Journey to the cultural, religious and spiritual heart of Tibet. Visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and the legendary Drepung and Sera monasteries in Lhasa. Take in the incredible architecture, atmosphere and art at Gyantse, and visit Tashilhunpo monastery at Shigatse. Take on the physical and spiritual challenge of the Kora around Mt. Kailash and trek up to Drolma La pass at almost 19,000 feet. Stay the night at Lake Manasarovar, the holiest lake in Tibet. Savour the scenic beauty on the way back, on the road to Zhangmu at the border.
Tour Duration: 14 to 18 days
(20 to 25 day tours are also available; please contact us to enquire about tour prices for 20 to 25 day tours)
June – September
Tour Price Per Person ( please see what's included and what's not ):
Based on an 14 day tour:
2,750 US dollars per person, for groups of 2 to 4 people
2,400 US dollars per person, for groups of 5 to 10 people
500 US dollars
The following itinerary is based on a 15 day tour:
Day 1: Arrival
Pickup at Lhasa airport, drive to a comfortable hotel in Lhasa. The rest of the day is free, to explore Lhasa on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Lhasa sightseeing:
Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery
Jokhang Temple is the holiest temple in all of Tibet. Barkhor, the market adjacent to the temple, is a haven for shopping. One can buy exotic items like yak skulls encrusted with corals and rubies, traditional hand-woven cloth, traditional hand-carvings in stone, hand-crafted leather, exquisite bronze items, and much, much more.
Sera Monastery dates back to the 15th century. It is located a few miles outside Lhasa. It is well-preserved; its architecture a symphony of white-washed walls and golden spires. From about 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily, lamas debate various points from their traditional scriptures in the courtyards – a very unique sight, and not to be missed if you are there at that time. Overnight at the hotel in Lhasa.
Day 3: Lhasa sightseeing:
Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery
Potala Palace is a massive palace-fortress that towers over the city of Lhasa, and has done so from the 7th century. The first sight of the Potala is truly awe-inspiring. Potala Palace is the very acme of Tibetan culture, religion and architecture.
Drepung monastery was the world's largest Buddhist monastery, once home to over 10,000 monks. The white lime-washed walls of the monastery shine from a hilltop about 8 km from Lhasa. It is an easy walk up the hill to the monastery. Assembly halls and chapels of great solemnity can be found within its walls. Along with Sera, it is one of two greatest monasteries of the Gelugpa ("Yellow Hats") sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Overnight at the hotel in Lhasa.
Day 4: Gyantse
Drive from Lhasa to Gyantse through many dramatic mountain passes - including Khambo La and Kharo La, provide wondrous views of the Himalayan range – and the amazing turquoise lake Yamdrok Tso. The view of this lake is a truly unforgettable sight. Yamdrok Tso is one of the holiest lakes in Tibet. The drive from Lhasa to Gyantse also passes through valleys and villages of incredible beauty along the way.
At Gyantse, a visit to Gyantse Dzong (fort) and Kumbum. Expansive views of the valley can be seen from the ancient fort at Gyantse. The Kumbum (stupa) is much more than the name suggests. The amazing murals, art and architecture of the stupa is a must-see. Ancient and unique Tibetan sculptures, paintings and bas reliefs are contained within the small chapels inside the multi-storied stupa itself.
Overnight at a hotel in Gyantse.
Day 5: Shigatse (Xigatse)
Drive from Gyantse to Shigatse. Visit to the spectacular Tashlhunpo Monastery, the traditional residence of the Panchen Lama. Here, in the afternoons, we get another chance to see lamas having a debate on traditional philosophy. At Shigatse, there is plenty of ancient Tibetan culture to see, contrasting side by side with modern Tibet.
Overnight at a hotel in Shigatse.
Day 6: Sakya
Drive from Shigatse to Sakya. Visit to Sakya Monastery. Its medieval Mongolian-style architecture is quite different from that of temples and monasteries in Lhasa and the Yarlung valley. It contains some of the most magnificent surviving artwork in all of Tibet, which appears not to have been damaged in recent times. The monastery grounds cover more than 18,000 square metres, while the huge main assembly hall covers some 6,000 square metres, and contains exquisite chapels within it.
