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Lhasa, Mt. Kailash & Guge Kingdom - 27 Days
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Lhasa, Mt. Kailash and Guge Kingdom - 27 Days

A journey of a lifetime.......                                                 

Pashupathinath TempleMt. Kailash located in the far west corner of Tibet is the most sacred peak of Asia with its four sheer walls, distinctive snow-capped peak, and valleys interspersed with brightly-clad Tibetan pilgrims, Mt. Kailash or Kang Rimpoche (‘precious snow-peak’, as known by the Tibetans) is an awe-inspiring sight. The four great rivers of Asia: the Karnali, the Indus, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra (Tsangpo) originate from here.

Mt. Kailash Yatra TourA three-day trek (Parikrama or Kora) around Mt. Kailash over a 5630 meter Drolma La (pass), clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, and anti-clockwise for followers of the ancient Bon religion, is said to erase the sins of a lifetime. To complete the Kailash pilgrimage, one should bathe in the sacred Lake Manasarovar, stunningly set on the Tibetan plateau bordered by the majestic Gurla Mandata.

On the journey to Mt. Kailash across the windswept Tibetan plateau, you will see cliff-top monasteries, wild-looking but hardy and hospitable Tibetans, yak caravans journeying over snowy passes, and the great peaks of the Himalaya in the foreground of grazing herds, yak skin tents and a glittering turquoise lake. Journeying through Norbulingka, Sera and Drepung Monasteries, Potala Palace, Jokhang temple and Barkhor markets, you gain in-depth understanding of Tibetan ancient cultures and civilizations.

Traveling in a comfortable 4WD Land Cruiser supported by a team of local camping crew and an expert local Tibetan guide, you journey through legendry monasteries and the fortresses of Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and other significant Tibetan towns and settlements over several high passes via the scenic NORTHERN ROUTE visiting much of far-western Tibet.

Driving across the wide open spaces of the Tibetan Plateau brings you to ‘Guge Kingdom’ (Tholing & Tsaparang), the archeologically significant remains of Tibet's ancient civilization. Marveling once more at the barren yet spectacular landscape of Tibet you continue driving to the serene and most sacred Lake Manasarovar, before completing a Kora (loop trek) around Mt Kailash. From there, you re-cross the vast arid plains before heading south to the Nepalese border and returning to Kathmandu. The magnificent sceneries blending with the sights of ancient culture make this an amazing trip that remains sketched in your memories for a lifetime. Throughout the journey from the Tibetan Plateau to Kathmandu you enjoy comfortable overnight accommodation, excellent food and convenient camping facilities. The unique culture and warm hospitality, ironically, gives you the feeling you are on top of the world! And you are, virtually!.

TRIP FACTS
Trip duration:
Nepal 4 – Tibet 23 Days
Grade: Moderate to fairly challenging
Activity: Sightseeing and trekking
Starts in: Kathmandu – Lhasa
Ends in: Lhasa – Kathmandu
Accommodation: Hotel, Lodge and camping
Transportation: 4WD Land cruiser with support truck
Maximum altitude: 5200m.

OUTLINE ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport, meet our staff then transfers to Hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu Free.
Day 03: Fly to Lhasa, meet our staff then transfer to Hotel (3660m.)
Day 04: Sightseeing tour in Lhasa.
Day 05: Sightseeing tour in Lhasa.
Day 06: Free day in Lhasa.
Day 07: Drive to Gyantse (3950m.). 260 km
Day 08: Drive to Shigatse (3900m.) 90 km.
Day 09: Drive to Lhatse (4050m.) 150 km.
Day 10: Drive to Sasang 122 km.
Day 11: Drive to Tsochen 355 km.
Day 12: Drive to Gertse 268 km.
Day 13: Drive to Gakyi 373 km.
Day 14: Drive to Shiquanhe 112 km.
Day 15: Drive to Tsada 295 km.
Day 16: Excursion Guge Kingdom (Tholing & Tsaparang).
Day 17: Drive to Tarboche.
Day 18: Saga Dawa Festival at Tarboche.
Day 19: Trek to Dira Puk.
Day 20: Trek to Zutul Puk (4790m).
Day 21: Trek to Darchen (4560m.), drive to Lake Manasarovar (4560m.) 35km
Day 22: Drive to Paryang (4750m.) 270 km.
Day 23: Drive to Saga (4699m.) 255 km.
Day 24: Drive to Nyalam 250 km.
Day 25: Drive to Kathmandu (1400m.) 180 km.
Day 26: Kathmandu Free.
Day 27: Last minute, transfer to airport then onward journey.

