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16 Days Mt.Kailash Pilgrimage Private Tour

Wild Mysterious Tibet

This tour will take your to explore the wildest areas in Tibet - Mount Everest and Mount Kailash. At the same time, it is also an in-depth Tibet discovery tour because the most of popular attractions in Tibet have been included. You will first visit Lhasa and Shigatse which is featured in Tibetan Buddhist culture, then you will move to the highest mountain in the world - Mount Everest. From Everest, there will be a long driving to the remotest area in Tibet - Ngari Prefecture where you will visit the holy mountain Kailash and holy lake Manasarovar.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Explore two most important cultural centers in Tibet - Lhasa and Shigatse, visit the world-famous sights, such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Palcho Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery, etc;
  • Have an exciting expedition to the highest mountain in the world - Mount - Everest which is once in a lifetime trip for all travelers;
  • Unlock the mysterious and remote Ngari Prefecture by trekking the holy mountain Kailash and holy lake Manasarovar, also go to explore the lost civilization Guge Kingdom.

Tour Brief Information

  • Tour price:

    1. This price is based on a group of 2 adult travelers who will take our private tour and share one standard rooms in regular local 4-star hotel in lower seasons.

    2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.

    3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2021.

    4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.95. The final quotation will be adjusted accoring to the latest real-time exchange rate.

  • Tour code: TD-AT-16
  • Tour type: Private Customizable Tour Package
  • Destination: Lhasa / Shigatse / Mount Everest / Mount Kailash / Lhasa
  • Duration: 16 days and 15 nights
  • Departure: Flexible
  • Travel Theme: CultureTrekkingPhotographyMountain
  • Best Time: SummerAutumn
  • Physical Level
  • Tour Pace
    Leisure
  • Max Altitude
    5,200m

Itinerary Details - Day by Day

  Expand all

Day 1 Lhasa Arrival

Welcome to the roof of the world! You will be picked up by local tour guide at the airport hall or train station, and then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle.

After arrival at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local areas and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa.

High Altitude Acclimation Tips: 1) go for some leisure walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival; 2) you’d better not have bath, in case of catching a cold; 3) drink more water, and have some fruit; 4) have a good rest.

Day 2 Lhasa ( B )

Start today’s Lhasa exploration with an exciting visit to the landmark - Potala Palace which is regarded as one of the most beautiful architectural building in the world. You will climb up the palace along the zigzag stone paths with white-and-red walls to the top of the palace where you can not only appreciate the exotic Tibetan-style architecture, but also get a great view of Lhasa’s urban areas, then walk into the inner space of Potala Palace to explore the stately chapels and learn about the history of the palace. 

Continuing your exploration, you will then get to Jokhang Temple which is considered as the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Each day, there are thousands of pilgrims coming from different places in Tibet to the temple to worship to the Buddha. This temple is also known as the “house of Buddha” because it keeps the precious Jowo Rinpoche, the life-sized (5 foot/1.5m) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12. The last site for today’s exploration is the famous Barkhor Street. It is a circular and wide street encircling the Jokhang Temple. The local people like to walk on the street for several circles usually in the late afternoon as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handcrafts. 

Tips of Today: 1) there are 1,080 steps up to climb to the top of Potala Palace, so don’t walk in a rush, which may cause high altitude sickness; 2) taking photos is not allowed inside the palace; 3) today you will be mainly outside, please bring some water, a hat, sun cream, and sun glasses with you.

  • Enjoy the amazing sunset in Potala Palace
  • Jokhang Temple Square Jokhang Temple Exterior
  • Old Tibetan Women on the Barkhor Street Old Tibetan Women on the Barkhor Street

Day 3 Lhasa ( B )

After breakfast, you will firstly go to visit the beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the former summer palace of Dalai Lamas in the ancient time, and now is a public park. It is famous for its Potrang, the private palaces of former Dalai lamas with grandiose Tibetan architecture style. Next, drive several kilometers to the western outskirts of Lhasa to visit Drepung Monastery. Drepung, in Tibetan, means “prosperity”. Since its establishment, Drepung Monastery has always been one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders used to study here, especially the Dalai Lamas. So Drepung Monastery is also respectfully known as the “Mother School of Dalai Lamas”.

In the afternoon, you will be taken to another famous monastery in Lhasa - Sera Monastery. It is famous for the spectacular “Buddhism Debating”. As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the Buddhist doctrines with supplemented gestures, which is thought to be helpful to facilitates better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study. After enjoying the "Buddhism Debating", you will be transferred back to the city. The rest time is your own free time to rest.

