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Lhasa to Kailash Grand Tour 17 Days

Lhasa to Kailash Grand Tour  
Trip Duration : 17 Days
Trek Length : 3 Days
Trip Rating : Moderate to Strenuous
Maximum Altitude : 18,771ft
Activity : Cultural tour & trek
Lodging : Hotels & tent
Transportation : by Vehicle and Flight
Begins & Ends : Kathmandu
Best Season : June-Sept
Trip Date :
Land Cost :
Single Supp :
Group Size : 2-16 Persons


Lhasa Highlights

Lhasa culture tour via Kathmandu is one of the best trip choices if you wish to travel comfortably and have limited time. A scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa provides a purely awesome experience amidst spectacular views of the mighty Himalayan range. This journey takes you to Lhasa, the majestic Potala Palace that is the former home of the Dalai Lamas; the Drepung Monastery that is the biggest monastic school with 7,700 practicing monks at its peak; the Jokhang Temple that is the holiest shrine of Tibet and situated in the heart of Lhasa; and the Norbu-Linka, Sera and Ganden Monasteries. We will visit the Tibetan Medical Center, where ancient Tibetan medical practice is still practiced, and the Barkhor Market filled with attractive traditional souvenirs where nomadic traders, pilgrims and visitors alike gather together.

Mount Kailash Highlights

A Pilgrimage in the land of Holy Mount Kailash. Mount Kailash is the most revered sacred mountain for both Hindu and the Buddhist followers. Visiting Mount Kailash is a great journey of a lifetime for those with pure faith in one’s religion, particularly the Hindus and Buddhists. While it is an adventurous overland and camping trip through the plateau of Tibet, you will be passing through some of the most exotic scenery on a journey to explore the ancient cultures and the natural beauties of this land. It is worth doing the trip if you enjoy adventurous activities and want to experience the Tibetan way of life. All participants must come well prepared because you are traveling in a high altitude environment where food, shelter and medical treatment are not easily found.

Featuring: Ancient monasteries around Lhasa and western Tibet, Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake, and scenic Himalayan landscape

Trip Fast Facts:

Duration: 17 Days
Trek length: 3 Days
Trip Rating: Easy-moderate hiking
Maximum altitude: 18,771ft
Activity: Sightseeing tour and trekking
Lodging: Hotel 8 and tent 8 nights
Transportation: by vehicle and flight
Trip begins and ends in: Lhasa
Best season: June to September is the best pilgrimage season in Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake trip. Saga Dawa Festival (celebration of Buddha’s enlightenment) is held between end of May and mid June of each year. The Saga Dawa Festival marks the opening of pilgrimage season as well as the Dolma la (pass) at 18,771ft.

On this trip, we visit the seats of the great Tibetan Buddhist lamas and Hindu saints following the foot paths of the pilgrims. We will see some of the most spectacular scenery of the Tibetan plateau’s natural landscape and the great Himalayan range between Tibet and Nepal. Our journey begins in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet in the east and travel by road west across its vast plateau to Mount Kailash in the far west and end our trip in Kathmandu, Nepal.


Day 1 Arrive Lhasa
On arrival, meet and greet at Gongkar Airport of Lhasa and transfer to hotel for check in. Remaining time at leisure to acclimatize.
Overnight Kyichu Hotel or similar. Meals: D.

Day 2 Lhasa: Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery
Breakfast at hotel and depart to visit Potala Palace, which is one of rich cultural heritage monuments in the world located at the top of Red hill in Lhasa valley found in 7th century by Yarlung king of Tibet. According to legends the king found a hermitage pavilion at the top of the hill (location of Potala Palace) where he took meditation for awhile and then later became residence of many kings thereafter. Later on it was divided into two parts, red palace and white palace. The red palace for religion where all the Buddhist relics is stored, making it one of most sacret spiritual pilgrimage in Tibet. So every Tibetan come to visit there and pay worship. The white palace is living quarter of the Dhalai Lama, and it is for political activities by the successors of the Dhalai Lama. It was winter palace for him before his exile to India. Afterwards, you’ll visit the Drepung Monastery, which is the largest monastery of Tibet. Once it was the seat for more than 10 thousand monks. Many of the Gaden thrown holders were produced from this monastery. In the afternoon, you will get to see the Potala palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas and the seat of the local Tibetan government.
Overnight: Kyichu Hotel or similar. Meals: BLD.

Day 3 Lhasa: Jokhang temple and Sera Monastery
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, do easy excursions to visit Jokhang temple, which is one of the oldest temples in Tibet founded by the 33rd King of Tibet in the 7th century. This temple was built for the statue of the Buddha brought by the Nepalese princess. Once you get in the temple, you can see the famous Newari arts of Nepal. In the afternoon, you will get to visit the Sera Monastery, which is one of the largest monasteries of Tibet. There you will see the debating of the monks in the court yard. You can take pictures of the monks there.
Overnight Kyichu Hotel or similar. Meals: BLD.

