Arrive at the Lhasa Gonggar airport, be greeted and offered a white scarf (called Kada) in a Tibet traditional way which brings you good luck. Then drive to the city proper (3650 m) and transfer to your hotel. Stay at the hotel for adapting to the high attitude. It is helpful to take things easy for the first few days, and try to drink some water just and now, be noted the first day’s acclimation is extremely to ensure you a good health status for the following tour, so please make sure you have yourself lie in bed for all the rest time of the day right after check-in of hotel.
The first day of sightseeing starts from Lhasa's cardinal landmark-Potala Palace, a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. It takes at least a good 2-hour to visit those rooms, halls and chapels. In the afternoon, we will drop a visit of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Then we will visit Barkhor Street, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.
About 8km west of central Lhasa is the Drepung Monastery, once world's largest monastery with about 10,000 monks. This day's sightseeing begins with these white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. Walking up to the hill is a pleasant thing, an easy break from the solemn ambience inside the halls and chapels. At the plat roof of hillside, you can have very good views of the whole Lhasa city and the distant mountains. Drepung is one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries, the other is Sera Monastery. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, Sera may not be as grandiose as Drepung, but is more serene surrounded by many small temples. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous. Overnight in Lhasa.
In the morning drive to Gyantse along the Kyichu River. On the Kamba La (4796m) have a fantastic view of the holy Lake Yamdrok (4441m), one of the four holy lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of waterfowls in south Tibet. Then continue to Gyantse, you can enjoy Ningjinkangsang Snow Mountain and Karola Glacier from a distance on the way as well. Upon arrival in Gyantse, pay a visit to Palkhor Temple and Kumbum Stupa, which is famous for its very unique architecture, sculpture, and mural painting art.
Morning, you will visit the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery where you can see the well preserved largest statue of Jampa (future god) in the world. The monastery itself is abiding place for the successive Penchen Lamas. In the afternoon, drive forward to Lhatse, a small county approximately 150km southwest of Shigatse, and a pit stop for travellers headed to western Tibet. Enjoy the stunning landscape along the way up to Lhatse. Stay overnight in Lhatse.
Drive to Saga from Lhatse today. Enjoy the stunning landscape along the way up to Saga. Drive through typical Tibetan villages where you can see how normal Tibetans live. Stay overnight in Saga. Saga's altitude is 4640m above sealevel. Very close to the Nepalese/China border, you will see a garrison of Chinese border soldiers in Saga that patrol the area. Saga is the last stop for pilgrims and travelers on their way to Mt. Kailash. Overnight in Saga. (Guest House, dorm bed)
Today is a long drive of 8 hours or more. Moving towards the Drongpa county, the region around the sources of Brahmaputra river, which is about 167km from the Saga town, and then drive to Lake Manasarovar. You can relax around the lake shore for a while and experience the natural beauty of the lake. In the summer time, flocks of swans will gather on the lake, bringing grace and life to the area. You can also see so many Tibetans and Hindus praying and circling around the lake shore for the whole day, snow-capped mountains on the background and hundreds of swans gathering on the lake, attracting hundreds and thousands of tourists from all over the world. Overnight at the village Hore or a guesthouse at Manasarovar.
Free time at your disposal by Lake Manasorovar. Then in the afternoon, drive to the small town of Darchen. This is the starting and ending point of the Kailash Kora. Nomad traders have set up tents here selling drinks, snacks and instant noodles at inflated prices. You can also hire yaks or porters here at your own expense to carry your supplies. The 52km circumambulation follow the footstep of devoted pilgrims with the alpine valley, blooming glacier and spectacular view of the great north face of Kailash can be seen end of the day, after cross the challenging Dolma la pass (5600m), the trail descent the steep and rock-strewn valley to Zultrulpuk and then on the next day a easy trek to Darchen. Overnight at Hotel in Darchen.
Today you'll commence your challenging trek of the Kailash Kora. The devout believe this demanding 52km circumambulation of the holy mountain through treacherous terrain will bring good fortune. We head west in clockwise direction and after a few kilometers the trail climbs up to a cairn at 4730m from where the southern face of Mt. Kailash comes to view. En route visit Tarboche where annual flagpole raising ceremony takes place during Saga Dawa. Stay overnight at local guesthouse.
Get up early in the morning, and prepare for a tough day today. The main kora path heads off to the east, and we trek to Zutrulpuk Monastery by crossing Drolma-la pass (5630m) and Gauri Kund Lake (5608m) where Hindus worship and immerse themselves in the icy waters of the lake. This 7-8 hours trek covers 15 km of breathtakingly white Himalayas. It is advisable to get there before other groups because limited numbers of rooms are available there in Dzultripuk. Take a good rest in the guest room and prepare for next morning's departure. Stay overnight at the tent guesthouse of monastery.
Today you will trek to Darchen. This 5 hours trek takes you 14km downhill. From Zutulpuk Monastery, trek on a riverside trail for about an hour, then climbs above the river and enters the lovely Gold & Red Cliffs, a narrow canyon with its walls being stained purple, cobalt and rust. Where the trail emerges onto the Barkha plain, a short distance to the 4th prostration point (4610m), Gurla Mandata is again visible in the distance. It is now an easy one hour walk back to Darchen along a dirt road. We complete the 3 day circuit trek of Mt. Kailash. Have a good rest in the afternoon. Stay overnight at Darchen.
Today drive back to Saga retracing the same route, you will have a last view of the Mt.Kailash on the way. Overnight at Saga.
Today, drive long hours way back to Shigatse from Saga, scenery on the way. Overnight in Shigatse.
Nepal Option: Customers can leave Saga to Tibet border Zhangmu, then exit China at the next day to Nepal.
Morning drive back to Lhasa via northern friendship highway, along the body of Bramaputra River, various landscapes will attract your attention, afternoon free on your own in Lhasa, enjoy the last day of the holy city Lhasa and its beauty. Overnight at Lhasa.
Lhasa airport/ train station dropping off. Morning Lhasa airport or train station dropping off, the time come to say your farewells to your guide and driver, end the trip.
Dear Violet, we had a great tour. Thank you very much for everything. Tenzin did a very good job. Our children were very excited, too. I send some photos of our beautiful adventure. You are welcome to use the photos freely. Best regards and thank you very very much! Marina
We had a wonderful trip to Lhasa, EBC and Namtso lake. Thanks for arranging the trip. Tashi, Tenzin and Lopsung have been very helpful, attentive to our needs and supportive.