The Etiquette of Visiting Monastery: 1) you shouldn’t wear short and uncover shoulders; 2) taking off your sunglasses and hat before entering the chapels; 3) taking photos is usually not allowed inside the chapels.

  • Scripture Debating  in Sera Monastery Buddhism Debating Scripture with dramatic gestures in Sera Monastery
  • Entrance of Drepung Monastery Monks Gathered at the Entrance of Drepung Monastery

Day 4 Lhasa - Shigatse / 360km, About 6hrs' Driving ( B )

Today, you will leave Lhasa and drive about 8 hours to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. It may be a long journey, but there are many things to do along the road. The first site you will reach is the holy Yamdrok Lake. As the largest fresh lake in the northern of the Himalaya Mountains, it spreads about 675 square meters from south to north, like an eardrop lying in the arms of snow-capped giant mountains. Viewing from a distance, you can see fertile pastures full of yaks and sheep, and some small Tibetan villages along the lakeshore. Keeping driving not so far from Yamdrok Lake, you will see the imposing Karola Glacier towering aloft on the right side of the road.

Continuing your trip, you will get to the historical city of Gyantse. Feel hungry? Have a good lunch in the town, then go to visit the mysterious Palcho Monastery. The monks and tradition of three important sects of Tibetan Buddhism - Sakyapa, Zhalupa and Gelukpa, peacefully coexist in this monastery. Its Kumbum, which is 35 meters high and has 76 small chapels with hundreds images of Kriyatantras , is believed to be the largest such structure in Tibet.

After the Gyantse sightseeing, keep drive about 3 hours, you will arrive at your hotel in Shigatse. Have a good rest!

Tips of today: 1) wear warm clothes to prevent from cold and wild; 2) pack some food and drinks with you because you will spend much time on the road.

  • Beautiful Palcho Monastery in Spring
  • Karola Glaceier Black rocks of Karola Glaceier are contrasting starkly with the surrounding snow-capped peaks
  • Tibetan Stone Marks beside Yamdrok Lake in Gyantse Yamdrok Tibetan Stone Marks

Day 5 Shigatse - Mount Everest / 350km, About 7hrs's Driving ( B )

Today, you will leave Shigatse for the final destination of your Tibet trip - Mount Everest. Though being a long driving of about 7 hours, but the views along the road are stupendous. In clear days, you can see the clear face the Himalaya range including several famous peaks over 8,000 meters, such as Makalu, Lhotse, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. When you finally get to the Rongbuk Monastery, and get the first sight of the mighty Everest, you will immerse in a solemn ethereal mood and find all the efforts you have made along the long way are not in vain. Located about 5100 meters above the sea level, Rongbuk Monastery is the highest monastery in the world. It is the best location to take some great photos of the front face of Mount Everest. The rest of today is free for you to visit the Rongbuk Monastery and explore surrounding landscape.

Accommodation: if you visit Mount Everest during off season (November to April), you will accommodate at Rongbuk Guest House near the Rongbuk Monastery; if you visit Mount Everest during the peak season (May to October), you will accommodate at the Tibetan Tents Camp which is only run between May and October by local Tibetans. It is near Rongbuk Monastery as well. Please note that the accommodation at both places is very simple and basic, only dorm beds with communal squat toilets are available. Duvets, heated blankets and hot water will be provided, and you are suggested to bring your own sleeping bag and toilet paper. There is no running water, sinks or showers. The dining room just offer basic breakfast and dinner without menu. Remember to dress warmly all the time.

Tips of today: 1) currently Everest Base Camp is not open for tourists for environmental protection and the Everest landscape can be also enjoyed at Rongbuk Monastery - closest place to Mount Everest tourists can reach; 2) the vehicles and buses can only escort travelers to the Parking Lot which is about 20km away from Rongbuk Monastery, and then you need to take a 30 minutes' scenic park bus there; 3) the Everest altitude marker, a tablet reading "Mt. Qomolangma Elevation Measurement" has been transferred near Rongbuk Monastery and you can take a photo to commemorate your wonderful adventure tour; 4) bring a warm coat for low temperature in Everest and avoid strenuous activity to prevent from high altitude sickness.

  • Rongbuk Monastery Rongbuk Monastery on the Mount Everest
  • Snow-Capped Mt. Everest and Himalayan Range Mt. Everest - the Highest Mountain in the World

Day 6 Mount Everest - Saga / 450km, About 9hrs' Driving

Wake up early to enjoy the marvelous sunrise on the peak of the world from Rongbuk Monastery. The top part of the Mount Everest is always covered by snow all the year round, and when the sun shines on the mountain, the peak is like a giant white pyramid, which is one of the most famous sceneries of Mount Everest. In bright days, you can also see a wisp of cloud hanging above the top of Mount Everest. It flies eastward in the fast western wind just like a flapping flag. This unique phenomenon is the spectacular “Cloud Flag”. The cloud will change from surging waves into a thin cooking smoke or from galloping steeds into the mysterious veil of a goddess.

