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13 Days Valuable Tibet Mt. Kailash Kora Adventure Tour

Holy Mt. Kailash & Manasarovar Lake Kora

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The Mt. Kailash Kora is one of the most sacred pilgrimage routes as well as an appealing destination for adventure lovers in the world, encircling the world's holiest mountain. With a trekking trail over 5,000 meters above the sea level, you will not only enjoy the gorgeous plateau scenery, including the majestic Mt. Kailash, holy Manasarovar Lake, etc, but also meet pilgrims and trekkers from across Tibet and other countries in the world. To visit Mt. Kailash, you need to start from Lhasa, via Shigatse, Mount Everest, Saga, etc. This tour covers only the best highlights of Tibet, which will greatly save your money and time.

Highlights of this tour

  • Learn about the Tibetan history and Buddhist culture in the Golden Triangle Cities - Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse;
  • Once in a lifetime adventure to the highest peak in the world - Mount Everest;
  • Memorable three days' trekking the famous Mt. Kailash Kora in Ngari.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Lhasa / Gyangtse / Shigatse / Mt.Everest / Ngari / Lhasa
Travel Length:
13 Days and12 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-TT-13
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Lhasa Arrival

Welcome to Tibet, the holy land of Tibetan Buddhism! Your tour guide will pick you up at the airport arrival hall and escort you to your downtown hotel in Lhasa while you enjoy the stunning views along the Yarlong Tsangpo River.

After check in, the rest of the day is for you to acclimate to the high altitude and weather of Lhasa. Avoid strenuous physical activities during this first day since that may cause high altitude sickness.

Orientation Tips: 1) avoid vigorous activities but do take some leisurely walks in the city to acclimatize to the air and high altitude of Lhasa city (altitude of 3600m); 2) do not drink liquor in the arrival day, instead plenty of water and fruits are recommended.

Lhasa Gonggar Airport

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Day 2 Lhasa ( B )

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After breakfast, start an incredible day of exploration in Lhasa city. The grandiose Potala Palace is the first site to discover. Having gone through more than 1300 years of historical changes, the colossal Potala Palace still dominates over the skyline of Lhasa city. It’s the political and religious center of Tibet and had been served as the governance and preaching place for Dalai Lama. Climb up the sacred steps to get inside the Red Palace and White Palace to explore the marvelous interior which is full of exquisite Thangkas, numerous Buddha statues, vivid wall painting and other works of Buddhist art.

In the afternoon, firstly visit the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet – Jokhang Temple where the 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue is consecrated. With a history over 1,300 years, it combines the architecture styles of Tibet, China, Nepal and India. As the spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple attracts hundreds of devoted pilgrims to worship every day. Then we go to visit another famous monastery in Lhasa - Sera Monastery. This six hundred year-old monastery is famous for its grand ceremony of Buddhism debating apart from its beautiful temples with sensational icons, murals and history.

Tips of today: 1) wear suitably to protect from strong sunlight, but do not wear hat when visiting inside the Tibetan monasteries; 2) taking photos is not allowed in chapels of monasteries; 3) bring your passport with you all the time.

Tibet Potala Palace VisitSera Monastery Debating
Day 3 Lhasa – Shigatse ( B )

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Today you will be transferred from Lhasa to Gyantse (5.5-hour drive). 

After about 1.5 hours driving from Lhasa, you will get to the famous holy Yamdrok Lake. With an altitude of 4,441 meters, Yamdrok Lake is known as one of the "Three Holiest Lakes", also one of the most beautiful lakes in Tibet. The turquoise pure lake overlies among snow-capped mountains. Surrounding the lakeshores are some peaceful Tibetan villages situating in the flat valleys. Looking to instance, you can still see clearly dotted yaks and sheep grazing on the grassland. Keep driving to next destination – Gyantse, and enjoy the views of the grandiose and vast Karola Glacier.

