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13 Days Tibet Tour including Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasarovar Trekking $3,086

Unforgettable Tibet

This tour will take your to the “Roof of the World’s Roof”- Ali prefecture, with an average altitude over 4,500m above sea level. It is known to the world for its remoteness. Three days of trekking around Mount Kailash gives plenty of time to enjoy the unique landscape of Tibet. If you are planning to have a spiritual trek in Tibet with exploring the best of Tibet and renew your soul at the same time, this Mt. Kailash Kora is the trip to make your dream come true! Mount Kailash is the center of Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism and Bonnism. Mt. Kailash kora (circuit) actually is a pilgrim circumambulation. Many pilgrims of all religions come to worship the mountain and to walk around it. As we journey across the Tibetan Plateau, explore monasteries hidden high in the mountains, hike beside dazzling alpine holy lakes and discover the most sacred mountain in Asia.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Appreciate the brilliant skill of Tibetan-style architecture - palace, temples, houses, stupas...
  • Visit the most influential Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, such as Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Palcho Monastery, etc;
  • Conquer the highest mountain in the world - Mount Everest, also enjoy the incredible scenery on the Everest.
  • Enjoy the great pilgrimage trip as well as a wonderful world-class hiking trail to the holy mountain - Kailash.

Tour Brief Information

  • Tour price: $3,086

    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-THT-13
  • Tour type: Private Customizable Tour Package
  • Destination: Lhasa / Gyantse / Shigatse / Nagri / Lhasa
  • Duration: 13 days and 12 nights
  • Departure: Flexible
  • Travel Theme: CultureTrekkingPhotographyMountain
  • Best Time: SummerAutumn
  • Physical Level
  • Tour Pace
    Comfortable
  • Max Altitude
    5,284m

Itinerary Details - Day by Day

  Expand all

Day 1 Lhasa Arrival

Lhasa Airport / Train Station Pick up

Welcome to the roof of the world! You will be picked up by local tour guide at Lhasa airport hall or train station, and then be escorted to check in your hotel in Lhasa city (3,650 m) in a private vehicle. 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...

How to Get to Lhasa: take a domestic flight from other cities like Chengdu, Beijing, Xian, Xining, Kunming, etc. or an international flight from Kathmandu, or take a train from China's other cities, like Chengdu, Xian, Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xining, Lanzhou, etc.

  • Lhasa Gonggar International Airport Lhasa Gonggar International Airport

Day 2 Lhasa Tibetan Culture Tour (B)

Today's Highlights: Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery

Today you will visit popular attractions in Lhasa city and suburb to explore Tibetan culture. 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. Dotted with various kinds of precious flowers and plants, it is the genuine "Plateau Oxygen Bar". In addition to its magnificent buildings and colorful flowers, Norbulingka also features some big Tibet event activities during big festivals, like Tibetan shows in annual Shoton Festival. 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". You can also enjoy a panoramic view of Lhasa from Drepung Monastery.

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.

  • Debating Monks of Sera Monastery Debating Monks
  • Ceremony of Shotan Festival at Drepung Monastery Grand Buddha Exhibition in Drepung Monastery during Shoton Festival
  • Norbulingka Summer Palace Pay a visit to the Dalai's Summer Palace - Norbulingka

Day 3 Lhasa Potala Palace Tour (B)

Today's Highlights: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

Start today's Lhasa exploration with an exciting visit to the landmark - Potala Palace which is the home to the successive Dalai Lama as well as a great masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. The whole palace is divided into the White Palace - living quarters and office to deal with political and Buddhist affairs for Dalai Lamas, and the Red Palace where houses several stupas of previous Dalai Lamas, many historical relics and precious arts. After entering the gate of Potala Palace, you need to walk up about 30 minutes along the zigzag stone paths with white-and-red walls to the White Palace. Remember to ascend the steps slowly and take some stops for sightseeing and rest which will be helpful to reduce high altitude sickness. Then explore the palace in an orderly way from the White Palace to the Red Palace, and exit from the back side. After Potala Palace visit, go to enjoy a leisure stroll in Zongjiao Lukang Park, a lovely park with pleasant scenery built around the lake behind Potala Palace. It is a great place to experience local Tibetans' living styles as you can see local people gethering and chatting, taking exercise, walking the kora, feeding wild birds and ducks, etc. If you day is clear, you can take some great photos of the reflection of Potala Palace on the lake in the park.

Continuing your exploration, you will then get to Jokhang Temple which is considered as the spiritual center of Lhasa and the most revered religious structure of Tibet. In front of Jokhang Temple, you can see crowds of pilgrims polishing the flagstones with their prostration, which is truly a heart-touching scene you will ever see. 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. Rise to the top floor of this temple, you can see savor the beautiful golden roof and the view of Potala Palace afar. 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.

Optional Activity: If your physical strength permits, take a short climb to the viewing-deck of Chakpori Hill to take a panoramic photo of Potala Palace after you Potala Palace visit.

