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. Then, drive forward to Shegar via the world's highest pass-Gyatso-la pass (5248m), the entrance of Himalayan Nature Reserve. Enjoy the stunning landscape along the way up to Shegar. Stay overnight in Shegar.
There is about 4 hours driving from Shegar to Rongpuk. From Shegar to Everest Base Camp with the very rough road, pass the wild grassland, cross the rapids river and high mountains. If it is in clear weather, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which are 8000m high or more, that is, Mt. Lhotse (8516m), Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Qowowuyag (8201m) and Mt Mayalu (8463m). Overnight in Ronguk or Tent Guesthouse.
Today, we need to take the Old Tingri road to Saga town. From Old Tingri, you can see the Mount Everest and Shishapangma which is at 8012m was the least of the world's 8000m peaks to be climbed. The road condition worsen from Old Tingri and runs parallel to the Himalayan ranges and Nepalian sides called Anapurna ranges. The main road passes through the desolate plain of Digur tang, with its enormous sand dunes and the closely neighbouring snow peaks of Shishapangma and langtang to the south. Leaving the BUM-CHU basin, it then descends into the depression of Phelgu tso Lake (4600m), a cobalt blue lake. Saga county is only 69km from the Phelgu tso and spend a night in Saga town.
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 circuling 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. In late afternoon, you will reach Darchen, where is the beginning of the Mt. Kailash Kora, Your tour guide will arrange trekking animal and porter and doing some preparation for your following 3 days trekking around Mt. Kailash. (Today's program may change according to festival celebration of Kailash.)
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.
The second day is the hardest and most tough circuit with the Dolma-la pass lying 6.4km ahead but 762m above Drirapuk. The peak of Dolma-la pass is about 5630m above sea level, so it is better to set off early in the morning as the sun rays break over the ridges above. After taking a rest at the peak of Dolma-la pass, you will descending staircase bringing you to Lhachu valley floor, taking about one hour from the pass. From here it is still four hours trekking to the today's final destination with no shelters on the way. It is better to walk on the right side of the river and finally get to Zultripuk (with miracle cave of Milarepa). It is advisable to get there before other groups because limited number of rooms are available there in Zutrulpuk. Take a good rest in the guest room and prepare for next morning's departure.
Today you will trek to Darchen. This 5 hours trek takes you 14km downhill. From Zutrulpuk 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.
Today, Lhasa airport or train station dropping off, the time to say your farewells to your guide and driver, end the trip.
※What is a Private Tour?
I highly recommend this agency. I travelled with other 2 couples who booked through different agencies and they paid a lot more to have less assistance, same hotels/tour/guide/car, less flexibility and no travel insurance included.
Wir sind sehr zufrieden mit der individuellen Tour welche wir mit "Go to Tibet Tours" zusammenstellen konnten (8-Tagestou; Peking und Lhasa). Der Trip hat uns sehr gefallen, alles lief wie geplannt. Die Tourguides (Forrest und Kielsang) waren sehr hilfesbereit und kompetent...