Mount Everest Base Camp#6 in Best Things To Do in Tibet
A trip to Tibet would not be complete without getting an eyeful of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. Everest sits on the border of Nepal and Tibet and each area has its own base camp. The base camp serves as a place for climbers, scientists and tourists. Tibet's base camp sits at a lower elevation and offers better accessibility (think: driving instead of hiking) than the one in Nepal. Another benefit to visiting Tibet's base camp is that it offers unobstructed views of Everest. In Nepal, Everest's surrounding mountains obscure the full view.
Tibet's Everest Base Camp is composed of camping grounds and some small shops, including the world's highest "post office" (it's a tent). How long you stay at the base camp depends on the kind of tour you choose. If you're interested in camping, it's important to be aware of the conditions. The higher the altitude, the lower the oxygen content (Lhasa is 11,996 feet above sea level while Everest Base Camp is 17,060 feet above sea level). Most travelers complained of altitude sickness while at the camp, with many saying it was difficult to fall asleep at night. Plus, the accommodations are basic at best (bathrooms are in separate tents, toilets are eastern in style and electricity is run by a generator).
Despite the long journey (EBC is more than 200 miles southwest of Lhasa), subpar accommodations and trouble adjusting to the altitude, the majority of travelers said the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they recommended. Many described the views of Everest, especially at sunset or sunrise, as a sight they would never forget. Because you are not allowed to travel outside Lhasa independently under the conditions of your Tibet travel permit, you should make sure that Everest is on your tour group's itinerary. It's also important to note that no matter what time you visit during the year, the area around Everest will always be cold, so bring heavy clothes and pajamas should you spend the night. Tibet Vista and Viator offer tours to Everest Base Camp. There is an entrance fee of 90 to 180 yuan, or $14 to $27 (depending on the season) to enter the base camp, but that fee is usually covered by your tour.
More Best Things To Do in Tibet
#1 Jokhang Temple
Alongside Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple is one of the most important sites in Tibet. The Jokhang Temple was built in the seventh century to promote Buddhism in Tibet, and as such earned the distinction of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Jokhang translates to "house of Buddha," or more specifically "chapel of the Jowo." And it lives up to its name. The temple houses more than 3,000 images of Buddha, deities and other historical figures in the religion, including the Jowo Shakyamuni.
Jowo Shakyamuni, or also referred to as the Jowo Rinpoche, is considered to be the most sacred image of Buddha in Tibet. It is said that the statue was sculpted by Vishwakarma – the Indian god of architecture – between the fifth and sixth century B.C., when Buddha was still believed to be alive. This has led to the belief that the Jowo Sakyamuni, as one of the earliest accounts of Buddha, is the most accurate visual representation of Buddha. Research has shown that this story is factually inaccurate, but that hasn't stopped crowds of Tibetans from coming to the temple to pray. The statue depicts Buddha the moment he reached enlightenment – legs in lotus position, one hand gesturing meditation with the other gesturing the "earth to witness."