22 Days Western Tibet Tour with Namtso Kailash from Kathmandu

Kathmandu - Lhasa - Namtso - Guge Kingdom - 3 Days Kailash Kora - Lake Manasarovar - Peikutso Lake - Saga - Gyirong Port - Kathmandu

From USD p.p

Kathmandu, known as the city of temples, is and has been for many years the center of Nepal's history, art, culture, and economy. Tibet, the highest region on earth with stunning nature scenery, is a lifetime dream for tourists all over the world. Featuring spectacular nature scenery and 3-day Mt. Kailash Kora, this tour offers a great chance to explore the breathtaking beauty and glorious civilization of the western Tibet.

During the tour, you will visit iconic attractions in Kathmandu first, and then fly to Lhasa. After 2-day sightseeing and acclimatization in Lhasa, you will be escorted to the holy Namtso Lake. Then, you will travel through Bange and Nyima to the capital of Ngari Prefecture, Shiquanhe Town, and appreciate numerous lakes, mountains, wild animals along the way. After exploring the ruins of the ancient Guge Kingdom, you will do the 3-day Kailash Kora and enjoy the trek at Lake Manasarovar. Afterward, you will get back to Kathmandu via the scenic Gyirong Valley by car. 

Itinerary Day by Day

Day1 Arrive in Kathmandu and Visit Durbar Square

Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. After a short rest, you will visit the Durbar Square. Lying in the heart of Kathmandu, Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka by locals. As the ancient seat of the Nepalese Royalty, most of the buildings here date from 15th to 18th century and the important monuments include Taleju TempleJagannath TempleKal Bhairav, Kumari Ghar, Kasthamandap which is built from the timber of a single tree.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day2 Kathmandu Day Tour: Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambhunath Stupa

In the morning, take a car ride to Pashupatinath Temple about 5 kilometers east of Kathmandu City, one of the holiest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Then continue your tour to Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest stupas of its kind in the world. After lunch, drive to Swayambhunath Stupa about 4 kilometers west of Kathmandu to appreciate this about 2000 years-old stupa.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day3 Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa

Take a flight from Kathmandu Airport to Lhasa. Upon your arrival, your Tibetan guide will pick you up at the airport and escort you to your hotel in downtown. You can have a rest at the hotel to adapt yourself to the high altitude of Lhasa (3650m).

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day4 Lhasa Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Tibet Museum, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street

Today, you’ll pay a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the world culture heritage. You can explore its audience halls, the jeweled and golden burial chortens (stupa tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc. Then you will visit Tibet Museum which serves as an important window to introduce the glorious culture of Tibet.

In the afternoon, you will head to the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple which was built during Songtsen Ganpo's reign by Princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty, 647 A.D. You can see sincere pilgrims making prostration in front of Jokhang Temple and worship the holiest statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of 12 inside it. Around the temple is the famous Barkhor Street, where you can do the kora with pilgrims and locals. And then we’ll go to explore the old market and you may have chance to see the traditional jewelry trading between people from different parts of Tibet.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day5 Lhasa Sightseeing: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery (B)

Today, you will visit two important monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Drepung Monastery, the largest monastery in Tibet, was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. Situated at the foot of Gebeiwoze Mountain, it was once home to more than 10,000 monks. Here you can see the biggest monastery kitchen inside and then pay a visit to the Buddhist Sculpture Carving Workshop near Drepung.

After having lunch, you’ll continue to visit the Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The most interesting thing is to see monks debating in the courtyard in the afternoon. Besides, you can also see the colorful Rock Painting of Buddha and the three sand Mandalas and then visit the Tibetan religious text printing house.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day6 Lhasa to Namtso Lake (220km)

In the morning, take the car ride to Namtso Lake. On the way, you can appreciate Nyenchen Thanglha Ranges and see green grassland, groups of sheep and yaks, and nomad tents by the road in summer (May to August). As one of the three holy lakes of Tibet, Namtso Lake is the heavenly lake and the highest salt lake. You can appreciate the sapphire water and snow-capped mountains in the background, do a relaxing trekking around the lakeshore and Tashi Island, and spend a night at lake shore.

Stay overnight at lakeshore.

Day7 Namtso to Bange (150km)

You can enjoy the clear morning at the lake shore, trek along the lake shore to Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves before taking the car ride to Bange.

Stay overnight in Bange (Camp or guesthouse).

Day8 Bange to Nyima (330km)

You will pass through the Chiangtang Grassland on the way to Nyima. Though it would be rare to meet people when driving through 'Tibetan Northern Uninhabited Region', you will be greeted by different kinds of wild animals, small lakes, vast grasslands and deserts.

Stay overnight at Nyiam (Camp).

Day9 Nyima to Gertse (326km)

Today, you will pass through the uninhabited area and the grasslands, the gobi, swamps, and deserts when driving along the Amdo-Shiquanhe Road about 326km to Gertse.

