave Bifengxia at mid-morning and return to Chengdu. In the evening you will enjoy a Sichuan Hot Pot dinner, a specialty of this region. B L D
Day 6 - Chengdu to Shanghai
This morning transfer to the airport to fly to Shanghai, China's largest city with a population of 17 million people. After arrival in Shanghai you will be met by your local guide. After depositing your luggage at the bus you will take the world's fastest train (up to 430 km an hour) to the city. After a stop for lunch you will visit the Shanghai Museum and the Bund, the glamorous waterfront boulevard dating to Shanghai's heyday when it was the European financial hub of China.The remainder of the day is on your own. B L
Day 7 - Return Home.Transfer to the airport for your return flight to USA.
Land Cost per person: On request
AIR FARE: You can arrange your own air fare or check with us.
INCLUDED in the tour are: Accommodations as listed in the itinerary, daily breakfast, lunches and dinners, transportation in recent model vehicles and air conditions deluxe buses within China, all sightseeing and entry fees as mentioned in the itinerary, airport transfers, domestic airline tickets including airport fees, first class train tickets on the Lhasa to Chengdu express train, English speaking local guides with special knowledge of the areas visited, tips to guides and drivers, volunteer work at panda center and the services of A&H Travel China Tours and Posh Journeys.
INCLUDED in the SUV trek to the base camp are: Required permits for Tibet. Tents, sleeping bags, air mattresses, meals during trek, trek cook, yaks and yak men or horse cart and horse cart driver.
NOT INCLUDED: International air fare to China, passport and visa fees, alcoholic drinks with meals, laundry, telephone calls, and any items not specifically mentioned in this itinerary. Any extra expenses/days caused by unexpected events (delays due to weather or landslides and other natural events.)
SUV TREKKING INFORMATION:
PERMITS: A passport and a China Visaare required. A Tibet Entry permit and Aliens Travel Permit will be arranged for you.
INTERNET:Difficult in Tibet and limited in Bifengxia. Internet access is available in Beijing, Lhasa, Chengdu and Shanghai.
FOOD: Food is mostly Chinese stir fry, eggs, rice, yak meat if available, vegetables etc. Breakfast at the hotels is Western and/or Chinese.
FACILITIES: All hotels have western toilets. Guesthouses have rudimentary Asian toilets only. During trekkinga portable toilet will be supplied.
ALTITUDE: Altitude can be a problem,you should be in good health although trekking is moderate. The elevation gains are gradual and not excessive. Portable oxygen will be carried along.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel Insurance is highly recommended. You can go to our home page www.poshjourneys.com and click on "Travel Guard Insurance" in the lower right column. You can take it out online or contact us for a brochure.
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