October 2017 Tibet Photography Tour

This year from 8 October to 20 October, I will be leading a Tibet photography tour from the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and the Western Himalaya. For more details on this journey or to reserve your place, send an email to:  info@himalayajourney.com

Tibet photo tour

Cultural and Photo Journey from Lhasa to Everest 

Dates: 8 October—20 October 2017

The overland route going from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp is one of the most beautiful and amazing land routes in Asia and is a coveted route among photographers! Covering a distance of over 800 kilometers / 500 miles, this journey will take us from the Tibetan capital of Lhasa to pristine high altitude lakes, rivers, glaciers, farming valleys and through the Himalaya’s to North Face Everest Base Camp. At Everest Base Camp, we will get up close and personal with the world’s highest peak. After Base Camp, we will continue on to the seldom visited Western Himalaya to see the peaks of Cho Oyu (6th highest) and Shishapangma (14th highest). We will be visiting the most famous and picturesque Buddhist  monasteries and temples, experience stunning views of the Himalaya and will spend 13 days exploring and photographing the uniqueness and beauty of Tibetan culture.

Join us on the Roof of the World for the adventure of a lifetime! To join this Tibet Photography Tour, send an email to: info@himalayajourney.com

Tibet Photography tour

Shishapangma, the 14th highest peak, viewed from the top of the Tong La Pass in Western Tibet

The Gyantse Kumbum is the largest stupa in Tibet. We will be here on 13 October.

The impressive Geu La Pass has perhaps the best sweeping view of the Himalaya in Tibet. We will be here on October 17.

Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

8 October
All participants must arrive in Chengdu, China by 4pm on 8 October. Himalaya Journey will give you detailed instructions on how to easily get to the 4 Star hotel we will be staying at. We will eat dinner together during a time of meet and greet at a restaurant near our hotel.

9 October
In the morning, we will fly to Lhasa and arrive in the late morning/early 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 center 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. In Lhasa we will stay at the 4 Star Gang-Gyen, which is located within walking distance of the Barkhor.

10 October
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 Tsamkhung Nunnery, one of the largest nunneries in the Lhasa area. 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.

11 October
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 explore Ramoche Temple and more of the Old Tibetan Quarter of Lhasa.

12 October
This day, we will begin our road trip from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp. 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 stop by the glaciers of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang at the Karo La Pass, 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). In Gyantse, we will stay at the 3 Star Yeti Hotel.

13 October
After breakfast, we will photograph the 600 year old Pelkor Chode Monastery. This beautiful monastery lies within a walled complex in the Gyantse Old Town. 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. Along the way, we will stop at the 975 year old Shalu Monastery, renowned for its physic training. The monastery sits near a pleasant village that we will explore on foot. The The distance from Gyantse to Shigatse is 95 kilometers (60 miles). In Shigatse we will stay at the 4 Star Tashi Choten Hotel.

Tibet photography tour

Monks debating at Sera Monastery in Lhasa. We will be here on October 10.

Tibetan boy near Mt Everest. We will be in this region on October 17.

14 October
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 markets in the Old Town.

15 October
We will depart from Shigatse in the morning for one of Tibet’s true secrets….Phuntsoling Monasery. This seldom visited monastery was constructed over 700 years ago. The highlight here is the excellent hike up to the top of the old monastery ruins, which offer a fantastic panoramic view of the valley below. From Phuntsoling, we will continue along the Friendship Highway and cross the 5248 meter high Gyatso La Pass, one of the highest passes in Tibet. The pass, in clear weather, offers a great sweeping view of the nearby Himalaya. We will then descend the pass and go to the small town of Old Tingri. From Old Tingri, we will get a good view of Cho Oyu, the 6th highest peak on the planet, as well as Mt Everest. In Old Tingri, elevation 4330 meters, we will stay at a basic, but clean hotel option (best in town).

16 October
After breakfast, we will drive west of Old Tingri to the Tong La Pass, elevation 5100 meters. This is the last high pass in Tibet before descending down to Nepal. At this pass, there is a fantastic view of Shisha Pangma, the 14th highest peak on earth, as well as numerous other giant Himalaya peaks. Then, we will drive along the Langtang section of the Himalaya to the secluded and stunning Peiku Lake. On the way to the lake, there are more jaw-dropping views of the glacier-covered Himalaya. After a basic lunch at the lake, we will return east and stay in the small town of Shelkar, elevation 4300 meters. The distance from Old Tingri to Peiku Lake is 160 kilometers (100 miles) each way.

