While you may be able to find good quality accommodation in the larger cities of Tibet, around the Everest Base Camp, the accommodation is a lot simpler. Lodges and accommodation at the base camp in Tibet are very basic, and offer only the basic facilities. The main reason there is accommodation at EBC is to provide simple shelter for the tourists that visit the site every year, to save them from having to drive in and out every day. Generally, you have three options for accommodation when traveling to EBC in Tibet: the tent guesthouses set up by local entrepreneurs at the base camp itself; the Rongbuk Monastery guesthouse; or the hotels in Old Tingri, back up the Zhufeng Road on the friendship Highway.
Tent Hostels at EBC – Closest Accommodation to See Mount Everest
The amazing tent hostels at EBC are a popular option for international travelers to the area, and give you an authentic experience of how the Tibetan nomads of the plateau live every day. The guesthouses are only available from April to November, as it is too cold and arid in the winter months, and few people take the trip to EBC in winter, though it can be done.
Tent Hostels at EBC are the closest accommodation to see the Everest peak.
Once the end of November comes, the tents are all packed up and moved out for the winter, to be erected again in the spring, once the tourist season begins again in April. Since the guesthouses are located at the tourist base camp, you get a great view of the summit of Mount Everest, and this is one of the best locations for photos of the massive peak.
Facilities of Tent Hostels
The guesthouses are temporary set-ups around the re-situated base camp, which are run by local Tibetans for tourists to stay in. The guesthouses provide relatively comfortable beds and hot water for tourists, as well as simple food for dinner and breakfast. Each tent guesthouse normally sleeps around ten people, and you will be expected to share, as it is not possible to rent the whole tent just for yourself. The tent guesthouses do not have indoor toilets, and are found outside the tents, a short distance away, in small wooden huts.
Sleep in Tent Hostels at EBC
Hot water is always available in the tents, as the stove is constantly on, to provide boiling water for tea and meals, as well as to give a little heat to the tent. It can be quite cold at night, despite this, so it is a good idea to bring a good sleeping bag with you, and plenty of warm clothes. There is also no electricity at the site, so you are advised to carry spare batteries for cameras and gadgets, to use until you can get back to a hotel with power to charge them.
Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse
Also known as the Rongbuk Temple Hotel, the monastery guesthouse lies just across the dirt road from the monastery, and is one of the world’s highest guesthouses. Located at the same altitude as the monastery (4,980 meters), the guesthouse is open the whole year round, and has a good view of the mountain’s high peak at sunset or sunrise for photos.
If you are there in the winter months, this is the only place to stay this close to the base camp, but in the summer months, it can be very busy, and you may not have a choice but to opt for the tent guesthouses. Its location next to the monastery makes it a preferred guesthouse in the summer for many domestic tourists, and it is the only place with any power this close to the world’s highest mountain.
Facilities of Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse
The monastery guesthouse is not as basic as the tent guesthouses, but is still basic in terms of facilities. There are still no showers or hot water, and no heating in the rooms, though you will find heating in the shared areas and reception. Most of the rooms will sleep up to five adults sharing, and in the peak months, can even sleep up to ten in a dorm room. There are twin rooms available, but you need to book well in advance to get one, as they are the most popular options for travelers and couples. The rooms all include electric blankets, power sockets, lamps, and hot water bottles for warmth, and are well protected from the strong cold winds outside.
The rooms at the Rongbuk Monastery guesthouse are clean.
The rooms at the guesthouse are clean and decent, and the whole guesthouse is set around its own internal courtyard. The toilets at the guesthouse are inside, though they are still very basic. A typical squat toilet, they are clean and at a better standard than the huts at EBC, but cold in the winter months. The guesthouse dining room can cater for simple Chinese and Tibetan dishes, and plenty of drinks such as tea, coffee, and milk (though it is not advisable to drink the milk for foreign tourists).
Guest House at Tashi Dzom
Tashi Dzom is a small settlement a short distance from EBC, at the bottom of the Gawu La Mountain Pass, on the EBC side of the pass. At around 4,155 meters, the settlement is lower than that of the basecamp and Rongbuk, and if you want to sleep at a lower elevation for the benefits against altitude sickness, this is the closest location to EBC. The base camp lies around an hours from the small village, and has a few small guesthouses and hostels.
The Cho Mo Lang Ma Ben Ba Guest House is the best of a few poor options in Tashi Dzom, but is still a decent place to stay for a basic guesthouse. Rooms sleep up to four per room, and you must expect to share, especially in the peak months. The rooms are clean but basic, and have communal squat toilets for guests. The guesthouse does provide bedding, but it is recommended that you bring your own sleeping bag, to get a warmer night’s sleep. The guesthouse does have a small restaurant, which has become popular with travelers along the route to EBC, and can provide most of the Tibetan dishes you would expect, as well as a few other Chinese dishes.
Lodges and Hotels in Tingri
Old Tingri lies back on the Friendship Highway, around 100 kilometers from the base camp and Rongbuk and about 506 kilometers from Lhasa. At an altitude of around 4,300 meters, it is lower than EBC, and is often used by trekkers as a base camp before heading off on the 80km hike to Everest Base Camp to the south. More of a town than the smaller settlements towards EBC, Tingri has better facilities, running water, power, and even somewhere to get a bath. Tingri has several hotels that you can stay at, and while they may not be of the level that you would get in Lhasa or Shigatse, the facilities are adequate.
The Tingri Everest Shanghai Hotel, in Old Tingri, has average facilities, and is a decent place to stay on the long road from Lhasa. Rated as a standard “two-star” hotel in Tibet, the Everest Shanghai Hotel belongs to the Shanghai Tibet Investment Group, and has three deluxe suites and 36 standard twin rooms. All rooms are equipped with IDD telephones, and a bathroom with hot and cold running water. The hotel’s restaurant offers a wide range of Chinese and Tibetan dishes, and a good number of western dishes to get your teeth into, and the small bar offers a good range of local, Chinese, and international drinks.
Tingri Everest Shanghai Hotel is a decent place to stay around the EBC.
Located on the main road from Lhatse, on the right hand side of the road as you enter Shegar, the Tingri Bebar Hotel is a local building in the characteristic style of Tibetan hostels, and is around 110 kilometers from EBC. A single-storey building, each dorm room has its own shared toilet and bathroom, with solar-heated water supply. Beds are clean and the rooms are relatively comfortable, and relatively warm in comparison with the guesthouses at Rongbuk and EBC. The hotel is pretty basic, but the restaurant does have good food, mostly Tibetan, but with one or two Chinese dishes. The staff are also helpful and friendly, and the hotel is the best in the small town.
No matter where you stay at EBC, you are only going to find very basic accommodation, so be prepared to rough it for one night at least. The tents and Rongbuk Guesthouse are the only options at the basecamp itself, and in winter, it is only the monastery that is open. There are hostels and hotels back in Tingri and Shegar, though they are still pretty basic in most cases. Always bring a sleeping bag, as you never know whether you will need it.