 

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES:
Tibet Tour & Trek Cost:       USD Per Person.

Tour Cost Includes:

  • All land transportation by Car, Land Cruiser, Van, Hiace & mini Bus (Airport/Hotel/Airport & expedition pick up & drop).
  • 4 Night’s Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu at Bed and breakfast basis.
  • Best available standard Hotel accommodation in Lhasa & best available en-route on twin sharing with breakfast.
  • Guided tour in Lhasa with temple entrance fees and permit.
  • All three major meals B/L/D (provide continental food) prepared by our own Nepali Cook while on the Tibet tours & Trek. Accommodation in tented camp (twin sharing North Face tent or, normal trekking tent, dining tent, toilet tent, Kitchen tent, staff tent, sleeping mattresses, Table, chairs and Kitchen utensil etc.).
  • All transportation in Tibet by 4 WD Land Cruiser and support truck for the entire trip.
  • Yak and Yak man (handler) during your trek around Mt. Kailash Kora).
  • 1 English-speaking expert Chinese or, Tibetan guide.
  • Private transportation from Tibet border (Kodari – Zhangmu) and back to Kathmandu.
  • Tibet visa, Tibet, Kailash permit and all applicable taxes and entrance fees.
  • Air ticket: Kathmandu/ Gonggar airport (Lhasa).
  • PAC bag (Portable Altitude Chamber) & first aid medical Kit.
  • All official taxes and service charge.

 

Tour & Trek Cost Doesn’t Include:

  • Personal transportation except above programs.
  • Major meals lunch and dinner during your stay in Kathmandu - Nepal.
  • Personal clothing, tour and trekking equipments as well as sleeping bags. (required)
  • Personal Nature expenses. (Extra expenses incurred due to unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, accidents, road blockage, and other occurrences beyond our control.)
  • Emergency evacuation (If incase).
  • Drinks except tea and coffee.
  • Airfare: to & from your country.
  • Nepal entry, re-entry visa fees & international airport departure taxes. ((It is suggested you apply for a multiple entry visa for Nepal initially saving you the Nepal re-entry fee).
  • Personal travel insurance. (Liability for insurance against sickness, accidents, loss of baggage, loss of life etc.)
  • Tips for support crews.

 

 

Note:

  1. We need a name list of each member 60 days before the trip confirmation for flight reservation.
  2. Clear passport photocopy and a passport size photo of each member which should reach us 30 days before client's arrival in Kathmandu at info@culturaltreks.com ((jpeg or gif reduced to max. 25Kb per photo).
  3. If you wish to join tours or trekking in Kathmandu you have to arrive as per the given programs and if you wish join in Lhasa can also possible.
  4. If you are traveling in Nepal before going to Tibet, then you must apply for your Chinese visa in Kathmandu. We can get it within 2 days with your original passport.

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival in KTM airport, meet our staff then transfers to Hotel.
 
Day 02: Kathmandu free.

Potala Palace- Lhasa, TibetDay 03: Arrival in Lhasa (3660m.)
You have options to arrive in Lhasa. You can either join the trip from Kathmandu and fly to Lhasa or arrive in Lhasa from Chengdu, Beijing, and Shanghai, Xian or any nearby hub. You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3650 meters). It takes around 45 minutes to reach the old city. After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest and take it easy. Drink plenty of fluids and let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude. There's no program fixed for today.

