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Tibet Ngari Travel Guide - Attractions, Weather, Transfer, Maps

Ngari is a remote prefecture in westernmost Tibet Autonomous Region, located at the junction of Himalayas, the Gangdise, the Kunlun Mountains and Karakorum Mountains. With an average altitude of more than 4500 meters, Ngari is the real "the roof of the world", and has many domanting peaks over 6000 meters. Geographically speaking, Ngari borders Nepal and India on the west and Kashmir in the west, which makes it very convenient for pilgrims from Nepal, India to traveling to Ngari. Ngari is also regarded as the "Origin of Rivers" because many world famous rivers originating from here, including Yarlung Zangbo River, India River and Henghe River.

Nowadays, Ngari is a dream destination for both travelers and pilgrims who share the magnificent landscape, inspiring culture and friendship of local Tibetan together. Mount Kailash (6714m) is always on the top of most itineraries. This mountain is worshiped as the sacred center of the universe for Buddhists, Hindus and Jains. While for travelers, the breathtaking scenery of Mount Kailash is a forever to last in the memory. Manasarovar Lake, about 30km from Mount Kailash, should never be missed in a Ngari adventure. This lake is one of the most beautiful lake in Tibet, as well as the holiest lake in Asia for Hindus and Tibetan Buddhist.

In history, Ngari was the birthplace of two great civilizations - Xiangxiong Kingdom and Guge Kingdom both of which disappeared mysteriously, which have not been cracked by anthropologists. But you can trace some footprints from the remaining ruins and sites.

Top Ngari Attractions

Ngari is vast but thinly populated, which make it difficult to travel to some far palaces due to lack of supply, accommodation and transportation. Fortunately, the best highlights sites, including Mount Kailash, Manasarovar Lake and Guge Kingdom Site, are conveniently located with easy access. Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake are Musts to see and pilgrims always undertake a Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. If time permits, you can extend your trip to Guge area.

Mt. Kailash

Type: Religious Site, Peak

Altitude: 6,656 meters

Best time to visit: May to October

Mount Kailash is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Literally meaning "mountain of God", Mount Kailash is the holiest mountain in Asia, and worshiped by four influential religions, including Bon, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Like a tradition, every single year, a large number of pilgrims from all over the world traveling far here to walk the Kora around Mount Kailash.

Lake Manasarovar

Type: Holy Lake & Natural Site

Altitude: 4,590 meters

Best time to visit: May to October

Manasarovar Lake, located on the south of Mount Kailash, is one of three holy lakes in Tibet together with Namtso Lake, Yamdrok Lake. The lake water is crystal clean and glimmering blue under the sunshine. For religious believers, like Hindus and Buddhists, bathing in Manasarovar and drinking its water is believed to cleanse all sins and taking a Kailash Mansarovar Kora is a lifetime journey.

Guge Kingdom

Type: Architecture, Historical Site

Altitude: 3,700 meters

Best time to visit: April to October

Although hundreds of years have passed, some of the golden relics of palaces, caves, monasteries and houses survived fortunately and become the valuable materials for research on Tibetan history and architectures. Besides its historical significance, the Site of Guge Kingdom is also a great attraction to enjoy the barren landscape of nature and admire the lost civilization.

Useful Tibet Ngari Travel Notes

  • 1. How to Plan Ngari Travel
    Mount Kailash Kora and sightseeing the beautiful Manasarovar Lake is the most popular things to do in Ngari. To have a Tibet tour which includes Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake, you usually have to start their tours from the capital city Lhasa where you will spend one or two days for acclimation, then travel to Shigatse, and visit Yamdrok Lake and Gyantse City on route. From Shigatse, you can decide to visit Mount Everest or not. If you want to include Mount Everest, just add one day to your itinerary. If you want to ignore Mount Everest, directly drive from Shigatse to Saga Town where you will spend a night. Keep driving a full day from Saga to Darchen. Then the 3 days Mount Kailash Kora can start. The Manasarovar Lake can be visited after the Kora. After the tour, drive back to Lhasa along the way coming. If you don’t want to spend much time on driving, you can directly take a flight to Ngari Gunsa Airport first, then transfer from the airport to Darchen to start the tour. After the tour, fly back to Lhasa.
  • 2. High Altitude Sickness Tips
    The average elevation of Ngari Prefecture is about 4500 meters, which may cause High Altitude Sickness to some travelers. But according to our years’ experience, travelers can adapt the altitudes well if preparation is made well. Firstly, take a physical examination before traveling to Tibet and pack necessary medicines; secondly, spend some days in Lhasa for acclimatization, then travel to Ngari at a moderate pace; thirdly, keep yourself warm all the time and prevent from catching a cold; fourthly, keep a relaxing mind. Your tour operator will also prepare oxygen supply for emergency use.
  • 3. Wearing and Packing Tips
    Wear warm and comfortable for the harsh weather. The temperatures are much low in Ngari Prefecture, especially in Mount Kailash region. What’s worse, the weather changes frequently. The temperature gap between day and night is much different. Basic warm, comfortable and firm clothing are required. You are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). A pair of strong, well-fitting boots is necessary. Also bring a pair of gloves for possible snow. You should also bring rain gears if you travel in July and August.
  • 4. Necessary Permits for Visiting Ngari
    To take a tour to Mount Kailash and other areas in Ngari, travelers need to obtain several necessary permits. Firstly you will need a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) which is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. This permit is the most important permit because you will need to take flight/train to Tibet. And it will also be checked in Tibet. Secondly you have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit which allows you to visit Ngari prefectures, including Mount Kailash, Manasarovar Lake, Guge, etc. Thirdly you will have to apply for a Border Pass because Mount Kailash area is located near the border between China, India and Nepal. Fourthly, you will need the Military Permit which Issued by the Military office in Lhasa. Tibet Travel Permit must be obtained before your trip while the Alien Travel Permit, Border Pass and Military Permit will only be checked when you are already in Tibet.

Most Recommended Tour Packages

Following are some other recommended tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.

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