It's almost 1,300 kilometers from Lhasa to Ngari, so a trip to Mt. Kailash is not easy for tourists. The accommodation and infrastructure in Ngari area can not compare with Lhasa and Shigatse city. So just a kind reminder, traveling to Mt. Kailash should not be regarded as a leisure comfortable trip, and should be well prepared beforehand.
The useful tips below can help you with what you need to bring or pack for your trip to Mt. Kailash.
This is actually your ID card for traveling in Tibet. On the way to Mt. Kailash, you will pass through many checkpoints and your passport would be required. Passport is also needed when you check in the hotels. Therefore, passport can be considered to be the most indispensable item in your trip.
2. All the necessary permits for visiting Ngari
In the Ngari area, besides the Tibet Entry Permit, you also need Alien's Travel Permit, Foreign Affairs Permit and Military Entry Permit specially arranged for this trip.
You need the Tibet permit to board the plane or train for entering Tibet, but once you arrived, all the documents will be kept by the tour guide accompanying the group, the guide would collect the passports from you at the checkpoints.
3. Proper Clothing for the Kailash Trek
The temperatures can be cold while trekking around the Mt. Kailash even in summer season, and the wind can be very strong on top of the Drolmala Mountain Pass. Meanwhile, the temperature difference can be huge between daytime and night. So, based on these circumstances, you shall at least bring a warm coat, a thick fleece, wind-proof hiking pants, as well as a pair of gloves for this trip.
4. Toothpaste, toothbrush and small towel for simple wash
In Lhasa and Shigatse, guests will stay in hotels, with clean toilets and comfortable shower and towels. But as long as you leave Shigatse and drive further to Mt. Everest. Whether the toilets on the way or at the Rongbuk Guesthouse, are not like the western-style toilets in Lhasa or Shigatse, but more squatting-style toilet without flush.
5. Skin care products
The plateau climate is dry and windy. In addition to basic skin protect such as moisturizing, you should also pay attention to the strong ultraviolet radiation in the plateau area.
Because of the high altitude, the temperature will not be very high even if bask in the sun for a long time, hence it is easier to ignore and cause sunburn.
Even a short time of exposing in the sun without wearing any sunscreen could cause sunburn in the strong ultraviolet radiation environment. To avoid sunburn, please do not forget to bring sunscreen, as well as hats and sunglasses.
6. Scarf or seamless scarf
Many people who like doing cycling like wearing a seamless scarf which can greatly isolate the ultraviolet rays on their face and neck. Scarves can also keep you warm after sunset or before sunrise.
There is a big temperature difference between day and night in Tibet. You will find that the places in the sunshine is very warm but once it comes to morning, evening or in the shade where the sun cannot shine, where the temperature will drop sharply.
7. Backpacks and waist pack
Waist pack is very convenient for some important stuff. You could wear the waist pack at any time, which is convenient and ensures the safety of self belongs such as mobile phones, tissues, passport, wallet, etc.
You also need to prepare a backpack for carrying your sunscreen, drinking water, and some convenient food like chocolate, Snickers that can quickly replenish your physical strength. During your trek at Mt. Kailash, you may not feel cold when the sun came out. But the climate in Ngari is changeable. It is not surprising to experience the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter during the three-day hike.
The second day's hiking is the most arduous one. Departing from the local guesthouse early in the morning, you will soon encounter a continuous uphill, which is about 8 kilometers, but often takes 4-5 hours for finish this part. Many people are unable to complete the Mt. Kailash hike, mainly because of this section.
Once you have crossed the Drolmala Pass, then it is a continuous downhill, so it is necessary for hikers to bring one or two alpenstock. It can not only help you walk easier and climb uphill, but also could anti-skid on the downhill.
9. Hiking shoes
A pair of waterproof, skid-proof, warm and comfortable walking shoes is very crucial. The 3 days hike distance is 54 kilometers in total, although it does not seem very far, but the difficulty of walking at Mt. Kailash is because of walking in the oxygen-deficient high altitude plateau. The body will be more easily fatigued in the oxygen-deficient environment, a pair of comfortable walking shoes will be very helpful.
As mentioned before, the weather there is very changeable, it might rain or snow. You would need waterproof shoes to prevent the water get into your shoes, it’s not hard to imagine how cold it’s going to be if you are wearing a pair of wet socks.
When you walk on the icy road, it could get very slippery. Especially during the uphill or downhill, the anti-slippery shoes with the alpenstock can better protect you from slipping and keep you safe.
10. Charger & Power bank
You will stay in a local hotel or hostel in Saga or Darchen before you start your trek, please do not forget to charge your cell phone, ipod and power bank. These remote towns in Ngari area are often short of electricity, sometimes only two or three hours power supply at night.
And during the trek, the accommodation usually do not have power, you can not charge, even no light during the night. In order to save power, we suggest that you turn off your phone or switch to flight mode, so that you can reach guide or the travel agency whenever necessary.
11. Commonly used drugs
During the journey, it is necessary to bring some commonly used medicines, such as drugs for treating diarrhea, cold, headache and so on. Ngari is a quite remote, you can not even find a hospital or clinic in place like Darchen. So if there is a physical discomfort, even if it is not a serious illness, it may become very troublesome.
Three days of trekking requires sufficient physical strength and good health. If there is any discomfort on the way, in order not to affect the trek tour, early treatment would be highly suggested. Therefore, even for minor discomfort, we should not take it lightly.
12. Music & Earphones
Beautiful scenery is best suited to pleasant music. When you walk lightly across the magical land, rivers, valleys, the magnificent Mt. Kailash. If they accompany you with their favorite music, it will become a more memorable experience. But you may also find it’s a better music to hear hundreds of Tibetan pilgrims reciting the “Om mani padme hum” while they worship Mt. Kailash.