Day 04: Sightseeing in Lhasa
After breakfast, you will be briefed on the day's program. An experienced guide will take you on a tour to Sera Monastery, Norbulingka and the Barkhor Square. At the famous Sera Monastery, you will get an insight into the important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism.  You pay a visit to Norbulingka, the summer retreat of the Dalai Lama. Completed in1956, the handsome building is ornately decorated with Tibetan carvings and paintings.  Jokhang temple provides yet another glimpse of the rich Tibetan cultural heritage. You will also get the chance to stroll around the busy Barkhor Square, the nerve centre of Lhasa. After the day's tour, you will be escorted back to your hotel.

sightseeing around lhasaDay 05: Sightseeing in Lhasa
After an early breakfast, you will be escorted by your guide to the majestic Potala Palace. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas. Later in the day you will visit the beautifully landscaped Drepung Monastery where you can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses. After the day's tour is over, you are escorted back to your hotel for a well-earned rest.

Day 06: Free day in Lhasa

This day is for you to spend it as you wish. Explore and soak in the sights and sounds of the old city, revisit a favorite monastery, go for souvenir hunting in the busy local market at Barkhor Square, or simply sit in a café and watch the pilgrims as they circumambulate the Jokhang .

There is also the option of an additional tour to places such as the Tibetan Medical Centre, Ganden Monastery and Tsurphu Monastery. But this additional tour will incur an extra cost.

Kailash Yatra Overland tourDay 07: Drive to Gyantse (3950m.)
Following Friendship Highway, you drive past Khamba La at 4794 m with a brief halt to savor the majestic views of Yamdrok-tso Lake and Nazin Kang Sa rising at an elevation of 7252m. On turning westwards, you come across Karo La pass at 5045m. You can see huge glaciers tumbling down into the road. After hours of driving for 261 km, magnificently landscaped Tibetan villages become visible as you enter the town of Gyantse.

Day 08: Sightseeing & drive to Shigatse (3900m.)

Gyantse's pride is the Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum. Gyantse Dzong is a historical fort built in the 14th century and overlooks a mesmerizing view of entire Gyantse and surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. Kumbum has a large gold-domed stupa and houses several chapels and Tibetan Buddhist murals. After you enjoy exploring Gyantse, you will take a 90 km drive to Shigatse. Having driven to an altitude of 3900 meter, you find yourself at Shigatse, second largest city of Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery being one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet is a major attraction of Shigatse.

Kailash Kora Yatra TourDay 09: Drive to Lhatse (4050m.)
Today you continue along the Friendship Highway to Lhaste. 157 km drive finally concludes at a small dusty town of Lhaste. Good restaurants, well-resourced shops and guesthouses are available in Lhatse. This place may arouse special interest in archeologists. You can spot many ruined dzongs and small Changmoche Monastry at the west end of the town. You meet your Sherpa cooking and camping team from Nepal here.

Day 10: Drive Sasang.
A long but a scenic drive through grassy riverside takes us to our campsite at Sasang.

Day 11: Drive to Tsochen from Sasang.

Heading away from Sasang, you drive for 355 km towards Tsochen. The trail continues along grass-strewn riverside. Hugging onto the fascinating environment amidst amazing natural vistas, you make your way to a suitable campsite where you will spend the night.

Day 12: Drive Tsochen – Gertse 268km.
The trail undulates past thick verdant hills. As the drive progresses a little further, amazing views of towering snow-capped peaks zoom into vision. Further ahead, a wide plain sprawls over. Thereon, you continue driving for another 84 km. Eventually, the trail ends after reaching Gertse. Camping in Gertse gives you ample of opportunity to bask in the splendor of surrounding beauty and Gertse’s cultural richness.

Day 13: Drive Gertse- Gakyi 373 km.
As you continue driving towards Gakyi away from Gertse, the trail wedges its way past a pass. Overlooking a scenically mesmerizing sight, the trail cuts through a wide valley en route to Gakyi. You spend the night at a fascinating campsite.

