It is a classic journey through Southern Tibet culminating in south west of Tibet at the time of 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:
The holiest festival in Tibet celebrated in May or June every year.The coincidence of Buddha's birth and later his enlightenment on the same day. On this trip, we fly from Kathmandu to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. We spend time getting to know the city and the outlying monasteries before we set off for the sacred Mount Kailash. We 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 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 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 provide a portable compression chamber and a supply of oxygen to reduce the effects of altitude sickness.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu. You are transferred to your hotel (usually Tibetan owned). Only breakfast are provided whilst you are in Kathmandu, giving you the freedom to choose one of the many places to eat.
Day 02:KTM Guided half day tour of the city. Its your free time to relax as we complete the group visa process for you. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 03: Kathmandu Valley ,the three cities of the Kathmandu valley, Kathmandu City, Patan and Bhaktapur are explored this day, as the final preparations are made for our pilgrimage to Tibet. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 04: Kathmandu to Nyalam (3750m), we leave Kathmandu early in the morning, driving for 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 drive up a series of incredibly steep switchbacks to Zhangmu on the Tibetan side of the border. It's a short drive now of only 30km to Nyalam, but again it's on a steep winding road which passes through a mossy gully with cascading waterfalls. Overnight in a suitable lodge.
Day 05: Nyalam. We spend a rest day in Nyalam today in order to acclimatize before heading up higher. A short way out of town there is a small temple, Nyalam Pelgye Ling, which is associated with Milarepa. Overnight in a suitable lodge.
Day 06: Nyalam to Saga. Today we drive 250 km to Saga, the site of a great festival in May each year. From Nyalam, we cross two high passes, with great views of the above 8000 m peak of Shishapangma. We continue to the huge lake called Peiku-tso. We eat our packed lunch at the lakeside, then continue our journey to Saga. Overnight camping or in a suitable lodge.
Day 07: Saga to Prayang. We continue the journey across the vast dry plains to the small town of Zhongba. We cross the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) by ferry. We continue on across the vast dry plains to the small town of Zhongba. From Zhongba, we 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 drive the final stage to the beautiful Lake Manasarovar, just 30km south of Mt Kailash. It’s an auspicious day for the group as we 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. Overnight camp near Seralung Gon.
Day 9: Manasarovar Today we 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 in tents or in the guest house.
Day 10: Manasarovar to Darchen (4560m). Leaving the lake, we drive towards Mt Kailash and stop at Darchen. This is the starting point for our Kailash Kora (53km). Overnight in a lodge.
Day 11: Kailash Kora / Parikrama - Darchen to Diraphuk Gompa The Kora / Parikrama begins as we walk the 8kms to Tarboche and then we trek up to Diraphuk Gompa. Packed lunch will be served on the way. We walk up the Lha Chu Valley through beautiful green meadows and streams with Mt Kailash towering above us. We 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 at our own camp or a lodge.
Day 12:Kailash Kora / Parikrama - Diraphuk to ZutulPuk Gompa (4790m) We now leave the Lha Chu Valley and enter the Drolma Chu Valley, heading up towards a high pass, the Drolma La (5630m). It's 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 of one of the highest lakes in the world, 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. Overnight at our own camp or a lodge. B, L, D.
Day 13: Kailash Kora / Parikrama - Zutul-Puk to Darchen (4560m) On the final day of the kora / Parikrama we cross several streams, and follow an impressive gorge. Along the way we are once again treated to magnificent views of Kailash. We then enter the Bharka plain and it's about an hour's walk through this desert landscape to Darchen. Our vehicles await us, and take us back to Lake Manasarovar. Overnight camp near Seralung Gon.
Day 14: Manasarovar to Prayang (4750m). Today is a long drive, about 300km, back to Praryang. We re-cross the Mayun-la and several rivers. Overnight at our own camp or a lodge.
Day 15: Paryang to Saga (4600m) We continue driving today along a 255 km stretch of road to Saga, passing through the small town of Zhongba en route. Overnight at our own camp or a lodge.
Day 16: Saga to Nyalam (3750m) Leaving Saga, we again cross the Yarlung Tsangpo by ferry, and pass by Peiku-tso before arriving back at Nyalam. Overnight at a lodge.
Day 17: Nyalam to Kathmandu (1400m) From Nyalam, we head back to the border town of Zhangmu. From Zhangmu, it's a short drive to the Friendship Bridge which spans the Bhote Koshi River and marks the Tibet / Nepal border. We 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 continue the drive to Kathmandu which, depending on road and weather conditions, should take about 5 hours. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 18: Kathmandu Relax and wonder through the streets of Kathmandu. Enjoy the evening of Nepalese culture and dinner to wish you a good journey home. Overnight at your hotel.
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 even smaller groups.
Cost does not include:
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