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Tibet Mount Kailash

Explore the holy city of Lhasa - a city of marvels where history and art, commerce and religion meld into an unforgettable experience. Marvel at the great monastic complexes of Gyantse, Shigatse and Sakya. The 3-day circumambulation of the world's most sacred mountain is tough - relax afterwards beside Lake Manasarovar, legendary source of the four great rivers of South Asia.
Cross the grasslands via the beautiful lake Paiku Tso, with views of Shishapangma (8013m) as you head south towards Rombuk, the world's highest monastery, and Everest Base Camp.

Colorful and historic, the holy city of Lhasa lies in a small valley 3700 meters above sea level. Lhasa rose to importance over 1300 years ago as attempts were made to unify Tibet. During your time in the heart of Tibet, you visit the Potala Palace, the Jokhang, the huge university monasteries of Drepung and Sera and the Barkhor pilgrim circuit. There is free time to explore other sights.

Leaving Lhasa, it is a spectacular drive to Gyantse. From the top of the Kamba Pass (4794m) the views of the turquoise lake, Yamdrok-Tso are unforgettable. Descending we travel along its shores, before climbing again to the Karo La (5054) and the glaciers of Mt Nojin Kangtsang, reaching Gyantse in the late afternoon. From Gyantse follow the Nyang-chu valley towards Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city and site of Tashilhunpo Monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama and one of the most important monasteries of the Gelukpa order.

Sakya, once the political power of Tibet is the last stop before setting out to fully experience the splendor, enormity and isolation of western Tibet. Magnificent valleys, herds of grazing yak, goats and sheep, passes topped by prayer flags and few permanent settlements mark the journey towards Tibet’s ancient heartland.

The giant snow-topped pyramid of Kailash stands apart and distinct from those around it, dominating the landscape. Along with Lake Manasarovar it was the heart of ancient Zhangzhung and soul-mountain of the pre-Buddhist Bonpo. To the Bon it is called Yungdrung Gu Tse (Nine-Storey Swastika Mountain) and is the place where their legendary founder, Tongpa Shenrab descended from heaven to earth. In the 11th century however Naro Bonchung ‘lost’ both Kailash and Lake Manasarovar to Milarepa in a contest of magical powers. To complete a kora (circumambulation) is the goal of every Tibetan; a single kora cleans the sins of a lifetime whilst 108 guarantee enlightenment.

Having completed the kora you retrace the route as far as Saga before turning south via Piku Tso (lake) towards Mt Everest. Take a detour up to Rombuk before returning via Shigatse to Lhasa for a final night OR you may choose to cross the land border to Nepal for a Kathmandu end).


01: Arrive Lhasa - transfer to hotel
02: Lhasa sightseeing - visit Drepung & Sera
03: Lhasa sightseeing - Potala, Jokhang & Barkhor
04: via Yamdrok Tso to Gyantse
05: visit Pelkor Choede - to Sakya
06: visit Sakya Gompa - to Saga
07: Darchen
08: Kailash Kora to DiraPhuk
09: Kailash Kora to Zhutrul Phuk
10: complete Kailash kora - drive to Chiu Gompa (Lake Manasarovar)
11: Saga
12: via Paiku Tso to Rombuk & Everest
13: to Shigaste
14: visit Tashilumpo - return to Lhasa
15: transfer to airport & depart

Alternatively you may choose a Lhasa-Kathmandu itinerary. This may be arranged with all the same inclusions, just visiting Everest on the way to Kailash rather than return and crossing the border to Nepal on the morning of day 15 and continuing to Kathmandu the same day.

Private tours at any time - may be customised for you.

"Having a wonderful time is an understatement! And we loved and do love Tibet and all Tibetans no matter how dishevelled! I give bouquets to all the people that you organised to look after us"

"Just a quick one to say thanks for organising our trip and that we really enjoyed it! JingMi (spelling!?), our guide, was fantastic, as was our driver. The overall arrangements and itinerary were very well planned and executed, with the right amount of flexibility too."

Tibetan Expeditions - Journeys on the Roof of the World