Mount Kailash (elevation: 6,638m/21,778ft), located in Ngari, Tibet, is one of the most famous sites for Buddhist Kora (Yatra) and the center of the world honored in Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, Bon and Jainism. Devoted Buddhist pilgrims in Tibet, or coming from India, Nepal, even all the world has long dreamed to make a Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Meanwhile, numerous tourists are also attracted by the mysterious holy Mount Kailash and picturesque wild nature of Ngari.
How can I go to Mount Kailash from Nepal? Whether you go for a religious Kailash Mansarovar Yatra or regular tour from Nepal, Kathmandu, the only international gateway to Tibet, is always the best start point in Nepal to go for the meaningful and memorable journey. Check available transportation details and choose the one fits you best.
Kathmandu to Mount Kailash Distance
How far is Mount Kailash from Kathmandu?
As the capital, biggest city and center of art, history of Nepal, Gyirong Port is located in Kathmandu Valley, central Nepal. Mount Kailash, a high peak of Gangdisê Mountains, is located in Purang County, the south of Ngari Prefecture, Western Tibet. It is very close to holy Lake Mansarovar, same holy site worshiped as Mount Kailash.
Mount Kailash lies the northwest of Kathmandu crossing the border between China dn Nepal. The driving distance to Mount Kailash from Kathmandu, Nepal is about 850 km/530 miles.
Drive Overland from Kathmandu to Mount Kailash
Since Gyirong Port has reopened to foreigner travelers in August 30th, 2017, an overland driving tour from Nepal to Tibet becomes available again. Getting from Kathmandu to Mount Kailsh by road offers magnificent visual enjoyment, the stunning view of Himalayan Ranges is the most highlighted part during the ride. The whole overland driving normally takes about 2 ~ 3 days, and we suggest you spend 3 days to travel more leisurely and comfortably because there will be three separate sections.
Drive Route: Kathmandu → Gyirong Town → Sagar County → Mount Kailash
Step 1: Get from Kathmandu to Gyirong Town
To visit Mount Kailash in Tibet, you need to cross the border area first. Gyrong Port is about 160km away from Kathmandu. It takes about 6~8 hours to drive northward to Gyirong Port from Kathmandu. During the half a day ride, you can see pristine border scenery and experience a local thrilling transfer. Foreign tourists have to book tour with a travel agency in Tibet (like Tibet Discovery) to continue your travel to Mount Kailash and other destinations in Tibet. After passing through custom, you will meet your Tibetan guide and driver at Gyirong Port. They will pick you up and send you to Gyirong Town for accommodation. It not far, just about 25km from Gyirong Port.
Tips: Road condition is not good in Kathmandu, narrow, a little bumpy and winding. During summer peak season, you can be caught in road congestion for a long time.
Step 2: Drive from Gyirong Town to Sagar County
On the second day, you will drive north about 4.5 hours (170km) from Gyirong Town to Sagar County (or Saga County) in the north of Shigatse Prefecture. It is a rather short trip but scenery is good as well. You can see rolling mountains standing around the vast land, some wild animals, such as Kiang (wild ass found in Tibetan regions).
Because accommodation in Sagar County is better, so tourists seldom choose to drive farther to Zhongba and Paryang for rest.
Step 3: Drive from Sagar County to Mount Kailash
Another long journey begins on the third day. You will drive along freshly-paved bituminous China National Highway 219 (G219) to the legendary Ngari, and fully appreciate the one hundred percent natural beauty - holy mountains, sacred lakes, vast parries and harsh desert.
There are also many rare animals running around, like Mongolian gazelle, wild donkeys, Tibetan antelope etc. If the weather is good, you can see Mount Kailash in distance. After about 8~9 hours’ sightseeing trip, you will get to the final destination, Darchen, the starting as well as the ending place of Mount Kailash Yatra or Mount Kailash trekking. Darchen has many small hotels and stores for basic accommodation and food supply. Before the next days’ Mount Kailash Trek or Yatra, better buy some food and check all hiking equipment.
