Overview Of This Tour
- Discovery the mystery of ancient Tibet
- One trip covers the most of Tibet
- Pure and knowledgeable Tibetan guide (English speaking)
- Many more extra services
Day1 Lhasa Arrival and rest for high altitude
Welcome to Lhasa, capital of Tibet. Our local Tibetan guide will meet you at Lhasa airport or railway station and then transport you to your hotel in downtown Lhasa. You can spend the rest of the day exploring the old town center, Barkhor, which is Tibet's ancient market area around the sacred Jokhang Temple. You will see many Tibetan locals making ritualistic prostrations on the square. Lhasa has an elevation of 3600 meters (12,000 feet). Tonight you will stay in a comfortable hotel, such as Shambhala Palace, House of Shambhala, Shangbala Hotel, Kyichu Hotel, Yak Hotel, or Heritage Hotel, etc. They are all within walking distance from the Barkhor square and popular among foreign tourists.
Day2 Lhasa sightseeing: Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Streets, Tsamkhung Nunnery, Sera Monastery
After breakfast, you will visit Jokhang Temple, the holiest and most famous Buddhist temple in Tibet. Founded nearly 1400 years ago, Jokhang Temple houses a vast collection of precious Tibetan artworks and religious artifacts. You will walk around in this fascinating temple alongside pilgrims from every corner of Tibet. You will smell the yak butter candle offerings and hear the sound of pilgrims chanting mantras. Then, you will visit the quiet nunnery of Tsamkhung, where you can listen to the morning prayer during meditation time. In the afternoon, you will go to the 600-year-old Sera Monastery, one of Tibet’s largest Buddhist monasteries. Each weekday afternoon starting at 3pm, monks engage in Buddhist philosophical debates in a unique manner, which is mesmerizing to watch for every visitor. You will finish the afternoon by doing a small hike on the pilgrimage circuit near Sera Monastery.
Day3 Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery
You visit Tibet's most iconic architecture today, the Potala Palace. It is the winter residence of Dalai Lama and currently a UNESCO world heritage site. Inside Potala Palace, you will see both the public and private quarters of Dalai Lama and imagine the way of royal life here. In the afternoon, we will visit Drepung monastery, another important Gelugpa monastery. You can do another pilgrimage circuit on the hill and enjoy the good views before returning to down Lhasa.
Day4 Lhasa-Yamdrok Lake-Karo La Glacier-Gyantse Pelkor Chode Monastery-Shigatse
We leave Lhasa city today and drive to the second largest city Shigatse. On the way we will experience the natural wonders of Tibet for the first time. We will first arrive at Yamdrok Lake, one of the holy lakes of Tibet. On a sunny day, the lake is in a brilliantly turquoise color and reflects the Mt. Nojin Kangtsang peak behind it. We will walk slowly to the hilltop to get a panoramic view of the whole landscape. We will then stop by Karo La Glacier, which slopes down from Nojin Kangtsang and stretches all the way to the main road. Our next stop is Gyantse city, a small but important historic town in the region. There we will visit Pelkhor Chode Monastery. Inside the monastery is the Gyantse Kumbum, which houses the best Tibetan murals still in existence today. We reach Shigaste in late afternoon and stay at 4 star Gesar Hotel or similar for the night.
Day5 Shigatse to Gyatso La Pass and Shelkar
Today we drive from Shigatse to Shegar(220km). We will cross a high mountain pass Gyatso La Pass at 5248m. If you feel capable, you can hike to the top of the nearby hill and enjoy the great views of the Himalayan range. After arriving in Shegar, we visit the Shegar monastery and the old ruins nearly. We stay at Everest Tingri Hotel hotel, popular among tourists and Everest climbers alike. The elevation of Shegar is 4325.
Day6 Shelkar to Geu La Pass, Rongphu Monastery and Everest Base Camp
After breakfast, we leave Shegar for Everest Base Camp. After we pass Geu La Pass, we immediately find ourselves within close distance from the highest peak in the world. On the way, we are able to see 5 of the world's 15 highest peaks. After driving past a few more small villages, we finally arrive at the foot of the Everest and we spend time admiring its spectacular presence. Closeby is Rongbuk monastery, world's highest monastery at an altitude of 5000km. It is also unique because it hosts both monks and nuns. Tonight we stay in the very basic and dorm style guesthouse in the Everest base campsite. There is fireplace and thick quilts available, so there is no need to worry about the low temperature outside.
Day7 Everest Base Camp to Peiku Tso and Saga
We get up early this morning see the sun shines its first ray on the snow covered Everest peak. We spend some more time enjoying the view, and then start our journey to the next destination, Saga. On the way we will pass Mt. Shishapangma natural reserve and lake Peikutso, which is a hidden gem. You can have a picnic lunch by the lakeside, and continue to enjoy the scenery of the Himalayas. Saga has an elevation of 4500m and is 330km from EBC. We will stay at Saga Hotel or a similar place, and rest well tonight to prepare for the long distance driving the next day.