Day 14: Drive Gakyi – Shiquanhe 112 km.
112 km scenic drive from Gakyi to Shiquanhe follows the trail running along the Indus River. As Shiquanhe comes into sight, you will witness some positive influences of modernization. Houses seen in the town are of modern contemporary styles. After indulging in some interesting sightseeing, you will settle at the campsite for the night.

Day 15: Drive Shiquanhe – Tsada (Guge Kingdom) 295 km.
Leaving Shiquanhe, you continue driving parallel to the Indus River. Few kilometers down the road, a small pristine hamlet springs into picture. The trail further crisscrosses a succession of pass and finally near Tsada, the Guge Kingdom. On finding a perfect site, you set your camp for overnight.

Day 16: Excursion Guge Kingdom
Your guide takes you on an exciting excursion around the Guge Kingdom. This tenth century kingdom oozes ancient history of Tibet. With the passage of centuries, Guge Kingdom had to bear several ruins which as evidence lie atop a hill near a river encompassing an area of 180,000 square meters. Numerous monasteries, houses, cave dwellings and stupas nestled on the hill and its neighboring areas. When it comes to Tibetan murals, sculptures and stone inscriptions, Guge Kingdom undeniably comes into mind. White Palace, Red Palace, Yamantaka Chapel, Tara Chapel and Mandala Chapel are the major attractions of Guge Kingdom which are historically linked with Buddha, Shakyamuni, Songtsen Gampo, kings and ministers. On this exquisite excursion, you will not only relive ancient Tibetan history but immerse in Tibetan culture as well.

Day 17: Drive Zada – Tarboche 280 km.
From Zada you drive towards Darchen following dirt-laded road. On your 280 scenic drives, you will cross prayer flags-studded tall pole which indicates a beginning of a 53km circummabation around Mount Kailash. Darchen is regarded as pilgrims’ gateway to Mt Kailash tour. Shortly after arriving Darchen, you can visit Darchen monastery, a small shabby monastery lying just below its village, after crossing the Darchen River on a wooden bridge. There is a Tibetan Medical School on the west side. You can trek for an hour to get on top of a ridge situated on the north of Darchen village to have a clear and full enchanting view of Mount Kailash. If you look back to the south, you can catch a glimpse of breathtaking Manasarovar Lake and Rakshas Tal (Lhanag-tso). Further on, if you trek to the north of the ridge for another 2 hours, you will see Gyangdrak Monastery, largest of the Kailash monasteries, which has Mt Kailash’s four Buddha footprints or Shabje. Whereas, on the west of the ridge you will approach Selung Monastery after 1 ½ hour trek and a trail from this monastery continues westwards down into Lha Chu valley, close to the Chuku Monastery. You can either spend the night at a guest house or camp at a suitable site in Darchen.

Day 18: Saga Dawa Festival at Tarboche
On this day in different years of his life, Lord Buddha took birth, achieved Enlightenment and attained Nirvana. These three important events are celebrated in this festival. Thousands of pilgrims arrive in Tarboche to celebrate this event. This festival is held on the full moon of the 4th month of the Buddhist calendar in the end of May or early June (18th June in 2011/2012)

Mt. Kailash Kora YatraDay 19: Mt. Kailash-Parikrama Trek to Dira Puk
Initially, you trek for around 6 hours from Darchen to Dira Puk Monastery. Further ahead, verdant meadows and picturesque streams lie en route to Lha Chu Valley. The trail overlooks Turquoise River cascading over a narrow canyon with high steep cliffs. En route, north face of Kailash comes into vision. The trail will approach 13th century monastery of Dira-Puk. Visiting this monastery can be very insightful. Eventually, you will conclude the trek of the day by camping at Dira-Puk after memorable Mount Kailash tour and trek.