Take a Flight from Kathmandu to Mount Kailash via Lhasa
Traveling by flight is most time-saving and comfortable. At present, there is no non-stop flight connecting Kathmandu and Ngari directly, sine Ngari Gunsa Airport only operates flights between Lhasa and Xian. So, you can get to Mount Kailsh from Kathmandu conveniently by connected flights. It’s highly recommended to spend 3 days discovering Lhasa. After that, you can take a Lhasa Ngari Flight to get closer to Mount Kailash, or get there by road all the way.
1. Kathmandu to Lhasa by Flight
Currently, there are weekly international direct flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa. The flights are operated every other day by Sichuan Airlines , a very reliable airline company having experience of flying on plateau areas.
On every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, Flight 3U8720 leaves Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport at 11:30 and arrives at Lhasa Gonggar Airport at 15:15, after 1.5 hours’ fly. Besides, Air China has connected flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa with stopover in Chengdu, costing much longer, almost 20 hours.
Important Notice: 1) The departure time and arrival time are on local time and the time difference between Nepal and China is 2 hours and 15 minutes; 2) Above flights schedules are only for reference, and please contact us to catch up on the latest information; 3) Air China has changed the Kathmandu Lhasa non-stop flights to connecting flights from Autumn, 2019.
2. Lhasa to Ngari by Flight or Road
▷ Fly from Lhasa to Ngari
The linear distance between Lhasa and Ngari is about 1,250km (777 miles). You can simply take a fast and direct flight from Lhasa to Ngari for around 2 hours.
Tibet Airlines offers the short-cut every day. Flight TV6008 departs Lhasa at about 7:30 in the morning and gets to Ngari Gunsa Airport at about 9:40. If you choose a seat by the window, you may enjoy a nice aerial view of outside land with snow-capped mountains afar.
If you want to acclimatize the high elevation rising gradually and travel at a lower pace, it’s a good idea to get to Ngari by car. The entire driving trip from central to Western Tibet takes about 3 days, with two nights in Shigatse and Sagar respectively.
Starting from Lhasa, your driving journey will bring you unexpected surprises, including the various kinds of landscape of Tibet, the featured architectures, culture, history, deep Buddhism atmosphere, and beautiful nature decorated by blue sky, shinning sunlight and nice serenity.
Climb up and pass the summit of Kambala Pass (elevation: 5,030m) on your road to Shigatse, you can get a panoramic view of Yamdrok Lake, a sapphire-like holy lake stretching far. Keep driving on the winding mountain highway, then you will be shocked by the giant Karola Gacier. We will pull over, give you some free time to admire the two natural wonders.
Next, you will get to Gyantse, a famous historical city with impressive Kumbum Stupa in the Palcho Monastery. In summer, you have great chance to see the golden sea of rape flowers and large scale of green highland barley around Gyantse Dzong. When arrive in Shigatse, Tashihunpo Monastery is the top site you shouldn’t miss. Driving journey from Shigatse to Sagar will also present you picturesque sights. Roads are national highway, so rest assure that you can get joyful trip all the way.
Tibet Discovery is a local based travel agency in Lhasa provides superior tour to every tourist. Traveling with us, you are assured to use our high-quality travel services, including vehicles, professional tour guide and experienced driver, well-organized itinerary, assistance of visa and permits application and other travel related services.
Traveling with us, your tour become worry free when we settle all details in advance. You can get to destination as swiftly and smoothly as possible. Our local guide and driver can accompany you to airport or Gyirong Port. Transfer service from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu can be provided if you need. Moreover, you will enjoy the freedom and flexibility to stop on the way for sightseeing or photograph. All cars are equipped with skilled and reliable drivers who have many years of driving experience in Tibet. There is also an Oxygen Box prepared for tourists.
