Tibet is a land rich with history, politics, religion and adventure, and while the world’s tallest mountain definitely beckons to adventurers, there’s still plenty to do, see and experience beyond Everest (though a stop there is certainly worth the trip, too).
Explore the cities
Two of Tibet’s most populated cities prove ideal places to explore the kingdom. Gyantse was once a hub for trade with India and later became a battlefield when the region was under British attack. Located along the Nyang-chu River, its sprawling fields, quiet residential neighborhoods, Buddhist temples and lively markets offer a bit of everything to travelers in search of a truly Tibetan experience.
Shigatse, Tibet’s second-largest city, is home to some 50,000 people, as well as plenty of options for shopping, religious landmarks and historical sites. Travelers can explore the city’s contemporary side in the Chinese neighborhood or its ancient roots in the Old Town.
Tibet’s religious roots run deep, and no trip to this holy land is complete without a visit to some of its iconic monasteries. Rongbuk Monastery, perhaps the kingdom’s most famous (and most visited), is tucked near the Everest Base Camp and offers travelers impressive views of colorful prayer flags waving in the winds with Everest as its backdrop. The towering white pagoda of Drepung Monastery was once the largest in the world, and visitors can now wander through colorful temples, caves and impressive gardens while touring its grounds.
Everest Base Camp
Most travelers may never intend to scale the world’s tallest mountain, but a trip to the base camp of Mount Everest offers a taste of adventure for those looking for a truly memorable Tibetan experience. Adjust to the altitude amid the colorful tents of international mountaineers, and witness sherpas and backpackers embarking on the climb of a lifetime while enjoying unmatched Tibetan views.