Duration: 14 NIGHTS/ 15 DAYS
The circuit, or kora, of Mt Kailash(6714 m) is one of the most important pilgrimages in Asia. It’s been a religious sanctuary since pre-Buddhist times, and a trek here wonderfully integrates the spiritual, cultural and physical dimensions of a trip to Tibet. Being able to meet pilgrims from across Tibet and other countries is another allure. ... See More+
The circuit, or kora, of Mt Kailash(6714 m) is one of the most important pilgrimages in Asia. It’s been a religious sanctuary since pre-Buddhist times, and a trek here wonderfully integrates the spiritual, cultural and physical dimensions of a trip to Tibet. Being able to meet pilgrims from across Tibet and other countries is another allure.
Our staff will greet you at Lhasa Airport/Railway to transfer you to hotel. From Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa, usually takes about 1.5hrs; from Lhasa Railway Station, abt 20mins. After transferred to hotel, the rest of the day you will be free to wander around the city on your own but try not to overtax yourself. The first day’s well-rest is crucial to acclimatize high altitude. Remember to drink lots of water, eat light, and not to shower if you can help it. For our free Lhasa Airport/Railway transfer, pls check the Inclusions for the information of our free Lhasa Airport/Railway transfers.
Overnight in Lhasa, 3?/4?
Highlights: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
Today you will visit totally 2 attractions in Lhasa suburb. In the morning, we will arrange you to see Drepung Monastery. In the afternoon, we will visit Sera Monastery. You will stay long hour on sightseeing today under the fierce sun of Tibet, do arm yourself with sunglasses/ hat/ sunscreen.
Also a welcome dinner will be held tonight to introduce you to the whole gang that you are going to travel with. We have customers from all over the world. Shall be fun to meet people from different countries, culture and background.Located abt 8km west of central Lhasa, Drepung Monastery was once one of the world’s largest monasteries. The word Drepung literally translates as ‘rice heap’, a reference to the huge numbers of white monastic buildings that once piled up on the hill side.
Sera Monastery is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built. From Mon ~ Fri, every afternoon, you ll be able to see monks debating at Sera Monastery.
Overnight in Lhasa, 3?/4?
Highlights: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
This morning, visit Potala Palace. It is more than 3,700 meters above sea level and it is the highest palace in the world! At the top the palace called golden roofs, you can have a bird-eye view of the whole of Lhasa. In the distance there are undulating mountain ranges, the beautiful Lhasa River, tracts of fields, tree-shaded villages and the glistening Jokhang Temple.
Afternoon, visit Jokhang Temple, it is the first built during the period of Sontsan Gambo in the 7th century, features Buddhist prayer wheels, reclining deer, golden sutra streamers. You'll find that many Pilgrims pray before the monastery.
The circuit around it called Barkhor Street, a famous local handmade crafts market, which is a good place to purchase souvenirs.
Overnight in Lhasa, 3?/4?
Highlights: Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum
Yamdrotso Lake: dazzling Yamdro-tso(elev 4441m) is normally first seen from the summit of the Kamba-la(4700m). The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather is fabulous shade of deep turquoise. Far in the distance is the huge massif of Mt. Nojin Kangtsang(7191m).
Karola Glacier: Mt Nojin Kangsang stands tall with an elevation of 7,191m between Gyantze County and Nagarzê County, with several snow-capped mountains over 6,000m surrounding it. Mount Nojin Kangsang is the most accessible glacier site on the Tibetan Plateau. The famous Kharola Glacier (elev 5,560m) is below the south ridge of Nojin Kangsang.
Pelkor Chöde Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum: the sprawling compound in the far north of town houses Pelkor Chöde Monastery and the monumental Gyantse Kumbum, a chörten filled with fine paintings and statues. Both are deservedly top of the list on most travellers’ must-sees. Palkhor lies at the foot of Dzong Hill. It is well-known for its Kumbum, which has 108 chapels in its four floors. The multi-storied Kumbum Stupa was crowned with a golden dome and umbrella, surrounded with more chapels filled with unique religious statues and murals.
Overnight in Gyantse,3?
