14 Days Lhasa to Nepal Overland Through Kailash
Fourteen days tour beginning in Lhasa, going to Mt. Kailash and ending at Gyirong, the border between Tibet and Nepal. This tour includes sightseeing in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, visiting Mount Everest and three days trekking around Mount Kailash – the sacred mountain for four religions.
Main Attractions: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung and Sera Monasteries, Yamdrok Lake, Kumbum Stupa, Tashi Lumpo Monastery, Everest Base Camp, Rongbuk Monastery, Manasarovar lake, Chiu monastery and Mount Kailash.
Duration: 14 days
Maximum Elevation: 5,640 m/ 18,600 ft
Best Time to Travel: May – October
Day 1 – Arrival in Lhasa
You arrive at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or the train station. The airport is 62 km/ 39 miles away from the city, and it takes approximately one hour to get to the hotel from there. On the way to Lhasa, you will enjoy beautiful views of mountains. The train station is located in Lhasa, and you will only need a short transfer to the hotel.
Depending on the time of your arrival, you might have some free time to spend in Lhasa. Our guides will be happy to advise you on what you can do with your time in Lhasa. After you check in the hotel, you are welcome to explore the city, visit nearby temples, do some shopping, try delicious Tibetan food in one of the local restaurants, or just take a rest.
Walking around Barkhor Street can be an excellent choice for your first day in Lhasa. You will join crowds of pilgrims, local Tibetans, and monks circumambulating the Jokhang Temple.
Most importantly, on your first day in Tibet, be sure to relax, enjoy your day and allow some time for acclimatizing. As the tour takes you to some of the highest areas in Tibet (trekking around Kailash reaches 5,640 meters), you need extra time to prepare for the journey.
Day 2 – Lhasa city tour: Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple
This tour visits the two most important religious sites in Tibet.
The Potala Palace was the seat of the Dalai Lamas since the 17th century. First, the guide will take you to the Chak Pori Hill to take photos of the majestic Palace. We will then go inside and spend approximately 1.5 – 2 hours there. While there, you will see many of its most famous artifacts.
There will be free time for lunch after visiting the Potala Palace. .
Time permitting, you can walk around the Potala Palace and join many of the local Tibetans.
Next, we will walk towards the Jokhang Temple. It was built in the 7th century to display the Jowo Shakyamuni Statue – the statue of the 12-year-old Buddha before his enlightenment. The statue was created at the time when the historical Buddha lived. It is elaborately decorated with gold, jewels, and precious stones.
After visiting the temple, we recommend taking a walk around Bakhor Street.
Day 3 – Lhasa city tour: Drepung and Sera Monasteries
We are visiting the two most important monasteries in the capital.
We will first visit Drepung Monastery, which once was the largest monastery in the world with over 10,000 monks living there. It was the residence of Dalai Lamas before the Potala Palace was built.
There will be free time for lunch after the Drepung Monastery.
In the afternoon we are visiting Sera Monastery. It was founded by Tsongkhapa’s disciple in the 15th century. Nowadays it is famous for monks debate that you can witness. Debates are a very important part of learning and understanding Buddhism. Monks gather in the courtyard in the shade of the trees to refine their knowledge.
Day 4 – Driving to Shigatse: Yamdrok lake and glaciers.
Today we will travel on some of the most beautiful roads in Tibet on our drive to Shigatse.
Be prepared to take photos of the breathtaking views as we go up to the highest point of the day – Kamba La Pass (almost 4,800 meters / 15,750 ft).
Our next stop will be at the Yamdrok Lake. It is one of the holy lakes in Tibet, and it is famous for its turquoise colored water.
After that, we will head towards Gyantse. On the way there, we will make a stop to see the spectacular glaciers.
In Gyantse, we will visit the Pelkor Chode monastery and Kumbum – the biggest stupa in Tibet.
Finally, we will reach Shigatse late in the evening and stay there overnight.
Day 5 – Driving to the Everest Base Camp: night by the Everest.
In the morning we will visit Tashilumpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lamas.
After that we will be driving through high mountain ranges, go through several high passes and Everest view points. We will reach tent camp near the Everest Base Camp in the evening.
Depending on the traffic and weather conditions, we might have time to visit the Rongbuk Monastery – the highest monastery in the world. There is a meditation cave there, dating back to the 7th century, where Padma Sambhava meditated. We will stay there for a few quiet moments to relax after a long day.
We will stay in the tent for the night. You can order dinner and breakfast there as there is an English menu available.
Day 6 – Driving from EBC to Saga
On the way to Saga, we will see the Phelku Tso lake surrounded by snow peaked mountains. You can also see Shishapangma mountain, one of the mountains above 8,000 meters (8027 m).
After that, we are driving up to the high pass to get the view of the grasslands.