Day8 Saga to Lake Manasarovar
Today you travel across the wilderness of western Tibet to arrive at the holy lake of Manasarovar. The distance from Saga to Lake Manasarovar is 495km. We continue to drive on the northern side of the Himalayas. The long distance driving today is a great opportunity to observe Tibetan nomadic life and nature. After arriving at At Lake Manasarovar at an elevation of 4590m, you will stay at a very basic guesthouse by the lakeside. There is no shower facilities available there, and toilets are shared. The lake offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range.
Day9 Lake Manasarovar to Darchen
You will enjoy the wonder scenery of holy lake Manasarovar. There is plenty time for you to do puja in the water too. We will go to visit Chiu Monastery on the hilltop, and take in as many geat views of the lanscape as we want. In the afternoon, we drive to Darchen, the town below Mt. Kailash and the starting point of Mt. Kailash Yatra. In Darchen, we make some last minute preparations for the 3-day trek ahead and rest well. We stay in the best available Himalaya Kailash Hotel.
Day10 Kailash Trek (Kora) Day 1
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 destination of the day: Dira-Puk Monastery (5080m). It faces the north side of Mt. Kailash and provides viewpoints for peaks in other direction. Overnight at guesthouse near Dira-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day11 Kailash Trek (Kora) Day 2
We continue 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 at guesthouse near Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day12 Kailash Trek (Kora) Day 3
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. We again stay in the best available Himalaya Kailash Hotel.
Day13 Darchen to Tsada (Zanda)-visit Tholing Monastery
Today we will extend our journey to the nortwest further to reach to the Tsada County. In the afternoon we are going to visit the Tholin Monastery. Tholing Monastery is the oldest monastery (or gompa) in the Ngari Prefecture of western Tibet. It is situated in Tholing (Zanda), Zanda County, near the Indian border of Ladakh. It was built in 997 AD by Yeshe, the second King of the Guge Kingdom. In Tibetan language "Tholing" means "hovering in the sky forever" and is reflected by the location of the monastery at an elevation of 12,400 feet (3,800 m). We stay in a local guesthouse tonight.
Day14 Explore the mistery of Guge Kingdom
Ruins of Guge KingdomLocated in the Ngari Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, Ruins of Guge Kingdom are the Old Summer Palace of Tibet. While these ruins were once an imperial estate which fell into disrepair after the civil revolt and the invasion of the allied armies of eight foreign countries, the Guge kingdom also encountered civil strife and foreign attacks which fragmented the once prosperous state. However, the legendary kingdom hasn't been totally lost as much can be learned about it from its remains. Today you will visit the elephant river and the small village of Tsaparang as well. We stay in a local guesthouse tonight.
Day15 Tsada (Zanda)-Lake Manasarovar
Today, you will begin making the journey back to the holy Lake Manasarovar. Lake Manasarovar also called Mapam Yumtso, is a high altitude freshwater lake fed by the Kailash Glaciers near Mount Kailash in the Tibet. The lake is revered a sacred place in four religions: Hinduism, Bön, Buddhism and Jainism.
Day16 Lake Manasarovar-Saga (495 kms)
After the main pilgrimage adventure, today you will take the journey back to Saga County. This driving adventure will cover 495 kilometers traveling thru the beautiful wilderness of Western Tibet back to the small county of Saga. There will be plenty of good mountain views as well as the chance to see wildlife throughout the day. In Saga, you will stay at the best hotel-The Grand West Post Hotel (or Saga Hotel), in this small county, accommodation option is limited and facility is not as good as in Shigatse and Lhasa city.
Day17 Saga to Shigatse(450 kms)
You will continue driving back to Lhasa along the G318 (China National Road) while stopping at Shigatse for the night. You will drive along the Western Himalaya Mountains, which form the border between Tibet and Nepal. There are chances to see wildlife including gazelle, wild donkeys, wolves, marmots and more! In Shigatse, you will stay at the locally rated 4 star Gesar Hotel or Tashi Choten Hotel.
Day18 Shigatse to Lhasa
The final full day of your Tibet journey will lead you back to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. You will arrive in the mid to late afternoon with enough time to stroll the pilgrimage path around Jokhang Temple one last time and buy any last minute souvenirs in the Lhasa Old Town. Your last night in Lhasa will be spent at Yak Hotel or similar comfortable hotel.
Day19 Final Departure
Our wonder Tibetan trip concludes today. You will be transferred to the airport/train station and depart from Tibet for your next destination. We hope you have gathered precious memories of Tibet and will come back again one day!
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This adventurous and spiritual Tibet tour begins with the easy sightseeing in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Then we extend our adventure to the mighty Mt. Everest and glorious holy Mountain Kailash. And we will explore further to the mysterious Guge Kingdom and enjoy the ancient discovery of the wonderland.
It is indeed a rare opportunity and privilege for all devotees who have been dreaming to be close to the Mt.Kailash.And it is absolutely the wonderful choice for photographers as you will have lots of chances to shoot photos of the mysterious Guge Kingdom ruins and the highlight mountain of Mt.Everest.