Highlights: Tashilunpo Monastery
After arrival in Shigatse, we will first go to apply the Alien's Travel Permit(PSB) with your original passport presented which usually takes abt 30mins before sightseeing. Bear with us. Tashilunpo Monastery is one of the Six Big Monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in Tibet. Also called the Heap of Glory, the monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara's Mountain), Shigatse. Founded by the First Dailai Lama in 1447, the monastery's structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. It covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters. The main structures found in the monastery are Maitreya Chapel, Panchen Lama's Palace and Kelsang Temple. Tashilhunpo is the seat of Panchen Lama since the Fourth Panchen Lama took charge in the monastery, and there are now nearly 800 lamas.
Overnight in Shigatse,3?/4?
Optional: Rongbuk Monastery
Tibet has serious rule about speed-limit. Though from Shigatse to Everest region is only abt 350km or so in book, the no-more-than-40km/hr regulation, and the many road checks dotted on the way, really slow us down. So be prepared to spend around 10~12hrs on the road including meal time. The upside is the view along the way is superb. Get your camera ready. Also prepare some snacks with you to bring along.
You will arrive at Rongbu Monastery in the late afternoon. The monastery itself is quite tiny, but from here the view of Mt Everest is fantastic. You can choose to just hang around Rongbuk to take photos or visit it at your own expense of CNY 25/person.Rongbuk Monastery is located in the Shigatse Region, southwest of the mysterious Tibet Autonomous Region, and to the north of the oblate Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world. Seen from here, Mt. Everest appears like a lofty pyramid surrounded by mountains that touch the sky. On sunny days, a pile of thick clouds, just like a white flag floats lightly above the peak, which is known to be the miracle of 'The Highest Flag Cloud in the World'. Nowadays, with the golden travel boom to Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery is gradually becoming a highlight for the tourists in its own right.
Overnight in EBC, Nomad Tent (Dorm Bed)
Highlights: Everest Base Camp, Peikutso Lake
We didn’t include breakfast this morning. You will understand why when you’re at the spot. Tibetan breakfast, such as noodle, zanba, etc. abt CNY 30 is available here. You are highly suggested to bring along some cookies, instant coffee. etc. of your own.Everest Tent Camp is the furthest point vehicles can drive to. From here you will have to take the shuttle bus for the last glorious 4Km which is incredibly incredibly scenic. You’re hemmed in by high grey ridges to the east and west and as you look to the south, Everest’s north face dominates the skyline. Endowed with springs, Everest Base Camp(elev 5150m) has a couple of permanent structures and a small army base. Clamber up the small hill festooned with prayer flags for great views of the star attraction, Mt. Everest, then have your photo taken at the base camp marker, reads ‘Mt. Qomolangma Base Camp’.
Peikutso Lake: the beautiful turquoise Peiku-tso(4590m) is one of Tibet’s magical spots with stunning views of the snowcapped Shishapangma (8012m) and the Langtang range bordering Neppal to the south.
Overnight in Saga, Guesthouse
The sprawling town of saga is the last of any size on the route and your last chance to eat a lavish meal. A photogenic section of dunes, lake and mountains kicks in 60km from Zhongba. About 23 km before Paryang you create a pass and drop past more dunes to Paryang. Photos taken along this route can often get steppe, streams, desert dunes and snow capped mountains in the same shot.
Overnight in Darchen, Guesthouse /4?
Highlights: Mt. Kailash Kora The kora path begins on the western edge of Darchen. Quickly leaving all traces of the village behind, you head westward across the Batkha plain, a sandy expanse speckled with greenery like a massive camouflage jacket. To the north, the east-west ridge blocks your view of Mt Kailash, but to the southeast are clear views of huge Gurla Mandata (7728 m). Api and other peaks in Nepal are visible to the south, while look to the southwest for the twin, sharp humps of Kamet (7756 m) in India.
Only 4km from Darchen the trail climbs up over the southwest end of the ridge to reach a cairn at 4790 m. the cairn is bedecked with prayer flags and marks the first views of Mt Kailash’s southern face, the first of the kora’s four prostration points.
Very quickly the trail bends round to the north and enters the barren Lha-chu Valley. The valley is so open at this point you can see ahead to the tall Tarboche flagpole(4750) in the distance, one of the most significant sites for Saga Dawa Festival.