After arrival in Gyantse, you will take a visit to the landmark of Gyantse – Palcho Monastery. It is a traditional Tibetan monastery which is a fusion of Han, Tibetan and Nepali architecture, and has both temples and stupa. Palcho Monastery’s symbol is its Kumbum Stupa which is famous for having 100,000 figures of Buddhist statue in the chapels, niches and wall paintings of Kumbum. 

Lastly, drive about 2.5 hours to final destination - Shigatse for dinner and accommodation.

Tips of today: 1) pack some food and drinks for long driving of today; 2) wear suitably to protect yourself from stong sunlight, wind and possible cold.

Palcho Monastery and MonksYamdrok Lake in Gyantse
Day 4 Shigatse – Mount Everest ( B )

Get up early and have a hearty breakfast because today’s trip starts with a visit to one of the most important monasteries in Tibet – Tashilhunpo Monastery which was built in 1447 during the Ming Dynasty by a disciple of Buddhism, Master Tsongkhapa. The monastery became the Buddhism center of Tsang region and has been the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, one of two most powerful leaders of Buddhists in Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery is surrounded by a 3000-meter-long wall and was constructed against the background of mountains facing to the sun. The Monastery has 58 sutra chapels and about 3600 rooms with many buildings made with golden glazed tiles and interlaced red and white walls.  There is also a Thangka Exhibit Platform. Be prepared to meet many pilgrims visiting this holy place from far places and countries!

Later in the day, we will drive about 8 hours to the day’s final destination - Mount Everest.  While it seems to be a tough driving day, the plateau landscape along the road is breathtaking and will keep you entranced. You will even have a chance to see four of the highest peaks in the world, all over 8,000 meters - Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. After arrival at Rongbuk Monastery, you will find all the effort of the trip swept away by the sight of the majestic peak of Everest rising in front of you. You can then rest for a while before visiting this featured monastery of the Nyingma Buddhist sect.
Accommodations are at Rongbuk Guest House or local tents.

Tips for today: 1) prepare some food and drinks to take with you because there are only some basic foods offered at Mount Everest; 2) pack warm and thick clothes for the cold; 3) get fully prepared for the high altitude (5100m).

Mount Everest - SunsetTashilumpo Monastery Monks and Builiding

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Day 5 Everest - Saga ( B )

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Get up early to chase the most beautiful landscape of sunrise on the Everest. The morning sunlight shines on the highest peak, and appears a pleasant golden pyramid. In the clean days, you have chance to witness the God-given scenery of Flag Clouds.

After the sunrise, take the eco-bus to the Everest Base Camp which is about 8km from Rongbuk Monastery. The EBC is the most important base for mountaineers who want to climb further the Mount Everest. Take the closer views of Mount Everest from the Base. The high sightseeing platform with many colorful Buddhist prayer flags waving in the breeze is the best location to witness the clear face the giant Mount Everest.

Last, return to Rongbuk area and drive to next destination - Saga County. About 8 hours driving may be long and tough, but the landscape you can enjoy on route is fabulous - witness the dominating snow peak Shishapangma from afar, get shocked by desolate and wild plains, enjoy the pure scenery of the Pelkhu tso Lake (4600m)...

Tips of today: 1. Sunrise starts around 6:30 am to 7 am; 2. Get well prepared for long driving on the road.

Mount Everest - EBC
Day 6 Saga - Darchen( B )

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Have a full breakfast, because you are going to drive about 500km to reach the final destination - Darchen(4,575m) which is the nearest town as base for all the travelers and pilgrims who are going to visit the holy Mt. Kailash. Though as a tough long driving, but the landscape outside the window is always amazing.

Before reaching Darchen, you will take a sidetrip to visit the famous holy lake - Manasarovar Lake(4588m). It is a sacred site for both Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism, and attracts pilgrims far from India, Neple and Tibetan to worship every year. It is believed the lake can cleanse all sins and wash away all the sorrows. Relax around the lake to enjoy the harsh but appealing landscape - sapphire-blue waters, sandy shoreline and snowcapped mountains. You can even see the side face of Mt. Kailash clearly in sunny days. 

