Southern Tibet is a classic tourist spot as well as the Southwest Tibet (during the Saga Dawa Festival). The highlight is a kora around Mount Kailash. This trip is open to all, it does not matter what your beliefs are, as long as you respect other beings. Saga Dawa Festival is the holiest festival in Tibet. It is celebrated every May or June of the year. The coincidence of Buddha's birth and later his enlightenment are celebrated on the same day.
On this trip, we will travel from Kathmandu to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. We will spend time getting to know the city and the outlying monasteries before we set off for the sacred Mount Kailash. We will then drive across the wide open spaces of the Tibetan Plateau to make a brief visit to Lake Manasarovar and then to complete a kora around Mount Kailash. We will then make our way to Kathmandu, enjoying the arid beauty of the vast plains. This is truly yet another "trip of a lifetime" with its stunning scenery and cultural highlights. You will need to be conditioned to hard hiking / trekking over a number of days although we make it as easier by providing yaks to carry your main baggage while trekking. If you prefer, it is possible, at extra cost, to hire a horse and either ride the hardest sections or ride all the way. For your safety, we will provide a portable compression chamber and a supply of oxygen to reduce the effects of altitude sickness.
Day 01:Arrive in Kathmandu. Upon arrival at Kathmandu, you will be transferred to the hotel (usually Tibetan owned). Only breakfast are provided whilst you are in Kathmandu. We are giving you the freedom to choose from the many places to eat.
Day 02:Kathmandu. You will be guided at your half day tour in the city of Kathmandu. You will have free time to relax as we complete the group visa process for you. Overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Day 03: Kathmandu Valley. We will travel around the three cities of the Kathmandu valley; the Kathmandu City, Patan and Bhaktapur. This will serve as preparations for our pilgrimage to Tibet.
Day 04:Kathmandu to Nyalam (3750m). We will leave Kathmandu early in the morning. The drive will be 123 km through the beautiful Nepalese countryside to Kodari on the Nepal - Tibet border. After completing the border formalities at both the Nepalese and Chinese immigration posts, we will drive up a series of incredibly steep switchbacks to Zhangmu on the Tibetan side of the border. It is a short drive now of only 30 km to Nyalam, but again it is on a steep winding road which passes through a mossy gully with cascading waterfalls. Overnight stay will be at a suitable lodge.
Day 05:Nyalam. We will spend a rest day in Nyalam in order to acclimatize before heading up higher. In a short way out of town, there is a small temple, Nyalam Pelgye Ling, which is associated with Milarepa. Overnight stay will be at a particular lodge.
Day 06:Nyalam to Saga. Today, we will drive 250 km to Saga, the site of a great festival in May each year. From Nyalam, we will cross two high passes, with great views of the 8000+ m peak of Shishapangma. We will continue to the huge lake called Peiku-tso. We will eat our packed lunch at the lakeside, and then continue our journey to saga.
Day 07:Saga to Prayang. We will continue on across the vast dry plains to the small town of Zhongba. We will cross the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) by ferry. From Zhongba, we will set out across the plains once more to Paryang and this section of our journey has some incredibly panoramic scenery.
Day 08:Prayang to Lake Manasarovar (4560m). Beyond Paryang, there are several river crossings to negotiate as we will drive the final stage to the beautiful Lake Manasarovar, just 30km south of Mt Kailash. This will be an auspicious day for the group as we will have our first glimpse of the Holy Manasarovar and of Mount Kailash from Horr Chu La (pass). Lake Manasarovar is separated from another lake, Rakshas Tal, by a narrow strip of land. On the rare occasions, when water flows between the two, it is said to be a good sign for the Tibetan people. We will have an overnight camp near Seralung Gon.
Day 9:Manasarovar. Today, we will enjoy the tranquility at the lake, or join in one of the many pujas (prayer sessions) that are part of the pilgrimage process. Some will sit in meditation all day; others will take a holy dip in the waters. Overnight stay will be in tents or in the guest house.
Day 10:Manasarovar to Darchen (4560m). Leaving the lake, we will drive towards Mt. Kailash and will stop at Darchen. This is the starting point for our Kailash kora (53km).
Day 11:Kailash Kora / Parikrama - Darchen to Diraphuk Gompa. The Kora / Parikrama will begin as we walk 8 km to Tarboche and then trek up to Diraphuk Gompa. Packed lunch will be served on the way. We will walk up the Lha Chu Valley through the beautiful green meadows and streams with M.t Kailash towering above us. We will follow the river which enters a narrow canyon with high, steep cliffs and spectacular waterfalls. Continuing up the valley, the north face of Kailash comes into view before we reach the 13th century monastery at Diraphuk. Overnight stay will be at our own camp or a lodge.
Day 12:Kailash Kora / Parikrama - Diraphuk to ZutulPuk Gompa (4790m). We will now leave the Lha Chu Valley and enter the Drolma Chu Valley, heading up towards a high pass, the Drolma La (5630m). It is a tough climb to the summit which is festooned with prayer flags but from there, it is all downhill or flat to Zutulpuk, with views to of one of the highest lakes in the world, the Thukpe Dzingbu Lake, known as the Lake of Compassion. As well as the monastery at Zutulpuk, there are several meditation caves and another cave containing an image of Milarepa.
Day 13: Kailash Kora / Parikrama - Zutul-Puk to Darchen (4560m). On the final day of the kora / Parikrama we will cross several streams, and follow an impressive gorge. Along the way, we are once again treated to magnificent views of Kailash. We will then enter the Bharka plain and it's about an hour walk through this desert landscape to Darchen. Our vehicles will await us, and will take us back to Lake Manasarovar. We will camp overnight near Seralung.
Day 14: Manasarovar to Prayang (4750m). Today is a long drive, about 300km, back to Praryang. We will recross the Mayun-la and several rivers. Overnight stay spent at our own camp or a lodge.
Day 15: Paryang to Saga (4600m). We will continue driving today along a 255 km stretch of road to Saga, passing through the small town of Zhongba, en route.
Day 16:Saga to Nyalam (3750m). Leaving Saga, we will again cross the Yarlung Tsangpo by ferry, and pass by Peiku-tso before arriving back to Nyalam.
Day 17: Nyalam to Kathmandu (1400m). From Nyalam, we will head back to the border town of Zhangmu. From Zhangmu, it is a short drive to the Friendship Bridge which spans the Bhote Kosi River and marks the Tibet / Nepal border. We will say goodbye to our Tibetan guide and driver and walk to Nepalese Immigration Control in Kodari where we will be met by our Nepalese staff. After completing the re-entry formalities, we will continue the drive to Kathmandu which, depending on road and weather conditions, should take about 5 hours. Overnight stay will be at your hotel.
Day 18: Kathmandu. We can relax and wonder through the streets of Kathmandu. We will have an evening full of Nepalese culture and dinner to wish you a good journey home.
Day 19: Depart from Kathmandu. Transfer to the airport.
You can book as an individual, but we need a minimum of 4 for the trip to proceed at these prices. We are happy to plan a trip for smaller groups.