Lastly, you will leave for 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) the sunrise usually starts around 6:30 am to 7am on Mount Everest; 2) keep warm all the time.

  • Beautiful Mount Everest in Autumn Wonderful View of Mount Everest

Day 7 Saga - Darchen / 490km, About 9hrs' Driving ( B )

After breakfast, you have to take another long driving about 550km from Saga to Darchen (4,575m), a small village located as the starting point of  the walking kora of the holy Mount Kailash. During the auspicious pilgrimage times, Darchen will be flooded with Pilgrims with hundreds of tents all over the small village. 

Accommodate at local guesthouse in Darchen.

Day 8 Darchen - Dirapuk ( B )

Trekking Time: 5-6 hrs, 20km

Trek from Darchen (4,560m) to Dirapuk Monastery (4,750m). The trek is a gradual walk in the clockwise circuit at the average altitude of more than 4,700 meters. You will be accompanied by many local Buddhist pilgrims also walking the same kora. If you meet people who come the anti-clockwise direction, don't be surprise, they are Bon pilgrims. You will stop at the Tamdin (4,780m) for lunch and hot water supply. Then keep trekking 4km to the final destinations of today - Dirakpuk Monaster. This section of trekking boasts some of the best scenery of the entire kora.

Accommodate at Dirapuk guesthouse.

  • Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Day 9 Trek from Dirapuk to Zutulpuk

Trekking Time: 10-12 hrs, 22km

Trek from Dirapuk Monastery uprising 762 meters at altitude to Zutulpuk Monastery by crossing Drolma-la Pass (5,630m) before quickly descending to Dzutul-puk monastery (Dzutul-puk means "magical cave" in Tibetan).

Stay overnight at the tent guesthouse of monastery.

  • Mount Kailash looks like a huge ice-cream

Day 10 Zutulpuk - Darchen

Trekking Time: 2~3 hrs,9km

Wake up in the holy sunrise of Mount Kailash, after breakfast, you will trek back to Darchen. Todays' trekking is leisure and relaxing, which can be done in 3 ~ 4 hours. On route, explore the meditation cave of Milarepa, the famous Buddhist master and Yoga meditator. Surrounding the cave are many temples and shrines.

Once you exist from the valley, your driver will pick you up and transfer to Darchen.

Day 11 Darchen - Guge Kingdom

Today you will drive from Darchen to Zhada to visit Toling Monastery, Zanda Earth Forest and Guge Kingdom Ruin Site.

Stay overnight in a local guest house.

Day 12 Guge Kingdom - Manasarovar Lake ( B )

Today, you’ll drive Holy Mansarovar Lake after a 5-6 hour drive. This holy lake is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world (4,590m above sealevel). It is also one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhists. In Hinduism Lake Manasa Sarovar is a personification of purity, and one who drinks water from the lake is believed to be cleansed of all his sins committed over even a hundred lifetimes. The lake is very popular in Buddhist literature and associated with many teachings and stories in Buddhism. Lord Buddha, it is reported, stayed and meditated near this lake on several occasions. Mansarovar Lake attracts thousands of tourists and religious people every year from all over the world. Spend the night camping on the bank of Holy Mansarovar Lake.

Tips: The restaurants in the area are not so good, so it is best if you bring plenty of food with you.

Day 13 Manasarovar Lake - Saga

Drive through the windswept territory passing many villages and camps of Yak herders, and back to Saga. There are many opportunities to take great pictures!

Day 14 Saga - Shigatse ( B )

Today, you will drive back to Shigatse from Saga, which is a driving distance of about 448km (abourn 9 hours).

(Note: Once the Jilong port on the Tibet-Nepal border is opened for travlers, you can also drive from Saga to Jilong on the Day 13, and leave Jilong for Kathmandu on the Day 14)

Day 15 Shigatse - Lhasa ( B )

Today after breakfast, you will firstly take a visit to the official seat of Panchen Lama - Tashilhunpo Monastery which is also the largest and most influential Gelug Monastery in Shigatse prefecture. Here you will see a giant statue of Future Buddha, the largest one of its kind on earth ( 26.2 meters high and 11.5 meters wide ), decorated with precious pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers.

