The Luxury Lodges of Everest Trek

Trip Facts

Duration : 15 Days/14 nights – 2 nights Kathmandu, 10 nights on trek, 2 nights Kathmandu
Grade : Moderate-strenuous
Accommodation : Comfortable 3-4 star Hotel in Kathmandu, comfortable lodges on trek

Description

Everest. Named after Sir George Everest, the British Surveyor General of India at the time when the mountain was first identified as ‘Point XV’ on the border with Nepal and Tibet. To the Sherpas and Tibetans however she is ‘Chomolungma’ - Mother Goddess of the Earth. And the Nepalese have their own name, ‘Sagarmatha’. But there is no dispute about the mountain - the highest in the world.

Up until recently if you wanted to get close to Everest then you either had to trek with a full Sherpa crew, sleeping in tents, or trek using fairly basic tea house lodges. However, now there is a more comfortable option and we utilise the most comfortable Lodges available in the region that have recently been built.

Having flown into Lukla you trek to the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar, and then trek through a series of pretty Sherpa villages, first in the direction of Everest as far as the famous monastery at Thyangboche and then in the direction of the famous Tibetan trade route, the Nangpa La, to visit the pretty villages of Thamel, Mende and others.

The scenery is sensational as you will find yourself surrounded by many Himalayan giants, including of course views of Everest and the more elegant Ama Dablam.

Itinerary

01

Arrive in Kathmandu.

Upon arrival you will be met and assisted by an Asian Tour Company representative and transferred to you hotel.  

Overnight at The Shangri-la Hotel (BB) or Shivapuri Heights Cottage (dinner and breakfast).  

 

02

In Kathmandu.

A pre-trek briefing will be conducted today in which maps and other general information will be distributed.  This will also offer you the ideal opportunity to ask any last minute questions that you may have.  A half day sightseeing tour will also be arranged. 

Overnight at The Shangri-la Hotel (BB) or Shivapuri Heights Cottage (dinner and breakfast).  

 

03

Fly to Lukla (9,000ft/2,743m), trek to Monjo - 5-6 hrs

The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and the landing at the small mountain airstrip is something you will be talking about for many years to come.  The scenery is fantastic and as you fly like an insect up the vast valleys towards Lukla, the giants of the world appear on the horizon.  After landing on the resurfaced airstrip, you will can have a cup of tea in one of the lodges in Lukla before starting the trek.   

It is about 2 hours to Phakding (8,700ft/2,652m) where you will stop for lunch.  First the path drops down a steep, stony path to meet the trail coming up through Chaurikharka. You will encounter porters, sherpas, trekkers and the common beast of burden, the dzo, then the path contours the mountainside, past lodges and the small hamlets of Ghat (8,169ft/2,490m) and Chuthrawa (8,500ft/2,591m).  

The trail takes you past large stones carved and painted with prayers, a couple of large new suspension bridges and under large cliffs with trickling waterfalls.  From Phakding it is another 2 or 3 hours to Monjo (9,301ft/2,835m),  which lies just past Chumoa. Before you get to Monjo, have tea at Benkar at a lovely lodge in a wild spot.  Memories of the day will include the sounds of porters with transistor radios, a cacophony of different languages, beautiful sounding birds, the sights of porters and loads resting on sticks outside tea houses, panting, prayer flag poles and of course the dramatic scenery.

Overnight Monjo Lodge.
          

04

Day walk from Monjo.

Monjo, 9,301ft/2,835m is a picturesque small village comprising of about 25 houses and located in a small, narrow valley at the base of the peak, Thamserku 21,679ft/6,608m and Kaysaro. It is also at the junction between the Thamserku & Dudh Kosi rivers and is just on the edge of the Sagarmatha National Park.

Today, to help you acclimatise, your Sherpa sirdar will take you on a day walk to Thakcho Hill, which lies a little above 9,842ft/3,000m. From this vantage point the views of the Kongde Ri, Thamserku and the Numbur Himal are quite spectacular. The total excursion should take about 4 hours.

Overnight Monjo Lodge.

05

Trek to Namche Bazaar (11,300ft/3,445m).

This will be one of the harder days physically on your trek so take it slowly.  The path itself is full of interesting sights.  Not least of these will be your first view of Everest as you get higher up the trail.  From the lodge it is 15 minutes to the Everest National Park boundary and already the scenery is vastly impressive, with deep gorges, bare vertical rock faces, pine forests on some steep slopes and wispy waterfalls.  Having completed the paperwork, it then takes 15 minutes following the right bank of the river to where it starts to climb to the Hillary Bridge, named after Sir Edmund of Everest fame. This is a tremendously impressive suspension bridge, spanning a deep chasm.  The path then zigzags up through the forest where trees pack themselves in between giant boulders and cliffs.  If you are lucky, you may well see small herds of thar, a small deer-like animal.  Eventually you pull into Namche Bazaar, its Sherpa houses built one above the other on the steep sides of a sloping mountain bowl.  The narrow streets at its centre are a mixture of cyber cafes, souvenir shops and places where you can rent/buy any piece of equipment under the sun.