Accommodate at local guesthouse in Darchen.

Manasarovar Lake
Day 7 Trek from Darchen to Dirapuk

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Trekking Time: 5-6 HOUR, 20KM, 200m ASCENT

Start today's trekking early in the morning. Passing through Tibetan villages, you will head westward cross the Barkha plain where you can even see clear views of some high peaks in Nepal and India. Later, the hiking path climbs up and gets to a cairn at 4790M bedecked with prayer flags. You can see the Mount Kailash for the first time. Then quickly enter the Lha-chu Valley. The Tarbochen flagpole(4750m), an important site for Saga Dawa Festival, is in your sight in the distance. You will stop at the Tamdin (4,780m) for lunch and hot water supply. Continue on to trek about 4km, with some of the best scenery of the entire kora, to Dirapuk Monastery, sitting in a superb location on the hillside and facing the astonishing northern face of Mt. Kailash.

Accommodate at Dirapuk guesthouse.

Mt. Kailash Trekking
Day 8 Trek from Dirapuk to Zutulpuk

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TREKKING TIME: 7-8 HOURS, 18KM, 550ASCENT/600M DESCENT

Wake up in the morning and revel in the magnificent surrounding views - dramatic Mt. Kailash dominating under sky, remote clusters of cloudy reflecting golden sunlight, yaks silently standing on the ground... Today, you will hike eastwards, crossing the Lha-chu Valley by bridge and walk upward to a moraine to meet the trail on the eastern site of the kora. It's a long ascent up of about 550 meters to the higher Drolma-la Pass (5,630m), costing a few hours. Stop for a rest and refreshments at the pass, then start the steep descent to Ztulpuk Monastery. You will walk across snowfields and streams at first sometimes, and later the trails are dry and rocky. Walking sticks are recommended in this section. Lastly, you will reach the Zutulpuk Monastery(4820m) which is famous for the meditation cave built by Milarepa.

Stay overnight at the tent guesthouse of monastery.

Mt. Kailash Trekker
Day 9 Zutulpuk - Darchen

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TREKKING TIME: 3-4 HOURS, 14KM / 150M DESCENT

Get up early to watch the sublime sunrise of Mt. Kailash, then you will firstly walking closely along the river for an hour, then pass the narrow canyon of God & Red Cliffs, and later emerges onto the Bakha plain. Ends up with a easy one-hour walking out of the valley. 

The three days' trekking finishes. Your driver will pick you up and transfer to Darchen for accommodation and dinner.

Mt. Kailash
Day 10~11 Darchen - Saga - Shigatse

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The following two days are for you to transfer back to Shigatse.

Day 10 Darchen - Saga: 500km/9-10 hours

Day 11 Saga - Shigatse: 450km/9 hours

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Day 12 Shigatse - Lhasa ( B )

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Today, you will return back to Lhasa(about 5 hours). Enjoy the fantastic landscape of the valley and snow mountain, and get the special feeling of traveling in the outback far from modern civilization. Before arrival at Lhasa city, you will take sidetrips to visit the unique Nyemo Tunba and grand Nyethang Buddha.

Nyemo Tunba is famous as the hometown of Tunmi Sangbusha who invented Tibetan Character and Tibetan Incense during 7th century. There is a exhibition room for travelers to learn about the Tibetan Characters. The most interesting thing is to watch the process of making Tibetan Incense with water mill.

The Nyethang Buddha waas built in about 700 years ago. It is the largest and highest stone Buddha in Tibet with a height of 9 meters. The Nyethang Monastery at nearby was the place where the famous ancient Indian Buddhist master Atisha(982~1054) meditated and taught Buddhism in Lhasa.

Nyemo Tunba
Day 13 Lhasa Departure ( B )

Today is free for you until we transfer you to the airport in time for your flight.

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