Mount Everest, reaching to 8,848 meters, is the world’s highest peak situated in the border between Tibet and Nepal. You can get to the north Everest Base Camp (EBC) in Tibet or south EBC in Nepal to appreciate the magnificent natural landscape of Mount Everest. Many tourists like to start their adventure journey to Mount Everest from Kathmandu.
Kathmandu to Mount Everest Transportation: Get from Kathmandu to EBC
How to Get to North Mount Everest from Kathmandu
Overland Driving from Kathmandu to Mount Everest
Overland driving to Mount Everest via Gyirong Port is the fastest way to admire the charming north face of Mount Everest. At a leisurely pace, you can get to Mount Everest within 2 days. Kathmandu-Everest driving can be divided into two sections:
Kathmandu – Gyirong Town: Currently, Gyirong Port is the only port available for foreigner tourists to travel overland from Nepal to Tibet. The distance between Kathmandu and Gyirong Port is about 160km. It is not long, but the road condition is not good. The drivers need to drive slowly for security, and sometimes you might meet with traffic jam. After you get to Gyirong Town and check through the port custom, your Tibetan tour guide and driver will pick you up and drive about 25km to Gyirong Town for accommodation. Independent travel is not allowed in Tibet, so you have to book a travel agency.
Gyirong Town – Mount Everest: On this day, you will drive about 325km from Gyirong Town to Mount Everest. The road condition is better. Most of the road is asphalt road, but you have to drive up and down along the winding road with many slopes on the mountains. However, the long journey along the route gradually takes your through vast, open landscape with majestic peaks vaulting skyward. The plateau areas are dotted with castellated Tibetan residences, colorful prayer-flags, and an infinite number of contentedly munching yaks and goats. If the weather permits, the clear face of Shishapangma Peak and Pektso Lake will be revealed. After about 9 hours’ driving, you will get to Rongbuk Monastery, which is regarded the best view deck of Mount Everest. There are also basic accommodation and food provided here.
Notes: On the second day’s trip, the altitude will increase to about 5,000 meters which may cause high altitude sickness, so this trip is not suitable for those who never visit high plateau.
Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway
Shishapangma Scenic Area
Take a Flight from Kathmandu to Mount Everest
There is no available airport in or near Everest. Instead of overland driving from Kathmandu to Mount Everest directly, many tourists prefer to take a flight to Lhasa first for altitude-acclimatization, and then drive to Mount Everest.
Kathmandu to Lhasa Flight
There are 1~2 daily flights running from Kathmandu to Lhasa, with duration of about 1.5 hours. Air China operates a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa every day, while Sichuan Airline provides a Kathmandu-Lhasa flight on every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In the low seasons, the number of flights might be cut down. Check the detailed Kathmandu-Lhasa flights information:
|Flight No.||Departure -- Arrival||Duration||Frequency||Plane||Ticket|
|1h 25m||SM - W - F -||Airbus A319||
|1h 35m||- - T - T - S||Airbus A319||
Lhasa to Everest Driving
It takes 2 days to drive from Lhasa to Mount Everest usually. This driving journey is a fantastic sightseeing tour as well.
1) Lhasa to Shigatse: Shigatse to Lhasa is about 250km and the direct driving cost about 6 hours. The whole road is made up of Airport Expressway and G318 National Highway, both wide, straight and in good condition. If you want a quick trip, it is also available to take a train from Lhasa to Shigatse which takes no more than 3 hours. However, the top recommended route is driving to Shigatse via Gyantse, and you can have a deep exploration to Tibet scenery, including the natural beauty of Yamdrok Lake, stunning spectacularity of Karoala Glacier, harmonious living of different sects from Tibet Buddhism in Palcho Monastery, and featured palaces in Tashilhunpo Monastery. After about 8 hours, In Shigatse, there are starred hotels for a good accommodation.
2) Shigatse to Rongbuk Monastery: Another long driving journey will take as long as 7~9 hours. The road is well-paved, but in some places the road will wind to and down from the mountains repeatedly. There won't be any attractions along the road in the itinerary, but the natural view from the window is very pretty. It is a good idea to pack some snacks to kill your time.