Tips of today: 1) taking photos is not allowed inside the palace; 2) today you will be mainly outside, please bring some water, a hat, sun cream, and sun glasses with you.

  • Potala Palace Potala Palace - Masterpiece of Tibetan Architecture
  • Pilgrims are prostrating in the Jokhang Monastery Pilgrims are prostrating in the Jokhang Monastery
  • Old Tibetan Lady Welcomes with Smiles Old Tibetan Lady Welcomes with Smiles

Day 4 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse (B)

Today's Highlights: Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Palcho Monastery

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. You will first take a short stop in the viewing platform of Yajiang River Valley (4,280m) where you can take a view of the snaking road and gorge scenery. Go on with your trip and you will reach your first highlight - holy Yamdrok Lake (altitude: 4,400m). 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 get to the imposing Karola Glacier (altitude: 5,045m) towering aloft on the right side of the road. Go on driving, you will pass by Simi La Pass (4,353m). Have several minutes' break here to take some photos of Simila Mountain and Manla Reservoir.

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 (altitude: 4,040m). 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 (altitude: 3,800m). 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.

  • The Kumbu Is the Most Famous Architecture in Palcho Monastery
  • Karola Glaceier Get amazed by the stunning view of Karola Glaceier
  • Yamdrok Lake Enjoy the wonderful scenery of Yamdrok Lake

Day 5 Shigatse - Saga ( B )

Driving about 450km/9hrs

Drive from Shigatse to Saga, which is about 450 kilometer's driving takes about 9 hours. Enjoy natural sceneries like meadows, rivers, and snow-capped mountains.

Accommodate at Saga Town.

Tips: Prepare some food and drinks in advance because you will spend much time on the road.

Day 6 Saga - Manasarovar Lake - Darchen

Today's Highlight: Wild Plateau Landscape of Far Western Tibet

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.

The best highlight of today is the holy lake Manasarovar that you will visit before reaching Darchen. Like Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar is a holy place of pilgrimage, attracting religious people from India, Nepal, the neighboring countries and Tibet. Believers bath in the Manasarovar Lake and drink its water are believed to cleanse all sins. Every summer, pilgrims from Tibet, India and Nepal cluster to make circumambulation and bathe in the lake. After that, they will return home and bring some samples of the holy water to family and friends as precious gifts.

Accommodate at local guesthouse in Darchen.

  • Lake Manasarovar Camp Lake Manasarovar Camp

Day 7 Trek from Darchen to Dirapuk

Trekking Time: 8-10 hrs, 15km

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 8 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 9 Zutulpuk - Zhongba

Trekking Time: 2~3 hrs, 9km / Driving: 350km/4.5hrs

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 Zhongba for accommodation.

Day 10 Zhongba - Lhatse

Driving : 470km / About 8hrs
Drive through the windswept territory passing many villages and camps of Yak herders, and go to Lhatse. There are many opportunities to take great pictures!

Day 11 Lhatse - Shigatse

Today's Highlights: Sakya Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery

Today you will travel from Lhatse to Shigatse, approximately a driving around 4 hours. Driving for a while from Lhatse, you will turn right to the country road to Sakya Town to visit the featured Sakya Monastery which is about 150km from Shigatse City. Built in 1073 by Khon Khonchong Gyalpo, on the hill side with gray earth surrounded, Sakya Monastery is the principal monastery of the Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.Different from other monasteries in Lhasa, its wall painted in red, white and grey strips, which represent Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani, as a special architecture to distinguish from other Buddhist schools. As the first temple of Sakyapa with over 900 years history, it kept many historical relics, including numerous stupas, Buddhist scriptures, magnificent surviving artwork, Tibetan Thangkas and more.

After the Sakya visit, keep driving to the final destination of today - Shigatse city. You will get to Shigatse in the afternoon, then 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. Accommodate in Shigatse City.

  • Young Monks in Sakya Monastery Young Monks in Sakya Monastery
  • Tashilumpo Monastery Tashilhunpo Monastery is the oldest and largest Gelugpa Monastery

Day 12 Shigatse - Lhasa (B)

Today's Highlights: Nyemo Tunba

After breakfast, drive about 6 hours to 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. In the peak season (May ~ October usually), 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...

  • Nimu Tunba Making

Day 13 Lhasa Departure (B)

Lhasa Airport / Train Station Drop off

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 $3,086 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 noted in the itinerary as "B,L,D".
  • 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 trekking
  • Yaks for transferring luggage

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.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, , etc.
  • Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
  • Excess Baggage Charges.
  • Single room supplement.
  • Additional tour service and/or activities.

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.

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  • TD-THT-13
  • 13 Days Tibet Tour including Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasarovar Trekking
  • Lhasa / Gyantse / Shigatse / Nagri / Lhasa
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  • $3,086
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