Stay overnight at Gertse (Camp).

Day10 Gertse to Shiquanhe Town (506km)

Take a long car ride to Shiquanhe Town to replenish yourself for visiting Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, and enjoy a better dining and accommodation condition than the former two days.

Stay overnight in Shiquanhe Town (Guesthouse/Camp).

Day11 Shiquanhe Town to Zanda (310km)

Drive southeast to Zanda County and pass Laochi-la and Lalung-la over 5000m. Zanda means a downstream place of grassland in Tibetan language. You will visit Zanda Earth Forest, also called Clay Forest and Guge Kingdom in Zanda County.

Stay overnight at Zanda (Guesthouse/Camp).

Day12 Zanda Sightseeing

Today you will visit Tsaparang (Guge Kingdom, 23km) and drive back to Tholing in the evening. Guge Kingdom is one of the first important cultural relic sites under protection, the grand palace ruins stand on a 300-meter tall yellow earth hill on the banks of the Xiangquang River in the Zaborang District.

Stay overnight at Zanda (Guesthouse, dorm bed).

Day13 Zanda to Darchen (250km)

You will have a chance to enjoy the Tirthapuri Hot Spring on the way to Darchen. Darchen was previously known as Lhara, it used to be an important sheep station for nomads and their flocks and had only two permanent buildings. But now, it houses Tibetan pilgrims, and tourists can replenish themselves for the Mt. Kailash Kora here.

Stay overnight at Darchen (Guesthouse).

Day14 Trek Day One: Darchen to Drirapuk (11km)

The outer circuit of Mt. Kailash Kora is about 52km. It starts and ends in Darchen with the highest point at Dolmala Pass on the second trek day. A few kilometers from Darchen, you will arrive at Sarshung Valley to meet porters, yaks, and horses. After 2 hours, you can come across a grassy plain populated by nomads and have sweet tea there. Trek for another 2 hours or more to reach Drirapuk (4920m). You can camp or rest in the monastery's guest house made from cement with better facilities than others in Drirapuk.

Camp or stay overnight in guesthouse.

Day15 Trek Day Two: Drirapuk to Dzutripuk (22km)

Today is the most challenging day of the Mt. Kailash Kora because you need to climb over Dolmala Pass (5630m), which is about 6.4km away but 762m higher than Drirapuk. After taking a rest on the peak of Dolmala Pass, you will trek about 1.5 hours to Lhachu Valley via staircase. Then trek about 4 hours to today's final destination Dzultripuk (miracle cave of Milarepa). You are advised to start the trek early so as to arrive at Dzultripuk earlier because this is the only lodging area with limited rooms.

Camp or stay overnight in guesthouse.

Day16 Trek Day Three: Dzutripuk to Darchen (11km)

After visiting the caves, temple and shrines built around Milarepa’s cave with tour guide, you will trek for about 3 hours to the exit of the valley, and take a car ride to Darchen.

Stay overnight in Darchen.

Day17 Darchen to Lake Manasarovar (60km)

In the morning, take the car ride to the holy Lake Manasarovar (4558m) and enjoy a leisure day there. You can walk around the lake and appreciate the snow-capped mountains on the background. You can also see Tibetans and Hindus praying and circling around the lakeshore. In summer, flocks of birds gather on the lake, making this holy place more lively than usual.

Stay overnight at Chiu Monastery (Guesthouse, dorm bed).

Day18 Lake Manasarovar to Saga (506km)

It takes about 4 hours to drive to Paryang (4700m). On the way, you can enjoy the fabulous view of distant mountains, yak herders camp, and come across a herd of kyang (wild donkey) if lucky enough. After having lunch at Paryang, continue heading to Saga, you will pass by many villages and camps of yak herders, and have far view of snow-capped mountains along the way.

Stay overnight in Saga.

Day19 Saga to Gyirong

Today you will visit Peiku-tso and have lunch there. You can also have a great view of Mt. Shishapangma around the beautiful lake. After lunch, keep driving to Gyirong. You will get amazing views of Himalaya Mountains, a variety of wildlife such as wild horses, wolves, foxes, deer, gazelle, black-necked cranes, yaks, and sheep along the way.

Stay overnight in Gyirong.

Day20 Gyirong Port to Kathmandu

Today, you will be escorted to Chinese Border by your Tibetan tour guide. After passing the port, you will meet your Nepalese guide and take an about 5 hours’ car ride from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day21 Free day in Kathmandu

Today is a free day. You can have a good rest at hotel or walk around to explore Kathmandu's narrow, bustling streets lined with shops and restaurants.

Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day22 Depart from Kathmandu

We will pick you up at hotel and drop you off at Kathmandu Airport. Service ends.

Service Inclusion

  1. Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  2. All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  3. Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  4. Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  5. All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  6. Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  7. All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  8. Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  9. First aid kit;

Service Exclusion

  1. International flight to and out of China;
  2. Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  3. Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  4. Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  5. Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  6. Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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