Day 2: Lhasa sightseeing: Norbulingka, Sera Monastery(except Sunday) We start the day with visiting Norbulingka, the summer palace of Dalai Lama. It is the largest artificial garden in Tibet. The three lake palaces located in the southwest area are the most popular point of interest in the park. Norbulingka hosts celebrations of a number of Tibetan festivals where local people gather and sing, dance and perform Tibetan opera. After lunch we will go to visit Sera Monastery. The highlights of our visit include touring the main architectural structures of the monastery and watching a monk debate session in the main courtyard. Inside the halls, you can find delicate religious objects and decorations such as scriptures in gold powder, colorful statues, and narrative murals. During the debate session, you will see hundreds of red-robed monks assemble in small groups striking different poses as a way to engage in religious topics. It is a spectacle you can’t observe anywhere else. Overnight in Lhasa. A welcome group meal will be arranged either on Day 2 or Day 3.
Day 3: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Bakhor Streets We visit the single most iconic architecture in Tibet, Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of Dalai Lama. You will see both the public offices and residential quarters of Dalai Lama, as well as a massive collection of artworks and religious treasure, including stupas of past Dalai Lamas and a statue of Tsongkhapa. After lunch, we will head to Jokhang Temple, the most important and sacred temple in Tibet. The architecture of the temple displays influences from Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese design. Numerous famous Buddhist teachers have also conducted teaching there. Today, it houses a variety of Buddhist scriptures and objects. Surrounding the temple are Bakhor streets, a busy and lively area for dining, shopping and entertainment. You will also encounter many local Tibetans performing pilgrimages and ritualistic prostrations. Overnight in Lhasa. A welcome group meal will be arranged either on Day 2 or Day 3.
Day 4: Lhasa- Yamdrok-Karola Glacier-Gyantse-Shigatse(360 km) Our adventure into the grand Tibetan plateau starts today! We head west towards the second largest city in Tibet, Shigatse. On our way, we cross Kampala Pass (4797 m) and then Karola Pass (5050 m). We will first encounter the stunning holy lake of Yamdrok-Tso and then Karola Glacier only steps off the main road. We will visit Pelkhor Chode Monastery in Gyantse that houses the most important Tibetan paintings in Kumbum Stupa, and the majestic Gyantse Dzong (fortress) that overlooks the valley. We will finally reach Shigatse before dinner. You will have plenty of time to rest. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 5: Shigatse-Lhatse(200km) We visit the prominent Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Built in the 15th century by the first Dalai Lama, it has since been the seat of Panchen Lamas. We recommend that you do a Kora pilgrimage around the monastery. We then drive west towards Lhatse. On our way, we will stop by Sakya Monastery. It has a unique Mongolian style of architecture that you will find mesmerizing. Overnight in Lhatse.
Day 6: Lhatse-Saga(300km) We will spend the day driving from Lhatse all the way to Saga. Alone the way, you can enjoy plenty of different Tibetan sceneries, including vast grassland, wild animals, sand dunes, nomadic tents and snow-capped mountains. Overnight in Saga.
Day 7: Saga-Darchen(500km) We will enter the nomadic regions of Tibet’s far west today. We will appreciate the Tibetan landscapes during this long drive journey. We follow Yarlung Tsampo River (Brahmaputra in India) west until we reach Lake Manasarovar, another one of the three most sacred lakes in Tibet. Indian pilgrims believe that bathing in the lake will rid them of sins and attract auspicious karma. This photogenic spot will allow you to capture the perfect combination of Tibetan lake, mountain and landscape. For the rest of the day we will get ready for our upcoming 3-day trek. You will want to organize your belongings and do some last minute shopping, before getting a good night of sleep. Overnight stay in Darchen.
Day 8: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 1: Darchen – Dira-Puk Monastery (5050m) 20 km, 5-6 hours We begin the Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage in the clockwise direction. 4km into the path, we reach the height of 4790m and the first prostration point that marks the first views of Mt. Kailash’s southern façade. The next important landmark is Tarboche flagpole (4750m), where the main rituals of Saga Dawa Full Moon Festival takes place here every year. You can pay a visit to the nearby Chorten Kangnyi and Sky-Burial Site Of The 84 Mahasiddhas. Coming up next is Chuku Monastery (4820m), where you can find a revered marble statue inside. After some break time when you can take in more views, we will head towards the second prostration point, where you see prayers flags and views of the west side of Mt Kailash. The second Buddha footprint is a short distance ahead. There are several trails to reach our final destination of the day: Dira-Puk Monastery (5080m). It faces the north side of Mt. Kailash, and also provides viewpoints for peaks in other direction. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Dira-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 9: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 2: Dira-Puk Monastery – Zuthul-Puk Monastery (4790m) 18 km, 6-8 hours We continue on the main Kora path towards the east. We pass through Kangkyam Glacier and Jarok Donkhang (5210m) meadowland. A short distance above is Shivatsal (5330m). Pilgrims go through a symbolic death here and are reborn at Drolma-la (5630m), which is half an hour away. After some rest and refreshments, we soon arrive at lake Gauri Kund. We gradually descent to the grand valley of Lha-chu, and begin a long journey in the grassland. The day concludes at Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 10: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 3: Zuthul-Puk Monastery- Darchen (4670 m) 14 km, 3-4 hours We follow the river and then climbs the Gold & Red Cliffs. Pilgrims search for holy stones on these cliff walls. We will see prayer flags across the river, and Lake Rakshas Tal in the far distance. After reaching the fourth prostration point, the final walk back to Darchen is quite easy. Overnight stay in Darchen.
Day 11: Darchen-Saga(450km) Return to Saga from Darchen. Overnight stay in Saga.
Day 12: Saga-Everest Base Camp(330km) We will march into the Himalayas today. On our way, you can spot the mountain peaks such as Mt. Shishapangma and discover the turquoise water of Lake Peikutso. We will finally reach the final main highlight of our trip, the Mt. Everest Base Camp. In its background, we will catch a glimpse of several other peaks like Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu. When we get ourselves settled down in the camp site, it will be just in time to see the sunset turn the Everest peak into golden color. Overnight stay at Mt. Everest campsite or Rongpuk Monastery guesthouse subject to availability and weather condition.
Day 13: EBC-Shigatse(340 km) We watch sunrise at the foot of Mt. Everest. We will also visit Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the world, where monks and nuns live together. After spending more time enjoying the spectacular view or trekking, we head our way back to Shigatse. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 14: Shigatse-Lhasa (280 km) We will drive along the China Nepal Sino Friendship Road back to Lhasa. Visit the Brahamaputra Grand River, have few stops nearby the villages along the road.The 4-5 hours safe drive will take you back to our capital city again. Your afternoon will be at your own leisure time before leaving Tibet tomorrow. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 15: Depart from Lhasa You will enjoy your last moments in Tibet. Our guide and driver will then pick you up and transfer you to the airport or train station. We hope you have gathered precious memory of your time in Tibet, and we wish you the best on your future adventure.
*This tour can be changed to accommodate guests who wish to enter Nepal after EBC. On Day 13 you will arrive in Gyirong and cross border on Day 14. You may extend the trip by one day for visiting Kelong Valley, a beautiful region at the foot of Himalaya Mountain Range that attracts many nature lovers. Please send us inquiry if you want to customize it further.