Just west of Tarboche is the ‘two-legged’ Chorten Kangnyi. It’s an auspicious act for pilgrims to walk through the small chorten’s archway. A short climb above Tarchorten to the east is the sky-burial site of the 84 mahasiddhas(Tantric practitioners who reached a high level of awareness). The first of the kora’s three Buddha footprints is here, but hard to find. The views of the valley are superb from here.
Beyond Tarboche the valley narrows dramatically at an area called Sershong. You can begin to get clear shots of Mt Kailash now, standing to attention above the eastern ridge.
Chuku Monastery(4820m), founded in the 13th century by Gotsangpa Gompo Pel, a Kagyupa-order master, is perched high above the valley floor on the hillside to the west. It bends so secretively into its rocky background you may not able notice it’s there.
From the Chuku it’s abt 3hrs to Dir-puk Monastery. Take your time between this stretch for it has some of the best scenery of the entire kora. High sedimentary faces, wonderfully puckered and dented, and chiseled into shapes that seem alive, hem you in on both sides. When the weather is warmer there’s even the occasional ribbon of water tumbling down the slopes from hundreds of meters high. Along the route you will find the second prostration point, with its prayer flags and clear view of the east side of Mt Kailash. 30mins later, just past a tea tent selling the usual drinks and snakes, look for the second Buddha footprint, and a carving of the god Tamdrin, a wrathful horse-headed deity, on a black stone smeared with aeons of yak butter. From the rock, the trail starts to clim and heads northeast toward Dira-puk Monastery.
Dira-puk(Lhalung Dira) Monastery(5080m) sits in a superb location on the hillside north of the Lha-chu. It directly faces the astonishing north face of Mt Kailash, which from this angle appears as a massive, jet-black slab of granite ornamented with alabaster-white strips of snow. Three lesser mountains are arrayed in front of Mt Kailash: Chana Dorie to the west, Jampelyang to the east and Chenresig in the centre.
Overnight in Dirapuk, Camp/Guesthouse (Dorm Bed)
Hightlights: Mt. Kailash Kora
No doubt when you wake in the morning and step outside you’ll want to revel in the glory of your surroundings. Mt Kailash’s dramatic black face dominates the skyline, while the middle slopes echo with the moans of yaks.
The main kora path heads off to the east, crossing the Lha-chu by bridge and then climbs on to a moraine to meet the trail on the east bank. The long ascent up the Drolma-chu Valley that will eventually lead to the Drolma-la has begun.
Less than an hour along is the meadow at Jarok Donkhang(5210m). Near Jarok Donkhang a trail branches off to the southeast, leading over the snow-covered Khando Sanglam-la. Also nearby, Polung Glacier descends from the east ridge off the north face of Mt Kailash, down through the Polung Valley between Chenresig and Jampelyang.
Only a short distance above Jarok Donkhang, is the rocky expanse of Shiva-tsal(5330m). Pilgrims are supposed to undergo a symbolic death at this point, entering in the realm of the Lord of the Deas, until the reach the top of the Drolma-la and are reborn again. It is customary to leave sth behind at Shiva-tsal, an item of clothing, a drop of blood or a lock of hair, to represent the act of leaving this life behind.
After Shiva-tsal the trail mercifully flattens for a time and proceeds along a glacial ridge. There are a number of interesting sights ahead, such as the sin-testing stone of Bardo Trang(a flat boulder that pilgrims are supposed to squeeze under to measure their sinfulness).
Abt 30mins from Shiva-tsal the trail turns eastward for the final ascent. Allow around an hour for the 200m climb to the top of the Drolma-la(5640m). After a few false summits, the rocky pass is reached. The great cubic Drolma Do(Drolma’s Rock) that marks the top is barely visible behind an enormous number of prayer flags.
Weather permitting, most pilgrims and trekkers pause at the pass for a rest and refreshment before starting the steep descent. Almost immediately, Gauri Kund(5608m), the Lake of Compassion.
It takes approximately an hour to make the long and steep 400m descent to the grassy banks of the Lham-chu Khir. En route there is a much-revered footprint of Milarepa. When the trail reaches the valley, you may find nomad tents and a teahouse selling drinks and noodles. A huge rock topped by the kora’s third Buddha footprint stands nearby.
About 30 mins south, a valley comes down from the Khando Sanglam-la to join the western trail. This valley provides the only glimpse of Mt Kailash’s eastern or crystal face. The kora’s third prostration point is at the valley mouth.
