Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. For that reason, it is considered to be the "holy grail" among mountain climbers. But you don't have climb the mountain to enjoy its stunning beauty. In fact, Mt. Everest, or Qomolangma in Tibetan, offers a range of opportunities for tourists who want to experience the mountain's majesty without having to climb to its peak. Instead, admirers can view the mountain from nearby towns, a monastery or even from the air.
Book an "Everest Experience" flight. These flights, offered by Buddha air take you over the Himalayas and Mt. Everest, giving you a preview of the mountain's majesty from comfort of your airplane seat.
Visit the Shigatse valley. This cluster of towns sits as the base of Mt. Everest. Not only will you be able to see Mt. Everest, but you can also experience ancient ruins, natural hot springs and colorful markets.
Hike to the Rongbuk monastery (tibettravel.info/shigatse/sights/rongbuk-monastery.html). This is not a short trek at 48 miles, but it is much less strenuous than climbing Mt. Everest, and most tourists can handle it. You can easily find a local guide in Shigatse who will take you to the monastery for a small fee. The monastery provides stunning views of Mt. Everest, and includes a hostel where you can bed down for a night or two before heading back.
Continue from the monastery to Mt. Everest base camp. Only 6 miles from the monastery, this is the last stop for tourists who aren't serious about climbing the mountain. Still, at 17,000 feet, it is not for people who suffer from altitude sickness, although many ordinary tourists make the trek to the base camp every year. Serious climbers consider this to be merely the starting point for climbing Mt. Everest.
Article originally from USA TODAY