Lhasa-Shigatse Driving through Yamdrok Lake
Incredible View of Himalayan Range in Tibet
How to Get to South Mount Everest from Kathmandu
Trek to Everest Base Camp from Kathmandu
Rather than a top destination for regular tourists, south Mount Everest is always well-liked by trekking-enthusiasts. Trekking to the south Everest Base Camp (5,320 meters) from Kathmandu has gone from exciting adventure to the can’t-miss experience in Nepal. It is suggested to take 15 days to finish the standard trekking tour from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp in Nepal side.
Route for reference: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding – Namche Bazaar – Thyangboche – Dingboche – Lobuche – Gorak Shep – Gorak Shep (Everest Base Camp) – Pheriche – Thyangboche – Monjo – Lukala - Kathmandu
Kathmandu to Lukla: Usually, the trekkers take a flight to Lukla from Kathmandu first and then trek to the Everest Base Camp. There are many airlines flying daily flights to Lukla, which takes within 25 minutes. Some people choose to take a bus or drive to Jiri and then spend 2~3 days in trekking from Jiri to Lukla. It is not a hot route, but the landscape is pleasant and very attractive. As you reach Lukla, get ready for the following trekking.
Lukla to Everest Base Camp: The most challenging trekking tour begins at Lukla. The trekking route is equipped with ample Depots and guesthouses, so you don’t need to worry about the food and accommodation. It allows you not only savor the beauty of Mount Everest, but also get the solace in the beauty of great mountains, like Nuptse, Lothse, Makalu Choyu etc. You can also visit the Sagarmatha National Park, the UNESCO World Heritage sites with the residence of the Sherpas. Sherpa people still remains their old traditions and lifestyle. Many of them can speak basic English, and some can speak it fluently. When you get some problems, they will be amicable and glad to help you.
Take a Helicopter to Everest Base Camp
If you lack time or physical fitness to trek to Mount Everest but want to view the majesty of Mount Everest in Nepal side, take helicopter to Everest Base Camp. Some airlines in Nepal provides helicopter to Everest Base camp from Everest Base Camp, optional to stop at the Sherpa villages or Lukla. Some helicopters will land at Kalapthar (5,550 meters), where you can witness Mount Everest and others peaks at closer proximity. The helicopter takes you within camera range of some other high peaks and cruising this close to the awe-inspiring massifs of rocks and ices.
Mount Everest in Nepal Side
Tips for Traveling from Kathmandu to Mount Everest
● High Altitude Sickness Tips: The altitude of two base camps is over 5,000 meters, and it is important to prevent High Altitude Sickness, symptoms include headache, difficult breathing, vomiting, restlessness, loss of appetite... You’d better take a full medical examination of your heath and take serious about your doctor’s advices. During your tour to Mount Everest, remember to drink enough water, keep warm, and avoid getting cold. It will also be helpful to bring oxygen box, but do not use it immediately if you feel slightly uncomfortable or you might be dependent on it.
● Food & Accommodation: There are food supplied in the small restaurants, but you are advised to pack your own in case. On your road to Everest Base Camp in Tibet, there aren’t any big hotels, but accommodation is rather basic. Arriving in Mount Everest, you can accommodate in Rongbuk Guesthouse or the Tent Guesthouses. In Nepal, the road to Everest is also equipped with guesthouses. You can choose to pitch your own tents.
● Necessary Permits: Traveling to Mount Everest in Tibet side from Kathmandu, you have to prepare three documents. Tibet Group Visa from Nepal is a must document for anyone who enters Tibet from Nepal. It is issued by Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. Tibet Travel Permit is also necessary to enter Tibet, without it you can’t apply the Group Visa or board the flight or train to Tibet. Another important document is Tibet Border Pass which is needed when you cross the border to Tibet or visit any border areas. All the permits can only be applied by the authorized travel agencies on behalf of travelers.
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