EBC Tent Camp or Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse, Which One Should I Choose to Stay?

Last updated: March,03 2020

Drawn by the mystical allure of this massive and iconic peak, tourists visit the Everest Base Camp (EBC) in Tibet for the best views of the world’s highest mountain. Access to the base camp is done from Shigatse, Tibet’s second city, and the drive to EBC takes several hours, so it is not a day trip. Tourists regularly need to spend the night at the base camp in Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse or the Tent Guesthouses at EBC. So which is better to stay in while visiting this massive peak?


    The Experience of Staying at EBC Tent Camp

    Most of Everest Base Camp tours arrange the overnight in EBC tent camp, which is a very unique and special travel experience during your Tibet trip. Staying inside the traditional tent operated by local Tibetans, you can see how Tibetan arrange their daily life inside this small “house”, chat with travelers from other country, and appreciate the majestic Mt. Everest as close as you can. You can experience the tent camp during our classic 8-day Everest Base Camp tour. However, as the base camp is removed and packed up during late October to April due to the cold weather, you’d better travel Tibet between May and early Oct if you want to experience it. Below is the basic information of EBC base camp.

    EBC tent campMost tours stay overnight at EBC base camp which is about 4km from the famous Everest Milestone.

    Where is EBC Tent Camp?

    A great experience for tourists to EBC, the tent guesthouses are set up by locals around the newly-relocated base camp itself. The tents are actually at the same site as the famous EBC Post Office for China Post, so you do not have to go far to send your postcards at EBC. The new base camp and tent guesthouses are a short distance from the Rongbuk Monastery, and just across the car park from the monastery guesthouse now. The tent guesthouses are actually now around 4km from the famous Everest Milestone, with its height marker, which is still located at the old base camp site. From the peak of Mount Everest, it is exactly 11.56 miles or 18.61 kilometers as the crow flies.

    What’s inside the EBC Tent Camp?

    The tents are canvas and yak hair, and normally sleep around 10-12 people. However, there are normally no individual beds as you would find in normal hotels. Instead, the beds are the long benches that line the walls of the tents, and you will be sharing with others that are staying there. The tent guesthouses do actually have bed linen for you to use. However, it normally just consists of a quilted blanket and pillow for each tourist, so it is a good idea to bring along a sleeping bag if you think you might not be warm enough in the tent.

    EBC tent guesthouseTent guesthouses are operated by local Tibetans and are heated by a central stove.

    The tent guesthouses are well heated, with the central stove of the tent providing heat as well as being used for cooking, heating water, and making the ever-present Tibetan sweet tea. However, there are no electric blankets in the tent guesthouses, though it is normally warm enough with your sleeping bag and quilted blanket.

    The seats around the outside of the tent double up as the beds as well, and aside from the tables for you to eat on, the only other furniture is normally a couple of wooden settles and the stove. The tents have no lockable storage, so keep your baggage close by, and use it as your pillow at night.

    Other Facilities in EBC Tents

    Facilities in the tents are pretty basic. There is no running water, but you can get cold water for washing, or the hosts will heat water for you on the stove. There are no indoor bathrooms, so prepare to forego your daily shower for one night. You will need to bring your own toiletries, though you can buy toothpaste and soap from the vendors at the site. The tents do have electricity, but it is not available 24 hours. Generally, the generators run until midnight to provide electricity for lighting, and you can charge your gadgets for a small fee until this time. However, while you may get a good cellphone signal at the site, if you are using a local SIM card, you will not find a Wi-Fi connection in the tents. The toilets are also not in the tents, and can be found in the wood and tin huts outside.

    What to eat when staying at EBC Tent Camp?

    Usually food is not available in tent guesthouse because it does not have separate kitchen. However, you can buy food or eat at restaurants nearby. The food available at EBC is basic Tibetan and Chinese cuisine, and normally includes such dishes as fried rice, noodles, pork, eggs, porridge, etc. If you are not a fan of the local food, then it is a good idea to bring your own supplies, as there is little choice available.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Staying at Tent Camp

    EBC tent guesthouseStaying in a tent guesthouse, you can chat with others when sitting around the dove and make friends with eath other.

    There are certain advantages to the tent guesthouses, not the least being the chance to stay in a traditional nomadic tent home. This unique experience is not normally available in other places across the plateau, so it is a popular option for travelers. The tents are also the only places that actually have heating at night, as the stove is kept hot day and night.

    However, you will find there is little privacy in the tent guesthouses, as you will be crowded into the tent with other people. This does mean that it can be a bit crowded, and you will need to share the sleeping arrangements with others, which is not to everyone’s liking.

    The Experience of Staying at Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse

    Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse is available all the year around, and becomes more popular in winter when EBC Tent Camp is removed away. Though not as cozy as guesthouse in low-elevation areas, you can still get more privacy and convenience in this guesthouse. Besides watching Mt. Everest closely, you can also appreciate the spectacular starry night over Mt. Everest from the window of your room without getting outside to bear the biting cold in the evening.

    Rongbuk MonasteryOpposite to the monastery, Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse is open all the year around.

    Where is Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse?

    The Rongbuk Monastery is located right next to the new base camp, and the Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse is across the dirt road directly opposite. The EBC Post Office for China Post is located nearby in the base camp, with the tent guesthouses, and the distance to the summit of the mountain is 11.65 kilometers in a straight line.

    What kind of rooms can you choose in Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse?

    Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse has 30 rooms, and can sleep a total of 100 guests overnight. Rooms come as twin or dorm rooms, with anything from two to five beds in each room. There are no single rooms. Bedding is available for all rooms and beds, and includes electric blankets for staying warm at night. Rooms also have a bowl for washing, a desk, and a few chairs.

    Room in Rongbuk Monastery GuesthouseYou can watch the Milky Way from the window of your room in Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse.

    Facilities in Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse

    You can get hot water and cold water at any time of the day, and electricity is available 24 hours. However, Wi-Fi is still not available, but the cellphone signal is pretty good. The guesthouse has its own basic squat toilet, much cleaner than the outdoor ones at the base camp tent sites. Guesthouse.

    What to eat when staying at Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse?

    The monastery guesthouses does have food available, which is normally Chinese or Tibetan dishes that are simple and basic. You can also get plenty of sweet Tibetan tea to stay warm with. If you are not a fan of the local food, then it is advisable to bring your own packet and dried foods to eat.

    Rongbuk RestaurantThe restaurant of Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse provides decent food for tourists.

    Advantage and Disadvantage of Staying at Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse

    While tent guesthouses are packed up and removed in winter months, Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse is available all the year around, and you can stay there when visiting Tibet in winter. The rooms are an advantage in that you can get a great view of the starry skies above the mountain through the windows at night. You also have electricity day and night, so it is easier to charge all your gadgets.

    On the other side of the coin, the monastery guesthouse is colder than the tents, as many of the rooms do not have good heating at all.


    You can experience authentic Tibetan nomadic tents with others by staying at tent camp, or stay in Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse with solid walls and glass window from which you can watch the starry night. No matter which one you choose, the overnight staying at EBC, the place closest to the heaven, is definitely a lifetime memory.

    Related Readings:

    Most Recommended Tibet Everest Base Camp Tours

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