After breakfast, you will be going to visit the official seat of Panchen Lama – Tashilhunpo Monastery, also an influential monastery Geleg School. Covering an area of nearly 150,000 square meters, the monastery is one of the largest temples in Tibet with about 57 halls and 3600 rooms. Among them, the Coqen Hall can hold 2000 monks to take part in Buddhist activities. Featuring an interesting sprawling amalgam of traditional Tibetan monastic style, those halls, chapels and other structures are connected by precipitous steps and narrow cobblestone alleys. The interplay between the golden roofs and the white, red and black exterior walls creates a striking composition. Here you will see a giant statue of Future Buddha, the largest one of its kind on earth ( 26.2 meters high and 11.5 meters wide ), decorated with precious pearls, turquoises, corals, and ambers.
Then you will leave Shigatse for the final destination of your Tibet trip – Mount Everest. Though being a long driving of about 7 hours, but the views along the road are stupendous. On clear days, you can see the clear face of the Himalaya range including several famous peaks over 8,000 meters, such as Makalu, Lhotse, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. When you finally get to the Rongbuk Monastery (altitude: 4,980m) and get the first sight of the mighty Everest, you will immerse in a solemn ethereal mood and find all the efforts you have made along the long way are not in vain. Located about 5100 meters above the sea level, Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. It is the best location to take some great photos of the front face of Mount Everest. The rest of today is free for you to visit the Rongbuk Monastery and explore the surrounding landscape.
Accommodation: if you visit Mount Everest during off-season (November to April), you will accommodate at Rongbuk Guest House near the Rongbuk Monastery; if you visit Mount Everest during the peak season (May to October), you will accommodate at the Tibetan Tents Camp which is about 4km further from Rongbuk Monastery. Please note that the accommodation condition at both places is very basic. Only dorm beds are available.
Tips of today: 1) prepare more food and drinks for long driving; 2) bring a warm and thick coat for low temperature in Everest; 3) avoid strenuous activity to prevent from high altitude sickness.