Grassy fields start to appear alongside the river. A couple of hours from the third Buddha footprint a side valley enters from the left. From here on the river changes name to the Dzong-chu, translated as ‘Fortress River’.
Soon you will see Zutul-puk Monastery(4820m). The miracle cave that gives the monastery its name is at the back of the main hall. Milarepa’s footprint and handprint can still be seen today.
Overnight in Zutulpuk, Camp/Guesthouse (Dorm Bed)
Drive Darchen - Manasarovar
Highlights: Mt. Kailash Kora, Lake Manasarovar
From Zutul-puk Monastery the trail follows the river closely for an hour or so then climbs above the river and enters the lovely Gold & Red Cliffs, a narrow canyon whose walls are stained purple, cobalt and rust.
When the canyon narrows look for holes gouged into the cliff walls. These are not natural but made by pilgrims looking for holy stones. Also look for prayer flags festooned across the river, and in the far distance the blue waters of lake Raksas Tal.
Where the trail emerges onto the Barkha plain, close to the fourth prostration point, Gurla Mandata is again visible in the distance. It’s now an easy 1hr walk back to Darchen along a dirt road.
Meet your driver at Darchen. Drive to Lake Manasarovar, which is the most venerated of all Tibet's many sacred lakes. It is especially sacred to Hindus, who have been walking round it for approaching 2,000 years. Buddhists associate the lake with Maya, Buddha's mother.Hindu and Buddhist cosmology had it that nearby Mt. Kailash is the centre of the world and that Manasarovar is the source of four of Asia's great rivers.
Overnight in Manasarovar, Guesthouse (Dorm bed)
Enjoy the ride back with leisure. Our vehicle will stop along the ride for you to take photos.
Overnight in Saga, Guesthouse
Enjoy the ride back with leisure. Our vehicle will stop along the ride for you to take photos.
Overnight in Shigatse,3?/4?
Highlights: Tibetan Incense Workshop in Nyemo
Tibetan Incense Workshop in Nyemo: with a unique harmless formula—adequate water supply, favorable climate and various plants, the Tibetan incense produced in Tomba Township, Nyemo County has a history of more than 1,000 years. Except for sacrificial ceremonies, this fragrant incense also can be used to prevent infectious diseases like flu and influenza, for its ingredients contain herbal medicines such as saffron, Sandalwood, Chinese Usnea and borneol.
Overnight in Lhasa,3?/4?
Your 15-days Group tour to Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage will end today. After breakfasts, you will be free for the morning. Our staff will collect you at your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway.
*Lodgings: 6 Nights, twin room en suite in 3?/4?;
1 Night, twin room en suite in 3?;
1 Night, dorm bed at NOMAD TENT;
2 Nights, twin room en suite in GUESTHOUSE;
1 Night, twin room en suite in GUESTHOUSE/4?;
2 Nights, dorm bed in by CAMP/GUESTHOUSE;
1 Night, dorm bed in GUESTHOUSE;
*Meal: 8 Breakfasts & 1 Welcome Dinner;
*Permit: Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB);
Alien's Travel Permit(PSB) to be apply in Shigatse with your original passport which takes abt 30mins;
*Free Lhasa Railway Station transfer at all time on first & last day;
*Free Lhasa Airport pick-up at 12:30pm or 15:30pm from Lhasa Airport on first day;
*Free Lhasa Airport drop-off at 09:00am or 12:00pm from hotel in Lhasa on last day;
*Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
*Guide: experienced local English-speaking tour guide
*Attractions: all entrance fee mentioned in itinerary
*Travel Agency Liability insurance;
*Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express)
*Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
*Some Breakfast, all Lunch & Dinner
*Yaks & herders during 3-Day Mt Kailash Kora
*Shuttle Bus fee at Mt Kailash: CNY 110/person
*Shuttle Bus fee at Lake Manasarovar: CNY 280/person
*Private Lhasa Airport transfer if your flight isn’t within our free service time, USD 60/vehicle/time.
*Flight or Train
*Lunch & Dinner
*Super-fast express delivery of Tibet Entry Permit (eg. China Air Express)
*Additional days caused by unexpected nature disasters. eg. Land Slide, Avalanche, etc.
