Is Tibet in the Himalayas: Location and Best Time to See Himalayas in Tibet

Last updated: October,25 2018

While planning the trip to the Himalayas, you may think about the destinations like Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, which are all famous Himalaya kingdoms. Is the whole Tibet located in the Himalaya ranges? What is the exact location of Tibet and the mountains? What are the best places to see the Himalaya mountain ranges in Tibet? If you have the same questions as above, here is the detailed answer for you. Once you know better about where Tibet and the Himalaya is, you can have a clearer mind to arrange your Himalaya trip in Tibet and appreciate the best parts of the greatest mountain on Earth when you visit Tibet.

Where is Tibet

Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China lies on the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau, in Southeast Asia. The westernmost region of China, Tibet lies to the north of India, Nepal, and Bhutan, with several Indian states to the west, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China to the north. To the west are the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, and Yunnan.

The south and west of the Tibetan plateau are fringed by the Himalayan Mountain Ranges, the highest mountains in the world. With an average altitude of more than 4,800 meters, Tibet is a land that slopes from the west to the east, with the highest parts of the plateau adjacent to the western ranges of the Himalayas.

Where is the Himalayas

Edging the plateau,and stretching from Pakistan in the west to southwestern China in the east, the mighty Himalayas are the largest and highest mountain range in the world, which also includes the world’s highest mountain and most of the rest of the highest mountains on the planet. The Himalayas separates the Indian sub-continent from the Tibetan plateau and the rest of Southeast Asia. More than 2,400 kilometers in length, ten of the 14 highest mountains on the planet can be found in this range, all exceeding 8,000 meters.

The western anchor of the range, Mount Nanga Parbat, lies to the south of the northernmost bend of the River Indus, in the northeast of Pakistan. Namcha Barwa forms the range’s easternmost anchor, which lies on the main bend of the Yarlung Zangbo River, the upper part of the Brahmaputra River which flows through Bangladesh to the Bay of Bengal.

The Himalayas is the home to more than 52 million people, in Tibet (China), Nepal, India, Pakistan and the Kingdom of Bhutan. Four of the world’s largest rivers rise from the area of the Himalayas, in Tibet, and are the water sources for more than 600 million people across Southeast Asia.

Mount Everest Base Camp-the best place to enjoy the Himalayas

Lying in the midst of the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and the Tibetan region of China, Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain, with an elevation of 8,848 meters at its peak. It has two base camps originally used by mountaineers that made the first attempts to scale the massive peak, one in the north in Tibet and one in the south in Nepal. Both camps are at an altitude above 5,000 meters, and are the most popular tourist attractions in the area of Mount Everest.

Mount Everest from Everest Base CampSee the top of Mount Everest from Everest Base Camp in Tibet

At an altitude of 5,200 meters, the Everest Base Camp in Tibet is one of the best places in the world to view the world’s highest mountain. For almost 30 years, it was the only entry point to Everest, as the borders of Nepal were then closed to outsiders, except for Indian nationals.

How to Get to EBC

Getting to the northern base camp in Tibet is quite convenient by overland for there is a good paved road leading right up to the base camp from Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. However, in order to get there, you will need to book a Tibet tour with a registered Tibetan tour operator, as independent travel in Tibet is prohibited.

A tour from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp, which takes around 8 days to get to, stops along the way to visit the stunning sights of the Tibetan plateau. The route travels through Gyantse, where you can see the famous Gyantse Kumbum, the largest stupa of its kind in Tibet at 32 meters tall, as well as through Shigatse, the home of the Tashilhunpo monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama.

The road that leads to the base camp passes by Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the world, at 4,980 meters above sea level. From there, many people take a short hike to the base camp of around eight kilometers.

The base camp for tourists is actually different from the climber’s base camp, and allows tourists to stay there overnight in the tent guesthouses that are set up by the locals to cater to the huge volume of tourists that travel there every year. The base camp lies at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier, which flows down the side of Mount Everest.