Then drive back to Lhasa (5 hours) along the legendary Yaluzangbu River, the mother river of Tibet. On the halfway, you will take a visit to Nyemo Tunba which was the home of Tunmi Sangbuzha who invented the Tibetan character as well as the famous Tibetan Tibetan Incense. Here in Tunba, you also have a chance to witness the process of making Tibetan Incense with water mill. At the same time, the scenery here is fabulous - ancient cypress trees, green willows, murmuring river...

Take a good rest in Lhasa.

  • Tashilumpo Monastery Glorious architecture of Tashilhunpo Monastery
  • Lhasa Nimu Tunba A worker is making Tibetan Incense

Day 16 Lhasa Departure ( B )

Today is free for you until your tour guide transfer you to the airport in time for your flight or drop you off at Lhasa train station.

Tips of Today: 1) please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charger, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel; 2) if your flight is arranged in the afternoon, please make sure you check out the hotel before 12pm.

Price & Service Guide

The quotation for this trip is per person

1. This price is based on a group of 2 adult travelers who will take our private tour and share one standard rooms in regular local 4-star hotel in lower seasons.

2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.

3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2021.

4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.95. The final quotation will be adjusted accoring to the latest real-time exchange rate.

What's included in this price?

  • Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
  • Private vehicle and Luggage Transfers.
  • All necessary Tibet travel permits.
  • All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis. Guesthouse or tent in remote areas.
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary.
  • Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary.
  • Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
  • Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
  • A container of Oxygen for emergency usage while traveling to Mt. Everest

What's excluded in this price?

  • China visa, all air tickets and train tickets to and from Tibet.
  • Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary (all lunches and dinners).
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
  • Excess Baggage Charges.
  • Single room supplement.

Value for money:

While the trip of a lifetime is priceless, we know value is a vital aspect for those deciding which tour to choose.

When comparing tour prices, be sure to compare like to like. Our tours are designed to ensure that our customers experience all the culture, history, and beauty that Tibet has to offer, and at a reasonable price.

A great way to enjoy the lowest possible price is to invite more people to join your trip to share the travel experience as well as the tour expense. The more people in a group, the lower the price per person. (We recommend you join our group tour if you are traveling alone. Please contact our travel consultant for more information)

Booking early is also an easy way to ensure the best rate! We highly recommend you contact us at least 1 month before your planned departure date.

Reviews of Our Customers

Still not know us well? Read what other travelers are sharing about their Tibet trip with Tibet Discovery (We only accept reviews from confirmed travelers who took our tours / activities, so you can surely rely on the reviews)

Dear Zeva,

I want to thank you for your truly exceptional customer service. You have been very helpful through this entire process.

If we should be able to reschedule a visit to China in the future, I will certainly use your services, and I would happily refer my friends and associates.

Sincerely,

Laurie

 April 2, 2020
Dear Mike,

Thank you for your lovely mail.

This epidemic was badly managed by some countries, they thought just like SARs only Asian were affected.

However due to their complacency whole world faces lock down.

Good news is in China the epidemic is under control.

However due to continue epidemic tourism business are badly affected for indefinite period. I am aware personally you are affected.

How do you manage your situation.

We over here experience drop in business but not as bad as during SARs. We manage somehow through experiences to overcome this epidemic through reducing expenditure prudently. Lets us all pray for Divine intervention for mankind to globally overcome this terrible situation soon. Many thanks for your mail.

Sincerely,

Juana

 April 3, 2020
Hi Mike,

Thank you for the extra touch and update on the current situation in China. Very proud to watch how China combat the virus so expediently! China is indeed a good role model for the other countries to observe and follow.

Let's continue being vigilant and not be complacent about the situation.

Bless you and your family.

We look forward to our trip next March.

Kind Regards,

Ting

 April 1, 2020
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Useful Trip Notes

  • 1. Tibet Permits
    There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)
  • 2. Available Months to Visit Tibet
    Generally speaking, May to early October is the best time to for a Mount Kailash trip. July and August are the peak season and rainy season. It may be too cold to travel in Kailash area from November to March. There is usually heavy snow. The conditions in Namtso Lake and Mount Everest area are quite similar with Kailash. While other places like Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are suitable for travel all year around.
  • 3. High Altitude Sickness
    The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.
  • 4. How to Go to Tibet
    Basically you have two options – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa.
    If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing(40.5hrs), Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).
  • 5. Packing and Wearing Ideas
    Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended.
    As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.

Other Recommended Tour Packages

Tibet has too much to offer and our aim is to bring you the best experience in Tibet. Following are some other recommended Tibet 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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