Besides, our travel consultants will customize a tour, apply all needed permits and book the flight/train for you. During journey, your local professional travel guide will be at your side and help you enjoy a wonderful journey. Contact us to start your Tibet and Nepal discovery now!
Tibet Discovery Provides Best Tibet Tour Services
Must-have Documents for Kathmandu Kailash Tour
Tibet Group Visa from Nepal
The Tibet Group Visa for traveling to Tibet from Nepal can only be obtained from Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu by travel agency on behalf of travelers, instead of being applied from the Chinese Embassy in your own country by yourselves. But it is a special single-entry Chinese Visa requires at least 5 tourists traveling together. It usually takes 3 working days to obtain the Group Visa, and your original passport will be required for the process. As you get your Group Visa - a paper sheet with information of your group members and validity (no more than 30 days), your applied Chinese Visa becomes invalid. The Group Visa will be checked when you board a Kathmandu Lhasa flight or cross the Nepal-Tibet border. More about Tibet Group Visa >>
Useful Advice: If you travel alone or with less than 5 companions in total, for your convenience and Tibet tour proceeding normally, we suggest you get a normal Chinese Visa and fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa via Chengdu.
Tibet Entry Permit
Tibet Entry Permit is the official document which permits a foreign travel to enter and travel in Tibet. It is only issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau and applied by travel agencies. It must be the most important document for a Tibet Tour. Without it, you are unable to get to Tibet by flight, driving, train or any other transportation means. What’s more, it is also a premise to get a Tibet Group Visa. Before getting a Tibet Entry Permit, you need to work out an itinerary, because the gateway city will be printed in the permit. More application details of Tibet Entry Permit >>
Tibet Border Pass
Traveling from Kathmandu to Mount Kailash, you need cross the border between Nepal and Tibet, so Tibet Border Pass is necessary. Just like Tibet Entry Permit, it is only issued by Tibet Armed Police Border Corps and can’t be applied by traveler individually. Tibet Entry Permit is also needed when you apply a Tibet Border Pass. If you take a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa, the scanned copy of the Tibet Border Pass is also available for boarding the flight. More about Tibet Border Pass >>
Tibet Military Permit
Visiting some unopened areas, Tibet Entry Permit is not enough. Military Permit is another necessary permit if you visit some military sensitive places, including Ngari (Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Guge Relics Site etc.). Due to a long procedure to get approved, you should provide your scanning copy of valid passport and visa 20 days before leaving for Ngari. More about Tibet Military Permit >>
Tibet Group Visa from Nepal
Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Border Pass
Useful Tips for Kathmandu to Mount Kailash Travel
● High Altitude Sickness: 1.The average altitude of Ngari is over 4,000m and tourists should pay great attention the High Altitude Sickness. A full physical examination is highly recommended before the tour, and it is important to ask for the doctor’s suggestion. During the Tibet tour, avoid strong activities and always keep warm. If you get cold, it will be seriously dangerous in high-altitude area. Remember to ascend slowly during your Mount Kailash trek.Pack an oxygen box in case.
● Best Time to Visit: Ngari in remote western Tibet enjoys a harsh climate. It is much colder and windier than Lhasa, Gyantse, and Shigatse. The best time to visit Mount Kailash ranges from April to October when it is much warmer. During other seasons, the temperature is rather low and the road might be frozen.
● Food and Accommodation: Ngari in remote western Tibet enjoys a harsh climate. It is much colder and windier than Lhasa, Gyantse, and Shigatse. The best time to visit Mount Kailash ranges from April to October when it is much warmer. During other seasons, the temperature is rather low and the road might be frozen.
Recommended Tibet Tour Packages
Tibet Discovery Tours is specialized in finding unique experience of Tibet, and leading you to explore what interests you most. Our Private Tibet Nepal Tours will take you to explore deep into the Holy Land, with loads of options, freedom & flexibility. You can choose from the following hand-picked tour packages which have been successfully operated for many years and created loads of amazing experiences for our customers, or check more Nepal Tibet Tours >>