Probably the highest monastery in the world at 5,000 metres altitude, you are over half way to airline cruising height by the time you reach Rongbuk, and facing the mighty Mount Everest. It’s hard to overstate the impact of staying in such a location. The otherworldly landscape is dusty, rocky, and not a little bleak, until you look up at the epic slopes of the mountain, which is even viewable from some rooms; cinematic and glorious. The monastery itself is a historic, ramshackle medley of styles and colour, and a popular venue for day trippers as well as local pilgrims.
The accommodation is super basic, and for some (us included) an absolutely brilliant and integral part of reaching this extraordinary place. One for the more adventurous travellers, where the scenery and experience make it worthwhile. Though reminiscent of the spartan interiors of monastic cells, plenty of blankets are provided to keep you cosy during the chilly Himalayan nights. Splashes of bright colour, as well as in the pictures on the wall, add a homely edge. Bathroom facilities are the sparsest element, with hot water available but no showers, and basic toilets in a separate block a short walk away. But those are just the details; Rongbuk is all about the bigger picture, and pictures don’t get any bigger than this.
In the middle of the Himalayan wilderness in the shadow of Mount Everest herself. There is a paved road all the way from Lhasa, which is over 10 hours away.
30-person dorm & private rooms
It was brilliant, it truly was one of my best travel experiences. The views are amazing, I mean out of this world, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
Discover what to expect from staying at Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse
The journey to the monastery is long and interesting. The landscape of Qomolangma National Park is truly otherworldly and quite stilling, feeding your anticipation at the thought of a stay at the remote monastery. It's exciting and so, so memorable, but not something we recommend to everyone; you really have to be ready for an adventure. The views, the surreality, the feeling of being in Tibet at Everest is absolutely priceless. Anyone with travel in their blood and an adventurous spirit cannot fail to be moved by the experience.
The altitude can give some people a headache, and the cold can be distracting, but the monastery lays on electric blankets to keep you warm. Lots of the rooms have views of the mountains, but additional buildings do sometimes go up. The exact views may change, but a night-time visit to the semi-open toilets can reveal a moonlit Everest staring straight at you! In short, we absolutely love it.
The focus is firmly on appreciating the spiritual atmosphere of Qomolangma National Park; take a tour of the monastery, see Everest at sunrise and soak up the region’s tranquility. Enjoy simple meals and warming cups of tea and coffee as you chat with fellow guests in the communal dining room. The view from the monastery draws photographers from around the world; you can feel the excitement of those setting out to conquer Everest’s slopes.
Trekking across the ‘roof of the world’ in Tibet, at an average elevation of 4,500m, is and adventure hard to beat. It’s not the easiest destination to get to, but the unparalleled rush of standing in one of Earth’s rawest landscapes is like nothing else.