17 October
From Shelkar, we will depart for Everest Base Camp. Our first stop will be the impressive Geu La Pass, elevation 5050 meters. From this pass, you will get a wide panoramic view of the Himalaya including 5 of the worlds 15 highest peaks. Everest will be right in the center! After spending time photographing the Himalaya from the pass, we will continue on to Rongphu, one of the highest monasteries in the world. At this extremely picturesque monastery, there is a clear view of the North Face of Everest. Next, we will drive up to the actual Tibet-side base camp of Mount Everest to see the world’s highest peak up close. After our time at Everest Base Camp, we will return to Shelkar for the night. The distance from Shelkar to Everest Base Camp is 115 kilometers (72 miles) each way.

18 October
This day we will leave Shelkar after breakfast and begin the journey back to Lhasa. 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 and stay at the 4 Star Tashi Choten Hotel. The distance from Shelkar to Shigatse is 230 kilometers (145 miles).

19 October
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 Lhasa we will stay at the 4 Star Gang-Gyen Hotel.

20 October
In the morning, we will transfer you to the airport to depart from Tibet.

For more info about this journey, send an email to:  info@himalayajourney.com

Yarlung Tsangpo River

The Yarlung River flowing in central Tibet. We will be in this area on October 12.

Tibet photography tour

Tibetan farmers using yaks to plow their fields

Overland Lhasa to Everest

The view from near the Tong La Pass in Tibet. We will be here on October 16.

Tibet Photography Tour—Dates and Costs


Dates: 8 October—20 October 2017 


The cost per person is $3100 USD. Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to Chengdu, but we will take care of just about everything else after that! Send us an email at info@himalayajourney.com  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 (based on double occupancy; single room supplement available)
  • All meals from evening of 8 October to morning of 20 October
  • All drinking water
  • All ground transportation in Tibet
  • All entrance fees
  • All Tibet travel permits
  • All Everest fees
  • Professional Tibetan guide fees
  • Professional Foreign guide fees
  • Chengdu Airport transfer on 9 October
  • Lhasa Airport transfer on 20 October

Not included in the price:

  • Passport and Chinese Visa fees
  • International airfare to/from Chengdu, China
  • Airfare departing Lhasa
  • Travel vaccinations
  • Insurance (travel, medical, etc)
  • Souvenirs or personal items such as laundry, excess baggage fees, snacks, alcohol drinks, etc
  • Photography fees inside temples and monasteries
  • Gratuities to the Tibetan guide and driver

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.

The Karo La Glacier with prayer flags. We will be here on October 12.

Accommodations: In Chengdu, we will be staying in a highly rated 4 or 5 Star hotel. In Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, we will be staying in pleasant 3 and 4 Star Tibetan-owned hotels. Hotels in other areas of Tibet will be the best available, but be advised that these areas are very remote and undeveloped. Hotels in the Everest Region are quite basic with limited heating, but with plenty of clean blankets. All hotels, except for those in the Everest Region, should have internet access.

Meals: For this tour, we will be eating a variety of Western, Chinese, Tibetan and Nepali food. Food for the 2 nights in the remote Everest Region will be limited to vegetable dishes with rice and noodles. If you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, please let us know so we can plan accordingly. Vegetarians welcome!

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 4330 meters (14,200 feet). For safety and comfort 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.

NOTE: This is a cultural and photography. Any level of photographer (or non-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: Himalaya Journey 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 working with local Tibetans in numerous eco-tourism and conservation projects.

Why Use Us: Please take a minute to learn more about us by reading the following link: Why Use Us?

Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

The North Face of Mt Everest. We will be here on October 17.

The Potala Palace in Lhasa. We will be here on October 11.

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. We will be here on October 14.

Leaders of this journey

Jamin “Lobsang” York lived full-time on the Tibetan Plateau for nearly 15 years working in education, community development and tourism. In addition to traveling nearly 400,000 kilometers overland across Tibet, Jamin has led and arranged hundreds of tours across Tibet and the Himalayan regions of Ladakh (India) and Nepal. He has vast trekking experience across the Himalaya in Tibet 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, Rough Guides, DK Eyewitness Travel and Lonely Planet Guidebooks. Jamin will be giving detailed lectures on Tibetan culture and history throughout this journey.

Jamin is the owner of Himalaya Journey and serves as the lead guide on professionally-led journeys and photography tours through Tibet, India, Bhutan and Nepal. His goal is to help clients understand, appreciate, and respect the people and cultures they photograph.

Joining Jamin will be his trusted co-guide Nyima Drolma. She has been working as an English speaking guide in Tibet for over a decade and is regarded as one of the BEST guides in the Himalaya. Nyima Drolma will be teaching clients more about the Buddhism practiced in Tibet along with information on Tibetan culture and customs.

This journey from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp will be amazing! To join us on this 13 day Tibet Photography Tour, send us an email at: info@himalayajourney.com

Tibetan man in the Everest Region.

Journey guide Jamin “Lobsang” York on the Gyatso La Pass in Tibet