Day 20: Kailash Parikarma: Trek to Zutul Puk (4790m.)
Lha Chu Valley blurs as you turn towards Drolma Chu Valley. You strenuously ascend to Drolma La (5630m.). But soon after sighting breathtaking view of Thukpe Dzingbu Lake, known as the Lake of Compassion, at the summit, you realize that this tough and challenging ascent has indeed been very worthwhile and fruitful. Several prayer flags can be seen at the summit. Further on, the trail descends to the flat fields of Zutul-Puk which houses a monastery and several fascinating caves. The caves at this locale are most popular for meditation; Milarepa’s cave being one of them with Milarepa’s footprints and elbow prints believed to be imprinted all over this cave of mani stones. Camping at Zutul-Puk for the night can be quite exciting, adventurous and pleasurable.

Kailash Kora TourDay 21: Kailash Prikarma Trek to Darchen (4560m.) and then drive to Lake Manasarovar
Away from Zutul-Puk, you follow the trail through Bharkha plain leading to Darchen, crossing several streams along the picturesque gorge. Enchanting view of Mount Kailash accompanies through this Mount Kailash tour and trek. Finally, on finding the former campsite in Darchen, you will conclude the trip of the day.

Lake Manasorovar35 km drive from Darchen takes you to sacred Lake Manasarovar. As you near this breathtaking lake, the historic Chiu Monastery becomes visible on the North West shore of the lake. From this vantage point, you can even glimpse the majestic Mount Kailash. This journey stimulates you spiritually. You get ample of opportunity to explore Manasarovar Lake and Chiu Monastery prior to your Mount Kailash tour. Ritual bathing in this lake is believed to give salvation cleansing your past sins. Mere sight of Mount Kailash is enough to heighten your adventure spirit for Mount Kailash tour and trek. Rakshas Tal lies connected to Lake Manasarovar by a small channel. Savoring the panoramic view of Mount Kailash and spiritual experience, you will camp near Manasarovar Lake under star-lit open sky.

Kailash Kora and Manasarover LakeDay 22: Drive Manasarovar to Paryang (4750m.) 270km.

Driving 270 km away from Lake Manasarovar, you cross Mayum-la and several rivers and head towards Paryang . Tonight you will camp at Paryang.

Day 23: Drive Paryang to Saga (4699m.) 255km.
On this day, you continue driving for another 255km to Saga up to an elevation of 4600 meters. On the way you will encounter the small dusty town of Zhongba.  You cross the Yarlung Tsangpo [Brahmaputra River] on a ferry. Thereafter, you drive along 110 km route opening into wide flat plains. The trail further advances towards huge turquoise lake, the Peiku-Tso with the spectacular view of Shishapangma peak as the backdrop.

Lola Pass Tibet TourDay 24: Drive Saga - Zhangmu (2300m.) 210 km.
Mount KailashYou have to drive south, crossing 180 km, along the Friendship Highway. The trail winds through a high pass, the Lalung La [5200m]. Further on, you journey through breathtaking views, alpine meadow trails, picturesque hamlets and an abundance of wildflowers. En route, you get to see several Nepalese and Indian pilgrims. As you drive through a mossy gorge of waterfalls and cascades, you finally enter Nyalam at 3750 meter. Thereon, heading away from Nyalam you drive for one hour to the lush and verdant vegetation of Zhangmu at 2300 meter.

Day 25: Drive Zhangmu to Kathmandu (1400m.) 160km.
Few kilometers drive away from Zhangmu we follow the Friendship Bridge along the Bhote Koshi River to Immigration Control in Kodari where you will bid goodbye to your Tibetan guide and handle re-entry formalities to return to Kathmandu. After 5 hours of driving for 123 km , amongst verdant greenery, you finally arrive in Kathmandu.

Day 26: Kathmandu Free.

Day 27: Last minute, transfer to airport then onward journey.

Note: Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed to visit the Potala Palace every day, the order of sightseeing places will be decided upon by your guide.

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GPO Box: 13309, Bhagawatisthan,
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