Overnight Namche Hotel.

 

06

Trek to Tashinga (11,023ft/3,360m).

Every Saturday Sherpa people from all the villages around and about come to sell their vegetables, yak products and other goods in a very colourful market.  This is a chance to see the traditional way of life of Sherpa people and perhaps to bargain for some souvenirs to remind you of your trip to Everest.

Overnight Tashinga Lodge.

 

07

Trek to Thyangboche (12,670ft/3,873m), return to Tashingna – 6-7 hours.

This morning, looking across the valley, you can see the path sloping diagonally up towards the famous monastery of Thyangboche, but first you have to descend to the river.  This takes half an hour to an hour, descending steeply in a series of zigzags to the Dudh Kosi river.  Here you cross a suspension bridge in the lee of a gigantic overhanging cliff (10,498ft/3,200m). A little way further on is a small hamlet, Phunki Tenga, where you could stop for a cup of tea.  It is 2-3 hours from the bridge to reach the monastery at a slow, even pace.  At first you climb steeply up through a pine forest, thankfully in the shade, and then emerge to walk up a long gentle straight path that rises like a ramp to the monastery.  

Emerging at the top, there is a mandala gateway and a huge chorten which are passed before your first sight of the gompa. The setting is nothing short of magic and it is incredible to think that the temple was burnt down only a few years ago and was re-built largely through the efforts of the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust.  There is a very good Visitors Centre and in the afternoon it is possible to sit down inside the temple for afternoon prayers.  Conch shells are blown, the monks arrive and visitors are expected to sit quietly on the right hand side of the temple. A small donation is appreciated.  Then sadly it is time to leave and return down the trail and back up through the forest to Tashingna.

Overnight Tashingna Lodge.

08

Trek to Mong la (13,035ft/3,973m), return to Tashingna.

Behind the lodge you can climb up the hillside to reach the main path coming over from Namche to Phortse. Your object today is to climb to the small pass, the Mong La, which looks down on the junction of the river coming down from the Ngozumpa Glacier and the Dudh Kosi, which of course comes down from Everest. At the pass, there are a couple of pleasant lodges and large chorten and prayer flags. The views from here are absolutely magical, particularly of Ama Dablam (22,355ft/6,814m). It is a steep climb to the pass from Tashingna with a height gain of approximately 2,000ft. However, the distance is not great and this walk should only take 3 hours or so. From the pass you also look across to the beautiful village of Phortse, but for most people it is probably too far to go across to Phortse and back in one day. Return to Tashingna Lodge in the afternoon.

Overnight Tashingna Lodge.

 

09

Trek via Khumjung and Khunde to Mende (12,263ft/3,738m) – 5 hours.

Today you will trek by the villages of Khumjung and Khunde, across the top of Namche Bazaar and then up the Nangpo Dzangpo valley to the new lodge at Mende. Leaving Tashingna Lodge you contour on a small path to reach the main trail leading to Khumjung, approximately one hour.  The path leads gently up the shallow valley and Khumjung itself is another village built into a mountain bowl. The villages are surrounded by mountains and regular patterned terraced fields.  It has the best bakery in the Everest region and a stop for coffee and cakes is a must!  The village of Khunde is a short walk further on and contains the famous medical centre instigated by the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust. Take time also to visit the Edmund Hillary School. You might find the teachers surfing the internet!  

Leaving Khumjung behind there is a short climb out of the valley and the path then descends towards Namche. You in fact take the high level path across the top of the township, turning the corner to head north again. The valley ahead is extremely beautiful and you just wander along a dappled forest track or in the open with wonderful views. Again you may see monal pheasant or small herds of thar. Having turned the corner above Namche, after an hour you come to the small village of Phurte where there is a Sir Edmund Hillary forestry project, a large chorten and some very attractive mani walls (prayer walls).  The path continues quite easily and rounding a corner you look down at the small hamlet of Tshro. You now turn off the main trail and make your way slowly up a closed valley.  This valley is closed off by the holy peak of Khumbi Yul Lha (18,900ft/5,761m). Massively impressive, awe inspiring. As you move up to the head of the valley you come to one or two lone houses and small fields and then you will cross the river and climb steeply up the hillside to the hamlet at Mende.  This is the sting in the tail at the end of the day!  The new lodge has a commanding position and very fine views and once reached you will feel the effort has been worth it.  