Day 4 Ganden Monastery
Today, you will start very early. It will surely be a day you won't forget. You will head 40 kilometers Northeast of Lhasa (about 1.5 hour drive) to visit the spectacularly situated Ganden Monastery. The views from here are astounding, and the pilgrims making their kora are an exotic and inspiring sight to behold, some prostrating themselves on the ground with each step to amplify the cleansing effects of the ritual. After exploring the grounds, with their many chapels, residences, throne room and debating courtyard, you will do a kora yourself. If you are feeling incredibly adventurous, try the high kora that climbs high up the mountainside behind the Ganden Monastery. The lower kora is just as stunning and may be a wiser idea considering the high altitude. You will be immersed in a forest of colorful prayer flags; clouds of sandalwood incense and experience firsthand the immense devotion of the Tibetan people.

On your way back to Lhasa you will continue along the opposite side of the Kyi Chu Valley to visit the Drak Yerpa caves, one of the holiest cave retreats in Tibet. This site has been visited by Guru Rinpoche and Atisha, the Bengali Buddhist who spent 12 years proselytizing in Tibet. King Songtsen Gampo also meditated in a cave here, after his Tibetan wife established the first of Yerpa’s chapels. At one time the hill at the base of the cliffs was home to Yerpa Monastery. The monastery was little more than destroyed as a result of the Cultural Revolution and there is very little left to see. High atop the perch, surrounded by caves, you’ll see hundreds of prayer flags laying witness to the power of Buddhism and prayer in Tibet. Some of the caves may be occupied by monks, returning after years of abandonment due to the desecration of the caves by the Red Guards. Looking back over our trails you’ll see the magnificent Kyi Chu Valley far below.
Overnight Kyichu Hotel or similar. Meals: BLD.

Day 5 Lhasa to Gyantse
Drive to Gyangze. It take about 6 hours, 260KM from Lhasa. Elevation is 3,900m most of the road is black-top and get nice view of Yamdrok lake and some of glacier mountains named Nyanchean Kangsar ranges. Sometimes can see part of the Himalaya from far away if the weather is clear. In Gyangze, visit Kubum Stupa and Chode gompa, both of them from 15th century dedicated to three different sects, Sakya, Gelok, and Bo religions. There are very old Newari art still exist. Overnight in Gyantse Hotel. Meals: BLD.

Day 6 Gyantse to Shigatse
Drive to Xigatze is 90km distance and 1.30 hours at elevation 3,800m.
On arrival, visit Tashilhunpo gompa. It is one of biggest personal monastery of Panchen l Lama built in 1447 by first Dalai Lama. It is located at central of whole Tsang Region. There are a lot of original Bhuddist relics stored from different Centuries. Also there is a largest statue of future Bhudda which can be visited.
Overnight in Xigaze Hotel. Meals: BLD.

Day 7 Shigatse to Saga
Drive to Saga is about 7 hours covering a distance of 495km. Elevation is 4,580m. Most of the road drive through farm and nomad land. The scenery is wonderful with mountains and rivers from western Tibet. There are some small lakes that local people consider sacred around this area which can be seen from the road. Brahmaputra River also flows nearby Saga. We will camp outside the town. Meals: BLD.

Day 8 Saga to Paryang
Drive to Paryang. The distance 232km and it takes around 4 hour including stop for picnic lunch break on the way. Today, you will see great views of many snowcapped high mountains and clearest flowing rivers all the way. Spectacular natural landscapes are the joy of this trip for all visitors.
Camp nearby Paryang River at elevation 4,500m. Meals: BLD.

Day 9 Paryang to Darchen
Drive forward to Darchen for 322km which takes about 6 hours to get there. This is first day to see holy Mount Kailash from little far away as well as see Manasarovar Lake. We prepare yaks and yak driver for next three day trek to the holy Mount Kailash. Overnight in guesthouse in Darchen at elevation 4,575m.
Meals: BLD.

Trek summery:
Distance: About 56km
Duration: Three days
Highest point: Dolma La (Pass) 5,610m
Luggage & equipment carrier: Yaks
Staff: Guide (s) and trekking chef

Day 10 Trek from Darchen to Drirapuk
It is 22.5km distance and takes 6 hours walk. On the way, you can see Darpoche ( great prayer flagpole ). It was placed where Bhudda came with 500 disciples from India for their supernatural power. Also visit hidden Elephant cave where Padmasambava meditated. Drirapuk is a retreat cave associated with great Yogini Gotsangpa. It means female yak horn. Camp nearby the stream at elevation 5,400m. Meals: BLD.