We arrive at Saga in the evening to have dinner and check into the hotel.
Day 7 – Saga to Darchen, via Lake Manasarover
On the way to the Manasarovar lake, we visit the 7th-century local temple. We will also stop at the desert area filled with sand dunes (an unexpected change of landscape!).
We will see the Rakshas-Tal lake. It has a very beautiful bright color, but it is so salty that it is called the “dead lake”.
After a short stop with a view on Manasarovar lake, we are driving to Darchen.
From Darchen you can see the Southern side of Mount Kailash. In Darchen we will pack for the 3-day trek, and we are leaving everything else in the hotel.
There is a company in Darchen that can arrange porters if needed for some fee.
Staying in the hotel (a hot shower is available for a fee).
Day 8 – Trek, 1st day: Darchen-Dira Puk (20km/ 12.4 miles)
We will start our trek very early in the morning. We will be walking around the Kailash in a clockwise direction. From Darchen we will head west towards the area with the main prayer poll and the sky burial place. It is the area where Tibetans celebrate the Saga Dawa Festival, commemorating the day of Buddha’s birth, his enlightenment, and death.
Later we will reach the first tea shop on the trek where we will stop for lunch.
In the afternoon we will continue to the Dira Puk Monastery and stop there for the night (at a guesthouse). From the guesthouse you will get a spectacular view of the north face of the Kailash Mountain.
Day 9 – Trek 2nd day: Dira Puk – Zultiul Puk (22 km/ 13.6 miles)
On the second day we will start the trek very early to go through the highest pass. First we will walk to the tea house to have breakfast and prepare for crossing the pass. After we are done eating, we will start ascending the pass. The Dolma La Pass is 5,630 meters/ 18,600 ft. high.
Once you reach it, you can see the stunning views of the mountains and the lakes below. There are many colorful prayer flags that people hang there to spread their prayers with every gust of wind.
On the way down, we will cross the river and continue to the next tea shop for lunch and a short break.
After that, we will walk to the Zutiul Puk Monastery where we will be staying overnight (in a guesthouse).
Day 10 – Trek 3rd day: Zultiul Puk-Darchen (14 km/ 8.7 miles)
Today will be our shortest and easiest day. We will be walking through a gorgeous valley following the mountain river. Throughout the day we will see the east side of Mt. Kailash.
We will be staying overnight in the hotel in Darchen. (A hot shower available for an additional fee).
Day 11 – Darchen-Manasarovar
In the morning, we will drive to the holy Manasarovar Lake (4558m).
As we arrive there, we will visit 8th century Chui monastery. The monastery houses an important meditation cave where Padma Sambhava was meditating. Unlike most of the monasteries that we visited earlier, Chui monastery belongs to the Red Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism and the statue of Padma Sambhava is the main one there.
In the afternoon you can spend some time by the lake, walk y its shore.
Alternatively, you can visit a hot spring (approximately 10 min walk). The hot spring provides bathtubs and clean facilities.
We are staying at the guesthouse overnight. The guesthouse has dormitory rooms.
Day 12 – Driving from Lake Manasarovar to Saga
In the morning, we will leave Manasarovar lake and start driving back to Saga.
First, we will drive approximately 4 hours to Parayang. From there you can enjoy the view on the mountains in the distance, yaks herds. Sometimes, we can spot wild donkeys or antelopes grazing in the grasslands.
After lunch we continue to Saga. We are driving through vast grasslands, where many nomads set up their tents.
We are staying overnight in Saga hotel.
Day 13 – Driving from Saga to Gyirong
Today we are driving towards the Tibet-Nepal border at Gyirong. We will pass by Pelku Tso lake and see the view of the Shishapangma mountain.
As we get closer to the Gyirong, you start seeing the stunning landscape: Himalayan mountain ranges, forests and waterfalls.
We will stay in the hotel at the Gyirong.
Day 14 – Gyirong Port to Nepal
The guide will take you to the border in the morning. Once you cross it, you will continue your journey in Nepal.
What is Included
Included in Your Tour Cost
- All necessary Travel Permits to travel in Tibet
- All accommodations based on double occupancy. Contact us for a quote on a single room supplement
- Breakfast in the hotel
- Assistance with your Chinese visa application
- Airport pick up and drop off
- Ground transportation in a clean and comfortable vehicle or taxi
- English speaking Tibetan guide
- All entrance fees, tickets to the attraction sites and monasteries outlined in the itinerary
Not Included in Tour Cost
- Passport and Chinese visa fees
- International airfare to and from China or Nepal
- Photography fees inside monasteries
- Flight or train tickets to Tibet
- Lunch and dinner
- Travel insurance
- Medical expenses
- Tips for guides and drivers
- Personal expenses: laundry, shopping, phone calls, etc.
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