Overnight Mende Lodge.

10

Trek to Thame (12,467ft/3,801m), return to Mende -5-6 hours.

A small path contours off, passing above the much larger villages of Dramo and Thomde.  After ½ to ¾ hour, you connect with the Tibetan trade route and may well in fact meet Tibetan people who come over the Nangpa La (18,753ft/5,716m) to trade in Namche Bazaar. The path then becomes an airy traverse, with big dark cliffs above and large drops to the river below. The path, however, is well formed and wide but do stand on the uphill side if there are trains ​of yaks passing through. The path then descends to a bridge over a narrow fissure with water roaring below. Here there are large wall paintings of Guru Padmasambhava. The path up to Thame then becomes the sting in the tail.

Zigzagging across ancient moraine you come to a lovely stream with inviting pools on the left. Suddenly you breast a slope and there is the village of Thame, one of the prettiest villages you will visit. It has scattered houses, enclosed fields and a backdrop of massive snow and ice peaks.  Rest and have a cup of tea in one of the lodges and if you have the energy the walk up to the monastery is well worthwhile. Incidentally, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay's house is situated near the top of the village where he lived with his first wife.    

The walk up to the monastery (12,925ft/3,940m), which being over 600 years old is one of the four oldest in Sherpa country, takes about one hour. There are cells for the monks, piles of mani stones and a couple of chained up Tibetan mastiffs. The main temple has a fantastic atmosphere, and, not surprisingly, the monks smile permanently. The walk back to Mende in fact now only takes about an hour as it is mostly downhill, but you could opt to take the higher level traverse to visit another interesting monastery where Guru Rinpoche meditated. It is not occupied but well worth a visit if you can find the energy.

Overnight Mende Lodge.

11

Trek to Monjo Lodge – 4-5 hours.

We would highly recommend the ½ hour steep walk up to the monastery above Mende. The main temple is only 40 years old and was used until recently as a school for Western Buddhists.  It has a remarkable meditation room built underneath a huge rock. The main temple is also beautiful, the main figure being Chenrizig, the Buddha of Compassion, and there is a full set of Buddha's works.  Four people still live here and an old stout nun may well serve you tea in her house.  

From Mende you will return to the lovely lodge at Monjo. You will take the lower path to trek back to Namche. There will be time for a short stop in Namche to do some last minute shopping before making the descent to Monjo. You'll cross the Edmund Hillary Bridge and will soon be in the familiar surroundings on the Monjo Lodge.

Overnight Monjo Lodge.

12

Trek via Gumila Monastery to Lukla (9,000ft/2,743m) – 5-6 hrs.

Today you will trek back to Lukla. You will pass through the village of Phakding and have a chance to view the monastery at Gumila above Phakding. Within the monastery reside 12-15 monks from the Gelukpa Sect; it is also a Buddhist teaching monastery. It takes about 30-45 minutes to reach the monastery from the main trekking route. From here you will retrace your steps back to Lukla. You will stay in the Khangri Resort Lodge which has nice rooms with wooden floors and ceilings and attached baths.

Overnight Khangri Lodge.

 

13

Fly to Kathmandu.

This morning you will take the small fixed wing flight back to Kathmandu and you will be met on arrival and transferred to the Hotel.

Overnight at The Shangri-la Hotel (BB) or Shivapuri Heights Cottage (dinner and breakfast).  

 

14

In Kathmandu.

Leisure day in Kathmandu. 

Overnight at The Shangri-la Hotel (BB) or Shivapuri Heights Cottage (dinner and breakfast).  

15

International Departure.

Transfer to the International airport for your final departure from Kathmandu.

Dates

Price Guide & Trip Facts

  • From
    $3255

    price shown is per person based on a sharing basis and a minimum of 2 persons in the final group. US$ 715.00 single supplement for those person preferring not to share.

 

Cost Includes

  • All airport transfers as mentioned in the itinerary.
    ½ Day sightseeing of Kathmandu city.
    Domestic flights Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu by scheduled air services.
    X11 Day fully inclusive trek arrangements with accommodation and all meals in comfortable Lodges.
    X4 nights accommodation in Kathmandu.

     

 

Cost Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
    Personal insurance.
    Price rises beyond our control (e.g.; increase in permit fees, airfares).
    Charges for unexpected expenses.
    Personal expenses such as gratuities, laundry etc.
    Personal clothing and equipment.
    Visa fees.
    International airfare.

 
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