Overnight at a hotel in Sakya.
Day 7: Saga
Drive from Sakya to Saga (relatively long drive – usually 7 to 8 hours).
Overnight at a hotel in Saga.
Day 8: Saga to Darchen
It is a long drive (13 to 14 hours) from Saga to Darchen, at the foot of Mount Kailash. En route, near Darchen, there are spectacular views of some legendary snow-capped peaks, including Mount Gurla Mandhata, called Naimona'nyi in Tibetan, which means, "the mountain of heaped-up slabs of black herbal medicine."
Traditionally, Hindus consider this mountain as the birth place of the elephant god, Ganesh, son of Shiva. Mount Gurla Mandhata is situated across Lake Manasarowar from the sacred peak of Mount Kailash.
Overnight at a guesthouse in Darchen.
Day 9: First Day of the Kailash Kora
This is the first day of the trek around Mount Kailash (traditionally known as the Kailash Kora).
Overnight at Druthulpuk guesthouse near Druthulpuk Monastery.
Day 10: Second Day of the Kailash Kora
This is the most challenging day of the Kora, ascending 2000 feet in the course of the day, to Drolma La Pass at just under 19,000 feet, followed a steep descent and trekking on to Zuthulpuk Monastery.
Overnight at Zuthulpuk Guesthouse adjacent to the Monastery.
Day 11: Third Day of the Kailash Kora
Trekking back from Zuthulpuk to Darchen. Reach Darchen by afternoon. Drive from Darchen to Lake Manasarovar, Tibet's holiest lake and, at 4,556 metres (14947 feet), one of the highest fresh water lakes in the world. Chiu monastery is near the lake, and you may choose to do the short trek up to Chiu monastery in the evening.
Overnight at a guesthouse on the shores of Lake Manasarovar.
Day 12: Manasarovar to Saga
Drive from Lake Manasarovar back to Saga. (13 to 14 hour drive).
Day 13: Zhangmu
Leaving the high Tibetan Plateau, drive downhill through the “valley of a hundred waterfalls”, along the banks of the Bhote Kosi river all the way to Nyalam. Cross two spectacular mountain passes on the way - Lalung La (5,082 metres) and Nyalam Pass (3,800 metres) on the way to Nyalam. From Nyalam, it is a short drive to Zhangmu on the Tibet-Nepal border.
Day 14: Border Crossing at Zhangmu
Cross the border the next morning, past Zhangmu customs / border check, into Nepal.
Tour Prices quoted include the following:
- All accommodation as listed
- Airport -hotel-airport transfers in Lhasa
- Sightseeing and entry fees for Potala palace, Jokhang temple , Sera monastery, Drepung monastery, Pelkhor chode and Gyantse Khumbum, Tashilhunpo Monastery, Sakya Monastery, Kailash and Manasarovar Breakfast in Lhasa, and meals while camping
Tour Prices DO NOT include:
- All visa fees (The required Tibet Permit fee is approximately 114 US dollars - we will advise you of the exact cost for this, and any other required visas or permits at the time of your booking / enquiry)
- Flight cost from your home country to Nepal or China (entry points into Tibet)
- Flight cost to Lhasa from Nepal or China (It is possible to fly to Lhasa from these cities in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Canton (Guangzhou), Chongqing, Kuming, Xian, Xining or Chengdu. It is also possible fly to Lhasa from Kathmandu, Nepal. As a price guide, the flight cost from Kathmandu to Lhasa is approximately 399 US dollars, but we will advise you of the exact cost for your flight from China or Nepal to Lhasa at the time of your booking / enquiry).
- Travel and medical insurance
- All meals except breakfast in Lhasa
- Emergency evacuation
- Personal spending money for sovenirs, extra sightseeing, laundry etc
- Meals other than breakfasts in Lhasa, and those provided during camping
- Expenses arising from events outside the control of Everest Kailash Treks & Tours and/or their agents and suppliers, such as trip delays / trip extensions because of inclement weather, equipment failure. illness or other causes beyond our control
- No refunds can be made for any unused services or accommodation on the trip