*Gratuities for guide & driver, abt CNY 50/day for each of them
*Personal travel insurance
*Anything not listed in INCLUSIONS
*Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB) & Military Permit usually takes about 30-working-day to apply. If you couldn’t provide the required docs & info on time, an extra abt USD 50~80/permit will be charged;
*During the 3-day Mt Kailash Kora—
Lodgings: clean dorm-bed guesthouse; in peak season, we provide tent in case the guesthouses are fully booked by Indian pilgrims.
Food: locals sell Tibetan noodles (USD 5) & instant noodles(USD 2) along the way.
Luggage: leave most of your luggage in our vehicle, bring only the necessary.
*We reserve the right to change the itinerary order and attractions in Lhasa;
*If you prefer to book your own hotels over those included in our group tour, pls meet the rest of the group at their daily hotel on time. We don’t include the transfers to your own hotels;
*We need to pickup and dropoff all tour members of the group on first & last day from Lhasa Airport/Railway, thus there may not always have guide presence but driver;
*Due to the special nature of Tibet travel, any unforeseeable and unavoidable objective circumstances, including but not limited to natural disasters, war, terrorism, riot, civil commotion, strikes, public health emergencies, government action, major traffic jams, delay or cancellation of flight/train, attractions temporarily closed. etc., resulting in change of itinerary, the increased cost will be paid by travellers; if any attraction visits has to be cancelled due to the same reasons above, GTT won’t be hold responsible for refund except certain attraction entrance fee which will be solely decided by GTT.
Dear Overland Escape, My family just returned back from Leh and we all agreed that we left part of our heart there - and one of the biggest reasons why was our experience with the team at Overland Escape. From the moment we arrived everything was smooth and the orientation and meetings at the hotel were very helpful. We were expertly driven to see the sights with Doulje and we ...
Our trip was even more memorable and enjoyable because of the facilities that Overland Escape provided us.Mr. Tunduk Namgyal, who drove us in and around Kerala , was very well versed with the roads, had an excellent idea about the climate and all the information & history about the places we visited. Overland provided us excellent hotel arrangements and made sure our trip was one of the best ever....
It's been a week since we've returned to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and we haven't stopped raving and reminiscing about the fabulous time we had trekking from Raru to Shang Sumdo. We just wanted you to know that we have really enjoyed having Namgyal as our guide. His enthusiasm to share his knowledge of the wildlife and the local culture has enriched the experience of our trek ...
Overland Escape helped us discover the amazing Nubra Valley, then guided us through the spectacular Markha Valley trek and also arranged for a successful summit bid on Kang Yatze 2 (6200m). An amazing trek! Overland were professional and friendly. Our guide (Namgyal) and support team were fantastic and we would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to experience the wonders of Ladakh. We would love to return and will certainly be ...
That’s about all Ladhkhi I could learn in one week from Tundup.Recently my wife and me had the pleasure of visiting Leh and some of the popular surrounding areas like Ule / Lamayuru, Nubra Valley and Pangong lake.Our visit was from July 3 to 10, 2016 and was indeed a very nice trip. This was made possible because of the 2 persons who attended and took care of us.One was Mr ...
We would like to let you know that we enjoyed the trekking (22th august - 3 september from Padum to Dat) with your organisation very much!We had a very good time, and enjoyed the beautiful landscape of Zanskar and Rupshu.The team we travelled with was great! ( Sonam, Samstan, Sonam Tashi). We had a very good time with them.Thanks for everything, we will keep it in mind as a ...
It was a great experience with Overland Escape. The team that travelled with us - Thinles, Dawa and Norbu were such wonderful people. We never had issues with the bikes while riding. Norbu was the most fun. Despite us having girls in the group, they were comfortable to travel in the car and with your team.I would like to thank Thinles, Dawa and Norbu for traveling with us and ...
We are extremely happy with Sikkim trip. Sikkim people were really friendly and I have zero complains from the trip. Things that really went well. Driver was very mature and handled tough situations well. He ensured safety and very capable of handling tough terrains. Teen taley resort is highly recommended. The resort had nice garden, friendly people and organic food. They took care well. Anil and driver took care of ...
The weather during the trekking was so good as the service of Tundup Dorjey, the director of Overland Escape.My guide Sanggye (not sure the spell of his name) was so suportive on every details. As a Korean group, we ate Kimchi, which bad smell, but he helped me on cutting it and cooked. Thank you guys very much again. I hope to see you again and again.