Day 11 Trek Drirapuk to Zutrulpuk
It is a 22.9km distance and takes 6:30 hours.
This day hike is little harder as we go up all the way to Dolma la at 5,723m. It is the highest point on this trip. Then we trek down on the backside of the mountain. Along the trail at highest points, you will see many prayer flags. You can also see the pool of great compassion on this route. Zutrulpuk, near Milarepa’s cave, has temples and shrines where Milarepa took dark retreat for few years. He printed his hand and feet on the rock. Campsite is nearby temple at elevation 5,246m. Meals: BLD.

Day 12 Trek Zultrupuk to Darchen
It is about 11.3km distance and takes about 5 hours. It is an easy walk. There are some high lama hand and foot prints on rocks on this trail. The valley is surrounded by beautiful hills. Once we reach Darchen, we will drive to Manasarovar Lake and camp near the lake at elevation 4,600m. Meals: BLD.

Day 13 visit Chiu Gompa
The Chiu Gompa at the lake’s western gateway which is situated atop a conical out crop of red rock. Inside it has chapel and cave where Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshi Tsogyal meditation residence. Afterward, we’ll drive to visit a natural hot spring, and later back to the campsite. Meals: BLD.

Day 14 drive back to Paryang and camp. Meals: BLD.

Day 15 drive to Saga and camp. Meals: BLD.

Day 16 Saga to Zhangmu
Drive to Zhangmu (2,300m) a distance of 273km. It takes about 5 hours drive. From Saga, we cross Yarlong Tsangpo and reach to Peigutso grassland. On this day, you will get closest to the great Himalayan range. The sprawling town extends down the hillside for over 4km through a series of switchback bends. Overnight at Zhangmu Hotel. Meals: BLD.

Day 17 Cross the border into Nepal
Tibet trip service ends at the Tibet-Nepal Friendship Bridge and your Tibetan staff farewell you here. After breakfast, clear Chinese Customs and cross border into Nepal. Meet your Nepalese guide and driver with vehicle from Nepal and drive through the scenic Kathmandu for overnight. Meals: B.

Essential Information:

Chinese Visa:
The Chinese Embassy changes the visa rules from time to time. Normal visa fee at present is US$45 per person and additional US$14 per person for US Passport holders. If the visa is to take on the same day an additional fee of US$35 will be applicable.

Tibet Transportation:
2-3 persons are transferred by land cruiser and van. Four person and up are transferred by using bus. Day 5-17 morning transfer by land cruiser (3 persons per vehicle) for your comfort.

Nepal Transportation:
Transfer from Nepal-Tibet Border of Kodari to Kathmandu is by car, jeep, land cruiser or mini bus. Occasionally some transfers are made by cars. However, we provide bigger and better vehicles for comfort and safety majority of the time.

Flight Connection to Lhasa, Tibet:
Kathmandu to Lhasa flights are on Tue, Thu, Sat and Sun. These flight days are current and subject to change without prior notice.


Service Includes:

  • Land transfers as per above itinerary by bus or land cruiser along with local Tibetan guide,
  • Lodging: Hotel 8 nights and tent 8 nights on twin sharing as per itinerary, (Day 9 in guesthouse in Darchen with basic comfort),
  • Meals: full board (three meals a day as per itinerary),
  • Lhasa historic monument sightseeing,
  • All camping equipment,
  • Two persons per tent while trekking,
  • Chef and helpers during the trek part of the trip,
  • One luggage van for camping crew and equipment,
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure (2-3 persons transfer by land cruiser, and 4 persons and up transfer by bus),
  • Entrance fees to monuments,
  • Yak and yak herders fees,
  • Everest environment fees, and
  • Tibet travel permits fees.
  • Day 17 transfer from Nepal-Tibet border to Kathmandu, 1 night lodging at quality 3-4 star hotel with breakfast and transfer out to airport is included in the price.

Service Excludes:

  • Kathmandu-Lhasa roundtrip airfare US$396 per person and airport departure tax, (Airfare is current and subject to change),
  • China visa fee US$45 per person and additional US$14 per person for US Passport holders and express visa processing fee US$35 per person,
  • Nepal visa fee Single entry US$50 per person for 30 days and Multiple entry US$80 for 60 days,
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary,
  • Beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic,
  • Expenses of personal nature, charge for photography,
  • Travel insurance and emergency evacuation charges.

Kathmandu stopover and trip extensions, please inquire for details.



P.O. Box 24947
Nil Saraswati Marg,

Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: (977-1) 444-2879

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