15 days Mt. Kailash Kora and Mt. Everest Base Camp tour
The journey starts from the holy city Lhasa and then to Shigatse, where you can feel the different lifestyle and existing culture of the roof of the world. Monasteries and shrines are the centre of the religious faith, which plays an important role in their day to day life since from thousand years. Then rest of the days the journey across the great Jangtang (Northern Plain) into Far-west Tibet passes through a land greatest extremes of dryness. The landscapes are huge and like a treeless moonscape. Lone groups of nomads dwelling in low, black tents, tend flocks of sheep and goats as well as herds of the yak. Heavily eroded sandstones and sand-dunes are beautiful along the road. The extraordinary peak of Mount Kailash is the prime focus of the journey, which lays at the heart of the region. It is the pilgrimage destinations of Buddhists, Bon, Hindus and Jains. On the way back you will pass through Pelku Tso Lake and heading towards Great Himalayan Range in the south, the world highest peak-Mt. Everest standing at 8844 meters and you can have a great view of the peak from the Rongbuk monastery.
Upon arrival at Lhasa airport or train station, to be met and transferred to your hotel in Lhasa. Then have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, so we have purposely arranged you only to visit Jokhang temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang temple is the most sacred shrine in Tibet which was built in the 7th century and located at the heart of old town in Lhasa, the circuit around it called Barkhor street, a good place to explore the local workshops and purchase souvenirs. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Both of them are the focal points of pilgrims from the entire Tibetan world, multitudinous pilgrims are circumambulating and prostrating in their strong faith. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today you will be arranged to visit Drepung, Sera monasteries. Both Drepung and Sera monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges. Drepung monastery was the seat of the Government prior to Potala, it was once the world largest monastery in the history with 7,700 monks hailed from different monasteries all over Tibet. Sera monastery is famous for its Buddhism philosophical debate practice, the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are well worth to see. Norbulingka is the summer palace of Dalai Lama, you can visit the residences of different lineages of the Dalai Lama. The park is crowded with picnickers and traditional activities during the Shoton (Yogurt festival) in August. Overnight at Lhasa.
Morning drive up to Kampala pass (4794m), you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok Tso and spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance, the turquoise-colored Lake Yamdrok Yutso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, the unforgettable vista of pincer-shaped turquoise water of the lake and amazing spectacle of Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar glacier from Karo la pass are the wonders of the day. Then along the Friendship southern Highway drive to Gyantse, visit the famous stupa - Gyantse Kumbum, the most stunning architectural wonder in Tibet. Late afternoon drive to Shigatse. Overnight at Shigatse.
Morning you will be arranged to visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the main Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet, it is the seat to the Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet. Spend hours to explore this massive monastery's chapels and its ancient artifacts. If you like hiking, then the kora around Tashilhunpo monastery should not be missed, as it provides the amazing views of Shigatse and the surrounding countryside. Afternoon head to Sakya, visit Sakya Monastery, the principal monastery of the Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, it is famous for its collection of Tibetan murals, chanting monks, sacred Buddhist scrolls and books and thangkas. Hiking at the monastery northern ruins is another highlight of today. Stay overnight at Sakya or move to Lhatse for the night.
Today drive from (Sakya) Lhatse to Saga, pass several high plateau lakes, towns, herders tents and along the route with plateau mountain ranges, diverse forms of mountains are overlooking through the valley. Overnight at Saga.
Morning drive from Saga to Paryang, you weave your way through small dusty town of Zhongba amidst enchanting panoramic views, dotted nomads tents are mingled with their herds of animals on the open plateau. Pass numbers of villages and camps of Yak herders with the distance view of snow-capped mountains, cross the Mayun-la pass (5,216m), if lucky might see many wild animals at the plateau grasslands. Prepare for the following days trekking.
The first day's trekking is starting from the Sershong and a gradual walk with multitudes of other local pilgrims chanting and praying. From the valley, you can see the Choku Monastery up on the hillside. The trail leads to a few ups and downs until you reach the camp at Dirapuk (4,750 m). You will meet many more Bon pilgrims going in the opposite direction (Anti clock-wise) because Mt. Kailash is being worshipped by four different religions, viz Buddhisms, Bons, Hindus, Jains. Overnight at Dirapuk guesthouse.
Today your trekking leads to the much higher side of the holy path just beneath the Mount Kailash. The walk will bring you to one of the highest points at Drolma La(5200m), and the pass is quickly descending to the gradual field towards Dzutul-puk for the overnight camp, Dzutul Puk in Tibetan and which means magical cave, this small monastery is connected to an interesting story of talent competition between Great Yogi Milarepa(Buddhist) and Naropa(Bon). Overnight at Dzutul-Puk guesthouse or camping.
The winding gradually comes out of the valley and the river allows to follow into the Barka plain, the trekking stops at Trangser Trangmar and your car takes you back to Darchen. After a short rest at Darchen, you will be arranged to drive about 50km to Lake Manasarovar, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. In Buddhism and Hinduism, Manasarovar is the lake of compassion, tranquility, and bliss. Climb up to Chiu monastery and have a good view of the lake or wander along the lakeshore to have a relaxing afternoon. Overnight at the local guesthouse near Chiu monastery.
Morning enjoys a brilliant sunrise at Lake Manasarovar, then start driving back to Saga retracing the same route, you will have a last view of the Mt.Kailash on the way. Overnight at Saga.
Today cross the Brahmaputra River and continuous drive through sandy plain, nomads herders with their yaks and sheep also can be seen along the road, at the middle of the way you will make a stop at the stunning view of Pelku Tso Lake on the left and Mt. Shishapama(8012m) on the right, further driving through the pasture meet you with friendship highway and then to Old Tingri, from there you can see the mighty peaks of Mt. Everest(8844m) and Mt. Cho Oyu(8201m) far in the distance to the south. Continue another 100km to reach Rongbuk where the Everest Base Camp located. Enjoy the stunning sunset at your guest house. Overnight at monastery guest house or tent guest house.
Morning enjoys the sunrise over Mount Everest and has a peaceful walk around Rongbuk. Afterward, start today's drive back to Shigatse. Overnight at Shigatse.
(P.S.) If you want to continue to travel to Kathmandu in Nepal, then today you will head to the border Gyirong village, the drive takes around 7-8 hours. You will spend one night at the border.
Morning drive back to Lhasa via northern friendship highway, along the body of Brahmaputra 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.
Morning Lhasa airport or train station dropping off, the time comes to say your farewells to your guide and driver, end the trip.