Gama Valley – In-depth Trekking to explore the Himalaya

Considered to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the world, the Gama Valley lies to the east of Mount Everest, and is one of four Great Valleys that lie in the shadow of Mount Everest in the Himalayas. The valley is also praised as having one of the most stunning trekking routes in the world.

The valley is around 55 kilometers long, and eight kilometers wide at its widest point, and covers a massive area. However, it is not easy to reach, with no roads into the valley at all. Getting to the valley is a trek in itself, often using yaks and horses to transport people and their packs into the valley for their Tibet trekking tours.

Himalaya Gama Valley in TibetIn-depth trekking route through the Gama Valley of the Himalayas in Tibet

Highlights of Gama Valley Trekking

The trekking itself is one of the most stunning in the world, traveling the length of the valley through primeval forests of evergreens and deciduous trees, as well as Rohododendron and Juniper forests that appear untouched by human hands. A virgin area on the slopes of Mount Everest, there are many things to see inside the valley, and plenty of amazing views of the surrounding Himalaya mountain ranges.

The juniper forests are one of the most unusual forests in the world. Juniper trees are rarely found growing in clusters, and are mostly just solitary trees, or 2-3 in a group. Yet here, in the unique Gama valley, there are entire forests of juniper trees, covered in mosses that hang from the branches of these huge trees. For anyone passing through the forest, it would appear as if you had traveled back in time to the pre-historic era of dinosaurs and cavemen.

The Gama Valley region is the traditional home of the Sherpas, who have resided in the area around Mount Everest for thousands of years. Well adapted to the harsh environment and the highest altitudes on the planet, they are the world’s best trekking and climbing guides, and can travel to places where ordinary men struggle to walk and breathe.

One of the most popular routes for trekkers through the Gama Valley starts in Chutang Village, to the south of Old Tingri on the Friendship Highway. A trek of ten days, the first day is spent getting to the valley itself, passing through high altitude passes and over some of the area’s stunning countryside. The trek inside the valley is one of the most difficult in Tibet, and should not be attempted by first-time trekkers.

>> See the detailed day by day trekking route in Gama Valley.

Kyirong Valley

Often described as the “Valley of Happiness”, the Kyirong valley, or Gyirong Valley, lies in the shadow of the Himalayas, close to the border crossing point at Gyirong Port. Part of the Shigatse Prefecture, Kyirong Valley is the first place people see as they cross from Nepal into Tibet, but is often ignored by travelers heading for Tibet, as they are unaware of its beauty and importance in the area.

Relatively isolated in the midst of the Himalayas, the valley is partially hidden, with the Kyirong Zangbo River flowing through its beautiful heart.

The valley was once a major trade route from Nepal to Tibet, and now forms part of the area of the only overland entry point to Tibet from outside China. At almost 95 kilometers long, the valley is the largest of the Five Valleys that are found in the mid-region of the Himalayas, four of which lie in the shadow of Mount Everest.

Himalaya Kyirong Valley in TibetWhile taking a Tibet Nepal overland tour, you can visit the Kyirong Valley for stunning landscape of the Himalayas.

Highlights of Kyirong Trekking

While the valley may not be visited by international travelers very often, it is one of the most stunning places in the world, with so much to see and do there. Lying amongst the mighty Himalayas, the lower parts of the valley are a lush verdant landscape that is unique in this area of Tibet. Its lower altitude promotes the growth of plants and grasses that are not found on the higher areas of the plateau, and the climate is mild and warm, despite it being in one of the most remote areas of Tibet.

Isolated for centuries, the Tibetan people of the valley are still living in the traditional ways that their ancestors did in the time of the great Tubo kings of old. Unaffected by the passing of the Tibetan Empire, or the consequent rule of the Buddhist monasteries and Mongolian overlords, the valley is a place where time seems to have stood still.

Surrounded by some of the highest mountain in the world, the views of the high Himalayas are astounding, and there are plenty f places along the length of the valley where you can get he best photos of the Himalayas that you could ever wish for. Peaks such as Mount Shishapangma, Mount Cho Oyu, and Mount Manaslu can be seen clearly, lying close to the valley, and on clear days, there is even a view of Mount Everest’s high peak in the distance.

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